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Title: Memoir of Rev. Joseph Badger - Fourth Edition
Author: Holland, Elihu G.
Language: English
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[Illustration: R. Badger]








Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1853, by
In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States
for the Western District of New York.

16 Devonshire Street, Boston.


The present volume is the Memoir of a man and a minister whose character
was strikingly individual, whose services to Religion in its more
liberal and unsectarian form were large and successful; and in the
denomination to which he belonged, no man was more generally known, and
none, we believe, ever acted a more prominent and effective part. The
writer of this has endeavored to set forth the life and sentiments of
Mr. Badger, to a large extent in his own language. Much of his journal
must be new even to old acquaintance, as it was written many years ago,
and no part of it has ever been published. To those who would be pleased
to read the outlines of the greatest theological reformation among the
masses which the nineteenth century may justly claim, we trust this
volume will be welcome; likewise to all those who may be liberal and
evangelical Christians. Aged men, contemporaries with him, will rejoice
in the revival of past scenes, and the young will be taught, encouraged,
and warned by the paternal voices of the departed.

Two classes of great men figure effectively on the stage of the world.
One class are strongest in writing. Their written words embody the
entire elegance and power of their minds. Such were Webster and
Channing. The other class are strongest in speech. Their personal
presence, their spontaneous eloquence in oral discourse, alone express
their mind and heart. Such were Clay, Henry, and Whitfield. To the
latter classification Mr. Badger unquestionably belongs. Though the
marks of superiority are variously apparent in his papers, it was in the
more natural medium of oral speech that his genius shone. Having now
completed the task demanded by my duty to the family of Mr. Badger, I
would, in the name of the self-sacrificing, trusting faith of which he
was no common example, send forth this volume to the world, hoping that
in an ease-loving age, the presentation of a Lutheran force in the
example of a son of New Hampshire may serve to awaken in others a
kindred energy.

















TO MAY, 1832.



TO MARCH, 1848.








In so young a world as America, it has been held unsuitable for persons
to spend much time in the tracing of pedigree, or to found important
claims on family descent; nor can it accord less with the common sense
of mankind than with the republican genius of the world, to say, that
every genuine claim to human esteem is founded in character. In this is
rooted every quality that can, of right, command the reverence of man.
But, as character is not exactly isolated and independent of ancestral
fountains, from which the innate impulses, capacity, and tendency to
good and evil have flown, the subject of ancestry justly belongs to the
history of every man's mind and life. Our ancestors flow in our veins.
We retain them more or less in our characters always, so that the great
stress which different countries have put upon this theme, rests on
other than artificial and ostentatious reasons. In nature, below man,
the various circuits and orders of being do nothing more than to repeat
ancestral forms and habits, to which the sweet rose, the eagle, and the
strong-armed oak, are perpetual witnesses; and though man, by his
God-like faculty of will is lifted out, in a great measure, from this
necessity, he is so far a derivation from the past, that he ought to be
seen in his connections with it. We therefore introduce the subject of
Mr. Badger's ancestry as the chief part of the first chapter of this

Joseph Badger, the subject of this memoir, was a native of Gilmanton,
Strafford county, New Hampshire, born August 16th, 1792. From an early
manuscript of his I copy the following lines:--

      "My father, Peaslee Badger, was born at Haverhill, Mass.,
      1756. He was the son of General Joseph Badger, who was a
      native of that place. When my father was nine years of age,
      his father removed to Gilmanton, N. H., where his family
      was settled, and where my grandsire, General Joseph, ended
      his days in peace, in the year of our Lord 1803. The good
      instruction I received from him, before my ninth year, will
      never be effaced from my memory. His name will long be held
      in remembrance as a peacemaker, and a great statesman.
      Every recollection of him is a fulfilment of the sacred
      passage--'The memory of the righteous is blessed.'

      "In 1781, my father was married to Lydia Kelley, born in
      Lee, N. H., 1759. She was the daughter of Philip Kelley,
      who, in the triumphs of faith, departed this life the 11th
      of June, 1800, at New Hampton, N. H. For the space of
      thirty-six years my father resided at Gilmanton. In our
      family were nine children, five sons and four daughters. I
      was the fourth son, and the old general, of whom I have
      already spoken, selected me as the one to bear up his name.
      I was accordingly named for him; but alas! I fear I have
      fallen greatly below his excellent examples."

Among his ancestors, there can be no doubt, that he most resembled, in
mind and body, the venerable man whose name he bore. The personal form
of Gen. Joseph Badger, as described in history, in which he is
represented as nearly six feet in stature, somewhat corpulent, light and
fair in complexion, and of dignified manners, answers most aptly to the
subject of this memoir; nor is the correspondence less perfect, when his
mental qualities of foresight, order, firmness, tact, and generosity are
considered. "As a military man," says the faithful pen of history,
"General Badger was commanding in his person, well skilled in the
science of military tactics, expert as an officer, and courageous and
faithful in the performance of every trust. With him order was law,
rights were most sacred, and the discharge of duty was never to be

Hundreds, into whose hands this volume will fall, will never forget the
promptness and the courageous efficiency with which Rev. Joseph Badger
met every public duty, and every great emergency; and though his field
was the ministry, and his soldierly skill that which referred to the
Cross, none who ever knew him can cease to remember the ready, natural,
and commanding generalship by which his entire action and influence in
the world were distinguished. He did not float with the wave of
circumstance, but carefully laid out his labors into system, always
having a purpose and a plan; and not unfrequently did his active energy
and position in life, amidst many difficulties, remind one of a
campaign. No mind, acting in the same sphere, was ever more productive
in ways and means. Though a clergyman, he was a general, and one, we
should say, of no common tact and skill.

His father, Major Peaslee Badger, with whom the writer of this memoir
was acquainted, was a man of strong mental powers, quick perceptions,
and of great vivacity. The quality last named, for which the subject of
these biographical sketches was so generally distinguished, is readily
traceable to his father; and the same remark in regard to quickness of
perception might also apply, but for the fact that the mind of the son
was more intuitive, and that he possessed both the qualities spoken of
in a greater degree. Joseph Badger, though at heart deeply imbued with
the solemnity and importance of all that belongs to the Gospel of human
salvation, was no anchorite in spirit, no desponding meditator on man or
his lot; he wore no formalities of a pretending sanctity. He had the
good fortune never to have lost his naturalness; and I think I never saw
one in whose nature was treasured a greater fulness of social life. It
was apparent that Major Badger had a memory that was strong even in
advanced years; that he was a general reader, and had reflected very
independently; that, though capable of tender emotions and kindness of
heart, the intellect had pretty full ascendency over his sympathetic
nature; and that, in social feeling, in affection, in fineness of
nature, and in general sympathy, his son possessed the richer

His mother was a Christian, and judging from her letters, was an
affectionate woman, of good plain sense, and rich in sympathy and
maternal care. Father, mother and son are now in the spiritual world.[1]

As there are several public men wearing the family name of Badger, and
as there are different branches of the same original family that in an
early day exchanged their home in England for the then comparative
wilderness of New Hampshire and Massachusetts, in obedience to the
spirit of adventure that drew, in those times, the most earnest and
enterprising persons to the New World, I have thought it proper briefly
to present the lineage of Rev. Joseph Badger from the settlement of the
first family of this name in Massachusetts; in doing which I shall not
rely on uncertain tradition, but on the published history of Gilmanton,
N. H., and on the Memoir of Hon. Joseph Badger, both of which are now
before me. From these authorities it appears that the Badger family is
of English origin, that its founder was Giles Badger,[2] who settled at
Newbury, Mass., previous to June 30, in 1643, only twenty-three years
after the landing of the Pilgrims. His son, John Badger, a man of much
respectability in his day, was by his first wife, the father of four
children, only three of whom, John, Sarah and James, lived to arrive at
years of responsibility, the first having died in infancy. His first
wife, Elizabeth, died April 8th, 1669. By his second wife, Hannah Swett,
to whom he was married February 23d, 1671, he had Stephen, Hannah,
Nathaniel, Mary, Elizabeth, Ruth, Joseph, Daniel, Abigail and Lydia.
Both of the parents died in 1691. John Badger, Jr., a merchant in
Newbury, married Miss Rebecca Brown, October 5, 1691; their children
were John, James, Elizabeth, Stephen, _Joseph_, Benjamin and Dorothy.
Joseph was born in 1698.

Joseph Badger, son of John Badger, Jr., was a merchant, in Haverhill,
Mass.,[3] and married Hannah, daughter of Col. Nathaniel Peaslee. Among
his seven children was General Joseph Badger, whose usefulness and
excellence of character are strongly expressed in the pages before me.
He married Hannah Pearson, January 31st, 1740; their children were
twelve in number, among whom was Major Peaslee Badger, the father of the
subject of this memoir, and the Hon. Joseph Badger, Jr., the father of
Hon. William Badger, late Governor of New Hampshire. Several of this
name have been distinguished for ability, and have held important
positions of public duty. Some have been active in the defence of their
country, some in the cause of education, the administration of justice,
and the affairs of political life; and like the distinguished men of New
Hampshire generally, they mostly seem to have had strong natures, with
characters marked by native vigor and original force.

South of the White Mountains some fifty miles, and near the Lake and
River Winnipiseogee, is the old town of Gilmanton. As the mind of Mr.
Badger, during his childhood in this place, was lastingly impressed by
the society and instruction of his uncle, I have thought best to copy
the presentation of his character as found in the published history of

      "In the early settlement of Gilmanton," says Mr. Lancaster,
      "no individual was more distinguished than Gen. Joseph
      Badger. He was born in Haverhill, Mass., Jan. 11, 1722; and
      was the eldest child of Joseph Badger, a merchant in that
      place, who was one of the wealthiest and most influential
      men of that town. In the time of the Revolution, he was an
      active and efficient officer, was muster-master of the
      troops raised in this section of the State, and was
      employed in furnishing supplies for the army. He was a
      member of the Provincial Congress, and a member of the
      Convention that adopted the Constitution. He was appointed
      Brigadier General June 27th, 1780, and Judge of Probate for
      Strafford county, December 6th, 1784. He was also a member
      of the State Council in 1784, 1790, and 1791.

      "He was a uniform friend and supporter of the institutions
      of learning and religion. He not only provided for the
      education of his own children by procuring private
      teachers, but he also took a lively interest in the early
      establishment of common schools for the education of
      children generally. Not content with such efforts merely,
      he did much in founding and erecting the Academy in
      Gilmanton, which has been already a great blessing to the
      place and the vicinity. He was one of the most generous
      contributors to its funds, and was one of its Trustees, and
      the President of the Board of Trust until his death.
      Instructed in his childhood, by pious parents, in the
      principles of religion, he early appreciated the blessings
      of the Christian ministry. Having become the subject of
      divine grace, he publicly professed religion, and espoused
      the cause of Christ. As he was a generous supporter of the
      institutions of the Gospel, so to his hospitable mansion
      the ministers of religion always found a most hearty
      welcome. While the rich and great honored him, the poor
      held him in remembrance for his generous liberality. His
      whole life was marked by wisdom, prudence, integrity,
      firmness, and benevolence. Great consistency was manifested
      in all his deportment. He died April 4th, 1803, in the 82d
      year of his age--ripe in years, ripe in character and
      reputation, and ripe as a Christian. The text selected for
      his funeral sermon was strikingly characteristic of the
      man. 'And behold, there was a man named Joseph, a
      counsellor, and he was a good man and a just.'"

Rev. Joseph Badger had indeed a noble ancestry; and, in natural ability,
in creative and executive intellect, in force of character and in
general usefulness, he is probably unexcelled by the worthy examples
that in past time may have shed honor upon the name. I have dwelt thus
long on the parentage and ancestry of Mr. B., not because I regard the
tenacity of the Jewish race on the subject of lineage, nor the general
excess of oriental homage to departed fathers, but because we appreciate
the law of cause and effect, as it is manifested in the course of
hereditary descent, which forbids that any man's written history shall
begin like the priesthood of Melchizedek, successionless and without

In approaching another chapter, the early life of Mr. Badger, perhaps
nothing is more strikingly appropriate to the reader than the
exclamation which stands as the first line of an old manuscript from his
own pen, with which he begins his personal narrative, viz.: "_What a
mystery is Life!_" Ah! who can wrestle with this wonder so as to exhaust
it of its marvellousness? Who can explain the innate genius, and
impulse, with the endless play of outward circumstance, that so
constantly drive these human myriads on to their various destiny?
Scribes can record what outwardly transpires; and even the reason can do
nothing more than to look through the cluster of outward development we
call man's history, to its centre in the inward life, where, though it
may see the harmonious relationship of the facts to the soul whence they
have flown; where, though it may perceive the combination of mental and
moral qualities that make up the man, it is at last obliged to own the
impenetrability of the veil that hides the _genius_ that has taken
individual form for some end of its own; and through the whole drama of
man it owns that life is enacted in the temple of mystery. Mr. Badger's
written journal, among its opening paragraphs, has the following

      "'Tis Heaven's decree, in mercy, that mankind
      Should to their future destiny be blind;
      Impatient man rejects his present state,
      With eager steps to meet approaching fate,
      Yet would the future, in perspective cast,
      Display the exact resemblance of the past;
      When o'er the stage of human life we range,
      The _scenes_ continue but the _actors_ change."



The town of Gilmanton, which is only forty-five miles from Portsmouth,
sixteen from Concord, and eighty from Boston, is, to a great extent, of
rocky and hilly surface, having within its limits a chain of eminences
that vary in height from three hundred to one thousand feet, called the
Suncook Range, which commences at the northern extremity, near the Lake,
and extending in a south-easterly direction through the town, divides
the head-springs of the Suncook and the Soucook rivers. These fruitful
highlands, covered in their early state with various kinds of hardwood,
interspread with ever-welcome evergreens, have some commanding
positions; especially the one called Peaked Hill, from whose summit the
observer discovers within the area of his extended prospect the State
House of Concord, the Grand Monadnock,[4] in Jaffrey and Dublin, the
Ascutney,[5] in Windsor, Vt., the Moosehillock, in Coventry,[6] Mount
Major, the highest summit in the town of Gilmanton,[7] and Mount
Washington,[8] which is the highest of the White Mountains. It was
amidst scenery like this that the early unfolding of the mind of Joseph
Badger occurred, where the spirit of beauty which everywhere finds
mediums of influence and approach to man, found some romantic symbols of
her presence, with which to impress the tender mind. Nature, which is
everywhere the hundred-handed educator, is an agency not to be omitted
even in speaking of childhood, for children see it from the heart and
learn from it unconsciously. But entering the field of personal
incident, let us listen to his own recorded memories.

      "I cannot describe, as some have attempted to do, what
      transpired when only two or three years of age; but when
      four or five, I most distinctly remember going with my
      sisters on a visit to my grandsire's, Gen. Joseph Badger.
      It was but a few miles, and there being a school near, I
      consented through much persuasion to remain and attend it.
      The departure of my sisters was to me the severest trial I
      had known, one of whom however remained to comfort me. Here
      new and strange things, of which I had never before heard,
      presented themselves to my mind. At evening the family and
      servants were all called in. I was much surprised at the
      gathering, and inquired the cause. My sister told me that
      we were about to attend prayers. My young expectations were
      raised to see something new, as before this I had never
      heard of anything of the kind. Whilst we were assembled,
      the old gentleman with the greatest solemnity leaning over
      his chair with his face to the wall prayed some time. I
      knew not what he said, nor to whom he spoke. His speaking
      with his eyes shut, and all the rest standing in profound
      silence, excited much anxiety in me for an explanation. As
      soon as this new scene had closed and we had retired, I
      remember having asked my sister to whom it was that my
      grandsire had been speaking. This to me was a mystery, as I
      saw no other standing by him. She told me that he spoke to
      _God_. I saw at once from her description that I was wholly
      ignorant of such a Being. She also told me that there was a
      place of happiness and misery, that all the good people
      went to heaven, and that the wicked must be burned up. I
      thought my sister Mary the happiest person in the world,
      because she knew so much about those great things; and
      young as I was, the story she told me filled my mind with
      solemnity; whilst the view she gave me of the certain doom
      of the wicked caused me to weep much, for I thought that I
      was one of that number. Impressions there made, and ideas
      there formed never wore off my mind.

      "But another scene opened to my view, which also much
      surprised me. As there were several small children about
      the house, they were all called up at evening to say their
      prayers. They repeated the Lord's prayer, with some
      additions. This made my young heart tremble, as I thought
      they were all Christians, and I knew _I_ never prayed in my
      life; and further, I knew not what to say. After all the
      rest had gone through their prayers, I was called up. My
      grandmother asked me if I ever prayed. I answered that I
      never did. She then told me to say the words after her,
      which I refused to do, from the feeling in my mind that the
      name of God was so holy and so great that I could not
      speak that word. I wept aloud as she enjoined on me this
      practice, and was finally excused. I very much dreaded to
      have night come again. For several nights I was excused,
      and listened to the others; but finally she insisted on my
      praying, telling me plainly that I should be _made_ to
      pray. That night she prepared a large whip and applied it
      to me severely several times before I would submit. At
      length I repeated the prayer, and from that time adopted
      the practice regularly. Through the influence of my sister,
      I was afterwards induced to thank my grandmother for the
      whipping, though I now think some milder measures had done
      as well."

In those stern Puritan days, the whip was far from being an idle
instrument in teaching the rebellious young the _fear_ of the Lord.
Whatever was accepted as duty in religion, had no compromise with the
diversity of taste and inclination in the families of the faithful. The
reader, I think, will be unable to withhold his admiration from the
naturalness of the question which the child asked in relation to _whom_
it was that the praying man was speaking; and he will hardly fail to see
the difference between his first religious devotions and the free appeal
of ancient Scripture in saying, "Choose ye this day whom ye will serve,"
as the choice was made for him, and the rod was virtuous enough to see
it enacted. He remained at this place about two years, making
considerable proficiency in learning, and, as he thought, some in
religion. Among these, his childhood's musings, was the wonder that he
never heard his father pray, and why his brothers, who were older and of
more understanding than himself, never talked about God. "It is still a
great cause of lamentation to me," said he in riper years, "that men of
understanding dwell no more on the glories of the great Benefactor. In
my opinion, a sense of religion should be early awakened, as first
impressions are lasting, whether for good or for evil, and often appear
in future years as the governing influence, as the foundation of future
action. Ask the vilest man that whirls along in his career of evil, if
he never thinks of the warnings, instructions and prayers of his fond
parent in early days, and if he answers candidly he will say that they
often arise to his condemnation. The destinies of different men are
always teaching the worth of that holy wisdom which said, 'Train up a
child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart
from it.' In glancing back at the religion of my childhood, I find that
I was unconsciously Pharisaical, and leaned on the virtue of my prayers
and good works, although in the mixture there was a great degree of
sincerity and of heartfelt repentance. Although I was wholly ignorant,
probably, of the true love of God, I have always thought that, had I
then departed this life, I should have been happy."

I have alluded to the fact that Major Peaslee Badger was not a pietist,
and that in his family were no religious forms. At this time, and some
years after, his mind, revolting from the ordinary theological teaching
of the day, was inclined to a degree of general religious unbelief. The
minds of the children were not softened and controlled by religious
reverence, the absence of which is usually followed by a degree of
rudeness in regard to all religious form. But, following the child
Joseph to his own home, now that he had learned to love the voice of
prayer, we find him for a time determined in the way he had learned.

      "On my return home," says he, "I missed my praying
      grandfather and his religious instructions, which had been
      frequent and impressive. I also missed my devoted
      grandmother, by whose side, as the silence of night came
      down, I had kneeled in prayer. Here I was lost, as our
      family had no form of religious worship, and their minds
      were on different subjects. For a long time I kept up my
      form of prayer, but at last, from two reasons, fell from my
      steadfastness, which were, that my school-mates none of
      them ever prayed, but made much fun of me for this
      practice; and my elder brothers, on knowing that I could
      pray, used to coax and hire me to do so, and then subject
      me to much laughter and derision for doing it. Here I left
      my religious exercise, which had served to keep my mind in
      a good moral state; and a reaction soon followed, that
      found me a noted swearer, using the most extravagant
      expressions that one of my age could easily command; a
      course in which I was encouraged by my father's hired men,
      who used to reward me with much praise and laughter. I well
      remember, when eight years old, of being in the company of
      several of Mr. Page's boys, who lived near my father's.
      Amidst my swearing, they, being very steady, began to
      rebuke me and to warn me of my danger. At first, I resisted
      their discourse, but the force of their arguments was such
      that I was compelled to yield. This restored me from my
      wicked habit, brought back my former feelings, and many a
      time did I think of it afterwards. It was also very
      remarkable that in 1815 I should preach in the same place
      and administer baptism to one of those young men. During
      this dark interval of which I have spoken, there were times
      in which I had solemn reflections; sickness and death,
      when I heard of them, brought to my mind my former promise,
      and my thoughts always arose to my Creator whenever I heard
      the voice of thunder.

      "When I was eight or nine years of age, I attended a
      singing-school, in which I made rapid progress in the art,
      sharing as I did, in common with our family, all of whom
      were natural singers, a passionate love of music. With this
      new employment I was greatly pleased. In the summer after I
      was nine, I remember going to the Friends' meeting. There
      was a small society in town, much despised by the popular.
      Their dress and manner were new to me. It was thought in
      those days a dreadful thing for a woman to speak in public;
      and this was the first time that I had ever listened to a
      female voice in meeting; and notwithstanding the prejudice
      through which education had taught me to view them, the
      persons who spake left on my mind the impression of their
      sincerity. Not far from this time, I went to the
      Congregational church to hear Mr. Smith. My father
      inquired, on my return, if I remembered the text, to which
      I replied in the negative. He then asked me if I could give
      him one word the minister had spoken, to which I responded
      that he said several times '_rambling wolves_,' a part of
      the discourse that I could not have forgotten, as I had
      heard stories of wolves and was afraid of them. I inquired
      his meaning, when some of the family replied that he spoke
      of the Freewill Baptists, who he said went about like
      wolves, and much disturbed and deluded many good and honest
      people. The occasion of this assault, as I afterwards
      learned, was the great success which attended the preaching
      of Elder Kendall and other of Christ's ministers in
      Gilmanton and the adjoining town, where the happy effects
      of the Gospel were being seen and felt."

It is indeed an old story in history, that the powerful and established
party in religion, medicine, science and politics becomes proscriptive
toward the new and the weaker organizations, a fact which cannot be
ascribed usually to the erroneousness of any one form of faith, so much
as to the natural proclivity of human nature to lord it over the weak
when put into possession of influence and power. Thus the persecuted
parties turn persecutors as soon as they win the summit of command; and
they who have tyrannized without a scruple, will at last plead for the
sanctity of individual rights as soon as they are the subjects of the
same oppression. But even these fierce winds of bigotry are able in some
degree to purify. The young and proscribed sect gets humility and
earnestness. A zeal and an enthusiasm also spring up that give them
power over the hearts of men. They grow noble through their sacrifices
and reliance on God.

      "Not long after this several of the young people went to
      hear the _Freewillers_, as they were at that time styled. I
      accompanied them to the meeting, which was held in a
      private dwelling, in a retired neighborhood, and composed
      apparently of poor people. I thought they must be as bad as
      I had heard them represented. They prayed, they wept, they
      exhorted with much fervor and pathos, and notwithstanding I
      so much hated their manners, something reached my heart
      that robbed me for the time of all lightness and
      irreverence. Robinson Smith was the minister who spoke at
      this meeting, a strong, healthy man, of unusually clear and
      commanding voice. He spoke with power. Some of our company
      returned in solemnity of spirit, whilst others derided the
      scene we had witnessed. Shortly after this, among my early
      reminiscences of Gilmanton, was a weekly conference, in
      which various persons spoke, offered prayers, and related
      their experience in things pertaining to religion--a
      meeting to which I was led sometimes from the examples of
      others, sometimes from curiosity, and sometimes from an
      inward desire to possess what Christians said they enjoyed.
      Thus was my early nature swayed by strong emotions,
      sometimes to good and sometimes to evil."

These pages, quoted from a private journal, written more than thirty
years ago, nearly conclude all that pertains to his early life in
Gilmanton. I have lingered thus long on these early years, because every
man is indicated by his earliest development--certainly that part of him
which may inhere in the natural character. It is true that man's latest
period contains all his previous stages, somewhat as the earth we now
inhabit contains the marks and proofs of all its previous states; yet,
it is not given us to see the historical succession in man from a glance
at the matured result. We follow the steps of nature, in whose procedure
childhood and youth are not only illustrations of the substantial
genius, temperament, and character, but are powerful _causes_ in the
performance of the remaining acts of life's drama. In these early years
of Joseph Badger, a strong emotional nature is exhibited--a nature that
could not be inactive--one that was easily reached by earnest moral and
religious appeal, and one that overflowed in a wild excess of energy
whenever the finer restraints of reverence were cast aside.



About this time, 1801, Major Peaslee Badger contemplated a change in his
plans of life, the execution of which removed the subject of this memoir
far away from the lovely waters and the romantic hills of his native
town in New Hampshire. It also removed him from the various advantages
of the better social influence and culture which belong to an older form
of society; but it also rewarded him with the freedom, hardihood, and
self-reliance of forest life.

Anxious to make farmers of his sons, Major Badger resolved to further
this purpose by selling his farm in Gilmanton, and by making a more
extensive purchase in a new country. At this early time, when emigration
had not directed its course to the valley of the Mississippi, and when
the attractions of Iowa and Minnesota lay sealed up for a future
development, the mind of Mr. Badger was directed to the fertile woodland
region of Lower Canada, which at that time was regarded as the best part
of the world. To this region he accordingly made a journey, was much
pleased with the country, and, after selling his farm in Gilmanton,
which he sold for between four and five thousand dollars, he again
visited this section of the king's dominions, in company with his eldest
son, where he purchased eight hundred acres of the best of land. Only a
few families at this time resided in the town. Leaving his son and
several hired men to wage the war of industrious labor on the primeval
wilderness around them, he returned home, and recruiting himself with
new forces, and taking with him all necessary farming utensils, with
several yoke of oxen, hastened to join the company that were already at
work in turning the wilderness into a fruitful field. When he had
arrived within eighteen miles of his land, a wilderness of wide extent
spread out before him. No road was visible. Sending some of his men
forward as surveyors, and setting others to work in cutting a road
through the woods, he continued slowly his progress; and, finally
receiving some assistance from the inhabitants of the town of Stanstead,
and augmenting his company with the addition of those who had been
laboring on his farm, he went forward with the road with great courage
and success, building several bridges across large streams, and
conquering every obstacle in the way till an excellent road was
completed through the whole distance to his farm. It has since become a
highway of great travel, and is known by the name of the Badger Road to
this day. This brave pioneer opened the way for the settlement of the
town. Building a small cottage for temporary convenience, they
prosecuted their work with zeal for several weeks, when they constructed
a house for permanent residence, the best that had, at that time, been
built in the town. These preparations being made, Major Badger returned
to convey his family to their new abode, in the town of Compton, Lower
Canada, for which place they set out in February, 1802, in eight
sleighs, laden with provisions and furniture, and after nineteen days
of slow and expensive journeying, experiencing the alternations of good
and evil fortune, they arrived on the 4th or 5th of March at their new
home in the woods. Woman is ever the natural conservative, loving her
established and long-tried home.

      "My mother," says Mr. B., "was much opposed to the new
      arrangement, which caused her to leave her kind friends and
      neighbors; but such was her fortitude that none discovered
      her feelings. In taking leave of our native town and near
      relatives, the greatest solemnity filled my heart. Many
      wept at our departure, and I could scarcely bear up under
      the grief I felt in leaving the place of my birth. As we
      arrived at our new habitation, and my mother viewed her
      lonely palace, she could no longer suppress her feelings,
      but sat down and wept, whilst my sisters were also sad, and
      murmured somewhat at the new prospect before them. I
      wondered that my father should think of living in the midst
      of a forest, but thought that what others could accomplish,
      we could certainly do."

The contrast between the cheerful society and scenery of Gilmanton, and
the solitude of this woodland region, which was swept by colder winds
than the climate of the east had known; the isolation of the place,
which required a journey of seventy miles to purchase the necessary
grains for seed and family consumption, were calculated to awaken a deep
feeling of loneliness, and at the same time to invigorate the spirit
with new energy and promptings to personal efforts. But man's nature is
flexible, and easily bends to every variety of condition. As soon as
the news of their arrival had spread, nearly all the inhabitants of the
town came in to greet them in a friendly visit; and soon spring unfolded
in all its gayety of woodland gem and costume, whilst all the company
became laborers to the extent of their respective abilities. Joseph, now
ten years of age, who had known nothing of work, learned his first
lessons in the sugar groves of the new farm. Soon they became contented
with their situation, and the woody solitudes gave cheering proofs of
transition, as extended acres appeared to view, ready to bear the
verdure of the meadow, or the harvests of golden grain. On each side of
the Coatecook river lay four hundred acres; the eastern swell was called
Mount Pleasant, the western, Mount Independence. Here, in a few years,
they reaped a large prosperity from the productive earth. In the journal
of Mr. B. I find a notice of the total eclipse in 1806, the effects that
followed it on the agricultural prospects of that country, and the
melancholy thoughtfulness which the day inspired in his own mind. The
effect was great, according to his statement; so much so as to be
sensibly felt through the seasons. Fourteen acres carefully planted with
fruit-trees and grafted with the best of scions, yielded nothing to
reward the toil of the laborer.

In the general picture here presented, the reader may see the theatre of
action occupied by the young man who was destined in future years to
impress great numbers with his own ideas and sentiments. Doubtless there
are in the world some conventional minds, who, hastily deciding all
things by local prejudice or capricious fashion, would hold it
impossible for genius and power to hail from any but certain favored
localities; from college routine, and the aids of walls of books and of
titled professors. But this is not the way in which the goddess of force
and faculty distributes her gifts and makes her highest elections. She
is by no means afraid of mountains and woodland solitudes; nor does she
despair of winning her ends when professors and colleges do not wait
upon her bidding. She exults rather in natural productions; being able
to turn the night-stars, heaven's winds, earth's flowers, and even
common events, into teachers; and the same of all experience and inward
faculty. She brings a universal power from Stratford to London, from
Ayreshire to Edinburgh, from Vosges and Domremi to Orleans and to
Rheims. All great men are educated. The only variance resides in the
modes and teachers. We like it that a prophet should, in early life,
hail from the woodland world, and that the vastness and tranquillity of
landscapes should reside in his public discourse; that his words and
manners should savor, not of dry scholastic pretension and mannerism,
but of songsters' voices, of colossal trees, wild rose and rushing
brooks. Mr. B., however, for his time and day, was an educated man; we
mean even in the more restricted sense in which the world understands
this word; and certainly he was this, in its most important meanings.

"We soon had opportunity," says Mr. Badger, "for education in our new
country. This was very pleasing to me, and I felt the necessity of
improving every privilege of the kind." And I would say that those who
knew him in after life could not but see in him the rare faculty
bestowed on some of our race, that of turning a few means to a great

Passing on to his fifteenth year, he speaks of a season of illness,
occasioned by excessive ambition at manual labor, which kept him from
school a part of the time during one summer. "My sickness," he says,
"was of pleuritic nature, and at times my life was despaired of. A few
Christian people had moved into the place, and during my sickness, some
of them conversed with me on the subject of religion. At times I
remember to have wept, and supposed that my condition was deplorable.
The death of a Christian woman, who had often conversed with me,
occurring at this time, made a deep impression on my mind. My
reflections, when alone, were melancholy in the extreme. I often wished
I had died when young; and frequently did I promise God that if my life
was spared I would serve Him." Many paragraphs of this sort, whilst they
may wear a tinge of the religious culture common to the age, show deep
and unharmonized strivings of soul. To those who knew his great
vivacity, the fact of melancholy, which he records in the journal of his
youth, may seem strange; but it is natural. In susceptible and
thoughtful natures, in natures of deep strivings, there is ever a
stratum of seriousness, wearing at times the tinge of sadness. The soul,
in such, will often say, "I am in Time an exile. The earth cannot feed
me;" and especially will this feeling be active in the early experience,
before the wisdom of years has given stability to life, to its aims and

But a young man like him could not be otherwise than fond of amusement.
With young company of his age he frequently met, and was accustomed to
spend considerable of the time when together in the favorite pastime of
the young--the dance.

His elder brothers settling for themselves in life, threw an increased
burden of care upon Joseph, whose health was so far restored as to act
his part efficiently. His father about this time entered into the
mercantile business, which turned out to his disadvantage; and soon
after this, when seven miles from home, he had the misfortune to break
his leg, suffering extremely for fifteen days, expecting constantly that
amputation would have to take place. Recovering so far as to admit of
removal home, after a long time he was restored to health. "After this,"
says his son, "he twice met the severe misfortune to break his leg, and
on the 5th Sept., 1814, it was amputated six inches above the knee. This
and several such misfortunes, in part, reduced him from the high station
in which he was born and had formerly lived."

      "The first preaching that we heard was by an old gentleman
      of the name of Huntington. He was a Universalist, a good
      man, I think, but not a great preacher. He addressed the
      people for the greater part of one summer generally at my
      father's house. I do not remember to have seen anything
      like reform among the people. The old gentleman died in a
      few years, and I trust has gone to rest. Also Elders[9]
      Robinson Smith and A. Moulton, of Hatley, a neighboring
      town, favored us with their ministry. We called them
      Free-willers, but their preaching was life-awakening, and
      it was held in remembrance long after they were gone,
      although they saw no immediate fruits of their labors. I
      recollect of hearing Mr. Moulton once, the first time I
      think I ever saw him. His voice to me was like thunder. For
      several days after, it seemed as though I could hear the
      sound of it."

This indeed is the proof of God's presence in the mission, that the
minister has that to say which the sinner _cannot forget_, that which
lingers in his way like an invisible spell. The man who has God's word
is not a mere lecturer or essayist in the holy temple. He has words of
divine fire to speak, an undying love to utter, a warning of eternity to
hold forth. He _commands_ the giddy and the sinful to listen to a voice
which, if he repent not, will tingle in his ears even to his dying day.
Smooth, elegant composition may be patiently taught, and patiently
learned, but God's living word out of heaven to unfaithful man, is
another thing. This word has many organs, finds its way far and near,
and reaches the heart of the ardent young man whose footsteps are on the
classic ground, or in the larger path of nature's wild.

      "When about sixteen or seventeen," continues the journal,
      "I heard that a young man about my age from Vermont would
      preach in our vicinity. There was a great move to hear him,
      and I resolved to go. The house was full. He was evidently
      one much engaged in God's work. He looked very pale and
      much worn out. Mr. Moulton was with him, prayed at the
      beginning of the meeting, after which the young man,
      Benjamin Putnam, came forward, and in a manner and address
      that were engaging, and to me peculiarly pleasing, preached
      a sermon from Isaiah 22:22; a text which I shall never
      forget. 'And the key of the house of David will I lay upon
      his shoulder: so he shall open, and none shall shut; and he
      shall shut, and none shall open.' He described Christ as
      the Son of God, and the power as being laid upon his
      shoulder; he also dwelt on what he had opened both to and
      for man, which none could shut, and finally spoke of the
      closing of the same door, which none should be able to
      open. I thought this discourse more glorious than anything
      I had ever heard. I thought him the happiest young man I
      ever saw. As soon as meeting was closed he came forward
      through the assembly and spoke to my brother, which had a
      solemn effect on us both. Many of his expressions I have
      ever remembered.

      "The Methodist ministers next made their way into our town,
      and I have always thought that they came in the name and
      spirit of the Highest. They were humble and earnest. As my
      father's family seldom attended their meetings, I perhaps
      did not become acquainted with the first that came. Hays
      and Briggs were the first I heard. While listening to the
      farewell sermon of the former I remember to have been
      deeply affected, and one evening, while listening to Mr.
      Briggs, I felt a strong conviction of my sin, and believed
      that I was undone without regeneration. They first formed a
      small class in town. Leaving the circuit the next year,
      Joseph Dennet and David Blanchard were their successors,
      under whose ministry many of the old and the young were
      turned to God, whilst even children were made happy in
      Christ. I think that the preaching of the latter was the
      first that ever brought tears from my eyes. Also, in those
      days, we had frequent visits from the missionaries, but I
      do not remember that their preaching had much effect on my
      own mind or that of any other person.

      "In the conflict of good and evil tendencies in the minds
      of young men who share largely of the passions and
      giddiness which characterize the period of one's youth, it
      is interesting to contemplate the skill with which these
      influences assail each other, each winning its temporary
      victory, and each wrestling at times with great might for
      the doubtful mastery. Notwithstanding these solemn emotions
      to good, I was quite wild and had several bad habits. In
      hearing Mr. H. preach the summer I was eighteen, I was much
      aroused to a sense of duty, and though seeing the way of my
      life to be death, my determinations as yet were not equal
      to the chain of habit that bound me. On the first of August
      I looked forward to the 16th, which was my birthday, as the
      day in which I should begin to walk in newness of life, and
      for several days this occupied my thoughts. But the time
      passed, and my resolution with it, whilst my feelings
      reacted more strongly than ever toward my former ways. The
      Spirit of God righteously strives with sinners; and many
      have I seen on languishing beds lamenting their early
      resistance to the holy influence, and that they had ever
      broken their promise to Him. I had a taste for reading, and
      spent much of my time in the perusal of novels and with
      vain young company. A young man by the name of Richardson
      was my most intimate friend. On the Sabbath and every other
      opportunity we were together; we spent the time mostly in
      reading; I thought I enjoyed happiness in his society. In
      our assemblies for diversion we ever had a good
      understanding. His friendship lasted until my conversion,
      when something far more glorious opened to my view. It
      appeared a great mystery to him, and it caused me much
      sorrow to leave him, but the first lesson I learned from
      the cross taught me how to relinquish and how to renounce.

      "In the autumn of 1810 we had many vain assemblies for
      dancing and other recreations. Never had I before gone so
      far in wickedness as at this time. But, in the midst of our
      gayety, events of Providence compelled our thoughts to
      serious objects, as death, through the agency of a fatal
      fever, spread over the town its sorrow and sadness, cutting
      off the old and the young indiscriminately. On the 10th of
      January, 1811, I commenced a journey to New Hampshire, to
      visit my friends, whom I had not seen since 1802. When I
      arrived at Stanstead, I passed several days with a cousin
      of mine who was engaged in teaching the art of dancing. He
      was an agreeable gentleman, and of great talents; but it
      was a grief to his friends that he had taken to this
      employment. I was much pleased with the instructions he
      gave me, as I was anxious to attain perfection in the art.

      "With several young men I proceeded on my way to New
      Hampshire, and making the journey merry with rudeness and
      laughter, we prosecuted it till I arrived at Gilmanton.
      Here I found that my honored grandsire no longer occupied
      his place on earth. His companion, who had watched over my
      childhood for two years, and had made the voice of prayer
      familiar to my lips, still survived. Several other
      relatives had also gone to their long home, and though
      these things made little impression on my heart, owing to
      the state of my mind, I could not but solemnly reflect on
      the hand that had so long upheld me, when I visited my
      early home, the place of my birth, and recalled the many
      scenes of my childhood freshly to mind. We have in life but
      one childhood, and no hours of retrospect put us into such
      unison with nature as when we live it over in the revival
      of its scenes.

      "I passed several weeks in Gilmanton, attending school a
      part of the time, and freely enjoyed the company of my
      young friends. My sister Mary, the wife of General
      Cogswell, occasionally rebuked me for my lightness, and
      though I made light of her admonitions at the time, they
      made much impression on my mind. But most of all I dreaded
      that my uncle, Mr. Smith, who had been the minister of the
      place for thirty years, should talk to me about religion. I
      was very loth to visit him at all, but I stayed with him
      the last night I remained in town, and to my happy
      disappointment escaped the drilling I had so much feared,
      as he did not once mention the subject. In company with my
      cousin, Joseph Smith, I set out the next day for home, and
      by evening arrived at Judge William Badger's, a cousin of
      mine, with whom we had an excellent visit. The next day,
      when passing through Meredith, we saw a young man standing
      in the door of a house with a multitude around him. The
      building appeared to be full of people, to whom he was
      preaching. We arrived that evening at Camptown, and though
      I was nearly sick and my spirits depressed by some
      influence I could not define, and my mind uninterested by
      surrounding objects, I yielded to the persuasion of my
      cousin to go on. Nothing was able to interest me. After
      some time we started for the place since so much
      celebrated, the Notch of the White Mountains.

      "But nature, which to me was ever welcome, did not attract
      me as usual. A spirit, over which I had not control, seemed
      to work within me to the extreme of solemn conviction.
      People, road, trees, rivers--all seemed gloomy, and I
      appeared to myself as a monument spared to unite with them
      in mourning. We finally passed the gloomy Notch, and as I
      drank in its lonely influence, I felt, unavoidably, its
      likeness to the mood of my own spirit. At Franconia, many
      new prospects and objects appeared to view. The manufactory
      of iron was at that time and there a great curiosity. At
      Littleton, further on in our journey, we rode on the river,
      as it was hardly frozen. I disguised my feelings, and as we
      were riding along, several in number, I fell in the rear
      that I might enjoy the meditations in which my mind was
      absorbed. At this time, an old gentleman, whose silver
      locks and grave appearance attracted my attention, appeared
      near me, coming from his house to the river to draw water.
      My eyes were fixed upon him. 'How far,' said he, 'is your
      company journeying?' To the province of Lower Canada, I
      answered. 'Do you live there?' said he. I answered that I
      did. Then in a solemn tone the old patriarch inquired, 'Is
      there any religion in that part of the world?' I was
      surprised to hear this subject introduced by a stranger. I
      told him there were some in our country who professed
      religion. He then burst into a flood of tears, and exhorted
      me with a warm-hearted pathos to seek salvation, and,
      though I disclosed none of my feelings to him, I was most
      deeply moved, and the image of the venerable old man was
      continually before my eyes through the day. I could
      scarcely refrain from weeping; and whatever others may
      think of such apparently accidental events, I am free to
      confess, that from that time until now, I have firmly
      believed that this old gentleman was a God-sent prophet
      unto me. The impressions he made continued till I enjoyed
      the sweet religion that inspired his look and his voice. I
      have often wished that I might see him and humble myself in
      thankfulness before him, a thing not to be expected in this

      "When we arrived at Stewardstown, near the head of the
      Connecticut river, I parted with my cousin, whose
      destination was different from my own. Crossing the line,
      I passed the night with Dr. Ladd, a friend of my father,
      who was a Christian and a man of extended knowledge. I
      treasured up many of his observations. I was then only
      twenty miles from home, and heard the sad news of the
      ravages sickness had made during my absence, which greatly
      disturbed me with the thought that I should never again see
      all my friends. On the 10th of March, however, I arrived,
      and though fearful to inquire for my relatives, found, to
      my joy, that they were all well. In company I sought to be
      cheerful, but in solitude the keenest sensations of sadness
      were active.

      "Having business with my cousin at Stanstead, I made him a
      visit, where I heard a missionary preach and attended as a
      pall-bearer at a funeral, to which my feelings were much
      averse. On my return, when I had proceeded as far as
      Barnston, for some cause I returned a mile and a half, and
      taking a lantern started on foot through the woods, when
      suddenly a storm exhibited its signs of dark and angry
      violence. When about half through the forest, the winds,
      thunder and lightning were terrific. The rain fell in
      torrents, my light was soon extinguished, and nothing was
      left to guide me through the swamp except the lurid flashes
      of the lightning that made the gloom more terrible. Several
      trees were struck and fell near me across the road; some
      branches fell from the tree I had chosen for my shelter, as
      the tempest mingled with darkness, raged in madness; and
      never was I so deeply impressed with the might of Him who
      rules the world and sways the elements. Here I gained a
      fresh idea of the awful power and mercy of God. I was
      nearly induced to kneel upon the earth, and there, in the
      storm, make a covenant with my Maker.

      "At length the storm ceased and I arrived in safety at the
      house of a friend. The next day I reached home, and though
      met by cheerful faces, through the state of my mind, the
      music of their tones were as mournful sounds. The company
      in which I had found delight, could no longer entertain me;
      my home was dressed in mourning, my pillow wet with tears,
      and the bright prospects which had cheered me had vanished
      from my sky. I had no heart for business, no relish for
      pleasure. O how tiresome was every place! I read the Bible
      in private; often left my father's table in tears; often
      retired to the grove whose trees, more than those around
      me, seemed to know my heart, that I might relieve my soul
      in weeping. None knew the cause of this love of
      solitariness. Some said 'he suffers the influence of
      disappointment;' others, that 'he is plotting something for
      advantage:' none supposed that within me a deep striving
      was separating me from the world and leading me to the
      Fountain of Salvation. This period was a severe trial.
      Every power, it would seem, combined to test my spirit.
      Sometimes, from the conflict within, whilst darkness held
      its temporary victory, I was almost tempted to be angry
      with the Powers above, and with the whole creation; and
      once, I remember to have so far fallen under the evil
      power, as to swear at the existing order of things. It was
      continual trouble. I strove to labor what I could, and to
      fulfil my station in the family, using all the fortitude I
      could command. Here many things occurred that I shall not
      particularize; some things between my father and myself,
      which I once thought I should mention in every respect, but
      which the delicacy of the subject and the tenderness of our
      relation prevent. I can only say that my father was of
      deistical opinions, and at that time did not possess the
      degree of friendship and tenderness for the cause of
      religion which I could have wished him to, and which he
      indeed possessed some months after.

      "At times, everything seemed to unite in tormenting me, in
      causing me trouble; again, all things in nature, when my
      clouds were partially dispersed, had a voice for the
      Creator's praise. I alone was untuned. The very winds, as
      they passed, spoke of His power. The stars, ever calm,
      looked down in love, seeming faithfully to perform the will
      of their Ordainer; and the flowers of the earth, which
      bloomed in beauty, sending forth their fragrance to His
      honor; and the songs of birds, whose notes were full of the
      primeval innocence, all combined to administer reproof. The
      following lines would then have spoken my feelings, as the
      full-blown spring-time lay unfolded around me:

        "'Ye warblers of the vernal shade
        Whose artless music charms my ear,
        Your loveliness my heart upbraids--
        My languid heart, how insincere!
      While all your little powers collected, raise
      A tribute to your great Creator's praise.

        "'Ye lovely offsprings of the ground,
        Flowers of a thousand beauteous dyes,
        You spread your Maker's glory round,
        And breathe your odor to the skies:
      Unsullied you display your lively bloom,
      Unmingled you present your sweet perfume.

        "'Ye winds that waft the fragrant spring,
        You, whispering, spread His name abroad,
        Or shake the air with sounding wing,
        And speak the awful power of God:
      His will, with swift obedience, you perform,
      Or in the gentle gale or dreadful storm.

        "'Ye radiant orbs that guide the day
        Or deck the sable veil of night,
        His wondrous glory you display,
        Whose hand imparts your useful light:
      Your constant task, unwearied, you pursue,
      Nor deviate from the path your Maker drew.

        "'O Lord! thy grace my languid heart can raise,
        These dissipated powers unite,
        Can bid me pay my debt of praise
        With love sincere and true delight:
      Oh! let thy power inspire my heart and tongue,
      Then will I, grateful, join Creation's song.'

      "Leaving company almost entirely, and not going into
      society except on certain occasions, to please my friends
      or escape reproach, I gave myself up to solitary meditation
      and to the inward and undefined strivings of my being. In
      this state of spiritual disquietude, I felt no impulse to
      attend a church. I was most at home when alone. I heard
      divine voices where there was no man to act as medium or
      interpreter. At a funeral, I recollect having assisted in
      singing, and to have heard from Elder Moulton a sermon that
      impressed me, he being a man of considerable spiritual
      power, and one for whom I had particular respect. I heard
      him also a second time after this, when he most deeply
      affected my mind. I sometimes repaired to the forest for
      the express purpose of coming to God in prayer, but for
      some time was restrained from speaking aloud or kneeling on
      the earth. My heart was often eased in weeping; and though
      I had no _form_ of prayer, I believe I prayed as really, as
      acceptably, as ever I did. Is it not a strange doctrine, so
      generally promulgated, that sinners, previous to
      conversion, ought not to pray? To me it is a dark doctrine.
      The Scriptures do not intimate it. My experience, the
      divine command, and common sense oppose the dogma. The fact
      that men are morally weak and sinful, is itself a
      sufficient occasion for prayer.

      "One Sunday, without the knowledge of our family, I went
      about two miles to attend a Methodist meeting, in which
      several spoke, and spoke well. Mrs. John Gilson, a little,
      delicate woman, with much diffidence arose to speak. Her
      wisdom and manner won my heart, and her message, which was
      particularly to me, seemed to carry the evidence that it
      was from God. I could never forget it. I knew she was my
      friend, and believed that she spoke for my good, and I
      would have rendered her my thanks at the close, but for the
      restraining power of a sentiment common to me, which was,
      an unwillingness to disclose to any one my deepest
      emotions. We had been taught by some, that before we could
      attain salvation, we should be willing to be damned and
      lost. I never had this willingness. But, in candor, I must
      say that my sense of guilt was so deep that I felt I had
      merited the sentence to be finally uttered against the

The reader will perceive that the thread of this journal is drawn from
such portions of Mr. Badger's early life as seem most directly to
express its various moral phases. From other points of experience, it is
natural to suppose, much was omitted, the main purpose being that of
tracing the moral history of his mind through the years of his youth. I
think I never opened a journal that contained throughout a plainer
natural impress of truth and reality.



      "Repent ye therefore and be converted, that your sins may
      be blotted out."--ST. PETER.

To every work there is a crisis which openly exhibits success or
failure. To every growth there are certain perceptible changes by which
we note the progress from incipiency to the mature state. There is a
symbolical new birth in nature when the rose-tree blooms, when leafless
wintry trees are green with foliage and white with blossoms. Summer is a
regeneration in the state of the earth, and it is none the less so
because we cannot point out the moment, hour, or day, in which the
actual summer assumed its effective reign. None fail to see the
difference between June and January. If in July you meet the bending
lilac, it silently tells you of all that March, April, May and June have
done for it. So man's moral periods are marked. The soul in its
struggles after divine life, through penitence and faith, reaches a
crisis of victory and development of holy purpose, principle and power,
which the church has generally agreed to call conversion, and for which
we know no better name.

The journal of Mr. Badger, which refers to this epoch of his spiritual
history, is headed with a poem on Christ, of which we have space for
only a few lines:

      "Oh! glorious Father, let my soul pursue
      The wondrous labyrinth of love divine,
      And follow my Redeemer to the cross.
      Nailed to the cross--his hands, his feet, all torn
      With agonizing torture!
      Stupendous sacrifice! Mysterious love!
      He died! The Lord of life--the Saviour died!
      All nature sympathizing, felt the shock.
      The sun his beams withdrew, and wrapt his face
      In sable clouds and midnight's deepest shade,
      To mourn the absence of a brighter sun--
      The Sun of righteousness eclipsed in death!
      A short eclipse. For soon he rose again,
      All glorious, to resume his native skies!
      Oh, love beyond conception!
      In silent rapture all my powers adore."

In the religious experience of Joseph Badger, as intimated by this poem,
Christ with him is always the central sun, the presiding power.

      "I do not think," says Mr. B., "that persons can _tell_
      their religious experience, if their change is real and
      they have fully felt the effects of love divine. They are
      led to say with St. Peter, that it is 'joy unspeakable and
      full of glory.' Human language cannot describe the fulness
      and sweetness of the religion of Christ. Viewing the
      invisible depth of its wealth, how faint are our
      descriptions? How weak our best comparisons, and the
      metaphors by which we attempt to represent it! The soul
      which has become a partaker of the divine nature, of its
      love, is ever ready to exclaim--'The half had never been
      told me;' yet words, and other imperfect signs, will easily
      indicate the presence of the reality enjoyed.

      "Eighteen hundred and eleven! that memorable year will
      never be forgotten by thousands now living, on account of
      the victorious spread of the Gospel in North America.
      Generations yet unborn will trace the pages of
      ecclesiastical history with anxiety and delight, to learn
      what transpired among their ancestors during this year. But
      how soon, when a heavenly influence is in the ascendant,
      some counteracting power will enter the field with ruinous
      violence! The cruel war soon succeeded, and devastation
      spread her vermilion garb over our happy and enlightened

      "As I have already alluded, in a former chapter, to the
      feelings of moral conviction that wrought in my breast, I
      will only say that they began with this year, and were of a
      kind neither to be drowned nor driven away. Not for Adam's
      sins, or the sins of our fathers, did I feel condemned; it
      was only for such as belonged to me. Light had come and I
      had chosen darkness. I therefore cast no reflections on any
      class of persons, as the Gospel, conscience, and the
      creation, seemed to unite in proclaiming--'Thou art the
      man;' and under a sense of my ingratitude to Jesus, the
      sinner's Friend, I felt to add my hearty Amen, and say,
      'Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight,
      and am no more worthy to be called thy son.'"

In the pride of philosophical speculation, there are knowing ones who
rob the rich idea of God of personality; also, in the attempts to deify
the sacred parchments of Palestine, others unwittingly superannuate the
Holy Ghost, driving us all to live solely upon ancient words--words that
were undoubtedly its breathings when spoken. But one page from the
journal of such an experience as that of Mr. Badger is better than all
learned theory. Every page referring to his mind's exercise abounds in
_feeling_--earnest, real feeling. He believes in the God of action, who
converts the repentant soul by his holy, actual agency; in Jesus he
believes as the lone sinner's Friend and Saviour; in the Holy Spirit he
confides, not doubting its real striving in his own heart; in the
oracles of prophets, of Jesus, and of the apostles, he holds unwavering
faith that they are God's real, eternal word; whilst his frequent and
many tears in private attest his deep sincerity in seeking his soul's
salvation. He recognizes the supernatural, the miraculous, in the
conversion of the sinner; and whatever we may concede to the
rationalistic statement on this subject in our severely philosophical
moods, it is certain that the miraculous statement is the one which more
than it concentrates the diviner charm and the more commanding energy.
It has ever been so; the statement wearing the outward miraculous hue,
is the strong one--the one that holds the element of triumph; and though
we do not hold that any work of God with man violates the constitution
and laws of the human mind, it would have struck us with diminished
effect had St. Paul, before Agrippa, discoursed on the accordance of his
conversion with some _a priori_ argument for an abstract Christianity,
or of its accordance with his own nature, and with all nature. This
intellectualizing on great vital facts, whatever may be its
philosophical merits, can never come up to the bold and picturesque
sublimity of the words--"At mid-day, O king, I saw in the way a light
from heaven, above the brightness of the sun, shining round about me;
and I heard a voice speaking unto me and saying, Saul, Saul, why
persecutest thou me?" Such passages reach the soul in every clime, as
abstraction never could; and from the reverence we have been accustomed
to pay to universal convictions, and from the effect of such eloquence
on our own feelings, we believe that mankind have not been fools in the
cherishing of faith which brings Divinity into active and wonder-causing
contact with humanity. If we have a God in our faith, let us have one
who can _do_ something, _say_ something, and _impart_ something to them
who ask him, and not a tender abstraction who has no thunder for
transgressors, and who is so lenient and plausible that no lawless
spirit shall regard him as any essential obstruction in his way.
Characters of most energy always grow up under the faith of God's
omnipotence, of his awful majesty, beautified by justice and love.

The youth of this memoir looked around upon the dark world, and upward
to the great God for his spirit's rest, and searched through the
labyrinth of his own conflicting emotions to find a rock for his feet.
Often his "eyes were rivers of waters;" and, "as I looked around for
comfort, every place revealed some circumstance that gave to grief a
keener edge." He is now so deeply touched by the Holy Spirit that
nothing filled him with delight like the tender portraiture of the love
of Christ; the profane word was now a loathed and jarring discord in his
ear; the songs of the wicked deepened his sadness, and often did he
repeat to himself, in tears, the well-known lines, "Alas! and did my
Saviour bleed!" which he tells us had the power to penetrate his heart
of hearts, whilst the most secret and hidden recesses of the wild
witnessed his humble thank-offerings of praise and contrite confessions
of sin. Without a minister to aid him, and without the sustaining
sympathy of a single human creature, he continued to wage his warfare
with the powers of darkness. A young man, alone, with resolves and
feelings unknown to man, longing for the clouds of his being to
disperse, and for the influx of the immortal light to crown his life!
This spectacle, however it may strike the mere formalist and the seeker
of material good, is one which, to us, joins with myriads of
heart-histories in different climes, to attest the derivation of the
soul from God, to declare its yearnings and struggles against the
obstacles of sin and sense, that it may regain the atmosphere and light
of its native original heaven.

Contrary to the customs of his family, he went, once in a great while,
to the Methodist meetings, a denomination whose power to reach the
popular mind all over the world is known and honored. At one of these
meetings, July, 1811, the persons present supposed, from his former
reputation for rudeness, that he was there perhaps to criticise
derisively their humble manner of worship. When Mrs. Tilden arose and
said, "The eyes of the world are upon us, and if any came here to feast
upon our failings, or to spy out our liberties, let us starve them to
death, by living such lives that they can find no action of which to
speak reproachfully"--after a few moments, he arose and said:

      "I very much regret that any of my neighbors and friends
      should, for one moment, imagine me as an enemy, or suppose
      that I came here to ridicule what may pass before me. Far
      be it from my mind. I believe religion is what all men need
      to make them happy in time and eternity. With all my heart
      I wish you well and hope you will go on your way

This was the first time he had spoken in public, and though the object
of his remark was merely to furnish a gentlemanly apology for being
present, it caused the religious people much joy, as they saw him sit
down in tears; and ever after his companions regarded him differently,
all of whom were startled with surprise, and some wept as they heard his

      "One of my young friends, a respectable young man,
      conversed with me on the subject. I stated to him all I had
      said, and in part I manifested my feelings to him with some
      degree of boldness. He expressed a fear that I would become
      deluded, though, by the way, he had never manifested a fear
      of the kind when we used to dance, play cards, and spend
      the Sabbath together in the reading of novels. 'About the
      things of religion,' said he, 'it is not well to be in
      haste. It is a subject which needs the greatest
      deliberation.' With this I agreed. He further remarked, 'If
      a person thinks of such things, it is not best to give
      expression to such thoughts, because people will talk about
      it, and you,' continued he, 'are already a subject of
      conversation. Many are concerned for you, and wish your
      society, and you know it is a disgrace for us to go among
      those foolish and ignorant Methodists.' By these remarks,
      coming from a particular friend, I was embarrassed, but
      soon learned that I must leave all, and part with my
      dearest companions for Christ; that two masters it was
      impossible to serve; and in my indecision I seemed to hear
      a voice as from heaven, saying, 'Choose ye this day whom ye
      will serve,' impressing my mind with the idea that then was
      the time for me to secure an interest in the Great
      Redeemer. Great things of eternity were continually resting
      on my mind; the saints, as they had opportunity, began to
      talk with me, of which I was glad, though to them I did
      not say much, as I was resolved that others should not know
      my feelings; even if I were ever so happy as to feel my
      sins forgiven, I was determined not to say much about it to
      others, and certainly not to make such an ado over it as
      many did.

      "I was in search for a great and sudden change. About
      August 1st, 1811, I felt impressed to retire and unbosom
      myself to the Eternal God, and cry once more for mercy.
      Walking through the woods to a large valley, I there, by a
      murmuring brook, fell on my knees and gave vent to my
      burdened heart in prayer. For a moment my soul felt
      delivered of all her griefs, and for a few moments I sung
      and praised God in that delightful place with all my heart;
      but doubts arose, and as I cast over the scene the eyes of
      reason, my little heaven vanished, and I remained in
      silence. I began to fear that I was walking by the light of
      imagination, and was warming myself by sparks of my own

      "I began to be more familiar with the saints, sometimes
      revealing to them in part my determinations, and always
      gaining strength by so doing. I had not the same
      consciousness of sin as before. At times, before I was
      aware of it, my mind would be soaring above on heavenly
      things; the Scriptures would beautifully open to my mind,
      and glorious would seem the things of religion; yet I
      scarcely dared to rejoice. I derived much benefit and
      instruction from the conversation of the saints, and though
      I asked their prayers, I neither united with them in
      prayer, nor kneeled according to their custom. The narrated
      experience of others aided me some, and as all my Christian
      friends advised me to pray, I again kneeled in the solitude
      of nature to invoke divine aid, when the reflection that I
      was in the presence of an Omnipotent God sealed my lips in
      silence. Almost fearing that my performances were but
      mockery, I felt inclined to despair. The next day gleams of
      hope entered my mind; and on Sunday, hearing many speak of
      the power of God, and of trials they had passed through, in
      a manner, some of them, that exactly expressed my feelings,
      I took courage, because there were others in whose
      Christianity I had confidence, who felt in some respects as
      I did. Moved, as I think, by the Spirit of God, and from a
      high state of mental resolve, I arose and told the assembly
      that I was determined to seek my happiness in religion, in
      which alone I believed it could be found. Many of the
      saints praised God aloud, and my soul was filled with joy
      and peace that were unspeakable. My love to the faithful
      was far superior to anything that ever before had dilated
      my heart. On my return home the very winds that waved the
      trees, and the streams that flowed through the quiet
      valley, seemed unitedly to speak my great Creator's praise.
      The fear of man now vanished, and a holy boldness moved me
      to speak to all around me of the beauties of my Lord. My
      soul overflowed with love to my greatest enemies, and my
      wonder was that the chief of sinners did not behold the
      glory of God, and unite to exalt his name. Through the
      night my soul was exceedingly happy, and the next morning I
      thought the sun was never before so richly laden with the
      glory of God. I had never known so happy, so pleasant a

      "Though I did not then suppose myself converted, I now
      think, from an analysis of my feelings, that I enjoyed
      something of the converting grace of God, for the following
      reasons:--1st. I had a witness in my own soul that God was
      my friend. 2d. I felt a vital union with all the saints,
      without respect to name, age, or color. I loved them, and
      could say, They are my people. Some who were poor and
      ignorant, whom I had formerly despised, I was able to
      embrace as my best friends. 3d. I felt a particular regard
      for every creature and object God had made, and a
      tenderness even to the lowest animal forms--as nothing
      seemed unincluded in the bond of love that united me and
      all things to Him. 4th. For the chief of sinners I felt
      particular love, regarding such as brethren in nature, and
      I greatly wished them to share in the peaceful wealth of
      the Gospel. 5th. My former ways in which I had sought
      happiness, now seemed to me as worthless and vain. Indeed I
      abhorred them.

      "My freedom from the former oppressive gloom, the fulness
      of the tide of joy that was rising in my breast, at times
      startled me with the apprehension that as I was not
      converted I ought not to feel so light and so free, and my
      embarrassment was increased by the circulation of the
      report among the people that I was converted. They began to
      call me brother, which also seemed quite too much for me;
      and as I could not feel that I had experienced the change
      as usually described, I began to fear that I was deceived,
      which caused me much trouble and induced me to be silent
      for some time, as I was unwilling to discourage or to
      deceive others. Although I never had so much confidence in
      dreams as some, yet at this time the glory of God was
      beautifully revealed to me in night visions, and through
      them my mind was relieved of many doubts and fears, and
      again partook of the inward peace which the world in its
      greatest ability is unable to give. For several weeks,
      however, I kept my joys to myself, saying nothing in
      meeting and little in private, as I was determined not to
      deceive others, as I might in case my joys should prove
      unreal. Employing myself constantly in reading the
      Scriptures, that I might walk understandingly, my mind for
      several weeks was swallowed up in the interest their pages
      revealed, which unfolded a glory and beauty I cannot
      describe. In my retired moments, I held sweet communion
      with God, and, notwithstanding the shadows of doubt that
      crossed my mind in solitude, I was truly led from glory to

      "I heard others tell the day and the hour when the change
      was wrought in their hearts. Herein was my greatest
      trouble. My experience was not like others, nor indeed what
      I supposed it would be. I knew of several times when my
      mind was relieved of all its oppressions, but as I could
      single out no one of them and call it conversion, I
      concluded that the whole together was conversion. Though
      continually thirsting for new evidence, for which I was
      much drawn out in prayer, and selecting the most retired
      places for holy meditation, I pondered, like Mary, these
      things in my heart. Some conversations about this time,
      proved beneficial to me; especially was my soul refreshed
      by the dreams and night visions that came to me, making it
      seem ofttimes as though angels were hovering over my bed,
      and my apartment as filled with the divine glory. I was
      many times ready to say, I _know_ that my Redeemer liveth."

In this manner Mr. B. records the operations of his youthful mind in
seeking to solve the most serious of all problems--his soul's salvation.
One perceives the presence of much self-distrust, much repentance; and
an abundance of sympathetic sensibility to whatever is morally powerful
and affecting in religion. Perhaps some have already taken it for
granted that this youth of overflowing energy, lonely meditation,
earnest prayer, and self-questionings, was wholly moving on the tide of
popular instruction, or that he fell as melted lead or iron, into the
moulds of theological teaching already prepared. This view is suddenly
dispersed by all that is known of the man, and by the facts of the
narrative itself. Do not sin and conscious alienation from God afford
good cause for weeping? Are not the elements of the soul itself good
reason for prayer, for deep desire and aspiration after a union of
spirit with Him who is its Parent source and the glorious Perfection, of
which it now has clear and happy glimpses? That work was unable to
absorb his mind, that society could not get very near his heart, that
his food even became tasteless, and his home a scene of mourning, are
facts that hail from certain states of mind that have their deep
significance, and which, in India and Persia, as well as in the American
wilderness, have their numerous representatives.

He speaks of a time of religious interest when his father felt the need
of something; more than Deism as a support to his mind; also of his
becoming deeply interested in the ministry of Mr. Farewell, a
Universalist minister; of his reading with great zeal the writings of
Winchester, Dr. Hunting, Ballou, and others of the same faith, often
spending whole nights in writing and study; books which, at his father's
request, he also studied; and though for a time embarrassed by the
philosophical arguments of Mr. Ballou on the Atonement and other topics,
he discarded them ere long, with an earnest decision as opposed to the
religious experience which gave him joy and hope, and as contrary to the
plain teachings of the Scriptures. At this early day Universalism was
indeed a bold extreme, it being little else than Calvinism benevolently
applied to human destiny; and its strongly controversial and
undevotional character was poorly adapted to a welcome in hearts that
were glowing with the sacred enthusiasm of religious love. One evening
he offered some speculative conversation in relation to the being and
attributes of Satan, which so hurt the minds of the converts that he
resolved no longer to harbor these negations, the dwelling upon which so
much discorded with the happy feelings inspired by their simple faith
and humble worship.

The Methodist denomination, at this time very spiritual and very
prosperous in the province, was with him a favorite, though for reasons
independent of the dictation of persons or of circumstances, he did not
become a member of their society in his town, a fact which did not at
all interfere with the entire freedom and cordial fellowship they
mutually enjoyed. A Methodist Discipline is kindly offered him. He
gladly reads, and commits it mostly to memory. But there is something in
this young man that questions the Discipline and the ministers who
explain it; that regards it as formal, and in many respects unlike the
Scriptures; that quietly declines making it the groundwork of a faith
and a sectarian position, though he does not break the happy concord
about him by obtruding open controversy. He joined no sect.

      "I wondered," said he, "that saints cannot all be one. I
      thought it strange that the affectionate names of
      'Brethren,' 'Disciples,' 'Christians,' 'Friends,'--golden
      names that I found scattered through the New Testament,
      were not sufficient without the sectarian names under which
      the denominations were marshalled. This was a great mystery
      to me. I knew of none at that time who adopted the name of
      _Christian_ as their only designation; but young and
      ignorant as I then was, I thought I beheld something more
      glorious than anything at which either myself or others had
      as yet arrived. My trials in pondering over these things
      were great. There were others who agreed with me in ideas
      of liberty, that were far greater than anything within the
      limits of the Discipline."

At a time when the righteousness of sectarianism was undisputed, when no
voices from the pulpit were pleading for the true catholicity of the
Christian faith, and when his associates were moved along by emotional
ardor, was it not a strong, clear-sighted, original force of the young
man that paused to ask, Why this formality and narrowness of creed? Why
these many sectarian names? Why is the unity of the religion of Jesus
broken by sects? These indeed were great questions for a young man in
1811; and in resolving them into a principle of action without
relinquishing an iota of the faith and piety that had inspired him with
hope, and joy unspeakable, he has given to the world an early proof of
the superiority of mind of which his maturer years were the exhibition.
The multitude, yielding to the enthusiasm of great moral excitement,
often float along as flood-wood. He so controlled the current that bore
him, as to be his own man, free from the despotism of any sectarian

Through the spring and summer of 1812, his mind steadily poised on
heavenly things, and anxious to do what the will of God in Christ
required, he made the subject of baptism a topic of study.

      "I searched the New Testament, as I was determined to know
      all that it said on the subject. I first became satisfied
      from the Scriptures, and secret prayer, that baptism was an
      institution of the Redeemer. 2. That it was enjoined on all
      believers in the Son of God. 3. That the mode practised in
      primitive days was going down into the water, and coming up
      out of the water after being buried therein. Although I was
      so clear relative to these three ideas, I often wept and
      cried to God in secret places in view of my unworthiness;
      but I received a glorious answer that in this institution
      of outward acknowledgment and obedience, I ought to follow
      the examples of Him who is the Way, the Truth, and Life.
      One evening when my mind was much tried on this subject, I
      prayed to God that if it was my duty to be baptized, I
      might dream of pleasant water. That night when locked in
      sleep I dreamed of riding on the most beautiful stream that
      I ever had seen; also of being immersed in the pure and
      tranquil element, whilst the divine glory shone around as a
      sacred enchantment. When I awoke my heart was filled with
      love divine, and I believe that, had there been an
      administrator present, I should hardly have waited for the
      day-dawn. These feelings I kept to myself; and, as I could
      not think of any administrator, or fix on time and place, I
      continued in this way till the first of September.

      "I then went to Hatley to attend a general meeting, and a
      glorious time it was. Here I first saw Elder Benjamin Page,
      from Vermont, who preached a very instructive and
      refreshing discourse from Rom. 8: 21. 'Because the creature
      itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of
      corruption into the glorious liberty of the sons of God.'
      Here I became acquainted with many of God's people whom I
      had not known, and in their spirituality and freedom I saw
      what more accorded with my existing ideas than I yet had
      seen. Nearly two hours Mr. Page spoke again from Isa. 33:
      2. It was a glorious time, as was also the evening meeting,
      in which many participated. The next day we all parted with
      tears of joy, never expecting to meet again on earth. As I
      was about to leave, I took Elder Moulton by the hand and
      asked him if he would come to Compton and preach, to which
      he replied that he would whenever I desired him, inquiring
      at the same time if there were not some in our vicinity who
      would like to receive baptism, saying, 'I have thought for
      some time that I should have to go there to administer this
      ordinance'--a remark that gave to my former impressions a
      new evidence of my present duty. We agreed upon the time; I
      made the appointment and longed for the day to come; but
      the morning that brought me this new responsibility was not
      wholly without clouds, as the cross appeared great and
      fears arose. In spirit, I said,--

      "'Jesus, my Lord, my Life, my Light,
        O come with blissful ray;
      Break radiant through the shades of night,
        And chase my fears away.'

      In a trembling and prayerful state of mind I went to
      church, where I found a large concourse of people in
      attendance, to whom Elder M. preached words of life. Among
      the many that were moved to speak in honor of the Redeemer,
      I arose, expressed my love to God and the saints, inviting
      my young companions to a rich and costly repast, without
      money and without price. Here every doubt was removed. Here
      I gained strength. The glory of God filled my heart. My
      father being present, Elder M. asked him if he was willing
      that his son should go forward in baptism, to which he
      replied that he was perfectly willing that Joseph, in
      things of religion, should act according to his own
      conception of duty. This gave me additional joy. I had
      chosen a pleasant stream, the Coatecook river, as the place
      where I preferred to receive baptism, to which locality we
      walked, two and two, in large procession, the distance of
      half a mile, singing the praises of God as we advanced.
      This day, Sept. 29, 1812, will be held in everlasting
      remembrance by me. My father sat upon his horse a few rods
      above me, in the water, so as to have a fair prospect. I
      was informed by the spectators who stood near him, that
      when I went into the water the tears flowed freely from his
      eyes. Under the smile of clear skies, of a quiet
      surrounding nature, I was baptized in the name of the
      Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. The hearts of the
      brethren on shore appeared full of joy, and some voices of
      acclamation were heard. It seemed, indeed, as though the
      heavens were opened, and the Spirit was hovering on the
      assembly. Some praised, others wept, and a sweet peace and
      calmness filled my soul. As I ascended from the water, I
      sung the following lines with the Spirit, and I think with
      the understanding also:

      "'But who is this that cometh forth,
        Sweet as the blooming morning,
      Fair as the moon, clear as the sun?
        'Tis Jesus Christ adorning.'[10]

      We returned singing; and truly, like the Ethiopian
      worshipper, we 'went on our way rejoicing.' From this time,
      I felt that I was newly established in God's grace. I had
      more strength to withstand temptation, more confidence to
      speak in the holy cause of the Redeemer. Here, with the
      Psalmist, I could say, 'How love I thy law; it is my
      meditation all the day.'

      "'Let wonder still with love unite,
        And gratitude and joy;
      Be holiness my heart's delight,
        Thy praises my employ.'"

Thus reads the narrative of such outward and inward facts as belong to
the early religious history of Joseph Badger. Its component parts are,
deep feeling, much thought, temporary doubting and despondency,
penitence, inward aspiration, prayerful reliance on God, and at last a
wide Christian fellowship, untinged by sectarian preference, and a
conscious peace and joy in God. Through the many changes of theory, each
winning admirers and having its day; through the stormy excitements of
the religious feeling in the world, Mr. B. always retained his
equilibrium and his constancy. And why? Because he laid his basis not in
dogma, not in speculation, but in _experience_. By this he held his
course, it being an anchor in the sea-voyage of life, a pole-star to the
otherwise doubtful wanderings of the world's night. What can we or any
one _know_ of Divinity, except what we hold in our inward consciousness
and experience? Nothing else. _Words_ do not reveal holy mysteries. The
soul must have God in its own life, or He is a mere intellectual
conception, a mere word. We admire the poetic, marvellous vein that
enables one to linger upon a beautiful dream. The young man, already
rich in the Spirit's baptism, saw sacred value in the outward form, in
the pure Scripture symbol. Earlier than the dates of Christian records
in Palestine, did the religious feeling of man, in different climes,
select water as one of its best formal expressions; and, though not
heretofore inattentive to what theological controversy has said on the
subject, we should say it is as well to stake one's duty now on a
beautiful dream, as on all the light engendered by the ablest
controversy ever held by polemic divines. The Coatecook and the Jordan
are, through faith, equally sacred, as it is the Spirit that sanctifies.
What can surpass in beauty and loveliness, the idea of the grand
baptismal scene of the sacred river of Judea? We imagine the numerous
multitude walking silently thither through the overshadowing woods, and
in anxious, reverent musings, standing upon its banks. We feel the
thoughts of penitence, the gleams of hope, half shaded by melancholy, as
they here stole into the hearts of Abraham's dejected sons; and with
them we muse upon the expected Christ of their deliverance, whom they
daily hoped to see. We gaze upon the form of one whose moral and
physical beauty it had delighted the eyes of the most beautiful to have
seen; and as the waters glide by him on either side in graceful
loveliness,--as the yellow sunbeams here and there rest calmly upon the
shaded current, we see him meekly bowed into the genial waters; and what
artist shall ever picture the beauty of the ideal in our minds when we
view the circling dove from on high hovering upon the Saviour's breast,
and the golden stream of light through the opening heaven descending
upon his brow? Formal baptism, thus honored and glorified, remains a
permanent institution of religion and of the Christian Church.



      "But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared
      unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a
      witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of
      those things in the which I will appear unto thee."--Acts
      26: 16.

With these words of a high mission Mr. Badger's journal opens, and how
well does it accord with the idea of divine agency in placing moral
lights in the world, and with what to him was a common thought, the
unequalled greatness of the minister's station. More than once or twice
have I heard him say to the young man who was publicly receiving the
honors of ordination, or of a conferential reception, "You are called,
my brother, to fulfil the duties of the highest station ever occupied by
a human being. No station on earth is so great in its nature, and so
responsible in its duties, as that of the Christian minister;" and more
than once, in the quiet social circle, and when alone, heard him say: "I
would not exchange the joys and trials and honors of the Christian
ministry, for the throne of the ablest king on earth." And this was the
settled, serious feeling of his mind. He recognized God in the call of
the true minister, not leaving the sacred choice at the mercy of family
policy, of individual ambition, or the efficiency of college endowment.

      "In ages past," says Mr. Badger, "God has seen fit to raise
      up, qualify, and send forth ambassadors to the people. He
      has frequently sent angels with celestial messages to men.
      Men also have been employed in the same work, have received
      the word from Him and declared it to the people. Aaron,
      Moses, Jeremiah, Isaiah and others, are striking
      illustrations of the truth that God has appeared unto men
      to make them ministers and witnesses of those things they
      have seen, and of those which he shall reveal unto them.
      John said, 'We speak the things we do know, and testify the
      things we have seen.' The Gospel is not something learned
      by human teaching, as are the mathematics and divers
      natural sciences. St. Paul was nearer its fountain-head and
      true attainment when he said, 'I neither received it from
      man, neither was I taught it but by the revelation of Jesus
      Christ.' 'Wo is unto me if I preach not the Gospel.'
      Neither reputation nor worldly recompense prompted the
      apostolical preaching. 'We preach not ourselves, but the
      Lord Jesus Christ.' 'Freely thou hast received, freely
      give.' The Gospel is not an earthly product, but a divine
      institution for divine ends. The preaching of it,
      therefore, is the highest possible work, demanding the
      greatest deliberation and integrity. Its effects are either
      'a savor of life unto life, or of death unto death.' How
      delightful also is this employment, as it brings life,
      light and comfort to all who yield to its elevating,
      enlightening and purifying power."

These passages, written in the early years of his ministerial life, at
once recalled the second sermon[11] that the writer of this ever heard
him preach, founded on the heroic text of St. Paul, "I am not ashamed of
the Gospel of Christ,"[12] in which he announced the Gospel as a divine
science, as a refining power, as according with human nature and its
wants; and, indeed, as "the only perfect science of human happiness
known on earth." Such is the supremacy he unwaveringly gave to Christ,
to his Gospel, and to its genuine ministry.

       *       *       *       *       *

The feeling that drew the mind of Mr. Badger into the ministry, was an
early one, having birth almost contemporaneously with the deep strivings
of his mind already narrated in the previous chapter. It was the highest
aspiration of his youth. Often, when at work, as early as the autumn of
1811, then nineteen years of age, his mind scarcely within his own
control, he was frequently in a preaching frame, and often fancied that
he was speaking to audiences of people on the attractions of Christ; so
thoroughly was his mind engrossed in these meditations, that he often
spoke several words before being aware of it, and not unfrequently did
he find himself suffused with tears. "I had at this time," says Mr. B.,
"no idea that I should ever be a minister."

      "As soon as I had myself partaken of the pardoning love of
      Christ, I felt as though all others should be sharers in
      eternal life. In prayer, my mind was drawn out for all men,
      for the chief of sinners. My mind was quickly weaned from
      earthly delights, and all my powers were devoted to
      spiritual interests. The few good ministers I knew I
      esteemed as the best and happiest of human beings; and, as
      the harvest seemed great, I often prayed that the Lord
      would send forth more laborers into the field. I thought if
      I were in such a minister's place I would go to the ends of
      the earth to sound the message of redeeming love. It was in
      the midst of such meditations that, in the first of the
      year 1812, all at once the idea broke into my mind that I
      must leave all and preach Christ. My soul shrunk away from
      the overpowering greatness of the thought, which I
      immediately banished from my mind; but with its banishment
      there came a gloomy despondency, as through the winter I
      continued at times to be exercised with the spirit of a
      station, which I supposed I never could fill.

