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Title: Recollections of a Long Life - An Autobiography
Author: Cuyler, Theodore Ledyard, 1822-1909
Language: English
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BY THEODORE LEDYARD CUYLER, D.D., LL.D. _Author of "God's Light on Dark
Clouds," "Heart Life," Etc._






   _Wordsworth--Dickens--The Land of Burns, etc_.


   _Carlyle--Mrs. Baillie--The Young Queen--Napoleon_


   _Montgomery--Bonar--Bowring--Palmer and others_.










   _Gladstone--Dr. Brown--Dean Stanley--Shaftesbury, etc._


   _Irving--Whittier--Webster--Greeley, etc_.






   _Binney--Hamilton--Guthrie--Hall--Spurgeon--Duff and others_.


   _The Alexanders--Dr. Tyng--Dr. Cox--Dr. Adams
   --Dr. Storrs--Mr. Beecher, Mr. Finney and Dr. B.M. Palmer_.


   _Bishop Haven--Dr. Schaff--President McCook._




   A RETROSPECT (Continued)






   _A Valedictory Discourse Delivered to the
   Lafayette Avenue Church, April_ 6, 1890.










Washington Irving has somewhere said that it is a happy thing to have
been born near some noble mountain or attractive river or lake, which
should be a landmark through all the journey of life, and to which we
could tether our memory. I have always been thankful that the place of
my nativity was the beautiful village of Aurora, on the shores of the
Cayuga Lake in Western New York. My great-grandfather, General Benjamin
Ledyard, was one of its first settlers, and came there in 1794. He was a
native of New London County, Ct., a nephew of Col. William Ledyard, the
heroic martyr of Fort Griswold, and the cousin of John Ledyard, the
celebrated traveller, whose biography was written by Jared Sparks. When
General Ledyard came to Aurora some of the Cayuga tribe of Indians were
still lingering along the lakeside, and an Indian chief said to my
great-grandfather, "General Ledyard, I see that your daughters are very
pretty squaws." The eldest of these comely daughters, Mary Forman
Ledyard, was married to my grandfather, Glen Cuyler, who was the
principal lawyer of the village, and their eldest son was my father,
Benjamin Ledyard Cuyler. He became a student of Hamilton College,
excelled in elocution, and was a room-mate of the Hon. Gerrit Smith,
afterward eminent as the champion of anti-slavery. On a certain Sabbath,
the student just home from college was called upon to read a sermon in
the village church of Aurora, in the absence of the pastor, and his
handsome visage and graceful delivery won the admiration of a young lady
of sixteen, who was on a visit to Aurora. Three years afterward they
were married. My mother, Louisa Frances Morrell, was a native of
Morristown, New Jersey; and her ancestors were among the founders of
that beautiful town. Her maternal great-grandfather was the Rev. Dr.
Timothy Johnes, the pastor of the Presbyterian Church, who administered
the sacrament of the Lord's Supper to General Washington. Her paternal
great-grandfather was the Rev. Azariah Horton, pastor of a church near
Morristown, and an intimate friend of the great President Edwards. The
early settlers of Aurora were people of culture and refinement; and the
village is now widely known as the site of Wells College, among whose
graduates is the popular wife of ex-President Cleveland.

In the days of my childhood the march of modern improvements had hardly
begun. There was a small steamboat plying on the Cayuga Lake. There was
not a single railway in the whole State. When I went away to school in
New Jersey, at the age of thirteen, the tedious journey by the
stagecoach required three days and two nights; every letter from home
cost eighteen cents for postage; and the youngsters pored over Webster's
spelling-books and Morse's geography by tallow candles; for no gas lamps
had been dreamed of and the wood fires were covered, in most houses, by
nine o'clock on a winter evening. There was plain living then, but not a
little high thinking. If books were not so superabundant as in these
days, they were more thoroughly appreciated and digested.

My father, who was just winning a brilliant position at the Cayuga
County Bar, died in June, 1826, at the early age of twenty-eight, when I
was but four and one-half years old. The only distinct recollections
that I have of him are his leading me to school in the morning, and that
he once punished me for using a profane word that I had heard from some
rough boys. That wholesome bit of discipline kept me from ever breaking
the Third Commandment again. After his death, I passed entirely into
the care of one of the best mothers that God ever gave to an only son.
She was more to me than school, pastor or church, or all combined. God
made mothers before He made ministers; the progress of Christ's kingdom
depends more upon the influence of faithful, wise, and pious mothers
than upon any other human agency.

As I was an only child, my widowed mother gave up her house and took me
to the pleasant home of her father, Mr. Charles Horton Morrell, on the
banks of the lake, a few miles south of Aurora. How thankful I have
always been that the next seven or eight years of my happy childhood
were spent on the beautiful farm of my grandfather! I had the free pure
air of the country, and the simple pleasures of the farmhouse; my
grandfather was a cultured gentleman with a good library, and at his
fireside was plenty of profitable conversation. Out of school hours I
did some work on the farm that suited a boy; I drove the cows to the
pasture, and rode the horses sometimes in the hay-field, and carried in
the stock of firewood on winter afternoons. My intimate friends were the
house-dog, the chickens, the kittens and a few pet sheep in my
grandfather's flocks. That early work on the farm did much toward
providing a stock of physical health that has enabled me to preach for
fifty-six years without ever having spent a single Sabbath on a

My Sabbaths in that rural home were like the good old Puritan Sabbaths,
serene and sacred, with neither work nor play. Our church (Presbyterian)
was three miles away, and in the winter our family often fought our way
through deep mud, or through snow-drifts piled as high as the fences. I
was the only child among grown-up uncles and aunts, and the first
Sunday-school that I ever attended had only one scholar, and my good
mother was the superintendent. She gave me several verses of the Bible
to commit thoroughly to memory and explained them to me; I also studied
the Westminster Catechism. I was expected to study God's Book for
myself, and not to sit and be crammed by a teacher, after the fashion of
too many Sunday-schools in these days, where the scholars swallow down
what the teacher brings to them, as young birds open their mouths and
swallow what the old bird brings to the nest. There is a lamentable
ignorance of the language of Scripture among the rising generation of
America, and too often among the children of professedly Christian

The books that I had to feast on in the long winter evenings were
"Robinson Crusoe," "Sanford and Merton," "The Pilgrim's Progress," and
the few volumes in my grandfather's library that were within the
comprehension of a child of eight or ten years old. I wept over "Paul
and Virginia," and laughed over "John Gilpin," the scene of whose
memorable ride I have since visited at the "Bell of Edmonton," During
the first quarter of the nineteenth century drunkenness was fearfully
prevalent in America; and the drinking customs wrought their sad havoc
in every circle of society. My grandfather was one of the first
agriculturists to banish intoxicants from his farm, and I signed a
pledge of total abstinence when I was only ten or eleven years old.
Previously to that, I had got a taste of "prohibition" that made a
profound impression on me. One day I discovered some "cherrybounce" in a
wine-glass on my grandfather's sideboard, and I ventured to swallow the
tempting liquor. When my vigilant mother discovered what I had done, she
administered a dose of Solomon's regimen in a way that made me "bounce"
most merrily. That wholesome chastisement for an act of disobedience,
and in the direction of tippling, made me a teetotaller for life; and,
let me add, that the first public address I ever delivered was at a
great temperance gathering (with Father Theobald Mathew) in the City
Hall of Glasgow during the summer of 1842. My mother's discipline was
loving but thorough; she never bribed me to good conduct with
sugar-plums; she praised every commendable deed heartily, for she held
that an ounce of honest praise is often worth more than many pounds of

During my infancy that godly mother had dedicated me to the Lord, as
truly as Hannah ever dedicated her son Samuel. When my paternal
grandfather, who was a lawyer, offered to bequeath his law-library to
me, my mother declined the tempting offer, and said to him: "I fully
expect that my little boy will yet be a minister." This was her constant
aim and perpetual prayer, and God graciously answered her prayer of
faith in His own good time and way. I cannot now name any time, day, or
place when I was converted. It was my faithful mother's steady and
constant influence that led me gradually along, and I grew into a
religious life under her potent training, and by the power of the Holy
Spirit working through her agency. A few years ago I gratefully placed
in that noble "Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church" of Brooklyn (of
which I was the founder and pastor for thirty years) a beautiful
memorial window to my beloved mother representing Hannah and her child
Samuel, and the fitting inscription: "As long as he liveth I have lent
him to the Lord."

For several good reasons I did not make a public profession of my faith
in Jesus Christ until I left school and entered the college at
Princeton, New Jersey. The religious impressions that began at home
continued and deepened until I united, at the age of seventeen, with the
Church of the Lord Jesus Christ. As an effectual instruction in
righteousness, my faithful mother's letters to me when a schoolboy were
more than any sermons that I heard during all those years. I feel now
that the happy fifty-six years that I have spent in the glorious
ministry of the Gospel of Redemption is the direct outcome of that
beloved mother's prayers, teaching example, and holy influence.

My preparation for college was partly under the private tutorship of the
good old Dutch dominie, the Rev. Gerrit Mandeville, who smoked his pipe
tranquilly while I recited to him my lessons in Caesar's Commentaries,
and Virgil; and partly in the well-known Hill Top School, at Mendham,
N.J. I entered Princeton college at the age of sixteen and graduated at
nineteen, for in those days the curriculum in our schools and
universities was more brief than at present. The Princeton college to
which I came was rather a primitive institution in comparison with the
splendid structures that now crown the University heights. There were
only seven or eight plain buildings surrounding the campus, the two
society-halls being the only ones that boasted architectural beauty. In
endowments the college was as poor as a church mouse. There were no
college clubs, no inter-collegiate games, thronged by thousands of
people from all over the land; but the period of my connection with the
college was really a golden period in its history. Never were its chairs
held by more distinguished occupants. The president of the college was
Dr. Carnahan, who, although without a spark of genius, was yet a man of
huge common sense, kindness of heart and excellent executive ability. In
the chair of the vice-president sat dear old "Uncle Johnny" McLean, the
best-loved man that ever trod the streets of Princeton. He was the
policeman of the faculty, and his astuteness in detecting the pranks of
the students was only equalled by his anxiety to befriend them after
they were detected. The polished culture of Dr. James W. Alexander then
adorned the Chair of the Latin Language and English Literature. Dr. John
Torrey held the chemical professorship. He was engaged with Dr. Gray in
preparing the history of American Flora. Stephen Alexander's modest eye
had watched Orion and the Seven Stars through the telescope of the
astronomer; the flashing wit and silvery voice of Albert B. Dod, then in
his splendid prime, threw a magnetic charm over the higher mathematics.
And in that old laboratory, with negro "Sam" as his assistant, reigned
Joseph Henry, the acknowledged king of American scientists. When, soon
after, he gave me a note of Introduction to Sir Michael Faraday,
Faraday said to me: "By far the greatest man of science your country has
produced since Benjamin Franklin is Professor Henry." With Professor
Henry I formed a very intimate friendship, and after he became the head
of the Smithsonian Institution I found a home with him whenever I went
to Washington.

Our class, which graduated in 1841, contained several members who have
since made a deep mark in church and commonwealth. Professor Archibald
Alexander Hodge was one of us. He inherited the name and much of the
power of his distinguished father. Also General Francis P. Blair, who
rendered heroic service on the battle-field. John T. Nixon brought to
the bench of the United States Court, and Edward W. Scudder brought to
the Supreme Court Bench of New Jersey, legal learning and Christian
consciences. Richard W. Walker became a distinguished man in the
Southern Confederacy. Our class sent four men to professor's chairs in
Princeton. My best beloved classmate was John T. Duffield, who, after a
half century of service as professor of mathematics in the University,
closed his noble and beneficent career on the 10th of April, 1901. I
delivered the memorial tribute to him soon afterward in the Second
Presbyterian Church in the presence of the authorities of the
University. Another intimate friend was the Hon. Amzi Dodd,
ex-chancellor of New Jersey and the ex-president of the New Jersey Life
Insurance Company. He is still a resident of that State. During the past
three-score years it has been my privilege to deliver between sixty and
seventy sermons or addresses in Princeton, either to the students of the
University or of the Theological Seminary, or to the residents of the
town. The place has become inexpressibly dear to me as a magnificent
stronghold of Christian culture and orthodox faith, on the walls of
whose institutions the smile of God gleams like the light of the
morning. O Princeton, Princeton! in the name of the thousands of thy
loyal sons, let me gratefully say, "If we forget thee, may our right
hands forget their cunning, and our tongues cleave to the roofs of our



_Wordsworth--Dickens--The Land of Burns, etc_.

The year after leaving college I made a visit to Europe, which, in those
days, was a notable event. As the stormy Atlantic had not yet been
carpeted by six-day steamers, I crossed in a fine new packet-ship, the
"Patrick Henry," of the Grinnell & Minturn Line. Captain Joseph C.
Delano was a gentleman of high intelligence and culture who, after he
had abandoned salt water, became an active member of the American
Association of Science. After twenty-one days under canvas and the
instructions of the captain, I learned more of nautical affairs and of
the ocean and its ways than in a dozen subsequent passages in the

On the second morning after our arrival in Liverpool I breakfasted with
that eminent clergyman, Dr. Raffles, who boasted the possession of one
of the finest collections of autographs in England. He showed me the
signature of John Bunyan; the original manuscript of one of Sir Walter
Scott's novels; the original of Burns' poem addressed to the parasite
on a lady's bonnet, which contained the famous lines:

   "Oh wad some power the giftie gie us
   To see our sel's as others see us,"

besides several other manuscripts by the same poet, and also the
autograph of a challenge sent by Byron to Lord Brougham for alleged
insult, a fact to which no reference has been made in Byron's biography.
From Liverpool, with my friends Professor Renwick and Professor
Cuningham, I set out on a journey to the lakes of England. We reached
Bowness, on Lake Windermere, in the evening. The next morning we went up
to Elleray, the country residence of Professor Wilson ("Christopher
North"), who, unfortunately, was absent in Edinburgh. We hired a boatman
to row us through exquisitely beautiful Windermere, and in the evening
reached the Salutation Inn, at the foot of the lake. My great interest
in visiting Ambleside was to see the venerable poet, Wordsworth, who
lived about a mile from the village. I happened, just before supper, to
look out of the window of the traveller's room and espied an old man in
a blue cloak and Glengarry cap, with a bunch of heather stuck jauntily
in the top, driving by in a little brown phaeton from Rydal Mount.
"Perhaps," thought I to myself, "that may be the patriarch himself," and
sure enough it was. For, when I inquired about Mr. Wordsworth, the
landlord said to me, "A few minutes ago he went by here in his little
carriage." The next morning I called upon him. The walk to his cottage
was delightful, with the dew still lingering in the shady nooks by the
roadside, and the morning songs of thanksgiving bursting forth from
every grove. At the summit of a deeply shaded hill I found "Rydal Mount"
cottage. I was shown, at once, into the sitting-room, where I found him
with his wife, who sat sewing beside him. The old man rose and received
me graciously. By his appearance I was somewhat startled. Instead of a
grave recluse in scholastic black, whom I expected to see, I found an
affable and lovable old man dressed in the roughest coat of blue with
metal buttons, and checked trousers, more like a New York farmer than an
English poet. His nose was very large, his forehead a lofty dome of
thought, and his long white locks hung over his stooping shoulders; his
eyes presented a singular, half closed appearance. We entered at once
into a delightful conversation. He made many inquiries about Irving,
Mrs. Sigourney and our other American authors, and spoke, with great
vehemence, in favor of an international copyright law. He said that at
one time he had hoped to visit America, but the duties of a small office
which he held (Distributer of Stamps), and upon which he was partly
dependent, prevented the undertaking. He occasionally made a trip to
London to see the few survivors of the friends of his early days, but he
told me that his last excursion had proved a wearisome effort. His
library was small but select. He took down an American edition of his
works, edited by Professor Reed, and told me that London had never
produced an edition equal to it. When I was about to leave, the good old
poet got his broad slouched hat and put on his double purple glasses to
protect his eyes, and we went out to enjoy the neighboring views. We
walked about from one point to another and kept up a lively
conversation. He displayed such a winning familiarity that, in the
language of his own poem, we seemed

   "A pair of friends, though I was young,
      And he was seventy-four."

From the rear of his court-yard he showed me Rydal Water, a little lake
about a mile long, the beautiful church, and beyond it, Grassmere, and
still further beyond, Helvelyn, the mountain-king with a retinue of a
hundred hills. I might have spent the whole day in delightful
intercourse with the old man, but my fellow-travellers were going, and I
could make no longer inroads upon their time. When we returned to the
door of his cottage, he gave me a parting blessing; he picked a small
yellow flower and handed it to me, and I still preserve it in my
edition of his works, as a relic of the most profound and the most
sublime poet that England has produced during the nineteenth century I
know of but one other living American who has ever visited Wordsworth at
Rydal Mount.

After passing through Keswick, where the venerable poet Southey was
still lingering in sadly failing intelligence, we reached Carlisle the
same evening. From Carlisle we took the mail-coach for Edinburgh by the
same route over which Sir Walter Scott was accustomed to make his
journeys up to London. The driver, who might have answered to Washington
Irving's description, pointed out to me Netherby Hall, the mansion of
the Grahams, on "Cannobie lea," over which the young Lochinvar bore away
his stolen bride. We passed also Branksome Tower, the scene of the "Lay
of the Last Minstrel," and reached Selkirk in the early evening. The
next day I spent at Abbotsford. The Great Magician had been dead only
ten years, and his family still occupied the house with some of his old
employees who figure in Lockhart's biography. I sat in the great
arm-chair where Sir Walter Scott wrote many of his novels, and looked
out of the window of his bedchamber, through which came the rippling
murmurs of the Tweed, that consoled his dying hours. I heartily
subscribe to the opinion, expressed by Tennyson, that Sir Walter Scott
was the most extraordinary man in British literature since the days of

After reaching Glasgow I made a brief trip into the Land of Burns. At
the town of Ayr I found an omnibus waiting to take me down to the
birthplace of the poet. At that time the number of visitors to these
regions was comparatively few, and the birthplace of the poet had not
been transformed, as now, into a crowded museum. On reaching a slight
elevation, since consecrated by the muse of Burns, there broke upon the
view his monument, his native cottage, Alloway Kirk, the scene of the
inimitable Tam o' Shanter, and behind them all the "Banks and Braes of
Bonnie Doon." I went first to the monument, within which on a centre
table are the two volumes of the Bible given by Burns to Highland Mary
when they "lived one day of parting love" beneath the hawthorn of
Coilsfield. One of the volumes contains, in Burns' handwriting, "Thou
shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thy vows,"
and a lock of Mary's hair, of a light brown color, given at the time, is
preserved in the treasured volumes. A few steps away is Alloway Kirk.
The old sexton was standing by the grave of Burns' father, and described
to me the route of "Tam o' Shanter." He showed me the chinks in the
sides through which the kirk seemed "all in a bleeze," and he pointed
out the identical place on the wall where Old Nick was presiding over
the midnight revels of the beldames when--

   "Louder and louder the piper blew,
   Swifter and swifter the dancers flew."

After the old man had finished his recital, I asked him whether he had
ever seen the poet. "Only aince," he replied. "That was one day when he
was ridin' on a road near here. I met a friend who told me to hurry up,
for Rabbie Burns was just ahead. I whippit up my horse, and came up to a
roughly dressed man, ridin' slowly along, with his blue bonnet pulled
down over his forehead, and his eyes turned toward the groond." "Didn't
you speak to him?" I said. "Nay, nay," replied the man, in a tone of
deep reverence, "he was Rabbie Burns. _I dare na speak to him_. If he
had been any other mon I would have said 'good morrow to ye.'" Beautiful
and eloquent tribute, paid by an unlettered peasant, not to rank or to
wealth, but to a soul--a mighty soul though clad in "hodden grey" like

The most interesting object was yet to be visited--the cottage of his
birth, I entered it with reverence; and a well dressed, but very old,
woman welcomed me in. "This is the room," she said. I looked around on
the rough stone walls and could not believe that it ever contained such
a soul; for the cottage, with all its subsequent repairs, was hardly
equal to the generality of our early log cabins. The old lady was very
affable. In her early life she had been connected with an inn at
Mauchline, and had seen the poet often. "Rabbie was a funny fellow," she
said; "I ken'd him weel; and he stoppit at our hoose on his way up to
Edinburgh to see the lairds." I asked her if he was not always humorous.
"Nae, nae," she replied, "he used to come in and sit doun wi' his hands
in his lap like a bashful country lad; very glum, till he got a drap o'
whuskey, or heard a gude story, _and then he was aff!_ He was very
poorly in his latter days." Those closing days in Dumfries, steeped in
poverty to the lips, forms one of the most tragic chapters in literary
history; and I know scarcely anything in our language more pathetic than
the letter which he wrote describing his wretched bondage to the
dominion of strong drink. An old lady of Kilmarnock told my friend, the
late Dr. Taylor of New York, that when a young woman she had gone to
Burns' house to assist in preparations for his funeral, and stated that
there was not enough decent linen in the house to lay out the most
splendid genius in all Scotland! When I was at Ayr, a sister of Burns,
Mrs. Begg, was still living, and I am always regretting that I did not
call upon her. His widow, Jean Armour, had died but a few years before;
and when a certain pert American who called upon the old lady had the
audacity to ask her: "Can you show me any relics of the poet?" answered
with majestic dignity: "Sir, _I am the only relic of Robert Burns_."

I went abroad on this first visit to Europe keen for lion hunting, and
with an eager desire to see some of the men who had been my literary
benefactors. On my arrival in London, having a letter of introduction to
Charles Dickens, which a mutual friend had given to me, I resolved to
present it. Charles Dickens was an idol of my college days, and I had
spent a few minutes with him in Philadelphia during his recent visit to
the United States. He had returned from his triumphal tour about a month
before I landed in Liverpool. I called at his house, but he was not at
home. The next day he did me the honor to call on me at Morley's Hotel,
and, not finding me in, invited me up to his house near York Gate,
Regents Park. It was a dingy, brick house surrounded by a high wall, but
cheerful and cozy within. I found him in his sanctum, a singularly
shaped room, with statuettes of Sam Weller and others of his creations
on the mantelpiece. A portrait of his beautiful wife was upon the
wall--that wife, the separation from whom threw a strange, sad shadow
over his home. How handsome he was then! With his deep, dark, lustrous
eyes, that you saw yourself in, and the merry mouth wreathed with
laughter, and the luxuriant mass of dark hair that he wore in a sort of
stack over his lofty forehead! He had a slight lisp in his pleasant
voice, and ran on in rapid talk for an hour, with a shy reluctance to
talk about his own works, but with the most superabounding vivacity I
have ever met with in any man. His two daughters, one of whom afterward
married the younger Collins, a brother novelist, were then schoolgirls
of eight and ten years, came in, with books in their hands, to give
their father a good-morning kiss. After parting with him, when I had
reached his gate, he called after me in a very loud voice, "If you see
Mrs. Lucretia Mott, tell her that I have not forgotten the slave." His
"American Notes" appeared the next week. There were some things in that
hasty and faulty volume for which I sent him a cordial note of thanks,
and I speedily received the following characteristic reply, which I
still prize as a precious relic of the man:

   REGENTS PARK, Oct. 26th, 1842.

   MY DEAR SIR:--I am heartily obliged to you for your
   frank and manly letter. I shall always remember it in connection
   with my American book; and never--believe me--save
   in the foremost rank of its pleasant and honorable
   Let me subscribe myself, as I really am

   Faithfully your Friend,


   Mr. Theodore Ledyard Cuyler.

I hold that Dickens was the most original genius in our fictitious
literature since the days of Walter Scott. As a social reformer his fame
is quite as great as it is as a master of romance. His pen was mighty to
the pulling down of many a social abuse, and from the loving kindness of
his writings has been got many an inspiration to deeds of charity. But
how could a man who went so far as he did go no further? How could the
reformer who struck at so many social wrongs spare that hideous
fountain-head of misery in London, the dram-shop? And how could he
descend to scurrilously satirize all societies formed for the promotion
of temperance? A still greater marvel is that so kind-hearted a man as
Mr. Dickens, who sought honestly the amelioration of the condition of
his fellow-men, could utterly ignore the transforming power of
Christianity. He did not cast contempt on the Bible, and never soiled
his pages with infidelity, neither did he ever enlighten, and warm and
vivify them with evangelical uplifting truth. Only a few feet of earth
separate the grave of Charles Dickens from the grave of William
Wilberforce. Both loved their fellow-men; but the great difference
between them was that one of them invoked the spiritual power of the
Gospel of Christ, which the other lamentably ignored.



_Carlyle--Mrs. Baillie--The Young Queen--Napoleon_

One of the lions of whom I was in pursuit was Thomas Carlyle. Very few
Americans at that time had ever seen him, for he lived a very secluded
and laborious life in a little brick house at Chelsea, in the southwest
of London; and he rarely kept open doors. His life was the opposite to
that of Dickens and Macaulay, and he was never lionized, except when he
went to Edinburgh to deliver his address before the University, years
afterwards. I sent him a note in which I informed him of the
enthusiastic admiration which we college students felt for him, and that
I desired to call and pay him my respects. To my note he responded
promptly: "You will be welcome to-morrow at three o'clock, the hour when
I become accessible in my garret here." I found his "garret" to be a
comfortable front room on the second floor of his modest home. It was
well lined with books, and a portrait of Oliver Cromwell hung behind his
study chair. He was seated at his table with a huge German volume open
before him. His greeting was very hearty, but, with a comical look of
surprise, he said in broad Scotch: "You are a verra young mon." I told
him of the appetite we college boys had for his books, and he assured me
at once that while he had met some of our eminent literary men he had
never happened to meet a college boy before. "Your Mr. Longfellow," said
he, "called to see me yesterday. He is a man skilled in the tongues.
Your own name I see is Dootch. The word 'Cuyler' means a delver, or one
who digs underground. You must be a Dutchman." I told him that my
ancestors had come over from Holland a couple of centuries ago, and I
was proud of my lineage; for my grandfather, Glen Cuyler, was a
descendant of Hendrick Cuyler, one of the early Dutch settlers of
Albany, who came there in 1667. "Ah," said he, "the Dootch are the
brawvest people of modern times. The world has been rinnin' after a red
rag of a Frenchman; but he was nothing to William the Silent. When
Pheelip of Spain sent his Duke of Alva to squelch those Dutchmen they
joost squelched him like a rotten egg--aye, _they did_."

I asked him why he didn't visit America, and told him that I had
observed his name registered at Ambleside, on Lake Windermere. "Nae,
nae," said he, "I never scrabble my name in public places." I explained
that it was on the hotel register that I had seen "Thomas Carlyle." "It
was not mine," he replied, "I never travel only when I ride on a horse
in the teeth of the wind to get out of this smoky London. I would like
to see America. You may boast of your Dimocracy, or any other 'cracy, or
any other kind of political roobish, but the reason why your laboring
folk are so happy is that you have a vast deal of land for a very few
people." In this racy, picturesque vein he ran on for an hour in the
most cordial, good humor. He was then in his prime, hale and athletic,
with a remarkably keen blue eye, a strong lower jaw and stiff iron gray
hair, brushed up from a capacious forehead; and he had a look of a
sturdy country deacon dressed up on a Sunday morning for church. He was
very carefully attired in a new suit that day for visiting, and, as I
rose to leave, he said to me: "I am going up into London and I will walk
wi' ye." We sallied out and he strode the pavement with long strides
like a plowman. I told him I had just come from the land of Burns, and
that the old man at the native cottage of the poet had drunk himself to
death by drinking to the memory of Burns.

At this Carlyle laughed loudly, and remarked: "Was that the end of him?
Ah, a wee bit drap will send a mon a lang way." He then told me that
when he was a lad he used to go into the Kirkyard at Dumfries and,
hunting out the poet's tomb, he loved to stand and just read over the
name--"Rabbert Burns"--"Rabbert Burns." He pronounced the name with deep
reverence. That picture of the country lad in his earliest act of
hero-worship at the grave of Burns would have been a good subject for
the pencil of Millais or of Holman Hunt. At the corner of Hyde Park I
parted from Mr. Carlyle, and watched him striding away, as if, like the
De'il in "Tam O'Shanter," he had "business on his hand."

Thirty years afterwards, in June, 1872, I felt an irrepressible desire
to see the grand old man once more, and I accordingly addressed him a
note requesting the favor of a few minutes' interview. His reply was,
perhaps, the briefest letter ever written. It was simply:

   "Three P.M.

He told me afterwards that his hand had become so tremulous that he
seldom touched a pen. My beloved friend, the Rev. Newman Hall, asked the
privilege of accompanying me, as, like most Londoners, he had never put
his eye on the recluse philosopher. We found the same old brick house,
No. 5 Cheyne Row, Chelsea, without the slightest change outside or in.
But, during those thirty years the gifted wife had departed, and a sad
change had come over the once hale, stalwart man. After we had waited
some time, a feeble, stooping figure, attired in a long blue flannel
gown, moved slowly into the room. His gray hair was unkempt, his blue
eyes were still keen and piercing, and a bright hectic spot of red
appeared on each of his hollow cheeks. His hands were tremulous, and his
voice deep and husky. After a few personal inquiries the old man
launched out into a most extraordinary and characteristic harangue on
the wretched degeneracy of these evil days. The prophet, Jeremiah, was
cheerfulness itself in comparison with him. Many of the raciest things
he regaled us with were entirely too personal for publication. He amused
us with a description of half a night's debate with John Bright on
political economy, while he said, "Bright theed and thoud with me for
hours, while his Quaker wife sat up hearin' us baith. I tell ye, John
Bright _got_ as gude as he _gie_ that night"; and I have no doubt that
he did.

Most of his extraordinary harangue was like an eruption of Vesuvius, but
the laugh he occasionally gave showed that he was talking about as much
for his own amusement as for ours. He was terribly severe on Parliament,
which he described as "endless babblement and windy talk--the same
hurdy-gurdies grinding out lies and inanities." The only man he had ever
heard in Parliament that at all satisfied him was the Old Iron Duke. "He
gat up and stammered away for fifteen minutes; but I tell ye, he was the
only mon in Parliament who gie us any credible portraiture of the
facts." He looked up at the portrait of Oliver Cromwell behind him, and
exclaimed with great vehemence: "I ha' gone doon to the verra bottom of
Oliver's speeches, and naething in Demosthenes or in any other mon will
compare wi' Cromwell in penetrating into the veritable core of the fact.
Noo, Parliament, as they ca' it, is joost everlasting babblement and
lies." We led him to discuss the labor question and the condition of the
working classes. He said that the turmoil about labor is only "a lazy
trick of master and man to do just as little honest work and to get just
as much for it as they possibly can--that is the labor question." It did
my soul good, as a teetotaler, to hear his scathing denunciation of the
liquor traffic. He was fierce in his wrath against "the horrible and
detestable damnation of whuskie and every kind of strong drink." In this
strain the thin and weird looking old Iconoclast went on for an hour
until he wound up with declaring, "England has joost gane clear doon
into an abominable cesspool of lies, shoddies and shams--down to a
bottomless _damnation_. Ye may gie whatever meaning to that word that ye
like." He could not refrain from laughing heartily himself at the
conclusion of this eulogy on his countrymen. If we had not known that
Mr. Carlyle had a habit of exercising himself in this kind of talk, we
should have felt a sort of consternation. As it was we enjoyed it as a
postscript to "Sartor Resartus" or the "Latter Day" pamphlets, and
listened and laughed accordingly. As we were about parting from him with
a cordial and tender farewell, my friend, Newman Hall, handed him a copy
of his celebrated little book, "Come to Jesus," Mr. Carlyle, leaning
over his table, fixed his eye upon the inscription on the outside of the
booklet, and as we left the room, we heard him repeating to himself the
title "Coom to Jesus--Coom to Jesus."

About Carlyle's voluminous works, his glorious eulogies of Luther, Knox
and Cromwell, his vivid histories, his pessimistic utterances, his
hatred of falsehood and his true, pure and laborious life, I have no
time or space to write. He was the last of the giants in one department
of British literature. He will outlive many an author who slumbers in
the great Abbey. I owe him grateful thanks for many quickening,
stimulating thoughts, and shall always be thankful that I grasped the
strong hand of Thomas Carlyle.

One of the literary celebrities to whom I had credentials was the
venerable Mrs. Joanna Baillie, not now much read, but then well known
from her writings and her intimacy with Sir Walter Scott, and to whom
Lockhart devotes a considerable space in the biography. Her residence
was in Hampstead, and I was obliged, after leaving the omnibus, to walk
nearly a mile across open fields which are now completely built over by
mighty London. The walk proved a highly profitable one from the society
of an intelligent stranger who, like every true English gentleman, when
properly approached, was led to give all the information in his power.
When I reached the suburban village of Hampstead, after passing over
stiles and through fields, I at last succeeded in finding her residence,
a quiet little cottage, with a little parlor which had been honored by
some of the first characters of our age. "The female Shakespeare," as
she was sometimes called in those days, was at home and tripped into the
room with the elastic step of a girl, although she was considerably over
three score years and ten. She was very petite and fair, with a sweet
benignant countenance that inspired at once admiration and affection.
Almost her first words to me were: "What a pity you did not come ten
minutes sooner; for if you had you would have seen Mr. Thomas Campbell,
who has just gone away." I was exceedingly sorry to have missed a sight
of the author of "Hohenlinden" and the incomparable "Battle of the
Baltic," but was quite surprised that he was still seeking much society;
for in those days he was lamentably addicted to intoxicants. On more
than one public occasion he was the worse for his cups; and when, after
his death, a subscription was started to place his statue in Westminster
Abbey, Samuel Rogers, the poet, cynically said, "Yes, I will gladly give
twenty pounds any day to see dear old Tom Campbell stand steady on his
legs." It is a matter of congratulation that the most eminent men of the
Victorian era have not fallen into some of the unhappy habits of their
predecessors at the beginning of the last century. Mrs. Baillie
entertained me with lively descriptions of Sir Walter Scott, and of her
old friend, Mr. Wordsworth, who was her guest whenever he came up to
London. She expressed the warmest admiration for the moral and
political, though not all of the religious, writings of our Dr.
Channing, whom she pronounced the finest essayist of the time. She also
felt a curious interest (which I discovered in many other notable people
in England) to learn what she could in regard to our American Indians,
and expressed much admiration when I gave her some quotations from the
picturesque eloquence of our sons of the forest.

Every American who visited London in those days felt a laudable
curiosity to see the young Queen, who had been crowned but four years
before. I went up to Windsor Castle, and after inspecting it, joined a
little group of people who were standing at the gateway which leads out
to the Long Drive and Virginia Water. They were waiting to get a look at
the young Queen, who always drove out at four o'clock. Presently the
gate opened and a low carriage, preceded by three horsemen, passed
through. It contained a plump baby, nearly two years of age, wrapped in
a buff cloak and held up in the arms of its nurse. That baby became the
Empress Dowager of Germany, the mother of the present Kaiser and of
Prince Henry, who has lately been our guest. In a few minutes afterwards
a pony phaeton, with two horses, passed through the gate and we all
doffed our hats. It was driven by handsome young Prince Albert, dressed
in a gray overcoat and silk hat. To this day I think of him as about the
most captivating young husband that I have ever seen. By his side sat
his young wife, dressed in a small white bonnet with pink feather and
wrapped in a white shawl. Her complexion was exceedingly fresh and fair.
Her light brown hair was dressed in the "Grecian" style, and as she
bowed gracefully I observed the peculiarity of her smile--that she
showed her teeth very distinctly. This resulted from the shortness of
her upper lip. "A pretty girl she is too" was the remark I heard from
the visitors as the carriage went on down the drive. That was my first
glimpse of royalty, and I little dreamed that she was to be the longest
lived sovereign that ever sat on the British throne, and the most
popular woman in all modern times.

Thirty years rolled away and I saw the good Queen again. The Albert
Memorial, erected to the handsome Prince Consort, whom she idolized, had
just been completed, and one morning the Queen came incognito to make
her first private inspection of the memorial. Through the intimation of
a friend I hurried at once to the Park, and found a small company of
people gathered there. Her Majesty had just come, accompanied by Prince
Arthur, the Princess Louise and the young Princess Beatrice; and they
were examining the gorgeous new structure. The Queen wore a plain black
silk dress and her children were very plainly attired, so that they
looked like a group of good, honest republicans. The only evidence of
royalty was that the company of gentlemen who were pointing out to the
Queen the various beauties of the monument just completed were careful
not to turn their backs upon Her Majesty. I observed that when her
children bade her "good morning" they kneeled and kissed her hand. She
remained sitting in her carriage for some time, chatting and laughing
with her daughter Beatrice. Her countenance had become very florid and
her figure very stout. The last time that I saw her driving in the Park
her full, rubicund face made her look not only like the venerable
grandmother of a host of descendants, but of the whole vast empire on
which the sun never sets. Last year the most beloved sovereign that has
ever occupied the British throne was laid in the gorgeous mausoleum at
Frogmore beside the husband of her youth and the sharer of twenty-two
years of happy and holy wedlock. All Christendom was a mourner beside
that royal tomb.

From London I went on a very brief visit to Paris, at the time when
Louis Phillipe was at the height of his power and apparently securely
seated on his throne. Within a half a dozen years from that time he was
a refugee in disguise, and the kingdom of France was followed by the
Republic of Lamartine. My brief visit to Paris was made more agreeable
by the fact that my kinsman, the Hon. Henry Ledyard, was then in charge
of the American Embassy, in the absence of his father-in-law, General
Lewis Cass, our Ambassador, who had returned to America for a visit. The
one memorable incident of that brief sojourn in Paris that I shall
recall was a visit to the tomb of Napoleon, whose remains had been
brought home the year before from the Island of St. Helena. Passing
through the Place de la Concord and crossing the Seine, a ten minutes'
walk brought me to the Hospital des Invalides. I reached it in the
morning when the court in front was filled with about three hundred
veterans on an early parade. Many of them were the shattered relics of
Napoleon's Grand Army--glorious old fellows in cocked hats and long blue
coats, and weather-beaten as the walls around them. After a few moments
I hurried into the Rotunda, which is nearly one hundred feet in height,
surrounded by six small recesses, or alcoves. "Where is Napoleon?" said
I to one of the sentinels. "There," said he, pointing to a recess, or
small chapel, hung with dark purple velvet and lighted by one glimmering
lamp. I approached the iron railing and, there before me, almost within
arm's length, in the marble coffin covered by his gray riding coat of
Marengo, lay all that was mortal of the great Emperor. At his feet was a
small urn containing his heart, and upon it lay his sword and the
military cap worn at the battle of Eylau. Beside the coffin was gathered
a group of tattered banners captured by him in many a victorious fight.
Three gray-haired veterans, whose breasts were covered with medals, were
pacing slowly on guard in front of the alcove. I said to them in French:
"Were you at Austerlitz?" "Oui, oui," they said. "Were you at Jena?"
"Oui, oui." "At Wagram?" "Oui, oui," they replied. I lingered long at
the spot, listening to the inspiring strains of the soldiery without,
and recalling to my mind the stirring days when the lifeless clay beside
me was dashing forward at the head of those very troops through the
passes of the Alps and over the bridge at Lodi. It seemed to me as a
dream, and I could scarcely realize that I stood within a few feet of
the actual body of that colossal wonder-worker whose extraordinary
combination of military and civil genius surpassed that of any other man
in modern history. And yet, when all shall be summoned at last before
the Great Tribunal, a Wilberforce, a Shaftesbury, or an Abraham Lincoln
will never desire to change places with him.



_Montgomery--Bonar--Bowring--Palmer and Others_

Hymnology has always been a favorite study with me, and it has been my
privilege to be acquainted with several of the most eminent hymn-writers
within the last sixty or seventy years. It is a remarkable fact that
among the distinguished English-speaking poets, Cowper and Montgomery
are the only ones who have been successful in producing many popular
hymns; while the greatest hymns have been the compositions either of
ministers of the Gospel, like Watts, Wesley, Toplady, Doddridge, Newman,
Lyte, Bonar and Ray Palmer, or by godly women, like Charlotte Elliott,
Mrs. Sarah F. Adams, Miss Havergal and Mrs. Prentiss. During my visit to
Great Britain in the summer of 1842, I spent a few weeks at Sheffield as
the guest of Mr. Edward Vickers, the ex-Mayor of the city. His near
neighbor was the venerable James Montgomery, whose pupil he had been
during the short time that the poet conducted a school. Mr. Vickers
took me to visit the poet at his residence at The Mount. A short,
brisk, cheery old man, then seventy-one, came into the room with a spry
step. He wore a suit of black, with old-fashioned dress ruffles, and a
high cravat that looked as if it choked him. His complexion was fresh,
and snowy hair crowned a noble forehead. He had never married, but
resided with a relative. We chatted about America, and I told him that
in all our churches his hymns were great favorites. I unfortunately
happened to mention that when lately in Glasgow I had gone to hear the
Rev. Robert Montgomery, the author of "Satan," and other poems. It was
this "Satan Montgomery" whom Macaulay had scalped with merciless
criticism in the _Edinburgh Review_. The mention of his name aroused the
old poet's ire. "Would you believe it?" he exclaimed, indignantly, "they
attribute some of that fellow's performances to me, and lately a lady
wrote to me in reference to one of his most pompous poems, and said "it
was the _best that I had ever written!_" I do not wonder at my venerable
friend's vexation, for there was a world-wide contrast between his own
chaste simplicity and the stilted pomposity of his Glasgow namesake.
Montgomery, though born a Moravian and educated at a Moravian school,
was a constant worshipper at St. George's Episcopal Church, in
Sheffield. The people of the town were very proud of their celebrated
townsman, and after his death gave him a public funeral, and erected a
bronze statue to his memory. While he was the author of several volumes
of poetry, his enduring fame rests on his hymns, some of which will be
sung in all lands through coming generations. Four hundred own his
parentage and one hundred at least are in common use throughout
Christendom. He produced a single verse that has hardly been surpassed
in all hymnology:

   "Here in the body pent
     Absent from Him I roam.
   Yet nightly pitch my moving-tent,
     A day's march nearer home."

Hymnology has known no denominational barriers. While Toplady was an
Episcopalian, Wesley a Methodist. Newman and Faber Roman Catholics,
Montgomery a Moravian, and Bonar a Presbyterian, the magnificent hymn,

   "In the cross of Christ I glory,"

was written by a Unitarian. I had the great satisfaction of meeting its
author, Sir John Bowring, at a public dinner in London during the summer
of 1872. A fresh, handsome veteran he was, too--tall and straight as a
ramrod, and exceedingly winsome in his manners. He had been famous as
the editor of the _Westminster Review_ and quite famous in civil life,
for he was a member of the British Parliament and once had been the
Governor of Hong Kong. He produced several volumes, but will owe his
immortality to half a dozen superb hymns. Of these the best is "In the
cross of Christ I glory"; but we also owe to him that fine missionary

   "Watchman, tell us of the night"

He told my Presbyterian friend, Dr. Harper, in China, that the first
time he ever heard it sung was at a prayer meeting of American
missionaries in Turkey. Sir John died about four months after I had met
him, at the ripe age of eighty, and on his monument is inscribed only
this single appropriate line, "In the cross of Christ I glory."

The first time I ever saw Dr. Horatius Bonar was in May, 1872, when I
was attending the Free Church General Assembly of Scotland as a delegate
from the Presbyterian Church in the United States. A warm discussion was
going on in the Assembly anent proposals of union with the U.P. body,
and the Anti-Unionists sat together on the left hand of the Moderator's
chair. In the third row sat a short, broad-shouldered man with noble
forehead and soft dark eyes. But behind that benign countenance was a
spirit as pugnacious in ecclesiastical controversy as that of the Roman
Horatius "who kept the bridge in the brave days of old." I was glad to
be introduced to him, for I was an enthusiastic admirer of his hymns,
and I had a personal affection for his brother, Andrew, the author of
the delightful "Life of M'Cheyne." Although Horatius had won his
world-wide fame as a composer of hymns, he was, at that time, stoutly
opposed to the use of anything but the old Scotch version of the Psalms
in church worship. During my address to the Assembly I said: "We
Presbyterians in America sing the good old psalms of David." At this
point Dr. Bonar led in a round of applause, and then I continued: "We
also sing the Gospel of Jesus Christ as versified by Watts, Wesley,
Cowper, Toplady and _your own Horatius Bonar!"_ There was a burst of
laughter, and then I rather mischievously added: "My own people have the
privilege, not accorded to my brother's congregation, of singing his
magnificent hymns." By this time the whole house came down in a perfect
roar, and the confused blush on Bonar's face puzzled us--whether it was
on account of the compliment, or on account of his own inconsistency.
However, before his death he consented to have his own congregation sing
his own hymns, although it is said that two pragmatical elders rose and
strode indignantly down the aisle of the church.

In August, 1889, when I was on a visit to Chillingham Castle, Lady
Tankerville said to me: "Our dear Bonar is dead." I left the next day
for Edinburgh and reached there in time to bear an humble part in the
funeral services. On the day of his obsequies there was a tremendous
downpour, which reminded me of the story of the Scotchman, who, on
arriving in Australia, met one of his countrymen, who said to him: "Hae
ye joost come fra Scotland and _is it rainin' yet_?" But in spite of the
storm the Morningside Church, by the entrance to the Grange Cemetery,
was well filled by a representative assembly. The service was confined
to the reading of the Scriptures, to two prayers and the singing of
Bonar's beautiful hymn, the last verse of which is

   "Broken Death's dread hands that bound us,
   Life and victory around us;
   Christ the King Himself hath crown'd us,
   Ah, 'tis Heaven at last."

As I was the only American present I was requested to close the service
with a brief word of prayer; and I rode down to the Canongate Cemetery
with grand old Principal John Cairns (who Dr. McCosh told me "had the
best head in Scotland"), and Bonar's colleague, the Rev. Mr. Sloane. On
our way to the place of burial Mr. Sloane told me that Bonar's two
finest hymns,

   "I heard the voice of Jesus say," etc..


   "I lay my sins on Jesus," etc,

were originally composed for the children of his Sabbath school. And yet
they are the productions by which he has become most widely known
throughout Christendom. The storm-swept streets that day were lined with
silent mourners; and, under weeping skies, we laid down to his rest the
mortal remains of the man who attuned more voices to the melodies of
praise than any Scotchman of the century.

Our own country has been very prolific in the production of hymns. The
venerable and devout blind songstress, Fanny Crosby (whom I often meet
at the house of my beloved neighbor, Mr. Ira D. Sankey), has produced
very many hundreds of them--none of very high poetic merit, but many of
them of such rich spiritual savour, and set to such stirring airs, that
they are sung by millions around the globe. By common consent in all
American hymnology the hymn commencing

   "My faith looks up to Thee,
   Thou Lamb of Calvary," etc,

is the best. Its author, Dr. Ray Palmer, when a young man, teaching in a
school for girls in New York, one day sat down in his room and wrote in
his pocket memorandum book the four verses which he told me "were born
of my own soul," and put the memorandum book back into his vest pocket
and for two years carried the verses there, little dreaming that he was
carrying his own passport to immortality. Dr. Lowell Mason, the
celebrated composer of Boston, asked him to furnish a new hymn for his
next volume of "Spiritual Songs" for social worship, and young Palmer
drew out the four verses from his pocket. Mason composed for them the
noble tune, "Olivet," and to that air they were wedded for ever more. He
met Palmer afterwards, and said to him: "Sir, you may live many years,
and do many things, but you will be best known to posterity as the
author of 'My faith looks up to Thee.'" The prediction proved true. His
devoted heart flowed out in that one matchless lily that has filled so
many hearts and sanctuaries with its rich fragrance. Dr. Palmer preached
several times in my Brooklyn pulpit. He was once with us on a
sacramental Sabbath. While the deacons were passing the sacred elements
among the congregation the dear old man broke out in a tremulous voice
and sang his own heavenly lines:

   "My faith looks up to Thee
   Thou Lamb of Calvary,
   Saviour Divine."

