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Title: Elijah Kellogg - The Man and His Work
Author: Various
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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[Illustration: ELIJAH KELLOGG AT SIXTY-FIVE. 1878.]

                            ELIJAH KELLOGG

                         THE MAN AND HIS WORK

                           FROM HIS WRITINGS

                               EDITED BY

                       WILMOT BROOKINGS MITCHELL

                            BOWDOIN COLLEGE

                       [Illustration: Colophon]

                            LEE AND SHEPARD

                 COPYRIGHT, 1903, BY LEE AND SHEPARD.

                      Published, November, 1903.

                        _All Rights Reserved._

                            ELIJAH KELLOGG.

                             Norwood Press
               J. S. Cushing & Co.--Berwick & Smith Co.
                        Norwood, Mass., U.S.A.


                         FRANK GILMAN KELLOGG


                       MARY CATHERINE BATCHELDER

                          THIS SCANTY RECORD

                                OF THE


                       IS RESPECTFULLY DEDICATED


This book makes no pretence of expounding the doctrines of the
theologian or analyzing the methods of the artist. It is simply a
remembrancer of a quaint and winning man for his intimate friends and
parishioners; for the boys who have delighted in his stories; for the
sailors whose lives he saved from shipwreck; for the college students
who learned from him a wisdom not to be found in books; for all, in
fact, to whom the memory of his unique personality is dear. With the
story of his life, with anecdote and reminiscence, with selections from
his speeches, sermons, letters, and journal, it aims to recall Elijah
Kellogg as he really was: the boy, tingling with life and full of fun
to his finger tips; the college student, genial, prankish, and zealous;
the farmer-preacher, devout and resourceful, making pen and book,
scythe and hoe, seine and boat, all his ready servants to do God’s
work; the author, finding his way straight to the heart of the growing
boy; the aged man, fond as ever of the soil and the sea, and after all
the rubs and chances of a long life, still young in spirit, strong in
faith, and free from bitterness and guile.

Acknowledgment is here due to Mr. Kellogg’s son and daughter, Mr. Frank
G. Kellogg and Mrs. Mary C. Batchelder, and to many of his intimate
acquaintances in Harpswell and Brunswick for information relating
to his early Harpswell life. Special acknowledgment is also due to
President William DeWitt Hyde for valuable advice concerning the
preparation of this book.

  W. B. M.

  November 23, 1903.




  THE BOY                                     1

  Rev. George Lewis, D.D., Pastor of Congregational
  Church, South Berwick, Maine.

  COLLEGE AND SEMINARY                       27

  Henry Leland Chapman, D.D., Professor of English Literature,
  Bowdoin College.

  EARLY HARPSWELL DAYS                       50

  Wilmot Brookings Mitchell, Professor of Rhetoric and
  Oratory, Bowdoin College.

  THE SEAMAN’S FRIEND                        74

  George Kimball, Dorchester, Mass.

  AS SEEN THROUGH A BOY’S EYES               94

  Judge William Oliver Clough, Nashua, N.H.

  KELLOGG THE AUTHOR                        115

  Wilmot Brookings Mitchell.

  LAST DAYS IN HARPSWELL                    141

  As Seen in Letters and Journal.

  REMINISCENCES                             169

  General Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, LL.D., Ex-Governor
  of Maine and Ex-President of Bowdoin College.

  A TRIBUTE                                 190

  Rev. Abiel Holmes Wright, A.M., formerly Pastor of
  St. Lawrence Street Church, Portland, Maine.



  Spartacus to the Gladiators               205

  Regulus to the Carthaginians              211

  Hannibal at the Altar                     217

  Pericles to the People                    225

  Icilius                                   229

  Decius                                    236

  Leonidas                                  241

  The Centurion                             248

  Virginius to the Roman Army               254

  General Gage and the Boston Boys          259

  The Wrecked Pirate                        265


  “An Ounce of Prevention”                  271

  Delivered in Boston in 1861.

  Religious Worship Early in the Century    276

  Delivered at Portland, Maine, Centennial Celebration,
  July 4, 1886.

  At Bowdoin Commencement, June 25, 1890    287

  At Centennial Celebration of Bowdoin College,
  June 28, 1894                             297

  Love                                      306

  Delivered at “Donation Party” at Harpswell, September
  18, 1894.

  The Deluded Hermit                        310

  Delivered at “Donation Party,” October 1, 1895.

  Home                                      314

  Delivered at “Donation Party,” October 19, 1897.


  The Prodigal’s Return                     321

  Wresting the Scriptures                   338

  The Beauty of the Autumn                  357

  To Bowdoin Students, October, 1889.

  The Anchor of Hope                        361

  Preached at the Second Parish Church, Portland,
  August 5, 1900, “Old Home Week.”

  A Prayer                                  367

  Memorial Day, 1883, Brunswick.


  From “The Phantoms of the Mind”           373

  The Demon of the Sea                      374

  Portland                                  378

  An Ode                                    379

  Written for the Semi-centennial Celebration at Bowdoin
  College, August 31, 1852.

  A Hymn                                    381

  Written for the Celebration of the Twenty-eighth
  Anniversary of the Boston Seaman’s Friend Society,
  May 28, 1856.

  True Poetry’s Task                        382


  Memories of Longfellow                    387

  Ben Bolt                                  394

  Ma’am Price                               404

  The Discontented Brook                    413

  COMPLETE LIST OF BOOKS                    423


  Elijah Kellogg at 65. 1878              _Frontispiece_

                                            FACING PAGE

  Rev. Elijah Kellogg, 1796. Father of Elijah Kellogg.
  _From a Miniature_                                  8

  Mrs. Eunice McLellan Kellogg. Mother of Elijah
  Kellogg                                            28

  House on Cumberland Street, Portland, Maine, in
  which Elijah Kellogg lived when a boy              48

  Elijah Kellogg’s Church at Harpswell, Maine        56

  Hannah Pearson Pomeroy Kellogg. Wife of Elijah
  Kellogg                                            68

  Elijah Kellogg at 43. 1856                         80

  Elijah Kellogg’s Home at Harpswell, Maine         114

  View of the Kellogg Homestead, Harpswell, Maine   140

  Aunt Betsy and Uncle William Alexander, for fifty
  years nearest neighbors and dear friends of Elijah
  Kellogg                                           168

  Casco Bay as seen near Kellogg Homestead, Harpswell,
  Maine                                             188

  I. Frank Gilman Kellogg. Son of Elijah Kellogg.
  II. Mrs. Mary Kellogg Batchelder and Baby

  Eleanor Batchelder. Daughter and granddaughter
  of Elijah Kellogg                                 202

  Elijah Kellogg at 77. 1890                        288

  Elijah Kellogg at 80. 1893                        306

  Interior View of Elijah Kellogg’s Church at Harpswell,
  Maine                                             356

  Elijah Kellogg at 86. 1899                        384



It is much easier to read the boy after you see and know the man than
it is to read the man when you see and know only the boy. Manhood may
be the unfolding of the various forces and dispositions of boyhood,
but this unfolding must take place before the boyhood itself can be
comprehended. The mill must grind the wheat into flour and the flour
be baked and eaten before we can know how good the kernels of wheat
are. So we must see Elijah Kellogg as a man before we can fairly
estimate him as a lad. When we hear him preach or when we read some of
his books, then we know there was something in him when a child more
than mere roguery and fun. Genius was there. Powers and faculties were
there which, when trained by judgment and directed by piety, made him
the preacher to whom men and women loved to listen, and the writer of
books that captivated the hearts of all boys.

This man first saw the light May 20, 1813, in a house on Congress
Street in Portland, Maine, where dwelt the pastor of the Second
Congregational Church of the city. The baby was called Elijah because
that was the father’s name; and the father at his birth had been called
Elijah because of the famous prophet in Israel who bore the name. At
the father’s birth it was said by his parents, “We must have a prophet
in the family.” So the name Elijah was given to the boy and he proved
a prophet not in name only, but in reality as well. The Rev. Elijah
Kellogg, pastor of the Second Congregational parish in Portland during
the latter part of the eighteenth and early part of the nineteenth
centuries, was no mean representative of the old Hebrew prophet. The
famous name sat well and appropriately upon the younger man. Had the
Rev. Mr. Kellogg lived in the days of Ahab, of infamous memory, we may
be very sure he would have stood beside the old prophet in his stout
resistance to that wicked king; and had the Hebrew prophet been born in
New England in the eighteenth century he would have sympathized warmly
with his young namesake as he buckled on his belt and beat the drum for
the patriots at the battle of Bunker Hill, and put forth all his skill
and strength to free the colonies from the selfish and tyrannical rule
of George III. There never yet was a true prophet of God in any land
whose heart did not beat warmly for larger popular liberty and for a
higher type of righteousness. Every prophet looks toward a sunrising
that shall bring to earth a better day.

Elijah Kellogg, Sr., was but a boy at the opening of our Revolutionary
struggle, but he was a boy of high spirit, of dauntless courage, and
of most generous impulses. He derived these qualities of character
from two distinct sources. These sources were, first, his ancestry,
and second, the neighborhood where he was born, viz., South Hadley,
Massachusetts. A boy could hardly be born and reared in the atmosphere
of Hampshire County, Massachusetts, especially around Northampton
and the Hadleys at that period of time, and be anything other than a
freedom-loving patriot. It was a region of country favorable to the
growth of heroes. Settled by stanch and sturdy Puritans, its people
had for many years been sternly disciplined by the Indian troubles.
No pusillanimous and faint-hearted men could by any means live long in
that section. Only men of courage and strength could abide there. The
Kelloggs proved what stuff they were made of, for the family had been
living there for more than a century when Elijah came upon the scene.
They were there when the regicide judges, Whalley and Goffe, pursued by
the rancorous hatred of Charles II., sought an asylum in New England.
Those men came first to New Haven for shelter, but even there they were
not safe from the emissaries of the king. The protection, however, that
New Haven could not afford them, Hadley could. Among the steel-hearted
men of that up-river country they found safety. In that region was
an association of liberty-loving souls, which, better than woods and
better than caves, made life safe for those men who had helped behead
a faithless king and had thereby given the cause of political and
religious freedom a great uplift. Some towns are vastly better for boys
to be born in than other towns are. South Hadley was one of the “better
towns,” where Elijah Kellogg, Sr., saw the light for the first time in
the year 1761.

Furthermore, there was good blood in the Kellogg veins irrespective
of their geography. They were a worthy race anywhere and in all
circumstances. Among the ancestors of this prophet-named lad were men
who had borne the banner of the cross in Palestine with Richard of
the Lion Heart, and others who had been true and stanch men in the
Wars of the Roses and during the great reigns of Henry VIII. and Queen
Elizabeth, and still others there were who a little later for their
conscience’ sake had come to America. With such an ancestry as that
and with a birthplace like South Hadley, it is no wonder that we find
young Kellogg at Bunker Hill, where were fired the opening guns of the
Revolution; or that a little later he endured the privations of Valley
Forge and fought at Monmouth. He was, however, formed for scholarship
rather than for military life, and after the war he entered and
graduated at Dartmouth College. In 1788 the Second Church of Portland
gave him a call to their pastorate. He accepted the call, and after
this time Portland was his home as long as he lived.

Elijah Kellogg, Jr., had a good deal come to him from his father’s side
of the house. He also had a good deal come to him from his mother’s
side. This mother of his had once been Eunice McLellan. Her father
was Captain Joseph McLellan and her mother was Mary, daughter of Hugh
and Elizabeth McLellan, who had been among the earliest settlers of
Gorham, Maine. Eunice, therefore (Mrs. Kellogg), was a McLellan of the
McLellans. The family were Scotch-Irish people, and were descended
from old Sir Hugh, who was knighted in the year 1515, and the race
was one of strong family characteristics. Even at the present time
they are somewhat clannish, and to this day throughout New England the
name McLellan is regarded by him who bears it as a sort of patent of
nobility; and all agree that there are few if any names in the country
more worthy of respect and honor than that one.

Joseph McLellan was a born sailor if ever there was one, an adventurous
rover of the seas, always happiest when on blue water with a good ship
under his feet and a stiff breeze blowing him along his course. This
man sent his own disposition down the family stream, and gave to his
grandson Elijah a generous share of that same roving and adventurous
spirit. The story is told that on the birth of an infant daughter to
Joseph and Mary the parents decided to call her Esther, or as it was
pronounced in those days, Easter. The babe was taken to the church
that she might be baptized at the hands of the Rev. Mr. Deane. At the
font the name of the child was handed to the clergyman, Easter, upon
which he broke out, “Easter! Easter! That is no good name for a girl.
Call her after my wife. Call her Eunice. Eunice, I baptize thee,” etc.
The deed was done, and the child was Eunice in spite of both father
and mother. The baby thus curiously named became in due time the wife
of Parson Kellogg and the mother of the subject of this sketch. The
McLellans were a canny folk. They had fought for Scottish liberty in
many a sharp tug with the Saxons in the old days. They had helped
fight the battles of the Covenanters at a later period, and now in
the eighteenth century, transferred to America, they still kept up
the fight and played their part on many a field, from Bunker Hill to

Blood will tell. Family traits will be transmitted. Sons will in some
degree resemble sires. With an ancestry on both sides like that
sketched above, it is no great wonder that the subject of this volume
became the man he did. He had a good start. There was in him a goodly
fund of inherited gifts. In the book,“Good Old Times,” which is Mr.
Kellogg’s story of the McLellan family (his grandmother’s branch of
it more particularly), the author lets us see how largely his own
personal character was formed and his whole life influenced by the
traditions and stories of the men and women of the family, recounted
as those stories were at the fireside in the winter evenings, and told
over again in the daytime as men and boys were doing their work in the
woods and in the fields. The boy was perfectly happy when listening
to these tales of pioneer life, made up as they largely were of
homely and commonplace incidents and yet of really adventurous deeds.
They were tales of conflict with the Indians, in which the McLellan
fairness and good sense always won the respect of the savages and in
most cases secured their good will and good treatment; of encounters
with bears and wolves and other wild beasts, where man’s craft and
skill gained the victory; and experiences with cold and hunger and
hardships of the wilderness, in which Christian faith and the McLellan
pluck overcame all odds and achieved a good measure of prosperity.
Things like these were the folk-lore of the Gorham people rather than
stories of round tables and fairies and ghosts and witches. This boy,
like Carlyle, came to have a great admiration for the “man who could
do things.” The ideal hero of Elijah Kellogg’s early boyhood was the
hearty, warm-hearted, rough-handed, whole-souled pioneer who never
turned his back upon a foe, whether biped or quadruped, and who never
blenched in the face of a difficulty or a danger. He was the man who
had in himself resources that were always called out and brought into
exercise when obstacles were encountered, and invariably rose superior
to the obstacles and made the man complete master of the situation,
however bad that situation appeared. As he would have phrased it, he
liked the man who never got whipped. The white man who could outwit
an Indian or outhug a bear or outrun a pack of wolves was a man to be
admired. The man who could fell a forest and clear a farm and put the
soil to the production of corn and wheat was a man to be admired. This
hero of Kellogg’s childhood was never entirely dethroned from the heart
of the man. To the end of his days he loved that man who, using his own
native strength, could bridle and ride the storm, or over the rudest
billows of the ocean could bring his vessel into port.

[Illustration: REV. ELIJAH KELLOGG. 1796.
Father of Elijah Kellogg.   _From a miniature._]

It is almost superfluous to say that the man who wrote such books for
boys as are the Elm Island and the Pleasant Cove series of stories was
himself, when a lad, what would be called to-day an irrepressible.
Without the least spice of malice or any suggestion of real harm in
his nature, Elijah Kellogg was as full of mischief as a spring is of
water, and it was simply impossible for parents and guardians to keep
him within the bounds of Puritan propriety. It weighed not one jot
with him that grave ministers and dignified elders of the church were
among his forbears. It never occurred to him that because his father
was a clergyman therefore he, the boy, should not go with other boys
on Sunday morning to enjoy a frolic and take a swim in the waters of
Back Cove, well out of sight from the parsonage windows, though of
course such things on the Lord’s Day were strictly forbidden. Elijah’s
proclivities were well known, and many were the family traps that were
set for his ensnarement. But he had great facility for getting out
of scrapes as well as getting into them. He did not, however, always
escape detection. On one occasion, for example, the Sunday morning
swim and games had been too fascinating for his boyish discretion, and
had held him at the water until the public services for the morning at
the church had closed. Elijah went home to meet his father, who had
missed the boy from his proper seat in the family pew. That meeting
between father and son can be more easily imagined than described,
especially if the reader happens to be the child of a stern Puritan
church-goer, and has himself been guilty of escapades on Sunday. To the
question, “Where have you been this morning?” the boy replied without
hesitation that he had been to the Methodist meeting. He heard his
father preach every Sunday, and he had become a little tired of hearing
one voice, and he wanted to hear what some other man had to say. Of
course the next question was, “What was the preacher’s text?” Elijah
was ready for this and at once gave chapter and verse and repeated
the passage. But the inquisition did not stop here; he must now give
some account of the sermon. This seemed a perfectly easy matter to the
young culprit. He had heard a good many sermons, and he felt very sure
that he could report one even though he had not listened to it at all.
But here he was caught. He had never heard anything but the rigid,
old-school, Calvinistic doctrines, and it never entered his head that
one minister did not always preach like another. It was therefore a
sound Calvinistic sermon that this young reporter put into the mouth of
the Methodist minister. He was soon brought up short with the paternal
remark: “Elijah, stop right there. Now I know you are lying. No
Methodist minister ever preached like that. Your whole story is false.
You have spent your morning down by the water.”

When Elijah was some ten or eleven years old he was taken to Gorham,
and spent some months in the home of Mrs. Lothrop Lewis. Mrs. Lewis
had a young daughter whom she wished put into a Portland school, and
an exchange of children was made with the Kelloggs, they taking the
girl into their home and Mrs. Lewis taking the boy into hers. This
exchange was in many respects a grateful one to the boy. The country
was the place for him. There was more freedom there, more room and
more chance for fun than in town. Perhaps, too, the fact that his
father was nine miles away had its alleviations, for the presence of
a father, however dearly he was loved, was a damper on the spirit of
prankishness. While with Mrs. Lewis, Elijah certainly made mischief
for everybody, but at the same time he made friends of everybody, for
none could help loving the bright and lively fellow. In due time the
boy went back to Portland. But the city was no place for a lad like
him. He chafed under its restraints, and cared but little for its
schools. He was like a sea-gull shut up in a cage. As the imprisoned
gull pines for the freedom of wind and wave so did the heart of Elijah
Kellogg long for the free winds and the rolling waters and the ships
that went sailing away to distant ports. It was a longing that could
not be suppressed, and no one can really blame him that before he was
thirteen years old he had found his way on board a ship and become
a sailor in downright earnest. I am sure that the boys who read his
books are not sorry that the hand that wrote those stories gained some
of its cunning by pulling ropes, furling and unfurling sails, taking
his trick at the wheel, and sharing actively in whatever pertained
to the handling and management of vessels. He loved the sea, and was
fascinated by the strange sights and sounds of foreign countries. He
was a keen observer for a boy just entering his teens, and he gained
much valuable knowledge as he wandered round the world borne along by
the wings of a ship. But in his roving he never for one moment forgot
his home. His heart was warm and true to the friends who were there.
Letters written to his father from different quarters of the world are
now in existence, and they bear full testimony to his ardent affection
for home and friends. His love for friends was perhaps the strongest
element of his nature, even stronger than his love of adventure, and in
due time that love brought him back from his travels no longer to sail
the seas except in small boats near the shore. In the story of “Charlie
Bell,” Mr. Kellogg (unconsciously, no doubt) has given us the picture
of a boy’s nature and disposition very much like his own.

After returning from sea Elijah found Portland and Portland ways no
more congenial to him than they had been before he went away, and
again he left home and went to Gorham to try life among his McLellan
relatives. He lived for a time in the family of Major Warren on a farm
some two miles out of the village, matching his own strength of muscle
with that of the regular farm-hands. He was not there a great while,
however. Rev. Mr. Kellogg came out from Portland and interviewed Mr.
Alexander McLellan, a near relative of his own wife, and the result
of that interview was that Elijah was, after the fashion of the time,
indentured as an apprentice to Mr. McLellan to do general work on
the place for the period of one year. The purpose of this indenture,
however, was rather to restrain and hold him in one stated place than
to make a servant of him, for he became at once a true member of the
family “in good and regular standing.” He took his position and did
his share of the work on the place in a faithful and orderly manner.
His experience on the ship had been of great benefit to him. He had
there learned the lessons of obedience and of industry,--lessons
absolutely essential for every boy to learn if he would ever arrive
at a worthy maturity. Now, instead of blocks and ropes and belaying
pins, his tools were the plough, the hoe, the scythe, and the axe, and
while using these he could almost fancy himself a pioneer. All this
was a very wholesome kind of life and a right life in its way. Still
it was no proper life for such a young man as by this time Elijah
Kellogg had become. All his friends seemed to feel the incongruity of
it, and the truth of this began to dawn upon himself, also. He began
to feel, and to feel very strongly, that this sort of life was not
up to his own level. The bird is for a life higher than the ground,
and in like manner he was for something higher than the farm. There
was a real genius in the soul of this boy that was reaching up toward
intellectual exercises. Decks of ships, fields of corn, loads of
lumber, were all good, but for him there was something better. The play
of intellect appealed to him now more than the play of muscle did. All
the associations in the family where he lived and those throughout the
village were such as to encourage and foster this new ambition. This
new feeling, this new ideal which was fast taking possession of his
mind, was only an indication that the doors of boyhood were closing
and the doors of manhood were beginning to open. He was gradually
coming to understand himself and to have a dawning perception of
some God-given powers, which, if they were properly trained, might
result in the accomplishment of fine things. This vision of what he
might sometime perform, if he would, rose to the front, and for the
time assumed the leadership of his life. He was as obedient to this
vision as Saint Paul was obedient to the vision he had near the city
of Damascus, or as Abraham Lincoln was obedient to those dreams and
visions that he had while he was managing the flatboat on the great
river. The McLellan family, where he was living, were heartily in
sympathy with this new development. From oldest to youngest they all
felt that it was not a proper thing that this young man who was so
gifted and who showed so many marks of a true genius should spend his
energies on the farm and in the shop. There is iron for the place of
iron and steel for the place of steel and silver for that of silver.
This was a piece of silver, and he ought to take his proper place. It
is needless to say how much this _change of aim_ on the part of Elijah
gladdened the heart of his own father. It was indeed a day of general
thanksgiving when this young man put himself in the way of a higher
intellectual development and entered Gorham Academy as one of its
students. This was one of the best academies in the country at that
day. Its presiding genius was Master Nason who was known far and wide,
not only as one who could keep rude boys in subjection to school rules
by a liberal use of the birch, but as one who possessed faculty and
power to stir the minds of pupils and impart to them rich stores of
knowledge. New England has seen few instructors equal to Master Nason.
The names of boys whom, in the old Academy at Gorham, he fitted for
college, have in several instances become known all over the country,
and some are known round the world. The Academy is proud of its roll of
graduates, and those who studied under Mr. Nason have always been proud
of their teacher.

Young Kellogg now put himself squarely down to hard work. He was older
than are most boys when they take up the higher branches of study and
begin to point their way definitely toward college, and he studied
and worked in the Academy like one who is trying to make up for lost
time. Such an intensity of application to books as was his at this
time would have broken down many students; but Kellogg had a rare stock
of good health and physical strength. He could well stand the strain
of hard study. He had a well-knit frame. He never forgot how much of
his own power of endurance he derived from his sturdy habits of toil
in field and forest. He never forgot what a good physical basis for
intellectual work manual labor gives one. In one of the college boys of
his creation in the Whispering Pine series of books--Henry Morton--he
shows the close connection between that young man’s hoe and axe and his
leadership of the college class. When Mr. Kellogg did this, he knew
very well what he was talking about. Seventy years ago these things
largely took the place of the athletic field of our time, and they
filled that place very well, too. An old fogy may perhaps be pardoned
for saying that in spite of all the excitement and glory of base-ball
and foot-ball and running and leaping and boating, still the oil of hoe
handle has its virtues as a medicine for students.

The life of young Kellogg shows distinctly two points of turning. The
first one was when he wakened to the consciousness of his mental
powers; when he realized something of what he was and determined that
he would live on the high level of his intellectual self. A young horse
that has in him the elements of speed to win a race on the track is
trained for the track. The horse of great weight is put into the truck
team. Animals are put in training, according to what they are. When
Kellogg realized something of his own intellectual power, then he put
himself in training for an intellectual life. He therefore went into
the Academy that he might fit for college. After he had begun work in
the Academy there came to him another consideration, and he asked the
question: “Is a life of mere scholarship the highest and best one of
which I am capable?” He felt surely that he ought to live up to the
level of his mind, but he began to feel that there was some power in
himself superior to that of brains and that that higher power should be
developed and his own life should be devoted to that which was supreme.
He felt strongly that he should not allow the spiritual element of his
nature to lie dormant or go to waste. The diamond that is not ground on
the wheel is just as hard as the one that is ground, but it does not
sparkle and flash like the one on which the lapidary has spent his
skill. The uncut diamond is like the man who stops in the classical
school and does not care for the infinitely finer work that religion
does for him. Mr. Kellogg felt that it was not enough for him to have
power. The power that was in him should be dedicated to the divinest
ends. It should be religiously dedicated and consecrated. This was
the second turning of his life, and when it was made he had become an
earnest and devoted Christian. He understood Christianity to mean that
he should employ the faculties and powers of his own nature in helping
other people to lead better and more wholesome lives. Christianity
meant more than self-culture; it meant self-giving. If there was in
himself (as there certainly was) a large element of fun, this was by no
means to be suppressed or sent into eclipse. Religion would not maim
him that way any more than religion would clip the wings of a robin and
make a mole of the bird. But religion would take that spirit of fun
and cause it to play and shine and work for the production of purer
thinking and cleaner living and higher aiming among all young people.

It was in obedience to this new spirit that Elijah went to work at
once outside of the Academy as well as in it, and he then started some
streams of religious influence that have by no means ceased running
even to this day. Among the things he did at this period was to go
into a certain neighborhood not many miles from Gorham and start a
Sunday-school. It seems easy enough to _say_ that the young man went
into a certain place and organized a Sunday-school, but from all
accounts it was by no means an easy or even a safe thing for that young
man to do. Three score and odd years ago--long before the days of Neal
Dow and the Maine Law--there were certain regions here and there in
the State where those people who were ignorant and given to drink and
other forms of vice were sure to congregate like birds of ill omen, and
there would be a neighborhood from which respectable people would keep
away. Such a community was a multiplied Ishmael whose hand was against
every man and every man’s hand against it. On one of these disreputable
districts Elijah’s attention became fixed. With two or three of the
people who lived there he had in some way become acquainted, and he
“felt a call” to preach in that place. But even Elijah Kellogg, young,
brave, and stout-hearted as he was, shrank from going there alone with
an invitation to a Sunday-school to be sent abroad among that class of
folk. He feared what might come from such a movement, and wished for a
companion to share his fortunes. He appealed to a young friend, George
L. Prentiss, afterward for many years an honored professor in Union
Theological Seminary in New York, to go with him. But the response
of Prentiss to this request was not favorable. “No, Elijah,” was his
word,“I don’t dare to go down there. They will kill us if we do.” Then
after a moment’s pause, “I’ll tell you what I will do. If you go down
there and start a Sunday-school and don’t get killed, I’ll come in
later and help you.” But Elijah had set his heart on doing the bit of
work, and was not to be scared out of it. He started on his mission
alone, and I doubt if Judson on his way to India, or Livingstone
going to Africa, did a more heroic thing than that. He did start a
Sunday-school, and he did get the people interested in both himself and
his school, and through his influence the community was transformed,
and to-day the descendants of those people are an intelligent,
God-fearing, church-going, high-minded class of citizens, and they
are such because of Mr. Kellogg. He never forgot them, and they never
forgot him. The writer of this article was present in company with
Mr. Kellogg at the fiftieth anniversary of the inauguration of that
school. The season was mid-summer. The day was Sunday. The place was
the church. The audience was everybody who lived in the district,
supplemented by a large number who had driven thither from Portland,
Westbrook, Gorham, Scarboro, and Saco. The larger share of those who
had gathered were not able to get inside the church, but they crowded
as close to the wide open windows as possible and heard what they
could. After brief introductory exercises, Mr. Kellogg preached a most
beautiful and touching sermon of some twenty minutes’ length. Then
the Bible was closed, and a period of story-telling began. There were
present some four or five persons who remembered the “first day of
school” fifty years before. They all talked. Reminiscences were called
up, old scenes revived, old stories told, old experiences related, and
the old time was contrasted with the new. It was all of it immensely
funny. Sometimes it was crying, but a good deal more it was laughing.
My own feeling at the moment was that it was fortunate the windows were
open, for otherwise the house must have burst. I do not think there
ever was another church than that since churches were built where was
heard so much laughter and manifested so much fun and wit on Sunday.

Mr. Kellogg got through with the Academy, and entered Bowdoin College
in 1836. It is worthy of note that in all his long life he never
shuffled off the boy. It was not a mere memory on his part that he once
was a boy. The genuine boy was never a memory with him, but was always
a present reality. In one sense he was as young at eighty as he was at
eighteen. Boys were his mates always. There are men who, like Oliver
Wendell Holmes, never grow old, and Mr. Kellogg was one of them. To
the very last his lips would smile and his eyes would twinkle as he
recalled some prank of his boyhood or told tales of those who had been
his companions on the ship and on the farm and in the school. He never
forgot a friend, and he certainly never forgot a funny or laughable
incident. His own perennial boyhood has cheered and made more noble an
almost numberless band of young lives throughout the country, and may
the time be long before the young people of the land shall cease to
read his wholesome books.



It was in 1836, in the twenty-fourth year of his age, that Elijah
Kellogg entered Bowdoin College as a Freshman. His father had been
one of the earliest and firmest friends of the college. As one of
the Cumberland County Association of Ministers he had joined in the
petition to the General Court of Massachusetts for the establishment
of a collegiate institution in the province of Maine. When in answer
to the petition of the ministers, and of the Court of Sessions of
Cumberland County, the college was incorporated in 1794, Mr. Kellogg
was named as one of the first board of overseers. Four years later
he became a trustee, and continued to hold that official relation to
the college until 1824. During his boyhood, therefore, and before he
cherished any purpose or desire to enjoy its privileges, Elijah must
have heard, within the family circle, much about the college which
was so great an object of interest and pride to his father, as it
was, indeed, to the whole community. It was but natural, therefore,
when his purpose was seriously formed to seek a college training in
preparation for his father’s calling of the ministry, that Bowdoin,
aside from its proximity to his home, should be the college of his
choice. But his course collegeward was interrupted and delayed by
various circumstances, and particularly by personal tastes that were
quite other than scholastic. Always a lover of the sea, and delighting
in the tales of sea life and adventure to which he listened from the
lips of sailors themselves along the Portland wharves, it is not
strange that the call of the sea sounded louder than any other in his
ears. So, listening to the call, he shipped before the mast, and for
three years lived the hard and perilous life of a sailor. It is true
that the experience, which may have been useful to him in other ways
also, was an admirable preparation for the brilliant service which he
afterwards performed as chaplain of the Sailor’s Home in Boston, but in
the meantime it made him late in entering upon his college life. It is
to be said, however, that of his thirty classmates six were as old
as himself.

Mother of Elijah Kellogg.]

We must look to certain volumes of the Whispering Pines series, and
particularly to the volumes entitled “The Spark of Genius,” “The
Sophomores of Radcliffe,” and “The Whispering Pine,” for a picture
of his college life, true in its general features, and graphic like
everything from Mr. Kellogg’s pen. These books, which have been read
with eager interest by so many generations of boys, describe Bowdoin
College, its professors, students, customs, and manners as they were
known to Elijah Kellogg during the years of his residence there from
1836 to 1840. If they seem to be devoted largely to a recital of pranks
and mischief and practical jokes among the students, it is partly
because such things made a stronger appeal to scheming brains, and
youthful fellowship, and leisure hours in those days, before athletic
sports enlisted, as they have since enlisted, the restless energy and
high spirits and intense rivalry of college boys; and partly, also, it
was because his native sense of humor and love of fun, his spirit of
adventure and personal courage, constituted an ever present temptation
to him to share or lead in enterprises which demanded wariness and
cunning and pluck, and which promised the discomfiture of some boastful
and unloved fellow-student, or the perplexed disapproval of the college
authorities, or the entertainment of a college community always keenly
appreciative of a diverting sensation. So alive was he to this phase
of student activity, and so conspicuous was he among his mates for
resourcefulness and courage, that he became, in the popular opinion of
his time and in subsequent tradition, the hero of many an escapade with
which he had no connection. One instance, however, of strenuous effort
quite outside his college duties seems to be well authenticated, and
will serve to show the kind of mischievous exploit which was attractive
enough to enlist his cooperation.

The president of the college during the first three years of Kellogg’s
course was a man of great dignity and reserve. He held himself quite
aloof from the students, neither inviting nor allowing any freedom of
social intercourse. Partly on this account he was unpopular with the
student body, and the solemn reserve in which he intrenched himself
seemed, in their eyes, to make any infringement, however slight, of
his personal dignity particularly humorous. There was much irreverent
laughter, therefore, when it was whispered about on one occasion that
the silk hat which the president was accustomed to wear, and which
seemed the very crown and symbol of his formal stateliness, had been
stolen, and was in the hands of some of the students. When it came
to the ears of Kellogg he remarked that if he knew the boys that had
the hat he would put it on the top of the chapel spire. Of course the
interesting information was not long withheld from him, and in the
darkness of a showery night he climbed sturdily up by the slender
and insecure pathway of the lightning-rod, and placed the hat on the
very top, where, in the morning, it met the dismayed vision of the
president, and received the boisterous salutations of the college.
That was Kellogg’s contribution to the deed of mischief. To steal the
hat was a petty and foolish trick, such as might be perpetrated by a
half-witted person, a coward, or a thief; but to carry it through the
darkness to the top of the chapel spire required a clear head, a stout
heart, good muscle, and nerve, and these Elijah Kellogg possessed, both
in youth and manhood.