      "In the spring I went into the woods to make sugar, a
      business much followed in that country. Night and day for
      several weeks I was here confined, a scene that might once
      have been gloomy, but now was delightsome, as I enjoyed
      much of God's presence in my secret devotions. I kept my
      Bible with me, had some opportunity of reading, which I
      eagerly improved with the greatest satisfaction. Here my
      mind was again powerfully exercised in relation to
      preaching; these impressions always brought with them the
      greatest solemnity. At such times I sought the most retired
      places I could find, wishing that I might hide, as it were,
      'in the cleft of the rock,' as the sacred vision passed
      before me. I said, 'Lord, who is sufficient for these
      things?' and with Jeremiah I was constrained to say, 'I
      cannot speak, for I am a child.' While these things like
      mountains were rolled upon my mind, I frequently spent the
      greater part of the whole night in prayer, in which I asked
      that I might be excused, and that these things might be
      taken from me. Hours in the lonely woods I passed in tears,
      and none but the angels witnessed the action and utterance
      of my grief. Once I opened my Bible wishing to know my
      duty, and the first words I beheld were, 'The harvest is
      past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved;' language
      that impressed me with the great importance of the present
      time as an opportunity to lay up treasure in heaven; to
      call the attention of men to their salvation, before the
      lamentation of the prophet should become their sad and
      unhopeful song. From the depth of my spirit I said, Oh! my
      soul, can I be excusable for my silence, when I behold the
      dark tide of sin on which myriads are rushing to eternal
      wo? Hearing the voice of Heaven perpetually resounding 'Why
      will ye die?' and beholding the crimson tide of the loving,
      dying Christ, that ever spoke of mercy, whilst angels
      appeared to my view as waiting and longing to rejoice over
      one repenting sinner, I said, Can I refrain from warning
      men of their danger, from inviting them to the Christ of
      their deliverance? For several days the above named
      scripture occupied my mind, and I was satisfied that God
      was drawing me into the ministry by these impressions, and
      soon I was willing to leave all, and suffer the loss of all
      things for Christ.

      "Late in the spring I left my retirement, with a
      countenance wan and fallen, and a heart filled with 'wo is
      me if I preach not the Gospel.' I was silent, no company
      seemed agreeable, and to no one did I confide my feelings.
      In the summer of 1812, I searched the Scriptures, and often
      did my mind so extensively open to an understanding of what
      I read, that I was impressed to communicate what I felt and
      what I saw. On some particular passage my mind would rest
      for several days at a time, and ideas of which I had never
      before thought, would present themselves. Well do I
      remember the great power in which the words of the
      apostolical commission came to my mind: 'Go ye into all the
      world and preach the Gospel to every creature;' words that
      seemed night and day to sound as a voice of thunder through
      my spirit. I regarded this as the divine voice; as Job
      says, 'God thundereth marvellously with his voice.' From
      all the scripture I read I gathered something that taught
      me the moral situation of mankind, God's willingness and
      ways for saving them, also my own duty to my race.
      Remarkable dreams at this time united with other evidences
      to confirm me in my duty, as often in the midnight slumber
      I dreamed of speaking to large assemblies in the name and
      spirit of the Lord. Frequently, under these exercises, I
      spoke so loud as to awaken the people in the house, and
      sometimes awoke in tears calling on sinners to repent and
      embrace the Saviour. When sleep departed from my eyes, as
      it frequently did, I would spend most of the night in
      prayer to God. Often could I say, with the weeping Hebrew
      prophet, 'Oh, that mine head were waters, and mine eyes a
      fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night.' But
      none, except those who have passed through similar trials,
      can understand the peculiar experience touched upon in
      these last paragraphs."

The passage of men, called in any divine way, from worldly business into
the work of reclaiming souls from sin, cannot be as smooth and easy as
the passage one makes from a machine-shop to a counting-room. Fashion
and custom may render it so, but these are far from being God's prime
ministers. Is there no preparatory process by which the spirit of the
prophet is stirred to its depth? Did not the fine nature of Jesus
undergo temptations and trials in the wilderness for forty days before
he entered upon his public mission? Did he not there feel the grandeur
of his mission, when he foresaw the cost of all that the world and its
ambition holds dear, as the result of his future procedure? He casts the
worldly crown beneath his feet, and steadily fixes his eye on the
immortal good of the world as his end. The coarser heart of Arabia's
prophet also sought solitude as its home ere it gave to the East its
lasting oracles. The question of the calculating European and New
Englander, as to which one of his family he shall select with whom to
stock the sacred profession, never came from the land of inspiration and
of divine missions. He that was too dull to be a rogue, or a successful
practitioner in law, medicine or merchandise, the old maxim thought to
promise best for the pulpit. No such plottings had aught to do in the
election of this young man. It was warm from his heart, was seasoned in
prayers, baptized in tears, and cherished in sleepless night-watchings
and lonely meditations. Preaching skilfully, learned as an art, may be
had almost as cheaply as Parisian dancing; but the living word that
"breaketh the rocks in pieces" never comes in it.

Mr. Badger attended meetings through the summer, heard, when they had no
minister, one of John Wesley's sermons read, as dictated by the
discipline; mingling with others his own voice of exhortation and
prayer. The eyes of all were soon fixed upon him, and the brethren began
to complain of his disobedience to the heavenly vision long before he
had intimated to any one the state of his mind. Some assured him
confidently that they had an evidence from God that it was his duty to
preach, and that their meetings were impoverished by his unfaithful
withholding. "This," says he, "I could not deny." Though encouraged by
the kindred sympathy of Mr. Gilson, who narrated to him his own trials
before entering the ministry, though finding a response to his own
conviction of duty in the hearts of all the spiritually minded about
him, he did not immediately or hastily go forth in ministerial action
and armor. He waited the call of circumstance and occasion. His journal
narrates a most beautiful visit he had at the house of Capt. Felix Ward,
where the conversation was wholly devoted to religion; where scripture
inquiry, prayer and holy song united to enlighten their minds, and to
lay the basis of a valuable lasting friendship; and though strangers to
each other, the family spoke of him afterwards as one whom they then
believed would be a chosen vessel to bear the honor of God before the
Gentiles. "I thought," says Mr. B., "I scarcely ever saw a house so full
of the glory of God."

But particular occasion calls. In June or July, 1812, persecution arose
in Ascott, which drove from the province two successful ministers,
Messrs. Bates and Granger, because they would not swear allegiance to
King George, which they boldly affirmed that they would never do.
Thanking God that they were counted worthy to suffer for Christ, they
meekly submitted to the persecution that seized them as prisoners in the
midst of a happy meeting, and that drove them, after a lengthy
arbitration, back into their own country, the State of Vermont.

      "When I heard of this circumstance," says Mr. B., "my
      heart, filled with love for the dear converts and brethren
      who were bereaved of their pastors by the counsel of the
      ungodly, caused me to feel my responsibility anew; as I was
      a citizen of the country, knew the manners and customs of
      the people, and could easily take a position from which the
      same persecuting powers could not drive me. My heart, like
      David's, began to burn with a holy resolve to go forth into
      the field, and take the place of my injured brothers."

Though a stranger in the town of Ascott, where these events occurred, (a
town about twelve miles from Compton,) he started on Saturday, near
Sept. 1st, to attend with them a general meeting of which he had
previously heard, and as he was riding through a space of woods, it
suddenly struck him that Mr. Moulton would be absent, and that he should
be obliged to speak; and the hundreds who remember the simplicity and
naturalness of the texts from which he almost invariably preached in
after life, will see something characteristic in the passage, Heb. 13:
1, that came at once to his mind, "Let brotherly love continue."
Hesitating for a time whether he would proceed or return, as he was
satisfied that he should meet this great duty if he proceeded, he went
forward, found a large audience assembled and no minister present. As he
entered, all eyes were attracted to him, and though many present
regarded him as one whom the Holy Spirit had called to preach, he
remained through the meeting in silence, except at the close he owned
his disobedience, and received from several present warnings to be
faithful hereafter. In personal figure Mr. B. was a noble and commanding
man, one that could not pass among strangers without drawing to himself
a marked attention.

Saturday evening he was invited to pass at Mr. Bullard's, where they
spent part of the evening in singing, and hours, he says, upon their
knees in prayer,--an evening by him never forgotten, as the Holy Spirit
consciously filled their hearts with joy. "I thought then," says our
youth, "I never saw so happy a family. Oh, what a glorious age will it
be when the principles of pure religion shall pervade the world!" On
Sunday they repaired to the place of worship, where "Mr. M. most
beautifully described from James 1: 25, the perfect law of liberty. Many
were in spirit refreshed, and indeed we sat together in heavenly places
in Christ Jesus." As the Lord's Supper was not then administered,
another appointment was made, and from the happy influences of this
meeting with saints, Mr. B. returned home "in the power of the Spirit,"
firmly resolved to do all that duty might ever require. He again
returned to Ascott to attend the appointment made for the communion,
where Mr. M. gave an able discourse on having "_a sound mind_," and
where, for the first time in his life, he partook of the symbols of
Jesus' truth and dying love. He says:

      "I trembled at the thought of attending on so sacred an
      ordinance, and with so holy a band of brethren; but as I
      could not feel justified in the neglect of the privilege, I
      came forward in the worthiness of my Lord, and I believe
      with his fear before my eyes. A deep solemnity rested on
      the whole assembly, and our souls, at the close, were
      seemingly on flame for the realms above. I was never
      happier in my life at the close of a meeting.

      "Mr. M., having appointments over St. Francis River, wished
      me to take a journey with him. I complied. We crossed the
      river, visited several families, had one meeting; then
      passing up the river to Westbury (eight miles), through a
      woody region mostly, we arrived in the afternoon much
      fatigued, as we had to encounter the buffetings of a
      violent storm. On our way, I had fallen back and rode
      several miles alone in the most serious meditations. I
      clearly saw the hardships of a missionary life, and felt
      that I must enter the field. We found a loving company of
      brethren, who received us kindly, and who appeared to be
      steadfast in faith. We held several good meetings in the
      place. Some were baptized. I also made the acquaintance of
      Mr. Zenas Adams, a young minister who had just begun to
      preach. This journey increased my confidence, as Mr.
      Moulton was a discerning man, and qualified both from
      knowledge and sympathy to assist young ministers. The
      conversations with Mr. Adams were also advantageous. He was
      but a few months my elder.

      "I had now arrived at a crisis in which I must earnestly
      dispose of every practical objection. I had said, 'I am a
      child--I cannot speak.' I was but twenty years of age; I
      thought my friends might be unwilling. Soon, however, my
      father gave me my freedom; and I felt that there was much
      meaning yet in the good scripture which saith, 'It shall be
      given you in that same hour what ye shall speak.' I plead a
      comparative illiteracy, as the minister is ordained to
      teach, and ought to command the various resources of
      knowledge. This objection also fled before that potent
      scripture, James 1: 5, 'If any of you lack wisdom, let him
      ask of God, who giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth
      not; and it shall be given him.' I was satisfied of this,
      that if God had called me to the work, with health, youth,
      and industry on my part, He would give me every necessary
      qualification. As swimming is learned by swimming, and
      agriculture is acquired by its active pursuit, it struck me
      that fidelity in the new work would secure the only
      effectual skill in conducting it. I thought of a kind
      father's house, of my loving parents who had watched over
      my childhood, of the four brothers and four sisters with
      whom I had lived in the greatest friendship; and I did not
      omit to think of the needful renunciation of worldly
      prospects, and of the censures I should get from some, and
      the various treatment I had reason to expect from the world
      if I went out as a faithful, uncompromising ambassador of
      Christ. To take the parting hand with my dear relatives,
      and to live in the world as a _stranger_ and _foreigner_,
      called up many painful emotions in my breast as I glanced
      into the uncertain future. Still no tide of emotion could
      carry me back in my purposes, and with much feeling I felt
      to say:

      "'Farewell, oh my parents, the joy of my childhood,
          My brothers and sisters, I bid you adieu!
        To wander creation, its fields and its wildwood,
          And call upon mortals their God to pursue:
      When driven by rain-drops, and night shades prevailing,
      And keen piercing north-winds my thin robes assailing,
      And stars of the twilight in lustre regaling,
        I'll seek some repose in a cottage unknown.'

      "Through all my discouragements and melancholy hours,
      interspersed throughout nearly a year's continuance, there
      were times when the sweet peace of God grew conscious in my
      heart, and always did this passage bring with it a cheering
      light, "Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the
      world!" I felt that it was mine, that it was for me, and
      for all true ministers through time, as well as for the
      worthier ones who carried the Master's truth through
      suffering and trial over the earth. Feeling now that the
      time had come when I must venture forth, and finding that
      nothing among the armory of Saul would suit my form or
      answer my purpose, I concluded that no other way remained
      for me but to rely on 'the mighty arm of the God of Jacob,'
      under whose name I would fight the battle of life. In the
      latter part of October, 1812, on a pleasant Sabbath
      morning, while the people were gathering from every
      direction for meeting, the following passage came with
      power to my mind, and as no minister was present that day,
      I knew I could offer no good excuse for a refusal to speak.
      Phil. 2: 5. 'Let this mind be in you, which was also in
      Christ Jesus.' On this text, on this very glorious theme,
      my public life began, and doubtless in a weak, broken, and
      trembling manner. I have often thought of my first text,
      and have endeavored to make it my motto for life, for it is
      on the idea here advanced that the vital merit of ministers
      and Christians must forever depend. How important that the
      Gospel minister should have the mind of Christ! How can he
      otherwise preach Him to the world? How may he penetrate the
      centre of other souls and hold up the living evidence of
      Christianity without it? How important that all Christians
      have His spirit and temper! For it is this that directs,
      this that supports, this that adorns the child of God.

      "But when the echo of the first effort came back from the
      community, 'Joseph Badger has become a preacher,' a
      sentence then in everybody's mouth, I was greatly
      mortified, particularly when the invitations came to me
      before the week had ended, to go and preach in different
      parts of the town. I complied as far as practicable with
      these requests, and our meetings were thronged with people
      who came to hear the new minister, the young man--young,
      indeed, in a double sense,--in years and in experience.
      Perhaps never before did surrounding circumstances unite to
      render me more thoroughly conscious of my weakness,
      dependence, and inefficiency. I spent much time in secret
      prayer, and in pensive meditation, and the cry I once
      before had made in the anticipation now arose with
      redoubled energy, 'Lord, who is sufficient for these
      things?' More than ever did I begin to fell the worth of
      souls by night and by day; and through the bodily fatigues
      to which my labors subjected me, the sense of
      responsibility and insufficiency that weighed upon me, my
      mind was somewhat shaded with melancholy, and often did my
      heart find relief in tears.

      "The next Thursday evening after my first sermon, I
      attended a Conference, where I met Mr. Gilson, a well-known
      minister. He appeared much rejoiced at what he called 'the
      good news,' and insisted that as there were many present, I
      should occupy the desk as the speaker, and give the
      introductory sermon. This, to me, was a great cross,
      particularly so as one of my brothers was present. After
      enduring for a time the conflict of feelings, which may be
      easily imagined, I went forward in prayer, then arose to
      speak from 1 John 5, 19th verse: 'And we know that we are
      of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness.' In
      speaking, I had a good time, and both branches of the
      subject, which run over the ground occupied by saints and
      sinners, seemed to have a good effect; it inspired joy in
      the one, and awakened solemnity in the other. Mr. G.
      approbated my discourse, but I felt much mortified that I,
      a mere lad, was called out to set my _few loaves_ and
      _small fishes_ before the great multitude."



      "From this time, I continued to improve my gift in public
      speaking, in this and other neighborhoods of the town.
      Feeling much friendship and care for the brethren in
      Ascott, I spent as much time as my business would allow
      among them, which was to my instruction and comfort, as
      there were in that place many faithful and experienced
      Christians. As I had some leisure, and found it duty to
      visit the neighboring towns, I thought it would be proper
      to have something to show, upon my introduction to strange
      communities, what my character and standing were at home.
      As I felt commissioned from God's throne, I saw no
      necessity of applying to men for license or liberty to
      preach, and therefore only sought a confirmation of my
      moral character. It would indeed be an absurd mission that
      did not include the liberty of fulfilling the duty imposed.
      Thus 'I did not go up to Jerusalem to those who were
      Apostles before me,' though I conferred much with 'flesh
      and blood.' I submitted this question to Mr. John Gilson,
      who as a minister was highly respected. He concurred with
      me in opinion, gave me a letter stating that my moral and
      Christian character was good, and that the religious
      community believed me to be called to preach the Gospel.
      This was singular, as I was not a Methodist, and was in no
      way pledged to their peculiar doctrines. We always had,
      however, a good understanding, and it was with tears that I
      parted from them. Since then I have often met them with
      joy, and they are still dear in my memory.[13] For one
      year from the time I began to preach, this was all the
      letter I had, whilst with solemn joy I went through the
      region of Lower Canada to preach, experiencing the mingled
      cup of joy and trial common to a missionary life, which was
      my heart's choice.

      "In the winter of 1812 I made it my home in Ascott,
      attended school some, but, so far as scholarship is
      concerned, to little profit, as my mind was subjected to
      impressions that constrained me to leave school and preach
      Christ. In the early part of the winter, I concluded to
      visit Shipton, on a preaching tour of about sixty miles,
      with Zenas Adams. He was a well-informed young man, who had
      commenced preaching a few months earlier than myself. We
      started on foot, and travelled along with mind and
      conversation seriously imbued with the spirit of our
      calling, to the appointments we had made, where we met
      large assemblies, who had convened to hear what the boys
      could say. Brother A. spoke mostly on this tour. We
      attended meetings in Brompton, Melbourne, Shipton, and
      other places, meeting kind receptions and gentle treatment
      from many good Christians, and short answers from some of
      our enemies. At Shipton we were joyfully received by Capt.
      Ephraim Magoon, in a manner never to be forgotten by me;
      also were we kindly greeted by many other good friends. We
      passed several days in this place, which laid the
      foundation for a long acquaintance, and for my subsequent
      labors in that community."

The following paragraph is so characteristic of Mr. B., that no one can
fail to see the man as present in the youth. It was in sudden emergency
that the energy and creativeness of his genius were always manifest.
Though naturally diffident, no one ever saw him in an emergency that
proved greater than his own mind. His dignity, firmness, composure and
aptness at such times, were always striking and heroic. In a crisis,
who ever saw him at a loss?

      "On our return, at a meeting held at Mr. Hovey's, whilst
      Adams was preaching, a British officer came in. When the
      sermon was ended, I arose to speak by way of exhortation.
      It was a solemn, weeping time, and I observed the officer
      to shed tears. When the meeting was dismissed he made known
      to us his business, informing us that Esquire Cushing had
      sent him to arrest us, and to bring us before him for
      examination, as it was a time of war between two nations,
      and we were strangers. 'But as for myself,' he kindly
      observed, 'I am not concerned about you, and if you will
      agree to call on Esquire C. to-morrow, I will return home;'
      to which we agreed, exhorting him to repent. The next day
      we called at Esquire Cushing's tavern (for his were the
      double honors of landlord and magistrate) and ordered
      refreshment. At evening we were formally summoned into his
      presence. I walked forward and Adams fell in the rear, in
      order that I might act as the chief speaker. Mr. Cushing
      then exclaimed, with all the harsh authority a British
      tyrant could assume 'What's your business in this country?'
      I replied, 'To preach Christ's Gospel, sir.' 'By what
      authority?' 'By the authority of Heaven, sir.' At this the
      old man began to look surprised and beaten, thinking that I
      probably knew his character too well for him to succeed in
      this sort of treatment; and my friend Adams,
      constitutionally mild and retiring, began to take courage.
      He then observed, 'How came you in this country?' 'My
      father purchasing a large tract of land in the town of
      Compton, brought me into this country when nine years old,
      and, _sir_, I have as good a right here as you or any other
      man.' 'Have you taken the oath of allegiance?' 'Yes, sir.'
      'Let me see your certificate,' added he. I presented it; it
      was read and returned. 'Are you a son of Major Badger, of
      Compton?' 'I am, sir.' 'Well, you'd better be at home than
      to be strolling about the country.' 'I thank you, sir, I
      shall attend to what employment I think best, and shall
      visit what part of the country I please.' Here I was
      dismissed, and I conclude he thought me a saucy fellow.

      "Next poor Adams had to walk up. He came forward with a
      calm and delicate countenance, clothed in the sweet temper
      of the Lamb. The blood which had forsaken his beardless
      face, now returned, and adorned his cheeks with their
      accustomed bloom, as he stood before a '_beast of the
      deep_,' who possessed much of the spirit that prevailed in
      his mother-country during the reign of Queen Mary, who
      caused her own beautiful cousin, Lady Jane Grey, to ascend
      the scaffold at the age of seventeen to suffer death for
      her religion. Brother Adams had taken the oath of
      allegiance, but as he could present no certificate he
      experienced some difficulty and suffered much abuse. But
      his soft answers served to turn away wrath. As I knew him I
      spoke in his favor, and after a short time we were
      dismissed. The next morning, after paying an extravagant
      price for poor, and to us disagreeable entertainment, we
      departed, rejoicing that we in our youthful days were
      counted worthy to suffer for Jesus' sake.

      "This journey was very beneficial to me. Here a friendship
      was formed between brother Adams and myself which has never
      since been destroyed. He was an excellent young man, and
      had not at that time joined the Methodist connection. After
      a most agreeable acquaintance for more than one year, it
      was heart-rending to part with him. I found that he was
      resolved to join the Society, and that he was very anxious
      that I should. We conversed on the measure lengthily. I
      proposed to him that we would travel at large, and not be
      confined to sect or party, but preach a free salvation to
      all who would hear us. He said that his confidence was so
      small, that he thought it best to preach upon an
      established circuit, where he should be sure of a living
      and where he should have homes to receive him. I replied,
      that I could not fear to trust in God for a living; that
      the faithful minister would never starve; and that if I
      could not get further on my way, at any time, I would go
      home and resume my daily toil. I saw that he was set on
      going to Conference; he also saw that I had a permanent
      dislike to the _Bishop's power_, and that I would not
      become subject to the Methodist _laws_. We did not longer
      urge each other, but parted in love. I walked with him half
      a mile, when he started, and I felt the trial of our
      parting to be great. We kneeled in the woods with our arms
      around each other, and when we had prayed and bathed each
      other's bosoms in tears, we arose and parted with
      affectionate salutation, never expecting to meet again on
      earth. He went to unite with the American Methodists, and
      I, more from duty than inclination, remained among enemies
      in Lower Canada, to stem the torrent of opposition alone.

      "In the month of January I left school, rode to Hatley and
      Stanstead, on the shore of Lake Mogogue, where I spent
      certain days, and attended several meetings. The greater
      part of the winter, when out of school, I spent at Ascott,
      Compton, and Westbury, where I had good times, though
      mingled with trials and temptations. The first day of
      January, 1813, was a very glorious time at a general
      meeting in Ascott. Mr. Gilson, and a colored man by the
      name of Dunbar, who was both a godly man and a faithful
      preacher, were our principal speakers. In the month of
      March I took a journey to Shipton alone, where I enjoyed a
      glorious meeting, and made an engagement to return in the

      "During this month, my eldest brother came four miles to
      hear me preach. He requested me to make an appointment at
      his house, which was near my father's residence; and but
      few of our family had ever heard me speak. His house was
      one where I had attended many balls and had met assemblies
      for vain recreations. The audience to whom I spoke was
      composed of my parents, brothers, sisters, neighbors, and
      my fellow youth, who had been my old companions in
      sin--circumstances that rendered my cross very great. My
      father's presence made my embarrassment much greater, as I
      knew the critical cast of his mind, the extensive reading
      and education by which his intellect was enriched. I
      observed that my father selected a seat with his back
      towards me. Excessive as my cross was, I could not be
      reconciled to this. I arose and presented him my chair, and
      when he had again taken his seat, I read a hymn from the
      Methodist collection, which was sweetly sung by the young
      people, my brother serving as chorister. After prayer and
      the second singing, I announced my text, at which every
      countenance fell, a general surprise being visible all
      around, and the young people appeared as solemn as if the
      day of doom had dawned. I believe I have intimated
      heretofore that, as a town, the people were irreligious. My
      text was Matt. 23: 33. 'Ye serpents, ye generation of
      vipers! how can ye escape the damnation of hell?' My text
      was harsh, but my discourse was mild. I first noticed the
      natural qualities of serpents and vipers that constituted
      the analogy of the passage, and that furnished the reason
      of their being so called. Second, I described what I
      considered to be the damnation of hell. Third, I endeavored
      to show how we might escape this, and the necessity of
      improving a present day of grace. I then addressed myself
      to the assembly in the following order: 1st, to my parents;
      2d, to my brothers and sisters; 3d, to the young people;
      4th, to the neighbors. This was indeed one of the most
      affecting scenes I ever had witnessed. When I came to
      address the young people in relation to our former sports
      in that room, and to express my regard for them, and to
      tell them of the new and better inheritance I had
      discovered, some wept aloud, and at the close several said
      'Pray for me.' I name this circumstance, as it was the
      first time my parents ever heard me preach, and it being a
      time deeply impressed on my own memory. After this I rode
      four miles, and preached in the evening at Mr. Benjamin
      Sleeper's, in whose house a most beautiful child lay dead,
      and which on the following morning received its burial."

I find, on another page of his journal, that the sermon here spoken of
bears date March 23d, 1813.

      "I now began to reflect on the situation of the people at
      Shipton, and felt it my duty to return to them, as in that
      and in several adjoining towns there was no minister. I
      accordingly made preparations and started, April 1st, 1813.
      On the way I spoke several times, to good assemblies;
      arrived on the 6th, and found from multitudes a joyful
      reception. A reformation immediately began among the youth,
      and the spirits of the aged pilgrims revived like the
      golden life of a second summer. This, to me, was an
      evidence I could not doubt, that it was under a heavenly
      guidance that I had come to Shipton. I made it my home at
      Capt. Magoon's, where I enjoyed, with the aged people, many
      very happy hours; they were indeed the excellent of the
      earth, and I hope their numerous kindnesses to me may
      receive a thousand-fold reward.

      "In the month of June, I made my first visit to Ringsey, to
      which place I was invited by Col. Bean, one of my father's
      particular acquaintances, likewise one of the principal men
      in this community. Though invited on a personal visit at
      his house, which was about sixteen miles distant, I found,
      on my arrival, a multitude assembled, to whom I spoke,
      under the conscious aid of the higher power. Several dated
      their conviction from this meeting, and through all the
      town the reformation spread. After speaking to them a few
      more times, I returned to Shipton; and in a few weeks
      visited them again, where I found several happy converts
      and many whose heart-cry was for mercy. Thus the work
      spread until it was thought that upwards of one-half of the
      grown people had experienced religion; I say experienced
      religion, for religion is not a matter of theory but of
      life. Its home is not in the dry speculation of the brain,
      but in the field of experience. Religion in theory is like
      the pictures of trees and flowers; they may win the eye and
      the fancy; but these pictures do not blossom, nor grow, nor
      bear fruits. The juices of life flow in the roots and
      branches of everything that grows.

      "Col. Bean, my good friend, whose house was always to me an
      agreeable home, and some of his children, found peace in
      Christ. He continued a shining light until his death, which
      was about one year after. The many pleasant days and nights
      enjoyed with him and his agreeable family afford pleasure
      in their recollection; and though these cheerful scenes are
      not to be recalled, I trust they may be resumed in a better
      state of being.

      "The latter part of August I was invited to attend a
      meeting in the upper part of the town of Ringsey, a place
      whose inhabitants were said to be remarkably hardened and
      wicked. I thought a place like this should not be shunned
      by a minister whose commission it is to seek the lost. At
      the time appointed there was a general attendance. I had
      rode a long distance, and both myself and horse were very
      much fatigued. I had no attention whatever paid me as to
      refreshment, nor did their sense of civility or bowels of
      compassion disturb them with a single thought about the
      needs of the faithful animal that had done its part in
      helping them to a minister, and that stood very patiently
      by the side of the fence. I stood, a stranger, in the midst
      of _glaring_ spectators. I recollect that when walking
      through the assembly, I felt an emotion of tenderness and
      solicitude for them that nearly impelled me to tears. I
      spoke to them from Zech. 9: 12, and, if ever the Being who
      gave me my mission assisted me in fulfilling it, it was
      then. Though very feeble in health I spoke to them over one
      hour, and the power of God came down upon the assembly, and
      many wept aloud. At the close I gave opportunity to any who
      wished me to pray for them to indicate their mind by
      rising, when the greater part of the assembly arose. The
      cry was audible and general, 'What shall I do to be saved?'
      In my closing prayer I could scarcely be heard. Though
      late, I mounted my horse, and rode nine miles to Shipton,
      where, at the house of Mr. Heath, I was kindly treated. But
      I was so weary and exhausted that I retired without
      refreshment, and did not visit Ringsey again for several
      weeks, leaving them to work out their own salvation. I then
      proceeded up the St. Francis river about seventy miles, to
      the town of Dudswell, where I found a happy circle of
      Christians. When I again returned to Ringsey the scene was
      wonderfully changed. Old and young flocked into the streets
      to meet and welcome my return. I could not pass a house
      where I was not urged to go in. I occasionally spoke to
      them during my stay in that country. Truly in this place
      were the songs of the old and the young mingled together.

      "In the month of August, we held at Shipton a general
      meeting. Mr. R. Smith preached a very interesting discourse
      on Saturday, from Gal. 3: 26: 'For ye are all the children
      of God by faith in Christ Jesus.' Sunday morning Mr. Avery
      Moulton spoke from Acts 3: 22: 'A prophet shall the Lord
      your God raise up.' Mr. J. Gilson next addressed the
      assembly from 2 Kings 5: 13. After him I endeavored to
      speak from Zech. 9: 17: 'For how great is his goodness, how
      great is his beauty!' Several happy converts were baptized
      at this meeting by Elder Moulton.

      "From this we appointed a general meeting to be held at
      Ascott, on the 8th, 9th, and 10th of October. It being a
      time of war between two powerful nations, our situation was
      rendered very unpleasant in many respects. Our provincial
      officers were much opposed to our travelling from town to
      town, and our brethren in general refused to bear arms.
      This enraged the officers. They frequently sent spies to
      our meetings to see if we prayed for the king and if we
      preached against the government, as we afterward learned.
      One of the officers once accosted me in these words: 'Well,
      Mr. Badger, I understand you do not pray for the king!'
      'You are mistaken, sir, I do pray for the king.' 'But _how_
      do you pray for him?' 'I pray that he may become converted,
      and be a child of God.' 'Ah! but that won't do; you ought
      to pray for the success of his arms.' 'I do, sir, pray for
      his arms, that his swords may be beaten into ploughshares
      and his spears into pruning-hooks. This is the best prayer
      I can make in his behalf.' He did not seem to like my
      answer, but said no more to me.

      "The October meeting coming off at this time, made no small
      stir among the people, and the wicked, as of old, 'took
      counsel together against the Lord, and against His
      anointed.' As they had been successful in driving two good
      preachers out of the country, they were now emboldened to
      make a strong attempt, first to frighten us out of the
      country, and should they fail in that, which they did, to
      disturb our meetings as their next best stroke of policy.
      They issued warrants for nine of us, myself and two other
      ministers, and six of the leading members of our churches.
      We were arrested on the first day of our meeting, which had
      opened under promising auspices, as enemies to the
      Government. I had an insight into their methods before any
      part of their plot was executed; for as I was on my way the
      morning of the 8th, and within eight or nine miles of the
      meeting, an officer with whom I was acquainted, hailed me
      from his house and observed if I would wait a few moments
      he would be my company. As we rode along I drew from him a
      development of the whole plot, and at that time I became
      his prisoner. The greatest fear I had was this, that the
      meeting would be essentially disturbed. The prisoners were
      to be delivered and have their trial at Mr. Stone's tavern,
      one mile from the place of the meeting, _at the same time_
      that it was in progress. When I arrived at the place where
      the congregation was to convene, I called, found several
      preachers present, and some brethren to whom I related the
      whole of what was about to transpire. Some were filled with
      fear. I advised them to discover no alarm, but to go on
      composedly with their meeting, provided there should not be
      more than ten persons left, after the rulers should have
      sifted the audience in their legal network, and to pay no
      attention whatever to us who were absent, except to
      remember us kindly in their prayers; and away I went to
      stand in the presence of authority. Soon, however, I was
      favored with the company of brother Amos Bishop, a faithful
      minister of the Gospel. He came in rejoicing that he was
      counted worthy to suffer for Jesus' sake. Our trial
      formally opened on Friday noon, but not much was done. At
      evening I obtained a room in which to hold meeting,
      thinking that inasmuch as the legal process was tardy, the
      ministers present could make no better use of their leisure
      time than in preaching Christ to all who would become our
      hearers. Seats were prepared, and the neighbors flocked in.
      I then walked into the somewhat spacious bar-room to invite
      the honorable court to attend, a body composed of three
      magistrates, viz.: Pennoyer, Nichols, and Hyat, who were at
      the time _merrily passing the glass_. Making to them as
      courteous an address as I was capable, in which I stated
      the superlative worth of the religion of Christ in the
      soul, I gave them an invitation to be with us. They did not
      make much reply, but stood by the door, as we learned,
      where they could hear the communications of the meeting.
      Never did we enjoy a more glorious time, never did we
      realize the divine presence more joyfully than here under
      keepers. Many brethren came to see us, their eyes filled
      with tears, whilst our hearts overflowed with joy.

      "Saturday morning I arose very early and obtained
      permission to visit my brethren at the general meeting on
      condition that I would return at nine o'clock. I enjoyed my
      visit there; but what most affected me was this. Just as
      the sun had begun to brighten the eastern sky, after I had
      started, I met my oldest sister and my brother's wife, who
      had heard of my bonds, and hastened with eyes and hearts
      full of sympathetic concern for my welfare. They had
      arrived at the place the night previous, and were at that
      early hour hastening to the lodgings of their poor brother
      Joseph in afflictions. When I saw them I could not refrain
      from tears. They brought me money and articles of clothing,
      which were acceptable to me at that time. They tarried
      through the meeting and returned home.

      "At ten o'clock the court sat, and the whole scene together
      was one at which the student of human nature might have sat
      with amusement, scorn, edification, and pity. False
      witnesses arose as in ancient days. I say false witnesses,
      because they proved so before the court. They stated that
      we had opposed our brethren in bearing arms, that we had
      spoken diminutively of the British king, topics on which
      the public speakers present had been silent. Finally, at
      the close we were bound over for our appearance at court,
      which sat at the Three Rivers, and only twenty-five minutes
      were granted us in which to procure bondsmen. This we
      utterly declined doing. I told them that I knew the
      character of the cause in which I was called to suffer;
      that for me the _Stone Jug_ had no terrors, and that if I
      must occupy its walls, I should trust that the same God who
      heard Paul's prayers and songs at midnight, would also be
      my friend. At this a captain was ordered to take charge of
      me. Bishop answered rather independently, and asked Esq. P.
      to be his bondsman, but at length informed them that he
      despised their power. At this we were companions. Many
      present who were at first our enemies, came to me in tears,
      and offered to be our bondsmen. A captain who had carefully
      observed all that had transpired, came and offered to
      pledge his farm for me. At this, sympathy became
      contagious, and the spectators, who had thus far been
      watchfully silent, began to damn the squires, two of whom
      were now observed to stagger, having taken too much whiskey
      to retain a respectable command of their persons. One of
      them took me aside, told me that he found no cause against
      me, that it was the others who had caused them to bind me
      over, that he had always been _my_ friend, and would attend
      meeting the next day. The poor fellow fell from his horse
      on the way home, and broke his shoulder, which for weeks
      prevented him from leaving his house. Esq. P. the following
      day was found in the road drunk; and thus ended the suit.
      These events were not ineffectual. Our keepers, on seeing
      the agitation of the people, and the increase of our
      friends, on Monday morning, by the advice of Captain Ward,
      dismissed us, and told us to go about our business. This
      was a day of glad news to the brethren, who in trembling
      fear and faith, had borne us in their prayers to the
      Invisible King; and now having a little leisure, I improved
      it in visiting my friends at Compton. I had not seen my
      father's house for months. I spent some time with them very
      agreeably--relived past scenes in conversation--bade them
      an affectionate farewell and again went to Shipton.

      "In the latter part of the year 1813, when on my return
      from Shipton, my father sent me word that unless I could
      tarry several days, he wished me to send an appointment and
      preach at his house. This to me was welcome tidings, as I
      had long been waiting with hopeful anxiety for this
      opportunity to open. I sent an appointment, which soon
      spread over the town. No travelling minister had at this
      time ever preached at my father's house, and a large
      multitude assembled, probably under the impression that
      there was something new in the circumstance. Oh, how
      solemn, how memorable the scene! I had long been absent
      from home among strangers, had passed through a trying
      experience in which friendship and hatred had largely
      commingled, and now, at the invitation of a kind father, I
      stood amidst my relatives, brethren and old acquaintances,
      to speak freely on whatever I felt to be dear to the hope
      and salvation of man. I spoke from Mark 5: 19. 'Go home to
      thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath
      done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee.' After the
      assembly had dispersed, my father and myself spent a great
      part of the night in conversation on the things of the
      kingdom, in which he rather favored the doctrine of
      Universalism. I had an agreeable visit of a few days, and
      went rejoicing on my way. I name these circumstances as
      they belong to the time I first preached at my father's

      "At Shipton and vicinity, we had through the fall and first
      part of the winter, golden seasons, and many were added to
      the church of God. Party rage seemed to die away, and
      persecution greatly subsided. I now began to feel a
      dismission, so far as my labors and responsibilities were
      related to this region of country; and in casting my eye
      over the world as my lawful field, I longed to visit other
      lands, and carry to distant parts the unsectarian message
      of Repentance, Faith, and Love. During the winter I made
      several visits at Stanstead, a town lying on the eastern
      shore of Lake Memphremagog, where I saw a few persons
      converted, and where, with the saints of the Most High, I
      took sweet counsel. Also had many useful meetings in my
      father's vicinity.

      "In the spring of 1814 I found my health exceedingly poor.
      Many thought I was inclining to the consumption. As the
      roads were exceedingly bad in the spring season throughout
      the province, I resolved to make but one general visit in
      each particular place where I had preached, unless
      particular impression should otherwise direct me, and then
      journey to the land of my nativity, to the New England
      sea-coast, around which my feelings of friendship and
      reverence warmly clustered, almost taking in the scenery of
      New England as a vital part of my filial feelings.
      Accordingly, as soon as the going became settled, I started
      on my farewell visits through the North country. Hundreds
      flocked together in the several towns where my
      appointments had been sent, to hear my farewell discourses;
      and unegotistically do I record the simple fact that my
      audiences wept as I told them my work with them was done,
      and that in other lands I must go and publish the same
      salvation in which they rejoiced. Many said, from the poor
      health I was in, they were satisfied they should never see
      me again. This was indeed a solemn time to me. I made my
      intended visit, and left Shipton on the 5th of June. Many
      of the aged saints and the warm-hearted young people came
      together at an early hour in the morning to bid me adieu.
      When ready to leave, I sung a few verses of a missionary
      hymn, which thus commences:

      "'Farewell, my brethren in the Lord!
        The Gospel sounds the Jubilee;
      My stammering tongue shall sound aloud,
        From land to land, from sea to sea.'

      Some united in the song, others were prevented by the
      fulness of their emotion. At the close, we kneeled together
      in prayer; and it was with a heavy heart that I offered to
      them my parting hand. Never can I forget the kindness and
      friendship of this people. They contributed largely to my
      necessities, welcomed me to their homes, and upheld, with
      their prayers, my feeble hands. Returning to spend a few
      days at my father's house, I found on parting, the strength
      of the social and filial ties that bind the heart of man to
      its home. When, after prayer, I gave my hand to my father,
      he could only utter 'God bless you,' such were his
      emotions, and a wordless silence, accompanied by tears, was
      my mother's benediction. When I rode away, I felt myself
      dead to every earthly prospect, to every worldly enjoyment,
      and from the dearest friends on earth cut off. Yet there
      was a holy sunshine falling down upon my clouds, that gave
      to my sinking spirit its needful consolation. It is
      usually thought that the situation of a youth cut off from
      his friends is a trying one, especially so if called to the
      ministry. It is not only in parting with friends and in
      renouncing worldly prospects, that the spirit is tried; the
      life of a missionary, who is a man of God and faithful, is
      exposed to a thousand sufferings and dangers. Missionaries
      often go forth as the chosen organs of different
      denominations, whose denominational interests they plead,
      and from whom they receive a pledged support. I had aspired
      to be a missionary of another school, a missionary _to_ men
      and not _from_ men, having only the Gospel of the world's
      salvation to uphold, looking on high for the mission, and
      to the just and careful operations of His providence for
      all necessary support. For one so conditioned to consider
      the awful and immense responsibility he assumes before God,
      to think of the account he must soon render of his
      stewardship, is enough to humble him in the dust. Yet when,
      on the other hand, the faithful minister has a view of the
      everlasting inheritance that appears to the eye of faith,
      from the future compensations of His love, he can say, with
      the great missionary of the Gentiles, 'I reckon that the
      sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be
      compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.'
      Perhaps this contemplation is not capable of a statement
      more just than that which it finds in the olden words:

      "'What contradictions meet
        In ministers' employ;
      It is a bitter sweet,
        A sorrow full of joy.
      No other post affords the place
      For equal honor and disgrace.'"

With these lines the nobly expressed narrative of Mr. B., so far as it
relates to his early ministerial labors in the Province, closes. A few
other documents lie before me, several letters from the hand of Mr. Z.
Adams, his colleague for a time in the labors and trials of his early
ministrations, several letters of commendation from churches with whom
he had labored, and from influential ministers with whom he had
associated. These letters from Mr. A., though wearing the sallow impress
of time on their forms, are fresh with the ardor and devotedness of what
never grows old, the earnest heart; and what is peculiar to all these
letters from the churches is this, that, after the usual commendatory
expressions relative to moral and Christian character, they invariably
speak of the _success_ of his ministry among the people. There are also
a few letters from him to his father and brothers, written during the
period of his ministerial labors of 1813-14, that are unfeignedly rich
in the spirit of self-sacrifice, firm faith in his mission, and a fine
feeling of love and kindness to all his relatives, a quality flowing
through all the correspondence I have seen, addressed to relatives. A
long catalogue of names, dated Dec. 20, 1813, shows the number of
persons in different towns who were converted under his ministry; and
though the evidences at hand indicate for them a general stability of
principle and aim, _one_ name, from the first column, must appear to
great disadvantage in a future chapter, for it would be equal to a
hunting excursion in the forests of antiquity, to find in any country a
more unreasonable persecutor, on a limited scale, than was Capt. Moor,
in the month of September, 1815.

Joseph Badger was a man who could never endure dulness. Lifelessness
and inactivity, in fine, all the brood of stupid demons, he had a
magical power to disperse. They fled at his entrance. He _would_ have
life and interest, and no man could better create them, by awakening
readily the resources of all around him. Thus far we only see the young
man of twenty, but the same inherent traits of his whole life are
conspicuous. He awakens community wherever he goes. He calls out
opposition, creates strong friends and enemies, concentrates attention,
brings himself into trying emergencies, which call out his various
facility of tact and successful management, his firmness and
self-composure. Having set his mind and heart on the persuasion of men
to repent and to seek salvation, he carries a multitude along to this
end. But what is most rich, is the deep evangelical element, in which
all his powers are immersed; his constant, prayerful, weeping solicitude
for souls. I know not where to go to find these holy elements in a more
abundant, pure, and I will add, in a more natural state, than they
appear in Mr. Badger's early life. His enthusiasm was not rash or
fanatical. The fire of his heart blended with the light of his brain.
His eye was always as calm as it was penetrating. It combined the glow
and the calmness of the night-star. Almost at the risk of presenting too
much of a good thing, I venture to quote a mere fraction of some of
these letters, each line of which is so fully alive with the sincerity
and earnest faith of the writer.

                                   "SHIPTON, May 11th, 1813.

      "DEAR PARENTS,--I assure you it is with pleasure I once
      more attempt to write you. I arrived on May the 6th, very
      much fatigued. I walked twenty-one miles without
      refreshment, which was too much for my nature. I was unable
      to preach for some days. My greatest pain was to see the
      inroads made by the enemy into our little church whilst I
      was absent, and the spirit of persecution that rankles in
      many hearts. As I view souls united to eternity, and see
      that some are hewing out to themselves 'broken cisterns,'
      and giving way to 'seducing spirits,' in the doctrine, 'Ye
      shall not surely die,' I am led to mourn."

      "It is surprising to view the beauties of creation, in
      which we see how everything is formed for the use and
      comfort of man. Yet how sadly they abuse the great
      profusion of His blessing. 'What more could He have done
      for His vineyard than He hath done for it?'--Isaiah 5: 4.
      Whilst I meditate on the extent of His goodness and long
      suffering, on the cross of Him who died for all, and then
      think of the wickedness that abounds, I am obliged to
      mourn. Oh my loving parents, may we be wise for both
      worlds, for time and for eternity! I have had serious
      thoughts of late why it was that my father did not write to
      me. As I am here in the wilderness without any relatives or
      connections, I thought that love for me would have led him
      to seek my enlightenment if I am in darkness, he being
      acquainted with the Scriptures; and if I am right, I
      thought he would wish to give me encouragement. My love to
      all for their kindness.

                          "Your prayerful servant,
                                    J. BADGER."

                                   "STANSTEAD, July 16, 1814.

      "DEAR FATHER,--According to my expectation when at your
      house, I started on my journey to the southward, preaching
      on my way; Friday at Derby, Saturday at Holland, Sunday at
      Major Stewart's, in Morgan, where I met a large concourse
      of people, among whom were eleven young persons from Derby,
      who were deeply awakened to a sense of their danger whilst
      out of Christ. To their ardent solicitation for me to
      return to Derby, I have yielded, which makes it expedient
      for me to tarry one week more. I do not enjoy very good
      health, but my mind is happy. I feel that at most a few
      more rolling suns will bring me to the fair city of Rest.
      Each beating pulse but leaves the number less. Had I time I
      would gladly ride to Compton to see you. But it is wholly
      uncertain when we again shall meet. I ofttimes think of you
      all. My love to relatives and inquiring friends.

      "'From all that's mortal, all that's vain,
        And from this earthly clod,
      Arise, my soul, and strive to gain
        Sweet fellowship with God.'

      "I subscribe myself a Disciple of Christ, or a Friend to

                                     "J. BADGER."

                              "ASCOTT, July 27, 1813. (In haste.)

      "DEAR BROTHER,[14]--Since I have seen you I have preached
      in Compton, Ascott, Westbury, Oxford, Brompton, Ringsey,
      Shipton. I am in great haste on my return. I have been
      comfortable as to health, though much fatigued. I have felt
      the waters of salvation to flow sweetly through my soul.
      Give yourself no trouble if you hear I am taken up. You
      know the animosities that war engenders. The God who
      delivered Daniel, and who protected our fathers, has
      promised to shield me whilst in the way of my duty. Keep
      free from all strife, deny self, live in peace with all
      men. I still feel it my duty to employ all my abilities in
      holding up Christ to a dying world. My love to parents and

These extracts show the spirit with which his whole early life was
imbued, and they accord well with the journal he wrote a few years
later. One vital life pervades them all. Whilst the war was desolating
the country, filling the minds of men with anger, jealousy, and
irreverence to humanity, he, the heroic young soldier of the Cross, was
successfully pouring into their hearts the great lessons of Reformation,
Unity, and Peace. Such a ministry at such a time appears to the eye of
history as a rainbow arching the black region of cloud and storm, or as
life-clad rivers that flow along through the desert regions of the



With good recommendations, and with the fruits of a not very ordinary
experience for one so young, he starts for his native land. What sect
does the young preacher hail from? From no sect. He hails from the
church of experienced believers, whose test is religion, not theology.
Love to God and peace with men are the cardinals of his platform, and
such was the persuasion of his eye and presence, that his credentials
are very seldom disputed. Nothing in the form of sectarianism hedges up
his way or impedes his success. If difficulties at any time thicken in
his path, he knows what to do with them.

Let us pause a moment to look at the theological latitudes and
longitudes of the self-taught young man at this time, before he leaves
to carry his message towards the regions of sunrise in the more
intelligent east. In theology he has acknowledged no human master, has
sat at the feet of no Edwards, Channing, or Wesley, nor read in musty
dogmatical lore what he shall publish as the essential doctrine. The
following views, however, may be gathered from the various utterance of
his mind, expressed as occasion called, without the intention of making
a system. 1. That man bears a living relation to God; that he may now as
of old come to him confidingly, and seek effectually for wisdom and
salvation. 2. That the being of God is One; that his influences are
constantly felt in the moral world, promoting the joy and life of his
people, and subjecting the sinful to the solemn conviction of their sin
and danger. 3. That Regeneration is the want of all men; that _all_ may,
like the prodigal of Scripture memory, return to their Sovereign Father.
4. That the Scriptures are the great storehouse of sacred wisdom; that
through them the will of God is infallibly revealed. 5. That Jesus is
"the sinner's friend," the Son of God, the centre of Christianity, and
that his Gospel is of celestial birth and mission; "the power of God
unto salvation to all that believe." 6. That experience is the basis of
religion; that the only authorized test of fellowship for the church is
Christian character. 7. That no sect in Christendom, as such, is _the_
church of God; that _the_ church is everywhere composed of such only as
have passed from death unto life. 8. That sectarian names do not fit the
catholicity of the institution; that the names "disciples," "brethren,"
"friends," "Christians," are the better designations. 9. That human
creeds, traditions, "doctrines and commandments of men," are abolished
in the light and authority of the Gospel. 10. That sons of God are
freemen, owing no allegiance to Pope, Bishop, Prelate, or Council. These
views all fairly reside in the writings which unfold this early period
of his life; and when we consider the exceeding scarcity of liberal
thought in the religious world at so early a day, and the isolation of
his position from the most active and enlightened minds on the
continent, his stand in the church and the world becomes a wonder, only
to be solved by the recognition of the original and superior intellect
that gave him intuitive insight into the right and wrong of whatever
problems may have won his earnest attention. The liberality of many is
but a mere scepticism of thought. His liberality was a part of the most
devoted labor and unabated zeal. It was one with prayer and tears. Now,
in this last day, (1854,) with all that learning and comprehensive
thinking have done for us, where and what are the heights of liberality
occupied by the theological reformers whose names have gone abroad as
being wider than their denominational platform? As we glance along the
sparse population of these plateaux, we observe among others, the names
of Bushnell and Beecher, the former with certain acute philosophical
powers, the latter with a bold dramatic energy of speech, each exposing
himself in a degree to the censure of that large class who dread all
innovation made upon the time-honored landmarks of the Fathers, who are
alarmed at new roads, even though they are more direct, convenient, and
comely. But neither of these gentlemen has gone so far as did this youth
in the wilderness of his adopted country. Neither has altogether
_practically_ forgotten the claims of sect and of creed; and the view
that holiness of life and purpose is the indisputable claim to
fraternity independent of dogma, which is their highest _idea_, was his
constantly _practised_ principle long before the world had heard of new
and old school in the contentions of orthodox sects. Open now his first
letters of commendation and you will see that the fraternities that
authorized them ignored sectarian names, simply styling themselves "The
Church of God in this place." In liberality, I do not see that the best
part of the Christian world now are, either in theory or practice, at
all in advance of his position in 1813. That his peace principles did
not allow him to pray for bloody victories, or to strengthen the king's
arms by his influence over the people, there is pretty good evidence. He
and his brethren drank too deeply at the wells of religion to engage in
the destruction of their fellows.

To return. The young man, now nearly twenty-two years of age, intent on
the duties and trials of a missionary life, starts for his native New
Hampshire, improving every opportunity on the way, where circumstances
united with his own impressions in producing the conviction that good
might be done. Without abating his own labor, he depends continually on
divine assistance, believing that he enjoys the advantage of the real
presence of the One who said, "Lo! I am with you alway;" and before
undertaking any important cause, or plan of action, he seeks
illumination in secret prayer, then follows the leading impressions of
his mind. He diligently studies the Scriptures, observes nature, and
discriminates the strong points and peculiarities of the different
characters he meets, for which he seemed to possess an intuitive power
that received no assistance from the later inductions of phrenology, or
the didactic lessons of physiognomy. He could, without rules admitting
of statement, readily discern the character of an audience, the kind of
discourse fitted to their capacity and wants, and most easily did he
arrive at this kind of knowledge by a brief social contact with
individuals. No nature perhaps ever had a greater power of adaptability
to the many-phased character of mankind and surrounding circumstances,
than his. But for the present, indeed for the several years of his early
ministry, the central element of his life, the one that ruled all
others, was his earnest, hearty, prayerful devotion to the holy mission
of saving human beings from sin, and of bringing them into living union
with God and with Christ. Along the meanderings of this current let us
therefore follow the course of his narrative, which at this time unfolds
itself in a series of letters, hastily and unelaborately written to some
friend whose name does not appear; perhaps to Z. Adams, or to some other
young minister interested in his welfare.

      "DEAR FRIEND,--I rode from Stanstead, where I had enjoyed
      several good meetings, across the line into the State of
      Vermont, where I had several more in Derby, Holland, and
      Morgan, but soon returned to a little village on the line,
      and on Stanstead Plain, where there were prospects of good
      being done. It was here that I met Mr. Roswell Bates, who
      became my company, as he was going to the town of
      Woodstock. Leaving the line about July the 16th, we passed
      through Rigah, Browning, and Wheelock, holding several
      meetings at the last named town, in which the spirits of
      many appeared to gather new courage and joy. I then rode to
      Danville, and remained several days, in which time I had
      the pleasure of seeing some who had been for months cold in
      their affections, quickened and newly determined in the
      cause of life. We then rode to Peacham, then to Newbury,
      Bradford, and Corinth, where we separated, Mr. B. going to
      Hafford and I to Strafford. Here I was greeted by a happy
      band of brethren, with whom I held several meetings, and
      remained several days. Crossing the Connecticut river over
      into Lyme, thence through Dorchester to Hebron, thence to
      Bridgewater, I arrived next morning, which was Sunday, at
      New Hampton, and was kindly received by Wm. B. Kelley,
      Esq., a distant relative, by whom I was politely introduced
      to the clergyman of the place. With him I passed a half
      hour very pleasantly; we repaired to the church together,
      as the people began to assemble. I occupied with him a seat
      in the desk, and listened with a degree of satisfaction to
      what he communicated. When we returned to his house, he
      insisted on my speaking in the afternoon, and in vain did I
      urge the excuses of a long journey and much fatigue. He
      gave me a Bible and a Concordance, saying that I had three
      quarters of an hour in which to prepare, and left the
      room. We again repaired to the church, and contrary to the
      order of the morning, I was assigned the right-hand place
      in the pulpit. I spoke to these strangers in the same
      freedom to which I had ever been accustomed, and reserved
      nothing of the divine counsel made known unto me; the word
      seemed to have some direct effect; the people appeared to
      hang with solicitude on the truths advanced, and many wept
      under the exhibition of the love and pardoning grace of
      Jesus Christ. The next day I heard a young man, Mr. John
      Swett, who, much to my joy, was wholly engaged in the work
      of the Lord--a work already commenced under his labors. At
      the request of my friends, I gave out an appointment, at
      which there were three ministers, Mr. Hillard, the aged
      priest to whom I had been at first introduced, Mr. Daney,
      whom I had never before seen, and Mr. Swett, my new
      acquaintance. I scarcely ever found greater liberty in
      speaking. Priest Hillard at the close arose and gave me his
      approbation, inviting me again to call on him; others also
      spoke on the goodness of God, as experienced by them.
      Bidding them an affectionate farewell, I was, in about four
      hours, at my native Gilmanton, whose citizens and scenes I
      had not known for the space of four years.

      "Here I had great joy, mingled with sorrow--joy to meet my
      sister, Mrs. Cogswell, and other relatives; sorrow to learn
      that in their plans of happiness, religion and
      reconciliation to God were not the essential part. Capt.
      C., who did not usually go to the Free Church, wished me to
      permit him to make an appointment in that place, to which I
      gave consent. Accordingly, on the next Lord's day, at
      half-past ten o'clock, I met a large congregation at the
      Free Church; and at five o'clock, P. M., spoke to a full
      assembly at the house of Capt. Cogswell, each audience
      being probably attracted in part by curiosity. At the
      former meeting, my mind was constrained to weep over the
      people, who also wept under the message I delivered them.
      Many serious exhortations were given; many expressed the
      fulness of their joy in Christ. Wishing to see men and
      women stand upon some positive decisions in regard to their
      salvation, and knowing the good influence which a public
      expression of secret resolves has upon the subsequent
      action of man, I proposed that such of the assembly as felt
      the worth of religion, and desired to enjoy its heavenly
      light and consolation, would signify the state of their
      minds by rising up. Very few kept their seats; and I have
      reason to think that many were strengthened for life. Many
      invitations were given me for new appointments. At 5
      o'clock at Capt. C.'s, there were many Calvinists present,
      who with the rest, seemed to mingle with their critical
      aspect considerable true religious feeling. Perhaps my
      preaching called out more criticism than it would otherwise
      have done, on account of my manner being wholly
      extemporaneous, and my sentiments not being formed from
      Calvin or any sectarian creed. My grandmother[15] was
      present; she seemed much pleased, and after meeting said to
      me, 'It is a wonder and a mystery to me how you talk as you
      do without having any of it written. Two of my family have
      got to be preachers, William C. and yourself. He learned to
      preach at the institution, but who in the world ever
      learned you up there in Canada?' I believe I told her that
      the Being who needed ministers had much to do in making
      them, which seemed to be a new idea in these parts.

      "I then went to New Durham to visit my relatives, but spoke
      frequently before my return. On my way back, at a very
      good meeting about two miles from the place of my other
      appointments in the town, a young lady whom I baptized in
      February of the next year, was there permanently and
      effectually impressed with the need of salvation through
      Christ. She continued from that time to be drawn into
      nearness and union with Jesus, whose power over the heart
      no one can measure. After this meeting I returned to
      Gilmanton. As my sister was somewhat out of health, and
      travelling was recommended as her best restorative, I
      favored her desires to visit her parents in Canada, whom
      she had not seen for six years: and taking a carriage
      suited to the journey, conveyed her to my father's house in
      Compton. Our parents were overjoyed to see us. The next
      morning early I returned to the States, rode to Glover,
      Greensborough, and Montpelier, attended a quarterly
      meeting, with several other appointments, and returned to
      the Province in about seven days. Meeting my sister at
      Stanstead, where my elder brother according to agreement
      had brought her, I again set out for Gilmanton, where I
      arrived after an absence of about four weeks. On my way
      east I passed through Cabot and Danville, where I held
      several meetings; but when passing through New Hampton I
      met Rev. Mr. Hillard, who informed me that he intended to
      go to Toronto to preach, and should be happy to have me
      supply at his church during his absence. I accordingly left
      an appointment.

      "Here, my dear friend, you have a brief account of my
      journeyings for the space of two months and a few days, in
      which time I have travelled 770 miles. Here in good old New
      England scenes, I at times revive the lights and shades of
      my early days, but the work of salvation is one that
      overlays in interest all reverie of the mind, and I shall
      hasten to give you a further account of the work of God in
      my next, hoping that from former friendship, my hasty
      letters will be interesting to your delicate and studious

                       "Yours, in the truth,
                                    J. BADGER.
                "Sept., 1814."

Here I would observe, that the manuscript from which the events of these
several months are chiefly known appears to be copies of letters,
several of which were addressed to one person, whose name may have been
upon the outer leaf of the scroll at first, but which I do not find in
the letters themselves. As his present history is reflected in these, I
offer them, with all the variety of incident which a man of his peculiar
cast of character would very naturally call out. These "scratches," as
he labelled them, appear to have been kept as a means of reënlivening
past scenes, should he ever wish to write their history.

      "After attending several meetings in Gilmanton, I went on
      to my appointment at Newhampton, and met a very large
      congregation who had come out to hear the new preacher. The
      people thinking me a missionary direct from college,
      readily swallowed the doctrine of a free, universal
      salvation, designed for and offered unto all men, and many
      rejoiced in the liberal view I presented. I felt at this
      time, very much the weight of the cause, and spoke with
      great freedom on the true mission of the Gospel to our lost
      world. It may be thought by some that courtesy should have
      dictated an acquiescence in the formality and doctrine that
      reigned about me. But I felt constrained to speak from my
      own soul and the word that burned in my own heart. I did
      so. Many of the silent kindled anew with ardor, their
      tongues were unloosed, and some praised God aloud. In the
      afternoon I had a glorious time, concluding my sermon with
      the most earnest warning to the people. This change in
      their accustomed routine for Sunday called out many
      remarks, some saying one thing and some another. One said,
      'He preaches just like a damned Freewiller, and if Mr.
      Hillard lets him preach there again, I will neither hear
      nor pay _him_ in future.' Nevertheless, I had several
      invitations to preach again. In the evening I spoke at Mr.
      Kelley's, to about 200 hearers, on Monday, P. M., at Lieut.
      Sinkter's school-house, to an audience of entire strangers.
      In that vicinity were many Freewill Baptists, few of whom,
      however, saw fit to attend. Priest Hillard's deacon came to
      me at the close of meeting, with considerable emotion, and
      said, 'I know the joyful sound of which you have spoken. I
      am satisfied God has called you to preach the Gospel. I
      want you to preach at my house this evening,' and
      accordingly gave out the appointment. There are always some
      discerning spirits among the people, who, sooner than
      others, look into the nature and meaning of things. One of
      the Freewill members, a lady, remarked when she got home on
      the character of the meeting, saying, 'The deacon will get
      joked this time with his missionary or I am deceived.' At
      evening the house was crowded, the Freewill brotherhood
      having waked up to an interest in what was occurring. At
      the time I did not know as there was one anti-Calvinistic
      mind in the house, but resolved, as a dying man, to do my
      duty without shrinking. I arose to speak from Mal. 4: 2:
      'Unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness
      arise with healing in his wings,' and felt, as I
      progressed, the love of God in my soul. Many of the young
      people wept aloud, the Freewill brethren began to assist,
      and before the meeting broke up the power of God was so
      strikingly displayed that the deacon, unexpectedly to all,
      fell prostrate on the floor. A haughty young woman, whose
      hair was wrought into a profusion of curls, came forward
      and kneeled down, bathing her curls with tears as she cried
      for mercy. The argument on this occasion, though no
      doctrine was discussed, was one that the deacon was unable
      to resist, for he fell as many as five times under the
      power of God. The house seemed filled with divine glory.
      The congregation broke up about one o'clock at night. The
      next day I went from house to house praying and conversing
      with the people. I found that many were seeking Christ, and
      that a thoughtful solemnity was resting even on the minds
      of children.

      "The next evening our meeting was no less powerful. Not
      less than twice did the deacon fall to the floor; one man
      who had fallen away from the Christian profession, lay for
      some time speechless, and the young lady spoken of before,
      came out bright and clear in the expression of her change.
      She then walked through the assembly, taking her mates by
      the hand, and warning and inviting them to flee to Christ,
      made a deep impression on the assembly. One other made
      profession of being translated from the kingdom of darkness
      to the kingdom of light. In this state of affairs I left
      Newhampton to attend other appointments, which required
      some eight or nine days, and from the good attention paid
      to the word and its effect on the people, I began to think
      that my mission to New England was not in vain."

Passages like these will doubtless meet with a variety of tastes, and be
subjected to different constructions. The effects of a great immediate
power that followed the preaching of Abbot, Whitfield, and others,
seeming for a time to irresistibly sway the subject, has been variously
explained, or, perhaps, more properly, has never been explained to the
full satisfaction of the thoughtful. There is something certainly in the
nature of the _theme_; for who was ever struck speechless and nerveless
by a political appeal, or a literary, philosophical, or financial
address? To make the least of it, these phenomena show a wild, mighty
vigor in the darkly oppressed religious element within, or the same
amount of zeal on finance or the election of candidates would produce
equal results. Whether the Holy Ghost be present or absent, the man
whose word and personal presence palsies a beastly sinner or formal
deacon, so that he can neither move nor speak, is himself no weak
formalist; no wavering, half-and-half man, who lives on plausibility and
apology. This much is certain, that he carries a conquering force, if
the effect be _of him_; if not of him, if he is right in the declaration
"not unto us" be the glory, a similar conclusion follows the admission
of his instrumentality. We love harmony; and in the great harmony that
the soul should enjoy genuine thunder will prove no essential discord.
We enjoy quietness; but of the two, we say by all means give us the
preaching that knocks men off their seats, to that which never moves
them. But how comes on Newhampton?

      "I continued my visits to Newhampton for the space of three
      months. Some twenty of the youth were hopefully converted;
      I think I never saw converts of greater strength. But oh!
      what trials awaited some of this number! The first that
      came forward in this reformation had much persuasion to
      resist. Her father was an open enemy to religion, her
      mother was very pious, but wholly bound up in Calvinism,
      and the young woman was determined to be free and not be
      entangled with any yoke of bondage. A number of times was
      she threatened to be turned out of doors. She wished
      baptism; but being unordained I could not administer; and,
      as she was unable to join Mr. H.'s church, out of
      preference to the church of the first-born, she had to go
      against the current, which is never a _bad_ sign, as dead
      fish invariably move along with the stream. Many wished to
      be baptized, and Mr. H., thinking it a good opportunity to
      gather additions to himself, began to raise all his forces
      against me, spreading defamatory reports to sour the minds
      of the people, intending to drive me out of the place. I
      was reminded of the stanza:

      'They hate the Gospel preacher,
      And cry out, a _false_ teacher!
      A wolf! an active creature,
      Will pull our churches down.'

      He found fault on several points of doctrine. We held
      together several conferences, public and private. He indeed
      stirred up the devout women and all his party to
      opposition, and not a little to my grief we had to
      say--Farewell to the reformation. He proselyted five young
      converts, whose happy condition, I fear, became like that
      of the fish which glide pleasantly down the river Jordan
      into the Dead Sea, which is called immediate death; for
      they soon grew formal and lifeless in the atmosphere of the
      church. 'How is the fine gold become dim!' But what of our
      deacon? you will say. Why this, that after falling beneath
      the power of God so many times, after giving me a letter of
      commendation extolling my character, and the power and
      usefulness of my ministry, after I had labored night and
      day, and God had visited his family in the conversion of
      three of his children, _he_ 'lifted up his heel against
      me.' In whom then shall the Gospel minister trust? In God,
      and in Truth. At this declension I sorrowed with a bleeding
      heart. You can judge of my feelings. I gave out an
      appointment, administered as good advice as I knew how to
      the converts, preached on Sunday, took a letter of
      commendation signed by Elder Heart,[16] in behalf of the
      church, and bade them adieu. December 2, 1814."

It would seem that young Mr. Badger was not exactly a safe hand to trust
with the direction of church machinery, where doctrine, devotion and
preaching were respectably stereotyped, where all things were smoothly
continued. His steam and individuality were rather hazardous elements in
the temple of forms. "Priest Log" had been a safer priest.

He also narrates his success in Gilmanton, where several young persons
and some of his own relations "bowed to the mild sceptre of mercy." His
cousin, who came out in this revival, he says was the first of his
relatives with whom he had felt a union in the Gospel, that as he had
been educated under the theology of Calvin, he was besieged with
entreaty to join them. "But," says Mr. B., "he still walks in Gospel
liberty; I pray that he may be preserved blameless, and prove a thorn to
the clergy whilst he lives." He compares the policy of his opponents
towards his cousin to the barbarian usage of slaying prisoners when the
prospect of being overcome grows certain. Extracts of other letters here

      "After I left Newhampton, December 2, I went to Meredith,
      and attended the ordination of Mr. John Swett.

Here I find a page erased, but as it is legible and very characteristic,
I venture to transcribe.

      "Here I was introduced by some of the brethren present for
      ordination. The ministers with whom I was acquainted seemed
      willing to ordain me, provided I would 'consent to walk on
      two legs,' taking the church of God for the one and the
      Freewill society for the other. This statement,
      substantially, was from Rev. E. Knowlton, of Pittsfield.
      This saying of Solomon immediately came to my mind, 'The
      legs of the lame are not equal;'[17] and considering the
      Freewill society as inadequate to the church of God, I
      concluded that, carrying out the figure, one had better go
      through the world hopping than limping, and I asked wherein
      one could be the loser, provided he went as fast on one
      limb as others did on two. I said to them, that if I could
      not have their approbation on the ground that I belonged to
      the church of God, without the addition of their wooden
      staff, I would much prefer to stand alone. They accused me
      of being on the common. I answered that I was born there;
      that I much preferred it to a barren pasture, or a pit
      wherein is no water; that I meant, through divine grace, to
      stand where I had received the Lord Jesus, and that if the
      church of God, unsectarianized, is the common, I would be
      content with it till the arrival of the time when there
      shall be 'one fold and one shepherd.'

      "Here I had to stand alone, whilst my heart bled to see the
      superstition and bigotry of those who profess to be free;
      and, I say it reluctantly and with sorrow, I have seen as
      much bondage, and have met as bad treatment from those who
      claim to be Freewillers, as ever I did from the more
      stiff-necked and stoical of the sects. To have the clearest
      proofs of belonging to the body of Christ, of having the
      sanction of Him who calls men to his ministry, and to have
      undisputed standing among good men is not enough. Party
      must be worshipped. This more and more convinces me that it
      is well to abandon the doctrines of men and all
      unscriptural names, to be disciples not only in name but in
      practice. I am also sorry to say that I have discovered the
      same spirit among those who are called Christians. But I
      will leave this subject, praying that God will help us so
      to run that we may obtain."

Rather difficult, was it not, to get this young man into a net? He
stands yet erect upon his mission, prays, weeps, preaches by night and
by day; and old men and young, mothers and maidens, acknowledge his
right to lead them in the "new and the living way" by falling into his
line of march, and finding words of life in his speech. This refusal to
pledge himself to creed and sect, grew out of nothing unsocial, for his
whole being was social and brotherly. Interest could not so have
dictated. An innate greatness of mind it was that gave him this high
position for a young man as early as 1814, aided no doubt by the free
and generous impulses of the religion of Jesus, which, in his experience
and in his Testament, alike declared the oneness of the body of Christ,
and of whatever is essential and saving. This position seems not to
have hindered him; the faithful still rally under the banner he bears.
Mr. Badger was a man of great facility for carrying his points, having a
persuasive eye, will, and speech; nor is it at all surprising that among
his early commendatory letters, there should be some from clergymen of
different denominations; one I remember signed by three _class leaders_,
in the Province of Canada, and others from those who had obeyed his call
to the new life, and to whom he became as an apostle and father.

At Gilmanton, Barnstead, Stratham, Portsmouth, Rye, Northampton, he held
forth in the name of the victorious Christ; and though there is no
record of dogmatic speculation and "disputations of science," the fires
of reformation were kindled, the young convert and the steadfast
believer rejoiced together, bringing forward their golden treasures, not
from the cold chambers of the intellect, but from the mines of the soul,
as wrought by experience and refined by the agencies of the Holy Spirit.
One more touching paragraph from this letter, we cannot withhold. Those
who recollect the calmness and the pensive music of the pine-grove, its
unison with the deeper feelings, will vividly realize the passage which
refers to the lonely and dependent spirit which there sought relief in
prayerful utterance.

      "How many trials I have passed through during these four
      months! I well remember the sad feelings of my heart as I
      was riding from Rye to Portsmouth, across a pine plain,
      whilst I meditated on my mission and present lot in the
      world. Leaving my horse, I retired into this still grove,
      where none but the heavenly powers could hear the
      expression of my burdened soul. As I considered my
      situation, a feeble youth, hundreds of miles from home,
      among entire strangers, and bound by solemn duty to the
      world of dying sinners, I was constrained to weep before my
      God in this wilderness. Here I sought his aid. How oft, on
      that journey, did I weep for miles, as I rode the streets.
      Angels! ye are witnesses to the sleepless nights that
      passed away as I thought of the unreconciled state of
      mankind, and of my duty to them. Here, my loving friend,
      you have a brief account of what I have seen the last four
      months. I have reason to praise my Redeemer. Like Mr. Dow,
      I can say, 'What I have seen I know, what is to come I know
      not.' O my friend, strive to make a good improvement of
      these memories, and if we never meet again in time, may the
      Lord prepare us to meet in His kingdom of glory. Yours in
      the Truth, as it is in God's dear Son,

      "Jan., 1815.
                       JOSEPH BADGER."

Rightly did the poet say,--

      "Who never ate his bread in sorrow,
        Who never spent the darksome hours,
      Weeping and watching for the morrow;
        He knows ye not, ye heavenly Powers."

The prophet, in all ages, to whom God gives the tongue of flame, must at
some time have known the holy baptism of inward sorrow.



The churches and communities in which he had given proofs of his
ministry, began to call for the ordination of Mr. Badger. Before me this
moment is the call of the church in Gilmanton, dated Dec. 4, 1814, which
reads as follows:

      "This certifies that Joseph Badger has been preaching
      several months past in this and adjacent towns with much
      success, and in this place souls have been converted to
      God. He has the approbation of the church in this place, as
      a Christian and a Preacher of the Gospel, and we believe it
      would be for the glory of God for him to receive

                 "Signed, in behalf of the Church,

                   "JASPER ELKINS,

                   "FREDERICK COGSWELL,

                    "DANIEL ELKINS."

Rev. N. Wilson, of Barnstead, after making strict inquiry and
satisfactory examination, in answer to the requests from the people,
wrote to brethren in the ministry all about, to attend on the occasion
at his residence, Jan. 19. The call was obeyed by the presence of seven
ministers and a multitude of people. Rev. Wm. Blaisdel delivered the
discourse, from 2d Tim. 4: 2, who, with W. Young, J. Boody, J. Shepherd,
N. Wilson, J. Knowles, N. Piper, were the persons by whom the different
parts of the services were performed. It will be understood by the
reader that this ordination demanded no sectarian acknowledgments; that
it left the tree unbent. "I was considered by them," says Mr. B., "as
free indeed. No discipline was urged upon me but the Scriptures, and no
master or leader but Christ. This, to me, was a solemn day, and long to
be remembered." He was now relieved of many embarrassments under which
he had formerly labored in not being able to administer the ordinances.

He still persevered in his labors through towns adjacent to Gilmanton,
and "many of the youth," he tells us, "fled to the Shiloh for salvation
and rest." On Jan. 29, he delivered a sermon on Baptism, in the Free
Meeting-house, Gilmanton, and in the extreme cold, "under the keen eye
of the north-west, which surveyed them critically," he baptized two
persons, Mr. F. Cogswell and Miss Lydia Levy. Satan, he thinks, began
about this time to exhibit himself as a persecutor, having an interest
now, as of old, in the assemblies of the saints. Feb. 4th, he baptized
two others in Alton, three others on the 10th at Gilmanton, and large
congregations waited upon his ministry. By the regular clergy and their
united influence, his movements were often opposed. Among the reports
that clerical policy caused to arise, he records the following chapter:

      "Badger is going about making and baptizing converts, and
      leaves them on the common. He has no discipline nor
      articles of faith. He throws away the holy Sabbath,
      alleging that it is done away in Christ. He says that he
      is not called to preach law, but gospel; therefore he casts
      the law of God away. He says there is no divine authority
      for infant sprinkling; that if we take it from
      circumcision, it can have, like its prototype, but a
      partial application to human beings. He also teaches that
      it is right for sinners to pray; and has said that the
      clergy are the greatest evil that ever happened to New
      England, because they keep the people in gross ignorance,
      because they do not admit to their pulpits many Gospel
      ministers, and because they are always the first to cry out
      against Reformation.

      "'And when a soul engaged,
      Exhorts the young or aged,
      The clergy cry, enraged,
      They'll pull our churches down.'"

      How many such things the devil enables blind men to throw
      into the way of truth! but such is the power of Jesus'
      name, that no soldier of his cross is ever slain so long as
      he battles for the right.

      "What always grieved me most, was the deceitfulness of men,
      not their frank opposition, nor even honest violence. When
      I was present, nothing adverse would be said; but soon as I
      was absent, all these things would be heaped on the tender
      converts. Some, in sarcastic restlessness, said that if the
      people loved the Lord as well as they did Badger, heaven
      would be their surest inheritance. Others cried, 'a wolf in
      sheep's clothing;' but as crossing and mortifying as such
      things were, they did not move me, for I comprehended their
      origin, and had counted the cost before I entered the
      Gospel field. My hands were also upborne by the humble
      prayers of faithful ones. In defiance of all these things,
      Zion progressed, children within her gates were born, calls
      for preaching were continual, and doors of usefulness were
      daily opening.

      "My sister at this time, wife of Capt. P. Cogswell, was
      dangerously ill, and her thoughts turned upon her
      everlasting welfare. She conversed with me about dying,
      wept often when speaking of pure religion, and asked my
      prayers. She wondered often why I tarried so brief a time
      with her; but could she have seen my work before me as it
      was, and known the feelings of my heart, wonder could have
      had no place in her mind. My eldest brother, who came from
      Vermont to visit my sister, and another brother from
      Boston, whom I had not met for two years, who was on his
      way to Canada, met me at Gilmanton. In parting with them,
      the most vivid picture of past associations, my parents,
      youthful mates and sister, whom I had not seen for eight
      months, came before my mind; and after our separation, a
      sad and lonely feeling, which words cannot describe,
      lingered like a cloud upon my way as I contrasted my
      wandering condition among strangers, and my constant
      exposure to persecution, with the quiet homes my relatives
      enjoyed. I said to myself, Here I am, a poor child,
      wandering about the world among strangers, spending what
      little property I have, my bodily strength almost worn out
      in preaching, between two and three hundred miles from
      home; and whilst I am thus, they are crowned with the
      honors of this life, and no shaft of sectarian malice is
      ever hurled at them. In these meditations, though I
      profusely wept, my spirit gathered up its energies and
      found solace in the following stanzas:

      "But cease, my heart, no more complain,
        For Christ has said 'tis his command;
      Those who from pleasures here refrain,
        'I'm with them till the world shall end.'

      "Then shall I say to friends, Farewell!
        Whilst they may heap their golden toys,
      Christ's beauties to the world I'll tell,
        And seek for heaven's substantial joys.

      "And when the sun and moon shall fall,
        And Nature's beauties each decay,
      Christ's merits I will then extol,
        When all my tears are wiped away.

      "Transporting thought of joy sublime,
        This prompts my soul to spread His fame;
      Oh, come, my friends, unite in time,
        And love the glorious Saviour's name.

      "At Alton I preached Sunday, the 12th inst., baptized one
      young man; on the 17th inst. (Feb.), I baptized two others
      in the same place. Our meeting, we thought, was glorious,
      and as we repaired to the bank and beheld the pleasant
      stream gently pursuing its native channels, the streams of
      life did sweetly flow to cheer our drooping souls. The 22d,
      on a pleasant moonlit evening, I baptized another young
      man, after making a few remarks on the ready submission to
      this ordinance, as illustrated in the instances of the
      eunuch and the jailer.

      "March the 3d, 6th, 25th, and 27th, were seasons of
      baptism. I then returned to Alton, found the saints
      steadfast, again preached, and on April 4, baptized two
      others. I then returned to Gilmanton, baptized brother John
      Page,[18] Jr., on the 6th, and Joseph Cogswell on the 16th.
      The glory of God seemed to shine around us. Then returning
      to Alton, we again had happy seasons from the refreshing
      Fountain of Life. Two more were here baptized. Oh, what
      happy, what blissful seasons my soul has known in these
      earthly regions!--seasons that cannot be otherwise than had
      in everlasting remembrance by many. The trials, though
      great, are past; but the hope of meeting the loved ones in
      God's holy realms, fills my heart with lively joy."