It was like listening to a rehearsal for the celestial choir, and the
whole assembly was most deeply moved. Dr. Palmer was short in stature,
but his erect form and habit of brushing his hair high over his forehead
gave him a commanding look. He was the impersonation of genuine
enthusiasm. Some of his letters I shall always prize. They were the
outpourings of his own warm heart on paper. He fell asleep just before
he reached a round four score, and of our many hymn-writers no one has
yet "taken away his crown."

It is quite fitting to follow this sketch of one noble veteran with a
brief reminiscence of an equally noble one, who bore the name of an
Episcopalian, although he was very undenominational in his broad
sympathies. Dr. William Augustus Muhlenberg was one of the most
apostolic men I have ever known in appearance and spirit. His gray head
all men knew in New York. He commanded attention everywhere by his
genial face and hearty manner of speech. I used to meet him at the
anniversaries of the Five Points Home of Industry. Everybody loved him
at first sight. All the world knows he was the founder of St. Luke's
Hospital in New York, and the extensive institutions of charity at St.
Johnsland, on Long Island. Of his hymns the most popular is

   "I would not live alway," etc.

It was first written as an impromptu for a lady's album, and afterwards
amended into its present form.

In his later years he regarded the tone of that hymn as too lugubrious;
and in a pleasant note to me he said: "Paul's 'For me to live is Christ'
is far better than Job's 'I would not live alway.'" My favorite among
his productions is the one on Noah's Dove, commencing, "O cease, my
wandering soul"; but the man was greater than any song he ever wrote. As
he was a bachelor he lived in his St. Luke's Hospital; and once, when he
was carrying a tray of dishes down to the kitchen and some one
protested, the patriarch replied: "Why not; what am I but a waiter here
in the Lord's hotel?" When very near his end the Chaplain of the
hospital prayed at his bedside for his recovery. "Let us have an
understanding about this," said Muhlenberg. "You are asking God to
restore me, and I am asking God to take me home. There must not be any
contradiction in our prayers, for it is evident that He cannot answer
them both." This was characteristic of his bluff frankness, as well as
of his heavenly-mindedness--he "would not live alway."

In July, 1881, I was visiting Stockholm, and was invited to go on an
excursion to the University of Upsala with Dr. Samuel F. Smith. I had
never before met my celebrated countryman about whom his Harvard
classmate, Oliver Wendell Holmes, once wrote:

   "And there's a nice youngster of excellent pith--
   Fate tried to conceal him by naming him Smith;
   But he shouted a song for the brave and the free--
   Just read on his medal--'My Country--of Thee'"

The song he thus shouted was written for the Fourth of July
celebration, in Park Street Church, Boston, in 1832, and has become our
national hymn. When I met the genial old man in Sweden, and travelled
with him for several days, he was on his way home from a missionary tour
in India and Burmah. He told me that he had heard the Burmese and
Telugus sing in their native tongue his grand missionary hymn, "The
Morning Light is Breaking." He was a native Bostonian, and was born a
few days before Ray Palmer. He was a Baptist pastor, editor, college
professor, and spent the tranquil summer evening of his life at Newton,
Mass.; and at a railway station in Boston, by sudden heart failure, he
was translated to his heavenly home. He illustrated his own sweet
evening hymn, "Softly Fades the Twilight Ray."

Among the elect-ladies who have produced great uplifting hymns that
"were not born to die" was Mrs. Elizabeth Payson Prentiss, the daughter
of the saintly Dr. Edward Payson, of Portland, Maine. Her prose works
were very popular, and "Stepping Heavenward" had found its way into
thousands of hearts. But one day she--in a few hours--won her
immortality by writing a hymn, beginning with the lines,

   "More love to Thee, O Christ,
   More love to Thee"

It was printed on a fly-sheet, for a few friends, then found its way
into a hymn-book, edited by my well-beloved friend, Dr. Edwin F.
Hatfield, and then it took wing and flew over the world into many
foreign languages. I often met Mrs. Prentiss at the home of her husband,
Dr. George L. Prentiss, an eminent professor in the Union Theological
Seminary. She was a very bright-eyed little woman, with a keen sense of
humor, who cared more to shine in her own happy household than in a wide
circle of society. Her absolutely perfect hymn--for such it truly
is--was born of her own deep longings for a fuller inflow of that love
that casteth out all fear. This has been the genesis of all the
soul-songs that devout disciples of our Lord chant into the ears of
their Master in their hours of sweetest and closest fellowship. Mrs.
Prentiss has put a new song into the mouths of a multitude of those who
are "stepping heavenward."



As stated in the first chapter of this book, I became a teetotaler when
I was a child, and I also stated that the first public address I ever
delivered was in behalf of temperance. When I made my first visit to
Edinburgh in 1842 I learned that a temperance society of that city was
about to go over to Glasgow to greet the celebrated Father Theobald
Mathew, who was making his first visit to Scotland. I joined my
Edinburgh friends, and on arriving in Glasgow we found a multitude of
over fifty thousand people assembled on the green. In an open barouche,
drawn by four horses, stood a short, stout Irishman, with a handsome,
benevolent countenance, and attired in a long black coat with a silver
medal hanging upon his breast. After the procession, headed by his
carriage, had forced its way through the densely thronged street, it
halted in a small open square. Father Mathew dismounted, and began to
administer the pledge of abstinence to those who were willing to receive
it. They kneeled on the ground in platoons; the pledge was read aloud to
them; Father Mathew laid his hands upon them and pronounced a
benediction. From the necks of many a small medal attached to a cord was
suspended. In this rapid manner the pledge was administered to many
hundreds of persons within an hour, and fresh crowds continually came

When I was introduced to the good man as an American, he spoke a few
kind words and gave me an "apostolic kiss" upon my cheek. As I was about
to make the first public speech of my life, I suppose that I may regard
that act of the great Irish apostle as a sort of ordination to the
ministry of preaching the Gospel of total abstinence. The administration
of the pledge was followed by a grand meeting of welcome in the city
hall. Father Mathew spoke with modest simplicity and deep emotion,
attributing all his wonderful success to the direct blessings of God
upon his efforts to persuade his fellow-men to throw off the despotism
of the bottle. After delivering my maiden speech I hastened back to
Edinburgh with the deputation from "Auld Reekie," and I never saw Father
Mathew again. He was, unquestionably, the most remarkable temperance
reformer who has yet appeared. While a Catholic priest in Cork, a Quaker
friend, Mr. Martin, who met him in an almshouse, said to him, "Father
Theobald, why not give thyself to the work of saving men from the
drink?" Father Mathew immediately commenced his enterprise. It spread
over Ireland like wildfire. It is computed that no less than five
millions of people took the pledge of total abstinence from intoxicating
poisons by his influence. The revolution wrought in his day, in his own
time and country, was marvellous, and, to this day, his influence is
perpetuated in the vast number of Father Mathew Benevolent Temperance

[Illustration: DR CUYLER AT 32 (When Pastor of the Market St Church, New

Second only to Father Mathew in the number of converts which he has made
to total abstinence was that brilliant and dramatic platform orator,
John B. Gough. When he was a reckless young sot in Worcester,
Massachusetts, he had owed his conversion to a touch on his shoulder by
a shoemaker, named Joel Stratton, who had invited him to a Washingtonian
temperance meeting. Soon after that time he owed his conversion, under
God, to the influence of Miss Mary Whitcomb, the daughter of a Boylston
farmer in the neighborhood. He formed her acquaintance very soon after
he signed the temperance pledge in Worcester, and she consented to
assume the risk of becoming his wife. In the summer of 1856 I visited my
beloved friend Gough at his beautiful Boylston home to aid him in
revival services, which he was conducting in his own church, then
without a pastor. He was Sunday-school superintendent, pastor and leader
of inquiry meetings--all in himself. One evening he took me to the
house of his neighbor, Captain Flagg, and said to me: "Here, in this
house, Mary and I did our brief two or three weeks of courting. We
didn't talk of love, but only religion and about the welfare of my soul.
We prayed together every time we met; and it was such serious business
that I do not think I even kissed her until we were married. She took me
on trust, with three dollars in my pocket, and has been to me the best
wife God ever made." When they went to Boston, Dr. Edward N. Kirk
received Mr. Gough into the Mt. Vernon Street Church, just as many years
afterwards he received Mr. Moody to the same communion table.

Of Mr. Gough's extraordinary platform powers I need not speak while
there are so many now living that sat under the enchantment of his
eloquence. A man who could crowd an opera house in London to listen to
so unpopular a theme as temperance while a score or more of coroneted
carriages were waiting about the door must have been no ordinary master
of oratory. As an actor he might have been a second Garrick; as a
preacher of the Gospel he would have been a second Whitefield. My house
was his home when visiting our city for many years, and he used to tell
me that my letters to him were carried in his breast pocket until they
were worn to fragments. His last speech, delivered in Philadelphia,
displayed much of his early power, and the last sentence, "Young man,
keep a clean record," rung out as he fell stricken with apoplexy, and
the eloquent voice was silent forever. God's messenger met him where
every true warrior may well desire to be met--in the heat of the battle,
and with the harness on.

My acquaintance with Neal Dow began in the early winter of 1852. He had
been chosen Mayor of Portland in the spring of the year, and then he
struck the bold stroke which was "heard round the world" and made him
famous as the father of Prohibition. He had drafted a bill for the
suppression of tippling houses and placed in it a claim of the right of
the civil authorities to search all premises where it was suspected that
intoxicating liquors were kept for sale, and to seize and confiscate
them on the spot. It was this sharp scimitar of search and seizure which
gave the original Maine law its deadly power. He took his bill to the
seat of government and it was promptly passed by the legislature. He
brought it home in triumph, and in less than three months there was not
an open dram shop or distillery in Portland! He invited me to visit him,
and drove me over the city, whose pure air was not polluted with the
faintest smell of alcohol. It seemed like the first whiff of a
temperance millennium. An invitation was extended to him to a
magnificent public meeting in Tripler Hall, New York. At that meeting a
large array of distinguished speakers, including General Houston, of
Texas; the Hon. Horace Mann, of Massachusetts; Henry Ward Beecher, Dr.
Chapin and several other celebrities, appeared. On that evening I
delivered my first public address in New York, and have been told that
it was the occasion of my call to be a pastor in that city two years
afterwards. A gold medal was presented to Neal Dow that evening. He went
home with me to Trenton, and from that time our intimacy was so great
and our correspondence so constant that if I had preserved all his
letters they would make a history of the prohibition movement from 1851
to 1857, the years of its widest successes. With him I addressed the
legislature of New York, who passed a law of prohibition very soon
afterwards. A forceful, magnetic man was General Dow, thoroughly honest
and courageous, with a womanly tenderness in his sympathies. I have been
permitted to know intimately many of the leaders in great moral reforms
on both sides of the ocean; but a braver, sounder heart was not to be
found than that which throbbed in the breast of Neal Dow.

On his ninetieth birthday the hale veteran sent my wife his photograph.
She placed his white locks alongside of the photograph which Gladstone
gave her, and she calls them her duet of grand old men. The closing
years of General Dow's life, like the closing years of Martin Luther,
were clouded with anxiety. He saw the great movement which he had
championed checked by many difficulties and suffering some disastrous
reverses. Some States which had enacted total prohibition forty years
before had repealed the law. In the five States which retained it on
their statute books its salutary enforcement was dependent on the moral
sentiments in the various localities. In his own, beloved Maine, his own
beloved law had been trampled down in some places; in others made the
football of designing politicians. These reverses saddened the old
hero's heart, and he sent to the public meeting in Portland which
celebrated his ninety-third birthday this message: "That the purpose of
my life work will be fully accomplished at some time I do not doubt, and
my hope and expectation is that the obstacles which now obstruct us will
not long block the way." The name of Neal Dow will be always memorable
as one of the truest, bravest and purest philanthropists of the
nineteenth century.

The most important organization for the promotion of temperance in our
country is the National Temperance Society and Publication House, which
was founded in 1865. I prepared its constitution, and the committee
which organized it met in the counting room of that eminent Christian
merchant, the late Hon. William E. Dodge. I once introduced him to the
Earl of Shaftesbury at a Lord Mayor's reception in London in these
words: "My lord, let me introduce you to William E. Dodge, the
Shaftesbury of America." To this day he is remembered as an ideal
Christian merchant and philanthropist. With him conscience ruled
everything, and God ruled conscience. He was one of the founders of a
great railway and cut the first sod for its construction. Long
afterwards the Board of Directors of the road proposed to drive their
trains and traffic through the Lord's day. Mr. Dodge said to his fellow
directors: "Then, gentlemen, put a flag on every locomotive with these
words inscribed on it, 'We break God's law for a dividend.' As for me, I
go out." He did go out, and disposed of his stock. Within a few years
the road went into the hands of a receiver, and the stock sank to thirty
cents on the dollar.

During the Civil War, General Dix and his military staff gave Mr. Dodge
a complimentary dinner at Fortress Monroe. General Dix rapped on the
table and said to his brother officers: "Gentlemen, you are aware that
our honored guest is a water-drinker. I propose that to-day we join him
in his favorite beverage." Forthwith every wine-glass was turned upside
down as a silent tribute to the Christian conscience of their guest.
When the whole Christian community of America shall imitate the wise
example of that great philanthropist it will exert a tremendous
influence for the banishment of all intoxicants from the public and
private hospitalities of society. Mr. Dodge was elected the first
president of the National Temperance Society, and served it for eighteen
years and bestowed upon it his liberal donations. He closed his useful
and beneficent life in February, 1883, and he was succeeded in the
presidency of the Society by Dr. Mark Hopkins of Williams College, by
the writer of this book, by General O.O. Howard and by Joshua L. Bailey,
who is at present the head of the organization. The society has done a
vast and benevolent work, receiving and expending a million and a half
dollars, publishing many hundreds of valuable volumes, and widely
circulated tracts.

The limits of this chapter will not allow me to pay my tribute to the
venerable Dr. Charles Jewett, Dr. Cheever, Albert Barnes, Dr. Tyng and
the great Christian statesman, Theodore Frelinghuysen, Miss Frances
Willard, Lady Henry Somerset, Joseph Cook and many others who have been
prominent in the promotion of this great Christian reform. It has been
my privilege to labor for it through my whole public life. I have
prepared thirty or forty tracts, written a great number of articles and
delivered hundreds of addresses in behalf of it, and preached many a
discourse from my own pulpit. I have always held that every church is as
much bound to have a temperance wheel in its machinery as to have a
Sabbath school or a missionary organization. It is of vital importance
that the young should be saved, and therefore I have urged temperance
lessons in the Sunday school and the early adoption of a total
abstinence pledge. The temperance reform movement made its greatest
progress when churches and Sunday schools laid hold of it and when the
total abstinence pledge was widely and wisely used. The social drink
customs are coming back again and a fresh education of the American
people as to the deadly drink evil is the necessity of the hour, and
that must be given in the home, in the schools and from the pulpit and
from the public press. I have become convinced from long labor in this
reform that the ordinary license system is only a poultice to the dram
seller's conscience, and for restraining intemperance it is a ghastly
failure. Institutions and patent medicines to cure drinkers have only
had a partial success. The only sure cure for drunkenness is to stop
before you begin. Entire legal suppression of the dram shop is
successful where a stiff, righteous, public sentiment thoroughly
enforces it. Otherwise it may become a delusion and a farce.

The best method of prohibition is what is known as "local option,"
where the question is submitted to each community, whether the liquor
traffic shall be legalized or suppressed by public authority. Of late
years friends of our cause have fallen into the sad mistake of directing
their main assaults upon liquor selling instead of keeping up also their
fire upon the _use_ of intoxicants. Legal enactments are right; but to
attempt to dam up a torrent and neglect the fountain-head is surely
insanity. The fountain-head of drunkenness is the _drinking usages_
which create and sustain the saloons, which are often the doorways to
hell. In theory I always have been, and am to-day, a legal
suppressionist; but the most vital remedy of all is to break up the
demand for intoxicants, and to persuade people from wishing to buy and
drink them. That goes to the root of the evil. In endeavoring to remove
the saloon, it is the duty of all philanthropists to do their utmost to
provide safe places of resort--as the Holly-Tree Inns and other
temperance coffee houses--for the working people. And another beneficent
plan is for corporations and employers to make abstinence from drink an
essential to employment. My generous friend, Mr. Andrew Carnegie, when
he recently gave a liberal donation to our National Temperance Society,
said to me: "The best temperance lecture I have delivered was when I
agreed to pay ten per cent premium to all the employees on my Scottish
estates who would practice entire abstinence from intoxicants." The
experience of three-score years has taught me the inestimable value of
total abstinence; the benefit of the righteous law when it is well
enforced, and also that the church of Christ has no more right to ignore
the drink evil than it has to ignore theft, or Sabbath desecration, or
murder. Let me add also my grateful acknowledgment of the very effective
and Heaven-blessed work wrought by that noble organization, the Woman's
Christian Temperance Union. As woman has been the sorest sufferer from
the drink-curse, it is her province and her duty to do her utmost for
its removal.



During the first eighteen months after I graduated from Princeton
College I was balancing between the law and the ministry. Many of my
relatives urged me to become a lawyer, as my father and grandfather had
been, but my godly mother had dedicated me to the ministry from infancy,
and her influence all went in the same line with her prayers. With the
exception of my venerated and beloved kinsman, Dr. Cornelius C. Cuyler,
Pastor of the Second Presbyterian Church of Philadelphia, who died in
1850, no other man of my name has stood in an American pulpit. During
the winter of my return from Europe to my home on the Cayuga Lake, one
of my uncles invited me to go down and attend an afternoon prayer
service in the neighboring village of Ludlowville. There was a spiritual
awakening in the church, and the meeting was held in the parlor of a
private house. I arose and spoke for ten minutes. When the meeting was
over, more than one came to me and said: "Your talk did me good." On my
way home, as I drove along in my sleigh, the thought flashed into my
mind, "If ten minutes' talk to-day helped a few souls, why not preach
all the time?" That one thought decided the vexed question on the spot.
Our lives turn on small pivots, and if we let God lead us, the path will
open before our footsteps. I reached home that day, and informed my good
mother of my decision. She had always expected it and quietly remarked,
"Then, I have already spoken to Mr. Ford for his room for you in the
Princeton Seminary." My three years in the Seminary were full of joy and
profit. I made it a rule to go out as often as possible and address
little meetings in the neighboring school-houses, and found this a very
beneficial method of gaining practice. A young preacher must get
accustomed to the sound of his own voice; if naturally timid, he must
learn to face an audience and must first learn to speak; afterwards he
may learn to speak well. It is a wise thing for a young man to begin his
labors in a small congregation; he has more time for study, a better
chance to become intimately acquainted with individual characters, and
also a smaller audience to face. The first congregation that I was
called to take charge of, in Burlington, N.J. contained about forty
families. Three or four of these were wealthy and cultivated, the rest
were plain mechanics, with a few gardeners and coachmen. I made my
sermons to suit the comprehension of the gardeners and coachmen at the
end of the house, leaving the cultivated portion to gain what they could
from the sermon on its way. One of the wealthy attendants was Mr.
Charles Chauncey, a distinguished Philadelphia lawyer, who spent the
summer months in Burlington. Once after I had delivered a very simple
and earnest sermon on the "Worth of the Soul," I went home and said to
myself, "Lawyer Chauncey must have thought that was only a camp-meeting
exhortation." He met me during the week and to my astonishment he said
to me: "My young friend, I thank you for that sermon last Sunday; it had
the two best qualities of preaching--simplicity and down-right
earnestness. If I had a student in my law-office who was not more in
earnest to win his first ten dollar suit before a Justice of the Peace
than some men seem to be in trying to save souls I would kick such a
student out of my office." That eminent lawyer's remark did me more
service than any month's study in the Seminary. It taught me that
cultivated audiences relished plain, simple scriptural truths as much as
did the illiterate, and that down-right earnestness to save souls hides
a multitude of sins in raw young preachers.

Another instance that occurred in my early ministry did me a world of
good. I was invited to preach in the Presbyterian Church at Saratoga
Springs about two years after I was licensed. My topics were "Trusting
Jesus Christ" in the morning and "The Day of Judgment" at the evening
service. The next day, when I was buying my ticket at the railway
station to leave the town, a plain man (who was a baker in the village)
said to me: "Are you not the young man who spoke yesterday in our
meeting-house?" I told him that I was. "Well," said he, "I never felt
more sorry for any one in my life." "Why so?" I asked. His answer was:
"I said to myself, there is a youth just out of the Seminary, and he
does not know that a Saratoga audience is made up of highly educated
people from all parts of the land; but I have noticed that if a
minister, during his first ten minutes, can convince the people that he
is only trying to save their souls he _kills all the critics in the
house_." I have never ceased to thank God for the remark of that shrewd
Saratoga baker, who, I was told, had come there from New Haven,
Connecticut, and was a man of remarkable sagacity. That was one of the
profoundest bits of sound philosophy on the art of preaching that I have
ever encountered, and I have quoted it in every Theological Seminary
that I have ever addressed. If we ministers pour the living truths of
the Gospel red-hot into the ears and consciences of our audiences, they
will have enough to do to look out for themselves and will have no time
to level criticisms at us or our mode of preaching. Cowards, also, are
never more pitiable than when in the pulpit.

I will not enter here into the endless controversy about the comparative
merits of written or extemporized sermons. My own observation and
experience has been that no rule is the best rule. Every man must find
out by practice which method he can use to the best advantage and then
pursue it. No man ever fails who understands his forte, and no man
succeeds who does not. Some men cannot extemporize effectively if they
try ever so hard; there are others who, like Gladstone, can think best
when they are on their legs and are inspired by an audience. During the
first few years of my ministry I wrote out nearly all of my sermons. The
advantage of doing that is that it enables a young beginner to form his
own style at the outset by careful and systematic writing. Spurgeon,
often when a youth, read some of his sermons, although afterwards he
never premeditated a single sentence for the pulpit. Dr. Richard S.
Storrs was a most fluent extemporaneous speaker, but for twenty years he
carefully wrote all his discourses. My own habit, after a time, was to
write a portion of the sermon and turn away from my notes to interject
thoughts that came in the heat of the moment and then turn to my
manuscript. This was generally the habit of Henry Ward Beecher. After
thirty years in the ministry I discarded writing sermons entirely and
adopted the plan of preparing a few "heads" on a bit of note-paper, and
tacking it into a Bagster's Bible. Dr. John Hall wrote carefully,
leaving his manuscript at home; and so does Dr. Alexander McLaren, of
Manchester, who is to-day by far the most superb sermonizer in Great
Britain. The eloquent Guthrie, of Scotland, committed his discourses to
memory, and delivered them in a torrent of Godly emotion.

In preparing my sermons my custom was, after taking some rest on Monday,
to get into my study early on Tuesday morning. To every student the best
hours of the day are those before the sun has reached the meridian. Then
the mind is the most clear and vigorous. I have never in my life
prepared sermons a dozen times after my supper. Severe mental work in
the evening is apt to destroy sound sleep; thousands of brain workers
are wrecked by insomnia. To secure freedom from needless interruption I
pinned on my study door "_Very Busy_." This had the wholesome effect of
shutting out all time-killers, and of shortening necessary calls of
those who had some important errand. Instead of leaving the selection of
my topic to the risk of any contingency, I usually chose my text on
Tuesday morning, and laid the keel of the sermon. I kept a large
note-book in which I could enter any passage of Scripture that would
furnish a good theme for pulpit consumption. I also found it a good
practice to jot down thoughts that occurred to me on any important topic
that I could use when I came to prepare my sermons. By this method I had
a treasury of texts from which I could draw every week. Let my readers
be careful to notice that word "Text." I have known men to prepare an
elaborate essay, theological, ethical or sociological, and then to perch
a text from the Bible on top of it.

"Preach my word" does not signify the clapping of a few syllables as a
figure-head on a long treatise spun out of a preacher's brain. The best
discourses are not manufactured, they are a _growth_. God's inspired and
infallible Book must furnish the text. The connection between every good
sermon and its text is just as vital as the connection between a
peach-tree and its root. Sometimes an indolent minister tries to palm
off an old sermon for a pretended new one by changing the text, but this
shallow device ought to expose itself as if he should decapitate a dog
and undertake to clap on the head of some other animal. Intelligent
audiences see through such tricks and despise them. "Be sure your sin
will find you out." When a passage from the Holy Scripture has been
planted as a root and well watered with prayer, the sermon should spring
naturally from it. The central thought of the text being the central
thought of the sermon and all argument, all instruction and exhortation
are only the boughs branching off from the central trunk, giving unity,
vigor and spiritual beauty to the whole organic production. The unity
and spiritual power of a discourse usually depend upon the adherence to
the great divine truth contained in the inspired Book. The Bible text is
God's part of our sermon; and the more thoroughly we get the text into
our own souls, the more will we get it into the sermon, and into the
consciences of our hearers. To keep out of a rut I studied the infinite
variety of Sacred Scripture; its narratives and matchless biographies,
its jubilant Psalms, its profound doctrines, its tender pathos, its
rolling thunder of Sinai, and its sweet melodies of Calvary's redeeming
love. I laid hold of the great themes, and I found a half hour of
earnest prayer was more helpful than two or three hours of study. It
sometimes let a flash from the Throne flame over the page I was writing.

To me, when preparing my Sabbath messages, God's Holy Word was the sum
of all knowledge, and a "Thus saith the Lord" was my invariable guide. I
found that in theology the true things were not new, and most of the new
things were not true. I remember how a visitor in New Haven was looking
for a certain house, and found himself in front of the residence of
Professor Olmstead, the eminent astronomer, whose stoves were then very
popular. The visitor inquired of an Irishman, who was working in front
of the house, "Who lives here?" The very Hibernian answer was, "Shure,
sur, 'tis Profissor Olmstead, a very great man; he _invents_ comets, and
has _discovered_ a new stove." In searching the Scriptures I used the
very best spiritual telescopes in my possession, and gladly availed
myself of all discoveries of divine truths made by profounder intellects
and keener visions than my own; but I leave this self-styled "advanced
age" to invent its own comets, and follow its own meteors.

In one respect I have not followed the practice of many of my brethren,
for I never have wasted a single moment in defending God's Word in my
pulpit. I have always held that the Bible is a self-evidencing book; God
will take care of His Word if we ministers only take care to preach it.
We are no more called upon to defend the Bible than we are to defend the
law of gravitation. My beloved friend, Dr. McLaren, of Manchester, has
well said that if ministers, "instead of trying to _prop_ the Cross of
Christ, would simply _point_ men to that Cross, more souls would be
saved." The vast proportion of volumes of "Apologetics" are a waste of
ink and paper. If they could all be kindled into a huge bonfire, they
would shed more light than they ever did before. It is not our business
to answer every sceptic who shies a stone at the solid fortress of truth
in which God places His ambassadors. If Tobiah and Sanballat are
challenging us to come down into the plain, and meet them on their
level, our answer must ever be: "I am God's messenger, preaching God's
word and doing God's work. I cannot stop to go down and prove that your
swords are made of lath."

To my younger brethren I would say: "Preach the Word, preach it with all
your soul, preach it in the strength of Jehovah's Spirit, and He will
give it the victory."

I found the effectiveness of my sermons increased by the use of every
good illustration I could get hold of, but I tried to be careful that
they illustrated something. Where such are lugged into the sermon merely
for the sake of ornament, they are as much out of place as a bouquet
would be tied fast to a plough-handle. The Divine Teacher set us the
example of making vital truths intelligible by illustrations, when he
spoke so often in parables, and sometimes recalled historical incidents.
All congregations relish incidents and stories, when they are "pat" to
the purpose, and serious enough for God's house, and help to drive the
truth into the hearts of the audience During my early ministry I
delivered a discourse to young men at Saratoga Springs, and closed it
with a solemn story of a man who died of remorse at the exposure of his
crime. The Hon. John McLean, a judge of the United States Supreme Court
and a prominent man in the Methodist Church, was in the congregation,
and the next day I called at the United States Hotel to pay my respects
to him. He said to me, "My young friend I was very much interested in
that story last evening; it clinched the sermon. Our ministers in
Cincinnati used to introduce illustrative anecdotes, but it seems to
have gone out of fashion and I am sorry for it." I replied to him, "Well
Judge, I am glad to have the decision of the Supreme Court of the United
States in favor of telling a story or a personal incident in the
pulpit." There is one principle that covers all cases. It is this:
Whatever makes the Gospel or Jesus Christ more clear to the
understanding, more effective in arousing sinners, in converting souls,
in edifying believers and in promoting pure honest living is never out
of place in the pulpit. When we are preaching for souls we may use any
and every weapon of truth within our reach.

Those who have sat before my pulpit will testify that I never spared my
lungs or their ears in the delivery of my discourses. The preaching of
the Gospel is spiritual gunnery, and many a well-loaded cartridge has
failed to reach its mark from lack of powder to propel it. The prime
duty of God's ambassador is to arouse the attention of souls before his
pulpit; to stir those who are indifferent; to awaken those who are
impenitent; to cheer the sorrow-stricken; to strengthen the weak, and
edify believers An advocate in a criminal trial puts his grip on every
juryman's ear So must every herald of Gospel-truth demand and command a
hearing, cost what it may: but that hearing he never will secure while
he addresses an audience in a cold, formal, perfunctory manner.
Certainly the great apostle at Ephesus aimed at the emotions and the
conscience as well as the reason of his hearers when he "ceased not to
warn them night and day with tears." I cannot impress it too strongly on
every young minister that the delivery of his sermon is half the battle.
Why load your gun at all if you cannot send your charge to the mark?
Many a discourse containing much valuable thought has fallen dead on
drowsy ears when it might have produced great effect if the preacher had
only had _inspiration_ and _perspiration_. A sermon that is but ordinary
as a production may have an extraordinary effect by direct and fervid
delivery. The minister who never warms himself will never warm up his
congregation. I once asked Albert Barnes, of Philadelphia, "Who is the
greatest preacher you have ever heard?" Mr. Barnes, who was a very
clear-headed thinker, replied: "I cannot answer your question exactly,
but the greatest specimen of preaching I ever heard was by the Rev.
Edward N. Kirk before my congregation during a revival; it produced a
tremendous effect." Those of us that knew Kirk knew that he was not a
man of genius or profound scholarship; but he was a true orator with a
superb voice and a sweet persuasiveness, and his whole soul was on fire
with the love of Jesus and the love of souls.

It is not easy to define what that subtle something is which we call
pulpit magnetism. As near as I can come to a definition I would say it
is the quality or faculty in the speaker that arouses the attention and
strengthens the interest of his auditors and which, when aided by the
Holy Spirit, produces conviction in their minds by the truth that is in
Jesus. The heart in the speaker's voice sends that voice into the hearts
of his hearers. It is an undoubted fact that pulpit fervor has been a
characteristic of almost all the preachers of a soul-winning Gospel. The
fire was kindled in the pulpit that kindled the pews. The discourses of
Frederick W. Robertson, of Brighton, were masterpieces of fresh thought,
but the crowds were drawn to his church because they were delivered
with a fiery glow. The king of living sermon-makers is Dr. McLaren, of
Manchester. His vigorous thought is put into vigorous language and then
vigorously spoken. He commits his grand sermons to memory, and then
looks his audience in the eyes, and sends his strong voice to the
furthest gallery. Last year after I had thanked him for his powerful
"Address on Preaching" to a thousand ministers in London, he wrote to
me: "It was an effort; for I could not trust myself to do without a
manuscript, and I am so unaccustomed to reading what I have to say that
it was like dancing a hornpipe in fetters," Yet manuscripts are not
always fetters; for Dr. Chalmers read every line of his sermons with
thrilling and tremendous effect. So did Dr. Charles Wadsworth in
Philadelphia, and so did Phillips Brooks in Boston. In my own experience
I have as often found spiritual results from the discourses partly or
mainly written out as from those spoken extemporaneously. While much may
depend upon the conditions in the congregation and much aid may be drawn
from the intercessory prayers of our people, the main thing is to have a
baptism of fire in our own hearts. Sometimes a sermon may produce but
little impression, yet the same sermon at another time and place may
deeply move an audience, and yield rich spiritual results. Physical
condition may have some influence on a minister's delivery; but the
chief element in the eloquence that awakens and converts sinners and
strengthens Christians is the unction of the Holy Spirit. Our best power
is the _power from on high_.

I would say to young ministers--look at your auditors as bound to the
judgment seat and see the light of eternity flash into their faces. Then
the more fervor of soul you put into your preaching the more souls you
will win to your Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

As I look back over the last sixty years I think I discover some very
marked changes in the methods of the American pulpit since the days of
my youth. In the first place the average preacher in those days was more
doctrinal than at the present time. The masters in Israel evidently held
with Phillips Brooks that "no exhortation to a good life that does not
put behind it some great truth, as deep as eternity, can seize and hold
the conscience," Therefore they pushed to the front such deep and mighty
themes as the Attributes of God, the Divinity of Jesus Christ, the
Nature and Desert of Sin, the Atonement, Regeneration, Faith,
Resurrection, and Judgment to come, with Heaven and Hell as tremendous
realities. They emphasized the heinousness and the desert of sin as a
great argument for repentance and acceptance of Jesus Christ. A lapse
from that style of preaching is to be deplored; for as Gladstone truly
remarked, the decline or decay of a sense of sin against God is one of
the most serious symptoms of these times.

Charles G. Finney, who was at the zenith of his power sixty years ago,
bombarded the consciences of sinners with a prodigious broadside of
pulpit doctrine; and many acute lawyers and eminent merchants were
converted under his discourses. No two finer examples of doctrinal
preaching--once so prevalent--could be cited than Dr. Lyman Beecher and
Dr. Horace Bushnell. The celebrated sermon by the former of these two
giants on the "Moral Government of God" was characterized by Thomas H.
Skinner as the mightiest discourse he had ever heard. Henry Ward Beecher
hardly exaggerated when he once said to me, "Put all of his children
together and we do not equal my father at his best." Dr. Bushnell's
masterly discourses with all their exquisite poetry and insight into
human hearts were largely bottomed and built on a theological basis. To
those two great doctrinal preachers I might add the names of my beloved
instructors, Dr. Archibald Alexander and Dr. Charles Hodge, of
Princeton, Albert Barnes and Professor Park, Dr. Thornwell, Dr. Bethune,
Dr. John Todd, Dr. G.T. Bedell, Bishop Simpson and President Stephen

Has the American pulpit grown in spiritual power since those days? Have
the churches thriven whose pastors have become more invertebrate in
their theology?

Another characteristic of the average preacher sixty years ago was that
sermons were generally aimed at awakening the impenitent, and bringing
them to Jesus Christ. The evil of sin was emphasized; the way of
salvation explained; the claims of Christianity were presented; and
people were urged to immediate decision. Nowadays a large portion of
sermons are addressed to professing Christians; many others are
addressed to nobody in particular, but there is less of faithful,
fervid, loving and persuasive discourses to the unconverted. This is one
of the reasons for the lamentable decrease in the number of conversions.
If ministers are set to be watchmen of souls, how shall they escape if
they neglect the salvation of souls?

I think, too, that we cannot be mistaken in saying that there has been a
decline in impassioned pulpit eloquence. There is a change in the
fashions of preaching. Students are now taught to be calm and
colloquial; to aim at producing epigrammatical essays; to discuss
sociological problems and address the intellects of their auditors
rather in the style of the lecture platform or college class room. The
great Dr. Chalmers "making the rafters roar" is as much a bygone
tradition in many quarters as faith in the Mosaic authorship of the
Pentateuch. I have often wished that the young Edward N. Kirk, who
melted to tears the professors and students of Yale during the revival
there, could come back to us and teach candidates for the ministry how
to preach. There was no stentorian shouting or rhetorical exhortation;
but there was an intense, solemn, white-heat earnestness that made his
auditors feel not only that life was worth living, but that the soul was
worth saving and Jesus Christ was worth serving, and Heaven was worth
securing, and that for all these things "God will bring us into
judgment." If Lyman Beecher and Dr. Edward Dorr Griffin and Finney did
not possess all of Kirk's grace of delivery, they possessed his fire,
and they made the Gospel doctrines glow with a living heat that burned
into the hearts and consciences of their auditors.

May God send into our churches not only a revival of pure and undefiled
religion, but also a revival of old-fashioned soul-inspiring pulpit

It is rather a delicate subject to touch upon, but I am happy to say
that in my early ministry the preachers of God's Word were not hamstrung
by any doubt of the divine inspiration or infallibility of the Book that
lay before them on their pulpits. The questions, "Have we got any
Bible?" and "If any Bible, how much?" had not been hatched. When I was
in Princeton Seminary, our profoundly learned Hebrew Professor, Dr. J.
Addison Alexander no more disturbed us with the much-vaunted conjectural
Biblical criticisms than he disturbed us with Joe Smith's "golden
plates" at Nauvoo. For this fact I feel deeply thankful; and I comfort
myself with the reflection that the great British preachers of the last
dozen years--Dr. McLaren, Charles H. Spurgeon, Newman Hall, Canon Liddon,
Dr. Dale and Dr. Joseph Parker--have suffered no more from the virulent
attacks of the radical and revolutionary higher criticism than I have,
during my long and happy ministry.

Ministers had some advantages sixty or seventy years ago over their
successors of our day. They had a more uninterrupted opportunity for the
preparation of their sermons and for thorough personal visitation of
their flocks. They were not importuned so often to serve on committees
and to be participants in all sorts of social schemes of charity. Every
pastor ought to keep abreast of reformatory movements as long as they do
not trench upon the vital and imperative duties of his high calling.
"This one thing I do," said single-hearted Paul; and if Paul were a
pastor now in New York or Boston or Chicago, he would make short work of
many an intrusive rap of a time-killer at his study door.

I have noted frankly a few of the changes that I have observed in the
methods of our American pulpit during my long life, but not, I trust, in
a pessimistic or censorious spirit God forbid that I should disparage
the noble, conscientious, self-denying and Heaven-blessed labors of
thousands of Christ's ministers in our broad land! They have greater
difficulties to encounter than I had when I began my work. They are
surrounded with an atmosphere of intense materialism. The ambition for
the "seen things" increasingly blinds men to the "things that are unseen
and eternal." Wealth and worldliness unspiritualize thousands of
professed Christians. The present artificial arrangements of society
antagonize devotional meetings and special efforts to promote revivals.
On Sabbath mornings many a minister has to shovel out scores of his
congregation from under the drifts (not very clean snow either) of the
mammoth Sunday newspapers.

The zealous pastor of to-day has to contend with the lowered popular
faith in the authority of God's Word; with the lowered reverence for
God's day and a diminished habit of attending upon God's worship. Do
these increased difficulties demand a new Gospel? No; but rather a
mightier faith in the one we have. Do they demand new doctrines? No;
but more power in preaching the truths that have outlived nineteen
centuries. Do we need a new revelation of Jesus Christ? Yes, yes, in the
fuller manifestation of Him; in the more loving, courageous and
consecrated lives of His followers. Do we need a new Baptism of the Holy
Spirit? Verily we do need it; and then our pulpits will be clothed with
power, and our preachers will have tongues of fire, and every change
will be a change for the better advancement and enlargement of the
Kingdom of our adorable Lord.



I have always counted it a matter for thankfulness that I made my
preparation for the ministry at Princeton Theological Seminary. The
period that I spent there, from September, 1843, to May, 1846, was a
golden period in its history. The venerable Archibald Alexander,
wonderfully endowed with sagacity and spiritual insight, instructed us
in the duties of the preacher and the pastor. Dr. Charles Hodge, the
king of Presbyterian theologians, was in the prime of his power. His
teachings have since been embodied in his masterful volume on
"Systematic Theology." Dr. Joseph Addison Alexander, who, Dr. Hodge
said, was, taking him all in all, "the most gifted man with whom I was
ever personally acquainted," was in the chair of Hebrew and Old
Testament literature. Urbane, old Dr. Samuel Miller, was the Professor
of Ecclesiastical History. Those wise men taught us not only to think,
but to believe. All education is atmospheric, and the atmosphere of
Princeton Seminary was deeply and sweetly Evangelical. At five o'clock
on the morning after I received my diploma, I was off for Wyoming
Valley in Pennsylvania, the Arcadian spot made famous in the volume of
Campbell's "Gertrude of Wyoming." I spent five months there supplying
the pulpit of the Rev. Mr. Mitchell, who was absent to recruit his
health. In the Autumn I received an invitation to take charge of the
Presbyterian Church of Burlington, N.J., founded by the princely and
philanthropic Dr. Cortland Van Rensellaer, son of the Patroon at Albany.
It was the very place for a young preacher to begin his work. The
congregation was small, and, therefore, I obtained an opportunity to
study individual character. It was a very difficult field of labor, and
it is good for a minister to bear the yoke in his youth. My work at
first was attended with many discouragements. I preached as pungently as
I was able, but no visible results seemed to follow. One day the wife of
one of my two church elders came to me in my study, and told me that her
son had been awakened by the faithful talk of a young Christian girl,
who had brought some work to her husband's shoe store. I said to the
elder's wife: "The Holy Spirit is evidently working on one soul--let us
have a prayer meeting at your house to-night." We spent the afternoon in
gathering our small congregation together, and when I got to her house
it was packed to the door. I have attended thousands of prayer meetings
since then, but never one that had a more distinct resemblance to the
Pentecostal gathering in "the upper room" at Jerusalem. The atmosphere
seemed to be charged with a divine electricity that affected almost
every one in the house. Three times over I closed the meeting with a
benediction, but it began again, and the people lingered until a very
late hour, melted together by "a baptism of fire." That wonderful
meeting was followed by special services every night, and the Holy
Spirit descended with great power. My little church was doubled in
numbers, and I learned more practical theology in a month than any
seminary could teach me in a year.

That revival was an illustration of the truth that a good work of grace
often begins with the personal effort of one or two individuals. The
Burlington awakening began with the little girl and the elder's wife. We
ministers must never despise or neglect "the day of small things."

Every pastor ought to be constantly on the watch, with open eye and ear,
for the first signs of an especial manifestation of the Spirit's
presence. Elijah, on Carmel, did not only pray; he kept his eyes open to
see the rising cloud. The moment that there is a manifestation of the
Spirit's presence, it must be followed up promptly. For example, during
my pastorate in the Market Street Church, New York, (from 1853 to
1860), I was out one afternoon making calls, and I discovered that in
two or three families there were anxious seekers for salvation. I
immediately called together the officers of the church, stated to them
my observations, instituted a series of meetings for almost every
evening, followed them with conversation with enquirers, and a large
ingathering of souls rewarded our efforts and prayers. I have no doubt
that very often a spark of divine influence is allowed to die for want
of being fanned by prayer and prompt labors, whereas, it is sometimes
dashed out, as by a bucket of cold water thrown on by inconsistent or
quarrelsome church members. It was to Christians that St. Paul sent the
message, "Quench not the Spirit."

In 1858 there began a marvelous work of grace, which extended not only
throughout the churches in New York, but throughout the whole country.
The flame was kindled at the beginning of the year in a noon-day prayer
meeting, instituted by that single-eyed servant of Christ, Jeremiah C.
Lamphier, who had once been a singer in the choir of my church. The
flame thus kindled in that meeting soon extended to my church in Market
Street, and presently spread over the whole city. The special feature of
the revival of 1858 was the noon-day prayer meeting. It was my privilege
to conduct the first noon meeting in Burton's old theatre in Chambers
Street, and in a few days after, a similar one in the Collegiate Church
in Ninth Street, and also the first prayer meeting in a warehouse at the
lower end of Broadway. It is not too much to say that often there were
not less than 8,000 to 10,000 of God's people, who came together at the
noon-tide hour with the spirit of supplication and prayer. The flame,
having spread over the city, then leaped to Philadelphia, and Jayne's
Hall, on Chestnut Street, was thronged by an immense number of people,
led by George H. Stuart. And so it went on from town to town, and from
city to city, over the length and breadth of our land. The revival
crossed the ocean and extended to Ireland. On a visit to Belfast I saw
handbills on the streets calling the people to noon-day gatherings.

I began my ministry in Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church, Brooklyn,
as its first pastor, in April, 1860. From the start I struck for souls;
and when our new edifice was dedicated we were under a refreshing shower
of the Divine Spirit. Six years after my installation as pastor, God
blessed us with an extraordinary downpour. The first drops were followed
by an abundance of rain. That revival began where revivals often
begin,--in the prayer meeting. It was on the evening of the 8th of
January, the first evening of the "week of prayer," which is generally
observed over the land. The meeting was held under the direction of our
Young People's Association,--that same body of young Christian workers
which gave the Rev Francis E. Clark both the inspiration and practical
hints for the formation of his first society of Christian Endeavor. What
a fearful bitter night was that 8th of January! Through that stinging
Arctic atmosphere came a goodly number with hearts on fire with the love
of Jesus. The prayers that night were well aimed; and a man, who
afterwards became a useful officer of the church, was converted on the
spot. On the Friday evening of that week our lecture-room was packed,
and when the elder requested that any who desired special prayer should
rise, two very prominent men in this community were on their feet in an
instant. The meeting was electrified; every one saw that God was with
us. There was no extraordinary excitement; the feeling was too deep for
that. We felt as the ancient Hebrew prophet felt when he heard the
"still small voice from heaven," and went out ready for action. I felt
at once that a great work for Christ had commenced. I called our
officers together at once, and, to use the naval phrase, we "cleared the
decks for action." As the good work had begun in our own church, without
any external assistance, we determined to carry on the work ourselves;
and during the next five months, I never had any pulpit help except on
two evenings during the week, when two fervid, discreet neighboring
pastors preached for me. Commonly, every church should do its own
spiritual harvesting--just as much as every pair of young lovers should
do their own love-making, and wise parents their own family training.
Looking outside is a temptation to shirk responsibility. If a preacher
can preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ faithfully, and the Lord God is
with him, why rob him of the joy of the harvest by sending away for any

My plan of action was this. Twice on each Sabbath, and on two evenings
in the week, I preached as clearly and pungently as I could; sometimes
to awakened souls, sometimes to backsliders, sometimes to the
impenitent, sometimes to souls who were seeking salvation. I spoke of
the great central truths:--personal guilt, Christ's atoning work, the
offices of the Spirit, redemption, the claims of the Saviour, the
necessity of immediate repentance, immediate acceptance of Christ and
the joy and power of an useful Christian life. During a revival, sermons
make themselves; they grow spontaneously. On the Monday evening of each
week our young people had the field with their regular gatherings, and
new converts were encouraged to narrate their experiences. On three
other evenings of the week the whole church had a service for prayer and
exhortation, conducted by our laymen. The praying women met on one
afternoon; the girls by themselves on another afternoon, and the boys on
another. During each week, from eleven to twelve, different meetings
were held, and in so large a congregation, these sub-divisions were
necessary. After every public service I held an inquiry meeting. I
invited people to converse with me in the study during the day, and I
made as much pastoral visitation from house to house as possible.

"So built we the walls ... for the people had a mind to work." For five
months that blessed work went forward, and as a result a very great
number were added to the church, of whom about one hundred were heads of
families. Our sacramental Sabbaths were holy, joyous feasts, and the
sheaves were brought in with singing. Some of the new converts banded
themselves in a new organization, and to perpetuate the memory of that
glorious spiritual outpouring, they called it the "Memorial Presbyterian
Church." It now worships in the beautiful edifice on Seventh Avenue, and
is one of the most flourishing churches in Brooklyn. The effect of that
work of grace reached on into eternity. One of its first effects, on the
writer of these lines, was to confirm him in the opinion that the living
Gospel, sent by the Holy Spirit, is the one only way to save sinners;
that a church must back up a minister by its personal efforts, and when
preacher and people work together only for God's glory, He is as sure to
answer prayer as the morrow's sun is to rise in the heavens.