In reading these books, which tell the substantial history of his life
at Bowdoin, it is quite evident that, with all the interest he took
in the pastimes and pranks of his associates, he was not unmindful
of the high and serious purpose of a college course. He maintained a
consistent ideal of personal integrity and helpfulness and truth. It
is the repeated testimony of those who were in college with him that
his influence upon his fellow-students was in a high degree stimulating
and wholesome. “He was,” says one who knew him well in the intimacy of
college association, “universally popular, but he had his own chosen
favorites, and one characteristic of him was his strong personal
affection for them. His soul burned with love to those whom he loved.
This was one secret of his power for good, for his influence upon them
was always good.” An unaffected scorn of what was mean or false, and an
eagerness to recognize and to make the most of every good and generous
trait in his companions, were as characteristic of him as was his
light-hearted, fun-loving disposition, and it is easy to see why he won
both the respect and love of those who were admitted to his friendship.

These engaging qualities of his youth were no less those of his age,
and they made him throughout life the friend of boys and the favorite
of boys. He never lost the spirit of sympathy and comradeship with
young men, and as his home, during the later years of his life, was
not far from the college that he loved, he had a double motive to
revisit, from time to time, the scene of those labors and frolics and
friendships which he had so charmingly depicted in the Whispering
Pine books. Accordingly he presented himself, now and then, either
unexpectedly or upon invitation, at the door of some undergraduate
member of his college fraternity, the Alpha Delta Phi, and became, for
as long as he would stay, a welcome and honored guest.

It did not take long for the news to spread that Elijah Kellogg was
in college; and then the hospitable room would be visited by many
callers, eager to greet the shy, weather-beaten little man, whose heart
was always warm for boys, and even the mazy wrinkles of whose face
seemed to speak less of age than of kindness. And by the evening lamp
an interested circle of students forgot the morrow’s lessons as they
listened to stories of olden time, and to quaint words of counsel and
comment as they fell from the visitor’s lips. When the circle finally
dissolved, and Mr. Kellogg and his entertainers were left alone, a
psalm, which seemed somehow to gain new meaning from his reading of it,
and a simple earnest prayer, brought the long evening to a fitting and
memorable close.

It is interesting, moreover, to notice, as an evidence of the profound
regard and affection which the Bowdoin students felt for Mr. Kellogg,
that when, in 1901, they published a volume of Bowdoin tales, no other
dedication of the book was thought of than the one which inscribes
it to the memory of Elijah Kellogg, “who celebrated his Alma Mater
in story, honored her by practical piety, and won the hearts of her
boys, his brethren.” If he was not eminent in the prescribed studies
of the college, neither was he neglectful of them, nor unfaithful to
them. Perhaps his enjoyment of college fellowships and his love of
fun interfered to some extent with his devotion to the classics and
mathematics, which made up a large part of the curriculum, and, in
addition, the necessity under which he lay of providing for his own
expenses must have diverted a part of his energies from study to
manual toil. But whether at work, at play, or at study, he was hearty
and resourceful. An incident, as told by himself, illustrates this
trait of his character, and, incidentally, introduces the president
whose sombre dignity provoked the stealing and subsequent disposal of
his hat, as already related.

“I had to work my way through college,” said Mr. Kellogg, “and I
boarded with a woman named Susan Dunning. I came to her house one
Saturday. There was a deep snow on the ground, and college was to open
Monday. She was feeling very blue because her well-sweep had broken.
I told her not to mind, I’d fix it. The snow was too deep to get the
cattle out, so I took a sled, and going to a wood-lot cut a big, heavy
pole, it took a big one, too, for an old well-sweep. I put it on the
sled, and tried to haul it back; but the long end dragging in the deep
snow made that impossible. So, instead of hauling it, I took hold of
the end and started pushing it home. It was hard work, but to make it
worse President Allen met me and remarked, ‘Well, Kellogg, I have heard
of putting the cart before the horse, but I never saw it done before;’
then he burst into a hearty laugh, and that’s the only time I ever saw
him even smile in all the years I knew him.”

Besides President Allen, who was a man of learning and piety, as well
as soberness, and whose single laugh, as chronicled by Mr. Kellogg, may
perhaps be extenuated on the ground that it was indulged in before the
term began, it was a notable group of men under whose influence and
instruction Mr. Kellogg came during his residence at Bowdoin. There was
Professor Alpheus S. Packard, whose elegant culture and kindly heart
and beautiful face relieved the tedium of the Greek class-room, and
impressed themselves upon the grateful memories of not less than sixty
classes of Bowdoin students. There was Professor Thomas C. Upham, the
quaint and shy philosopher, who had in himself so much of the mystic
and seer combined with the patient metaphysical analyst that it sent
him from time to time into bursts of religious song, and assured his
name an honored place among the hymn-writers as well as among the
philosophers. There was Professor Samuel P. Newman, who, by precept
and criticism, imparted as much as can be imparted of the art of
rhetoric, in which Mr. Kellogg was to become so much of a proficient.
There was Professor William Smyth, rugged, impetuous, and true, an
apostle of abolition, an enthusiastic champion of popular education
and, indeed, of every good cause, and, above all, a profound and famous
mathematician, about whom Mr. Kellogg relates the somewhat apocryphal
story of the “Mathematician in Shafts,” not, as may be seen, to suggest
ridicule, but in a sort of fond and amused recognition of his unique
and vigorous personality. And finally, not to make the catalogue too
long, there was Professor Parker Cleaveland, the distinguished scholar
and teacher of chemistry and mineralogy, and a man of idiosyncrasies as
striking as were his gifts. In a beautiful memorial sonnet Longfellow
said of him:--

   “Among the many lives that I have known
    None I remember more serene and sweet,
    More rounded in itself, and more complete.”

“From Seniors to Freshmen,” says Mr. Kellogg, “all believed in, loved,
and were proud of the reputation of the scholarly, kind-hearted,
democratic, and, at times, compassionate professor.” And at the
close of the chapter which is devoted to illustrations of Professor
Cleaveland’s eccentric ways and beneficent influence, Mr. Kellogg is
moved to this earnest and affectionate expression of his reverence:
“Blessings on thy memory, faithful one,--faithful even unto death,--to
whom was committed the gift to stir young hearts to noble enterprise
and manly effort; who knew how to train the youthful eye to look upon,
and the heart to pant after, the goal thou hadst reached! Those most
amused with thy peculiarities loved thee best. From hence removed to
the presence and enjoyment of Him whose wisdom, power, and goodness,
manifested in the material world, thou to us didst so worthily explain
and illustrate, we shall behold thy form and press thy hand no more;
but only with life shall we surrender the memory of him who united the
attributes of both teacher and friend.”

It is impossible that under the personal influence of these teachers,
and of their instruction, young Kellogg, with his frank and susceptible
nature, should not have been stimulated to intellectual effort, and to
moral earnestness, and that he should not have retained in subsequent
life some impress from their vigorous and scholarly and noble
characters. How much he owed them in the direction and the development
of his powers we may not say. It is never possible to measure, or to
estimate exactly, the total influence of a teacher’s life and work
upon his pupils. It acts often in ways that do not disclose themselves
to our perception; it touches the young men at points and moments of
which we do not know the responsive or the repelling significance; it
often produces effects which are the very opposite of what we should
predict; it falls into the ground and dies, as it were, and years
afterward springs up and bears fruit in a form so changed that we do
not recognize the seed in the resulting harvest; it is often hidden in
the hearts of the young men, and works by way of impulse or restraint
so subtly that they themselves are not conscious of it; and so we can
never tell to what extent a young man’s character has been formed or
modified by the influence of his teachers. But there is certainly some
indication of Mr. Kellogg’s own estimate of what he owed to college
instruction and stimulus in the ardent and unwavering affection which
he always exhibited for his Alma Mater, and which was abundantly
reciprocated in the reverent honor accorded to him by the college, and
by all its students and alumni. At the one-hundredth anniversary of the
college, in 1894, there were more than a thousand graduates assembled
at the banquet in a mammoth tent on the campus. Mr. Kellogg had, with
some difficulty, been persuaded to be present. He was, of course,
called upon for a speech; and when he rose to respond, every graduate,
young and old, in the great company was instantly on his feet, cheering
and shouting a glad salute. It was a touching and memorable ovation,
and the flush of troubled happiness that flitted across his bronzed
and wrinkled face was something long to be remembered, as was also his
glowing tribute of affection for the college, which was his answer to
the welcome of his brethren.

In Mr. Kellogg’s student days the chief literary interest and activity
of the undergraduates, and no small part of their more formal social
life, centred about two societies, the Peucinean and the Athenæan.
Between these two societies there was intense rivalry in securing
accessions from among the more desirable members of newly entering
classes, in public exhibitions and anniversary exercises, and in the
distribution of college and class honors. Each society possessed a
considerable library of carefully selected books, and each held regular
weekly meetings for literary exercises consisting of essays, poems,
declamations, and debates. Kellogg was an active and esteemed member
of the Peucinean society, and contributed not a little to the interest
of its meetings in the several features of their literary programmes.
Mr. Henry H. Boody, of the class of 1842, and subsequently professor of
rhetoric and oratory in the college from 1845 to 1854, recalls the fact
that at the meetings of the Peucinean society, “we used to consider
a poem by Kellogg as a very rare treat,” and then adds that perhaps
“our liking for the man influenced our judgment as to the merit of his
productions in that line.” However that may be, it is evident that his
gifts of tongue and pen were freely exercised during his undergraduate
days, and that the charm of them was felt and acknowledged by his
college associates.

In Mr. Kellogg’s Junior year a literary magazine, the second venture of
the kind at Bowdoin, was projected by some of the students, and made
its first appearance, under the name of the _Bowdoin Portfolio_, in
April, 1839. Its advent was heralded, in a manner somewhat figurative
and characteristic of the time, by an editorial note, of which the
following are some of the first sentences:--

“A short time since, as we were sitting quietly in our room discussing
the common topics of the day, we were suddenly surprised and pleased
by the entrance of a comely youth, of an ideal nature, that is, made
up of the immaterial mind, but who had embodied himself in a visible
form. He was arrayed in a neat, simple garb, evidently preferring pure
simplicity to ostentatious splendor, and wishing to attract notice,
not so much by a showy dress and gorgeous outward appearance, as by
the spiritual within, made clear and comprehensible by the outward
representation. On his front he bore the name of ’Bowdoin Portfolio,’
and in communing with him we found a most entertaining and agreeable
companion. He was just making his debut into the literary world, and it
was with modesty and timidity that he declared to us his intentions of
speedily making his bow, and paying court to the public.”

There is no indication that Mr. Kellogg was connected with the
editorial board of the _Portfolio_, but there are contributions from
him in three of the seven numbers that were published, and all his
contributions are of verse. This fact recalls the testimony that has
been quoted as to the pleasure with which his poems were received at
the meetings of the Peucinean society. Altogether it seems as if,
during his college days, his tastes led him to the cultivation of
poetry, and as if the impression he made upon his college mates was
rather by his verse than by his prose.

One of the poems in the _Portfolio_ is a clever translation of a Latin
epitaph upon a moth miller which “came bustling through the window
directly into the editorial taper, and fell lifeless upon the sheet of
paper.” A part of the epitaph in Kellogg’s verse is as follows:--

   “Whose greatest crime was to intrude
    Upon a Poet’s solitude;
    Whose saddest fortune was to fly
    In a Poet’s lamp, and cheated die.
    Ah! punishment to rashness due,
    How certain! and how direful too!
    The silly Moth thus seeking light
    Is overwhelmed in shades of night;
    So Youth pursuing Pleasure’s ray
    O’ertakes grim Death upon the way!”

The Latin of the epitaph is of that obvious kind which an American
college boy is likely to write, and there is really more distinction in
Kellogg’s translation than in the original.

The other poems contributed by Kellogg to the _Portfolio_ are entitled,
“The Phantoms of the Mind,” and “The Demon of the Sea.” They are both
vigorous in sentiment and correct in form, and the opening lines of the
latter remind us of the author’s early, and, indeed, lifelong passion
for the sea:--

   “Ah, tell me not of your shady dells
    Where the lilies gleam, and the fountain wells,
    Where the reaper rests when his task is o’er,
    And the lake-wave sobs on the verdant shore,
    And the rustic maid, with a heart all free,
    Hies to the well-known trysting-tree;
    For I’m the God of the rolling sea,
    And the charms of earth are nought to me.
    O’er the thundering chime of the breaking surge,
    On the lightning’s wing my pathway urge,
    On thrones of foam right joyous ride,
    ’Mid the sullen dash of the angry tide.”

It is not altogether fancy that recognizes in such lines as these
hints of the impetuous and stirring rhetoric of Mr. Kellogg’s later
prose, especially on occasions when his deepest feelings were moved,
and he spoke of love and duty, of character and destiny, of life and
immortality, out of the fulness of his conviction, and with the ardor
and eloquence of his sensitive and poetic nature.

So passed his college days, in the keen enjoyment of generous
comradeship, in the instinctive indulgence of his fondness for fun and
frolic, in the cheerful acceptance of the burden of defraying his own
expenses, in manly fidelity to the appointed studies of the course,
and in the voluntary and congenial exercise of the literary gifts with
which he was endowed, and through which he has made so many of us his
debtors. And through it all he preserved the unaffected simplicity and
purity of heart, the reverence for truth, and the consideration and
charity for his fellows, which were the winning characteristics of his
whole life.

       *       *       *       *       *

Mr. Kellogg’s theological training in immediate preparation for the
ministry was received at Andover Theological Seminary from 1840 to
1843. The intellectual and social conditions which prevail at the
professional school are quite unlike those of the college. It does not
have the same atmosphere of venerated tradition and compelling custom,
nor is it the scene of a life so varied and buoyant. The students are
older, more sedate, and more intent upon the special studies of the
place. They have passed through the period of boyish effervescence and
frolic, of ardent and generous comradeship, of steadfast friendships
and changing schemes of life, of relative unconcern for what lies
beyond the horizon of the college world--and the period is not to be
repeated. They are committed to common pursuits and ambitions, and are
sobered by the duties and responsibilities of life to which they are
sensibly drawing near.

In his college life Mr. Kellogg found the material for a series of
sparkling stories, evidently as congenial to himself as they have been
interesting to his readers; but of life in the seminary he has given
us no picture. This is not to the discredit of the honored school of
theology to which he went, nor does it imply that he did not enter
into its studies and its life with heartiness and joy, but it is a
natural result of the distinction which has been suggested between the
college and the professional school. The picturesque nook or landscape
attracts the pencil or the brush of the artist, but his choice does
not discredit the thousand scenes of field and pasture and hill and
woodland which he passes by as unsuited to his artistic purpose.

It is enough to mention the names of Moses Stuart, Bela Edwards,
Leonard Woods, Ralph Emerson, and Edwards Park, to show that Mr.
Kellogg was as fortunate in his teachers at the seminary as he
had been at the college. They were men of profound learning, of
stimulating influence, of consecrated character, and of great and
deserved reputation. They could not fail to quicken and enrich both
his intellectual and his spiritual nature, and to send him forth fully
instructed, as well as profoundly eager, to preach with persuasiveness
and power, as he did preach for nearly half a century.

It was while he was a student in the seminary that Mr. Kellogg wrote
the famous declamation, “Spartacus to the Gladiators,” as well as
some others, almost equally famous, of the same general character.
It was written for one of the prescribed rhetorical exercises of the
course, at which the writer or speaker was publicly criticised by
members of the student body, and also by the professor in charge. Mr.
Kellogg, always timid at the prospect of open and formal criticism of
his writing or speech, greatly dreaded the ordeal, and resolved to
write something which should so interest his hearers by its unusual
subject-matter as to divert their minds from the thought of criticism.
His scheme was completely successful. The students listened with
breathless attention, and were dumb when the speech was concluded.
To the inquiry of Professor Park if there were any criticisms to be
offered, not a voice was raised; and the professor himself remarked
that though there were some things, perhaps, that might be said in
criticism, yet it was so admirable a specimen of masterful rhetoric
that he should say nothing. It has been considered so much of a
masterpiece in its kind, that at Andover they still point out No. 20
Bartlett Hall as the room in which it was written.


There is an unmistakable dramatic quality in the conception and speech
of “Spartacus,” as there were hints of such a dramatic quality in
some of Mr. Kellogg’s sermons in later years, and it is interesting
to note that, in his Senior year at Andover, he wrote a “dialogue,”
or brief play, called “The Honest Deserter,” which was performed by
the Philomathean Society of Phillips Academy. The occasion of its
presentation was considered of so much interest and importance that an
elm tree was planted in the Phillips yard in commemoration of the event.

When in his Senior year as a theological student Mr. Kellogg went to
Harpswell to preach for some weeks, his personality and his preaching,
his love of the sea and his kindly human qualities, so won the hearts
of the Harpswell people that they besought him to return to Harpswell
after his graduation, and become their pastor. To their urgent request
he yielded, being himself much attracted by the people and their home
by the sea. It was in 1844 that he was publicly installed over the
church, and the official tie of pastor to the Harpswell church was
severed only by his death.



Harpswell, Maine, is a seaboard, almost a sea-girt, town. It is
made up of a long, narrow neck of land and forty islands, some
containing hundreds of acres, others almost entirely covered by the
tide. Indenting the shore of this peninsula and the larger islands
are sheltered inlets of deep water well suited to the building
and harboring of ships. Hither came, during the first half of the
eighteenth century, from Boston, Scituate, York, and other settlements,
men and women of Puritan stock and Puritan ways of thinking; and here
grew up large families, hardy and God-fearing, some farmers, but most
of them fishermen, sailors, and ship-builders.

Elijah Kellogg could not long attend Bowdoin College, only a few
miles distant, without being attracted to these sea-going people of
Harpswell; for Kellogg was born with webbed feet. When hardly out of
the cradle, family tradition has it, he went to sail in Back Cove,
Portland, with a sugar-box for a boat and his shirt for a sail. As a
youngster he would often steal to the Fore Street wharves to watch
the ships, and he was never so happy as when listening to the yarns
which the sailors spun. He says of himself, “At ten years of age I
began to climb the rigging, and at fifteen went to sea.” His years in
the “fo’c’sle,” with all their perilous and disagreeable tasks, only
intensified his love for the water. As a Freshman he took supreme
delight in sailing with a good comrade, on a Saturday afternoon, in his
little cat-rigged boat, the _Cadet_, among the islands of Casco Bay.

One of these half-holiday expeditions affected, as it happened, his
whole after-life. The _Cadet_, belated by wind and tide, ran ashore
on Birch Island, and “Captain” Kellogg and crew, supperless and
weary, sought shelter at the house of Captain John Skolfield. Mr.
Kellogg never forgot how cosily the light from the house that evening
shone through the hop vines growing over and around the windows. The
hospitable islander gave the wayfarers a warm welcome and a plentiful
supper; for which hospitality, before the evening ended, Kellogg, full
of stories of college and the sea, made his host feel well repaid.
Thus began his acquaintance with the Birch Islanders,--the Skolfields,
Curtises, and Merrimans,--an acquaintance which was to ripen into
a life-long friendship. The men on this island, hardy, powerful,
and fearless, at once became heroes in the admiring eyes of this
venture-loving student. After this he spent many happy hours building
boats, gunning and fishing with Captain John, or spinning yarns and
reading aloud with “Uncle Joe” Curtis,--a man who read every book he
could get hold of and who remembered everything he read.

From Birch Island to Harpswell Neck, where Eaton’s store and the
church were located, is but a short row; there Kellogg often went to
buy something for his boat, or to worship on the Sabbath. Before long
he had many friends and admirers upon the mainland; for these people
had but to see the sharp-eyed, brown, wiry “colleger,” and hear his
stories, or listen to his earnest and eloquent exhortations in the
prayer-meeting, in order to love him. It was with them, as well as
with him, love at first sight; and by the time he was a Sophomore they
had plighted troth. Learning that he was to study for the ministry,
they must have him for their preacher; and he, half jokingly perhaps,
told them if he lived to get through the seminary and they built a new
church, he would come to preach for them.

After graduation at Bowdoin, Kellogg began the study of theology at
Andover. When his course at the seminary was near its close, Professor
Thomas C. Upham, who had been so stanch a friend of the Harpswell
church that Mr. Kellogg once said it owed its very existence to him,
came to Andover with a message from the Harpswell people that the
timber for the new church was on the spot, and they still wanted him
for a preacher. The bearer of the message evidently saw in the young
preacher the salvation of the Harpswell church; for he reënforced this
reminder of the promise Kellogg had made in his student days by the
emphatic prophecy that God would curse him as long as he lived if he
did not go. Influenced somewhat by these prophetic words, but probably
much more by his love for the place and the people and the opportunity
he saw of doing good, he turned away from a call to a much larger
church and went to Harpswell, where, as he said many years later, he
found that “obedience is sweet and not servitude.”

Although Mr. Kellogg, in response to this informal invitation, began at
once to supply the pulpit in the old church, a formal call to settle as
pastor was not extended to him until the next year. The reason for this
becomes apparent upon an examination of the church records.

The original Harpswell church and parish were at this time passing
through a transition period. Formed in 1751, the parish was at first
identical with the town. The preacher’s salary and other church
expenses were assessed by the town officers as taxes. But later, other
churches having been built and other denominations having sprung up,
many citizens objected to being taxed for the support of the minister,
and some absolutely refused to pay such taxes. A troublesome question
concerning the control and ownership of the first church building also
arose between the town and the parish. Accordingly the supporters of
the Congregational church organized a new society and erected a new
church building.

This church was dedicated September 28, 1843. For this dedication the
following poem was written by Mr. Kellogg:--

   “Here, ’mid the strife of wind and waves
    Upon a wild and stormy sod,
    Beside our fathers’ homes and graves,
    We consecrate a house to God.
    “Here, on many a pebbly shore,
    Old Ocean flings his feathery foam,
    And close beside the breaker’s roar
    The seaman builds his island home.
    “’Mid giant cliffs that proudly breast
    And backward fling the winter’s spray,
    ’Mid isles in greenest verdure dressed,
    ’Tis meet that rugged men should pray.
    “Its spire shall be the last to meet
    The parting seaman’s lingering eye,
    The first his homeward step to greet,
    And point him to a home on high.
    “Here shall the force of sacred truth
    Defeat the Tempter’s wildest rage,
    Subdue the fiery heart of youth
    And cheer the drooping strength of age.
    “And when the watch of life is o’er
    May we, where runs no stubborn tide,
    No billows break, nor tempests roar,
    In Heaven’s high port at anchor ride.”

The records show that on April 25, 1844, with Professor Upham as
moderator, it was “moved and voted that the church of the Centre
Congregational Society in Harpswell do hereby invite and call Mr.
Elijah Kellogg to settle with them as their pastor in the Gospel
ministry and [do agree] to pay [him] by subscription $300 a year for
four years from the first day of June, 1844.” This call to what proved
to be a long and fruitful pastorate Mr. Kellogg, on May 4, 1844,
accepted in these simple and earnest words: “Brethren and Beloved: I
have considered your call to settle with you as a minister of the New
Testament. It appears to me to be the will of God pointed out by his
providence that I comply with your invitation, which I accordingly do,
praying that it may be a connection full of blessed fruits both to
pastor and people.”


The new pastor was ordained on June 18, 1844. He entered with
enthusiasm into his work. Among these rugged farmers, fishermen, and
sailors, he sought in all ways to expound and exemplify the teachings
of Him who many years before taught the fishermen of Galilee. On the
Sabbath he preached sermons so interesting and eloquent that people
came in boat loads from the islands to hear his words; and he entered
familiarly and sympathetically into the home life of his parishioners.
“His little boat might be seen in all weathers flitting to and fro
between mainland and islands as he made the circuit of his watery
parish in visits of friendship or of consolation, to officiate at a
marriage or a funeral. He was heartily welcome in every home, for he
knew their domestic life, and seemed to be a part of it; and he talked
of the sea and of Him who made it in a way that brought him close
to the hearts of his people, and made religion seem a natural and
practical and important part of daily life. He rebuked wrong-doing,
recognized and applauded every good act or effort, composed differences
between neighbors, helped in manual toil, comforted the afflicted, gave
to the poor,--and all in such a simple, unconventional, and genuine
fashion, that his people felt that he was one of them, only better than
the rest.[1]”

 [1] From an address by Professor Henry L. Chapman, delivered at the
 Maine State Congregational Conference, September, 1901.

The pastor of the early forties was often formal, arbitrary, and
autocratic, seeking to drive rather than to lead his flock. Between
pastor and people there was too often a great gulf fixed. But this
humorous, unpretentious, sincere man did not hold himself as of finer
clay than his people. He liked to plant and reap with his parishioners.
To pull rockweed and pitch hay and chop wood, to swing the flail and
hold the plough, were not beneath his dignity.

One Sunday during these first years of his pastorate, just after
reading the usual notices, he said: “Widow Jones’s grass, I see, needs
mowing. I shall be in her field to-morrow morning at half-past four
with scythe, rake, and pitch-fork. I shall be glad to see all of you
there who wish to come and help me.” The next morning found a good crew
of men and boys in the field ready for work. Among them was a man six
feet two in his stocking-feet and weighing some 250 pounds. Captain
Griggs we will call him. As they were working up the field near each
other, the captain said, “Parson, I am going to cut your corners this
morning.” The little wiry parson, who had served a good apprenticeship
upon his uncle’s farm in Gorham, whet his scythe and kept his counsel.
The big captain didn’t cut any of his corners that day. Indeed, the
story goes that before noon the man who thought that he could mow
around the parson, dropped under a tree, exhausted by the terrific pace
that Kellogg set.

Before he had completed the first year of his ministry, Mr. Kellogg was
elected a member of the school committee, on which he served several
years. That he sought to do his duty on the school board faithfully
is attested by the resolution--heroic it will seem to some--which he
recorded on December 8, 1844. “Having never till this time been fully
convinced of the importance of mathematics in strengthening the mind
and preparing it to investigate truth, and never having been able to
conquer my dislike for them till led to them by the study of philosophy
and an impression of the interdependence of all philosophy and all
science, I now begin at the bottom and determine to push my researches
as far as possible and to set down whatever may be worthy of note. I
this day commenced Emerson’s Arithmetic in order to be prepared to
do my duty thoroughly as one of the superintending committee.” As
committeeman, he did more than make a perfunctory visit twice a term.
He kept his eyes open for the alert, promising, studious lad. Such a
boy he encouraged, advised concerning his studies, and often urged to
go to Master Swallow’s school in Brunswick and fit for college. These
boys he picked carefully, for he didn’t believe in “wasting nails by
driving them into rotten wood.”

From the first of his ministry to the very end, Mr. Kellogg showed an
instinctive knowledge of boys, and originality in dealing with them.
Any just estimate of his work and character must rate high his tact in
handling and influencing boys. Wherever he preached, boys were quick to
see that he was their friend, a man after their own heart. They soon
found that this unconventional, simple, eloquent little man, who had a
way of throwing his arm over a boy’s shoulder and walking home from
the evening meeting with him, was more than an ordinary preacher. They
found that he could understand them. They could tell him their jokes
and their serious plans, and he could see through their eyes and hear
through their ears. They found that he, more perhaps than any other man
they had ever known, was all the time at heart a boy himself; that he
was interested in them not simply as a professional duty, but because
he couldn’t help it. He loved boys, was happy in their companionship,
and delighted to talk of his own boyhood and college days,--of the
time when the frogs by croaking “K’logg, K’logg,” called him away from
school, or when he in recitation informed his dignified professor that
Polycarp was one of the _many_ daughters of Mr. Carp. He would swim and
sail and farm and fish with the boys in his parish, and then, at an
unexpected moment, but in a manner not repellent, he would kneel down
in their boat or in the field by the side of a cock of hay or a shock
of corn and pray with them.

Many men to-day who were born and bred in Harpswell like to tell of
the way he won and kept their friendship. Here, for example, was a
boy whom he was taking to Portland in his boat; the youngster felt
very proud, for his grandmother had intrusted to him her eggs to take
to market. But alas! in disembarking he dropped the basket, and the
eggs were smashed. The boy’s extremity, however, was the preacher’s
opportunity. By paying for those eggs from his own pocketbook, he saved
the young marketman no end of humiliation, and bound him to his soul
with a hoop of steel.

If one may judge by his journal and correspondence, no work that Mr.
Kellogg did during his long life afforded him greater satisfaction or
yielded larger returns in affection and gratitude and right living than
his work with boys. When, for instance, he had been on Harpswell Neck
less than a year, he heard that a schooner had put into Potts’s Point,
some ten miles below his home, with a boy on board who had broken his
leg. He knew that this boy on a small schooner in a strange place would
need sadly the comforts of home. He hastened to him, brought him to
his boarding-place, put him in his own bed, and nursed him as he would
have nursed a son. When the boy was able to go to sea again, having no
money, he could repay his benefactor for all the trouble and expense he
had been, only with words of kindness and gratitude. Years afterwards,
however, when Mr. Kellogg was preaching in Boston, a well-dressed man
and woman came into the sailors’ church, and appeared much interested
in the sermon. At the close of the service they came forward and spoke
to the preacher. The boy had now become a man--the mate of a large
ship. The bread which the young minister had cast upon the waters
now returned to him after twenty years, in the words of affection
and encouragement with which this man and his wife expressed their
gratitude, also in the $50 which, as they bade him good-by, they left
in his hand.

For some years Bowdoin College, recognizing Mr. Kellogg’s power in
getting at the heart of boys, had the custom of sending to him some
of the students whom it rusticated; and his strong, manly character
brought more than one boy to his better self. That his treatment of
these boys was not exactly that of Squeers, this instance will show.
One young fellow whom the college sent him was especially rebellious
at first. Through cheap story papers he had come cheek by jowl with
old Sleuth and his boon companions, and he sought to emulate them
by carrying a revolver and a dirk knife. Mr. Kellogg told him that
as he would not find any Indians or many wild beasts down there, he
had better surrender his weapons. This the young man did after much
reluctance. During the first day, Mr. Kellogg left him to himself, as
he was inclined to sulk. In the evening he began to talk to the boy
indifferently at first, afterwards kindly. All the time--lover-like--he
kept edging up nearer to him on the big sofa, and finally in his
genuine, whole-souled way, put his hand affectionately on the lad’s
shoulder. To such treatment the young fellow was not accustomed. It was
so different from his over-stern father’s that it threw him entirely
off his guard. He could not withstand the man’s kindly interest and
genuine manner. His rebellious spirit was broken. The boy dreaded his
father’s rebuke, and the next day, unknown to him, Mr. Kellogg wrote
to his mother, telling all about her son and urging that the father
write to him kindly and not sternly. A few days after this the young
fellow was surprised and delighted to receive from home a letter of
forgiveness and encouragement.

On July 4, there was to be a celebration in Portland. The boy wished
but did not expect to go. “Well,” said Mr. Kellogg one day after they
had been speaking of the matter, “I am afraid you can’t go. I have
no authority to let you. But, then, I really want to attend that
celebration myself, and I can’t be expected to leave you at home
alone.” When the day of celebration came, the student and the preacher
could have been seen tramping the streets of Portland, both, no doubt,
having a right royal good time.

A few years ago, the heart of the aged minister was uplifted by the
assurance that he had dealt aright with this high-spirited lad.
A successful business man, the vice-president of a large western
railroad, came many miles to look again into his kindly face and to
tell him that those weeks of companionship full of honest counsel
marked the turning-point in his life.

For the first five years of his life in Harpswell, Mr. Kellogg boarded
at the home of one of his parishioners, Mr. Joseph Eaton. Here his
mother spent the summers with him, his father having died in 1843. In
1849 he bought a farm of thirty-five acres at North Harpswell, and at
once began to build a house that he might provide a suitable home for
his lame and aged mother. The location of this house is an attractive
one. It is on the western side of Harpswell Neck, a half-mile or so
from the main-travelled road. From it the land slopes gently an eighth
of a mile, perhaps, to the shore of Middle Bay. From the windows of the
house which he here built, one peeping through the oaks and spruces on
a summer’s day may see to the west, across the sparkling water of the
channel, the green sloping bank of Simpson’s Point, or to the south
Birch and Scrag islands and several of the other 363 which dot the
waters of Casco Bay. The house itself is a wooden, two-story, L-shaped
farm-house facing the west, bespeaking nothing of luxury, but large
enough to be airy in the summer, and in the winter a good place, as
Captain Rhines would say, in which to ride out the storm.

Much of the material of which the house is made Mr. Kellogg brought
here from different parts of his parish; some strong timbers from
Ragged Island, three miles out at sea, fine sand for his mortar from
Sand Island, and the door-stone from Birch. Nearly all of the larger
timbers in his house this preacher cut and hauled himself. And when
they were on the spot, seventy-five of his friends and neighbors,
giving him a good surprise, as did those of Lion Ben in the Elm Island
stories, came and hewed the timbers and framed his house. Little
wonder is it that this house, with its attractive surroundings and its
pleasant associations, was ever to him the most beautiful place on

He lived here with his mother and housekeeper until 1852, when his
mother died. This bereavement took a strong influence out of his
life; for the tactful, firm-willed mother had played a large part in
moulding the character of her impetuous, venturesome son. In 1854 he
married Miss Hannah Pearson Pomeroy, daughter of Rev. Thaddeus Pomeroy
of Syracuse, New York, previously pastor of the Congregational church
of Gorham, Maine. Three children were born to them: a son who died
in infancy; Frank Gilman, at present in business in Boston; and Mary
Catherine, the wife of Mr. Harry Batchelder of Melrose Highlands,

The circumstances of Mr. Kellogg’s marriage are characteristic. While
he always maintained a due respect for women, he was preeminently a
man’s man or perhaps better a boy’s man. It is not surprising, then,
to be told that his wife was “recommended to him.” A friend of his
at Gorham, rallying him a bit on his bachelorhood, asked why in the
world he did not marry. “Oh,” said he, “I can find no one to have me.”
Whereupon his friend replied, “There is your old schoolmate, Hannah
Pomeroy of Syracuse, a minister’s daughter, well educated, a good
school-teacher, and smart as a whip; just the woman for a minister’s
wife.” What had been the preacher’s previous plans concerning matrimony
is not known, but before long he took a trip to Syracuse, and when
he returned, the bargain was practically made. Though apparently so
businesslike a transaction, this proved to be for more than forty
years a happy union. His friend spoke truly. Had Mr. Kellogg searched
many years, he could not have found a better helpmate than Hannah
Pomeroy. Attractive, sincere, energetic, practical, she was a prudent,
encouraging wife and a wise, loving mother.