About this time, letters from him appeared in the Herald of Gospel
Liberty, the first religious newspaper published on the continent of
America, and it is believed to have been the first in the world that was
exclusively devoted to religious ends. It was published in Portsmouth,
N. H., by Rev. E. Smith. It was ably edited, and was devoted to
Religious Liberty, and to the independent discussion of Religious Truth.

In Vol. VII, No. 12, he says:

      "With great pleasure I inform you that the God of love is
      reviving his work in Alton. I have been laboring there for
      several weeks past, in which time many of the backsliders
      in heart have returned to the stronghold; also several of
      the youth have become lovers of Jesus."

After speaking in detail of various conversions and baptisms, he says:

      "My heart is encouraged to spread the fame of our glorious
      and ascended Lord. O that professed followers of the Lamb
      would stand together. How should we then see the powers of
      darkness give way! How would the fog and smoke of papacy be
      dispersed. How would the adherents of Calvin be confounded,
      as the church of the First-born should appear terrible as
      an army with banners! O Lord, let thy kingdom come! Let thy
      glory arise! Let the whole earth be filled with thy

This is a fine specimen of his youthful enthusiasm and abandonment to
the work of the ministry. Any one can see a full presence of heart and
soul in all that he does, which lends to his pages the inspiration of
honest aims, earnest effort, a most confiding and fervent piety; nor can
we fail to see that the pure fire of religion burned quite constantly on
the altar of his active spirit. There was much of true divine life in
the kindling energies of his speech.

In Vol. VII, No. 14, in a letter dated Gilmanton, March 7, 1815, he
says, after speaking of the prosperity that pertained to Alton,
Barnstead, Pittsfield and Gilmanton, towns included in the voluntary
circuit of his labors:

      "Never since my labors in the Gospel commenced have I felt
      more like going 'forth weeping,' than for five weeks past.
      Feb. 22d, I baptized one, March 3d, one, March 6th,
      another. I pray the Lord may add daily to their numbers
      such as shall be saved."

                                  "GILMANTON, April 17, 1815.

      (P. 682.) "The news of the prosperity of Zion is the most
      delightful that ever saluted my ears. Therefore am I
      desirous, as the Psalmist said, to 'make known His deeds
      among the people,' that my brethren may share in the
      blessing, while 'angels rejoice over one sinner that
      repenteth.' Some who have been for weeks and months in a
      lukewarm state, have felt a resurrection in their minds;
      but what most delights me is that many of the once haughty
      youth have bowed the knee to Christ, and confessed him to
      be Lord, to the glory of God the Father. My satisfaction is
      also greatly increased to see them advance into duty and
      walk in Gospel order."

He touches in this letter very finely on the character of Mr. Page, whom
he baptized on the 6th, a school-mate with him, a man of excellent
character from his youth, well-informed and influential; though strictly
educated in the puritanical ideas of the society of Rev. J. Smith, he
came forward before a large assembly and acknowledged the unsatisfactory
character of the Calvinistic teachings; and the same day he submitted to
baptism from the hand of one whose excesses in boyhood he had himself
effectively rebuked.

Returning to his own manuscript I copy from a letter belonging to the
month of May, in which he speaks of spending the time up to the 10th at
Barnstead and Lower Gilmanton; of going to New Durham on the 10th, where
he met the church of God at the house of Mr. Wiley, and for the first
time met with Elder Wm. Buzzel, whom he found alive in the cause of
Reformation. In the afternoon he preached to them from John 10: 9. "I am
the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in
and out, and find pasture." He says:

      "The Lord's table was then set, and our hearts were solemn
      whilst we participated of the sacred symbols. We felt the
      holy presence of Him who is with his church to the end of
      the world. I then returned to Alton, the 11th went to
      Barnstead, where I was much edified in hearing aged
      Christians bring out the stores of their spiritual
      experience; the 12th rode to Elder Wilson's much fatigued,
      being exposed to storms by night and by day. Thanks to Him
      who preserves his creatures; and now that the winter is
      past, and nature is gay with flowers, I would welcome, in a
      spiritual sense, the sentiments of the Jewish wise man,
      'Lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; the
      flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of
      birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our
      land.' Oh, that 'at evening time'[19] light might increase
      until the shades of night are dispersed from the minds of
      the people.

      "The 13th, met the church at Mr. Wilson's, where a number
      were added; the 14th being Sunday, we met a large assembly
      of attentive people. At noon we repaired to the water for
      baptism; in the afternoon we administered the communion to
      a large number of brethren in Christ. It was a solemn time.
      Oh, that the youth who then heard might seek the Lord and
      make his Son their friend; and in this place may the works
      of evil, the doctrines of men, be destroyed, and a people
      zealous of good works be raised up. But with a heart
      overflowing with friendship to dying men, I should close
      this letter. Attend me, Virtue, through my youthful years!
      Oh, leave me not to the false joys of time, but to endless
      life direct my steps! May, 1815.

      "The 19th of May I attended meeting at Candia, was there
      invited to visit Deerfield, and gladly embraced the
      opportunity of speaking to that people. For the youth my
      mind was much drawn out; and though I had not the least
      idea when I came that I should tarry in Deerfield, the
      prospect of the good that might be done, induced me to make
      arrangements for staying in that place. On Friday evening I
      spoke at Rev. Peter Young's, on Sunday at the Baptist
      meeting-house, at which time many dated their particular
      convictions. On the way to my evening appointment, I was
      surprised by the call of a gentleman, who, very well
      dressed and of respectable appearance, came out of his
      house and moderately advanced toward me. I paused, and
      setting my eyes steadfastly upon him, soon observed that
      trembling had got hold of him. He said, 'Mr. Badger, I
      wish you to attend meeting at my Hall. My wife is very
      anxious to hear you,' and many other words of persuasive
      tendency. I was satisfied that he had a death wound,[20]
      which to me was a source of new courage; I went on to my
      appointment, held meetings every day through the week, and
      some were daily delivered from the reign of darkness and of
      sin. On Saturday I returned to the gentleman's Hall, which
      indeed has ever since been a place of public worship, and
      met a multitude of people. This meeting will be had in
      everlasting remembrance. The gentleman who had invited me,
      and several others, fell on their knees some time in the
      afternoon, and continued in prayer until about ten in the
      evening. The 'new song' was sung by many, and from that
      time, the gentleman, his family, and even premises, seemed
      converted, for his house is as a sacred Bethel."

The young minister, not knowing in his ardor and youth, that this human
world is an old, a tough, a wise, and a most lasting fact, that bends
but temporarily to the new influence which seems for the time to mould
its form, penned the conviction that soon the Angel of the Apocalypse
would fly through the midst of heaven proclaiming that "the kingdoms of
this world are become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ." Rapid
was the spread and victory of the word preached. Over one hundred were
converted in this town of Deerfield, and not unfrequently did he baptize
twelve and sixteen a day. One evening, as the moonlight shed its silver
upon the flowing stream, he baptized fourteen persons, who arose from
the pure element to walk in newness of life, in the purity of which the
graceful currents are evermore the eloquent symbol. He speaks of a
fashionable clergyman who honored them by his presence, and who, in
criticism, compared their appearance to a general training. "I
conjecture," says Mr. B., "we might have had too much fire for him;" and
finding an analogy in the fear which forest fires cause among certain of
its denizens, he proceeds in the same energetic narration, rejoicing
that there is a gentle and a searching fire by which sinners here may be
gloriously consumed. Jesus came to kindle such fire, whose vital heat is
love, whose aspiring flames are truths that both brighten the earth and
reflect upon the clouded canopy. He acknowledges the faithful
coöperation and labor of Rev. Peter Young, a resident of Deerfield. The
energy, decision and success, which belonged to the public life of Mr.
Badger, must, in the ordinary course of things, have called out much
opposition, particularly as he did not walk in time-hallowed routines,
but created, through the force of his character, and his peculiar
abilities, the popularity that attended him.

      "Notwithstanding," says Mr. B., "God has so wonderfully
      favored the people, the three characters who always
      persecute religion continued their old employment. Whenever
      you see persons engaged in persecuting religion, you will
      always find them one of the following classes, viz.: the
      superstitious, the wicked, or such of the very ignorant as
      do not comprehend what belongs to good manners. Here the
      superstitious cried delusion, the wicked threatened to
      unite in violent mob parties, and the exceedingly foolish
      were thrust forward as the instruments of the first-named
      class. Malevolent and silly reports were spread, but every
      attempt of this dissipated crew seemed to work against
      them, enough so as to fulfil the saying of the Psalmist,
      'His mischief shall return upon his own head, and his
      violent dealing shall come down upon his own pate;'[21]
      which leads one to think that it is unnecessary to take
      much pains to detect the wicked, because they very soon
      detect themselves. 'The heathen are sunk down in the pit
      that they made; in the net which they hid is their own foot
      taken.'[22] Solomon, who closely observed the events of the
      world, also had occasion to say, 'He that diggeth a pit
      shall fall into it.'"[23]

In Volume II, No. 14, of the Herald of Gospel Liberty, is a letter from
his pen, dated at Deerfield, June 28, 1815, which reports the success of
the reformation in that place, in a manner that so perfectly agrees with
the foregoing, I find no occasion to present any of its paragraphs. Not
to Deerfield was this reformation wholly confined, as he often visited
Nottingham, Lee, Newmarket, Stratham, Exeter, Kensington, Candia,
Allenstown, and other places. He says:--

      "In Nottingham many were made happy in the love of Christ.
      Here I baptized many. One afternoon, as a large assembly
      were gathered by the water-side, where eight persons
      received this ordinance, I observed three young men jump
      from the shore upon a rock that lay in the midst of the
      stream, and the spectacle of these unconverted young men
      standing upon a rock produced an association of ideas that
      led me to feel much for them; in praying I spoke of them,
      and was impressed to say that something solemn awaited
      them soon. In a few days one of the number, in much agony
      of mind, fell beneath a fatal disease, which deeply
      impressed the old and the young.

      "On the first day of the week, I had, by the request of
      several gentlemen, an appointment at the Square. A few
      individuals, being such as they were, strove to effect a
      disturbance, and in a glance you will perceive the
      ingenuity of their plot. They hired an old man who once had
      been a professed preacher at Dover, but who had been turned
      out for his debaucheries, to enter the meeting-house before
      me and to occupy the time with religious services. Although
      it is said that the children of this world are in their
      generation wiser than the children of light, it must be
      owned that they sometimes get defeated. Even from eight
      different towns the congregation was collected, the
      appointment being quite generally circulated. As I rode to
      the place, I heard the bell ring about ten o'clock, and
      hastening as quickly as possible to the Square, the people,
      who were coming from every direction, seeing me ride up,
      thronged about me; some of them, having been in the church,
      knew the attempted order of the day. One said, 'The devil
      is in the pulpit;' another said, 'The devil has taken the
      meeting-house before us, and you had best not go in.' I
      answered that if the devil was in the house I was bound to
      see him, and prevailed on the people to go in. As I entered
      the door, I saw the rough clergyman standing with his hymn
      book in his hand ready to open the meeting. As I ascended
      the stairs he began to read the hymn. I sat contented until
      he had finished the reading, then introducing myself to the
      assembly, inquired concerning the time when my neighbor's
      appointment was given out; the answers enabled me to say to
      him kindly, 'As my appointment is previous to yours I
      should esteem it a privilege to improve a part of the day.'
      He roughly responded, 'You can speak after I have done;'
      and then arose abruptly, placing himself in a position to
      pray as soon as the singers had concluded the music. During
      the repeat of the last line I asked of him the privilege of
      speaking a word to the people on the circumstances of the
      day, to which he answered, 'You must be short.' I then
      apprised the audience, that as my appointment was
      contravened by another, my meeting would in ten minutes
      begin in Mr. Nealey's orchard; and bidding the gentleman of
      the pulpit good morning, advanced to the pleasant grove
      about fifteen rods distant, accompanied by all the assembly
      save the clergyman and his five employers, to whom he read
      the notes he had written. On leaving the church I began to
      sing a popular hymn, in which I was joined by the choir who
      accompanied me; and after a hasty but comfortable
      arrangement of seats, with the azure heavens for my
      sounding-board, and a large box for my pulpit, I spoke to
      the hundreds before me from Gen. 49: 10. It was free air.
      Between thirty and forty spoke after the sermon, so that
      without a minute of vacation, the meeting continued five
      hours. The opposers were put to shame, and ever since has
      that meeting-house been free. Nottingham, therefore, by
      many events is kept in my memory."

Although there are several interesting letters written by him about this
time to his relatives and friends, letters that abound in good feeling,
in various incident, and in the devoted spirit of his mission, they
cannot be introduced without sacrificing the material that represents
his later years. Confining ourselves, therefore, to the shortest
statement of his public life, we will follow the direct path of his own
private journal. But in reading letters dictated in the freedom of the
heart, and alive with the inspiration of earnest purposes, one is
conscious of the resurrection of a former period; and with the aspect of
the olden leaf and the evangelical words upon them written, one seems to
drink, for the time, of the same fountain of life that supplied with
energy the self-sacrificing and the God-trusting ones. We know that
forms of thinking and modes of expression are greatly varied by the
succession of time, but we have yet to learn that the pure flame of the
spirit, through any medium and in any time, is other than one with the
latest excellence. Naturalness, energy, courage, persevering devotion to
the welfare of mankind, are qualities that, like gold retained, shine
equally brilliant through all the divisions of time, the same in 1815 as
in 1854.

August 22d, of this year, he announced, through the religious newspaper
at Portsmouth, a paper from which some extracts have been taken, his
intention of attending a general meeting in Bradford, Vt., the first
Sunday in September, and of going thence into the Province of Lower
Canada to visit his relatives, and to renew the friendship of former
times with the churches of his former care. To his father, in a letter
dated Newmarket, August 5th, he says:--

      "I am now preaching in Exeter, Stratham, Newmarket, Epping,
      Lee, Nottingham Square, Deerfield. Often from one to two
      thousand people attend at a meeting. I have baptized
      towards one hundred since last January, and the call for
      preaching is very general in this quarter."

Soon we hear of him on his appointed way. But before the month of August
is exhausted, we find him in Newmarket, Lee, Deerfield, Allenstown,
Barnstead, Ipsom and Gilmanton, preaching, and baptizing those that
believe. At Lee, where his congregation was gathered from different
towns, the good-night meeting lasted till 2 o'clock in the morning, none
wishing to depart. Through the pitiless storm he rides to Deerfield,
hears seven relate their religious history, whom he baptizes "according
to the usage and teaching of the New Testament;" on the next day
(Sunday) meets a large assembly at Allenstown, to whom he speaks and
administers baptism to a few believers; on Monday, at 3 o'clock P. M.,
addresses the community at Gilmanton; on Tuesday preaches and baptizes
at Mr. Proctor's, on Wednesday returns to Barnstead, and hears that
original and peculiarly gifted speaker, Elias Smith, of Portsmouth, N.
H.; and on Thursday starts for his northern home by the way of Vermont,
accompanied to the Province, by a young man from Farmington, N. H.,
whose noble history in after years has rendered his name a lasting
fragrance in the churches. Indeed the name of John L. Peavy, to those
who knew him, is but another word for honor, affection and faithfulness.

      "The first day, I arrived at Rumney, a distance of fifty
      miles, and attended meeting in the evening; on Friday
      arrived at Bradford, and on Saturday and Sunday attended
      the general meeting, which was a profitable time. Here my
      acquaintance with ministers and others was enlarged. On
      Monday, in company with Rev. J. Boody and brother Peavy, I
      continued my journey to the North, arriving at Wheelock on
      Tuesday, where I was persuaded to stop by a gentleman whose
      wife and child had just expired, to attend their funeral
      the next day. He had formerly been one of my hearers. We
      met a large number of mourners and friends, who appeared
      sincerely to mourn the loss of so virtuous a friend and
      neighbor. As the meeting was about to commence, Squire Bean
      presented me the text on which the afflicted husband wished
      me to speak, which was, 'As in Adam all die, even so in
      Christ shall all be made alive.' He was a Universalist, I
      think, in opinion, but with the request I cheerfully

      "On Thursday we rode into Canada, as far as to Stanstead,
      the residence of the good minister, Avery Moulton. On
      Friday we arrived at my father's, in Compton, where my
      spirit was melted down by the presence of dear friends,
      whom I had not seen in fifteen months. Our hearts were
      mingled in thankful prayer. When I left the Province it was
      convulsed by war. Now peace had resumed her reign. Seven
      days I tarried in this place and enjoyed a number of good
      meetings. On Monday we rode to Ascott, and had a happy
      meeting with friends that clung to me with affection in my
      early endeavors at preaching; on Tuesday we visited Oxford;
      on Wednesday we passed through Brompton and Windsor, to
      Shipton, where my excellent friend, J. L. Peavy, remained.
      Leaving an appointment to preach the next Sabbath at
      Shipton, I proceeded to Ringsey."

Truly might Mr. Badger, in his friendly letter formerly quoted, say,
"What is to come I know not." A new cloud is ready to rise upon his
path. The fortune of some men allows them a smooth and easy way; and
others, as by some causative genius in their being, are called to meet
great trials, and to plan their course against strong opposing forces.
Such was the life of the independent minister; though it flows as an
ample river through much calm and life-like scenery, its common-place is
frequently broken by cascades and cataracts. But let us read his own
natural statement:--

      "In the upper part of the town of Ringsey I attended a
      funeral. After meeting I rode nine miles to attend an
      appointment in the lower part of the town. Though the state
      of feeling was generally low, it was a solemn, refreshing
      time. Early on Friday morning as I was about to visit my
      friends in that place, a military officer sent a man,
      accompanied by a large brawny Indian, to make me a
      prisoner, and carry me to the county seat of justice, at
      the Three Rivers, for the offence I had committed against
      the government, in leaving the country in time of war. This
      was done although the Governor had issued proclamation that
      all who had thus left might return in peace. Prisoners of
      war in time of peace struck me as something new. I asked
      the person who made me a prisoner what authority he had for
      so doing; he answered, that he was an officer, and, without
      showing any proof of his right to act for the government,
      ordered me immediately to get into the birch canoe, and go
      with them by water. I candidly informed him that I should
      not start for the Rivers without authority, and that if I
      went in the _mode_ of conveyance proposed, under a guard of
      savages, it would be by force. Finding that I was not
      alarmed, and that he could not proceed, he then started for
      the residence of Capt. Moor, about one mile distant, to
      procure a warrant, and left the savage to guard me. I soon
      proposed to the red man that I would accompany him on my
      horse to Capt. Moor's; but fearing that I might ride by, he
      ran on foot with all speed. When I arrived, the captain had
      the warrant nearly made out, but, instead of finishing it,
      met me in a rage. He would not hear to a word of reason,
      nor to the advice of his friends. After I saw that I must
      go, I asked the privilege of riding my horse, at the same
      time offering to hire some of the keepers to go with me by
      land. The captain replied that he would not grant me the
      least favor, and the officer said I should go in the birch
      canoe. As I gave no assent to this method, I was seized by
      the shoulder and violently dragged out of the door, and
      beyond what language can paint was abused by the zealous
      officer. He boldly threatened my life, and accompanied by
      words of the coarsest profanity, said, 'Damn your blood, I
      will take your life as quick as I would a rattlesnake's.'
      After the officer had said this, I addressed the captain in
      these words: 'Sir I am much surprised that you should thus
      cause a prisoner to be abused, and that you should put me
      into the hands of a person at the head of a party of
      savages, who has threatened my life before your face.'
      Instead of acting on any idea of propriety suggested by me,
      he broke forth in swearing, saying that he himself would
      take my life. At this, his wife and son, being no longer
      able to refrain, spoke moderately in my behalf. As I had
      not given my consent to this uncivil mode of conveyance,
      the officer ordered a cord to be brought with which to bind
      me. He also asked for assistance, but none of the people
      present would lend any aid. Then uttering an Indian yell
      for some savages, whom I supposed he had placed in ambush,
      we soon saw them appear, some on the river and some on the
      land. This was a display of ferocity I in nowise had
      expected. Before they arrived, however, to do the will of
      the angry officer, Mr. Asa Bean, son of Col. John Bean,
      came forward in my behalf, and said I should not go with
      the savage crew, that he would be my keeper and agree that
      I should be at Windover that day, which was sixteen miles
      towards the Three Rivers. We then mounted our horses for
      the journey agreed upon, at which place we arrived about
      three o'clock, much fatigued. We put up at an inn, and paid
      our own charges. The mob party came in birch canoes on the

For a moment leaving the private journal of Mr. Badger, I would present
a letter written to Mr. J. L. Peavy at this very point where he met the
uncourteous band who had progressed by water. It will be remembered that
he had an appointment at Shipton on Sunday, and that the nature of his
circumstances with reference to his public engagement, as well as his
friendship for the young man he had introduced into his former field of
labor, required a statement of his condition. The letter is dated
Windover, L. C., 9 o'clock Friday evening, Sept. 15, 1815. It was
written at evening; and I would say that Mr. Badger was a man who
generally cast himself upon his _morning_ thoughts, the clear thoughts
that preceded the sunrise. Under any personal trouble, he would at
evening fall easily to sleep, and in the morning plan his way like a
Napoleon, wherever there was magnitude in the difficulties to be met.

      "MY DEAR BROTHER:--Your experience, I am satisfied, teaches
      you that persecution is the common lot of the true
      followers of Christ. This morning, by the order of Capt.
      Moor, of Ringsey, I was taken and ordered to march to the
      Three Rivers, guarded by a company of Indians, with the
      savage-like Robert McMullen at their head. But as I could
      not be reconciled to this company, and to this manner of
      conveyance (which was a birch canoe), I plainly told them
      that if I went in such a manner, it would be because I was
      obliged to do so. I was then very unhandsomely used. I was
      not only abused by words, but violent hands were laid on
      me. Then Mr. Asa Bean appeared in my behalf, and offered to
      be bound to deliver me at Mr. Stewart's, in Windover, the
      same day. I then had liberty to ride my horse, and about
      three o'clock we arrived here. I expect on the morrow to
      start for the Three Rivers. This is indeed a time of trial
      to me; but I can truly say, with St. Paul, that 'None of
      these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto
      me.' Hitherto the Lord has helped me, and Jesus says, 'Lo,
      I am with you, even unto the end of the world.' This
      promise to me now, whilst I am surrounded by a dozen of the
      merciless savages, is worth more than millions of worlds. I
      really feel that these afflictions will work for good in
      the end. Oh Lord, may they serve to humble me down, and to
      teach me my dependence on thee.

      "Capt. Moor does not pretend to accuse me of anything but
      of going into the States in time of war, as I have
      understood, and I am informed that his own children have
      done the same with approbation. But that which pains my
      heart the most, is to think that in the reformation at
      Ringsey only two years ago, this mad man made a profession
      of religion. Oh how many such characters wound the cause of
      our Master! Lord, pity them. I wish you to give yourself no
      uneasiness on my account. God Almighty will make my
      afflictions a blessing to somebody. It will be well for you
      to return to Ascott as soon as Wednesday, and there remain
      until you hear from me again. Be of good courage. I hope
      you will never have it to regret that you came into this
      region. Pray for your unworthy brother Joseph, that he may
      finish his course with joy. I am, if need be, ready to be
      offered; and, from several causes, I feel that the time of
      my departure is not far distant. Dear brother, I bid you a
      short farewell, hoping, if not in time, to meet you in pure
      realms of glory.

                                       "J. BADGER."

      "_John Langdon Peavy._"

The night passed away, and our prisoner arose on Saturday morning with a
plan in his brain, with which he calmly confronted the tawny band and
their leaders. Only about fifteen miles of the passage was completed,
and the remainder was never accomplished. He told them that he should
not go further unless they could get higher authority than what they
then possessed, and to secure this, offered to appear before the
officers of a military company whose tents were pitched on the other
side of the St. Francisway river.

      "Early on Saturday morning," says Mr. B., "we crossed the
      river into Drummondsville, and appeared before Commissary
      Morrison, where some of my company were greatly ashamed and
      humbled; when the Commissary, after hearing the facts, said
      unhesitatingly, 'Mr. Badger, go about your business.' It
      soon became a question to ascertain how much Capt. Moor had
      gained this time by his loyalty. Hiring an Indian to convey
      me across the river, Mr. Bean and myself returned to our
      starting-place at Ringsey, and riding fifteen miles on
      Sunday morning, I arrived to my appointment at Shipton,
      where I enjoyed a refreshing time from the presence of the

In the month of May, 1835, I remember, for the first time, to have
passed some five days at the house of Mr. B., who then edited a popular
and influential paper entitled "The Christian Palladium," at Union
Mills, Fulton Co., New York. The order into which all his arrangements
seemed naturally to fall, the business tact, that seemed with him a
spontaneous ability, were easily observable. In the familiar
conversation to which he was accustomed in the social circle of his own
home, I remember to have heard him say to a gentleman who inquired of
his daily habits, "I am a business man. I rise early, and hear the first
notes of the robin. I would give more for one morning hour, to think in,
than for all the rest of the day. I lay my plans in the morning; and, if
you will believe it, I never got into a difficulty yet, from which one
clear hour of thinking in the morning would not deliver me." And the
foregoing passage of his early history is but one illustration among
hundreds, showing that there was no egotism in the remark here quoted.
Passing some days at Shipton, Ascott and Compton, he again started for
New England, the scene of his former success, many of whose ministers
and churches had crowned him with verbal benedictions, and with hearty
written commendations; whose words are still alive on many carefully
preserved documents, as legible as when they were first penned. Not in
haste did he leave the Province, holding many meetings first; and
whether these animosities, growing out of the suspected character of his
British patriotism, wholly subsided or not, with the fruitless assault
of his enemies already related, I know not. An explicit document,
bearing date Jan. 8, 1818, signed by the citizens of Compton, shows that
"Joseph Badger, son of Major Peaslee Badger, of Compton, has a bright
and shining character as a Christian in the Province of Lower Canada,
where he has been known; and that always when he came into the town to
see his parents and friends, he came into the Province boldly and
preached publicly wherever he had occasion to preach;" which, in the
absence of other explanation, looks like an effort to meet the slander
of some enemy, who might have planted himself, like Capt. Moor, on
grounds of superabundant loyalty. Something bordering on the miraculous
shines through the following incident, related of a youth in Ascott:

      "A young man of the family of Mr. Bullard, who had been
      confined for six years, deprived of sight, strength, and
      the ability to speak aloud, continually bowed down, and so
      weak that he could not be shaven, had, three years after
      his debility, received from God a wonderful illumination,
      and in it the evidence that he had passed from death unto
      life; from which time his faith in the Son of God by
      degrees increased until he believed in the resurrection or
      restoration of the body to health by faith in Christ. A few
      days previous to our visiting him, he called in the elders
      of the church to pray over him, anointing him with oil, in
      the name of the Lord (James 5: 14, 15). As they prayed, a
      power was revealed, by which he arose, walked, and praised
      God. We held a meeting at the house, in which he arose and
      spoke freely, saying that his soul was troubled for the
      scarcity of faith on the earth. As we listened to that
      voice which had been silent for six years, we were
      surprised and startled by the reality. As he cast his
      languid eyes upon us, his face, like that of Moses, seemed
      to shine so brightly that scarcely one in the assembly
      could look upon him. This to me appeared as heavenly as
      anything I ever had witnessed; and his language and
      remarks, I think, exceeded anything I ever had heard from
      mortal lips. Our interview with him filled our souls with

Parting with his relatives in Compton, which from his fine affectional
nature was unavoidably trying, he, in company with the worthy young
minister who had accompanied him from New England, passed through
Stanstead and several other towns, inquiring as they went of the
prosperity of Zion, receiving also at times a cold reception from the
sectarian who had learned to love the Church only in the form of a sect;
he speaks most gratefully of the kind treatment they received from two
Methodist clergymen, of good meetings held on the way, at Cabot, at
Rumney, and other places. Leaving Mr. Peavy at the last-named town, he
passed on to Meredith on Friday, spoke to the people on Sunday and on
Monday evening; arrived on Tuesday at his native Gilmanton, from which
he again laid into order a new campaign against the reigning powers of

Without dwelling on the labors that immediately engaged his attention,
which for the most part pertain to a field already described, I offer a
few paragraphs for the month of December before opening the chapter for
1816. The variety of incident that blossomed on either side of his path
was evidently schooling the naturally sagacious mind of the young
missionary for wider usefulness and for higher position; and as no
scholar who has conquered a language can tell when he learned each rule
and word, but knows that his conquest numbers uncounted hours and
struggles, so he who arrives at the true knowledge of mankind, so as to
command a wisdom that shall be equal to every practical demand, cannot
say from what place or which events his ripened energy has flown; he
knows that his kingdom, like the broad-breasted river, dated back with
various preceding sources. These early experiences were victories
themselves; but they were also unconsciously the seeds of other

Mr. Badger was beautifully gifted with extemporaneous powers. There was
a charm in his voice, and a rich command of plain, apt, and elegant
language in his speaking, that, all in all, I never saw equalled by any
other man. His voice was soft and clear; and though not great in tone,
was exceedingly distinct, and often thrilling. There was music in his
discourse. Though the period of the labors here narrated is many years
previous to the writer's acquaintance, I am told by those who heard him
in 1816 and '17, that he possessed the same natural eloquence, the same
ease and attractive grace in speaking then, as was characteristic of his
public manner in later times. That such a man, both from natural
preference and association, should adopt extemporaneous preaching as his
favorite and only mode, is not strange; nor do we particularly wonder at
his avowed dislike of note-preaching, when we think of the lifeless
character of much of the sermonology that then passed for the Word of
Life. Accordingly, he said:

      "When I see men going forth avowedly to preach the Gospel
      of the grace of God, and substituting in its place the
      doctrines and commandments of men, I am grieved. How many
      have I met with in my travels who would stand up and pray
      that they might be assisted to bring something, new and
      old, out of the treasury, that the word might come from the
      heart, and reach the heart, and then take, not out of the
      'treasury,' but out of their postbags or pockets,
      spiritless notes, which they would read to the people. Oh,
      that men felt more as the Apostle did when he said,
      'Remember that by the space of three years, I have not
      ceased to warn every one of you, night and day, with
      tears;'[24] then they that bear the eternal word to men
      would be more clearly manifest to the conscience of each
      and all."

He also narrates the following for this month:

      "On Friday, the 8th, I rode to Mr. Rundle's, at Lee, where
      I held a meeting in the evening; Saturday to Newmarket,
      where I was comforted in visiting the saints; Sunday, held
      meeting at Mr. N. Gilman's, rode to Exeter in the evening,
      and spoke at Lieut. Thing's, which was a time of serious
      thought, and of weeping among the youth. I remember the
      kind treatment and the good spirit of this respectable
      family. On my return the next day to Newmarket, I met a
      young man whose appearance in every respect struck me as
      being a gentleman until he spoke. His first remark was a
      challenge to swap horses; and though my answers to his
      several bold and sportive remarks left him somewhat ashamed
      of his familiar assault upon a stranger, I felt sad to
      think of the way in which the young men of our land, who
      might be respectable and useful, destroy themselves, and
      dishonor their connections, by corrupting their own hearts
      with evil manners. The 12th inst., went to Brentwood and
      preached to an attentive assembly; the 13th, at Esq. M.'s,
      of Lee; the 14th, at Mr. Laton's, of Nottingham, to a full
      audience, from Ps. 89: 15: 'Blessed are the people that
      know the joyful sound.' Many spoke afterwards, whose words
      were as falling showers. The meeting lasted till about 12
      o'clock; and with the exception of a few North River
      gentlemen, whose behavior was not so modest and civil as it
      ought to have been, the minds of the people were seriously
      fixed on divine things. The 15th, at Mr. Hilton's, of Lee,
      I spoke from Luke 2: 11; the next day, as I arrived at
      Newmarket Plains, where my appointment was for the next
      first day, I heard that Mr. Richardson would preach in the
      evening. I went to hear him. His text was Isa. 61: 1, 2;
      which was so good that it was with difficulty that the
      speaker spoiled it by causing it to speak Calvinism, which
      seemed to have been his whole aim. After he had spoken two
      hours, several of us addressed the people, not on doctrine,
      but on the love of Christ in the heart, which soon caused a
      change in the atmosphere of the meeting. Dea. Chatman
      wished me to speak the next day, to which I consented,
      though my invitation to preach was from three of the
      committee. In the forenoon I spoke from Zech. 3: 9. 'Upon
      one stone shall be seven eyes.' I spoke of the stone as
      meaning Christ, and the seven eyes of intelligence that
      gave a comprehensive vision on every side, I represented by
      his character, which looks every way towards the
      satisfaction of human wants; also, in another sense, seven
      eyes were upon him, the eye of God, of Angels, of
      Patriarchs, of Prophets, of the Jewish nation, of Apostles,
      and of believers, all which disclose him as the Mediator,
      as the fit medium of divine blessing. In the afternoon Mr.
      R. began to speak from the words, 'I will make thee a
      sharp thrashing instrument,' and proceeded to prove
      election from the parable of the wheat and the tares;
      likewise from Gen. 3: 16, the sentence against the woman;
      but the people, in small parties of four and six, began to
      leave the house, being tired of hearing nothing over and
      over; even two of the committee could not stand it through.
      At the close I offered a few words, not on the discourse,
      but on practical things, and never did I see a meeting so
      unsatisfactory to the people. One person after meeting
      asked me if Mr. R. was not a deceiver. I told him that he
      could not be so considered, for one that has neither tact
      nor skill to deceive anybody is not entitled to so hard a
      name, whatever may be his errors.

      "The 19th, rode to Lee and baptized four happy converts;
      the 20th, rode to Stratham to attend a meeting at Mr.
      Brown's; the 21st, to Portsmouth; the 22d, started with
      Elias Smith for Boston; went as far as Greenland, where we
      parted, as I received an especial invitation to visit
      Farmington, N. H.; on the 23d, arrived there, and received
      a kind reception at the house of Mr. A. Peavy; held
      meetings on the 24th; 25th, held meeting at Chestnut Hill,
      Rochester; the 26th, at the Tenrod road, Farmington, where
      I spoke from Amos 4: 12: 'Prepare to meet thy God.' I
      continued in the town through the week, held meetings every
      evening, which I trust were useful to many. The 31st, which
      was the first day of the week, I met a large assembly, and
      in speaking the word of life, my spirit was greatly
      refreshed. Thus ends the year."

A controversial document, in which he answers the charge of one who
accused him of holding in too light a manner the authority of the
Sabbath, lies before me; also a few letters from his ministerial
coadjutors, that allude to the success of his labors in the same manner
that they are recorded in his own journal. Said one of the ministers,
who officiated at his ordination, under date of April 15, 1815: "I have
often heard of you since we last met, and it has rejoiced me to hear
that the work of God is going on in the towns where you have been
preaching, and I have been in hopes to have received a letter from you
before this." This is the tone of the addresses he received. One is
reminded of the itineracy of St. Paul, as he follows the course of his
labors, of the piety, self-sacrifice, bold energy, tender sympathy, and
withal, the shrewd and masterly management which belonged to that
Gentile missionary, who, unsalaried by sect, went out to preach an
unsectarian religion, not the religion of dogma, but of the heart and
the life. Each had to encounter the scorn of the formalist, of the vain
boaster of worldly wisdom, and each had to plead the catholicity and the
spirituality of the Christian religion against the stern bigot and the
creed-loving sectary.



Renewing his zeal in the reflections of the opening year, Mr. Badger
continued to be active in the field according to his ability,
intellectual, moral, and physical. He acted up to his faith. He was no
idle dreamer, but was a lover and an inspirer of lively times. The
variety _in_ him naturally called up variety in his outward life. People
everywhere are agreed in preferring the man who throws himself into the
circle of human action and living interests, honoring always the
courageous actor whose sword and helmet are bright with use; and they
are equally unanimous in rejecting the isolated ones, who would be great
through separation from their fellows. Having experienced the summer
bloom of the religious sentiment in his own heart, he casts himself upon
the same sacred fire in which his own sins were consumed, and carries
the flame to others.

This was indeed the most popular way of taking hold of the religious
interest, for it is feeling that proves contagious, and thought immersed
in feeling. Intellectual abstraction, even of the highest order, never
was very popular, and never can be, unless mankind should arrive at some
age when philosophical intellect shall be general--an age which, in all
probability, is at least as far off as the millennium; whilst it is
equally evident, that the man whose thoughts have an eye toward
practical results, and toward the living heart of the active millions,
is the one whom the people understand, and the one whom they willingly

In January of this year, Mr. Badger continued to hold meetings in
several towns, often from one to three in number per day, and as usual
witnessed the effects of his labors. He speaks of being present at the
death of Dr. Gray, a man of deistical principles, and whose life had
been wicked. He visited him on Sunday, and remained till his death on
Monday evening; and never did he witness more earnest prayers and
pitiful expressions of grief than here by the bedside of the dying
unbeliever, whose "philosophical fabrics all seemed to fail him in the
trying hour;" on the 18th he presided at his funeral, and endeavored to
console his disconsolate widow, and his "four weeping orphans."
"Strange," says Mr. B., "that souls will live without faith, and strange
that they will neglect the salvation of their souls to the last earthly
day." In the early part of this month he spoke to an assembly from the
merciful plea of the dresser of the vineyard, Luke 13: 18: "Let it alone
this year also;" and some eight or ten were baptized this month. At
Rochester, N. H., one of his "small friends," as he styles him,
attempted to draw away the audience by the alarm of fire, crying to the
utmost of his voice; but the more sacred fire of the speaker and of the
meeting proved the stronger attraction, so that no essential disturbance

We might take the month of February as a sample of the manner in which
his days and nights were used. In glancing over the dates of his
appointments, the following figures stand out for this month: they were
on the 1st, 2d, 3d, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th,
13th, 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th, 21st, 22d, 23d, 24th,
25th, 26th, and the remaining two days, which were passed at Lee, the
place of his last appointment, are the only ones in which there is no
record either of an appointment to preach or of time spent in visiting
the sick. On his way from Farmington to Newmarket, he speaks of stopping
at Capt. Richardson's tavern, at Durham, where he saw many strangers,
and heard a conversation on political topics between two distinguished
gentlemen, a conversation that ran quite high, as it just preceded the

      "I thought," says Mr. B., "that they placed Mr. Plummer on
      a very low seat, much lower, indeed, than their
      fellow-citizens placed him a few days after; and they
      extolled federalism exceedingly high. Capt. T. spoke out
      with an air of consequence, and said: 'These runabout
      preachers, I find, are continually propagating the devilish
      doctrines of democracy.' 'O yes,' replied Col. R., 'that is
      their business.' I was indeed sorry for them. They little
      supposed that I was one of the persons they had spoken of,
      who, unlike themselves, had faith in the ability, good
      sense and integrity of mankind. I then rode to Lee, where I
      breathed a different atmosphere in the society of saints.

      "The 1st and 2d of March I stayed at Newmarket; the 3d,
      held meeting at Mr. Sanborn's, of Epping; the 4th, at
      Newmarket, I was taken sick with the measles; the 5th, rode
      to Lee and preached a funeral sermon, also baptized one;
      the 6th, attended meeting in the evening at Nottingham;
      the 7th, through much infirmity, arrived at Deerfield and
      preached at the house of J. Hilton, where I received the
      kindest attentions during my severe sickness of one week.
      May their generosity be largely rewarded! As soon as I was
      able to ride, I started for Farmington, where I arrived on
      the 17th. After tarrying a few days, I went to Middleton
      and Brookfield for the first time. At the latter place, my
      first meeting was held on the 24th, at which time several
      afterwards dated their convictions. The 26th, held meeting
      at Middleton Corner. It was a solemn time. That night I
      could not sleep, as the people of Brookfield were so much
      in my heart and mind. The 28th, I attended the ordination
      of J. L. Peavy, at Farmington, and heard an appropriate
      sermon from Rev. Elias Smith, of Portsmouth. It was a
      glorious time."

A sickness like the one here narrated would in these days have made a
greater break in the journal of a month than it did with this hardy
young minister. His body does not rest at the mere assault of disease,
but moves on till the heavier blows fall; then surrenders but a week--is
up again and doing as ever. Though his command of Greek and Latin may
have been incomparably less than those who have passed their years in
careful study, it would terrify the mass of graduates to attempt his

The month of April was busily and successfully employed, each day being
occupied with an appointment to preach, or with visiting from house to
house, in which he carried a countenance of calm and cheerful light to
all he met. Sometimes three meetings a day was his order of action. At
Wakefield he spoke on the 28th to hundreds of attentive hearers, among
whom was a respectable young woman, Miss Lusena Guage, and who within
seventeen hours of the time of his public address, departed this life; a
circumstance that impressed itself on all, from the fact that the
speaker that day had uttered, almost in an oracular manner, that the
whole of his assembly would never meet him again. In Brookfield, he
ended this month in the same evangelical spirit that brightened all his
arduous labor, thanking God for what he had seen among the people.

As May unfolded its numberless gems, it found him striving to unfold the
spiritual life that lay in his own soul, and that existed, perhaps, in a
wintry state, in the souls of others. The sun's increasing light and
warmth invite nature to come out; whereupon, in a million-fold dress she
stands arrayed before the celestial King. This is so, because the sun is
to life a friend; and is it otherwise when any mind uncommonly filled
with the Maker's light and love sheds itself vertically on other minds?
The effects are indeed similar. Now and then a late plant or an
obstinate root, that seems to be indifferent to the far-sent beam, at
last buds and sprouts afresh. In this May month, he speaks of an humble
twenty who met at Brookfield, N. H., and "agreed to acknowledge
themselves a little company of CHRISTIANS, or DISCIPLES, and to lay
aside all unscriptural names, doctrines and masters for the name of
Christ, his doctrine and laws;" which, he says, was a glad day to many.
"The converts were happy, the saints encouraged, the mourners comforted.
The Bible alone was their creed." He also adds:

      "This day and this night were solemn to me. One young man,
      by the name of L. Whitehouse, by reputation the wickedest
      young man in town, one who had often wished me out of the
      place, one who had despised the saints, came running to me,
      his face suffused with tears, and said: 'Mr. Badger, can
      you pray for such a man as I am?' I told him that I could.
      He was in deep distress. After a time he returned home. At
      midnight I was aroused from my slumbers by the message that
      Mr. W. was dying, and that he wished to see me very much.
      Leaving my room and walking through the darkness of night
      to visit one who had despised both me and my counsels, I
      heard him say as I entered the house where he lay, 'I am
      dying; and the worst of all that troubles me is that I am
      unprepared to meet God.' Several hours I passed with him;
      and the more of such scenes I witness, the more I am struck
      with the folly of men in neglecting salvation in prosperity
      and health.

      "Arriving at Farmington on the 5th, at L. Peavy's I fell in
      company with Dr. Hammond, who soon introduced conversation
      on the subject of religion. He stood on the old doctrine of
      fatalism, and was what every man ought to be who honestly
      plants himself on this ground, a Universalist. After he had
      labored hard (for one must labor hard to support a false
      doctrine, whilst the truth can support itself and all who
      believe it,) to prove his theory, I said to him: 'Sir,
      although you claim to make God a good and merciful being,
      you make him inconsistent. You prove that he has decreed
      one thing and commanded another. You allege that he
      ordained all things. Of course he has ordained them right.
      But, Sir, are you able to say that all the wars, blasphemy,
      drunkenness, political and religious contention we have on
      earth, proceed from your good God?' 'Certainly' responded
      he; 'it is all for some end. Mortals must experience a
      degree of misery, to prepare them for happiness. It is
      best,' continued he, 'to have different beliefs and sects
      in the world, and what you term religion is merely impulse
      and imagination, which is good so far as it tends to good
      among men. The fear of hell which you hold up, moves many
      to reform, and I think it would not be so well if all men
      were as I am.' In the last idea I acquiesced. I told him
      that I never had known the opinions he avowed to work the
      reformation of any man; that I had not yet met a
      Christ-like and prayerful person of those views, and that I
      had known them to be accompanied by much profanity,
      professed in the grog-shop, and resorted to by the vilifier
      of practical godliness as a shelter against the solemn
      claims of Christ upon the heart. I said to him that truth
      bears good fruits, and that I was sorry that he should
      labor so hard to prove a doctrine of whose results he had
      so poor an opinion. Here our conversation closed.

      "6th, I returned to Brookfield; just before I arrived at
      Middleton Corner I saw a funeral procession slowly moving
      toward the grave, and being so near the funeral I had
      attended when going down, it made a solemn impression on my
      mind. I said, Oh, may I be prepared for a similar scene!
      The 8th, after attending two meetings, rode to Wolfborough,
      where I arrived in the evening, much fatigued; the 9th,
      spoke for the first time to the people at Smith's Bridge;
      the 10th, returned to Brookfield; the 12th, spoke to the
      people from Job 20: 17, and though the rain, which fell
      very fast, prevented hundreds from attending, we had a very
      good time. At 7 o'clock I attended meeting at Wakefield,
      and as I visited from house to house on the 13th, I
      remember to have asked a lady whether she enjoyed the
      religion of Jesus, to which she replied, 'I do not intend
      to be a hypocrite;' I thought her purpose a good one,
      though her courtesy might have been a little improved. I
      was every where else kindly received. The 18th, 19th, 20th,
      23d, 26th, and 28th, had good and effective meetings, the
      last appointment being at Epping, where I found the people
      low in the enjoyment of vital religion, and some who had by
      experience known the life and power of God, settled down
      upon their lees, or what, in Calvinistic phraseology, they
      would call the doctrines of grace. Grace then became my
      theme. I went so far as to say that not only all men, but
      beasts, birds, and fishes, were in a state of grace or
      favor with God, by which they are daily sustained. What oak
      or rose-bush can grow without the Creator's kindness? The
      30th I spoke from Ps. 117: 7, 'Return unto thy rest, oh, my
      soul; for the Lord has dealt bountifully with thee.' Rev.
      N. Piper was present, and with many others, spoke, whilst
      the glory of God seemed to shine in our midst. The 31st I
      was sick at Mr. B.'s, whose kindness I can never forget.
      The Lord God alone can know whether I live through another
      month. If I do, oh, help me to live it more to thy glory
      than I have lived any month of my life."

No day of the month of June passed without an appointment to preach, as
a glance at the journal shows; and among the travels recorded, is a
journey to Providence, Rhode Island. At Canterbury, on his way, he
speaks for the first time of hearing Elder Mark Fernald preach, June
10th, and on the 11th of hearing Elder Benj. Taylor, who addressed the
meeting at Canterbury, fourteen ministers and many others being present.
He says:

      "The 16th, I spoke at the State House, Providence, R. I.,
      and had a good time in preaching and in breaking of bread.
      The 17th, I rode to Boston, where I also spent the greater
      part of the 18th, visiting the Museum, which made a strong
      impression on my mind, and conversing with Mr. Elias Smith,
      with whom I put up. In the evening I enjoyed a very good
      time at Salem. The 23d, I went to hear Mr. Burgus, who
      spoke from Acts 8: 22, in which he stated that prior to
      prayer or any other duty, men must feel the love of God;
      also, that all who denied that Jesus Christ had come in the
      flesh, were false teachers, as are all those who regard him
      only as a man; for, said he, Christ is the Eternal God:
      there is none above him. When his afternoon meeting was
      closed, I arose and told the people I had two remarks to
      make on the sermon delivered in the morning, one in regard
      to prayer, the other in regard to Christ. You remember, I
      said to them, that the love of God was enjoined as
      preceding every acceptable prayer. I ask you to compare
      this statement with the order of facts contained in the
      gentleman's text, which are, 1. Repentance; 2. Prayer; 3.
      Forgiveness. 'Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and
      pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be
      forgiven thee.' As none contend that the enjoyment of the
      love of God precedes the forgiveness of sins, I am amazed
      at so bold a contradiction of the passage on which the
      sermon was professedly founded. I then noticed Christ,
      informing the people that I knew not the sect who held him
      to be merely a man, for who does not know that the most
      ultra of the Socinian school place him above all men in the
      divinity of his spiritual endowments? and what class, I
      inquired, could more plainly deny Christ than he had been
      denied a short time previous, by the statement that he is
      the Eternal God? I stated that I believed him to be the
      Son of God, the great Mediatorial Centre of grace to
      mortals, and that he has received all power in heaven and
      on earth. If he is the Father, he cannot be the Son; and if
      the plain declarations of the New Testament are to be
      relied on, it is certain that he was dependent on God, and
      that he knew One greater than himself, to whom he offered
      worship, and of whom he gave a new revelation.[25] About
      this time the clergyman saw fit to leave without offering
      any public remarks. I continued my address. At the close,
      many spoke of the love of Christ; and though we were
      deprived of the presence of the clergyman, we had, I think,
      the presence of God, which was far preferable. The 30th,
      met an attentive multitude at T. Burley's barn, to whom I
      spoke in the forenoon, from Ps. 11: 12, and in the
      afternoon from Eph. 4: 5, on baptism. Many spoke freely. We
      then retired to a pleasant water near by, where, with great
      satisfaction, I baptized six happy youth. Here closes one
      month more. O God, I pray thee to prepare me for all that
      may await me in the next."

July, 1816. We read of his being at Brookfield on the 1st, of his
attending the funeral obsequies of Mr. L. J. Hutchins, at Wakefield, on
the 2d, and of his spending the month industriously in the several
places of his accustomed labor. Not far from this time there was in his
mind a temporary conviction that he would select Providence, R. I., for
his permanent residence, as he was anxious to concentrate his labors in
one field, and no longer extend them over so wide a surface. Bearing
date a few weeks later is a letter from Rev. Benj. Taylor, of Taunton,
Mass., congratulating him on the change of his condition from single to
married life, and earnestly inviting him to make the city of Providence
his stand, assuring him that the condition of about thirteen churches
within an area of forty miles called for his influence, ability, and
zeal in their midst. Though Providence had the preference in his mind
over the several places that occupied his attention as a permanent home,
circumstances seemed to have ordained a different lot. He never became a
citizen of that beautiful city.

July the 17th he was married to Miss Mary Jane Peavy, of Farmington, New
Hampshire, daughter of Capt. Anthony Peavy, of that town. The lady that
now became his companion in the cares, hopes, and sorrows of life, was
of the tender age of eighteen; and though doubtless inexperienced in the
trials that belong to the ministerial sphere, having been herself most
carefully and tenderly brought up in one of the best of New England
families, her devotion to her husband, and to the cause in which he was
engaged, during the brief period of her life, was ever worthy of the
noblest praise. All the letters and documents of these few years
indicate a mutual depth of sentiment and devotional regard. So
paramount, however, was the cause of the ministry in Mr. Badger's mind,
that the happy and important change recorded of his social relations
made no essential vacancy in the accustomed duties of his profession.
The days and evenings as they passed were continually laden with his
sermons and prayers.

In a letter to his brother, dated July 17th, he writes of the gloomy
prospects of the husbandman throughout that country, saying, "We have
been afflicted with war and with pestilence, and now we are threatened
with famine, which is, if possible, a greater evil. I hope the people
may learn righteousness whilst these various judgments are abroad in the

When speaking of the funeral of Mr. Hutchins, he says, "There was indeed
a great solemnity in this scene. The widow's heart was a fountain of
sorrow. The sons wept much, and on the face of one of the daughters sat
the serene impress of eternity, whilst all the connections and friends
seemed to mourn the loss of a Christian, a patriot, and a worthy member
of the community. Several hours before the meeting, I spent in a
pleasant grove; my retired moments, which were very solemn, were passed
in meditation, prayer, and weeping; at the close of the services the
afflicted family manifested to me an uncommon degree of friendship.
Though very unwell, I rode to Middleton that day." In speaking of his
trials, at the close of this July journal, he says: "It is well for
mankind that they know not what the future conceals, lest they might
shrink before the approaching conflict. I found in all my trials God's
grace sufficient for me. 'In me ye shall have peace,' and to God I make
my prayer that he would save me from whatever is unlike himself. 'Make
me even as one of thy hired servants.'" There is an inward living
current of faith flowing through his mind; nor were there any crises in
his life, nor were there any trying positions into which the force of
circumstances brought him, that, carefully examined, are found to be
unvisited and unrefreshed by this living water of life in his soul. Like
the mystic rock the Hebrew prophet smote, his heart flows out in living

      August, 1816. "From the 1st to the 20th my time was spent
      in Brookfield, Middleton, Farmington, attending to reading,
      writing, preaching, and visiting from house to house. The
      20th, had a good and solemn time at Brookfield; being ready
      to start for R. I., after having a public meeting we held a
      conference, in which brother Joseph Gooding, in an
      animating manner, told his religious experience, and
      requested baptism, which I administered at evening, whilst
      it seemed as though the heavens were opened and the Spirit
      descended upon the assembly. We then walked for a half a
      mile, singing the praise of God. After changing my dress, I
      rode to the residence of John Chamberlain, Esq., where I
      was kindly received, and where I found the company of Mr.
      F. Cogswell, of Gilmanton, whose visits among his brethren
      were like the coming of Titus in the days of apostolical
      truth and religious simplicity. The 21st, we rode to
      Farmington and enjoyed a happy meeting; the 22d, being
      ready to start on a journey to the South, I asked my
      affectionate companion which she would prefer me to
      do,--enter into business, accumulate property, and be
      respectable in the world, or do the will of the Lord in
      going forth to preach the Gospel, leaving her at home, and
      subjecting ourselves to be poor in this world all our days.
      After a moment's reflection, she burst into a flood of
      tears, and said, 'I hope you will do the Lord's will,
      whatever else may happen.' We had a weeping time. The next
      morning I arose early and bade all my friends an
      affectionate farewell, not expecting to see them again for
      several weeks. Here my trial was very great. I had known
      what it was to forsake father and mother, brother and
      sister, houses and homes for Christ's sake, but in leaving
      one who was so nearly a part of my own life, I found that
      it exceeded all other trials belonging to the separation of
      friends. The 24th I went to Deerfield to attend a general
      meeting. I was there also on the 25th. The 26th it was
      continued at Candia, and a blessing seemed to attend it.
      The 27th and 28th, attended the Ministers' Conference at
      Candia. The 29th, after the close of conference, I heard
      the Rev. Elias Smith preach at Deerfield, N. H. From
      several considerations, I was induced to postpone my
      journey to the South, and, in company with Mr. E. Plan,
      returned to Rochester and Farmington."

      Sept. 1816. "From the 1st to the 10th I passed at
      Farmington, holding several meetings: the 11th, went to
      Gilmanton; the 13th, in company with Mr. Cogswell, started
      for the province of Canada, to visit our relatives, and to
      seek the welfare of Zion. The 14th, arrived at the house of
      my eldest brother, in Wheelock, Vt., a distance of 112
      miles; on Tuesday following, arrived at Danville, held
      meeting at the Court House, where, favored by the presence
      of a good assembly and six ministers of the Gospel, I found
      liberty in speaking the living word. Our minds were
      mutually refreshed. On Wednesday, held meeting in the north
      part of the town, and at Mr. Wicker's in the evening, where
      I was amazed to find Mrs. W. happy and in health, as she
      had been sick for three years, and had, according to the
      testimony of herself and friends, been miraculously
      restored a few days before my arrival. Two years previous I
      had visited her in her illness, which served to increase my
      surprise at her present condition, induced, as I was told,
      by simple compliance in faith with the direction of the
      Apostle James 5: 14, 15. On Sunday, at Compton, we enjoyed
      an excellent meeting with old friends, relatives, and
      acquaintances, and on Monday evening rode to Ascott to
      visit a company of Christians who had formerly been noted
      for piety and engagedness, but were now the subjects of
      delusion. Abundantly had they been blessed of God; but
      instead of learning humility, they appeared to build
      themselves up in the spirit of self-righteousness. One whom
      they styled Apostle and Prophet was to them the highest
      authority, equal to anything in the Holy Scripture. _He_
      had revelations concerning all the business to be done by
      his followers; also his pretended illumination extended to
      marriages and to the intercourse of the sexes, and when his
      _ipse dixit_ was given on these points, immorality was
      unblushingly practised. Pretending to have personal
      interviews with angels he had six followers, who, at his
      command, would fall upon their knees, lie prostrate upon
      the floor, or walk in a pretended labor for souls.
      Sometimes he kept them walking for several days and nights
      without eating or sleeping, when they would frequently
      faint and fall upon the floor. They often screamed, howled,
      and barked, making various strange noises, and bending
      themselves up into many shapes. They most tenaciously held
      that they were the only true church on earth, and that no
      person out of their pale was capable of giving them the
      least instruction. Like all the fanatics I ever saw, they
      evinced great hatred and spite when opposed, and sometimes
      they were full of the spirit of mocking. As I had known
      them when they were respectable young people, and had
      enjoyed with them the best of Christian fellowship, I could
      but deeply mourn over the delusion in which they were lost.
      After spending eighteen hours with them, I bore the most
      decided testimony I could against their sentiments and
      procedure. How many are carried away by every wind of
      doctrine, and allow the pure religion of Jesus, with which
      they begin, to degenerate into an alloy of earth and
      passion! Ever may I be kept in the Mediator, where I shall
      be permanent and uncontrolled by the wild extremes of the
      age. The week following I spent at Compton, holding
      meetings in different parts of the town. On Sunday, the
      29th, the assembly was large, and we had a weeping time, as
      I bade them farewell in the name of Him in whom is our hope
      and love; and on Monday visited from house to house. Being
      ready to depart on the morrow, and thinking that it was the
      last time I should repose under my father's roof, my
      thoughts and feelings were deeply solemn, as I looked out
      upon the world-wide field of my future labors. My very
      heart was pained, and the night passed away in almost
      entire sleeplessness. Here closes the month, and in
      feelings of the greatest solemnity."

      (Oct. 1816. Letter to his father. Montpelier, Vt., Oct. 12,
      1816.) "Dear Father,--With pleasure I improve a few moments
      in writing to you, that you may be informed of my good
      health, and my agreeable visit at Stanstead, Wheelock and
      Danville. I preached the next Sunday after I left home, at
      Danville Court House, and in the evening at Major
      Morrill's. On Monday I came to this town, and held a
      meeting at the Hall of Esquire Snow; in this place and
      Calace I have held meetings all through the week. Last
      Thursday I attended the election. After the Governor was
      chosen, the ministers of all denominations were invited to
      his apartment, where all the choicest kinds of drinks were
      placed before them, and a rich dinner was prepared. Gov. J.
      Galusha was chosen by a very great majority. He is an
      agreeable man, and apparently a real Christian. His conduct
      through the day excited the admiration of the spectators,
      and it manifested, I think, the spirit of true patriotism
      and of sound Christianity. I have an appointment here
      to-morrow and expect that some will be baptized. We intend
      to start for N. H. on Monday. I am in great haste. Give my
      love to Mother, Thomas, Hannah and all my friends. God
      bless you all with life eternal. Farewell.

                              "JOSEPH BADGER."

      "_Maj. Peaslee Badger._"

Resuming his journal we find the following on this month. After meeting
a large assembly at Danville, on Sunday, 13th, and administering baptism
as intimated in his letter, he returned to his home at Farmington, N.
H., the 16th, where he resumed his ministerial labor. He speaks of his
appointments in different places as being to his own spirit refreshing;
and of the sickness of his wife, and of outward trials and burdens as
being great. His fine and sensitive nature, with all its composure and
heroism, was alive to the influence of surrounding circumstances. Great
and trying must have been the difficulties into which his position in
the world at times must have brought him. These, however, only proved
the strength and competency of the man. He never bowed his manly head in
despair. He says, "Amidst all my conflict, in my retired moments I find
consolation in trusting in God and in hoping for better days; and before
the year shall end, O God, may I be allowed to see great displays of thy
power." His clouds were always colored in part with the sun's rays. In a
letter to his wife, dated Gilmanton, Oct. 31, he states the cause which
commanded all the faculties of his mind:--

      "As I am so far on my journey I think it best to continue
      it. Our parting at this time is no less disagreeable to me
      than to yourself. If I were to return home, the cross and
      the self-denial of our separation would not be diminished.
      We must learn to forsake all for our dear Redeemer's cause.
      It is not, dear Mary, to please myself or others that I
      leave you. It is wholly for the benefit of mankind, and for
      the promotion of the cause of Christ. In a few weeks, if
      the Lord will, I shall return to your fond embraces. Be
      composed and reconciled to my absence, and never utter a
      murmuring sigh at the will of Heaven."

The journey he was about to take through the States of New Hampshire,
Vermont, and New York, led to the selection of the fruitful and pleasant
region of the county of Munroe,[26] in the latter State, as his
permanent home, a region of country which in conversation he frequently
styled "_the heart of the world_."

November, 1816, leaving Gilmanton on the 2d, and passing through the
towns, Salisbury, New Andover, Springfield, Newport, Clairmont, N. H.;
through Weathersfield, Cavendish, Ludlow, Middleton, Poultney and
Clarendon, Vt.; also passing through Granville, Hartford, Kingsbury,
Saratoga, Milton, N. Y., he arrived on the 5th at Galway, where he met a
kind reception from many who, like himself, stood on the common faith of
one God the Father, one Christ the Mediator, one creed and platform of
faith and church polity, the Holy Scriptures of both Testaments, and one
common freedom of interpretation and right of private judgment. Here he
addressed the people on the evening of the 5th, and rode to Ballston on
the 6th, in which place and in adjoining towns, a great reformation had
occurred under the public improvement of a very worthy female speaker,
by the name of Nancy Gove. He gave to this community one discourse the
evening of his arrival. On the 7th he was greatly delighted to meet his
old friend and father in Israel, A. Moulton, from the Province, with
whom, in his early years, he says, "I had taken sweet counsel in a
strange land." Now he again heard his voice in the public assembly, on
the same themes as when, in his youthful days, he spoke with so much
feeling to his sensitive heart. In Amsterdam, a town of some prominence,
in old Montgomery County, he preached to the people on the 9th and 10th,
and carried the resurrection light of Christian consolation into the
dwelling of Mr. Green, whose guest he was, and whose companion in life
was wasting away with consumption. He had a fine faculty to light up a
house of sorrow and mourning with hope and cheerfulness. At Milton,
Ballston Springs, Charleston, and Canajoharie, he gave sermons; on what
topics his private journal does not record, but to those who know his
sagacious skill in adapting his subjects and discussions to the
assemblies he met, no evidence will be needed to convince them that for
the occasion and place they were happily chosen.

Parting with Mr. Thompson and family on the 18th, and passing through
several townships, as Minden, Warren, Litchfield and Paris, he arrived
at Clinton, Madison County, N. Y., where he spoke on the evening of the
19th. Continuing his journey through several towns he arrived on the
21st at Brutus, Onondaga County, N. Y., and addressed the inhabitants in
the evening of that and of the following day. He speaks of having there
met Rev. Elijah Shaw, a man whose labors were then and afterwards
greatly successful in leading the people into the inward experience of
the vital principles of the Christian religion. Parting with these
friends, in company with Mr. Moulton, he visited what was then the
village of Auburn, and crossing the lake on a bridge, which he describes
as a mile and a quarter in length, came into Junius, and reposed at
night in the "handsome village," as he terms it, of Phelps; on the 26th
he rode to Farmington, and there saw what in those days were considered
the "famous Sulphur Springs," which he describes as a stream running
rapidly out of the side of a small hill, in temperature about milk-warm,
in smell and medical quality of the nature of sulphur; the waters were
clear, and over the current a light cloud of vapor continually arose. I
find that Mr. Badger, whenever his eye is arrested by a scene in nature,
is sure to group together, in few words, all the essential qualities,
and nothing redundant or expletive ever appears in his descriptions,
which is nearly always the reverse with persons of unsubjected
imaginations. He saw nature quietly and truthfully. The journal of this
month closes with the account of several meetings held in Pittsford,
since named Henrietta,[27] which was the centre of his early labors in
this region of country.

The month of December was assiduously employed in and about the region
last mentioned. On the 1st, which was Sunday, he addressed a large
assembly for the space of two hours, and at evening, in another part of
the town, he spoke an hour and thirty-five minutes to a full house, a
considerable number of whom were members of the Presbyterian society.
From these meetings several of the people were accustomed to follow him
to his lodgings and spend hours in conversation. His personal influence
had a power to charm the people; and the statements of scores who still
survive him, agree that Mr. Badger's influence as a speaker in those
early years was, in this region of country, without a parallel.
Communities were carried away by it. Opposition to his doctrine availed
little in arresting the popular tide that moved at the lead of his will
and word. "In those years," said an aged professional man, to the writer
of this biography, "I regarded Mr. Badger as the most popular preacher I
ever knew, and I still think," continued he, "that all in all, I never
heard a man of so great natural gifts." At Westown, or Henrietta, he
ordained deacons in his society, to take a temporal oversight of its
affairs, and filling up nearly all the days with social visits and
public meetings, the month was one continued earnest effort at bringing
souls under the influence of Jesus and of Christianity. A theological
conversation between himself and Rev. Thomas Gorton, who lived on the
Genesee river, which occurred the 17th, and one with Rev. Mr. Bliss, may
perhaps interest the reader. I offer his own words:--

      "We conversed for the space of five hours on different
      subjects. He was indeed very firm, and all who did not
      think as he did came generally under the name of heretics.
      At the close he offered against me four objections, which
      were thus stated: 1st. You believe that the sinner in the
      reception of salvation is an active creature. 2d. You
      believe in the possibility of falling from a state of
      justification. 3d. You cannot reconcile all the Scripture
      to either of the three systems of punishment for the
      wicked, neither eternal misery, destruction, nor
      restoration. 4th. You baptize all who give evidence of
      their becoming new creatures, provided they are received as
      such by a church with whom you have fellowship, without any
      particular regard to their belief or doctrinal principles.
      Thus ended our conversation. The next day, I understood
      that this gentleman, in speaking of the communion, (he was
      of the Baptist faith,) said that it was 'absurd to think of
      feeding swine and sheep together,' which caused me to mourn
      that he or that any should have so little charity for other
      denominations. I preached in his neighborhood the same
      evening, [he was prevented from attending by a bad cold]
      and was introduced to Mr. Rich, another clergyman of the
      Baptist denomination. Asking him to participate in the
      meeting, I proceeded to speak from 1 Cor. 13: 13:--'And now
      abideth faith, hope, and charity, these three; but the
      greatest of these is charity.' The clergyman witnessed to
      the truth of my sermon. The 18th I spoke at Avon, the 19th
      went to Pittsford to administer baptism, the 20th enjoyed a
      good time in the south part of the town, the 21st had a
      very cold, disagreeable time at the village, the 22d
      enjoyed a happy fellowship meeting, the 23d had an
      excellent communion season in Pittsfield. At Briton, Mr.
      Chapin, a missionary, after I had spoken, read a sermon
      nineteen minutes in length, in which he alleged that in
      Christ there are two distinct natures united, the human and
      the divine; that the divinity never suffered, that humanity
      alone was the world's saving sacrifice. No wonder that he
      should teach a partial and a legal salvation. The 29th I
      attended the funeral of an excellent young man, by the name
      of Dorous Burr, which had on the minds of many a solemn
      effect. For the first time, I met, on the 31st, Rev. Mr.
      Bliss, of Avon. I think he was naturally a gentleman,
      though on this occasion, prejudice against a people with
      whom he was not acquainted had an overwhelming influence on
      his manners. Many questions he asked in regard to total
      depravity, a Triune God, the eternal Godhead of Christ, and
      many others of the kind which are unnamed in all the Holy
      Scriptures. Not caring to detail a lengthy conversation, I
      would say that near its close he observed to me, that my
      system was composed of Universalism and Deism; to this I
      replied, that the old contradictory doctrine of fate,
      originally introduced by the Stoics, and afterwards cruelly
      applied and industriously propagated by John Calvin and his
      followers, was the very root and foundation of both these
      doctrines, and that if I was to take his statement for
      truth, all the difference to be found between us was
      this,--that Calvinism is the body of the tree, Universalism
      the branches, and Deism the ripe fruit, and that whilst he
      was the body, I was the branches and fruit; and being so
      nearly related, we should hesitate thoughtfully before we
      consented to quarrel, reminding him that in the forest body
      and branches never contend. After some show of clerical
      importance and authority, enough to remind one that if the
      world was ruled by narrow-minded ecclesiastics, blood might
      yet be shed for opinion's sake, our interview closed. On
      the evening of the same day, I had a good meeting at Mr.
      Gould's, in which eight or ten feelingly spoke of the love
      of Christ, some of whom had never spoken in public before.
      Here the month and the year close. I thank God for what I
      have seen, and for what my soul has felt in this month; and
      though it has been my lot this year to pass through
      sickness and trials of many kinds, I thank Him that at its
      close I feel a degree of salvation within, and I can say
      with Israel's king, 'Before I was afflicted I went astray.'
      Through all his agencies may God aid me to live more to his
      glory the coming year than ever I have done. Thus end the
      reflections and incidents of 1816."




The opening of the New Year, 1817, as is customary on such occasions,
was attended with festivities and social amusements among the young
people. And the following incident will readily illustrate the peculiar
power which Mr. Badger could wield over the young, as likewise the
efficiency of the Gospel as preached by him. On the first day of January
he spoke to a large assembly in Pittsford, from the following very
significant passage in Ezekiel 36: 26. "A new heart also will I give
you." The young people, many of them, called it the best New Year's they
had ever enjoyed, and many whose conversions dated in 1816 were
quickened and refreshed by the words of the new minister. Great
preparations were being made for a ball in the town of Pittsford on the
9th; but it so happened that one of the principal managers and another
influential young man were so divinely struck with the sentiments of the
sermon given on New Year's Day, that all trifling, gay, or mirthful
thoughts were rendered alien to their minds. Within four days they also
had to speak of a sweet and rapturous bliss they had found in their
newly awakened love to Christ. Instead of attending the mirth of the
9th, they sent the following letter to their companions:

                               "PITTSFORD, January 8, 1817.

      "DEAR YOUNG FRIENDS,--We were members of your intended
      party, and anticipated, we presume, as much pleasure as you
      will enjoy in our New Year's Ball; but to the joy of our
      hearts, within a few days God has done great things for our
      souls, whereof we are glad, and instead of attending the
      ball, we are prompted by our feelings to spend the same
      afternoon in solemn prayer for the welfare of our fellow
      youth; and whilst you are engaged in vain mirth, will you
      remember that we, your companions, are on our knees praying
      to God, the Friend of us all, for your eternal welfare? We
      are, with the tenderest regards and love, your friends,

                            "J. WADE,

                              "NATH. SWIFT."

The letter, it is said, was kindly received, and had a beneficial
effect. Mr. B. thanks God for the happy opening of the year, and prays
that it may be crowned with thousands of new-born souls. On the third,
at Pittsford, Mr. Chapin, the missionary already spoken of, introduced a
disputation on total depravity, which was very soon closed, as Mr.
Badger demanded that he should either state his proposition in Scripture
language, or definitely explain what he meant against human nature and
the human race by the words he employed, alleging that neither the words
nor the idea probably intended were contained in the Oracles of God.
Thinking that Mr. B. was too severe in his demands, he desisted, with
the accusation that he was unfair as a reasoner. It is but repetition to
say that all these days were made golden by action, calm but incessant
labor. Days and evenings his musical voice resounded on the holy themes
of faith, reformation, charity, and peace on earth; many a time, as the
still heavens sent down their nocturnal light and shed their holy
influence all around, he returned from his precious victories over the
hearts of his fellow immortals, pervaded by a love that accords with the
silent glow of all that was above and about him. At his communion
seasons he caused the sectary to mourn the rigidity of his creed, which
did not allow him to come forward, to follow his heart, because of some
dry, unvital difference in theological belief. He visits the sick,
speaks occasionally in the private mansion of some friend, sometimes in
the school-house, in the grove and open air, making the freest use of
time and place, regarding them only as servants to his mission. At Avon,
Mendon, Pittsford, Pennfield, and Lima, he continued his labors, at
times administering baptism in the waters of the Genesee and its
tributaries, on which occasions, as on every other where the attractions
of an easy personal address give grace and impression to the scene, he
was uncommonly gifted and happy. Some who had opposed him strongly, were
so impressed by the solemnity of one baptismal scene, and by the remarks
he there offered, as to retract, at the water's side, the hard words and
speeches they had made. "I felt to forgive them," says Mr. B., "for all
their unreasonable censures. At Avon I had excellent meetings the 8th,
9th, 10th and 11th; the 12th, had an excellent time at Pennfield; the
13th, returned to Pittsford," and omitting to notice the several
appointments that fill up the days and evenings of the month, I would
only transcribe from his pages, that "the last week of the month was
spent at Lima, the 19th administered baptism, the 27th attended to the
holy communion, whilst the glory of God cheeringly shone in our midst,
and to the end of this month our meetings were full of interest and of

Feb. 1817. A temperance sermon to a large assembly was given on the 2d;
on such occasions Mr. Badger was exceedingly persuasive and appropriate.
He was almost sure to get the sympathy and hearty interest of the most
fallen man in the community, could easily gain from _such_ a hearing,
and at the same time edify and entertain the most elevated men. In later
years, in the spring of 1842, he gave a temperance sermon in a village
of central New York, where much liquor had been sold, that secured more
than a hundred signers to the pledge, and that, with the additional aid
of a personal interview with those who sold, actually banished the sale
from every store and shop in town. He found a favorite text for such an
occasion in 1 Cor. 9: 25, where St. Paul, in contrasting the Christian
with the Olympian races, and in speaking of the importance of temperance
for the success of each, assigns the higher motive of the Christian
temperance thus: "Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we
an incorruptible." He drew his temperance argument from the highest

With date of Feb. 3d, I find a remarkable letter, addressed to Deacon M.
Sperry, of the Presbyterian Church, relating chiefly to the very
important subject of Christian Union, which is becoming so popular a
theme with the thinking and liberal part of the Christian world. In the
extracts that follow, the reader will see what thoughts were common to
Mr. Badger as early as 1817, and indeed earlier, for they appeared in
his mind prior to his entrance upon the ministry in the autumn of 1812.

                                 "PITTSFORD, February 3, 1817.

      "DEAR BROTHER,--I am happy in inclosing a few lines to you,
      which I hope will be received as the fruit of Christian
      friendship. We have had some opportunity of acquaintance
      for a few months past, which, on my part, has been
      agreeable, with yourself, your family, and the church with
      which you stand connected. It is my motive to promulgate
      peace and extend happiness in society, and, so far as
      possible, extend a real union among all the dear disciples
      of Christ; and as we have become citizens of the same town,
      let us labor for peace; as we profess to be
      'fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of
      God,' let us be one as the Father and the Son are one, and
      let love for one another be to all men the proof that we
      are his disciples.

      "In my travels I can say with propriety that I have
      experienced much sorrow from the 'divisions' that exist
      among Christians, the party censures that are cast one upon
      another, and the imprudent conduct that obtains among
      public and private members of different churches. Such
      things harm 'the oil and the wine;' by them candid friends
      are caused to stumble in their way, and the hands of the
      wicked are strengthened. I have concluded, Sir, that a
      great amount of the divisions that now exist arose very
      much from tradition and the different ways in which men
      have been educated, though we must confess that the
      instructors or preachers are the principal cause of the
      divided state of the Church. The censures to which I allude
      flow often from ignorance, from self-righteousness, from a
      lack of the 'fear of God before their eyes;' and we may say
      that true brotherly love will remedy all the imprudent
      conduct by which brethren of the Christian profession annoy
      and perplex each other. These divisions do not arise so
      much from different parts of the doctrine of Christ as many
      imagine; but from the doctrines and commandments of men,
      which St. Paul, 2 Tim. 2: 23, speaks of as 'foolish and
      unlearned questions that do gender strifes;' questions
      which confuse the minds of thousands, which separate chief
      friends, and in which often the mind is lost in its
      deliberations as it turns upon subjects we cannot
      comprehend or understand; sometimes on things of futurity
      which do not immediately concern us. Thus we get lost, and
      the foundation is laid for Deism; and there appears the
      worst of fruit. It is a matter of joy to me that divisions
      among Christians are to end at last, 'and there shall be
      one fold and one Shepherd.' I do not make these
      observations to cast reflections on any religious people,
      but because these things have and do greatly occupy my

      "It may not be amiss for me to offer a few remarks on our
      present circumstances, although it is with great delicacy
      and tenderness that I would mention things of this nature.
      Our condition, and the condition of the people in this
      vicinity at the present time, is very critical. I can truly
      say that the thought of a division among the faithful ones
      grieves my heart. I am unwilling that the living child
      should be divided. I have it in contemplation to lay before
      you a few propositions for your consideration, as we both
      have the responsible care of others, and as it is now
      becoming necessary that I should attend to some regulations
      that belong to the form of a church. I think it proper to
      make my feelings known to you, and I seek to know the
      liberty wherein you stand more perfectly, before I proceed
      to the organization of a church in this vicinity. I thus
      proceed to offer my propositions in the hope that they will
      meet your approbation:

      "1. I propose that you and I labor to have all the
      disciples in this vicinity become united in one church.

      "2. I propose that we appoint a time for all who profess
      Christ to meet and confer on this subject.

      "3. We will agree not to adopt any measures, rules, or
      doctrines, but what are clearly exhibited in the

      "4. We will not call ourselves by any name but such as the
      New Testament gives.

      "5. If there are points in the Scripture on which we cannot
      all see alike, we will not resolve ourselves into
      disagreement upon them, but each shall offer his light in
      friendship on the subject, which is the only way for
      _truth_ to shine in its various lustre. If we form a
      society in this manner we shall be in a situation to
      receive all preachers who may find it in their way to call
      on us, and to receive the truth, in the love of it, from
      every quarter. The truth will make us free. The above are
      a few of many things I shall wish to converse upon when a
      suitable opportunity presents. With love and respect, I am
      your servant for Jesus' sake,

                                       J. BADGER."

This strikes us as a noble effort at organizing into the unity of the
pure religion of love and experience, the existing theological
divergences of the town; and though the idea was greatly in advance of
the religious culture of the persons he sought to reach, it proves the
religious elevation of Mr. Badger, and his extreme unwillingness to
multiply unnecessarily the number of religious organizations. That mere
doctrine, or theological opinion, is not the true basis of the church;
that the life of God in the soul should be a bond sufficiently strong to
inclose harmoniously the honest intellectual differences of the
disciples of Christ, is a truth yet destined to appear in power, in the
embrace of which, a church, more truly and influentially catholic than
any which has, since the days of the Apostles, figured in the
ecclesiastical history of the world, will probably exhibit itself to
mankind. But it strikes us as a rich phenomenon, that an idea so great
in itself and in its probable results should have lived so steadily in
the mind of a minister, at a time when the severe doctrines of Calvin
were so widely received, and that it should find in his discourse an
expression so calm and various. Many smaller men, in the possession of
so great a thought would have made much ado and noise about it, but with
him it easily held its place along with other important principles of
religious reformation.

It would seem that Mr. Badger did not so succeed in melting down the
opinional partitions as to unite the whole religious community into one
body, for in the following language he speaks of acknowledging a new
society in the town, formed no doubt of the material created by his own
recent and successful labors:--

      "On the 18th we met for the establishment of a church. The
      persons present felt a free and a happy union. They were
      strong in faith. Twenty-five of us took each other by the
      hand in token of brotherhood and of our sacred union. We
      acknowledged ourselves as a church of God. Some little
      opposition appeared, but at the close harmony prevailed.
      Weapons formed against Zion are never destined to prosper."