It has not been my practice to invite the labors of an evangelist; but
in January, 1872, Mr. Dwight L. Moody, with whom I had as yet but a
slight acquaintance, but whom I since have honored and loved with my
whole heart, said to the superintendent of our Mission Chapel: "What a
nice place this is to hold some meetings in." He was cordially invited;
and at the end of a week about twenty persons had been mustered together
on the sharp winter evenings. "This seems slow work," I said to him.
"Very true," replied my sagacious brother. "It is slow, but if you want
to kindle a fire, you collect a handful of sticks, light them with a
match, and keep on blowing till they blaze. Then you may heap on the
wood. I am working here with a handful of Christians, endeavoring to
warm them up with love for Christ; and, if they keep well kindled, a
general revival will come, and outside sinners will be converted." He
was right; the revival did come. It spread into the parent church, and
over one hundred converts made their public confession of Christ before
our communion table. It was in those little chapel meetings that my
beloved brother, Moody, prepared his first "Bible Readings," which
afterward became so celebrated in this country and in Great Britain. A
few months afterward I met Mr. Moody in London. Coming one day into my
room, he said to me: "They wish me to come over here and preach in
England." I urged him at once to do so; "for," I said, "these English
people are the best people to preach to in the world." Moody then said,
"I will go home,--secure somebody to sing, and come over and make the
experiment." He did come home,--he secured my neighbor, Mr.
Sankey,--returned to England, and commenced the most extraordinary
revival campaign that had been known in Great Britain since the days of
Whitefield. I cannot dismiss this heaven-honored name without a word of
honest, loving tribute to the man and his magnificent work. D.L. Moody
was by far the most extraordinary proclaimer of the Gospel that America
has produced during the last century, as Spurgeon was the most
extraordinary in Great Britain. Those two heralds of salvation led the
column. They reached millions by their eloquent tongues, and their
printed words went out to the ends of the earth. The single aim of both
was to point to the cross of Christ, and to save souls; all their
educational and benevolent enterprises were subordinate to this one
great sovereign purpose. Neither one of them ever entered a college or
theological seminary; yet they commanded the ear of Christendom. The
simple reason was--they were both God-made preachers, and were both
endowed with immense common sense, and executive ability.



Printers' ink stained my fingers in my boyhood; for, at the age of
fifteen, I ventured into a controversy on the slavery question, in the
columns of our county newspaper; and, in the same paper, published a
series of letters from Europe, in 1842. During my course of study in the
Princeton Theological Seminary, I was a contributor to several papers,
to _Godey's Magazine_ in Philadelphia, and to the "New Englander," a
literary and theological review published at New Haven. I wrote the
first article for the first number of the "Nassau Monthly," a Princeton
College publication, which still exists under another name. Up to the
year 1847 all my contributions had been to secular periodicals, but in
that year I ventured to send from Burlington, N.J., where I was then
preaching, a short article to the "New York Observer," signed by my
initials. This was followed by several others which, falling under the
eye of my beloved friend, the Rev. Dr. Cortland Van Rensellaer, led him
to say to me: "You are on the right track now; work on that as long as
you live," and I have obeyed his injunction. Within a year or two I
began to write for the "Presbyterian" at Philadelphia. Its proprietor
urged me to accept an editorial position, but I declined his proposal,
as I have declined several other requests to assume editorial positions
since. I would always rather write when I _choose_ than write when I
_must_, and I have never felt at liberty to hold any other position
while I was a pastor of a church. My contributions to the press never
hindered my work as a minister, for writing for the press promotes
perspicuity in preparing for the pulpit.

In the summer of 1853 I was called from the Third Presbyterian Church of
Trenton to the Market Street Reformed Church of New York City. As a
loyal Dutchman, I began to write at once for the "Christian
Intelligencer," and have continued in its clean hospitable columns to
this day. At the urgent request of Mr. Henry C. Bowen I began to write
for his "Independent," and sent to its columns over six hundred
articles; but of all my associate contributors in those days, not a
solitary one survives. In May, 1860, My first article appeared in the
_New York Evangelist_, and during these forty-two years I have tested
the patience of its readers by imposing on them more than eighteen
hundred of my lubrications. As I was preparing one of my earliest
articles, I happened to spy the blossoms of the catalpa tree before my
window, and for want of a title I headed it "_Under the Catalpa_." The
tree flourishes still, and bids fair to blossom after the hand that pens
these lines has turned to dust. I need not recapitulate the names of all
the many journals to which I have sent contributions,--many of which
have been republished in Great Britain, Australia and other parts of the
civilized world. I once gave to my friend, Mr. Arthur B. Cook, the
eminent stenographer, some statistics of the number of my articles, and
the various journals in which they had appeared in this and other
countries. He made an estimate of the extent of their publication, and
then said to me: "It would be within bounds to say that your four
thousand articles have been printed in at least two hundred millions of
copies." The production of these articles involved no small labor, but
has brought its own reward. To enter a multitude of homes week after
week; to converse with the inmates about many of the most vital
questions in morals and religion; to speak words of guidance to the
perplexed; of comfort to the troubled, and of exhortation to the saints
and to the sinful--all these involved a solemn responsibility. That this
life-work with the pen has not been without fruit I gratefully
acknowledge. When a group of railway employees, at a station in England,
gathered around me to tender their thanks for spiritual help afforded
them by my articles, I felt repaid for hours of extra labor spent in
preaching through the press.

My first attempt at book-making was during my ministry at Trenton, New
Jersey, when I published a small volume entitled "Stray Arrows." This
was followed at different times by several volumes of an experimental
and devotional character. In the spring of 1867 one of our beautiful
twin boys, at the age of four and a half years, was taken from us by a
very brief and violent attack of scarlet fever. We received a large
number of tender letters of condolence, which gave us so much comfort
that my wife suggested that they should be printed with the hope that
they might be equally comforting to other people in affliction. I
accordingly selected a number of them, added the simple story of our
precious child's short career, and handed the package to my beloved
friend and publisher, the late Mr. Peter Carter, with the request that
they be printed for private distribution. He urged, after reading them,
that I should allow him to publish them, which he did under the title of
"The Empty Crib, a Book of Consolation." That simple story of a sweet
child's life has travelled widely over the world and made our little
"Georgie" known in many a home. Mrs. Gladstone told me that when she and
her husband had read it, it recalled their own loss of a child under
similar circumstances. Dean Stanley read it aloud to Lady Augusta
Stanley in the Deanery of Westminster; and when I took him to our own
unrivalled Greenwood Cemetery he asked to be driven to the spot where
the dust of our dear boy is slumbering. Many thousands have visited that
grave and gazed with tender admiration on the exquisite marble medallion
of the childface,--by the sculptor, Charles Calverley,--which adorns the

Fourteen years afterwards, in the autumn of 1881, "the four corners of
my house were smitten" again with a heart-breaking bereavement in the
death, by typhoid fever, of our second daughter, Louise Ledyard Cuyler,
at the age of twenty-two, who possessed a most inexpressible beauty of
person and character. Her playful humor, her fascinating charm of
manner, and her many noble qualities drew to her the admiration of a
large circle of friends, as well as the pride of our parental hearts.
After her departure I wrote, through many tears, a small volume entitled
"_God's Light on Dark Clouds,"_ with the hope that it might bring some
rays of comfort into those homes that were shadowed in grief. Judging
from the numberless letters that have come to me I cannot but believe
that, of all the volumes which I have written, this one has been the
most honored of God as a message-bearer to that largest of all
households--the household of the sorrowing. Let me add that I have
published a single volume of sermons, entitled "The Eagle's Nest," and a
volume of foreign travel, "From the Nile to Norway"; but all the
remainder of my score of volumes have been of a practical and devotional
character. Of the twenty-two volumes that I have written, six have been
translated into Swedish, and two into the language of my Dutch
ancestors. Thanks be to God for the precious privilege of preaching His
glorious Gospel with the types that out-reach ten thousand tongues! And
thanks also to a number of friends, whose faces I never saw, but whose
kind words have cheered me through more than a half century of happy
labors. I cannot conclude this brief chapter without expressing my deep
obligations to that noble organization, the "American Tract Society,"
which has given a wide circulation to many of my books--including
"Heart-Life," "Newly Enlisted; or, Counsels to Young Converts"--and
"Beulah-Land," a volume of good cheer to aged pilgrims on their journey



_Gladstone.--Dr. Brown.--Dean Stanley.--Shaftesbury, etc._

In a former chapter of this volume I gave my reminiscences of some
celebrities in Great Britain sixty years ago. In the present chapter I
group together several distinguished persons whom I met during
subsequent visits. The first time I ever saw Mr. Gladstone was in
August, 1857, when Lord Kinnaird kindly took me into the House of
Commons, and pointed out to me from a side gallery the most prominent
celebrities. A tall, finely formed man, in a clear resonant voice,
addressed the House for a few moments. "That is Gladstone," whispered
Lord Kinnaird. Mr. Gladstone had already won fame as a great financier
in the role of Chancellor of the Exchequer; but was at this time out of
office, occupying an independent position. He was already beginning to
break loose from Toryism, and ere long became the most brilliant and
powerful leader that the British Liberal party has ever followed. As an
orator he is ranked next to Bright; as a party manager, he was always a
match for Disraeli, and as a statesman he has won the foremost place in
British annals during the last half century.

In June, 1872, I happened to be in London at the time of the great
excitement over the famous "Alabama difficulty." The Court of
Arbitration was sitting at Geneva; things were not going smoothly, and
there was danger of a rupture with the United States. At an anniversary
meeting at Exeter Hall I had made a speech in which I spoke of the
cordial feeling of my countrymen, and their desire to avoid a conflict
with the mother country. It was suggested to me that I should call on Mr.
Gladstone, who was then Premier; and my friend, Dr. Newman Hall,--who
had always had a warm personal attachment to Gladstone,--accompanied me.
The Premier then occupied a stately mansion in Carlton House Terrace,
next to the Duke of York's column. We found him in his private sitting
room with a cup of coffee before him and a morning newspaper in his
hand. Fifteen years had made a great change in his appearance. He had
become stouter and broader shouldered. His thin hair was turned gray,
and his large eyes and magnificent brow reminded me of Daniel Webster.
He received me cordially, and we spent half an hour in conversation
about the difficulties that seemed to be obstructing an amicable
settlement of the Alabama controversy. Mr. Gladstone appeared to be
puzzled about a recent belligerent speech delivered by Mr. Charles
Sumner in our Senate chamber, and I was glad to give him a hint or two
in regard to some of our eloquent Senator's idiosyncrasies. What
impressed me most in Gladstone's free, earnest talk was its solemn and
thoroughly Christian tone--he was longing for peace on principle. On my
telling him playfully that the time which belonged to the British Empire
was too precious for further talk, he said: "Come and breakfast with me
to-morrow morning, and we will finish our conversation." The next
morning Dr. Hall and myself presented ourselves at ten o'clock in Mr.
Gladstone's parlor. We had a very pleasant chat with Mrs. Gladstone (a
tall, slender lady, whose only claim to beauty was her benevolent
countenance), about the schemes of charity in which she was deeply
interested. At the breakfast table opposite to us were the venerable
Dean Ramsey, of Edinburgh, and Professor Talbot, of Oxford University.
The Premier indulged in some jocose remarks which encouraged me to tell
him stories about our Southern negroes, in whom he seemed to be much
interested. He laughed over the story of the eloquent colored brother
who, when asked how he came to preach so well, said: "Well, Boss, I
takes de text fust; I splains it; den I spounds it, and den _I puts in
de rousements_." Gladstone was quite delighted with this, and said it
was about the best description of real parliamentary eloquence. He told
us that one secret of his own marvelous health was his talent for sound,
unbroken sleep. "I lock all my public cares outside my chamber door,"
said he, "and nothing ever disturbs my slumbers." While we were at
breakfast a package of dispatches was brought in and laid beside Mr.
Gladstone's plate. He left them quietly alone until the meal was over
and then, taking them to a corner of the parlor, perused them intently.
I saw that his face was lighted up with a pleasant smile. Beckoning me
to come to him he said, with much enthusiasm: "Doctor, here is good news
from the arbitrators at Geneva. The worst is over. I do not pretend to
know the purposes of Providence, but I am sure that no earthly power can
now prevent an honorable peace between your country and mine." It has
always been a matter of thankfulness that I should have been with the
greatest of living Englishmen when his warm heart was relieved of the
apprehension of the danger of a conflict with America. After entering
our names in the autograph book on the parlor table, we withdrew, and at
the door we met the Duke of Argyll, a member of the Premier's Cabinet,
who was calling on official business.

[Illustration: DR CUYLER AT 50.]

My next meeting with Gladstone was a very brief one, in the summer of
1885. He had lately resigned his third Premiership; his health was badly
impaired, his splendid voice was apparently ruined by an attack of
bronchitis, and the world supposed that his public career was ended. I
called at his house in Whitehall Terrace, and the servant informed me at
the door that the physicians had forbidden Mr. Gladstone to see any one.
I handed in my card, and said to the servant: "I leave for America
to-morrow, and only called to say good-bye to Mr. Gladstone." He
overheard my voice (not one of the feeblest), and, coming out into the
hall, greeted me most warmly, but in a voice almost inaudible from
hoarseness. I told him: "Do not attempt to speak, Mr. Gladstone; the
future of the British Empire depends upon your throat." He hoarsely
whispered, "No, no, my friend, it does not," and with a very hearty
handshake we parted. My prediction came true. Within a year the
marvelous old man had recovered his voice, recovered his popularity,
resumed the Liberal leadership, and for the fourth time was Prime
Minister of Great Britain.

I supposed that I should never see the veteran statesman again, but four
years afterward, in July, 1889, he kindly invited me to come and see
him, and to bring my wife. It was the week before the celebration of his
golden wedding. He was occupying, temporarily, a house near Buckingham
Palace. Mrs. Gladstone, the good angel of his long life and happy home,
received us warmly, and, bringing out a lot of photographs of her
children and grandchildren, gave us a family talk. When her husband came
in, I was startled to observe how much thinner he had become and how
loosely his clothes hung upon him. But as soon as he began to talk, the
old fire flamed up, and he discoursed eloquently about Irish Home-Rule,
the divorce question, (one of his hobbies), and the dangers that
threatened America from plutocracy and laxity of wedlock, and the
facilities of divorce that sap the sanctities of domestic life. It was
during that conversation that Gladstone tittered the sentence that I
have often had occasion to quote. He said: "Amid all the pressure of
public cares and duties, I thank God for the Sabbath _with its rest for
the body and the soul_." One reason for his wonderful longevity was that
he had never robbed his brain of the benefits of God's appointed day of
rest. After our delightful talk was ended, the Grand Old Man went off in
pursuit of an imperial photograph, which he kindly signed with his
autograph, and gave to my wife, and it now graces the walls of the room
in which I am writing.

Many men have been great in some direction: William Ewart Gladstone was
great in nearly all directions. Born in the same year with our Lincoln,
he was a great muscular man and horseman; a great orator, a great
political strategist, a great scholar, a great writer, great statesman
and a great Christian. The crowning glory of his character was a
stalwart faith in God's Word, and in the cross of Jesus Christ. He
honored his Lord, and his Lord honored him. Wordsworth drew a truthful
picture of Gladstone when he portrayed

   "The man who lifted high
   Conspicuous object in a nation's eye,
   Who, with a toward or untoward lot,
   Prosperous or adverse, to his wish or not,
   Plays in the many games of life, that one
   Where what he most doth value must be won;
   Whom neither shape of danger can dismay,
   Nor thought of tender happiness betray;
   And while the mortal mist is gathering, draws
   His breath in confidence of Heaven's applause."

Who has not wept over the brilliant and beloved Dr. John Brown's
unrivalled story, "Rab and His Friends," and been charmed with his
picture of "Pet Marjorie"? What student of style will deny that his
"Monograph" of his father is the finest specimen of condensed and vivid
biography in our language? When his "Spare Hours" appeared in America I
published an article in the "Independent" entitled, "The Last of the
John Browns," several copies of which had been forwarded to him by his
friends in this country. On my arrival in Edinburgh, July, 1862, he
called on me at the Waverly Hotel and invited me to breakfast with him.
He had the fair Saxon features of Scotland, with a smile like a Summer
morning. Not tall in stature, his head was somewhat bald, and he bore a
striking resemblance to our ex-President, Van Buren. He showed me in his
house some choice literary treasures; among them a little Greek
Testament, given to his great-grandfather, the famous John Brown, of
Haddington, the eminent commentator. Its history was curious: Brown of,
Haddington, was a poor shepherd boy, and once he walked twenty miles
through the night to St. Andrews to get a copy of the Greek Testament.
The book-seller at first laughed at him and said: "Boy, if you can read
a verse in this book, you may have it." Forthwith the lad read the verse
off glibly, and was permitted to carry off the Testament in triumph. You
may well suppose that the little volume is a sacred heirloom in the
Brown family, which for four generations has been famous. Of course, the
author of "Rab and His Friends" had several pictures of the illustrious
dog that figured in his beautiful story, and I noticed a pet spaniel
lying on the sofa in the drawing room. A day or two after, Dr. Brown
called on me, and kindly took me on a drive with him through Edinburgh;
and it was pleasant to see how the people on the sidewalk had cheery
salutes for the author of "Rab" as he rode by. We went up to Calton
Hill and made a call on Sir George Harvey, the famous artist, whom we
found in his studio, with brush in hand, and working on an Highland
landscape. Sir George was a hearty old fellow, and the two friends had a
merry "crack" together. When I asked Harvey if he had seen any of our
best American paintings, he replied "No, I have not; the best American
productions I have ever seen have been some of your missionaries. I met
some of them; they were noble characters." On our return from the drive
Dr. Brown gave me an elegant edition of "Rab," with Harvey's portrait of
the immortal dog, whose body was thickset like a little bull, and who
had "fought his way to absolute supremacy,--like Julius Caesar or the
Duke of Wellington."

When in Edinburgh ten years afterwards, as a delegate to the General
Assemblies, I was so constantly occupied that I was able to see but
little of my genial friend, Dr. Brown. I sent him a copy of the little
book, "The Empty Crib," which had been recently published, and received
from him the following characteristic reply:

     25 RUTLAND STREET, EDINBURGH, May 25, 1872.

     _My Dear Dr. Cuyler_

     Very many thanks for your kind note, and the little book. It will
     be my own fault if I am not the better for reading it. I have seen
     nothing lovelier or more touching than the pictures of those _twin
     heads_ "like unto the angels"; even there Georgie looks nearer the
     better world than his brother. There is something perilous about
     his eyes with their wistful beauty. With him "it is far better"
     now, and may it be meet for Theodore to be long with you here. I
     hoped to leave with you a book of my father's on the same subject,
     entitled, "Comfortable Words," but it is out of print. If I can get
     a copy, I will send it you. There are some letters of Bengel's
     which, if you do not know, you will enjoy.

     I send you a note of introduction to John Ruskin, and I hope to
     hear you to-morrow in Mr. Candlish's church.

     With much regret and best thanks, yours very truly,


     P.S. I was in Glen-Garry the other week, and quite felt that look
     of nakedness, and as if it just came from the Maker's hand; it was
     very impressive

During the closing years of the Doctor's life he was often shadowed by
fits of deep melancholy. One day he was walking with a lady, who was
also subject to depression of spirits, and he said to her: "Tell me why
I am like a Jew?" She could not answer and he replied: "Because I am
_sad-you-see_" Tears and mirth dwelt very closely together in his keen,
fervid, sensitive spirit. It is remarkable that one who devoted himself
so assiduously to his exacting profession should have been able to
master such an immense amount of miscellaneous reading, and to have won
such a splendid name in literature. It is the attribute of true genius
that it can do great things easily, and can accomplish its feats in an
incredibly short time. He affirms that the immortal story of "Rab" was
written in a few hours! The precious relics of my friend that I now
possess are portraits of his father and of Dr. Chalmers, and of Hugh
Miller, which he presented to me, and which now adorn my study walls.

While I have always dissented from some of his theological views and
utterances, I have always had an intense admiration for Dean Stanley, in
whose character was blended the gentleness of a sweet girl with
occasional display of the courage of a lion. Froude once said to me: "I
wish that Stanley was a little better hater." My reply was: "It is not
in Stanley to hate anybody but the devil." My acquaintance with the Dean
of Westminster dates from the summer of 1872. The Rev. Samuel Minton, a
very broad Church of England clergyman, was in the habit of inviting
ministers of the Established church and non-conformists to meet at lunch
parties with a view of bringing them to a better understanding. One day
I was invited by Mr. Minton to attend one of these lunch parties, and I
found that day at his table, Dr. Donald Frazer, Dr. Newman Hall, Dr.
Joseph Parker, Dean Stanley and Dr. Howard Wilkinson, afterwards Bishop
of Truro. Stanley felt perfectly at home among these "dissenters" and
asked me to give the company some account of a remarkable discourse,
which, he was told, Bishop McIlvaine, of Ohio, had recently delivered in
my Lafayette Presbyterian Church, Brooklyn, on "Christian Unity." In the
discourse, Bishop McIlvaine had said: "The only difference between the
Presbyterian denomination, and Episcopal denomination, is their
difference as to the orders of the ministry." The Dean was delighted
with my account, and said: "Just imagine the Bishop of London preaching
such a sermon in Newman Hall's or Spurgeon's pulpit; it would rock the
old dome of St. Paul's." In all of his intercourse with his dissenting
brethren the Dean never put on any airs of patronage, for though a loyal
Episcopalian, he recognized their equally divine ordination as ministers
of Jesus Christ.

A few days afterwards I went up to get a look at Holly Lodge, the
residence of Lord Macaulay, in a side street just off Campden Hill. I
met the Dean just coming out of the gate. He had been attending a garden
party given by Lord Airlie, who then occupied the lodge. It was a
pleasant coincidence to meet the most brilliant ecclesiastical historian
at the door of the most brilliant civil historian of England. The Dean
stopped and chatted about Macaulay, of whom he was very fond, and then
said: "Just beyond is Holland House." We went a few paces and got a
glimpse of the famous mansion in which Lord Holland had entertained the
celebrities of America and Europe. One of the best hours I ever spent
with Stanley was at his own table in the Deanery. He was the most
delightful of hosts. Lady Augusta Stanley, daughter of the Earl of
Elgin, had been a favorite Maid of Honor to the Queen, and the Dean had
accompanied the Prince of Wales on his tour to the Orient. The Queen
quite frequently slipped away from the palace for a quiet chat at the
Deanery with this pair whom she so loved. A marble bust of Victoria, by
her daughter, the Princess Louise, stood in the parlor, a gift of the
Queen. If the Dean was very broad in his theology, his cultured wife was
as decidedly evangelical in hers and her religious influence was very
tonic in all respects. After lunch that day the Dean very kindly took me
into the famous Jerusalem chamber and showed me where the Westminster
Assembly had sat for six years to give birth to our Presbyterian
Confession of Faith and Catechism. I was surprised at the small size of
the room that had held seventy or eighty commissioners.

As I was very desirous of hearing the Dean preach in the Abbey, he sent
me a very kind invitation to come on the next Sabbath to the Deanery
before the service, and on account of my deafness Lady Augusta would
take me into a seat close to his pulpit. Accordingly she stowed me in a
small box-pew, which was close against the pulpit, and within arms'
length of the Dean. His sermon was a beautiful essay on Solomon and
great men, and in the course of it he said: "Such was the greatness of
our Lord Jesus Christ." I felt so pained by _what he did not say_ that I
ventured to write him a most frank and loving note, in which I expressed
my deep regret that when he referred to the "greatness" of our Saviour
he had so entirely ignored what was infinitely His most sublime
work,--that of our human redemption by His atoning death on Calvary. The
dear Dean, instead of taking offense, accepted the frank letter in the
same spirit in which it was written. A day or two after he sent me a
characteristic note, whose peculiar hieroglyphics, after much labor, I
was able to decipher; for it has been often said that the only reason
why he was never made a bishop was that no clergyman in his diocese
would ever have been able to read his letters.


   July 22, 1872

   Dear Doctor---Pray accept my sincere thanks for your
   very kind note. I quite appreciate your candor in mentioning
   what you thought a defect in my sermon. It arose
   from a fixed conviction which I have long formed, that
   the only chance there is of my sermons doing any good is
   by taking one topic at a time. The effect and the nature
   of the death of Jesus Christ, I quite agree with you in
   thinking to be a most important part of the Christian doctrine,
   and Christian history. But as my sermon was on a
   different subject--that of the right use of greatness--I felt
   that I could not speak, even by way of allusion, to the
   other great doctrine on which I had often preached before.

   I sincerely wish that I could come to America. Every
   year that passes increases the number of my kind friends
   in the New World, and my desire to see the United States.

   Farewell; and may all the blessings of our State and
   Church follow you westward

   Yours faithfully,


When Dean Stanley visited America in the autumn of 1878, I met him
several times, and he was especially cordial, and all the more so
because of my out-spoken letter. The first time I met him was at the
meeting of ministers of New York to give him a reception, and hear him
deliver a discourse on Dr. Robinson, the Oriental geographer. He
recognized me in the audience, came forward to the front of the
platform, beckoned me up, and gave me a hearty grasp of the hand. I
arranged to take him to Greenwood Cemetery on the morning before he
sailed for home, and after breakfasting with him at Cyrus W. Field's we
started for the cemetery. Dr. Phillip Schaff and Dr. Henry M. Field met
us at the ferry, and accompanied us. When we entered the elevated
railroad car, Stanley exclaimed: "This is like the chariots on the walls
of Babylon." With his keen interest in history he inquired when we
reached the lower part of the Bowery, near the junction of Chatham
Square "Was it not near here that Nathan Hale, the martyr, was
executed?" and he showed then a more accurate knowledge of our local
history than one New Yorker in ten thousand can boast! That was probably
the exact locality, and Dean Stanley had never been there before. Before
entering the Greenwood Cemetery he requested me to drive him to the spot
where my little child was buried, whose photograph in "The Empty Crib" I
have referred to in a previous chapter. When we reached the burial lot
he got out of the carriage, and in the driving wind, of a raw November
morning, spent some time in examining the marble medallion of the child,
and in talking with my wife most sweetly about him. I could have hugged
the man on the spot. It was so like Stanley. I do not wonder that
everybody loved him. We then drove to the tomb of Dr. Edward Robinson
and the Dean said to us: "In all my travels in Palestine I carried Dr.
Robinson's volume, 'Biblical Researches,' with me on horseback or on my
camel; it was my constant guide book."

Three years afterward, on my arrival in London, from Palestine I learned
that Stanley was dangerously ill. On the door of the Deanery a bulletin
was posted: "The Dean is sinking." That night the good, great man, died.
On the 25th of July the august funeral service took place in
Westminster Abbey. Outside the Abbey thousands of people were assembled,
for the Dean was loved by all London. From a small gallery over the
"Poets' Corner" I looked down on the group, which contained Gladstone,
Shaftesbury, Matthew Arnold, and scores of England's mightiest and best.
After the "Dead March," began a long procession headed by Stanley's
lifelong friend, Archbishop Tait, of Canterbury, and the Prince of Wales
(his pupil), and followed by Browning, Tyndall, and a long line of
bishops, and poets and scholars moved slowly along under the lofty
arches to the tomb in Henry VII.'s Chapel. A fresh wreath of flowers
from the Queen was laid on the coffin. Many a tear was shed on that sad
day beside the tomb in which the Church of England laid her most
fearless and yet her best beloved son. I never have visited the Abbey
since, without halting for a few moments beside the chapel in which the
Dean and his beloved wife are slumbering. Greater than all his books or
literary achievements was Arthur Penryn Stanley, the modest,
true-hearted, unselfish, childlike, Christian man.

Soon after I had begun my pastorate in New York, I became a member of
the Young Men's Christian Association, which was one of the first that
was organized in this country. Since that time I have delivered more
than one hundred addresses, in behalf of this institution, in my own
country and abroad. In June, 1857, the New York organization honored me
with what was then a novelty in America--a public breakfast, and
commissioned me as a delegate to the original parent association in
London. I there met that remarkable Christian merchant, Mr. George
Williams, who was the founder of the Association, and who had got much
of his first spiritual inspiration from reading the writings of our
American, Charles G. Finney. He is now Sir George Williams, my much
loved friend, and I do not hesitate to say that there is not another man
living who has accomplished such a world-wide work for the glory of God
and the welfare of young men. The President of that first organized
London Association was the celebrated philanthropist, the Earl of
Shaftesbury, a man whom I had long desired to meet. My acquaintance with
him began in Exeter Hall, at a Sabbath service held to reach the
non-church going classes. With one or two others we knelt together in a
small side room to invoke a blessing on the service in the great hall,
and he prayed most fervently. The Earl of Shaftesbury was not only the
author of great reformatory legislation in Parliament, and the
acknowledged leader of the Low Church Party in the Established Church.
He was also a leader of city missions, ragged schools, shoe-black
brigades, and other organizations to benefit the submerged classes in
London. He once invited all the thieves in London to meet him privately
in a certain hall, and there pleaded with them to abandon their wretched
occupation, and promised to aid those who desired to reform. He was fond
of telling the story of how, when his watch was stolen, the thieves
themselves compelled the rascal to come and return it, because he had
been the benefactor of the "long-fingered fraternity." The last time
that I saw the venerable philanthropist was just before his death (at
the age of eighty-four years). He was presiding at a convention of the
Young Men's Christian Association in Exeter Hall. In my speech I said:
"To-day I have seen Milton's Mulberry Tree at Cambridge University, and
the historic old tree is kept alive by being banked around with earth
clear to its boughs; and so is all Christendom banking around our
honored President to-night to keep him warm and hale, and strong, amid
the frosts of advancing age," The grand old man rewarded me with a bow
and a gracious smile, and the audience responded with a shout of



_Irvin,--Whittier.--Webster.--Greeley, etc_.

Washington Irving has fairly earned the title of the "Father of our
American Literature." The profound philosophical and spiritual treatises
of our great President Edwards had secured a reading by theologians and
deep thinkers abroad; but the American who first caught the popular ear
was the man who wrote "The Sketch Book," and made the name of
"Knickerbocker" almost as familiar as Sir Walter Scott made the name of
"Waverly." During the summer of 1856 I received a cordial invitation
from the people of Tarry town to come up to join them in an annual
"outing," with their children, on board of a steamer on the Tappan-Zee.
I accepted the invitation, and on arrival found the boat already filled
with the good people, and two or three hundreds of scholars from the
Sabbath schools.

To my surprise and delight I found Washington Irving on board the
steamer. The veteran author had laid aside the fourth volume of the
"Life of Washington," which he was just preparing, to come away for a
bit of rest and recreation. I had never seen him before, but found him
precisely the type of man that I had expected. He was short, rather
stout, and attired in an old fashioned black summer dress, with "pumps"
and white stockings, and a broad Panama hat. As he was no novelty to his
neighbors I was able to secure more of his time; and, like the apostle
of old, I was exceedingly "filled with his company." He took me to the
upper deck of the steamer, and pointed out a glimpse of his own
home--"Sunnyside"--which he told me was the original of Baltus Van
Tassel's homestead in the "Legend of Sleepy Hollow." He pointed out the
route of poor Ichabod Crane on his memorable night ride up the valley,
and so on to the Kakout, where his horse should have gone to reach
"Sleepy Hollow." Instead of that, obstinate Gunpowder plunged down over
that bridge where poor Ichabod encountered his fatal and final
catastrophe. The good old man's face was full of fun as he told me the
story. Irving was so exceedingly shy that he never could face any public
ovation, and yet he had a great deal of quiet enjoyment of his own
popularity. For example, one day when he was going with a young relative
up Broadway, which was thronged with omnibuses, he pointed out one of
the old "Knickerbocker" line of stages to the lad and said: "Billy, you
see how many coaches I own in this city, and you may take as many rides
in them as you like."

After refreshments had been served to all the guests on board, we
gathered on the deck for the inevitable American practice of speech
making. In the course of my speech I gave an account of what was being
done for poor children in the slums of New York, and then introduced as
many Dutch stories as I could recollect for the special edification of
old "Geoffrey Crayon." As I watched his countenance, and heard his
hearty laughter and saw sometimes the peculiar quizzical expression of
his mouth, I fancied that I knew precisely how he looked when he drew
the inimitable pictures of Ichabod Crane, and Rip Van Winkle. When the
excursion ended, and we drew up to the shore, I bade him a very grateful
and affectionate farewell, and my readers, I hope, will pardon me if I
say to them that dear old Irving whispered quietly in my ear, "I should
like to be one of your parishioners." Three years afterwards, Irving was
borne by his neighbors at Tarrytown to his final resting place in the
old Dutch churchyard at the entrance of Sleepy Hollow.

Twenty years afterwards my dear friend, Mr. William E. Dodge, drove me
up from his summer house at Tarrytown to see the simple tomb of the good
old Geoffrey Crayon, whose genius has gladdened innumerable admirers,
and whose writings are as pure as the rivulet which now flows by his
resting place.

The pleasant little town of Burlington, N.J., in which I spent my
earliest ministry, was the headquarters of orthodox Quakers. I was
thrown much into the society of their most eminent people, and very
delightful society I found it. The venerable Stephen Grellet, their
apostle, who had held many interviews with the crowned heads of Europe,
resided a little way from me up the street; and I saw the good old man
with broad brimmed hat and straight coat pass my window every day.
Richard Mott lived but a little way from the town, and on the other side
resided the widow of the celebrated Joseph John Gurney. The wittiest
Quaker in the town was my neighbor, William J. Allinson, the editor of
the "Friends Review," and an intimate friend of John G. Whittier. One
afternoon he ran over to my room, and said: "Friend Theodore, John G.
Whittier is at my house, and wants to see thee; he leaves early in the
morning." I hastened across the street and, in the modest parlor of
Friend Allinson, I saw, standing before the fire, a tall, slender man in
Quaker dress, with a very lofty brow, and the finest eye I have ever
seen in any American, unless it were the deep ox-like eye of Abraham
Lincoln. We had a pleasant chat about the anti-slavery, temperance and
other moral reforms; and I went home with something of the feeling that
Walter Scott says he had after seeing "Rabbie Burns," Whittier was a
retiring, home-keeping man. He never crossed the ocean and seldom went
even outside of his native home in Massachusetts. During the summer of
1870 he ventured down to Brooklyn on a visit to his friend, Colonel
Julian Allen. On coming home one day, my servant said to me, "There was
a tall Quaker gentleman called here, and left his name on this piece of
paper." I was quite dumb-founded to read the name of "John G. Whittier,"
and I lost no time in making my way up to the house where he was
staying. When I inquired how he had come to do me the honor of a call,
he said: "Well, yesterday, when I arrived and my friend Allen drove me
up here, we passed a meeting house with a tall steeple, and when I heard
it was thine, I determined to run down to thy house and see thee." As I
was to have the "Chi Alpha," the oldest and the most celebrated clerical
association of New York at my house the next afternoon, I invited him to
come and sup with them. He cordially consented, and it may be supposed
that the "Chi Alpha" was very glad to put aside for that evening all
other matters, and listen to the fresh, racy and humorous talk of the
great poet. Underneath his grave and shy sobriety, flowed a most gentle
humor. He could tell a good story, and when he was describing the usages
of the Quakers in regard to "Speaking in Meetings," he told us that
sometimes the voluntary remarks were not quite to the edification of the
meeting. It once happened that a certain George C---- grew rather
wearisome in his exhortations, and his prudent brethren, after solemn
consultation, passed the following resolution: "It is the sense of this
meeting that George C.---- be advised to remain silent, until such time
as the Lord shall speak through him _more to our satisfaction and
profit_." A resolution of that kind would not be out of place in some
ecclesiastical assemblies, nor in certain prayer gatherings that I wot
of. After the circle broke up I told him that in addition to the kind
and characteristic letters he had written to me I wanted a scrap of his
poetry to add to those which Bryant and others had contributed to my
collection of autographs. "What shall it be?" he said. I told him that,
while some of his hymns and devoutly spiritual pieces, like "My soul and
I," were very dear to me, and while "Snow Bound" was his acknowledged
masterpiece, yet none of his verses did I oftener quote than this one,
in his poem on Massachusetts, He smiled at the selection, and
accordingly sat down and wrote:

   "She heeds no skeptic's puny hands,
   While near the school the church-spire stands,
   Nor fears the bigot's blinded rule,
   While near the church-spire stands the school."

Our walk to his place of sojourn in the moonlight was very delightful.
On the way I told him that not long before, when I quoted a verse of
Bryant's to Horace Greeley, Mr. Greeley replied: "Bryant is all very
well, but by far the greatest poet this country has produced is John
Greenleaf Whittier." "Did our friend Horace say that?" meekly inquired
Whittier, and a smile of satisfaction flowed over his Quaker
countenance. The man is not born yet who does not like an honest
compliment, especially if it comes from a high quarter. In the course of
my life I have received several very pleasant letters from my venerable
friend, the Quaker poet; but immediately after his eightieth birthday he
addressed me the following letter, which, believing it to be his last, I
framed and hung on the walls of my library:

   12th month, 17th, 1887.
   _My dear Dr. Cuyler_,

   I thank thee for thy loving letter to me on my birthday,
   which I would have answered immediately but for illness;
   and, my friend, I wish I was more worthy of the kind and
   good things said of me. But my prayer is, "God be Merciful
   to me." And I think my prayer will be answered, for
   His Mercy and His Justice are one. May the Lord bless
   thee.        Thy friend sincerely,


This note, so redolent of humility, was written a few days after he had
received a most superb birthday ovation from the public men of
Massachusetts, and from the most eminent literary men in all parts of
the nation.

In the days of my boyhood the most colossal figure, physically and
intellectually, in American politics, was Daniel Webster. I well
remember when I first put eye upon him. It was when I was pursuing my
studies in the New York University Grammar School in preparation for
Princeton College. I was strolling one day on the Battery, and met a
friend who said to me: "Yonder goes Daniel Webster; he has just landed
from that man-of-war; go and get a good look at him." I hastened my
steps and, as I came near him, I was as much awe-stricken as if I had
been gazing on Bunker Hill Monument, He was unquestionably the most
majestic specimen of manhood that ever trod this continent. Carlyle
called him "The Great Norseman," and said that his eyes were like great
anthracite furnaces that needed blowing up. Coal heavers in London
stopped to stare at him as he stalked by, and it is well authenticated
that Sydney Smith said of him, "That man is a fraud; for it is
impossible for any one to be as great as he looks."

Mr. Webster, as I saw him that day, was in the vigor of his splendid
prime. When he spoke in the Senate chamber it was his custom to wear the
Whig uniform, a blue coat with metal buttons and a buff waistcoat; but
that day he was dressed in a claret colored coat and black trousers. His
complexion was a swarthy brown. He used to say that while his handsome
brother Ezekiel was very fair, he "had all the soot of the family in his
face." Such a mountain of a brow I have never seen before or since. I
followed behind him until he entered the carriage of Mr. Robert Minturn
that was waiting for him, and as he rode away he looked like Jupiter
Olympus. Although I saw Mr. Webster several times afterwards, I never
heard him speak until the closing year of his life. The Honorable Lewis
Condit, of Morristown, N.J., was in Congress at the time when Webster
had his historic combat with Senator Hayne, of South Carolina, and was
present during the delivery of the most magnificent speech ever
delivered in our Senate. He described the historic scene to me minutely.

Before twelve o'clock on the 26th day of January, 1830, the Senate
chamber was overflowing into the rotunda, and people were offering
prices for a few inches of breathing room in the charmed enclosure.
Senator Dixon H. Lewis, from Alabama, who weighed nearly four hundred,
became wedged in behind the Vice President's chair, unable to move, and
became imbedded in the crowd like a broad-bottomed schooner settled at
low tide into the mud. Being unable to see, he drew out his knife and
cut a hole through the stained glass screens that flanked the presiding
officer's chair. That aperture long remained as a memorial of Lewis's
curiosity to witness the greatest of American orators deliver the
greatest of American orations. The place was worthy of the hour and of
the combatants. It was the old Senate chamber, now occupied by the
United States Supreme Court, the same hall which had once resounded to
the eloquence of Rufus King, as it afterwards did to the eloquence of
Rufus Choate, and which had echoed the bursts of applause that once
greeted Henry Clay of Kentucky. On that memorable morning the
Vice-President's chair was occupied by that intellectual giant of the
South, John C. Calhoun. Before him were Van Buren, Forsyth, Hayne,
Clayton, the omniverous Benton, the sturdy John Quincy Adams, and, in
the seething crowd, was the gaunt skeleton form of John Randolph of
Roanoke. Mr. Condit told me that when Webster exclaimed: "The world
knows the history of Massachusetts by heart. There is Lexington, and
there is Bunker Hill and there they will remain forever,"--the group of
Bostonians seated in the gallery before him, broke down, and wept like
little children. Quite as effective as his eulogy of the "Old Bay
State," was his sudden and awful assault upon Senator Levi Woodbury, of
New Hampshire. This representative of Webster's native State had
supplied Colonel Hayne with a quantity of party pamphlets and documents
to be used as ammunition. Webster knew this fact and determined to
punish him. Turning suddenly towards Woodbury, he thundered out in a
tone of indignant scorn, as he shook his fist over his head: "I employ
no scavengers;" and the poor New Hampshire Senator ducked his bald head
as if struck by a bombshell. The closing passage of that memorable
speech could not have been extemporized. No mortal man could have thrown
off that magnificent piece of Miltonic prose at the heat, without some
deep premeditation. It is well known now that Mr. Webster afterwards
pruned, amended and decorated it until it is recognized as one of the
grandest passages in the English language. I take down my Webster and
read it occasionally, and it has in it the majestic "sound of many
waters." That great passage is the prelude of the mighty conflict which
thirty years afterwards was to be waged on the soil of Gettysburg and
Chickamauga. It became the condensed creed, and the battle-cry of the
long warfare for the nation's life. Well have there been placed in
golden letters on the pedestal of Webster's monument in Central Park the
last sublime line of that sentence: "Liberty and Union, now and forever:
one and inseparable." Mr. Webster's power in sarcastic invective was
terrific. After he had made his angry and ferocious rejoinder to the
charges of Mr. Charles J. Ingersoll, of Pennsylvania, the witty Dr.
Elder was asked, when he came out of the Senate chamber: "What did you
think of that speech?" Elder's reply was: "Thunder and lightning are
peaches and cream to such a speech as that." Mighty as Webster was in
intellectual power he had some lamentable weaknesses. He was indeed a
wonderful mixture of clay and iron. The iron was extraordinarily
massive, but the clay was loose and brittle. He had the temptations of
very strong animal passions, and sometimes to his intimate friends he
attempted to excuse some of his excesses of that kind. There has been
much controversy about Mr. Webster's habits in regard to intoxicants.
The simple truth is that during his visit to England in 1840 he was so
lionized and feted at public dinners that he brought home some convivial
habits which rather grew upon him in advancing years. On several public
occasions he gave evidence that he was somewhat under the influence of
deep potations. I once saw him when his imperial brain was raked with
the chain-shot of alcohol. The sight moved me to tears, and made me hate
more than ever the accursed drink that, like death, is no "respecter of

I heard the last speech that Mr. Webster ever made. It was a few months
before his death in 1852. The speech was delivered at Trenton, N.J., in
the celebrated India rubber case, Goodyear _vs. _ Day, in which Webster
was the leading counsel for Goodyear, and Rufus Choate headed the list
of eloquent advocates in defense of Mr. Day. In that speech Webster was
physically feeble, so that after speaking an hour, he was obliged to sit
down for a time, while Mr. James T. Brady made a new statement with
regard to a portion of the evidence. At that time Webster was broken in
health. The most beautiful passage in his speech was his tribute to
woman, and at another point he indulged in a very ludicrous description
of the character of the first India rubber, which was offered as a
marketable article. He said: "When India rubber was first brought to
this country we had only the raw material, and they made overshoes and
hats of it. A present was sent to me of a complete suit of clothes made
of this India rubber, and on a cold winter day I found my rubber
overcoat was frozen as rigid as ice. I took it out on my lawn, set it
upright, put a broad brim hat on top of it, and there the figure stood
erect, and my neighbors, as they passed by thought they saw the old
farmer of Marshfield standing out under his trees." Some of his
sarcastic attacks upon Mr. Day were very bitter, and when he showed his
great, white teeth he looked like an enraged lion.

A few months after that Trenton speech in October, 1852, he went to his
Marshfield home to die. His spirits were broken and he was sore from
political disappointments. His last few days were spent in a fight by
his powerful constitution against the inevitable. The last time he
walked feebly from his bed to his window he called out to his servant
man: "I want you to moor my yacht down there where I can see it from my
window; then I want you to hoist the flag at the mast head, and every
night to hang the lamp up in the rigging; when I go down I want to go
down with my colors flying and my lamp burning." He told them to put on
his monument, "Lord, I believe; help Thou my unbelief." In the final
moment he started up from his pillow long enough to say: "I still live."
He does live, and will ever live in the grateful memories of his

While no one can deplore more than the writer the weaknesses and
mistakes of Daniel Webster, yet when I remember his intellectual
prowess and his magnificent services in defense of the Constitution, and
the integrity of our national union, I am ready to say: "Let us to all
his failings and faults be charitably kind and only remember the
glorious services he wrought to the country he loved."

During the summer of 1840, when I was a college student at Princeton, I
went with a friend to the office of the _Log Cabin_, a Whig campaign
newspaper then published in Nassau Street, New York. It was during the
famous Tippecanoe campaign, which resulted in the election of General
Harrison. I was introduced to a singular looking man in rustic dress. He
was writing an editorial. His face had a peculiar infantile smoothness,
and his long flaxen hair fell down over his shoulders. I little dreamed
then that that uncouth man in tow trousers was yet to be the foremost
editor in America, and a candidate, unwisely, for President of the
United States. Horace Greeley, for it was he, who sat before me, has
been often described as a man with the "face of an angel, and the walk
of a clod-hopper." Ten years later I became well acquainted with him,
and from that time a most cordial friendship existed until his dying
day. He visited me as a speaker at our State convention in Trenton, N.Y.
I had him at my house at supper when my mother asked him if he would
take coffee. His droll reply was: "I hope to drink coffee, madame, in
heaven, but I cannot stand it in this world." After supper I informed my
guest that it was customary for my good mother and myself (for I was not
yet married), to have family worship immediately at the close of that
meal and asked him whether he would not join us. He cordially replied
that he would be most happy to do so, and it is quite probable that I
may be one of the few,--perhaps the only--clergyman in this land who
ever had Horace Greeley kneeling beside him in prayer. He attired
himself in the famous old white coat, and shambled along with my mother
to the place of meeting. He quite captivated her with a most pathetic
account of his idolized boy "Pickie," who had died a short time before.
Mr. Greeley was one of the most simple-hearted, great men whom I have
ever met; without a spark of ordinary vanity he was intensely
affectionate in his sympathies and loved a genuine kind word that came
from the heart. He relished more a quiet talk with an old friend in his
home at Chappaqua than all the glare of public notoriety. "Come up," he
often said to me, "and spend a Saturday at the farm. The good boys do
come and see me up there sometimes." Probably no man lived a purer life
than Horace Greeley. He was the most devoted of husbands to one of the
most eccentric of wives. His defenses of the spiritual sanctity of
marriage in reply to Dale Owen are among the most powerful productions
of his ever powerful pen. It were well that they should be reproduced
now at a time when the laxity of wedlock and the wicked facilities for
divorce are working such peril to our domestic life.