Wife of Elijah Kellogg.]

The folk-lore of Harpswell contains many stories of this minister’s
daring on sea and land and of his original ways in dealing with both
saints and sinners; so original, indeed, that one rough old admirer
on Ragged Island, whom Mr. Kellogg had influenced for good in a way
that no other minister had ever thought of doing, said that when
Parson Kellogg died, he was going to carve upon his tombstone three
letters--”D. F. M.” The last two were to stand for “Funny Minister.”

This daring parson had upon his farm a bull that rendered himself
extremely obnoxious to visitors who found it convenient to reach
his house by crossing the pasture. The bull, therefore, must be
disciplined. The preacher first harnessed Mr. Taurus to the front
wheels of a heavy cart, preparatory to putting him over the road and
showing him who was master. But before the guiding ropes had been
adequately arranged, the bull on a mad rush took to the woods, leaving
in his trail fragments of cart-wheels and harness. The little minister,
however, was not thus to be outdone. The next day, at flood-tide, with
tempting fodder he allured the bull to the end of the wharf and in an
unguarded moment shoved him into the bay. An excellent swimmer, he
then quickly jumped astride the bull’s back. By grasping his horns and
intermittently thrusting his head under water, with a prowess which a
“broncho-buster” might well envy, he conquered his steed. Thus, as all
stories rightly end, they lived happily together ever afterwards.

Of this pastor’s unconventional methods in accepting and dispensing
gifts of charity, the following are illustrative. One afternoon, just
before tea, he happened into the house of a master ship-builder in
his parish, a man of property and influence. The old gentleman was on
the best of terms with the young preacher, and after passing the time
of day, began to banter him on the condition of his boots, which were
muddy and somewhat the worse for wear. “Parson, what makes you wear
such disreputable-looking foot-gear?” he said. “Throw those boots away
and let me get you a new pair.” The parson waited till later before
he fired the return shot. After all were comfortably seated at the
tea-table and he had said grace, he asked to be excused for a moment
and went to the sitting room. There a good fire was blazing upon the
hearth, and near by were the master-builder’s best shoes. Quickly came
off the parson’s old boots, and into the fire they went; and as quickly
went on to stay the master-builder’s best calfskins.

One winter day while on Orr’s Island, he got an inkling that a family
there was in distress. By skilful inquiry he learned that the father
had been drinking badly, and the mother and children needed food and
fuel. Something must be done at once to relieve them. Going to the
house of a well-to-do parishioner, he requested the use of his horse
and sled for an hour or two. When they were ready, he quickly drove up
to the man’s woodpile and loaded the sled generously, while the owner
stood by in wonderment. The only explanation given was: “That family
down there need fuel badly. You’ve got a plenty, and I’m going to haul
them down a good load.” And that was explanation enough, for Parson
Kellogg offered it.

Although so familiar and informal in his social and pastoral relations,
as a preacher he never hesitated to point out to his people their
duty in language that was unmistakable. Soon after the new church was
built, for example, he told them that increased privilege means ever
increased responsibility. “God has given you,” he said, “a commodious
and elegant place of worship. Why? That you might sit down and admire
it and be proud of it? Do that, and He will wither you to the root. Do
it, and He will send leanness into your souls. My dear friends, we had
better, like our Puritan forefathers on the coast of Holland, kneel
down among the rocks and seaweed in the cold winter to pray to God with
the humble spirit with which they prayed than to worship Him here in
peace and comfort, surrounded with tasteful decorations, without that
humility. You have heard of congratulation and praise as much as you
ought to hear. I wish you to look at your increased responsibility. As
God has made you first in point of privilege, be not by abusing those
privileges the last to attain salvation.”

In his pulpit, with plain-spoken words such as these, and with quaint
phrases, and apt illustrations drawn from the farm, the forest, and
the sea, this preacher quickened the conscience, and broadened the
sympathies, and strengthened the faith of the farmers, fishermen, and
sailors, who heard him gladly. As a preacher, “he seemed,” says one
who knew him well, “a prophet in the authority with which he spoke, an
evangelist in the tenderness with which he appealed to the conscience
and set forth the promises of the Gospel, a poet often in the simple
beauty and grace with which he portrayed the conditions of human life,
and discoursed of the deep things of God.”



At its annual meeting, May 17, 1854, the Boston Seaman’s Friend
Society accepted the resignation of Rev. George W. Bourne, pastor of
the Mariners’ Church and chaplain of the Sailors’ Home. The board of
managers then began the search for “a suitable man” for the vacant
position, and their choice fell upon Rev. Elijah Kellogg of Harpswell,

Mr. Kellogg began his duties in September of that year, with his
accustomed earnestness, and under his ministry the attendance at the
church increased, and a new impulse was given to the society’s work.

He first appeared before the society at its twenty-seventh anniversary,
held in Tremont Temple, May 30, 1855. A large audience was assembled.
President Alpheus Hardy introduced him in complimentary terms, and he
made an eloquent address. His “suitability” as the seaman’s friend and
pastor is shown in these extracts: “The greater portion of my life has
been spent among seamen, either at sea or on shore. The first personal
effort, to any extent, I made for the salvation of souls was while
teaching among a community of sailors. The first sermon I preached
was to sailors. The first couple I united in marriage were a sailor
and his bride. The first child I baptized was a sailor’s child. The
first burial service I performed was over the body of a seaman. The
society with which I have been connected during the last eleven years
is with scarcely an exception composed of sailors and their families.
There is not a house in the parish in which the roar of the surf may
not be heard, and in many of them the Atlantic flings its spray upon
the door-stone.... The men who interest seamen and do them good have
not any recipe for it; neither can they impart it to others. It is all
instinctive. They love the webbed feet, and the webbed feet love them.”

Mr. Kellogg was at this time forty-one years old. His pleasing personal
appearance and his hearty, rugged, forceful utterance made a favorable
impression upon his hearers.

The task he had undertaken was by no means an easy one. It involved
hard and constant work, often of a kind little, if at all, like that
of the average clergyman. On the Sabbath there were in the Mariners’
Church three services for public worship, and the Sunday-school. In
addition to this work upon the Sabbath, Mr. Kellogg conducted a social
religious meeting in the reading room of the Sailors’ Home upon one
evening of each week, and in the winter lectured occasionally in the
church upon topics of vital interest. He visited sailors upon shipboard
and in hospital, offered the comforts of religion to the sick and
dying, and often communicated to loved ones the parting message they
would never otherwise have received. For this work the salary was
necessarily small, and the material equipment not of the best; but Mr.
Kellogg did not hesitate. He threw himself into the work with zeal and

From the establishment of the Seaman’s Friend Society in 1827 to July
12, 1852, religious services were held at the Sailors’ Home, but upon
the latter date the building was burned. The church at the corner of
Summer and Sea streets, which had formerly been owned and used by
the Christian Baptists, was soon after purchased, and on December 30,
1852, was dedicated to the work for sailors. A church building, in
these days, like the modest bethel in Summer Street would be regarded
as quaint in appearance and ill-adapted to its uses. It was inferior,
in many ways, even to other churches of its day, but it was easily
accessible to those to whom it especially ministered (wharves to the
south were then much more fully utilized by shipping than they now
are), and was in the centre of a favorite residential district; for
Fort Hill and surrounding streets were at that time mainly occupied by
pretentious dwellings.

The Sailors’ Home, when rebuilt, was a large brick structure upon the
eastern slope of Fort Hill, at 99 Purchase Street. Here, with Mr. John
O. Chaney as its superintendent, many of the brave carriers of the
commerce of the world were comfortably housed and cared for. The Home
had a large reading room and library, and besides providing good board
and home comforts, it did much from time to time for the relief of
shipwrecked and destitute sailors. Often hundreds of sailors were here.
The very year Mr. Kellogg began his work it sheltered 2458, and during
his chaplaincy of nearly eleven years 25,358 were beneath its roof.

In urging the need and importance of such an institution as a haven of
rest, a “port in a storm,” Mr. Kellogg once said: “Suppose twenty-five
seamen from Calcutta, with beard and hair of 130 days’ growth,
hammocks, canvas bags, sheath knives, chests lashed up with tarred
rigging, redolent of bilge water, with a monkey or two, and three or
four parrots, should drive up to the Revere House in a North End wagon,
and say, ’We want to stop here; our money is as good as anybody’s,’
would they stop there? Would their money be as good as anybody’s? I
trow not. Let them, repulsed from the Revere, go to the Marlboro,--a
temperance, pious house, prayers night and morning,--and tell the
proprietor if he does not take them in they must go to a place that
leads to a drunkard’s grave and the drunkard’s hell, would they be
taken in there, think you? This shows the need of a Sailors’ Home, does
it not?”

When Mr. Kellogg had been at work awhile, Captain Andrew Bartlett of
Plymouth, a retired ship-master, was employed by the society as a
missionary helper. Always faithful and zealous, as “a lieutenant to Mr.
Kellogg,”--so he styled himself,--Captain Bartlett proved of valuable
assistance. With his aid libraries were placed upon shipboard to be
managed by Christian sailors, and the minor details of the work went
forward successfully.

Another fruitful source of increased life and enthusiasm in the work
came early in Mr. Kellogg’s pastorate. It was a body of young men
drawn by the personal magnetism of the popular preacher, inspired by
his earnestness and devotion, and moved by their own desire to be of
service in the good cause. He issued no special call, made no urgent
appeal, for these helpers. One by one they came, impelled by the
promptings of the Holy Spirit. They rallied like a forlorn hope in a
desperate encounter, each feeling that his services were needed. They
were ready for any service their Divine Guide and their beloved leader
might require of them, should it carry them even to “moving accidents
by flood and field.” They had heard the “still, small voice,” and had
responded, “Here am I; send me.”

Captain Bartlett early reported: “The young men of the church are Mr.
Kellogg’s body-guard. They are a sort of flying artillery. They visit
the receiving-ship, the Marine Hospital, and other places. They hold
meetings, and talk with sailors.”

Mr. Kellogg in an annual address before the society said: “An army
of young men are putting their strength to the wheel of a difficult
and hitherto well-nigh discouraging work. It was feared by many, when
these efforts began, that they were the outgrowth of romance and the
love of novelty, and would be of transient duration; but they have
assumed the same enduring character as the other departments of labor.
At the hospital, on board the receiving-ship, at the Mariners’ Church
on Sabbath evenings, they have entered heart and hand into this work,
and, from their very youth, adapted to the impulsive nature of seamen,
they have been in the hands of God a most efficient instrumentality for

This army of young men grew very rapidly during the revival of 1858,
and by the beginning of the Civil War was of creditable size. At the
Sunday evening prayer-meetings it made itself especially felt. On these
occasions the church was always crowded. Ministers of the Gospel,
merchants, young people, and captains of ships sat side by side with
men whom every wind had blown upon, from the equator to the pole,
all uniting in fervent prayer to the same great Father, all striving
to bring each other to a knowledge of the truth. Not an evangelical
denomination in the city was unrepresented, and it is impossible to
form even an approximate estimate of the amount of good accomplished,
for these meetings were exceptional both in number of attendants and in
interest shown.

[Illustration: ELIJAH KELLOGG AT FORTY-THREE. 1856.]

But war came, and it found the Mariners’ Church patriotic to the very
core. Mr. Kellogg had to report that sixty-eight of his“body-guard”
had enlisted to fight for the preservation of the Union, sixteen of
them teachers in the Sunday-school. In 1864, in his address before the
society, he said: “At the beginning of the war there were connected
with the Mariners’ Church a body of young men, landsmen, who were
deeply interested in the conversion of sailors and enjoyed their
confidence and affection. They, with a single exception, entered the
army. Poor and without patronage, they enlisted as privates. Five of
them have been promoted.”

Those connected with the Mariners’ Church when the war opened will
never forget the stirring scenes in the church meetings or the eloquent
words of patriotism and faith with which the pastor bade his “boys”
Godspeed as they went forth into the great struggle. One Sunday
evening in April, 1861, he spoke feelingly of the impending crisis.
He was so prophetic, outlining so accurately what afterward proved
to be the extent and course of the secession movement, that many of
his hearers have since thought him to have been almost inspired. When
he had finished, he requested three of his “boys” who had enlisted,
one of whom had that very day been admitted to the church, to step to
the desk. Then, amid a scene such as is rarely witnessed in a sacred
edifice, he talked to them personally, while the large audience showed
great sympathy and the liveliest interest. When the enthusiasm had
reached its highest pitch, he drew from under his desk three revolvers
and passed them to the young men, bidding them go forth in the name
of God, in a cause which he declared to be as holy as any that ever
a people contended for. In 1865, referring feelingly to the services
of these young men in the field, he said: “They departed with the
prayers and good wishes of the congregation. One of them, but nineteen
years old, fell at Gettysburg; another,[2] having been twice severely
wounded, has returned with honor, and the third, having received three
wounds, and led his company at the storming of Fort Fisher, still
remains a captain in the service.”

 [2] Readers will be interested to know that Mr. Kimball, the author of
 this chapter, is here referred to.--W. B. M.

The work was often attended by interesting and sometimes humorous
incidents. During a meeting in the reading room of the Home one evening
an intoxicated sailor created a disturbance at the door. He wanted to
enter, and had to be held back by force. The meeting closed, and the
“flying artillery,” under the leadership of Mr. Kellogg, was about
starting for the nine o’clock prayer-meeting at the rooms of the Young
Men’s Christian Association in Tremont Temple. The inebriate took it
into his head to go too. He was reasoned with, but without effect. “You
fellows have got a good thing,” said he, “and I want some of it.” The
leader and his “body-guard” started, and sure enough, the disciple
of Bacchus followed. Mr. Kellogg protested, but in vain, and finally
ordered “the flying artillery” to take the double-quick. The man then
showed that he, too, could sprint a bit even if he did happen to be
“loaded.” He managed to keep the party in sight, and although he met
many obstacles and collided with a horse-car in crossing Washington
Street, he succeeded in landing a fairly good second. He was not
allowed to enter the prayer-meeting, however, as he was still inclined
to be noisy, but was “held” in an adjoining room. The young men got
him back to the Home after the meeting, and he again declared it his
purpose to have religion anyhow, in spite of opposition. Next morning
he appeared, demanded a pen, and with the air of a usurper of a
throne about to banish all who had in any way opposed him, placed his
name upon the temperance pledge. That evening in the prayer-meeting
he requested prayers. He gave his heart to Christ, became a devoted
worker, and a year afterward, returning from a voyage, was found to be
still in the faith.

But sinners had to be brought to repentance ordinarily. They rarely
came unsought, like this poor wayfarer, and thus Mr. Kellogg and his
helpers always found plenty to do. It was an inspiring scene when the
leader and his “body-guard” set out for the prayer-meeting upon the
receiving-ship _Ohio_ or returned therefrom. In going, they usually met
at the Young Men’s Christian Association, proceeding thence via “Foot
and Walker’s line,” two by two, keeping step to the music of their own
voices. “The Old Mountain Tree,” “A Life on the Ocean Wave,” and many
other popular songs of the day, as well as hymns, were sung. Among
the favorite hymns was “Say, brothers, will you meet us?” It had that
stirring chorus, “Glory, glory, hallelujah.” This was sung a great
deal, and it finally became the foundation of the famous “John Brown
Song,” to the rhythm of which thousands marched in the great war for
the nation’s life.

No small part of Mr. Kellogg’s success in this work came from his
intimate knowledge of the seaman’s nature. Sailors are in many ways
peculiar, and in order to be of service to them a worker must proceed
understandingly. They regard themselves as in a measure set apart from
their fellow-men. One of them once wrote:--

   “I am alone--the wide, wide world
      Holds not a heart that beats for me;
    I’ve seen my brightest hopes grow dim,
      As fades the twilight o’er the sea.”

That Mr. Kellogg understood this loneliness and had a large sympathy
for the men “that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in
great waters,” these eloquent words of his well show: “In respect to
the great mass of seamen, they neither own land, build houses, nor rear
families. They neither give nor receive those sympathies and attentions
which create among men a mutual dependence and attachment. When they
are sick, no circle of neighbors and friends watch by their bedside
and minister to their necessities, but the walls of the hospital, if
on shore, receive them and conceal their sorrows from observation. No
kindred follow them to the grave and erect the memorial stone. They
are not, in the expressive language of Scripture, ’gathered unto their
fathers,’ but they are buried on the shores of foreign lands, or amid
the everlasting snows of the pole, or in the abyss of ocean, slumbering
in nameless sepulchres and mausoleums of the mighty deep. Like the
winds that bear and the waves that break around them, they are the
visitors of every clime, the residents of none.... The knowledge of the
community at large in respect to seamen is too often gleaned from the
exaggerated descriptions of novelists.... Every man has in his heart
home feeling. It is an old-fashioned thing. He drew it in with his
mother’s milk. He learned it at his father’s knees. Even sailors are
men. They did not spring from the froth of the sea, like Venus. They
had mothers and fathers that loved them and prayed for them. It is the
heart makes home. It is the heart makes friends in the world. The heart
makes heaven.”

Sailors are ever among the bravest of the brave. Great as is the
appreciation of the American people of the bravery of the men who lined
up behind the guns of our warships in the great war which kept the
Union whole, it is not half great enough.

Neither can we overestimate their loyalty in all great crises of the
nation’s history. It was President Lincoln who pointed out the fact
that in all the general defection of the first period of secession not
a single common seaman proved false to his flag.

In a prayer-meeting at the Mariners’ Church while the war was in
progress a landsman lamented its effect upon the “Jackies.” A
man-of-war’s man arose and said: “What is war to me? What is war to my
shipmates? It brings no increase of peril--only another kind. We have
always faced danger and death and disease. What is it to me whether
danger comes from storms or from batteries? I can kneel down between
the guns and pray as well as in my room at the Sailors’ Home.”

For patriotism and bravery wherever shown, Mr. Kellogg had the greatest
admiration. Besides the large number of landsmen connected with his
church who entered the service, over two hundred of the inmates of
the Sailors’ Home joined the army and more than six hundred the navy
during the war. With many of these, Mr. Kellogg kept in touch through
frequent correspondence, and looked after their personal needs. He
loved them all. He often sent necessities and delicacies to his“boys”
at the front. In one of the early battles,[3] one of the young men of
whom mention has been made as receiving arms at his hands in a Sunday
evening prayer-meeting was wounded. He at once visited the hospital
to which the young man had been taken, secured a furlough for him,
provided him liberally with necessities, brought him to Boston, and
sent him to his home in Maine for a visit to his father and mother.

 [3] Here, again, the reference is to Mr. Kimball.--W. B. M.

The results of Mr. Kellogg’s great work for seamen were often not
apparent. His sailor parishioners were scattered throughout the
world. In speaking of this, he once said: “If a person on shore is
converted, it immediately becomes known to a church of perhaps six
hundred members; if he leads a devoted Christian life, his influence is
felt by thousands. But these Harlan Pages of the ocean, who pray with
messmates, speak good words to shipmates in the middle watch, maintain
a Christian life on board frigates which have been compared to floating
hells enlivened once in a while by a drowning--who writes their
memoirs? What stone records their virtues? What periodical chronicles
their death? They slip quietly to heaven unnoticed and unknown. Their
bier is a plank across the lee gunwale, their mausoleum the ocean,
their epitaph is written in water. And when the report circulates in
the forecastles of different vessels, some old sailor, dashing a tear
from his eye with his shirt-sleeve, exclaims to his shipmates, ‘Well,
he has gone to heaven. He saved my soul, and he would have saved the
whole ship’s company if they had listened to him.’”

The visible results of Mr. Kellogg’s work, however, were from the
first encouraging. During the winter of 1858, the great revival was
fully felt. Many were brought to Christ. The next year the interest
continued, not only at the church and the Sailors’ Home, but at sea.
At the Home 276 signed the temperance pledge and 95 were converted.
Good work was also done at the hospital in Chelsea. That winter word
was received that four members of the Mariners’ Church were holding
prayer-meetings on board the _Hartford_, flagship of the squadron then
in Chinese waters, and that a lieutenant, the fleet surgeon, a ship’s
doctor, a gunner, two midshipmen, six petty officers, and twenty-five
seamen had been converted. Prayer-meetings were then being held upon
fifteen other men-of-war. The next year also showed good results. In
1861, Mr. Kellogg was able to report seventy-four conversions at the
Sailors’ Home, fifty-five on the receiving-ship _Ohio_, twenty-eight
at the hospital in Chelsea, thirty-seven at sea, and a number at the
church. Statistics show the conversion of 725 during his ministry of
eleven years.

The high esteem in which Mr. Kellogg was held by the other clergymen of
Boston was well expressed in 1862 by Dr. Todd of the Central Church.
Speaking at an annual meeting of the society from which Mr. Kellogg was
forced to be absent by a serious attack of lung fever, Dr. Todd said:--
“I regret exceedingly the absence to-day of one who is the life and
soul of this work in this city, whose treasured experience, given in
his racy way, is wont to enliven this anniversary. I regret exceedingly
the cause of his detention. But I may take advantage of his absence to
bear some slight testimony to the preciousness of the influence which
he is exerting. Apart from his successes among seamen, for which he
is eminently qualified by the characteristics of his nature, as well
as the tastes of his heart, he is diffusing an untold influence in
other spheres. I presume that there is not an evangelical clergyman in
this city who cannot gratefully trace among his people, and especially
among the young men of his congregation, the quickening and healthful
influence of the pastor of the Mariners’ Church.”

A year later the decline in the merchant marine began to be seriously
felt. It was said to be due to the sale of a large number of vessels
to the English and the change in destination of others, many going to
England and the Continent which formerly would have come to Boston and
New York. This diversion of commerce was believed to be due to the
prevailing high rates of exchange. Then, of course, a great many of
the men who had manned our merchant vessels had been absorbed by the
army and navy. Just before this decline began, a competent authority
had estimated that throughout the world at least one hundred and forty
thousand merchant vessels of all kinds were afloat, manned by a million
men, and that one-third of these were under the flag of the United

These changes in our commerce and this falling off in American seamen
greatly lessened the number of inmates at the Sailors’ Home, and
seriously weakened the Mariners’ Church. Then, too, a new element had
occupied Fort Hill and the adjacent streets. The growth of business
was crowding people southward and westward, comfortable homes giving
way to commercial establishments. These things, together with an
intention which Mr. Kellogg had long cherished of entering upon a
literary career, caused him to think seriously of resigning his
position. During the summer of 1865 he did so, and was soon after
succeeded by the Rev. J. M. H. Dow.

The foregoing is but a glimpse of Elijah Kellogg’s work in Boston. In
its entirety, that work is known only to God and the Recording Angel.
Its influence was widely felt upon sea and land. Thousands of sailors
upon lonely waters were made happier by it, and up among the hills,
under the trees, at many a farm-house window, sad faces that looked out
and watched for their dear ones’ coming brightened at the remembrance
that they had been led to Christ through the efforts of this seaman’s

Mr. Kellogg was a saintly, lovable man, and but for his modesty,
shunning, as he often did, the leading churches of the day, because of
what he termed their “starch and formality,” he would have been named
and known among the great preachers of his time.



When and under what circumstances I made the acquaintance of the Rev.
Elijah Kellogg I do not now recall. The place, however, was Boston,
and I persuade myself that the time was the winter of 1856-1857,
during what was mentioned in the newspapers of that day as the “Finney
revival.” I was then an errand boy in a jewelry store, a member of the
Park Street Church Sunday-school and congregation, and spent many of
my evenings out--for I slept in the store--at the rooms of the Young
Men’s Christian Association, then in Tremont Temple. It was probably at
the last-mentioned place that Mr. Kellogg came into my life, and now,
looking back over the years that have passed, I acknowledge that I have
cause for gratitude that I did not resist the love and friendship that
he generously bestowed upon me.

Those of us, his friends and admirers, who recall the dignified manners
and solemn utterances of the good old clergyman of our grandfathers’
days--on whose approach to the old homestead we fled like a brood of
frightened chickens--do not find in him a counterpart. He was like yet
unlike them, and it was the unlikeness that attracted young people to
him and compelled them whether they would or no to follow where he led.
It was that he had been a boy--the old school clergyman never gave
evidence of such weakness--and that it seemed no condescension on his
part to be a boy again with boys, when by so being he could keep them
out of mischief and as he was wont to say “headed up the stream.” More
than this he knew how to “get at boys.” He had a purpose in it all.
Many boys did not in my boyhood days--and I assume that they are the
same in all generations--take kindly to being told that unless they
turned over a new leaf and joined the church they would surely go to
the devil. Mr. Kellogg knew this and was ever on the watch to discover
their plans and ambitions, and, apart from sermons,--for he could get
them in in the proper place,--encourage them to strive for success,
while incidentally warning them of the pitfalls in their path. In a
word, he had an intuitive knowledge of the character of the person upon
whom he would impress the better way of life, and knew just how much
religious talk he would stand and still come to him with his burdens
and for advice. His attitude always seemed to be that religion--as men
profess it--was in a large degree dependent upon education in honesty
and sincerity of purpose in the things that are nearest at hand, in the
affairs of everyday life, that if the twig were but rightly bent, thus
the tree would incline. He was indeed a reverend schoolmaster.

Hardly a week passed between the date I have tried to fix and the
time I left Boston in 1870, when, if Mr. Kellogg was in the city, I
did not meet him somewhere in his wanderings. I do not recall that I
ever attended services at the Mariners’ Church on Summer Street, over
which he was for many years pastor, on a Sunday morning or afternoon.
Sunday evening was the time. It was then that the larger half of the
Park Street Church boys and girls ran away, as the annoyed deacons put
it, and went to Mr. Kellogg’s meeting. No matter what the weather
happened to be or what the attractions were at home, the young people
into whose lives Mr. Kellogg had forged his way went where he was to
be found. They had done their duty by their own church, and they must
do their duty by Father Kellogg; and so it happened that year after
year the Seaman’s Bethel was crowded to overflowing on Sunday night,
the middle of the house being reserved for Jack, and the wall pews for
the boys and girls. Incidentally, and always in the right place, the
preacher gave us the advice that was withheld in social and friendly
intercourse. In an up-to-date way of expressing it, he “got it all in.”

Father Kellogg, having followed the sea in his youth, had a good many
odd ways of saying things that were pleasing to us. Here are some that
I now recall:--

The writer said to him one day: “The deacons at Park Street are greatly
offended because you take us away from them on Sunday night, and have
expostulated with us.” “That reminds me of an old couple in our state”
(“our” is accounted for by the fact that the writer is a native of
Gray), he replied. “The wife was a strapping woman of more than two
hundred pounds and the husband was a little fellow of not much over
one hundred pounds. She abused him past the endurance of a block. Her
tongue was forever going. She gave him no rest, no peace. Some one said
to him, ’Why don’t you turn about and give her as good as she sends?’
and he replied, ’Oh, but it amuses her and it doesn’t hurt me any!’ And
that is how it is with the deacons and me. The boys and girls will come
to the Bethel just the same.” He was right about it.

Father Kellogg was standing in his accustomed place one night in front
of the pulpit, watching the ushers and showing anxiety through fear
that sittings would not be found for all comers, when, after looking
about, he pointed to one of the pews, and this is what he said:-- “Six
persons may be comfortably seated in those wall pews. There are only
five in that pew. Why won’t you take another reef in your mainsails,
ladies, and accommodate one more?” The ladies blushed and reefed.

One night, when temperance was the theme, he paused, and directing his
conversation to some boys who were whispering, remarked: “I sometimes
wonder how it will be with young men who cannot behave in Boston, where
there are so many policemen to watch them, when they get into that far
country where there are no policemen. You’d better cast anchor, boys.”

This anecdote is on the writer. My companion was one of the young
ladies of Park Street, and I was feeling just a bit proud of myself.
We were on hand in time, and had good seats against the wall. Distress
came upon me by reason of new and tight-fitting shoes. I had slipped
them off and put them under the seat, and was as peaceful and contented
as a bug in a rug. Presently the crowd came, and there was a demand for
seats. Spying other boys and me, this is how he fixed us: “Here, John,
Thomas, Ezra, Henry, and William, come this way and sit on the pulpit
steps.” All the other boys started. I kept my seat. I was in a fix.
Then he spoke a second time. “Come, come, no hanging back!” Taking the
shoes in my hand, I went as directed. The boys and girls laughed, and
he comforted me by saying: “I sat on the pulpit steps many a time when
I was a boy. It didn’t hurt me, and it won’t hurt you.”

One night just before the benediction he said very earnestly: “I wish
the congregation would exhibit less haste to be dismissed. When the
last verse of the hymn is being sung, you throw your books into the
rack with a nervous thud that sounds like the ’ram-cartridge’ of a
regiment of raw militia. Kindly hold the books in your hands until
after the benediction.”

On one occasion when he was talking about politeness as apart from
selfishness, this is how he got back at some of us, “Now I suppose if
you were travelling in a crowded horse-car, and a tired mother with a
baby in her arms, or a feeble old man with bundles in his hands, got
aboard, you would give up your seat even if you had paid for it--but I
happen to know that there are some of your elders who won’t do it.” I
never knew whom he fired that shot at.

A transient man (speaking in meeting one night) bemoaned the fact that
some of the tunes to which hymns were sung were theatre refrains, and
unholy. “What!” exclaimed Father Kellogg, “you wouldn’t give all the
good music to the devil, would you?” The stranger sat down.

One cold, blustery day Father Kellogg came to the store on Milk Street
where I was employed, with a tale of sorrow. He had discovered a sick
family. There was no food or fuel in the house, and he had no money
in his purse. He must raise $3 immediately. Every one contributed on
the instant, and he obtained nearly $4. There was a tear in his eye
when he went out, and probably having in mind that some of us were
theatre-goers or billiard-players, or something else--he turned to me,
and remarked aside, “Old Satan will be about $4 short to-night!”

It should not be understood from the foregoing that my recollection of
Father Kellogg and my admiration for him are based on and began and
ended with a few little anecdotes incidental to evening meetings at the
church over which he was the honored pastor. I knew him in the broad
field, the world. He frequently spent an hour of the evening with me
at the store which was my only home, and where half the evenings in
the week I was alone as watchman after closing hours; here he often
related his experiences as a sailor--much of which was afterward woven
into his stories--and corrected the compositions I had written as a
student at the Mercantile Library Association then located on Summer
Street. More than this, he knew most of the boys and young men of
the association, and dropped in occasionally to hear them speak his
declamations and to encourage them in their studies. Later he was wont
to call at my boarding-place, as he did at boarding-places of other
homeless young men in that great city, to look after me and make me
feel that some one cared for me. In those years I went occasionally
with him and others to his week-day meetings at the Marine Hospital in
Chelsea to“help out in the singing,”--as he was pleased to put it,--and
to more other places than it would be interesting to mention here. On
most of these occasions he “stood treat” on soda or ice-cream somewhere
on the tramp, and, as I now discover, was always endeavoring to keep us
interested and out of reach of temptation. In after years and following
my departure from Boston, I used to find him at the Athenæum on Beacon
Street where--after giving up his church duties--he spent most of his
time when writing his books. These meetings were the joy and pride of
my life, and from them I always obtained new courage to persevere in
my profession. And here let me say that of all the boys of 1857-1870 I
know of but one who has made a misfit of life; and over his misfortunes
I throw, as I know Father Kellogg would were he still among us, the
broadest mantle of charity.

Of Father Kellogg as an earnest and inspired preacher, a consecrated
man with a message to men, and of his greatest sermons, others may
speak. He was a modest and unassuming man who did not recognize in
himself his full power to move and convince men. Physical fear stood
in the way. He often expressed himself as greatly embarrassed when
officiating over large and fashionable congregations, and he said to
me, following his magnificent discourse in a series of meetings at
Tremont Temple, that when he approached the desk, his knees shook so
that he feared he should fall in his tracks. However this may have
been, he got control of himself before he had spoken twenty-five
words. All of embarrassment fled before the earnestness of his words
and purpose. It was--and I speak with the knowledge that many others
consider his sermon on the “Prodigal Son” his masterpiece--one of the
greatest efforts of his life. He realized that he was in contrast with
Dr. Stone, Dr. Manning, Dr. Kirk, Dr. Neal, and others, and that he
must give the best he had. The sermon made a deep impression upon all
his hearers.

It was a comparative parallel of a brook and the career of man in weird
and forceful language, in imagery that was entrancing, in striking
passages, and with the lesson every moment in the foreground,--man and
brook at their sources, the place of their birth.

_Morning._ He dwelt upon its beauty at sunrise, and the secluded depths
of the forest, and sought the birthplace of the brook. Then with the
child and the tiny stream he lingered and dwelt in graceful, dreamy
thought, in which he compared their purity, pondered upon the dangers
and pitfalls beyond, half undecided whether to venture farther or cease
to be. Having determined that it would be cowardly to resist destiny,
he followed the murmuring stream, listened to its complaints and made
note of its troubles. It was the career of man. As it flowed on, and he
wandered beside it, he listened to the song of birds, the murmuring
wind, and found himself in harmony with things divine. Anon, the scene
changed, the harmony was broken, the temptation to recklessness was
observed on every hand. The little brook had increased in strength
and commenced its complaining. It was being bruised against boulders,
rushed over logs and through chasms, over ledges, alongside of marshes
and across the quicksands of meadows, under water-wheels and bridges,
thrown mercilessly over precipices and dashed against every substance
in its path.