As early as the 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th of this month, we read of his
visiting and preaching in the towns of Bristol and West Bloomfield;
neither of the congregations he there met having ever before heard a
minister preach who professedly hailed from no other creed than the
Bible--from no other distinguishing name than that of Christian, and
from no other test of sacred fellowship than Christian character. There
was a commanding newness, an inspiring originality and freshness in the
position he occupied, that, aside from the peculiar abilities of the
man, awakened the thoughtful attention of the people. I would here
remark, that the denomination--for indeed all great religious movements,
however catholic in aim and spirit, do almost necessarily centralize
themselves at last into denominational form--with which Mr. Badger stood
connected, was the one known in the ecclesiastical history of the last
half century as the Christian denomination; a name taken not from
partisan pride, but from reverence to the New Testament Scriptures,
which they declared were ignorant of the sectarian creeds and names of
the Christian world, and which records a period in the Primitive Church
when the disciples were called Christians, a usage which had its
commencement under the apostolical ministry of Paul and Barnabas, in the
city of Antioch, Acts 11: 26. It was taken in charity, not in
exclusiveness, inasmuch as their dearest premises conceded to all who
feared God and wrought righteousness, in every sect and nation, not only
the name, but what is far better, the character of a Christian. I will
here only say that though they allow a wide diversity of opinion, there
has ever been a general unity of faith and usage among them, and that in
the main, their leading views are sketched in the early opinions of Mr.
Badger; opinions formed from reason, religious experience, and Scripture
revelation, before he had known of such a people. With the first years
of the present century this denomination came into being; and without
any one central man to act as their founder or guide, they arose in
different parts of the Union simultaneously, and though unknown to each
other at first, they soon were drawn into union and concert, by the
magnetism of common strivings and of common truths.

At Bristol he speaks well of the courteous treatment of the Rev. Mr.
Chapman, the minister of the town, whom he describes as a man of
learning; of the full attendance of the people at his appointments, the
last of which was principally devoted to the examination of the commonly
received doctrine of election, and to those practical persuasions that
grew out of his views of the individual freedom and responsibility of

      "At West Bloomfield, on the 7th," says Mr. B., "I spoke in
      the evening, at the house of Mr. French, to an audience who
      had never before heard one of my name and sentiments
      preach. Mr. Hudson, a school instructor, who, as I
      understood, was about to enter upon the study of divinity,
      came to me, desirous to converse, he said, on principles,
      and accordingly began with a few old questions, which I
      judge he had already learned from some clergyman, as I have
      often met them in my conversations with that class. He
      began in foreordination, and proceeded to the human
      sacrifice of Christ, as he contended that what was divine
      in Him did not in any respect suffer for men. The assembly
      that came together that evening contained several who were
      much prejudiced, but at the close many of them came forward
      and manifested great satisfaction. On the 8th I returned to
      Pittsford, spent there the 9th, 10th, and 11th; preached at
      Avon on the 12th, at Lima the 13th, at Norton's Mills the
      14th; the 15th returned to Pittsford; the 18th organized
      the church, about which time the adversaries of the
      reformation took a public stand against us, spread many
      reports concerning the opinions and sentiments of Elias
      Smith, of Boston, which did us but little harm, as some of
      us knew as much as they about his sentiments, and as none
      of us felt ourselves accountable for what an individual in
      Boston might say or do. The 26th ordained deacons in the
      church, and in the evening heard Mr. Moulton, who had just
      returned from Ohio; the 27th, after listening to the
      faithful voice of Mr. Moulton, we repaired to the pure and
      quiet water, where I baptized seven happy converts, and on
      the 28th enjoyed one of the best of church meetings."

In this little nucleus his faithful watch-care centered, whilst in
adjoining towns he labored like a missionary of apostolical zeal and

Parting with Mr. Moulton, March 3d, who pursued his way to Canada across
the lakes, Mr. Badger started for the west; paused at Murray, now
Clarendon, Orleans County, N. Y., on the 4th, to hold an evening
meeting; on the 5th, rode to Hartland, Niagara County, where he
addressed the people in the evening; on the 6th, starting at four
o'clock in the morning, and over sleighing almost wholly gone, he
advanced through drenching rain another thirty-seven miles to reach his
appointment at 3 P. M., which he did without eating or drinking for the
day till his end was accomplished. He said: "I was much fatigued, but
this was a good day to my soul. I often find it beneficial to fast and
to pray. In the afternoon the Lord's holy presence was consciously upon
us. About twelve here united as a church, and in the evening we ordained
W. Young to the office of deacon. As Mrs. Young desired to be baptized,
I found it necessary to hold meeting at sunrise the following morning,
when we met a large company to hear the preaching and to witness the
baptism. I found it good to hold meeting before breakfast. In the
afternoon I rode to Ogden, and in the evening addressed a respectable
congregation, who were mostly Presbyterians." This month, he assisted to
organize a church at Murray, which is still united and prosperous. The
locality of the former church was probably at Lewiston, Niagara County,
New York.

Returning to Pittsford on the 8th, he passed several days in social
conversation and public discourse with the Christians of his community,
who were alive in the joy, light and peace of the kingdom of God. On the
14th he attended the funeral of Mrs. Abigail Stiles, who lacked but one
day of completing twenty-three years of an honored pilgrimage on earth,
and who in her sickness, as the fading world grew small and dim to her
vision, longed in fervent earnestness to be more conformed to the Christ
of her faith and love. For the first time since the organization of his
society, the symbolic bread was broken among them on the 16th, to which
many came forward who never before had honored the crucified One in the
silent language of symbol. He preached at Avon on the 17th, in the
residence of a leading officer in the Methodist Church, Mr. Wm. Brown;
at Lima, the 19th; the 23d, attended the funeral of one of his intimate
friends, Mr. J. Johnson, who had fallen instantly dead in the prime of
life; and omitting the details of other appointments, perhaps it may
reward the reader's glance, to consider the following lines.

      "On the 28th I preached again in the town of Gates, where,
      on my arrival, I was introduced to a young gentleman, who
      appeared to feel that the world held at least one highly
      important person in it. In a very consequential manner he
      brought forward theological discussion on several subjects,
      which might come into the following divisions: 1. That the
      sufferings of Christ's humanity atoned for the sins of the
      world. 2. That God had foreordained whatsoever comes to
      pass. 3. That God is the author of sin. We conversed
      somewhat lengthily. But as I was repelled by his manner a
      great deal more than I could be attracted by his matter, I
      was prompted to end the conversation with a plain
      exhortation, in which I urged upon him humility of heart
      and the fear of God. We parted; and both from his words and
      actions I conclude 'the young man went away sorrowful.'

      "At Parma had an agreeable meeting the same evening, and
      bidding the family of Mr. Mathers, where I had been a
      guest, a kind farewell, went to my appointment at Murray.
      At Parma I was much pleased, on arising to preach, to see a
      gentleman take his seat the other side of the table, who
      commenced writing as soon as I began to speak. In order to
      put the blush upon him I offered him the candle near me,
      observing that in writing he would need its light, and that
      I could easily preach without it. This seemed to frustrate
      his writing, in which he did not long proceed, but before
      the close of the sermon his head was gently bowed, and the
      tears flowed freely from his eyes. At the close he came to
      me, and earnestly requested that I would come again. I
      found this gentleman to be Judge J., a man of considerable
      weight and note in the town. On the 20th I had a joyful
      meeting at the Four Corners in breaking bread to the
      disciples. The 31st I devoted to the western part of the
      town. Thus ends another month, and my soul is happy in

      Mr. Badger continues, "The 2d of April, on which day I held
      two good meetings at Parma and Gates, I was invited by a
      messenger from Mrs. Colby, to attend the funeral of her
      son, the next day, who had just departed. I found it duty
      to stay. The next morning, accompanied by Mr. Williams, I
      repaired to her dwelling and found her to be a woman of
      sorrow and acquainted with grief, a person of
      respectability and good sense; through all her various
      sorrows she had for years lived in the exercise of
      religion. Of six children and of two kind husbands she had
      been bereaved. The assembly was large, the scene was
      solemn. I spoke from Jer. 9: 21: 'For death is come up into
      our windows, and is entered into our palaces, to cut off
      the children from without and the young men from our
      streets.' On the 6th, at Pittsford, which was Sunday, after
      administering the communion in the morning, I gave a
      farewell sermon, from Acts 20: 32, as I designed to start
      on a long tour to the East, to meet my dearest friend, from
      whom I had so long been absent. I spent the week in
      visiting the places where I had preached; on the 13th, in
      the west part of the town, I administered the communion to
      a company of disciples, the greater part of whom I had
      baptized; and, on the 14th, at my own house, bade adieu to
      a company of friends who had come to give me their parting
      words of kindness. These indeed were solemn times.
      Returning east, very nearly in the same line as I had come,
      and holding meetings by the way, I arrived at Farmington,
      N. H., the last day of the month, having been absent just
      six months to a day. I found my companion in a low state of
      health; we mingled our tears together in thanksgiving to

We have in these preceding pages a simple narrative of six months'
preaching, mostly located in the old counties of Ontario and Genesee, in
the State of New York, chiefly the former; and in looking over the
present religious aspects of that fine region of country, it is a
remarkable fact that nearly all the churches that now flourish in these
parts, hailing from the cardinal sentiments already spoken of, are on
the same places and within the circle marked out by these six months'
labors. At that time the county of Ontario extended from its present
southern limit over all the towns between itself and the Genesee river,
including most of the towns named in these last pages of the journal.
In these six months, he, an entire stranger in the land of his labors,
creates the material and organizes it, on which he is willing to rely
for his future support and coöperation, and before leaving the people
whom he had rallied about a common centre, which was religion based on
experience, he decided to return in the summer and to establish his home
in their midst. Accordingly, he made arrangements in the month of May,
whilst in New Hampshire, to return with his family to Pittsford, N. Y.,
which he carried into execution in the months of June and July, not
neglecting, however, his usual industry in preaching whilst in New
England and on his way back to his new home, which he had provided for
himself before going to the east. He turned the country into a campaign
wherever he went, planning out his action into order and system always.
On his return he had appointments at the close of each day, and often in
the afternoon. He speaks of an interesting visit at the famous springs
of Saratoga; also of a brief interview he had with the celebrated
Lorenzo Dow on the morning of the 15th, as follows:

      "I never before had seen him, but having his engraved
      likeness with me, I knew him at once. His countenance had
      an expression that might be called piercing. His eyes were
      penetrating, his mind was heavenly in its thoughts and
      feelings, and his conversation shone with modesty and
      sobriety. His appearance, and a few moments of
      conversation, made the most serious impression on my mind.
      He seemed like an inhabitant of some other region, or like
      a stranger and a pilgrim on the earth. As I reflected on
      his numerous sufferings and extensive usefulness, I was
      led to mourn my own unlikeness to God. How many bear the
      name of ministers of Christ, who do not walk as He walked."

The same day he arrived at Pittsford, thus ending a lengthy journey of
much fatigue, and to Mrs. Badger of some afflictive illness; occupied
his new home, and resumed from that time the same industrious action
which had before been so signally crowned with success. He found his
friends steadfast in affection and faith, turned into falsity the
predictions of his enemies, who had said he would never return, and in
company with a very worthy coadjutor, Mr. John Blodget, a minister of
the same evangelical faith, with whom he had corresponded since 1815,
and who had accompanied him from the east, he was now prepared to supply
the increasing demand made upon his labors.

Never until now had Mr. Badger known by experience what it was for a
minister to be involved by domestic cares, and the numerous solicitudes
that cluster about the external well-being of a newly established home,
which in some degree must divert the mind from study and thought; but
which may really prove its own reward by the development of practical
wisdom, and by rendering the experience of the minister more akin to the
daily life of the great majority of those whom he instructs. He whose
experience allows him the most numerous points of contact with mankind,
can best comprehend them, and, with suitable gifts, he can most easily
reach them by a leading, commanding influence. Mr. Badger was one of
those men whom new circumstances and responsibilities could not
frustrate, but which always found in him a new and a latent adequacy,
that only waited for the outward call; and so much did his peculiar
genius of self-mastery and adaptation have its symbol in the cat, which,
thrown from whatever part of the building, is sure so to control the
evolutions as to strike upon its feet, that throughout his life, which
was bold and adventurous, it was seen that new difficulties were always
more than paralleled by new manifestations of power in him. With a
nature everflowingly social, and beyond most persons adapted to domestic
life, he now aims to travel less into foreign parts, and to collect his
energies for a field of action in which he might regard his home as the
centre. The absence of theological sympathy in the world was nothing to
dampen his zeal or cause him to waver, having himself so much
self-reliance and creative power to modify and change society to his own
views and feelings.

In the month of August he attended some general meetings, as they were
called, in different parts; one as far off as Clinton, N. Y., not less
than a hundred miles. By a general meeting, in those times and since, is
meant a meeting of about two days, at which ministers and people came
from a considerable distance around, general notice and invitation being
given. Very frequently, when the weather and season would permit, the
people repaired to the overshadowing groves, where, in the free and open
air, they sang hymns, offered prayers, and devoutly listened to
successive sermons. Often, with an eloquence as natural as the trees
whose leaved branches shaded the multitudes, has the clear musical voice
of Mr. Badger held thousands in listening silence, enchained as by a
resistless spell, whilst he unfolded some great theme of the Christian
doctrine and life. No man who heard him on such occasions would be apt
ever to forget the topic or the speaker. On the 30th and the 31st of
August, such a meeting was holden at Pittsford, at which time Mr. John
Blodget was by suitable services ordained to the work of an evangelist.
Also, in accordance to the usages of the time, a ministerial conference
succeeded it September 1--an association which acted simply as an
advisory body, and for purposes of mutual discussion and consultation.
Such bodies in after years exercised the right of receiving new members,
who were ordained ministers of the gospel, or licentiates. They also
claimed and exercised the right of preserving their own moral purity, by
examinations of character and by expulsion.[28] In this month he
preached much in his own town, a few times at Mendon, attended funerals
at Pittsford and Avon, and baptized at Mendon a few young men who had in
the freshness of life's morning consecrated themselves to pure religion.
As the brown leaves of October were silently admonishing the world of
human frailty, as nature was pouring out the influences of a calm and
holy peace, Mr. B., untrammelled by creed, and with an Old Book in his
hand, whose leaves had ever held the greatest spiritual lessons for the
human heart, was preaching the salvation of God with a grace and
composure that, in naturalness, would compare with the spirit and scenes
of the creation around him; for emphatically was he a son of Nature,
owned and blessed of her. In this October month, he says:

      "I started on the 1st for Hartland, Niagara County, to
      attend a general meeting on the 4th, a distance of about
      eighty miles from my residence. At Murray, Genesee County,
      we had a good meeting. On the evening of the 4th I spoke at
      Hartland, and on the 5th the assembly was blessed with the
      presence of our God; the conference succeeding it was also
      very good. I returned home on the 11th, where I preached
      and administered baptism; on the 12th, preached in two
      parts of the town, and on the 18th rode through Caledonia
      to attend a general meeting at Leroy,[29] which was
      attended with signal blessing. At the close, Mr. Hubbard
      Thompson was ordained to the Gospel ministry, and a church
      of substantial members was there organized. During this
      month I preached twice at Mendon, and among the people of
      my charge, had many good social meetings. In view of the
      fleeting character of this world's pleasures, let us draw
      from the well of salvation, let us seek our heart's eternal

      "In the month of November I spent the 1st, 2d, and 3d at
      Pittsford, the 4th, 5th, and 6th at Mendon and Lima. At
      this time the work of God in no small degree of power
      commenced. I baptized on the 8th, Messrs. Thomas Smith,
      Allen Crocker, Jeremiah Williams, Nathan Upton; and I now
      found it my duty to return to Mendon and to make a stand,
      as the minds of the people were inquiring, and their hearts
      were moved. I began to travel from house to house, and for
      several weeks I held several meetings a day, and in almost
      every meeting there were some made free by the Son of God.
      Among the incidents of the time, on the 20th it happened
      that I met with Mr. Cook, a clergyman of Lima, who
      presented me with this text on which to preach, 1 John 3:
      16: 'Hereby perceive we the love of _God_, because he laid
      down his life for us;'--a text given without doubt to serve
      as an embarrassment, inasmuch as the word _God_, which is
      supplied by the translators, seems to apply to Him who laid
      down his life for us. It was easy to see that, supposing
      the pronoun he to refer to the Son of God, who is so often
      spoken of in the preceding part of the chapter, the only
      inference that follows is, that his death is a display of
      God's love, which is the doctrine of the entire New
      Testament; or, stripping the passage of the supplied words,
      it only teaches that Christ proved his love by laying down
      his life for us. I had a fine time in speaking, as the text
      was a help and not an embarrassment to my mind. He,
      however, made some opposition, and stated that the Eternal
      God died on the cross. This was evidently to his own hurt.

      "Several of our meetings, held at sunrise, were attended
      with good. On the 25th I baptized fifteen who had the
      inward evidence that they had passed from death unto life.
      This was a day of brightness; and thus, as from the giving
      hand of God, the work continued. On the 24th eighteen
      united as a church, and December 2d, six others were added
      to their number; on the 4th eight were baptized, and thus
      in Mendon and Lima the work continues to the joy of the
      saints and to the confusion of enemies. A way also opens
      into West Bloomfield. At Mendon, for the first time, we had
      a blessed communion on the 28th--a communion to which all
      who worship God, and who love the way of holiness were
      invited, entirely without regard to their different
      theories of religion. Many others were also added this
      month. In peace the year closes, and I thank the Father of
      all goodness for the trials and blessings it has brought.
      May the next be illuminated by thy Presence!"

Only observing that since the world begun, _such_ men have always seen
and made others see the fruits of their labors, that the power to make
the frozen soul of the world melt and run in liquid streams, is one that
never leaves its owner friendless or without a sceptre and a helm, I
would proceed to lay before the reader more of his truthful narrative.
From letters received, bearing date 1817, we judge that considerable
success attended the efforts of his fellow laborers abroad; letters from
the Peavys, from Blodget, King, Martin and Shaw; and if space would
permit, we might quote largely from two or three of his own
controversial letters in which he kindly and candidly corrects the
misrepresentations of some opposing clergymen, and with his peculiar
faculty for making others feel the _point_ of his pen when he chose to
do so, he reasons on the principles of his faith. We venture only a
couple of paragraphs from nearly the close:

      "That, Sir, which bore with the greatest weight on my mind,
      was your manner of introducing this subject before the
      people. You say that Mr. Smith, of Boston, is the founder
      of the people called Christians, and that I get my doctrine
      from his Bible Dictionary. But, Sir, Mr. S. was never the
      founder of any doctrine that ever I preached; nor is his
      dictionary any more a criterion with me than is that of Mr.
      Wood a criterion with you and with your brethren. To me,
      Brown's, Barclay's, Butterworth's, Parish's, Smith's, and
      Wood's are all alike; there is valuable information, and
      there are errors in them all, for which I am wholly
      unaccountable. For Mr. Smith's errors I am no more
      responsible than you are for Mr. Wood's. I am not his
      counsellor. I am accountable, Sir, for no errors but my
      own; for these I am willing to answer now and at the
      Judgment. Still, I shall notice your quotation of Mr.
      Smith's writings, for I esteem them incorrect and unfair.
      His writings, some of them, are undoubtedly very erroneous;
      so are some of Mr. Wesley's and Mr. Fletcher's; but can
      this prove that there is nothing good in them, or that
      their writings are all bad? Had I selected some things from
      Mr. Wesley's Notes on the New Testament, or some sketches
      from the Discipline of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and
      told the people that these were the faith of all the
      Methodists, I should certainly have been unfair, for many
      have discovered greater light and have offered their
      dissent from these writings. Yet these men were luminaries
      for the day that brought them forth. I would not injure the
      kind feelings of my numerous Methodist friends; but what
      would Mr. R. say, should I go into a place holding in my
      hand Mr. Wesley's sermon on Rom. 8: 21, which proves that
      the beasts will go to heaven and share in immortality?--or
      his sermon on the Lord's Supper, which proves it right, or
      which admits the unconverted to the communion?--then should
      I say that Mr. R. believes exactly thus, before I had seen
      or heard you, would you not call it unfair? This is the
      light in which I view your recent conduct.

      "In quoting Mr. Smith, you have taken two whole sentences
      and part of another, and have so put them together as to
      make but one sentence. I think I can satisfy you that this
      is wrong, incorrect and unfair. By the same method I can
      prove that Joseph Badger should go and hang himself; yet we
      both know that the act would be criminal. You find the
      word Joseph in Gen. 45: 28, the word Badger you meet in
      Ezekiel 16: 10th verse; Matt. 27: 5, affirms of Judas that
      'he went out and hanged himself;' this is Scripture. 'Go
      and do thou likewise,' is also Scripture. Now, Sir, were
      you to collect these Scriptures by using boldly the
      principle of which I complain, you have the following,
      viz., 'And he went out and hanged himself'--'Joseph Badger,
      go thou and do likewise.' By splitting a sentence of one of
      David's Psalms, you have the saying, 'There is no
      God,'--but who would dare to charge the king with atheism?
      I hope, dear Sir, that the plain remarks I have made will
      teach you the impropriety of your course, that you will be
      constrained to make some handsome retraction, and that you
      will never again descend from your high and honorable
      station to awaken the prejudices of the ignorant against
      those whom God delights to honor and to bless."

In the present day of both genuine and of boasted liberality, we are apt
to think of the old pioneers as more narrow than ourselves. We may be
unjust in this. Mr. Badger and his coadjutors stood on very broad
grounds, their liberality being the liberality of vital religion, not
the liberality of mere intellectual speculation and of doubt. They
_feared_ being a sect. The following lines from Rev. Elijah Shaw, dated
Camillus, December 17, 1817, are an index of the unsectarian freedom of
many minds:

      "I will do the same about a Conference that I said I would
      do in my recent letter. I am, and have been for many
      months, about dead to all denominations on earth. There is
      so much done to build up and keep up denominations that I
      am sick of it. Many have spoken against 'our religion;' but
      are not 'Christian brethren,' 'Christian preachers,' &c.,
      as much 'our religion' as anything else? Those who want
      such sectarianism may have it. I hate it and leave it

Perhaps, indeed, it may be said, that the nearer we get to the origin of
denominations, the more catholic we shall often find them. Methodism at
first was not a creed, but rather a large revival of religion in the
world, which asked no man, whether minister or layman, a solitary
question concerning his _belief_. Age may tend to contract sects, as
coal contracts iron and water. The denominational paths of the world are
apt to open somewhat largely; nor in their ending would we say that they
exactly fulfil the descriptions of a tourist, concerning our western
roads, which, he said, opened widely and promisingly under the umbrage
of magnificent trees, but gradually grew narrower and narrower in the
pursuit, till they at last terminated in a squirrel track, and run up a

Opening the pages of 1818, we find Mr. B. breasting the wintry storms
and treading the snows of January, preaching to his flock at Pittsford,
administering the communion at Leroy, holding forth at Lima and at
Mendon, and attending to the funeral obsequies of departed friends. He
speaks of the funeral he attended on the 19th, of the wife of Capt.
Dewey, at Mendon, as to him a solemn and a joyful day. In the Christian
Herald, January 24, he said:

      "It is now glorious times in different parts of this
      country. In Mendon, Lima, Groveland, Bloomfield, Leroy,
      Hartland, Covington, Cato, Camillus, and Livonia, the
      Lord's work is now spreading. I intend in a few months to
      give the names of the ministers and churches in this part
      of New York. Within one year I have baptized about 100 in
      this region of the country. A few of us in these parts are
      about to adopt the mode of ordaining elders in each church
      to 'rule well,' not merely to see to the 'widows' or
      temporal cares of the church, but to have an oversight of
      the flock, without being called to labor in _word_ and
      doctrine. See 1 Timothy 9: 17; Acts 15: 6; Titus 1: 5; Acts
      14: 23. I have learned that it is a small part of a
      minister's duty to preach and baptize."

He made a visit to Niagara County in the month of February, which was
attended with good results, whilst his success at home, at Lima and
Mendon was unabated. "A large number was added to the company of the
prayerful." In the month of March, he again preached in West Bloomfield,
a town that seemed to have in it several free and inquiring minds. At
South Lima he baptized five persons on the 11th, the 15th preached at
Mendon, where the prospects of his cause were growing continually
brighter, and on the 22d preached and administered baptism at Livonia.
He now found from a survey of the field of his success that it was best
to change his residence, to take up his abode in the adjoining and
flourishing town of Mendon; and never delaying the execution of purposes
that once were thoroughly formed in his mind, he, with the coöperation
of kind friends, was conveniently located in this town as early as the
20th. The last days of March were devoted to the people of Hartland.
April, May, and June witnessed additions to the fraternity he had
gathered--a fraternity whose aim above everything else, would seem to
have been the cultivation of the powers and the joys of the spiritual
life. They were evidently inspired by sacred feelings, by inward joys of
experience, and so strongly did they love religion, that theology in the
common sense, was to them a very subordinate matter.

In the month of July, in company with ministers D. Millard, E. Sharp,
and J. Blodget, he journeyed to Niagara Falls, attending on the way
three general meetings, one at Covington, Genesee County, N. Y., the
others at Murray and Royalton. At the great cataract, which less at that
time than now, drew travellers from every part of the country, we have
not a distinct record of his impressions. At Covington, June 21st, he
gave a discourse in the grove, from Isaiah 42: 1: "Behold my servant,
whom I uphold, mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth: I have put my
spirit upon him; he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles"--a
sermon which was reported in the religious free press of that day as one
well adapted "to confirm the people in the truth," as one that exhibited
Christ as the elect alluded to in this passage. "Many of the doctrines
of men," said two reporters, "were proved absurd, and ingeniously set
aside. The exhortation," said they, "was as arrows to the unconverted."
August was passed chiefly at home; in September he journeyed to the East
as far as Cooperstown, gave five discourses in Hartwick, and in
adjoining villages preached to large and attentive assemblies. In this
region of Otsego there still flourish societies of the Christian name
and sentiments. In the published reports of the meeting at Hartwick, I
find it stated that Mr. Badger, in a pleasant grove, September 27,
preached the third discourse from James 1: 25: "But whoso looketh into
the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a
forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in
his deed." The reporter adds, "The end of the old law was first noticed,
and the imperfection that pertained to it. 2. The perfect law of liberty
was then portrayed, and the manner in which people might look into it
and continue therein. 3. The blessing promised to the doer of the work.
This discourse was to the saints comforting, and to an attentive
assembly enlightening. The meeting then closed with songs and prayer."
Sunday morning the assembly again convened under the kindly shadows of
the primeval trees. The morning passed away under the speaking of a
somewhat popular orator, Mr. Howard; "in the afternoon," continues the
writer, "J. Badger spoke from Rev. 7: 17; a most glorious theme. When
speaking of the Lamb in the midst of the throne--of his feeding the
saints--of his leading them to fountains of living water; that God, even
the Father, should wipe away all tears from their eyes; the saints
rejoiced in hope of the glory of God, and strangers wept, desirous to
share in the great salvation. The meeting then closed, though the people
seemed unwilling to depart." There is something beautiful in turning
nature into a temple of worship, in mingling hymns with the voices of
the breeze, in speaking and hearing truth within the innocent gaze of
flowers. Their latent influence is a gleam of divinity to all, and
easily mingles with every sincere note that may ever be struck from
worshipful hearts. As I passed through that region of the State in 1850,
there were still many to remember the golden times of the past, and to
them the name of Joseph Badger was still a reverence and a charm.

In a written address, to the Conferential Session holden at Hartwick, at
this time, to which two other names besides his own are affixed, some
traces of his mind are visible. In that address is the following truly
catholic sentiment:--

      "Remember that this is a free country in which we live, and
      we ought to be as willing to let others think as to think
      ourselves. Others' rights are as dear to them as ours are
      to us, and if a Christian friend does not think as we do it
      is evident that we do not think as he does. While we trace
      the pages of ecclesiastical history, and view the
      uncharitable conduct of priests and rulers in this respect,
      we mourn the lack of charity, and feel in duty bound to
      warn our brethren against such pernicious practices. 'Let
      us stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ has made us

The month of October, which was passed at home and in neighboring towns,
brought some additions to his cause; and November, which was chiefly
employed in the same way, was distinguished by a theological debate,
held with Rev. Mr. T., chiefly on the Trinity and on the Supreme Deity
of Jesus Christ. The debate lasted two days; some other clergymen became
in a degree involved in it; and from a minister then present I offer the
following lines:--

      "Under all circumstances Mr. Badger possessed a peculiar
      command of himself. He never permitted ruffled feelings to
      throw him into confusion or derange his clear equilibrium
      of mind. His ideas were always clear, and his command of
      language full and free. Thus he was always prepared on
      every sudden emergency. Some of his best polemical efforts
      were called out on the spur of the occasion, and seemingly
      without any forethought. This intuitive gift always
      rendered him ready, be the occasion what it might that
      called him to speak, and especially if to repel the attack
      of a religious opponent. Nor did he lack occasions of the
      kind. In the first spread of the Christian sentiments in
      western New York, public attacks on doctrinal subjects were
      common, and clergymen of various orders would frequently,
      after the close of an afternoon or evening discourse, rise
      and ask questions about the doctrine entertained. On
      occasions like these Mr. B. was about sure to leave his
      opponent in the condition of defeat. In every such instance
      he gained decided advantage and won the sympathy and
      influence of the masses.

      "In several instances he was called out by challenges for
      public discussion. On such occasions he evinced himself a
      cool, deliberate, shrewd manager. Often it would be said
      among those who heard his speeches, 'What a lawyer he would
      have made!' Whilst his opponent was speaking he usually
      took down notes, which he could do with great rapidity. Wo
      then to his antagonist, where he left weak points in
      argument, as Mr. B. was sure to fasten upon them in a
      manner that not only exposed them, but completely withered
      their effect. He had great skill in making his own
      arguments stand out in all their strength, and in stripping
      those of his opponent of all their seeming worth or value.
      Occasionally, after he had made a solid fortress by candid
      argument, he would let loose a volley of sarcasm which was
      perfectly scathing, and was very apt to so affect the
      opposite party as to produce confusion of mind, one of the
      first elements of defeat.

      "The Rev. Mr. T----, an aged and able Congregationalist
      minister, had sent a request to Mr. B. to call on him when
      convenient. Some weeks subsequent, Mr. Badger, in company
      with D. Millard, of West Bloomfield, called at his
      dwelling, but learned that he was absent. Shortly, as they
      passed on, they met Mr. T., to whom they introduced
      themselves; Mr. B. acknowledging the receipt of Mr. T.'s
      request. Mr. T. soon asked him if he believed the doctrine
      of the Trinity, the Supreme Deity of Jesus Christ, and
      Total Depravity, to which Mr. B. answered, after drawing
      him out on the meaning of the terms he employed, that he
      could not endorse all the views which Mr. T. entertained on
      these matters. 'I perceive,' says Mr. T., 'that you are
      wholly off from Gospel ground.' 'Then you should be alarmed
      at our danger and convince us of our errors,' said Mr.
      Badger. 'Well, call on me and I will do it,' was his reply.
      The time was agreed upon, and about ten days afterward
      quite a congregation assembled at the time and place
      selected, to hear Mr. T. show Messrs. Badger and Millard
      their errors.

      "The doctrine of the Trinity was first investigated, each
      speaking twenty minutes on a side. Mr. T. led off, and
      dwelt much on the awfulness of the doctrine to be
      discussed, that none could be Christians without believing
      it. He said cases had occurred, where persons impiously
      denying the doctrine of the Trinity had been cut off by
      fearful judgments sent immediately from Heaven. Arius, for
      instance, whose death was sudden and awful, a fate he met
      soon after Constantine had recalled him to Constantinople,
      from a state of banishment, for rejecting the doctrine of
      the Trinity. To this speech Mr. Millard replied stating
      that he could not see that any doctrine could be awfully
      important which is not even named in the Bible; that he
      could see no cause for introducing the melancholy death of
      Arius, unless it was to frighten the assembly into the
      belief that they would be apt to experience a loss similar
      to that of Arius if they should deny the Trinity; and that
      Mosheim's Church History contained evidence to show that
      Arius was secretly poisoned by his enemies.

      "In his next speech, Rev. Mr. T. entered systematically on
      the arguments usually adduced on the Trinitarian side. In
      justice I would say he did it with ability. Mr. Badger
      followed him in four set speeches, and Mr. Millard in
      three. They both amply sustained their ground, but Mr.
      Badger's adroitness and skilful management were peculiarly
      conspicuous to all present. The way he met the proof texts
      presented on the opposite side, his critical analysis of a
      trio of persons in one being, together with the absurdity
      of the two-nature scheme, made a very convincing impression
      on the minds of many then present. I should extend this
      article too far were I to attempt to give specimens of the
      arguments he used. The debate closed that day with an
      appointment to renew it one week afterward. At the next
      meeting a crowded assembly attended. An able Presbyterian
      minister was present, as a colleague with Mr. T. in the
      debate. I think Mr. Badger led off on that day. In his
      first speech he reviewed the points gained at the previous
      meeting. He showed just where the discussion then stood and
      challenged the opposite party to attempt a refutation of
      the position now occupied by him and his colleague. Mr. T.
      and his assistant did their best. They evinced much ability
      and preparation for the contest. But Mr. Badger, in
      particular, was upon them in every position they took and
      every seeming fastness to which they fled. The debate
      continued from ten in the morning, with but a brief recess,
      till nearly sunset; the four engaged in it taking nearly
      equal parts. When about to close for the day Mr. Badger
      proposed that if the opposite party desired it, the debate
      could be continued another day. Mr. T. declined, as he
      stated, on account of ill health. Thus this animated
      discussion closed, and I may say with confidence, it left
      on the public mind a favorable influence for the

In a New England paper, he says--

      "But what is the most pleasant, is to see the good union
      that exists, and the steadfastness that appears. There are
      now between eighty and ninety members in connection with
      the church, and as yet there has not been to my knowledge
      but one that has brought any reproach on the cause. Our
      assemblies have been so large that I have preached in a
      grove the greatest part of the summer past, but we have
      made a beginning in constructing a meeting-house, and the
      prospect is that we shall soon have better conveniences. In
      West Bloomfield, a town adjoining this, the work has been
      very glorious. Elder David Millard, who had been a few
      months in the County, last June, had his mind drawn into
      that town, and as the way opened he began to preach and to
      visit the people. He immediately saw the fruits of his
      labors--was soon joined by Elder E. Sharp, of Conn., who
      had formerly preached in the town. The work has embraced
      the old and the young, and has been carried on in a
      remarkably _still_ and solemn manner. Brother Millard has
      had several debates in public and private, on different
      subjects; and as the public mind has been much agitated
      concerning his opinion of _Christ_, he has written a
      treatise of about 48 pages, 12mo, which is now in press,
      entitled 'The True Messiah exalted,' which I think will be
      calculated to do good. A few weeks since a church has been
      planted at Bloomfield, and I think it consists of about
      thirty members. Prospects are still encouraging."

He now had an able coadjutor in the field, one whose written arguments
and oral discourses have long been strong barriers to the advocates of
the old Athanasian theology. In December, Mr. Badger visited Canandaigua
and preached to the people; the most of the time was devoted to the town
of his residence, and in supplying the wants of adjoining places.
Speaking of this year in the retrospect, he says: "One year more of my
unprofitable life is gone. In it I have enjoyed myself well, seen much
of God's goodness, attended many funerals, solemnized many marriages,
and at its close am seriously reminded that

      "'The year rolls round and steals away
        The breath that first it gave;
      Whate'er we do, where'er we be,
        We're tending to the grave.'"



Mr. Badger is now in the twenty-seventh year of his age and the seventh
of his ministry, and occupies a position that affords him more leisure
for reflection than the activities of his itinerant life had yielded
him. Among the subjects that he accepted for the action of his own
thought was Universalism, whose pillars and foundations he seemed to
have thoroughly examined, as set forth in the systems of that day. His
mind was led to this by the circumstance that his father, for whom his
letters and journal only express the kindest filial feeling and
reverence, had, after much study and thought, adopted that system as his
favorite form of religious belief. The document which contains his views
is entitled "An affectionate Address of a Son to his Father." We offer
from this a few extracts, in which the reader can see the candor,
cogency and kindness that pervade the whole address, which covers some
twenty-three pages of letter-paper, very finely and compactly written.
This is the opening paragraph:

      "HONORED AND DEAR FATHER:--With pleasure I once more take
      my pen to address one for whom I have the most reverential
      regard, a regard greater than I cherish for any person on
      earth; one who has with hopeful anxiety watched over the
      days of my childhood and vanity, and wept at the follies of
      my youth. My former letters have given you the state of my
      affairs and prospects in this pleasant part of the
      country; also, in my several letters, I have noticed the
      extensive spread of the Gospel, the increase of light, and
      the effect of those glorious reformations I have been
      allowed to witness, the subjects of which are now my choice
      society; and you cannot imagine the unspeakable joy of your
      son, while a stranger in a strange land, to learn that his
      aged father has been entertained and comforted by the
      contents of his letters on those subjects. Permit me, my
      dear father, in this short treatise, to make a few remarks
      on the doctrine which you have for years embraced and
      vindicated relative to the salvation of all men. If this
      doctrine is true, it is a pleasant thing; if untrue, it is
      dangerous to rest on the sand. As I have serious objections
      against the system, I feel it a duty to lay them before you
      for your consideration, wishing, if I am in error, to be
      convinced of it; and I hope that, should you find the
      doctrine you have esteemed as truth, cries 'peace and
      safety' to those whom sudden destruction awaits, you will
      be willing to exchange it for that truth which opens to the
      sinner the worst of his case."

After this kind and gentle introduction, Mr. Badger proceeds to take up
the chief arguments which his father had, in other years, employed for
the support of the system,--arguments from general reason and from
Scripture. He then attempts to show the origin of the system in human
causes, and its disagreement with the plain teachings of Revelation, and
with the spirit and genius of the Christian experience and life. Such is
the plan of his treatise. The period to which these arguments belong,
was one in which there was a strong controversial clash of theories,
each one of which was undoubtedly a fragmentary and imperfect statement
of some essential truth in religion; and as Calvinistic reasoning was
then generally in the ascendant, as its bold premises were the main
foundation of the plea of its opposite extreme,--the Universalian
statement,--the subject seemed to take a fresh interest in the hands of
one who approached it from an intermediate region of thinking.

      "One of your favorite and powerful arguments in favor of
      this doctrine is, that in the beginning the soul of man was
      a part of God, and therefore cannot be defiled, condemned
      or punished, as Deity will not sentence a part of himself
      to misery. All the Scripture I ever heard quoted in favor
      of this view, is that 'God breathed into man the breath of
      life and he became a living soul,' which carries a very
      different idea from the one you derive from it. It does not
      say that the soul is a part of God, or that God breathed
      into man a part of himself. It means just this, that God
      breathed into man the breath of life, and that, as a result
      of this, he became a _living, active, intelligent

      "Let us further reason on this subject. Can a part of God
      be ignorant of another part of himself? Yet are we not
      ignorant of what passes in the breast of our neighbor? Does
      not one drop of a fountain possess _all_ the qualities of
      the fountain from which it was taken? But who will say that
      mortal man has all the qualities and qualifications of his
      Maker, God? If the soul is a part of God, where lies the
      propriety of those Scriptures wherein he threatens to
      punish the sinner? Would he threaten to banish a part of
      himself from himself forever, or say to a part of himself,
      'Depart from me, ye workers of iniquity?'

      "The supporters of this theory, arguing on the old
      Calvinistic, fatal plan, say that 'God foreordains
      whatsoever comes to pass;'--a popular and highly esteemed
      idea, from which I must dissent for the following reasons."

Mr. B. proceeds to urge half a dozen reasons for rejecting these
theological premises, alleging, from the authority of scripture
revelation, that many things have taken place which the Creator has
disapproved of; that the premise assumed puts the decrees of God and his
commandments into exactly hostile relations to each other; that it
destroys the justice of all punishment whatever, unless it is just to
punish human beings for doing the highest will in the universe, and for
doing what they could not avoid.

      "If all creation," says he, "moves in exact accordance with
      the divine will, I cannot find anything in the world that
      is sin. Where _all_ is right, there can be no wrong. Sin
      then is rendered virtue, falsehood is truth, darkness is
      light, Satan is man's friend and helper toward the 'new
      heavens' and the eternal bliss. Is it not strange that God
      should give laws to machines? For this scheme completely
      renders men such. He does not announce laws to the trees of
      the forest. What would we think of the goldsmith who should
      appoint a day in which morally to judge all his watches
      according to their works? This doctrine gives as much honor
      to Satan as it does to Christ, as it makes him as active as
      he is in the salvation and final happiness of men. It
      certainly makes him the brother of Christ, for Jesus said,
      'He that doeth the will of my Father which is in Heaven,
      the same is my brother;'--as universal foreordination
      causes the devil to do the will of God, it presents him as
      the brother of Jesus Christ. If the two ideas, that the
      soul is a part of God, and that God has foreordained
      whatsoever comes to pass, are true, then Universalism is
      correct; if they are not true, the system must fall, for
      these are the main pillars which support the fabric, and in
      my opinion they are as weak in their nature as were the
      feet of the king's image in the prophet's vision, which
      were 'part iron and part clay.'"

Mr. Badger goes on to speak of the universal goodness of God, as a
pledge and proof that the divine laws will be executed; he says, that
the goodness of a government, the goodness of a governor and his
subordinate officers, are the proof that the laws will be duly
enforced--that the criminal will find no refuge from deserved

After quoting from Mosheim on the opinions and reasoning of Origen, the
celebrated father of the third century, whom he regards as the original
founder of this theory, and after quoting from a late theological writer
a statement of the system of Dr. Chauncey, and the Calvinistic theory of
Mr. Murray, he asks which of these systems is the true and the reliable
one; and after bringing the ideas he opposes to the subject of Christian
experience, to the self-denial, inward love and joy produced by the
regenerative agency of the Gospel, he pleads its incongeniality with
those qualities of the Christian religion which cause repentance and
reformation of life.

Occasionally I have heard it stated that Mr. Badger's preaching was very
interesting to that class of Christians who take the name of
Universalists, that they generally were fond of hearing him, and a very
few unguarded persons have said that he was substantially of their
doctrine. In regard to the first part of the statement, it must have
been true that many of this class were pleased and interested with his
preaching, for how could they be otherwise? It is to his credit that
they were pleased with him as a man and as a speaker. Being less rigid
than many others in their dogmatical restrictions--being less
conservative and proscriptive than most other sects, and having
investigating and inquiring minds, they would often be pleased to hear
so natural and so gifted a man as Mr. Badger. Then his mode of preaching
was never founded in terrific appeal--was never noisy or boisterous; the
paternity of God, the fulness of the love of Christ to all mankind, the
simplicity and reasonableness of religion, were topics that shone with
peculiar brightness. Men often judge by contrasts. He who preaches
humanely and from the fulness of a brotherly heart, when it is customary
to hear the thunders of Sinai rocking the pulpits and churches of the
land, and especially if the speaker draws the chief motive from the
endearing magnetism of heaven rather than from the repulsions of the
horrible pit, there will always be some to claim him as standing upon
their platform, as belonging to the theory which has so stoutly and
heroically fought the vindictive theology of Calvin. But if the truth is
looked for or abided by, it will stand as the most unquestionable
certainty that Mr. Badger adopted _none_ of the theories of
Universalism, whatever may be their merits or defects. He was one of
those naturally balanced men who could see the fragmentary excellence
residing in religious theories or in human reforms without becoming a
partisan. Probably there is no one theological subject on which there is
a larger amount of manuscript among the papers of Mr. B., than may be
found on the subject of Universalism, and the whole of it may be
appealed to in evidence that as a theory he always regarded it as human
and erroneous. Before me lie his early writings, in which he frankly
says, "I feel myself bound before my Eternal Judge to bear my testimony
against it;" and plots of some controversial sermons, laid out in the
form of a massive strength, and preached in the later years of his
ministry, are unequivocal testifiers to the same fact. These remarks are
not made to cast reflections on any sect, for our philosophy and
observation have taught us to revere the great religious movements of
the past century, believing that truth has been helped by each and by
all of them. They are made that the original, to whom these pages refer,
may be seen as he was. I rejoice that so many of those who hold the hope
of the world's salvation were drawn to his ministry, and that among his
friends throughout the country were those of different schools of
thought, of different denominations; and it may be truthfully added, a
large number of persons who were not in the habit of rendering their
regards to sects by membership, nor to churches by a regular attendance.
Many of this latter class, both of the intelligent and the very
illiterate, would catch something from his manner and words that drew
them about him. Sects are so much dressed in uniform, and are run so
exactly in fixed castings, that a man whose influences go out naturally
from the centre of an individual manhood is among the rarest
productions. At Naples, in the State of New York, a lot of ignorant
shingle makers, for example, some of whom drank and none of whom cared a
groat for a church, came down at mid-day from the adjoining hills with
but two questions in their mouth and heart, which were--"_Where is he?_"
and "_Will he preach?_" nor were the hundreds of like instances that
multiplied in his path anything less than the highest compliments, the
surest evidence that a _man_ was there and that his word was a help to
all. No _real_ man was ever yet on all sides walled by a sect; where one
appears, men generally are made to feel that the bond which unites them
to him is not ecclesiastical but human. Man and his brother are there.
Here is the closing paragraph of the argumentative letter from which
quotations have already been made:--

      "For seven long years I have been deprived of the joys of a
      father's house on account of my obedience to the great
      commission, 'Go ye into the world and preach the Gospel to
      every creature;' yet in distant lands I have met many dear
      friends, and found many dear homes. But I have not lost my
      regard for my relatives, and the silent groves are witness
      to my tears that my father's family may all share in the
      grace of Christ. Oh, what comfort it gives me to learn that
      some of the family have in their experience known the
      light, joy, and peace of religion since I saw them. Though
      we connect with different sects of Christians, though our
      views may be vastly different, yet if we have real virtue,
      if we 'fear God and work righteousness,' we shall be
      accepted of him. It is with the greatest tenderness that I
      have penned these arguments against your theory, and it is
      with solemnity that I look forward to a coming judgment
      where we shall soon meet. Should you still think your
      system true, remember that we should have something more
      than a belief in any doctrine,--something more than a
      profession of religion to qualify us to meet our God in
      peace. May he crown your hopes with eternal joy. May your
      grey hairs, when he shall call, come down unto the grave in
      peace. With your ancestors and children may you praise the
      Lord God and the Lamb forever. My best regards to my dear
      mother. Ten thousand blessings crown the evening of her
      life, and may her sun set without a cloud. My love to my
      brothers and sisters, who to my heart are still dear. May
      they live as children of the light. Though hundreds of
      miles shall separate us--though hills and valleys, lakes
      and rivers between us lie, we can pray to the same God,
      cherish the same spirit, walk according to the same rule,
      and, ere long, meet in the same eternal mansion of repose,
      where sorrows, pains, and labors shall end, where tears
      shall be wiped away from all faces."

Among the permanent moral lights of New England at this time, Rev. Noah
Worcester, of Brighton, Mass., shone with no ordinary lustre. His
thoughts on several moral and theological subjects, embodied in tracts,
books, and in periodical form, were known throughout the country. His
opinions, though held as unsound by many, were commended to the reader
by the candor, piety, learning and admirable character he possessed. Mr.
Badger soon saw the value of his mind as a theological writer,
instituted some friendly correspondence, and availed himself of a new
element of power by throwing into wider circulation some of his
argumentative writings; he also gained permission of Mr. Worcester to
republish some of his works. His "Appeal to the Candid," and his "Bible
News," were distinctly spoken of by Mr. B., as works deserving to be
placed in every library, and of being read at every fireside. But the
well of Christian life in Mr. Worcester was too full and deep to be
exhausted on theological themes. Under date of April 30, 1819, he says
to Mr. Badger:

      "For several years I have devoted my time principally to
      the object of abolishing the anti-Christian custom of war.
      In this business I expect to spend the remainder of my
      days. I very much desire that the ministers of your
      denomination should get hold of this subject. A little
      attention will convince them that the errors which support
      war are the most fatal of any which ever afflicted or
      disgraced mankind, and that to be _consistant 'Christians'_
      they must renounce all participation in the dreadful work
      of revenge and murder. The state of my health requires
      brevity. The peace tracts which I send you are gratis,
      except that I request you to examine them impartially. I
      should be happy to see you. I had the pleasure of some
      acquaintance with your uncle, Rev. Mr. Smith, of Gilmanton,
      N. H., also with your noble grandsire, Gen. Badger.

                               "Affectionately yours,

                                 "N. WORCESTER."

Other letters indicate the deep interest taken by Mr. B. in the
productions of this author, and often in later years did he recommend
them to the careful study of every young minister. More than this, he
often bestowed them as gifts upon those who were engaging in the work of
the ministry.

Among the theological papers of Mr. B., written about this time, is one
on the character of God, which furnishes an example of his concise and
successful method of getting at the truth of an important subject when
he became fully interested in it. He commences thus:--

      "Oh with what reverence ougth we to make mention of the
      exalted name of our Creator, and speak of his lovely
      character! Almost all sects acknowledge there is one God,
      though their opinions of his character may widely differ,
      owing to their present imperfection and the darkness of
      their minds. Truly our best discoveries are but imperfect,
      and, as the Apostle says, 'We see in part.'"

He then proceeds to state the modes by which the Deity is known, and
offers remarks on his undivided supremacy.

      "There are," says he, "three ways by which men receive the
      knowledge of God. 1. In the works of creation. 2. By the
      revelation of the Holy Spirit. 3. By the Holy Scriptures,
      which is a record God gave of his Son.

      "In these remarks I would show that the Eternal God is
      alone supreme, and that he is the Father of our Lord Jesus
      Christ. The first name given to the Creator in the
      Scriptures is God, Gen. 1:1, which, in a peculiar manner,
      is expressive of his power and greatness, and is applied to
      him in a very different manner from what it is when
      bestowed on any other beings. Yet it is an ambiguous word,
      and in the Scripture is applied to seven different
      characters which are, 1. The Eternal God.--Phil. 1:2. 2.
      To Jesus Christ in prophecy.--Isa. 9:6. 'For unto us a
      child is born, a son is given; and the government shall be
      upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful,
      Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the
      Prince of Peace.' 3. To angels.--Ps. 97:7; Heb. 1:6.
      'Worship Him, all ye gods.' 'Let all the angels of God
      worship him.' 4. To Moses.--Ex. 7:1. 'And the Lord God said
      unto Moses, See, I have made thee a god to Pharaoh.' 5. To
      the Hebrew Rulers or Judges.--Ex. 22:28; Ps. 82:1. 6. To
      Pagan idols.--Isa. 44:10. 7. To Satan. 'In whom the God of
      this world hath blinded their eyes.' From these passages it
      is evident that the word God of itself cannot teach the
      self-existent Divinity of that to which it is given.

      "God has no equal. I will show that he is greater than all
      others. He is so,

      "1. In names. 2. In works. 3. In power. 4. In knowledge.

      "1. In names. The word Jehovah is employed four times in
      the Scriptures, and in its simple, uncompounded form, is
      alone applied to the Supreme God. Ex. 6:3.--'And I appeared
      unto Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, by the name of God
      Almighty; but by my name JEHOVAH I was not known unto
      them.' Ps. 83:18.--'That men may know that thou, whose name
      alone is Jehovah, art the Most High over all the earth.'
      Isa. 12:2.--'For the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my
      song.' Isa. 26:4.--'In the Lord Jehovah is everlasting
      strength.' This word, it would seem, denotes the eternal
      self-existence of God. It was among the Hebrews their most
      sacred title for the Creator, so sacred in their regard
      that they did not, on common occasions, pronounce it in
      reading, or in worship, but after a significant pause of
      reverential silence, they substituted for it the word
      _Adonai_. Here is a sublime title, having no double
      meaning, and is applicable to no one but to the
      self-existent God.

      "2. 'Eternal God,' is a title given to the Father, and to
      none else. Deut. 33:27.--'The Eternal God is thy refuge.'

      "3. The words 'invisible God' are equally exclusive in
      their use. Col. 1:15.--'Who is the image of the invisible
      God, the first-born of every creature.' 4. He is called the
      Highest. Luke 1:32, 35. If the Deity is composed of three
      persons who are perfectly equal, it would be very improper
      to attach the name Highest to either of them, as it would
      disturb the equality of the three. Was not the Angel
      Gabriel probably ignorant of these distinctions when he
      made the announcement to the Virgin Mary? 5. He is styled
      the 'Most High.'--Ps. 107:11; Ps. 14:14; Acts 7:48; Heb.
      8:1. 6. 'God of gods,' is another title given to none but
      the Father.--Deut. 10:17. 'For the Lord your God is God of
      gods.' 7. The Father is called the 'only wise God.' Jude
      25.--'To the only wise God our Saviour be glory and
      majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever. Amen.' 1
      Tim. 1:17.--'Now unto the King eternal, immortal,
      invisible, the only wise God, be honor and glory forever
      and forever.' 8. He is styled the blessed and only
      Potentate. 1 Tim. 6:15.--'Which in his times (in the days
      of his flesh) he shall show who is the blessed and only
      Potentate, (the Father) the King of kings and Lord of
      lords.' These eight titles, which are alone given to the
      Father, do, as I consider, most perfectly demonstrate this
      part of my subject, and in part it illustrates what Jesus
      said in John 10:29. 'MY FATHER which gave them me is
      _greater_ than _all_.'"

These indeed are strong Scripture positions, comprehensively stated,
well fortified, and clearly expressed.

In some of his published writings of this year, we find him looking into
the subject of church polity, and endeavoring to answer the question,
"_Where is the power of government?_" He noticed four different systems
for answering this question, systems which have had their favorites,
from all of which, he adds, "I am led to dissent in certain respects."
These are: 1. The idea of submitting the power of government to the
civil authority, as in the Church of England, as in state religion
generally. He affirms that good government does its office when it
defends our rights and protects our persons; that it never should
attempt to enforce the laws of the church, or dictate in any way to the
conscience. 2. The idea of a central man, or of a few chosen men, in
whom the authority shall be vested. "The New Dispensation," said he,
"establishes a kingly government; yet, as the government is on the
Messiah's shoulder, I cannot consent that the power should be given to
any other." He is the legislative centre. "A Diotrephes was rebuked for
loving the preëminence." 3. The idea that in a council of ministers,
exclusive of churches, the controlling power concentrates. 4. That in
the churches, independent of the ministers, all power resides. In
neither of these systems does Mr. Badger confide. He confides in the
union of ministers and churches, in their assembled light. He refers to
the consultation at Jerusalem as combining several elements: "apostles,
elders and brethren," all being interested and active on the subjects
agitated. The general state of the Christian Church called for
something which the local action of no one society could give, and hence
there was a general assemblage drawn together at Jerusalem by the
magnitude of the questions to be discussed; and even their decisions
were not sent out as _laws_. "We, in submitting to the LAWS of Christ,
have a government among us, and each is to be esteemed for his work's
sake. Not considering churches and ministers as two parties, but as
one," says Mr. B., "we find them authorized with the power of
government, but not to _make_ laws." Referring to the council at
Jerusalem, he remarks that "it is a beautiful example for modern
Christians, one that fulfils the saying of the wise man, 'In the
multitude of counsellors there is safety.' Where no counsel is, the
people go astray." In this brief article, published in 1819, is
expressed the main view to which he always adhered in his ideas on
church government; a view more widely expanded and qualified in a series
of articles published in the "Christian Palladium," in 1837. He goes
against the spirit of isolation and individualism, and contends for the
united concentration of all the light of the church--for the active
union of the ministers and people. Hence he was neither Episcopal, nor a
radical Congregationalist, who boasts a church government independent of
the ministry.

In the town of Brutus, Cayuga County, N. Y., October 2, at a meeting
where several clergymen and a large assembly were convened, Mr. Badger
preached a sermon from Habakkuk 3:3, 4: "His glory covered the heavens,
and the earth was full of his praise, and his brightness was as the
light; he had horns coming out of his hand, and there was the hiding of
his power,"--a sermon that gave much good instruction, and made a strong
impression on the people, if we may rely on the candid report of the
meeting made by the most faithful of men, Mr. Elijah Shaw, then the
minister of that town; it was a sublime text, and was discussed and
illustrated in a manner worthy of its exalted sentiments.[30] Also, in
the town of Clarence, Niagara County, N. Y., September 26, at the
ordination of Rev. Allen Crocker, he preached an effective discourse
from the Apostolical Commission, Mark 16:15, in which Christ, and his
authority to command, the qualifications of his ambassadors, the
commission given, the Gospel to be preached, the various characters to
whom it is to be addressed, the effect produced, and the sacrifices,
afflictions and reward of the faithful minister, were plainly and
interestingly set forth.[31]

At this time Mr. Badger held a pastoral relation with three churches;
one at Henrietta, one at Lima, and one at Mendon; and in the midst of
the many duties and cares that surrounded him, he found time to write
occasionally for two religious publications, one called the "Christian
Herald," Portsmouth, N. H., the other "The Religious Informer,"
published at New Andover, in the same State. To this last mentioned
periodical we have no access, and therefore can select nothing from his
communications to that work.

In January, 1820, a religious convention was held at Covington, Genesee
County, N. Y., composed of the Freewill Baptist and the Christian
denominations, the object of whose deliberations was to form a more
social acquaintance with each other, to labor for a greater union, to
strive together for the "faith once delivered to the saints," and to
make all possible advancement towards that perfection in which the
watchmen are to see "eye to eye." Mr. Badger was the clerk of this
convention, a principal speaker in its discussions, and probably was one
of the originators of the meeting.

We learn that the usages and views of both denominations were plainly
set forth, Rev. Nathaniel Brown being appointed to represent the general
order and practice of the Freewill Baptists, and Rev. D. Millard to do
the same in behalf of the Christian denomination. A general and friendly
discussion, abounding in queries and answers, followed, and after much
deliberation it was found that the main difference between the two
denominations was this, that "the Baptists do not receive any as church
members who have not been baptized by _immersion_, though they extend
fellowship and communion to all who live in newness of life; and the
Christians receive all as _church members_ who give evidence that they
have passed from death unto life, and who live in newness of life." They
conversed on many points of doctrine, found no particular difference
except on the character of God and of Christ, which they considered to
be no bar to their union and fellowship. "We think it duty," said they,
"to discard all doctrine which has an immoral effect in society, and to
receive and approbate all who come in the fulness of the blessing of the
Gospel of Christ." They agreed to exchange, to labor together in
harmony, and to acknowledge themselves "the Church of God," to the
exclusion of all party names. In New England I judge the difference was
more marked, as some of Mr. B.'s correspondents in the East complained
that their ideas of catholic brotherhood had been rejected by them.

His indeed was a mingled cup, into which sorrow at times copiously
flowed. In a letter to his brother Nathaniel, dated Mendon, March 25,
1820, we read the following:--

      "My home is now in Mendon, where I have a neatly built
      house surrounded by only three acres I call my own; yet it
      is pleasant and convenient, it being only half a mile from
      the meeting-house now going up. I have the care of three
      churches. But at this time I am surrounded with great
      afflictions. For more than one year has my dear Mary Jane
      lain sick, and now she is in the last stage of consumption.
      She can remain but a few days longer. I rejoice that she is
      so calmly resigned and so well prepared to go into the
      world of spirits. How sweet is the presence of religion in
      these soul-trying scenes! We had a beautiful little son
      taken from us the 30th of January last, named for our two
      fathers 'Anthony Peaslee.' Thus with our blessings are
      afflictions mingled, and our cup is one of mixture."

In a letter to Mr. Moulton he says:

      "Though my situation is very local in a land distant from
      you, and from my friends in the Province, my mind often
      surveys the north country, where I have travelled,
      preached, suffered and enjoyed so much of God's holy
      presence; and a hope still exists that I may again visit
      the pleasant cottages that have once sheltered me from the
      chilling blasts of winter. Since I came into this country
      with you it has ever seemed like home, and I still feel
      bound in spirit to abide. I find it is a small thing to
      take the ground, and a greater to keep and cultivate it.
      But with my joys I have sorrows. January 30th, a pleasant
      son was taken from us, and a council of six physicians
      decided as early as last July that Mary Jane cannot recover
      from the consumption by which she is wasting away. She
      enjoys much of God's presence, is resigned and patient; but
      this is a scene of sorrow in which nothing can give comfort
      but the grace of God. The cause of religion still
      flourishes in this country. There is a general
      steadfastness and a good union among the churches. Our
      congregations are numerous. Hundreds flock together to hear
      the word of life and the Macedonian cry is heard from every
      quarter, 'Come over and help us.'

      "'Oh, Jesus, let thy beauties be
        My soul's eternal food;
      And grace command my heart away
        From all created good.'"

In anxious watching at the bedside of sickness, and in pastoral labors,
the days passed away, till the 4th of April, 1820, when the calm light
of the morning shone on the departing spirit of the one who had deeply
sympathized with him in all his interests. On the 5th her funeral was
attended by a large and solemn concourse, to whom a sermon was preached
by Rev. D. Millard, of West Bloomfield, from Phil. 1:21--"To die is
gain;" from his pen we will select a few obituary lines.

      "Mrs. Mary Jane Badger was born in Farmington, N. H.,
      February 26th, 1798, of respectable parentage. She was the
      third daughter of the late Col. Anthony Peavy, of that
      town. At the age of thirteen, she made a profession of
      religion among a people known by the name of Christians.
      Her pious walk and modest deportment while but a youth,
      entitled her to the highest esteem of all who knew her. At
      the age of eighteen she became united in marriage with
      Elder Joseph Badger, by which she became separated from her
      dearest parents, never to see them again on earth. Her
      constitution was naturally delicate, although for two years
      while she resided in this country she enjoyed a comfortable
      state of health. She conversed freely with her husband on
      death, and gave him some directions about her two little
      children. Previous to this time she manifested great
      anxiety concerning them, but from this moment appeared
      willing to give them up, and seemed to lose that fearful
      concern for them with which she had hitherto been
      exercised. But God had otherwise declared for the youngest
      child. She wept at the afflicting scene, but endured it
      with much fortitude and resignation. She said to her
      husband, at the close of a prayer when several of her
      Christian friends were present, 'I rejoice there is such a
      scene as death for mortals to pass through; it is the gate
      of endless joy.' Enriched with early religious experience,
      she took delight in the singing of certain devotional
      hymns, such as 'My God, the spring of all my joys,' and 'O
      Jesus, my Saviour, to thee I submit;'--and her last words
      were, 'I feel composed, I can put my trust in God.' 'She
      was,' says Mr. Millard, 'a striking example of female
      neatness and industry; very exemplary in dress and manners,
      and particularly chaste and reserved in her conversation.
      Though she is now no more, yet her memory will long live in
      the hearts of the virtuous.'"

A tombstone now appears in the burial-ground near the village of Honeoye
Falls, bearing the characteristic taste and expressive simplicity of Mr.
Badger's genius, on which is inscribed these words:

      SHE DIED A CHRISTIAN, APRIL 4, 1820, AGED 22 YS. 1 M. 9 D.

      "Her race was swift,
        Her rest is sweet,
      Her views divine,
        Her bliss complete."

It is with entire calmness Mr. Badger surveys the clouded skies that
shut down upon his loneliness; a calmness that never ostensibly forsook
him whenever great grief was at the door. He had a heart of great
affections and of fine feelings. His strong nature was also extremely
sensitive. Few could suffer so much, and few would weep so little when a
great sorrow entered his dwelling. He is again alone in the world; his
little daughter, Lydia Elizabeth, was all that remained of his family,
the only tie that would seem to bind him to earth, and one indeed in
whom his affections strongly centered. Letters of sympathy from numerous
sources came in from different parts of the country. But sorrow, though
it might soften and enrich, could never subdue the energies of his manly
spirit; and in the ministry of the holy Cross he applied his force with
a renewed consecration of every ability.

Though a resident of one place, it was not his nature to be a local
man. His sympathies went abroad, his eye caught the signs of real and of
possible success over a large area, and the public, far and near,
responded with a feeling of interest equally general. At ordinations,
and consecrations of "temples made with hands," he was ever a favorite
with the people; and very frequently he journeyed large distances to
attend to calls of this nature. His family now being broken up, after
securing the pastoral labors of Rev. Oliver True, he resumes the work of
a missionary.

There are indeed two classes of successful ministers, though they
succeed in different ways. I refer to the class who have simply great
power in preaching, who can be instrumental in the conversion of great
numbers; who, when they have reached the moral depths of the sinful
heart, and filled it with the new and heavenly light, have ended their
mission. They leave no nucleus about which the new strength may organize
itself. If such ministers belong to a denomination well organized, and
if they labor in the spirit of such denomination, the results of their
efforts will very likely be absorbed in the body which already contains
the speakers. These can create material, but they have no constructive
power to permanently unite it. There is another class, who seem to be
natural husbandmen of the grounds they sow; they build, they gather,
they bring everything into order and system, they fence and harvest the
ripened fields. These last men are seldom if ever idealists; they see
the world as it is, are men of order and of accumulative tendency.
Perhaps George Whitfield and John Wesley may be taken as just examples
of these two kinds of ministers. Mr. Badger was certainly a
constructive, and also was he a gifted creator of material. He was, in
one, both these orders of ministerial power; perhaps we should say that
if either predominated it was that of conserving the wealth which his
creativeness and the creativeness of others might produce. Whitfield was
the powerful, the eloquent preacher, under whose word converts were
multiplied "as dews of the morning;" but under his peculiar genius
Methodism had never become an organic system, to last its centuries.
Wesley, though not a great man in thought or language, was the master
builder without whom the labor of men like Whitfield had been, as it
were, "scattered unto strangers." He gave to his cause the character of
a permanent institution. Mr. Badger was no disorganizer. He believed in
organization, in system, though he sought to organize with simplicity
and on large and catholic principles of Christian brotherhood.

At Milo, N. Y., at a general meeting which, on Sunday, September 3,
1820, was held in one of the pleasant groves of that rural town, Mr.
Badger preached the ordination sermon of Benjamin Farley, James Potter
and Stephen Lamphere, from Rom. 10: 14: "How shall they hear without a
preacher?" The week following he spent chiefly at and in the vicinity of
the village of Aurora, where he preached several sermons and
administered baptism to a few believers. He then returned by way of
Auburn, preached twice to large assemblies in the Presbyterian church at
Brutus, visited his devoted friend Dr. Beman, and in the evening spoke
to the assembled citizens of Elbridge. On the morning of the 11th he
called at the bedside of Dr. Ayers, who was in the last stage of
consumption. "After much conversation," says Mr. B., "I asked him if he
desired us to attend prayers. He paused and said, '_Can_ you pray?'
(What an important question!) I answered in the affirmative. Said he,
'Does God hear you and give you answers?' I told him 'Yes.' He then
burst into tears and said, '_Once_ he heard _me_, but does not of late.'
Every heart present was moved. He was a man beloved. He bowed with us in
prayer. At nine o'clock we left him and proceeded to Camillus, where I
baptized the wife of Esquire Benedict and Mrs. McMaster, his daughter.
At evening I spoke to a multitude of weeping auditors. On my return,
agreeable to promise, I called on Dr. A., who again knelt with me at the
altar of mercy, and when I gave him my parting hand he said, 'I shall
meet you in heaven.' His countenance was as serene as a morning without

At Charleston, Montgomery County, N. Y., on the 10th and 17th of
September, he attended a general meeting, at which between one and two
thousand people were present. He speaks of the Conference business that
was done on the 18th and 19th as very important; but most of all was he
interested in the public improvement of three female speakers, who
occupied the time on Monday evening, Mrs. Sarah Hedges, Mrs. Abigail
Roberts, and Miss Ann Rexford, each of whom was more than commonly
gifted in public speaking, and proved the fitness of their mission by
indisputable success in their respective spheres of labor. Miss Rexford,
then but nineteen years of age, a young woman of polished manners and
accomplished mind, had a clear knowledge of the Scriptures, a winning
voice, a fine command of language, and withal a liberal religious
experience. An article among Mr. Badger's papers, written a year earlier
than this, is devoted to the gifts and sphere of woman in the church,
which, though it does not parallel the claims made by the modern
Conventions, proves the mind of its author to be free from the Oriental
bigotry, and in sympathy with the nobler aspirations of woman's mind. On
the 24th of this month, at a general meeting held at Greenville, Greene
County, N. Y., in the presence of several ministers, of an assembly of
about two thousand people, and under the umbrageous veiling of forest
leaves, he spoke from Ps. 40: 1, 2, 3; "in which," says the reporter of
the sermons given, "he noticed fifteen distinct particulars, and we
could say the word was rightly divided and a portion given to each in
due season. He proved himself a workman that needeth not to be ashamed."
Speaking of this discourse, Mr. Spoor, who reported the order of the
meeting to the public press, said that he appeared before the people
"like a cloud full of rain;" and probably there are few men in the
ministry anywhere whose "doctrine" dropped more "like the rain," or
whose speech "distilled" more "like the dew," than his. His manner was
dignified and gentle.

About this time Mr. Badger related the substance of his missionary
adventures to his intimate friend, Hon. Ezra Wate, of West Bloomfield,
N. Y., in a series of letters, written hastily at snatches of time
whilst on his way. From these we learn the events of the few months
that remain of 1820. To him he says:

      "I am happy in a travelling capacity, as I like the work of
      a missionary; but I am troubled with the unsettled state of
      what I may call my own affairs;--my home in Mendon, my dear
      little daughter in Lima, and I, everywhere. I can now see
      how true my friends have been to me in Ontario County, and
      oh, that Providence had favored me with the blessing of
      living and of dying among them! How painful the remembrance
      of departed joys that may never be recalled! Though
      surrounded with the best society, though often thronged
      with company, I am constantly _alone_, and I have many
      lonesome, disconsolate and dejected hours. No chastisement
      for the present seems joyous."

He speaks of a great meeting held at Cortright, Delaware county, at
which he spoke twice, heard five discourses from other ministers
present, namely, Uriah Smith, O. E. Morrill, and Jesse Thompson,--a
meeting at which the converting power of God was signally displayed
among the people. Under date of October 5, he says:

      "My mind has often flown from the crowd of new friends and
      acquaintances that surround me, to the enjoyment of those
      old friends with whom I have taken sweet counsel in years
      that are past. Was I coming into trials and conflicts, I
      should be constrained to say of my new acquaintances, as
      David did of Saul's armour, 'I have not proved it.' Friends
      whom we have proved, friends who have merited our
      confidence, are priceless in value. Solomon knew the worth
      of this truth when he said, 'A friend loveth at all

Also, under date of October 16th, he writes,

      "My health is much better than when I left this country,
      and never did I enjoy my mind better than now, and never
      did I experience greater freedom in preaching than on this
      journey. Amidst all my misfortunes I have a world of
      felicity in view. It is a time of reformation in this
      county (Cayuga). I shall speak next Sabbath evening in the
      Court House at Auburn, and the first Sabbath in November I
      will preach at our chapel in Mendon."

Letters from many quarters and from leading men in community, came in,
soliciting him to come and preach, and not unfrequently did the leading
members of other denominations second these requests by offering their
chapels for his use.

A plain, concise, and kindly letter to Rev. Mr. Patching, in which he
vindicates the ordinances of the Gospel against the denials of Mr. P.,
who had, by Mr. Badger's recommendations, been preaching to his
congregations, belongs to this year. The main object of the letter seems
to have been to call out investigation, and to throw some conservative
influence around a boldly speculative mind. The following extract will
show its spirit and its point:

      affection and from a clear evidence of duty, I hastily pen
      a few lines for your consideration, hoping that it may not
      only serve as an introduction to a familiar correspondence
      between us, but that it may lead us to discuss,
      investigate, and harmonize our views relative to the
      doctrine of the Gospel and the ordinances of the New

      "I was not alarmed relative to the suggestions you made in
      my presence concerning a 'new light' you had received,
      which led you to deny the ordinances of the Gospel, as I
      thought your experience would soon teach you your error,
      and the impropriety of annulling what Christ and the
      Apostles have established--what both primitive and modern
      Christians have rejoiced in. But when I discovered a
      division in the peaceful flock of my charge, and at our
      last communion, three of our once happy brethren stay away,
      their seats vacant which have been so faithfully filled for
      years, persons whom I have heard praise God on such
      occasions, I cannot refrain from giving you my sentiments,
      and from assuring you that after carefully reviewing the
      subject, I must still 'Teach and baptize in the name of the
      Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost,' (Luke
      16:15, 16; Matt. 28:19, 20,) and shall continue 'steadfast
      in the Apostles' doctrine and in breaking of bread and of
      prayers,' Acts 11:41-46. Your 'new light,' as it is called
      in this region, to me is an old error, agitated by the
      Quakers two centuries ago, and more recently adopted and
      taught by the Shakers.

      "Water baptism and the Lord's Supper are the two main
      ordinances of the new dispensation. I think there was no
      such practice as either of these among the Jews previous to
      John, who came to prepare the way for the Messiah. At
      least, the Scriptures make no mention of any such practice
      under the law. Baptism was first practised by John, was
      subsequently sanctioned by the precepts and example of
      God's holy Son; and since it is comprehended in his
      Commission to the Apostles, it must continue to be as
      lastingly and as extensively observed as the Gospel
      itself. It is no more local or temporary than the mission
      which contains it. The Supper also was first introduced by
      the Saviour on the night in which he was betrayed, and even
      after his resurrection he sanctioned it by appearing at the
      head of the table. It is very evident that the custom was
      continued among the disciples, and shall we say that the
      Apostles and the ancient Christians generally were under
      the delusion of the devil in coming together on the first
      day of the week to preach and to break bread? If not, where
      is the impropriety of our following the Apostles in this
      thing? Are they and the holy Scriptures our example, or are
      we to be governed by imagination? My dear brother, what can
      be your motive in this great stir? Do you think your labor
      on this subject essential to the conversion of souls? Or is
      it possible that pride and vanity have joined to induce you
      to become the author of something new, to be at the head of
      a party? My charity forbids me to think this. I hope for
      better things. As a gentleman of science, as a Gospel
      minister, you have entered upon the very responsible stage
      of public life. Your station is high, your position is
      critical, and it becomes you to walk gently before the
      Lord. This is a time in which we should pray fervently,
      think soberly, and act with deliberation. We should write
      the words of God with carefulness. Br. Millard informs me
      that you intend to publish a work on this subject. Allow me
      to advise you to be cautious, as an error once sent forth
      to the reading world can only with great difficulty be
      recalled. A blunder at the commencement of one's public
      life may cause perpetual injury. I advise you to lay your
      views before some enlightened council, or to correspond
      with able ministers on the subject. If you have a _true_
      light, others can see it; if not, you will be assisted in
      season by the wisdom of others."

Mr. P., it would appear, was a minister of the Freewill Baptist
denomination, had associated some with Mr. Badger[32] in public life;
but instead of adhering to the suggestions of his friend, it seems that
he published a small volume, in which he sent baptism, the Lord's
Supper, ordination, and the divinely inspired character of the
Scriptures, into endless banishment, with certain broadcast allegations
against the fraternity to which he had belonged. In 1823, Mr. Badger
wrote six strong chapters in reply to his volume, apparently at the
request of the denomination from which the author of the book had
previously hailed. The title of Mr. B.'s manuscript read thus: "A Plea
for the Innocent; and T. Patching's Writings against Baptism, Lord's
Supper, Ordination, and the Holy Scriptures, criticised. By Joseph
Badger, Minister of the New Testament." Among the mottoes of the
title-page is this:

      "He brushed the cobwebs from his brethren's urn,
      Yet spared the insect that wove the web."

But we judge the insect was not wholly spared. It is ably written.
Perhaps a glance into the boldness of the speculations of Mr. P. may be
gained in the statement that among his common-place are positions like
these: "The Bible is the God of thousands, a stumbling-block to the
blind, and the foundation of Priestcraft--the means by which Satan,
through his prelates, has served himself to the best advantage;" that
those who advocate the Bible, though less numerous than those who
follow the Alcoran, are probably not less blind or wicked; and that the
Scriptures "are not so much as one stone in the foundation upon which
God has made man's salvation dependent;" and that through scripture
medium no man derives spiritual knowledge. Why Mr. Badger's reply was
never published, is unknown; perhaps the passing away of the excitement
attendant on the first introduction of the work of Mr. P., led to the
conclusion that its publication was unnecessary. "I have traced with
care," says Mr. B., "the writings of Volney, the noted French atheist,
and I think he treats the Scripture with more fairness and respect;
whilst Hume and Bolingbroke are decidedly too modest to rank with him.
But when we turn to the pages of Mr. Paine, Mr. Allen, and Voltaire, we
find a style and manner that admit of comparison with the writings now
under discussion."

December 14, 1820, in writing to his father from West Bloomfield, he

      "The church under my care in this region is in a
      flourishing state, and my work is in this country. I think
      it my duty to continue here. I shall endeavor ere long to
      visit you, as my anxiety is great to see you once more.
      Though I ceased to keep house the day after the death of
      Mary Jane, I think it will be my duty, at some future
      period, to resume my home in this place--a home which is
      now left unto me desolate."

December 17, from Lima, he speaks of an important reformation, and of a
prospering society of Christians in the town of Williamson, now Marion,
Wayne County, New York, a town in which Mr. Badger at different times
has labored with success, and where to this day the society of liberal
Christians under the ministry of Rev. Amasa Staunton, is prosperous and
strong. It was his primary intention to have journeyed to the land of
his birth and early ministerial success in New England, when the sacred
ties of his domestic life were broken; but a sudden misfortune, which
deprived him of his intended method of conveyance, caused him to employ
the time in visiting those places in eastern New York, spoken of in the
latter pages of this chapter. On his return, whilst at Brutus, he
received a message from Mr. Oliver True, then in Ontario county, that
from Williamson an urgent request had arrived that he should come to
baptize a large number of converts; and though no answer positively
decides his compliance at that time, it is certain that he has
frequently bestowed labor on that community, and was present and
assisted in the organization of that church in 1820.



A discourse on the Atonement, written the early part of 1821, vindicates
the paternity of God, in the equal generosity of his provisions for the
salvation of all men who will obey the truth. It is indeed a strong
vindication, one that sifts the premises of Calvinism most thoroughly;
and though changes that have since been wrought in the public mind
render the present value of such arguments and discussions far less than
their worth at the period of their formation, they are still valuable as
evidences of the former states of theological thinking and of the force
and clearness of mind with which the author treated the subject. His
discourse is entitled "The Way of Salvation, or, The Nature and Effects
of Atonement." He shows in the expressive motto of the first leaf, that
he centres all in Christ: "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the
sin of the world;" the sermon is founded on Romans 5:18: "Therefore, as
by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation, even
so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto
justification of life."

In the treatment of this topic, Mr. Badger has but two simple divisions;
the first is the offence and condemnation, the second treats of the free
gift and its design. After alluding to Calvinism and to Universalism as
having the same roots, and differing only in respect to _the number_
embraced in the arbitrarily elective plan, he announces the truth as
being free from these extremes, and as leading the mind of the hearer
along the healing stream of God's benevolence as it widening flows
through all nations and climes.

In referring to the primeval state, he suggests that we are a distant
posterity; that we may not presume to know all that belonged to the
early Eden and to man's primitive condition. He asks the question--What
is sin? What is its origin? What are its effects? He says, that the
definition given by St. John 3: 4, is the most definite that the whole
Scripture yields, that, in 1 John 5: 17, there is a good general view of
it in the statement that all unrighteousness is sin, and in James 4: 17,
the same view is confirmed in the affirmation, that "To him that knoweth
to do good and doeth it not, to him it is sin."

      "The first sin of every man," says Mr. Badger, "is the
      doing of wrong when he knows what is right. There must be a
      knowledge of wrong; there must be a law in the mind of the
      actor to render his action sin. Admitting this scriptural
      view, how can we consider infants, and children unborn, to
      be sinners? Are they acquainted with God's will? Do they
      know his law? We often hear people tell of the 'sins of our
      nature,' and of being 'sinners by nature,' and of the 'sins
      we bring into the world with us;' but such sins are unknown
      to the Scriptures, are unnamed in the word of God, and the
      idea was invented in the wilderness ages of Christianity."