John Bright once said: "Horace Greeley is the greatest of living
editors." He once told me that he had written editorials for a dozen
papers at one time. He also told me that while he was preparing his
history of the "American Conflict" he was in the habit of writing three
columns of editorials every day. His articles were freighted with great
power, for he was one of the strongest writers of the English language
on this continent. They were always brimful of thought, for Mr. Greeley
seldom wrote on any subject which he had not thoroughly mastered.
Speaking of a certain popular orator, who afterwards went as our
minister to China, he said to me: "Mr. B.---- is a pretty man, a very
pretty man, but he does not _study_, and no man ever can have permanent
power in this country unless he _studies_"

Mr. Greeley prided himself upon his accuracy as an editor, but one day,
when writing an editorial, in which he denounced some political
misdemeanor in the County of Chatauqua, by a slip of his pen he wrote
the name of the adjoining county Cattaraugus. The next morning when he
saw it in the paper he went up into the composing room in a perfect rage
and called out, "Who put that Cattaraugus?" The printers all gathered
around him amused at his anger until one of them pulling down from the
hook the original editorial showed him the word "Cattaraugus" "Uncle
Horace," when he saw the word, with a most inexpressible meekness,
drawled out: "Will some one please to kick me down those stairs?"

He abominated mendicancy and, although his native goodness of heart
often led him to give to the hundreds who came to him for pecuniary aid,
he one day said to me: "Since I have lived in New York I have given away
money enough to set up a merchant in business, and I sometimes doubt
whether I have done more good or harm by the operation. I am continually
beset by various clubs and societies all over the land to donate to them
the _Tribune_. I always tell them if it is worth reading it is worth
paying for. The curse of this country is the deadhead. I pay for my own
_Tribune_ every morning."

From my old friend's theology I strongly dissented, but in practical
philanthropy he gave me many a lesson and still better stimulant of his
own unselfish example. He was always ready to work in the cause of
reform without pay and without applause. When temperance meetings were
held in my church he very gladly lent his effective services, refusing
any compensation, and there was no man in the city whose evening hours
were worth more in solid gold than his. It is said that he was once
called upon, in the absence of his minister, in a Universalist Church,
to go into the pulpit. He did so, and delivered a very pungent sermon on
the text, "The fool hath said in his heart there is no God." The
strongest points made by Mr. Greeley in the best of his printed essays
are those which emphasize the authority of God. A letter in his
characteristic hieroglyphics, the last one he ever wrote to me, and
which now lies before me, was in reply to one of mine, criticising the
_Tribune_ for speaking of Dr. Tyng's as a "church" and of Dr. Adams's
house of worship as a "meeting house." I told him if one was a church,
then the other was equally so. He replied: "I am of Puritan stock, on
one side, in America since 1640, and on the other since 1720. My people
worshiped God in a meeting house; they gave it the name, not I, and they
called the body of believers who met therein 'a church.' Episcopalians
speak otherwise. It is a bad sign that we do not seem disposed to hold
fast the form of sound words."

I am not aware of any Scriptural authority for calling a steepled house
"a church."

The last evening I ever spent with him was at a temperance meeting of
plain working people, to which he came several miles through a snow
storm. He spoke with great power, and when I told him afterwards it was
one of the finest addresses I had ever heard from him he said to me: "I
would rather tell some truths to help such plain people as we had
to-night than address thousands of the cultured in the Academy of
Music." As he bade me good-night at yonder corner of Fulton Street, I
said to him: "Uncle Horace, will you not come and spend the night with
me?" He said, "No, I have much work to do before morning. I am coming
over soon to spend a week in Brooklyn with my brother-in-law, and I will
come and have a night with you." Alas, it was not long before he came to
spend a night in Brooklyn,--that night that knows no morning. On a
chilly November day, towards twilight, I was one of the crowd that
followed him to his resting place in Greenwood, and I always, when on my
way to my own plot, stop to gaze on the monument that bears the
inscription, _"Founder of the New York Tribune."_



An enormous quantity of books, historic and reminiscent, have been
written about our Civil War, which, both in regard to the number of
combatants engaged, and the magnitude of the interests involved, and its
far-reaching consequences, was the most colossal conflict of modern
times. Before presenting a few of my own personal recollections of the
struggle, let me say that when the struggle was over, no one was more
eager than myself to bury the tomahawk, and to offer the calumet of
peace to our Southern fellow countrymen and fellow Christians. Whenever
I have visited them their cordial greeting has warmed the cockles of my
heart. I thank God that the great gash has been so thoroughly healed,
and that I have lived to see the day when the people of the North feel a
national pride in the splendid prowess of Lee, and the heroic Christian
character of Stonewall Jackson, and when some of the noblest tributes to
Abraham Lincoln have been spoken by such representative Southerners as
Mr. Grady, of Georgia, and Mr. Watterson, of Kentucky. I had hoped ere
this to see the Northern and Southern wings of our venerable
Presbyterian Church reunited; but I am confident that there are plenty
of people now living who will yet witness their happy ecclesiastical
nuptials. Terrible as was that war in the sacrifice of precious life,
and in the destruction of property, it was unquestionably inevitable.
Mr. Seward was right when he called the conflict "irrepressible."
Abraham Lincoln was a true prophet when he declared, at Springfield,
Ill., in June, 1858, that "A house divided against itself cannot stand;
I believe this government cannot endure permanently half slave and half
free." When in my early life I spoke to my good mother about some
anti-slavery addresses that had been delivered, she said to me, with
wonderful foresight, "These speeches will avail but little; _slavery
will go down in blood."_ That it has gone down even at the cost of so
much blood and treasure is to-day as much a matter for congratulation in
the South as it is in the North.

My first glimpse of the long predicted conflict was the sight of the
Seventh Regiment,--composed of the flower of New York,--swinging down
Broadway in April, 1861, on its way to the protection of
Washington,--amid the thundering cheers of the bystanders. Before long I
offered my services to the "Christian commission" which had been
organized by that noble and godly minded patriot, George H. Stuart, of
Philadelphia, and I went on to Washington to preach to our soldiers. I
found Washington a huge military encampment; the hills around were white
with tents, and Pennsylvania Avenue was filled almost every day with
troops of horsemen, or with trains of artillery. While I was in
Washington I lodged with my beloved college professor, that eminent
Christian philosopher, Joseph Henry,--in the Smithsonian Institution, of
which he was the head. One night, after I had been out addressing our
boys in blue at one of the camps, and had retired for the night,
Professor Henry came into my room and, sitting down by my bed, discussed
the aspects of the struggle. His mental eye was as sharp in reading the
signs of the times as it had been when at Albany, thirty years before,
he made his splendid discovery in electro-magnetism. He said to me:
"This war may last several years, but it can have only one result, for
it is simply a question of dynamics. The stronger force must pulverize
the weaker one, and the North will win the day. When the war is over,
the country will not be what it was before; the triumph of the union
will leave us a prodigiously centralized government, and the old Calhoun
theory of 'State rights' will be dead. We shall have an inflated
currency--an enormous debt with a host of tax-gatherers, and huge
pension rolls. What is most needed now is wise statesmanship, and the
first quality of a statesman is _prescience_. In my position here, as
head of the Smithsonian, I cannot be a partisan! I did not vote the
Republican ticket, but I am confident that by a long way the most
far-seeing head in this land is on the shoulders of that awkward
rail-splitter from Illinois." Every syllable of Professor Henry's
prognostication proved true, and nothing more true than his estimate of
Lincoln at a time when there was too much disposition to distrust him.

As I have had for many years what my friends have playfully called
"Lincoln on the brain," let me say a few words in regard to the most
marvellous man that this country has produced in the nineteenth century.
His name is to-day a household word in every civilized land. Dr. Newman
Hall, of London, has told me that when he had addressed a listless
audience, he found that nothing was so certain to arouse them as to
introduce the name of Abraham Lincoln. Certainly no other name has such
electric power over every true heart from Maine to Mexico. The first
time I ever saw the man whom we used to call, familiarly and
affectionately, "Uncle Abe," was at the Tremont House in Chicago, a few
days after his election to the presidency. His room was very near my
own. I sent in my card, and he greeted me with a characteristic grasp of
the hand, and his first sentence rather touched my soft spot when he
said: "I have kept up with you nearly every week in the _New York
Independent_." His voice had a clear, magnetic ring, and his heart
seemed to be in his voice. Three months afterwards I saw him again,
riding down Broadway, New York (thronged with a gazing multitude), on
his way to assume the presidency at Washington. He stood up in a
barouche holding on with his hand to the seat of the driver. His
towering figure was filled out by a long blue cloak, and a heavy cape
which he wore. On his bare head rose a thick mass of black hair--the
crown which nature gave to her king. His large, melancholy eyes had a
solemn, far-away look as if he discerned the toils and trials that
awaited him. The great patriot-President, moving slowly on toward the
conflict, the glory and the martyrdom, that were reserved for him, still
remains in my memory, as the most august and majestic figure that my
eyes have ever beheld. He never passed through New York again until he
was borne through tears and broken hearts on his last journey to his
Western tomb.

I did not see Lincoln again until two years afterwards, when I was in
Washington on duty for the Christian Commission. It was one of his
public levee nights, and as soon as I came up to him, his first words
were: "Doctor, I have not seen you since we met in the Tremont House in
Chicago." I mention this as an illustration of his marvelous memory; he
never forgot a face or a name or the slightest incident. My mother was
with me at the Smithsonian, and as she was extremely desirous to see the
President I took her over to the White House late on the following
afternoon. In those war times, when Washington was a camp, the White
House looked more like an army barracks than the Presidential mansion.
In the entrance hall that day were piles of express boxes, among which
was a little lad playing and tumbling them about. "Will you go and find
somebody to take our cards?" said my mother to the child. He ran off and
brought the Irishman, whose duty it was to receive callers at the door.
That was the same Irishman who, when the poor soldier's wife was going
in to plead for her husband's pardon of a capital offense he had
committed, said to her: "Be sure to take your baby in with you." When
she came out smiling and happy, Patrick said to her: "Ah, ma'am, _'twas
the baby that did it_."

The shockingly careless appearance of the White House proved that
whatever may have been Mrs. Lincoln's other good qualities, she hadn't
earned the compliment which the Yankee farmer paid to his wife when he
said: "Ef my wife haint got an ear fer music, she's got an eye fer
dirt." When we reached the room of the President's Private Secretary,
my old friend, the Rev. Mr. Neill, of St. Paul's, told me that it was
military court day, when the President had to decide upon cases of army
discipline that came before him and when he received no calls. I told
Neill that my mother could never die happy if she had not seen Lincoln.
He took in our names to the President, who told him to bring us in. We
entered the room in which the Cabinet usually met--and there, before the
fire, stood the tall, gaunt form attired in a seedy frock-coat, with his
long hair unkempt, and his thin face the very picture of distress. "How
is Mrs. Lincoln?" inquired my mother. "Oh," said the President, "I have
not seen her since seven o'clock this morning; Tad, how is your mother?"
"She is pretty well," replied the little fellow, who was coiled up then
in an arm chair, the same lad we had seen playing down in the entrance
hall. We spent but a few moments with Mr. Lincoln, and when we came out
my mother exclaimed: "Oh, what a cruelty to keep that man here! Did you
ever see such a sad face in your life?" I never had, and I have given
this account of my call on him in order that my readers may not only
understand what democratic customs then prevailed in the White House,
but may get some faint idea of the terribly trying life that Mr. Lincoln

Dr. Bellows, the President of the Sanitary Commission, once said to him:
"Mr. President, I am here at almost every hour of the day or night, and
I never saw you at the table, do you ever eat?" "I try to," replied the
President; "I manage to browse about pretty much as I can get it." After
the long wearing, nerve-taxing days were over in which he was glad to
relieve himself occasionally with a good story or a merry laugh, came
the nights of anxiety when sleep was often banished from his pillow. He
frequently wrapped himself in his Scotch shawl, and at midnight stole
across to the War Office, and listened to the click of the telegraph
instruments, which brought sometimes good news, and sometimes terrible
tales of defeat. On the day after he heard of the awful slaughter at
Fredericksburg, he remarked at the War Office: "If any of the lost in
hell suffered worse than I did last night, I pity them." Nothing but
iron nerves and a dependence on the divine arm bore him through. He once
said: "I have been driven many times to my knees by the overwhelming
conviction that I had nowhere else to go; my own wisdom and that of all
around me seemed insufficient for the day." We call him "Our Martyr
President," but the martyrdom lasted for four whole years!

The darkest crisis of the whole war was in the summer of 1862. I slipped
away for a few weeks of relaxation to Europe, sailing on the Cunarder
_China_, the first screw steamer ever built by that company. She was
under the command of Captain James Anderson, who was afterwards knighted
by Queen Victoria for his services in laying the Atlantic cable, and is
better known as Sir James Anderson. There was no Atlantic cable in those
days, and our steamer carried out the news of the seven days' battles
before Richmond, which terminated in the retreat of General McClellan.
We had a Fourth of July dinner on board, but between seasickness and
heart sickness it was the toughest experience of making a spread-eagle
speech I ever had. After landing at Queenstown I went to Belfast and
thence to Edinburgh. I found the people of Edinburgh intensely excited
over our war and the current of popular sentiment running against us
like a mill-race. For instance, I was recognized by my soft hat on the
street; a shoemaker put his head out of the door and shouted as I
passed: "I say, when are you going to be done with your butchering over
there?" The _Scotsman_ was hostile to the Union cause, and the old
_Caledonian Mercury_ was the only paper that stood by us; but it did so
manfully. On the day of my arrival a bulletin was posted in the
newspaper offices and on Change that McClellan and the Union army had
surrendered. The baleful report was received with no little exultation
by all who were engaged in the cotton trade. I sat up until midnight
with the editor of the _Mercury_, helping him to squelch the rumor and
the next morning expose the falsity of the news in his columns.

Dr. John Brown, the immortal author of "Rab and His Friends," had called
on me at the Waverly Hotel, and that morning I breakfasted with him. At
the breakfast table I made a statement of our side of the conflict and
Dr. Brown said: "If you will write up that statement, I will get my
friend, Mr. Russell, the editor of the _Scotsman_, to publish it in his
paper." I did so and sent it to the care of Dr. Brown. On the following
Sabbath afternoon I attended the great prayer meeting in the Free Church
Assembly Hall, and Sir James Simpson was to preside. There was a crowd
of over a thousand people present. Simpson did not come, and so some
other elder occupied the chair. During the meeting I arose and modestly
asked that prayer might be offered for my country in this hour of her
peril and distress. There was an awful silence! In a few moments the
chairman meekly said: "Perhaps our American friend will offer the prayer
himself." I did so, for it was evident that all the Scotchmen present
considered our cause past praying for.

On the morning of our departure my letter appeared in the _Scotsman_
accompanied by a long and bitter reply by the editor. Within a week
several of the Scotch newspapers were in full cry, denouncing that
"bloody Presbyterian minister from America."

After a hurried run to Switzerland I reached Paris in time to witness
the celebration of the imperial birthday and to see Louis Napoleon
review the splendid army of Italy with great pomp, on the Champs des
Mars. It was a magnificent spectacle. That day Mr. Slidell, the
representative of the Southern Confederacy, hung on the front of his
house an immense white canvas on which was inscribed: "Jefferson Davis,
the First President of the Confederate States of America." Our
ambassador, Hon. William L. Dayton, was a relative of mine, and I had
several conversations with him about the perilous situation of affairs
at home. Dayton said: "Our prospects are dark enough. All the monarchs
and aristocracies are against us; all the cotton and commercial
interests are against us. Emperor Louis Napoleon is a sphinx, but he
would like to help to acknowledge the Southern Confederacy. If he does
so Belgium and other powers will join him; they will break the blockade;
they will supply the Confederates with arms and then we must fight
Europe as well as the Southern States. Our only real friends are men
like John Bright, and those who believe that we are fighting for freedom
as well as for our National Union. Mr. Lincoln must declare for
emancipation and unless he does it within thirty days, I have written
to Mr. Seward that our cause is lost."

I returned to London with a heavy heart; all of our friends there with
whom I conversed echoed the sentiments of Mr. Dayton. One of them said
to me: "Earl Russell has no especial love for your Union, but he
abominates negro slavery, and is very reluctant to acknowledge a new
slave-owning government. Prince Albert and the Queen are friendly to
you, but you must emancipate the slaves."

My return passage from Liverpool was on board the _Asia_, and Captain
Anderson commanded her for that voyage. When we reached Boston, we heard
the distressing news of the second Battle of Bull Run, and our prospects
were black as midnight. Captain Anderson remarked to me, in a
compassionate tone: "Well, Mr. Cuyler, you Yankees had better give it up
now." "Never, never," I replied to him. "You will live to see the Union
restored and slavery extinguished." He laughed at me and bid me
"good-bye." A few years afterwards, I laughed back again when I met him
in New York.

On Sunday evening, September 7, I addressed a vast crowd in my own
Lafayette Avenue Church, and told them frankly, that our only hope was
in a proclamation for freedom by President Lincoln. Henry Ward Beecher
invited me to repeat my address on the next Sunday evening in Plymouth
Church. I did so and the house was packed clear out to the sidewalk. At
the end of my address Mr. Beecher leaned over and said: "The Lord helped
you to-night." When the meeting closed Mr. Henry C. Bowen said, "Will
you and Mr. Beecher not start for Washington to-morrow morning to urge
Mr. Lincoln to proclaim emancipation?" We both agreed to go before the
week was over, but could not before. On the Wednesday of that very week
the Battle of Antietam was fought, and on the Friday morning we opened
our papers and read President Lincoln's first Proclamation of
Emancipation. The great deed was done; the night was over; the morning
had dawned. From that day onward our cause, under God, was saved; but
that proclamation saved the Union. No foreign power dared to oppose us
after that, and Gettysburg sealed the righteous act of Lincoln, the
Liberator, and decided the victory.

At the beginning of this chapter I described the thrilling scenes at the
opening of the conflict; let me now narrate a still more thrilling one
at its termination. The war began by the surrender of Fort Sumter by
Major Anderson, April 13, 1861; the war virtually ended by the
restoration of the national flag by the same hand in the same Fort, on
April 14, 1865.

I joined an excursion party from New York, on the steamer _Oceanus_,
and we went down to witness the impressive ceremonies in Sumter. We
found Charleston a scene of wretched desolation, and General Sherman,
who had once resided there, said he had never realized the horrors of
war until he had seen the terrible ruins of that once beautiful city. At
the time of my writing, now, Charleston is crowded every day with
visitors to its industrial Exposition, and the President is received
with ovations by its people.

Our party went over to Fort Sumter in a steamer commanded by a negro,
who was an emancipated slave, but very soon became a member of Congress.
The broken walls of Sumter, brown, battered and lonely in the quiet
waves were hopelessly scarred, and all around it on the narrow beach lay
a stratum of bullets and broken iron several inches deep.

The Fort that day was crowded with an immense assemblage. Among them
were the Hon. Henry Wilson, afterwards Vice-President, and
Attorney-General Holt, Judge Hoxie, of New York, William Lloyd Garrison
and George Thompson, the famous member of the English Parliament, who
had once been mobbed for his anti-slavery speech in this country.
General S.L. Woodford was in command for the day. Dr. Richard S. Storrs
offered an impressive prayer, and the oration was delivered by
direction of the Government, by Henry Ward Beecher. When the speech was
completed, Major Anderson drew out from a mail bag the identical bunting
that he had lowered four years before, and attached the flag to the
halyards, and when it began to ascend, General Gilmore grasped the rope
behind him, and, as it came along to our part of the platform several of
us grasped it also. Mr. Thompson shouted, "Give John Bull a hold of that
rope." When the dear old flag reached the summit of the staff, and its
starry eyes looked out over the broad harbor, such a volley of cannon
from ship and shore burst forth that one might imagine the old battle of
the Monitors was being fought over again.

The frantic scene inside the Fort beggars description. We grasped hands
and shouted and my irrepressible old friend, Hoxie, of New York, with
tears in his eyes, embraced one after another, exclaiming: "This is the
greatest day of my life!" In the rainbow of those stars and stripes we
read that day the covenant that the deluge of blood was ended, and that
the ark of freedom had rested at length upon its Ararat.

On the next day I addressed a thousand negro children, and when I
enquired, "May I send an invitation to the good Abraham Lincoln to come
down and visit you?" one thousand little black hands went up with a
shout. Alas, we knew not that at that very hour their beloved
benefactor was lying cold and silent in the East room at Washington! At
Fortress Monroe, on our homeward voyage, the terrible tidings of the
President's assassination pierced us like a dagger, on the wharf. Near
the Fortress poor negro women had hung pieces of coarse black muslin
around every little huckster's tables. "Yes, sah, Fathah Lincum's dead.
Dey killed our bes' fren, but God be libben; dey can't kill Him, I's sho
ob dat." Her simple childlike faith seemed to reach up and grasp the
everlasting arm which had led Lincoln while leading her race "out of the
house of bondage."

Upon our arrival in New York, we found the city draped in black, and
"the mourners going about the streets." When the remains of the murdered
President reached New York they were laid in state in the City Hall for
one day and night, and during that whole night the procession passed the
coffin--never ceasing for a moment. Between three and four o'clock in
the morning I took my family there, that they might see the face of our
beloved martyr, and we had to take our place in a line as far away as
Park Row. It is impossible to give any adequate description of the
funeral--whose like was never seen before or since--when eminent
authors, clergymen, judges and distinguished civilians walked on foot
through streets, shrouded in black to the house tops. The whole journey
to Springfield, Ill., was one constant manifestation of poignant grief.
The people rose in the night, simply to see the funeral train pass by. I
do not wonder that when Emperor Alexander, of Russia (who was himself
afterwards assassinated) heard the tidings of our President's death from
an American Ambassador, he leaped from his chair, and exclaimed, "Good
God, can it be so? He was the noblest man alive."

Thirty-seven years have passed away, and to-day while our nation reveres
the name of Washington, as the Father of his Country; Abraham Lincoln is
the best loved man that ever trod this continent. The Almighty educated
him in His own Providence for his high mission. The "plain people," as
he called them, were his University; the Bible and John Bunyan were his
earliest text-books. Sometimes his familiarity with the Scriptures came
out very amusingly as when a deputation of bankers called on him, to
negotiate for a loan to the Government, and one of them said to him:
"You know, Mr. President, where the treasure is, there will the heart be
also." "I should not wonder," replied Lincoln, "if another text would
not fit the case better, 'Where the carcass is, there will the eagles be
gathered together,'" His innumerable jests contained more wisdom than
many a philosopher's maxims, and underneath his plebeian simplicity,
dress and manners, this great child of nature possessed the most
delicate instincts of the perfect gentleman. The only just scale by
which to measure any man is the scale of actual achievement; and in
Lincoln's case some of the most essential instruments had to be
fabricated by himself.

The first account in the measurement of the man is that with a sublime
reliance on God, he conducted an immense nation through the most
tremendous civil war ever waged, and never committed a single serious
mistake. The Illinois backwoodsman did not possess Hamilton's brilliant
genius, yet Hamilton never read the future more sagaciously. He made no
pretension to Webster's magnificent oratory; yet Webster never put more
truth in portable form for popular guidance. He possessed Benjamin
Franklin's immense common sense, and gift of terse proverbial speech,
but none of his lusts and sceptical infirmities. The immortal
twenty-line address at Gettysburg is the high water mark of sententious
eloquence. With that speech should be placed the pathetic and equally
perfect letter of condolence to Mrs. Bixby of Boston after her five sons
had fallen in battle. With that speech also should be read that
wonderful second Inaugural address which even the hostile _London Times_
pronounced to be the most sublime state paper of the century. This
second address--his last great production--contained some of the best
illustrations of his fondness for balanced antithesis and rhythmical
measurement. There is one sentence which may be rendered into rhyme:

   "Fondly do we hope,
   Fervently do we pray
   That this mighty scourge of war
   May soon pass away"

Terrible as was the tragedy of that April night, thirty-seven years ago,
it may be still true that Lincoln died at the right time for his own
imperishable fame. It was fitting that his own precious blood should be
the last to be shed in the stupendous struggle He had called over two
hundred thousand heroes to lay down their lives and then his own was
laid down beside the humblest private soldier, or drummer boy, that
filled the sacred mould of Gettysburg and Chickamauga. In an instant, as
it were, his career crystalized into that pure white fame which belongs
only to the martyr for justice, law and liberty. For more than a
generation his ashes have slumbered in his beloved home at Springfield,
and as the hearts of millions of the liberated turn toward that tomb,
they may well say to their liberator: "We were hungry and thou gavest us
the bread of sympathy; we were thirsty for liberty and thou gavest us to
drink; we were strangers, and thou didst take us in; we were sick with
two centuries of sorrow, and thou didst visit us; we were in the
oppressive house of bondage, and thou earnest unto us;" and the response
of Christendom is: "Well done, good and faithful servant, enter into the
joy of the Lord."

In closing this chapter of my reminiscences, I may be allowed to express
my strong conviction that our Congress, impelled by generous feeling,
and what they regarded as a democratic principle of government,
committed a serious error in bestowing the right of suffrage
indiscriminately upon the male negro population of the South. A man who
had been all his life an ignorant "chattel personal" was suddenly
transformed into a sovereign elector. Instead of this precipitate
legislation, it would have been wiser to restrict the suffrage to those
who acquire a proper education, and perhaps also a certain amount of
taxable property. This policy would have avoided unhappy friction
between the races, and, what is more important, it would have offered a
powerful inducement to every colored man to fit himself for the honor
and grave responsibility of full citizenship. At this time one of the
noblest efforts made by wise philanthropy is that of educating,
elevating and evangelizing our colored fellow countrymen of the South.
To help the negro to help himself, is the key-note of these efforts. The
time is coming--yea, it has come already--when to the name of Abraham
Lincoln, the grateful negro will add the names of their best benefactor,
General Samuel C. Armstrong (the founder of Hampton Institute) and
Booker T. Washington.



The work of the faithful minister covers all the round week. On the one
day he teaches his people in the house of God, on the remaining days he
teaches and guides them in their own houses and wherever he may happen
to meet them. His labors, therefore, are twofold; the work of the
preacher and the work of the pastor. The two ought to be inseparable;
what the Providence of God and good common sense have joined together
let no man venture to put asunder. The great business of every true
minister is the winning of souls to Jesus Christ, and to bring them up
in godly living. In other words, to make bad men good, and good men
better. All this cannot be accomplished by two sermons a week, even if
they were the best that Paul himself could deliver; in fact, the best
part of Paul's recorded work was quite other than public preaching. As
for our blessed Master, He has left one extended discourse and a few
shorter ones, but oh, how many narratives we have of His personal
visits, personal conversation and labors of love with the sick, the
sinning, and the suffering! He was the shepherd who knew every sheep in
the flock. The importance of all that portion of a minister's work that
lies outside of his pulpit can hardly be overestimated. The great
element of power with every faithful ambassador of Christ should be
heart-power and the secret of popularity is to take an interest in
everybody. A majority of all congregations, rich or poor, is reached,
not so much through the intellect as through the affections. This is an
encouraging fact, that while only one man in ten may have been born to
become a very great preacher, the other nine, if they love their Master
and love human souls, can become great pastors. Nothing gives a minister
such heart-power as personal acquaintance and personal attention to
those whom he aims to influence; especially his personal attention will
be welcome in seasons of trial. Let the pastor make himself at home in
everybody's home. Let him go often to visit their sick rooms and kneel
beside their empty cribs, and comfort their broken hearts, and pray with
them. Let him go to the business men of his congregation when they have
suffered reverses, and give them a word of cheer; let him be quick to
recognize the poor and the children, and he will weave a cord around the
hearts of his people that will stand a prodigious pressure. His inferior
sermons (for every minister is guilty of such occasionally) will be
kindly condoned, and he can launch the most pungent truths at his
auditors, and they will not take offense. He will have won their hearts
to himself, and that is a great step toward drawing them to the house of
God and winning their souls to the Saviour. "A house-going minister,"
said Chalmers, "makes a church-going people." There is still one other
potent argument for close intercourse with his congregation that many
ministers are in danger of ignoring or underestimating. James Russell
Lowell has somewhere said that books are, at best, but dry fodder, and
that we need to be vitalized by contact with living people. The best
practical discourses often are those which a congregation help their
minister to prepare. By constant and loving intercourse with the
individuals of his church he becomes acquainted with their
peculiarities, and this enlarges his knowledge of human nature. It is
second only to a knowledge of God's Word. If a minister is a wise man
(and neither God nor man has any use for fools) he will be made wiser by
the lessons and suggestions which he can gain from constant and close
intercourse with the immortal beings to whom he preaches.

In Dundee, Scotland, I conversed with a gray-headed member of St.
Peter's Presbyterian Church who, in his youth, listened to the sainted
Robert Murray McCheyne. He spoke of him with the deepest reverence and
love; but the one thing that he remembered after forty-six years was
that Mr. McCheyne, a few days before his death, met him on the street
and, laying hand upon his shoulder, said to him kindly: "Jamie, I hope
it is well with your soul. How is your sick sister? I am going to see
her again shortly." That sentence or two had stuck to the old Christian
for over forty years. It had grappled his pastor to him, and this little
narrative gave me a fresh insight into McCheyne's wonderful power. His
ministry was most richly successful, and largely because he kept in
touch with his people, and was a great pastor as well as a great

I determined from the very start in my ministry that I would be a
thorough pastor. A very celebrated preacher once said to me: "I envy you
your love for pastoral work, I would not do it if I could, I could not
do it if I would; for a single hour with a family in trouble uses up
more of my vitality than to prepare a sermon." My reply to him was:
"That may be true, but, after all, the business of a minister is to
endure these strains upon his nervous system if he would be a comforter,
as well as the teacher of his people."

My practice was this: I devoted the forenoon of every day, except
Monday, to the preparation of my discourses. My motto was: "Study God's
Word in the morning, and door-plates in the afternoon." I found the
physical exercise in itself a benefit, and the spiritual benefits were
ten-fold more. I secured and kept a complete record of the whereabouts
of all my congregation and requested from the pulpit that prompt
information be given me of any change of residence, and also of any case
of sickness or trouble of any kind. I encouraged my people to send me
word when there was any case of religious interest in their families or
any matter of importance to discuss with me. In short, I endeavored to
treat my flock exactly as though they were my own family, and to be
perfectly at home in their homes. I managed to visit every family at
least once in each year and as much oftener as circumstances required.
As I had no "loafing" places, I easily got through my congregation,
which, in Brooklyn, numbered several hundreds of families.

Spurgeon had an assistant pastor for his immense flock, but he made it a
rule to visit the sick or dying on as many occasions as possible. He
once said from his pulpit: "I have been this week to visit two of my
church members who were near Eternity, and both of them were as happy as
if they were going to a wedding. Oh, it makes me preach like a lion when
I see how my people can die."

It was always my custom to take a particular neighborhood, and to call
upon every parishioner in that street, or district, but I seldom found
it wise to send word in advance to any family, that I would visit them
on a certain day or hour, for I might be prevented from going, and thus
subject them to disappointment; consequently, I had to run the risk of
finding them at home. If they were out I left my card, and tried again
at another time. In calling on my people unawares, I found it depended
upon myself to secure a cordial welcome, for I went in with a hearty
salutation and asked them to allow me to sit down with them wherever
they were, regardless of dress or ceremony, and soon I found myself
perfectly at home with them. No one should be so welcome as a faithful
pastor. I encouraged them to talk about the affairs of our church, about
the Sabbath services, and the truths preached, and the influences that
Sabbath messages were having upon them. In this way I have discovered
whether or not the shots were striking; for the gunnery that hits no one
is not worth the powder.

Fishing for compliments is beneath any man of common sense, but it does
cheer the pastor's heart to be told, "Your sermon last Sunday brought me
a great blessing; it helped me all the week." Or better still, "Your
sermon brought me to decide for Christ." In a careful and delicate way,
I drew out our people in regard to their spiritual condition, and if I
found that any member of the family was anxious about his or her soul, I
managed to have a private and unreserved conversation with that person.
It is well for every minister to be careful how he guards the confidence
reposed in him. The family physician and the family pastor often have to
know some things they do not like to know, but they never should allow
any one else to know them.

This intimate, personal intercourse with my flock enabled me more than
once to bring the undecided to a decision for Christ. In dealing with
such cases, whether in the home or in the inquiry-room, I aimed to
discover just what hindrance was in the path of each awakened soul. It
is a great point also for such a one to discover what it is that keeps
him or her from surrendering to Christ. If it be some habit or some evil
practice, that must be given up; if some heart sin, that we must yield,
even if it be like plucking out an eye or lopping off a right hand. It
was my aim, and ever has been, to convince every awakened person that
unless he or she was willing to give the heart to Jesus and to do His
will there was no hope for them. We must shut every soul up to Christ.

I requested my people to inform me promptly of every case of serious
sickness, and I could never be too prompt in responding to such a call.
However busy I might be in preparing sermons or any commendable
occupation everything else was laid aside. For a pastor should be as
quick to respond to a call of sickness as an ambulance is to reach the
scene of disaster. I sometimes found that a parishioner had been
suddenly attacked with dangerous illness and even my entrance in the
sick room might agitate the patient. At such times I found it necessary
to use all the tact and delicacy and discretion at my command. I would
never needlessly endanger a sick person by efforts to guide or console
an immortal spirit. I aimed to make my words few, calm and tender, and
make every syllable to point toward Jesus Christ. Whoever the sufferer
may be, saint or sinner, his failing vision should be directed to "no
man save Jesus only" It is not commonly the office of the pastor to tell
the patient that his or her disease is assuredly fatal, but if we know
that death is near, in the name of the Master, let us be faithful as
well as tender.

There are many cases of extreme and critical illness when the presence
of even the most loving pastor may be an unwise intrusion. An excellent
Christian lady who had been twice apparently on the brink of death said
to me: "Never enter the room of a person who is extremely low, unless
the person urgently requests you to, or unless spiritual necessity
absolutely compels it. You have no idea how the sight of a new face
agitates the sufferer, and how you may unconsciously and unintentionally
rob that sufferer of the little life that is fluttering in the feeble
frame," I felt grateful to the good woman for her advice, and have often
acted upon it, when the family have unwisely importuned me to do what
would have been more harmful than beneficial. On some occasions, when I
have found a sick room crowded by well-meaning but needless intruders, I
have taken the liberty to "put them all forth," as our Master did in
that chamber in which the daughter of Jairus was in the death slumber.

A great portion of the time and attention which I bestowed upon the sick
was spent on chronic sufferers, who had been confined to their beds of
weariness for months or years. I visited them as often as possible. Some
of those bedridden sufferers were prisoners of Jesus Christ, who did me
quite as much good as I could possibly do them. What eloquent sermons
they preached to me on the beauty of submissive patience and on the
supporting power of the "Everlasting arms!" Such interviews strengthened
my faith, softened my heart, and infused into it something of the spirit
of Him who "Took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses." McCheyne, of
Dundee, said that before preaching on the Sabbath he sometimes visited
some parishioner, who might be lying extremely low, for he found it good
"to take a look over the verge."

In my pastoral rounds I sometimes had an opportunity to do more
execution in a single talk than in a score of sermons. I once spent an
evening in a vain endeavor to bring a man to a decision for Christ.
Before I left, he took me up-stairs to the nursery, and showed me his
beautiful children in their cribs. I said to him tenderly: "Do you mean
that these sweet children shall never have any help from their father to
get to Heaven?" He was deeply moved, and in a month that man became an
active member of my church. He was glued to me in affection for all the
remainder of his useful life. On a cold winter evening I made a call on
a wealthy merchant in New York. As I left his door, and the piercing
gale swept in I said, "What an awful night for the poor!" He went back,
and bringing to me a roll of bank bills, he said: "Please hand these,
for me, to the poorest people you know of." After a few days I wrote to
him, sending him the grateful thanks of the poor whom his bounty had
relieved, and added: "How is it that a man who is so kind to his fellow
creatures has always been so unkind to his Saviour as to refuse Him his
heart?" That sentence touched him in the core. He sent for me
immediately to come and converse with him. He speedily gave his heart to
Christ, united with, and became a most useful member of our church. But
he told me I was the first person who had ever spoken to him about his
spiritual welfare in nearly twenty years. In the case of this eminently
effective and influential Christian, one hour of pastoral work did more
than the pulpit efforts of almost a lifetime.



_Binney.--Hamilton--Guthrie.--Hall.--Spurgeon.--Duff and others_

In attempting to recall my recollections of the eminent preachers whom I
have known, I hardly know where to begin, or where to call a halt. I
shall confine myself entirely to those who are no longer living, except
as they may live in the memory of the service they wrought for their
Divine Master and their fellow men. When I first visited London, in
early September, 1842, the two ministers most widely known to Americans
were Henry Melvill and Thomas Binney. Melvill was the most popular
preacher in the Established Church. His place of worship was out at
Camberwell, and I found it so packed that I had to get a seat on one of
the steps in the gallery. He was a man of elegant bearing, and rolled
out his ornate sentences in a somewhat theatrical tone, but the hushed
audience drank in every syllable greedily. The splendid and thoroughly
evangelical sermons which he orated most carefully were exceedingly
popular in those days, and even yet they are well worth reading as
superb specimens of lofty, devout and resonant oratory. On a very warm
Sabbath evening I went into the business end of London to the "Weigh
House Chapel" and heard Dr. Thomas Binney. He was the leader of
Congregationalism, as Melvill was of the Church of England. On that warm
evening the audience was small, but the discourse was prodigiously
large. Binney had a kingly countenance, and a most unique delivery. His
topic was Psalm 147th, 3d and 4th verses. "God is the Creator of the
universe, and the comforter of the sorrowing." He thrust one hand into
his breeches pocket, and then ran his other hand through his hair, and
began his sermon with the stirring words: "The Jew has conquered the
world!" This was the prelude to a grand eulogy of the Psalms of David.
He then unfolded the first part of his text in a most original style,
made a long pause, scratched his head again, and said: "Now then, let us
take some new thoughts, and then we are done." The closing portion of
the rich discourse was on the tender consolations of our Heavenly

Thirty years afterwards Dr. Binney was invited to meet me at breakfast
at the house of Dr. Hall, with "Tom Hughes," Dr. Henry Allon and other
notabilities. The noble veteran chatted very serenely, and offered a
most majestic prayer while he remained sitting in his arm-chair. His
physical disabilities made it difficult for him to stand; and very soon
afterwards the grand old man went up to his crown. When I was spending
two delightful days with Dr. McLaren, of Manchester, I described to him
Binney's remarkable sermon. "Were you there that night?" inquired
McLaren. "So was I, and though only a boy of sixteen, I remember the
whole of that discourse to this hour." It was certainly a rare pulpit
power that could fasten a discourse in two different memories for a
whole half century.

Do many of the Londoners of this day remember Dr. James Hamilton, the
pastor of the Presbyterian Church in Regent's Square? They should do so,
for in his time he was the most popular devotional writer of both sides
of the Atlantic; and during my visit to London, in 1857, I was very
happy to form his acquaintance. He was a most cordial and charming man,
slender, tall, with dark eyes and hair, and a beaming countenance. When
one entered Hamilton's study he would hurry forward, seize his hands,
and taking both in his, reply to your "How do you do, sir," with "Come
in, come in; I am nicely, I assure ye." Would that all ministers were as
cordial and approachable. When I attended his church in Regent Square
they were singing, when I came in, a Psalm from the old Scotch Version.
The choristers sat in a desk below the pulpit. The singing was general
through the church, and excellent in style. Dr. Hamilton preached in a
gown, and, as the heat grew oppressive in the middle of his sermon,
threw it off. The discourse was delivered with extremely awkward
gestures, but in a voice of great sweetness. The text was: "My soul
thirsteth for the Living God." He described an arid wilderness, hot and
parched, and down beneath it a mighty vein of water into which an
artesian well was bored, and forthwith the waters gushed up through it
and swept over all the dry desert, making it one emerald meadow. "So,"
said he, "it is the incarnate Jesus flowing up through our own dusty,
barren desert humanity, and overflowing us with Heavenly life and grace,
until what was once dreary and dead becomes a fruitful garden of the
Lord." The discourse was like a chapter from one of Hamilton's savory
volumes. Five years afterwards, I dined with Hamilton, and the Rev.
William Arnot (who afterwards was his biographer), and I went to his
church to deliver the preparatory discourse to the sacrament on the next

On my way up to London, I halted one night at Birmingham, and while out
on a stroll, came upon the City Hall, which was crowded with a great
meeting in aid of foreign missions. The heroic Robert Moffat, the
Apostle of South Africa, was addressing the multitude, who cheered him
in the old English fashion. Two years before that, Robert Moffat had met
a young man in a boarding house in Aldersgate Street, London, and
induced him to become a missionary in Africa. The young man was the
sublimest of all modern missionaries, David Livingstone. Two years after
that evening, Livingstone married Miss Mary Moffat (daughter of the man
to whom I was listening), in South Africa, and she became the sharer of
his trials and explorations. After Moffat had concluded his speech, a
broad-shouldered, merry-faced man, with thick grey hair rose on the
platform. "Who is that?" I inquired of my next neighbor. With a look of
surprise that I should ask such a question in Birmingham, he said: "It
is John Angell James." He was the man whom Dr. Cox wittily described as
"An angel vinculated between two Apostles." He spoke very forcibly, in a
hearty, humorous vein, and I could hardly understand how such a jovial
old gentleman could be the author of such a serious work as "The Anxious
Inquirer." But I have since discovered that many of the most solemn and
impressive preachers were men of most cheery temperament who could laugh
heartily themselves when they were not making other people weep. Mr.
James looked like an old sea captain; but he was an admirable pilot of
awakened souls, whom thousands will bless through all eternity.

Dr. Thomas Guthrie, of Edinburgh, was once pronounced by the _London
Times_ to be "The most eloquent man in Europe." Ruskin, Thackeray,
Macaulay, and other men of renown joined in the crowd that thronged St.
John's Church when they were in Edinburgh; and a highland drover was
once so excited that in the middle of a powerful sermon he called out:
"Naw, sirs, heard ye ever the like o' that?" My good wife made a run to
Edinburgh while I was stopping behind in England, and on her return to
me almost her first word was, "I have heard Guthrie; I am spoiled for
every one else as long as I live." Guthrie, "Lang Tam" (as the toughs on
the "Cowgate" in Edinburgh used to call him), was built for a great
orator. He was more than six feet high, and would be picked out in any
crowd as one of God's royal family. I once said to him: "You remind us
Americans of our famous statesman, Henry Clay," There was a striking
resemblance in the long-armed figure, the broad mouth and lofty brow,
and still more in the rich melody of voice, and magnetic rush of
electric eloquence, "There must certainly be a personal likeness,"
replied the Doctor, "for not long ago I went into the house of Mr.
Norris, who came here from America, and said to myself, 'There is my
portrait on the wall,' but when I came nearer I espied under it the
name of 'Henry Clay.'" He used to say that in preaching he aimed at the
three P's: Prove, Paint and Persuade. His painting with the tongue was
as vivid as Rembrandt's painting with the brush. When I went to
Edinburgh, in 1872, as a delegate to the two Presbyterian General
Assemblies, Dr. Guthrie invited me to dine with him, and the gifted Dr.
John Ker, of Glasgow, was in the company. After dinner, Guthrie
literally took the floor, and poured out a flow of charming talk,
interspersed with racy Scotch anecdotes. Among others told was one about
the old Highland woman who said to him: "Doctor, nane of your modern
improvements for me. I want naething but good old Dauvid's Psalms, and I
want'em all sung to Dauvid's tunes, too." On the evening when I
addressed the Free Church Assembly, I was obliged to pass, on my way to
the platform, the front bench, on which sat the veteran missionary,
Alexander Duff, Principal Rainy, William Arnot, Dr. Guthrie and two or
three other celebrities. I have not run such a gauntlet on a single
bench in my life. When I had finished my address, Guthrie, clad in his
gray overcoat, leaped up, and kindly grasped my hand, and I went back to
my seat feeling an indescribable relief. Dr. Guthrie a short time after
attempted to visit our country, but was arrested at Queenstown by a
difficulty of the heart, and returned to Scotland, and lived but a
short time afterwards.

Sly personal acquaintance with Newman Hall began during the darkest
period of our Civil War, in August, 1862 Up to that time I had only
known him as the author of that pithy and pellucid little booklet, "Come
to Jesus," which has belted the globe in forty languages, and been
published to the number of nearly 4,000,000 of copies. When our Civil
War broke out, Dr. Hall (with John Bright and Foster and Goldwin Smith)
threw himself earnestly on the side of our Union He made public speeches
for our cause over all England, and opened his house for parlor meetings
addressed by loyal Americans who happened to be in London. He invited me
to address one of these gatherings, but the necessity of my return home
prevented my acceptance. Two years after the close of the war he made
his first visit to the United States. He was received with enthusiastic
ovations. Union Leagues gave him public welcomes, Congress invited him
to preach in the House of Representatives; he delivered an address to
the Bostonians on Bunker Hill; and every denomination, including the
Episcopalians and Quakers, opened their pulpits to him everywhere. But
the crowning act of his unique Americanism was the erection of the
"Lincoln Tower" on his Church in London, as a tribute to Negro
Emancipation, and a memorial to International amity. The love that
existed between my brother, Dr. Hall, and myself was like the love of
David and Jonathan. The letters that passed between us would number up
into the hundreds, and his epistles had the sweet savor of "Holy
Rutherford," When he was in America, my house was his home, when I was
in London, I spent no small part of my time in his delightful "Vine
House," up on Hampstead Hill. The house remains in the possession of his
wife, a lady of high culture, intellectual gifts and of most devout
piety. One reason for the close intimacy between my British brother and
myself was that we were perfectly agreed on every social, civil and
religious question, and we never had a chance to sharpen our wits on the
hone of controversy. Our theology was all from the same Book, and our
main purposes in life were similar. Many of my American readers heard
Dr. Hall preach during some one of his three visits to the United
States. What marrowy, soul-quickening sermons he poured forth in a
clear, musical voice, and with a most earnest persuasiveness. Preaching
was as easy to him as breathing. Including the Sabbath, he delivered
seven or eight sermons in a week. Undoubtedly he delivered more
discourses than any ordained minister during the nineteenth century.
Peers and peasants, scholars and dwellers in the slums alike enjoyed
his preaching of God's message to immortal souls. His favorite theme was
the sin-atoning work of Christ Jesus; and the numbers converted under
his faithful preaching were exceedingly great. One of his discourses in
this country on "Jehovah Jireh," was especially helpful, and one on
"Touching the Hem of Christ's Garment," was a gem of spiritual beauty.
He generally maintained an even flow of evangelical thought, but
sometimes he rose into a burst of thrilling eloquence, as he did in Mr.
Beecher's church, when he made his noble appeal for Union between
England and America. From his youth he was fond of street preaching. I
have seen him gather a crowd, and hold them attentively while he sowed a
few seeds of truth in their hearts.

I wish I had the space to describe some of the foregatherings that I
have had with my twin brother in the Gospel. We visited Italy together,
preached to "the Saints that are in Rome," and went down into that room
in the sub-basement of St. Clement's where Paul is believed to have held
meetings with them that were of Caesar's household. We roamed out on the
Appian Road, over which the great Apostle entered the Eternal City. So
conscientious was my brother Hall in his teetotalism that though tired
and thirsty, he never would touch the weak, common wine of the country,
lest his example might be plead in favor of the drinking usages. We
once went up to Olney and sat in Cowper's summer house, and entered John
Newton's church, and the old sexton told Dr. Hall that he had been
converted by "Come to Jesus." We went together to Stonehenge, and as we
passed over Salisbury Plain we recalled Hannah Moore's famous shepherd
who said: "The weather to-morrow will be what suits me, for what suits
God, suits me always." We spent a very delightful couple of days in
rowing down the romantic river Wye, stopping for lunch at Wordsworth's
Tintern Abbey. In his home he was a hospitable Gaius, with open doors
and hearts to friends from all lands. He had the merry sportiveness of a
schoolboy, and when our long talks in his study were over, he would
seize his hat and the chain of his pet dog, and cry out: "Come, brother,
come, and let us have a tramp over the Heath." He was a prodigious
pedestrian, and at three score and ten he held his own over a Swiss
glacier, with the members of the Alpine Club. He had hoped to equal his
famous predecessor, Rowland Hill, and preach till he was ninety; but
when he was near his eighty-sixth birthday he was stricken with
paralysis, and never left his bed again. Those last two weeks were spent
in the "Land of Beulah," and in full view of "The Celestial City." When
asked if he suffered pain, he replied: "I have no pain, and nothing to
disturb the solemnity of dying." On the morning of February fourteenth
he passed peacefully over the river, and, as Bunyan said of old
Valiant-for-the-Truth, "The trumpets sounded for him on the other side."
No monarch on his throne is so to be envied as he who now wears that
celestial crown.