_Noonday._ He mused with it, gathered admirers about it and discovered
that it entered into partnership with other streams as men and women
enter into the partnerships of life. He listened to its whispered
songs by day and sought its harmonies by night, he sympathized with
its fault-finding because of the impurities which flowed into it from
cities and villages, admired it when it became a broad expanse, and
enforced the lesson of man’s journey through life.

_Evening._ Standing on the shore of the ocean, the tide receding, he
gazed far out toward the horizon, and in descriptive beauty I cannot
reproduce, saw the river meet and mingle with the sea, losing its
identity; saw the streets of shining gold, the great white throne and
the crown for those who are faithful unto death.

The outline of one other of Father Kellogg’s great sermons still
lingers in my mind and attracts my thought. Paragraphs from it are
discoverable in the stories he wrote late in life. It was prepared for
the purpose of presenting the cause of the Seaman’s Friend Society
before a great convention in the Boston Music Hall. He was to speak
to a cultured audience of men and women from all parts of the state,
and in the presence of some of the best scholars and thinkers in his
own profession. He felt that he would be criticised in comparison with
other speakers, and was therefore determined to do himself and his
alma mater credit, and withal present his cause, so as to reach the
hearts and pocketbooks of his hearers. I did not hear the sermon at its
original delivery, but later he used it for the same purpose in the
churches. I heard it at Park Street, and was so attracted and impressed
by its beauty of language and eloquence when spoken by him that I went
to the Mount Vernon Church when he delivered it there. This gives the
impression it left upon my mind.

Through the career of one sailor, learn of many. He pictured the
child in the cradle, the love and hope of a doting mother; followed
him to school, saw him develop in mind and muscle; sailed cat-boats,
set lobster-traps, and dug clams with him. He talked and dreamed with
him about other lands and climes beyond the boundary of their vision,
and entered into his hopes and ambition to become the master of a
ship. Passing briefly over his coasting voyages, he portrayed him in
port surrounded by sharks and bad women, and in the whirl, where if
he listens and yields to the tempter, he becomes lost to himself and
a sorrow to the mother who bore him. He spoke of his needs, of the
associations that should environ him, the necessity for a snug harbor
home in every port, and then, when an able seaman, he accompanied him
on a voyage to a foreign land.

Then he presented, in vivid colors, beautiful, weird, and awful
pictures of the sea such as no man who has not witnessed them may
discover in the storehouse of his knowledge. The vessel drifts to-day
in a calm; there is little to do on shipboard, and so, half homesick,
the sailor looks upon the glassy deep as in a mirror, and sees faces
and forms of those he loves. Meantime, there are omens that indicate
a coming storm, and anxiety is depicted on every face. Night and the
storm! Then the awful picture of the raging deep; the vessel climbing
mountain waves and anon pitching into the trough of the sea; the
dark and ominous clouds, the angry winds, the mingled prayers and
supplications of the crew; the promises of a better life if spared to
reach land, the wreck, the rescue,--all in vividness, in rapid and
burning oratory that held a landsman as in a vice, moved him to tears,
and blotted from his mind all else save the speaker and his theme. Into
port, far from home and kindred, and the old story of forgetfulness of
promises when in the presence of temptations, and, in conclusion, a
masterly plea for pecuniary aid from those who had it in their hearts
to better the sailor’s environments.

During the war of the rebellion, Father Kellogg’s patriotism and zeal
for the cause of his country was of the most pronounced type. Whenever
a regiment from Maine was due to march through the streets of Boston,
whether outward or homeward bound, his affection for the old home and
the boys of his state, excited him beyond self-control. He met the
command, if informed of its coming, at the railroad station, crossed
the city with it, remained close to the ranks and at every halt talked
with and cheered the boys. He made speeches to several regiments, when
reviewed on the Common, and on one occasion--I was present to greet a
cousin in the ranks--he broke down completely, and wept like a child.
It was pretty safe to say after the departure of a regiment from Maine
that Mr. Kellogg had not a “penny to his name.” He made speeches and
offered prayers at the unfurling of the flag, and spoke parting words
of affection and advice to seamen of his congregation and young men of
his Sunday evening meetings, many of whom “died with their wounds in

The last of my several visits with Father Kellogg at his home at North
Harpswell was on August 5, 1899. On my journey thither, I talked freely
with the driver of the hired carriage--G. W. Holden, a brother of
the mystic tie--and said to him: “I should think the people of such
an up-to-date place as this would demand a younger preacher, more of
a society man than Mr. Kellogg.” He became enthusiastic at once and
replied: “Why, bless you, brother, the people of this place are all of
one mind in this matter. Like myself they had rather hear Mr. Kellogg
say ’amen,’ than the finest sermon any younger minister could possibly
preach. Why, people come from far and near to hear him, and every now
and then he has a request from some of them to deliver his discourse
on the ’Prodigal Son.’ It is a most remarkable sermon. I could hear it
twice a year, and hunger for a third.”

But here we were at the end of our pilgrimage, at the very door of
his residence. It was nine miles from the boat-landing, half a mile
from the main highway through a strip of woods, and in a romantic and
secluded spot; an old-fashioned, unpainted farm-house of the fathers,
with large, high-studded rooms, and furnishings after the fashion of
the city. Everything bespoke comfort.

Mr. Kellogg met me at the door with warm greeting, and when he made
out my identity through the mists of years, embraced me with the
enthusiasm of a child, put his arms about my neck and kissed me upon
the cheek. It was the same warmth and affection with which he greeted
the old Park Street Church crowd of young people in good old times.
“Come in! come in!” and then our tongues were loosed and it was a race
for life, for my visit was necessarily to be brief, to see who could do
the most talking. I think--mind you, reader, I am not positive about
it--that he did the most of it; at any rate he conjured with names of
old-time companions and friends whom I had forgotten, but whose faces
and forms were instantly upon the screen before me, and spoke with
tenderest affection of boys and girls, old men and matrons, whom we
had known and loved, and who have long since paid the debt of nature.
Oh, that the living of the good old times could have joined me on that

He told me it was his purpose to proclaim“glad tidings” to men while
life lasted; that he had engaged to preach the next year; that he
expected to officiate on Sunday at Bowdoin College, and that his
health was such--deafness being his only apparent infirmity--he had
reasonable hope of becoming a centenarian. He recalled incidents
innumerable with which I am familiar, and related with manifest
pleasure that the deacons of Park Street undertook to put a stop to
the “running away” of their young people on Sunday nights, and, with
merriest twinkle of the eye, said, “their lectures fell on stony
ground. Some of the young people replied that they were born in the
Bethel, others that they were looking for a chance to sing, and there
were a few--and I fear you were one of the number--who always turned up
where the girls were. Anyhow, I had the crowd, and I loved every one in
it as though he were my own.”

Then, in softened accent, as though he feared he had wronged those
deacons in thought and spirit, he said practically this: “Ah, but those
same deacons were good and true men. They were sympathetic, they were
liberal to a fault, and I never went to one of them for aid in my work
to return empty-handed. Then there was my old friend, Alpheus Hardy, of
the Mount Vernon Church. I verily believe he would have turned all he
had in the world over to me had I solicited it.”

The conversation ran on and on in changing moods. I feared that
Brother Holden and our lady travelling companion would begin to think
themselves in for a half-day of steady waiting, and so I began to break
away. This was the hard part of it all. He clung to me and put his arms
about me, urged me to dismiss the driver and sleep under his roof, and
finally exacted a promise that I would come again next year, if in that
vicinity, and tarry longer. Our adieus were then spoken, and he stood
upon the porch and waved his hand in parting.

All that I have here written is, as I view it, a eulogy on the
character and career of Father Kellogg, and yet I may be pardoned,
considering my long acquaintance, tender attachment and admiration for
the man, if, as attorneys put it, I sum up:--

He was one of nature’s noblemen; he was incapable of deceit; he lived
a life above reproach. His one great purpose was to make himself
useful to the human family. To this end he sought out boys who were
liable to go astray, and it may be said in all seriousness, and with
impressive emphasis, that he succeeded in the mission to which he
was consecrated. The seed he sowed ripened in the lives of those in
whom it was planted, and, granting that each in turn confers the same
blessing upon his children, Father Kellogg’s influence must continue on
and on to future generations, making the world wiser and better because
he has lived in it. His gentle chidings, his forgiveness of seeming
neglect, his patience when troubles were upon him, his sympathy for
those who were in sickness, sorrow, need, or any other adversity, his
hopefulness when in financial stress, his devotion to his invalid wife,
his anxiety for his children, his unselfishness, his never failing
cheerfulness and steadfast faith in God, his submission by which he
ever discovered the silver lining in the dark cloud, his determination
to preach the Gospel to the end of his days,--all, all, have lodgment
in my heart; and so, when I think of him, it is not as of one dead,
but one who lives, lives in the affections of kindred and friends, in
beneficent influence still abroad in the world, in deeds: not dead, not

   “There is no death,
    The stars go down to rise upon a brighter shore.”


Kellogg the Author


“If the gods would give me the desire of my heart,” exclaims Thackeray
in _The Roundabout Papers_, “I should write a story which boys would
relish for the next few dozen of centuries.” This is a glorious
immortality which Thackeray desires for his boys’ story. Generously
have the gods dealt with that author whose writings for boys have been
relished even a quarter of a century.

Of the stories and declamations of Elijah Kellogg the past at least is
secure. What boy reader did not relish “Good Old Times” and “Lion Ben”?
What schoolboy has not“met upon the arena every shape of man or beast
that the broad empire of Rome could furnish, and yet never has lowered
his arm”? The schoolboy of the future will be of different stuff from
the schoolboy of the past if, when declaiming to his mates on a Friday
afternoon, he does not begin in subdued tones and stand, like Regulus,
“calm, cold, and immovable as the marble walls around him,” and end
in guttural tones and in a fine frenzy with “the curse of Jove is on
thee--a clinging, wasting curse.” “Spartacus to the Gladiators,” the
first of Mr. Kellogg’s eleven declamations, was written, as has already
been said,[4] in 1842, for one of the rhetorical exercises at Andover
Seminary. At this exercise there was present a Phillips Academy boy,
John Marshall Marsters. Some years afterward, when Marsters was to take
part in the Boylston Prize Speaking at Harvard College, he secured
from Mr. Kellogg a copy of “Spartacus.” In this, as in many similar
competitions, it proved a prize-winner; and it so won the admiration
of Mr. Epes Sargent, one of the judges, that he first published it,
in 1846, in his “School Reader.” Since then no school or college
speaker has been deemed complete unless it included“Spartacus to the

 [4] See page 47.

“Regulus to the Carthaginians” Mr. Kellogg wrote at Harpswell for his
friend, Stephen Abbott Holt, then a student at Bowdoin College, who
first declaimed it in the Junior Prize Speaking, August 25, 1845; and
it was first published in 1857 in Town and Holbrook’s Reader. Most of
his other declamations were written for _Our Young Folks_, and similar

As school and college declamations, these have seldom, if ever, been
surpassed. Vivid in description, stirring in sentiment, alive with
action, dramatically portraying concrete deeds of heroism, they are
especially attractive to school and college boys. Nearly all of these,
it will be noticed, deal with ancient characters and events. From the
time Mr. Kellogg began to prepare for college in his father’s study,
he was exceedingly fond of the ancient classics. He had in his library
at the time of his death 235 volumes of the classics of Greece and
Rome. Well versed in Greek and Roman history and mythology, he could
fittingly extol the patriotism of Leonidas and Decius; bewail the woes
of the Roman debtor; incite the gladiators to revolt; and appeal to the
Roman legions, or curse the Carthaginians through the mouth of Icilius
or Regulus.

With the exception of a few bits of verse written while he was
an undergraduate and printed in the college paper, _The Bowdoin
Portfolio_, “Spartacus” was the first of Mr. Kellogg’s writings to be
published. During the twenty-three years between 1843, when he became
pastor of the church at Harpswell, Maine, and 1866, when he resigned
as pastor of the Mariners’ Church in Boston, he wrote very little
that was printed: “Regulus,” an ode for the celebration of Bowdoin’s
semi-centennial in 1852, and a sermon, “The Strength and Beauty of the
Sanctuary,” preached at the dedication of the Congregation Chapel,
St. Lawrence Street, Portland, Maine, in 1858. After 1866, after Mr.
Kellogg was more than fifty years old, came that rather remarkable
period of story-writing. Uncommon is it for a story-writer not to
begin his career until after he has lived two score years and ten.
That Mr. Kellogg could tell a tale, however, in a way to interest
boys, his college mates discovered during his undergraduate days; for
those well acquainted with him in college, as they have recorded their
recollections of young Kellogg, seldom fail to mention that “he was
very fluent in talk, exceedingly interesting as a conversationalist,
and an excellent story-teller.”

For some time before his resignation from the pastorate of the
Mariners’ Church he had been thinking of trying his hand at a boys’
story, and in January, 1867, the first chapter of his first story
was printed in _Our Young Folks_, a magazine published in Boston by
Ticknor and Fields. This story, “Good Old Times,” at once became
popular with the young readers of this magazine. It is one of the best
stories that Mr. Kellogg ever wrote. It is largely a narrative of
facts--the story of Hugh and Elizabeth McLellan, the great-grandfather
and great-grandmother of Elijah Kellogg, in their struggle at the
beginning of the eighteenth century to cut a home for themselves out of
the forest wilderness of Narragansett No. 7, where the town of Gorham,
Maine, now is. Of Scotch-Irish descent, young, brave, and resolute,
“strong of limb, strong in faith, strong in God,” this couple left
their home in the north of Ireland to escape persecution, poverty, and
famine. They braved the terrors of the sea and the savages to found
a home in the new country. Accustomed as they had been in Ireland to
regard a landowner as the most fortunate of men, they deemed it a rare
privilege to secure land in Narragansett No. 7, by paying “but little
money and the balance in blood and risk and hardship.” They gladly
dared the privations of a savage wilderness to obtain some soil they
could call their own.

Little wonder is it that the story of how they did this proves of
interest to the boys of New England; it is the story of what their own
grandfathers and great-grandfathers endured, enjoyed, and achieved.
Here, to be sure, they read of no fairyland peopled with elves and
sprites, with ogres and goblins; here is no fairy godmother with
glass slippers and pumpkin coaches, but a land of flesh-and-blood men
and women, of real boys and girls, of Indians with war-whoops, and
tomahawks, and scalping-knives--all true, but all enchanted by the wand
of the story-teller. What better fun for the boy reader than to join
this resolute family as they set out from Portland, and go with them
into the primeval forest; Elizabeth on horseback with a babe in her
arms leading the way, little ten-year-old Billy just behind driving
the cow, and Hugh with a pack on his back, a musket slung across his
shoulders, and another child in his arms, acting as rear-guard. Here
in the woods were hard work, peril, and poverty; but here, too, were
all kinds of interesting things for a boy to see and do. To help build
the log house, shingle it with hemlock bark, and stuff the chinks with
clay and brush; to see Hugh make the big “drives” and prepare for the
“burn,” an exciting and important event in the making of a forest home;
to watch the fire as it rushed through the clearing, and to lie in
wait, gun in hand, near the woods and watch the “raccoons, woodchucks,
rabbits, skunks, porcupines, partridges, foxes, and field mice ’on
the clean jump,’ all running for dear life to gain the shelter of the
forest, while a great gray wolf, which had been taking a nap beneath
the fallen trees, brought up the rear”--this was rare sport. To wear
leggings and breeches of moosehide; to gather spruce gum and maple sap;
on moonlight nights to shoot the coons that were stealing the corn;
to see the men cut and haul the masts, those immense trees upon which
the king’s commissioner had put the broad arrow, those trees so large
that upon the stump of one of the largest, so said Grannie Warren, a
yoke of oxen could turn without stepping off--this was fun indeed for
little Billy. What boy, as he reads the story, does not wish that he
were the son of a pioneer, even if the corn and meat did now and then
get so scarce that the McLellans were obliged to dine upon hazelnuts,
boiled beech leaves, and lily roots. In those good old times, men and
boys were not forced to betake themselves to tents and camps to get
away from our “modern conveniences,” to test their resourcefulness
and ingenuity in devising ways and means to secure food and shelter.
From the boy’s point of view that pioneer life was one long, glorious
vacation of “camping out.”

And then there were the Indians, who, whatever else they did, kept the
life of that day from becoming tame and commonplace. They furnished,
when friendly, no end of entertainment for the youngsters. What fun
the boys had playing beaver in Weeks’s brook, and how delicious the
venison was when roasted by old Molly the squaw! Under the instruction
of friendly Indians, Billy learned to give the war-whoop, to hurl the
tomahawk, and to acquire great skill with the bow. If he could not,
like Robin Hood, cleave a willow wand at a hundred yards, he could
“knock a bumblebee off a thistle at forty.” And when Billy was fast
coming to man’s estate, the Indians, instigated by the French, dug up
the hatchet that had been buried for nineteen years; then there was
a call for all the coolness, cunning, and heroism that this pioneer
life had developed in boy or man; then Beaver, as the Indians called
Billy, and his savage playmate, Leaping Panther, were compelled to
pit against each other their prowess and cunning. Narragansett No.
7, right in the Indians’ trail, was the scene of many an encounter,
often bloody and disastrous in those days, but more exciting than a
Captain Kidd expedition when looked back upon through the eyes of the
twentieth-century boy. Driving the oxen, with a gun resting on the top
of the yoke, planting and reaping and every moment expecting to hear
the war-whoop, creeping serpent-like through the grass and stealing
noiselessly under an overhanging bank in order to discover an Indian
ambush--the story of all this arouses the heroic in a boy’s nature.

After “Good Old Times,” from Mr. Kellogg’s pen the books came thick and
fast,--the Elm Island stories, the Forest Glen, the Pleasant Cove, and
the Whispering Pine series,--so that by 1883 there were twenty-nine in

While writing these books, the author lived in Boston, on Pinckney
Street, during the winter, often supplying neighboring pulpits, and
spent the summer at his Harpswell home. His favorite workshop was the
Boston Athenæum. Here he often wrote from morning till evening. One of
his college mates has said: “Kellogg when in college was strenuous and
persistent in whatever he undertook. I remember when he was composing a
poem or preparing an essay, he gave his whole soul to it; his demeanor
showed that he was absorbed in it and absent-minded to everything else,
until that one thing was done.” This power of concentration now stood
him in good stead. Often he worked upon his stories fifteen hours a
day. Upon his “Sophomores of Radcliffe” he spent a year and a half; but
by making his days long and concentrating his thought upon the one task
before him, he was sometimes able to turn out a book in three months.

The style in which these books are written is not faultless. The
participles are sometimes“dangling” or “misrelated.” The uses of“most”
and “quite,” of “and which” and the “historical present,” are not
always according to the rhetorician’s rules. Flaws may also be picked
with the way some of the characters are introduced, transitions made,
and statements repeated. But considering the number of stories the
author wrote in these sixteen years, such mistakes are surprisingly
few. Mr. Kellogg had an ear sensitive to the flow of a sentence and
a memory in which words stuck. The rhythm of his prose is noticeably
good and his vocabulary excellent. Well acquainted alike with farmers
and sailors, with mechanics and students, he could put fitting words
into the mouth of each. The language of his characters does not
stultify them: his carpenters are not fishermen; his sailors are
not landlubbers; his farmers are not caricatures. He knew well the
“down-east” vernacular. In the use of the dialect--if such it may be
called--of rural New England, Tim Longley and Isaac Murch can give
points even to Hosea Biglow.

All of these books are not of the same merit, and concerning them boys’
opinions differ. Next to “Good Old Times,” perhaps the Elm Island and
the Pleasant Cove stories are most after a boy’s heart. An island
far enough out at sea so that the dwellers thereon cannot easily
supply their wants and consequently have to use inventiveness and
daring, is an interesting element in any story, whether it be“Robinson
Crusoe,” “Masterman Ready,” or “Lion Ben.” Although not a tropical
land abounding in cocoanuts, turtles, and parrots, Elm Island affords
abundant opportunity for boys’ play and boys’ work. “Does such an
island really exist?” writes a mother to the author. “No,” he replied,
“only in my own imagination.” And yet for many boys it does exist.
There is no need to describe Elm Island to the boys of New England.
They have trod every foot of it and know its every nook and cranny.
They know that it is six miles from the Maine coast, “broad off at
sea,” and that in the early days fishermen used to land there and make
a fire on the rocks and take a cup of tea before going out to fish
all night for hake. They have looked admiringly upon its rich coronal
of spruce, fir, and hemlock, the large grove of elms on its southern
end, and the big beech tree which often has in it as many as ten blue
herons’ nests at one time. They can tell you of its precipitous shores,
its remarkable harbor, its beautiful cove into which runs the little
brook where come the frostfish and smelts, and where the wild geese,
coots, whistlers, brants, and sea-ducks galore come to drink. That big
rock where the waves roar hoarsely is White Bull; and this smaller one,
white with the foaming breakers, is Little Bull.

They know that “it was a glorious sight to behold and one never to be
forgotten in this world or the next, when the waves, which had been
growing beneath the winter’s gale the whole breadth of the Atlantic,
came thundering in on those ragged rocks, breaking thirty feet high,
pouring through the gaps between them, white foam on their summits and
deep green beneath, and--when a gleam of sunshine, breaking from a
ragged cloud, flashed along their edges--displaying for a moment all
the colors of the rainbow.... And how solemn to listen to that awful
roar, like the voice of Almighty God!”

This island and the neighboring mainland Mr. Kellogg peopled with
likable and interesting characters. Strong, good-natured Joe Griffin,
beneath whose hat is ever hatching a practical joke, Uncle Isaac Murch,
full of Indian lore, skilled in the use of tools, always able to look
at things from a boy’s point of view, Captain Rhines, John Rhines,
Charlie Bell, and old Tige Rhines are dear to many a boy’s heart. And
Lion Ben, powerful, overgrown, agile, slow-tempered, warm-hearted Lion
Ben! Almost as soon could a boy forget Leather-Stocking as forget Lion

Situated as was Narragansett No. 7 some ten miles inland, in “Good Old
Times” Mr. Kellogg had but little to say of sailors and the sea. But
Elm Island and its sea-loving people afforded him large opportunity to
use the knowledge of ships and seamen gained during the three years he
had sailed before the mast, or the twenty he had ministered to sailors
in Harpswell and Boston. He knew all the pleasures which the sea and
shore afford inventive, resourceful boys like John Rhines and Charlie
Bell. Fishing and swimming, making kelp siphons, spearing flounders,
shooting coot and geese, building boats and sailing them into the teeth
of the gale--no author has told of these more entertainingly. Mr.
Kellogg loved the sea dearly and knew the words and ways of sailors
well. “Here,” says a reviewer, “is an author who knows just what he
is writing about. He never orders his sailors to lower the hatch
over the stern or coil the keelson in the forward cabin.” He liked
nothing better than to build an “Ark” or a “Hard-Scrabble,” load her
with lumber and farm produce, man her with Griffins and Rhineses, a
snappy crew of home boys, who would “scamper up the rigging racing with
each other for the weather earing,” and sail away to the West Indies.
Through hurricanes, blockades, or pirates, they would sail with colors
flying, reach their port in safety, sell their cargo for a handsome
profit, and come back laden with coffee, molasses, and Spanish dollars
to gladden the hearts of the dwellers on Elm Island and in Pleasant

The Wolf Run stories depict characters and events similar to those
in “Good Old Times.” They tell of the way a handful of Scotch-Irish
settlers in the mountain gorge of Wolf Run on the western frontier of
Pennsylvania, about the middle of the eighteenth century, built up
their homes; and of the “fearful ordeals through which they passed in
consequence of their deliberate resolve never with life to abandon
their homesteads won by years of toil from the wilderness.” Here, as in
“Good Old Times,” is a scattered community of a few families, frugal
and hardy, hating injustice and loving righteousness, to whom food
and shelter of the rudest kind are luxuries, and life itself is often
at stake. These stories are full of vivid pictures of frontier life,
making the “birch” and the “dug-out,” devising ingenious makeshifts
for tools and furniture, trapping the wolf and beaver, building and
defending the stockade. Here are many enlivening accounts of Indian
battles, ambushes, midnight attacks, hair-breadth escapes, and long,
hard chases on the trail of the Mohawks or the Delawares. Across the
pages of these stories walk sinewy men of oak, in moccasins, buckskin
breeches and coonskin caps, ready to fight or fall, keen of eye and
lithe of limb, skilled in forest lore, tireless on the chase, sagacious
in finding or covering a trail, keen marksmen, “delicate in nothing
but the touch of the trigger.” Sam Summerford, Ned Honeywood, Seth
and Israel Blanchard, Bradford Holdness, Black Rifle,--twin brother
of Cooper’s Long Rifle,--are characters which live in a boy’s memory.
These are stories of strong lights and dark shades; but they are true
to the life of that day, and show well “what the heritage of the
children has cost the fathers.”

In the Whispering Pine stories the author relates the struggles,
achievements and pranks of a group of students in Bowdoin College. In
these books he has given us a good look into the lives of students in
a small college in the first half of the nineteenth century, and has
preserved in the amber of his story many Bowdoin customs.

He pictures vividly the early Commencement, when nearly the whole
District of Maine kept holiday. From far and near people came in
carryalls and stages, on horseback, in packets and pleasure boats,
to join in the college merry-making. Hundreds of carriages bordered
the yard, and barns and sheds were filled with horses; hostlers were
hurrying to and fro sweating and swearing, and every house was crammed
with people. To Commencement came not only the beauty, wit, and wisdom
of the district, but also those who cared little for art or learning.
With dignified officials, sober matrons, and gay belles and beaux came
also horse-jockeys, wrestlers, snake-charmers, gamblers, and venders
of every sort. The college yard was dotted with booths where were sold
gingerbread, pies, egg-nog, long-nine cigars, beers small, and, alas!
too often, for good order, beers large. While Seniors in the church
were discoursing on “Immortality,” jockeys outside were driving sharp
trades and over-convivial visitors engaging in free fights.

In his “Sophomores of Radcliffe” Mr. Kellogg tells us of the Society of
Olympian Jove, whose customs perhaps sprang partly from the author’s
imagination and partly from his experience. In those days the initiate
was made to rush through the pines and ford the dark Acheron, and was
carefully taught the signals of distress--signals which James Trafton,
with work unprepared, the morning after his initiation, much to the
merriment of the class, proceeded to give to the irritated professor by
squinting at him through his hand.

Perhaps the most interesting of the early Bowdoin customs described
in these books is the “Obsequies of Calculus.” This custom was in
vogue many years, and a headstone can yet be seen upon the campus
marking the spot where the sacred ashes were consigned to dust. At
the end of Junior year when Calculus was finished, the Junior class
gathered in the mathematical room and there deposited their copies of
Calculus in a coffin. The coffin was then borne sorrowfully to the
chapel, where amid wailing and copious lachrymation a touching eulogy
was pronounced. The orator was wont to discourse of the “gigantic
intellect of the deceased, his amazing powers of abstraction, his
accuracy of expression, his undeviating rectitude of conduct,” his
strict observance of the motto that, “The shortest distance between two
points is a straight line.” Then came the elegy in Latin; after which,
amid the grief-convulsed mourners, the coffin was placed upon a vehicle
called by the vulgar a dump cart, and the noble steed Isosceles, which
“fed upon binomial theorems, parabolas, and differentials, and every
bone of whose body and every hair of whose skin was illustrative of
either acute or obtuse angles,” drew the sacred load to its last
resting-place. The funeral procession, consisting of the college
band, Bowdoin artillery, the eulogist and elegist, and the Freshman,
Sophomore, and Junior classes, moved slowly down Park Row, through
the principal streets of the village to the rear of the college yard.
Here the books were “placed upon the funeral pyre and burned with
sweet odors, the solemn strains of the funeral dirge mingling with the
crackling of flames.

    ‘Old Calculus has screwed us hard,
      Has screwed us hard and sore;
    I would he had a worthy bard
      To sing his praises more.

    Peace to thine ashes, Calculus,
      Peace to thy much-tried shade;
    Thy weary task is over now,
      Thy wandering ghost is laid.’

The ashes were collected, placed in an urn, and enclosed in the coffin.
A salute was then fired by the college artillery. The epitaph, like
that upon the grave of the three hundred who fell at Thermopylæ, was
brief but full of meaning, having on the tablet at the head,--


on that at the foot,--

  _dx_/_dy_ = 0.”

But the Whispering Pine books were written for other purposes than
simply to depict the life of the college or to let us into the
escapades of the students. The dictum that “all art must amuse” did not
go far enough for Mr. Kellogg. With all his fun and “frolic temper”
he was too much of a Puritan to make amusement the chief end of his
writing. All of his stories were written with the avowed purpose of
making boys more robust and genuine and manly, of giving them redder
blood and broader chests and larger biceps, and at the same time making
them hate gloss and chicanery and love straightforward, courageous,
Christian dealing. So imbued was the author with this purpose that he
wrote his books, as he expressed it, “while upon his knees.” Often at
first he felt that he should be preaching rather than writing stories;
and it was not until letters came to him from all over the country
that he realized he was reaching more boys with his pen than he could
possibly have reached with his voice.

Although written with a purpose, it is noticeable that his books
are not of the wishy-washy type. His boys are not Miss Nancies and
plaster saints. They do not die young and go to heaven; they live and
make pretty companionable kind of men. Mr. Kellogg was too much of a
story-teller and too strong a believer in truth to distort life for
ethical purposes.

One does not have to delve deep, however, to find the lessons which
this author would teach. To college boys his advice is, choose your
chums well. College is not simply a place where learning is bought and
sold, where you pay so much money and get so much Greek or so much
philosophy. Not all college lessons are in your books, neither are
they all taught in the class-rooms. You will learn them on the college
paths, in your sports, in your dormitories; and generally it is your
chums who teach them to you. The set of fellows with whom you cast your
lot may make or mar you. College ties are strong. The boys with whom
you eat and sleep, those with whom you solve the difficult problems and
pick out the tangles in Greek and Latin, with whom you stroll of an
evening to the falls or a Wednesday afternoon to the shore, to whom you
tell your future plans, your love affairs, and your religious doubts,
whose sympathies mingle with yours “like the interlacing of green,
summer foliage,” those fellows are going to mould your ideals and
determine your character.

Again, he believed that boys must not be afraid to lock horns with an
obstacle. A difficult job may be their greatest blessing. Richardson
coddled at home feels himself a weakling by the side of Morton whom
difficulties have made self-reliant. William Frost, who begins a
business career with good looks, good clothes, and parental influence,
returns to his home in disgrace because he “disregards the claims
of others, esteems labor drudgery, and expects recompense without
service rendered”; while Arthur Lennox, who sets out from his Fryeburg
home barefoot and penniless, his only inheritance “a strong arm and
a mother’s blessing,” wins success by unflinching toil. “Hardship,”
said Mr. Kellogg, “is a wholesome stimulant to strong natures,
quickening slumbering energies, compelling effort, and by its salutary
discipline reducing refractory elements.” The boy who is always dodging
difficulties will make a gingerbread man. Only by grappling can we gain
power to achieve. Only by having tough junks to split can we learn “to
strike right in the middle of the knot.”

The value and dignity of labor is the ever recurring burden of these
stories. They teach boys to work as well as to play. Through them all
resounds the merry music of labor. The ring of the axe, the crack of
the whip, the song of the teamster, the screech of the plane, the
ring of the anvil, the swish of the scythe, the chirp of the tackle,
the creak of the windlass, the shout of the stevedore--all in these
books make a happy harmony and witness that man’s primal curse has
become his choicest blessing. Mr. Kellogg believed with Carlyle that
all work is divine, that to labor is to pray. Especially did he wish
to get out of boys’ minds the false notion that only mental work is
honorable. He thought that often it is as honorable to sweat the body
as to sweat the brain. As honorable and as necessary; for he believed
that it is only by keeping the lungs full of fresh air, and the pores
open by perspiration, and the limbs strong by activity, that a man
can keep his vision from being distorted. “The essence of hoe handle,
if persistently taken two hours a day,” would, he believed, cure
many diseases of the mind and heart. The devils of fretfulness and
fault-finding are not always to be cast out with prayer and fasting.
Often it requires labor in the fresh open air,--a good pull against
the tide, a long ride on horseback, or an hour’s chopping with the
narrow axe. Many a disheartened preacher who now mopes in his study
and who “takes all his texts out of Jeremiah,” would get “Sunday’s
harness-marks erased from the brain,” and preach glad tidings of great
joy if he would only start the perspiration by healthful, outdoor
exercise. Mr. Kellogg thought a boy should learn to work with his hands
as well as with his brain. All wisdom, he knew well, is not in school
and college. He appreciated the value of book learning; but democrat
as he was and well acquainted with common people, he knew that an
illiterate Jerry Williams or an Uncle Tim Longley can teach scores of
valuable lessons to many a schoolman. The boy who is too lazy to do
some of the practical duties of life, who thinks it disgraceful to work
with his hands, can have no part or lot in his kingdom. His boys are
always able “to cut their own fodder.” His ideal college boy is Henry
Morton, who is a keen debater, a good writer, a lover of the classics
and a lover of nature, but who, at the same time, can hew straight to
the line, cut the corners of many a farmer, and take the heart of a
tree from many a woodsman.

Elijah Kellogg gave to the boys of America, at a time when they
needed them most, fresh, wholesome, stirring stories of out-of-door
life. With these stories he both entertained and taught the
boys,--entertained them so well that they never suspected they were
being taught,--taught them endurance, pluck, integrity, self-sacrifice.
He stimulated them to effort, inspired them with a respect for labor,
taught them to despise effeminacy, showed them that “the manly
spirit, like Dannemora iron, defies the fury of the furnace, and even
beneath the hammer gathers temper and tenacity,” that “pure motives,
warm affections, trust in God, are by no means incompatible with the
greatest enterprise and the most undaunted courage.” Such was his work
as an author, and it was a work worth while.