      "Some, in speculating on the Garden of Eden, have so
      spiritualized the transaction as to please their own
      fancy; others have taken the garden, trees, and fruit in
      the most literal sense, and thereby have plunged themselves
      into darkness and difficulty. It is said that 'God planted
      a garden eastward,' but, as none are informed of its
      locality, its latitude and longitude on the globe, it is
      impossible for those who take it in a literal sense to add
      any discoveries to the scripture statements. It is evident
      that the sin of our first parents consisted in their doing
      a forbidden act, which was disloyalty to the true King. All
      that I will venture to say is this, that 'God hath made man
      upright; but they have sought out many inventions.'"

      "In regard to the question, who is the author of sin, I
      answer, the _actor_ is its author. Temptation is not sin.
      Sin consists in submitting to the influence of tempting
      objects. If, in the story of the garden, there are three
      distinct sentences of condemnation pronounced, there were
      also three distinct sinful actors. Sin originates in each
      lustful mind. Some say, Is not God the author of all
      things? did he not make all creatures? Yes. But sin is
      neither a thing nor a creature. It is the act of a creature
      who is enlightened and free. Many, failing to make God the
      author of their sins, labor to prove that the devil
      originates them, and thus lay to him that of which he is
      not guilty, and that which they had better take to

On the second division of the subject, he dwells on Christ as the great
mediatorial centre of light and mercy, where God will meet all mankind
in their striving to realize the salvation of their souls. By pleading
the eternal life revealed in Christ as a free gift, and by urging
mankind to use their personal freedom in improving the new advantages,
he presents a practical At-one-ment--a real harmony of man with God,
without adopting the arbitrary notions of grace prevailing in the then
common theology, and without implying a pacification of "the infinite
wrath" of God to men, a sentiment which, in a world that could _realize_
the import of words so carelessly employed in theory, would be regarded
as the utmost profanation, as the last step in the descending grades of
religious irreverence and unbelief.

      "The heathen," says Mr. B., "who has never heard the
      Gospel's joyful sound, is not without hope, as the gentle
      rays of the Holy Spirit have influenced his mind to
      reverence the Great Spirit, as Christ is 'a light that
      lighteth every man that cometh into the world.' He may
      arise from his darkness and misery to some bright mansion
      in the New Jerusalem, while high-minded professors and
      superstitious Jews may find their hopes to be those of the
      hypocrite. Under these views, the partial atonement appears
      in feeble colors, and the universal love of God to men
      shines conspicuously from the holy scripture and from

Under date of February 22, 1821, at Mendon, N. Y., Mr. Badger informs
the readers of the Christian Herald, that he has just returned from
Genesee and Alleghany counties; that in Covington a successful
reformation had begun; that in Perry, Warsaw, Gainesville, Orangeville
and Pike, he found the people attentive; that "the star which rose in
the east shines in the west with unfading lustre." He speaks of the glad
news of revivals that had reached him from Pennsylvania, Ohio, Canada,
and different sections of the State of New York. "My health," he adds,
"has been poor the month past, which has located my labors some; before
that, for six months, I had as many meetings as there were days. O, how
delightful the thought of meeting all the _elect_ around the Father's
throne in glory, where, from every nation and sect, all will join in one
harmonious song!"

March 12, 1821, he speaks of preaching twice at Perry, to large and
solemn assemblies, among whom he thinks the power of the Highest was
spiritually manifest; of meeting the aged parents of Rev. W. True, who
were happy in the hopes of immortal life. At Middlebury, he says that he
found the attention great to "hear the word;" that at the Academy his
assemblies were large; that, one evening, by request, he preached on the
character of Christ, taking Isaiah 9: 6, for his text.

      "One Presbyterian and several Baptist clergymen were
      present. I first spoke on the origin, nature, character,
      titles and dignity of Christ, in which I endeavored to
      prove him divine, and an object of worship. 2. I noticed
      the origin, nature, effects and supports of the doctrine of
      the Trinity, in which I gave the reasons why I dissented
      from that doctrine. I endeavored to show that my faith gave
      me a divine Saviour, and that Trinitarianism is obliged to
      rely on a human sacrifice."

"I am sensible," said he, "that my visit will be remembered by the
_shrine_-maker's," for which he assigns as a reason that in the partisan
zeal of his opponents, there were many who seemed ready to exclaim,
"Great is Diana!" He speaks of Mr. W. True, then pastor of the society
at Covington, as being both "a son of thunder and of consolation;" as an
exemplary instance of self-sacrifice and of fidelity to the truth. As
Mr. B. did not sail under doctrinal idolatries, he says, at the
conclusion of his address, "Love is the badge of the Christian and the
tenet of Heaven; may holiness be our motto forever."

Let us return, after this absence, to the social relations of Mr.
Badger. We had seen his family dispersed, his home broken up by death in
the early part of 1820. We have traced him in his subsequent travels, in
his various public labors since that time, and found that amidst the
sorrow and loneliness that enshrouded his spirit, his former home in
Ontario County, the friends that there clustered about him as their
religious teacher, formed the central attraction to which he turned with
the deep and permanent feelings of home. The class of persons Mr. B. had
there attached to himself, were the intelligent, the responsible and
influential, which, added to the happy associations that still lingered
in the bower of memory, and the presence there of the only remaining
relic of his family, it is natural, it is reasonable, that this region
of the State, to which he seems to have been providentially sent, should
have attracted him more than any other place. A new period now arrives
in his life. Not merely from a sense of duty to himself or daughter,
but, if one may rightly judge from the sincere embodiment of the heart
in a multitude of letters, written under various circumstances and at
different times, in after life, from sincere, earnest and abiding
affection, did he now form the marriage alliance which continued until
his death, and which placed him at the head of a talented and moderately
numerous family. March 21st, 1821, he was married to Miss Eliza Maria
Sterling, a talented, respectable young woman of Lima, New York,
daughter of Samuel Sterling, Esq., who was one of the early pioneers,
and an honored citizen of that town. Again the star of his earthly
destiny seemed to emerge from clouds, and to shine with promise on
future years. Her parents were members of the society of which Mr.
Badger was pastor, were acquainted with him from and before his
settlement in the town of Mendon, and frequently had he been a guest in
the family of Mr. Sterling. With new and respectable relations, with a
companion whom he deeply and abidingly loved--one that frankly and
wisely expressed the sentiments and opinions that became the responsible
relation she had assumed; with his little daughter, Lydia Elizabeth,
whom he now took from her boarding-house to his new home, Mr. Badger
again felt that life to him was verdant in the promises of peace and
happiness. Immediately is he at the head of a new and an independent
home, where his cheerful and genial nature made the light of happiness
to shine about him. From the particular cast of mind possessed by Mrs.
B., in which the faculty of judgment, of clear-sightedness on matters of
practical moment, was decidedly prominent, she became in a degree his
counsellor in all the great and important enterprises of his life.

In the duties of his pastoral and his new social relations, the months
of April, May, June and July passed away. Among his correspondence of
1818, 1819 and 1820, there are several requests from old acquaintances
and friends in the Province of Canada, for him again to visit the region
of his former labors. August 7th, 1821, he started on such a tour,
taking passage in the steamboat at the mouth of the Genesee river for
Ogdensburg. Leaving the river at 4 P.M., the vessel soon disappeared
from the sight of land, but, through the violence of wind and storm, it
was driven back sixty miles into the port of Oswego.

      "On this occasion," said Mr. Badger, "I had the pleasure of
      seeing some profane wretches, who were blasphemers in the
      calm, cease their profanity, and grow solemn in the midst
      of danger. We arrived at Oswego just at daylight, where we
      spent the day. I visited several places, talked with many
      about salvation, and had a good time in solitude and
      prayer. We left there 12 o'clock at night, and, in seven
      hours, arrived at Sackett's Harbor; here I had an agreeable
      interview on shore with Judge Fields, who gave me an
      account of a glorious reformation in that village, in which
      a large number had found the Saviour to be precious; he
      said they were well engaged and united. The converts had,
      many of them, joined the Methodists and Presbyterians, and
      some of them remained simply Christians. The judge seemed
      to take a great interest in the work, which he said was
      still increasing.

      "The 10th inst. we arrived at Ogdensburg. I made several
      visits on shore, and found it a wicked place; as St. Paul
      said of Athens, 'the whole city was given to idolatry.' The
      11th, lodged at a place called the Cedars, on the St.
      Lawrence, a French village, and a people of strange
      language. The 12th, we spent the Sabbath on a small island
      in Lake St. Clair, but, at evening, we reached a small
      village at the mouth of the Shatagee River, which of the
      most wretched places I ever saw. A gentleman told me that
      the inhabitants were part of them French, a part Indian,
      and a part Devil. I had reason to believe it. Early in the
      morning I visited the Indian town, Cogh-ne-wa-ga, and found
      some of them willing to hear of the crucified Jesus. I have
      just arrived in this pleasant town, Montreal, but shall
      leave it soon for the townships east, as I intend to visit
      my father's house, which I have not seen for five years. A
      gentleman from England has just informed me that he has
      discovered a general belief among all sects in England, for
      ten years past, that God is about to work an overture in
      Christendom, for the union of all sects of Christians.
      Happy is every person who possesses that spirit."

The English gentleman here alluded to was probably Commodore Woolsey,
who had been his company from Sackett's Harbor to Ogdensburg, of whom in
another letter, he says:--

      "One afternoon, after a long discussion on different
      religious societies, and on pure religion, the Commodore,
      apparently with a feeling heart, observed, 'Sir, I am
      sensible that our variety of belief and forms of worship
      are principally owing to our education; but pure religion
      is one thing wherever you find it; it is the work of God in
      the heart, a principle of godliness implanted within.'"

In a very easy and happy manner, Mr. Badger, in travelling, won the
attention of strangers, and drew out a free expression of thought from
the best minds; and this sentiment--that pure religion is substantially
one thing over all the earth, was one which met the deepest response in
the entire life and philosophy of the subject of this memoir.

September 12, 1821, from Compton, L. C, in the district of the Three
Rivers, he writes that from Montreal he took passage for Sevel, a French
village, at the head of Lake St. Peter's; that from thence he made his
way to the Indian village on St. Francisway River, where, eight years
before, he had formed some acquaintance with their chief, through whose
influence he now hoped for an opportunity to preach to those
unsophisticated sons of the forest, children of wild and beautiful
traditions, soul-taught worshippers of the Great Spirit. The absence of
the chief at court frustrated his plan.

      "I found the village in a flourishing situation; a large
      meeting-house was being built; an English school had
      already been established, and the natives were fast
      improving in the arts and sciences. Capt. St. Francisway is
      an interpreter of several nations, and can speak in eight

On foot, Mr. B. continued his journey up the river through a wretched
country, until he arrived at a settlement formed by the remnant of an
old British army, to whom the government had given lands. Mr. B.
considered them in nearly a state of starvation, and after almost
exhausting himself with hunger and fatigue, he sat in lonely meditation
beneath a sturdy pine, reflecting on the divine goodness and the dangers
he had tempted in this new wilderness way.

      "In the evening I arrived at the cottage of an old soldier.
      They had neither meat, bread, nor milk to set before me. I
      obtained permission to sleep on the floor, but I had some
      reason to suspect that they were thieves and robbers; and I
      thought that the surest way, and finally the only way for
      my safety, was to preach salvation to them. Accordingly I
      gave them a long discourse, which was so far attended by
      the power of God as to enable me to make friends in this
      instance of the mammon of unrighteousness. I was glad to
      see the morning light, and walked eight miles before I
      could get my breakfast."

He visited his father's residence in Compton, stayed some weeks, gave
three funeral sermons in that town, visited the old parishes where he
had formerly preached, wept at the grave of many a fallen friend, heard
the prayerful voice of repenting sinners, and the rejoicing songs of
converted ones.

After completing his visit in the king's dominion, Mr. Badger, about the
middle of September, started for home, proceeding through the State of
Vermont over the Green Mountains to Ballston and Saratoga; thence, after
a visit at Amsterdam, where he informs us several hundred had entered
into the enjoyment of the religious life during the past year, he
advanced up the Mohawk to Utica; and spending the Sabbath at
Westmoreland, with Rev. J. S. Thompson, and attending appointments on
the way at Brutus, Camillus, Auburn and Geneva, he arrived at home
October 5, which completed a journey of 1200 miles, "in which time,"
said he, "I have witnessed the most stupendous displays of God's mercy
and salvation." At the city of Rochester, he attended several meetings
before the commencement of the next year, where he gained the attention
of the people.

The year preceding 1821, Mr. Badger became a member of the fraternity of
Masons, an institution which he always prized for its wisdom, morality
and benevolence, and one in which he made superior advancement.[33] Not
given to ultra rashness, he did not extol the institution beyond its
evident merits when glory and influence were on its side, nor did the
temporary storm that assailed it draw from him violent resistance, or
concessions that could be construed into disesteem for the great
designs, general rules and customs of Masonry. He not unfrequently gave
public addresses to the Masonic community in his own State, occasionally
assisted in the ceremonies of initiation and of progress in the Order,
and in other States of the Union he sometimes gave addresses.

Traces of writings are left, from 1821, that embody an effort to
systematize the facts of history, and to retain what struck him as most
important,--history relating to Egypt, Persia, Palestine, Rome, Arabia
and China. But usually, such was the fulness of the active life of Mr.
Badger, and of his reliance on the resources of his natural ability and
experience, that he was not a close, laborious student, though he was
never at a loss, when occasion required, in showing an accurate command
of the substantial facts of history and of science bearing on the
subject in hand.

In 1822, in addition to his local labors, Mr. Badger visited Saybrook
and Lyme, Connecticut, attended the United States General Conference
holden at Greenville, Green County, N. Y., besides attending to several
calls at a distance from home. I would here remark that a United States
General Conference,[34] though its origin was rather informal, was at
last a body composed of ministers and delegates from different local
Conferences, that its object was to discuss and advise in relation to
subjects of general interest to the cause in which the promoters of a
liberal and an evangelical Christianity were engaged. It was not
uncommon for them to discuss abstract themes of faith and church polity,
for the purpose of gaining greater light in the multitude of counsel.
Such convocations dictated no articles of faith, presented no formula of
belief except the generally conceded revelations of God. In the annual
meeting here named, held September 5, 6, 7, the second resolution
adopted was, that Christian fellowship arises from satisfactory evidence
of being born of the Spirit of God, and that it properly extends to all
who walk after "the rule of Christ." This body, though in many things it
proved useful, especially in its free discussion, was, by mutual
agreement, finally dissolved at Milan, Dutchess County, N. Y., October
2, 1832, chiefly from the considerations that the wants it had met might
now by other methods be more successfully reached, that it was
inconvenient to assemble annually from parts so remote, and that in
time it might outstrip its original intentions, and become a
centralization of power to the injury of congregational sentiments. At
the meeting which followed the Conference, Sunday, September 8, Mr.
Badger preached the third discourse from Deut. 32: 10: "He found him in
a waste howling wilderness; he led him about, he instructed him, he kept
him as the apple of his eye." To a people who regarded the church as
being still in the wilderness, as merging by slow degrees out into light
and liberty, and as always dependent on Him who led, taught, and guarded
the ancient Israel of his choice, such a text and sermon were suited to
the time and the occasion.

In 1823, he made a tour into Pennsylvania, accompanied by S. D. Buzzael,
a minister of whom he speaks as being well engaged in the cause.
Preaching on the way in several towns, in Dansville, Naples, Cohocton
and Bath, he arrived, in the early part of the month of March, at the
pleasant village of Lewisburg, in Union County, Pa., a village that lies
embosomed in the wild and attractive scenery of the Susquehannah,
between the towns of Milton and Northumberland. On the way, he held a
quarterly meeting which he had previously appointed among the Methodists
in the town of Cohocton, Steuben County, where he met about forty church
members and two ministers who had thrown off the authority of bishops,
and styled themselves Methodists, rejecting episcopacy both from their
name and their doctrine. To them, in company with D. Millard, of West
Bloomfield, he preached and administered the communion to a free and
happy people, learning at the same time that in New York there were
about six hundred members in connection with them in this their new and
reformatory position.

Crossing the Cohocton and the Canisteo rivers, in company with Mr.
Buzzael, he followed the course of the Tioga to the town of Icoga, Pa.,
then crossing Peter's Camp and the Block House to Lycoming by the
Wilderness road, as it was justly called, he continued his way through
the enveloping night and the descending rain. "We had," says Mr. B., "to
ascend and descend dreadful mountains to obtain a lodging among
strangers in a strange land. We were fatigued and sorrowful; but Brother
Buzzael broke the silence of the way by singing the following lines:

      "Though dark be my way, since He is my guide,
      'Tis mine to obey, 'tis His to provide;
      Though cisterns be broken and creatures all fail,
      The _word He_ has spoken will _surely_ prevail."

Pursuing the course of the Lycoming, he struck the west branch of the
Susquehannah, at Williamsport, thence to Lewisburg, where he arrived on
the evening of March 6th. On the 7th, he spoke for the first time to a
small audience on the subject of heaven; from this time his assemblies
began to increase and his words took effect among the people. Mr. Bacon
had been somewhat successful in preceding years in that place. Mr.
Badger preached several sermons in the open air, as no house would hold
the assemblies that convened. He there received one minister into the
fellowship of the Christian connection from the Methodists, Mr. Andrew
Wolfe, a German of property, character, and respectable talent, who
preached in the German language;--had three baptizing seasons, which he
regarded as glorious, preached on the laying of the corner-stone of the
new church, from Matt. 16: 18; a house which its builders designed to
have in a state of completion the coming autumn, the time of Mr.
Badger's contemplated return. In Milton, Mifflinsburg, Buffalo,
Whitedeer, Chilisquaque and Northumberland, he also preached; and it is
unnecessary to state that the impression he made was strong and lasting;
particularly in Lewisburg, where he did much in establishing order in
the society for whom he labored; where he called out the best minds in a
free investigation of religious subjects; and where, at different times,
he interested the community with the rich and varied resources of his
ministerial power; his gifts and character were ever held in admiration
and esteem. Many ministers of acknowledged ability have spoken to that
community, but from personal knowledge I say that none, taking all
things into consideration, have occupied so high a place, for true
eloquence, for real power over a congregation and a community, as he.

At this time, Mr. Badger became acquainted with Rev. James Kay, of
Northumberland, a fine example of English gentility and politeness, a
man of classical and general education, and a theologian of no ordinary
accomplishment in the Unitarian school of English divines. From his able
pen, the pages of the periodical which Mr. B. began to edit in 1832,
were frequently enriched. Northumberland is a quiet town of intelligence
and wealth, in the environs of lovely scenery, the waters of the north
and of the west branch of the Susquehannah there joining in graceful
amity, whilst the perpendicular walls of rock tower in calm solemnity
before it. There indeed is the resting-place of the philosopher
Priestley, who lived a life of study and of thought; who enriched
science by numerous discoveries and the cause of human liberty by his
political views; and, at the close of an arduous life, died in the light
of the confiding piety in which he had lived; on whose tombstone is this
inscription: "I lay me down to rest till the Resurrection!" To the
congregation founded by him did Mr. Kay for many years preach, and to
the same did Mr. Badger communicate on his two or three occasional
visits to that place. From a letter of Mr. Kay, dated September 29,
1823, I discover that Mr. Badger was in Lewisburg at that time, and that
he contemplated a meeting at Northumberland.

From Lewisburg, under date of October 7, 1823, he writes to Mrs. Badger
as follows:

      "You have doubtless heard of the fatal sickness that now
      rages in this place. It still continues. I preached a
      funeral sermon last Thursday, and I am informed six or
      seven lay dead last Sabbath in the neighborhood. But I had
      good assemblies at our newly finished meeting-house, on
      Thursday evening, Sunday and Sunday evening. I found the
      Church in a low state. Mr. Bacon had sowed much discord;
      but I have nothing to do but to preach Christ and his
      Gospel, which are calculated to make mankind love each
      other and to live in union. God only knows the burden and
      trials I felt in this place for the first week. I was
      constrained day and night to ask God for wisdom, and at
      length we are assisted by his power. Everybody who can,
      turns out to bear the word, and very many of my hearers are
      those whose pale faces declare the reign of disease.

      "I have had two church meetings and was determined to
      establish order in their affairs, or give them up for a
      lost and deluded people. I succeeded far beyond my
      expectations. 1st. I examined into the state of all who had
      ever been received into the church, found that one had been
      excluded, three had died, ten had removed, thirteen needed
      to be specially visited, as they were low in spiritual
      enjoyment and zeal, and fifty-nine were willing to serve
      God with all their hearts. 2. I called on them to appoint
      two persons to take the oversight of the temporalities; F.
      L. Metzger and John Moore were appointed. 3. I got them to
      appoint Andrew Wolf and John Dunachy, to take charge of the
      meetings in my absence. Thus you see that they are coming
      into order, with which they seem generally well pleased.
      They depend much on me. I expect to visit them again in the
      winter. I have been almost every day among the sick; some
      days have visited more than a dozen families, but never
      enjoyed better health. Sunday coming will make three
      Sabbaths I have been in Lewisburg, and on Monday or
      Tuesday, I design to visit Smithfield, Bradford County,

June the 20th, Mr. Badger officiated as Chairman of the New York Western
Conference, at which time seven new churches were reported, and some
important ideas of church polity were discussed. In August of this year,
he described the city of Rochester, then a town of 3000 inhabitants,
connected by water communications with Albany on the east, Quebec on the
north, and Lake Superior on the west. He speaks of a small church, in
that city, with whom he had labored half of the time through the summer,
and expresses the hope that they will accumulate more strength in that
growing town. In the early part of August, he attended a general meeting
at Rochester, and, in the same month, another at Cato, Cayuga County, N.

Letters from different parts of the country show the inclination of the
people to make demands on his public gifts and labors; and, could we
institute a close comparison between the width and depth of the interest
called out by the great public meetings of those days, and of similar
meetings in our own times, we are satisfied that the preference would be
greatly in favor of the past. They were more in numbers, and the
religious interest was more general and intense. At West Bloomfield,
1822, for instance, there were thirty-five ministers present at a
general meeting, and, in those days, the most of such occasions seemed
to be a centre of interest for a wide area of the country.



From the extensive correspondence of Mr. Badger, little at present can
be introduced, as the interest of his published journal and things
relating to his personal life and public labor have the paramount claim.
Yet the freedom in which a large variety of minds addressed him evinces
that he was _beloved_ confidingly, as well as respected and admired. As
an example of the free expression of one class of correspondents, we may
take the following lines, dated near 1824, from the pen of a gentleman
of the medical profession, Troy, Pa.:

      "I think I informed you I was not a professor of religion,
      though I have a friendly regard for all such as appear to
      worship God in a rational and consistent manner, whose
      minds have not been circumscribed by undigested creeds and
      by uncharitable proscription. I have read some and thought
      much on the subject of religion, and after all I confess I
      am rather skeptical. I have endeavored to view it
      abstractedly by the lights of reason and philosophy; to
      consider what it is, its origin and design. To sum up in a
      few words, if I may be allowed the expression, I should
      consider it indispensably necessary to those who would not
      be good without it. Take this away, and what method would
      be left to bring the mere child of nature to the practice
      of virtue? You could not discover to him the excellency
      there is in goodness, and the reward which it brings. His
      imagination needs to be awed by the penalty annexed to
      vice. It may seem paradoxical to say that when men become
      good for _goodness' sake_, they have no need of religion."

Bold thoughts were no alarm to Mr. Badger; and not many persons had his
faculty for taking away effectually the objections which really stood in
the path of the unbelieving, though in doing so his methods were his
own, and he had no use for the logical phrases of those who have been
styled apologists for religion or Christianity. In looking over lines
like those first quoted, is it not impossible to repress the sentiment,
that "he who becomes good _for goodness' sake_," instead of having no
need of religion, already _has it_ in its highest possible form? It
cannot be otherwise.

1824 finds Mr. Badger engaged in the local sphere of pastor; and, among
the solemn and responsible duties of his profession for this year, was
that of hearing the confession of a murderer, of leading his mind into
faith and penitence, of administering to the bereaved families the
consolations of Christian views and sympathy, and of preaching the
funeral discourse of the prisoner to the immense concourse who witnessed
his execution. At that time, cool and deliberate murders were
comparatively rare; generally, there was great avidity to know the
causes and incidents involved in the crime. The surprise and dread such
intelligence awakened corresponded somewhat justly with the awful
nature of the guilt which caused them. David D. How, of the town of
Angelica, Alleghany County, New York, a few miles from the place where
the horrid murder of Mr. Othello Church was committed, December the
29th, 1823, was a man originally from New England, and of respectable
connexions; but, from a series of misfortunes and injuries experienced
in life, and probably also from the peculiar organic defection which the
organization of murderers usually exhibits, was prepared, though not
without a violent conflict of inward emotions, to execute a murder of
revenge on the person of Mr. Church, whom he regarded as having been
instrumental in promoting the misfortunes that left him destitute of
property, in the summer of 1823. Several angry disputes had occurred
between them; and, judging from the treatment he rendered to Mr. Palmer,
for having, as he thought, taken undue advantages of his troubles, one
is willing to infer that revenge was his predominant tendency.

      "I went," says he, "in the month of October, to
      Hornelsville, and being detained there one day, I had
      occasion to ride in the evening of the 23d, and about 12
      o'clock at night came to Mr. Palmer's, near Angelica. I saw
      his valuable mills, on which the orbs of heaven faintly
      shone, and the sable curtains of night had mantled the
      scenery in majestic grandeur. _Now_, I said, is the time
      for me to have vengeance on one of my greatest enemies on
      earth. I dismounted and surveyed the scene before me.
      Finding the door fast, I obtained an entrance by a small
      window which I could raise; I entered the dark cavity; all
      was solitary and silent, and every step resounded with
      midnight horror; the sweet stream uttered its innocent
      murmur below, and all nature seemed combined to reprove me
      of my sin."

Though hesitating for a moment, a brief meditation on the causes of
offence induced him to turn the mills of his neighbor into a scene of
flames, which, to use the language of the criminal, "shone upon the
heavens with alarming lustre" to his "guilty conscience," before he
arrived at home. With equal determination, on the night of the 29th of
December, after returning from the village of Angelica, between 10 and
11 o'clock, at a season when the condition of the snow would not allow
him to be tracked, did he proceed to execute the awful deed on which he
had long meditated, the murder, in his own house, of Othello Church,[35]
whom he called from his slumbers to receive the fatal shot. This
murderer thought and reflected on his end and his means. Once before, he
had waylaid the path of his victim, and watched at night, with rifle in
hand, behind the great pine tree; "while I stood here," said Mr. H., "I
had some solemn reflections. The sweet evening breeze gently pressed the
lofty forest, and the tall pines could bend beneath the power of heaven;
but my obdurate heart remained unmoved." Such was the character of the
man whose depths of heart were moved by the influences of Mr. Badger.
Though a murderer, he was far, very far, from total depravity, for he
could sincerely mourn over his own guilt, and weep over his beautiful
daughter with a father's love. He was tried for his offence at
Angelica, before Judge Rochester; was, by the force of circumstantial
evidence, declared guilty, and, on February 8th, was sentenced to be
hung March 19th, 1824. By the request of Judge Griffin, who had
consulted the prisoner, Mr. Badger was requested to attend on Mr. How,
and to do what he could in preparing his mind for the awful crisis
before him; and, as these duties are a part of his journal for this
year, we will look a moment longer at its particulars.

March the 2d, Mr. Badger took rooms at Judge Dautremont's, in Angelica,
(a place 65 miles from his residence,) that he might every day have
familiar access to the mind of the prisoner. The day of his arrival he
entered the gloomy apartment, at 2 o'clock, P. M. found Mr. How reading
the Scriptures by candle light; soon the mind of the guilty stranger
unfolded freely and without reserve, to him who now endeavored to render
assistance in making his peace with the eternal powers. A chain-bound
prisoner in darkness, seeking to know how he shall whiten his spirit
from mortal crime! A herald of the cross genially making him feel his
brotherhood with man, and bowing with him in prayer to the Infinite
Pacifier! A scene like this in a world of sin is a gleam of light across
the ocean of darkness, even though the inveterate past should refuse to
be blotted out by prayers and penance.

      "In conversation," said Mr. B., "he is pleasant, familiar,
      easy and polite, and often his countenance is lighted up by
      an artificial smile. He is a man of quick discernment, and
      possesses a mind of unusual strength and great composure
      in the hour of trouble; yet he sometimes weeps at the most
      trifling circumstances. He feels great attachment to his
      friends, uncommon fondness for his children, and an
      ungovernable hatred to his enemies. I found Mr. How almost
      in a despairing state of mind. He asked my opinion of 1
      John 3:15: 'No murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.'
      I informed him that the same verse said: 'Whosoever hateth
      his brother is a murderer' and that no person while
      possessed of hatred, or in the act of murder, could be in
      possession of eternal life. He wept at my remarks, and
      asked many questions. I informed him 'all manner of sin
      should be forgiven except the sin against the Holy Ghost;'
      and I endeavored to hold up the way of life to him. We
      united in prayer several times, and after an interview of
      six hours I left him overwhelmed in grief.

      "March 3d, entered the dungeon at 8 o'clock, A. M., found
      him very much composed. After attending prayers we sung two
      hymns, and his heart was apparently filled with love to all
      the creatures of God. He commenced speaking in the most
      affecting language. He spoke of the sin of profanity and
      drinking, described the murder of Mr. Church in the most
      affecting manner, and mourned that he had no time to
      prepare to meet his God. He said he could not think that
      God would forgive him, as his sins were of such an
      aggravated nature, and were committed against so good a
      Being, and against such great light. I made him three
      visits, and the dungeon became a pleasant place. He this
      day requested me to write his journal, to preach at his
      execution, and superintend his funeral.

      "March 4. Spent four hours in my first visit, found him
      much composed and well resigned. I entreated with the
      sheriff for the removal of his irons, and succeeded, for
      which he expressed much gratitude."

It were indeed too long for our purpose to transcribe the half of what
Mr. Badger has interestingly written on this topic. His duties were
faithfully and ably done; and, what might be anticipated, he gained, and
for a holy purpose, the entire mastery of the murderer's heart; turned
his revengeful passions, for the time at least, into prayerful kindness
for his enemies, and, through his free choice, became the agent of his
most sacred trusts. On the 5th, he received and delivered to Mrs. Church
the imploring and penitent address of Mr. How; also visited the family
and plantation of the murderer; on the 6th, witnessed the interview
between Mr. How and his own family, to whom he administered appropriate
advice. Through all his doubts and fears, he accompanied the
spirit-wanderings of the culprit, and succeeded in bringing his mind to
a state in which he was conscious that an eternal sun shone somewhat
brightly through the cloud openings of his dark horizon.

      "On Sunday, the 14th, in the afternoon," says Mr. B., "his
      daughter, a beautiful little girl about 19 years of age,
      arrived. She trembled as she approached the gloomy
      apartment of her father. They embraced each other with
      great affection, and all the spectators wept. He called his
      daughter and friends to view the coffin, which, he informed
      her, was like her mother's. They wished me to pray with
      them; and, at the close of prayer, I found the father and
      daughter leaning upon the coffin, with their hands joined;
      he exclaimed, 'Oh, my Harriet! must we part? You are the
      image of your excellent mother--you have derived your good
      disposition and all your good qualities from her. You have
      nothing good from me.' They both wept aloud, and every
      heart seemed to be moved with grief. On the 15th I
      witnessed a reconciling interview between Mr. How, Mr.
      Palmer, and Sheriff Wilson, men of business who had once
      been great friends, but whose friendship had been broken by
      serious difficulties.

      "March the 18th. He sent for me at daybreak. I found he had
      a restless night, and was in great distress. I made him
      several visits; his family came to take their leave of him
      forever. At 3 o'clock P. M., the Rev. Mr. Roach, a
      Methodist minister, preached a short discourse in the
      dungeon from John 3:16. Five clergymen were present, and
      the scene was solemn. Mr. How took the lead in singing two
      hymns, and carried his part through in a graceful manner.
      In singing the first, he stood up and leaned partly on the
      stove; held his little girl by one hand, who sat in the lap
      of her mother, and with the other he took the hand of his
      affectionate brother, who stood by his side. At the close
      of the meeting, his wife gave him her hand for the last
      time. He embraced her with fondness, and when he pressed
      his little girl to his bosom (about four years of age) he
      wept aloud. He requested that several Christian friends
      should spend the night with him in prayer; thus his last
      night on earth was spent in imploring God for grace and

      "March the 19th. I entered the prison at break of day,
      found him much resigned. He observed, as I entered, that
      his last night on earth was gone, which he had spent in
      prayer. At 7 o'clock I visited him again with a company of
      ladies who had never seen him. Mrs. Richards, of Dansville,
      took him by the hand, both fell upon their knees, and she
      prayed for him in the most fervent manner. He then prayed
      for himself, for his family, for the family of Mrs. Church,
      who were afflicted by him, for his executioner, and all
      the world. As we came out, a gentleman remarked that he had
      never heard a man pray like him. At 9, I entered his
      apartment for the last time, accompanied by his beloved
      daughter and a young man who was soon to become her
      husband. We entered with serious hearts; he received them
      very pleasantly, and made remarks to me on the fine
      weather, and the lady who had prayed with him. He asked of
      me the privilege of walking into the yard with the young
      man. They spent a short time together. He then asked me to
      wait on Harriet to the door. He placed her by the side of
      the young man, and delivered her to his charge, saying that
      she had long been deprived of the counsels of a mother,[36]
      and would be in a few moments separated from her father
      forever. 'I now commit her to you as a friend, protector,
      and lover.'"

For Mr. H. there was much public sympathy, owing to the belief that he
had suffered many provoking wrongs. Passages like these have a moral,
and even philosophical value, in showing that the human spirit is not
exhausted of wealth, no, not even by capital offence; that great
sentiments of manliness may temporarily occupy an invisible throne
within, though clouded and veiled from general recognition.

On the 19th, in the presence of six thousand persons, Mr. How was
executed, to which immense throng Mr. Badger preached a sermon of thirty
minutes, from Numbers 35: 33, which we have heard spoken of as a
masterly effort. With all his feeling for the offending, he had no
morbid sympathies to pour out on the injustice of his punishment; he
spoke of the propriety and the majesty of the law; of the necessity of
cleansing the land of murderous crimes; alleging that, while government
exists, its principles must be faithfully carried into action; that the
officers who, in their different official capacities, executed this
solemn law, were as much in the way of their duty as he who tills the
soil, and supports the government by his labor. Mr. Badger was no
ultraist. He held that this world, on which golden sunlight is
scattered, was not made for rascals; nor did he accuse the world of
ignorance when the deliberate murderer died for his crime. In these
quoted paragraphs, we see how Mr. B. passed the larger part of a month
in the spring of 1824; and though the acrimony which attaches to
religious sects was industrious in the misrepresentation of his
theological sentiments, he cleared himself triumphantly of all their
charges, and came off with the decided approbation of the judges,
officers, and indeed of all the leading men whose acquaintance he had
formed, for the able and faithful manner in which he had performed his
high duties, and for the proper course he had pursued both as a
gentleman and a minister.



The summer of this year, Mr. Badger seriously contemplated a voyage to
England, chiefly for the purpose of promoting a union between a
denomination called the "General Baptists," and the "Christian
Connection" of this country, as that denomination had already heard of,
and expressed an interest in, their transatlantic brethren of the New
World; but other and urgent duties directed his energies in a different
channel. By the Western Conference he was appointed to preside at six
general meetings in different sections of the country, requiring him to
travel nearly a thousand miles in all, for the completion of the task;
and, at the meeting of the United States Annual Conference, he was, in
accordance with the appointment made by the New York Western Conference,
commended as an evangelist to visit the southern States, to obtain a
history of the people there who had thrown off the authority of creeds,
and gone to God and their Bibles for the all-sufficient light; also to
open between them and their brethren of the northern and middle States a
correspondence that should promote future union and coöperation in the
spread of their common faith, a purpose which had the warmest sanction
of the north, and which met with a generous response in the south.

His evangelizing ministry through the summer was attended with good
results; and shortly after the General Conference, held at Beekman,
Dutchess county, N. Y., September 2, 1824, he, in company with Rev.
Simon Clough, of Boston, started for the city of New York, passing
through Putnam and Westchester counties, where they held many meetings.
On the 15th, they arrived at New York. In a letter to Mr. Silsby, of
Rochester, he says:--

      "We found a Baptist and a Universalist meeting-house open
      for us. The attention of the people was great to hear, and
      the ministers treated us with attention and respect. We are
      now invited to another Baptist meeting-house, and have
      engaged to give them two sermons next Sabbath. Last Sunday
      I preached in the State Prison to more than five hundred
      prisoners, and it was a solemn and a weeping time. I shall
      visit them again. In the evening I spoke to about one
      thousand people at the Baptist Church. The young people
      seemed to be deeply affected, and some of the aged saints
      rejoiced and said it was truth. I enjoy myself well in this
      city, being sensible that I am in the way of my duty. Last
      evening I had the pleasure of seeing the renowned La
      Fayette, who is on his way to the South. He is worthy of
      all honor, though like others, he is a frail, dying, mortal

He passed three weeks in the city, preached several sermons, baptized a
few happy converts, and on the 8th of October, arrived at his home in
Mendon. On this tour, Mr. Badger used his influence in favor of the
establishment of a new monthly periodical at West Bloomfield, New York,
which commenced January 1, 1825, under the editorial direction of Rev.
D. Millard, and entitled the "Gospel Luminary." These sermons, from
Messrs. Clough and Badger, were the first, I believe, ever given in that
city under the simple name of Christian, with the exception of the
labors of Doctor Joseph Hall, who had a few months preceded them. Soon
after, the gifted Miss Rexford, and Mrs. Abigail Roberts, whose labors
in many places had been successful, held meetings in that metropolis,
and as early as January, 1825, we hear of Mr. Clough laboring to plant
the standard of a liberal evangelical Christianity in that community.

Mr. Badger's journey was deferred till the late autumnal months of 1825,
as he chose not to venture so great a change of climate in the warmer
seasons; home duties also prevented an immediate execution of his plan.
On the 19th December, 1824, he preached twice in Chili, a town not far
from Rochester, where the labors of Mr. Silsby had been effectual in the
conversion of souls; also in Clarkson, Perinton, Gains, and Royalton, he
preached, witnessing some cheering signs of the Sacred Presence. The
first week after his arrival at Royalton he attended twelve meetings.

      "In the second meeting," he says, "I saw two young ladies
      who appeared much disposed to vanity and opposition, but at
      the close one of them requested prayers, and within one
      week both became happy converts, and have been baptized.
      From this occurrence the work began rapidly among the
      youth. About a dozen have been hopefully converted, and a
      great number more are now under serious conviction.
      Difficulties have healed by the power of God, and
      backsliders have returned with confessions, repentance, and
      tears. I have been surprised during this revival to find
      popular professors of religion its worst enemies. What a
      shocking inconsistency it is for people to pray for
      reformation in foreign countries, and fight the work of God
      at their own doors; to bestow their funds for the
      conversion of the heathen, and live and act worse than
      heathens themselves. In the present age, the opposition of
      the infidel, drunkard and profane, is modest when compared
      with the _wrath_ and _vengeance_ of popular professors."

He speaks of Rev. Asa C. Morrison as greatly successful in Salem, Ohio;
of Elder Blodget, as having witnessed a large revival during his three
months' sojourn in the Province of Upper Canada. "I have found it duty
on many accounts," he adds, "to adjourn my southern journey till next
fall." In Royalton, he continued to remain, where, assisted for about
three weeks by the labors of Elder Levi Hathaway, he saw many converted.
Writing from that place, he says:--

      "The first day of the present year was a precious time to
      us at Royalton. I gave a sermon appropriate to the
      occasion; the number and attention were great, and the
      saints had a satisfactory evidence that the Lord was about
      to revive his work, and many spoke in a feeling manner.
      Several young people requested prayers, and at the close of
      the meeting I requested all who would covenant together and
      live anew for God the present year and pray for each other
      fervently, to come forward and join hands; about forty came
      with melting hearts. I then called for those who were
      resolved to set out the present year to seek salvation, to
      come into the circle and kneel; I think five came forward.
      We had a solemn and glorious time in prayer, and felt the
      sweetest influence of the Good Spirit while we sang,

      "'From whence doth this union arise,
      That hatred is conquered by love?'"

      "By request of Mrs. Wiley (a woman in the last stage of
      consumption, but recently converted), I preached two
      sermons in her room. The season was solemn and glorious.
      Many spoke, and she declared that she could now rely on the
      promises, and trust in the Great Redeemer. As she drew near
      her end, her faith grew stronger. Just before she expired
      her husband heard her whisper; he asked her what she said,
      to which she pleasantly replied, 'I was not speaking to
      you; I was talking with my God.' Oh, how triumphant was the
      death of this good woman, and with what solemn pleasure
      could we follow her to the grave! It is far more pleasant
      to me to preach at funerals of converts than to have them
      live and backslide from God, and wound the precious cause.

      "On the third day of February we met for the organization
      of a religious society according to law; at the close of
      the business, a young man who sat on the back seat sent for
      me to come to him; he had many days been under serious
      conviction. He said that he should like to speak if there
      was liberty. He then arose and told what God had done for
      his soul. February 20 was a day of the Mediator's power;
      the congregation was large, solemn and attentive. At the
      close we repaired to the water, which is but a short
      distance from our meeting-house, where I baptized the
      bodies of twelve happy souls. I led into the water at once
      six young men; and when I had baptized ten, a young man who
      had not come forward, passed through the crowd and proposed
      to his wife to join him; they took each other by the hand
      and came into the water together. This was one of the most
      pleasant scenes I ever saw. The saints praised their God
      aloud, and many of the congregation wept."

Sometimes it has been customary among sects to measure the power of a
religious faith by the strength and joy it imparts in the dying hour,
which certainly is bringing the reality to a solemn test. Judging by
this standard, and from almost innumerable instances, the faith inspired
by the labors of Mr. B. and his associates was a strong spiritual power,
holding the element of triumph in the last, low hour; for not
unfrequently did the departing spirit rise to a calm and joyful
enthusiasm as the rays of the eternal morning began to fall upon their
inward vision.

June 1825 finds Mr. Badger actively engaged in organizing a plan for an
evangelizing ministry, an idea he had previously recommended in his
correspondence, and in his address to the Conference, as the best means,
at that time, for promoting the life and success of the churches. A full
report was made on his suggestion, and with his assistance such a
ministry was appointed for the year, of which he was, with four others,
a member. Perhaps an extract from this address, delivered at Byron,
Genesee County, N. Y., June 24, may more perfectly give his views.

      "Furthermore, my brethren, to facilitate the union and
      prosperity of this Conference, let every church within its
      boundaries be advised to represent themselves by delegates
      and form a part of the Conference. Let every church be
      considered as under the care of individual ministers whom
      they may elect, or under the care of a travelling ministry
      which may be organized by this Conference. I here call your
      attention to a subject of the first magnitude. On a
      travelling connection, in my opinion, much is depending;
      and indeed I see no other way for our numerous vacant
      congregations to be supplied. Then as many preachers as
      feel it to be their duty to devote their whole time to
      travelling must be sanctioned by this body, and divide
      themselves into districts or circuits, as will best commode
      the local state of the churches. Their support must be
      received if possible from the congregations of their care;
      if not, a Conference Fund must supply them, that they be
      perfectly independent and devoted to their work. By this
      method, poor as well as wealthy congregations will have a
      stated ministry. But be assured that the organization of a
      Conference Fund will be the mainspring to give energy to
      the whole plan, without which all our calculations are but
      castles in the air."

Whilst we have this excellent address in hand we cannot dismiss it
without quoting a few more lines, particularly as they show the views
and state of things at that time. He begins thus:--

      "My Fathers and Brethren in the Ministry: I consider myself
      highly honored to be called to speak in this meeting of
      delegates and ministers, which I deem one of the most
      enlightened bodies of men on earth. When I reflect on the
      name you espouse, the sound doctrine you inculcate, the
      Christian liberty you enjoy, and the reformations that have
      everywhere attended you for twenty years past, I am
      justified in the sight of God and men in congratulating you
      as a favored and an enlightened people.

      "Though you have been called to face the storm of
      persecution in every step you have taken; though many of
      you have sacrificed both property and health for the cause,
      you have the pleasure of reflecting that your labors have
      not been unsuccessful, and that the cause in which you
      suffer is good, and will eventually triumph over everything
      unlike to God. The persecution you experience, I consider a
      clear evidence that you are the people of God, and are
      useful to his cause. When the time comes that we bear no
      decided testimony against error and sin, then there will be
      no reformation to attend our labors, and no persecution
      will be seen. But I pray God that such a time may never

      "You take the Holy Scriptures for your rule of faith and
      practice. This is all sufficient, and far preferable to the
      numerous _law-books_ which designing creed-makers have
      imposed on the disciples of Christ. You reject all party
      names, and take upon yourselves the name given by Christ to
      his disciples in the New Testament. This is highly
      commendable, and if we are Christians in _name_, _spirit_,
      and _practice_, we are what we should be, and what all
      denominations profess to be.

      "Your church government establishes liberty and equality
      through all the flock of God. Every church has an equal
      right to a voice in this body. Here ministers and people
      stand upon the level, and there is none to lord it over
      God's heritage. We here confer on the welfare and
      prosperity of the whole, and take sweet counsel together. I
      consider your dissent from several popular errors as a
      great virtue; though it exposes you to much persecution, it
      will lay the foundation for your prosperity. In government
      you discard all monarchy and aristocracy, which principles
      have been the ruin and overthrow of many sects and
      kingdoms. In theology you dissent from the cold and
      chilling doctrines of Calvinism. You reject the mysterious
      doctrine of the Trinity as inconsistent. This is a bold
      step, yet your ground is tenable, and it defies the assault
      of the most learned. The doctrine of the Trinity, which has
      kindled such deplorable contentions throughout the
      Christian world, is of human origin, and was brought into
      the Church in the fourth century. There is no sentiment in
      theology more contested than it. In Europe the controversy
      is conducted with great ability, but the Unitarian cause is
      fast gaining. In England, four hundred congregations have
      rejected it; in America, several colleges and many of the
      principal men of the Union have discarded it. I am informed
      that the Hon. John Quincy Adams, the President of the
      United States, is a bold Unitarian, and is valiant for the
      truth. In this country, the alarm which Trinitarians
      manifest, the precaution they take, and the combination of
      different sects on this subject, are sure proof of the
      weakness of their cause, and though we now hear the cry
      from every Trinitarian church in the land, 'Great is
      Diana,' 'Great is Diana,' be assured that her temple
      totters, her pillars are shattered, and this idol must, ere
      long, fall like Dagon before the Ark of God. It lays the
      foundation of Deism, is the first argument of the Jew, the
      Pagan, the Mohammedan and the Infidel against the Christian

      "A cold, formal, spiritless worship must also be rejected.
      A fashionable conformity to anti-Christian practices would
      give us the applause of men, but not the approbation of God
      and our own consciences. Let that preaching which is the
      most spiritual receive your most cordial approbation, and
      let the saints in all our congregations be encouraged to
      improve their gifts.

      "It will also be well to keep up a friendly correspondence
      with other Conferences. For this purpose, let our clerk be
      instructed to officiate as corresponding secretary, that we
      may act in the light of the whole body. As we are more
      nearly allied to the Eastern Conference in this State than
      to any other, I recommend to have one delegate appointed
      every year to sit with them, that our business may be
      conducted in harmony. As our churches are extending to
      Georgia on the South, to Maine on the East, and to Canada
      on the North, it must always keep this State as the centre
      of the connection, and we have grounds to anticipate much
      from a correspondence between our brethren of the North and
      the South. There are now about one hundred ministers in the
      Eastern and Western Conferences; but when I came into this
      country eight years ago, there was not over ten or twelve
      free preachers in the State, and many of our present number
      were then strangers to God. We now have nine or ten
      convenient meeting-houses built by our own people, besides
      many others which have become free. Three temples of
      worship at least are being built this year within the
      bounds of these Conferences; one in the city of New York,
      where Simon Clough is laboring with success; one at
      Bloomfield, one at Salem, Ohio, and several congregations
      are preparing to build another year. Although we have
      witnessed so much prosperity, our work is just begun. Never
      did we witness such a time as the present. The cry, 'Come
      over and help us,' is now heard from all parts, and did
      you, my brethren, ever witness such throngs to attend upon
      your ministry as now? Did you ever know such a general
      inquiry for light and liberty? Truly the fields are all
      white and ready to harvest. My aged brethren, as you look
      upon the young men by your side who have devoted their
      juvenile years to God, and have just entered upon the
      great and arduous duties of the ministry, let every power
      within you rejoice that you have lived to see this good
      day, that you behold the evidence that the ranks will yet
      be filled, when you and I shall sleep in death. And you, my
      young brethren, look upon your fathers in the ministry, who
      have spent their time, property, and health in publishing
      salvation to sinners; view with reverence those venerable
      heads which have become hoary in the way of righteousness,
      and be stimulated by their example to end your days in
      honor of the sacred cause you have espoused. May you have
      many souls as the seals of your ministry, and hereafter
      shine as stars of the firmament forever and ever!"

Immediately Mr. Badger began to fulfil his part of the duties devolving
on the newly appointed ministry. Between July 13th and August 9th, he
travelled four hundred and sixty-five miles, preached twenty-one
sermons, and baptized thirteen persons; between August 12th and 31st, he
journeyed three hundred and fifty-seven miles, attended twenty-one
meetings, preached at Covington, N. Y., at the ordination of Rev. Elisha
Beardsley, on the 21st, from Rev. 10:10; and from this period to
September the 24th, the time of his departure for his western and
southern tour, the days and evenings were industriously used in his
mission, completing in all nine hundred and sixty-six miles from July
13th. As Mr. Badger published hasty sketches of his tour from this time,
in the "Gospel Luminary," I shall occasionally quote his printed
paragraphs. He heads his notes of travel with the scripture injunction,
"_Gather up the fragments that nothing be lost_," and with a rapidity
that neither knew nor cared for elaboration, he threw off the
descriptions of the scenes and events that lay in his way. Also two or
three small blank books accurately narrate every mile he travelled,
every town he entered, every sermon he preached, and every farthing he
expended. Such was his accustomed order. These memorandums are sometimes
prefaced with significant mottoes; on one is the text, "_Keep thyself
pure_;" on another, and perhaps, indicative of the rough and various
treatment the travelling missionary is sometimes liable to receive, are
the words of Johnson:--

      "Of all the griefs that harass the distressed,
      Sure the most bitter is the scornful jest;
      Fate never wounds more deep the generous heart,
      Than when the blockhead's insult points the dart."

Also from Gray:--

      "He gave to misery all he had, a tear,
      He gained from heaven ('twas all he wished) a friend."

            "Studious alone to learn whate'er may tend
            To raise the genius or the heart amend."

Narrating his course to the readers of the Luminary, he says:--

      "I left home September 24, accompanied by my wife, Mr.
      Chapin, and several other friends, for the general meeting
      at Chili, where we arrived in the evening. Here I met eight
      of my brethren in the ministry. Our interview was agreeably
      interesting, and the parting to me uncommonly solemn. The
      general meeting, so far as I could discern, was very
      satisfactory. The assembly was large, solemn, and
      attentive; the preaching was powerful and interesting, and
      the accommodations good. We leave the event with God. On
      our way to Royalton, I preached once in Clarkson, and once
      in Gaines. At Royalton, I met thirteen ministers of the
      everlasting Gospel, all of whom appeared to have the good
      of souls at heart, and love to the great and honorable work
      in which they were engaged. Brothers Church, Chapin,
      Beardsley, Shaw, Hathaway, Whitcomb, Blodget and Hamilton,
      all spoke to good satisfaction, and the multitude could
      say, our place was no less than the house of God, and the
      very gate of heaven. In conference, we received Francis
      Hamilton as a fellow-laborer. He gave two appropriate
      discourses, and I hope will be useful among us.

      "October 3, our company, consisting of twelve persons,
      visited Niagara Falls, to view the stupendous and sublime
      works of nature. We lodged four or five miles up the river
      from the Falls. On walking out in the evening, the scene
      was peculiarly grand. While nature around was hushed, the
      never-ceasing roar of the stupendous cataract brought to my
      mind important reflections on several passages of
      Scripture. The next day, visited Black Rock and Buffalo; at
      twelve, the solemn, memorable hour arrived when our little
      company must be separated. Language is too poor to describe
      my feelings as I gave my wife, and six young people who
      were to accompany her return, the parting hand. Every heart
      felt more than words express; but, as all the company have
      lively hopes of immortality, we can look forward to a world
      where parting can never come.

      'How soothing is the thought, and sweet!
        But for a while we bid adieu;
      With welcome smiles again to meet,
        And all our social joys renew.'

      "Our company now consists of five, L. Hathaway and wife,
      Jesse E. Church, and Asa Chapin. The two last are valuable
      young men, and bid fair to be useful in the great work of
      the ministry."

From Buffalo, Mr. Badger and his company proceeded along the shore of
Lake Erie, following a lonesome road to the town of Pomfret, Chautaque
County, N.Y., where he commenced a general meeting, October 8; nine
clergymen were in attendance and much good influence was manifest.

Writing from Mt. Vernon, Knox County, Ohio, under date of October 31,
1825, he says:--

      "In Chautaque County, I was delighted with three
      curiosities in nature. 1. A small spring[38] is found in
      Fredonia, which affords a sufficient quantity of gas to
      light the whole village with very little expense. It is
      delightful to see, in a land which, a few years ago, was a
      wilderness, nature and art majestically united. 2. A larger
      growth of timber is found here than I have ever seen
      before. I saw the stump of a tree, on which I was informed
      that sixteen men had stood at once. We measured a chestnut
      tree which was dry, and had lost its bark; three feet from
      the ground, it was nine feet and five inches through. 3. I
      was made acquainted with a young lady who is remarkably
      gifted in poetry. A few years since, Joseph Baily found her
      in a poor log-hut, portraying her charming effusions on the
      margins of old newspapers. On his stating the subject to
      some Christian friends, they sent her a quire of paper,
      which she wrote over in a short time, and returned it, to
      their admiration and astonishment. She and her husband
      both enjoy religion. Many a brilliant soul is now breathing
      in soft and lively emotions in remote wildernesses, and
      many a precious pearl is buried in the rubbish of poverty
      and ignorance."

From Pomfret he visited North East, in Pennsylvania; gave two sermons,
and spent a day in Conference business; thence to Salem, Ohio, where
they were joyfully received by Col. Fifield, with whom Mr. B. had been
acquainted in Vermont, eleven years before. There they met Rev. Asa C.
Morrison, then a vigorous and efficient preacher, now a citizen of the
unknown spheres; there they enjoyed a large attendance, gave seven
sermons, and Mr. Badger bestows uncommon praise on the discourse given
by Mr. Hathaway, on "the subject of enthusiasm, fanaticism, false zeal
and delusion." Leaving Salem on the morning of the 18th, where one of
the young men of his company concluded to remain, (J. E. Church,) he
proceeded on his journey through Painsville, at the mouth of Grand
River, Cleaveland, Brunswick, Medina and Westfield to Canaan Centre,
where he held a general meeting, in which several denominations
united--Presbyterians, Methodists, Baptists, and a denomination who
styled themselves the United Brethren; at this time Mr. James Miles was
ordained to the work of the ministry. "This to me," says Mr. Badger,
"was an interesting case, as he was a young man whom I dearly loved, and
one that I many years before baptized in the Province of Lower Canada;
he is the seventh that I have baptized who have been ordained as
ministers of the Gospel. We left Canaan on the 26th; had a pleasant
journey through Wooster, and reached Mt. Vernon on the evening of the
27th, and were joyfully received by Elder James Smith and family. He is
an able minister of the New Testament and a respectable citizen." At
this place he met several ministers from the Southern States, some of
hoary hairs, who were giving the remnant of their days to preaching the
Gospel. Here Mr. Badger and Mr. Hathaway gave three sermons each, to a
people who were anxious to hear and learn more of the truth which
belongs to the great theme of human salvation through the Crucified One.

His next sketching dates at Cincinnati, Ohio, December 25, 1825:--

      "The wise and prudent conquer difficulties
      By daring to attempt them; sloth and folly
      Shiver and shrink at sight of toil and danger,
      And make the impossibility they fear."

      "SIR,--On leaving our good friends at Mount Vernon, on the
      first day of November, the parting was affecting; we had
      been treated with great attention; we had here preached the
      word to the crowded assembly; had seen the sinner in tears
      trembling under the word; and the very place where we were
      assembled appeared like holy ground. We were conducted to
      Dublin, on the Sciota river, by our worthy friend, Elder
      Marvin, who has two sons who are preachers of the Gospel.
      At Sciota, met Elder Brittan and a large assembly; gave two
      sermons; Elder M. baptized one happy convert."

November 3d, he speaks of arriving at Derby Plains, where he preached
five sermons, and saw the ruinous effects of the strange delusion into
which a Mr. Douglas Farnum, formerly from New England, had involved
himself and many others; a delusion that strove to ignore the common
rules of social morality, and to find a direct revelation from Heaven in
every impulse of the heart and mind. Though excluded from the people of
his earlier association, he held a few deluded persons by his views,
until self-destruction scattered them and left their names a reproach to
virtue. Their leader, after running this singular career, died,
confessing, however, many past errors and wrongs.

      "When a people," says Mr. B., "deviate in their zeal from
      the rules of decency, when they lay aside the Scripture,
      substitute imagination as a foundation for their action,
      and call every impulse of the mind an immediate revelation
      from God, I expect they will sink their characters in
      disgrace, and come to a miserable end. I visited the
      vacated village where he and his followers had joined in
      the merry dance, and felt a kind of horror, like that which
      once seized the thinking soul of a Volney at the ruins of

      "In Clark County, at the head waters of the Little Miami,
      we had good meetings, were kindly entertained by Charles
      Arther, and had agreeable intercourse with Elder Isaac N.
      Walters, a young man about twenty years of age, who bids
      fair to be useful. At Pleasant township, Madison County, we
      were kindly received by Fargis Graham, a man fifty-seven
      years of age, who had just returned from a preaching tour
      of six weeks in Indiana; he had a good journey, and felt
      encouraged. I surveyed with admiration his gray hairs, his
      smiles and tears, while he gave an account of his journey.
      He visited the poor cabins in the wilderness, lay on the
      ground in the great prairie, where the wolves were howling
      around him, and passed through hunger and fatigue, but
      found God to be with him. His spacious plantation at home,
      on which he has more than one hundred head of cattle,
      besides other stock in proportion, reminded me of the
      ancient possessions of Abraham, Lot, and Jacob. He does
      much for the cause, and has long been one of its ornaments
      and faithful ministers."

Messrs. Badger, Hathaway and Chapin, paused awhile at Williamsport,
Pickaway County, where they gave seven sermons, and received the kind
attentions of Rev. George Alkire, of whom he speaks in very respectful
terms. Holding meetings in Platt and Highland Counties, he parted with
Mr. H. on the 19th, who travelled to Cincinnati _via_ Kentucky, and
passed ten days with Rev. M. Gardner, in whose congregations he attended
sixteen meetings and preached to large and respectable assemblies. At
Ripley, Brown County, he formed the acquaintance of Hon. E. Campbell,
who had many years been a member of the United States Senate; of him and
his father-in-law, Mr. Dunlap, a native of Virginia, and among the first
settlers of Kentucky, a man who had emancipated thirty slaves and
applied his own hands to labor, he speaks in honoring terms. "His
colored people," says Mr. B., "still flock around him as their
benefactor, and love him as their best friend on earth."

      "On the 29th of November, I reached this pleasant city.
      Here, and in the adjoining country, I have had glorious
      times, an account of which you may expect in my next
      number. I have succeeded in obtaining a history of the
      churches and conferences in the west and south beyond my
      expectations. The preachers appear friendly, and willing to
      lend every possible assistance. I shall be able, in a few
      weeks, to give your readers a general representation of the
      state of things west of the Alleghany mountains, in which
      vast extent of country are many thousands of happy
      Christians who renounce all party creeds and names, and,
      with their naked Bibles in hand, are rejoicing in the hope
      of immortality."

The next dates Ripley, 0., January 12, 1826. Our journalist says:--

      "The prejudices, customs, ways, manners, and opinions of
      men, how various! But these are not the fruit of nature or
      grace, but the products of education. Nature and grace are
      the same in every country, and vary only in form and

      "Cincinnati is a beautiful city, situated on the north bank
      of the great Ohio river, and has a population of about
      15,000 souls. It is surrounded, on the east, north and
      west, by hills, except the narrow but rich valley of Mill
      Creek, which makes its way through from the north. Its
      location is dry, healthy, and truly romantic. Its streets
      are wide and pleasant, and its buildings elegant, in
      eastern style. The manners of the people are a compound of
      southern politeness and generosity, and of eastern
      refinement, taste, and simplicity. The civility of every
      class of people, down to the teamster and carman, exceeds
      that of any city I ever visited. The market, for neatness
      and variety, is equal to any in America, and its price only
      about one-half that of Montreal, Boston, and New York. The
      city council are making great improvements, and the city if
      fast populating. Its climate is mild and agreeable, and, as
      it is near the centre of American settlements, _I know not
      what it may yet become_."

Such was the Queen City in 1825. The state of religion there he
describes as low, "if," says he, "we speak of experimental religion;
many have profession, form and name, but we shall come short of heaven
without something more." He speaks of Mr. Burk, a popular Methodist
minister, as having renounced Episcopacy and taken with him a large
congregation, as being so far illuminated as to "see men as trees
walking;" Mr. Badger quotes the words of Franklin--"Where there is no
contradiction there is no light," as applying well to agitations of this
sort. Of the new reformers among the Baptists, he speaks as follows:--

      "The Baptists in Cincinnati, also, have had revivals, but
      among them exists a great commotion, and a large
      congregation join with those in Kentucky and Virginia in
      the general dissent from creeds. Dr. Fishback, of Kentucky,
      and Alexander Campbell, of Virginia, are the champions in
      this cause. They oppose sectarian bondage with considerable
      ability and success. Mr. Campbell is truly a man of war,
      and acts the part of a Peter with his drawn sword; but,
      whether they will have humility, grace, and pure religion
      enough to 'revive the ancient order of things' in the
      original spirit and simplicity of the Gospel, or whether
      they will be laborious architects of their own fame,
      remains for their future conduct to prove."

In Preble County, fifty miles north of Cincinnati, Mr. B. preached
several sermons at Eaton, the county seat; the sheriff of the county was
his chorister and host, whose house, owing to the good order of the
country, was destitute of a prisoner; the rooms usually occupied by
criminals being now used to keep the earth's productions. On the
authority of two ministers and several other persons who were
eye-witnesses, Mr. Badger relates that he spoke in the house where, in
1821, during a great reformation, Jacob Woodard, a Deist, was struck
dead by an unseen power while in the act of forcing his wife out of the
meeting; that he never breathed or struggled after he fell--a phenomenon
that belongs to many other marvellous instances of nearly inexplicable
events we have heard of in connection with the earlier religious
revivals in Ohio. Mr. Badger thoroughly explored that State, and with
great satisfaction visited Kentucky. Indeed, the easy and courteous
manners of Mr. Badger, his happy extemporaneous gifts, his love of
society and generous sentiments, peculiarly adapted him to the
admiration and acceptance of the South. Of Rev. B. W. Stone and lady, he
speaks in the most exalted terms; and, whatever may have been the
speculative differences between Mr. Stone and his brethren in later
years, all must unite in one concession to the soundness of his
learning, the clearness of his criticisms, and in what is eternally
above all other things, the beauty and excellence of his Christian
character. Mr. B. now returned home to Mendon, Ontario[39] County, New
York, and further narrates the particulars of his adventures. He
surveys with grateful pleasure the scenes he has witnessed, the
kindnesses he has received, the new acquaintances and friends he had
gained; and from experience and observation he was prepared to speak in
the most friendly terms of his brethren in the south and west, and the
tidings he brought when formally announced was, to use the language of
Mr. Millard, "received with much joy." The brethren of the West were
reported as having no creed but the Bible, and they "wear no name but
such as the Scriptures authorize, that they uniformly believe in the
simple doctrine that there is ONE GOD, the CREATOR, ONE JESUS, the
Redeemer, ONE HOLY GHOST, the Sanctifier;" that they generally favor the
preëxistence of Christ, regarding the Socinian view of him as derogatory
to the character of the Christian religion.

      "Free salvation," says Mr. B., "is sounded through all
      their congregations, and Gospel liberty is the key-note of
      every song. No point of doctrine is made a criterion of
      fellowship, but Christian fellowship rests alone on the
      true bias of _spirit_ and _practice_. They are simple,
      unassuming, and spiritual in their preaching and worship;
      the labor of the ministers is to make their hearers good: a
      great share of singing and prayer is interspersed through
      their meetings. For twenty years they have been in the way
      of holding camp-meetings, but the practice is fast
      declining, though in many cases good has resulted from
      them. Our brethren in the west and south are as well
      supplied with preachers as our churches are in the east, if
      not better,--preachers who are acquainted with the manners
      of the people, and are in a capacity to do much more good
      than eastern men can do among them."

Under date of April 1, 1826, Mr. Badger gives a very lengthy,
interesting, and we should judge faithful account of his visit in Ohio
and Kentucky, of the proceedings of a Conference in each of those
States, convened for the purpose of receiving and answering his message
for the east; both of which were hearty in their responses of
friendship, and both furnished him with materials for giving their true
history to their brethren of the east and north. He speaks of three
denominational centres, which he thinks the future will witness, each
having a periodical and a book-store connected with it, Cincinnati the
centre for the west, New York for the east, and some place in one of the
Carolinas for the south. From Rev. William Kinkade, that able,
strong-minded and heroic divine, who had served his country in
legislative councils, and humanity by his ministry, Mr. Badger received
a strong letter, giving an account of the rise and growth of the
Christian Conference on the Wabash, of one in Indiana, and touching on
some of the larger points of primitive faith. He says:--

      "While it gives me great pleasure to hear from you that
      primitive Christianity is reviving in the east, I hope you
      will be no less pleased to hear of its success in the west.
      This vast country, which was lately a howling wilderness,
      now blossoms as the rose. On the big and little Wabash,
      which is still the haunt of savage men and wild beasts,
      there are now large churches of happy Christians. Along the
      Ambarrass and Bumpass, where twelve years ago little else
      was heard but the howling of wolves, the hooting of owls,
      the fierce screams of panthers and the fiercer screams of
      wild Indians, painted for war and thirsting for human
      blood, are now heard the songs of Zion, the sound of
      prayer, and the voice of peace and pardon through a
      Redeemer. Among us the demon intolerance has been exposed
      in its multifarious character, and banished from the
      congregation of the faithful. Ignorance has given way to
      investigation; and love and union are daily triumphing over
      prejudice and partyism. But still I see, I feel, I lament a
      great want of that holiness and divine power which
      characterized the followers of Jesus in the first ages of

"It is the word of God alone," said these stout, honest-hearted men of
Ohio, when assembled--"the word of God alone, on which the Church of
Christ will finally settle, build and grow into a holy temple of the
Lord." Mr. Badger, after taking a list of the names of ministers in
Kentucky and Ohio, and with a characteristic orderly minuteness,
ascertained the number of churches and of meeting-houses they erected,
the names of such as had died in the active duties of the ministry,
returned home, rich in the benedictions of the regions he had visited,
and with the resolve at some other season to penetrate the south further
than he yet had gone. Perhaps the good impressions made on his mind by
these journeys may be plead in conjunction with the wide sympathies of
his nature, and the well-balanced cast of his intellect, as the reason
why in all his life he was uncontrolled by local prejudice, and it may
be a part of the reason why, that to him, and to the cause of free and
Apostolical Christianity which he represented, there was no east, no
west, no north, no south, as forming any limit to his friendly regards
and Christian fellowship. At Cincinnati he gathered the few who held to
like faith into a convenient place of worship, made arrangements with
ministers for their supply, and before his return a general Conference
was agreed upon at Cincinnati the last of October, 1826.

June 23d, at the Annual Session of the New York Western Christian
Conference, he was, with Rev. A. C. Morrison, appointed a messenger to
the United States Conference, to be holden at Windham, Ct., the first
days of September, where among the responsible trusts committed to him,
was that of acting as their messenger at the autumnal assemblage of
delegates and ministers who were to convene at Cincinnati. From April to
August of this year, Mr. Badger was constantly engaged in the vicinity
of home; at South Lima additions were made, the assembly was large; the
society at Royalton he consigned to the care of Rev. E. Shaw, an able
minister of the New Testament. August 18th, he visited New York city
where he stayed two Sabbaths, and spoke to increasing assemblies. His
remarks on the commotion and dissent which at that time appeared among
the Friends under the preaching of Elias Hix, his close and practical
analysis of the state of society in New York city, though interesting,
we must pass by; also his remarks on the general meetings he attended at
Beekman and Milan, Dutchess County, and of one at Canaan, Columbia
County, N. Y. Something tragical developed under his four sermons at
Beekman. A minister of another sect, who had violently opposed the
people and sentiments to which Mr. Badger belonged, was observed to weep
much under his discourse, and afterwards was heard to say that it was
the truth of God, and that none could deny it--the same night he went
into a grove near his residence, and hung himself.

In Columbia County, Mr. Badger became acquainted with the venerable old
minister, John Leland, of whom the world has heard much, a man then
between seventy and eighty years old, but possessing the brilliancy of
youth. Though local at the time, he said that his travels as a minister
would measure three times around the globe. From Rev. Mr. Gardner, a
prominent minister in Ohio, Mr. B. received these lines of invitation:
"A second visit from yourself in this country will be well received. Our
hearts and our houses are open to receive you, and many are inquiring,
'When will he return?'" Rev. Mr. Adams also writes: "The friends
remember you with affection; they have not forgotten your sermons and
good counsels; they are anxious to receive another visit from you, and
think that you would do much good in this country. I am confident there
is not a society you visited here but would unite in inviting you to
return." Several such invitations were kindly showered upon him. He did
return. We may ask where were _his_ idle days? It was one of his chosen
maxims that "an idle person is the devil's playfellow." In all these
labors we see a spirit that surveys the _general_ interest, plans for
the general good, and leads along easily the minds of others into the
possession of his own views and feelings. In the southern and western
journey, narrated in this chapter, there were revivals in almost every
place he visited, as we learn not only from his own journal, but more
particularly from other and reliable sources.

His second tour through Ohio and Kentucky, in which he renewed and
greatly enlarged his acquaintance, gave him a still larger estimate of
the success of liberal principles in the west and south. By the advices
of the best informed ministers, he learned that the account he had
published the previous spring in relation to the number of ministers and
brethren in the west was much too small, and that, using his own
language, "it is a safe and moderate calculation to say, that in the
several Conferences situate in Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri,
Tennessee, Alabama, and Kentucky, there are three hundred preachers and
fifteen thousand brethren. They all worship ONE GOD IN ONE PERSON, and

      "I have again passed through the lofty forests and
      beautiful plains of Ohio; have seen the herds of wild deer
      sporting on the lovely prairie; have heard the screams of
      the fierce wolf, and have turned aside from these romantic
      beauties and terrors of nature to the wigwam of the savage
      to hear the praises of the Redeemer. Also, I have again
      visited the pleasant land of Kentucky; have seen the smiles
      of the convert, the tears of mourners, and have joined in
      worship with thousands of happy Christians in the west who
      are rejoicing in hope of immortality.

      "It is now a more general time of reformation in the west
      than has been witnessed for many years past. At Dublin,
      Elder Isaac N. Walters has been very successful in winning
      souls to Christ. In Elder Alkire's vicinity the churches
      have received large additions of late. In Elder Gardner's
      congregations the number was increasing, and a new church
      had been organized within a few weeks. In Elder Rogers's
      neighborhood some sixty or seventy were hopefully
      converted; and from Elders Simonton, Vickers, Kyle and
      Miles I heard a good report. In Kentucky the prospect has
      not been so good as it now is for many years. News from the
      west part of Virginia, and east of Tennessee, by Elder
      William Lane, was very refreshing. Sectarianism there is
      fast falling. In Alabama the Lord is doing wonders, and the
      knowledge of _one_ God is fast increasing; in those regions
      he has raised up many able advocates for his pure
      doctrines. In Kentucky, my interview with the preachers,
      brethren and friends was very agreeable, and their kindness
      and friendship can never be forgotten by me. A message was
      sent to me by order of the church at Georgetown, seventy
      miles distant, inviting me to visit them. In Ohio, my visit
      was everywhere received with joy. At Cincinnati, the
      congregation was large and the prospect is good. Our
      friends there will probably build a brick meeting-house for
      the worship of ONE GOD IN ONE PERSON, in the course of next

      "Since July I have travelled about three thousand miles,
      and attended about one hundred meetings. My present tour
      has been attended with more fatigues than any journey I
      have ever performed. My preaching has been constant; and
      after meeting I have many times been constrained to engage
      in debate in which I have continued until morning. I have
      had to preach many sermons on disputed subjects, one at
      Cincinnati of three hours' length; though I had opponents
      present, they made no reply; one at Dublin of more than two
      hours; eight preachers present, but no reply; one at
      Richfield of two hours. God has stood by me in all my
      conflicts thus far, and many instances of his mercy have I
      witnessed of late. I have been once overturned in a stage,
      and in Kentucky I fell from my horse; in both instances
      narrowly escaped death."

In Columbiana County, the two colleagues of Mr. Badger, L. Hathaway and
Asa Chapin, met a great excess of enthusiasm in public worship, against
which they directed the cooler power of reason; and it seems that a
strong paragraph in Mr. Badger's printed journal, in which he sharply
and most independently reproved (as he always did under such
circumstances) disorder and fanaticism in the house of God, caused a
lengthy, explanatory, and complaining reply, to which Mr. B. very ably
responded. Speaking of the one who had led the way in this wild
enthusiasm, and whom he regarded as having been egotistically unpleasant
to his colleagues, he applies the words of Johnson:

      "Fate never wounds more deep the generous heart,
      Than when the BLOCKHEAD'S insult points the dart."

At a meeting of the General Conference held at West Bloomfield,
September 7, 1827, a resolution of hearty approval was passed in
relation to what Mr. Badger had done for uniting the different branches
of the Christian connection, east, west and south, and expressive of
much gratification in the news obtained of the churches west of the



It is evident from what has already been developed in the character and
public life of Joseph Badger, that his sympathies were extensive, that
the cause which he always avowed to be dearer than life was everywhere a
sacred unit, its wants being near, though located in a distant region.
Some men root so firmly in particular locality, that no considerations
ever draw them to meet the emergencies of a distant post. Though strong
in certain local attachments, though firmly persuaded of the value and
necessity of permanent pastors, he believed in the utility of an
evangelizing ministry for destitute places, for the breaking of new
ground, and was ready at any time to hear the Macedonian cry, "Come over
and help us."

The Christian Church in Boston, constituted July 1st, 1804, under the
ministry of the venerable Abner Jones, whose preaching in 1803 in the
Baptist churches of that town was attended by one of the greatest
revivals ever known in that community, was, in the year 1826, left
without a stated ministry, owing to the removal of their pastor, Rev.
Charles Morgridge, to New Bedford, for the purpose of taking the
pastoral charge of the Purchase street church in that city. Their
position at this time was very critical. Though they had succeeded in
building a commodious house of worship, they were, from the nature of
their sentiments, somewhat unpopular in a city where the Calvinistic
theology had not as yet fully learned the lessons of becoming humility;
and also were they embarrassed by the influence of Dr. Elias Smith,
whose popular eloquence was at this time employed in a way to injure the
cause, which, in other years, he had done much to promote. The society
had been for some time destitute of a stated pastor; and by the
information obtained of their condition in the persuasive letters he
received from Rev. Simon Clough, of New York, and from some leading
members of the church in Boston, Mr. Badger was induced to leave his
pleasant field of labor in the State of New York and to take up his
residence in that city, where he intended to remain until their
prosperity and the voice of higher duty should render it proper for him
to leave.

Proceeding by the way of New York, where he preached four sermons to Mr.
Clough's congregation, he arrived at Boston on September 28th, where he
received the cordial welcome and generous hospitality of his friend
William Gridley, a man of noble spirit, good ability, and useful
activities in the Christian cause. On the 30th, Mr. Badger preached
three sermons in the Summer and Sea street Chapel, having, as he states,
congregations that numbered about 400 in the morning, 800 in the
afternoon, and 600 in the evening. Surveying the new field before him,
he says, though informed by his friends that it was a low time, that
"the prospect is good." Though Mr. Badger's letters do not state the
exact time of his residence in this city, I find in a passing notice
from the able and truthful pen of John G. Loring--a man whose life,
precepts, intelligence, and uniform fidelity to religion, rendered him
one of the best citizens of Massachusetts--that the time spent there was
about one year.

In narrating the history of that society about the time that Mr.
Morgridge left them, Mr. Himes observes--"Some time now elapsed in which
they had no stated pastor. They procured, at length, the services of
Elder Joseph Badger; he labored with them between one and two years.
Much good was done. The church and society were built up, and sinners
were converted."[40] This statement is the same that the people of
Boston who attended his ministry have, so far as my recollections serve,
invariably made; the common opinion is, that the church and society were
never more uniformly prosperous, that the meetings were never better
attended, and that the mind and heart of the audience were never more
satisfactorily influenced and edified than they were under his ministry.
The strong and stable men who were _then_ the pillars of strength in
that society have been its pillars ever since;[41] and though additions
of value at different times have been made, it is certain that there was
a largeness and nobility to the timbers of the olden forest that it
might be difficult to surpass in more recent growths.

As a pastor, Mr. Badger was attentive to the wants of his flock, for
whom he cherished a tender care. "Though the situation is a trying one,"
said Mr. B., in a letter addressed to his wife, "I feel in duty bound to
stay for the present, for this church must not perish. All my days and
evenings are taken up by the duties of my present station." Writing from
Ballstown, N. Y., June 8, 1828, where he was attending a general
meeting, after he had been at Boston for more than six months, and at
his home in Mendon about two, he said--

      "This hasty note, my dear Eliza,[42] which will no doubt be
      an unwelcome message, will inform you that I am pressingly
      urged to return immediately to Boston. The call is
      irresistible. And my agreeable home must for the present be
      abandoned, as the care and conflict of the Boston church
      are continually upon my mind."

The main element of success in any calling for which one has suitable
capacity, was his, namely, a deep interest in the station he had taken.