Can anything new be said about Charles H. Spurgeon? Perhaps not, and yet
I should be guilty of injustice to myself and to my readers if I failed
to pay my love tribute to the most extraordinary preacher of the pure
Gospel to all Christendom whom England produced in the last century.

I heard him when he was a youth of twenty-two years, in his Park Street
Chapel; I heard him several times when he was at the zenith of his
vigor; I spent many a happy hour with him in his charming home. On my
last visit there I had a "good cry" when I saw his empty chair in its
old place in the study. I did not form any personal acquaintance with
him until the summer of 1872, and it soon ripened into a most warm and
cordial friendship. On each of my visits to London since that time I
have enjoyed an afternoon with him at his home. His first residence was
Helensburg House in Nightingale Road, Clapham, a Southwest District of
London. That beautiful home was his only, luxury; but he spent none of
his ample income on any sort of social enjoyment, and what did not go
for household expenses went for the support of his many religious
enterprises. On my first visit to him he greeted me in his free and
easy, open-handed way. I noticed that he was growing stouter than ever.
"In me," he jocularly said, "that is in my flesh, dwelleth no good
thing," We spent a joyous hour in his well filled library; he showed me
fifteen stately volumes of his printed sermons which have since been
more than doubled, besides several of his works translated into French,
German, Swedish, Dutch and other languages. The most interesting object
in the library was a small file of his sermon notes, each one on a half
sheet of note paper, or on the back of an ordinary letter envelope. When
I asked him if he "wrote his sermons out," his answer was: "I would
rather be hung." His usual method was to select the text of his Sunday
morning sermon on Saturday about six or seven o'clock, and spend half an
hour in arranging a skeleton and put it on paper; he left all the
phraseology until he reached the pulpit. During Sunday afternoon he
repeated the same process in preparing his evening discourse. "If I had
a month assigned me for preparing a sermon," said he to me, "I would
spend thirty days and twenty-three hours on something else and in the
last hour I would make the sermon, and if I could not do it then I
could not do it in a month."

This sounds like a risky process, but it must be remembered that if
Spurgeon occupied but a few minutes in arranging a discourse he spent
five days of every week in thoroughly studying God's Word--in thorough
thinking--and in the perusal of the richest old writers on theology and
experimental religion.

He was all the time, and everywhere filling up his cask, so that he had
only to turn the spigot and out flowed the pure Gospel in the most
transparent language. A stenographer took down the sermon, and it was
revised by Mr. Spurgeon on Monday morning. He told me that for many
years he went to his pulpit under such nervous agitation that it often
brought on violent attacks of vomiting and produced outbreaks of
perspiration, and he slowly outgrew that remarkable sort of physical

Twenty years ago Mr. Spurgeon exchanged Helensburgh House for the still
more elegant mansion called "Westwood" on Beulah Hill, near Crystal
Palace, Sydenham. It is a rural paradise. At each of the visits I paid
him there, he used to come out with his banged-up soft hat, which he
wore indoors half of the time, and with a merry jest on his lips. On my
last visit, accompanied by my brother Hall, I found him suffering
severely from his neuralgic malady, but it did not affect his buoyant
humor. When I told him that my catarrhal deafness was worse than ever,
he replied: "Well, brother, console yourself with the thought that in
these days there is very little worth hearing." He took my brother Hall,
and myself out into his garden and conservatory and down to a rustic
arbor, where we sat down and told stories. There were twelve acres of
land attached to "Westwood," and he had us into the meadow, where we
laid down in the freshly mowed hay and inhaled its fragrance. Mrs.
Spurgeon, a most gifted and charming lady, had a dozen cows and the
profits of her dairy then supported a missionary in London; and the milk
was sent around the neighborhood in a wagon labeled, "Charles H.
Spurgeon, Milk Dealer." After our return, the great preacher showed us a
portfolio of caricatures of himself from _Punch_ and other publications.
At six o'clock we took supper and then came family worship--all the
servants being present Mr. Spurgeon followed my prayer with the most
wonderful prayer that perhaps I have ever heard from human lips, and I
said afterwards to my friend Hall, "To-night we got into 'the hidings of
his power,' for a man who can pray like that can outpreach the world."
In the soft hour of the gloaming we took our leave, and he went off to
prepare his sermon for the morrow.

Spurgeon's power lay in a combination of half a dozen great qualities.
He was the master of a vigorous Saxon English style, the style of
Cobbett and Bunyan and the old English Bible. He possessed a most
marvelous memory--it held the whole Bible in solution; it retained all
the valuable truth he had acquired during his immensely wide readings
and it enabled him to recognize any person whom he ever met before.
Once, however, he met for the second time a Mr. Partridge and called him
"Partridge." Quick as a flash he said: "Pardon me, sir, I did not intend
to make _game_ of you," He was a man of one Book, and had the most
implicit faith in every jot and tittle of God's Word. He preached it
without defalcation or discount, and this prodigious faith made his
preaching immensely tonic. His sympathies with all mankind were
unbounded, and the juices of his nature were enough to float an ark full
of living creatures. Joined to these gifts was a marvelous voice of
great sweetness, and a homely mother-wit that bubbled out in all his
talk and often in his sermons. Mightiest of all was his power of prayer,
and his inner life was hid with Christ in God. As an organizer he had
great executive abilities. His Orphanage, dozen missionary schools and
theological training school will be among his enduring monuments. The
last sermon I ever heard him deliver was in Dr. Newman Hall's church on
a week evening. He came hobbling into the study, his face the picture of
suffering. He said to me, "Brother Cuyler, if I break down, won't you
take up the service and go on with it?" I told him that he would forget
his pains the moment he got under way, and so it was, for he delivered a
most nutritious discourse to us. When the service was over, he limped
off to his carriage, wrapped himself in the huge cushions, and drove
away seven miles to his home at Upper Norwood. That was the last time I
ever saw my beloved friend.

It seems strange that I shall never behold that homely, honest
countenance again; and since that time, London has hardly seemed to be
London without him. It is a cause for congratulation that his son, the
Reverend Thomas Spurgeon, is so successfully carrying forward the great
work of his sainted father. If my readers would like a sample taste of
the pure Spurgeonic it is to be found in this passage which he delivered
to his theological students: "Some modern divines whittle away the
Gospel to the small end of nothing; they make our Divine Lord to be a
sort of blessed nobody; they bring down salvation to mere possibility;
they make certainties into probabilities and treat verities as mere
opinions. When you see a preacher making the Gospel smaller by degrees,
and miserably less, till there is not enough of it left to make soup
for a sick grasshopper, _get you gone with him_! As for me, I believe in
an infinite God, an infinite atonement, infinite love and mercy, an
everlasting covenant, ordered in all things, and sure, and of which the
substance and reality is an Infinite Christ."

I once asked Dr. James McCosh, who was the greatest preacher he ever
heard. He replied, "Of course, it was my Edinboro Professor, Dr.
Chalmers, but the grandest display of eloquence I ever listened to was
Dr. Alexander Duff's famous Plea for Foreign Missions, delivered before
the Scottish General Assembly at a date previous to the disruption," I
can say _Amen_ to Dr. McCosh, for the most overpowering oratory that I
ever heard was Duff's great missionary speech in the Broadway Tabernacle
during his visit to America. In the immense crowd were two hundred
ministers and the foremost laymen of the city. When the great missionary
arose (he was then in the prime of his power), his first appearance was
not impressive, for his countenance had no beauty and his gestures were
grotesquely awkward. With one arm he huddled his coat up to his
shoulder, with the other he sawed the air incontinently, and when
intensely excited, he leapt several inches from the floor as if about to
precipitate himself over the desk. All these eccentricities were
forgotten when once the great heart began to open its treasures to us,
and the subject of his resistless oratory began to enchain our souls. In
his vivid description of "Magnificent India" its dusky crowds and its
ancient temples, with its northern mountains towering to the skies; its
dreary jungles haunted by the tiger; its crystalline salt fields
flashing in the sun; and its Malabar hills redolent with the richest
spices, were all spread out before us like a panorama.

When the Doctor had completed the survey of India, he opened his
batteries on the sloth and selfishness of too many of Christ's professed
followers; he poured contempt upon the men who said: "They are not so
_green_ as to waste their money on the farce of Foreign Missions." "No,
no, indeed," he continued, "they are not _green_, for greenness implies
verdure, and beauty, and there is not a single atom of verdure in their
parched and withered up souls." Under the burning satire and mellowing
pathos of his tremendous appeal for heathendom, tears welled out from
every eye in the house. I leaned over toward the reporter's table; many
of the reporters had flung down their pens--they might as well have
attempted to report a thunder storm. As the orator drew near his close,
he seemed like one inspired; his face shone as if it were, the face of
an angel. Never before did I so fully realize the overwhelming power of
a man who has become the embodiment of one great idea--who makes his
lips the mere outlet for the mighty truth bursting from his heart. After
nearly two hours of this inundation of eloquence, he concluded with the
quotation of Cowper's magnificent verse,

   "One song employs all nations," etc

With the utmost vehemence he rung out the last line:

   "Earth rolls the rapturous Hosanna round."

He could not check his headway, and repeated the line a second time,
louder than before, and then with a tremendous voice that made the walls
reverberate, he shouted once more:

   "_Earth rolls the rapturous Hosanna round!_"

and sunk back breathless and exhausted into his chair. "Shut up now this
Tabernacle," exclaimed Dr. James W. Alexander. "Let no man dare speak
here after that."



_The Alexanders.--Dr. Tyng.--Dr. Cox.--Dr. Adams.--Dr. Storrs.--Mr.
Beecher.--Mr. Finney and Dr. B.M. Palmer_.

The necessary limitations of this chapter forbid any reference to many
distinguished American preachers whom I have seen or heard, but with
whom I had not sufficient personal acquaintance to furnish any material
for personal reminiscences. In common with multitudes of others on both
sides of the ocean, I had a hearty admiration for the brilliant genius
and masterful sermons of Phillips Brooks, but I only heard two of his
rapid and resonant addresses on anniversary occasions, and my
acquaintance with him was very slight. I heard only one discourse by
that remarkable combination of preacher, poet, patriot and philosopher,
Dr. Horace Bushnell, of Hartford,--his discourse on "Barbarism the Chief
Danger," delivered before the "Home Missionary Society." His sermon on
"Unconscious Influence," was enough to confer immortality on any
minister of Jesus Christ. I never was acquainted with him, but after his
death, I suggested to the residents of New Preston, that they should
name the mountain that rises immediately behind the home of his
childhood and youth, _Mount Bushnell_. The villagers assented to my
proposal, and the State Legislature ratified their act by ordering that
name to be placed on the maps of Connecticut. In this chapter, as in the
previous one, I shall give my recollections only of those who have ended
their career of service, and entered into their reward.

During the six years that I spent in Princeton College and in the
Seminary (between 1838 and 1846) I came into close acquaintance with,
and I heard very often, the two great orators of the Alexander family.
Dr. Archibald Alexander, the father of a famous group of sons, was a
native of Virginia--had listened to Patrick Henry in his youth; had
married the daughter of the eloquent "Blind Preacher," Rev. James
Waddell, and even when as a young minister he had preached in Hanover,
New Hampshire. Daniel Webster, then a student in Dartmouth College,
predicted his future eminence. The students in the Seminary were wont to
call him playfully, "The Pope," for we had unbounded confidence in his
sanctified common-sense. I always went to him for counsel. His insight
into the human heart was marvelous; and in the line of close
experimental preaching, he has not had his equal since the days of
President Edwards. He put the impress of his powerful personality on a
thousand ministers who graduated from Princeton Seminary.

In his lecture-desk and in the pulpit he was simplicity itself. His
sermons were like the waters of Lake George, so pellucid that you could
see every bright pebble far down in the depths; a child could comprehend
him, yet a sage be instructed by him. His best discourses were
extemporaneous, and he had very little gesture, except with his
forefinger, which he used to place under his chin, and sometimes against
his nose in a very peculiar manner. With a clear piping voice and
colloquial style he held his audience in rapt attention, disdaining all
the tricks of sensational oratory. Twice I heard him deliver his
somewhat celebrated discourse on "The Day of Judgment;" it was a
masterpiece of solemn eloquence, in which sublimity and simplicity were
combined in a way that I have never seen equaled He used to say that the
right course for an old man to keep his mind from senility was to
produce some piece of composition every day; and he continued to write
his practical articles for the religious press until he was almost
four-score. What an impressive funeral was his on that bright October
afternoon, in 1851, when two hundred ministers gathered in that
Westminster Abbey of Presbyterianism, the Princeton Cemetery! His ashes
slumber beside those of Witherspoon, Davies, Hodge, McCosh and Jonathan

Among the six sons who stood that day beside that grave, the most
brilliant by far was the third son, Joseph Addison Alexander. Dr.
Charles Hodge said of him: "Taking him all in all, he was the most
gifted man with whom I have ever been personally acquainted," In
childhood, such was his precocity that he knew the Hebrew alphabet at
six years of age (I am afraid that some ministers do not know it at
sixty); and he could read Latin fluently when he was only eight! Of his
wonderful feats of memory I could give many illustrations; one was that
on the day that I was matriculated in the Seminary with fifty other
students, Professor Alexander went over to Dr. Hodge's study, and
repeated to him every one of our names! When using manuscript in the
pulpit, he frequently turned the leaves backward instead of forward, for
he knew all the sermon by heart! His commentaries--quite too few--remain
as monuments of his profound scholarship, and some of his articles in
the _Princeton Review_ sparkled with the keenest wit.

Oh, how his grandest sermons linger still in my memory after
three-score years--like the far-off music of an Alpine horn floating
from the mountain tops! His physique was remarkable, he had the ruddy
cheeks of a boy, and his square intellectual head we students used to
say "looked like Napoleon's." His voice was peculiarly melodious,
especially in the pathetic passages; his imagination was vivid in fine
imagery, and he had an unique habit of ending a long sentence in the
words of his text, which chained the text fast to our memories. The
announcement of his name always crowded the church in Princeton, and he
was flooded with invitations to preach in the most prominent churches of
New York, Philadelphia, and other cities. One of his most powerful and
popular sermons was on the text, "Remember Lot's Wife;" and he received
so many requests to repeat that sermon that he said to his brother James
in a wearied tone, "I am afraid that woman will be the death of me."

There may still be old Philadelphians who can recall the magnificent
series of discourses which Professor Alexander delivered during the
winter of 1847 in the pulpit of Dr. Henry A. Boardman, while Dr.
Boardman was in Europe. The church was packed every Sabbath evening,
clear to the outer door, and many were unable to find room even in the
aisles. Dr. Alexander was then in his splendid prime. His musical voice
often swelled into a volume that rolled out through the doorway and
reached the passerby on the sidewalk! During that winter he pronounced
all his most famous sermons--on "The Faithful Saying," on "The City with
Foundations," on "Awake, Thou that Sleepest!" and on "The Broken and
Contrite Heart." It was after hearing this latter most original and
pathetic discourse that an eminent man exclaimed, "No such preaching as
that has been heard in this land since the days of Dr. John M. Mason." I
enjoy the perusal of the rich, unique, and spiritual sermons of my
beloved professor and friend; but no one who reads them can realize what
it was to listen to Joseph Addison Alexander in his highest and holiest

Was Albert Barnes a great preacher? Yes; if it is a great thing for a
man to hold a large audience of thoughtful and intelligent people in
solemn attention while he proclaims to them the weightiest and vitalest
of truths--then was Mr. Barnes a great ambassador of the Lord Jesus
Christ. He combined modesty and majesty to a remarkable degree. He had a
commanding figure, keen eye, handsome features, and a clear distinct
voice; but so diffident was he that he seldom looked about over his
congregation and rarely made a single gesture. His simple rule of
homiletics was, have something to say, and then say it. He stood up in
his pulpit and delivered his calm, clear, strong, spiritual utterances
with scarcely a trace of emotion, and the hushed assembly listened as if
they were listening to one of the oracles of God. His best sermons were
like a great red anthracite coal bed, with no flash, but kindled through
and through with the fire of the Holy Spirit Bashful, too, as he was, he
denounced popular sins with an intrepidity displayed by but few
ministers in our land. In the temperance reform he was an early pioneer.
For Albert Barnes I felt an intense personal attachment; he was my ideal
of a fearless, godly-minded herald of evangelical truth; and he had
begun his public ministry in Morristown, N.J., the home of my maternal
ancestry, and in the church in which my beloved mother had made her
confession of faith. When our Lafayette Avenue Church was
dedicated--just forty years ago--I urged him to deliver the discourse;
but he hesitated to preach extemporaneously, and his sight was so
impaired that he could not use a manuscript. At the age of seventy-two
he was suddenly and sweetly translated to heaven. Over the whole
English-speaking world his name was familiar as a plain teacher of God's
Word in very spiritual commentaries.

A half century ago Dr. William B. Sprague, of Albany, was in the front
rank of Presbyterian preachers. His fine presence, his richly melodious
voice, his graceful style and fresh, practical evangelical thought made
him so popular that he was in demand everywhere for special occasions
and services. He was a marvel of industry. While preparing his
voluminous "Annals of the American Pulpit," and conducting an enormous
correspondence, he never omitted the preparation of new sermons for his
own flock. With that flock he lived and labored for forty years, and
when he resigned his charge (in 1869) he told me that when removing from
Albany, he buried his face and streaming eyes with his hands, for he
could not endure the farewell look at the city of his love. When I first
heard him in my student days I thought him an almost faultless pulpit
orator, and when he and the young and ardent Edward N. Kirk stood side
by side in Albany, no town in the land contained two nobler specimens of
the earnest, persuasive and eloquent Presbyterian preachers.

When I came to New York as pastor of the Market Street Church, in 1853,
the most conspicuous minister in the city was the rector of St. George's
Episcopal Church on Stuyvesant Square. Every Sabbath the superb and
spacious edifice was thronged. It was quite "the thing" for strangers
who came to New York to go and hear Dr. Tyng. Even on Sunday afternoons
the house was filled; for at that service he preached what he called
"sermons to the children"--but they were not only sprightly, simple and
vivacious enough to attract the young, they also contained an abundance
of strong meat for persons of older growth. He was an enthusiast in
Sunday school work--had 2,500 scholars in his mission schools, and
possessed an unsurpassed power in nailing the ears of the young to his

Dr. Tyng was the acknowledged leader of the "Low Church" wing of
Episcopacy in this country, both during his ministry in the Epiphany at
Philadelphia, and in St. George's at New York. He edited their weekly
paper, and championed their cause on all occasions. He was their
candidate for the office of Bishop of Pennsylvania in 1845, and the
contest was protracted through a long series of ballotings. It was
urged, and not without some reason, that his impetuous temper and strong
partisanship might make him a rather domineering overseer of the
diocese. He possessed an indomitable will and pushed his way through
life with the irresistible rush of a Cunarder under a full head of
steam. His temper was naturally very violent. One Sabbath evening he was
addressing my Sunday school in Market Street, and describing the various
kinds of human nature by resemblances to various animals, the lion, the
fox, the sloth, etc.: "Children," he exclaimed, "do you want to know
what I am? I am by nature a royal Bengal tiger, and if it had not been
for the grace of God to tame me, I fear that nobody could ever have
lived with me." There was about as much truth as there was wit in the
comparison. His congregation in St. George's knew his irrepressible
temperament so well that they generally let him have his own way. If he
wanted money for a church object or a cause of charity, he did not beg
for it; he demanded it in the name of the Lord. "When I see Dr. Tyng
coming up the steps of my bank," said a rich bank president to me, "I
always begin to draw my cheque; I know he will get it, and it saves my

His leading position among Low Churchmen was won not only by his
intellectual force and moral courage, but by his uncompromising devotion
to evangelical doctrine. He belonged to the same school with Baxter,
John Newton, Bickersteth, Simeon and Bedell. In England his intimate
friends were the Earl of Shaftesbury, Dr. McNeill and others of the most
pronounced evangelical type. The good old doctrines of redemption by the
blood of Christ, and of regeneration by the Holy Spirit were his
constant theme, and on these and kindred topics he was a delightful

Strong as he was in the pulpit, Dr. Tyng was the prince of platform
orators. He had every quality necessary for the sway of a popular
audience--fine elocution, marvelous fluency, piquancy, the courage of
his convictions and a magnetism that swept all before him. His voice was
very clear and penetrating, and he hurled forth his clean-cut sentences
like javelins. A more fluent speaker I never heard; not Spurgeon or
Henry Ward Beecher could surpass him in readiness of utterance. On one
occasion the Broadway Tabernacle was crowded with a great audience that
gathered to hear some celebrity; and the expected hero did not arrive.
The impatient crowd called for "Tyng, Tyng;" and the rector of St.
George's came forward, and on the spur of the moment delivered such a
charming speech that the audience would not let him stop. For many years
I spoke with him at meetings for city missions, total abstinence, Sunday
schools and other benevolent enterprises. He used playfully to call me
"one of his boys." At a complimentary reception given to J.B. Gough in
Niblo's Hall, Mr. Beecher and myself delivered our talks, and then
retired to the opposite end of the hall. Dr. Tyng took the rostrum with
one of his swift magnetic speeches. I leaned over to Beecher and
whispered, "That is splendid platforming, isn't it?" Beecher replied:
"Yes, indeed it is. He is the one man that I am afraid of. When he
speaks first I do not care to follow him, and if I speak first, then
when he gets up I wish I had not spoken at all." Some of Dr. Tyng's
most powerful addresses were in behalf of the temperance reform; he was
a most uncompromising foe of both of the dram shop and of the drinking
usages in polite society. He also denounced the theatre and the
ball-room with the most Puritanic vehemence.

Dr. Stephen H. Tyng's chief power, like many other great preachers, was
when he was on his feet. He should be heard and not read. Some of the
discourses and addresses which enchained and thrilled his auditors
seemed tame enough when reported for the press. In that respect he
resembled Whitfield and Gough and many of our most effective stump
speakers. The result was that Dr. Tyng's fame, to a great degree,
perished with him. He published several books, of a most excellent and
evangelical character, but they lacked the thunder and the lightning
which make his uttered words so powerful, and probably none of his many
books are much read to-day. The influence of his splendid and heroic
personality was very great during a ministry of over fifty years, and
the glorious work which he wrought for his Master will endure to all

To have heard Dr. William Adams of New York at his best was better than
any lecture on "Homiletics"; to have met him at the fireside or in the
sick room of one of his parishioners was a prelection in pastoral

The first time that I ever saw him was fully fifty years ago; he was
standing in the gallery of the old Broadway Tabernacle at an anniversary
of the American Bible Society, and Dr. James W. Alexander pointed him
out to me saying--"Yonder stands Dr. William Adams, he is the _hardest
student_ of us all." It was this honest incessant brain work that
enabled him to sustain himself for forty years in one of the conspicuous
pulpits of the largest city in the land. He always drew out of a full
cask. Let young ministers lay this fact to heart. It was not by trick or
happy luck, or by pyrotechnics of rhetoric that Dr. Adams won and kept
his position in the forefront of metropolitan preachers. The "dead line
of fifty" was not to be found on his intellectual atlas. One of the last
talks with him that I now recall was on an early morning in Congress
Park, Saratoga. He had a pocket Testament in his hand, and he said to
me, "I find myself reading more and more the old books of my youth; I am
enjoying just now Virgil's Eclogues, but nothing is so dear to me as my
Greek Testament."

All of Dr. Adams' finest efforts were thoroughly prepared and committed
to memory. He never risked a failure by attempting to shake a sermon or
a speech "out of his sleeve." His memory was one of his greatest gifts.
Sometimes when his soul was on fire, and his voice trembled with
emotion, he rose into the region of lofty impassioned eloquence. His
master effort on the platform was his address of welcome to the
members of the "Evangelical Alliance" in 1873. How the foreign
delegates--Doctors Stoughton, Christlieb, Dorner and the rest of
them--did open their eyes that evening to the fact that a Yankee-born
parson was, in elegant culture and polished oratory, a match for them
all. Dr. Adams' speech "struck twelve" for the Alliance at the start;
nothing during the whole subsequent sessions surpassed that opening
address, although Beecher and Dr. Joseph Parker were both among the
speakers. He closed the meeting of the Alliance in the Academy of Music
with a prayer of wonderful fervor, pathos and beauty.

One of his grandest speeches was delivered before the Free Church
General Assembly in Edinburgh--in May, 1871. Dr. Guthrie told me that he
swept the assembly away by his stately bearing, sonorous voice and
classic oratory. The men whom he moved so mightily were such men as
Arnot and Guthrie and Rainy and Bonar,--the men who had listened to the
grandest efforts of Duff and of Chalmers. I well remember that when I
had to address the same assembly (as the American delegate) the next
year I was more disturbed by the apparition of my predecessor, Dr.
Adams, than by all the brilliant audience before me.

Dr. Adams was gifted with what is of more practical value than genius,
and that was marvelous _tact_. That was with him an instinct and an
inspiration. It led him to always speak the right word, and do the right
thing at the right time. Personal politeness helped him also; for he was
one of the most perfect gentlemen in America. That practical sagacity
made him the leader of the "new school" branch of our church, during the
delicate negotiations for reunion in 1867, and on to 1870. He knew human
nature well, and never lost either his temper or his faith in the sure
result. To-day when that old lamentable rupture of our beloved church is
as much a matter of past history as the rupture of the Union during the
civil war, let us gratefully remember George W. Musgrave, the pilot of
the "old school" and William Adams, the pilot of the "new."

The last sermon that I ever heard Dr. Adams deliver was in my Lafayette
Avenue Church pulpit a few years before his death. His text was the
closing passage of the fourth chapter of Second Corinthians. The whole
sermon was delivered with great majesty and tenderness. One illustration
in it was sublime. He was comparing the "things which are seen and
temporal" with the "things which are not seen and eternal." He described
Mont Blanc enveloped in a morning cloud of mist. The vapor was the
_seen_ thing which was soon to pass away;--behind it was the _unseen_
mountain, glorious as the "great white throne" which should stand
unmoved when fifty centuries of mist had flown away into nothingness.
This passage moved the audience prodigiously. Many sat gazing at the
tall pale orator before them through their tears. The portrait of Dr.
Adams hangs on my study wall--alongside of the portrait of Chalmers--and
as I look at his majestic countenance now, I still seem to see him as on
that Sabbath morning he stood before us, with the light of eternity
beaming on his brow!

In the summer of 1845 I was strolling with my friend Littell (the
founder of the _Living Age_), through the leafy lanes of Brookline, and
we came to a tasteful church. "That," said Mr. Littell, "is the Harvard
Congregational meeting house. They have lately called a brilliant young
Mr. Storrs, who was once a law student with Rufus Choate; he is a man of
bright promise." Two years afterward I saw and heard that brilliant
young minister in the pulpit of the newly organized Church of the
Pilgrims in Brooklyn. He had already found his place, and his throne. He
made that pulpit visible over the continent. That church will be "Dr.
Storrs' church" for many a year to come.

Had that superbly gifted law student of Choate gone to the bar he would
inevitably have won a great distinction, and might have charmed the
United States Senate by his splendid eloquence. Perhaps he learned from
Choate some lessons in rhetoric and how to construct those long
melodious sentences that rolled like a "Hallelujah chorus" over his
delighted audiences. But young Storrs chose the better part, and no
temptation of fame or pelf allured him from the higher work of preaching
Jesus Christ to his fellow men. He was--like Chalmers and Bushnell and
Spurgeon--a _born preacher_. Great as he was on the platform, or on
various ceremonial occasions, he was never so thoroughly "at home" as in
his own pulpit; his great heart never so kindled as when unfolding the
glorious gospel of redeeming love. The consecration of his splendid
powers to the work of the ministry helped to ennoble the ministry in the
popular eye, and led young men of brains to feel that they could covet
no higher calling.

One of the remarkable things in the career of Dr. Storrs was that by far
the grandest portion of that career was after he had passed the age of
fifty! Instead of that age being, as to many others, a "dead line," it
was to him an intellectual _birth line_. He returned from Europe--after
a year of entire rest--and then, like "a giant refreshed by sleep,"
began to produce his most masterly discourses and orations. His first
striking performance was that wonderful address at the twenty-fifth
anniversary of Henry Ward Beecher's pastorate in Plymouth Church, at the
close of which Mr. Beecher gave him a grateful kiss before the
applauding audience. Not long after that Dr. Storrs delivered those two
wonderful lectures on the "Muscovite and the Ottoman." The Academy of
Music was packed to listen to them; and for two hours the great orator
poured out a flood of history and gorgeous description without a scrap
of manuscript before him! He recalled names and dates without a moment's
hesitation! Like Lord Macaulay, Dr. Storrs had a marvelous memory; and
at the close of those two orations I said to myself, "How Macaulay would
have enjoyed all this!" His extraordinary memory was an immense source
of power to Dr. Storrs; and, although he had a rare gift of fluency, yet
I have no doubt that some of his fine efforts, which were supposed to be
extemporaneous, were really prepared beforehand and lodged in his
tenacious memory.

Dean Stanley, on the day before he returned to England, said to me: "The
man who has impressed me most is your Dr. Storrs." When I urged the
pastor of the "Pilgrims" to go over to the great International Council
of Congregationalists in London and show the English people a specimen
of American preaching, his characteristic reply was, "Oh, I am tired of
these _show occasions_," But he never grew tired of preaching Jesus
Christ and Him crucified. The Bible his old father loved was the book of
books that he loved, and no blasts of revolutionary biblical criticism
ever ruffled a feather on the strong wing with which he soared
heavenward. A more orthodox minister has not maintained the faith once
delivered to the saints in our time than he for whom Brooklyn's flags
were all hung at half-mast on the day of his death.

All the world knew that Richard S. Storrs possessed wonderful brain
power, culture and scholarship; but only those who were closest to him
knew what a big loving heart he had. Some of the sweetest and tenderest
private letters that I ever received came from his ready pen. I was
looking over some of them lately; they are still as fragrant as if
preserved in lavender. His heart was a very pure fountain of noble
thought, and of sweet, unselfish affection.

He died at the right time; his great work was complete; he did not
linger on to outlive himself. The beloved wife of his home on earth had
gone on before; he felt lonesome without her, and grew homesick for
heaven. His loving flock had crowned him with their grateful
benedictions; he waited only for the good-night kiss of the Master he
served, and he awoke from a transient slumber to behold the ineffable
glory. On the previous day his illustrious Andover instructor, Professor
Edwards A. Park, had departed; it was fitting that Andover's most
illustrious graduate should follow him; now they are both in the
presence of the infinite light, and they both behold the King in His

Fifty years ago one of the most famous celebrities in the Presbyterian
Church was Dr. Samuel Hanson Cox, famous for his linguistic attainments,
for his wit and occasional eccentricities, and very famous for his
bursts of eloquence on great occasions. He was at that time the pastor
of the First Presbyterian Church of Brooklyn, and resided in the street
where I am now writing (Oxford Street); and the street at the end of the
block was named "Hanson Place" in honor of him. His large wooden mansion
was then quite out of town, and was accordingly called "Rus Urban," In
that house he wrote--for the _New York Observer_--the unique series of
articles on New School Theology entitled "The Hexagon," and there he
entertained, with his elegant courtesy and endless flow of wit and
learning, many of the most eminent people who visited Brooklyn. The boys
used to climb into his garden to steal fruit; and, as a menace, he
affixed to his fence a large picture of a watch-dog, and underneath it a
dental sign, "Teeth inserted here!" The old mansion was removed years

In 1846 he was the moderator of the "new school" Presbyterian General
Assembly. It was during the sessions of that assembly that the famous
debate was waged for several days on the exciting question of negro
slavery, and when some compromise resolutions were passed (for those
were the days of compromise salves and plasters)--Dr. Cox rose and
exclaimed, "Well, brethren, we have _capped Vesuvius_ for another year,"
But "Vesuvius" would not stay capped, and in a few years one of its
violent eruptions sundered the "new school" church in twain.

Dr. Cox was a vehement opponent of slavery, and his church in Laight
Street was assailed by a mob, and he was roughly handled. In 1833 he was
sent to England as the delegate to the British and Foreign Bible
Society, and at their anniversary meeting he delivered one of the most
brilliant speeches of his life. He came into the meeting a perfect
stranger, while Dr. Hamilton, of Leeds, was uttering a fierce invective
against American slavery. This aroused Dr. Cox's indignation, and when
he was called on to speak he commenced with exquisite urbanity as
follows: "My Lord Bexley, ladies and gentlemen! I have just landed from
America. Thirty days ago I came down the bay of New York in the steam
tug _Hercules_ and was put on board of the good packet ship
_Samson_--thus going on from strength to strength--from mythology to
Scripture!" This bold and novel introduction brought down the house with
a thunder of applause. After paying some graceful tributes to England
and thus winning the hearts of his auditors, he suddenly turned towards
Dr. Hamilton, and with the most captivating grace, he said: "I do not
yield to my British brother in righteous abhorrence of the institution
of negro slavery. I abhor it all the more because it was our disastrous
inheritance from our English forefathers, and came down to us from the
time when we were colonies of Great Britain! And now if my brother
Hamilton will enact the part of _Shem_, I will take the place of
_Japhet_, and we will walk backward and will cover with the mantle of
charity _the shame of our common ancestry_," This sudden burst of wit,
argument and eloquence carried the audience by storm, and they were
obliged to applaud the "Yankee orator" in spite of themselves. I count
this retort by Dr. Cox one of the finest in the annals of oratory.
Several years afterwards he visited England as a delegate to the first
Evangelical Alliance. It was attended by the foremost divines, scholars
and religious leaders of both Britain and the continent; and a brief
five-minutes' speech made by Dr. Cox was unanimously pronounced to have
been the most splendid display of eloquence heard during the whole

He owed a great deal to his commanding figure, fine voice, and graceful
elocution. His memory also was as marvelous as that of Dr. Storrs or
Professor Addison Alexander. One night, for the entertainment of his
fellow-passengers in a stagecoach, he repeated two cantos of Scott's
poem of "Marmion"! I have heard him quote, in a public address before
the New York University, a whole page of Cicero without the slip of a
single word! His passion for polysyllables was very amusing, and he
loved to astonish his hearers by his "sesquipedalian" phraseology. A
certain visionary crank once intruded into his study and bored him with
a long dissertation. Dr. Cox's patience was exhausted, and pointing to
the door, he said: "My friend, do you observe that aperture in this
apartment? If you do, I wish that you would describe rectilineals, very

I could fill several pages with racy anecdotes of the keen wit and the
varied erudition of my venerable friend. But let none of my readers
think of Dr. Cox as a clerical jester, or a pedant. He was a powerful
and intensely spiritual preacher of the living Gospel. In his New York
congregation were many of the best brains and fervent hearts to be found
in that city, and some of the leading laymen revered him as their
spiritual father. Sometimes he was betrayed into eccentricities, and his
vivid imagination often carried him away into discursive flights; yet
he never soared out of sight of Calvary's cross, and never betrayed the
precious Gospel committed to his trust.

The first time that I ever saw Henry Ward Beecher was in 1848. He was
then mustering his new congregation in the building once occupied by Dr.
Samuel H. Cox. It was a weekly lecture service that I attended, by
invitation of a lady who invited me to "go and hear our new-come genius
from the West." The room was full, and at the desk stood a brown-cheeked
young man with smooth-shaved face, big lustrous eyes, and luxuriant
brown hair--with a broad shirt collar tied with a black ribbon. His text
was "Grow in Grace," and he gave us a discourse that Matthew Henry could
not have surpassed in practical pith, or Spurgeon in evangelical fervor.
I used to tell Mr. Beecher that even after making full allowance for the
novelty of a first hearing, I never heard him surpass that Wednesday
evening lecture. He was plucking the first ripe grapes of his affluent
vintage; his "pomegranates were in full flower, and the spikenard sent
forth its fragrance." The very language of that savory sermon lingers in
my memory yet.

During my ministry in New York--from 1853 to 1860--I became intimate
with Mr. Beecher and spoke beside him on many a platform and heard him
in some of his most splendid efforts. He was a fascinating companion,
with the rollicking freedom of a schoolboy. I never shall forget an
immense meeting--in behalf of a liquor prohibition movement--held in
Triplet Hall. Mr. Beecher was at his best. In the midst of his speech,
he suddenly discharged a bombshell against negro slavery which dynamited
the audience and provoked a thunder of applause. For pure eloquence it
was the finest outburst I ever heard from his lips. Like Patrick Henry,
Clay, Guthrie, Spurgeon and other great masters of assemblies, he was
gifted with a richly melodious voice--which was especially effective on
the low and tender keys. This gave him great power in the pathetic
portions of his discourses. Of his superabounding humor I need not
speak. It bubbled out so naturally and spontaneously that he found it
difficult to restrain it even on the most grave occasions. Sometimes he
sinned against good taste, and I once heard his sister Catherine say
that "Henry rarely delivered a speech or a sermon which did not contain
something that grated on her ear." His most frequent offenses were in
the direction of flippant handling of sacred themes and Scripture
language. This he inherited from his illustrious father.

Mr. Beecher is generally regarded as an extemporaneous preacher. This is
a mistake. He prepared most of his discourses carefully, and full
one-half of many of them were written out. Among these written passages
he interjected bursts of impromptu thoughts; and these were generally
the most effective passages in the sermon. While he repeated himself
often--especially on his favorite topic of God's love--yet it was always
in fresh language and with new illustrations. Abraham Lincoln said to
me, "The most marvelous thing about Mr. Beecher is his inexhaustible

During the Civil War he was at the acme of his power. He was then the
peerless orator of Christendom. It was his intention (as he once told
me) to resign his pastorate at the age of sixty and to devote the
remainder of his life to a ministry at large. But the tempest of
troubles which struck him about that time forbade his cherished design,
and he continued at his post until the touch of death silenced the magic
tongue. Nearly thirty years have elapsed since I sat by him on the
crowning evening of his career, at his "silver anniversary," in 1873. As
to his later utterances in theology, and on some questions of ethics, I
dissented from my old friend conscientiously, and I expressed to him my
dissent very candidly,--as becometh brethren. I am convinced that if
there were more fraternal frankness between the living, there would be
less hypocrisy over the departed.

Charles G. Finney was the acknowledged king of American evangelists
until Dwight L. Moody came on the stage of action. They resembled each
other in untiring industry, unflinching courage, unswerving devotion to
the marrow of the Gospel, and unreserved consecration to the service of
Christ. The secret of Finney's power was the fearless manner with which
he drove God's word into the consciences of sinners--high or humble--and
his perpetual reliance on the immediate presence of the Holy Spirit in
his own soul. Emptied of self, he was filled with the Holy Spirit. His
sermons were chain lightning, flashing conviction into the hearts of the
stoutest sceptics, and the links of his logic were so compact that they
defied resistance. Probably no minister in America ever numbered among
his converts so many lawyers and men of intellectual culture.

Soon after commencing his law practice he was brought under the most
intense conviction of sin; and the narrative of his conversion--as given
in his autobiography--equals any chapter in John Bunyan's "Grace
Abounding." After light and peace broke into his agonized soul, he burst
into tears of joy, and exclaimed: "I am so happy that I cannot live," He
began at once to converse with his neighbors about their souls. When a
certain Deacon B. came into his office and reminded him that his cause
was to be tried at ten o'clock that morning, Mr. Finney replied,
"Deacon B., I have a retainer from the Lord Jesus Christ to plead His
cause, and cannot plead yours." The deacon was thunderstruck, and went
off and settled his suit with his antagonist immediately.

From that time a law office was no place for the fervid spirit of
Charles G. Finney, and he resolved at once to prepare for the ministry.

Revivals followed his red-hot discourses wherever he went. At Auburn he
declares that he had--during prayer in his own room--a wonderful vision
in which God drew so near to him that his flesh trembled on his bones,
and he shook from head to foot as if amid the thunderings of Sinai! He
felt an assurance that God would sustain him against all his enemies;
and then there came a "great lifting up," and a sweet calm followed
after the agitation. Such extraordinary spiritual experiences occurred
quite often during his career as a revivalist, and they remind one
strikingly of similar experiences of John Bunyan--to whom Finney bore a
certain degree of resemblance. At Rochester many of the leading lawyers
were attracted by his bold and logical style of speech; and among his
converts there was the distinguished jurist, Addison Gardner. It was
during his ministry in New York that he delivered his celebrated
"Lectures on Revivals," which were reprinted abroad and translated into
several foreign languages. Of all Mr. Finney's published productions,
these lectures are the most characteristic. Often extravagant in their
rhetoric, and sometimes rather reckless in theological statements, they
contain a mine of pungent truth which every young minister ought to
possess and to peruse very often. I shall never cease to thank God for
the inspiration they have imparted to my own humble ministry; and they
have had a place in my library close beside the "Pilgrim's Progress,"
and the biographies of Payson and McCheyne, and the soul-quickening
sermons of Bushnell, Addison Alexander and Dr. McLaren.

After his extended evangelistic labors in various cities, Mr. Finney was
appointed to a theological chair in the newly organized college at
Oberlin, Ohio. From this post, his irrepressible desire to kindle
revivals and to save souls often called him away, and he conducted two
famous evangelistic campaigns in Great Britain. He was the first man to
introduce American revivalistic methods into England and Scotland; but
his labors were never as wide, as influential, and generally acceptable
there as the subsequent labors of Messrs. Moody and Sankey. Forty years
of his busy and heaven-blessed life were spent at Oberlin, where he
impressed his powerful personality on a multitude of students of both
sexes; few religious teachers in America have ever moulded so many
lives, or had their opinions echoed from so many pulpits.

With all my admiration of President Finney's character, I could not--as
a loyal Princetonian--subscribe to some of his peculiar opinions. It
was, therefore, with great surprise that I received from him a letter in
1873 (two years before his death) which contained the startling proposal
that I should be his successor in the college pulpit at Oberlin! He
wrote to me: "I think that there is no more important field of
ministerial labor in the world. I know that you have a great
congregation in Brooklyn, and are mightily prospered in your labors, but
your flock does not contain a _thousand students_ pursuing the higher
branches of education from year to year. Surely your field in Brooklyn
is not more important than mine was at the Broadway Tabernacle in New
York, nor can your people be more attached to you than mine were to me."
This letter--although its kind overture was promptly declined--was a
gratifying proof that the once bitter controversies between "old school"
and "new school" had become quite obsolete. When I mentioned this letter
to my beloved Princeton instructor, Dr. Charles Hodge, a few weeks
before his death, he simply remarked that "his Brother Finney had become
very sweet and mellow in his later years." And long before this time
the two great antagonistic theologians may have clasped hands in heaven.

The closing years of President Finney's useful life were indeed mellow
and most lovable. In the days of his prime he had a commanding form, a
striking face and a clear, incisive style of speech. Simple as a child
in his utterances, he sometimes startled his hearers by his unique
prayers. For example, he was one day driven from his study at Oberlin by
a refractory stovepipe which persisted in tumbling down. At family
worship in the evening he said "Oh, Lord! thou knowest how the temper of
Thy servant has been tried to-day by that stovepipe!" Several other
expressions, quite as quaint and as piquant, might be quoted, if the
limits of this brief sketch would permit. What would be deemed
irreverent if spoken by some lips never sounded irreverent when uttered
by such a natural, fearless and yet devout a spirit as Charles G.
Finney. He retained his erect, manly form, his fresh enthusiasm and
intellectual vigor, to the ripe old age of eighty-three. On a calm
Sabbath evening--in August, 1875--he walked in his garden and listened
to the music from a neighboring church. Retiring to his chamber, the
messenger from his Master met him in the midnight hours, and before the
morning dawned his glorified spirit was before the throne! His is the
crown of one who turned many to righteousness.

While I am writing this chapter of ministerial reminiscences, I receive
the sorrowful tidings that my dear old friend, Dr. Benjamin M. Palmer,
of New Orleans--the prince of Southern preachers--has closed his
illustrious career. To the last his splendid powers were unabated,--and
last year (although past eighty-three) he delivered one of his greatest
sermons before the University of Georgia! His massive discourses, based
on God's word, were a solid pile of concinnate argument, illuminated
with the divine light, and glowing with the divine love shed abroad in
his heart. In the spring of 1887, Mrs. Cuyler and myself visited New
Orleans, and I cared more to see Dr. Palmer than all the city besides.
He cordially welcomed me to the hospitalities of his house, and of that
pulpit which had so long been his throne. I do not wonder that the
people of New Orleans--of all classes and creeds--regarded him not only
with pride, but with an affection that greeted him at every step through
the city of which he was the foremost citizen.

As my readers may all know, Dr. Palmer, through the Civil War, was a
most ardent Secessionist, and as honestly so as I was a Unionist. He
spent much time in preaching to the Confederate soldiers, and he
narrated to me an amusing incident which illustrated his calm and
imperturbable temperament. On a certain fast-day (appointed by the
Confederate authorities) he was to preach in a rural church within the
Confederate lines. The Northern army was lying so close to them that a
battle was imminent at any moment. Dr. Palmer had begun his "long
prayer," when a Federal shell landed immediately under the windows of
the church and exploded with a terrific crash! The doctor was not to be
shelled out of his duty, and he went steadily on to the end of his
prayer. When he opened his eyes the house was deserted! His congregation
had slipped quietly out, and left him "alone in his glory."

Soon after my visit to New Orleans, my old friend was sorely bereaved by
the death of his wife. I wrote him a letter of condolence, and his reply
was, for sweetness and sublimity, worthy of Samuel Rutherford or Richard
Baxter. As both husband and wife are now reunited I venture to publish a
portion of this wonderful letter--both as a message of consolation to
others under a similar bereavement and as a tribute to the great loving
heart of Benjamin M. Palmer.

He says: "Truly my sorrow is a sorrow wholly by itself. What is to be
done with a love which belongs only to one, when that one is gone and
cannot take it up? It cannot perish, for it has become a part of our own
being. What shall we do with a lost love which wanders like a ghost
through all the chambers of the soul only to feel how empty they are? I
have about me--blessed be God! a dear daughter and grandchildren; but I
cannot divide this love among them, for it is incapable of distribution.
What remains but to send it upward until it finds her to whom it belongs
by right of concentration through more than forty years."

"I will not speak, my brother, of my pain--let that be; it is the
discipline of love, having its fruit in what is to be. But I will tell
you how a gracious Father fills this cloud with Himself--and covering me
in it, takes me into His pavilion. It is not what I would have chosen;
but in this dark cloud I know better what it is to be alone with Him;
and how it is best sometimes to put out the earthly lights, that even
the sweetest earthly love may not come between Him and me. It is the old
experience of love breaking through the darkness as it did long ago
through the terrors of Sinai and the more appalling gloom of Calvary. I
have this to thank Him for, the greatest of all His mercies, and then
for this, that He gave her to me so long. The memories of almost half a
century encircle me as a rainbow. I can feed upon them through the
remainder of a short, sad life, and after that can carry them up to
Heaven with me and pour them into song forever. If the strings of the
harp are being stretched to a greater tension, it is that the praise may
hereafter rise to higher and sweeter notes before His throne--_as we bow
together there._"



_Bishop Haven.--Dr. Schaff.--President McCosh_.