Mr. Kellogg accepted the call to the Mariners’ Church in 1854, not
because he had tired of his Harpswell farm or pastorate. They were as
dear to him as ever. But fitted by nature and by experience to work
among sailors, he saw in the Boston pastorate increased opportunities
for doing good. Doubtless, too, financial considerations had their
weight in this decision; for he had been unable to pay for his farm,
and he hoped from the larger salary he would receive at the Mariners’
Church to save money enough to cancel that debt. While he was in
Boston, he did not sever his connection with his Harpswell parish. Each
summer he spent some time on his farm and preached a Sunday or two at
the church. And now and then these people would see him in the winter,
when some special errand of love or of business called him hither. At
such times they were reminded that the city was not spoiling their
minister, but that he was the same unique, unselfish, fearless man.

On one November, for example, he appeared at “Uncle” William
Alexander’s with two sailors. These men, who had been dissipated, he
had persuaded to sign the pledge. He feared, however, that if they went
off to sea at once, they would forget their good resolutions and fall
back into their old ways of drinking. They tried to get work in Boston
and failed. At length they said if they only had a boat, they could
fish for a living. Mr. Kellogg thought of his own twenty-five-foot
boat, and at once they set out for Harpswell to get it. The morning
after their arrival a northeast wind was blowing a gale, kicking up a
rough sea. Mr. Kellogg doubted the feasibility of starting for Boston
in such a gale. Whereupon the sailors questioned his courage! They did
not know their man. “Don’t dare to, eh? We’ll see who dares.” Quickly
making ready, he set out in his little boat, while his old neighbors,
knowing his absence of caution or of fear, prophesied disaster. By the
time the boat was off Cape Elizabeth, the old sailors were begging
their captain to make harbor. But no; they must see who dared! When,
cold and drenched, they reached Gloucester that evening, they had fully
decided never to stump the sailor-preacher again.

From 1865, when he resigned as acting pastor of the Mariners’ Church,
until 1882 Mr. Kellogg continued to reside in Boston, busily engaged
in writing his books and in preaching. During these years he supplied
pulpits at Wellesley, Massachusetts (1867), Cumberland Mills, Maine
(1869), Portland, Maine (1870), and Pigeon Cove, Massachusetts
(1874-1875). To the Warren Church at Cumberland Mills, the Second
Parish Church at Portland, and the Congregational Church at New Bedford
he received calls; all of which he declined.

In 1882 Mr. Kellogg came back to Harpswell to live for the rest of
his life. He had worked hard in Boston and had made there many firm
friends, but a large city was not the place for one who loved the
smell of earth as well as he. He had often told his Harpswell friends
that if he could consult only his own wishes, he would rather pass a
winter in a brush camp built on the lee side of William Alexander’s
stone wall than return to Boston. Like many another, “he found himself
hungry to throw aside the tame and trite forms of existence and to
penetrate the harsh, true, simple things behind. His imagination and
his heart turned towards the primitive, indispensable labors on which
society rests,--the life of the husbandman, the laborer, the smith, the
woodman, the builder; he dreamed the old enchanted dream of living with

Though glad to return, Mr. Kellogg came back to his first parish a poor
man. His books had made his name known throughout the United States,
but fame and the consciousness of having done much good were his only
remaining proceeds from years of writing. By the fire of 1872, and
the consequent failure of his publishers, he had lost money that he
could ill afford to lose. Pressed for funds, he had even been obliged
to sell all his copyrights, with one exception--that of “Good Old
Times.” He came back to his Harpswell home in debt, his farm run down,
blindness threatening his wife, deafness and old age beginning to
creep upon him. But his old grit and courage were still left; and he
found his Harpswell friends unchanged, they and their children eager to
welcome him back and to help him in every way they could. As General
Chamberlain so well shows in the next chapter, he went to work with a
will to do his best,--farming, preaching, going wherever duty called on
errands of charity and consolation.

These were undoubtedly hard years. His struggle with debt was often
embarrassing; his growing deafness caused him anxiety; and in 1890 the
death of her who had been his companion and counsellor for more than
forty years bowed him in grief. His son and daughter besought him to
come and make his home with them. But that was not his way. He must
stay in Harpswell and do his work.

Between 1883 and 1889 Mr. Kellogg preached in the neighboring town of
Topsham, driving up Saturday afternoon and returning Monday morning. In
1889 he came back to his old pulpit, and there, in the church that had
been built for him, he continued to preach, until he died, on March 17,
1901, with this message to his faithful flock upon his lips, “I want
to send my love to all these people.”

[Sidenote: Journal.]

As one reads the journal which Mr. Kellogg kept during these years of
struggle, “the years,” as he called them, “of the right hand of the
Most High,” one feels that out of the struggle came a character which
ease and plenty could not have given him. His boyish enthusiasm, his
ready wit, his fun and humor, are all here; and here, too, is the
faith of one who walked as seeing the Invisible. He indeed proved the
promise, “To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden

His abounding gratitude, his childlike faith, his willingness to put
his hand in God’s and be led of Him, his love for his people, and the
way prayer and deed were beautifully intermingled in his life, may be
seen on every page that he wrote during these last years.

[Sidenote: May 29, 1882.]

I have kept the day as a day of fasting and prayer. I have been called
by the church to go to Harpswell. I dare not refuse to go; at the same
time I do not see how I can go.... I have this day endeavored to cast
my burden on the Lord, feeling that as He has sent me to Harpswell,
He will provide me with a way of getting there and enable me to do
my necessary work. And I have resolved to trace and set down the
different steps by which I am led and to mark the finger of God in them

[Sidenote: Sabbath, June 18, 1882.]

I have preached half a day and the people seemed to make much effort to
get to meeting, and seemed, I thought, very tender.

[Sidenote: April 2, 1884.]

In the evening went to see ---- ---- and had a most pleasant evening. I
believe I can do good in that family.

[Sidenote: April 17, 1884.]

This afternoon I went to the college. Found a new student, Morton, who
comes to meeting, and he invited me to his room. Saw B---- and gave him
a hint about his soul.

[Sidenote: June 18, 1884.]

I had my barley on the ground and by working through the afternoon
and getting to Topsham the last moment could have sowed it, but my
conscience told me that was not in the spirit of the resolutions made
the Sabbath before. Corrupt nature said, “It is duty to get your
bread.” I was enabled to say, “Corruption, go about your business, my
business is with God.” I went to my knees, made preparation for the
Friday night meeting, and was enabled by grace, on a pleasant, sunny
afternoon at four o’clock, to turn my back cheerfully on my work and go
to Topsham.

[Sidenote: June 28, 1884.]

I finished sowing barley to-day, and I knelt down on the ground and
prayed to God that as I had used my own judgment to the best advantage,
had taken the advice of others, had worked diligently, and had not
neglected my duty to Him that He would be pleased to bless this crop
sown so late and under so many disadvantages and give me from it some
good returns.

[Sidenote: Nov. 26, 1885.]

Rose early. Prayed with my wife, provided for her comforts, and started
for Topsham. About four or five inches of snow, the first of the
season, all blown in heaps, the ground frozen, wind northeast by north.
A cold ride. Got to the Baptist house in time.... I thank God I have
done my duty. I have since coming home prayed for Harpswell and have
been to the old willows and to the rock in the field and thanked God.
Oh, my God, I thank Thee that I have for the first time since my mother
died eaten a Thanksgiving dinner in this house, and the first time
since I was married, all the intervening winters being spent in Boston
and Thanksgiving observed in a hired house. I ate Thanksgiving in this
room with my blessed mother for whom I built this house, to provide a
happy home for her in her old age, in November, 1849, thirty-six years
ago, and have never eaten a Thanksgiving dinner here with my wife till
to-day, though we have been married thirty-one years; and never with
my children who were born in Boston where we have resided since our
marriage with the exception of the summers spent here. But I have never
formed any attachment to Boston. Here is my home. I cut the greater
part of the timber of this house with my own hands, had a hard struggle
to build it, and a harder to keep it. I thank God this night I am in it
once more. God give me a grateful heart.

[Sidenote: Nov. 27, 1885.]

I have been wont to kneel at the threshold when I went out in the
morning for the first time. It seems natural, loving, and right in
every way to ask God’s blessing the first thing before touching
the world’s work, and when I do it, the day’s efforts always seem

[Sidenote: Nov. 29, 1885.]

God in great mercy has relieved me of my cold and given me an exchange
at Harpswell, so that I preached to my old people. I have had a fire in
my study, read my mother’s Bible, visited the old willows, the rock,
the old maple, the Skolfield barn, the burnt tree, all my old praying
spots, and read over the “record of the years of the right hand of the
Most High.”

[Sidenote: May 19, 1886.]

Went to the old pine, read the Word at the foot of it, and prayed for
wisdom. It did me good. My heart warmed to the spot. Went to Knowlton;
he was very kind, left his recitations, and got me the book I wanted.

[Sidenote: July 4, 1886.]

Rose at six-thirty. Prayed and gave thanks. I strove to put myself
into the hand of God. Mr. Little came for me in a chaise. We went to
my father’s old church where I prayed and pronounced the benediction.
At two-thirty we went to the city hall. About two thousand people were
there. I spoke twenty-one minutes to the apparent satisfaction of
those who listened and those who brought me here, and the friends and
benefactors who have stood by me in my trouble. I call upon my soul
and all that is within me to bless the holy name of God who has turned
this thing I so dreaded into an ovation, and has given me strength,
patience, and perseverance to prepare for it under the pressure of work
and still not neglect anything.... I thank God that in this city where
I was born, where my father preached so many years, I have received
from the city authorities so much respect, they sending a carriage for
my wife and me, honoring me as his son, and fulfilling the promise of a
covenant-keeping God, who declares that He will show mercy unto those
that love Him even unto the third and fourth generations. I cannot
express my feelings of gratitude that I who so tried him and my mother
have been made by God the means of honoring their memory.

[Sidenote: July 6, 1886.]

Rose early. Prayed and gave thanks. A carriage was sent to take my
wife and me to the city hall to listen to the oration by Hon. Thomas
B. Reed. I was given a seat beside him. From there we went to a clam
bake on Long Island, and there I met and had much talk with Phillips
Brooks. In the evening we went to the last meeting, which consisted
in a general talk on reminiscences. Thus has closed this Portland
centennial. I have here received the most kindly attention, not only
from religious people, but from the civil authorities; have been
introduced to a great many people who have read my books and who have
spoken “Spartacus,” Phillips Brooks among the rest. I now humbly thank
God and ask Him to keep me.... Went to see Mr. Ezra Carter; he is
confined to his bed. He was very glad to see me. There was not time to
see him and go to my parents’ graves where I wanted to thank God for
the manner in which my father’s name had been honored in me. But Ezra
Carter has been my friend for years. He helped me put my father in his
coffin, and was for years his friend, and therefore, as I could not
do both, I thought it would be more acceptable to God to comfort the
living than to pray at the grave of the dead.

[Sidenote: Oct. 19, 1886.]

Oh, how great is the goodness of God to me! I have been to-day keeping
thanksgiving in my closet and in the sanctuary; though having extra
duties, I have found much time to pour out my soul in thanksgiving to
God. I have been looking back upon the sea of providential mercies and
noting the most prominent ones, but oh, it is all mercies. The trials
have brought forth mercies. I should never have known what God is if He
had not known my soul in adversities. He has been around my path in the
daytime, my couch at night.

[Sidenote: Nov. 7, 1886.]

This has been to me a most interesting, peaceful, and solemn Sabbath.
It is with us a day of Sacrament. At the conference yesterday I chose
this subject for my remarks: “Open thou thy mouth and I will fill it.”
It touched every chord of my soul. Indeed, I have of all persons to
open my mouth wide, for my necessities are very great. The purport of
the whole text and context is that of a Being so magnificent in all His
attributes, so infinite in His fulness, that we may, and are encouraged
to, ask great favors. And on the strength of it, after looking over the
record of God’s mercies in my journal for the past six years, I went
to the altar where I have administered the communion and threw myself
upon the mercy of God and opened my mouth wide and asked Him for His
name’s sake through Christ to put me in a way of paying my debts that
are such a dishonor to His cause, as I have consecrated my labor to Him
and work only for daily bread and to pay my debts.... I also asked Him
to grant me His Holy Spirit to interpret aright the indications of His
providence, for I surely do not wish to be a revelation to myself. I
cannot judge of their bearing on the present or the future. His written
revelations would be a sealed book to me without His spirit, and so
will the unwritten of His providence. I can see that preparation for
another year may have very important bearing on my stay here and on my
attempting to write a book: two things which have sadly perplexed me,
and which I am waiting and praying for the providence of God to solve,
as He has by His providence solved so many other things and brought me
out of so many difficulties which in prospect seemed insurmountable.
I feel now glad that Mr. Kendall did not come for me to preach at
Bowdoinham, though I sadly needed the money; for I feel that I have
seen my Father’s face, and I mean to mark the way by which He leads
me and take every step with prayer. God, in mercy withhold me from
attempting or even desiring to work any deliverance of my own. I now
prepare for the evening service.... I have just returned. The meeting
was full of young people. I certainly have no reason to complain of my
audience, though they may have of me. God bless them. I do not dread
this week so much as I did. God grant my first thought may be directed
to Him. Glory to God for this pleasant Sabbath.

[Sidenote: Sept. 29, 1887.]

Rose early, prayed, and gave thanks. Hauled in the forenoon all the
rocks required. Mr. Getchell finished at noon. In the afternoon I
took him to Brunswick, paid him, got my lime and sand, and got home by
dark. I have knelt down beside the wall that is now finished and humbly
thanked God for doing this kindness to me, for He has done it. Blessed
be God for the mercies of this day.

[Sidenote: Oct. 25, 1887.]

Rose early. Prayed at the hearthstone and the threshold. John came. We
sawed, split, and hauled the wood. The old house windows surprised him.
We then prepared the horses, and at noon John went home. Though pressed
with work, I felt prompted to go to the burnt tree and went to that
and to the old maple and thanked God and prayed for little Frank. Made
my fires and the company began to come. They poured in with full hands
and warm hearts to the number of eighty or more. Surely God’s dealing
with me in most unthought-of ways. Glory to God for the mercies of the
twenty-fifth of October.

[Sidenote: April 25, 1889.]

This has been the day of the National Fast, but has been more of a
thanksgiving than a fast to me, although I have abstained from food and
striven to humble myself before God.

[Sidenote: Nov. 25, 1889.]

Went to the Skolfield barn, prayed, and then with a tackle and much
contrivance put my ox cart on the scaffold. I then took the wheels
from the axle, and stowed them and the axletree away below. It took me
a long time, and was hard work. William and his boy and myself would
have done it in ten minutes, but as they thought and said I could
not do it, I did. If it had been twenty years ago, I should have got
help; but a person situated as I am--in debt, and having to begin life
anew--must not show any sign of failure of strength or energy. I did
it not for vanity but on calculation, as a duty. Especially is the sin
of old age fatal to a minister.... I am now going to treat myself to a
little agricultural reading.

[Sidenote: Letter to Dr. George P. Jefferds of Bangor, Oct. 24, 1890.]

... I am well and can preach and work and do all that I ever could, but
I have become deaf so that I cannot do anything in a social meeting....
My people have retained their affection for me as strong as ever.
It was a love match at the beginning, and so it has continued; the
children and grandchildren have followed suit. I never have regretted
going to Harpswell, and I do not regret that I wrote the books; for if
I have reaped nothing, I have abundant testimony that I have scattered
good seed in virgin soil.... I am more than glad that I learned to farm
in my youth, and that I have all these years kept up my habits of
labor, that I can do any kind of farm labor and take care of cattle,
for otherwise I should not at this time have a place to put my head.

I am writing you to-night before an old-time open fire, and I cut in
the woods the fuel which feeds it. I am thankful that deafness is no
bar to labor nor to writing. If it were not for the illness of my wife,
I believe I should write a book this winter.... I send you with this
letter a copy of the Commencement number of the _Orient_, by which you
will see that Bowdoin boys feel their oats and have aspired to govern
themselves. May God bless old Jeff, and may his shadow never grow less.

[Sidenote: Letter to son, June 1, 1893.]

You may be assured it is from no lack of affection or sympathy with
you in your mishap that I have not written before, but a complication
of circumstances, some of them of a very sad nature, has rendered it
impossible. In the first place, I strained my heel cord either by
jumping out of the wagon or by wearing a very tight congress boot, and
had to limp around for about ten days, but am all right now. Don’t you
think, the second night it was done, just as I was going to bed, two
men came from Bailey Island for me to attend a funeral the next day at
two o’clock. I told them it was impossible as I could with greatest
difficulty hobble to the barn. They said there was no minister in town
but me, and if I did not go, the person would have to be buried without
any service. Upon that I told them to go to John Randall’s and tell him
to come over in the morning, and take me to the intervale point where
they must meet me with a boat. John came; we rode to the point. John
took me in his arms and put me into the boat. When we were across, two
men, one on each side, led me to the house; when we got to the doorstep
one of them said, “Mr. Kellogg, do you think you will be able to
preach?” I replied, “Put me before the people, and the Lord will tell
me what to say.” The next morning my foot and leg were swollen to the
knee, and I could not get on a rubber boot, but had to wear arctics....
I am all right now, however, and carried a bushel of apples on my back

I put the harness on the colt this week for the first time since the
10th of last August, the week before I was hurt, and he behaved so
well that I had to give him some sugar. I have cleaned him all up,
combed his hair and washed his face, and he goes to school every day.
He is a strapping great fellow and full of grit.

[Sidenote: Letter to son, Dec. 1, 1893.]

It is a rainy evening and I take it to write to you. Yesterday was a
most lovely day. I went to George Dunning’s to dinner. Frank’s wife
gave us a splendid dinner,--turkey, pudding, pies, and fruit, grapes
and oranges. Betsy was quite disappointed; she meant to have me, but
Frank got the start of her and invited me about the middle of the
month. I let Delia go home right after breakfast, and told her I would
get my supper. I came home from George Dunning’s about three o’clock,
took care of the cattle and got an early supper, and had a long evening
alone; that was just what I wanted and was planning for. I never can
feel that Thanksgiving Day should be all taken up with eating and
merriment. I never spent a happier evening than I did last evening in
looking over the year, and in praising God for what He has done for me.
I have food, fuel, and clothing, and food for my cattle that have come
to the barn in excellent order. Let us be grateful. Gladness is not
always gratitude.

I have been to Brunswick and preached to the students in Memorial Hall.
I will send you and Mary both a notice of it. There are two magazines
and you can exchange them. I feel quite happy that I have got through
with the students. They checkmated me. I did not want to go and did
not mean to, but Dr. Mason, the minister at Brunswick, and President
Hyde wrote me and backed them up, and also the Brunswick people who
gave me a good deal at the donation and have for several years followed
suit; I had to give in. I was afraid I should not be able to see in the
evening, as the hall is very large and I have been preaching in a small
house for two years; but there was no trouble. It was a splendid light
and I had the service all in my own hands; no responsive readings. The
students did the singing and gave me two anthems. After it was all
over, I had to shake hands with twenty-five or thirty, and President
Hyde said he could hear every word.

The town has made a road to the Lookout. They are going to build a
wharf in the spring, and the Mere Point boat will run there. It will
be of no benefit. It will bring a Sunday boat, rum, and tramps of all

[Sidenote: Letter to son, March 29, 1894.]

I am glad you are having such good weather, and that you are enjoying
yourself setting out fruit trees. You can see now why it is that I am
so much attached to this spot. I have been through just what you are
going through now. I am eating the fruit of the trees I have planted
and grafted, and am sheltered by them in the winter and sit under their
shadow in the summer. Such labors attach us in a most singular manner
to the spot we have improved. The trees seem almost like children.

[Sidenote: Letter to son, Jan. 22, 1895.]

You ought to have been here to take supper with us last night. I got a
peck of large clams. Fannie baked the most of them and we set to work
tooth and nail. I never ate so many before in my life at one time. I
was almost afraid to go to bed, but I had a good night’s sleep and
experienced no trouble. We have had very cold weather till the last
week when it has been moderate. Until last Thursday I have not been to
Brunswick since the week before Christmas. The Sundays have been so
stormy that we could not have meetings, and I never preached my New
Year’s sermon till last Sunday which was a very pleasant day.

I have before me two letters both from different places in New York
State and from men who have made their mark in the world, who attribute
their success in life to the influence of my books. I had almost made
up my mind to send them to you. Such letters do me good. I at one time
used to fear that I had done wrong in devoting so much time to writing
that might have been given to preaching the Gospel, but I have of late
had so many letters of this kind that I feel differently, especially
when I consider how many more persons a book reaches than a sermon.

I have never been so pleasantly situated since my great loss in parting
with your mother as I am now. I have food, fuel, raiment, and health.
There has not been a Sabbath since I was hurt that I have not been able
to preach, nor a single day in the week that I have not been able to
take care of my cattle and do all my work. I am sure this is something
to thank God for. It is wealth without riches. Is it not something to
thank God for to have so many friends, so many to love you and wish you
well, and feel that you have been able to benefit them? When I looked
over that assembly of a hundred and twenty-five persons last fall at
the donation, many of them the grandchildren of old friends, and when I
look at Fannie sitting here ready to anticipate all my wants, and doing
all in her power to make me happy, and think here is the grandchild of
Pennell Alexander, one of my earliest and best friends, I feel that
life is worth living, at least for me.

[Sidenote: Letter to son, Dec. 3, 1895.]

Thirty years ago, Alcott Merriman died and left four young children
fatherless and motherless. He was a great friend of mine, and I kept
run of the children. Fourteen years ago Irving, the youngest, was
taking me down to Potts’s, and I entered into conversation with him
and urged him to give his heart to God. He received it so kindly that
I began to pray for him and the other three boys, Alcott, John, and
Paul Sprague, and have prayed for them ever since some time every day.
Alcott was converted and is a member of my church; Irving was taken
very sick a few months ago. I went to see him and found that he had not
forgotten the conversation fourteen years ago, and was then praying
for himself. I became intensely interested in him. I wanted him to get
well. I asked my church and many others to pray for him, that God would
forgive his sins and raise him up. I went to see him every week. He
lived almost down to Potts’s and the going has been bad. God did not
see fit to raise him up, but He gave him a new and wonderful peace of
mind. I wish you a happy New Year....

[Sidenote: Letter to son, Jan. 1, 1896.]

Perhaps you recollect Mr. McKeen, the president of the alumni of
Bowdoin College, who introduced me at the centennial. He sent _The
Outlook_ for a year and five dollars as a Christmas present. He is the
man who owns Jewel’s Island. It seems to me as if God had been with
every step I have taken all this month. Everything I have put my hand
to has prospered. I have my whole winter stock of wood under cover.
Since I was injured I have always ridden to the afternoon meeting, but
all this month and part of last I have walked. My fodder corn held
out till the tenth of November. I have plenty of hay and my people
seem to love me better than ever. I hated to part with the old year;
it has been a pleasant year to me.... The missionary society got so
poor in the hard times that they gave notice that they must cut down
twenty-five per cent the churches which they helped, but they did not
cut me down; was not that remarkable? Thus you see I have a Shepherd
who watches over me.

[Sidenote: Letter to daughter Mary, Jan. 25, 1899.]

Though I have not written to you for a long time, you have seldom
been out of my thoughts. I never had so many engagements as of
late,--funerals, weddings, and letters that must be written. There
were two persons, a brother and sister by the name of Chaplin from
Georgetown, Massachusetts, who have visited here several years and have
always been very constant at meeting. They were here the first Sunday
in August when I preached in the old church where I preached my first
sermon to the Harpswell people fifty-five years ago. At Christmas they
sent me a most kind letter and a present of handkerchiefs and neckties.
I think I will send you the letter that you may know what friends I
have among the summer visitors....

George Dunning is dead. I shall miss him very much; we have been
near neighbors and friends for more than half a century. There were
seventy-five persons that got together, hewed out and raised the frame
of my house when I came here to live, and George Barnes and Stover
Pennell are all that are left of them....

Deafness is a great deprivation; it cuts me off from exchanging and
going from home to preach. I go up to the college, but President Hyde
sits beside me and keeps me from making blunders. I wanted to give up
preaching three years ago, but our folks said they had rather hear me
pronounce the benediction than any one else preach a whole sermon. I
thank God for the love of my people even to the third generation.... I
went to Betsy’s Thanksgiving to dinner, spent the rest of the day in
praising God for the great measure of strength He has given me this
winter and courage to face the weather and do a good deal of work; also
for the help He has given me in hard places.... Thus I had a most happy
day with my Maker and Benefactor who has held the tangled thread of
my life all these years, who has by His providence preserved me from
perishing in some of those harebrained, presumptuous freaks into which
my reckless nature led me. I look back upon it all with astonishment
and with gratitude. I can hardly realize that I once tied up one-fourth
of a pound of powder and the same quantity of saltpeter and sulphur,
and because the fuse I had fastened to it would not ignite, held it
in my fingers and put a fire coal to it with the other hand. I was
fearfully burnt; all the skin came off from my face, hands, and throat.
But God had some better use for me when that courage was needed in His
service. God bless you, my child!

[Sidenote: To daughter Mary, April 26, 1899.]

I am glad that you have named the little one Hugh. I trust that he will
grow up to inherit not only the name, but the virtues and qualities
of the old stock.... I am alone and have been for a month. It was a
great trial to me losing Esther; she was like a daughter to me and
anticipated all my wants. I trust the good Father who has thus far
provided for me will continue His paternal care.... I have outlived a
multitude of good friends and helpers, but the great Friend, He of whom
other friends are the instruments, is everlasting.

[Sidenote: Letter to son, June 25, 1900.]

We had a great time here yesterday. We put off our service till eleven
o’clock, which gave time for the boat to arrive and bring a great crowd
from Portland. Many of them were old friends of mine. Every one seemed
pleased and satisfied. It would have been a very hard day for me, but
Fannie came over and got dinner, and John Randall carried me down, so
that I had no horse to harness and take care of. I have lost one of
the best friends I ever had in George Barnes. He was but a boy when I
came here, and he helped me to get the timber to build my house.

[Sidenote: Last entry in Journal, Jan. 14, 1901.]

I am going to spend this evening in thanksgiving to God.




A student coming to Bowdoin College in 1848 found the fame of Elijah
Kellogg already among historic traditions, shading somewhat into the
atmosphere of legend and the heroic. Wild stories of his youthful
exuberance, and the surprising ways he had of manifesting it, involved
so much that was extreme in prowess and peril, that they led more
to wonder than to imitation. An unusual quality and combination of
intellectual gifts, and a quaint style both of utterance and action,
together with an openness of heart, and ease of manner quite peculiar
to himself, gave him the reputation both of a genius, and of a queer

His writings, too, had a peculiar effect that set him apart from
others. So much of his stirring power had been poured into his classic
descriptions that they were something like storage-batteries of manly
emotion. Whoever of the prize declaimers took “Spartacus” for his
performance was pretty sure to take the prize also, whoever were the
judges; and it came to be deemed not quite fair for a contestant for
the prize to make this his selection.

These stories and associations connected with his name gave a certain
glamour to the idea of him before his personal presence showed how
real he was. But surely to those who were disposed to enjoy all the
advantages of college life, Elijah Kellogg was far from being a
mythical personage. Although a well-employed minister of a church in
the congenial neighboring town of Harpswell, he found frequent occasion
to visit the college; and preferably, it seemed, at unappointed
times. He did indeed, occasionally upon notice, address the religious
societies, greatly to their enjoyment and spiritual edification.
But he did not come into classrooms with formal introduction by the
dignified professor. More likely his visit would be at a private
room, and his announcement by a simple knock, known by its frankness
and assurance, at any time and at any student’s room he thought he
wanted to see. This was the signal, not for a general clearance, as
would be the case in certain other instances, but for the summoning
of a little group of special friends and those ambitious to become
such. This was the beginning of free and wide discussion along the
unmeasured circle of the _nihil humani alienum_. It need not be said
that these communications were held in a noble range, and a thoroughly
manly and wholesome tone. Sometimes, such was his confidence in us, or
distinct intention of putting us each on his own responsibility, as
to taking easy occasion to make fools of ourselves, that he would get
upon the recital of old sea stories, and perhaps touch lightly on his
boyish pranks in college. The element of personal courage, strength,
self-reliance, the despising of physical danger whether of accident or
consequence, lifted these examples out of the suggestion of meanness
and trickery, which were far from him as he would have them far from
any friend of his. Moreover, without the robust qualities of mind and
nerve which characterized the original, no boy would be foolish enough
to be led to imitation which would surely end in failure and ridicule.
All that was said or intimated in these recitals was always with
loyalty to the college and to the ideals of manliness.

If these symposiums were prolonged so far into the night as to render
inexpedient his questionable return to his Harpswell domicile, it
was easy to find a bed in a college room for such time as there was
remaining before morning prayers. As to that matter, at the house in
town of more than one hard-headed old sea-captain there was always
ready just at the head of the stairs, with doors unlocked, a room set
apart for Elijah Kellogg.

In the opinion of all he was the good genius of the college. The
fellowship he held there was of a higher order than that pertaining to
the arts and sciences; it was in the department of sound living and
straightforwardness. Not only was he the friend of every student, but
he was especially so of those who needed some guidance or correction
inspired by sympathetic understanding and directed by practical good
sense. For the faculty he served an office in the disciplinary line
not easily described,--call it adviser, mediator, mitigator, or
demonstrator of applied common sense. He had an idea that parents sent
their boys to college to be made to stay there and perform their
duties and work out their best, rather than to be sent away when any
little thing went wrong with them. Still he admitted exceptions.

One of the recognized degrees of punishment in those days was that of
“rustication,”--country residence being supposed to be a balance or
compensation for some of the tendencies of the pursuit of the fine
or liberal arts within a college town. This was applied to cases not
quite deserving of technical “suspension”; but still was in fact
removal from actual attendance on college exercises, whether required
or prohibited,--a forced residence at the home of some scholarly
and judicious gentleman, where the attractions would be wholesome
influences rather than dangerous temptations, and where the pupil might
receive instruction in the three branches of learning pertaining to a
classical course, and thus be enabled to do what seemed less likely
within college walls,--to keep up with his class.

Such were the peculiar qualities of Mr. Kellogg that these temporary
sojourns with him were much in fashion at that time, and, it is truth
to say, rather sought for by those a little backward or wayward.
Borne on the college books as a grade of punishment, it certainly
was not of the vindictive, but of the reformatory, or rather, the
sanitary character. In either aspect, to the delinquent “student”
this punishment was by no means clothed with terrors. To take up such
familiar relations with a man of stalwart manhood, who never lost his
sympathy and love for youth, and had the faculty of putting every
one at his ease and at his best, to say nothing of the provision for
needful exercise by going out often with an able seaman in a stout
Hampton boat, braving the terrors of the seas, and the beauties of the
islands of Casco Bay,--this should bring a boy whose forces were not
yet knit together in just balance, to his best of body and heart and
mind, and to some clearness of purpose and steadfast resolution.

When after three years the writer of these lines returned to the
college as professor, Mr. Kellogg appeared in a new phase. The young
wife had known him under this higher aspect during her girlhood
association with mature and cultivated people. So we met now with a
broader intellectual horizon. His opinions on theological, public,
and political questions were rather conservative, but they were
illuminated by his warm heart. His presence was cheering in the home as
in the college room. He was a good adviser on practical questions of
life--for other people!

When the War of the Rebellion threatened the existence of the Union
and some of us went out for its defence, we looked to see him take
the field or the seas for the honor of the flag under which he had
sailed. But he saw his duty otherwise. He was not even drawn by the
considerations which appealed to some of our brightest college men, to
take service as paymaster in the navy. With so many men gone forward,
he thought he had a duty to the homes.

After the war, when circumstances brought the relater of this into
more responsible positions, our acquaintance became yet closer. He let
himself be seen at his best, and also in his deeper needs. He had done
a great and honored work among the sea-faring men in Boston, and he had
written many right-minded, bracing books for boys which have gone the
world over. All, however, from a singular course of mishaps, brought
him more fame than fortune. He had held on to his old place and
church relations in Harpswell; and thither he returned. His old people
welcomed him back and gave him their hearty support. But with all that
could be reasonably done, his income could not overtake his outgo. He
was in the position of Paul in the storm, with four anchors out of the
stern, wishing for the day.

But he had a good little farm on Harpswell Neck, a long way off the
main road but with a fine outlook on the bay. With some strange
freak,--an abnormal desire for seclusion perhaps,--he had shut off his
front view by planting a thick hedge of black-spruce trees, effectually
concealing his home from the bay view whether from without or from
within. This black belt, however, served to mark the mouth of the
channel for those of us obliged to make port farther up the bay, or
good anchorage ground before his door for those who were bound to see
him even if they had to carry intrenchments.

Well understanding the meaning of the old Antæus fable, he thought
to recover strength by contact with the earth. He betook himself
to his farm. No man ever worked harder at this or more completely
conformed to its demands. City friends, of the learned professions,
were not always considerate of his conditions and the pressure of his
“environment.” One Saturday evening just before sunset, and a shower
rapidly coming up, he was in his barn pitching off a load of hay up to
the “great beams,” with two loads more to get in before the shower,
when the “girl” came running out of the house calling, “Mr. Kellogg,
Mr. Kellogg, there’s two ministers come, and I think they mean to stay
to supper!” Strong stories are told about his remarks on this occasion;
but when questioned as to the truth of them, he would neither affirm
nor deny.

With his honesty and sincerity he did not think it necessary to
change his working suit when he came to Brunswick for exchange of
farm products for commodities. His classical friends could scarcely
recognize him trudging through the streets accompanying--not
driving--his contemplative oxen. More easily recognizable was he when,
homeward bound and fairly out of the village, he would spur them to a
brisk trot, and enter port as suited him well, on the jump, with “very
rag of canvas flying.” At times, when under pressure, he would drive
to town with a peculiarly endowed colt he had raised, whose inclination
to freedom and independent “rustication” seemed to have well qualified
for a degree in the liberal arts. On one of these voyages the
demonstrations in these directions were of such centrifugal order as to
dislocate the normal relations of horse, harness, wagon, and driver,
and even the continuity of some constituent parts of the respective
latter three, leaving wreck and confusion behind, and nothing to get
home whole but the colt. Mr. Kellogg’s friends earnestly advised him to
sell the colt; but to no avail. He seemed to like the colt better than
ever; whether because of the colt’s facility of “high action,” or from
the force of classical studies, applauding the victor in the game, or
perhaps from that tenderness of heart that would not forsake a sinner.