In a letter addressed to Mrs. Badger, February 4, 1827, he narrates very
affectingly his visit to Farmington, the sacred memories of the heart
that revived in his mind as he visited that place, and Gilmanton, where,
with relatives and many former friends, he enjoyed the bliss of a
friendship to which years of time had added a new degree of sacredness.
It is impossible to read these passages, which were the spontaneous and
unstudied utterances of his mind thrown into his domestic
correspondence, without seeing a sincere wealth of heart, which his
light and buoyant manner in the world was often calculated to conceal
rather than to express. In addressing the Luminary, May 9, 1828, he

      "I intended in this number of my Journal, to have given a
      general account of all the religious societies in Boston,
      but other things have prevented my giving that attention to
      the subject which would be necessary in this case; I must
      therefore omit it till some future period. The Calvinistic
      Baptists, the Methodists and the Unitarians, have made many
      disciples to their several parties the year past; a number
      of whom we hope are experimental and practical disciples of
      Jesus Christ. Four new chapels have been opened in Boston
      the winter past, and while other societies have been
      favored with revivals through the goodness of God, the
      Christian Society, which has withstood all opposition for
      more than twenty years, has of late experienced some of the
      rich mercy-drops. I have been laboring among them some over
      six months, and have been enabled with divine assistance to
      gather up the fruits of my brethren's labors who went
      before me. The names of Clough and Morgridge were mentioned
      by some whom I baptized, as the means, under God, of
      calling up their attention to the concern of the soul. I
      will name one instance: I baptized a very respectable young
      lady who had always attended a Unitarian meeting until a
      few months since, when she found in a pew of her chapel
      Clough's letter to Mr. Smallfield, which excited her
      inquiry and finally became the means of her awakening.
      Thus a good thing may come out of a despised and persecuted

      "The 23d of March was a day of great interest to myself and
      the Christian Society of Boston: the day was fine, and the
      assembly large. On this memorable day twenty-four happy
      converts presented themselves for baptism. Thousands
      assembled at the sea-side in South Boston: and though some
      confusion was visible amidst the thronging multitude, yet
      God was with his children to own and bless his holy
      ordinance. This was a day of unusual strength and comfort
      to me; I preached three sermons, was in the water
      forty-five minutes, and through the whole was scarcely
      sensible of fatigue. God's strength has hitherto been
      sufficient: in Him I put my trust. I would not wish,
      however, by this, or any other communication of mine, to
      carry the idea that we have had a _great_ reformation in
      Boston, for we have only a small addition to our numbers,
      and have been blessed only with occasional conversions; but
      I hope that those who have professed faith in Christ are
      converted to God and not to creeds, or to a party, or to
      man; and that the work is so effectual that it will endure
      in time of trials. All the New England States are
      abundantly blessed with the outpouring of the Spirit of God
      at the present time. A cloud of mercy is hanging over the
      happy land. If the ministers keep humble and stand in the
      counsel of God, if the saints live in union and stand fast
      in the liberty wherewith Christ has made them free, the
      pure testimony must and will prevail, and reformation
      everywhere will abound. What we have seen will be only the
      beginning of good days; the petty wrangles of frail mortals
      will subside; the darkness in which the Church has long
      been groping will be dispelled; and she will come forth
      from the wilderness on the breast of her beloved, and will
      fill the world with her majesty, glory and beauty."

The first days of April, 1828, Mr. and Mrs. Badger improved in returning
home to Mendon, N. Y.; in their absence, William, their youngest son,
had died; in the region of Mendon he chiefly remained until his June
meeting at Ballstown, already spoken of, when the united request of the
committee, William Gridley, John G. Loring, Abner H. Bowman, in behalf
of the society in Boston, arrived, inviting him to return as soon as
possible to their assistance; which request, together with an invidious
article published in Dr. Elias Smith's paper in relation to Mr. Badger's
position in regard to him, induced his immediate return to that city,
where he boldly and successfully vindicated his premises, whether
theological or personal. Within the three months succeeding his arrival
on June 21st, are several valuable letters from his pen. A few extracts
we will here subjoin:--

                                    "BOSTON, July 8, 1828.

      "My dear Wife: I am this moment much refreshed in receiving
      a letter from you, and I would now make such returns as
      become an affectionate husband. I spent one week agreeably
      in New York, and had a pleasant passage to this city, where
      we arrived in good health, June 21st. The 22d, my assembly
      was large, and all greeted me with the same joy and
      affection as when we parted with them, at a time you must
      well remember--the past spring. My first text was Acts 15:
      36: 'Let us go again and visit our brethren in every city
      where we have preached the word of the Lord, and see how
      they do.' The brethren have lost much since I left them;
      but we have already seen their strength and courage revive,
      and several are now under awakening."

                                    "BOSTON, July 19, 1828.

      "Brother Millard: I have received yours of June 28, and was
      glad to hear of your success in Canada and at the Central
      Conference. The truth must prevail, and error must fall.
      Since my return our assembly is fast coming back, and we
      are getting many new hearers. A revival is now commencing.
      Several are under conviction, and the saints begin to offer
      'the pure testimony' in the house of the Lord. Elders
      Kilton, from Eastport, and Green, from Hartford, have
      visited me. I have visited the colleges at Cambridge, and
      the venerable Noah Worcester, of Brighton. He is one of the
      purest men I ever saw. His theme is peace, peace, peace! I
      would also say, that for young men among us who should wish
      to have a liberal education for the ministry, they can have
      board and tuition gratis, if properly introduced at

      "I have been much out of health for a few weeks past; the
      hot weather overcomes me very much. If I do not get better
      I shall spend the week time in the country, though it seems
      as if I could not be spared a day from the flock of my

                                     "BOSTON, August 4, 1828.

      "Dear and affectionate Wife: I suppose you have some days
      been expecting this letter, but my labors here are of that
      arduous and oppressive kind which consume all my moments,
      and scarcely leave me time for repose and refreshment, much
      less to enjoy any innocent relaxation, or to bathe my weary
      spirit in the sweet and endearing reflections of HOME. You
      know, Maria, that home has charms for my heart this summer,
      which I scarcely ever felt so sensibly before; and since I
      left you, at any time would these four little letters, (H O
      M E) pronounced aright, cause the blood to flow more
      warmly about my heart, and a chain of endearing
      recollections to visit my soul in a manner which, in spite
      of all my masculine powers and native fortitude, would
      cause the briny tear to flow; and then ashamed of my
      childlike weakness, I have mingled with the crowd and
      wrapped these tender scenes in smiles, to hide them from my
      unfeeling associates, who, of course, would only mock my
      affection if they knew it. But this Monday morning, after
      the labors of one more holy Sabbath, I accept the pleasure
      and the duty of communicating to you a few lines to feed
      that sacred fire which should ever burn in your affections
      toward your God, your duty, and me."

Passages like these reveal unmistakably a serious depth of heart, almost
wholly unindicated by the great self-control, and by the free and
cheerful manner that shrouded his inmost life from the notice and
perception of the world, and from the circle also of acknowledged
friends. He adds:--

      "Nothing but duty could confine me to this city the present
      month. I am in hopes to get time to spend one day with Mr.
      Bowman in the country, this week. I expect to receive
      several members next Wednesday, and to baptize on the
      coming Sabbath."

Whilst in Boston, Mr. Badger became acquainted with the clergymen of
other denominations, particularly with Dr. Ware, Gannet and Tuckerman,
of the Unitarian faith, of whom he always spoke in exalted terms. His
acquaintance and intercourse with Ware and Tuckerman were familiar; and
often did he speak of the divine spirit of Henry Ware, and of the
benevolent heart of Mr. Tuckerman. Indeed, at one time Mr. Badger
thought of accepting a proposal to join Mr. Tuckerman in his missionary
labors in Boston, at least, so far did he think of it as to consult his
family on the propriety of accepting the unanimous call of the Christian
Society[43] in Boston, for a settlement of three or five years, or
instead of this, to join Mr. Tuckerman in his missionary labors, with a
permanent settlement and a thousand or twelve hundred dollars per year.
For a work like this, the gathering in, the instruction and persuasion
to virtue and religion of the neglected and unprosperous classes, Mr. B.
had extraordinary gifts; yet, from the weight of considerations founded
chiefly in his relations to his home and former field of labor in the
State of New York, neither of these positions was accepted. An anecdote
somewhat characteristic of the man was lately given me by a friend, and
as it relates to extemporaneous preaching, I will transcribe it.

      "While he was in Boston, he occasionally associated with
      clergymen of the Unitarian denomination, men who were
      perhaps distinguished above the average of ministers by the
      careful and elaborate manner in which they prepared their
      written discourses. One day he was accosted by one of them
      thus: 'Mr. Badger, how do you manage to prepare and preach
      so many sermons?' 'Why, sir,' he replied, 'I never study
      the _words_ of my sermons. I study _ideas_, and clothe them
      in words when I want them.'"

Before me lies a plain 12mo Bible, published in 1826, on whose margins,
in delicate marks and letters, are pointed out every text (and the day
of its use) that he spoke from during his ministry in Boston. A simple
mark declares the passage, and at the bottom or top of the page the date
is seen, so that, without any journal, a clue is given to every topic of
his public discoursing, for _his_ texts very generally pointed out his
subjects. Whoever will look over this book, could, in the character of
the passages chosen, at once see that Mr. B. had a practical mind, good
taste, and knew how to be to the point and purpose. His chosen passages
are full of expression. These, of course, cannot here be quoted, but a
list of these passages written out, as they range from Genesis to
Revelation, would be an instruction as well as a reproof to those who
preach from irrelevant and inexpressive passages; and they would
likewise form a noble chain of Scripture gems. A man shows what is
characteristic in him by his texts, taken as a whole, often as clearly
as by what he preaches.

From this Bible, which does not strike the reader as being marked up so
as to mar at all its regular character, I learn that on March 30th,
1828, on leaving the flock of his charge to remain for a time at Mendon,
his three sermons were from the following texts:--Job 19: 25: "For I
know that my Redeemer liveth, and he shall stand at the latter day upon
the earth." John 16: 22: "And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will
see you again and your hearts shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh
from you." John 17: 20, 21: "Neither pray I for these alone: but for
them also which shall believe on me through their word, that they all
may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee; that they also
may be one in us; that the world may believe that thou hast sent me."
Though from the Old Testament he drew many passages, and from Job, the
Psalms, Proverbs and Isaiah somewhat freely, it is from the Gospels and
the Epistles that he chiefly made his selections. Some of his texts may
be called ingenious, requiring a free play of analogy to set them forth,
as, for instance, Prov. 30:24-5-6-7-8, preached January 20, 1828: "There
be four things which are little upon the earth, but they are exceeding
wise: the ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in
the summer; the conies are but a feeble folk, yet make their houses in
the rocks; the locusts have no king, yet go they forth all of them by
bands; the spider taketh hold with her hands, and is in kings' palaces."

From the same source we learn that, on the first Sabbath of his ministry
in Boston, September 30, 1827, he spoke from Rev. 22: 14, James 1: 17,
and Prov. 29: 1; his valedictory sermons were given September 14, 1828,
from Psalms 46: 4, and from Ecc. 11: 9. July 13, 1828, he spoke from
Luke 19: 41: "And when he drew near, he beheld the city and wept over
it." December 9, 1827, Psalms 133: 1, 2, 3: "Behold how good and how
pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the
precious ointment upon the head that ran down upon the beard, even
Aaron's beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments; as the dew
of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion:
for there the Lord commanded the blessing, even life forevermore." But
the only sermon written out at length is founded on two words found in
James 1: 27, "Pure Religion," and was delivered February 10, 1828. From
this I offer the following paragraphs.

      "Never did I arise in this congregation under a greater
      sense of my responsibility, than on this occasion. Never
      did I come before you with a subject of greater magnitude.
      Divest religion of purity, and a subject of horror, misery,
      and disgrace is presented. Religion has been the cause of
      wars; has divided kingdoms; has imprisoned the saints; has
      lighted the fagots about the disciples of Jesus, and has
      even in this favored city banished the Baptist and hung the
      humble Quaker; but this was not the religion of my text.
      But turn from those scenes of superstition and misery, and
      _add_ to religion the word _pure_, and all is changed; all
      is meekness, simplicity and heaven. The horrors of death
      are dispelled, a world of glory and immortality is opened
      to the reflecting soul of man. By its influence the
      sorrowful widow receives comfort, the weeping orphan
      smiles, circumstances of misfortune are sanctified, the
      poor are enriched, the sick are supported, and the chamber
      of death is illuminated with the gracious smiles of the Son
      of God. Pure religion requires no fagot to light it, no
      science to adorn it, no human arm to defend it, and no
      carnal weapon to enforce it.

      "The word religion, in its common acceptation, is applied
      to the four great bodies of worshippers which divide our
      World, Jews, Pagans, Mohammedans, and Christians. The Jews'
      religion embraces a belief in one God in one person, with
      the practice of those legal rites enjoined by the law of
      Moses; but it rejects the Messiah, and hopes in one yet to
      come. The Pagan religion embraces all that part of mankind
      who are involved in the worship of idols. The Mohammedan
      religion embraces a belief in one God, and in Mahomet as
      his Apostle; whilst the word Christian is applied to all
      who believe that Christ has come in the flesh, which
      includes all professed Christians.

      "But what saith the Holy Scriptures? In the Bible the word
      occurs but five times, and is once used in reference to
      'our religion,' (Acts 26: 5); twice to Jews' religion,
      (Gal. 1: 13, 14); and once to 'vain religion,' (James 1:
      26); and once, in the language of our text, to 'pure
      religion.' Thus four kinds of religion are mentioned in the
      Bible, and but one of them is good. Four kinds of religion
      are found in the world, Jewish, Pagan, Mohammedan,
      Christian, and but one of them is good. This accords with
      the parable Jesus spake of the sower. The good seed fell on
      four kinds of ground, the wayside, among thorns, on stony
      ground, on good ground; four kinds, but only one brings
      forth fruit. So 'our religion' 'Jews' religion' and 'vain
      religion' bring forth no acceptable fruit to God; but 'pure
      religion' is like the good soil which brings forth 'some
      thirty, some sixty, and some one hundred fold.' Thus do the
      facts of history and of Scripture correspond.

      "The word religion means to _bind_, as it puts a restraint
      upon our conduct and passions, and unites the soul to God,
      to good people and to virtuous actions. Pure religion is
      the soul's ornament; its fruits are the ornament of the
      life. To illustrate this subject further, I shall explain
      pure religion to be: first, purity of spirit; second,
      kindness and benevolence of practice."

After portraying the Christian spirit as one of meekness, as merciful,
tender, forgiving, peaceful and patient, as valiant, as charitable, as
contented and devout, he proceeds to show the practical fruits of the
spirit he has portrayed in alleviating the sorrows of life. In
describing pure religion, Mr. Badger sees fit to correct the following

      "One of the greatest errors which has ever infested the
      church militant, is that of having our fellowship bounded
      by a theory, opinion, or creed. While this exists,
      division, misery and ruin are spread through all the flock
      of God. While a party name or creed is valued higher than
      _experience_, it is no wonder that we are divided. But
      whenever the scene is reversed, when rectitude of spirit
      and practice shall outweigh the poor inventions of men and
      become the criterion of fellowship, there shall then be one
      fold and one shepherd; watchmen shall see eye to eye, and
      the people shall lift up their voice together.

      "'We'll not bind a brother's conscience,
        This alone to God is free;
      Nor contend for non-essentials,
        But in Christ united be.'"

After speaking of the kind offices which Christian sympathy extends to
the widow, he alludes to the fostering, paternal care it spreads over
the path of the orphan, in the following strain:--

      "Again, we reflect with tender sympathy upon the case of
      the orphan who in early life is cut off from the
      instruction and care of its fond parents, and is turned
      into the wide world without education, without experience,
      without friends, without bread or shelter. What a world of
      misery, deception and sin he is left in! What snares are
      spread for his strolling feet! What woes for his expanding
      soul! The provision made in this city for male and female
      orphans is not only a subject of admiration and praise to
      the good of every class, but I have no doubt the departed
      spirits of their ancestors and parents look down with
      satisfaction and joy upon the benevolent founders of those
      asylums, that are now the living monuments of Christ's
      spirit on earth; and can we doubt that He who is the
      orphan's Father, delights in these institutions and in the
      kind and fostering care now extended unto them? You cannot
      imagine the pleasure I enjoy while on my way to this house.
      Almost every Sabbath I meet the female orphans, who, in
      uniform, follow their instructresses to the house of
      worship. This city, I am happy to say, not only abounds in
      profession, but there is no city in the world, of its
      population and ability, which abounds more in works of
      charity and benevolence. The friendship and kindness of the
      inhabitants of Boston are proverbial in all parts of the
      Union, and a Bostonian is respected throughout the world."

In the spring and summer of 1835, which the writer of this memoir passed
in Boston, he well remembers the kind tone of regard in which Dr.
Tuckerman uniformly spoke of Mr. Badger. They had been intimate friends,
had conversed often on the present imperfect state of society, on its
moral and temporal evils, and especially on the best ways of reaching it
effectually with the saving principles of Christianity, for both
concurred in the idea which may be called invariably the key-note of Mr.
Badger's ministry, that the Gospel of Christ, properly understood and
applied to life, is the only science of human happiness.

The last published letter of Mr. Badger from the field he at this time
occupied, is dated Boston, September 16, 1852. He says:--

      "Having now completed three months' labor in this pleasant
      city, I am about to start for my residence again. My visit
      here has been as successful as could be expected under
      present circumstances; each month has added some new
      members to the Church, and every communion has been crowned
      with the Lord's presence. 'The little opposition party' who
      were drawn off from this church three years ago, who have
      been much engaged to slander and revile the society, as
      well as many useful ministers and other churches and
      conferences in the connection, have, finally, so far lost
      what little influence they had, that nothing now is to be
      feared from them.

      "But there is still another class of disorganizers in the
      land, and not a few in this city, who deny that the Bible
      is a sufficient rule of faith and practice, who ridicule
      the ordinances of Baptism and the Lord's Supper, who
      despise church order and a preached Gospel, unless it is
      accommodated to their poor, frail, weak, and changeable
      imaginations. They also pretend to great revelations, which
      fills them with self-righteousness and prepares them to
      pass judgment on all their fellow-Christians who have the
      misfortune to differ from their notions. How often we see
      the basest principle of pride in the garb of _singularity_,
      slovenly idleness, and in what the apostle calls a
      voluntary humility. The church in all ages has been tempted
      by conflicts from without, and unholy and unreasonable
      persons of their own number, but happy are they who endure
      hardness as good soldiers, and are overcomers through the
      blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony; and it
      is through great tribulation that we enter into Heaven.

      "During my stay here I have made two visits to the State of
      New Hampshire, both of which were interesting. My native
      State is still favored with mercy-drops. Many of the old
      saints are strong and valiant for the truth, and in several
      places are prospects of revivals. My last visit, which was
      to the town of Mason, and county of Hillsborough, was under
      peculiar circumstances and pleasing and flattering
      prospects. Mason has long been a stronghold of _orthodoxy_.
      No dissenter from that doctrine had ever preached in the
      place; but a few respectable men who had become enlightened
      by reading the Scripture and our periodicals, were resolved
      to hear the 'sect which is everywhere spoken against,' for
      themselves. Accordingly, one of their number was despatched
      to Boston, forty-eight miles, to engage me to visit them.
      From this representation I concluded to go, as Peter did
      among the Gentiles, not conferring with flesh and blood. I
      found on my arrival, September 11, a decent assembly
      convened at the Presbyterian meeting-house, who were very
      attentive to hear the word. I gave another appointment in
      the evening, and found the attention of the people still
      increasing. At the intermission, and after sermon, late at
      night, and in the morning, many strangers flocked around me
      to make inquiry, to state their feelings, and to manifest
      the great pleasure they had in the increasing light, and in
      the truths proclaimed. While I saw their prospect of
      improvement and deep attention, I almost forgot the
      fatigues of the day and night, though they passed heavily;
      I had journeyed fifty miles, preached at 4 P. M., one hour
      and a half; in the evening two long hours; I had conversed
      until twelve at night, when the mind became so full that
      sleep departed until about three o'clock in the morning.
      Here are gentlemen of talents and property who are
      liberal-minded Christians. They say, when in the judgment
      of our ministry it is prudent to make a stand there, a
      meeting-house shall be immediately built, and some are
      about ready to be baptized. I have written to Mr. H.
      Plummer, on the case of the people here; and hope they will
      be noticed by the preachers of New England."

His next paragraph, which emphatically repeats sentiments not as yet
quoted in this book, but published as early as 1817, embraces a topic of
so much importance to the permanent power and respectability of church
institutions, that I call to it a distinct attention. After speaking of
the importance of introducing the new and liberal sentiments into places
that have never heard them proclaimed, in a manner that shall make the
best impression, that is, through the agency of able and efficient
speakers, he proceeds to say:--

      "I am decidedly opposed to the hasty constitution of
      churches. No church, in my opinion, should be acknowledged
      until there are numbers, talents, and strength sufficient
      to keep a regular meeting on the Sabbath; also there should
      be a prospect of stated preaching. I recommend that these
      brethren at Mason be baptized and stand either in their
      individual capacity, or be associated with the church at
      Boston, or Haverhill. We have already taken possession of
      more ground than we can cultivate to advantage, and I see
      no way for our vacant congregations to be supplied but by
      an evangelizing ministry."

Mr. Badger closes this letter by saying that his numerous engagements
would prevent him from fulfilling his appointment at Dutchess County, N.
Y., where he had been solicited to meet again the throngs of people who
had, in other years, listened to his voice in the calm and tranquil
forest, where, to use his own words, they had formerly "felt and seen
the power and influence of truth." From his notes, and some social
parties he attended in Boston, it is perceived that he had a
sympathizing interest in the struggles and sufferings of the noble
Greeks, who were then aiming at freedom and self-government. During the
year of his Boston ministry, he preached on a great variety of subjects,
attended several funerals, baptized many believers, and solemnized many
marriages. Like St. Paul, he was ever abundant in labors. With the
society over which he had presided, Rev. I. C. Goff remained. September
17, 1828, he took of the good city his final leave, of whose citizens,
customs, literature, and general character, he always afterward spoke in
the most respectful terms, in a manner expressive of agreeable



December, 1828, Mr. Badger accepted a field of labor, for about four
months, in the counties of Onondaga and Cayuga, New York. His peculiar
abilities were needed to revive and strengthen the churches, whose wants
at that time were greater than could be supplied by the ministers who
lived in that section. In the town of Brutus (since called Sennett), in
Camillus and other towns of that region, he had preached frequently in
former years. In the former town, Elijah Shaw had been very successful
in his ministerial labors; and throughout all that country generally,
Rev. O. E. Morrill, whose happy and popular gifts always made him a
favorite with the people, had preached much, and wielded a great
influence in behalf of liberal sentiments. But Mr. Shaw had moved to New
England; Mr. M. was unable to meet the many calls for assistance, and
the greatness of the harvest seemed to demand additional laborers.

His plan of action covered a somewhat extended field, though his regular
appointments were at Sennett, Cayuga, and at Lysander and Canton,
Onondaga. At times he spoke at Cato, Baldwinsville, Jericho, Van Buren,
Camillus, Elbridge, Weedsport, and other places; yet he so centralized
his labor and influence as to make them effectual at the desired points.
Besides his Sabbath services, it is said that he generally preached
every evening in the week except on Mondays and Saturdays. As usual, his
congregations were generally large and attentive, and his advocacy of
liberal and evangelical sentiments was indeed formidable to all who were
opposed. It could not be otherwise than a result of his independent
course, that controversy, more or less, should be awakened by his
ministry. He boldly stated his views, and never shrunk, from the
controversial discussion of them whenever a man of character and ability
ventured to encounter him with the tests of Scripture and reason.
Accordingly, these manly collisions of intellect on theological
questions form a very observable part of his public life. In the field
he now occupied, he had two public discussions; one with the Rev. Mr.
Baker, at Ionia, an eloquent Methodist minister; another with Rev. Mr.
Stowe, a learned clergyman of the Presbyterian sect, at Elbridge, though
with the latter it was conducted through the medium of letters, of which
Mr. S. wrote only a small part, so that perhaps it cannot be called a
debate so properly as a discussion.

Mr. Baker was confident of success, not having taken the measure of the
man he was to encounter. The form of their controversy on the supreme
Deity of Jesus, was to be the delivery of a sermon each to the same
audience on the same evening; they met to settle preliminaries late in
the afternoon. Mr. Badger, by his careless ease, his deference and
reserve of power, managed to give his opponent an inferior opinion of
his own capacity, whilst he studied closely the temper and quality of
his antagonist. This he always did before he ventured upon warfare. He
would draw out the resources of his opponent and reserve his own. He
always held that in oral controversy, in the form of sermons, it was a
desirable advantage to speak first, for two reasons. 1st. The attention
of the people is then unwearied, and their minds are fresh. 2d. The
speaker has the opportunity to anticipate the arguments of his opponent
and to answer them, thereby depriving them of power before his adversary
has used them. He cared not who had the last speech, provided he could
have the first. Apparently indifferent to the result, he offered Mr.
Baker the choice of time, who allowed Mr. Badger to speak first,
thinking that the greater advantage belongs to the last word. No limit
of time was set for either speaker. They appeared at early evening
before a large assembly. Mr. Badger arose and announced for his text 1
Cor. 1: 4: "Is Christ divided?" a text which struck at the artificial
division of his nature and being, made by those who affirm that he is at
the same time perfect God and perfect man. Mr. Badger spoke between two
and three hours to the most perfectly attentive audience, in which time
he stated and met all the strong arguments that were likely to be
arrayed against him, and urged in clear and lucid statements the
evidences for his own position. I find in the plots of his controversial
sermons, that he carried on usually a double work, giving, as he
proceeded, alternately his own view and its evidence, then examining the
opposition and its proof, then returning to the further statement of
his own opinions and their evidences, and again exploding the usual
arguments of the opposite side, ending always with positive views. In
this debate he thoroughly achieved his aim. He so broke the weapons of
his adversary that he could not rally to his use his accustomed
strength. During Mr. Badger's long discourse, Mr. Baker would
occasionally look at his watch and remind him that time is short, to
whose impatience he once replied, "Be patient, Brother Baker, I have
much yet to say; this is only the beginning of sorrows." It is certain
that parties are usually biased in regard to the merits of controversies
in which their peculiar doctrines are discussed; but from such
recollections of this debate as community possessed in 1831 and 1835, I
unhesitatingly say that but one opinion prevailed, which was, that Mr.
Badger was plainly victorious.

His letters to Mr. Stowe, which originated in a misrepresentation of
views made in the pulpit of Mr. S., were published in the Gospel
Luminary of 1829. They were strong and able papers; and it is evident
from a letter in my possession from the hand of Mr. S., that he
carefully sought to evade any public contact of mental forces with Mr.
B. on the subjects of difference between them.

During the several months which he passed in these counties, he
performed a large amount of labor, called out an interest which was by
no means limited by the extent of his own denomination, and the churches
were strengthened and refreshed. His influence was always creative. But
even when he added no numerical strength to his cause, a thing which we
are not sure ever happened under his active ministry, he had an
uncommon ability to inspire the men and women already marshalled under
free principles, with new confidence in what they could do were they to
try; and what is kindred to, but still a little higher than this, he had
a particular faculty to bring them to the _point of action_; could
persuade them to begin and to prosecute enterprises that they ordinarily
might simply talk about, delay, and neglect. At Sennett, he pursuaded
the people to attempt the building of a church; he organized the
society, selected the location, and put things in active course for the
completion of the enterprise. Between the villages of Canton and Ionia
stands a commodious chapel, which, through the generous sacrifices of a
few men, and the cooperative action of others, was built and dedicated
to the service of Almighty God January 26, 1830. This chapel also was
started and went up at the time it did through the leading, managing
influence of Mr. Badger. But events of this kind were very common in his
ministry, as he was in the habit of studying closely the strength of the
cause he plead, and of enlisting into decisive action the ability of his
friends in its furtherance. January 23, 1830, he preached the dedication
sermon of a beautiful church in Lysander, Onondaga County, New York,
where he had regularly preached in the winter of 1829. Text was Ps. 126:
3: "The Lord hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad." He
also preached the dedication sermon of the church in Sennett. At Canton,
the Christian Chapel was open for worship January 26, 1830. From the pen
of Rev. David Millard, who gave the sermon on that occasion, I extract
the following lines:--

      "This is the second chapel erected in Onondaga county for
      the use of the people called Christians. The building is
      neat, plain, and commodious. The labors of Rev. O. E.
      Morrill have been devoted to that region of country for
      nine years past, and have been much owned and blessed of
      God. About one year ago, Rev. J. Badger spent several
      months in that section, and was much blessed in preaching
      the word. His labors contributed largely towards the
      building of the two chapels we have just named, (Lysander
      and Canton,) and also of another in the town of Sennett,
      Cayuga County, not yet completed. The cause of liberal
      Christianity was never more prosperous in that part of the
      country than now."[44]

There was indeed ability in favor of liberal views through that country,
ability of long standing; but we think it just to the memory of Mr.
Badger to say that, during his labors in that region, his creative mind
was prominent in giving to that ability the form of active, prosperous
enterprise in the respects here spoken of.

November, 1830. From the Valley of Repose,[45] he writes:

      "Since my last, I have visited many places in this part of
      the State, and am happy to find that the cause of Christian
      liberty is gradually advancing, though opposition attends
      every step that is taken. In Rochester, a Unitarian society
      has been raised. Mr. W. Ware, of New York city, was the
      first minister of that order who ever preached there. His
      preaching was like Paul's, at Athens; it made no small
      stir. Many were alarmed for their favorite dogmas; for his
      three sermons gave the doctrine of the Trinity a deadly
      blow. He was succeeded by Mr. Green, of Massachusetts, who
      is an eloquent man, and, like Apollos, mighty in the
      Scriptures. He left, after a stay of three months, for
      Cincinnati. I am informed they are now supplied by two
      young men from Boston, who have my best wishes for their
      success. Though these men have encountered much opposition,
      a spirit of inquiry and a love of liberal Christianity are
      imparted from their faithful labors, which will live among
      the citizens of Rochester in spite of the influence of
      superstitious sectarians. Though they are a distinct sect
      from the Christians, their labors go to promote the same
      great principles of liberty, and their enemies and ours are
      the same."

In Cayuga County, he speaks of the labors of Morrill and Coburn as
successful; of passing through Montgomery, Delaware, Green and Dutchess
Counties; of standing by the grave of his worthy early associate in the
ministry, John L. Peavy, at Milan; of thinking of his many associates
who now sleep in the grave;--men cut off in the midst of their useful
labors. Taking with him, from Green County, a young man by the name of
Joseph Marsh, he returned to Mendon, October 2d.

In the autumn of 1830, his visit to Lewisburg, Pa., is thus spoken of by
Rev. J. J. Harvey, in a recent letter to Mrs. Badger:--

      "His congregations were large and attentive. The sects
      cried out against him and his doctrine. Being young, and
      liberal in my feelings, I was induced, by the opposition
      raised against this 'great Unitarian heretic, as his
      enemies styled him, to go and hear for myself. From the
      course pursued on both sides, I soon became a regular
      hearer, and found my feelings strongly interested in favor
      of the persecuted party. Among others, he preached one
      discourse on the doctrine of the Trinity. This was
      fortunate for me, because he removed from my mind the
      infidelity into which the popular teaching among the
      Methodists and Presbyterians had well-nigh driven me. I
      never could understand, and therefore could not believe,
      their irrational and unscriptural preaching on this
      subject; I was, therefore, on the verge of rejecting the
      Bible _in toto_. But, by clear exhibitions of truth, Mr.
      Badger convinced me of the scriptural and the reasonable
      doctrine of one God, and of one Mediator between God and
      men; and on that subject I have never since had a doubt."

From this place he proceeded to Milford, New Jersey, to attend the
theological debate held in that town, December, 1830, between Rev.
William McCalla, of Philadelphia, and Rev. Wm. Lane, of Ohio, on the
question--"Is the man Christ Jesus the supreme and eternal God?" of
which Mr. McCalla had the affirmative, and Mr. Lane the negative. This
discussion, attended by a large concourse, and on the fourth day
abandoned by the former gentleman, in the words, "I relinquish this
debate forever," was one in which Mr. Badger took a deep interest. He
was one of the Board of Moderators; and, with his peculiar facility at
management, he succeeded, during the early stage of the debate, in
getting Mr. McCalla and Rev. S. Clough into a contract for a new
discussion of the same question, at the city of New York, at a
subsequent time, a contract which Mr. McCalla, on the fourth day of the
debate, took from his pocket, and tore into pieces in the presence of
the great assembly, as significant of his intention not to carry out the
purpose therein expressed. The coolness, foresight, and shrewdness of
Mr. Badger on all such occasions were strong and serviceable traits.

He spent the principal part of 1831 in the vicinity of his residence, in
which time additions were made to his society, which then was in a state
of prosperity. From special request he visited Stafford, Genesee County,
where, fourteen years before, with the assistance of Elder Levi
Hathaway, he had organized a small church of eleven; a reformation
immediately began, which, in the language of Mr. D. Millard, "was one of
the most glorious revivals ever experienced in that region of country.
Within a few months, he baptized, in Stafford, not far from fifty,"
about half of whom were young men of talent. Under date of October 12,
1831, Mr. Badger writes:--

      "It is now nearly twenty years since I engaged in the great
      and responsible work of preaching the Gospel. I regret that
      I did not engage in that work earlier, and that I have been
      no more successful. But, with all my lack of
      qualifications, I have every year had something to
      encourage me; I have baptized about one thousand persons; I
      have had the pleasure of seeing twelve of that number
      become useful ministers of the Gospel, and many have
      finished their pilgrimage on earth with joy. Of late, I
      have been more than ever encouraged, and, notwithstanding
      my embarrassment on account of ill health, my spirit is
      alive to the good work, and my heart is warm to the
      interests of Zion. The church at Lakeville, Livingston
      County, has also been blessed of late. I have, within a
      short time, baptized six persons there. In Tompkins County,
      our brethren have been abundantly favored with revivals. In
      Cayuga County, also, the cause is prospering. Elder Morrill
      has had an addition to the churches of his care of about
      eighty members, this year."

             *       *       *       *       *

      "Several of our brethren in this country have, the present
      season, finished their course in this world. We have taken
      sweet counsel with them; we have joined them in
      commemorating the love and suffering of the lowly Jesus; we
      have mingled with them in songs of praise and sweet
      devotion on earth, and now look up with trembling
      confidence and cheerful hope to the time when we shall be
      permitted to join them with improved capacities, in an
      immortal song of praise to God and the Lamb in heaven."

On March 27th, he attended the funeral of Mrs. Thomas Pease, of
Rochester, one in whom the Christian virtues were said to have shone
with mild and constant brilliancy. Speaking of this event, he says:

      "While I sat by the bedside of my emaciated friend, and saw
      her health, her beauty, and relish for life gone, and the
      strong attachment of friends presenting their last claims
      to a heart which had always responded in emotions of
      kindest friendship, but which could respond no longer, I
      heard her in a low whisper say, 'Oh Lord, grant me thy
      smiles and thy presence, and I ask no more.' Here, said I,
      I see the end of all perfection. Oh God, 'Let me die the
      death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his.'

      "After I left she appeared much revived in spirit, and made
      choice of the text on which I should preach at her funeral,
      which was John 14: 2: 'In my Father's house are many
      mansions: if it were not so I would have told you. I go to
      prepare a place for you.' How delightful to see a child of
      God looking up from the verge of the grave to those
      mansions which Christ has gone to prepare for his



Believing in the power of the press as one of the strongest agents
which, for weal or for wo, is ever brought to bear on the thoughts,
consciences, and outward destinies of men, Mr. Badger and his associates
resolved on the employment of this agency for the up-building of faith,
for the free investigation of Christian theology, and for the
furtherance of wider views of Christian brotherhood than had ever
obtained under the reign of stern, sectarian dogma. The "Gospel
Luminary," started at West Bloomfield, in 1825, had been, in 1827,
removed to the city of New York, and though ably conducted in the main,
the feeling became strong and general in the State of New York, that
something more perfectly adapted to the wants of the people could be
issued; accordingly the "Genesee Christian Association," composed of
some of the most experienced ministers and competent men, was organized
December, 1831, with a constitution and officers, for the purpose of
publishing, purchasing, selling and distributing such books and
publications as the wants of the Christian Connection should, in their
judgment, require; also to assist young men in the ministry with
libraries and such other means of improvement as might be within their
power; and especially did they contemplate, as their first work, the
establishment of a periodical at Rochester, N. Y., whose objects were
announced to be the vindication and dissemination of Gospel truth, the
development of the ability of young men in the department of writing,
and the promotion of a faith which should be at the same time
scriptural, liberal, rational, and evangelical. Of this new monthly
periodical, D. Millard, O. E. Morrill and Asa Chapin, were the Executive
Committee, and J. Badger, Editor. A prospectus for this work, called the
"Christian Palladium," a name sacred to liberty and its defence, was
issued by Mr. Badger, January, 1832, in which he says:--

      "The prominent objects of this work will be the defence of
      the Scripture doctrine of one God and one Mediator, the
      vindication of free and liberal Christianity, the right of
      private judgment in religion, and the sufficiency of the
      Holy Scriptures as a perfect system of church polity. In
      the dissemination of those sacred principles, it will seek
      no alliance with proscriptive sectarianism, nor will it bow
      to the _ipsi dixerunt_ of fallible men, or ascribe holiness
      to any human creed whatever. While it inculcates
      Christianity as it is, it will endeavor to show what its
      votaries should be; and while it advocates holy truth, it
      shall breathe the benign spirit of Him who is the way, the
      truth, and the life. While it will urge the necessity of
      vital piety and holiness of heart, it shall also show that
      these sacred principles directly tend to the union of
      Christ's spiritual body, which is the Church. In a word, it
      is not to be a sectarian engine, but a free vehicle of
      general Christian intelligence."

On the next page, which contains his address to agents, he says, that
"the time when the friends of religious liberty and impartial
investigation of Gospel truth, should adopt every laudable measure to
further those important and benevolent objects, has unquestionably
arrived;" and May 1, 1832, witnessed the circulation of the first number
of his monthly, a neat pamphlet of 24 pages, in goodly attire, and in
excellence of mechanical execution far in advance, we should say, of any
printing we have recently seen from that city. In a letter addressed to
a meeting of pioneers, held in Rochester, October, 1848, to which he was
invited, he claimed to have caused the publication of the first book[46]
printed in that place, when Rochester was only a prosperous village.

This new era, as we may call it, in the public life of Mr. Badger,
though it brought great responsibilities in which he had no previous
experience, found him an easy master of its difficulties. His
qualifications for an editor were, an intuitive and accurate perception
of the character of the class of readers to whom his labors belonged--a
quick recognition of whatever might serve to enrich his pages from the
communications of his correspondents, from publications, and books; a
business tact rarely equalled, which gave system and order to every
department of duty in his office; and to these I will add two other
qualities that in him were exceedingly prominent, namely, the power to
write pages that were full of original force, nerve, life and freshness;
and to _call out_ the ability of other minds, which he could turn to his
own account. He had great facility in inspiring ordinary men, obscure in
life, with the belief that they could write, and often from such did he
get rich and useful gems. His genius could _make_ writers, and many from
his encouragements, and from the practice of writing for his paper, did
become masters of a strong and pointed style, of which they need never
be ashamed. No other man among religious editors could, we believe, get
as much good material from uneducated and undisciplined sources as he.

In his May number he addressed his readers in the following strain:--

      "The present is an era of light, and a day peculiar to
      prophetic fulfilment. Never was there a time when the
      soldiers of the Cross could look forward to brighter
      prospects, and never a day when victory over the powers of
      darkness was more certain. The rapid increase of Gospel
      light, the spread of pure religion, a submission to the
      doctrine of the Scriptures, in preference of man-made
      creeds, and the spirit of reciprocal love and Christian
      forbearance among free inquirers after the word of life,
      afford indications of the approach of a more brilliant

      "All dissenters from civil despotic governments have been
      regarded as rebels, and all dissenters from ecclesiastical
      tyranny and oppression have been denounced as heretics and
      infidels. Some of the purest men that have ever honored
      this mortal stage of existence, and some of the purest
      sentiments that have ever elevated human thought, have been
      sacrificed upon the unholy altar of priestcraft and
      superstition. We should evidently be wanting in charity
      were we to represent all as illiberal who are stationed in
      the ranks of orthodoxy. Such are not our views; for we are
      convinced that many, very many, thus circumstanced, know
      and highly appreciate the value of Gospel liberty, and were
      it not for the anxious watchings of those who 'bear rule,'
      would have burst their chains asunder.

      "We are dissenters from the corruptions the church has
      accumulated in the wilderness. Its unscriptural creeds and
      doctrines--its cruel and oppressive government--its unholy
      and proscriptive spirit--its fanatical and superstitious
      ceremonies--its worldly show and empty parade--its
      unwarrantable pretensions and unnecessary divisions, we
      shall endeavor to expose in a prudent manner, and show our
      readers 'a more excellent way!' We shall endeavor to take
      the medium between a blind fanaticism and a cold formality,
      and in all cases the Holy Scriptures shall be the man of
      our counsel; and we shall use every exertion in our power
      to persuade our readers to be enlightened, rational,
      liberal, charitable, kind, experimental and practical

      "Christian liberty will be a leading topic in the
      Palladium, as genuine religion can breathe freely only in
      the atmosphere of freedom. There cannot be imagined a
      greater treason against heaven and earth, than for men,
      under the pretence of a superior sanctity, to plot,
      contrive, and provide for the control of human thoughts,
      actions and hopes, by infusing into the minds of their
      brethren and equals the delirium of superstitious fears of
      God, and the poison of cringing subserviency to man. The
      churches which have attempted this, have displayed the
      worst effects of ambition, selfishness and sensuality; and
      the states which have submitted to it, all the debasement
      of servility, ignorance, and even of crime. Men should
      dread nothing but sin, and submit to no authority not
      delegated by themselves, except that of their parents and
      their God. The Palladium is not designed to espouse any
      party in politics; yet it may have occasion at times to
      speak on the subject of Civil Government, so far as that
      species of government has a direct bearing on Christian

In this bold, independent, out-spoken manner, the Editor of the
Palladium unfurled his banner both to the friendly and the adverse
breezes of the church and the world; and though he well knew how and
when to be politic, his paper had no disguise of sentiments. Up to the
mark of his own enlightenment it had a bold, free, and therefore an
effective utterance on the errors it attempted to correct, and the
truths it aimed to set forth.

As one object of Mr. Badger's monthly was to develop the talent of young
writers in the cause he represented, in his first number he commends to
their observance a method of improvement, containing seven distinct
rules, which are worthy of repetition in this volume, as many of the
same class may still be profited by taking them into consideration. He
says to them:--

      "1st. Devote some part of each week to writing on some
      important subject. 2d. Express your ideas in as few words
      as possible, render the sense clear, use plain and familiar
      language, but lively and impressive figures. 3d. Often
      revise and improve your former compositions. 4th. Keep your
      ideas clear and distinct, and avoid tautology. 5th.
      Occasionally submit your best compositions to your more
      learned and experienced brethren; and never be offended,
      but always thankful, for any new idea or correction. 6th.
      When you write for the press, keep a copy of your
      communications, and when they are revised and published,
      carefully compare your copy with the editor's improvement.
      7th. Always keep in view the great object of all our labor,
      which is to make men good."

Let these seven rules of wisdom for young writers still be remembered,
as those that are able to discipline and to improve their power, and
particularly the last, which gives to writing an earnest and a truthful

Assisted by a few practical writers, and by such contributions as he
could get from others, he continued his work successfully, presenting a
good variety of matter; essays on moral and theological themes, letters,
extracts from the best authors, poems, news from churches, and so forth.
This first volume presents among its writers the names of Kinkade,
Morrill, Millard, Walters, Barr, Flemming, Miles, Jones, McKee,
Purveyance, Henry and others, whilst on its pages are able extracts from
the pen of Channing, from the Christian Examiner and other periodicals
of the time; and at the close of the year, April, 1833, the editor, in
an address headed by the impressive lines,

      "'Tis greatly wise to talk with our past hours,
      And ask them what report they bore to Heaven,
      And how they might have borne more welcome news,'"

was enabled to say:

      "We now have associated with this establishment a greater
      number of correspondents than there is in any other of our
      acquaintance. Our periodical has received the approbation
      of some of the oldest and most experienced ministers in the
      connection. Several liberal periodicals have favorably
      noticed us. Many young men have used their pens for the
      first time (for the press) to adorn our pages. Our old
      brethren who have long been dormant, have come forth as
      from the silence of the tomb, have spoken again and
      stretched forth their palsied hands to our assistance.
      Kinkade's last trembling lines were for our use. In his
      wise counsel we commenced; and in his dying moments a
      fervent prayer was raised for our prosperity."

Having completed a well-executed volume, for whose pages over one
hundred correspondents had written, Mr. Badger regarded his periodical,
surrounded as it was by increasing encouragements, as being established;
and, though pledged to the vindication of sentiments some of which
provoke the thunder of theological strife, he calmly takes the motto,

      "Fear not! the good shall flourish in immortal youth,
      Unhurt amidst the war of elements,
      The wreck of matter, and the crush of worlds."

May, 1833, the second volume of this publication commenced; and until
its removal, by the united compromise of the east, the north, the south
and the west, to the town of Broadalbin, Montgomery County, N. Y., in
the spring of 1834, it was issued monthly from the press of Marshall &
Dean, at Rochester; and with such ability and interest was it conducted
that the General Convention at Milan, N. Y., October, 1833, resolved,
under the name of the "Gospel Palladium," to establish a weekly paper,
of which Mr. Badger was unanimously chosen editor.[47] As we glance over
the pages of this volume, we notice the discussion of some very
important themes, such as the natural immortality of man, the doctrine
of the Trinity, the freedom of the human mind, the basis of
Universalism, the derived existence of Christ, the subject of Christian
liberty and union, the reasons for ministerial ordination, and themes of
similar weight, with journals and letters of religious intelligence in
large number. It were a lengthy task to present a paragraph or two from
all the editorials; his replies to his opponents, his strictures on the
Monroe Baptist Association, his views of ordination in reply to Mr. Kay;
all these are accessible to those who own his monthly; we only say they
are usually such as _he_ only could have written.

In an article on the "Deformities of Sectarianism," he indulges in great
plainness of speech, using language which at times has the sharpness of
satire, yet the candor of honest belief. Looking at the sectarian
phenomena, he says:

      "What a compound of spite and piety! at war with all
      dissenters, and at war with themselves! In many instances,

          'They preach, and pray, and fight, and groan
           For _public_ good, but _mean_ their _own_.'

      "'How has the fine gold become dim! How has the salt lost
      its savor! How are the mighty fallen!'"

We omit the strictures given on the different systems and organizations
of the times.

In answer to a request of the committee of the Milan Convention, the
Genesee Christian Association ordered the removal of the Palladium to
Union Mills,[48] Montgomery County,[49] N. Y., that being the central
position between the east and west selected by the people of New England
as a location of compromise, and acceded to by the people of the west.
The Genesee Association assigned to him the entire control of the paper
and its responsibilities;[50] and in May, 1834, it took the form of a
large octavo, with double columns, a form it has retained until now, and
went forth in semi-monthly visits to cheer the hearts and teach the
minds of several thousands.

During the time of its publication at Rochester, Mr. Badger discharged
jointly the duties of pastor and editor; and in the rural town of his
after residence he did the same, being early and late in his office,
often, as creditable testimony affirms, sixteen hours a day; and on
Sunday, no sentence of his sermons was languid or weary. It is moderate
to say, that his manifold resources were not exhausted by the different
and various directions in which they were used.

In the closing number of Volume II, Mr. Badger expressed the opinion
that the ground occupied by the Christians is a medium between the wide
extremes which several sects have assumed. It is probable, indeed, that,
were the two general positions of doctrinal orthodoxy and rationalistic
reformers brought into contrast, it would be found that the position of
this denomination is midway between the two extremes, having in it the
evangelical element of inward salvation through Christ, and the
operation of the Holy Spirit, and with it the rigid demands of reason in
regard to the accordancy of theological statements with themselves, and
with all known truth within and without. They discarded Socinianism and
the mere religion of the intellect on the one hand, and, on the other,
the unquestioning submission of the mind to the authority of
time-honored and creed-embalmed opinion. Whilst they rejected the
supreme and self-existent deity of Jesus as inconsistent with the
eternal supremacy of Him whom Jesus worshipped, they revered the
unmeasured presence of the high divinity that dwelt in him; and, whilst
they denied the doctrine of arbitrary grace, they affirmed the full
dependence of man on the direct agency of God, of his illuminating word
and sanctifying spirit, for his salvation. They seemed to unite, to a
large extent, the light of the reason on subjects of belief, with the
most earnest piety and zeal for the salvation of sinners, regarding, in
all discussions of sacred themes, the Scripture testimony as final and

The Christian Palladium, now at Union Mills, by the agreement of a
general convention, representing different parts of the country, did
not, as was contemplated, become a weekly paper, but a semi-monthly. In
this form, Mr. Badger was its editor until May 1, 1839, making in all
seven years' service in the editorial field. Though there had been and
were several periodicals published under the auspices of the Christian
denomination, the Christian Herald, of Portsmouth, N. H., the Gospel
Luminary, of New York, the Christian Messenger, of Georgetown, Ky., and
the Christian Banner, of Vermont, none ever wielded the influence, nor
displayed the same continuous course of mental energy and interest, as
did the Palladium, when under the control of Joseph Badger, its first
editor; and perhaps we might, taking all things into view, add to this
title the name creator and founder, for, though it sprung out of the
necessities of the denomination, under the assistance of several minds,
it was his laborious toil and managing genius that gave it permanence
and successful progress.[51] We would not claim that Mr. Badger was free
from editorial faults and errors; these he had; but, what is not small
in the success of any person, he had the ability to make even his errors
interesting and entertaining; nor were his truths ever dull or drowsy.
His friends wanted to read what he had written from the magnetism common
to friendship when it centres in an original man, and his opponents and
enemies,--for he had not a few of this class,--would, from some other
attraction, hasten to the perusal of his lines, as if they were
impelled by a curiosity to know what would come next. I judge that
friends and foes, on opening his newly-issued paper, were very much in
the habit of _first_ reading what he had written.

At the General Convention already spoken of, there originated, in the
merging of many local interests into general, and especially in the
importance ascribed to questions touching the general weal, the idea so
often alluded to in Mr. Badger's editorials, under the name of "General
Measures." By consent of all, his paper was the representative of the
general interest, in contradistinction to whatever was local; and to
overcome local prejudices was one of his determined aims. Among the
methods he adopted to unite the east and the west in the bonds of a
stronger amity, was that of inducing young ministers of talent in the
west to locate in New England, and men of influence in New England to
take western fields of labor. "I wish," said Mr. B., in May, 1835, to
the writer of this memoir, "to get all the ministers I can in the west
to settle in the east, and all the eastern ministers I can to settle in
the west. In this way I can conquer the local prejudices."

"Religion without bigotry, zeal without fanaticism, liberty without
licentiousness," are the words that blaze on the flag of Mr. Badger's
editorial ship, which, though usually accustomed to peaceful cruising,
was by necessity, at times, a man-of-war. In exposing imposition, in
opposing formidable ability if arrayed against what he regarded as vital
in religion, Mr. B. was very decided; and none who had to contend with
him much or long, ever looked with indifference on his power to achieve
his ends. His weapons of war were various; if they were not always
polished with the finest logic, they were such as did execution and
brought success. Satire, humor, wit, not unfrequently lent their aid to
his controversial labors; yet it is difficult, it is even impossible, to
find a single article in which these abound, that does not, when
divested of those qualities, possess a sufficiency of substantial
argument to render his position a strong one.

In glancing over these pages, of 1834-5-6, it is evident that the
subjects discussed are those in which the feelings of the writers were
strongly engaged. Education for all men and education for ministers was
very independently vindicated, though the idea of the competency of
schools to impart all the qualifications needed by a minister of
salvation, was justly and strongly denied; instead of an entire human
reliance, the minister was advised to remember his dependence on the
Holy Spirit, whose office to illuminate the human mind beyond the
teachings of man, and to purify the human heart beyond the power of
earthly guardians, has never yet ceased on earth. Mr. Badger's writings
show him to be a decided friend of general education, of the cultivation
which science and literature impart. They declare him to be an active
friend of this culture for young ministers, for it has not only the
advocacy of his words, but of his deeds also. In June, 1839, he aided
the introduction of a resolution at the Conferential Assemblage, held at
Rock Stream, Yates County, N. Y., which called for the appointment of a
number of persons to investigate the practicability and the propriety
of establishing a literary institution in the State of New York, in
which the common and higher branches of science should be taught, for
the intent, as explained by the speakers who discussed the question,
that young men who were to devote their lives to the ministry might,
unembarrassed by the narrowness of a sectarian platform, secure to
themselves the accomplishment of a good education; also, that the friend
of liberal Christianity in the State and elsewhere might enjoy the same
privilege. Beyond the benefit of the culture of science, he spoke
cautiously, thinking it no benefit for a young man to learn and to drag
after him through life, a dead, dogmatic system of theology. I remember
to have heard him say on that occasion, "Let it not be thought that the
end of this institution is to teach theology. We will make _men_, and
let God make ministers." These were his words. It is well known that the
movement at that time made resulted in the establishment of the Starkey
Seminary, which, embosomed in the elegant scenery of the Seneca Lake,
continues still to be active and prosperous. At Union Mills, he took no
common pains to give influence and character to the Academy, which,
under his encouragement, and the encouragement of a few others, had
opened in that place. In 1844, he became one of the trustees and a
member of the visiting committee of the Meadville Theological School,
which offices he held until his death. But, perhaps, in some other place
in this memoir, we may state more fully his ideas of ministerial
education. It was indeed characteristic of his taste, the republication,
in 1833, of Mason on Self-knowledge, and Blair on the Grave, which he so
generally introduced among young ministers. Instead of giving them a
dry bone of theology to pick, he handed them a live book to read, and
"to place, for a season at least, next to their Bibles," in esteem,
which was founded on the old Grecian text, "KNOW THYSELF."

But reverting back to the pages of the Palladium, we find that Mr.
Badger, as editor, not only presided over, but took part, in a
discussion on the subject of Divine or Spiritual Influence; a subject
which, in those years, claimed attention from the somewhat successful
agitation of Mr. A. Campbell's system of theology, in the west. Mr. C.,
from the commanding talents with which he advocated his positions, from
the reputation he had gained as a controversialist,[52] and from the
liberality of his new views in some respects and their originality in
others, it happened that a large number of ministers and churches who
belonged to the Christian denomination, in the west and south, together
with a few minds so inclined in the Eastern and Middle States, began to
look to Mr. Campbell as _the_ light of the age--as a new spiritual Moses
sent to lead Israel through his wilderness. It is not uncommon, indeed,
for the uneducated to magnify the powers, and to assign undue
consequence to an originally endowed and educated mind, especially when
such a mind is possessed of eloquence and boldness, qualities that
always impress strongly the mass of mankind. Many churches in Kentucky,
and some in other States, embraced his views; nor can it be questioned
that Mr. Campbell presented many truths, and in an attractive dress, to
the people of the west.

In this system it was premised that divine influence reaches man wholly
through the intellectual powers; that conversion is wholly from the
force of knowledge and motive offered to the understanding; that the
Holy Spirit which once inspired the ancients, never in these years
directly reaches man as once it did; that God only penetrates the sinner
by the agency of the word recorded in the Old and New Testaments; that
it is only through these ancient words that the Eternal Spirit works
upon the world's darkness and degradation. To these ideas we may add two
others, which are, that there is no divine call to the ministry; that in
or through the act of water baptism, in the form of immersion, sins are
remitted. Whilst Mr. Badger and his associates agreed with Mr. C. in
reverence for the Scriptures, in the free investigation of sacred
themes, and in the rejection of human creeds as tests of fellowship,
ideas in whose conception and utterance they were many years his seniors
and predecessors in the field of theological reform, they took religious
experience as their basis, affirmed the free present agency of the Holy
Spirit in the world, man's free access to God, and the forgiveness of
sins on the conditions of faith and repentance, previous to, and
independent of, the outward baptismal rite. Without attempting to enter
upon theological investigation, that being foreign to our purpose, we
would say, that we seem to deny that God is a sun, we impair the force
of his eternal rays, by obliging him to shine forever upon the world
exclusively through the atmosphere of ancient Palestine. The sun pours
out each day afresh. So is God a sun, radiating for all men, not through
the ancient word-medium exclusively, but through _many_ media. His
_deeds_ certainly ought to be as expressive of his spirit as his words;
and are not creation and providence full of his deeds? God governs the
material universe not by ancient but by _present_ agency and action. Let
this fact stand as the type of his manner of ruling and blessing in the
universe of moral and intellectual being; for it renders no injustice to
the past, since the condition of both nature and spirit in this
nineteenth century holds its lawful and inviolable connection with all
the past eras and epochs that either nature or spirit have known. What
is religion worth if it opens no fresh and living communication with
Heaven? Is there nothing but a _word_-ligament to unite the living soul
with its living God? Is the Holy Spirit a retired agent, no longer
mindful of his ancient offices? Are his abilities lost? Are there no
fresh inspirations of holiness and truth?

Mr. Badger's remarks on the word-theory of Mr. Campbell are various;
sometimes one or two paragraphs only, sometimes several columns are
employed. Though these are not thrown into systematic argument, they
were pointed and effective, and through them all, one idea is prominent,
that religion of the inward life, that a true religious experience, are
opposed to a system so intellectually speculative, and which tends to
chill and discourage faith in a free access to God, and in his direct
holy influences on the soul. This idea, based in experience, was his
principal reliance.

In 1836, he preached a sermon on Rom. 8: 26: "Likewise the Spirit also
helpeth our infirmities," in which he set forth the idea, which
frequently occurs in his writings, that human nature is too weak to
resist error, to encounter temptation, and to bear life's sorrows from
its own strength; that its imperfections demand an immediate spiritual
aid, which he contended was promised in the system of Christianity, and
realized by all who live by faith and walk in newness of life.

The gifted and egotistical young man, William Hunter, originally from
Ireland, who became an eloquent orator and editor in behalf of those
views, Mr. Badger disposes of very easily. He tells him, that if he
should live twenty years longer and happen to read one of his
prospectuses, he will see that his youthful swells run rather high, that
these now "are enough to make an old man's head swim." And, when
reminded by Mr. Hunter that old sailors should not complain of swells,
and that unless he held fast to the rigging and looked aloft, he would
fall overboard within one year, Mr. B. calmly inquires, "Oh, friend
William! and will ye verily have us all overboard in one year? Then,
indeed, and ye will have us all in the water--according to thy theory,
friend William, that is a very safe element. Shall we not be in a fair
way for heaven?" Mr. Hunter offers to show, on one page of the
Palladium, from the Bible, that he believes in a spiritual religion, and
that Mr. Badger believes in a spiritless one. The latter replies, that
the work promised is weighty, and that his doubts concerning his
astonishing skill will be lessened if he will first exhibit some proof
of spirituality on one of his own pages, before coming to take the mote
from his neighbor.

The allusions of Mr. Campbell, in his "Millennial Harbinger," show that
he was by no means indifferent to Mr. Badger's antagonism to his cause.
One allusion taken from his notes, December, 1837, on his eastern tour,
in which he styles Mr. Badger the "redoubtable captain," will suffice.
He says:--

      "Mr. Badger has been one of the leaders in this glorious
      struggle of walking by the Bible alone; but these brethren
      (and I could name others with them) are determined not
      merely to profess, but to walk in all the commandments and
      ordinances in the Bible. We intend, in the next volume, to
      pay some more attention to the great apostasy from the
      Bible alone, now commanded by the redoubtable captain, who
      sails sometimes under this flag, and sometimes under that.
      However, the New England brethren are not ignorant of his
      devices, and are not likely to marshal long under his
      Palladium, inasmuch as he seems not to relish the
      simplicity nor authority of the Nazarenes."

The permanency and stability of Mr. Badger, questioned in this
paragraph, all who know anything of him must concede to be conspicuous
traits of his whole career in life. He was a man of no great and sudden
changes. Perhaps a paragraph or so from his reply may serve to show his
manner of dealing with a strong assailant.

      "Mr. Campbell had succeeded in drawing away so many
      Christians in the west, that his expectation of success
      among the intelligent people of New York and New England
      was very great. But he toiled all night and caught nothing.
      The enterprise was a failure; and his disappointment and
      chagrin were so great that since his return to the west, in
      speaking of eastern men and measures, he gives strong
      symptoms of insanity, and some of his articles abound in
      cruel, unworthy invectives and misrepresentations.

      "But the most diverting thing, is to see his means of
      knowing, and his pretended knowledge of the state of things
      at the east. He spent but a few days in New England; yet he
      pretends to know the state of society, the manners and
      customs of the people throughout that wide extended portion
      of our continent. But what churches did he visit?
      Astonishing to tell! He spent a few days in Boston; a few
      hours at Salem and Lynn; and we have never heard of his
      making a moment's call on any other Christian church in New
      England. Yet he speaks in broad terms and says: 'The
      Christians in New England need only to be taught the way of
      the Lord more perfectly.' What does this foreigner, this
      man of the west know about the condition of the churches in
      Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and good old Connecticut,
      having never entered a chapel or cottage in either of those
      great States? But he continues: 'Much is wanting in _many
      places_ to bring them nigh to the platform of Apostolic
      usage and authority.' MANY PLACES! This sounds well from a
      stranger, such as himself. Why did he not teach our
      brethren the way of the Lord more perfectly? Why did he not
      bring them to the Apostolic platform? Why not push his
      inquiries further? Alas, alas! he had seen enough of New
      England sagacity; it was not the soil for the seed he had
      brought. Therefore, he turns upon his heel and leaves the
      good people of Lynn to manufacture their own shoes, and
      those of Salem to manage their own witches."

The following paragraph, which succeeds what I have inserted, was
partially quoted by Bishop Purcell in the celebrated discussion between
himself and Mr. Campbell on the Roman Catholic religion,[53] held at
Cincinnati, January, 1837, which, with several other quotations from the
same paper, goes to show that the Palladium, which he introduced as the
organ of a numerous body of Christians, had not failed to impress the
Catholic Church as being a work of strength in Protestant literature.

      "He frequently speaks of 'the Bible alone;' but this is not
      a term generally used by the brethren in New England, and
      is taught by few except Mr. C. We never knew our brethren
      to boast of walking by the Bible alone. This we regard as
      an error, let who will proclaim it. We say give us the
      Bible, but not alone. Let us have a God, a Christ, a Holy
      Spirit, and a ministry to accompany it. There was a law
      given to the Jews; also, a testimony, which they were bound
      to observe. The testimony of the inspired prophets did not
      contradict the law, but taught and enforced the same great
      truths. The ancients were to walk by the _law_ and the
      testimony, which was called a _word_, (Isa. 8: 20). So the
      New Dispensation presents the written Word and the Spirit
      of God as the perfect law by which the saints are to be
      governed. Thus we preach the Spirit and the Word.

      "We have frequently heard," continues Mr. B., "the
      followers of Mr. C. talk about carrying the Gospel in their
      pockets, meaning the Bible; but such are not like Christ's
      ministers, who have the 'treasure in earthen vessels.' The
      Gospel is the power of God unto salvation."

Referring to the charge of fluctuation he says:--

      "Mr. C., we never belonged to the Presbyterians of
      Scotland; we never united with nor dissented from the Red
      Stone Association of Baptists. But, dear sir, has not your
      whole life been one scene of reforms, deforms, and changes?
      Just look at your equivocations on Calvinism and the
      Trinity; turn to your correspondence with Mr. Grew and all
      your opponents, and blush, while you talk about any man
      'who sails sometimes under this flag, and sometimes under
      that.' This, sir, comes with a very bad grace from your
      honorable self."

It is not my wish to revive the passions of past controversy, but the
antagonism of Mr. Badger to certain features of the cause which Mr.
Campbell represented in the west was so conspicuous a part of his
editorial life, that the chapter here opened could not well be completed
without some allusions to and quotations from it. No one doubts that his
paper influenced thousands not to embrace the system of his
distinguished opponent.

In 1837 and 1838 he discussed the question at length, "THE CHURCH THE
HIGHEST TRIBUNAL," making a distinction between _a_ church and _the_
church, denying that the former is the highest tribunal, and qualifiedly
conceding this honor to the latter; that is to say, a particular church
may be incompetent to act upon questions which the large assemblage of
ministers and particular churches might act upon with wisdom and safety.
These articles were indeed an able vindication of the doctrine of
associated action, of conferential organization; they called out a vast
deal of discussion, and whatever may be thought of the justness of his
position, none can deny that his articles produced a very strong
impression on the public generally. The great danger of large
associative bodies is the usurpation of power over individual rights;
but he claimed to protect the individual and to secure his rights
through the associative action for which he plead. Both sides were heard
in this discussion.

The Catholic question, the subject of temperance, slavery, ministerial
education, and historical sketches of the denomination, each had a share
of attention. Dr. Channing's letter on the Catholic question, originally
in the Western Messenger, was published in his columns, printed in small
pamphlets and scattered over the country. Also his letter to Mr. Badger
on the principles and wants of the Christian denomination, which, to a
good extent, may be called a treatise on education, was called forth by
Mr. Badger's direct request, and, excellent as it was as a whole, it
received from him friendly and independent strictures on points wherein
he regarded Dr. C. as being misinformed. The Palladium, in the hands of
Joseph Badger, was an organ of power mightier than had ever been wielded
in the same cause before, and altogether more so than the same paper has
ever been since. We think the editor speaks truthfully in saying, "The
secret of its success is its adaptation to the wants of the people. It
now has a larger subscription than any two periodicals have or ever had
in the Christian or Unitarian societies on the globe." It is almost
unnecessary to add the most _practical_ evidence of its success, namely,
that through the provident management of its editor, it was financially
the source of a very respectable income. Let us hear what impression
this paper made on the other side of the Atlantic. Rev. John R.
Beard,[54] of Manchester, England, under the date of June 1, 1838, wrote
as follows:

      "I have long desired to find a moment to address you a few
      lines. I feel a deep interest in the cause to which you and
      many other excellent men are devoted; and I do hope and
      trust that the great Head of the Church will abundantly
      bless your praiseworthy labors.

      "In your alienation from creeds of human formation, you not
      only have a feeling in common with the Unitarians of
      England, but in my opinion have assumed a position at once
      eminently Scriptural and of great and pressing need in the
      actual state of the religious world. The New Testament
      Scriptures ought to be the only standard of faith and
      doctrine with followers of Christ; and aware of the
      fallibility which must attach to every mere human
      interpretation of Holy Writ, I feel that the great work is
      to command allegiance to the great Protestant principle of
      the sufficiency and paramount authority of the Bible, and
      particularly of the writings of the Evangelists and the
      Apostles. I cannot but look on your efforts and successes
      with high gratification, and in the chills of a colder
      moral atmosphere and the dissatisfactions of a necessarily
      less productive field, I sometimes half wish myself in the
      midst of you.

      "While others contend," said Mr. B., "about the
      supervacaneous part of religion, we will encourage the
      enjoyment of its more exhilarating radiancy." "We are
      reformers; we must and will be reformers. We are determined
      never to be guilty of a cringing subserviency to the Man of
      Sin, nor to bow to any idol of superstition which frail men
      have imposed upon the Church of God. The Palladium will be
      _Doctrinal, Historical, and Practical_. Much attention will
      be bestowed on the culture of the youthful mind, and the
      improvement of young ministers and young writers."

These and similar passages may be regarded as the landmarks of his
editorial action; and through all his seven years' course, it will
appear that the Palladium never lost sight of its cardinal idea as taken
from the old apostolical discussion, "That Jesus is the Christ, the Son
of the living God." One proof of its decision and energy lies in the
violence and depth of feeling that, in some instances, were awakened
against it. "It is," said its editor, "the bane of the Catholic, the
Campbellite, the disorganizer, and the proud sectarian; and it is
generally known in the camp of the enemies of Christian liberty." When
Mr. Badger made an assault, which he never did without believing he had
good reason so to do, the party receiving it was at no loss to know
_who_ it came from, _when_ it was received, and _what_ it signified. We
like to see everything thorough after its kind; let a blow be a blow,
let a smile be a smile.

On leaving the editorial chair, May 1, 1839, he returned to his newly
purchased and agreeable residence at West Mendon village, now called
Honeoye Falls, in Monroe County, N. Y., where he became, in 1840, the
pastor of a prospering church which had recently been formed in that
place. Six months before leaving the Palladium, he had announced the
intention of being for a few years an evangelist. Speaking of himself in
the third person, he said:

      "His circuit will be principally within the following
      limits: From Quebec on the north, to Georgia on the south;
      and from Maine on the east, to Arkansas and Missouri on the
      west. To be at liberty to travel and preach the Gospel
      again, as in the days of his youth, is the height of his
      ambition; and this is his desire above all things of

In his farewell address, April 15, 1839, he says:

          "'And so, without more circumstance at all,
          I hold it fit that we shake hands and part.'

      "I now take up my pen to address you for the last time, as
      Editor of the Christian Palladium, with a feeling of strong
      attachment to each and all of you, and a fervent desire for
      your present and future happiness. We have travelled a long
      journey and encountered many difficulties together, and at
      length have arrived at that point where that sacred
      relation we have sustained to each other is to end, and our
      connection as editor and patron is to be severed forever."

In reviewing the past, he claims to have used no disguise, to have
spoken plainly and independently on all subjects, though at times, he
concedes, a little too severely with certain opponents, it being
necessary to regulate controversy with reference to the opponent one has
to combat, and to answer some persons by Solomon's celebrated rule.
These occasional severities he candidly regards as the greatest errors
in all his editorial labors. He justifies the cool and unimpassioned
tone of the Palladium during the high excitements of the abolition
agitation, and expresses a willingness that his position and procedure
on that subject should be put to the test, that on them he is willing to
hazard his reputation, believing that the duties of the Palladium did
not require it to enter the arena of the new political warfare.

      "On Church Government and the powers of Conference, we have
      bestowed special attention, and occupied much room, and
      given our opponents a fair hearing. If we thought there was
      one single argument left unanswered on which disorganizers
      rely, we would now, on leaving the editorial chair, give it
      due consideration. We have opened this door wide; there has
      not been a single argument or statement of the opposition
      left out, which has been presented for publication. This
      discussion was called for, and has been of utility to the
      Christian society, as our Conferences have since put on new
      strength and the churches taken new courage. This poor
      worn-out slander which a few heated partisans have set on
      foot, that our Conferences have assumed improper authority
      and interfered with the domestic or internal affairs of the
      churches, is proved, by long experience and common
      observation, to be a fabrication of error, a false alarm
      sounded for party purposes. But our opponents on this
      question are vanquished; and though the struggle on this
      question has been long and arduous, we shall ever look upon
      our labors on this point with interest and satisfaction."

      "We feel such a strong attachment to the great Christian
      family for whom we have so long provided our humble repast,
      that the task is truly painful to take leave. You have been
      our friends and the friends of a noble cause; you have
      sustained us and advanced truth. You have frequently prayed
      for our success, and your prayers have been heard, and now,
      though our relation in one respect is changed, yet we still
      will be one in spirit, and unitedly labor for the
      advancement of the same common cause, keep our eye on the
      mark and meet in glory. When our toils are done, when we
      lay low in the grave, then may the cause in which we have
      labored exert a universal influence; liberal truth spread
      throughout the world,--and the Palladium's humble banner
      wave in triumph over the crumbling ruins of sectarism and
      be the herald of Liberty, Union and Peace. Beloved patrons,

Thus ended seven years of severe editorial service, through which we
discern the action of a shrewd, intelligent, energetic and active mind;
all in all, the ablest and most efficient editor of whom the history of
the Christian denomination may boast. He was, indeed, constitutionally
kind, yet on dishonesty and imposture, especially if they came under the
sacred garb, he was boldly severe, this being his favorite, chosen motto
on all such occasions:

      "Strip the miscreants of the robes they stain,
      And drive them from the altars they profane."

One has only to look at the character of the same periodical from the
time he left it until now, to be convinced that his place has never been
supplied; that the same amount of concentrated interest has never, to
this date, been awakened; and, when we reflect on the energy, the life
and the hope its pages inspired in the communities whose sentiments it
faithfully pleaded, we are strikingly reminded that on earth nothing is
so valuable as a _man_, and that no cause is ever mighty except through
decision, through force of character and force of expression, in setting
forth the ideas and principles which may enlighten and save.



ON EDUCATION.--The first time I had the pleasure of a personal
acquaintance with Mr. Badger, was in January, 1835, at Canton, N. Y.;
and among the several topics on which he conversed during the few days
we were together, was the subject of education. He then said:--

      "Every human being should be educated. All young men who
      are seeking to be useful in public life should be educated.
      But there are certain evils to be avoided in the means we
      pursue. Every human being, to improve in a natural way,
      requires a certain amount of physical exercise. To shut
      one's self up among books without walking and suitable
      activity is the certain road to weakness."

He said he had been trying to mature a plan of education for young
ministers, of which he should speak at some future time. He said that
ministers gain no power by becoming dry scholars; that they should be
_living, natural_ men, to be profited by science and literature. I
noticed, in all subsequent interviews, that he never seemed to want
scientific culture, at the expense of naturalness, spirituality, and
sound health. It was Horace Mann, I think, who more recently said, that
a dyspeptic stomach is an abomination to the Lord. Mr. Badger
substantially stood upon this text, in his educational views, many years

      "June, 1835.--All, we believe, are in favor of general
      education. This is a great principle on which all are
      agreed. On this ground we can, and indeed it is our duty to
      unite all our energies, until our congregations shall be an
      enlightened and intelligent community. We do not think our
      people now so far behind other societies as some may
      imagine; we have also scores of ministers who are not a
      whit behind the chiefest apostles of the sects around us,
      in a sound knowledge of theology; and among us are some of
      the finest natural orators in our country. We do not
      believe that any society of equal numbers can find, among
      their church members, an equal number of biblical critics.
      The people called Christians have labored under many
      embarrassments; but they have made the best use of the
      limited means in their possession for improvement. This is
      a proof that they are capable of still higher attainments,
      and a reason why they should be blessed with greater
      privileges. As the time has come for the Christian church
      to take strong and improved ground in this enlightened age,
      let education and all other practical subjects be
      thoroughly discussed, that we may be sufficiently
      enlightened to go forward in union and strength, and
      sustain our character as Christian reformers."

He recommended that there should be a vigilant committee in every
conference, whose business it should be to look up young men whose good
but buried talents might, with a little encouragement, be brought out to
good advantage in the work of the ministry. He proposed, as a temporary
aid, the establishment of suitable libraries, and of theological
reading-rooms, where young men could repair, and find a desirable
retreat for study and reflection.

      "This," says he, "is an age of improvement, and we must
      keep pace with the improvements of the generation in which
      we live in order to be useful. Nothing can be more
      degrading to a religious community, and nothing can more
      effectually retard their usefulness and prosperity, than an
      ignorant ministry. We are not in favor of _men-made_
      ministers, for we believe there must be a spiritual,
      experimental, and divine qualification. But we do believe
      that young men whose minds are exercised on the great work
      of preaching the Gospel should embrace every opportunity
      for improvement, and study 'to be workmen that need not be
      ashamed.' In old times, there were the 'sons of the
      prophets;' in the days of the apostles, there was a Timothy
      and a Titus under the particular instruction of
      Paul."--_Pall._, vol. 3, p. 54. 1834.

      "April 15, 1835.--THE EDUCATION OF MINISTERS.--On this
      subject we expect to be able to present an improved method
      of education, which will be less expensive, and will remedy
      two great evils. The first is the destruction of health and
      the natural energies of the man. The second is the decline
      of grace and of spiritual exercises in the mind of the
      student. There is a system of self-education just
      introduced in this State, on which Mr. Southwick and other
      scientific gentlemen are lecturing, which is highly spoken
      of. We intend immediately to inform ourself on this
      subject, and hope to find something in it worthy the
      attention of our readers. A study of this kind may, to
      great advantage, be connected with theology without the
      burdens, the darkness and pollution of heathen mythology."

February, 1837.--In his remarks on Dr. Channing's letter, he says:

      "We are generally opposed to the present mode of getting up
      sectarian theological schools. We see so many ignorant men
      coming out of those establishments pretending to teach
      theology, who were never designed, by nature or grace, for
      the ministry, who are as ignorant of grace, and the first
      principles of the Christian religion, as Nicodemus, that we
      have become disgusted with such human institutions, and
      regard them as sources of corruption and division rather
      than helps to the church of God. In past ages, the schools
      have been the channels through which error, like a mighty
      torrent, has poured its poison into the church. Through
      these mediums the clergy have contrived to control and take
      away the liberty of Zion. And is it surprising that we, who
      are reformers, should be a little cautious about entering
      hastily into a course which has proved so fatal and
      dangerous to thousands? It is not _education_, but the
      _method_, which produces alarm among our friends. The
      doctor proclaims the sentiment of our congregations in the
      clearest manner, in the following noble strain: 'I feel
      that a minister, scantily educated but fervent in spirit,
      will win more souls to Christ than the most learned
      minister whose heart is cold, whose words are frozen, whose
      eye never kindles with feeling, whose form is never
      expanded with the greatness of his thoughts, and the ardor
      of his love.'"

When, in his tour to New England, in the autumn of 1835, he passed the
evening of September 8th, with Dr. Channing, at his summer residence at
Newport, R. I., the topic of education was partially discussed; and the
views there developed, and the interest manifested on the part of Dr. C.
in the Christian denomination, whom he regarded as having a great
mission to fulfil, induced Mr. B., in January, 1837, to invite a
communication from his pen. Those who would be pleased to read that able
document will find it in Vol. V, p. 305, of the Christian Palladium. Mr.
Badger's interest in the cause of education grew with his years; I
remember to have heard him express a compliment to the Roman Catholic
Church, in 1845, to this amount; "_Their_ scholars," said he, "_are_
scholars. There is no smattering or pretension about it,"--a sentiment
that perfectly expressed his profound regard for thorough learning. But
he had a contempt, which he did not always conceal, for that class of
men in the ministry, or elsewhere, who had a systematic book-learning,
without any knowledge of human nature, or any living force with which to
act upon the world they were living in; at times, both in private and
in public, he alluded to them under the name of "College _dunces_."

      THE STARS.--The natural sun is the centre of the solar
      system. Every planetary star is stationed at a respectful
      distance, and is dependent on the great centre for its
      power and influence. Every planet revolves round the sun in
      its time, and is directed, sustained, bounded and governed
      by its attractive power. So the Gospel is, to the moral
      world, civil government, science, and all the systems of
      light and improvement, what the sun is to the heavenly
      bodies. All must revolve around, are dependent on, are
      subordinate to, and all must be governed by the glorious
      Gospel of the Son of God.

      "If this reasoning is sound, and we think none will deny
      it, we bring it forward as an admonition to all men, who,
      in their zeal to promote certain objects and to carry
      certain points, have set up some little star as the centre
      and attempted to make it the rallying point, and are
      pleading for all other planets to revolve around it. The
      Pope's decree, Mohamet's revelations, the decisions of
      councils, synods, and the creeds of men, all in their turn
      have been substituted for the sun, or centre of operation.
      How mean they all look in this age of light as a rule of
      action, when compared with the testimony of the living God.

      "If the Presbyterians, in the late session of their general
      assembly, had adhered to these principles they would not
      have been split asunder. But how plain it is to every
      impartial spectator that they substituted a few little
      things as the criterion of fellowship; hence they are rent
      in twain. But their separation, which is by the most of
      people considered as a matter of lamentation, we regard as
      a favorable omen. They were a great, a powerful people,
      united by human laws made by themselves. They were
      oppressive, proud, and cruel; and their arbitrary measures,
      party feelings, and great influence, might yet have
      endangered our liberties. Their ranks are now broken, and
      the work of reform is begun. They will again be more
      cordially united when they all submit to Christ, throw by
      their petty stars and dark planets, and acknowledge the
      supremacy of the glorious Sun, the Gospel of our blessed

      "When the temperance reform was introduced it was a blessed
      work; but many good and zealous persons placed it
      altogether before Christianity, and represented the Gospel
      as a feeble instrument in doing good compared with this
      benevolent human association. We were never opposed to
      temperance, but to intemperate measures for the promotion
      of temperance. We are still opposed to placing the
      temperance cause before Christianity, making it the centre,
      and calling upon the Gospel, as an inferior orb, to revolve
      around it.

      "When the tornado of anti-masonry swept like a mighty
      torrent through the land, rending asunder the churches of
      God and separating the ministers of Christ, the cause of
      Jesus bled at every pore. What a desolating mildew it left!
      What an overheated course many a zealous and good brother
      ran in this holy war. In those perilous times we were among
      the cool who pleaded for the union of the churches and
      conferences; we then deprecated all forced measures and
      intemperate decisions, and said, Do not try to make this
      star a sun, but let us all keep our eye upon the great
      centre, and all be Christians. This mild doctrine
      prevailed, and all now rejoice that we were saved from
      disorder and ruin.