To the laborious pastor of a large congregation some period of
recuperation during the summer is absolutely indispensable. The cavalry
officer who, when hotly pursued by the enemy, discovered that his
saddle-girths had become loose, and dismounted long enough to tighten
them, was a wise man, and affords a good example to us ministers.

It was my custom to call a halt, lock my study door (stowing away my
pastoral cares in a drawer) and go away for five or six weeks, and
sometimes a little longer. A sea voyage was undertaken during half a
dozen vacations, but during a portion of forty-two summers I "pitched my
moving tent" in salubrious Saratoga, and a part of twenty-one summers
was spent on the heights of Mohonk.

As this volume is issued in London as well as in New York, I will
mention some things in this chapter for my British readers with which
many of my own fellow-countrymen may be already familiar. There were
several reasons that induced me to select Saratoga early in my ministry
as the best place to spend a part of the summer vacation. It is the most
widely known the world over of any of our American watering places and
is an exceedingly beautiful town. Its spacious Broadway, lined with
stately elms, is one of the most sightly avenues in our land; and some
of the superb hotels that front upon it fulfill the American demand for
"bigness." The most attractive spot to me has always been the beautiful
park that surrounds the famous Congress Spring, and to which every
morning I made my very early pilgrimage for my draught of its sparkling

The park covers but a few acres, but it is a continuous loveliness. When
its rich, soft greensward--worthy of Yorkshire or Devonshire--was
sparkling with the dew, and the fountains were in full play, and the
goodly breeze was singing through the trees, it was a place in which to
chant Dr. Arnold's favorite hymn:--

   "Come, my soul, thou must be waking;
   Now is breaking
   O'er the earth another day;
   Come to Him who made this splendor,
   See thou render
   All thy feeble strength can pay."

The second reason for my choice of Saratoga was the variety of the
wonderful medicinal waters, and their renovating effects. "I can winter
better," said Governor Buckingham, "for even a short summer at
Saratoga," and my experience was quite similar. I honestly believe that
those waters have prolonged my life. In addition to the many health
fountains which have been veritable Bethesdas to multitudes, the dry,
bracing atmosphere is perfumed and tempered by the breezes from the pine
forests of the Adirondack Mountains. While some are attracted to
Saratoga by the waters and others by the air, I found both of them
equally beneficial. As far as its social life is concerned, there are,
as in all summer resorts, two very different descriptions of guests. One
class are devotees of fashion, who go there to gratify the "lust of the
eye, and the pride of life." They drive by day and dance by night; but
some devotees of pleasure have yielded too much to the ensnarements of
the gaming table and the race course. There is another and a more
numerous class made up of quiet business men and their families,
clergymen, college professors and persons in impaired health, who go for
recreation or recuperation. From this latter class, and in some measure
indeed from the former also, the churches of the town attract very large
congregations. It has been my privilege to deliver a little more than
two hundred sermons in Saratoga, and there is no place in which I have
found that a faithful and practical presentation of the "word of life"
is more eagerly welcomed. It is no place to exhibit a show sermon on
dress parade, but it is the very one in which to press home the word on
hearts and consciences, to arouse the impenitent, to give tonic truth to
the weak and the weary, to afford the word of comfort to the sorrowing
and soul-food to the many who hunger for the heavenly manna. I have
already narrated some of my pleasant experiences in preaching at
Saratoga, and I could add to them several other interesting incidents.

For about thirty summers, and occasionally in the winter, I found a
happy home at Dr. Strong's "Remedial Institute" on Circular Street. This
is a family hotel during the summer, and a sanitarium during the
remainder of the year. Every morning the guests assemble for worship,
and the intolerable trio of fashion, frivolity and fiddles, has never
invaded the refined and congenial atmosphere of the house. My host, Dr.
Strong, is an active member of the Methodist Church in that town, and
naturally a large number of ministers of that denomination are his
summer guests. This was very pleasant for me, for, although I am loyally
attached to my own "clan," yet I have a peculiarly warm side for the
ecclesiastical followers of the Wesleys, and am some times introduced in
their conferences as a "Methodistical Presbyterian." At Dr. Strong's I
met many of the leading Methodist ministers, and was exceedingly
"filled with their company." I met, among others, the sweet-spirited
Bishop Jaynes, who always seemed to be a legitimate successor of the
beloved disciple John. If Bishop Jaynes recalled the apostle John, let
me say that the venerated father of my kind host and the founder of the
Sanitarium, the late Dr. Sylvester S. Strong, was such an impersonation
of charming courtesy and fervid spirituality that he might be a
counterpart of "Luke the beloved physician." He was an admirable
preacher before he entered the medical profession. Bishop Peck was a
very entertaining companion and most fraternal in his warmheartedness.
He was a man of colossal proportions, and it was quite proper that he
was appointed to the charge of the churches in the wide regions of
California and Oregon. When he came thence to the General Conference, he
presented his protuberant figure to the assembly, and began with the
humorous announcement, "The Pacific slope salutes you!" On that same
"slope" I discovered last year that Methodism has outgrown even the
formidable proportions of my old friend Dr. Peck.

At Saratoga I first met the eloquent Apollos of American Methodism,
Bishop Matthew Simpson. Those who ever heard Henry Clay in our Senate
chamber, or Dr. Thomas Guthrie in Scotland, have a very distinct idea
of what Simpson was at his flood-tide of irresistible oratory. He
resembled both of those great orators in stature and melodious voice, in
graceful gesture, and in the magnificent enthusiasm that swept
everything before him. Like all that type of fascinating speakers--to
which even Gladstone belonged--he was rather to be heard than to be
read. It is enough that a Gospel preacher should produce great immediate
impressions on his auditors; it is not necessary that he should produce
a finished and permanent piece of literature. Bishop Simpson was the
bosom friend of Abraham Lincoln, and on more than one occasion he knelt
beside our much harassed President and prayed for the strength equal to
the day of trial.

Among all the guests there was none to whom I was more closely and
lovingly drawn than to Bishop Gilbert Haven. None shed off such splendid
scintillations in our evening colloquies on the piazzas. Haven was not
comparable with his associate, Bishop Simpson, in pulpit oratory, for he
was rarely an effective public speaker on any occasion, but in
brilliancy of thought, which made him in conversation like the charge of
an electric battery, and in brilliancy of pen, that kindled everything
it touched, he was without a rival in the Methodist Church--or almost in
any other church in the land. Consistently and conscientiously a
radical, he always took extreme ground on such questions as negro
rights, female suffrage, and liquor prohibition, and he never retreated.
Underneath all this impulsive and impetuous radicalism he was thoroughly
old-fashioned and orthodox in his theology--as far from Calvinism as any
Wesleyan usually is. He did delight in the doctrines of grace with his
whole heart, and it is all the more grateful to me, as a Presbyterian,
to pay this honest tribute to his deeply devout and Christ-like
character. I knew him when he was a student in the Wesleyan University
at Middletown--somewhat rustic in his ways, but a bold, bright youth
hungry for knowledge. In 1862 he published a series of foreign letters
in the _New York Independent_, which Horace Greeley told me he regarded
as most remarkable productions. During the summer of that year I was
watching the sun rise from the summit of the Righi in Switzerland, and
was accosted by a sandy-haired man in an old oilcloth overcoat who asked
for some explanation about the mountain within our view. At the foot of
the Righi I fell in with him again, and was struck with his original and
vigorous thought. The same evening he marched into my room at the
"Schweitzer-Hoff," dripping with the rain, and introduced himself as
"Gilbert Haven." We ministered to the few Americans whom we could find
in Lucerne, and held a prayer meeting on the Sabbath evening in Haven's
room for our far-away country in her dark hour of distress. On that
evening began a friendship which waxed warmer and warmer until death
sundered the tie for a little while; the same hand that sundered can
reunite us.

I am under a strong temptation to give my reminiscences of many notable
persons whom I was wont to meet at Saratoga, such as the urbane
ex-President Martin Van Buren, and that noble Christian statesman,
Vice-President Henry Wilson, and the cheery old poet John Pierpont, and
the erudite Horatio B. Hackett, of Newton Theological Seminary and the
level-headed Miss Catherine E. Beecher, and the gifted Queen of the
great temperance sisterhood, Miss Frances E. Willard, and General
Batcheler, the able American Judge, at Cairo, and that extraordinary
combination of courage, orthodox faith, and brilliant platform eloquence
the late Joseph Cook, of Ticonderoga. I would like also to attempt a
description of the gorgeous "Floral Festivals," which are celebrated in
every September, when the streets of the town blaze with processions of
vehicles decorated with flowers, and the sidewalks and house-fronts are
packed with thousands of delighted spectators; but if "of making many
books there is no end," there ought to be a proper end in the making of
a book. In the course of my life I may have done some very foolish
things, and quite too many sinful things, but I have always endeavored
to avoid doing too long a thing, if it were possible.

During the last twenty-three years I have spent a portion of almost
every summer at Mohonk Lake Mountain House, a hostlery equally
celebrated for the culture of its guests and charms of its scenery. It
is situated on a spur of the Shawangunk Mountains, about six miles from
New Paltz, on the Wallkill Valley Railway. Its discoverer and proprietor
is Albert K. Smiley, who was for many years president of a Quaker Ladies
Academy in Providence, R.I., and is a gentleman of fine scholarship and
varied attainments. He is quite equal to discussing geology with
Professor Guyot (from whom one of the highest hilltops near his house is
named), or art with Huntington, or botany or landscape gardening with
Frederick L. Olmstead, or theology with Dr. Schaff, or questions of
philanthropy with General Armstrong or Booker T. Washington.

The distinctive character of the house is that there is a notable
absence of what is regarded as the chief attractions of some fashionable
summer resorts. Neither bar nor bottles nor ball-room nor bands are to
be found in this Christian home;--for a home it is--in its restful and
refining influences. The young people find no lack of innocent enjoyment
in the bowling alley or on the golf links, in the tennis tournaments or
in rowing upon the lake, with frequent regattas. Instead of the midnight
dance the evening hours are made enjoyable by social conversation, by
musical entertainments, by parlor lectures and other interesting
pastimes. The Sabbath at Mohonk realizes old George Herbert's
description of the

   "Sweet day so cool, so calm, so bright,
   The bridal of the earth and sky;"

Not a boat is loosened from its wharf on the lake; not a carriage is
geared up for a pleasure drive, and many a guest has learned how a
Sabbath spent without the introduction of either business cares or
frivolities may be a joyous refreshment to both body and soul. The
spacious parlor is always crowded for the service of worship on every
morning during the week and also on the Sabbath. I can testify that on
the three-score Sabbaths when I have been called upon to conduct the
services, I have never found a more inspiring auditory.

It is no easy thing to put the external beauties of Mohonk upon paper.
The estate covers four thousand acres, and is intersected with about
fifty miles of fine carriage drives. The garden, which contains a dozen
acres, is ablaze during the most of the season with millions of
flowers--many of them of rare variety. As the glory of Saratoga is its
springs, of Lake George its islands, of Trenton Falls the amber hue of
its waters, so the glory of Mohonk is its rocks. The little lake is a
crystal cup cut out of the solid conglomerated quartz. Its shores are
steep quartz rocks rising fifty feet perpendicularly from the water. The
face of "Sky Top" is heaped around with enormous boulders some thirty
feet in diameter. In among them extend rocky labyrinths which can be
explored with torches. On every hand are immense masses of Shawangunk
grit hurled together over the cliff as if with the convulsions of an
earthquake. Upon these acres of rock around the lake grow the most
luxuriant lichens and the forests in June are efflorescent with laurels
and azalias. The finest point of vantage is on Eagle Cliff; I have
climbed there often to see the sun go down in a blaze of glory
behind the Catskill Mountains. The three highest peaks of the
Catskills--Hunter, Slide, and Peekamoose--were in full view, in purple
and gold. Beneath me on one side was the verdant valley of Rondout; on
the other side the equally beautiful valley of the Wallkill. In the dim
distance we could discover the summits of the mountains in Pennsylvania,
New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts.

When I took Newman Hall, toward sunset, to a crag or cliff overlooking
the lake, he said to me: "Next to Niagara I have seen nothing in America
equal to this."

Mohonk has been a favorite summer resort of many of the most
distinguished people in our land. The Honorable Rutherford B. Hayes,
after his retirement from the presidential chair, loved to find
recreation in rowing his boat on the lake, and in making the ascent of
Sky Top. President Arthur came there during his term of office; and the
widow of General Grant, after spending a fortnight there, pronounced it
the most fascinating spot she had ever seen on this continent Among all
the guests who made their summer home there, none contributed more to
the intellectual enrichment of the company than my revered Christian
friend, Dr. Philip Schaff. No American of our day had such a vast
personal acquaintance with celebrated people. Dr. Schaff was the
intimate friend of Tholuck, Neander, Godet, Hengstenberg, and Dorner; he
was one day in familiar conversation with Dean Stanley in the Abbey and
another day with Gladstone; another day with Dollinger in Vienna, and
another day with Dr. Pusey at Oxford. The promise, "He shall stand
before kings," was often fulfilled to him. The veteran Kaiser William
had him at the royal table, and gave him intimate interview. The King
and Queen of Denmark came on the platform to congratulate him after one
of his eloquent speeches, and the Queen of Greece was one of his
correspondents. He shook hands with more ministers of all
denominations, and of all nationalities than any man of this age. He
was as cordially treated by Archbishop Canterbury as he was by Bismarck
at Berlin or the old Russian Archpriest Brashenski. Dr. Schaff was a
prodigy of industry. During half a century he was the foremost church
historian of this country; he led the work of the Sabbath Committee, and
was the master spirit of the Evangelical Alliance. He edited a volume of
hymnology, and wrote catechisms for children; he filled professors'
chairs in two seminaries and lectured on ecclesiastical history to
others. He published thirty-one volumes and edited two immense
commentaries; he was the president of the Committee on Biblical
Revision, and he crossed the ocean fourteen times as a fraternal
internuncio between the churches of Europe and America. His prodigious
capacity for work made Dr. Samuel Johnson seem an idler, and his varied
attainments and activities were fairly a match for Gladstone.

To those of us who knew Dr. Schaff intimately, one of his most
attractive traits was his jovial humor and inexhaustible fund of
anecdotes. When I made a visit to California--journeying with him to the
Yosemite--his endless stories whiled away the tedium of the trip. How
often when he sat down to my own, or any other table, would he tell how
his old friend, Neander, when asked to say grace at a dinner, and roast
pig was the chief dish, very quaintly said: "O, Lord, if Thou canst
bless under the new dispensation what Thou didst curse under the old
dispensation, then graciously bless this leetle pig. Amen!"

Another eminent scholar who was wont to seek recreation at Mohonk was
the venerable President McCosh, of Princeton University. Since Scotland
sent to Princeton Dr. John Witherspoon to preside over it, and to be one
of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, she has sent no
richer gift than Dr. James McCosh. For several years before he came to
America he was a professor in the Queen's College at Belfast. Passing
through Belfast in 1862, I looked in for a few moments at the Irish
Presbyterian General Assembly, which was convened in Dr. Cook's church,
and said to a man: "Whom can you show me here?" Pointing to a tall,
somewhat stooping figure, standing near the pulpit, he said: "There is
McCosh." I replied: "It is worth coming here to see the brightest man in
Ireland." What a great, all-round, fully equipped, many-sided mass of
splendid manhood he was! What a complete combination of philosopher,
theologian, preacher, scholar, and college president all rolled into
one! During the twenty years of his brilliant career at Princeton he
displayed much of Jonathan Edwards' metaphysical acumen, of John
Witherspoon's wisdom, Samuel Davies' fervor and Dr. "Johnny" McLean's
kindness of heart; the best qualities of his predecessors were combined
in him. He came here a Scotchman at the age of fifty-seven, and in a
year he became, as Paddy said, "a native American."

To my mind the chief glory of Dr. McCosh's presidency at Princeton was
the fervid interest he felt in the religious welfare of his students. He
often invited me to come over and deliver sermons to them, and
occasionally a temperance address; for he was a zealous teetotaler and
prohibitionist, and I always lodged with him at his house. As I turn
over my book of correspondence I find many brief letters from him. In
the following one he refers to the remarkable revival in the college in
the winter and early spring of 1870:


     _My dear Dr. Cuyler:_

     In the name of the Philadelphian Society, and in my own name, I
     request you to conduct our service on the day of prayer for
     colleges, being Thursday the 30th of January. It is three years, if
     I calculate rightly, since you performed that duty for us. That
     visit was followed by the blessed work in which you took an active
     part. May it be the same this year! The college is in an
     interesting state: we have a great deal of the spirit of study;
     there is a meeting for prayer every night except Friday; the class
     prayer meetings are all well attended, in some of the classes as
     many as sixty present; but we need a quickening. I do hope you will
     come. Our habit is an address of half an hour or so at three PM in
     the college chapel, and a sermon in one of the churches, especially
     addressed to students, but open to all in the evening. Of course,
     you will come to my house, and live with me. Yours as ever,

     James McCosh.

To hundreds of the alumni of Princeton this letter will stir the
fountain of old memories. They will hear in it the ring of the old
college bell; they will see the lines of students marching across the
campus to evening prayer and into the chapel. Upon the platform mounts
the stooping form of grand old "Uncle Jimmie," and in his broad and not
unmelodious Scotch accents he pours out his big, warm heart in prayer.
With honest pride in their Alma Mater, they will thank God that they
were trained for the battle of life by James McCosh.

The limits of this narrative do not allow me to tell of all my
delightful "foregatherings" with that venerated Nestor of American art,
Daniel Huntington; and with General James Grant Wilson with his
_repertoire_ of racy Scotch stories; and with my true yoke-fellows in
the Gospel, Dr. Herrick Johnson, Dr. Marvin R. Vincent, and Dr. Samuel
J. Fisher--and with a group of infinitely witty women who regaled many
an evening hour with their merry quips and conundrums. The unwritten law
which prevails in that social realm is: "Each for all, and all for each

Mr. Smiley had been for some years a member of the United States Indian
Commission, and his experience in that capacity had awakened a deep
interest in the welfare of the remaining Aborigines, who had too often
been the prey of unscrupulous white men who came in contact with them.
About sixteen years ago he conceived the happy idea of calling a
conference at Mohonk of those who were conversant with Indian affairs
and most desirous to promote their well being. His invitation brought
together such distinguished philanthropists as the veteran ex-Senator
Henry L. Dawes, General Clinton B. Fisk, General Armstrong, the founder
of Hampton Institute; Merrill E. Gates, Philip C. Garrett, Herbert Welsh,
and that picturesque and powerful friend of the red man, the late Bishop
Whipple of Minnesota. The discussions and decisions of this annual
Mohonk Conference have had immense influence in shaping the legislation
and controlling the conduct of our national government in all Indian
affairs. It has helped to make history.

The great success of this conference, which meets in October of each
year, led my Quaker friend, Smiley, eight years ago, to inaugurate an
"Arbitration conference" for the promotion of international peace. It
was a happy thought and has yielded a rich fruitage. About the first of
every June this conference brings together such men and women of "light
and leading" from all parts of our country as ex-Senator George F.
Edmunds of Vermont, the Rev. Edward Everett Hale of Boston, the Hon.
William J. Coombs, the Hon. Robert Treat Paine, Dr. B.F. Trueblood, John
B. Garrett and Joshua L. Bailey, Colonel George E. Waring, Hon. John W.
Foster, Chief Justice Nott, Warner Van Norden, and a great number of
well known clergymen and editors have read able papers or delivered
instructive addresses on that ever burning problem of how to turn swords
into plowshares, and spears into pruning hooks.

I especially sympathize with the spirit of this Arbitration conference,
not only because I abominate war _per se_, but because I firmly believe
that among the grievous perils that confront our nation is the mania for
enormous and costly military and naval armament--and also the policy of
extending our territory by foreign conquests. The high mission of our
Republic is to maintain the fundamental principles initiated in our
Declaration of Independence--that all true government rests on the
consent of the governed. It is an impious profanation of our flag of
freedom to make it the symbol of absolutism on any soil. In the conflict
now waging for true American principles, I heartily concur in the views
of the late Benjamin Harrison, who was one of the most clear-sighted
and patriotic of our Presidents. Just before his death I addressed to
that noble Christian statesman a letter of heartfelt thanks for the
position he was taking. With the following gratifying reply which I
received, I conclude my chapter on peace-loving "Smiley-land":

     INDIANAPOLIS, Dec 26, 1900

     _My dear Dr. Cuyler_.

     I can hardly tell you how grateful your letter was to me, or how
     highly I value your approval. My soul has been in revolt against
     the doctrine of Congressional Absolutism. I want to save my
     veneration for the men who made us a nation, and organized the
     nation under the Constitution. This will be impossible if I am to
     believe that they organized a government to exercise from their
     place that absolutism which they rejected for themselves. The
     newspaper reports of my Ann Arbor address were most horribly
     mangled, but the address will appear in the January number of the
     _North American Review_. Allow me, my dear friend, to extend to you
     the heartiest thanks, not only for your kind words, but for the
     noble life which gives them value.

     With all good wishes of the Christmastide,

     Most sincerely your friend,




When I entered upon the Christian ministry fifty-six years ago, there
was no probability that I would live to see four-score. My father had
died at the early age of twenty-eight, and several of his brothers and
sisters had succumbed to pulmonary maladies. My mother was dangerously
ill several times, but had a wiry constitution and lived to eighty-five.
That my own busy life has held out so long is owing, under a kind
Providence, to the careful observation of the primal laws of health. I
have eschewed all indigestible food, stimulants, and intoxicants;--have
taken a fair amount of exercise; have avoided too hard study or sermon
making in the evenings--and thus secured sound and sufficient sleep. In
keeping God's commandments written upon the body I have found great
reward. From the standpoint of four-score I propose in this chapter to
take a retrospect of some of the moral and religious movements that have
occurred within my memory--in several of which I have taken part--and I
shall note also the changes for better or worse that I have observed.
If as an optimist I may sometimes exaggerate the good, and minimize the
evil things, it is the curse of a pessimist that he can travel from Dan
to Beersheba and find nothing but barrenness.

The first change for the better that I shall speak of is the progress I
have seen in church fellowship. The division of the Christian church
into denominations is a fixed fact and likely to remain so for a long
time to come. Nor is it the serious evil that many imagine. The
efficiency of an army is not impaired by division into corps, brigades
and regiments, as long as they are united against the common enemy;
neither does the Church of Christ lose its efficiency by being organized
on denominational lines, as long as it is loyal to its Divine head, and
united in its efforts to overcome evil, and establish the Kingdom of
Heaven. Some Christians work all the better in harness that suits their
peculiar tastes and preferences. Denominationalism becomes an evil the
moment it degenerates into bitter and bigoted sectarianism. Conflicts
between a dozen regiments is suicide to an army. When a dozen
denominations strive to maintain their own feeble churches in a
community that requires only three or four churches, then sectarianism
becomes an unspeakable nuisance.

I could cite many instances to prove the great progress that has been
made in church fellowship. For example, my early ministry was in a town
in which the Society of Friends had a large meeting house, well filled
by a most intelligent, orthodox and devout congregation. But its members
never entered any other house of worship. I had the warmest personal
intimacy with some of its leading men, but they would say: "We would
like to hear thee preach on First Day, but the rules of our society
forbid it." I have lived to see the day when I am invited to speak in
Friends' meetings, and I have rejoiced to invite Quaker brothers, and
sisters also, to speak in my pulpit. When I visit London, the most
eminent living Quaker, J. Bevan Braithwaite, welcomes me to his
hospitable house, and we join in prayer together. I wish that the
exemplary and useful Society of Friends were more multiplied on both
sides of the sea.

During the early half of the last century sectarian controversies ran
high, especially in the newly settled West. It was a common custom to
hold public discussions in school houses and frontier meeting houses,
where controverted topics between denominations were presented by chosen
champions before applauding audiences. Ministers fired hot shot at one
another's pulpits; churches were often as militant as mendicant, and all
those polemics were excused as contending most earnestly for the faith.
Both sides found their ammunition in the same Bible. When I was a
student in the Princeton Seminary, a classmate from Kentucky gave me a
little hymn-book used at the camp meetings in the frontier settlements
of his native region. In that book was a hymn, one verse of which
contains these sweet and irenic lines:

   "When I was blind, and could not see,
   The Calvinists deceivèd me."

Just imagine the incense of devout praise ascending heavenward in such a
thick smoke of sectarian contentions! All the denominations were more or
less afflicted with this controversial malady; and I will venture to say
that in Kentucky and Ohio and other new regions, the Presbyterians were
often a fair match for their Methodist neighbors in these theological
pugilistics. I might multiply illustrations of these unhappy clashings
and controversies that have often disfigured even the most evangelical
branches of Christendom. What a blessed change for the better have I
witnessed in my old days! Among the foremost efforts of denominational
fellowship was the organization of the American Bible Society, the
American Tract Society, and the American Sunday School Union. Later on
in the same century came those two splendid spiritual inventions--The
Young Men's Christian Association, and the Society of Christian
Endeavor. Sir George Williams, the founder of the one, and Dr. Francis
E. Clark, the father of the other, should be commemorated in a pair of
twin statues of purest marble, standing with locked arms and upholding a
standard bearing the sacred motto: "One is our Master, even Christ
Jesus, and all ye are brethren." To no man are we indebted more deeply
than to the now glorified Mr. Moody who made Christian fellowship the
indispensable feature of all his evangelistic endeavors--with Brother
Sankey leading the grand chorus of united praise. Union meetings for the
conversion of souls and seeking the descent of the Holy Spirit are now
as common as the observance of Christmas or of Easter Day. Personally I
rejoice to say that I have been permitted to preach the Gospel in the
pulpits of all the leading denominations, not excepting the
Episcopalian; and I once welcomed the noble and beloved Bishop Charles
P. McIlvaine of Ohio to my Lafayette Avenue Church pulpit, where he
pronounced a grand discourse on "The Unity of All Christians in the Lord
Jesus Christ." If I lived in England I should be heart and soul a
nonconformist. But I can gratefully acknowledge the many kind courtesies
which I have received from the clergy of the Established Church. Once,
when in London, I was invited to the annual dinner given by the Lord
Mayor to the archbishops and bishops, and I found myself the only
American clergyman present. The Archbishop of Canterbury, when Bishop
of London, did me the honor of presiding at a reception given me at
Exeter Hall, and whenever I have met the venerable Dr. Temple I have
been cheered by his warm-hearted and "democratic" cordiality of manner.
In return for the kindness shown me by my brilliant and scholarly
friend, Archdeacon Farrar, I was happy to preside at a reception given
him in Chickering Hall. He had a wide welcome in our land, but it was as
the untiring champion of temperance reform that he was especially
honored on that evening. He and Archdeacon Basil Wilberforce are among
the leaders in the crusade against the curse of strong drink. Amid some
evil portents and perils to the cause of evangelical religion,
one of the richest tokens for good is this steady increase of
interdenominational fellowship. For organic unity we need not yet
strive; it is enough that all the regiments and brigades in Christ's
covenant hosts march to the same music, fight together under the same
standard of Calvary's Cross, and press on, side by side, and shoulder to
shoulder, to the final victory of righteousness and truth and human

Another change for the better has been the enlargement of woman's sphere
of activity in the promotion of Christianity and of moral reform. As an
illustration of this fact, I may cite a rather unique incident in my
own experience. During the winter of 1872 I invited Miss Sarah F.
Smiley, an eminent and most evangelical minister in the Society of
Friends (and a sister of the Messrs. Albert and Daniel Smiley, the
proprietors of the Lake Mohonk House) to deliver a religious address in
my pulpit. The discourse she delivered was strong in intellect, orthodox
in doctrine and fervently spiritual in character; the large audience was
both delighted and edified. A neighboring minister presented a complaint
before the Presbytery of Brooklyn, alleging that my proceeding had been
both un-Presbyterian and un-Scriptural. The complainant was not able to
produce a syllable of law from our form of government forbidding what I
had done. Long years before, a General Assembly had recommended that
"women should not be permitted to address a promiscuous assemblage" in
any of our churches; but a mere "deliverance" of a General Assembly has
no binding legal authority.

In my defense I was careful not to advocate the ordination of women to
the ministry in the Presbyterian Church, or their installation in the
pastorate. I contended that as our confession of faith was silent on the
subject, and that as godly women in the early church were active in the
promotion of Christianity (one of them named Anna having publicly
proclaimed the coming Messiah), and that as the ministry of my
excellent friend, the Quakeress, had for many years been attended by the
abundant blessings of the Holy Spirit, my act was rather to be commended
than condemned. The discussion before the Presbytery lasted for two days
and produced a wide and rather sensational interest over the country.
The final vote of the Presbytery, while withholding any censure of my
course under the circumstances, was adverse to the practice of
permitting women to address "promiscuous audiences" in our churches. Two
or three years afterwards, a case similar to mine was appealed to the
General Assembly and that body wisely decided that such questions should
be left to the judgment and conscience of the pastors and church
sessions. When the news of this action of the assembly reached us, the
old sexton of the Lafayette Avenue Church hoisted (to the great
amusement of our people) the stars and stripes on the church tower as a
token of victory. It has now become quite customary to invite female
missionaries, and other godly women, to address audiences composed of
both sexes in our churches; the padlock has been taken off the tongue of
any consecrated Christian woman who has a message from the Master. I
invited Miss Willard and Lady Henry Somerset to advocate the Christian
grace of temperance from my pulpit; and if I were still a pastor I
should rejoice to invite that good angel of beneficence, Miss Helen M.
Gould, to deliver there such an address as she lately made in the
splendid building she has erected for the "Naval Christian Association."

Foreign missions were in their early and vigorous growth eighty years
ago. I rode in our family carriage to church with Sheldon Dibble and
Reuben Tinker, who were just leaving Auburn Theological Seminary to go
out as our pioneer missionaries to the Sandwich Islands. The _Missionary
Herald_ was taken in a great number of families and read with great
avidity. Many of the readers were people who not only devoutly prayed
"Thy Kingdom come," but who were willing to stick to a rag carpet, and
deny themselves a "Brussels," in order to contribute more to the spread
of that Kingdom. Wealth has increased to a prodigious and perilous
extent; but the percentage of money given to foreign missions is very
far from what it was in the day of my childhood. It is a growing custom
for ministers to utter a prayer over the contribution boxes when they
are brought back to the platform before the pulpit; I suspect that it in
too many cases should be one of penitential confession.

While I was a student in the Princeton Seminary we had a visit from the
veteran missionary, Levi Spalding, who sailed from Boston to Southern
India in the very first band which invaded the darkness of Hindooism He
was as nearly like my conception of the Apostle Paul as anyone I ever
beheld. He told us that when he was a youth and his heart was first
drawn to the cause of missions, he told his good mother that he had
decided upon a missionary life (which was then thought equivalent to a
martyrdom), and she was perfectly overcome. He said to her: "Mother,
when you gave me as an infant to God in baptism, did you withhold me
from any service to which I might be called?" She assented in a
moment--went to the old chest--from it she took a half-dollar (all the
money she possessed in the world), and, handing it to him, said: "Levi,
you may go, and this starts you on your education." On his way over to
India his preaching converted all the sailors, including the ship's
carpenter, "whose heart was as hard as his broadaxe." That was the stuff
our first missionaries were made of. The tears flowed down our cheeks as
we listened to Spalding's recital, and the result of his visit was that
more than one of our students volunteered for the work of foreign

It was also my great privilege during that Princeton course to put eye
upon a man who, by common consent, is regarded as the king of American
missionaries. On my way from Princeton to Philadelphia in the Christmas
week of '45 I found among my fellow passengers a gentleman with a very
benign countenance, and to my great delight I learned that he was
Adoniram Judson, who was on his final and memorable visit to his native
land, and was received everywhere with the most unbounded and reverent
enthusiasm. He had begun his work in Burmah in 1813, but under great
difficulties. During the first six years he made no converts; he defied
the demon of discouragement and labored on with increased faith and
zeal, and then came an abundant harvest. The colossal work of his life
in Burmah was the translation of the Holy Scriptures into the Burmese
language. To this work, which is likely to endure, he added a
Burmese-English dictionary. At length the toils and exposures broke down
his health and he was obliged to take several voyages in adjoining
waters. Soon after I saw him he married Miss Chubbuck and returned to
Burmah in the following year. The old conflict between the holy and
heroic heart and failing body was soon renewed. He resorted once more to
the sea for relief, but died during the passage, on April 12, 1850. When
crossing the Atlantic in the summer of 1885 I spent much of the time
with that noble minister, Rev. Edward Judson, of New York. A funeral at
sea occurred, and as the remains were disappearing in the water Mr.
Judson said to me, with solemn tenderness: "Just so my beloved father
was committed to the deep: his sepulchre is this great, wide ocean,"
That ocean is a type of his world-wide influence. Not only in the
priority of time as a fearless pioneer into unknown dangers, but in
profound and patient scholarship, and in the beauty of a holy and
lovable personality, Adoniram Judson still hold the primacy among our
American missionary heroes.

The progress which has been made in Christianizing heathendom during the
last century (which may well be called the century of foreign missions)
is familiar to every person of intelligence. The number of converts to
Christianity is at least two millions, and several millions more have
felt the influence of Christian civilization. The great mass have not
been suddenly revolutionized, as in Luther's time, but one by one
individual hearts yield to the gospel in nearly every land. As a serious
offset to these glorious results the commerce of nominally Christian
nations is often poisonous. Britain carries opium into China and India;
America and other civilized nations carry rum into Africa. The word of
life goes in the cabin, and the worm of death goes in the hold of the
same vessel! The sailors that have gone from nominally Christian
countries to various ports have often been very far from acting as
gospel missionaries. It is not only for their own welfare, but that they
may become representatives of Christianity that the noble "American
Seamen's Friend Society" has been organized. The work which that society
has wrought under the vigorous leadership of Dr. Stitt entitles it to
the generous support of all our churches. If toiling "Jack" braves the
tempest to bring us wealth from all climes, we owe it to him to provide
him the anchor of the gospel, and to save him from spiritual shipwreck.

To no other benevolent society have I more cheerfully given service of
tongue and pen than to this one. An honest view of the foreign mission
enterprises to-day reveals the laying of broad foundations, and the
building of solid walls, rather than any completed achievements already
wrought. Blood tells, and God has entrusted his gospel to the
Anglo-Saxons and the other most powerful races on the globe. The
religion of the Bible is the only religion adapted to universal
humanity, and in the Bible is a definite pledge that to all humanity
that religion shall yet be preached.

Among the great spiritual agencies born within my memory, none deserves
a higher place than The Young Men's Christian Association. When my
beloved brother, Sir George Williams (now an octogenarian) started the
first association in London on the 6th of June, 1844, he "builded better
than he knew," The modest room in his store overlooking Paternoster Row
in which he gathered the little praying band on that day is already an
historic spot. My own connection with the Young Men's Christian
Association began in New York when I joined the association there in the
second year of its existence, 1854. We met in a room in Stuyvesant
Institute and the heroic Howard Crosby was our president. We had no
library, or reading room, or gymnasium, or any of the appliances that
belong to the institutions of these days. After several migrations, our
association found its permanent home in the spacious building on
Twenty-third Street, to which Morris K. Jesup and William E. Dodge were
among the foremost contributors. The master spirit in the operations of
the New York Association for thirty years was Mr. Robert McBurney, who,
when he landed from Ireland, was only seventeen years of age. He was
among my evening congregation in the old Market Street Church. During my
seven years' pastorate in that church I delivered a great many
discourses and platform addresses on behalf of the association, and
through all of the subsequent years it has been a favorite object on
which to bestow my humble efforts. Here in Brooklyn a host of young-men
have found a moral shelter, and many of them a spiritual birthplace, in
the fine structure, reared largely from the munificent bequests of that
princely Christian philanthropist, the late Mr. Frederick Marquand. It
is not permitted to every good man or woman before they die to see the
glorious fruits of the trees they planted, but to the eyes of the
veteran George Williams the following facts must seem like a rehearsal
of heaven. The Young Men's Christian Association now belts the globe
with half a million of members, and ten times that number in some direct
connection with the organization. It is housed in hundreds of solid
structures which have cost between thirty and forty million
dollars--each one a cheerful home--_a_ place for physical development,
manly instruction and training for Christ's service.

It has brought thousands of young men from impenitence to Christ Jesus,
and made thousands of young Christians more like Jesus in their daily
life. The most effective lay preacher of the century, D.L. Moody,
confessed that in his training for spiritual work he owed more to the
Young Men's Christian Association than to any other human agency. It has
moulded the students of colleges and universities; it has been the
salvation of many a soldier and sailor; it has led many into the gospel
ministry; it has taught the whole world the beauty and power of a living
unity in Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit has set the Divine seal of His
blessing on its world-wide work, and to the triune God be all the praise
and all the glory.

As I witnessed the birth of the Young Men's Christian Association, I
also saw the birth of a kindred organization, the "Society of Christian
Endeavor." Many years ago an absurd and extravagant statement was widely
afloat, claiming that I was the "grandsire" of this society. The simple
truth was that Dr. Francis E. Clark, its heaven-directed founder, had
seen in some religious journals my account of the good work wrought by
the Young People's Association of the Lafayette Avenue Church, and he
recognized the fact that its chief purpose was not mere sociality or
literary advancement, but the spiritual profit of its members. He
examined its constitution and reports, and when he constructed his first
Christian Endeavor Society in the Williston Church of Portland, Maine,
he adopted many of its features; and my beloved brother Clark, in his
public addresses, has generously acknowledged such obligation as he was
under to our Young People's Association (now in its thirty-fifth year of
prosperous activity). It has always been a source of grateful pride that
it should have furnished any aid to the origination of one of the
foremost spiritual instrumentalities of the century. As any attempt to
describe the sublime grandeur of Niagara would be a waste of time, so it
would be equally futile for me to describe the magnificent extent of the
Christian Endeavor Society's operations and the immense spiritual
results that have flowed from them. There is no civilized speech or
language where its voice is not heard; its line has gone out to all the
earth, and its words to the ends of the world. It has done more than any
other single agency to develop the life and to train for service the
energies of the youthful members of the churches It has yet still wider
possibilities before it, and when the hand that planted this mighty tree
has turned to dust its boughs will be shedding down the fruits of the
Spirit on the dwellers in every clime.

One of the most striking improvements that I have witnessed has been in
the sanitary condition, both physical and moral, of our great cities.
The conditions in New York, when I came to the pastorate of the Market
Street Church almost fifty years ago, would seem incredible to the New
Yorkers of to-day. The disgusting depravities of the Fourth Ward,
afterwards made familiar by the reformatory efforts of Jerry McCauley,
were then in full blast, defying all police authority and outraging
common decency. The most hideous sink of iniquity and loathsome
degradation was in the once famous "Five Points," in the heart of the
Sixth Ward and within a pistol shot of Broadway. At the time of my
coming to New York public attention had been drawn to that quarter with
the opening of the "Old Brewery Mission," and by the first planting of
a kindred enterprise which grew into the now well-known "Five Points
House of Industry." The brave projector of this enterprise was the Rev.
L.M. Pease, a hero whose name ought not to be forgotten. As my church
was just off East Broadway, and within a short walk of the Five Points,
I took a deep interest in Mr. Pease's Christian undertaking, and aided
him by every means in my power. His wife became a member of my church.
The "Wild Maggie," whose escapades described in the _Tribune_ gained
such public notoriety, became also, after her reformation, one of our
church members and afterwards held the position of a school teacher.
After the resignation of Mr. Pease and his removal to North Carolina,
his place was taken by one of our Market Street elders, the devout and
godly minded Benjamin R. Barlow. In order to keep awake public interest
in the mission work at the Five Points, and to get ammunition, in its
behalf, I used to make nocturnal explorations of some of those satanic
quarters. I recall now one of those midnight forays of which, at the
risk of my reader's olfactories, I will give a brief glimpse. In company
with the superintendent of the mission and a policeman and a lad with a
lantern I struck for the "Cow Bay," the classic spot of which Charles
Dickens had given such a piquant description in his "American Notes" a
few years before. Climbing a stairway, from which the banisters had
long been broken away for firewood, we entered a dark room. There was
only a tallow candle burning in the corner, and in the room were huddled
twenty-five human beings. Along the walls were ranged the bunks--one
above the other--covered with rotting quilts and unwashed coverings.
Each of these rented for sixpence a night to any thief or beggar who
chose to apply for lodging--no distinction being made for sex or color.
As the lad swings the lantern about we spy the rows of heads projecting
from under the stacks of rags. In one bed a gray-haired, disheveled head
cuddled close to the yellow locks of a slumbering child. While we are
reconnoitering, something like a huge dog runs past and dives under the
bed. "What is this, good friend?" we ask. "Oh, only the goat," replied a
merry Milesian. "Do the goats live with you all in this room?" "To be
sure they do, sir; we feeds 'em tater skins, and milks 'em for the
babies," Country born as we were, we have often longed to keep a dairy
in this city, but it never occurred to us that a bedroom was sufficient
for the purpose. Truly, necessity is the shrewd-witted mother of
invention! Opposite "Cow Bay" was "Cut-Throat Alley." Two murders a year
were about the average product of the civilization of this dark defile.
The keeper of the famous grog shop there, who died about that time, left
a fortune of nearly one hundred thousand dollars. In city politics the
keeper of such a den is one of the leaders of public opinion. We climbed
a stairway, dark and dangerous, till at length we reached the wretched
garret through whose open chinks the snow drifted in upon the floor.
Beside the single broken stove, the only article of furniture in the
apartments, sat a wretched woman wrapped in a tattered shawl moaning
over a terrible burn that covered her arms; she had fallen when
intoxicated upon the stove and no one had cared enough to carry her to
the hospital. She exclaimed, "For God's sake, gentlemen, can't you give
me a glass of gin?" A half eaten crust lay by her and a cold potato or
two, but the irresistible thirst clamored for relief before either pain
or hunger. "Good woman," said my friend, "where's Mose?" "Here he is." A
heap of rags beside her was uncovered, and there lay the sleeping face
of an old negro, apparently of fifty. In nearly every garret we entered
practical amalgamation was in fashion. The superintendent told me that
the negroes were fifty per cent. in advance of the Irish as to sobriety
and decency. Descending from the garret we entered a crowded cellar. The
boy's lantern shone on the police officer's cap and buttons. A crash was
heard, and the window at the opposite end of the cellar was shattered
and a mass of riddled glass fell on the floor. "Poor fool!" exclaimed
the policeman, "he thinks we are after him, but I will have him before
morning." From these sickening scenes of squalor, misery and crime what
a relief it was for us to return to the House of Industry, with its neat
school room and its capacious chapel and its row of little children
marching up to their little beds. It was like going into the light-house
after the storm.

I have drawn this pen picture of but a part of the shocking revelations
of that night, not only that my readers may know what kind of work I
often engaged in during my New York pastorate, but that they may also
know what kind of city I labored in. New York is not to-day in sight of
the millennium; it still has a fearful amount of vice and heathenism;
and the self-denying men who are conducting the "University Settlement,"
and the Christ-serving "King's Daughters," who are giving their lives to
the salvation of the poor in the Seventh Ward are doing as apostolic a
work as any missionary on the Congo. Nevertheless it is true that a "Cow
Bay," or an "Old Brewery," or a "Cut-Throat Alley" is no more possible
to-day in New York than the building of a powder factory in the middle
of Central Park. The progress in sanitary purification has been most

This narrative of the sanitary and moral reform wrought in the Five
Points reminds me of another good man whom the people of this city and
our whole country cannot revere too highly as a public benefactor. I
allude to Mr. Anthony Comstock, the indefatigable Secretary of the
"Society for the Prevention of Vice." I knew him well when he was a
clerk in a dry goods store on Broadway, and when he undertook his first
purifying efforts, I little supposed that he was to achieve such
reforms. It was an Augean stable indeed that he set about cleansing.
Fifty years ago our city was flooded by obscene literature which sought
no concealment. The vilest books and pictures were openly sold in the
streets, and an enormous traffic was waged in what may be called the
literature of hell. Such a courageous crusade against those abominations
and against the gambling dens, by Mr. Comstock--even at the risk of
personal violence and in defiance of the most malignant
opposition--entitles him to a place among our veritable heroes. At a
time when deeds of military prowess receive such adulation, and when the
"man on horseback" outstrips the man on foot in the race for popular
favor, it is well to teach our young men that he who takes up arms
against the principalities and powers of darkness, and makes his own
life the savior of other lives, wins a knightly crown of heavenly honor
that outshines the stars, and "fadeth not away."

The most unique organization that has been formed in our time for the
evangelizing of the lost masses is the "Salvation Army." When I was in
London, in the summer of 1885, I attended one of their monster meetings
in Exeter Hall. There was an enormous military band on the platform
behind the rostrum. Their Commander-in-Chief, General Booth, presided--a
tall, thin, nervous man, who looked more like an old-fashioned Kentucky
revivalist than an Englishman. His bright-eyed and comely wife, Mrs.
Catharine Booth, was with him. She was a woman of remarkable
intellectual force and spiritual character, as all must acknowledge who
have read her biography. Her speech (on the Protection of Young Girls)
was finely composed and finely delivered, and quite threw into the shade
a couple of members of Parliament who spoke from the same platform on
the same evening. When she made any telling point that awakened
applause, her husband leaped up, and gave the signal: "Fire a volley!"
Whereupon his troops gave a tremendous cheer, followed by a roll of
drums and a blast of trumpets. The chief agency which the army employs
to gather its audiences is music--whether it be the rattling of the
tambourine, or the martial sound of a brass band. Some of their hymns
are little better than pious doggerel, and they do not hesitate to add
to Perronet's grand hymn, "All hail the power of Jesus name," such a
stanza as the following:

   "Let our soldiers never tire,
     In streets, in lane, in hall,
   The red-hot Gospel's shot to fire
     And crown Him Lord of All."

Grotesque as are some of the methods of this novel organization, I
cannot but admire their zeal and courage in dredging among the submerged
masses with such spiritual apparatus as they can devise. They are doing
a work that God has honored, and that has reached and rescued a vast
number of outcasts. Their chief weakness is that they appeal mainly to
the emotions, and give too little solid instruction to their ignorant
hearers. Their chief danger is that when the strong arm of their founder
is taken away he may not leave successors who can hold the army
together. Let us hope and pray that the period of their usefulness may
yet be protracted.