With all his love for the beautiful Birch Island just across the narrow
channel of the bay, which he had begun to frequent when a college boy,
he had an inclination--or what the French call a “penchant,” both a
leaning and a drawing--toward the wild and odd. This had led him to
carry his boat voyages around to the east side of Harpswell, amidst
some very bad ledges and boisterous seas, across to Ragged Island.
This has only a little boat-harbor, and is so difficult of access,
so storm-lashed and grim, that it was believed to have been, if not
still to be, a resort for those who had reason to avoid the customs
officers and agents of the courts, and not less implacable creditors.
A curious impulse to know more about such a place led Mr. Kellogg to
make acquaintance with this weird fastness in the seas, and the very
eccentric character who at that time made his dwelling there. It is
said that he even bought a half interest in the island. Many queer
stories have come down from that passage in his experience,--chiefly
of his quickness at repartee when some self-sufficient wight thought
to pose him with a sea-dog witticism; and of his skill in restoring
strong, rude friendships so quickly broken by some fancied disregard
of the extreme sensibilities of the longshoreman’s personal code. His
influence upon that class of men was wonderful, owing to their absolute
faith in his integrity and absence of self-seeking. As to his Ragged
Island proprietorship, whether he sold out or was sold out, the result
would be about the same to him. It was possibly such business ventures
as this which deepened the embarrassment in balancing his accounts.

In the course of this varied struggle things came to such a pass that
he made known his condition to some of his most intimate friends. His
farm was heavily mortgaged,--in fact for about all it was worth,--and
the mortgage note was overdue and payment rigorously demanded. His
home was in danger, and he seemed quite broken up about it. In a very
private way this payment was provided for, and the mortgage taken off.
It was a day of deep revelations when this burden was lifted, and he
returned to a home which was in the dispensations of both law and
gospel his own. Nor was it any great surprise to hear it said that it
was mortgaged again not long afterwards. That would be the natural
outcome of habits he indulged in, of which a characteristic story may
be an example. His self-forgetfulness was of so obvious a character
that his neighbors saw fit to provide a fine new overcoat to cover one
mark of this deficiency. Putting it on one cold day soon afterwards to
drive to Brunswick, he met a poor fellow, gaunt and thin as to flesh or
other covering, poking his way down the Neck to something he called
home. Plain greetings were exchanged, when Mr. Kellogg exclaimed rather
than questioned, “Tom, haven’t you any better clothes than that!”--”No,
Parson Kellogg,” came the apology, “I hain’t got no others at all!” Off
came the new overcoat, with the Kellogg outcome, “Take this, then; you
need it more than I do!” throwing it over him and driving out of reach
of the astonished man’s protest, left to the necessity of keeping the
garment for the present, and the possibly not disagreeable reflection
that it would be of no use to try to give it back at any time. The
absolute verity of this story in every detail has not been vouched for;
but the fact of its general acceptance among the people shows that it
was true to nature,--that is to say, “Just like Elijah!” Anyway, the
story goes to prove his recognized character.

All this time he was strictly keeping up his faithful ministry among
his faithful Harpswell people; doing good to everybody he met,
preaching stanch old-school sermons with irresistible logic, enlivened
by brilliant flashes of wit and flights of poetry and heart-reaching
illustration; a familiar and welcome visitor in every house, holding
the confidence and love of every home, sharing joys and griefs,
intrusted with innermost experiences; smiled at in some sense or other
by all who saw him; respected and revered by all whom he knew, whether
of his fold or of some other, or perchance without any fold, astray,
and, but for him, lost.

His public ministerial work knew no limit but that of the hours of the
day. After his own church service it was his practice to meet every
opportunity to speak to the people on neighboring shores. Not only
was his boat seen threading the channels among the eastern Harpswell
Islands that made part of his far-outlying, conglomerate parish, but
pushing its way across the western bays to Flying Point, Wolf’s Neck,
and Freeport,--the track of this life-message more kindling to the
thought than the thrilling vision of the funeral boat-train faring to
these same places named in Whittier’s weird poem of “The Dead Ship of

The people among whom Mr. Kellogg came to minister had marked and
interesting characteristics. Natural advantages for seafaring business
in all its variety had in early times brought to these shores settlers
of a robust type. Among them were many who, at that period when minds
and bodies were so astir in the old world and new over questions of
life, religion, and the social order, sought a change of place that
they might find scope for their abounding energies and unchanging
purpose. These were strong characters--men and women--strong in body,
mind, and heart,--and, it must be said also, in political and religious
faith. This implies originality, independence, diversity,--the outcome
of which is not a tame common likeness in the elements of a community,
but differences which when properly harmonized give strength to the
social structure. These leading spirits organized their likenesses
and differences into a little republic, based upon integrity, and by
mutual service tending to the common good realizing what was best in
the ability of each. They prospered. Many a noble old homestead stands
to-day on these island fronts and headlands, testifying to the uses
they made of this prosperity. These characteristics appeared in their
descendants down to the third and fourth generation.

It was the holding together of this society, the harmonizing of
these elements, and bringing out their power for good, that made the
inspiring and noble work for Elijah Kellogg. With a warm heart for
all; the quick recognition of every worthy trait of temperament or
habit; taking in the sorrows of others with sincere sympathy; tactful
in dealing with weakness or defect; tolerant of differing belief or
profession; fearless of adverse expression or hostile force,--he
went straightforward in his work. He was appreciated. Most of those
he dealt with were in one way or another seafaring men; builders and
owners, masters and sailors of ships; men of wide experience, who had
seen the world, who had endured hardships, who had well carried great
responsibilities; the women, too, accustomed to enlarging thoughts and

These were a people worthy of such a man as he was of them. His sound
instruction and faithful exhortation impressed such minds. Strong
doctrine, largely on the lines of the old Pilgrim faith, propounded,
pondered, and at least respected, meets and makes such characters. The
untiring effort to apply these principles in the practice of daily
living, instilling these elements into the springs of action and fibre
of character, inculcating the test of right and sense of honor for
the rule of social intercourse and endeavor,--out of all this comes a
mighty result in the course of years. For three generations in that
steadfast old town he stood at the gates of life. Birth, baptism,
marriage, and the passing over we call death,--none of these was held
quite acceptable to God, or blessed to the full for any, unless Elijah
Kellogg were the usher. To the last days of his life, he was summoned
from near and far by descendants of these families to perpetuate by
this token the covenant of the inherited blessing. His influence is
still powerful in the sterling character of that community, of which
it is not too much to say that it is typical of the best American

One interesting custom kept up to the last was that time of all good
gifts and greetings,--the annual “donation party,” or reception,
for Mr. Kellogg, at that home of ample welcome, dear “Aunt Betsy”
Alexander’s, his oldest and nearest neighbor. What gatherings were
there! What types of strength and beauty! What harmonious contrasts
and balancing of youth and age, of soberness and mirth, of brooding
memories and forward-looking, untested promise! And all owing so much
of their worth to this one man.

In his latter years Mr. Kellogg was more an object of interest than
ever. The inroads of advancing age did not reach his mind and spirit.
He stood up in his old church and gave strong sermons,--some of them
quite likely the same as had been given to other generations, but
equally applicable and wholesome now. People came long distances to see
and hear him. Summer visitors at neighboring resorts kept the circle of
admirers undiminished and filled the church on Sundays.

He was often sought for to go elsewhere for one more greeting. At the
great meeting of the graduates at the centennial of the college, he was
entreated to be one of the announced speakers. His modesty and real
diffidence would not allow him to assent. But, as might be expected,
he was sought out in some of his old haunts within the grounds, and
brought in by acclamation. His was the best speech among them all,
which bore hearts away to the unseen bonds of fellowship and the
continuity of college life and power.

In the very closing days of his activity-- in the mingling of the
twilight and the dawn--he was persuaded to address a meeting of friends
from neighboring towns held in the spacious auditorium in Merrymeeting
Park, by the riverside in Brunswick. Over against the solid physical
force of the vast assembly he stood with the aspect of an already
disembodied spirit; but in clear tones, as of a voice from heaven, he
delivered his message, in that marvellous, all-entreating discourse,
“The Prodigal Son.” Those of us who stood near, almost dreading lest
the winged words should bear him away, saw by the gleam of his eye
what joy it was to that great heart of faith, and hope, and love, that
his last commission might be to point out the way by which the wilful,
unworthy wanderer, with belated penitence, might find the Father’s

It does not seem quite natural to close these reminiscences without
expressing thankfulness that the last decade of years brought the
long-cherished friendship within even closer bounds. With a summer home
on the site of one of the great old shipyards came the good fortune
of becoming one of Mr. Kellogg’s nearest neighbors. After life’s toil
and trial, its strifes and storms and perils, we sat down within
hailing distance on shores sloping toward each other, looking over
quiet waters. It was a time of boats again; and their message was
still of glad tidings. It seemed but an easy row across the mile of
bay, with him on the other shore. Thus was more than renewed the old
habit of hospitalities and symposiums. The dreams of youth had been
interpreted; its faiths tested; its hopes and fears overpassed; only
its heart unchanged. We knew what we were talking about now; and there
was much to say. On Sundays we walked together the well-worn paths to
his familiar church with boyish embrace, caring not if any thought it
strange. Then, too, meeting at the bankside of dear friends departed,
with his words the last of earth.

Now the black spruces stand in mourning; but our hearts go on with him.
His boat is still on the sloping shore, pointing seaward; so does his
cherished spirit help to bear us over.


Through nearly threescore years what blessed work was his! And
his reward is not wholly on high, although it will be so in the
consummation. But here and now and in the years to come is a great
part of it, in living power in the hearts and souls of men and women
walking worthily in this world, letting their light also shine to
illumine the path for others still. Who can estimate the value, the
power, the reach, of a work like this? Faithful friends are earnest
now to set up a monument to mark the place of his forth-giving and to
keep the memory of him fresh; but the whole world is not too wide to
look for the place of his power, and the memory of him belongs to the



 [On Tuesday, March 19, 1901, funeral services for Mr. Kellogg were
 held at the Harpswell church. At these services Professor Henry L.
 Chapman officiated, and spoke to the Harpswell people of the work
 and character of their beloved pastor. A choir of Bowdoin College
 students, members of the Alpha Delta Phi fraternity, sang appropriate
 hymns. On the next day services were held in the Second Parish church
 of Portland at which Rev. Abiel H. Wright, pastor of the St. Lawrence
 Street church and an intimate friend of Mr. Kellogg, delivered the
 following tribute, and Rev. Dr. George Lewis of South Berwick offered
 prayer. The burial was in the Western Cemetery, Portland, where are
 buried Mr. Kellogg’s wife and father and mother.]

In one of the pastoral psalms God’s thought and feeling concerning the
death of his consecrated servants find this expression, “Precious in
the sight of the Lord is the death of His Saints.” When the aged saint
comes home from the toil and trouble of his earth-time services, there
is joy in the heart of the Eternal Father. Angels rejoice when one
sinner repenteth and the life of faith is begun on earth, but when the
sinner becomes a saint and the long weary trial-way is trodden through
to its end, when, as the Lord sees, His servant’s work is done, and he
is received on high into the saints’ everlasting rest, then indeed the
death of His saint is precious in His sight.

Fifty-seven years ago Elijah Kellogg began his life ministry as a
preacher of the Gospel in the humble village of Harpswell Centre, where
a few days past it was ended. What minister of Maine has ever been more
widely known and loved by its people than was this saintly and revered
preacher? As a young man of thirty years but recently from Andover
Theological Seminary, he began his ministry among the Harpswell people;
as an aged saint of God, nearly eighty-eight years old, known and loved
far and wide in our land, he closed that ministry in his death, among
the people he had seen grow up from childhood to declining age. He had
baptized the children of those who were his first parishioners. He had
buried the parents and in many instances the grandparents of those
who loved, revered, and supported him during the last years of his
laborious ministry.

If we ask why he remained among them, when called to other and more
inviting fields of labor; why, when this honored Second Parish invited
him to its pastorate in the time of its strength and prime, he
declined to leave the little country church of forty or fifty members,
the answer is, because he loved the Harpswell people. They were his
first love, and they were his last love. Highly privileged people!
God-blessed church! To have had this holy man of God living among them,
passing by them continually, speaking God’s truth to them, serving
them in their homes, their fields, their boats, their sanctuary, in
the Christ-spirit of devotion, and living out his rich, fruitful life
of faith among them to its end, content and satisfied to have their
love and gratitude, and with his dying breath speaking his last loving
benediction upon them every one. It has been a beautiful life of
service,--a noble ministry for God and humanity.

We have often wondered what Elijah Kellogg would have been had he
chosen to take his father’s pulpit, and the position and the prominence
which it would have given him in our city and throughout our state. It
might possibly have made of him a grander preacher than he was--and
few are the preachers that ever came to Portland pulpits who drew
larger or more satisfied congregations than did he; it might have made
of him a more influential clergyman in our state than he was. But who
will say he could have developed a grander character or won a fairer
fame than now belong to him?

Elijah Kellogg was a man of deep and fervid piety--a man of prayer.
There are guest chambers in our city where his voice has been heard in
prayer for hours at a time, the memory of which is a benediction. There
is a chamber on Munjoy Hill, in which I have often slept, which Elijah
Kellogg frequently occupied as the guest of one of his former Harpswell
families. In that chamber he wrote parts of many of his surpassing
juvenile stories, and there he prayed often and long.

Being a man of prayer, it was his wish and will to abide where God
would have him. It was God’s will that of the fifty-eight years of
his ministry, the Harpswell people should have his service nearly all
of the time for forty-three years, and part of the time each of the
remaining fifteen years. During the ten years he was minister of the
Seaman’s Bethel in Boston, as chaplain of the Seaman’s Friend society,
he spent his summer in his Harpswell home, preaching and ministering
to the people. Counting out the five years of his Topsham pastorate,
we may say that his connection with the church of Harpswell Centre was
practically unbroken for fifty-three years, and during his pastorate in
Topsham he continued to dwell in his Harpswell home.

His work in Boston brought out one prominent characteristic of his
ministry: his interest in and love of young men. Elijah Kellogg was
every man’s friend, but he was preëminently the friend and helper of
young men. As he delighted to write books for boys, which helped them
to become right-minded and true-hearted young men, so he aimed in
preaching and by personal effort to reach and save young men. He did
so conspicuously in Boston. At the time when Dr. Stone was pastor of
Park Street Congregational church, Mr. Kellogg was preaching in the
Mariners’ church of that city. At that time Dr. Charles G. Finney was
at work as a revivalist with Dr. Stone. Rev. Mr. Kellogg had been, and
was then and subsequently, in the habit of meeting a class of young men
in Dr. Stone’s chapel. From among those young men he trained Christian
workers and led them down into the slums of the North End to help him
in his work of holding meetings on the wharves.

One of those young men I knew years afterward, who devoted much of
his spare time aiding Elijah Kellogg in his good work among the
tempted classes of the North End. Two years later that young man came
to Portland to live. He became a worker, then a member, of the St.
Lawrence Street church. When Mr. Kellogg was back again in Harpswell,
this young man was a prominent merchant and politician, and a
well-known Christian worker in this city.

At the dedication of the new St. Lawrence Congregational church in
1897, Mr. Kellogg made two memorable addresses, in one of which he
alluded to the lamented Henry H. Burgess, who had died in 1893, in
these words: “When I was preaching in Boston, Henry H. Burgess was the
bookkeeper for a paint and oil firm in that city, and a member of the
Park Street Sunday-school. I was preaching at that church, and saw that
the people were sending out old men to gather the young men into the
Sunday-school. I told them they would never do any good in that way,
and asked them why they did not send out young men to do this work.
They said they did not have any young men to do it, and I said I would
get some of them for the purpose. I preached one sermon, and the first
Sunday after that I walked fifteen young men into that Sunday-school,
with Henry Burgess at their head, and the next Sunday in came twenty
more, and so on, until finally the building was crowded to its utmost
capacity, and we had young men to work for us.

“When Henry Burgess came to Portland from Boston, I gave him a letter
of introduction to Dr. Carruthers. He is no longer here,” continued the
aged speaker, while tears of emotion coursed down his bronzed cheeks,
“but though absent in the body, he is rejoicing here with us in the

They loved each other, this aged minister and that strong young man,
and they were helpful to each other. They have changed eyes and clasped
hands, now, I believe, in the eternal home of the saints.

It was during Mr. Kellogg’s life in Boston, in his home on Pinckney
Street, that he wrote his marvellous books for young people. Is there
here man or woman, young man or maiden, who has not read them and
received from them moral tone and stamina? Perhaps it is true to say,
and no discredit to Mr. Kellogg to say, that he was more widely known
as author than as preacher, and that he has probably done more for the
moral health of American youth by his breezy, fascinating books than by
his work as preacher and pastor. Yea, he has been a mighty preacher to
young Americans by the eloquence of his industrious pen.

It would, I believe, be difficult to find an author who wrote with
a more definite and practical aim to Christianize young people than
did Elijah Kellogg, or one who had better success in the attainment
of his high and noble purpose. Mr. Kellogg possessed a genius for
that kind of literary work. That he had, in early years, the latent
art of an accomplished rhetorician was proved in his student days,
when he wrote and declaimed “Spartacus to the Gladiators,” while in
Andover Theological Seminary. It is well, doubtless, that Mr. Kellogg’s
literary genius was directed to the humbler, yet more practical and
serviceable, art of writing books for the moral and religious culture
of the young.

As a preacher Mr. Kellogg was great, both in the art of making and
in the forceful presentation of the sermon. Rhetorical finish and
enlivening humor were alike natural and easy to him. I never have heard
a preacher who seemed more thoroughly to enjoy the effort of preaching,
and few preachers excelled him in the ability to make his audience
enjoy the sermon. How quickly could he change the amused interest of
the congregation in the play of his humor into serious and solemn
emotion by the power and pathos of his forceful appeals, applying the
teaching of his sermon to the conscience and the heart.

He was a man of quick and responsive sympathies. His whole life was
characterized by the spirit of Christian benevolence. He not only gave
himself to his people to be ever and always their servant in things
spiritual, but as truly in things temporal. He was their counsellor and
helper in all their heavenly and earthly concerns. It was the habit of
his life to keep a purse for the Lord, into which went one-tenth of all
moneys received by him. Thus he furnished himself, systematically,
with the means to extend aid to those whose sufferings appealed to
his sympathies. It is said that he gave beyond his means, and often
to his own embarrassment. His services as a preacher were in constant
demand, from churches far and near, and he responded when he could.
Not a few churches have been blessed by his labors, at different
intervals, during his Harpswell pastorate. Here in Portland he was
greatly beloved. For nearly one year he was the continual supply of the
St. Lawrence Street church, and in the thought of its older members he
is regarded as one of its pastors. Portland claimed him as her own. He
preached at Cumberland Mills, at Wellesley, Rockport, and New Bedford,
Massachusetts, and in other places he has served the church of God. The
Congregational church in New Bedford extended to him a call, as did
this Second Parish. But he refused all such calls, being unwilling to
make any final severance from his beloved Harpswell people.

In 1889, after the close of his Topsham pastorate, he resumed full
pastoral care of the Harpswell church, which had been served by others
during his work elsewhere, and there he remained until God called
him home. It was a wonder to us all how this venerable man, with the
infirmities of extreme old age creeping upon him, could still keep
on preaching in his eighty-eighth year, two sermons each Sunday, and
ministering as a pastor to his flock.

His last visit to Portland was during “the Old Home week” in August,
1900. He opened the festivities of that notable week by preaching
Sunday morning in this Second Parish church, upon invitation of its
pastor, and preaching again in the evening of that day at Yarmouth;
returning Monday morning to the residence of his niece in the old
homestead of his honored father, the first pastor of this Second Parish
church, who died in that historic house on Cumberland Street in 1842,
aged eighty years.

Elijah Kellogg married, after the age of forty, Hannah Pomeroy, the
daughter of the Rev. Thaddeus Pomeroy, pastor at Gorham, Maine, from
1832 to 1839. Two children survive this union, both residing in Melrose
Highlands, Massachusetts, Frank Gilman Kellogg and Mary Catherine, the
wife of Mr. Harry Batchelder. I was called to officiate at the funeral
service of their mother in the Cumberland home referred to, and rode
to the grave with her sorrowing husband. Returning from the cemetery,
the aged, grief-stricken man, said, “Now I will return to my home to be
alone with my God.” His words have been living in my memory ever since.
They implied that he was sure of finding the God of all comfort in
that secluded and desolated home on Harpswell’s shore. Who doubts but
the God we love dwelt there with his aged servant, strengthening and
supporting him in his loneliness and sorrow?

His children desired greatly to have their father with them in their
pleasant homes, but he chose to dwell among the people whom God gave
him to serve unto the end. “I will die in the harness,” he would say,
in answer to their appeals. I have from the lips of his son the words
of the last prayer he was heard to offer some days before his death.
“I thank God for a Christian mother, who consecrated me to Christ and
the Christian ministry,”--the prayer was followed by his repeating of
the twenty-third Psalm.... Just before Elijah Kellogg passed away from
earth, he delivered this touching message for his Harpswell flock, “I
want to send my love to all these people.” Having loved his own, like
his dear Lord, he loved them unto the end. Yesterday the message was
delivered to them by Professor Chapman in his funeral discourse. The
very last words of this venerable man of God, this faithful shepherd of
God’s people, were, “I am so thankful.”

Let us not attempt to interpret the words; they teach us that his
Christian heart was overflowing with gratitude to God. He was dying
in a good old age, his children around him, his people near him. He
was gathered to his fathers after a long, faithful, heroic, and noble
life. He leaves with us a most precious and a most blessed memory.
Our hearts, too, are full of gratitude to God for the life of Elijah
Kellogg on earth.

Son of Elijah Kellogg.]

Daughter and granddaughter of Elijah Kellogg.]



It had been a day of triumph in Capua. Lentulus, returning with
victorious eagles, had amused the populace with the sports of the
amphitheatre to an extent hitherto unknown even in that luxurious city.
The shouts of revelry had died away; the roar of the lion had ceased;
the last loiterer had retired from the banquet; and the lights in the
palace of the victor were extinguished. The moon, piercing the tissue
of fleecy clouds, silvered the dewdrop on the corselet of the Roman
sentinel, and tipped the dark waters of Volturnus with wavy, tremulous
light. It was a night of holy calm, when the zephyr sways the young
spring leaves, and whispers among the hollow reeds its dreamy music.
No sound was heard but the last sob of some weary wave, telling its
story to the smooth pebbles of the beach, and then all was still as the
breast when the spirit has departed.

In the deep recesses of the amphitheatre a band of gladiators were
crowded together,--their muscles still knotted with the agony of
conflict, the foam upon their lips, and the scowl of battle yet
lingering upon their brows,--when Spartacus, rising in the midst of
that grim assemblage, thus addressed them:--

“Ye call me chief, and ye do well to call him chief who, for twelve
long years, has met upon the arena every shape of man or beast that the
broad Empire of Rome could furnish, and has never yet lowered his arm.
And if there be one among you who can say that, ever, in public fight
or private brawl, my actions did belie my tongue, let him step forth
and say it. If there be three in all your throng dare face me on the
bloody sand, let them come on!

“Yet I was not always thus, a hired butcher, a savage chief of still
more savage men. My father was a reverent man, who feared great
Jupiter, and brought to the rural deities his offerings of fruits and
flowers. He dwelt among the vineclad rocks and olive groves at the foot
of Helicon. My early life ran quiet as the brook by which I sported.
I was taught to prune the vine, to tend the flock; and, at noon, I
gathered my sheep beneath the shade, and played upon the shepherd’s
flute. I had a friend, the son of our neighbor; we led our flocks to
the same pasture, and shared together our rustic meal. “One evening,
after the sheep were folded, and we were all seated beneath the myrtle
that shaded our cottage, my grandsire, an old man, was telling of
Marathon and Leuctra, and how, in ancient times, a little band of
Spartans, in a defile of the mountains, withstood a whole army. I did
not then know what war meant; but my cheeks burned, I knew not why;
and I clasped the knees of that venerable man, till my mother, parting
the hair from off my brow, kissed my throbbing temples, and bade me
go to rest and think no more of those old tales and savage wars. And,
methinks, if I could look on something other than warrior’s harness and
the blinding glare of burnished steel, and hear some other sound than
death groans and armor clangs, could I but lay these throbbing temples
upon the soft green turf beside my native brook, and let my hand hang
over the bank into its blessed current, and feel the broad sweep of its
waters, while the leaves danced over me, methinks that I could heave
this cursed crust from off my heart and be again a child. Yes, a child,
a child! But what have I to do with thoughts like these? I do forget my

“That very night the Romans landed on our shore, and the clash of steel
was heard within our quiet vale. I saw the breast that had nourished
me trampled by the iron hoof of the war-horse; the bleeding body of my
father flung amid the blazing rafters of our dwelling. To-day I killed
a man in the arena, and when I broke his helmet-clasps, behold! he
was my friend! He knew me,--smiled faintly,--gasped,--and died; the
same sweet smile that I had marked upon his face when, in adventurous
boyhood, we scaled some lofty cliff to pluck the first ripe grapes, and
bear them home in childish triumph. I told the prætor he was my friend,
noble and brave, and I begged his body, that I might burn it upon the
funeral-pile, and mourn over his ashes. Ay, on my knees, amid the dust
and blood of the arena, I begged that boon, while all the Roman maids
and matrons, and those holy virgins they call vestal, and the rabble,
shouted in mockery, deeming it rare sport, forsooth, to see Rome’s
fiercest gladiator turn pale, and tremble like a very child before
that piece of bleeding clay; but the prætor drew back as if I were
pollution, and sternly said: ’Let the carrion rot! There are no noble
men but Romans!’ And he, deprived of funeral rites, must wander, a
hapless ghost, beside the waters of that sluggish river, and look--and
look--and look in vain to the bright Elysian Fields where dwell his
ancestors and noble kindred. And so must you, and so must I, die like

“O Rome! Rome! thou hast been a tender nurse to me! Ay, thou hast given
to that poor, gentle, timid shepherd-lad, who never knew a harsher
sound than a flute-note, muscles of iron and a heart of flint; taught
him to drive the sword through rugged brass and plaited mail, and warm
it in the marrow of his foe! to gaze into the glaring eyeballs of the
fierce Numidian lion, even as a smooth-cheeked boy upon a laughing
girl. And he shall pay thee back till thy yellow Tiber is red as
frothing wine, and in its deepest ooze thy lifeblood lies curdled!

“Ye stand here now like giants, as ye are! The strength of brass as
in your toughened sinews; but to-morrow some Roman Adonis, breathing
sweet odors from his curly locks, shall come, and with his lily fingers
pat your brawny shoulders, and bet his sesterces upon your blood! Hark!
Hear ye yon lion roaring in his den? ’Tis three days since he tasted
meat; but to-morrow he shall break his fast upon your flesh; and ye
shall be a dainty meal for him.

“If ye are brutes, then stand here like fat oxen waiting for the
butcher’s knife; if ye are men, follow me! strike down yon sentinel,
and gain the mountain-passes, and there do bloody work as did your
sires at old Thermopylæ! Is Sparta dead? Is the old Grecian spirit
frozen in your veins, that ye do crouch and cower like base-born slaves
beneath your master’s lash? O comrades! warriors! Thracians! if we
must fight, let us fight for ourselves; if we must slaughter, let us
slaughter our oppressors; if we must die, let us die under the open
sky, by the bright waters, in noble, honorable battle.”


The beams of the rising sun had gilded the lofty domes of Carthage,
and given, with its rich and mellow light, a tinge of beauty even to
the frowning ramparts of the outer harbor. Sheltered by the verdant
shores, an hundred triremes were riding proudly at their anchors, their
brazen beaks glittering in the sun, their streamers dancing in the
morning breeze, while many a shattered plank and timber gave evidence
of desperate conflict with the fleets of Rome.

No murmur of business or of revelry arose from the city. The artisan
had forsaken his shop, the judge his tribunal, the priest the
sanctuary, and even the stern stoic had come forth from his retirement
to mingle with the crowd that, anxious and agitated, were rushing
toward the senate house, startled by the report that Regulus had
returned to Carthage.

Onward, still onward, trampling each other under foot, they rushed,
furious with anger and eager for revenge. Fathers were there whose sons
were groaning in Roman fetters; maidens whose lovers, weak and wounded,
were dying in the distant dungeons of Rome; and gray-haired men and
matrons whom Roman steel had left childless.

But when the stern features of Regulus were seen, and his colossal form
towering above the ambassadors who had returned with him from Rome;
when the news passed from lip to lip that the dreaded warrior, so far
from advising the Roman senate to consent to an exchange of prisoners,
had urged them to pursue, with exterminating vengeance, Carthage and
the Carthaginians,--the multitude swayed to and fro like a forest
beneath a tempest, and the rage and hate of that tumultuous throng
vented itself in groans, and curses, and yells of vengeance. But calm,
cold, and immovable as the marble walls around him, stood Regulus the
Roman; and he stretched out his hand over that frenzied crowd, with
gesture as proudly commanding as though he still stood at the head of
the gleaming cohorts of Rome.

The tumult ceased; the curse, half muttered, died upon the lip; and so
intense was the silence that the clanking of the brazen manacles upon
the wrists of the captive fell sharp and full upon every ear in that
vast assembly, as he thus addressed them:--

“Ye doubtless thought--for ye judge of Roman virtue by your own--that
I would break my plighted oath, rather than, returning, brook your
vengeance. I might give reasons for this, in Punic comprehension, most
foolish act of mine. I might speak of those eternal principles which
make death for one’s country a pleasure, not a pain. But, by great
Jupiter! methinks I should debase myself to talk of such high things
to you; to you, expert in womanly inventions; to you, well skilled to
drive a treacherous trade with simple Africans for ivory and gold! If
the bright blood that fills my veins, transmitted free from godlike
ancestry, were like that slimy ooze which stagnates in your arteries, I
had remained at home and broken my plighted oath to save my life.

“I am a Roman citizen; therefore have I returned, that ye might work
your will upon this mass of flesh and bones which I esteem no higher
than the rags that cover them. Here, in your capital, do I defy you.
Have I not conquered your armies, fired your towns, and dragged your
generals at my chariot wheels, since first my youthful arms could wield
a spear? And do you think to see me crouch and cower before a tamed and
shattered senate? The tearing of flesh and the rending of sinews are
but pastime compared with the mental agony that heaves my frame.

“The moon has scarce yet waned since the proudest of Rome’s proud
matrons, the mother upon whose breast I slept, and whose fair brow so
oft had bent over me before the noise of battle had stirred my blood,
or the fierce toil of war nerved my sinews, did with the fondest memory
of bygone hours entreat me to remain. I have seen her, who, when my
country called me to the field, did buckle on my harness with trembling
hands, while the tears fell thick and fast down the hard corselet
scales,--I have seen her tear her gray locks and beat her aged breast,
as on her knees she begged me not to return to Carthage; and all the
assembled senate of Rome, grave and reverend men, proffered the same
request. The puny torments which ye have in store to welcome me withal
shall be, to what I have endured, even as the murmur of a summer’s
brook to the fierce roar of angry surges on a rocky beach.

“Last night, as I lay fettered in my dungeon, I heard a strange ominous
sound; it seemed like the distant march of some vast army, their
harness clanging as they marched, when suddenly there stood by me
Xanthippus, the Spartan general, by whose aid you conquered me, and,
with a voice low as when the solemn wind moans through the leafless
forest, he thus addressed me: ’Roman, I come to bid thee curse, with
thy dying breath, this fated city; know that in an evil moment, the
Carthaginian generals, furious with rage that I had conquered thee,
their conqueror, did basely murder me. And then they thought to stain
my brightest honor. But, for this foul deed, the wrath of Jove shall
rest upon them here and hereafter.’ And then he vanished.

“And now, go bring your sharpest torments. The woes I see impending
over this guilty realm shall be enough to sweeten death, though every
nerve and artery were a shooting pang. I die! but my death shall prove
a proud triumph; and, for every drop of blood ye from my veins do
draw, your own shall flow in rivers. Woe to thee, Carthage! Woe to
the proud city of the waters! I see thy nobles wailing at the feet of
Roman senators! thy citizens in terror! thy ships in flames! I hear the
victorious shouts of Rome! I see her eagles glittering on her ramparts.
Proud city, thou art doomed! The curse of Jove is on thee--a clinging,
wasting curse. It shall not leave thy gates till hungry flames shall
lick the fretted gold from off thy proud palaces, and every brook runs
crimson to the sea.”


The last rays of the setting sun lingered on the towers of Carthage,
and tinged with a warm flush the snowy crests of the waves that flung
their gray foam to its very ramparts. Laughing maidens, bearing their
pitchers from the fountains, assembled at the gates; tired camels that
all day long had borne from distant and tributary realms vestments of
purple, fragrant gums, and dust of gold, released from their burdens,
were feeding beneath the walls; while from the deck of many a galley
the slave’s rude song floated on the evening air.

In a quiet vale, secluded, yet not distant from the city, beneath the
shadow of a palm, reclines a lovely woman; the low-voiced summer wind,
stirring the citron groves, has lulled her to rest. The ripe grapes
from a pendent vine almost touch her swelling breast. The spray of a
neighboring fountain falls in minute drops, like tears of pearl, on
her cheek, while a beautiful boy, tired with play, has nestled to her
side, half hidden by her flowing locks.