      "Slavery and anti-slavery are now the exciting subjects
      which bid fair to produce great commotion and some division
      in the church. It is said this subject was among the causes
      which led to the division of the Presbyterian assembly.
      Some good brethren always have their powder dry and ready
      to blow up by every spark that falls near them. Such have
      no medium in which they rest, have no principles by which
      they are bounded; but they drive ahead upon the excitement
      of the moment, regardless of that moderation and charity
      which the Gospel enjoins. They make their point the sun,
      and call on the Gospel to exert its influence to accomplish
      their favorite object. Here is the difficulty. Men will be
      partial and limited in the view they take of subjects, and
      will, more or less, be governed by human passions in their
      pursuits; hence coercive measures are resorted to, and
      division and ruin follow."

THE MINISTRY.--In the views already given in this book, it is plain that
Mr. Badger believed in a Gospel ministry, that, besides the human
qualifications of learning and culture, had a vital, living union with
God, with Christ, with the perpetual region of light in the heavens.
This view, which appears in the earliest ideas cherished in his youth,
pervaded all his ordination sermons and addresses; and he pleaded that
such a ministry should be supported in a manner to elevate it above the
necessity of worldly cares and of temporal privation. Though very much
of his own ministry through life was unrewarded by adequate returns of
temporal aid, he firmly held to the two apparently conflicting ideas,
that he to whom God gives this spiritual mission should go forward and
preach for life, nor be dissuaded by poverty, calumny or persecution;
and that the people are not justly entitled to any man's services in the
ministry any longer than they continue to render the proof of their
appreciation in the form of earthly support, according to their ability
and the reasonable wants of the minister. Gracefully and practically did
he know how to develop the meaning of that apostolical saying, "The
laborer is worthy of his hire." Though, like John Milton, he disliked to
have the minister occupy a position in which community may justly regard
him as a feed attorney for the cause he advocates, he also disdained to
foster a covetous, money-worshipping community under the name of a
Christian church. He was once heard to say, that the true minister would
live on browse before he would abandon the cause of God.

      "Three things," said he (in a letter to a young man[55] who
      was about to begin to preach), "are essential to a
      preacher. First, the ability to discern the condition and
      capacity of a congregation. Second, an ability to select a
      subject suited to their capacity and wants. Third, skill to
      deliver it in a manner to be received to the best
      advantage. How often you hear preachers labor on
      inappropriate subjects, who evidently did not understand
      the wants of their assembly; and how frequently you have
      heard a good subject mutilated and the assembly disgusted
      by bad delivery. The more natural, easy, simple, and
      affectionate a truth can be told, the better and more
      lasting effect it will have."

On problems of the future state, he did not largely speculate. In reply
to some nice questions touching his views of the details and minutiæ of
the immortal life, he once said, "Let us wait until we get there. Who
can answer these questions now?" He preached that virtue leads to glory
eternal; that vice naturally proceeds to darkness and wo; that
revelation gives hope only to those who obey. It will be almost
invariably found, that his abilities and themes had strong practical
bearings; that his power was never prone to assume the merely
speculative form.

On human nature he was explicit. He never admitted the doctrine of
original inherent sin; but from the first, vindicated humanity from the
charges of total depravity. In 1854, though the blaspheming of human
nature, common to the olden creeds, is theoretically retained, we seldom
hear its allegations in bold words: but in 1817 and onwards, it was
otherwise. Then Mr. Badger took his stand in behalf of humanity with a
defence so wise that it repelled at the same time the charges of
Calvinism and pleaded the need of regeneration. At Royalton, about
twenty-five years ago, he spoke on human nature against the common view,
so strongly and so boldly, that it caused some two or three ministers
who were with him in the desk to exhibit signs of surprise. He continued
without the least deviation; and, a few months since, one of the same
gentlemen who witnessed the scene at Royalton, said, that the view Mr.
Badger then gave, was the one now hailed with joy by the large masses,
the one which thoughtful minds are everywhere weaving into the
philosophy of man's nature and life.

Mr. Badger said, that there was partial truth in all the new things of
the day, in Mesmerism, Phrenology, Fourierism, Abolitionism,
Non-resistance, Adventism; but that neither of these is what its
partisans make it. He thought there was something superficial in each
offered remedy of modern time for the cure of human evils; that the
Gospel, with its divine persuasions, is alone able to rectify the
condition of man on earth. He thought there were heads in the world that
would puzzle and confound phrenology, though in the main it might have
the perception of a great truth. The spirit of his views would say--Why
get infatuated with your new idea? Why make it everything? Why lose your
balance in the circle of your Christian duty, and grow dizzy-headed on
your one idea, your darling ultraism? He held that the world's real
progress is plain and slow; that God's kingdom does not come in
coruscations of lightning, or in the sport of whirlwinds. "Oh! foolish
Galations, who hath bewitched you that ye should not obey the truth?"
was the text of a very impressive sermon delivered to a great concourse
of people in June, 1845,[56] in which he particularized on the extremes
of the day, on the infatuation which temporarily seizes a certain class
of men, and causes them to substitute a fragmentary truth for the whole
Gospel, and for the whole platform of human duty.

      CHURCH POLITY. "We have noticed for more than twenty
      years," said Mr. B., "that the first ground assumed by
      disorganizers is, that 'the church is the highest tribunal
      on earth.' Recently, Mr. Campbell and some others have
      urged this doctrine in a manner and with explanations which
      are calculated to produce the worst of consequences.

      "1st. We object to the TERM tribunal, when applied to the
      church. We not only regard it unscriptural, but in the
      general acceptation of the term it implies too much. It
      carries with it not only the authority to constitute a
      judgment seat, but the power to _reward_ and _punish_; the
      church has no such power. God is a sovereign. His
      government is monarchical--he has given his Son all
      authority in his church, and the whole government is upon
      his shoulder. The church has no authority to alter one of
      Christ's institutions, nor make the least law for the
      government of his spiritual body. The business of the
      church is to learn of Christ, to know his laws and
      institutions, and to walk by them; to fear God and keep his
      commandments is the whole duty of man. The church has no
      power to bestow rewards nor to inflict punishments; this
      alone is the prerogative of the Great Head of the church.
      Christians on earth have less authority over each other
      than some imagine. We have little to do with each other's
      private opinions: in these matters each stands or falls, or
      is accountable to his own master. To be sure, we are
      authorized to form an opinion of men from the fruits they
      bring forth--from the spirit they manifest; and we have
      power to fellowship or disfellowship according to the
      fruits brought forth; but we can inflict no other
      punishment, and this should be regarded as a Christian duty
      rather than in the light of punishment. As far as the
      church can exert a Christian influence in reclaiming men
      from the error of their ways, and as long as they, under
      guidance of the spirit of Christ, can labor for each
      other's advancement in the divine life, so long they can be
      useful. But the moment they feel that they have authority
      to punish, and begin to labor under that impression, they
      do mischief in the flock of Christ. Thus we object to the
      application of the term '_tribunal_' to the church, and the
      anti-Christian authority it seems to impart.

      "The error is not so much in the term used as in the
      explanations, opinions, and practice connected with its
      use. We have seen it fully carried out in practice. The
      doctrine is this. Each little band of brethren scattered
      abroad is the church, and are the highest tribunal on
      earth. There is no appeal from their decisions; they have
      power to try and exclude a minister of the Gospel, and all
      councils or conferences composed of ministers and brethren
      are unscriptural, arbitrary and anti-Christian. But the
      error lies at the starting-point--in the very foundation.
      Those little bands of brethren are only parts of the great
      family on earth. They can attend to their own internal
      affairs; their work is small, and in a very limited circle.
      From such little decisions we ask no appeal. They can
      extend fellowship to whom they please, and withdraw from
      the disorderly; but they cannot act for other branches of
      Zion who live fifty or a thousand miles from them. They can
      hear, encourage, or abandon such ministers as they choose,
      so far as their ministry with them is concerned; but it
      would be folly for them to attempt to make or destroy
      ministers for others. Now ministers are not the property of
      one little branch of the church; they belong to the
      whole--are accountable to the whole. Any branch of the
      church has a right to present a trial or grief against a
      minister. But the question will arise, Who shall decide on
      a trial thus presented by a church against a minister?
      Surely not the church who present the trial, for they are
      the accusing party. He is a public man, all the churches
      are interested in his prosperity and in his impeachment.
      The common error says, the accusing party must accuse and
      condemn, for it is the highest tribunal on earth. But
      common sense and common justice say, Let a council of
      ministers and brethren from other churches be called to
      investigate and decide this matter. Let the man have a
      hearing before a council, equal in numbers and authority to
      that which received or ordained him, and by which he was
      inducted into his holy work in the church. We care not
      whether this assemblage of ministers and church members is
      called a council or a conference; if it possesses the
      talent, the wisdom and light of the body, if a board is
      formed whose just, fair, and impartial decisions shall
      receive the sanction, respect, and confidence of all the
      churches for whom they act.

      "Within three years past we have known two instances in
      which ministers had fallen into disrepute with a part of
      the churches of their charge. When trials were presented
      they immediately assumed the ground that the church was the
      highest tribunal; they would have no council, nor ministers
      in the case, unless they could bring in some partial friend
      of theirs who was prepared to cover up and defend their
      iniquitous proceedings; they would be tried by the church,
      and immediately set themselves to work to secure the
      majority, whose first business it was to exclude the
      minority. Those ministers, we presume, could not be induced
      to have their conduct examined by a wise, impartial, and
      judicious conference of elders and brethren; yet they have
      good and clean letters of commend and justification from
      the churches to which they belong. Such ministers as are
      not willing to throw themselves open to the investigation
      of all the churches and all their brethren in the ministry,
      ought to confine their labors to the church or party who
      has commended them, and by whom they are willing to be

      "We do not believe there is a church in the land who shall
      undertake to exclude their pastor, let him be ever so bad,
      that can do it without rending their own body asunder. A
      minister, in ever so great errors, or ever so much fallen
      in morality, will have his adherents and his party, and
      frequently by his management will secure the majority of
      the church of his charge. How many churches have thus been
      rent asunder; how many wicked ministers have thus
      endeavored to screen themselves from justice. "Where no
      counsel is, the people fall; but in the multitude of
      counsellors there is safety." Prov. 11:14.

      "Having discarded the idea that one little branch of Zion
      possesses the whole authority, we shall now state that the
      term Church is sometimes applied to a very small band of
      believers, and in other cases it is applied to the whole
      body of Christians in the world. The church, in the general
      use of the word, embraces all the ministers, gifts, and
      members of Christ's body. When people have separated the
      ministers from the congregations, or the congregations from
      the ministers, and undertaken to do business in their
      separate capacities, independent of each other, when the
      business transacted was of a public or general character,
      they have both materially erred. The Gospel recognizes
      ministers and people as _one_ body, united and coöperating
      in one work, advancing the same interests, and promoting
      the same cause. Their talents may be different, their
      calling and gifts various, but no one member can say to
      another, 'I have no need of you.' To take the church as a
      whole, if it were proper to use the term 'tribunal,' we
      should have no objection to saying it was the highest
      tribunal on earth, that is, there is no earthly court that
      has a right to control its decisions, and there is no
      earthly court to which it can appeal. But Christ and his
      revealed will are still higher than any decision of the
      church; to it the whole church must bow with humble
      reverence, and say, 'Thy will be done.'

      "Nothing is plainer and more clearly taught in the word of
      God than that it is the design of the Gospel that God's
      people should act in union as one family, and be the light
      of the world. Under the old dispensation, when the
      congregations stood in the counsel of the Lord and walked
      in his statutes, they were of one heart and of one mind;
      all acted for the public good; the different tribes often
      consulted together, and all marshalled under the same
      banner. But when they departed from the Lord, each one did
      what was right in his own eyes, and every one went to his
      own tent. The entire history of God's people under the law,
      shows that when they consulted and acted in union they were
      blessed and prospered; and when they separated and acted in
      their individual capacities, they proved the Scripture
      true, which says, 'Where no counsel is, the people fall.'

      "But in the New Testament the same principle of general
      consultation is most clearly exhibited in the proceedings
      of the first Christians. The very nature of the Christian
      religion, the constitution of the Gospel church, impose the
      duty. The Christian religion is a general system; it breaks
      down all separations, and of Jews and Gentiles forms one
      new church. All Christians are bound up in the same great
      interests: they are of one heart and of one mind. In the
      sixth chapter of Acts of the Apostles, we find a plain
      account of the call and proceedings of a Christian
      Conference. The brethren brought forward the candidates for
      ordination, and the ministers laid their hands on them and
      appointed them to their work. Here were at least twelve
      ministers and a multitude of brethren. If this instance
      stood alone in the Bible, we should think the Scripture
      authority for conference clear; but it is not alone. In
      the fifteenth chapter of Acts, we have an account of a
      difficulty which arose about circumcision, which Paul,
      Barnabas and the whole church at Antioch could not decide.
      When the apostles, elders, and a multitude of brethren were
      assembled at Jerusalem, we have an account that Peter,
      Barnabas, Paul, and James addressed them at length on the
      great question, which was settled to mutual satisfaction.
      When this was done, they sent out messengers to bear their
      decisions to all their brethren who could not be present.
      Here is another instance of a Christian conference doing
      business and deciding questions for the church at large. If
      one church is the highest tribunal, why did not the church
      at Antioch put the question to rest without making so much
      expense and trouble? It is plain that there was none of
      this childish independence and authority claimed by the
      primitive churches, about which the disorganizers make so
      much ado in the nineteenth century."

      FREEDOM OF DISCUSSION. "Messrs. Editors of the
      Telegraph;[57]--I ever with pleasure, whether at home or
      abroad, grasp the interesting sheet which is daily sent
      forth from your office, and with interest peruse its

      "Under the editorial head my attention was recently
      arrested by the performances of a writer who styles himself
      B., who, after a tedious preamble, brings forth what he is
      pleased to style, 'A rare collection of geniuses;' and
      although he looks into contempt the speculations of the
      humble Capt. Sims, tramples with impunity on the honors of
      Gov. Morril, proclaims on the house-top the vanity and
      folly of Gov. Clinton, Lieut. Gov. Pitcher, Gen. Root, J.
      V. N. Yates, Dr. Beck, and the whole faculty of Hamilton
      College, we think he leaves us proof among his
      heterogeneous labors that he must be ranked among the rare
      wits of our times. What he says of Capt. Sims strikes me as
      a piece of base cowardice, as the theory of Capt. S. is
      very unpopular. Capt. Sims, as I understand him, is
      convinced, from long and arduous study, that further
      northern discoveries ought to be made. This is the burden
      of his labors. To this idea the American Congress and every
      thinking man must consent. I heard his lectures at
      Cincinnati, and regard him as an honest, independent man.
      As the President has recommended northern explorations, I
      sincerely hope that important discoveries will be made.
      Though Mr. Sims's theory is now very unpopular, is it more
      so than was the revolution of the earth when first
      published by Galileo? The projects of Columbus were
      ridiculed; the American Revolution was sneered at by our
      proud foes of the east. Even the mission of the Saviour was
      treated with the utmost contempt. How careful, Sirs, ought
      we to be in opposing new views, and in guarding ourselves
      and others against the spirit of persecution."

We offer the following on the tragical fate of Lovejoy, as appropriate
to this subject:

"The riot which recently took place in Alton, Ill., in which two
citizens lost their lives, is one of the most disgraceful events that
ever stained the character of our country. The mayor must have been
guilty of gross negligence, for from what had transpired he ought to
have been fully prepared for it. Had an efficient man been in his place,
clothed with his authority, the property and life of the innocent might
have been protected, and a ruthless mob would have been taught a lesson
which would have cured their propensity for that kind of diversion. The
destruction of fifty of those lawless midnight assassins would have been
a trifle compared with the loss of one peaceable, honorable man in the
lawful discharge of his duty. It is said that the Attorney General of
the State, and a clergyman, took a conspicuous part, and made speeches
to influence and encourage the mob, and that several respectable
citizens were among the number. Oh, shame! Has our country come to this?
Can it be that there is a man in Illinois who makes the least pretension
to respectability or morality, who would encourage or countenance for a
moment such an infringement upon the laws of God and man? We think
little, very little, of such respectability, of such officers, such
attorneys, and such clergymen. We say--

      'Strip the miscreants of the robes they stain,
      And drive them from the altars they profane.'

"What can men expect to gain by associating as mobs? No honorable object
was ever accomplished by cruelty and oppression. No righteous cause
requires such measures. This outrage will defeat its own object; it will
increase and excite the sympathies of the people, and advance the cause
it intends to destroy, TENFOLD. Funds will be raised, and valiant men
enough will be found who will cheerfully volunteer to raise the standard
of liberty and free discussion on the very spot where their brave
brother has fallen a martyr. Men in such cases will not count their
lives dear unto themselves; there are hundreds ready to be offered upon
the same altar. Not only so, but the blood of this innocent man crieth
from the ground for vengeance, and there is a righteous God in heaven
who regards the condition of the oppressed, and who will not let the
wicked go unpunished.

"The people of Boston, New York, and Cincinnati, have tried the virtue
of mobs, to put down free discussion, and what has been the result? Why,
it has increased, strengthened and built up the persecuted party. The
destruction of one printing-press will only raise up ten to speak and
plead for the liberty of the press. The murder of one Morgan will raise
up thousands to redress his injuries. In our eastern cities, where we
have efficient and enlightened officers, mobs are immediately put down,
but at Alton and St. Louis society must be in a deplorable state.

"Mr. Lovejoy, we have ever understood, was a respectable citizen, a man
of talent, and a zealous minister of the Gospel. He had a right to enjoy
his opinions; he had a right to use the press, that great engine of
liberty, in propagating his views; and none had a right to molest him.
His zeal no doubt led him to adopt strong measures in vindicating his
own interest and the cause to which his energies were devoted. He acted
in his own defence upon the principle of justice as a citizen. If he had
slain a score of his opponents under these circumstances, the laws of
the land would have held him guiltless. But still the course was an
unfortunate one. The New Testament and the Christian Spirit teach us, as
children of the Prince of Peace, a more excellent way: 'Resist not
evil'--'Put up thy sword into its sheath'--'Be patient in
tribulation'--'If ye are persecuted, revile not.'

"The friends who were leaders in the English reform, persevered over
thirty years firm and faithful, without slander, war or bloodshed. They
had the utmost confidence in the justice and righteousness of their
cause; they were patient under persecutions, were meek and humble in
every defeat, and the light at length shone and they triumphed. Here is
a beautiful model for American reformers. LIGHT and TRUTH should be the
only weapons used in accomplishing great moral, benevolent and religious
objects. Christians in all laudable enterprises should be meek and
humble, should possess much of the spirit of their holy Master, render
good for evil, and conquer all opposition with love."

"ORDINANCES.--Herein we see the benefit of _institutions_ and _images_
by which past events are preserved by us and transmitted to posterity.
National events, Jewish, Roman, Pagan, and Christian ordinances, are
_speaking things_, which, as soon as they are abandoned, the events on
which they are founded, the impressions and ideas associated with them,
are lost."

At the present time, there are a few indications that the active
theological minds of the country may at some distant day fall under two
general classifications, which, for the want of a better expression at
hand, we may call the _centralizers_ and _universalizers_. The latter
resolve religion wholly into abstract ideas and principles which freely
range through the whole empire of spirit, as gravitation, electricity
and light operate through all space. Such rally about no personal
centre. The former seek the abstract principles of religion only, or
chiefly in their personal investments, and look for their effective
radiance in a mediator. This class, for reasons needless to be discussed
at this time, are from necessity the great mass, the organized activity
of the religious sentiment; and though Mr. Badger had much catholicity
in his faith and practice, nothing is plainer than that he centralized
all in Christ, who, to him, was the untiring sun in the solar system of
God's impartial favor. Thus speaks the following letter:--

                              "HONEOYE FALLS, August, 1845.

      "Br. Ross,--I am now better in health, and am trying to go
      ahead with what little ability I have, in the _one, single,
      simple_ work of preaching the blessed Gospel. Am I right,
      or should I be a political minister, and conform to the
      practice of this corrupt age, and present to my hearers a
      chowder compound? I follow St. Paul's old, obsolete
      theology of knowing nothing among the people save Jesus
      Christ and him crucified."


MARCH, 1848.

On leaving the Palladium office, in 1839, Mr. Badger repaired to his
residence at Honeoye Falls, Monroe County, New York, where his friends
built for themselves a new and commodious chapel, the best in the town;
it was dedicated by Mr. Badger in 1840. He was unanimously chosen pastor
of this society. He was now in the centre of his former field of labors,
a field he had occupied nearly twenty years. His congregations were
large, equal at that time, it was stated, to the other four
congregations combined. The pastoral relation furnished him a good field
for success, as his wise management, social spirit, attractive
preaching, and compromising, conciliating turn of mind, gave him strong
ability for establishing and enlarging the prosperity of a new
congregation. He held this relation till the autumn of 1842.

But the death of his second son, Joseph Badger, Jr., who died May 27,
1839, in the sixteenth year of his age, was indeed an affliction that
deeply shaded his spirit. He was a noble and an ingenious youth. He had
fine abilities, was truthful and genial; and in the execution of
business plans, so far certainly as they related to publishing, he was
his father's main reliance. Great were the parental affections that
centred in him; and when he departed, the gigantic spirit of his father,
which had ever dealt easily with great adversity, now was deeply
stirred, like the patriarch's of ancient time. Though he shed no tear
over the death of his son, though he opposed a serene temper and
countenance to the great bereavement, no event had ever bowed him so
deeply, or struck so centrally into his inward composure and peace.
Often, as night came on, refusing his accustomed slumber, he walked the
garden in lonely meditations, and blended with the serious light of moon
and stars the more sober workings of his own mind. Never before had
calamity the power to bring out the evidences of a deeply disturbed and
broken spirit; and these were now so well controlled by him, that the
world neither saw nor dreamed of their existence. At times, he arose
from his nightly rest to walk the grounds of his pleasant mansion, and
for hours seemed to invite the holy and beautiful sympathy of nature to
soften his grief. Deep, exceedingly deep was this sorrow over his worthy

There were plans occupying his mind at this time, which, though
unannounced to the world, were of large moment. Aside from ministerial
duties, at home and abroad, he contemplated the publication of several
works. He intended to have given the world the biography of several
distinguished ministers whose lives were closed in the field of arduous
labor. Among these, he had selected, for a prominent place, the life and
writings of Joseph Thomas, of Ohio, a man of eloquence and interesting
ability. All the materials for this book now lie in Mr. Badger's desk,
in the order in which he arranged them. In ministerial biography, how
capable had been his pen! His acquaintance and experience were so
extensive that, from memory alone, he could have drawn the largest
contributions for his object. He had also determined on editing a Church
History which should have reflected the success of Christian principles
preached for half a century. In this, also, how largely was he qualified
to do justice to his undertaking! No inconsiderable quantity of material
gathered for this purpose now remains in his library; but the hand that
would have edited them is motionless for ever, and the son whose age and
capacity then qualified him to second and to render effectual his
enterprises, was taken from the earth. Notwithstanding these breaks in
these cherished aims, his life continued active, and the churches felt
the weight of his counsel and the worth of his influence.

In June, he attended three conferences in the State; at Rock Stream,
Yates County, where the attendance of both ministers and people was
great, he preached, on Saturday, a sermon of marked character, full of
the calm and harmonizing spirit of Christianity, founded on Ps. 119:
165: "Great peace have they which love thy law, and nothing shall offend
them." It had a visible influence, it was thought, on the proceedings of
the body, and on the tone of all the meetings. In dwelling on the peace
of the divine law, he spoke of the trials of brethren against each other
as wholly wrong; as unnecessary; he dwelt on the repose of spirit, on
the fine feelings and peaceful sentiments of the true Christian,
explaining the latter part of the passage as meaning that "nothing shall
cause them to offend." At this time, he was appointed chairman of the
committee on education, who met in the new chapel at Honeoye Falls,
September, 1839, and there decided the location of the contemplated
seminary in favor of Starkey, N. Y.

This season, Mr. Badger attended several dedications of new chapels in
western New York; one at Union Springs, on the shores of the Cayuga, one
at Searsburg, one at York, one at Laona; whether he was present at the
dedication of the churches at Springwater and Machias, no evidence
informs us. At Marion, Wayne County, N. Y., September, 1840, he preached
eleven sermons, which were followed by good effects. I here quote a
paragraph, as it embodies his opinion on the subject of revivals:

      "Some would call our meeting at Marion a protracted effort;
      but I care not what it is called, provided God is honored
      and souls are saved. A protracted meeting, conducted by
      enthusiastic, proud, extravagant, and ranting leaders, is a
      curse to any well-organized congregation. Some men think
      it is no matter what means are employed if an effect is
      produced; the end will justify the means. But this is a
      dangerous sentiment. Let a meeting be conducted for days or
      weeks, with prudence, candor and solemnity, let an appeal
      be made to the understanding of rational men, let their
      judgment be informed; then the experience will be sound,
      the effect lasting, and the revival will be a blessing and
      an honor to any congregation."

It were, indeed, a lengthy task to record the history, in detail, of his
various labors from 1840 to 1848. Justice, however, demands a condensed
statement of facts. In 1840, his labors were very successful in
Stafford, Genesee County, N. Y. About sixty were added to the church.
Under his labors, the Christian society of that place merged out of many
discouragements. In the spring of 1841, he speaks of a revival in his
own assembly; of some sixty who had made religion a fact of inward
experience; of the reception of about forty members into his church; of
the baptism, at one time, April 25th, of twenty-nine persons in the
waters of the Honeoye; of other important seasons of administering this
symbolical rite to persons in whom had just opened the new epoch of a
spiritual life. The first year of his retirement from editorial labor
was spent in considerable devotion to study and reflection. This year,
he visited Castile, Wyoming County, N. Y.; also several other places
whose condition required his assistance. He said:

      "No energy should be suffered to slumber, no rational and
      scriptural means should be left unimproved, for the
      conversion of sinners, and the perfection and holiness of
      the church of God. In such exciting times as these, what a
      steady and constant care should every Christian exercise in
      order to 'discern between the precious and the vile,' and
      be suitably guarded against the extravagant inventions of
      men, which direct the mind from Christ and from that holy
      work which devolves upon our hands as disciples. How many
      have followed vain speculations and empty theories until
      they have lost their Christian meekness and zeal, and have
      become proud, haughty, heady, self-righteous sectarians,
      the sport of the infidel, or stumbling-block to sinners,
      and a reproach to the cause of God. In this state of
      things, ministers should be awake, divested of the world,
      harnessed for the holy war, and, in Christian meekness,
      should lay the axe at the root of every evil tree, whether
      within or without the church. In this view of things, I
      have not dared to engage in any worldly enterprise, and now
      feel strong, as in my youth, to go forth into the harvest
      of the Lord. It will be thirty years next August since I
      engaged in the work of the ministry. I mourn that I have
      done no more good. The past year, I have preached as many
      sermons, and labored as hard, as in any other year of my
      life, and I trust it has not been in vain. To be useful to
      the souls of men, to produce a healthy and saving influence
      in the church, should be the great motive to govern all
      good ministers of our Lord. With this object in view, every
      man who puts forth an untiring effort will assuredly see
      the fruit of his labor."

      "When our American fathers fought for liberty, the love of
      country inspired their bold and worthy devotion. Their
      voluntary suffering and sacrifices were the loud clarions
      to proclaim immortality upon their names and virtues. It is
      so with ministers and people; where a suitable degree of
      love to the Redeemer's cause is felt, the sacrifices will
      be voluntary and hearty, and the blessing is sure to follow
      as that they put forth a suitable effort from the right
      motive. But we too often ask and receive not, because we
      ask amiss, by asking or laboring with a wrong or impure
      desire. Whether the minister is suitably remunerated or
      not, he should do all he can for the cause of God, and
      leave his hearers to answer in the judgment for their
      treatment to him. Let us, as ministers and people, do our
      duty, come what will. It will be a poor apology for a
      minister in the judgment day, when asked why he was no more
      active in God's vineyard, to say that he was poorly paid;
      and it will be a poor apology for the miserly professor,
      when asked why he has sustained the Gospel ministry no
      better, to say he did not like the minister, that he never
      signed subscriptions, or any of the thousand excuses the
      covetous urge in this life. When we behold all the beauty
      of nature, all the splendid works of art, and all the
      wealth of this vast world melted down in the general
      conflagration, how will Christians mourn over the
      pernicious worldly spirit which has choked the good seed,
      rendered them nearly useless in the church, and presented
      them mere dwarfs in the presence of God. Oh, foolish
      Christians, to be so worldly now; of what blessings do you
      deprive yourselves in this life, and what a reward you lose
      in heaven! Oh, precious Zion, how she bleeds and suffers,
      and how indifferent her professed friends! Who will put
      forth a helping hand to rebuild her waste places?"

As his own congregation was now established on a good foundation,
numbering upwards of a hundred members, he began to think of devoting
his labors one half of the time to the churches generally, to raise in
them a higher tone of religious feeling. In the winter of 1842 he
visited Yates County, preached thirty-one sermons in the village of
Dundee to large assemblies. His sermon on temperance raised one hundred
and four signers to the pledge; his personal visits to the
liquor-sellers took every drop from their stores, so that none of it
could be bought. His sermon on profane swearing changed the tone of
language among young men, and gave rise among them to an association
whose object was the cultivation of a pure speech. Being unable this
year to comply with the invitation of his brethren in Michigan to attend
their Conference, he addressed them a letter, in which he offered the
counsels he supposed adapted to their condition in a new country, among
which was the idea, that if they would prosper as a people, they should,
in building chapels, be careful to select the best locations, to build
in thriving villages and in cities; for he pleaded that a village,
however small or wicked it might be, is a far better location than can
be gained a mile or so distant, inasmuch as it is sure to finally
centralize the interest of the surrounding region.

In the fall of 1842, Mr. Badger resigned his pastoral care of the church
at Honeoye Falls, that he might travel among the churches, and be free
to attend the many calls for ordination, dedication, and other services
that were made upon his time and labor from abroad. This separation was
in the kindest feeling, and on the part of the society was accompanied
by a commendatory letter that expressed the highest regard for his
services and character, a regard based on an acquaintance of twenty five
years. The society, with the counsel and approval of their former
pastor, engaged the labors of Rev. Oliver Barr, whose tragical death in
the late railroad disaster at Norwalk, May 6th, 1853, has given occasion
to many expressions of appreciation and sympathy. Under the labors of
Mr. Badger, this society stood on a solid basis of prosperity and union;
all in all, their position was stronger and their influence sounder
under his pastoral care than they ever have been since they were
organized as a church. Mr. Badger is again free to obey the
miscellaneous calls of his brethren and of the community in general,
December 7th, he attended the dedication of the church at Shelby; the
8th, he preached the ordination sermon of Chester Covel, and for several
weeks continued meetings with success. He valued this revival, because
its subjects were persons of character, talent and influence, "who would
do honor to any cause," and because they embraced Christianity
understandingly, and not from excitement and fear. "Where men are
frightened, abused and stormed into sectarian measures," said Mr. B.,
"they may make professions, and like slaves may submit to Christian
ordinances, but they will seldom walk worthy of their avocation. Such
persons will generally make warm partisans and proud worldly professors,
rather than humble, useful Christians." He also visited Ogden and Barry,
and gave several discourses. He did not preach six sermons in any place
during his labors in the bounds of the Western Conference, without
seeing a revival commence. He speaks highly of that association of
churches and ministers.

The latter part of the winter, 1843, he visited the congregation of
Rev. C. E. Morrill, at Union Springs, Cayuga County, N. Y., and
delivered over twenty sermons to his people; under their united labors
several were converted to God. Soon after this, he visited Lakeville,
twelve miles south of his residence, where, twenty-five years previous,
he had assisted to organize a church, and had, for the first nine years
of their history, held the pastoral charge over them. Here he continued
his efforts for three weeks, baptized twenty persons, collected and
concentrated the scattered strength of the society, and continued with
them one half of the time through the year. They put on strength and
were revived. He speaks of the general complaint throughout the country
of religion being at a low ebb, as having its primary cause in the wild
zeal with which new theories are pursued to the neglect of prayer, the
church, the simple Gospel and its claims. He strongly persuades
professing Christians to return with fresh zeal to their holy devotions,
to the simplicity of the means of grace as their only hope for securing
the prosperity of Zion.

      "What a state society has been in far two years past.[58]
      The sun is darkened by the locusts from the bottomless pit,
      and the Christian atmosphere in every neighborhood in the
      land seems impregnated with some poisonous vapor to ruin
      the soul and to paralyze the energies of the innocent child
      of God. Never shall we see the evil remedied until
      ministers come home to the gospel, rely on _that_, and on
      _that alone_, for the salvation of men; know nothing among
      the people but Jesus Christ and him crucified; leave their
      wild speculations, encourage the improvement of all the
      gifts in Zion, and teach and encourage practical religion
      in every heart. Never shall we be delivered from the
      incubus that hangs so heavily upon us until church members
      leave their high-headed racing after new theories and come
      home to the prayer meeting and conference, be content with
      the simplicity of the Gospel, know their Master's will and
      do it, and sit at the feet of Jesus clothed and in their
      right mind."

In September, 1843, the death of his son-in-law, Rev. Seth Marvin, a man
of good ability, of fine and noble nature, of rich fountains of
religious experience, and of an oratory peculiarly divine for the
awakening of all the heavenward feelings of the human heart, was an
event that called out the sympathies of his inmost life; and in the
Palladium, vol. 12, p. 97, is a long obituary from his pen, possessing
the grace of tender love, combined with a clear, comprehensive statement
of the life and qualities of that lamented man.

To this year also belongs his action in regard to that great excitement,
which took a temporary hold on the different denominations, known under
the name of Millerism. Though we would speak reverently of every form of
human hope, regarding all that is strong in religious phenomena as being
at least mythologically true, we cannot but honor the independent
position Mr. Badger assumed on this subject, at a time when many others
either embraced the doctrine, or favored it as a means of promoting
popular revivals in their congregations. With a clear vision he
penetrated its claims, acknowledged the degree of truth he thought it
contained, then spoke of its defects of doctrine, logic, and temper,
declaring its probable future results on the welfare of religion and the
churches. He early saw the effect in the cause, and in 1842, withstood
the tendency of the paper he had so long conducted, whose editor was
then guiding it into the service of that system.

Let it not be thought that we speak sectarianly on the subject here
introduced, for substantially we concede all that man ever has or can
hope for. "New heavens and new earth" were promised us in 1843; and
though Nature did not condescend even to frown or smile at those who
told her fortune, she knows very well that new heavens and new earth
will ultimately come. The progress of the solar system through space
will alone bring new heavens physically; and changes now at work in
terrestrial nature shall yet exhibit a new earth. Be patient; myriads of
years, which are God's seconds, will do the work. Is not the earth now
good enough for thee, thou latter-day saint? Be patient; it is now much
better than you are; it flowers are more fragrant than your virtues, its
fountains are purer than your actions, its music of bird and brook is
sweeter than your Sabbath melody, and it rolls in its orbit far more
majestically and truthfully than you have ever pursued the circuit of
your duties. He who has divine life in him _always_ sees a new earth and
a new heaven. "The Lord shall come;" yes, more and more in proportion as
man is capable of receiving him. He has come, does come, and shall come;
and in the symbolical, higher sense, who that believes in God or man
dares to despair of a new heaven and a new earth in the mental, moral,
and social conditions of humanity? Who does not hope for a more perfect
state? In the great _substance_ of these questions there is never a
quarrel; this only fastens on the details which make up the form. Texts
may be skilfully quoted; but we are to reverence the whole of God's
scripture. _Creation_ is full of holy, living texts; and he who sees His
laws in nature as an everlasting scripture will never be moved by
alarming interpretations that men may put on the visions of Patmos and
Palestine, or the princely dreams of old Assyria. Mr. Badger believed,
doubtless, in the personal second coming of Christ; he held firmly to
the law and the prophets; but there was a _certain something_ in him
which no _proof_ texts could ever dupe into theories anti-common sense
or anti-natural. We give a few quotations, which show earnestness,
decision and strength.

      "MR. EDITOR: SIR,[59]--Night before last the Palladium came
      to hand, which I hastily read, and retired from the scene
      with disgust. Last evening I read carefully the articles
      which to me were offensive, with the hope that I might be
      so far reconciled as to excuse myself from the task of
      offering my dissent publicly to some opinions which you
      have taught and endorsed. But, Sir, I retired again with
      grief and increased dissatisfaction. I said, Is it possible
      that I have lived to see the 'Palladium,' which was brought
      into existence by a few choice spirits, (some of whom are
      gone to their graves,) over whose destinies for seven long
      years I watched with such vigilance, now become the slave
      of a deluded party, and a channel through which error,
      delusion and ruin shall be poured into the bosom of the
      church of God? I have not written for the Palladium these
      many months only when I could not avoid it; and would not
      now if a sense of my duty to the public would allow my pen
      longer to slumber.

      "The error of which I complain is not that you and others
      teach that the Saviour will come personally the second
      time, to reward his saints and destroy his enemies. This
      all Christians believe. But the great error lies in the
      fact that Mr. Miller and his followers teach what plain
      contradicts common sense and existing facts in relation to
      the Ottoman dominion and the Holy Bible. They teach that
      Christ has no kingdom on earth; of course, no laws, no
      subjects, no institutions, and no government. Also they fix
      the time of the Saviour's coming. In this they assume to be
      more knowing than the angels of God, or Jesus Christ when
      he was on earth. This looks like being wise above what is
      written, or like the old-fashioned Calvinists divulging the
      _secret will_ of God. They also denominate their mission
      the '_Midnight Cry_.' This I most cordially approve, and
      think that nothing could be more appropriate; for certainly
      such obvious errors could never proceed from the kingdom of
      light. The apostle represents his brethren as being the
      children of the day, not of the night or of darkness. Those
      who walk in darkness know not at what they stumble. Mr.
      Miller and his disciples have thrown about themselves such
      a cloud of absurdities that they are all enveloped in
      midnight darkness, and thus make their midnight cry.
      Essential pillars may fall out in their temple and they
      know it not. The day of grace was to close in 1840, and
      they in 1842, at the very close of the year, boast of their
      converts, spread abroad their canvas, and declare their
      chain is yet perfect.

      "_Its motive to action is wrong._ The lever used and the
      means employed is terror; the principle which moves to
      action is fear. A class of orators are got up who assume
      uncommon sanctity, have a set of arguments founded on
      mathematical calculation upon the prophecies, which common
      sinners are not capable of contradicting. Another class of
      arguments drawn from history, which common men have not the
      means at hand to contradict, are presented; then bringing
      all to bear on the one great point that God will burn up
      the world next year, is it strange that converts are
      multiplied? They serve God for fear he will burn them up if
      they do not. Take away this fear and they will hate him
      still. Such repentance is very liable to be spurious. Men
      are sick and afraid to die, and they repent; but I venture
      to say, there is not one instance out of fifty in which
      they carry out the principles and sustain the character of
      Christians when restored to health. The love of Christ
      should constrain men, the goodness of God should lead them
      to repentance, and they should appreciate all his claims
      upon their service. They should, from choice, submit to his
      government, and love him because he first loved them. The
      Gospel plan is the best. Light and intelligence are the
      great influence to be applied to the noble intellect of
      man, to move him to virtuous actions and reforms. I do not
      see how we can say it matters not what motives we present,
      or what means we adopt, if we only get men to repent. The
      Mormons put on sanctity, put forth efforts and make
      converts by wholesale; but this is no proof that their
      doctrine is true, or that the cause of pure religion is
      essentially benefited by their revivals.

      "2. _Its spirit is wrong._ It is a peculiar trait in the
      Christian religion that it always inspires its subjects
      with humility, kindness, charity, whilst error is generally
      attended with pride, egotism and cruelty. For thirty years
      past I have seen many false prophets and false religions
      rise and fall, and uniformly a vain, vaunting,
      self-righteous spirit has attended them all. But I have
      never witnessed more of it in any case than in Mr. Miller
      and his followers. Just look at Mr. M.'s reply to Simon
      Clough, as published in the Palladium. The egotism and
      insult seen in that reply can scarcely be found in the
      English language from the pen of any man who makes any
      pretensions to Christianity. I have not conversed with one
      of them who could hear a cogent argument against their
      doctrine without exhibiting pride and passion. They cannot
      bear contradiction. They are the _wise virgins_, and the
      rest of their brethren are the slumbering and foolish who
      will be shut out of heaven; they often refer to a passage
      in Daniel which says 'the wise shall understand,' and have
      no hesitation in considering themselves '_the wise_' and
      their brethren as the 'wicked' who shall not understand.
      They know it all, and are more confident than seven men who
      can render a reason.

      "3. _Their heads have a peculiar shape._ There are men in
      every church, and have been in every age, who are
      constitutionally inclined to fanaticism. They cannot stand
      in excitement; they cannot hold still. There are two
      classes of them, who have ever been an annoyance to the
      church. The first are fond of the marvellous, are always
      driving into speculative theories, are never at rest. The
      last or new theory is always the true one, and they soon
      ride the new hobby to death, and then seek another. It
      matters not how absurd the doctrine. It may contradict the
      Bible, it may rend the church asunder, it may prostrate all
      good order in society, it must be forced and driven ahead,
      and have its day. They are always a class of Jehus ready
      for a new scheme. The second class are those of weak minds,
      who are moved by passion. Any excitement takes them along
      with the multitude. Human nature being thus constituted,
      is it strange that converts are made? I know of several of
      Mr. Miller's associates whose lives have been one scene of
      changes. Should 1843 pass away and the world not be
      destroyed, they will in no wise be discouraged. Instead of
      repenting of their folly and mourning over the havoc and
      disorder they have caused in the church, and the infidels
      they have made, they will be driving ahead in some new
      scheme, and will wonder that the poor backslidden church
      and the poor blind ministers cannot see _their_ great
      light, and will not appreciate _their_ astonishing

In other articles he went more particularly into the discussion of the
question, which, as the entire excitement has passed away, could not be
of much interest to readers of the present time. These articles were
rejected by the partial editor; only the first one was published, which
was done by order of the committee. Had the three been printed, we are
confident that no editorials could have effaced or marred their strong
impression on the public mind. In justice, however, to the proper mental
dignity of that periodical, I should say that its editorial advocacy of
Adventism was but temporary, that through the faithful action of the
executive committee, the Palladium was soon restored to its original
aims. Indeed it was a luckless event to that paper, its finances, and
its power over the community that Mr. Badger left it. Had his wise head
and strong hand guided it through the action and reaction of excitement
until 1845, the effect on the union, concentration, and sanity of the
religious interest would have been great. It is folly to think that a
weak, or a half-and-half man, whatever may be the sanctimony of his
carriage, can ever fill the place of a bold, great man. It never was
done, and never can be. Mr. Badger not only used his influence at an
early day to prevent this perversion of the Palladium from its former
high character, but when it occurred, with much toil and decision, he,
with a few others of similar force, labored until it was effectually
emancipated. The real value of Joseph Badger, in all great emergencies,
his ability to conduct a cause to honor and prosperity, though seen by
the discriminating, and in a degree acknowledged by all, is not even yet
truthfully appreciated. There are not many who so analyze past events as
to see the full worth of a real man; some flaming humbug, that dazzles
the mass with words and extravagant zeal, is much more taking and
congenial to the general stupidity. I here dismiss this part of his
public life, with the remark, that some who read his articles will
probably never find a class of ultraists gathered about their one idea
without first looking to see whether "_their heads_ have not a _peculiar

In August, 1843, Mr. Badger began to write a series of articles in the
Christian Palladium, under the head of "Sketches," which were extended
to 1848. In these his various labors are reflected; also his views on
subjects particular and general, in the most frank and open manner. In
some numbers belonging to 1844, in answer to the resolution of a New
England Convention which declared that ministers should sustain a lay
membership with some local church, as essential to their general good
standing, Mr. Badger argued, that the minister, by virtue of his office
as public teacher, by virtue of his relation as pastor, and by virtue
of his relation to _all_ the churches, cannot be required to become a
member of a local church, and to submit to its local authority all the
interests of his character and ministerial position in the world. He
pleaded that a minister of the gospel is not created officially, or
ordained by a single church, that it is in the united wisdom of several
churches and ministers that he is appointed to his work, and that it
requires an authority equally general to try, acquit, or exclude him, as
the evidence may demand. He conceded not only to each local church, but
to any individual within or without its pale, whose candor should
entitle him to respect, the privilege of bringing a minister to account
for any conduct that is contrary to the ethics of the Gospel he was
ordained to preach, but that the determining tribunal is nothing less
than the assembled virtue and intelligence of the several churches and
ministers who are to be, as nearly as the limits of convenience will
permit, the whole body to which he belongs. "I only contend," said he,
"for what the old English code of common law established as a
fundamental principle, that 'every man shall be tried by his peers.'" In
this protracted discussion, in which his own powers were not fully
awakened, he penned some strong and cogent paragraphs; nor did the two
or three opponents who answered him as he advanced, at all embarrass his
progress or disturb the composure of his argument on the question. The
whole bearing of his views as expressed on this and kindred topics, from
1819 to 1845, goes against every theory which seeks to separate
ministers from churches, or churches from ministers. Their _united_
action was his idea of church government.

In 1845, he preached mostly within the region of his early labors in
that country, at Lakeville, South Lima, and occasionally at Greece. At
the latter place, he was called to dedicate a new and beautiful chapel,
January 3, 1845; Rev. F. W. Holland, the Unitarian minister of
Rochester, N. Y., A. Crocker and L. Allen were with him. He spoke from
Ps. 84: 1: "How amiable are thy tabernacles, O Lord of Hosts!" Speaking
of the effect of this sermon, Mr. Holland observes:--

      "Many venerable faces were wet with tears, and the audience
      listened eagerly for an hour. This excellent brother has
      labored a third of a century in this country, erected the
      first church west of the Genesee river,[60] and prides
      himself on bearing his years so well as not to feel a
      pulpit effort of several hours. I was much pleased with
      this interview, and was strongly moved to accept his
      invitation to add a codicil to his last words. I then made
      the prayer of consecration, and, after the anthem, a
      Methodist minister gave the benediction from a full and
      gushing heart."

In union with Mr. Crocker, of Parma, and Allen, of Greece, he continued
his labors there constantly for one month. Mr. Badger gave about thirty
sermons. At the close of his eleventh discourse, thirty-three persons
obeyed his invitation to take a decided stand for God and his service,
three-fourths of whom were men, and among them persons of talent,
wealth, and influence in the community. "The good work," says Mr. B.,
"proceeded gradually through the month, without fanaticism,
extravagance, or disorder." Among those who were reached by redeeming
influence was a German, who had been with Napoleon in many of his wars,
had crossed the bridge of Lodi by his side, and been wounded at the
battle of Agram; also another of seventy-five years, who had stood by
Commodore Perry in the battle on Lake Erie. Two-thirds of the building
committee, who were men of the world, were also numbered with the
converts; and of his refreshing seasons with the people of Greece, at
baptisms, communions, and other times, he speaks in words of pleasure.
But he closed his labors with them near the last of 1845; likewise the
same with the church at Lakeville, which he had planted twenty-seven
years before. He also visited Canada in the month of August, which he
said was invigorating both to his bodily and spiritual health. "There
are," said he, "in Canada, some of the most pious spirits and some of
the most valiant souls that ever adorned the church of God. They live to
do good, and love the Saviour's cause above all things." He is now free
from all pastoral confinement, and designs to visit the sea-shore of New
England as soon as proper opportunity shall open, that he may there
regain his usual health.

We are now at a crisis of his life which makes us sad as we cast our
eyes upon it. Thus far, through his long career, we have traced the
energetic man, the man of full and overflowing resources of physical
power. But here the scene must change, not gradually as age and as even
disease commonly execute their mutations on human frailty, but suddenly
as from the lightning's stroke, the oaken form receives assault. July 2,
1845, while employed for an hour in assisting his hands at work, and
using an uncommon amount of vigor, he paused a moment to rest, when he
received a paralytic shock on his left side, which never after allowed
him the enjoyment of his former health. His ancestors on his mother's
side were subject to this fatal affliction; and whatever may be justly
said in favor of active habits and frugal diet as preventives of a
disaster so terrible, it is certain in this case that the fact has a
close relation to laws of hereditary descent. Alluding to this event,
Mr. Badger observes:--

      "I have felt, during this affliction, the most perfect
      resignation to the will of God. I have stood upon the walls
      of Zion over thirty years; I am weary _in_ the work, but
      not _of_ it. Many of my early associates have left their
      stations before me. I have baptized about forty who have
      become ministers of the Gospel, several of whom have
      entered upon their rest. I now stand upon the isthmus
      between two worlds, ready to depart and be with Christ, or
      still to toil on amidst the ills of life as the great
      Master may direct. While I do live, I am determined to
      stand firm against what I know to be the delusions of the
      present age, which are spreading death and devastation
      among the flock of Christ, and to hold fast that system of
      revealed truth on which the hopes of this lost world must
      rest for salvation. I do as I think all ministers should in
      such an age of speculation in theology as the present;
      place my confidence in, and consecrate my energies to, the
      promotion of the one blessed Gospel, which is the power of
      God unto salvation, and declare, to a divided and excited
      public, 'I am determined to know nothing among you save
      Jesus Christ and him crucified.'"

He continues:--

      "Again, I cannot go with the tirade of persecution which
      some of the sects are getting up against the Catholics. Let
      us hold up truth, and scatter light to refute error. If we
      take the sword, we shall perish of the sword. God has
      shaken every other sect to its very centre, and the work
      has just commenced among them. God will, in due time,
      effect his own purposes. In Germany, and in this country,
      the work of dissent and reform has commenced. At Rome,
      their main temple begins to crumble, and soon a howling
      will be heard among the merchants of Babylon. Vengeance is
      mine, I will repay, saith the Lord. Let Christians in every
      case be careful how they grasp the sword of vengeance.

      "This whole State is missionary ground; and there is no
      part of the world where funds can be expended and labors
      put forth to greater advantages than among ourselves. As
      soon as the citadel is manned and ammunitioned, I say go
      forth to conquest, and the Great West is our next field. If
      I were in health, I would now sooner risk a support among
      the new settlers at the west, than among three-fourths of
      the old churches in this State. Let us all put shoulder to
      the wheel, and strengthen the things that remain which are
      ready to die; and extend our efforts to all the world as
      soon as possible."

Though half of him was paralyzed July 2d, these, and very many other
paragraphs and sermons that might be quoted, indicate that the remaining
half was adequate to all practical needs. December 8th, he started for
Plainville, Onondaga County, N. Y., to visit the strong and prosperous
congregation of Rev. E. J. Reynolds, to whom he preached twenty-two
sermons. Mr. Badger, after complimentary remarks on the success of Mr.
R., said, "Many churches suffer great loss by frequent changes in the
ministry, and thereby keep themselves in a fluctuating state. When a
minister is known, he has acquired an amount of influence which the
church should regard as so much capital; this it may take another a long
time to gain. A church should guard against the excitement which a
change in the ministry always occasions, the consequences of which are
frequently fatal."

From this place he started for New England; visited Boston and New
Bedford, and by invitation of the committee of Franklin-street church,
Fall River, Mass., he went to occupy the pulpit of that society. His
first letters from this place describe, with comprehensive exactness,
the condition of society, the advantages and improvements of the places
he had visited in New England. He saw a new town as he saw a new man,
comprehensively, and in one paragraph would group together the main
features in its temporal prosperity and in its spiritual state. Turning
his eye back upon the field he had left, he said:--

      "In the State of New York I have labored in the ministry
      near thirty years. I have in that great and interesting
      field of labor sacrificed the best part of my frail life. I
      have there devoted my strength in youth and middle age,
      have there seen great displays of God's glory in the
      conversion of sinners and in the planting and growth of
      many of the tender branches of Zion. But I have failed _in_
      the work--failed amidst my labors, with the best of
      prospects before me, when it seemed that the infant
      churches most needed my counsel and assistance. But I can
      do no more for them; I cannot face the storms, endure the
      fatigues, and meet the opponents with that vigor and
      success I did a quarter of a century ago. No; let me retire
      in peace, with the consolation that I have fought a good
      fight, and that my labors have not been in vain in the
      establishment of Christianity in the State of New York.
      Young men who will come after us in the ministry, and enter
      into our labors, can never appreciate the toils and
      sufferings pioneers in this cause were obliged to endure,
      to raise and sustain the standard of Christian liberty in
      that State."

After the first six weeks of his stay in Fall River, not finding that
strength and rally of bodily faculty he had hoped from the sea-breeze,
he thought of going to Virginia, or to some more genial climate of the
South. But he remained a while longer; and, realizing a moderate
improvement, he continued his labors in that town, preaching three
sermons every Sabbath, attending three social meetings through the week,
visiting the sick, calling on his parishioners, reading and writing as
much as the accustomed duties of clergymen require.

His first sermon, delivered January 4, 1846, was founded on 1st Cor. 2:
2: "For I determined to know nothing among you save Jesus Christ, and
him crucified,"--a text which was the key-note of his whole theologic
harmony. In the plot of this sermon there are three simple divisions: 1.
Why did St. Paul bring his labors and efforts to bear on this one point?
Why would he know nothing else? 2. What is it to know Jesus Christ and
him crucified? 3. The danger of mixing other things with the Gospel,
thereby dividing and polluting the minds of the hearers. The reasons
assigned under the first division are: 1. Christ is the only hope of a
lost world, the only medium by which we can approach God. 2. He wished
that his hearers should be rightly taught, that their faith might stand
in the power of God, not in the wisdom of men. "To know Jesus Christ,"
he said, "is to understand his history, to know his doctrine, to have
him in our experience, to know the power of his resurrection, which is
eternal life." It is, however, impossible to form any adequate idea of a
sermon of his from a plot, as he was so richly extemporaneous, and never
committed to paper anything more than the guiding points of his
discourse; the minutiæ were wholly in his mind. If the several hundred
plots of sermons found amongst his papers were presented to the world,
it would soon appear that only those who have heard him in the days of
his strength could form any just idea of the discourses he gave, for his
spoken language was infinitely more eloquent and free than his written,
and there was so much that made up the total interest in his manner,
voice, and expression, that cannot, by any known skill, be transferred
to paper. Like the speaking of Whitfield and Henry Clay, the _occasion_
only was the true witness of his power. The written report, though it
reads well, carries but little of the peculiar life-impress, the fine
pathos, the delicate humor, the ready turn of thought, the quick
imagination, and the falling tear of the listening auditor. It is only
by _hearing_, we say, that Joseph Badger's pulpit abilities can be

Casting his eye over New England society, he pleaded the necessity of
broader sympathy and union, of greater confidence between ministers and
people, and for a giving up of local prejudices between the east and the
west, as the cause of Christ is a unit over all the world. He extols the
spirit and labors of Benjamin Taylor in the Bethel cause, at Providence,
R. I., which served to send over the wide seas the pure principles of
unsectarian religion; the same praise was bestowed on the efforts of
Moses How, of New Bedford, whose labors for years in the seaman's cause,
have been catholic in nature and efficient in result. In glancing at the
generally low state of religious interest, whose causes he thought lay
deeper than the lack of human science, he said:--

      "These times are doubtless suffered to come upon the earth,
      to sift the church, to purge it from its dross, to try and
      purify the people of God and to prepare them for a greater
      work and a holier state. Oh, merciful God! grant this may
      be the result of all the conflicts which now surround the
      dear people, who are pressed down, grieved, discouraged and
      tempted. Oh! let them once more arise in their strength,
      put on their beautiful garments, exert their influence and
      see thy glory as they have in years that are past.

      "The anxiety I feel for the Christian cause at the present
      crisis exceeds anything I have felt in years past; and in
      my feeble state it presses heavily upon my spirit night and
      day. I know our doctrine, our order and our spirit are
      right; I know our cause is good, and many have sacrificed
      their precious lives and labored valiantly to sustain and
      establish it. It must come up again. It must and will yet
      live; it must be the general centre to which all sects must
      approach, when their revolutions and reforms bring them
      fully into the liberty of the Gospel of Christ. Oh,
      brethren, stand fast in the liberty of the Gospel, hold
      fast whereunto you have attained, endure to the end, and
      salvation is sure. I may not live to see better days upon
      the earth; but they will come. 'Why art thou cast down, Oh
      my soul! hope thou in God, for I shall yet praise him.' The
      storms will blow over, the darkness will pass away, and
      God's true people will come forth like gold seven times
      tried in the fire. Courage, courage, my brethren. Remember
      the fate of the fearful and unbelieving.

      "I suppose it is the design of the great Founder of
      religion, that all his followers should be placed in a
      state of trial here, and that Christianity should grapple
      with the powers of darkness, and overcome all the
      influences which can be raised against it. We never know
      our own strength, or the strength of other Christians,
      until we are placed in a state of trial and affliction; and
      the strength and virtue of Christ's religion are never
      fully developed until tested by the sword and the fagot.
      But in the darkest time its holy light shines, and its
      virtue is felt and known."

During his stay in Fall River, 1846 and 1847, he frequently wrote for
the public papers, in which he took some very bold and independent
positions. He closely criticised and answered an anonymous writer, who,
with much ability and severity, introduced a sermon on the text, "My
people perish for lack of knowledge;" he also conducted a somewhat
lengthy controversy with an able anonymous writer, who styled himself
Azro. In all these communications, the ideas which steadily hold the
ascendant are these: that all the moral evils of society are anticipated
by the Gospel; that its mission being the redemption of a fallen world,
it is capable of reaching the entire depth of moral disease in every
phase it can assume; that the church is the only moral association Jesus
ever sanctioned; that it is through the power which inherently lives in
Christianity, that the entire brood of social evils are to be
vanquished--slavery, war, intemperance, and every sin known to human
history. He pleaded that no one virtue should be singled out and made
the whole of Christianity; that no one vice is the whole tree of evil;
and that the only method by which human society can be made to yield
good fruits is by making the tree good, by reform in its heart and life;
that the coercion of law and the flaming zeal of partisans cannot reform
the world efficiently. These are substantially his positions. No man, we
believe, ever had a higher faith in the mission of Christ and the
Gospel; and none ever confided more strongly than he in the certainty of
their final victories. But the world needs, and will have, a complexity
of agencies in the work of its deliverance: discussion, debate,
societies, radicals, conservatives, men of one idea and men of a
thousand, all are equally necessary, as in nature we get the soft, green
grass and the thorny hedge, the south gale and the lightning's dart. In
nature, we judge that no angelic reformer, had he turned naturalist
prior to the human epoch, could have so induced the coming of the
postponed era of land animals as to have blended it with that of the
coralline limestone; nor can any ado of church or state pile up topmost
strata in the moral world any faster than is granted by the eternal law
that underlies all the eras of nature and spirit. But in doing the work
of the world's salvation, all agencies can be overruled; John, with his
loving divinity; Peter, with his sword; battles and prayers, all can be
woven into service.

At Fall River, though the ability of his labors was greatly impaired by
bad health, he made a strong impression, created many friends, and has
ever been remembered there with friendly interest. His sermon on
temperance was highly spoken of by the papers of that place; his bold
vindication of the rights of the over-taxed energies of the female
laborer at the cotton mills, in reply to the lecture of an influential
clergyman who maintained that the rules and labors of the factories are
favorable to longevity, was characteristic of the man, and won the
respectful attention of many who had known nothing of the stranger who
was sojourning among them. He continued his labors in Fall River into
the month of July, 1846, when, with health somewhat improved, he
returned to his family at Honeoye. In glancing over the plots of sermons
delivered in that place one is struck with their simple brevity and
clear pointedness. For instance: all that appears under the text, Acts
28: 26: "Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian," are these
words:--"1. The Christian name. 2. The Christian doctrine. 3. The
Christian spirit. 4. The Christian character." His farewell sermon was
built on John 14: 18: "I will not leave you comfortless."

In the spring of 1847, he visited the pleasant village of Conneaut,
Ohio, which commands a fine prospect of land and lake, and which
afforded him at the same time a field of usefulness and the medical
services of Doctors Fifield and Sandborn. By the request of Mr. Fuller,
then a student at the Meadville Theological School, the success of whose
labors at Spring, Pa., seemed to demand his ordination to the Christian
ministry, Mr. Badger left home April 2d, to preach the sermon on that
occasion. Proceeding by way of Stafford, Laona, and Fairview, he arrived
on the 9th; and on the 10th gave a very impressive and interesting
discourse, which was happily suited to the occasion. In company with
Elder J. E. Church he proceeded to Conneaut, where he gave three sermons
to large assemblies--a place he had not before visited in twenty years.
There he stood by the graves of Blodget and Spaulding, early associates,
called away in the midst of their labors. "How dear their memory, and
how venerable their names! how soon I shall join them in the heavenly
world! Oh, Lord! prepare me for the holy society above."

The church, which had been in a low and tried state for a long time,
began to rally again with brighter hopes of success and prosperity. They
came with new interest to the communion--to the social meeting--to the
Sabbath services. Attention began to increase, and as early as June 26,
Mr. Badger could say:--

      "We have received nine, I believe good and spiritual
      members into the church. How comforting it is to a church
      who have long sat in sadness by the side of the river of
      Babylon, again to see the walls and gates of Jerusalem
      restored, and Zion's altars again smoking with the offering
      of God. I intend to spend next month at home, and the first
      of August to resume my labor here again, if the Lord will.
      It is my meat and my drink to do the will of my Father who
      is in heaven. I view my great home near, and am anxious to
      be ready. Our chapel to-day was crowded with hearers, who
      seemed to feel deeply the importance of religion, which
      alone can bring salvation to the soul. In the afternoon I
      met a multitude of solemn hearers, on the pleasant bank of
      the Conneaut, where, after a short address, I led four
      happy converts down to the watery grave, who all came forth
      with joy and strength, to witness a good profession and to
      shine as lights in the world. May God strengthen their
      young hearts to endure to the end, that they may be saved.
      I love the people."

The month of July, which he spent at home, he improved in attending some
meetings with his old congregations. July 4, he spoke over an hour to
his people at Lakeville, who assembled _en masse_. The 18th, with Rev.
Asa Chapin, he attended the ordination of Sylvester Morris, at
Springwater; in speaking of the sermon given by his colleague, he
said:--"One such sermon which indicates God and his authority, and
teaches men to rely on his strong arm, is worth all the flowers of
oratory and empty show which human art and skill can produce." He
resumed his labors at Conneaut in August, continued them till March,
1848. Whilst there he received about twenty additional members, baptized
twelve, among whom was a young Unitarian clergyman, then about to
graduate from the Meadville Theological School. Though broken in health
and in spirits, though visited by dark and lonely hours, he exhibited
the remains of a gigantic force, and over the social circle he still
could throw the bright sunlight of his own spirit, which, unlike his
bodily constitution, refused to grow old. In frequent social parties he
was kindly greeted and cheered during the winter of his stay in
Conneaut; and though the excitement of company often reacted upon him
injuriously, his letters addressed to his family eulogize the cordiality
and kindness of the people. As spring drew near, he felt that his labors
should close; and early in March he returned home with the feeling that
his long career in the ministry was closed. And so it was. On three or
four occasions he again addressed the people, once at Henrietta, on a
funeral occasion, once at Naples, and once at Honeoye Falls. Notice had
been given at the last place, that Mr. Badger would meet all his
friends, who might desire to hear him once more on earth. He spoke to
them for the last time. Many came to hear. Among the remarks made
concerning this general address, the whole of which was extemporaneous,
was this; that the greatest amount of meaning was thrown into the most
_concise_ form that language would permit. But his once eloquent speech
had now become slow and thick. It no longer _flowed_. Thirty-six years
of a most active, arduous, and often self-sacrificing ministry, thus
ended in retirement, when nothing in his years gave signs of life's
abating energy.



The mind of Mr. Badger was in reality less impaired than his ability to
manifest it. In company, perhaps most persons judge of mind almost
wholly from its _vocal_ manifestations. Hence a diversity of opinion and
report that went abroad concerning his imbecility. My last interviews
with him were in the winter and summer of 1850. I was joyfully surprised
to perceive the error of the report that had gone abroad concerning his
mental weakness. Honestly, there was then more in his brain than ever
existed in the minds of those who reported him as being only a spectacle
of sadness. Though his communication was slow and impaired, his clear
gray eye shone with all the clearness and thoughtful penetration that it
ever had done. I never enjoyed with him more interesting visits. He
referred to past events with perfect accuracy of memory, related many
incidents of his travels, spoke of argumentative discussions and of
positions he had taken, passed judgments on men and things, which at no
period of his life could have been more mature.

But ordinarily, his self-control, his power to be unaffected by
disturbing causes, was said to have been much diminished; and the
clearness and vigor of his mind were also said to have varied
essentially at different intervals. Every day, he read, or heard some
member of his family read to him, the news of the time. He kept a clear
knowledge of the world's great movements; and above all, he relished the
sacred news that apprised him of the welfare of Zion. All his letters of
1849 and '50 have the same conciseness and clearness of expression that
always distinguished his letter-writing. In the winter of 1850 I called
on him; it was evening, about 8 o'clock; found him wearing a most calm
and meditative expression. There was no vivacity to cheer a visitor; but
immediately one felt the calm and tranquillizing influence of his
presence. In glancing over his form and features, it was readily
apparent that his whole _character_ was there, not in activity but in

If I might be permitted the liberty of speaking further in the first
person, and of drawing from personal reminiscence, I would state some
remarks he then made. We conversed sometimes for hours. I chanced to
have with me Emerson's newly issued volume, entitled Representative Men.
The second day of my sojourn with him, he requested me to read from it.
He called for the characters presented; after naming these, he said:
"First read to me of Napoleon; after that, of Swedenborg." I did so. And
invariably, as the reading passed over those striking and ingenious
passages for which Mr. E. is so greatly distinguished, his eye and
countenance lighted up with a smile of delight; the thoughts of the
writer passed into his mind as easily as the rays of morning enter the
eyes of living creatures. I only read from these two characters, and in
the pages presented him he evinced the truest delight. His power to
appreciate a thinker even then cost him no effort.

He also alluded to the near approach of death. He said he entertained
peculiar views on that subject. He would cheerfully die in a foreign
land, or far away from home. "I prefer," said he, "that my wife,
children, and near friends, would not see me as a corpse. It would suit
me, if Providence should so order, to bid my family a cheerful good-by
some pleasant day, and in some distant part meet the summons of my God.
I would wish that all their remembrances of me might be associated with
cheerfulness and life, and that not a single recollection should connect
me with death." These utterances, of course, were only a free statement
of feeling, but they impressed me much, and were indeed characteristic
of the man. He was a lover of life and of the life-like.

In June, 1850, the annual session of the New York Central Christian
Conference was holden at his residence. Not wishing to partake of the
excitement common to large assemblies, and particularly anxious to avoid
the excitement which contact with so many old acquaintances and friends
would necessarily create, he planned a journey to Manchester and
Gilmanton, New Hampshire. I saw him an evening and morning before he
left. He walked with me to the beautiful grove where the Sabbath meeting
was to be held; on the way, he observed, "Whenever I went away to preach
a dedication sermon, or to hold a meeting in a new grove, I always
wanted to go upon the ground and look at the scene a day beforehand." He
had a fine visit with relatives among his native hills of New Hampshire,
and returned in two or three weeks.

In the spring of 1851, when his power of speech was greatly enfeebled,
so much so that he could not speak intelligibly to strangers, he
expressed a strong desire to go about and visit once more the churches
he had formed, and see all his brethren in the ministry. Mrs. Badger
made arrangements to accompany him to Parma, where the New York Western
Christian Conference was held June 23, 1851. She had accompanied him on
two other journeys of a similar nature, and served him as interpreter,
she being able to understand him when others could not. These trips he
enjoyed very much; at Parma, he sat in meeting all day Saturday, Sunday
and Monday; and, using the language of Mrs. B., "he seemed to have the
most profound enjoyment." Taking the precaution to rest on Tuesday, Mrs.
B., in their private conveyance, started with him on Wednesday for
Gaines, a distance of thirty miles, where they remained for the night;
on Thursday morning they journeyed but three miles, to the town of
Barry, where they tarried but a night; on Friday he arose early, in his
usual health; the sun poured down his burning rays in great power. He
became anxious and determined to return home. Said Mrs. B.:

      "Accordingly, I started with him as soon as I could
      prepare; we had rode but about one mile when the last and
      final shock came over him, which deprived him for the time
      of every sense but that of intense suffering. I immediately
      inquired for the nearest physician, and found that we were
      in the vicinity of Dr. Eaton, an old friend, and one who
      had prescribed for him before. He was speechless, and
      nearly senseless when I arrived with him at the doctor's.
      The doctor immediately took him in, and by thorough
      rubbing, and bathing, and by administering hot medicines,
      succeeded in restoring him to a state of consciousness.
      From this place he was conveyed to my brother's house at
      Barry, where he was regularly attended by Dr. E. twice a
      day for one week, at the end of which time he was able to
      be put into his carriage and to be conveyed home, taking
      two days for fifty miles, which are ten miles less than he
      was accustomed to ride when he was well, and called himself
      a travelling minister. He continued to improve from that
      time until he was able to walk by my going alongside of
      him, and leading him from our house to the church. He
      walked in that way to meeting every Sunday till October,
      but never recovered his mental and physical faculties as he
      had them before. He always ascribed his recovery to the
      energetic course adopted by Dr. Eaton, when he was thrown
      accidentally into his hands. From the first of October he
      began visibly to decline, like a person in the consumption.
      He grew weaker and weaker, his articulation became more
      indistinct, until about the middle of January or first of
      February, he ceased to pronounce any words but Yes and No.
      All communication was now cut off, except such as could be
      answered in that manner. Many of his old friends in that
      space of time came to see him, Elder D. F. Ladley, of Ohio,
      who published an account of his visit in the Gospel Herald.
      It was always one of the greatest luxuries of his life to
      have me sit down and read to him, which was now seemingly
      his only remaining pleasure. This he enjoyed to the last.
      But from the first of April to his final exit, May 12th,
      1852, he seldom ever uttered a word.

      "And thus he passed, as it were, almost imperceptibly away,
      while his ever-penetrating eyes sparkled with the utmost
      brilliancy till they were closed in death, which painful
      task fell on my brother, as he was the only one I had time
      to call in, after I was sensible that he was departing. Our
      minister, Mr. Eli Fay, came in soon after, and our house
      was filled with sorrowing friends and neighbors."

Here are the simple facts. They confirm the view that there was a clear,
inner light of the intellect, which shone to the last, and which we
believe was but transiently eclipsed in death. Thus died a great and a
good man. At his dwelling, May 14th, 1852, Mr. Chapin read the
Scriptures, offered prayer, and made appropriate remarks. At the church,
Rev. Eli Fay, the Christian minister of the place, delivered an
appropriate discourse from 2 Sam. 1: 19: "How are the mighty fallen!" in
which he discussed the elements, uses and end of human greatness. In the
solemn procession that followed to its resting-place the mortal form,
were those who had come from some distance around, to shed the
reverential tear over the grave of one whose voice had been to them a
heavenly eloquence a third of a century ago. When the country was a
wilderness, his words had swayed them as trees are moved by the winds.
They come, the hoary-headed band, to take a last view of his spirit's
fallen temple. By the side of former friends they bury him, and over his
sacred ashes rises a monument with this inscription:

      DIED MAY 12, 1852.
      AGED 59 YEARS.

      "Here rests his mortal part. His spirit lives,
      And guides us still in virtue's path.


His life strikes us as a synonyme of energy, of accomplishing force. His
words have penetrated myriads of hearts. He had travelled many thousands
of miles; had led to the mercy-seat hosts of penitents; to the baptismal
waters upwards of two thousand persons, over forty of whom became
ministers of salvation; had attended upwards of seven hundred funerals;
and, though merit is not always to be measured by outward effects, it is
impossible to impartially review his life as a whole, without finding in
it a steady devotion to principles, a trusting reliance on God amid the
changes of men and the fluctuation of time, which, as we contemplate,
grow into the sublimity of faith. He was a hero of faith, and strongly
impressed himself upon his time.



Character, as distinguished from reputation, is what we are
intrinsically in moral and mental worth. Our reputations are only the
various verdict of society concerning us. Our characters are our fixed
value for time and eternity. They are our worth also in word and in
deed, for these are mighty or weak through the spiritual power that lies
back of them, from which they receive their kindling force and
inspiration. Character substantially is the end of life, the purpose of
nature, Providence, revelations, trial, conscience, and temptation. The
universe came from it, reveals it, and strives, through all its
teachings and influences, to reproduce it in man. The worship of God,
and the various reverence which centres in man, at once resolve
themselves into the supreme worth for which the word character stands as
a sign. This, then, is the true centre of all biography, that into which
the whole life is merged, and by which it may be judged. These few
pages, therefore, will aim to sketch, though it may be imperfectly, the
main features in the character of Joseph Badger.

When I approach this subject, I am at once struck by the originality and
marked distinctions of what I am to examine; and, though the naturalness
and simplicity which ever shone in his language and manner might seem to
promise an easy task, a longer study dissipates the hope, and leaves the
lasting impression that a mind and character like his were never
truthfully and fully expressed in a few words, and certainly they were
never known by mere passing acquaintance or superficial observation. He
was a man of manifold nature, was strong in many directions. He had
depths unseen by ordinary acquaintance or by ordinary observation; and
to fully interpret one whose inward life was so much of it veiled from
the world's gaze, whose power of character was in itself so complex and
diverse, requires analytical patience and faithful study. I would not
intimate by this that it is invested in dark and impenetrable clouds of
mystery; for not a few of his traits are, under almost any
circumstances, plainly discernible, those, indeed, which served to
render the hours of sociality agreeable and entertaining to all. His
quick and clear perception, his calm balance of power, who would not at
once discover? But it is the quality of greatness that the manifold
qualities involved do not admit of a thorough comprehension except at
the cost of time and care. That Joseph Badger was by nature a great man,
that, in the sphere of his action, he was so by effects produced, it is
presumed that none will be at all likely to deny. Persons who could read
God's handwriting of ability in the forms and features of men, or in the
discourse and action by which superiority is indicated, were never
disposed to place him in the rank of ordinary gifts and powers. A few
may have said that no book can add to their knowledge of him; that, for
years, they have listened to his sermons; have mingled in his society at
their firesides; that they know him entirely. This conclusion we do not
unqualifiedly accept. It is our impression that few persons on the
earth, in the profoundest sense, knew Joseph Badger. Beyond what they
had observed lay much more in unseen repose.

The free and more airy moods of mind with which he usually met his
friends and mingled in society, though combined with real dignity of
manner, were calculated, in some degree, to give the impression of
entire acquaintance to those who could penetrate but a small distance
beneath the apparent. But there were sober depths underlying the
vivacity and social joy of his presence. In company, it is true, he
commonly avoided the introduction and discussion of weighty themes,
those requiring continuity of thought, choosing rather to converse on
matters of immediate care and interest. He spoke truthfully when he once
said to a friend, "I have three moods of mind; one that may be _light_
and _airy_, one of _common_ seriousness, and one of very _deep_
seriousness." They who judge him only from the first do not, cannot know
him; yet is it not more common for people to judge from the surface than
from the deeper soul of one's life? The former is easily seen; the
latter requires attention. Luther and Franklin were humorous men; but
those who would know them must look to the depths over which their humor

As the physical man is, by usual consent, the basis of that higher self,
in which character, as to its greater meanings, resides, it may be
worthy of recollection that the bodily constitution and temperament of
Mr. Badger were well adapted to power and excellence of intellect. His
constitution, though of fine quality, was naturally very strong and
vigorous; the different temperaments commingled in it, the sanguine or
arterial taking the lead. With this, there was a full degree of the
nervous or intellectual temperament, which imparted much mental
activity; with these, there was a measure of the bilious and lymphatic,
which, according to the usual explanations of modern science, give
endurance, calmness and ease, supplying the wasting activities with
support. In early life, Mr. Badger was tall and spare in figure; about
middle age, and after, he was more portly; and, at all times, his
personal appearance was noble, commanding, and prepossessing. His
likeness, facing the title-page of this volume which represents him at
the age of forty-two, gives a very good idea of his intellectual
expression, with the exception that his brain was of a larger cast, and,
in after life, his features and form were more full than they appear in
this representation.

The intellect of Mr. Badger was great, especially so in the use of
practical perception. His perceptive ability was indeed immense. In
seeing through character, motives, and events; in looking at a new
movement in the moral world, or at any practical enterprise, he had
great, sudden perceptions of the reality before him, on which he formed
his conclusions and acted. His mind was quick; his opinions were not
usually formed in slow processes, but were very comprehensive, very
exact, and when the final results came round, no man's former words
sounded so much like certain prophecy in the quotation as his. His mind
was richly intuitive in these respects. He readily and closely saw the
strong points of every case.

His reasoning intellect was strong and clear, and when awakened was full
of power. But thought, in its most abstract form, was not his forte. He
could appreciate it, and estimate its value accurately in others, could
use it himself; but it was truth, having a direct bearing upon, and
demonstrations in, the world of practice, that roused his energies and
delightfully employed his powers. He was American. The form of his mind
was not, perhaps, exactly philosophical, was not largely given to seek
out the laws which pervade the facts of nature and of life, to treasure
up universal principles; but he could rapidly work his way into the
reality of any cause that it might interest him to know. He readily saw
important principles. His mind was creative. He could originate and
execute with great skill and dexterity; the former of these functions,
however, was, in our opinion, his most favorite work. He often liked to
produce and direct the plan for others to carry into effect. His
acquaintance with human nature, as it appears in the thousand-fold
diversities of the world, was his profoundest knowledge. His great
sagacity always seemed as intuition, as a native inspiration. It was
next to impossible to deceive him.

There is that in the human mind which takes the name of no one faculty,
but which, in the manifestation, is entitled _good sense_, and "strong
sense." There are men in the world, who wield no scholastic terminology,
who have no tendency to much speculative theorization, but nevertheless
have that in them, which, on the presentation of the most carefully
elaborated theories, can at once judge upon their worth and fallacy.
This strong searching force which despises the artificial operations of
logicians, and the visionary theorization of idealists, makes of them
solid pillars amidst the general fluctuation, enables them to say of all
the "nine days' wonders," as they arrive, that they are but nine days'
wonders. In them it says, "The theory is learned and rendered plausible;
but substantially there is nothing in it. It is of no actual use. It
hails from cloud-land, and in cloud-land it will ere long dissolve." Mr.
Badger was no ideologist; he was an actualist, a realist, who never
alienated himself from the circle of the sympathy of mankind, but
wrought upon themes and enterprises for which the people themselves had
feeling and care. He could easily weigh the humbugs as they arose; and
there was no art of proselytism by which they could be glued to him or
he to them. Scores of wild theories sprung up in his day. He patiently
heard the arguments therefor, mildly responded, gave his own opinion,
and with it possibly a cheerful laugh, which was itself no insignificant
argument, and probably announced what he believed the result would be
when time should have ripened and tested the fruit. The friends of
Fourier built an institution within two miles of his door, and kindly
invited him to join; some of his old acquaintances with infatuated joy
rushed into the new millennium. He told them there was truth in the idea
of more fraternity than the selfish world is disposed to enjoy, but that
the conception of society they had adopted was visionary, and that all
would repent who had thus invested their means. "Be assured, friend G.,
that in two or three years this whole matter will fail, and your funds
will be lost." And so it was. Millerism, also, came along, showing large
maps of the world's chronology, Bible symbol, and all that; some of his
old ministerial friends rushed into the excitement, and cried aloud for
the speedy coming of the personal Christ. He was calm. He told them it
was idle theory, that it was theological egotism; and it mattered not
how strongly and flippantly they quoted from Daniel and John, or what
the array of texts and historical passages might be; he had a large,
clear, manly brain, and _knew_ that the main fabric was woven of cobweb.
He opposed against it strong arguments, and when knowing vanity and
egotism on the opposite side became intolerable, he mingled with his
argumentation the withering force of satire, which, with him, was little
else than long pieces of strong sense, made very sharp at the points.