While an abnormal agency, like the Salvation Army, may do some useful
service among the occupants of the slums, the greater work of reaching
and evangelizing the immense mass of plain, humble working people must
be done by the churches themselves. What do the dwellers in the
by-streets and the tenement houses need? They need precisely what the
dwellers in the brown stone houses on fine avenues need--a sanctuary to
worship in, a Sunday school for their children, a preacher to give them
the Gospel, and a pastor to visit them and watch over them--in short, a
spiritual home. As for bringing the poorer class of the back streets
into the elegant churches on the fashionable avenues it is an absurdity,
both geography and human nature are against it. The plainly dressed
laborers of the back districts could not come to the fine churches on
Fifth Avenue, or similar streets, because these edifices are already
occupied by their regular pew holders; they would not come, for they
would not feel at home there. Since the humbler toiling classes will not
come to the sanctuaries occupied by the rich, the only true Christian
policy is for the rich churches to build and maintain plenty of
attractive auxiliary chapels in the regions occupied by those humbler
classes. Not mean and unattractive soup-house style of chapels should
they be, either--they ought to be handsome, cheerful, well-appointed
sanctuaries, manned by godly pastors who are not above the business of
saving souls that are clad in dirty shirts. And that is not all: the
members of the wealthy churches which rear the auxiliary chapels should
personally go and attend the services and Sunday schools and weekly
meetings in the chapel--not go in costly raiment that touches the pride
of God's poor, but in plain clothes and with a hearty democratic
sympathy in their whole bearing. To reach the masses we must go after
them--and then stay with them when we get there. If broadcloth religion
waits for poverty and ignorance to cross the chasm to it, then may they
at last come to be a menace to the safety of society--with imprecations
on it for criminal neglect. Christianity must build the bridge across
the chasm, and then keep its steady procession crossing over it with
bright lamps for dark homes, and Bibles for darker souls, and bread for
hungry mouths, and, what is best of all, _personal intercourse and
personal sympathy_. The music of a Christmas carol would be very sweet
in poverty's garret; the advent of the living Jesus in the persons of
His true-hearted followers would be a "Merry Christmas" all the year

Brooklyn is not a city of slums, nor does it abound with the
sky-scraping tenement houses, like those in which the myriads of New
York live, but we have a large population of wage-earners of the humbler
class. These mainly occupy streets by themselves. In order to do our
part in giving the bread of life to these worthy people, Lafayette
Avenue Church has always maintained two, and sometimes three, auxiliary
chapels. Of these, the "Cuyler Chapel," built and supported entirely by
our Young People's Association, is a fair representative. It has an
excellent preacher, who visits the plain people in their homes; it has a
well-equipped Sunday school--prayer meetings, kindergarten--its own
Society of Christian Endeavor, and King's Daughters, its penny savings
bank and its temperance society--in short, every appliance essential to
a Christian church. Many others of our strong Brooklyn churches are
working precisely on the same practical, common-sense lines. If all the
wealthy churches in New York would illuminate the darker quarters of
that city with a hundred well-manned light-houses, well provided with
the soul-saving apparatus of the poor man's Gospel they would do more to
silence the cavils against Christianity, and more to bridge the chasm
between the rich and the poor than by any of the superficial methods of
the "Humanitarians." What a poor man wants is not only a clean shirt, a
clean home, and a clean account on Saturday night; he wants a clean
character and a clean soul for this world and the next. Christianity
makes a sad mistake if it is satisfied to give him a full stomach, and
leave him with a starving soul.

In recent years we have heard much about the "Institutional Church" as
the long sought panacea. It is claimed by some persons that the churches
cannot succeed unless they add to ordinary spiritual instrumentalities,
various useful annexes, such as reading rooms, kindergartens,
dispensaries, and certain social entertainments. But it is a noteworthy
fact that the chief pioneer in "Institutional" methods was the late
Charles Haddon Spurgeon, and he was the prince of old-fashioned gospel
preachers. He never thought of his orphanage, and other benevolent
adjuncts of the Metropolitan Tabernacle as substitutes for the sovereign
purpose of his holy work, which was to convert the people to Jesus
Christ. He subordinated the physical, the mental, and the social to the
spiritual; and rightly judged that making clean hearts was the best way
to secure clean homes and clean lives. I have no doubt that a very
strong, well-manned and thoroughly spiritually managed church may wisely
maintain as many adjuncts, such as reading-rooms, libraries,
dispensaries, kindergartens and other humanitarian annexes as it has the
means to support. An illustration of this is seen in the successful and
Heaven-blessed Bethany Presbyterian Church of Philadelphia, founded and
maintained and guided by that hundred-handed Briareus in the service of
Christ--my beloved friend, the Hon. John Wanamaker. The aim of that
great church and its well-known Sunday School, is to make people happy
by making them better, and to save them for this world after saving them
for another world. When a church has the spiritual purposes and
spiritual power of the London Tabernacle and the Bethany Church, and is
guided by a Spurgeon or a Wanamaker, it may safely become
"institutional." But some experiments that have been made to establish
churches of that name in this country have not always been conspicuously

In taking this, my retrospective view at four-score, I have noted many
heart-cheering tokens of social and religious progress, and many
splendid mechanical and material inventions to make the world better and
happier. Yet I have also seen some painful symptoms of decline and
deterioration. All the changes have not been for the better; some have
been decidedly for the worse. For example, while there is an increase in
the number of the Christian churches, there is a lamentably steady
diminution of attendance at places of religious worship. Careful
investigation shows a constant falling off in church attendance--both in
the large towns, and in the rural districts. In spite of the blessed
influence of the Sunday School, the Young Men's Christian Association
and Christian Endeavor, there is an increasing swing of young people
away from the House of God, and therefore from soul-saving influences.
The Sabbath is not as generally kept sacred as formerly. One of the
indications of this sad fact is a decrease in church attendance, and
another is the enormous increase in the secular and godless Sunday
newspapers. Materialism and Mammonism work against spiritual religion,
and the social customs which wealth brings are adverse to a spiritual
life. As one illustration of this a distinguished pastor said to me:
"Forty years ago my people lived plainly, were ready for earnest
Christian work, and attended our devotional meetings; now they have
grown rich, our work flags, and our weekly services are almost
deserted." Half-day religion is on the increase almost everywhere.
Sporting and gambling are more rife than formerly. What is still worse,
the gambling element enters more largely into transactions of trade and
traffic. Divorces have become more easy and abundant, and, as Mr.
Gladstone once said to me: "This tends to sap one of the very
foundations of society," All these are deplorable evils to which none
but a fool will shut his eyes and by which none but a coward will be
frightened. _God reigns,_ even if the devil is trying to. The practical
questions for every one of us are: how can I become better? How can I
help to make this old sinning and sobbing world the better also?



As I look over the changes that half a century has wrought in the social
life of my beloved country, I see some which awaken satisfaction--others
which are not so exhilarating. The enormous and rapid increase of wealth
is unparalleled in human history. In my boyhood, millionaires were rare;
there were hardly a score of them in any one of our cities. The two
typical rich men were Stephen Girard in Philadelphia and John Jacob
Astor in New York; and their whole fortunes were not equal to the annual
income of several of the rich men of to-day. Some of our present
millionaires are reservoirs of munificence, and the outflow builds
churches, hospitals, asylums, and endows libraries--and sends broad
streams of charity through places parched by destitution and suffering.
Others are like pools at the base of a hill--they receive the inflow of
every descending streamlet or shower, and stagnate into selfishness.
Wealth is a tremendous trust; it becomes a dangerous one when it owns
its owner. Our Brooklyn philanthropist, the late Mr. Charles Pratt, once
said to me: "There is no greater humbug than the idea that the mere
possession of wealth makes any man happy. I never got any happiness out
of mine until I began to do good with it."

To the faithful steward there is a perpetual reward of good stewardship.
No investments yield a more covetable dividend than those made in gifts
of public beneficence. When Mr. Morris K. Jesup drives through New York
his eyes are gladdened in one street by the "Dewitt Memorial Chapel"
that he erected; in another by the Five Points House of Industry, of
which he is the president, and in still others by the Young Men's
Christian Association and kindred institutions, of which he is a liberal

Mr. John D. Rockefeller is reputed to have an annual income equal to
that of three or four foreign sovereigns; but his inalienable assets are
in the universities he has endowed, the churches he has helped to build,
the useful societies he has aided, and in the gold mines of public
gratitude which he has opened up.

Many of our most munificent millionaires have been the architects of
their own fortunes. It is most commonly (with some happy exceptions) the
earned wealth, and not the inherited wealth that is bestowed most
freely for the public benefit. The Hon. William E. Dodge once stated in
a popular lecture that he began his career as a boy on a salary of fifty
dollars a year, and his board--part of his duty being to sweep out the
store in which he was employed. He lived to distribute a thousand
dollars a day to Christian missions, and otherwise objects of

There are old men in Pittsburg (or were, not long ago), who remember the
bright Scotch lad, Andrew Carnegie, to whom they used to give a dime for
bringing telegraph messages from the office in which he was employed.
The benefits which he then derived from the use of a free library in
that city, have added to his good impulse, to create such a vast number
of libraries in many lands that his honored name throws into the shade
the names of Bodley and Radcliffe in England, and that of Astor in
America. The mention of this latter name tempts me to narrate an amusing
story of old John Jacob Astor, the founder of the fortune of that
family, and a man who was more noted for acquiring money than for giving
it away for any purpose. Mr. Astor came to New York a poor young man.
His wealth consisted mainly in real estate, which he purchased at an
early day. When the New York and Erie Railroad was projected (it was the
first one ever coming directly into New York), my friend, Judge Joseph
Hoxie, called on Mr. Astor to subscribe to the stock, telling him that
it would add to the value of his real estate. "What do I care for that?"
said the shrewd old German, "I never sells, I only buys." "Well," said
Judge Hoxie, "your son, William, has subscribed for several shares." "He
can do that," was the chuckling reply, "he has got a rich father." It is
a fair problem how many such possessors of real estate it would take to
build up the prosperity of a great city.

There is one temptation to which great wealth has sometimes subjected
its possessors, which demands from me a word of patriotic protest. It is
the temptation to use it for political advancement. No fact is more
patent than the painful one that some ambitious men have secured public
offices, and even bought their way into legislative bodies, by the
abundancies of their purses united to skill in manipulating partisan
machines. This is a most serious menace to honest popular government. It
is one of the very worst forms of a plutocracy. I often think that if
Webster and Clay and Calhoun and John Quincy Adams and Sumner and some
other giants of a former era could enter the Congressional halls of our
day, they might paraphrase the words of Holy Writ and exclaim: "Take the
money-changers hence, and make not the temple of a nation's legislation
a house of merchandise."

Foreign travel is no longer the novelty that it was once, and many
wealthy folk spend much of their time abroad since the Atlantic Ocean
has been reduced to a ferry. This growth of European travel has brought
its increment of information and culture; but, with new ideas from
abroad, have come also some new notions and usages that were better left
behind. A prohibitory tariff in that direction would "protect" some of
the unostentatiousness of social life that befits a republican people.
No young man or woman, who desires to attain proficience in any
department of scholarship, classical or scientific, need to betake
themselves to the universities of Europe. Those universities have come
to us in the shape of Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Cornell and our other
most richly endowed institutions of learning for both sexes.

Quite too much of the social life of our country is more artificial than
formerly, and one result is the growing passion for publicity. Plenty of
ambitious people "make their beds in the face of the sun." Many things
are now chronicled in the press that were formerly kept behind the
closed doors of the home. The details of a dinner or a social company at
the fireside become the topics for the gossip of strangers. I sometimes
think that the young people of the present day lose much of the romance
that used to belong to the halcyon period of courtship. In the somewhat
primitive days of my youth, young lovers kept their own secrets, and
were startled if their heart affairs were on other people's tongues; but
now-a-days marriage engagements are matters of public announcement--not
infrequently in the columns of a newspaper! It seems to be forgotten
that an engagement to marry may not always end in a marriage. The usage
of crowned heads abroad is no warrant for the new fashion, for royalty
has no privacies, and queens and empresses choose their own husbands--a
prerogative that the stoutest champion of woman's rights has not yet had
the hardihood to advocate.

It has always required--but never more than now--no small amount of
moral courage on the part of newly married couples, whose incomes are
moderate, to resist the temptations of extravagant living. As the heads
of young men are often turned by the reports of great fortunes suddenly
acquired, so the ambition seizes upon many a young wife to cut a figure
in "society." Instead of "the household--motions light and free" that
Wordsworth describes, the handmaid of fashion leads the hollow life of
"keeping up appearances." If nothing worse than the slavery of debt is
incurred, home life becomes a counterfeit of happiness; but any one who
watches the daily papers will sometimes see obituaries there more
saddening than those which appear under the head of "Deaths," it is the
list of detected defaulters or peculators or swindlers of some
description--often belonging to the most respectable families. While the
ruin of those evil-doers is sometimes caused by club life or dissipated
habits, yet, in a large number of cases, the temptation to fraud has
been the snare of extravagant living.

In my long experience as a city pastor I have watched the careers of
thousands of married pairs. One class have begun modestly in an
unfashionable locality with plain dress and frugal expenditure They have
eaten the wholesome bread of independence. I wish that every young woman
would display the good sense of a friend of mine, who received an offer
of marriage from a very intelligent and very industrious, but poor young
man who said to her: "I hear that you have offers of marriage from young
men of wealth; all that I can offer you is a good name, sincere love and
plain lodgings at first in a boarding house." She was wise enough to
discover the "jewel in the leaden casket" and accept his hand. He became
a prosperous business man and an officer of my church. As for the other
class, who begin their domestic career by a pitiable craze to "get into
society" and to keep up with their "set" in the vain show, is their fate
not written in the chronicles of haggard and jaded wives, and of
husbands drowned in debt or driven perhaps to stock-gambling or some
other refuge of desperation?

In another portion of this autobiography I have uttered a prayer for the
revival of soul-kindling eloquence in the pulpit. In this age of dizzy
ballooning in finance and social extravagance, my prayer is: "Oh, for
the revival of old fashioned, sturdy, courageous frugality that 'hath
clean hands and a clean heart, and hath not lifted up its soul to

"Do you not discover a great advance in educational facilities and in
the enlargement of means to popular knowledge?" To this question I am
happy to give an affirmative reply. Schools and universities are more
richly endowed and our public schools have been greatly improved in many
directions. Among the educated classes, reading clubs and societies for
discussing sociological questions are more numerous, and so are free
lectures among the humbler classes. Books have been multiplied--and at
cheaper prices--to an enormous extent. In my childhood, books adapted to
the reach of children numbered not more than a score or two; now they
are multiplied to a degree that is almost bewildering to the youthful
mind. Newspapers printed for them, such as the _Youth's Companion_ and
the National Society's _Temperance Banner_, were then utterly unknown.
The sacred writer of the ecclesiastics needs not to tell the people of
this generation: "That of making many books there is no end."

It is not, however, a matter for congratulation that so large a portion
of the volumes that are most read are works of fiction. In most of our
public libraries the novels called for are far in excess of all the
other books. Let any one scrutinize the advertising columns of literary
journals, and he will see that the only startling figures are those
which announce the enormous sale of popular works of fiction. I am not
uttering a tirade against any book simply because it is fictitious. Our
Divine Master spoke often in parables; Bunyan's matchless allegories
have guided multitudes of pilgrims towards the Celestial City. Fiction
in the clean hands of that king of romancers, Sir Walter Scott, threw
new light on the history and scenes of the past. Such characters as
"Jennie Deans" and her godly father might have been taken from John
Banyan's portrait gallery; Lady Di Vernon is the ideal of young
womanhood. Fiction has often been a wholesome relief to a good man's
overworked and weary brain. Many of the recent popular novels are
wholesome in their tone and the historical type often instructive. The
chief objection to the best of them is that they excite a distaste in
the minds of thousands for any other reading. Exclusive reading of
fiction is to any one's mind just what highly spiced food and alcoholic
stimulants are to the body. The increasing rage for novel reading
betokens both a famine in the intellect, and a serious peril to the
mental and spiritual life. The honest truth is that quite too large a
number of fictitious works are subtle poison. The plots of some of the
most popular novels turn on the sexual relation and the violation in
some form of the seventh commandment. They kindle evil passions; they
varnish and veneer vice; they deride connubial purity; they uncover what
ought to be hid, and paint in attractive hues what never ought to be
seen by any pure eye or named by any modest tongue. Another objection to
many of the most advertised works of fiction is that they deal with the
sacred themes of religion in a very mischievous and misleading manner. A
few popular writers of fiction present evangelical religion in its
winning features; they preach with the pen the same truths that they
preach from the pulpit. Two of the perils that threaten American youths
are a licentious stage and a poisonous literature. A highly intelligent
lady, who has examined many of the novels printed during the last
decade, said to me: "The main purpose of many of these books is to knock
away the underpinning of the marriage relation or of the Bible." If
parents give house room to trashy or corrupt books, they cannot be
surprised if their children give heart-room to "the world, the flesh,
and the evil one." When interesting and profitable books are so abundant
and so cheap, this increasing rage for novels is to me one of the
sinister signs of the times.

Within the last two or three decades there has been a most marked change
as to the directions in which the human intellect has exerted its
highest activities. This change is especially marked in the literature
of the two great English-speaking nations. For example, there are now in
Great Britain no poets who are the peers of Wordsworth, Tennyson and
Browning;--no brilliant essayists who are the peers of Carlyle and
Macaulay, and no novelists who are the peers of Scott, Dickens and
Thackeray. In the United States we have no poets who are a match for
Bryant, Longfellow, Whittier and Holmes; and no essayists who are a
match for Emerson and James Russell Lowell--no jurists who are the
rivals of Marshall, Kent and Story; and no living historians equal
Bancroft, Prescott and Motley. These facts do not necessarily indicate
(as some assert) a widespread intellectual famine. The most probable
explanation of the fact is that the mental forces in our day exert
themselves in other directions. This is an age of scientific research
and scientific achievement. It is an age of material advancement, and in
those lines in which the human mind can "seek out many inventions." The
whole trend of human thought is under transformation. In ancient days
"a man was famous according as he had lifted up axes upon thick trees."
The man is famous now who makes some useful mechanical invention, or
explores some unknown territory, or bridges the oceans with swift
steamers, or belts the earth with new railways, or organizes powerful
financial combinations. If the law of demand and supply is as applicable
to mental products as it is to the imports of commerce, then we may
readily understand that the realm of the ideal, which was ruled by the
Wordsworths, Carlyles and Longfellows, should be supplanted by a realm
in which the master minds should be political economists, or explorers,
or railway kings, or financial magnates, or empire-builders of some
description. The philosophical and poetical yield to the practical, when
"_cui bono?_" is the lest question which challenges all comers. This
change, if it be an actual one, may bring its losses as well as its
gains. We are thankful for all the precious boons which inventive genius
has brought to us--for telegraphs, and telephones, and photographic
arts, for steam engines and electric motors, for power presses and
sewing machines, for pain-killing chloroform, and the splendid
achievements of skillful surgery. But the mind has its necessities as
well as the body; and we hope and pray that the human intellect may
never be so busy in materialistic inventions that it cannot give us an
"Ode to Duty," and a "Happy Warrior," a "Snow Bound," and a
"Thanatopsis," an "Evangeline" and a "Chambered Nautilus," a "Pippa
Passes" or a "Biglow Papers," an "In Memoriam" or a "Locksley Hall."

One characteristic of the present time is the radical and revolutionary
spirit which condemns everything that is "old," especially in the realm
of religion. It arrogantly claims that the "advanced thought" of this
highly cultured age has broken with the traditional beliefs of our
benighted ancestors, and that modern congregations are too highly
enlighted to accept those antiquated theologies. No pretentions could be
more preposterous. Methinks that those stalwart farmers of New England,
who on a wintry Sabbath, sat and eagerly devoured for an hour the strong
meat of such theological giants as Jonathan Edwards, and Emmons and
Bellamy and Dwight, would laugh to scorn the ridiculous assumption of
the present day congregations, many of whom have fed on little else
during the week but novels and newspapers. This revolutionary spirit is
expert in pulling down; it is a sorry bungler at rebuilding. Nothing is
too sacred for its assaults. The iconoclasts who belong to the most
extreme and destructive school of "higher criticism" have reduced a
large portion of God's revealed word utterly to tatters. King David has
been exiled from the Psalter; but no "sweet singers" have yet turned up
who could have composed those matchless minstrelsies. Paul is denied the
authorship of the Epistle to the Romans; but the mighty mind has not
been discovered which produced what Coleridge called the "profoundest
book in existence." The Scripture miracles are discarded, but
Christianity, which is the greatest miracle of all, is not accounted
for. The "new theology" which has well nigh banished the supernatural
from the Bible pays an homage to the principle of "evolution," which is
due only to the Almighty Creator of the universe. Spurgeon has wittily
said that if we are not the product of God's creating hand, but are only
the advanced descendants of the ape, then we ought to conduct our
devotions accordingly, and address our daily petitions "not to our
Father which is in Heaven, but to our father which is up a tree."

I do not belong to that class which is irreverently styled "old fogies,"
for I hold that genuine conservatism consists in healthful and regular
progress; and it has been my privilege to take an active part in a great
many reformatory movements; yet I am more warmly hospitable to a truth
which has stood the test of time and of trial. There are many things in
this world that are improved by age. Friendship is one of them, and I
have found that it takes a great many new friends to make an old one.
My Bible is all the dearer to me, not only because it has pillowed the
dying heads of my father and my mother, but because it has been the sure
guide of a hundred generations of Christians before them. When the
boastful innovators offer me a new system of belief (which is really a
congeries of unbeliefs) I say to them: "the old is better." Twenty
centuries of experience shared by such intellects as Augustine, Luther,
Pascal, Calvin, Newton, Chalmers, Edwards, Wesley and Spurgeon are not
to be shaken by the assaults of men, who often contradict each other
while contradicting God's truth. We have tested a supernaturally
inspired Bible for ourselves. As my eloquent and much loved friend, Dr.
McLaren, of Manchester has finely said: "We decline to dig up the piles
of the bridge that carries us over the abyss because some voices tell us
that it is rotten. It is perfectly reasonable to answer, 'We have tried
the bridge and it bears.' Which, being translated into less simple
language, is just the assertion of certitude, built on facts and
experience, which leaves no place for doubt. All the opposition will be
broken into spray against this rock-bulwark: 'Thy words were found, and
I did eat them, and they are the joy and rejoicing of my heart.'"



One of the richest of the many blessings that has crowned my long life
has been a happy home. It has always seemed to me as a wonderful triumph
of divine grace in the Apostle Paul that he should have been so "content
in whatsoever state he was" when he was a homeless, and, I fear, also a
wifeless man. During my own early ministry in Burlington, N.J., my
widowed mother and myself lodged with worthy Quakers, and realized
Charles Lamb's truthful description of that quiet, "naught-caballing
community." On our removal to Trenton, when I took charge of the newly
organized Third Presbyterian Church, we commenced housekeeping in what
had once been the residence of a Governor, a chief-justice, and a mayor
of the city; but was a very plain and modest domicile after all. My new
church building was completed in November, 1850, and opened with a full
congregation, and I was soon in the full swing of my pastoral duties. As
I have already stated in the opening chapter of this volume, my father
and mother first saw each other on a Sabbath day, and in a church. It
was my happy lot to follow their example. On a certain Sabbath in
January, 1851, a group of young ladies, who were the guests of a
prominent family in my congregation, were seated in a pew immediately
before the pulpit. As a civility to that family we called on the
following evening, upon their guests. One of the number happened to be a
young lady from Ohio who had just graduated from the Granville College,
in that State, and had come East to visit her relatives in Philadelphia.
The young lady just mentioned was Miss Annie E. Mathiot, a daughter of
the Hon. Joshua Mathiot, an eminent lawyer, who had represented his
district in Congress. That evening has been marked with a very white
stone in my calendar ever since. It was but a brief visit of a fortnight
that the fair maiden from the West made in Trenton; but when she, soon
afterwards returned to Ohio, she took with her what has been her
inalienable possession ever since and will be, "Till death us do part."
My courtship was rather "at long range;" for Newark, Ohio, was several
hundred miles away, and I have always found that a man who would build
up a strong church must be constantly at it, trowel in hand. On the 17th
of March, 1853, the venerable Dr. Wylie conducted for us a very simple
and solemn service of holy wedlock, closing with his fatherly
benediction, one of the best acts of his long and useful life. The
invalid mother of my bride (for Colonel Mathiot had died four years
previously) was present at our nuptials, and for the last time was in
her own drawing-room. Mrs. Mathiot was a daughter of Mr. Samuel
Culbertson, a leading lawyer of Zanesville, and was a lady of rare
refinement and loveliness. She had been a patient sufferer from a
painful illness of several months' duration, and peacefully passed away
to her rest in September of that year.

Of the qualifications and duties of a minister's wife, enough has been
written to stock a small library. My own very positive conviction has
always been that her vows were made primarily, not to a parish, but to
her own husband; and if she makes his home and heart happy; if she
relieves him of needless worldly cares; if she is a constant inspiration
to him in his holy work, she will do ten-fold more for the church than
if she were the manager and mainspring of a dozen benevolent societies.
There is another obligation antecedent to all acts of Presbytery or
installing councils--the sweet obligation of motherhood. The woman who
neglects her nursery or her housekeeping duties, and her own heart-life
for any outside work in the parish does both them and herself serious
injury. If a minister's wife has the grace of a kind and tactful
courtesy toward all classes, she may contribute mightily to the popular
influence of her husband; and if she is a woman of culture and literary
taste, she can be of immense service to him in the preparation of his
sermons. The best critic that ministers can have is one who has a right
to criticize and to "truth it in love." Who has a better right to
reprove, exhort and correct with all long suffering than the woman who
has given us her heart and herself? There are a hundred matters in the
course of a year in which a sensible woman's instincts are wiser than
those of the average man. There is many a minister who would have been
spared the worst blunders of his life, if he had only consulted and
obeyed the instinctive judgment of a loving and sensible wife. If we
husbands hold the reins, it is the province of a wise and devoted wife
to tell us where to drive.

It is very probable that my readers have suspected that this portraiture
of a model wife for a minister was drawn from actual life; and they are
right in their conjectures. In the discourse delivered to my flock on
the twenty-fifth anniversary of my pastorate was the following passage,
to whose truth the added years have only added confirmation, "There is
still another sweet mercy which has been vouchsafed to me in the true
heart that has never faltered and the gentle footstep that has never
wearied in the pathway of life for two and thirty years. From how many
mistakes and hasty indiscretions her quick sagacity has kept me, you can
never know. If you have any tribute of thanks for any good which I have
done you, do not offer it to me; go carry it down to yonder home, of
which she has been the light and the joy, and _lay it at her unselfish
feet."_ On that occasion (for the _only_ time) I heard a murmur of
applause run through my congregation.

About the time of our marriage, I received a call from the Shawmut
Congregational Church of Boston, and soon afterwards overtures from a
Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, and from the First Presbyterian
Church of Chicago. All these attractive offers I declined, but within a
few months I accepted a call from the Market Street Dutch Reformed
Church of New York--a far more difficult field of labor. My ministry in
Trenton was one of unbroken happiness, and the Church were profusely
kind; but at the end of nearly four years I felt that my work there was
done. The young church had built a beautiful house of worship without a
dime of debt, and it was filled by a prosperous congregation. I was
ready for a wider field of labor.

The Market Street Dutch Reformed Church, to which I was called, was down
town, within ten minutes' walk of the City Hall, and was beginning to
feel the inroads of the up-town migration, when my excellent
predecessor, Dr. Isaac Ferris, left it to become the Chancellor of the
New York University. Although most of the well-to-do families were
moving away, yet East Broadway was full of boarding houses packed with
young men and these in turn packed our church on Sabbath evenings. Of
the happy spiritual harvest-seasons in that old church, especially
during the great awakening in 1858, I have written in the chapter on
Revivals. I was as eager for work as Simon Peter was for a good haul in
fishing, and every week there, I met on the platform the representatives
of temperance societies: The Five Points House of Industry, Young Men's
Christian Associations, Sunday schools or some other religious or
reformatory enterprise. These outside activities were no hindrances to
either pulpit or pastoral work; and, like that famous English preacher
who felt that he could not have too many irons in the fire, I thrust in
tongs, shovel, poker and all. The contact with busy life and benevolent
labors among the poor supplied material for sermons; for the pastor of a
city church must touch life at a great many points. Our domestic
experiences in early housekeeping were very agreeable. The social
conditions of New York were less artificial than now. Pastoral calls in
the evening usually found the people in their homes, and I do not
believe there were a dozen theatre-goers in my congregation. After a
very busy and heaven-blest ministry of half a dozen years, I discovered
that the rapid migration up town would soon leave our congregation too
feeble for self-support. I accordingly started a movement to erect a new
edifice up on Murray Hill, and to retain the old building in Market
Street as an auxiliary mission chapel. A handsome subscription for the
erection of the up-town edifice was secured, and the "Consistory" (which
is the good Dutch designation of a board of church officers), convened
to vote the first payment for the land. The new site was not wisely
chosen, and many of my people were still opposed to any change; but the
casting vote of one good old man (whom I shall thank if I ever encounter
him in the Celestial World) negatived the whole enterprise, and it was
immediately abandoned.

A few weeks before that decision, I had received a call to take charge
of a brave little struggling Presbyterian Church in the newer part of
Brooklyn. I sent for the officers, and informed them that if they would
purchase the ground on the corner of Lafayette Avenue and Oxford Street,
and pay for it in a fortnight, and promise to build for me a church with
good acoustics and capable of seating from eighteen hundred to two
thousand auditors, I would be their pastor. Instead of turning purple in
the lips at such a bold proposal, they "staggered not at the promise
through unbelief" and in ten days they brought me the deed of the land
paid for to the uttermost dollar! I resigned Market Street Church
immediately, and on the next Sabbath morning, while the Easter bells
were ringing under a dark stormy sky, I came over and faced, for the
first time, the courageous founders of the Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian
Church. The dear old Market Street Church lingered on for a few years
more, bleeding at every pore, from the fatal up-town migration, and then
peacefully disbanded. The solid stone edifice was purchased by some
generous Presbyterians in the upper part of the city, who organized
there the "Church of the Sea and Land," which is standing to-day, as a
well-manned light-house amid a dense tenement-house foreign population.
The successful work that is now prosecuted there is another confirmation
of my favorite theory that the only way to reach a neighborhood crowded
with the poorer classes, is for the wealthy churches to spend money for
just such an auxiliary mission church as is now thriving in the
structure in which I spent seven happy years of my ministry.

This portion of Brooklyn to which we removed in 1860, was very sparsely
settled, and Rev. Henry Ward Beecher said to me: "I do not see how you
can find a congregation there." He lived to say to me: "You are now in
the center, and I am out on the circumference," Brooklyn was then
pre-eminently a "city of churches," and, though we had not a dozen
millionaires, it was not infested with any slums. In a population of
over three hundred thousand there was then only a single theatre, and
when one of our people was asked: "What do you do for recreation over
there?" he replied, "We go to church."

Certainly no one was ever attracted to our own modest little temporary
sanctuary by its beauty; for it was unsightly without, though very
cheerful within. Soon after we commenced the building of our present
stately edifice the startling report of cannon shook the land from sea
to sea.

   "And then we saw from Sumter's wall
   The star-flag of the Union fall,
   And armed hosts were pressing on
   The broken lines of Washington."

Every other public edifice in this city then in process of erection was
brought to a standstill; but we pushed forward the work, like Nehemiah's
builders, with a trowel in one hand and a weapon in the other. To raise
funds for the structure, required faith and self-denial, and in this
labor of love, woman's five fingers were busy and helpful. One brave
orphan girl in New York gave, from her hard earnings as a public school
teacher, a sum so large that the announcement of it from my pulpit
aroused great enthusiasm, and turned the scale at the critical moment,
and insured the completion of the structure. Justly may our pulpit
vindicate woman's place, and woman's province in the cause of Christ and
humanity, for without woman's help that pulpit might never have been

On the 16th of March, 1862, our church edifice was dedicated to the
worship of Almighty God, Dr. Asa D. Smith, of Dartmouth College,
delivering the dedication sermon, and in the evening, my brilliant and
beloved brother, Professor Roswell D. Hitchcock, gave us one of his
incisive and inspiring discourses. The building accommodates eighteen
hundred worshippers, and in emergencies, twenty-five hundred. It is a
model of cheerfulness and convenience, and is so felicitous in its
acoustics that an ordinary conversational tone can be heard at the
opposite end of the auditorium. The picture of the Church in this volume
gives no adequate idea of the size of the edifice; for the Sunday School
Hall and lecture-room and social parlors are situated in the rear, and
could not be presented in the photographic view. I fear that too many
costly church edifices are erected that are quite unfit for our
Protestant modes of religious service. It is said that when Bishop
Potter was called upon to consecrate one of the "dim religious"
specimens of mediaeval architecture, and was asked his opinion of the
new structure, he replied: "It is a beautiful building, with only three
faults: you cannot see in it--you cannot hear in it--you cannot breathe
in it."

I need not detail the story of my happy Brooklyn pastorate; for that is
succinctly given in the closing chapter of this volume. Our home-life
here for the past forty-two years has been a record of perpetual
providential mercies and unfailing kindness on the part of my
parishioners and fellow townsmen. Brooklyn, although removed from New
York (for I cannot yet twist my tongue into calling it "Manhattan") by a
five minutes' journey on the East River Bridge, is a very different town
in its political and social aspects. New York is penned in on a narrow
island, and ground is worth more than gold. It is therefore piled up
with very fine apartment houses for the rich, or tenement houses for the
poor to more stories than the ancient buildings on the Canongate of
Edinburgh. Here in Brooklyn we have all Long Island to spread over, and
land is within the reach of even a parson's purse. A man never feels so
rich as when he owns a bit of real estate, and I take some satisfaction
in the bit of land in the front of my domicile, and in the rear, capable
of holding several fruit trees and rose-beds. Oxford Street has the deep
shade of a New England village. We come to know our neighbors here,
which is a degree of knowledge not often attained in New York or London.
The social life here is also less artificial than at the other end of
the bridge. There is less of the foreign element, and of either great
wealth or poverty; we have neither the splendor of Paris, nor the
squalor of the by-streets of Naples. The name of "Breucklen" was given
to our town by its original Dutch settlers, but the aggressive New
Englanders pushed in and it is a more thoroughly Yankee city to-day than
any city in the land outside of New England. My old friend, Mayor Low,
urged the consolidation of Brooklyn with New York on the ground that its
moral and civic influence would be a wholesome counteraction of Tammany
and the tenement-house politics. For self-protection, I joined with my
lamented brother, the late Dr. Storrs, in an effort to maintain our
independence. Ours is pre-eminently a city of homes where the bulk of
the people live in an undivided dwelling, and I do not believe that
there is another city either in America, or elsewhere, that contains
over a million inhabitants, so large a proportion of whom are in a
school house during the week, and in God's house on the Sabbath.


One of the glories of Brooklyn is its vast and picturesque "Prospect
Park," with natural forests, hills and dales and its superb outlook over
the bay and ocean.

I hope that it may not be a violation of propriety to say that the Park
Commissioners in this city of my adoption bestowed my own name on a
pretty plot of ground not far from my residence; and its bright show of
flowers makes it a constant delight to my neighbors. Last year some of
my fellow-townspeople made an exceedingly generous proposition to place
there a memorial statue; and I felt compelled to publish the following
reply to an offer which quite transcended any claim that I could have to
such an honor:

     176 SOUTH OXFORD STREET, JUNE 12, 1901.


     _My Dear Sirs_,

     I have just received your kind letter in which you express the
     desire of yourselves and of several of our prominent citizens that
     I would consent to the erection of a "Memorial in Cuyler Park" to
     be placed there by voluntary contributions of generous friends here
     and elsewhere. Do not, I entreat you, regard me as indifferent to a
     proposition whose motive affords the most profound and heartfelt
     gratitude; but a work of art in bronze or marble, such as has been
     suggested, that would be creditable to our city, would require an
     outlay of money that I cannot conscientiously consent to have
     expended for the purpose of personal honor rather than of public
     utility. Several years ago the city authorities honored me by
     giving my name to the attractive plot of ground at the junction of
     Fulton and Greene Avenues. If my most esteemed friend, Park
     Commissioner Brower, will kindly have my name visibly and
     permanently affixed to that little park, and will direct that it be
     always kept as bright and beautiful with flowers as it now is, I
     shall be abundantly satisfied. I have been permitted to spend
     forty-one supremely happy years in this city which I heartily love,
     and for whose people I have joyfully labored; and while the
     permanent fruits of these labors remain, I trust I shall not pass
     out of all affectionate remembrance. A monument reared by human
     hands may fade away; but if God has enabled me to engrave my humble
     name on any living hearts, they will be the best monument; for
     hearts live on forever. While declining the proffered honor, may I
     ask you to convey my most sincere and cordial thanks to the kind
     friends who have joined with you in this generous proposal, and,
     with warm personal regard, I remain,

     Yours faithfully,


I cannot refrain here from thanking my old friend, Dr. St. Clair
McKelway, the brilliant editor of the _Brooklyn Eagle_, for his generous
tribute which accompanied the publication of the above letter. His
grandfather, Dr. John McKelway, a typical Scotchman, was my family
physician and church deacon in the city of Trenton. Among the editorial
fraternity let me also mention here the name of my near neighbor, Mr.
Edward Gary, of the _New York Times_, who was with me in Fort Sumter,
at the restoration of the flag, and with whom I have foregathered in
many a fertilizing conversation. Away off on the slope above beautiful
Stockbridge, and surrounded by his Berkshire Hills, Dr. Henry M. Field
is spending the bright "Indian summer" of his long and honored career.
For forty years we held sweet fellowship in the columns of the _New York

The experience of the great Apostle at Rome, who dwelt for nearly two
years in his "hired house," has been followed by numberless examples of
the ministers of the Gospel who have had a migratory home life. My
experience under rented roofs led me to build, in 1865, this dwelling,
which has housed our domestic life for seven and thirty years. A true
homestead is not a Jonah's gourd for temporary shelter from sun and
storm, it is a treasure house of accumulations. Many of its contents are
precious heirlooms; its apartments are thronged with memories of friends
and kinsfolk living or departed. Every room has its scores of occupants,
every wall is gladdened with the visions of loved faces. I look into
yonder guest chamber, and find my old friends, Governor Buckingham, and
Vice-President Wilson, who were ready to discuss the conditions of the
temperance reform which they had come to advocate. Down in the
dining-room the "Chi-Alpha" Society of distinguished ministers are
holding their Saturday evening symposium; in the parlor my Irish guest,
the Earl of Meath, is describing to me his philanthropies in London, and
his Countess is describing her organization of "Ministering Children."
In the library, Whittier is writing at the table; or Mr. Fulton is
narrating his missionary work in China; out on the piazza my veteran
neighbor, General Silas Casey, is telling the thrilling story of how he
led our troops at the storming of the Heights of Chapultepec; up the
steps comes dear old John G. Paton, with his patriarchal white beard, to
say "good-bye," before he goes back to his mission work in the New

No room in our dwelling is more sacred than the one in which I now
write. On its walls hang the portraits of my Princeton Professors, and
those of majestic Chalmers and the gnarled brow of Hugh Miller, the
Scotch geologist, the precious gifts of the author of "Rab and His
Friend." Near them is the bright face of dear Henry Drummond, looking
just as he did on that stormy evening when he came into my library a few
hours after his arrival from Scotland. I still recall his reply to me in
Edinburgh, when I cautioned him against permitting his scientific
studies to unspiritualize his activities. "Never you fear," said he, "I
am too busy in trying to save young men; and the only way to do that is
to lead them to the Lord Jesus Christ," In former years this room was
my beloved mother's "Chamber of Peace" that opens to the sun-rising. Her
pictured face looks down upon me now from the wall, and her Bible lies
beside me. In this room we gathered on the afternoon of September 14,
1887, around her dying bed. Her last words were: "Now kiss me good
night," and in an hour or two she fell into that sweet slumber which
Christ gives His beloved, at the ripe age of eighty-five. Her mental
powers and memory were unimpaired. On the monument which covers her
sleeping dust in Greenwood is engraved these words: "Return unto thy
rest, O my soul; for the Lord hath dealt bountifully with thee."

This room is also hallowed by another tenderly sacred association. Here
our beloved daughter, Louise Ledyard Cuyler, closed her beautiful life
on the last day of September, 1881. On her return from Narragansett
Pier, she was stricken with a mysterious typhoid fever, which often lays
its fatal touch on the most youthful and vigorous frame. She had
apparently passed the point of danger, and one Sabbath when I read to
her that one hundred and twenty-first Psalm, which records the watchful
love of Him who "never sleeps," our hearts were gladdened with the
prospect of a speedy recovery. Then came on a fatal relapse; and in the
early hour of dawn, while our breaking hearts were gathered around her
dying bed, she had "another morn than ours." Why that noble and gifted
daughter, who was the inseparable companion of her fond mother, and who
was developing into the sweet graces of young womanhood, was taken from
our clinging arms at the early age of twenty-two, God only knows. Many
another aching parental heart has doubtless knocked at the sealed door
of such a mystery, and heard the only response, "What I do thou knowest
not now, but thou shalt know hereafter." Upon the monument that bears
her name, graven on a cross, amid a cluster of white lilies, is
inscribed: "I thank my God upon every remembrance of thee." The lovely
twin brother, "Georgie" (whose sweet life story is told in "The Empty
Crib"), reposes in our same family plot, and beside him lies a baby
brother, Mathiot Cuyler, who lived but twelve days. As this infant was
born on the twenty-fifth of December, 1873, his tiny tomb-stone bears
the simple inscription: "Our Christmas Gift."

During all our seasons of domestic sorrow the cordial sympathies of our
noble-hearted congregation were very cheering; for we had always kept
open doors to them all, and regarded them as only an enlargement of our
own family. In our household joys, they too, participated. When the
twenty-fifth anniversary of our marriage occurred, they decorated our
church with flags and flowers and suspended a huge marriage-bell on an
arch before the pulpit. After the President of our Board of Trustees,
the Hon. William W. Goodrich, had completed his congratulatory address,
two of the officers of the church in imitation of the returning spies
from Eshcol marched in, "bearing between them on a staff" a capacious
bag of silver dollars. A curiously constructed silver clock is also
among the treasured souvenirs of that happy anniversary.

In April, 1885, the close of the first quarter-century of my ministry
was celebrated by our church with very delightful festivities. Addresses
were delivered by his Honor Mayor Low, Dr. McCosh, of Princeton, Dr.
Richard S. Storrs, and the Hon. John Wanamaker, Post-Master General. A
duodecimo volume giving the history of our church and all its activities
was published by order of our people.

From such a loyal flock in the full tide of its prosperity, to cut
asunder, required no small exercise of conscience and of courage. When
the patriarchal Dr. Emmons, of Franklin, Massachusetts, resigned his
church at the age of eighty, he gave the good reason: "I mean to stop
when I have sense enough to know that I have not begun, to fail." In
exercising the same grace, on a Sabbath morning in February, 1890, I
made before a full congregation the following announcement: "Nearly
thirty years have elapsed since I assumed the pastoral charge of the
Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church; and through the continual
blessings of Heaven upon us it has grown into one of the largest and
most useful and powerful churches in the Presbyterian denomination. It
has two thousand three hundred and thirty members; and is third in point
of numbers in the United States. This church has always been to me like
a beloved child: I have given to it thirty years of hard and happy
labor. It is now my foremost desire that its harmony may remain
undisturbed, and that its prosperity may remain unbroken. For a long
time I have intended that my thirtieth anniversary should be the
terminal point of my present pastorate I shall then have served this
beloved flock for an ordinary human generation, and the time has now
come to transfer this most sacred trust to some other, who, in God's
good Providence, may have thirty years of vigorous work before him, and
not behind him. If God spares my life to the first Sabbath in April, it
is my purpose to surrender this pulpit back into your hands, and I shall
endeavor to co-operate with you in the search and selection of the right
man to stand in it. I will not trust myself to-day to speak of the pang
it will cost me to sever a connection that has been to me one of
unalloyed harmony and happiness. It only remains for me to say that
after forty-four years of uninterrupted mental labor it is but
reasonable to ask for some relief from the strain that may soon become
too heavy for me to bear."

The congregation was quite astounded by this unexpected announcement,
but they recognized the motive that prompted the step, and acted
precisely as I desired. They agreed at once to appoint a committee to
look for a successor. In order that I might not hamper him in any
respect, I declined the generous offer of our church to make me their
"Pastor Emeritus."

As my pastorate began on an Easter Sabbath, in 1860, so it terminated at
the Easter in 1890. Before an immense assemblage I delivered, on that
bright Sabbath, the Valedictory discourse which closes the present
volume, and which gives in condensed form the history of the Lafayette
Avenue Church.

Our noble people never do anything by halves; and a few evenings after
the delivery of my valedictory discourse they gave to their pastor and
his wife a public reception, for which the church, lecture-room and the
church parlors were profusely adorned; and were crowded with guests.
Congratulatory addresses were delivered by Dr. John Hall of the Fifth
Avenue Presbyterian Church, New York, by Professor William M. Paxton, of
Princeton Theological Seminary; and congratulatory letters were read
from the venerable poet, Whittier, the Hon. William Walter Phelps, Mr.
A.A. Low (the Mayor's father), General William H. Seward, Bishop Potter
and Dr. Herrick Johnson, besides a vast number of others renowned in
Church and State. On behalf of the Brooklyn pastors an address was
pronounced by the Rev. Dr. L.T. Chamberlain, which was a rare gem of
sparkling oratory. In his concluding passage he said: "Nor in all these
have I for an instant forgotten the dual nature of that ministry, which
has been so richly blessed. I recall that in the prophet's symbolic act,
he took to himself two staves, the one was 'Beauty,' while the other was
'Bands.' In the kingdom of grace and in the kingdom of nature,
loveliness is ever the fit complement of strength. Accordingly, to her,
who has been the enthroned one in the heart, the light-giver in the
home, the beloved of the church, we tender our most fervent good wishes
For her also we lift on high our faithful, tender intercession. To each,
to both, we give the renewed assurance of our abiding affection. God
grant that life's shadows may lengthen gently and slowly! Late, may you
both ascend to Heaven: long and happily may you abide with us here!" The
report of the proceedings of that evening says that at this reference to
the "dual" character of his ministry, "the veteran pastor sprang to his
feet and, seizing Dr. Chamberlain's hand, exclaimed; 'I thank you for
that, and the whole assembly's applause revealed its heartfelt
sympathy." I had declined more than once, for good reasons, the kind
offer of my generous flock to increase my salary, but, when on that
evening that crowned my thirty years of labor, my dear neighbor and
church elder, Mr. John N. Beach (on behalf of the congregation), put
into my hands a cheque for thirty thousand dollars, "not as a charity
but as a token of our warm hearted grateful love," I could only say with
the Apostle Paul: "I rejoice in the Lord that your care has _blossomed
out afresh_" (for this is the literal reading of the great apostle's

The proceedings of that memorable evening were closed by a benediction
by the Rev. Dr. Charles L. Thompson, then Moderator of our General
Assembly and now the super-royal Secretary of our Board of Home
Missions. The proceedings were afterwards compiled in a beautiful volume
entitled "A Thirty Years' Pastorate," by the good taste and literary
skill of my beloved friend, the late Jacob L. Gossler.

In justice to myself, let me say that I have given this narrative of the
closing scenes of my pastoral labors, not, I trust, as a matter of
personal vain glory; but that good Christian people in our own land and
in other lands may learn from the example of the Lafayette Avenue
Presbyterian Church how to treat a pastor, whose simple aim has been,
with God's help, to do his duty.



A few months after my resignation, the Lafayette Avenue Church extended
an unanimous call to the Rev. Dr. David Gregg, who had become
distinguished as a powerful preacher, and the successful pastor of the
old, historic Park Street Church, of Boston. He is also widely known by
his published works, which display great vigor and beauty of style, and
a fervid spirituality. When Dr. Gregg came on to assume his office, I
was glad, not only to give him a hearty welcome, but to assure him that,
"as no one had ever come up into the pilot house to interfere with the
helmsman, so I would never lay my hand on the wheel that should steer
that superb vessel in all its future voyagings." From that day to this,
my relations with my beloved successor have been unspeakably fraternal
and delightful. While I have left the entire official charge of the
church in his hands, there have been many occasions on which we have
co-operated in various pastoral duties among a flock that was equally
dear to us both. Recently the Rev. George R. Lunn, a young minister of
exceedingly attractive qualities both in the pulpit and in personal
intercourse, has been installed as an assistant pastor. The divine
blessing has constantly rested upon the noble old church, which has gone
steadily on, like a powerful ocean steamer, well-manned, well-equipped,
well-freighted, and well guided by the compass of God's infallible word.
Last year the church rendered a signal service to the cause of Foreign
Missions by erecting a "David Gregg Hospital" and a "Theodore L. Cuyler
Church" in Canton, China. They are both under the supervision of the
Rev. Albert A. Fulton, who went out to China from our Lafayette Avenue
flock, and has been a most energetic and successful missionary for more
than twenty years.