Hurried footsteps are heard in the distance, a heavy hand puts aside
the branches, and Hamilcar, the chieftain of the Carthaginian armies,
stands beneath the shadow of the palm; as he bends forward to look upon
his slumbering wife, a ripe grape, shaken by the plume of his helmet
from the cluster, falls upon the face of the sleeper, and she awakes.
Bright tears of pride and joy glitter in her dark eyes, as, seated at
his feet among the flowers, her white arm flung in careless happiness
across his sinewy knees and throbbing in his gauntleted grasp, she
gazes on the towering form and noble brow on which the stern traces
of recent conflict still linger. Tempests have bronzed his cheek,
desperate and bloody conflicts left their scars upon him; yet is he not
less dear to her than when in joy of youth they crowned the altars of
the gods with flowers, sporting among the sheaves at harvest home. Thus
she speaks:--

“My lord, is it disaster or business of the State that brings you
here? Your eye is troubled, and these iron fingers too rudely press
my flesh, as though your thoughts were dark and fraught with doubt or

“I have left the camp to make good a purpose long since known to thee,
to devote with sacred rites this boy at the altar of Mars, and pledge
him to eternal enmity with Rome.”

“Is this the weighty business which brings thee at this twilight and
unaccustomed hour, thine armor soiled with dust, thy brow with sweat,
in such fierce haste to pluck this fair child from his mother’s breast,
and train him up to slaughter? Strange that this great empire, so full
of men and arms and fleets of war, should need the arm of childhood to
protect it. Stern man, thou lovest me not.”

“Why question thus my love? For as this breastplate does my heart
defend, so have I cherished and protected thee, while in thy fragile
beauty thou hast clung around the warrior’s stubborn strength, even as
that wreathing vine doth yonder citron clasp, adorning its protector;
but little dost thou know, fair wife, of the affairs of nations and of
camps. Beneath these shades where the cool zephyr from Trinacrian hills
breathes through spicy groves thou hast reposed; no tear has stained
thy cheek except the fountain’s pearly drops that glistened there when
I thy sleep disturbed.

“Not thus my path has lain; too well I know the Roman’s iron strength;
in times of truce and intervals of conflict I have seen his daily
life and marked his customs well. Poverty, at Carthage a disgrace, he
but rejoices in. The water of the brook to quench his thirst, the dry
leaves for his bed, and bread of simplest preparation supply his wants.
Then, as the fierce she-wolf whose dugs nourished his ancestors doth
raven for her whelps, so goes he forth to plunder and to prey among
the nations, and, for the sake of stealing that which stolen is not
worth the keeping, will life and fortune set upon a cast. Show to a
Roman senate some patch of sand within mid-Africa, some waste of Alpine
rocks, white with eternal snows, where, famished peasants watch their
starving flocks and wrestle with the avalanche for life; did Phlegethon
with all his burning waves the wretched pittance guard, and fierce
Eumenides beleaguer all the shore, yet would a Roman consul dare the
flood, do battle with the lion for his sands, and slay the shivering
goatherd for his rocks.

“The Romans turn their greedy eyes toward these fair realms; they seek
to lay in ashes these ancestral towers, where whatsoever piety reveres,
memory recalls, or old affection cherishes, is garnered and bestowed,
nor will they pause till every wave of this encircling sea, crimsoned
with the gore of matrons, of aged men, and even of the laughing and
unconscious babe, shall roll its bloody burden to the shore.

“Most unequal is the conflict. The men who reared these towers and
moistened with their blood these battlements are not; in their stead
has come a race of petty shopkeepers and sycophants, having no inner
life, no haughty purpose or generous resolve, no strength to keep what
their forefathers won. The streets are thronged with youths whose
dainty limbs are clad in flowing and embroidered robes, whose jewelled
fingers are skilful to touch the lyre, but not to press the war-horse
through ranks of thronging spearmen, to draw the Numidian arrow to the
head, and dip its thirsty point in hostile blood. The rest are veterans
gray with years, and most unfit for service, like the shepherd’s dog
that, stiff with age and pampered with good living, erects his hair
and shows his toothless jaws, making in vain a noble front before the
gaunt and wiry wolf.

“Our only hope is in the legions I have drawn from Spain, and trained
in foreign wars to conflict. But my step, once lighter than the
brindled tigers on the Libyan sands, grows heavy with weight of years
and hardships. Were I to fall, armies would lack a leader, my country
one who loves her better than himself, or wife, or child. But the blood
that mantles in this boy’s cheek is that of heroes; thine ancestors and
mine were chieftains of the olden time; and when the lion shall breed
sheep will I believe that any of our race and lineage can ever fail
their country in her hour of need. Therefore, despite thy tears, mine
own affection, and his tender age, from off thy bosom will I take this
child and as the lion brings his whelps afield with claws half-grown
and trains them on the hunters, so will I him. It is not what we
choose, but what our country needs, and sacred liberty requires, that
we must do, though in the conflict our own heartstrings break. He shall
be the enemy of Rome in soul and body and in secret thought. He shall
not feed on dainties and sleep on Tyrian purple till he becomes the
object of men’s sneers. The panther’s shaggy hide, the forest leaves,
the dry bed of some mountain brook, shall be his couch, while on my
corselet scales his cheek shall rest,--the soldier’s iron pillow; and
when with growing strength and hardihood his bones endure the harness,
behind his father’s buckler he shall learn to fight and bathe his
maiden sword in blood.”

At the altar of Mars, surrounded by a vast throng of citizens,
soldiery, and chief estates of the realm, stands Hamilcar; his helmet
down conceals his features from the crowd. On the opposite side of the
altar are his wife and her maidens; at his side the child. Placing
his little fingers on the yet quivering flesh of the victim, he said:
“Hannibal, son of Hamilcar, swear, by this consecrated blood, and in
the presence of that dread God of battles on whose altar it smokes,
that you will neither love nor make peace with any of Roman blood;
should fortune, friends, and weapons fail, you will still live and die
the inexorable enemy of Rome.”

As he paused, the clear tones of that childish voice, answering, “I
swear,” rose upon a stillness so deep that the low crackling of the
flames that fed the altar-fires were distinctly audible.

It was broken by one wild shriek of agony, as the frantic mother fell
fainting into the arms of her maidens.

The stern chieftain spake not, but, as he stooped to raise the child, a
single tear, falling between the bars of his helmet upon the upturned
face of the wondering boy, told of the agony within.


Imagine yourself at Athens, among that strange people of feverish
blood, who deify to-day the man they slaughtered but yesterday. The
voice of the herald proclaims that Pericles is to be arraigned before
the tribunal of the people. Borne along by the crowd, you enter the
hall of justice. Not a sword rattles in its scabbard; not a mailed foot
rings on the marble floor; one deep, intense, ominous silence pervades
that dangerous assembly, as Pericles, rising, thus addresses them:--

“Ye men of Athens, I come not here to plead for life, though it be
spent in exile; to entreat for a breath, though it be drawn in the
damps of a dungeon; but to refute a vile slander; to show that he who
invents and propagates a falsehood, like Sisyphus, rolls a stone to
return and crush him. Cratinus accuses me of having embezzled the money
raised for the defence of Greece, and of having expended it in adorning
the city of Athens, as a proud and vain woman decketh herself with

“Have I not defended Greece, while Sparta and the allies were reposing
in comfort by their own firesides? He avers that I was often at the
house of Phidias to admire his statues, but insinuates that I had
a softer motive. Suppose I had; rather let him show in what I have
betrayed my country, when I have oppressed the poor, polluted myself
with bribes, or turned back in the hour of battle. He accuses me of
sacrificing the lives of brave men to my vaulting ambition, and even
affects to shed tears over those who fell, in the flower of their
youth, at Samos.

“Sacrificing! Were they machines to move at my bidding? bullocks to
be dragged up and offered at the altar of Mars? Were they Persian
mercenaries, to be driven with whips to the conflict? or were they
patriots defending their firesides, and I their elder brother? They
were the descendants of those who fell at Marathon,--men whose youthful
locks had been worn off by the helmet, and whose fingers grew to the

“The parents of those brave men did not, with reddening cheeks, behold
them lying on some feverish couch, like a sick girl, crying for
cooling drinks; but they died with their wounds in front, the broken
sword in their hand, and the shout of victory ringing in their ears.
Oh, yes! one hour of glorious conflict--when the blood leaps and the
muscles rally for the mastery, when the hero’s soul wings its way
through gaping wounds to Elysium--is worth a whole eternity of sitting
in senates and dull debates, and private bickerings, and tame, common

“One day, as we were making forced marches across the isthmus in
pursuit of the Lacedæmonians, a woman, following the camp as a sutler,
with a child at her breast, fell and expired from fatigue. A soldier
raised a spear to despatch the infant. Moved with compassion, I struck
down his weapon; for I thought of my own little ones at home, whose
kisses were scarcely yet cold on my lips, and even in the confusion of
pursuit, I provided him with a nurse.

“On my return, he accompanied me, grew up with my children, fed at my
table, slept in my tent, and fought behind my shield. As a reward for
life, education, and a thousand anxious cares incurred, he has now,
by false accusation, summoned me to the tribunal of my country, to
plead for that life which has ever been held cheap in her service. What
shall be done with such a wretch? I hear you exclaim: ’Send for the
executioner! burn him to ashes! fling him from the Acropolis!’

“Cratinus, thou art that wretch; and yet methinks thou hast not
altogether the noble bearing of the patriot who rejoices that he has
been able to bring to justice the betrayer of his country; but thou
hast rather the look of some timid shepherd, who, in chasing the stag,
and pursuing the goat, has, all unwittingly, stumbled upon the lair
of the lion, and, too terrified to flee, stands shivering before the
glaring eyeball of the tawny brute.

“Thou small thing, I will not hurt thee; for, in the proud
consciousness of right, I could even pity thee. And, when again thou
liest among the slain at Megara, thy helmet cleft, the lance of the
enemy at thy throat, and thou with not strength enough to parry it,
then call for Pericles, and he will _again_ come to thy rescue.
Farewell, thou grateful child! thou faithful friend! thou manly enemy!”


The intolerable oppression of the patricians, to which was now added
the tyranny of the Decemvirs, had excited a spirit of rancor in the
breasts of the Roman commons, which was gradually extending itself to
the entire army that now lay encamped in a strong position within sight
of the enemy. But so sullen was their temper that the generals feared
to lead them from their intrenchments, and the only barrier to open
mutiny seemed to be the absence of special provocation, or the lack of
a leader.

Upon the slopes of Crustumeria hung the dark masses of the Roman
legions, while the watch-fires of their enemy, gleaming through heavy
masses of foliage, lit up the vales below. But the haughty joy with
which these stern warriors were wont to hail the hour of conflict no
longer thrilled the soldiers’ breasts. By the dim light of stars men
spake in whispers; and murmurs, waxing louder as the night wore on,
like the hollow moan of surf before the gathering tempest, rose on the
midnight air.

Just as the red light, touching, tinged the mountain summits, a
warrior, clad in gory mantle from which the blood, slow dripping, had
stained his armor and clotted upon his horse’s mane, rode down the
sentry, and, bursting into the midst of the camp, shouted, “Soldiers,
protect a tribune of the people!” Those pregnant words, associated
with all of liberty the commons had ever known, were to the chafed
spirits of the soldiery as fire to flax. From every quarter of the camp
trumpets sounded to arms, the clash of steel mingled with the tramp of
hurrying feet, and, marshalled by self-elected commanders, the gleaming
cohorts closed around him. But when the helmet, lifted, revealed a
face of wondrous beauty, stained by the traces of recent grief, the
eyes flashing with the light of incipient madness, and they recognized
the features of that tribune most of all beloved by the people, tears
trembled on the cheeks of that stern soldiery, and, “Icilius!” ran in a
low wail through their ranks.

“Comrades,” he cried, “you behold no more that young Icilius who, foot
to foot and shield to shield with you, has borne the brunt of many a
bloody day, and whose life was like a summer’s morning, rich with the
fragrance of the opening buds, while every morn gave promise of new
joys, and twilight hours were in their lingering glories dressed,--but
a man sore broken, made ruthless by oppression, and so beset with
horrors that this reeling brain, just tottering on the verge of
madness, is steadied only by the purpose of revenge.

“Yesterday, Virginia, my betrothed, was by her father slain, to thwart
the lust of Appius Claudius, a guardian of the public virtue and a
ruler of the State.

“As she crosses the forum, on her way to school, that she may take
leave of her mates, and invite them to her bridal, some ruffians set
on by Appius Claudius lay hold upon her, averring that she is not the
daughter of Virginius, but of a slave-woman, the property of Marcus,
his client. The matter is brought to public trial; Appius, failing
to attain in this manner the custody of her, that he may gratify
his evil passions, commands his soldiers to take her by force. Her
friends, apprehending no violence at a legal tribunal, are without
arms. Soldiers are tearing her from her father’s embrace, when the
stern parent, preferring death to dishonor, catches a knife from the
butcher’s stall, and, crying, ’Thus only can I restore thee untainted
to thine ancestors,’ stabs her to the heart.

“The purple torrent gushing from her breast, she falls upon my
neck,--her arms embrace me,--her lips close pressed to mine, murmuring
in death my name, she dies.

“In childhood we were lovers; from her father’s door to mine was
but a javelin’s cast. We sought the nests of birds,--played in the
brooks,--chased butterflies--we clapped our hands in childish wonder
when the great eagle from the Apennines plunged headlong to the vale,
or skimmed with level wing along the flood,--and I, adventurous boy,
risked life and limb upon the jutting crag, to pluck some wild flower
that her fancy pleased.

“As generous wine by age becomes more potent, thus fared it with our
loves. For her I kept myself unstained, rushed to the battle’s front,
and honors gained, that I might lay them at her feet, and by her love
inspired, press on to worthier deeds. Like flowers whose kindred roots
intwine, whose perfume mingles on the morning air, did our affections
blend. ’Twas but three nights ago that we sat hand in hand beside the
Tiber, and listened to the song of nightingales among the elms. The
purple twilight quivering through the leaves streamed o’er her brow,
and bathed in heavenly hues her lovely form.

“There we talked of our approaching nuptials. Love ripened into
rapture. I kissed her lips, and chid the slow-paced hours that kept
us from our bliss. The marriage day was fixed. With curtains richly
wrought, and coverings of finest linen, spun by her own hands and by
her maidens’, my mother had adorned the couch.

“To that sweet home where I had hoped through happy years to cherish
her a wife, I bore her mangled corpse, gashed by her father’s hand. Her
blood bedewed the bed decked with those nuptial gifts.

“To you, mates of my boyhood, brethren in battle tried, I stretch my
hands; not in the petty interest of private wrong, but in the sacred
right of Roman liberty, of virgin purity, sweet household joys, and
in the name of those whose fair forms mingle with your dreams, in the
fierce shock of battle nerve your arms, the fragrance of whose parting
kiss yet lingers on your lips.

“The blood of age creeps slowly, and in its timid counsels interest and
fear bear sway. Shall youthful swords lie rusting in the scabbards, and
young men count the odds, when slaughtered beauty from its bloody grave
clamors for vengeance?

“Behold this mantle, drenched in the blood of her whose fingers wove it
as a gift of love,--each precious drop a tongue to shame your lingering
courage. Led by the father with his bloody knife, your comrades thunder
at the gates of Rome, while you, unworthy sons of sires who banished
Tarquin and expelled the kings, sit here deliberating whether the
virgin’s sanctity, the wife’s fair virtue, and all that men and gods
hold sacred, are worth the striking for. Consume your youth in hunger,
cold, and vigils, with spoils of conquered realms to pamper tyrants,
till, waxing wanton on your bounty, they desolate your homes; and ye,
hedged in by mercenary spears, revile your misery.”

His words were drowned in the clash of steel and the cries of
multitudes calling to arms. Tearing the bloody garments in pieces,
he flung them among the thronging battalions. “Be these your eagles.
Bind them to your helmets; and, in the spirit they inspire, strike down
the oppressor, that sweet Virginia’s unquiet ghost no more may wander
shrieking for vengeance on the midnight air, but to the silent shades
appeased return.”


Patriotism in the Roman breast was something more than principle; it
was a passion. The sacred fire, so far from being diminished by age,
waxed purer through the decay of the flesh, and, partaking of the
nature of a divine afflatus, expired only with life itself. After all
reasonable allowances made for the enchantment which distance flings
around the great of past ages, the instances of devotion to country,
scattered here and there through the pages of their history, fill us
with amazement. To extend its empire, contribute to its glory, repel
its enemies, no sacrifice was deemed too great. In common with other
ancient nations they believed that the blood of a human victim, smoking
upon the altar, was a sacrifice most acceptable to the gods, and in
great emergencies an argument of wondrous power. It was therefore
resorted to only when the fate of armies and nations hung trembling in
the balance.

The victims chosen were often aged, useless, or prisoners taken in war;
but when a virgin in the purity of her innocence and the glory of her
expanding charms, or a man of noble birth in the prime of manly vigor,
with high hopes and great inducements to live, voluntarily devoted
themselves to die for the State, victory was considered no longer

The Roman army being engaged in desperate conflict, and hard pressed
by a valiant foe, the left wing, under command of Decius, was forced
to retire; their general, determined to devote himself, arrayed in a
mantle broidered with purple, and standing with bare feet upon his
spear, cried: “Ye gods and heroes who rule over us and our enemies,
and ye infernal deities whose dwelling is in the shades beneath, I
invoke your presence. I entreat you to give victory to the Roman
armies, and strike their enemies with fear and death. I here devote
myself to mother earth and the shades of my ancestors in behalf of the
Roman republic, her legions and auxiliaries, and with myself I devote
the legions and auxiliaries of the enemy. For every drop of my blood
shed in holy sacrifice grant that theirs may flow in torrents; for my
single life, may they atone by thousands.”

Putting on his armor and mounting his horse, he said: “It is well known
to you, my countrymen, that our fathers have taught us both by their
words and acts, that it is the duty of every citizen to devote himself
to the welfare of his country. They have taught us during peace to
cultivate the soil, to despise luxury and effeminate pursuits, and, by
begetting and educating children, to strengthen the State; in war by
valor to defend it; nor without sufficient reason to risk our lives,
the property of our country, bestowed by the gods. This I have ever
striven to do. I am indeed young to die; age hath not tamed my sinews,
nor misfortune broken my spirits, that I should be weary of life;
fortune thus far has been friendly to me, reasonable expectations have
been gratified, and efforts crowned with success. I might justly hope
for many years of usefulness to my country and honor to myself, but it
is now in my power, by devoting myself, to secure the interposition
of the gods in crowning with victory the banners of our country and
destroying its foes.

“It would be a solace to me once more to embrace an affectionate wife
and dutiful children, to look again upon the trees I have planted and
watched in their growth till they have become a part of myself, and
upon the fields from which for so many years I have raised my bread
and that of my family. I should like to walk over them once more,
but I leave them with all my other affairs to the care of the State,
which I am assured I shall this day more benefit by death than by the
longest and most prosperous life. To you, Valerius, I commit the care
of interring my body, that, having received the sacred rites of burial,
I may enter those happy fields, where dwell the shades of heroes and my
warlike ancestors. I commission you to inform my wife of the manner of
my death, charging her to educate my sons in a manner worthy of their
father and their ancestors.

“I pray you, my friends, look not so mournfully upon me, as though some
great misfortune were about to befall me; for, though I may no longer
lead you to battle, my shade will be present with you and nerve your
arms to strike for the safety and glory of the Republic. The spirits
of our ancestors hover around us; I behold their shadowy forms. The
immortal gods are present for our aid. Jove thunders from the sky and
Apollo bends the bow.”

Followed by the frantic legions assured of victory, he rushed into the
midst of the foe; they fled in terror before the terrible warrior armed
with supernatural terrors and seeking only death. The contest ended,
the victorious Romans drew the body of their general from beneath a
heap of slain, contemplating with emotions of mingled pride and sorrow
the wounds which had let out a spirit so noble. They cleansed that
beloved form from the stains of battle, arrayed it in gorgeous robes
perfumed with fragrant odors, and reverend senators bore it to the


It was on the morn of the 7th of August, 480 B.C., that Leonidas,
with three hundred kindred spirits, performed the deed that shall be
transmitted from father to son, through the generations of men, while
human hearts shall throb with the love of country and of the domestic
hearth. Four days had the haughty invader lingered at the mountain
pass to afford this desperate band time to reconsider their act and
disperse. Summoned to lay down their arms, they replied, “Come and
take them.” Vainly had he poured his thousands upon this devoted band
till the defile was choked with Persian dead. At length the tidings
came that ten thousand men guided by a traitor were threading the goat
paths to attack their rear. With ample opportunity to retreat, in
obedience to the laws of their country, which forbade its soldiers to
retreat from the foe, the Spartans, dismissing their allies, remained
to face the storm. Never before or since has law been thus voluntarily
baptized in blood, or the sun looked down upon a scene like that.

On one side in solitary grandeur tower the massive cliffs of Œta,
wreathed with the white foam of torrents, and shaggy with forests
bathed in dew; before stretches the narrow path leading to a plain,
where lie the hosts of Xerxes, two million men; and on the other, the

In these rude ages of brawl and battle his life and liberty alone
were safe whose hand could help his head; thus also in respect to
communities, the nation unable to defend itself found no allies; to
be weak was to be miserable. The institutions of Lycurgus aimed to
produce the greatest physical strength, contempt of pain and death, and
to inspire an absorbing love of country. They decreed that all puny
and imperfect children should be put to death, thus leaving to grow up
only the strongest of the race. All labor was performed by slaves, that
the citizens might be left at leisure for the study and practice of
arms. The fatigues of their daily life were greater than those of the
camp, and to the Spartan alone war afforded a relaxation. Their cities
disdained the protection of walls, while they boasted that the women
had never seen the smoke of an enemy’s camp. From the breast they were
taught that glory and happiness consisted in love for their country
and obedience to its laws. They were early accustomed to cold, hunger,
and scourgings, in order to teach them endurance and contempt of pain.
No tender parent wrought with saddened brow their battle robes, or
buckled on with tears their armor; but the Spartan mother’s farewell to
her son was, “Bring back thy shield or be borne upon it.” Trained in
the contests of the gymnasium and the free life of the hunter and the
warrior, accustomed from childhood to the weight of harness graduated
to their growing strength, their armor grew to their limbs, and was
worn with a grace and their weapons wielded with a skill that was

Such were the stern brotherhood, chosen from a thousand Spartans, all
the fathers of living sons, that others might be left to fill their
places, inherit their spirit, and follow their example. In those forms
so replete with manly beauty dwelt a spirit more noble still, which,
preferring the toils of liberty to the ease of servitude, caught from
those frowning precipices and that matchless sky, ever flinging its
shadow over sea and shore, a love for the soil enduring as life itself.

As the sun arose they bathed their bodies in water, anointed themselves
with oil, and arranged their hair as for a banquet. “Let us,” said
Leonidas, “breakfast heartily, for we shall all sup with Pluto

“Comrades,” cried the heroic king, as the serried ranks gathered around
him, “those whose laws do not forbid them to retreat from the foe have
left us. I welcome you to death; had not treachery done its work, three
hundred Spartans would have still held at bay two million slaves. Deem
not because we, trained in all feats of arms, in the full strength of
manhood, perish nor hold the pass, our country’s gate, we therefore die
for naught. This day shall we do more for Sparta than could the longest
life consumed in war or councils of the State. As trees that fall in
lonely forests die but to live again, and with other trees incorporate,
lift their proud tops to heaven, wave in the breeze, and fling their
shadows over the murmuring streams, thus shall our blood, which ere
high noon shall smoke upon these rocks and stain these fretting waves,
beget defenders for the soil it consecrates. To-day you fight the
battles of a thousand years and teach this vaunting foe that bodies
are not men, that freedom’s laws are mightier than the knotted scourge
or chains by despots forged. The savor of this holocaust, borne by the
winds and journeying on the waves, shall nerve the patriot’s arm, while
Pinda rears its awful front, and from its sacred caves the streams
descend. Inspired by this your act, henceforth five hundred Spartan
men shall count a thousand. Our countrymen with envy shall view the
gaping wounds through which the hero’s soul flees to the silent shades,
and mourn they were not privileged with us to die. Our children shall
tread with prouder step their native hills, while men exclaim each to
the other, ’Behold the sons of sires who slumber at Thermopylæ.’ These
battered arms, gathered with jealous care, shall hallow every home; our
little ones with awful reverence shall point to the shivered sword, the
war-scarred shield, the bloody vesture or the helmet cleft, and say,
’My father bore these arms at old Thermopylæ.’ With noble ardor shall
they yearn for the day when their young arms shall bear ancestral
shields, the spear sustain, and, like their sires, strike home on
bloody fields for liberty and law.”

Their courage needed to be attempered, not aroused by the clangor
of trumpets, the stormy roll of drums, and the frantic shout of
multitudes. To the sound of softest music, and decked with flowers as
for a bridal, they marched upon their foe.

Now flute notes and the sweet music of the Spartan lyre floated upon
the breath of morn as they encountered the foe. Persian arrows and
javelins darkened the air, and discordant yells rose up to heaven, but
before that terrible phalanx the multitudes went down like grass before
the scythe of the mower. Their spears gave no second thrust, their
swords no second blow; assailed at length by millions in front and
rear, they were slain and not subdued. Yet does their influence live
in all literature and all lands. To-day they teach the age that there
are nobler employments for man than the acquisition of riches or the
pursuit of pleasure. The patriot scholar goes from the contemplation
of the relics of Roman and Grecian art, to pay a deeper devotion at
their grass-grown sepulchre; listens to the dash of waves, breaking as
they broke upon the ear of Leonidas and his heroes, when, on that proud
morning, they marched forth to die; reads with awe that sublime epitaph
and passes on a better patriot and a better man.


The Roman Senate, in high conclave assembled, deliberated respecting
the raising of fresh levies of men and arms. Powerful and vindictive
foes, with difficulty held at bay, were gathering for attack, while the
commons were ripe for revolt. Meanwhile, a turbulent crowd thronged
the forum, surging to and fro like forests tossed by conflicting
winds. Exasperated by oppression, beggared by usury, they recounted
their causes of discontent, and thus fanned the smouldering flame in
each other’s breast. It was from their households the conscription now
pending was to be made; their blood was to stain the fields of battle,
and victory, bringing but empty honors, would leave them more under the
power of their masters than before. To increase the confusion, some
Latin horsemen came full speed to the city, announcing that the Volsci
were on their march to attack it; upon which the people set up a shout
of joy, willing to perish if so be their oppressors might perish with

Cries of agony now arose above the tumult, and an old man pursued by
creditors ran into the midst imploring aid; but his pursuers catching
hold of the chain which was fastened to his right foot, he fell upon
his face, while the blood gushed from his nostrils. He had just escaped
from the dungeon of a creditor; his clothes were in tatters; his body
emaciated by hunger; while his face, hideous with matted hair and
beard, resembled more that of a beast than of a man. Some soldiers at
length recalled the face of a centurion under whom they had served,
famed for military skill, and distinguished by honors received as the
reward of valor in the field. It needed but this spark to ignite a
train already prepared for explosion. With a roar, like that of surges
upon a winter’s beach, they trampled his pursuers beneath their feet,
bidding him without fear to tell his tale, for they would protect him
though it were necessary to fling both senate and consuls into the
Tiber. And now to that fearful uproar succeeded a silence like that
of the sepulchre, permitting the feeble tones of the miserable man to
reach every ear and touch every heart in that vast assembly, as thus
he spake:--

“Ten years ago, my countrymen, I was the owner of a little farm, the
fruit of my labor and that of my ancestors. It lay along the base of
hills around whose roots wound a brook which, watering my fields, ran
into the Tiber; on its banks grew the elms that sustained our vines;
the hills were clothed with chestnut and olives, and there also was the
pasture of my flocks. In the sheltered vale beneath, the almond mingled
with the fig, the flax spread its azure flowers to the sun, apples bent
the laden boughs, and grain rewarded the toil of the reaper. How dear
to me was that humble cot with its straw-thatched roof from which the
swallows sprang to greet the breaking day; where the stock-dove hung
its nest in the beechen shade, and morning breezes brought perfume to
its threshold. How sweet, when the weary bullocks were released from
the yoke, to lie among the lengthening shadows and listen to the dying
breeze steal through the soft acanthus leaves in wild, low music. Our
wants were few and easily satisfied; my wife ground the corn, her hands
spun and wove our clothing, my children were dutiful; we led a frugal,
happy life, revering the immortal gods and cherishing the virtues of
our fathers. These few acres, valued as the fruit of my own labor, the
gift of my ancestors, consecrated by their toil and pregnant with their
ashes, were to me inexpressibly dear. I, indeed, was most of the time
in arms for my country, yet often in the midnight watches of the camp
did memory picture those sunny fields, my family thinking and talking
of the absent soldier; nor did I forget to thank the immortal gods,
that, should my country require my life, my family possessed a heritage
and a home. The sun was declining as I neared my native vale on my
return from the Sabine war. Eagerly I pressed to the brow of the hill
that I might look down upon that dear cot. It was a heap of ashes; the
storm of war had swept over those pleasant fields; fire had consumed
the standing corn; the cattle were driven off, and the beauty of the
groves had departed. As nearer I drew, I descried the body of my wife
and first-born lying dead at the threshold; the rest had fled, not a
living thing, even a dog, was left to welcome me; and the tired soldier
had not where to lay his head.

“To war succeeded famine, hostilities continued, taxes increased, the
land lay untilled. I was compelled to borrow money at exorbitant usury;
that loved heritage passed into the hands of strangers. The golden
crown and silver chain, bestowed for being the first to enter the
enemy’s camp, went next; they are in the coffers of a man who never saw
the color of a foeman’s eye nor drew his sword in the State’s behalf.
All this not sufficing, my creditor immured me in a foul dungeon
beneath his palace; with fifteen pounds of iron, the utmost the law
permits, was I loaded; a pound of corn and water was my daily food, and
I, a Roman citizen and a centurion, was scourged like a dog. Had I not
broken my chain and flung myself upon you for protection, this war-worn
body would have been cut in pieces and apportioned among my creditors.

“Comrades on many a bloody field, behold this arm,--which in
twenty-eight battles has fought for the liberty of Rome till the hand
clave to the sword hilt,--worn by cruel fetters to the bone; this body,
seamed with honorable scars, dripping blood from the knotted scourge.
Milder tortures would have been reserved for me had I been the betrayer
instead of the defender of my country. The laws which consume the
poor man’s substance and drain his blood are by usurers enacted, by
them are executed. Usurers rob the public chest and parcel out the
conquered lands among themselves. Let us, rather than longer submit to
such extortion, fling wide the gates to the approaching enemy, leave
them to exercise their wisdom in making laws where there are none to
govern, levying taxes where there are none to pay, and displaying their
valor where there is nought to defend. By the ashes of that ruined
home, those loved forms mangled by the Sabine sword and devoured by the
vultures of the Apennines, by the sufferings of my remaining children
whose young lives are consumed by the tortures from which I have fled,
by him who on Olympus holds his awful seat and shakes the nations with
his nod, I conjure you to assert the rights of the people and the
ancient liberties of Rome.”


The night wind blew in fitful gusts, with occasional dashes of rain,
where, grouped around their watch-fires, and sheltered by the dense
foliage of a beechen grove, a Roman cohort held its leaguer. Some,
their spears thrust into the ground beside them, sat upright against
the trees; while others lay at full length, with their heads resting
upon their shields.

As the flames threw their red light upon the war-scarred faces of the
veterans, they revealed only sullen features. No song nor jest was
heard,--no sound, save the low hiss of the raindrops on the embers, the
bay of a wolf in the distant forest, and the low muttered words of a
soldier who was telling to his comrade how that, the night before, as
the sun fell over the hills, a centurion rode past his beat full speed
to Rome, summoned there by some new outrage of the Patricians.

All that night, throughout the host, mysterious forebodings crept.
Men around their watch-fires spake in low whispers; and many a silent
grasp of the hand passed from man to man. As the night wore away, and
the day dawned, Virginius, upon a foaming steed, his head bare, and in
his right hand a bloody knife, dashed past the guard to where--beneath
an oak which, withered and scorched by sacrificial fires, flung no
shadow--great Jove was worshipped.

Mounting the altar-steps, he turned, and, with bloodshot eyes, glared
upon the soldiers who thronged tumultuously around him. Holding aloft
the bloody knife, he exclaimed, “With this weapon I have slain my only
child, to preserve her from dishonor!” Yells of horror and bitter
execrations rose from the whole army; and a thousand swords flashed in
the sun’s bright beams.

“Soldiers!” he cried, “I am like this blasted tree. Two years ago
the Ides of May three lusty sons went with me to the field. In one
disastrous fight they perished. A daughter, beautiful as the day, yet
remained; ’tis but a week ago you saw her here, bearing to her old sire
home comforts prepared by her own hands, and sharing with him the
evening meal, and you blessed her as you passed.

“You’ll never see her more, who weekly came, with the soft music of her
voice, and spells of home, to cheer our hearts. As on her way to school
she crossed the Forum, Appius Claudius, through his minion Marcus,
claimed her as a slave. With desperate haste I rode to Rome. Holding my
daughter by the hand, and by my side her uncle, her aged grandsire, and
Icilius her betrothed, I claimed my child.

“The judge, that he may gain his end, decides that in his house and
custody she must remain, till I, by legal process, prove my right! The
guards approach. Trembling, she clings around my neck,--her hot tears
on my cheek. Snatching this knife from a butcher’s stall, I plunged it
in her breast, that her pure soul might go free and unstained to her
mother and her ancestors.

“And this is the reward a grateful country gives her soldiery! Cursed
be the day my mother bore me! Accursed my sire’s untimely joy! Accursed
the twilight hour, when ’mid Etruscan groves I wooed and won Acestes’
beauteous child, while youth’s bright dreams were busy at my heart!

“Soldiers! the deadliest foes of our liberties are behind, not before
us; they are not the Æqui, the Volsci, and the Sabines, who meet us
in fair fight; but that pampered aristocracy, who chain you by the
death-penalty to the camp, that in your absence they may work their
will upon those you leave behind.