This statement should be made for his mind and speech, that whenever he
spoke it was to the point. It told plainly on the case in hand. His
force was never lost by diffuseness or redundancy. He could say very
much in few words. In coming to truth, he preferred the shortest way,
and cherished, I judge, a cheerful contempt for artistic modes of
reasoning, in which many strive to display so much science of method.
The dry logician and the disputer of words he could endure, though he
never would waste much time with them. If some one in the company was
anxious to controvert, he usually turned to some other person and gave
over his part of the question to him; then, in calmly witnessing their
play of words, he derived great satisfaction from whatever was weighty,
sharp, or well directed on either side, using the occasion chiefly as a
scene of entertainment. In him one might see not a little of the
ironical advice of Mephistopheles to the student, who in recommending
the study of logic as a means of saving time, tells him that "in this
study the mind is well broken in--is laced up as in Spanish boots,[61]
so that it creeps circumspectly along the path of thought," minding the
immense importance of one, two, three, four, which shall now cost him
hours to accomplish what he before hit off at a blow. If, as
Mephistopheles said, the actual operations of the human mind are as a
weaver's loom, where one treadle commands a thousand threads, which are
invisible in the rapidity of their movements, Mr. B. was more an actual
weaver of the real garment than the philosopher who steps in to prove
that these processes must have been so; that the first was so, and
therefore the second came; and that since the first and second were, the
third was inevitable.[62] In arriving at truth, be it remembered, he
preferred the plainest, directest roads. He was emphatically a
_thinking_ man; and the end of his thought, mostly, was practical

The powers of his mind were not rigid but flexible, as, under any
variety of scenes, he was capable of being composed and genial. He did
not stickle on small points of theology or practice; points he desired
to carry he could gracefully introduce; those which he found it
necessary or expedient to abandon, he could give up with easy
indifference. He was a man of order; and, perhaps what can be said of
but few clergymen, he was a man of skilful business talent, a great
tactician, a good economist and financier. "Not one in ten of mankind,"
said he, "know how to do business."

It has been common for persons to speak much about his shrewdness, tact,
sagacity and cunning. As some of these traits often unite in unpowerful
and secretive natures, I would say that in him they stood connected with
much decision of character, independence and boldness. These stronger
traits were manifest in every stage of his history. He stood erect and
strong in youth, when answering the tyrannical British magistrate. He
put the savages to the extremity of violence rather than acquiesce in a
dishonorable mode of conveyance to the seat of justice at the Three
Rivers. When about twenty-two, he met a clergyman in New England who
confessed to him that he had preached for twelve years in an unconverted
state, and whose prayers and sermons were then as spiritless as fallen
leaves. Mr. Badger invited him courteously to share in the services of
the Sabbath, but on parting he faithfully warned him to seek the
life-giving influences of the Holy Spirit. These qualities of tact,
shrewdness, cunning, lay under the shadow of stronger and bolder powers.
They greatly facilitated his success, so far as this depends on
adaptation and proper management; and probably we cannot account for a
certain elegant aptness and fitness to the occasion and purpose, which
gave peculiar charm to his public discourses, without implying the
presence of these intellectual attributes.

It is conceded that it required the extraordinary demand of great
occasions, or great opposition, as in the case of controversy, to bring
out his greatest intellectual force, though he was happily adapted to
ordinary occasions. When obliged to use his power, it came in strong and
impressive forms of utterance; all saw his meaning, felt the force of
his illustrations and the victorious power of will, which, in minds like
his, is strongly determined on the achieving of its aims. In
controversy, Joseph Badger was indeed a difficult opponent. We have
never heard of any who have claimed a victory against him. The event may
possibly have occurred, but the echo thereof has never come to our
ears. We doubt that it ever happened. He did not challenge nor seek
controversy, nor did he shrink from it when truth and the honor of his
cause demanded that formidable opponents should be met. The position of
a theological reformer is liable, in the early stages of his work, to
receive a great variety of assault; and under such circumstances the
peaceful quietness and repose which reside in the established state of
the public mind are not his legacy. In a degree, he is to be a moral
hero and warrior, and if he wars for truth successfully and handsomely,
we should hasten to render him the wreath of honor and praise. We
believe that Joseph Badger never stood for the advocacy of views which
he did not himself heartily believe; and this conceded, we believe also
that he never entered a controversial field without the _determination_
of victory, the end being, in all reason, not so much to persuade the
wrangling antagonist as to convince the people. The calmness of his
intellect and the composure of his feelings were always conspicuous at
such times. Though he had high spirit and temper constitutionally,
though his passional nature was uncommonly strong, he was, on all
occasions where the passions of others were likely to be inflamed,
astonishingly cool. It was the coolness of a pilot amidst the storm. At
all times of which we have any knowledge, Mr. Badger was distinguished
for this self-command, by which he could rise above surrounding
excitement or present calamity. This trait gave him great advantage in
discussion; for, from his own cool state, he was sure to learn the
weaknesses of temper and of argument on the opposite side, which soon
became advantageous capital to his cause. But we do not here design to
trace him through his controversial history. The glance we have taken in
this direction is simply to exhibit certain qualities that distinguish
his mind.

Imagination, without which there is no blue sky of starred excellence in
our being, is a faculty which in some degree of richness operates in all
creative minds. It was often playfully and often seriously active in the
mind of Joseph Badger. It aided his free and happy use of language. It
brought to his service a vast number of natural illustrations and
figures, both for the ornament of public discourse and social
conversation; and in the good taste and fancy, of which the clearest
evidences exist, is also implied that something finer than the
understanding enriched him. He held in his mind a high standard of
poetry; therefore he never sought to approach it by creations of his
own. He had intense feeling and delicacy of sentiment, and withal a vein
of marvellousness that caused him at times to note in his diary the
dreams of his midnight slumber, on which he would afterwards linger in
sober reflection. Among his private papers there are a few instances in
which his strong presentiments are recorded. The generous enthusiasm of
his nature, that gave so much life to his early labors, and that always
rendered his influence enlivening, is well balanced by the deliberate
intellect that imparted to his action and manner the impress of
composure. But it is as a matter-of-fact man chiefly, as a utilitarian
in the best sense of that word, as a definite thinker, that his true
character appears in the world. He was a great and a natural planner,
was most in his element when standing in the centre of some enterprise
which aimed at important practical results. In every cause he undertook,
his power to concentrate himself upon the single end before him was

Though possessed of great suavity of manners and smoothness of speech,
in power of _will_ and in firmness of decision he had few equals. He
labored with great fidelity and perseverance toward the achievement of
his main purpose. He could smile or laugh at the sharpest opposition
that might be expressed in his presence, could speak of his plans
without using tenacious language, but everything proved in the long run,
the power of his will and the solidity of his purpose. His will was by
nature and discipline strong, very strong; and he had that which took
away the offence which strong-willed persons usually give. Instead of
appearing at all wilful, or stubborn, he cast himself upon the
assignation of the best reasons, and demeaned himself in a conciliatory
bearing toward all. He knew how to give in and how to waive minor
matters that he might compromise people of different opinions and
prejudices, for which he possessed great tact and skill. Yet when
opposition became decided and open, he had no great patience or
long-suffering towards the obstacles that stood in his way. He wanted
them out of the path, and set to work for their removal. Though he was
always courteous, and in social greetings cordial to all, even to
enemies and opposers who happened to meet him, he had no taste for
rivalry and opposition. He sought to cripple the power of whatever stood
in the way as a solid barrier to the success of his dearly cherished
plans, an attribute this, which strong actors in the world have, we
believe, very commonly possessed, from Napoleon of Corsica to the great
Democrat of the Hermitage. The kindness of his nature was native and
overflowing; but there were circumstances under which his severity was
equally conspicuous. Nevertheless, toward the conquered party, his
generosity naturally reacted in forms of kindness, and of such, at last,
he often made permanent friends and co-workers.

The sympathies and kindness of Mr. Badger, I have elsewhere alluded to
as being great. He had a large power of friendship. From this phase of
his nature, proceeded his facility for making friends and attaching them
to himself. His friends became numerous wherever he went. We cannot
account for so noble a fact, without conceding to him the possession of
a heart in which the magnetism of human kindness was great, for it takes
a power to awaken a power, and selfishness alone never became the
radiant centre about which the hearts of the many were happily drawn.
The power of sympathy and friendship is an attraction which, like the
physical property in nature designated by this name, is in proportion to
the _quantity_ of the source from which it flows; also, the proximity or
the distance of objects, which suggests another law of this material
energy, is likewise true in the world of friendship. For it is nearness,
that is to say, it is kindredness of mind, feeling, and experience; it
is the ability to furnish other hearts with the true objects of their
own affections, that qualifies one to sit as king or queen on the throne
of friendship and love. He who lawfully sways this sceptre over the
multitudes, is one in whom the many are represented, who is truly
brother to each and to all. Viewed from this sentiment, how can the
influences of Joseph Badger be accounted for, except on the ground that
his heart was truly great and brotherly? A community of strangers into
which he might come soon felt the power of this attraction. Said the
honest Barton W. Stone, of Kentucky, in a letter of welcome to his
intended second visit to the South:--"Your name is dear to the people of
Georgetown. Many are anxiously hoping to greet you;"--though he had but
once visited Georgetown and other localities south and west, his name
remained in the hearts of the people. This is but a common illustration
of what generally occurred in places where he preached several sermons
and freely mingled with the people. As a strong example of the lasting
attachment he had the power to inspire in his friends, I would mention a
circumstance recorded in his private journal while at Boston.

Mr. Jonas Clark, of Dublin, Cheshire Co., N. H., a man of sound mind,
who had not seen Mr. B. for thirteen years, but had listened to his
early ministry, went to meet him at Boston, August 20, 1828. On coming
into his presence he took him by the hand and said: "Can this be Joseph,
my friend?" On being answered in the affirmative, he was unable to
reply; but turning away his head and leaning over a desk near by, he
wept in silence. The memories of the past that rushed into his mind were
golden by affection, and years of time and much mingling with the world
had not effaced or marred the sacred impress of former years. "Oh, what
majesty," said Mr. B., "there is in such tears of love! True friendship
is more lasting than time, and it outlives every other principle."
Though Mr. Badger had an intellect that was strong and peculiarly
original and self-relying, we think on the whole that his stronghold was
far more in the hearts of the people than in their merely intellectual
regard and admiration. His neighbors who have lived near him for twenty
and thirty years, testify to the strict and uniform kindness of his
feelings and acts as a neighbor.

To young ministers and to feeble churches, he extended the wealth of his
sympathy. He was both a brother in Christ and a father in Israel.
Particularly was his sympathy deep and strong for young men just
entering into the ministry. Many things in his own life qualified him to
be their benefactor. He had himself passed through great trials of mind
and of outward circumstances, when a young man of nineteen and twenty,
as the result of his choice, or rather of his acceptance of the
preacher's mission. No young man would be likely to stand in the midst
of greater embarrassments than he had stood. Then his extensive
observation of men and things, his knowledge of human nature, his own
varied experience of years in the Gospel ministry, his tender
sympathies, his gentle and easy manners, which took away fear and
restraint, peculiarly fitted him for a nearness of access to their
minds, to render them counsel to meet their doubts, and to give them
instruction and needful encouragement. He had great skill with which to
inspire hope in a young man. He could prune his defective habits, also,
without giving offence; and well did he know how to set his mind upon
new trains of thought. First of all, it was his policy to find out the
real material of a young man's mind, to learn his real character. To
effect this, he gradually threw off whatever in manner should serve to
impose restraint, became familiar, perhaps in some instances greatly so,
and turned conversation so as to hit on every side of human nature and
of the supposed character of the person whose mental and moral
dimensions he desired to take. In a few days, at most, he developed his
characteristics far enough to be completely satisfied of his capacity,
principles and promise. I do not say that this was his method in all
cases, but I know of some instances in which it was, and have heard of
it in others. The wisdom of this procedure appears in the fact that to
qualify young men for the ministry, respect must be had for what in them
is individual, as there are no uniform theological moulds into which
human nature can be successfully fused and run; and it had the advantage
also of enabling the counsellor to decide at the beginning, the most
important of all questions, whether a young man is not mistaking the
meaning of God as announced in his nature, by assuming the position of a
spiritual leader. He gave them books to read and to keep; taught them
the great importance of a healthy degree of physical culture; gave them
his views of the most useful and successful methods of preaching; taught
the supreme importance of religious experience; looked out for them
fields of labor, took them to his own appointments, made journeys with
them, and if any diffident young man of merit was mortified at the
imperfection and feebleness of his own public efforts, he had the finest
skill in restoring to him his lost confidence. Many whose conversions
took place under his preaching, became ministers; and very many owe
their earliest and best lessons in the ministry to his examples and
counsels. To sum up his faculty in this direction, in few words, I
should say, he greatly excelled in the power of calling out the minds of
others, in developing their resources for good.

He was in the habit of treating young men as if he respected their
wisdom. He asked their advice on his own plans and enterprises. This he
did, not so much to receive new information as to set their minds upon
practical thinking, and to connect their sympathy and intelligence with
that which should increase their knowledge. He was always very fond of
young people; and nothing more readily enlisted his attention than the
appearance of a young man of promise just entering the Gospel ministry.
He cordially took him by the hand, welcomed him to his own fireside, and
invariably and reverently taught him that there is no station in the
universe, that can be occupied by a human being, which is in itself so
truly honorable and so sacredly responsible as that of the Christian
minister. The same genial power of development here spoken of in regard
to young ministers, was equally manifest in relation to young writers.
Very much of his influence was genial; therefore, like the sun's ray, it
called out the life on which it shone.

His sympathy was also cosmopolitan. He had a passion to know the
stirring events of the world. The great enterprises and achievements in
different countries awakened him. He was uncommonly fond of the news. A
new school of philosophers springing up in a foreign country would not
escape his notice; but he had far greater interest in a new series of
events that might be unfolding, and auguring changes in the empires and
in the social condition of man. He watched the nations. He also watched
the various sects and political parties of his own country. He read
every week the most widely circulated Roman Catholic paper of the new
continent, studied the olden structure of their organization; and freely
and respectfully visited Roman Catholic clergymen whenever he found a
resident priest within the vicinity of his own labors. Father William
O'Reilly, of Rochester, a very worthy man in the Catholic ministry,
frequently received his calls and most kindly reciprocated his
friendship. Mr. Badger had indeed no tendencies whatever toward Roman
Catholicism, but he profoundly respected religion and human nature, and
was pleased to see them in their various phases and manifestations.
There were, I would opine, several elements in the Mother Church that
had his respect. Indeed, how could it have been otherwise? Protestantism
has not in the main been largely originative in theology. Nearly all its
great doctrines coming under the head of dogma, are even now those that
exist in Rome and that proceeded from Rome. Omission and modification,
more than origination are, thus far, the distinction of what is most
revered in Protestant faith. In the preaching of Joseph Badger, all
seemed to feel the wide and liberal sympathy of his doctrines. Said
General Ross, of Wilkesbarre, who went some half a dozen miles to hear
him speak, October, 1830:--"I never heard such republican preaching as
that before. The society who hold to these principles must prosper."

Within the view here offered, mention might justly be made of the reach
of influence he gained over the diverse grades of man. The intelligent
and the ignorant, the believer and the sceptic, the man of inward
holiness, and the hardest specimens of sin and unbelief, looked up when
they heard he was in town; and, from some earnest sympathy, felt that
they should hear him. He seemed to have a key fitted to unlock all
hearts, so that, from murderers and drunkards, as well as from the
penitent and faithful, he drew a tear, and won a confidence through
which he had access to what was best in their being. It not unfrequently
happened that he had those in his audience who would have listened to no
one else, and some who were noted for boldness and originality of sin he
ofttimes persuaded into a divine faith, in which they were steadfast and
life-long in their pursuit. What signify such phenomena? At least this
is implied, that the speaker had a wide form of sympathy, and that the
manifold experiences of the world were comprehended by him.

In meeting him often, one never felt that he met a stereotyped man. He
was new at each period. So testify his old parishioners. They say, that,
in every sermon, there was something fresh, something that was unsaid at
previous times, and was new to them. Those who had been acquainted with
him for years would see new traits of character, as the varying phase of
circumstance and association might suggest. He was plain-spoken; yet,
beyond that plain, bold speech, the reserved and the unspoken could
often claim large territories their own. Indeed, no man of depths was
ever read throughout as an alphabet is read.

No man, probably, ever had a stronger individuality. He was Joseph
Badger, and no one else. He was quite free from personal eccentricity;
was easy and graceful. But on whom was the impress of individuality ever
more decidedly made? Who did he imitate? Look at his language, his
manners, his modes of treating a subject, his voice, his entire action,
and tell us who was his pattern. What original stood on the foreground
of his reverence, commanding even an unconscious conformity? But one
answer can be given to these questions. He was a man of marked
character, and original beyond what is common to men of superior
endowments. Persons who had not seen him for many years at once
recognized him at night, on entering a stage-coach or steamboat, merely
from his _voice_. His shortest business letters--and very many of his
letters are composed of but a couple of paragraphs, and some of but a
very few sentences--are stamped with the peculiar character of his mind.
They are so concise, so direct, so comprehensive. Character and genius
appear in small as well as in great things. Often, in letters of one
short paragraph, have I been reminded of Napoleon, of the clear, brief,
pithy statements by which that commander expressed himself, both in
vocal and in written messages. Since the world stood, we are satisfied
there has been but _one_ Joseph Badger, and we will risk our credit at
prophecy in the declaration that another will never appear. Not, indeed,
that the creative resources of divinity or humanity are in the least
abated, but the pure originalities of the Creator in human history are
never repeated.

In drawing the just outlines of his character, there is one prominent
feature that commands our attention. I mean the strong proclivity of his
mind to lead, to plan, to direct, to be at the centre of operations, to
be FIRST. This proclivity cannot be denied; nor can it be affirmed that
it was accustomed to clothe itself in assumptively offensive forms. His
passage to the pilot's station was easy and natural, and his labor there
appeared as a matter of course. Two reasons account for this trait. The
first and chief is founded in nature; the second, in that discipline of
experience which, for many years, required him to act a leader's part.
If we examine whatever is successful in the history of events belonging
to associated action, we shall find that action to be led on by some
guiding mind. Everything of much import has its leader, from the passage
of the children of Israel through the Red Sea to the founding of the
latest literary institution. Even a revolt, a schism, must have a head.
The God who has anticipated all human wants has not neglected this need
of mankind, but has given them many commanding, guiding spirits, whose
quickness of perception, concentration, foresight, courage, and
sympathy, inspire the many with confidence in their wisdom. Such men are
God's choice gifts. They carry their credentials in their ability. And,
as the real man, under whatever circumstances, will tell, there is no
good reason why society should not recognize its appropriate guides.
Happy are they that do this. The birds that voyage many leagues to the
south, and the flocks that roam in the freedom of the wild, never err
in their selection of leaders. _Their_ chiefs are never stupid.

Granting this, that some are made to lead and that many are born to
follow, it is important and right that he who can serve his fellows best
by acting a leading part should _know_ his station. It will be natural
for him to start first, to stand at the centre of operation, and, if he
is kind and fraternal to all, as true leaders ever are, none can justly
feel that he is out of his place, or that they are shaded. The true
leader in any true cause rejoices in every sign of merit in others.
Their strength is his wealth. In the words of Festus,

      "He would not shade an atom of another,
      To make a sun his slave, or a god his brother."

Yet what would we think of a pilot who on the sea should hesitate in his
services through fear that others might regard him as too forward, or
too high in his aspiration? When the right man leads the way, the
reasonable are satisfied, are glad that they are provided for, and they
are the stronger for being inspired with the hope and vigor of their
guide. Mr. Badger was in his element, we confess, when his directing
genius swayed the action of the day; and the _success_ of his guidance
is the fair proof of his value. It was his element, because of his
nature and evident mission, and not from artificial or ostentatious
reasons. He counselled much with his brethren. He prayed to God for
light. Indeed, he was naturally diffident, though his strength and
boldness, as called out by demand, might have made the impression of a
conscious and perpetual feeling of self-sufficiency. He had not, I am
sure, a high form of self-esteem. But he was a a leader, and when so,
the cause he espoused was alive with interest and accumulated power.

It will be seen that, from the broad catholicity of his early labors,
his action, in later years, grew apparently more denominational. But in
this there is no contradiction. He followed the line of duty. At no time
in his life did he plead for a sectarian denominationalism based on
creed, or mere doctrinal platform. Always and forever was he opposed to
this. In one of the first days of October, 1842, I remember that some
two or three ministers were discussing the subject of Christian union in
his parlor, with the view of stating its true basis. As usual with him,
he avoided entering into private controversy; but after all had said
what they thought on the subject, he added, in substance, these words:
"Gentlemen, there seems to be something light in our conversation this
morning. When I go into a new place and preach, and have occasion to
organize a church, or receive members, I always ask these questions. Is
the man who would join us a man of good influence? Is his influence on
the side of virtue and good order in society? Will his example be a
light to the church and to the world? If I am satisfied on these points
I have no more questions to ask."

His path in this respect was a natural one. The preaching of the early
ministers, which ignored sectarianism, which was founded in the religion
of experience, in spiritual communion with God, and in the fellowship of
all saints, was exceedingly prosperous. Thousands were drawn by this
magnetism of liberal principles into union; and the strong opposition
they encountered from those who deified mere dogma in theology, also
served to make them one body in the world. From the very nature of the
social law, masses who are strongly moved by new truths or errors do
come together into organic form. A religious community once created,
must have its papers, associations and customs; so that in a short time
it will happen that the freest principles in religion will appear to be
invested with sectarian form. But sect and denomination are not
synonymous. Br. Badger's labors were to build up the free, pure and holy
principles of the Christian religion, without limiting them by any
boundary of the intellect, by any limit except virtue, holiness and
love. In the concentration of his mind in editorial life, in pastoral
relations, in anxious concern for the spread of the principles he had
preached in his youth, in his general services to the denomination to
which he belonged, I see nothing that wars with the freedom of his early
position in 1812; nothing but what appears as the proper, natural course
of the current of life.

The genesis of a new people, just born into religious being, like the
genesis of nature, has its period of chaos, of unorganized elements.
This was the case with the denomination called Christians; and though
their transition to order and system was aided by many minds, it is my
conviction, from the testimony of those who were familiar with those
early years, that to Joseph Badger more than to any other one man they
are indebted for the introduction of order and system into their
Conferences and into their general modes of action. He defended order
and organization with great success. He was, indeed, the founder of the
regular organization of Conference, having cognizance of the moral
standing of ministers.[63]

In short, Mr. Badger was a man of a rich and many-sided nature; not of
one idea nor of one fortress of energy. His intellect was clear and
strong. His passions also were strong. His physical power and dignity of
person far surpassed the average of men. His kindness was great; his
courage and decision were also great. His social feelings and social
power were of uncommon vigor; few indeed could entertain company with so
much satisfaction as he. Though familiar, none could approach him
irreverently. He had deep and abiding faith in God. He also honored
reason, and asked her light through the darkness of life. He loved a
denomination; yet through it he sought to impress for good the human
family. He loved ideas, and was a strong dealer in facts. He could
dissolve assemblies in tears, and if he chose, illumine their
countenances with joy and mirth. He could unfold the holy meaning of
Scripture, could draw from the deep wells of the religious life, could
lead the repenting sinner into the inner sanctuary of spiritual rest and
peace. He could also make the most effective speech at a railroad
meeting, or on any enterprise in which practical sagacity and foresight
were essential to success. He had self-care; he knew how to provide for
his own wants, and how to extend his manly sympathies to others. He was
keenly sensitive; and, under the greatest troubles, his eye was calm and
his countenance unchanged. He loved a sermon; he also loved a song. He
was, in brief, a natural man, a natural minister. No clerical tones
could be detected in his voice. He spoke like a _man_, who had a
definite knowledge of what he intended to say. His bearing in society
well sustained the dignity of his calling. He was true to the main
purpose of his life. The needle vibrates, but through all the years of
its being the true magnet turns to the pole. In 1812 he began his
ministry; in 1852 he bade farewell to earth. Through this long period,
whilst his ability lasted, he adhered to the work of preaching salvation
and of building up the holy interests of Zion. The true magnet was he,
or we should not have witnessed this long and faithful adherence to the
fixed star of his faith. He indeed had errors. He had faults; for he was
only a man. Men constituted as he was, in erring, often err strongly.
But when such persons err, there are large resources of honor and
goodness left, by which they arise and shine. The errors of superior
men, said Confucius, are like the eclipse of the sun and moon. All men
observe them, and all look for their reformation. Also it happens, in
the order of creation, that great natures have strong opponents and
strong enemies. The lion is assailed by the wild boar; the whale is
opposed by the sword-fish and the thrasher. Thus Washington and
Webster, in their day, were followed by mighty assailants, in the form
of prejudice and calumny. Though Mr. Badger's sphere of action was
unpolitical and sacred, it was his fortune to have many strong friends
and at times a few strong opponents. But all, we believe, who knew him
well, regard his memory and revere his name. He was a good man.

Genuinely, he was a great man, capable by nature of acting successfully
on a wider theatre than the one he filled; but, we think he occupied the
best position for usefulness. Admitting that he had natural powers,
which, if trained in the widest field of the world's action, had
equalled in policy a Talleyrand, or, in the creation of great and
successful plans, a Napoleon or a Wellington, how much better is the
retrospect, in the eyes of all heavenly wisdom, to survey his labors as
being directed to the salvation of men, to the establishment in the
church of order and prosperity, and to the dissemination of a great
truth in Christendom, which, though it may have been a century in
advance of the age, is destined to fill the whole earth. This truth is
the declaration that true religion and the right bond of union among
Christians, are a divine life, and not a mental assent, a theological
belief. We own the hand of Providence in the gift of such men to the
world; and whether appreciated now or not, according to the demand of
justice, we boldly affirm that Joseph Badger has declared truths, made
sacrifices, and exerted influences on earth as a theological reformer,
whose effects shall not die away in centuries. They who help the world's
progress are doubtless its first benefactors; and we have this firm
faith, that the world is now, and ever will be, the wealthier from his
having lived in it.

      "No farther seek his merits to disclose,
        Or draw his frailties from their dread abode,
      Where they alike in trembling hope repose,
        The bosom of his Father and his God."



Elsewhere allusion has been made to the extreme difficulty, to the
impossibility even, that accompanies an effort to imbody a speaker like
Mr. Badger, entire, in written words. Yet it is due to the readers of
his Biography that some definite attention be called to this part of his
ministerial accomplishments. There was nothing of the trumpet-blast in
his oratory. It was liquid. It flowed as a current from a fountain, and,
like a current, at times was brisk and playful in movement. Simplicity,
ease, dignity, clearness, were his graces. A power to command the entire
attention, to deal in surprises in unfolding a subject, to keep an
audience for hours without weariness, was, in a rare degree, his

The earliest written address I have noticed is an oration delivered July
4, 1819, at Penfield, New York. Its text is, "Righteousness exalteth a
nation," and its motto, the words of Barbauld,

      "August she sits, and with extended hands
      Holds forth the Book of Life to distant lands."

Instead of beginning as gaseous orators usually did and do on such
occasions, with a patriotic vaunting, he alludes to the nobleness of
man's nature, which originally was designed for self-government.

      "Man," he said, "is the noblest part of the work of God. He
      is made capable of great good and of enjoying great
      happiness; is formed for society, and qualified for
      government; he is capable of enjoying God's blessings here
      and his eternal presence hereafter. In his first state he
      had an extensive dominion over every creature of the earth,
      but in consequence of _sin_ the crown falls from his head,
      guilt, misery, and slavery become his companions. Nothing
      but righteousness can extricate mortals from this low
      condition and restore to them that holiness and government
      which Heaven designed them to enjoy. Reason and revelation
      concentrate their light in the human breast, and prompt us
      to contemplate with wonder the stupendous works of our
      glorious Author, 'to look through Nature up to Nature's
      God,' and to behold also the mighty changes and revolutions
      which have occurred on the great theatre of nations."

This address, which is full of historical remark and practical
reflection, is throughout a cool and rational view of the topics
introduced. He glances over the discovery of the Continent, the
settlement of the Colonies, the Indian, French, and American wars, the
memory of heroes, the effect of America on foreign nations, the origin
of the two forms of government, monarchical and republican, locating the
former at Egypt and the latter at Rome. After assigning five or six
reasons showing wherein the American government is better than any
other, he contrasts its glories with other nations, and with the savage
state which had, not long previous, occupied the same theatre of action.
He says:--

      "Ours is the best government on the earth. 1. Because it
      affords greater privileges than are enjoyed in any other
      nation. In no other country do Jews and Gentiles enjoy
      equal rights; and it is only in North America that a
      descendant of Abraham can _own_ a foot of land. 2. Because
      our government establishes an equality of rights among all
      classes of citizens, unknown among other nations. 3.
      Because we have a form of government and laws, not
      arbitrarily imposed, but of our own choice. 4. Because we
      have a voice in the election of all the officers who make
      and administer the laws. 5. Because the liberties of
      conscience are enjoyed by all. 6. Because our government
      establishes no theory of religion in favor of any one sect.
      Among the nations it has been thought a great honor to have
      some established mode of religion. But how gross the error!
      We might, with even more propriety, prescribe to our
      subjects a system of diet, or a course of medicine. Indeed,
      there was once a law in France which prohibited a physician
      from giving an _emetic_ in any case; law excluded
      _potatoes_ as an article of food, and even in Massachusetts
      the legislature once decreed that every man's hair should
      be cut, that none should wear it long.

      "Would you see the beauties of _law_ religion? In Babylon,
      the king set up a golden image and commanded all to
      worship it; in consequence of a refusal, Daniel was cast
      into the lions' den. Herod commanded all the young children
      to be slain. This was _law_ religion. Saul of Tarsus
      obtained letters from the priests to drag men and women to
      prison who believed in Jesus. This was _law_ religion.
      Paul, Silas, Peter and John, were whipped and imprisoned
      for preaching Christ. A holy Jesus was condemned by false
      witnesses, and by wicked hands was slain. This was _law_
      religion. Charles IX, of France, during his reign, put to
      death 300,000 Protestants, of which he often afterwards
      made his boasts; Louis IV succeeded him, and in his days
      there were put to death in England, 1,200,000. This was
      _law_ religion. Add to these the reign of Queen Mary. From
      such religion, gracious Lord, evermore deliver us. In good
      old Connecticut it was once believed that the use of
      tobacco was the great and crying sin of the world.
      Accordingly, an edict was passed that if any man was known
      to use it within a mile of any house, he should be
      subjected to a heavy fine. How undignified government may
      become when it abandons its legitimate aims! True religion
      never needed the aid of the sword, nor the authority of
      human law to enforce it. It is able to support itself and
      all who embrace it.

      "No country has risen to rank, power, and respectability so
      rapidly as the United States. England has been six hundred
      years in arriving at what she now is. France has stood
      eight hundred years as a nation. Austria has had one
      thousand years of advancement from her primitive barbarous
      state. Russia, in this respect, most resembles the United
      States, for in the space of one century, and under the
      influence of one man, she has risen to rank and authority
      in the civilized world. But how interesting is the
      reflection, that two centuries ago, this land, which is
      now ornamented with villages, highways and vineyards, was a
      howling wilderness. It is now a fruitful field. Arts and
      sciences here flourish, while mechanism exhibits its
      glories on every hand. Oh, favored America! Prosperity be
      thine forever. Be an asylum to the thousands who throng thy
      shores to escape the rage of foreign tyrants. Over them
      extend thy protecting banner. Thy fame is known throughout
      the earth; thy sons are honored in every nation.
      Righteousness has exalted us. 1. In enjoyment. 2. In
      usefulness. 3. In honor. 4. In the favor of Heaven. With
      all the world we are now at peace; plenty crowns our
      cheerful toil; party rage gradually subsides as light
      advances, and truly may every American say, 'The lines are
      fallen to me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly

      "Before me are aged veterans of the Revolution. Honored
      fathers, your names and services are not forgotten by your
      country. Let your hearts expand in gratitude to God, who
      has more than crowned your sanguine hopes. Before me are
      many who were active in the preservation of the Republic
      during the conflicts of the late war, whose services have
      saved our wives from the tomahawk of the savage, our
      daughters from the power of a hostile foe, and our helpless
      innocents from the grasp of unsparing violence. On you
      shall rest their grateful recollections. May you imitate
      the virtues of your ancestors, be free in deed, and long
      enjoy the blessings of the Republic."

As space, in a degree, is limited, I shall offer but one more address,
delivered in the city of New York, May 1, 1836, at the ordination of the
Rev. D. F. Ladley. At the house of Rev. I. N. Walter, whose cordial and
extensive hospitality must still be remembered by hundreds who have
been his guests, I had the pleasure to meet Mr. B., a few days previous
to the ordination services of May 1. Having listened to the delivery of
the charge, which was extemporaneous in its manner, it become my
surprise afterward, that so little of the impression there made should
have been given to the written statement. After the ordination sermon
had been preached by Mr. Walter, Mr. Badger, who was seated in the
altar, arose and said:--

      "BROTHER LADLEY,--It becomes my duty, by the arrangements
      of the solemn exercises of this day, in behalf of those
      ministers who have united in your ordination--this church
      and the whole body of Christians with which you stand
      connected, to deliver to you on this occasion, in the name
      of the great Head of the church, a charge to be faithful
      and to perform all the duties now devolving upon you as an
      administrator, with dignity and integrity. You now fill one
      of the most important stations ever occupied by a human
      being. A minister of the Gospel, an ambassador of the Lord
      Jesus, you bear a message of eternal life to dying men.
      Your work is to save perishing sinners from the miseries of
      sin and the wrath to come; your station is responsible,
      your work is arduous, but your reward is sure. The
      strongest who have ever entered this important field have
      trembled at the thought of the greatness of the work and
      the awful responsibilities of the station, and no doubt you
      have been ready to exclaim, 'Who is sufficient for these
      things?' That you may be able to occupy the holy ground on
      which you are called in the providence of God to stand,
      with satisfaction to yourself and profit to your hearers,
      suffer me to introduce for your solemn consideration the
      following leading points:

      "1. You should be truly pious. No man, without a genuine
      experience and the constant influence of true piety upon
      his heart and life, is fit for an ambassador of Jesus
      Christ. Sin is odious in whatever form or place it exhibits
      itself. In the profane circle, in the gambler's group, in
      the drunkard's shop, in the vilest streets and haunts of
      wickedness in this great city, how hateful it appears. But
      it appears not so bad as it would in the parlors of the
      rich, in the circle of learned and refined society, in the
      halls of justice, the councils of the nation, or in the
      house of religious worship. In no person does sin appear so
      bad as in a minister of the Gospel; and in no place is it
      so unfit as in the sacred desk. What would be considered
      innocent in another man, in another place, would be
      regarded as impious in you while ministering at the _altar
      of a holy God_. Your life must be pure, your conversation
      blameless, and your heart must cherish holy affections for
      the people you address; it should be like the pot of
      incense which sent forth sweet odors constantly to God.
      Your life must be one scene of solitude, study, and
      devotion. You must be so far crucified to this vain world,
      that prayer, preaching, and all your sacred work shall be
      your meat, your drink, your theme, your life. Be ye holy
      that bear the vessels of the Lord.

      "You have doubtless seen many enter the work of the
      ministry with but poor success,--men of talents, of
      erudition, fine orators, who never witness the conversion
      of souls; whose labors appear to make the sinner harder,
      and more averse to the Gospel, and to divide and separate
      the precious flock of Christ. The reason is plain; such
      ministers are not enough like Christ, are not in the spirit
      of the Gospel they profess to preach. Good men are sure of
      success, be their talents few or many; Christ is with them,
      and the word will prove a savor of life unto life. If you
      are and continue to be a good man,--have salt in
      yourself,--go to your work with prayer, perform your duties
      faithfully, come down from your pulpit on all occasions
      with a conscience void of offence towards God and man; your
      labors will be a blessing to the world, your peace will be
      like a river, and your reward will be great in heaven.
      Therefore, dear brother, suffer me to exhort you on this
      solemn occasion, while you stand upon the threshold of your
      great work, to study and labor, every day of your life, to
      possess and enjoy genuine piety in the sight of God. This
      will give life and energy to all your labors, and will be a
      source of never-failing consolation in every hour of

      "2. The great object of your labors should be to make
      others pious. Every sermon should be one persuasive oration
      for men to be good. To win the applause of your hearers, to
      instruct them in the theory of the Christian religion, is
      not enough. Thousands of such superficial Christians will,
      no doubt, sink down to hell. Gospel truth must be set home
      in faithfulness to the sinner's heart He must be made to
      _feel_ that unless he is born again he cannot see the
      kingdom of God. The minister should never feel satisfied
      with the condition of his hearers unless he is confident
      that they are '_in Christ_'--'_are new creatures_'--that
      with them '_old things are passed away and all things are
      become new_.' In order to be successful in producing
      spiritual reform, all your addresses and labors must assume
      the tone and character of friendship, and of kind entreaty.
      You can never frighten rational intelligences into the love
      of God; you cannot drive men into the kingdom of heaven;
      you cannot storm and force sinners home to the bosom of the
      Saviour. But, Sir, you can reason with them, you can
      persuade, entreat, and pray them in Christ's stead to be
      reconciled to God. You must exhibit the glorious majesty
      and bountiful dealings of the great God, the atonement, the
      sufferings, the love and compassion of the glorious
      Redeemer, the intelligence, doctrine, promises and claims
      of the Gospel, which is the power of God unto salvation.
      These truths, proclaimed in the right manner, and under the
      direction of the right spirit, will surely produce the
      desired effect. Remember that when you have influenced one
      sinner to forsake the error of his ways and to embrace and
      conform to the Saviour, you have accomplished more than
      when you have made any number of wrangling proselytes to
      party. To win men to Christ, and to make them good, is the
      great object to which your energies should be devoted.

      "3. It is your duty to cultivate holiness, union, and zeal
      in the church of God. A careless way of living, a vain, a
      licentious, a cruel and haughty spirit should never be
      encouraged by a minister of Christ. Every disciple of Jesus
      should be plainly taught that without holiness no man can
      see the Lord.

      "Again, look abroad in Christendom and behold the divided
      and subdivided flock of Christ. See the infidel vulture
      feasting upon the havoc which wicked and unskilful
      ministers have made in Zion. While you behold this gloomy
      picture, and listen to the holy injunction of the great
      Head of the church for his people to be _one_; raise the
      warning voice, lift the banner of truth, and with the
      authority of Heaven, plead for UNION AND PEACE among all
      that love and serve God.

      "Also labor to encourage _zeal_ for the truth, and liberty
      of the Gospel among the saints. The Catholics are zealous,
      infidels are zealous, proud sectarians are compassing sea
      and land to make proselytes; and saints who have no creed
      but the Bible, and no master but Christ, should be zealous
      to advance and promulgate the truth. Influence should be
      exerted, talent should be employed, and a part of our
      earthly treasures should be cheerfully dedicated to the
      holy cause. These things you should teach and urge upon the
      consideration of all who love the truth.

      "4. I charge you to love the cause, and to consider no
      sacrifice too great for its advancement. The nature of your
      calling is such that you cannot with propriety enter into
      the speculations of the world. The prospect, therefore, of
      worldly honor and worldly treasure, must be laid aside for
      the humble cross of the meek and lowly Jesus. You should
      glory in nothing save the cross, by which you are crucified
      to the world and the world unto you. Your work as
      evangelist will separate you from many of the friends of
      your youth, and deprive you of a thousand domestic joys
      which are the portion of your brethren in a private circle.
      Also your work is hard and laborious, which has caused
      thousands of the best constitutions to sink under it. I
      have been devoted to the ministry only twenty-four years,
      and have seen many of my first associates, young and in the
      prime of life, sink under their labors into premature
      graves. I have seen the strong and robust youth, whose eye
      was bright, whose nerve was strong, whose cheek was like
      the rose, when he entered the work; but after a few years,
      he falters, he fails, he dies, a holy martyr to the truth.
      I trust, Sir, you have seriously counted the cost, and
      received Christ at the loss of all things. How will
      unfaithful ministers appear in the great day, who have
      sought the applause of men, studied their own ease, and
      made no sacrifice for the cause of God? If we suffer with
      him on earth, we shall be glorified with him in heaven.

      "5. Shun the delusion and wickedness of sectarism. This is
      an age of party, of sectarian rage and bitterness. It is a
      time of universal strife, excitement and war. The civil and
      religious world are in a state of unnatural and
      unreasonable commotion. Almost every subject is driven to
      an alarming extreme, and the basest measures are sometimes
      employed to advance sectarian objects. What blindness and
      delusion mark the progress of sectarism! What cruelty and
      wickedness follow in her train! The commands and
      institutions of Jesus are trampled under foot, and
      brotherly love and Christian forbearance are banished far
      from the soul of the bigot. This, doubtless, is the time
      spoken of in the Scriptures, when the heavens and the earth
      are to be shaken. Now is the time for the man of God to be
      cool and candid. Never descend from your high and holy
      calling to the low pursuits of grovelling sectarism; never
      forsake the great message of love and salvation you are
      destined to proclaim, to mingle in the petty wrangles of
      party. Never turn aside from the path of justice and
      charity to vend the cruel slanders of the times, or to
      censure and condemn a brother who differs from you in
      opinion. Let justice, kindness and charity mark all your
      proceedings, and you will be a good minister of Christ, and
      a light in the world. Be a CHRISTIAN, A LIBERAL, GENUINE
      CHRISTIAN; and never suffer any sectarian act of cruelty to
      tarnish your fame, nor wound your conscience.

      "6. Be patient in the sufferings, and humble in the success
      that may attend your ministry. One of the greatest arts of
      human happiness is to keep the mind, under all
      circumstances, in one even, regular position, neither too
      much elated by flattering prospects, nor too much depressed
      by misfortunes. It requires as much strength and exertion
      to sustain ourselves against the temptations and
      allurements of prosperity, as it does to bear up under the
      heavy pressure of adversity. We see but few men who are
      raised to important stations in life, who have sufficient
      wisdom and strength to act the part of plain, natural,
      sensible men. See a person raised from poverty to wealth by
      some unexpected smile of fortune; how frequently he becomes
      a proud, haughty, intemperate novice. Some men raised to
      important stations in State, are filled with vanity and
      egotism; useless, hateful sycophants. As lamentable as the
      fact is, in the church likewise this trait of human
      weakness is sometimes discovered. But a man who is filled
      with pride and importance on being inducted into office in
      the Church of God, has no just views of himself or his
      calling, and is altogether unfit for the station he fills.
      Such vain and deceived persons will be lords over God's
      heritage, are miserable examples to the flock of Christ;
      their labors will be a constant source of corruption and
      temptation to the saints, and the sooner congregations are
      purged from such tyrants, such wells without water, the

      "My brother, when prosperity smiles all around, when your
      labors are crowned with a rich harvest, when your praise
      and popularity are the theme of every tongue, and
      affectionate greetings and cheering smiles of applause are
      seen in every countenance; then, oh! then be humble; like
      Mary, weep at the feet of Jesus, and press the _holy cross_
      closer and closer to your trembling heart, and bless the
      Lamb of God, that his blood was ever applied to such a
      sinner. On the other hand, when afflictions gather thick in
      your path, when base envy shall prompt the tongue of
      slander to assail you, when the storms of persecution shall
      gather in threatening aspect on every side, and pale
      poverty stare you in the face; then is the time to collect
      all your energies, all your strength, and all your
      fortitude. Then, while you repose with unshaken confidence
      on the immutable promises of JEHOVAH, be sure to put forth
      your efforts still for the promotion of holy truth; be the
      same man in _spirit_ and in _life_ now, that you wore in
      your favored days of success. Never suffer your heart to
      indulge despair under any circumstances, and ever wear a
      becoming cheerfulness upon your countenance. But, Sir, I
      must close, by expressing my happiness in my short
      acquaintance with you--my confidence in your ability and
      integrity, and my fervent wish for your prosperity,
      happiness and success. And when the Great Shepherd shall
      come to gather all his faithful watchmen, and his precious
      elect from the four winds of heaven, may you be numbered
      among the sanctified, and meet the precious souls for whom
      you have labored on earth, at God's right hand! AMEN."

His sermons, not being written, cannot be offered to the world. They
only live in the effects they produced, and in the memories of the
people; and his written plots were so brief, that their presentation
would be but the mockery of a just idea of the discourses given. I will,
therefore, not transcribe them; these plots, however, range over every
variety of subject. He once said to a few young ministers, that he
disliked the plan of announcing to a congregation, at the commencement,
the _order_ of a subject, for the reason that it gave them the
opportunity of anticipating too readily what he would say. "Let the
order of the subject unfold to them as newly as possible," was his usual
motto in preaching. He also said:--"Be sure to preach so plain that the
most ignorant person in the house will understand you; then even the
learned will be pleased." A very conscientious man who believed in the
annihilation of the wicked--which he called the _second death_--once
came to him for advice in relation to its having a prominent place in
his ministry. "I will tell you," said Mr. Badger, "what to preach.
Preach _life_. Preach _life_, my brother; the people want _life_, not

A sermon for moral enterprise he gave at Iona, N. Y., January, 1835,
could it be given as he spoke it, would do more toward setting forth his
pulpit ability than all we can publish or say on the subject. His text
was Neh. 2: 20: "The God of heaven, he will prosper us; therefore let us
arise and build." The same might be said of any of his ablest
discourses; this is mentioned simply because it was the first sermon I
ever heard him preach. As the plot of a sermon, then delivered on the
excellency of the Gospel, lies before me, I will present it, it being a
fair specimen of his usual manner of committing the points of a sermon
to paper. Text, Rom. 1: 16: "I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ."

      "1. To arrive at a state in which we glory in the Gospel
      above all other institutions and systems, is the highest
      condition of perfection on earth.

      "Reasons why we should not be ashamed of the Gospel: 1. The
      dignity of its author. 2. Its authenticity. 3. Its salutary
      influence on society. It civilizes man; it elevates woman.
      It enlightens, convicts, and saves sinners. It unites
      Christians; is the bond of society. 4. Its doctrine is
      rational and consistent. 5. Its institutions are all
      agreeable. 6. Its worship is satisfying and delightful. 7.
      Its end and object is immortality."

In passing over his dedication services, one is oft times struck with
the moral weight and elegance of the passages from which he spoke, as,
for instance, at the consecration of the Christian chapel, September,
1832, in Canandaigua, N. Y., he addressed the people from John 8: 32:
"Ye shall know the TRUTH, and the truth shall make you free." He dwelt
on the extent, the power, and the excellence of truth, the conditions of
knowing it, and the freedom it brings. In speaking on the last division
of the subject, he alluded to four evils from which the truth liberates
believers, namely, ignorance, sin, the misery of guilt, and the
enslaving fear of death. On the last idea, he dwelt with peculiar force,
showing how the revelation of immortality dissipates death's fears and
glooms. Temples of worship, indeed, derive much of their sacredness from
the consideration that they are meant to be temples of eternal,
imperishable truth.

Also at Berlin, N. Y., 1834, he spoke at the consecration of the
Christian chapel, from Rev. 22: 1, 2: "And he showed me a pure river of
water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and
of the Lamb. In the midst of the street, and on either side of the
river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits,
and yielded her fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for
the healing of the nations." Only those who have seen his ingenious
dealing with passages of lively imagery can imagine the exhibition of
thought this text would inspire, whilst he traced the clear Gospel river
which flowed, not from human creeds and institutions, but from the
eternal throne, causing life, in its large variety, to bloom in its

April, 1824, he held a public debate with a liberally educated clergyman
at Rochester, N. Y., in which, by general consent, he triumphantly
maintained his cause. The rank of Jesus appears to have been the
principal topic. April 7, 1825, at Royalton, N. Y., he preached two
sermons, embracing the supreme deity of Jesus, and the doctrine of the
Trinity in reply to Rev. Mr. Colton. Sermon first is founded on Rom. 9:
5: "Of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God
blessed forever." Sermon second is founded on 1 Tim. 2: 5: "For there is
one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus." In
laying out his work on the former passage, he observed the following

      "1. Explain the text. 2. Give a general view of the
      Christian doctrine of God and the Son. 3. Examine and
      criticise Mr. Colton's sermon. 4. Give my reasons for
      rejecting the doctrine of the Trinity. In explaining the
      passage, he says, 'I regard this text as a simple
      declaration relative to the fulfilment of the promises
      alluded to in the preceding verse--promises made to the
      Israelites, of whom, as concerning the flesh, Christ
      came--that is, _of_ or _through_ those Israelites his
      lineage is traced, and to them was the promise of the
      Messiah made.' This is the first doctrine of the text, and
      is so self-evident that it requires no further remark.

      "The second thing in this verse is, that Christ is declared
      to be 'over all,' which represents his extensive reign, his
      universal dominion, his superintendency over all the
      affairs of the New Dispensation, his being head over all
      things unto the church, which is his body. 'The head of
      every man is Christ, and the head of Christ is God.' 1
      Cor. 11: 3--which agrees with the Saviour's final address
      to his apostles after his resurrection, 'All power is given
      unto me in heaven and in earth,' Matt. 28: 18. A beautiful
      description of his being first, of his having preëminence,
      is given, Col. 1: 18, 19: 'And he is the head of the body,
      the church: who is the _beginning_, the _first-born_ from
      the dead, that, in all things, he might have the
      preëminence; for it pleased the Father that in him should
      all fulness dwell.' There are but two rational conclusions
      that can be drawn from the words 'God blessed forever,' to
      neither of which have I any special objection. 1. That the
      promise is fulfilled, Christ is come, is over all,
      therefore bless God forever, or let God be blessed for
      ever, for his fulfilment of so great and glorious a
      promise; which accords with another expression of St. Paul,
      Rom. 9: 15: 'Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.'
      According to this view, it is only an exclamation of
      praise. 2. That he is 'blessed of God forever,' as the
      expressions--God blessed and blessed of God signify the
      same. He _was_ blessed of God, and he shall be blessed of
      him forever. God promised him, God sent him, God
      strengthened and glorified him, raised him from the dead,
      received him at his own right hand, and has committed to
      him judgment; and, under God, he shall reign over all till
      the last enemy is conquered. Where is the word or the idea
      of a Trinity in this text? I cannot find it."

In the last part of the discourse, he assigns seven reasons for
rejecting the Trinity, which are:--

      "1. It is not a doctrine of Revelation, but is an invention
      of men in a dark age. 2. It contradicts plain declarations
      of Scripture. 3. It contradicts reason. 4. It has always
      caused contention in the church, and now is the greatest
      subject of controversy in Christendom. 5. It is a doctrine
      which obliges its believers to contradict themselves in
      _preaching_ and in _prayer_. 6. It involves the idea it
      claims to despise--a _human_ Saviour, a _human_ atonement.
      7. It is the foundation of deism."

February, 1841, whilst conducting a series of meetings at Stafford, N.
Y., he was challenged into a public debate at Morganville, by Rev. J.
Whitney, an ultra Universalist, in which Mr. W. engaged to prove: 1.
That the last judgment is confined to this life. 2. The final salvation
of all men. 3. That ultra Universalism is better, in its moral tendency,
than any other system of faith. The order of discussion was a sermon
each. Mr. Badger spoke first, taking for his entire speech four hours
and twenty minutes. The plot of his sermon is very lengthy, and laid out
in the form of a massive strength. It was one of those masterly efforts
to which a successful reply would seem impossible.

       *       *       *       *       *

Volumes of interesting personal reminiscences, those that would be
characteristic of the man might be written, provided his contemporaries
would pour out their recollections in a form that would be available for
a writer's use. I would here narrate an incident given me on good
authority, which illustrates his readiness for an emergency. In the
village of his residence, some eight or ten years ago, the Episcopal
Church, and the citizens generally, had assembled in their chapel,
splendidly illuminated on Christmas Eve, expecting to hear a sermon for
the occasion from an Episcopal clergyman from a distance. The clergyman
arrived in town, but not sufficiently early to look over his papers, and
to prepare for the service. He declined to speak. The leading man of the
society, who felt deeply the disappointment, saw but one method by which
to save the credit of the occasion, which was to get Mr. Badger to
preach. No other clergyman would dare to attempt it. The people were
assembled, expectations were high. He at once came to Mr. Badger's
house, found that he had just returned from Lakeville, weary with labor,
and was reclining in front of the fire. He told him the facts of the
case, that he must go to the church and preach the sermon, that not a
moment could be lost. Mr. Badger arose, and without waiting to find a
text, to brush his coat, or to comb his hair, walked with him to the
chapel, entered the desk, and without much apology, gave, what the
citizens have ever since declared to be, a most eloquent and able
discourse--a better than which, they had never heard him give.

In the village of Springport, during his labors there, a few men of
skeptical cast of mind thought they would embarrass him by sending him a
text, accompanied by a respectful request that they would be glad to
hear him preach from it. The text was Ecc. 3: 21: "Who knoweth the
spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth
downward to the earth?" It was handed to him one evening, and he
preached from it the next. After speaking respectfully and thankfully of
his indebtedness to some three or four gentlemen for the subject on
which he should speak, he proceeded to give the import of the passage
thus: King Solomon, he said, was an observer, a thinker, and a man of
knowledge. He saw the two natures of man, his body and spirit: that as
respects the former, all go to one place, man and beast; but that
notwithstanding the plainness of these outward phenomena, an
impenetrable mystery remains in respect to the spirit of each. "Who
_knoweth_ the spirit of man that goeth upward?" that is, who
_comprehends_ it, who can declare the whole mystery of its powers? Who
comprehends the spirit of the beast?--this too is mystery. The wise man,
said Mr. Badger, knew the _limit_ of knowledge. After giving this view
of the passage, which cleared it of all imagined difficulty, and which
is justified by the letter of the text, he preached a sermon on the
immortal nature and destiny of man. Near the close, after applying the
subject quite effectively, he called attention to the object for which
the gentleman had given the text.

      "The only purpose," said he, "why this passage was sent me
      under these peculiar circumstances, was to establish the
      doctrine that _man_ is a _beast_, that he has only the
      destiny of a beast. This," said he, "is a grave position.
      Were I to meet one of those gentlemen to-morrow, and in my
      salutation call him a beast, would he not regard it as a
      gross insult? Look at the origin of this request. A few
      _men_, or _beasts_ if they are determined to have it so,
      meet and _talk_ about the Bible, the church, religion and
      the ministers. They say the Bible is a fable, religion is
      imagination, and the clergy are after the people's money.
      Now let us send the minister a text that proves there is no
      hereafter. Is not this conversation on a pretty high order
      of subjects for beasts? And this handwriting too (holding
      up the note) looks very handsome and fair for a beast.
      Animals are fast ascending."

The power of this satire, as given by him, was perfectly triumphant, and
it is needless to add that he was ever after left to choose his own
subjects. But in this line of remark we are obliged to desist, not
having been supplied with material for a chapter of personal

A few remarks from two or three of his contemporaries will close this
chapter. Rev. L. D. Fleming, of Rochester, N. Y., writes as follows:

      "He is associated with all the remembrances of my early
      Christian experience. In many respects he was an
      extraordinary man. Few men take as deep an interest in the
      wants and necessities of young ministers as he did. He was
      always ready to lift them up when through discouragement
      they were falling; and he had a most happy gift for drawing
      them out, for developing their mental resources, for
      inspiring them with hope when hopeless, and with that
      necessary self-reliance which many lack, and for the want
      of which many abandon their calling. He treated them not
      only as babes in Christ, 'feeding them with the sincere
      milk of the word,' but as fellows with him in the Gospel
      mission. This was an _inspiring fellowship_, where lay much
      of his hidden power. How often have I known him to ask the
      advice of the young minister on important subjects, not,
      probably, that he expected that they could unravel knotty
      questions, or enlighten him. He intended to draw them into
      a new field of thought, to set them in pursuit of their own
      resources, and to kindle up the fires of mentality as no
      other means would have done it. He had tact and talent
      peculiarly his own. His nature overflowed with the milk of
      human kindness; this, associated with his peculiar
      organization, gave him that great social power which was
      one characteristic of his life. Although I cannot hope by
      anything I can say, to add to his fame, I feel a pleasure
      in bearing testimony to those entrancing social qualities
      and Christian virtues, which should be emulated by all
      lovers of the Gospel he professed, and by which he became
      endeared to multitudes."

From Rev. O. E. Morrill, of Plainville, Onondaga County, N. Y., we take
the following lines:

      "Much has already been said, and well said by Messrs.
      Hazein and Fay, in their obituary notices, and it would
      seem superfluous in me to reiterate the same things. It may
      be proper for me to observe, that, within a few past years
      many of our worthy brethren in the ministry, with whom I
      have battled in the Lord's war for more than a quarter of a
      century, have retired from the battle field with an
      honorable discharge. The name of Joseph Badger now becomes
      classified with those of Peavy, Bailey, Clough, Morrison,
      Shaw, Fernald, and more recently with our deeply lamented
      brother Barr.

      "I knew all these men when young, and loved them as my own
      natural brothers. They were all pious, devoted ministers of
      the Gospel. They were persevering, faithful pioneers, and
      true to the spirit and doctrine of the Christian
      reformation. Men of the first class of natural talents, but
      of moderate literary accomplishments, they were
      emphatically a class of self-sacrificing men, public
      benefactors of our race. They commenced in the ministry
      when young, labored hard, fared hard, lived upon short pay,
      and survived to see their storm-beaten vessel under full
      sail before a refreshing breeze, and died in peace.

      "Of all these good men it may seem invidious to make a
      distinction, but without intending the least detraction
      from the rest of them, I may be permitted to say, that,
      from some strong affinity of our nature, or some other
      cause I cannot now explain, Mr. Badger was always nearer
      and dearer to me than either of the rest of them. We loved
      like Jonathan and David. Our souls were knit together. We
      were raised in adjoining towns in New Hampshire, and he was
      but a few years my senior. His whole nature was cheerful,
      his address familiar and easy, and all his associations
      were frank, kind, and interesting. His natural turn was
      affable, and he enjoyed sociability with an uncommon

      "In preaching, his voice was not heavy, but clear, soft,
      and musical, and capable of being heard at a good distance.
      His sermons were methodical, his ideas clear, distinct, and
      comprehensive. He was familiar with the Scriptures, and
      evinced a sufficient knowledge of books and of literature,
      for all practical purposes. He had a well-disciplined mind,
      a retentive memory, and a happy faculty of communication.
      He was never at a loss for words to express his thoughts,
      nor did he confuse his hearers with a redundancy of them.
      His preaching was not loud, but soft, easy, and pleasant to
      the hearer, yet pathetic and commanding. His manner was
      never boisterous, but mild, quiet, and agreeable. He never
      lost his balance of temper in debate, but always bore
      himself through with much unaffected pleasantry and good
      humor. He was a ready writer, a close thinker, a fair
      debater, a good editor, an excellent preacher, and a strong
      man. He was strictly evangelical in doctrine, according to
      Dr. L. Beecher's definition of that term. To the honor of
      his name be it said, he never had the least sympathy with
      Campbellism, Millerism, Calvinism, or Universalism, but was
      a whole-hearted Christian individually, theologically, and

      "To be sure, Brother Badger had his foibles, imperfections,
      and mortal weaknesses as well as other men; but now, having
      gone from us, and his account sealed up to the great day,
      let the broad mantle of Christian charity cover these
      forever, as he can give no further explanations, make no
      defence, nor be benefited by our limited extenuations.
      Peace to his ashes!"

Rev. J. Ross, of Charleston, N. Y., says:

      "My first acquaintance with Mr. Badger was, I think, in the
      fall of 1816. He then, in company with ministers Avery,
      Moulton, and J. L. Peavy, called at my father's house in
      Milton, Saratoga County, N. Y., and held a meeting. Mr.
      Peavy preached. This was a little over two years after my
      profession of religion, and the organization of the
      Christian church at Ballstown. There was then a church
      existing at Galway, ten or twelve miles distant, and
      brethren scattered throughout various towns in the
      vicinity. Jabez King and Philip Sandford, both young men,
      were nearly all the help we had in that vicinity. Mr.
      Badger and his associates called to hold a general meeting
      of all the brethren who could assemble at Galway, for the
      purpose of seeking out and commending to the work, such
      persons as gave evidence of having gifts profitable for the
      Gospel field. The meeting was held in Galway, in the first
      chapel ever erected by our people in the State of New York.
      A number of young and diffident brethren, who afterwards
      became ministers, were here taken by the hand, by those
      more experienced, and encouraged to improve their gifts,
      whilst the churches were taught their duty to them. The
      sympathy and union generated by that interview doubtless
      still live in several hearts. This was our first
      acquaintance; and the act of meeting for the encouragement
      of young men whose eye was on the ministry, I deem
      peculiarly characteristic of the subject of the memoir. No
      young man in the circle of his influence was permitted to
      hide a profitable gift in a napkin, or bury his talent in
      the earth. He knew how to draw out the most diffident,
      could make the most of them when drawn out, and none could
      inspire their minds with stronger fortitude. At our first
      conference at Hartwick, Otsego County, 1818, he was there
      the active, moving spirit of that body. And whatever of
      order and good arrangement we now have in our conferences
      and conventions, may be attributed, more than to any other
      cause, to the impetus given by him in those early times.

      "There was little of Don Quixote or of Utopianism in his
      constitution. He judged accurately of the effect of causes.
      He was cool, calm, and self-possessed amidst exciting
      scenes that moved the multitude; and wherever his Gospel
      labors proved effective, society was built up and order was
      established. He was a close observer of men and things,
      took the gauge and dimensions of men quickly, and it was
      usually safe to take his estimate as the true one. He saw
      coming events in the shadows which preceded them. Seemingly
      inspired with the sentiment that the Gospel was the
      God-appointed lever designed to lift the world from its
      moral degradation, he showed but little sympathy for any
      humanly devised means of reformation. '_The Gospel!_ THE
      GOSPEL! THE PURE GOSPEL!' was his cry for the cure of moral
      evil. A want of confidence in the many professedly
      reformatory measures and associations of the age was
      calculated to affect his popularity in many quarters, but
      he adhered unwaveringly to his motto, 'the Gospel.'

      "His sermons had method peculiar to himself. They always
      had order and arrangement; but the coherence of the parts
      was not always apparent to the casual observer. His manner
      in the pulpit was often playful, exciting a smile from the
      light-hearted, and sometimes a sigh or a tear from the most
      devout, as he rowed out into the sea of public discourse.
      But the scene gradually changed as he advanced in his
      labors, as his design began to be revealed, and his subject
      was applied. The sigh and tear were oft exchanged for
      songs, and the playful smile for prayer and tears. He
      always closed well.

      "As a writer 'he is known and read of all men.' His style
      is his own, plain, clear, ungarnished and straight-forward.
      For this difficult station of editor he had rare
      accomplishments; and the denomination have cause for
      lasting gratitude for the aid and encouragement rendered to
      inexperienced writers, and for the impetus he gave to this
      mode of teaching. A glimpse at those volumes of the
      Palladium, issued under his supervision, and then at the
      condition of the correspondents and contributors, or the
      original copy from which it was made, at once reveals the
      singular ability of the man. How a class of young writers
      clustered around him! A thousand blessings rest upon him

      "He had quick perception, great decision, and
      concentration. He habitually _thought_ at early dawn; and
      when his purposes were laid, every energy was concentrated
      upon that single point. In this he was a Washington, a
      Napoleon, a Wellington. As a man of tact I have not known
      his equal. To this quality we may ascribe much of his
      success in conducting the Palladium. Many who could have
      written a labored article as well, or better, could not
      have succeeded in conducting the paper at all. Many with
      resources would have produced a mole-hill when he formed a
      mountain. But we will not, we dare not, say that his
      positions and his means of sustaining them were always
      right. He was a man; and in this utterance we plainly say
      he was erring. The most we can say, the highest character
      we would give our brother is, we hope, we trust, we believe
      he was a CHRISTIAN."



As the value of men historically stands in close connection with the
ideas they represent, and with the movements in which they take part, it
is relevant to the present subject that we glance at the character of
the reformation in which Mr. Badger was the leading actor, and in whose
principles he lived and preached more than a third of a century. We read
the worth of a man in the value of the cause he aids. Mankind evidently
are saved, not by magic, but by principles. The moral benefactor,
therefore, is to be prized by the service he renders in making these
perfect in the knowledge, and effective in the practice of his fellows.
What, then, are the historical worth and characteristics of the
Christian Reformation, in whose ministry Mr. Badger was a star of
primary magnitude and brightness?

Its historical worth can now be stated but partially, as the half
century which has elapsed since the first declaration of principles is
too small a space of time for their determination in results. If, in all
reformatory movements, the conception, utterance, agitation, and
adoption of ideas, are the natural steps of progress by which new truths
become externized in permanent effects, we might well appropriate the
period of time here spoken of mostly to the preparatory stages of the
work, and look forward to the future for the final verdict which shall
declare its entire importance. This question cannot now be answered,
except by the ability which reads, in moral causes, the distant triumphs
they contain. As a future forest resides in present acorns, so great
future changes reside in present truths.

The religious sentiment has its eras in the world, its triumphs and
discouragements, as really as art and science have theirs; and between
its present state and final victories lie many great and earnest
revolutions. Three things may be safely premised on this subject: 1. The
religious sentiment is mighty and eternal in man, and therefore will
forever appear with prominence in human history. 2. There now exist all
the TRUTHS and all the PRINCIPLES that can ever possibly appear. 3. The
increasing _knowledge_ of truth, the _development_ of principles, the
revolutions that are needed for their establishment in the world--these
must continue. To truth no iota can ever be added, it being already
infinite; but its development in human history must, like human nature,
be progressive.

In looking over the world's religious phenomena, we notice, among the
defects, a mixture of truth with superstition, an ignorance of
everlasting law, which flows through all departments of being, and into
which all facts are resolved. In marking the particular line of religion
which forms the boundary of Christendom, we perceive, in the inclosure,
the abundance of sectarism, of intolerance and persecution, all growing
out of the immense importance which each sect attaches to its dogmas of
belief, to its name and organization. Prior to Protestantism, the
church, which has always boasted of its unity, imprisoned and burned the
heretic. The belligerent attitude of clergymen now conclusively proves
that theology, or divine science, is not understood; for it is
impossible that honest men should quarrel on any subject of which they
have a full comprehension. War, therefore, is the proof of ignorance,
and ignorance is the mother of intolerance and persecution. As these are
the most prominent evils the history of the church presents, we are
obliged to highly honor the principles which melt these asperities into
charity, as they shine from the effulgent heaven of a wider love. Under
the stern authority of creeds, a manly freedom will scarcely grow. The
Christian reformation, which began with the masses, and not with a
caste, in the first years of the nineteenth century, contained
principles which liberate the spirit from narrow and oppressive bonds,
which open comparatively a whole broad horizon over the man of faith,
and form a larger brotherhood than mere uniformity of belief can ever
create. In naming distinctly four elements of that reformation, the view
here offered will be clearly verified.

1. It cast aside sectarian names. To witness the power of names, whether
political or religious, to learn their efficiency in perpetuating a
division, one has only to look at the different parties into which men
are separated. Often, it is the name mostly that holds a party together,
and that forms the limit of sympathy and fraternization. But it was no
philosophical reasons that led the people to throw off all sectarian
names. It was reverence to the New Testament, and to the holy sympathies
of Christian fellowship, which perpetually pass beyond the artificial
boundaries of sect. In reverence to the New Testament, they assumed the
Catholic name--Christian, and conceded it to all of every class who
walked in purity of life.

2. They exalted the Bible to the exclusion and rejection of human
creeds. Creeds cannot be wiser than to men who made them; as these are
weak, fallible creatures, it is in vain to seek the Rock of Ages among
their products. It may be said that no one can attend to every branch of
business; that if one man makes ploughs he should be excused from making
coffins, and be supplied from his neighbor's shop; that the unthinking
masses, whose toil absorbs their energy, cannot form their own belief;
that each, out of the storehouse of creeds already made, should find
what fits his own dimensions. This may not be the worst advice to one
who, mentally, is ready to die, and needs wherewith to be entombed; but
to him who is resolved to live, it is the veriest mockery. If the Bible
is, according to the general concession, the firmament of suns and
stars, that bends morally and religiously over mankind, why should the
torch and taper lights of theological invention be substituted in its
place? In the daytime is not the radiance of the sun sufficient? The
cause which induced these reformers to reject the man-made creeds, was
simply reverence to the Book of books, and to the individual right of
every man to learn truth for himself, undictated by the authority of

3. They claimed for each person a perfect, individual freedom. Romanism
denies this right; and, though Protestanism has usually admitted it in
theory, it has always Romanized in practice. Who is authorized to be the
master of my thought? Who is commissioned from on high to tell me what I
am to believe? Who or what is entitled to an arbitrary throne in this
free realm? To the fish God gave an element in which they are free; to
the birds and trees he was equally kind. Nothing grows proportionately,
truly, except freedom. To man the High One has given the boundless
element of TRUTH, a shoreless and fathomless ocean to swim in; and who
shall here compel his path? There was manliness in the words of Henry,
"Give me liberty or give me death."

4. EXPERIENCE they made the basis of religion. Their bond of fellowship,
therefore, did not say, What, sir, is your opinion? It asked the deeper
questions, Where is your heart? How do you live? Of the Holy Spirit are
you born? It is true that the doctrine of one God in one person, of
Jesus as his son, became with them a general belief, probably from the
fact that a full surrender of their minds to the Scriptures as exclusive
authority necessitated these convictions; but no notions of Trinity or
Unity were ever thought of as bonds of fellowship. The spirit and
doctrine of that movement cried to men and women of all sects and of no
sect, "If you walk by faith in the Son of God, if you love the Lord
Jesus, if you try to live the holy life, come to our embrace, come to
the symbolical supper of our Lord." The full history of these sentiments
in the world, the future must write. They are already introduced; and
from the democratic turn which thought and education are everywhere
taking, from the liberal spirit which every new, valuable work in
literature breathes, from the generally increasing aversion to dogmatic
theology, we opine that they are destined, through many agencies, to
triumph sublimely in the Christian world. These fathers, like those of
the Mayflower, wrought from reverence and duty, and no more than they,
foresaw the distant results of the principles they espoused. But time is
logical, and reproduces the proper fruit of every seed. The movement was
self-relying, but more especially was it God-relying. Human nature in
its view is not self-illumined even in its dutiful action, as the earth
by no majestic revolving can cause the day. This proceeds from the sun;
and from the Eternal Sun are all spirits lighted.

In the cause of education, Mr. Badger's interest and care survived his
ability to speak or write on general questions. On the new educational
movement, which has since resulted in the establishment of Antioch
College, at Yellow Springs, Ohio, under circumstances of much promise,
he looked with anxious and hopeful solicitude, always inquiring of the
success of the enterprise; and it may be justly said that his last years
were full of the conviction that more education is the strongly
available instrument of power. He lived to see the denomination with
whom his lot was cast, become enthusiastically awake in behalf of
culture. He saw it and rejoiced. Though his people, from the warm,
intense faith through which they had early looked to the region of the
spiritual and the supernatural for their resources of conquest, had
allowed human accomplishment to be in a degree eclipsed, they never
cherished substantially the least irreverence to science; for the
reverence of truth, native in all spirits, extends to science, which is
nothing more than truth made known. Against this precious light, which
comes out of nature to instruct us of her hidden property and law, no
antagonism ever appeared. Not culture, not science, but the
objectionable narrowness of the usual theological training; this was the
main centre of their established prejudice. The Seminary at Starkey, the
Graham Institute of North Carolina, and the College in Ohio, are earnest
monuments of their deep regard for the culture which belongs to
literature and to science; the last named success being, all things
considered, the largest movement under the guiding impulse of liberal
faith, that has ever occurred on the continent. The genius of the
nineteenth century is _to educate_. Even the elements are disciplined to
do for man, to prepare his timbers, to print his thoughts, to carry him
on his journey, to bring him tidings; and in no department of human
interest and enterprise are raw forces ranked in value with educated
power. From the ignorance in which life universally begins, and from the
infinity of unconquered truth that ever remains to be learned, it
follows, as by unyielding necessity, that the highway that leads from
man as a savage to man as the ripened glory of the universe, is none
other than education.

Mr. Badger, in his time and way, was indeed an educator (_e-duco_, to
_call out_), and his whole action tended to impart discipline to the
means and forces about him. His position on this subject was one he
never changed; and it is remarkable that through his long life there are
no contradictions between his avowed opinions at different times. In the
thorough retrospect, from the close to the beginning of his public
career, one is impressed with the idea of matureness, of an
extraordinary consistency. Each part agrees with the rest. So strikingly
manifest is this trait, that we are not surprised at the words of Mr.
Wellons, of Virginia, who said, "I have read his writings from my
boyhood, and I must say he was the most consistent man I ever knew."

Though science is entitled to reverence from its sacredness, and to
regard from its ministry of uses and its utility in breaking up the dark
empire of superstition, it was religion in its great and catholic
elements, that won the central worship of his heart. The one God, the
one Christ, the one Spirit, the one Gospel, the one brotherhood, the one
salvation, freedom, and fellowship of saints; these were his themes. He
loved these principles with a firm and steadfast affection. As long as
he could walk, even with assistance, he urged his way to the sanctuary
of their proclamation. These pioneers were indeed strong, invincible
spirits, who prove that the men who make a people are greater than those
whom the people make.


[1] Mrs. Peaslee Badger died 1834, at Compton, Lower Canada. Major
Peaslee Badger died at Gilmanton, N. H. M. P. Cogswell, in transmitting
the news of his death, says--"I now have the painful duty to perform of
giving you information of the decease of your honored father, who died
at Gilmanton, October 13, 1846, at 12 o'clock at night, and was buried
on this day, the 15th, in the old family burial ground, by the side of
his father and mother. The Rev. Daniel Lancaster preached a good
discourse at our old Smith Meeting House, from Ecc. 12: 7; he spoke well
and feelingly of the Major; of his high order of talents, of his
remarkably retentive memory of the Scriptures, and so forth. Thus has
our honored father gone down to the grave, as said Mr. Lancaster, like a
shock of corn fully ripe in its season, at the age of 92 years and six
months, lacking ninedays. The day was beautiful for the season; Gov.
Badger and family, as likewise all the relatives in Gilmanton and
vicinity were present, and the whole scene was solemnly impressive."

[2] The History of Gilmanton, from the first settlement to the present
time, 1845. By Daniel Lancaster, p. 256. Also, Memoir of Hon. Joseph
Badger, p. 1.

[3] See American Quarterly Register, vol. xiii, No. 3, p. 317.

[4] 3,450 ft. high.

[5] 3,320 ft.

[6] 4,636 ft.

[7] 1000 ft.

[8] 6,314 ft.

[9] This title was then very commonly given to all Baptist ministers.
For some years, however, it has been gradually growing obsolete.

[10] This and its accompanying stanza.

[11] At Ionia, Onondaga Co., N. Y., 1835.

[12] Rom. 1: 16.

[13] This part of the journal was written in 1816.

[14] His brother, Peaslee Badger.

[15] The one that coerced him to pray when a child.

[16] This letter, and another signed by two deacons in Newhampton, are
before me. They witness to the great power and success of his ministry;
also to his Christian life.

[17] Proverbs, 27: 7.

[18] The same mentioned on page 21.

[19] Zech. 14: 7.

[20] In a sense that to you needs no explanation.

[21] Ps. 7: 16.

[22] Ps. 9: 15.

[23] Ecc. 10: 8.

[24] Acts 20: 31.

[25] John 17: 3; John 1: 18; Matt. 11: 27.

[26] Then Ontario County.

[27] In 1818, this town was constituted out of the town of Pittsford.

[28] It is stated that the first regularly organized Conference in the
United States, occurred at Hartwick, Otsego County, N. Y., 1818. See
Pall., vol. ii., p. 169.

[29] Now Stafford, Genesee County, N. Y.

[30] Christian Herald, Portsmouth, N. H., Vol. II, p. 61.

[31] Christian Herald, Portsmouth, N. H., Vol. II, p. 63.

[32] Both were active members of the Union Convention held in Covington,
Genesee, January, 1820.

[33] His degree in Masonry was the Royal Arch.

[34] At first, it was a voluntary assemblage, called general because all
denominations were invited to participate; later, delegates from local
Conferences were appointed.

[35] Mr. Church lived in the town of Friendship, six miles west from Mr.

[36] Her mother, Mr. How's first wife, died 1816.

[37] The La Fayette Ball given at that time, he says, cost $100,000; and
about 12,000 persons were said to have been present.

[38] This spring emits carbureted hydrogen gas. It has not only lighted
the apartments of the citizens, but has been used in cooking.

[39] Then all the towns east of the Genesee, in this section, were in
Ontario County; Monroe County was not then formed.

[40] In a later address of Mr. Loring, than the one whose statements
were quoted by Mr. Himes, published in 1844, which was the 40th
anniversary of the Boston Church, Mr. L. observes--"Elder Badger arrived
in September, and commenced preaching. His labors were successful, and
many gathered to hear the word. In the winter following, a considerable
number professed conversion, and were received by the Church. Under date
of Lord's day, March 23, 1828, there stands on the Church record the
following entry:--'At the close of the afternoon service, Elder Badger,
with the candidates for baptism, previously prepared, proceeded in ten
carriages to South Boston, where they were followed by a large portion
of the congregation. After solemn prayer, the ordinance was administered
after the example of our glorious Lord.' Elder Badger remained with us
about a year, and during his stay I believe this house was generally as
well filled as at any period since its erection."--p. 18.

[41] J. G. Loring and Wm. Gridley are deceased; the former but recently.

[42] Mrs. Badger.

[43] His answer to the committee, in which he declines their invitation,
is dated at Boston, August 14, 1828.

[44] Gospel Luminary, Vol. III, p. 95.

[45] The name of his residence in Mendon.

[46] Bible Doctrine of God, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, Atonement and
Faith; to which is prefixed an Essay on Natural Theology and the Truth
of Revelation. By Wm. Kinkade. Revised by J. Badger.

[47] Pall., Vol. II, p. 287. A general convention from the different

[48] In the town of Broadalbin.

[49] Now Fulton County.

[50] Pall., Vol. II, p. 387.

[51] The leading men in starting the general association and the
publication of the Christian Palladium were O. E. Morrill, J. Badger, J.
Bailey, B. Miles, and others. O. E. Morrill was particularly active and
prominent in this useful movement.

[52] The _debate_ with R. D. Owen, as it was called, was evidently no
_debate_. No direct issue was formed between them, and there was no
direct conflict of mind with mind on any essential question. It was
mostly the rare phenomenon of two men talking alternately in the _same
place_ on _different_ subjects.

[53] Debate on the Roman Catholic religion, pages 59, 186, 172.

[54] Editor of the Christian Teacher.

[55] J. J. Harvey.

[56] At Marion, Wayne County, N. Y.

[57] 1828.

[58] January, 1844.

[59] To Joseph Marsh, Editor of the Palladium.

[60] The Christian Church at Royalton, N. Y., was the first erected in
the State west of the Genesee river.

[61] One of the means of torture in the Spanish Inquisition.

[62] Faust, p. 89.

[63] The first local Conference regularly organized in the United
States, for the transaction of general business and for the keeping of a
pure ministry, was called by him at Hartwick, N. Y., 1818. He was the
leading spirit of that body, and ably met the objections that were
raised against its objects. In 1817 he wrote some letters to individual
preachers, pleading for an association of churches and ministers, to
which ministers should be responsible for the characters they sustain.

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