My ministry at large has brought a needed rest, not by idleness, but by
a change in the character of my employment. Instead of a weekly
preparation of sermons, has come the preparation of more frequent
contributions to the religious press. Instead of pastoral visitations
have been the journeyings to different churches, or colleges, and
universities and Young Men's Christian Associations for preaching
services. I doubt whether any other dozen years of my life have been
more crowded with various activities. To my dear wife and myself have
come increased opportunities for travel, which have been, during the
almost half century of our happy wedded life, a constant source of
enjoyment. We have journeyed together from Bar Harbor, in Maine, to
Coronado Beach, in Southern California. We have traversed together the
Adirondacks, the White Mountains and the Catskills, the prairies of
Dakota and the orange groves of Florida, the peerless parks of Del Monte
on the shores of the Pacific, and the "Royal Gorge" in the heart of the
Rocky Mountain Range. Our various trips to Europe have photographed on
our hearts the memories of many dear friends and faces, some of whom,
alas! have vanished into the unseen world. In the summer of 1889, when
we were at Ayr, the late Mr. Alexander Allan, came down for us in his
fine steam yacht, the _Tigh-na-Mara_, and took us up to his hospitable
"Hafton House" on the Holy Loch, a few miles below Glasgow. For several
days he gave us yachting excursions through Loch Goil, and the Kyles of
Bute, and Loch Long, with glimpses of Ben-Lomond and other monarchs of
the Highlands. When we saw the gorgeous purple garniture of heather in
full bloom, we no longer wondered that Sir Walter Scott was quite
satisfied to have his beloved hills devoid of forests.

Another memorable visit of that summer was to Chillitigham Castle in
Northumberland, from whose towers we got views of Flodden Field and the
scenes of "Marmion." The venerable Earl of Tankerville (who was a
contemporary and supporter of Sir Robert Peel in Parliament), and his
warm-hearted Countess, who has long been a leader in various Christian
philanthropies, entertained us delightfully within walls that had stood
for six centuries. In a forest near the Castle were the famous herd of
wild cattle which are the only survivors of the original herd that
roamed that region in the days of William the Conqueror. They are
beautiful white creatures, still too wild to be approached very nearly;
and Sir Edwin Landseer, an old friend of the Earl, has preserved
life-sized portraits of two of them on the walls of the lofty dining
hall of the castle. When the servants, gardeners and other retainers
assembled for morning worship in the chapel, the handsome old Earl
presided at the melodeon, and the singing was from our American Sankey's
hymn-book, a style of music that would have startled the belted knights
and barons bold who worshipped in that chapel five centuries ago.

While at Dundee, as the guests of Mr. Alexander H. Moncur, the
Ex-provost of the city, I had the satisfaction of preaching in St.
Peters Presbyterian Church, whose pastor, sixty years ago, was that
ideal minister, Robert Murray McCheyne. The Bible from which he
delivered his seraphic sermons was still lying on the pulpit. When I
asked a plain woman, the wife of a weaver, what she could tell me about
his discourses, her remarkable reply was: "It did me more good just to
see Mr. McCheyne walk from the door to his pulpit than to hear any other
man in Dundee." A fine tribute, that, to the power of a Christly
personality. A sermon in shoes is often more eloquent and
soul-convincing than a sermon on paper. I spent a very pleasant hour
with sturdy John Bright, and he told me that he had more relatives
living in America than in England. His reason for declining the
invitation of our government to visit the United States was that he knew
too well what our enthusiastic countrymen had in store for him. The
separation of Bright and Gladstone on the question of Irish Home Rule
had a certain tragic element of sadness. When I spoke of this to Mr.
Gladstone, the old statesman of Hawarden tenderly replied: "Whenever I
think now of my dear old friend, I always think only of those days when
we were in our warmest fellowship" Among the many other recollections of
foreign incidents I must mention a very delightful luncheon at Athens
with Dr. Schlieman in his superb house which was filled with the
trophies of his exploration of the Troad and Mycenae. I found him a most
genial man; and he told me that he had never surrendered his American
citizenship, acquired in 1850. It was very amusing to hear him and his
Grecian wife address their children as "Agamemnon" and "Andromache" and
I half expected to see Plato drop in for a chat, or Euripides call with
an invitation to witness a rehearsal of the "Medea." Athens is to me the
most satisfactory of all the restored cities of antiquity, every relic
there is so indisputably genuine. My sunrise view from the Parthenon was
a fair match for a midnight view I once had of Olivet and Gethsemane.

I cannot close these recollections of foreign friends without making
mention of the late Mr. William Tweedie and his successor the late Mr.
Robert Rae, the efficient Secretaries of the National Temperance League
(of which Archbishop Temple has long been the President). They rendered
me endless acts of kindness, and at their anniversary meetings I met
many of the most prominent advocates of the temperance reform in Great
Britain. It gives me a sharp pang to recall the fact that of all the
leaders whom I met at those meetings, the gallant Sir Wilfred Lawson and
Mr. Caine are almost the only survivors.

Returning now to the scenes of our happy home life I should be
criminally neglectful if I failed to give even a brief account of the
gratifying incidents connected with the recent commemoration of my
eightieth birthday. Reluctant as I was to quit the _good Society of the
Seventies_, the transition into four-score was lubricated by so many
loving kindnesses that I scarcely felt a jolt or a jar. During the whole
month of January a steady shower of congratulatory letters poured in
from all parts of the land and from beyond sea, so that I was made to
realize the poet Wordsworth's modest confession:

   "I've heard of hearts unkind kind deeds
     With coldness still returning,
   Alas, the gratitude of men
     Has oftener left me mourning."

In anticipation of the event Mrs. Houghton, the editor of the _New York
Evangelist_, to which I have been so long a contributor, issued a
"Birthday Number" containing the most kindly expressions from
representatives of different Christian denominations, and officers of
various benevolent societies, and from representative men in secular
affairs, like Mr. Andrew Carnegie, Mr. Jesup, General Woodford, the Hon.
Mr. Coombs, Dr. St. Clair McKelway, and others. On the afternoon of
January 9th, the National Temperance Society honored me with a reception
at their Publication House in New York, which was attended by many
eminent citizens and clergymen, and "honorable women not a few." Letters
and telegrams from many quarters were read and an eloquent address was
pronounced by Mr. Joshua L. Bailey, the President of the Society. The
evening of my birthday, the 10th of January, was spent in our own
home, which was in full bloom with an immense profusion of flowers, and
enriched with beautiful gifts from many generous hearts. For three hours
it was the "joy unfeigned" of my family and myself to grasp again the
warm hands of our faithful Lafayette Avenue flock, and of my Brooklyn
neighbors who had for two-score years gladdened our lives, as the Great
Apostle was gladdened by his loyal friends at Thessalonica.

[Illustration: DR CUYLER AT 80]

[From a photograph, January, 1902]

On Saturday evening the 11th, the "Chi Alpha" Society of New York, the
oldest and most widely known of clerical brotherhoods, gave me their
fraternal greetings at the residence of the venerable Mrs. William E.
Dodge, now blessed with unimpaired vigor, in the golden autumn of a life
protracted beyond four-score and ten. The walls of that hospitable
mansion on Murray Hill have probably welcomed more persons eminent in
the religious activities of our own and other lands than any other
private residence in America. Brief speeches were made; a beautiful
"address" was presented, which now, embossed and framed, adorns the
walls of my library. After this the Rev. Charles Lemuel Thompson, an
Ex-moderator of our General Assembly, and now the Secretary of the Board
of Home Missions, read the following ringing lines which he had composed
on behalf of my fellow voyagers on many a cruise and in many a conflict
for our adorable Lord and King. My only apology for introducing them
here is their rare poetic merit which entitles them to a more permanent
place than in the many journals in which they were reprinted. I ought to
add that "Croton" is the name of the river and the reservoir that supply
New York with its wholesome water:


   Fill--fill up your glasses--with Croton!
     Fill full to the brim I say,
   For the dearest old boy among us,
     Who is ten times eight to-day.

   It is three times three and a tiger--
     It is hand to your caps, O men!
   For our Captain of captains rejoices,
     In his counting of eight times ten.

   Foot square on the bridge and gripping
     As steady as fate the wheel,
   He has taken the storms to his forehead,
     And cheered in the tempest's reel.

   He has seen the green sea monsters
     Go writhing down the gale,
   But never a hand to slacken,
     And never a heart to fail.

   So It's--Ho'--to our Captain dauntless,
     Trumpet-tongued and eagle-eyed,
   With the spray of the voyage behind him,
     And the Pilot by his side.

   Together they sail into sunset--
     Slow down for the harbor bell,
   For the flash of the port, and the message
     "Well done"---It is well--It is well.

   So it's three times three and a tiger!
     Breathe deep for the man we love,
   His heart is the heart of a lion,
     His soul is the soul of a dove.

   It is--Ho!--to the Captain we honor,
     Salute we the man and the day,
   On his brow are the snows of December,
     In his heart are the bird songs of May.

The Scripture passage from which I discoursed on the next Sabbath
morning, January 12th, in our Lafayette Avenue Church pulpit--"At
evening time it shall be light"--seems especially appropriate to an
autobiography penned at a time when the life-day is already far spent.
There are some people who have a pitiful dread of old age. For myself,
instead of it being a matter of sorrow or of pain, it is rather an
occasion of profound joy that God has enabled me to write in my family
record "Four score years." The October of life may be one of the most
fruitful months in all its calendar; and the "Indian summer" its
brightest period when God's sunshine kindles every leaf on the tree
with crimson and golden glories. Faith grows in its tenacity of fibre by
the long continued exercise of testing God, and trusting His promises.
The veteran Christian can turn over the leaves of his well-worn Bible
and say: "This Book has been my daily companion; I know all about this
promise and that one and that other one; for I have tried them for
myself, I have a great pile of cheques which my Heavenly Father has
cashed with gracious blessings." Bunyan brings his Pilgrim, not into a
second infant school where they may sit down in imbecility, or loiter in
idleness; he brings them into Beulah Land, where the birds fill the air
with music; and where they catch glimpses of the Celestial City. They
are drawing nearer to the end of their long journey and beyond that
river, that has no bridge, looms up the New Jerusalem in all its
flashing splendors.

In a previous chapter I have told the story of our bereavement when God
took three of our precious children to Himself; but to-day we can chant
the twenty-third Psalm, for the overflowing cup of mercies that sweeten
our home, and for the two loving children that are spared to us. Our
eldest daughter, Mary, is the wife of Dr. William S. Cheeseman, an
eminent physician in the beautiful city of Auburn, the County-seat of my
native County of Cayuga. It is the site of one of our principal
Theological Seminaries, from which have graduated many of the foremost
ministers in our Presbyterian denomination. One of the earliest
professors of that institution was the revered Dr. Henry Mills, who
baptized me in my infancy. Auburn is also well known as the residence of
our celebrated statesman William H. Seward, who was Secretary of State
under President Lincoln. From the window of my daughter's home I look
over at the summer house in which that illustrious patriot meditated
some of his state papers; and just beyond is the bronze statue reared to
his memory. Our only living son, Theodore Ledyard Cuyler, Jr., the
surviving twin brother of "little Georgie," fills an honorable position
as an officer of the Postal Telegraph and Cable Company in New York.
Since the death of his lovely young wife, several years ago, he has
resided with us, and his only son, "Ledyard," is the joy of his
grandparents' hearts. The sister and niece of my wife complete our
household--and our happiness.

My journey hence to the sun-setting must be brief at the farthest. I
only ask to live just as long as God has any work for me to do--and not
one moment longer. I do not seek to measure with this hand how high the
sun of life may yet be above the horizon; but when it does go down, may
my closing eyes behold the bright effulgence of Heaven's blessings upon
yonder glorious sanctuary, and its faithful flock. After my long day's
work for the Master is over, and this mortal body has been put to sleep
in yonder beautiful dormitory of "Greenwood" by the sea, I desire that
the inscription that shall be written over my slumbering dust may be,
"The Founder of Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church."



_A Valedictory Discourse Delivered to the Lafayette Avenue Church,
April_ 6, 1890.

I invite your attention this morning to the nineteenth and twentieth
verses of the second chapter of Paul's Epistle to the Thessalonians:

   "For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing?
   Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ
   at His coming? For ye are our glory and joy."

These words were written by the most remarkable man in the annals of the
Christian Church. Great interest is attached to them from the fact that
they are part of the first inspired epistle that Paul ever wrote. Nay,
more. The letter to the Church of Thessalonica is probably the earliest
as to date of all the books of the New Testament. Paul was then at
Corinth, about fifty-two years old, in the full vigor of his splendid
prime. His spiritual son, Timothy, brings him tidings from the infant
church in Thessalonica, that awakens his solicitude. He yearns to go
and see them, but he cannot; so he determines to write to them; and one
day he lays aside his tent needle, seizes his pen, and, when that pen
touches the papyrus sheet the New Testament begins. The Apostle's great,
warm heart kindles and blazes as he goes on, and at length bursts out in
this impassioned utterance: "Ye are my glory and joy!"

Paul, I thank thee for a thousand things, but for nothing do I thank
thee more than for that golden sentence. In these thrilling words, the
greatest of Christian pastors, rising above the poverty, homelessness,
and scorn that surrounded him, reaches forth his hand and grasps his
royal diadem. No man shall rob the aged hero of his crown. No chaplet
worn by a Roman conqueror in the hour of his brightest triumph, rivals
the coronal that Pastor Paul sees flashing before his eyes. It is a
crown blazing with stars; every star an immortal soul plucked from the
darkness of sin into the light and liberty of a child of God. Poor, is
he? He is making many rich. Despised is he? He wouldn't change places
with Caesar. Homeless is he? His citizenship is in heaven, where he will
find myriads whom he can meet and say to them: "Ye, ye are my glory and
joy." Sixteen centuries after Paul uttered these words, John Bunyan
re-echoed them when he said:

"I have counted as if I had goodly buildings in the places where my
spiritual children were born. My heart has been so wrapt up in this
excellent work that I accounted myself more honored of God than if He
had made me emperor of all the world, or the lord of all the glory of
the earth without it. He that converteth a sinner from the error of his
ways doth save a soul from death, and they that be wise shall shine as
the brightness of the firmament."

Now, the great Apostle expressed what every ambassador of Christ
constantly experiences when in the thick of the Master's work. His are
the joys of acquisition. His purse may be scanty, his teaching may be
humble, and the field of his labor may be so obscure that no bulletins
of his achievements are ever proclaimed to an admiring world.
Difficulties may sadden and discouragement bring him to his knees; but I
tell you that obscure, toiling man of God has a joy vouchsafed to him
that a Frederick or a Marlborough never knew on the field of bloody
triumph, or that a Rothschild never dreams of in his mansions of
splendor, nor an Astor with his stores of gold. Every nugget of fresh
truth discovered makes him happier than one who has found golden spoil.
Every attentive auditor is a delight; every look of interest on a human
countenance flashes back to illuminate his own. Above all, when the
tears of penitence course down a cheek and a returning soul is led by
him to the Saviour, there is great joy in heaven over a repentant
wanderer, and a joy in that minister's heart too exquisite to utter.
Then he is repaid in full measure, pressed down, running over into his

Converted souls are jewels in the caskets of faithful parents, teachers
and pastors. They shall flash in the diadem which the Righteous Judge
shall give them in that great day. Ah! it is when an ambassador of
Christ sees an army of young converts and listens to the first
utterances of their new-born love, and when he presides at a communion
table and sees his spiritual off-spring gathered around him, more true
joy that faithful pastor feels than "Caesar with a Senate at his heels."
Rutherford, of Scotland, only voiced the yearnings of every true
pastor's heart when he exclaimed: "Oh, how rich were I if I could obtain
of my Lord the salvation of you all! What a prey had I gotten to have
you all caught in Christ's net. My witness is above, that your heaven
would be the two heavens to me, and the salvation of you all would be
two salvations to me."

Yet, my beloved people, when I recall the joy of my forty-four years of
public ministry I often shudder at the fact of how near I came to losing
it. For very many months my mind was balancing between the pulpit and
the attractions of a legal and political career. A single hour in a
village prayer-meeting turned the scale. But perhaps behind it all a
beloved mother's prayers were moving the mysterious hand that touched
the poised balance, and made souls outweigh silver, and eternity
outweigh time.

Would that I could lift up my voice this morning in every academy,
college and university on this broad continent. I would say to every
gifted Christian youth, "God and humanity have need of you." He who
redeemed you by His precious blood has a sovereign right to the best
brains and the most persuasive tongues and the highest culture. Why
crowd into the already over-crowded professions? The only occupation in
America that is not overdone is the occupation of serving Jesus Christ
and saving souls. I do not affirm that a Christian cannot serve his
Master in any other sphere or calling than the Gospel ministry, but I do
affirm that the ambition for worldly gains and worldly honors is
sluicing the very heart of God's Church, and drawing out to-day much of
the Church's best blood in their greedy outlets. And I fearlessly
declare that when the most splendid talent has reached the loftiest
round on the ladder of promotion, that round is many rungs lower than a
pulpit in which a consecrated tongue proclaims a living Christianity to
a dying world. What Lord Eldon from the bar, what Webster from the
Senate-chamber, what Sir Walter Scott from the realms of romance, what
Darwin from the field of science, what monarch from Wall Street or
Lombard Street can carry his laurels or his gold up to the judgment seat
and say, "These are my joy and crown?" The laurels and the gold will be
dust--ashes. But if so humble a servant of Jesus Christ as your pastor
can ever point to the gathered flock arrayed in white before the
celestial throne, then he may say, "What is my hope, or joy, or crown of
rejoicing. Are not even ye in the presence of Christ at His coming?"

Good friends, I have told you what aspirations led me to the pulpit as a
place in which to serve my Master; and I thank Christ, the Lord, for
putting me into the ministry. The forty-four years I have spent in that
office have been unspeakably happy. Many a far better man has not been
as happy from causes beyond control. He may have had to contend with
feeble health as I never have; or a despondent temperament, as I never
have; or have struggled to maintain a large household on a slender
purse; he may have been placed in a stubborn field, where the Gospel was
shattered to pieces on flinty hearts. From all such trials a kind
Providence has delivered your pastor.

My ministry began in a very small church. For that I am thankful. Let no
young minister covet a large parish at the outset. The clock that is not
content to strike one will never strike twelve. In that little parish
at Burlington, N.J., I had opportunity for the two most valuable studies
for any minister--God's Book and individual hearts. My next call was to
organize and serve an infant church in Trenton, N.J., and for that I am
thankful. Laying the foundation of a new church affords capital tuition
in spiritual masonry, and the walls of that church have stood firm and
solid for forty years. The crowning mercy of my Trenton ministry was
this, that one Sunday while I was watering the flock, a goodlier vision
than that of Rebecca appeared at the well's mouth, and the sweet
sunshine of that presence has never departed from the pathway of my
life. To this hour the prosaic old capital of New Jersey has a halo of
poetry floating over it, and I never go through it without waving a
benediction from the passing train.

The next stage of my life's work was a seven years' pastorate of Market
Street Church in the city of New York. To those seven years of hard and
happy labor I look back with joy. The congregation swarmed with young
men, many of whom have risen to prominence in the commercial and
religious life of the great metropolis. The name of Market Street is
graven indelibly on my heart. I rejoice that the quaint old edifice
still stands and welcomes every Sabbath a congregation of landsmen and
of sailors. During the year 1858 occurred the great revival, when a
mighty wind from Heaven filled every house where the people of God were
sitting, and the glorious work of that revival kept many of us busy for
six months, night and day.

Early in the year 1860 a signal was made to me from this side of the
East River. It came from a brave little band then known as the Park
Presbyterian Church, who had never had any installed pastor. The signal
at first was unheeded; but a higher than human hand seemed to be behind
it, and I had only to obey. That little flock stood like the man of
Macedonia, saying, "Come over and help us," and after I had seen the
vision immediately I decided to come, assuredly concluding that God had
called me to preach the Gospel unto them.

This morning my memory goes back to that chilly, stormy April Sunday
when my labors began as your first pastor. About two hundred and fifty
people, full of grace and grit, gathered on that Easter morning to see
how God could roll away stones that for two years had blocked their path
with discouragement. My first message many of you remember. It was, "I
determined not to know anything among you save Jesus Christ and Him
crucified." Of that little company the large majority has departed. Many
of them are among the white-robed that now behold their risen Lord in
glory. Of the seventeen church officers--elders, deacons and
trustees--then in office, who greeted me that day, only four are living,
and of that number only one, Mr. Albion P. Higgins, is now a member of
this congregation. I wonder how many there are here this morning that
gathered before my pulpit on that Easter Sunday thirty years ago? As
many of you as there are present that were at that service thirty years
ago will do me a favor if you will rise in your pews.

(Thirteen people here stood up.)

God bless you! If it hadn't been for you this ark would never have been

Ah! we had happy days in that modest chapel. The tempest of civil war
was raging, with Lincoln's steady hand at the helm. We got our share of
the gale; but we set our storm-sails, and every one that could handle
ropes stood at his or her place. Just think of the money contributions
that small church made during the first year of my pastorate--$20,000,
not in paper, but in gold. The little band in that chapel was not only
generous in donations but valiant in spirit, and it was under the
gracious shower of a revival that we removed into this edifice on the
16th of March, 1862.

The subsequent history of the church was published so fully at the
notable anniversary five years ago that I need only repeat the chief
head-lines in a very few sentences. In 1863 Mr. William Wickes started a
mission school, which afterward grew into the present Cumberland Street
Church. In 1866 occurred that wonderful work of grace that resulted in
the addition of 320 souls to our membership, one hundred of them heads
of families. As a thank-offering to God for that rich blessing the
Memorial Mission School was established, which was soon organized into
the Memorial Presbyterian Church, now on Seventh Avenue, under the
excellent pastorate of my Brother Nelson. During the winter of 1867 a
conference of gentlemen was held in yonder study which set on foot the
present Classon Avenue Church, where my Brother Chamberlain administers
equally satisfactorily. Olivet Mission was organized in 1874. It will
always be fragrant with the memory of Horace B. Griffing, its first
superintendent. The Cuyler Chapel was opened on Atlantic Avenue in
March, 1886, by our Young People's Association, who are maintaining it
most vigorously. The little Corwin Mission on Myrtle Avenue was
established by a member of the church to perpetuate his name, and is
largely sustained by members of this church.

Of all the efficient, successful labors of the Lafayette Avenue
Temperance Society, the Women's Home and Foreign Missionary Society,
their Benevolent Society, the Cuyler Mission Band, the Daughters of the
Temple, and other kindred organizations. I have no time or place to
speak this morning. But I must repeat now what I have said in years
past, that the two strong arms of this church are its Sunday School and
its Young People's Association. The former has been kept well up to the
ideal of such an institution. It is that of a training school of young
hearts for this life and for the life to come. God's blessing has
descended upon it like the morning dew. Of the large number of children
that have been enrolled in its classes 730 have been received into
membership with this church alone, and to the profession of faith in
Christ--to say nothing of those who have joined elsewhere. Warmly do I
thank and heartily do I congratulate our beloved brother, Daniel W.
McWilliams, and his faithful group of teachers, and the Superintendent
of the primary department and her group of assistants, on the seal which
God has set upon their loving work. They contemplate the long array of
children whom they have guided to Jesus; and they, too, can exclaim,
"What is our joy or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the Lord?"

If the Sunday School has rendered good service, so has the well-drilled
and well-watered Young People's Association. The fires of devotion have
never gone out on the altar of their Monday evening gatherings. For
length of days and number of membership combined, probably it surpasses
all similar young people's associations in our country. About three
thousand names have been on its membership roll, and of this number
twelve have set their faces toward the Gospel ministry. Oh, what a
source of joy to me that I leave that association in such a high
condition of vigor and prosperity! No church can languish, no church can
die, while it has plenty of young blood in its veins.

What has been the outcome of these thirty years of happy pastorate? As
far as the results can be tabulated the following is a brief
summary:--During my pastorate here I have preached about 2,750
discourses, have delivered a very large number of public addresses in
behalf of Sunday Schools, Young Men's Associations, the temperance
reform, and kindred enterprises for advancing human welfare. I have
officiated at 682 marriages. I have baptized 962 children. The total
number received into the membership of this church during this time has
been 4,223. Of this number 1,920 have united by a confession of their
faith in Jesus Christ. An army, you see, an army of nearly two thousand
souls, have enlisted under the banner of King Jesus, and taken their
"sacramentum," or vow of loyalty, before this pulpit. What is our crown
of rejoicing? Are not even they in the presence of Christ at His

It is due to you that I should commend your liberality in gifts to God's
treasury. During these thirty years over $640,000 have been contributed
for ecclesiastical and benevolent purposes, and about $700,000 for the
maintenance of the sanctuary, its worship, and its work. Over a million
and a quarter of dollars have passed through these two channels. The
successive boards of trustees have managed our financial affairs
carefully and efficiently. The architecture of this noble edifice is not
disfigured by any mortgage. I hope it never will be.

There is one department of ministerial labor that has had a peculiar
attraction to me and afforded me peculiar joy. Pastoral work has always
been my passion. It has been my rule to know everybody in this
congregation, if possible, and seldom have I allowed a day to pass
without a visit to some of your homes. I fancied that you cared more to
have a warm-hearted pastor than a cold-blooded preacher, however
intellectual. To carry out thoroughly a system of personal oversight, to
visit every family, to stand by the sick and dying beds, to put one's
self into sympathy with aching hearts and bereaved households, is a
process that has swallowed up time, and I tell you it has strained the
nerves prodigiously. Costly as the process has been, it has paid. If I
have given sermons to you, I have got sermons from you. The closest tie
that binds us together is that sacred tie that has been wound around the
cribs in your nurseries, the couches in your sick chambers, the chairs
at your fireside, and even the coffins that have borne away your
precious dead. My fondest hope is that however much you may honor and
love my successor in this pulpit, you will evermore keep a warm place in
the chimney-corner of your hearts for the man that gave the best thirty
years of his life to your service.

Here let me bespeak for my successor the most kind and reasonable
allowance as to pastoral labors. Do not expect too much from him. Very
few ministers have the peculiar passion for pastoral service that I have
had; and if Christ's ambassador who shall occupy this pulpit proclaims
faithfully the whole Gospel of God and brings a sympathetic heart to
your houses, do not criticize him unjustly because he may not attempt to
make twenty-five thousand pastoral visits in thirty years. House to
house visitation has only been one hemisphere of the pastor's work. I
have accordingly endeavored to guard the door of yonder study so that I
might give undivided energy to preparation for this pulpit.

You know, my dear people, how I have preached and what I have preached.
In spite of many interruptions, I have honestly handled each topic as
best I could. The minister that foolishly runs races with himself is
doomed to an early suicide. All that I claim for my sermons is that they
have been true to God's Book and the cross of Jesus Christ--have been
simple enough for a child to understand, and have been preached in full
view of the judgment seat. I have aimed to keep this pulpit abreast of
all great moral reforms and human progress, and the majestic marchings
of the kingdom of King Jesus. The preparation of my sermons has been an
unspeakable delight. The manna fell fresh every morning, and it had to
me the sweetness of angels' food. Ah, there are many sharp pangs before
me. None will be sharper than the hour that bids farewell to yonder
blessed and beloved study. For twenty-eight years it has been my daily
home--one of the dearest spots this side of Heaven. From its walls have
looked down upon me the inspiring faces of Chalmers, Charles Wesley,
Spurgeon, Lincoln and Gladstone; Adams, Storrs, Guthrie, Newman Hall,
and my beloved teachers, Charles Hodge and the Alexanders of Princeton.
Thither your infant children have been brought on Sabbath mornings,
awaiting their baptism. Thither your older children have come by
hundreds to converse with me about the welfare of their souls. Thither
have come all the candidates for admission to the fellowship of this
church, and have made there their confession of faith and their
allegiance to Christ. Oh, what blessed interviews with inquirers have
been held there! What sweet and happy fellowship with my successive
bands of helpers, some of whom have joined the general assembly of the
redeemed in glory. That hallowed study has been to me sometimes a Bochim
of tears, and sometimes a Hermon, when the vision was of no man save
Jesus only. And the work there has been a wider one for a far wider
multitude than these walls contain this morning. I have written there
nearly all the hundreds of articles which have gone out through the
religious press, over this country, over Great Britain, over Europe,
over Australia, Canada, India, and New Zealand. During my ministry I
have published about 3,200 of these articles. Many of them have been
gathered into books, many of them translated into Swedish, Spanish,
Dutch, and other foreign tongues. They have made the scratch of a very
humble pen audible to Christendom. The consecrated pen may be more
powerful than the consecrated tongue. I devoutly thank God for having
condescended to use my humble pen to the spread of his Gospel; and I
purpose with His help to spend much of the brief remainder of my life in
preaching His glorious Gospel through the press.

I am sincerely sorry that the necessities of this hour seem to require
so personal a discourse this morning; but I must hide behind the
example of the great Apostle who gave me my text. Because He reviewed
His ministry among His spiritual children of Thessalonica, I may be
allowed to review my own, too--standing here this morning under such
peculiar circumstances. These thirty years have been to me years of
unbounded joy. Sorrow I have had, when death paid four visits to my
house; but the sorrow taught sympathy with the grief of others. Sins I
have committed--too many of them; your patient love has never cast a
stone. The faults of my ministry have been my own. The successes of my
ministry have been largely due under God, to your co-operation, and,
above all, to the amazing goodness of our Heavenly Father. Looking my
long pastorate squarely in the face, I think I can honestly say that I
have been no man's man; I have never courted the rich, nor wilfully
neglected the poor; I have never blunted the sword of the Spirit lest it
should cut your consciences, or concealed a truth that might save a
soul. In no large church is there a perfect unanimity of tastes as to
preaching. I do not doubt that there are some of you that are quite
ready for the experiment of a new face in this pulpit, and perhaps there
may be some who are lusting after the fat quail of elaborate or
philosophic discourse. For thirty years I have tried to feed you on
"nothing but manna." Whatever the difference of taste, you have always
stood by me, true as steel. This has been your spiritual home; and you
have loved your home, and you have drunk every Sunday from your own
well, and though the water of life has not always been passed up to you
in a richly embossed silver cup, it has drawn up the undiluted Gospel
from the inspired fountain-head. To hear the truth, to heed the truth,
to "back" the truth with prayer and toil, has been the delight of the
stanchest members of this church. Oh, the children of this church are
inexpressibly dear to me! There are hundreds here to-day that never had
any other home, nor ever knew any other pastor. I think I can say that
"every baptism has baptized us into closer fellowship, every marriage
has married us into closer union, every funeral that bore away your
beloved dead, only bound us more strongly to the living." Every
invitation from another church--and I have had some very attractive ones
that I never told you about--every invitation from another church has
always been promptly declined; for I long ago determined never to be
pastor of any other than Lafayette Avenue Church.

What is my joy or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye--ye--in the
presence of Christ at His coming? Why, then, sunder a tie that is bound
to every fibre of my inmost heart? I will answer you frankly. There must
be no concealment or false pretexts between us. In the first place, as
I told you two months ago, I had determined to make my thirtieth
anniversary the terminal point of my present pastorate. I determined not
to outstay my fullest capacity for the enormous work demanded here. The
extent of that demanded work increases every twelve months. The
requirements of preaching twice every Sunday, to visit the vast number
of families directly connected with this church, attending funeral
services, conferring with committees about Christian work of various
kinds, and numberless other duties--all these requirements are
prodigious. Thus far, by the Divine help, I have carried that load. My
health to-day is as firm as usual; and I thank God that such forces of
heart and brain as He has given me are unabated. The chronic catarrh
that long ago muffled my ears to many a strain of sweet music, has never
made me too deaf to hear the sweet accents of your love. But I
understand my constitution well enough to know that I could not carry
the undivided load of this great church a great while longer without the
risk of breaking down; and there must be no risk run with you or with
myself. I also desire to assist you in transferring this magnificent
vessel to the next pilot whom God shall appoint; and I wish to transfer
it while it is well-manned, well-equipped, and on the clear sea of an
unbroken financial and spiritual prosperity. No man shall ever say that
I so far presumed on the generous kindness of this dear church as to
linger here until I had outlived my usefulness.

For these reasons I present to-day my resignation of this sacred,
precious charge. It is my honest desire and purpose that this day must
terminate my present pastorate. For presenting this resignation I alone
am responsible before God, before this church and before the world. When
you shall have accepted my resignation, the whole responsibility for the
welfare of this beloved church will rest on your shoulders--not on mine.
My earnest prayer is that you may soon be directed to the right man to
be your minister, to one who shall unite all hearts and all hands, and
carry forward the high and holy mission to which God has called you. He
will find in me not a jealous critic, but a hearty ally in everything
that he may regard for the welfare of this church.

As for myself I do not propose to sit down on the veranda and watch the
sun of life wheel downward in the west. The labors of a pen and of a
ministry at large will afford me no lack of employment. The welfare of
this church is inexpressibly dear to me--nothing is dearer to me this
side of heaven. If, therefore, while this flock remains shepherdless,
and in search of my successor, I can be of actual service to you in
supplying at any time this pulpit or performing pastoral labor, that
service, beloved, shall be performed cheerfully.

The first thought, the only thought with all of us, is this church,
_this church_, THIS CHURCH. I call no man my friend, you must call no
man your friend that does not stand by the interests of Lafayette Avenue
Church. It is now called to meet a great emergency. For the first time
in twenty-eight years this church is subjected to a severe strain.
During all these years you had very smooth sailing. You have never been
crippled by debt; you have never been distracted with quarrels, and you
have never been without a pastor in your pulpit or your homes when you
needed him. And I suppose no church in Brooklyn has ever been subjected
to less strain than this one. Now you are called upon to face a new
condition of things, perhaps a new danger--certainly a new duty. The
duty overrides the danger. To meet that duty you are strong in numbers.
There are 2,350 names on your church register. Of these many are young
children, many are non-residents who have never asked a dismission to
other churches; but a great army of church members three Sabbaths ago
rose up before that sacramental table. You are strong in a holy harmony.
Let no man, no woman, break the ranks! You are strong in the protection
of that great Shepherd who never resigns and who never grows old. "Lo! I
am with you always! Lo! I am with you always! Lo! I am with you
always!" seems to greet me this morning from every wall of this
sanctuary. I confidently expect to see Lafayette Avenue Church move
steadily forward with unbroken column led by the Captain of our
salvation. All eyes are upon you. The eye that never slumbers or sleeps
is watching over you. If you are all true to conscience, true to your
covenants, true to Christ, the future of this dear church may be as
glorious as its past. And when another thirty years have rolled away, it
may still be a strong tower of the truth on which the smile of God shall
rest like the light of the morning. By as much as you love me, I entreat
you not to sadden my life or break my heart by ever deserting these
walls, or letting the fire of devotion burn down on these sacred altars.

The hands of the clock warn me to close. This is one of the most trying
hours of my whole life. It is an hour when tears are only endurable by
being rainbowed with the memory of tender mercies and holy joys. When my
feet descend those steps to-day, this will no longer be my pulpit. I
surrender it back before God into your hands. One of my chiefest sorrows
is that I leave some of my beloved hearers out of Christ. Oh, you have
been faithfully warned here, and you have been lovingly invited here;
and once more, as though God did beseech you by me, I implore you in
Christ's name to be reconciled to God. This dear pulpit, whose teachings
are based on the Rock of Ages, will stand long after the lips that now
address you have turned to dust. It will be visible from the judgment
seat; and its witness will be that I determined to know not anything
among you save Jesus Christ and Him crucified. To-day I write the last
page in the record of thirty bright, happy, Heaven-blessed years among
you. What is written is written. I shall fold up the book and lay it
away with all its many faults; and it will not lose its fragrance while
between its leaves are the pressed flowers of your love. When my closing
eyes shall look on that record for the last time, I hope to discover
there only one name--the name that is above every name, the name of Him
whose glory crowns this Eastern morn with radiant splendor, the name of
Jesus Christ, King of kings, and Lord of lords. And the last words I
utter in this sacred spot are unto Him that loves us and delivers us
from sin with His precious blood; and unto God be all the praise and
thanks and dominion and glory for ever and ever. Amen.



Adams, Dr. William, 201-205.
Albert, Prince, 32.
Alexander, Archibald, 82, 191-3.
Alexander, Dr. James W, 9.
Alexander, Dr. Joseph Addison, 82, 193-5.
Alexander, Stephen, 9.
Allen, Mr. Alexander, 314.
Allison, William J, 121.
American Seamen's Friend Society, 255.
Anderson, Captain James, 146, 149.
Armstrong, Samuel C, 158.
Astor, John Jacob, 273, 275-6.
Aurora, birthplace, I.


Bailey, Joshua, 57.
Baillie, Mrs. Joanna, 30-1.
Barnes, Albert, 195.
Batcheler, General, 231.
Beecher, Henry Ward, 150, 152, 213-15, 295.
Beecher, Miss Catherine, 231.
Binney, Thomas, 170-172.
Blair, General Francis P., 10.
Bonar, Dr. Horatius, 40, 42.
Booth, Mrs. Catherine, 265.
Booth, General, 265.
Bowring, Sir John, 39-40.
Bright, John, 27, 134, 316.
Brown, Dr. John, 105, 109, 147.
Brooks, Phillips, 195.
Burns, Robert, 12, 17-19, 26.
Bushnell, Horace, 190-1.
Byron, Lord, 13.


Campbell, Thomas, 31.
Carlyle, Thomas, 23-9.
Carnaham, Dr., President of Princeton, 9.
Carnegie, Andrew, 59-60, 275.
Cary, Edward, 301.
Cass, General Lewis, 34.
Channing, Dr. Ellery, 31.
Chauncey, Charles, 63.
Cheeseman, Dr. William, 322.
Chi Alpha Society, 319.
Christian Endeavor (See Young People's Society of, etc.).
Clark, Rev. Francis E., 87, 247, 258.
Comstock, Anthony, 264.
Cook, Joseph, 231.
Cox, Dr. Samuel Hanson, 209-13.
Crosby, Fanny, 43.
Cunningham, Professor, 13.
Cuyler, Benjamin Ledyard, Dr. Cuyler's father, 2; died, 3.
Cuyler, General, 2.
Cuyler, Dr., ancestry, 1, 2; childhood, 3; farm life, 4; early
  religious training and reading, 5; preparation for college,
  8; college memories, 9-11; visits England and
  France, Wordsworth, Dickens, Carlyle, Mrs. Baillie,
  the Young Queen, Napoleon, 12-36; first public address,
  1842, 49, 50; visits Stockholm, 46; delivers his first
  address in New York, 54; President National Temperance
  Society, 57; views on temperance, 58-59;
  chooses the ministry, 61; at Princeton Seminary, 62;
  first pastorate, 62, 83; preaches at Saratoga, 64; methods
  of preaching, 64-73; changes in pulpit methods, 75-81;
  preaches five months at Wyoming Valley, 83, 84; work
  in New York, 85, 86; Lafayette Avenue, 1860, 86;
  methods of church work, 87-90; first literary contributions,
  93; origin of "Under the Catalpa," 95; extent
  of literary labors, 95; first book, 96; inspiration of
  "The Empty Crib," 96; inspiration of "God's Light on
  Dark Clouds," 97; visits to famous people abroad,
  Gladstone, 99-104, Dr. John Brown, 105-109; Dean
  Stanley, 109-115; Earl Shaftesbury, 116, 117, interviews
  with famous people at home--Irving, 118-121; Whittier,
  121-125; Webster, 125-132; Greeley, 132-137; Civil War,
  138, services to "The Christian Commission," 130; at
  Washington, 131; first meeting with Lincoln, 142; to
  Europe in 1862, 145-149; at Edinburgh, 146-147; at
  Paris, 148; address on Emancipation, 149-150; trip to
  Charleston, Fort Sumter, 151; views on pastoral work,
  159-169; British pastors--Binney, 170-72; Hamilton,
  172-3, Guthrie, 175-76; Hall, 177-181; Spurgeon,
  181-86; Duff, 187-89; reminiscences of Princeton Seminary
  preachers, 191, reminiscences of famous American
  preachers--Phillips Brooks, 190; Horace Bushnell,
  191-2, Archibald Alexander, 191-3; Joseph Addison
  Alexander, 193-5; Albert Barnes, 195, Dr. William
  B. Sprague, 196-197; Dr. Stephen H. Tyng, 197-200,
  Dr. William Adams, 201-5; Samuel Hanson
  Cox, 209-13; Henry Ward Beecher, 213-15; Rev.
  Charles G. Finney, 216-220; Dr. Benjamin M.
  Palmer, 221-223; summering at Saratoga, 224-232;
  meets leading Methodists--Bishop Jaynes, Bishop
  Simpson, Bishop Peck, etc, 227-8, Bishop Haven,
  229-31; summering at Mohonk, 232; Dr. Schaff, 235;
  Dr. McCosh, 237-9; Mr. Smiley, 240; Indian Conferences
  at Mohonk, 240; "Arbitration Conference," 240;
  letter from President Harrison, 242, preservation of
  health, 243, growth of church fellowship and diminution
  of sectarianism, 244-9; exchanging pulpits, 246-9,
  women in the pulpit--Miss Smiley, 249-50; foreign
  missions, 251-254; Young Men's Christian Association,
  255-57; Christian Endeavor Society, 258; missionary
  work in New York, 260-268; missionary work in
  Brooklyn, 268-272; views on the modern novel, 281-82;
  views on the new theology, 285-87; ministry in
  Burlington and Trenton, N J, 288, marriage, 289;
  his wife, 289-292; Market Street Dutch Reformed
  Church of New York, 292-294; calls to various
  churches, 292; Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church,
  294; Brooklyn, 298; house, 302-303; death of his mother,
  304, death of his daughter, 304-5; celebration of quarter
  century of ministry at Lafayette Church, 306;
  resignation from the church, 307-09; travels, 314-317;
  commemoration of 80th birthday, 317-20, valedictory
  sermon, delivered at Lafayette Avenue Church, 325-46.
Cuyler, Theodore Ledyard, Jr., 323.


Dayton, Hon. William L, 148.
Delano, Captain Joseph C, 12.
Dickens, Charles, 20-22.
Dix, General, 57.
Dod, Albert B, 9.
Dod, Hon. Amzi, 11.
Dodge, Hon William E, 56, 57, 275.
Dow, Neal, 53-55.
Drummond, Henry, 303.
Duff, Dr. Alexander, 187-89.
Duffield, John T., 10.


Faraday, Sir Michael, 10.
Farrar, Archdeacon, 248.
Finney, Rev. Charles G., 76, 216-220.


Girard, Stephen, 273.
Gladstone, William E., 99, 104, 272.
Gough, Hon. John B, 51-53.
Gould, Miss Helen M., 251.
Greeley, Horace, 132-137.
Gregg, Rev. Dr. David, 312.
Grellet, Stephen, 121.
Gurney, Mrs. Joseph John, 121.
Guthrie, Dr. Thomas, 175-176.


Hackett, Horatio B., 231.
Hall, Rev Newman, 26, 177-181.
Hamilton College, 2
Hamilton, Dr. James, 172-3
Harrison, President Benjamin, letter to Dr. Cuyler, 242.
Harvey, Sir George, 107
Hatfield, Dr. Edward F., 47.
Haven, Bishop, 229-31.
Hayes, President R.B., 235.
Henry, Joseph, 9, 10, 140.
Hodge, Archibald Alexander, 10.
Hodge, Dr. Charles, 82.
Hopkins, Dr. Mark, 57
Howard, General O.O., 57.
Hoxie, Judge, 151, 152.
Huntington, Daniel, 259


Irving, Washington, 118-121.


James, John Angell, 174
Jaynes, Bishop, 227-8
Jesup, Morris K., 274
Judson, Adoniram, 253.


Kirk, Rev. Edward N, 73.


Ledyard, General Benjamin, Dr. Cuyler's grandfather, 1.
Ledyard, Hon Henry, 34.
Ledyard, Mary Forman, Dr. Cuyler's grandmother, 2.
Lewis, Senator Dixon H., 127.
Lincoln, Abraham, 141-146, 152-157, 229.
Little, Mr., founder of the "Living Age," 205.
Livingstone, David, 174.
Longfellow, Henry Wordsworth, 24.


Mandeville, Rev. Gerrit, 8.
Marquand, Frederick, 256.
Mason, Dr. Lowell, 43, 44.
Mathew, Father Theobald, 49-51.
Mathiot, Annie E., Dr. Cuyler's wife, 289.
Melvill, Henry, 170.
Miller, Dr. Samuel, 82.
Moffat, Robert, 174.
Mohonk, 224, 232-42.
Mohonk Lake Mountain House, 232-242.
Montgomery, James, 37-8.
Montgomery, Satan, 38.
Moody, Dwight L., 90-91, 216, 247.
Morrell, Charles Horton, 4.
Morrell, Louise Frances, Dr. Cuyler's mother, 2.
Mott, Richard, 121.
Muhlenberg, Dr. William Augustus, 45-6.
McBurney, Robert, 256.
McChyne, Robert Murray, 315.
McCosh, President of Princeton, 237-9.
McSloane, Bishop Charles P., 247.
McKelway, Dr. St. Clair, 301.
McLaren, Dr. Alexander, 66, 73, 172.
McLean, "Uncle Johnny," 9.


Napoleon, Grand Army of, 35.
Napoleon's Tomb, 35-6.
National Temperance Society and Publication House, 55, 57.
Nixon, John T., 10.


Palmer, Dr. Benjamin M., 221-223.
Palmer, Dr. Ray, 43-5.
Park, Edwards A., Professor, 209.
Pease, Rev. L.M., 260.
Peck, Bishop, 228
Phillipe, Louis, 34
Pierpont, John, 231.
Pratt, Charles, 274
Prentiss, Mrs. Elizabeth Payson, 47.


Raffles, Dr., 12.
Renwick, Professor, 13.
Robertson, Frederick W., 73.
Rockefeller, John D., 274.
Roe, Robert, 317


Salvation Army, 265-7
Sankey, Ira D., 91
Saratoga, 224-26
Schaff, Dr. Philip, 235-7.
Schlieman, Dr., 316
Scott, Sir Walter, 16, 17, 30.
Scudder, Edward W., 10.
Seward, William H., 323.
Shaftesbury, Earl, 116-117.
Sloane, Rev. M., 42
Simpson, Bishop Matthew, 228-9
Smiley, Mr., Indian and Arbitration Conferences, 240-1.
Smiley, Miss Sara F., 249.
Smith, Dr. Samuel F., 46-47
Society for the Prevention of Vice, 264,
Southey, Robert, 16.
Spalding, Levi, 251.
Spurgeon, Charles H., 181-86.
Spurgeon, Rev. Thomas, 186
Sprague, Dr. William B., 196-197.
Stanley, Dean, 109-115
Stitt, Dr., 255.
Storrs, Dr. Richard S., 205-209
Strong's, Dr., Remedial Institute at Saratoga, 227.


Temple, Dr., 248
Thompson, Rev. Charles Lemuel, 319.
Torrey, Dr. John, 9
Tweedie, William, 317
Tyng, Dr. Stephen H., 197-200


Valedictory Sermon, 325-46
Van Buren, President Martin, 231.
Van Rensellaer, 93
Vickers, Mr., 37-8
Victoria, Queen, 32-4.


Walker, Richard W., 10
Washington, Booker T., 158
Webster, Daniel, 125-132
Wells College, 3
Whitcomb, Miss Mary, 51.
Whittier, John G., 121-125.
Wilberforce, William, 22
Willard, Frances E., 231.
Williams, Sir George, 116, 246-7, 255.
Wilson, Professor, "Christopher North," 13.
Wilson, Vice-President Henry, 231.
Woman's Christian Temperance Union, 60.
Wordsworth, William, 13-16.


Young Men's Christian Association, 246-7, 255.
Young People's Society of Christian Endeavor, 246-7

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