“But why do I seek to kindle a fire in ice? Why seek to arouse the
vengeance of those who care for no miseries but their own, and are
enamoured of their fetters? I, indeed, can lose no more. Misfortune
hath emptied her quiver,--she hath no other shaft for this bleeding
breast; but flatter not yourselves that the lust of Appius Claudius has
expired with the defeat of his purpose.

“Your homes, likewise, invite the destroyer; into your fold the grim
wolf will leap; among the lambs of your flock will he revel, his jaws
dripping blood. For you, also, the bow is bent; the arrow drawn to the
head; and the string impatient of its charge. By all that I have lost,
and that you imperil by delay, avenge this accursed wrong!

“If you have arms, use them; liberties, vindicate them; patriotism,
save the tottering State; natural affection, protect the domestic
hearth; piety, appease the wrath of the gods by avenging the blood
that cries to heaven. To arms! To arms! or your swords will leap from
their scabbards, the trumpets sound the onset, and the standards of
_themselves_ advance to rebuke your delay!”


The year seventeen hundred and seventy-five dawned gloomily upon the
inhabitants of Massachusetts Bay. Portentous clouds darkened the
political horizon, while clear-sighted and forecasting men prepared
themselves for a struggle they saw to be inevitable. The attempt to
crush by force of arms the spirit of liberty in the colonies had
already commenced. A hostile fleet, with guns double-shotted and
trained upon the town, lay at anchor in Boston Harbor. The town was
under martial law, the hills bristled with cannon, sentinels challenged
the citizen going to his daily vocations, and the common was a camp.

On the wharves of this busy emporium of colonial trade that had been
wont to send its thousand vessels each year to foreign and domestic
ports, the sailor’s song was hushed, warehouses were closed, and no
canvas fluttered to the breeze. But few shops, and those only which
dealt in the necessaries of life, were opened, and the hammer of the
artisan lay rusting on the anvil. In many streets the snow lying white
and undisturbed before the doors of hospitable dwellings evinced that
their occupants had fled from a tyranny they were unable to resist.
Beneath this grinding oppression, so intolerable to the spirit of a
free people, no weak complaints were uttered nor sounds of riot heard.
The citizen pursuing his business brushed the sentinel with a calm brow
and sealed lips, and the children went to and fro to their schools and

When soldiers barracked and horses were stabled in their churches,
when bayonets gleamed in their halls of legislation, they lifted
up the voice to God in other places and the town meeting was held
as heretofore. For the first time in the history of peoples, the
flocks sported in the pasture or slept in the fold unconscious of the
butcher’s knife; the inhabitants of Massachusetts had resolved to eat
no mutton, that their resources might be increased. On the roofs of
sheds and porticoes wool and flax were bleaching; from hundreds of
dwellings were heard the hum of the wheel and the stroke of the loom,
where the mothers of heroes were preparing their children for the
forum or the field. Balls were run and cartridges made by the hands
of women and children at the kitchen fire, and, deftly concealed in
loads of offal, passed unchallenged the sentries to hiding-places in
the neighboring towns. Men who pursued their usual labors during the
day met at midnight in garrets and cellars, and after swearing upon the
Scriptures to keep secret the purpose of the meeting, consulted and
prayed together, enduring meanwhile as best they might the insults of
the soldiery.

It was Wednesday afternoon and half-holiday. General Gage, commander of
troops that held watch and ward over the rebels in Massachusetts Bay
and the town of Boston in particular, was sitting in his quarters at
the Province House. The general’s brow was clouded and he was evidently
a prey to uneasy thoughts; the intelligent perversity of his opponents
both perplexed and alarmed him. He liked not the unwonted calm, the
utter absence of bluster and bravado, for he knew too well the
temper of the people with whom he had to deal to mistake silence for
submission. He had fought with Washington at Duquesne, aided to bear
the dying Braddock from the field, and feared that the rifles that then
saved the British army from utter destruction were only biding their
time, and the drums that beat at Louisburg might at any moment wake the
slumbering fires and the mine explode beneath his feet.

While thus uneasily balancing probabilities, his servant announced that
some boys requested an interview. The general, who was exceedingly fond
of children, ordered them to be admitted.

“Well, boys,” he inquired, “what is your business with me?”

“We have come, sir,” said the tallest boy, “to demand satisfaction.”

“What, have your fathers been teaching you rebellion and sent you to
show it here?”

“No, sir, nobody sent us and nobody told us to come, but we’ve come
of our own accord for our rights. The common belongs to the people of
Boston and their children. We are town born, all of us, and so are
the boys whom we represent, therefore we have a right to play on the
common. We have asked many old people, and they tell us that boys
always have had this right, that they played there and their fathers
before them. We have never made faces at your soldiers, called them
lobsters, thrown snowballs at them, or insulted them in any manner, but
while we were minding our business, skating and building snow hills,
just as we have always done every winter before even they were here,
they came and trampled down our sliding hills, and broke the ice on
our skating ground with the breech of their musket. We complained;
they called us young rebels and told us to help ourselves if we could.
We then went to the captain, and he laughed at us. We have come, sir,
for our rights. We want only the rights which the law gives us and
boys have always had. Yesterday your soldiers destroyed our works
for the third time, and we won’t endure this oppression any longer.
Your soldiers may shoot us if they wish, but if you will not give us
satisfaction, we will get together all the boys and defend our works
while there is a snowball, a stone, or a boy left in the town of
Boston; for if we can’t play on our own common and skate on our own
pond, what can we do?”

The general could not but admire the resolution of the boys and assured
them that henceforth their rights should be respected.


In the year 1813 a piratical schooner was wrecked upon one of the
desolate Keys of the Bahamas. The captain alone, of a crew of ninety
men, reached shore upon a broken spar. For several months he subsisted
upon shell-fish and tropical fruits, with which the island abounded,
eked out by some provisions saved from the wreck.

While in this solitude, feelings which had long slumbered were awakened
in his breast, and his heart was melted to repentance.

After long months of waiting, he was rescued by a passing vessel bound
for Spain. A pardon was at length obtained for him from the Spanish
government, and he ever after lived a Christian life. But what thus
wrought upon the heart of the savage, hardened in crime and blood?
“Fear,” I hear you exclaim, “heightened by that terrible solitude;
death groans and piteous entreaties for mercy that haunted each lonely
ravine, and moaned in the winds of midnight!” Oh, no; it was but the
evening song of the turtle-doves which built their nests among the
mangrove bushes that fringed the borders of the creeks.

Behold him as he stands! that man of brawl and battle, his stern
features unmoved as the cliffs beside him, gazing upon the bodies of
the companions of many a bloody fray, tossed amid the fragments of
broken timbers in the surf at his feet. What a mingling of the elements
of agony and fear!--the abyss of ocean, the lonely wreck, the livid
bodies of the dead, the desolate shore, himself cut off from all human
fellowship, a stinging conscience within, and the eternal God above
him, whose lightnings play around his head. All these move him not. But
hark! As those bird-notes, so sweetly mournful, strike upon his ear,
familiar through many an hour of careless boyhood in his early home,
the blood flushes to his cheek and lip; the sweat bedews his brow.
Those soft notes recall days of innocence, ere blood had stained his
hand, and remorse was gnawing at his heartstrings. The low notes of a
mother’s prayer thrill, like some forgotten melody, upon his ear. Again
her lips are pressed to his as when she kissed him for the last time,
upon his father’s threshold. Tears are streaming down those cheeks,
bronzed by burning suns and furrowed by seafoam and tempest; and
that voice, whose stern tones had risen above the roar of battle and
roused the seaman from his slumbers like the trump of doom, grows all
tremulous with emotion as he cries, “God, be merciful to me a sinner.”



[Delivered at a meeting of the Temperance Society in Boston in 1861]

Were I called upon, Mr. Chairman, to define intemperance by its
effects, I would say: “It is that which covers the fields of the
husbandman with tares and thorns, and strews the ocean with wrecks.
It is that which renders the clerk unfaithful to his employer, the
public man to his constituents, the magistrate to his oath of office,
the parent to his family, and all who are trusted to every trust. It
is that which stirs to mutiny every corrupt passion, weakens every
motive to virtue, adds strength to vicious allurements, and pushes
the reluctant will over the verge of every damnable and desperate
enterprise. So well is this understood by the doers of evil that it is
in the armies of evil the regular weapon whose value is unquestioned
after the experience of ages. Is a seaman to be enticed to desert
his ship or a soldier his colors? Ply him with liquor. Is a ruffian
steeped in crime to be urged to some deed of horror from which even
his hardened nature revolts? Ply him with liquor. Is a young man with
his curiosity awake, his passions pure and jubilant, and his heart
throbbing with warm impulses of budding life to be put upon that same
descending grade opening to a like abyss of utter loathsomeness, his
fair face to be rendered shameless, and his lips to reek of the pit?
Then go, thou familiar spirit, whose abode is in the sparkling cup,
assume the form of beauty and youth, show him not at once thy craven
features, but while his arm is linked in thine, accustom him by slow
gradations to the festive and genial cup.”

The ways and methods of doing good are not intuitive. They are, as in
the arts and crafts, the result of effort and experience. Good men by
long practice into which they have flung their very hearts have learned
more and more effective methods of grappling with intemperance. At
first they began with cure; now they try prevention, not forgetting the
other. Once they went alongside the old hulk stranded on the beach,
her masts gone by the board, her rigging white and weather-worn
hanging over her bulwarks, ochre hanging from her opening seams, and
refitting and relaunching her, they obtained from the stranded hulk a
few years of inferior service. Now they buoy the channel and light the
beacon, and thus prevent the shipwreck. Noble men went to the inebriate
crawling in the gutter; with kindly sympathy they raised him up and
restored him to usefulness and power. But who, save the inebriate
himself, can tell the bitterness of that struggle between the man, the
husband, the father, struggling to rise, and the demon that strives
to drag him back? How true it is that that accursed longing never
dies! How true it is that we need never learn to drink but once! What
temperance reformer is there who has not shed bitter tears over the
final wreck of those whom he thought he had saved?

Thus noble efforts were made, multitudes partially, and many really
reformed, but all the time behind there was a thronging army of young
men treading the same paths. But, taught by experience, men have now
begun to grapple with this evil on its strongest ground; that is, in
its social aspect, that which is most alluring to the romantic and the

I may safely say that from the beginning of social life the great mass
of the literature, genius, and wealth of the world has been, and is
now, on the side of intemperance. The greatest poets that ever lived
have sung in strains of beauty that captivated the young heart the
praises of the ruby wine. It has for ages been interwoven with all
festivals,--the meeting and parting of social life. It is this more
than the love of liquor that attracts. In this view wine becomes the
exponent of all that is genial and warm; temperance of all that is
cold, forbidding, and repulsive. It is for just this purpose and to
meet the enemy at just this point that associations like this have been
formed. They seek to show that the flowing bowl is not of necessity
the quickener of the intellect, or of all ardent and generous feeling;
that it is not the only elixir for the heavy heart. They would show
that there are other pleasures as exhilarating as those of the wine
cup--pleasures that leave no sting behind. They would show that men
can be earnest scholars, sympathetic friends, jovial companions, and
at the same time taste not, touch not, and handle not the wine cup,
or be under any obligations to alcohol for their enjoyment. May this
association in the heart of this great city accomplish its purpose, and
be the young man’s friend.


[Delivered at the Municipal Celebration of the one hundredth
anniversary of the incorporation of the town of Portland, Maine,
Sunday, July 4, 1886.]

MR. CHAIRMAN: Having been requested to offer some remarks in respect
to the conduct of religious worship early in the century, I would say
that early impressions are the most enduring, and religious impressions
more so than all others, resulting from the fact that they are not
so much impressions as the development of innate tendencies kept
alive and nourished by the intercourse that all men, to a greater or
less extent, hold with their Creator. There are none that so resent
interference or are with such difficulty eradicated. Though by no means
one of the good boys who die young, and with little inclination to
acquire knowledge by books or by dint of study, there were two subjects
that always possessed for me a peculiar interest and attraction--
one the employment by which men obtained their bread, and the other
the discussion of religious doctrines, though utterly averse to any
personal application of them. I recollect that when I had twenty-five
cents given me by my father to go to Sukey Baker’s tavern to see an
elephant, a rare sight in those days, I sat as demure as a mouse in
my father’s study the greater part of an afternoon listening to a
discussion between him and a Hopkinsonian minister upon disinterested
benevolence, which was brought at last to an abrupt termination
in consequence of the use by the Hopkinsonian of the following
illustration: “Suppose, Brother Kellogg, I was walking over a bridge
with two ladies, to one of whom I was tenderly attached and engaged
to be married, the other an indifferent person. My particular friend,
I am aware, is a person of ordinary ability, but the other lady is
possessed of great mental powers thoroughly disciplined, and both of
them are in a state of grace. The bridge breaks through and we fall
into the stream. I can save but one of them, and in that case it would
be my duty, even if I had to leave my personal friend to perish, to
save the more gifted person, because she is able and qualified to do
more for the glory of God.” My father ended the discussion by rising
and declaring that a man who could cherish, much more propagate, such
abominable sentiments was not fit to preach the Gospel nor even to
live in a Christian society. The discussion and ways of ministers,
their preaching and modes of conducting worship at that period are as
vivid in my recollection to-day as then, and I purpose to turn this to
account in complying with your request.

Religious worship at that time, though modified, still retained much
of the ancient spirit and something of the form. My father and the
ministers of his age formed the connecting link between the old and
the new. Many of the old ministers, who were settled for life, and
wore old ministerial wigs, cocked hats, small clothes, and bands, were
still preaching, and frequently exchanged with my father,--Father
Lancaster of Scarborough, Mr. Tilton and Mr. Eaton of Harpswell. Father
Lancaster would sometimes fall asleep in the pulpit while the choir
were singing the hymn before the sermon, for he was well-stricken with
years. Ministers of a later date wore a queue and powdered their hair.
My father in younger life wore his hair long, and it curled down his
back and was powdered. He also retained the bands for a neck dress.
I can just recollect when he exchanged breeches for loose pants. The
old people, who were opposed to the innovation, called them sailor
trousers, and said they did not become a servant of God, were got
up to conceal spindle shanks, and the deacons of the First Parish
and some others retained them. The sermons and prayers were somewhat
curtailed, even by the old ministers, but were still of sufficient
length. The hour-glass was no longer seen on the pulpit, but was still
used in families, schools, and by the toll-keeper at Vaughan’s bridge.
The deacons in the First Parish still sat before the pulpit, but the
practice of deaconing the hymns was given up. Intentions of marriage
were no longer cried in the church with the addition that if any
person could show cause why they should not be carried into effect, to
make it known, or else forever to hold their peace; but publishments
were posted in the porch of the meeting-house for all to read. Much
importance was attached to the singing, and it was always performed by
a full choir, as loud noise was by our forefathers deemed essential in
public worship. At first there was no instrument except the bass viol.
The chorister, conscious of the dignity of his office, would rise with
a solemn air, run up the scale, beating time with his hand, and lift
the tune. My father, who had been drum-major in the Continental army,
and was extremely fond of instrumental music, introduced the cornet and
clarinet, in addition to the bass viol, into the Second Parish choir.
He likewise persuaded Mr. Edward Howe, of Groton, Massachusetts, to
come and set up business in Portland on account of his musical talent,
and assisted him all he could, and Mr. Howe led the choir of the
Second Parish for years, keeping up with the progress of the times.
Difficulties with church choirs were as prevalent then as now. At
one time the first hymn was read, but there was no response from the
choir. My father, who was a good singer, immediately read the hymn,
“Let those refuse to sing who never knew our God,” and led off himself,
and the congregation joined in. When the next hymn was read, the choir
concluded to sing.

There was no fire in the meeting-houses. The women carried foot-stoves
that contained an iron dish filled with hot coals. The sexton was
bound by written contract to keep a good rock-maple wood fire on the
Sabbath in order that the people might have good coals with which
to fill their foot-stoves in the morning and replenish them between
meetings. Children suffered the most from cold feet, and would often
cry with cold. I used to run my legs to the knees into my mother’s muff
and get my feet on her foot-stove and long for services to be done. My
father used to say that when he could hear people all over the house
striking their feet together to quicken the circulation, he felt it was
time to stop preaching, and indeed he seldom preached more than forty
minutes, and often less. But many of the old ministers who exchanged
with him had a method of dividing their sermons that to a boy with
cold feet was extremely tantalizing. They would have six, eight, and
often ten heads of discourse after which came “the improvement,” the
most excruciating of all. After a long time occupied in the application
of what had preceded, the minister would say “lastly.” Then all the
younger portion of the audience would prick up their ears and handle
their mittens in expectation of the close, but after this would come
“finally,” and on the heels of “finally” “to conclude,” and after
“conclude,” “in short.” There were few Sabbath-schools; religious
instruction was in former days given to the children by means of the
Westminster Catechism that was taught to children by their parents; and
at stated times in the year the ministers were accustomed to assemble
all the children of the parish and catechise them. Parents who were not
religious, equally with others, taught their children the catechism
that they might be able to answer the questions of the ministers and
appear as well as their companions. This method of instruction had
fallen in a measure into disuse, and though Sabbath-schools had been
substituted to take its place, they were not cherished or conducted as
at present. No pains were taken to render them attractive. Some parents
held on to both methods of religious instruction upon the principle
that there never could be too much of a good thing. The schools had
little hold upon the hearts of the ministers of the church and were
generally taught outside. The first Sabbath-school I attended was
held in a schoolhouse that stood on the northeastern side of State
Street. The late Mr. Cahoon was my teacher. The New Testament was the
text-book. Children committed hymns but took no part in the singing.

There was a vein of austerity running through the relations that
existed between parents and children. They were neither fondled nor
pampered, but taught self-denial, to obey their parents, and reverence
old age. In many families the children ate at a side table, as they
were not supposed to be fitted by age or development to associate with
their elders.

In the province of labor there was no special adaptation of the
implements of labor to the physical strength of children, nor in
matters of education any adaptation of studies or methods of teaching
to their mental wants as at present, but children and youths used to a
large extent the tools and books of their elders or waited till they
grew up to them. Thus, in matters of religion, immediate effect was not
expected either in relation to children or adults. It was not expected
that a person would be converted till he was married and settled in

The question will naturally arise in the minds of many, what was the
result of such a mode and spirit of worship as to the promotion of
vital godliness and the conversion of souls. I reply, there was but
little fruit. The preaching was mostly argumentative and controversial
or political--the conic sections of godliness. Ministers seemed to feel
that their responsibility ended when they had faithfully preached the
truth and kept back nothing, and church members, when they attended the
ordinances and kept the faith.

The first great change for the better in this state of affairs was
caused by the embargo, which crushed for a season and well-nigh
exterminated the business interests of Portland. It brought those who
had become giddy with more than twenty years of unexampled prosperity
to reflection. In proportion as their prospects in this life were
blighted, they directed their attention to the attainment of more
durable riches. The ministers of the gospel of all denominations took
advantage of the changed condition of thought, and there was a great
revival of religious interest throughout New England. Edward Payson,
who was then in the prime of life and a colleague with my father,
exerted himself to an extent that consigned him to an early grave, and
there was during his ministry a constant revival. Instead of fate,
free-will, foreknowledge, absolute free-will, etc., people began to
hear of Christ and Him crucified, the still small voice of the Spirit,
and the danger of delay. The eyes of men, stirred to a new life, were
now opened to perceive the great obstacles to the progress of religion
and morality.

The drinking customs of the day which had now reached a fearful extent,
and African slavery and the discussions concerning it, caused a shaking
of the dry bones seldom equalled; for conscience, self-interest, and
the law of God were pitted against each other. The main shaft that
carried the wheels of business in Portland was the lumber trade, which
consisted in transporting lumber to the West Indies and bartering it
for molasses, a large portion of which was made into rum that went all
over the country. There was new rum for poor people, and West India
rum for those in better circumstances. I have seen my mother, as often
as Parson Lancaster exchanged with my father, mix Holland gin and loaf
sugar and warm it for him before he went into the pulpit and after he
came out. I once went with my father to a funeral in Beaver (now Brown)
Street, and a decanter of liquor and glasses were set on the coffin.
At eleven o’clock on each day the bell would ring, the masons come down
from the ladders, the joiners drop their tools, and all would partake
of rum, salt-fish, and crackers. This great obstacle, in a measure
taken out of the way, led to the development of a spirit of Christian
enterprise which I leave to abler tongues and pens to describe.


[Among papers especially treasured by Mr. Kellogg was found the
following letter:--

  BRUNSWICK, MAINE, May 22, 1890.

 “DEAR MR. KELLOGG: The coming Commencement will be the fiftieth
 anniversary of your graduation. It is our custom to call first
 on a representative of the class of fifty years ago; and as goes
 his speech, so goes the dinner. Now you are not only the natural
 representative of the class of fifty years ago, but one of the most
 widely known and universally beloved of all the graduates of our whole
 hundred years. So we shall look to you for the response from the Class
 of ’40. You must not fail us. If you do not report yourself present
 at the formation of the procession in the morning, we shall send a
 sheriff and posse after you. The Congressmen will not be here this
 year. The success of the dinner depends on your coming, and giving us
 such a send-off as you only can give to a crowd of Bowdoin College
 boys. It will be a sad day for Bowdoin College if there shall ever be
 a generation of students who know not Elijah Kellogg.
 “Faithfully yours,


It is fifty years this autumn since I presented myself, a sedate
and diffident youth, between the two maple trees that relieved
the monotony of this then arid and barren college yard, and, like
friendship and misfortune, flung their shadows over the steps of
Massachusetts Hall, and sued for admittance to Bowdoin College. With
that humility which was an inherent attribute of youth in that bygone
day, I requested an inhabitant of this village to point out to me the
president of the college, and I gazed upon the great man with that
anxiety and solicitude, inspired by the belief that my fate and that
of my companions lay in his clutches. Since that period, since that
comparatively short period, what changes have taken place! This barren
college yard, across which students were wont to hurry, has been
transformed into a beautiful and attractive campus where they are now
prone to linger and repose and sport. This then barren college yard,
where Professors Smyth and Newman struggled desperately to prolong
the existence of a few sickly trees, and died in the struggle, is now
adorned by that beautiful Memorial Hall, created by the hands of a
progressive age, and transmitting to other generations the virtues
and the memory of those sons of Bowdoin who were true to their country
in the hour of her peril.


But in other respects what changes! Every president but two, a great
portion of the overseers, the trustees, and alumni, every instructor,
every teacher, every tutor, almost every person in any way connected
with this college, from the treasurer to the janitor, and the woman
who took care of the rooms, have all passed away. I can reckon my own
surviving classmates on my fingers, and I stand here to-day like an old
tree among the younger growth, from whose trunk the bark and leaves
have fallen, and whose roots are drying in the soil. Then I could
stand where the roads divide that lead to Mere Point and Maquoit, and
hear the roar of the Atlantic in one ear and that of the falls of the
Androscoggin in the other. To-day I have not heard a word, except the
two words “Bowdoin College.”

But there is no decrepitude of the spirit. Moons may wax and wane,
flowers may bloom and wither, but the associations that link the
student to his intellectual birthplace are eternal.

There is an original tendency in the human mind which is the foundation
of the desire for property. We all naturally crave something that is
our own. What lover of nature wants to be where everybody has been? It
is an instinctive tendency. We want our own land, however limited; our
own house, however humble; our own books, however few in number. Who,
I pray you, wants to “wear his heart upon his sleeve for daws to peck
at,” or be a member of a fraternity that is like an unfenced common for
every slimy thing to creep and to crawl over? It is this instinctive
feeling which has from the beginning been at the foundation of all
fraternities of every description, and they have striven to realize
this idea, though they have not always accomplished it. This principle
of limitation strengthens by concentrating every association and every
feeling of the human mind, just as the expansive gases derive their
terrific power from compression, and liquids, by concentration, gain in
pungency what they lose in bulk. It is this which imparts such magic
power to the college tie, because the college tie brings and binds
together, at a period when friendships are most ardent and sincere,
and feelings are most plastic, those who have separated themselves to
intermeddle with all knowledge, and unites them in the pursuit of all
that can honor God, develop the intellect, or benefit mankind.

It introduces them at once into a fraternity composed, not merely
of their own classmates and contemporaries, but of all the gifted
and the good who still live in their works, and by whose labors they
profit. The longer a man lives, the broader his views, and the more he
experiences of men and things, the more he feels his obligation to his
Alma Mater, to the nourishment he drew from her bosom, to the formative
influences with which she surrounded him. Brethren, it was here we were
intellectually born and bred.

   “’Twas here our life of life began,
    The spirit felt its dormant power.
    ’Twas here the youth became the man,
    The bud became the flower.”

The longer a man lives the more sensible he becomes of this obligation,
and though it is impossible to repress a feeling of sadness when we
visit the rooms and tread the floors where those swift-winged hours
flew, and where we decipher the almost obliterated inscriptions, the
names on the walls, names of those most dear to us, of those whose step
kept time and whose hearts throbbed in unison with ours,

   “Who the same pang and pleasure felt,
    At the same shrine of worship knelt,
    And knew the same celestial glow
    That young and burning spirits know
    In the bright dreaming days of youth,
    Ere visions have been chilled by truth,
    And feelings gushed without control
    Of those cold fetters fashioned by
    That wayward king, society.”

And yet these considerations are modified by the reflection that they
have nobly used the training that they here received, and are exerting
influences that survive them, and have sown seed that shall be the
increment of future harvests.

I feel grateful that a lengthened life and an intimate acquaintance
with the history and former faculty and the students of this college
have enabled me to appreciate the progress of this institution for
the last fifty years. For more than forty years circumstances have so
ordered it that I have been brought into most intimate relations with
the faculty and students of Bowdoin College. They have loved me and I
have loved them. I have been brought into contact with these young men
at a period in their moral and mental development when a youth will
tell his whole heart, all his best plans, aspirations, and difficulties
to an older person who he feels understands him and whom he knows he
can trust; and in the light of this experience, I do not hesitate to
say that this college never stood so high in moral and intellectual
work as it does this day. In 1838 I listened to the farewell address
of President Allen to the faculty and students of this college and the
inhabitants of this town, in which he declared that this college was
a seething tub of iniquity, and he could not in conscience advise any
parent to send a child here. Mr. President, do you think you could in
conscience make such a declaration? And whatever may be thought, I say
whatever may be thought of the good judgment of the reverend gentleman,
it cannot be denied that he had good grounds for his assertion.

There were at that time a great many pious and devoted students in
college, as many, probably, in proportion to the number, as have ever
been since. They had a praying circle, and the college church kept up
their religious meetings and attended them promptly. They lived, the
greater portion of them, devoted and consistent lives, and from time to
time they received the influence of the Divine Spirit, and many strong
men were brought to Christ and fitted for usefulness; but in general
they had the fire all to themselves and it warmed no one else. The
good went with the good, and the bad with the bad. There was a line of
demarcation between them. I did what I could to break it, came very
near shipwreck, and shall carry the scars of it to my grave, but I am
glad I made the attempt. Those were not the methods which the changing
times required. The Christian Association which has superseded them,
built on a broader basis, meets the requirements of to-day, and does
more to promote the morality of the college. Things have broadened
since I was a boy. Why, when I was a young man, it was thought that a
person couldn’t be converted till he was married and settled in life.

Another thing which has added strength to this college and been
fruitful in respect to morality is the attention that has been paid
of late to athletic exercises. This outlet for superfluous energy has
more to do with the good order and subordination of the institution
than most people are wont to imagine. Boys that in my day would have
been playing cards in their room for a hot supper and fixings at the
Tontine, are now pulling an oar or playing baseball or lawn-tennis, and
the germs of mischief ooze out in copious drops of perspiration. And
when night comes, instead of reveling in shirt-tail processions, making
night hideous, they are contented to sit down with their books or go to

It has always been a vexed problem how to give students exercise.
Every man of common sense knows that students, in order to accomplish
anything, must have exercise. Andover built a large building, bought
tools and stock, hired a skilled foreman, and was going to set
the students to work. They wasted so much lumber and brought the
institution so heavily in debt that they were obliged to sell out and
turn the building into a house for Professor Stone.

I recall the military drill here. It was all very well for a while. But
all couldn’t be officers. Nobody was content to be dragooned by an
army officer. But lawn-tennis, baseball, football, and the gymnasium
fill the bill. The students are proud of their gymnasium, and I know
from personal experience that, during the last eight years, those who
have excelled in athletic exercises have also excelled in rank.

Now I believe that this college has taken a new departure, and I
believe there is a future for it from the fact that the alumni take
more interest in the college than they used to take, and because there
are so many poor students connected with it. Poor students are the
salvation of a college. I know young men who worked their way through
college who are to-day its benefactors. I worked my way through college
with a narrow axe, and when I was hard up for money, I used to set the
college fence afire and burn it up, and the treasurer would hire me to
build another one. Let the young man who has to help himself thank God,
keep his powder dry, and take to his bosom the old motto: “_Per angusta
ad augusta._”


My love, Mr. President, for this college was inherited. I drew it in
with my mother’s milk, and was taught it at my father’s knees. He was
one of its first trustees, proposed its first president, and sold
the lands the proceeds of which, after almost interminable delays,
built Massachusetts Hall. Judge Freeman of the trustees, a most
excellent and influential man and ardently attached to the college,
was naturally very cautious, and that trait was now much increased
by age; it seemed on account of his influence as if a building would
never be erected. It was at length moved at a meeting of the Boards
that my father be appointed and empowered to sell the college lands.
He accepted the trust on condition that they would put Judge Parker
of Massachusetts with him to draw the writings. This being done, he
said, “Gentleman, these lands will all be sold within a year.” Judge
Freeman, stroking his face, as was his habit when excited, exclaimed:
“They will ruin us. They will ruin us.” “I,” observed another of the
trustees, “want to be ruined; I had rather die at once than moulder
away by dry rot.” The lands were sold within the specified time, a
building was then erected, and President McKeen inaugurated. Seldom
has the hand of Divine Providence been more clearly manifested than in
the origin and growth of this college. From its inception it secured
in its presidents, professors, trustees, and overseers men who had the
interests of morality and sound learning more at heart than their own
ease or emolument. The abilities of its teachers and their reputation
would have at any time procured for them more eligible positions if
ease, compensation, and reputation had alone been consulted. They
were self-denying men; they loved the college and labored and denied
themselves for its good.

I was absent from college but three years when I returned and settled
at Harpswell. I had a great deal to do with the college, was in
intimate relations with the professors and their families, and had
opportunity to appreciate their real worth. They were not merely
residents of the community, but useful citizens and a public blessing.
The high school owes its origin in a great degree to Professor Smyth.
All the neighboring ministers were under more or less obligation to
them. They attended funerals, supplied destitute churches, and in the
weekly religious meetings of the village were a power for good. I have
worked weeks with Professor Smyth, setting out trees on the campus
which he bought and paid for. Professor Upham gave the greater part
of his property to the college. He for two years supplied the pulpit
of the Congregational church at Harpswell, and but for his efforts it
would not have been in existence now. In the last term of my senior
year he came to Andover and told me if I did not go to Harpswell, God
would curse me as long as I lived. I do not know what the Lord would
have done, but I have found that obedience is sweet and not servitude.

Those worthy men inspired the students with like sentiments. Every
class made great sacrifices to purchase valuable standard works for
their society libraries. The literary spirit was by no means in
abeyance in those days. The best minds in college took as much interest
in preparing themselves for debates and other parts in the two
societies as they did for a Junior and Senior Exhibition. The students
dammed the glen at Paradise Spring and made a pond. They also terraced
the sides of the glen and constructed seats of turf, and addresses
and poems were delivered there to most appreciative audiences. Sam
Silsbee flung Albion Andrew into Paradise Pond, and he was so fat
that he floated like a bladder. Sam was not aware that he was laying
sacrilegious hands upon the future governor of Massachusetts any more
than I was aware that Melville Fuller would be Chief Justice of the
United States, when with care on his young brow and the fire of a
great purpose in his eye, I marked him laying the foundation of future
renown. Were there not poets in those days who possessed the vision and
the faculty divine? Did not President Allen have a hat that was woven
of grass that grew on Mount Parnassus? Did not John B. Soule compose a
Latin ode upon a moth that flew into a candle which in the opinion of
the class compared favorably with those of Horace? And has he not since
that time by more elaborate efforts proved that the child is father of
the man? How can I ignore a most pathetic effusion, on the death of
an unfortunate cat that was crushed beneath a woodpile, written in the
style of President Allen?

    “Poor puss, and wast thou to death squeezed
    Beneath the weighty pile?
    How must thy life have been outsneezed
    The agonizing while!
    And, pussy, didst thou found it hard
    To part from kittens young?
    For if thou’dst not a feeling heart,
    Thou hadst a feline one.
    Now, pussy, since thou art up-used,
    From door thee I’ll outthrow,
    Thy body from thy mind unscrewed,
    To bleach beneath the snow.
    By hill and valley, dale and stream,
    The rats shall frisk and frolic,
    Crying ’Hurrah, we’ll lick the cream
    Since pussy’s got the colic.’”

During the latter part of President Allen’s administration discipline
was lax; intemperance prevailed to a fearful extent in college as it
did in the community. There were no railroads, and people came to
Commencement and remained in Brunswick till the close. It was then
customary for the graduating class to set tables in the rooms in which
were liquors and other refreshments, and entertain their relatives
and friends. At one time there was a room in North College in which
a table was set with liquors and other refreshments, and straw was
put upon the floor, and over the door a sign bearing the inscription,
“Entertainment for Man and Beast.” But even at that time there was a
body of students composing the college church or Praying Circle, as it
was termed, the greater number of whom were persons of the most decided
religious character. They held meetings and taught Sabbath-schools
in different parts of the town, and were in sympathy with every good
work; but between them and the majority of the other students there was
a line of demarcation. Each party travelled their own road, and they
had little to do with one another. But after 1838 there was a change;
a deep religious interest began and continued, the herald of a better
day. Since that day Christian associations have exerted a salutary
influence, and, like the Gulf Stream sending its warm current through
the cold waters of the Atlantic, have imparted a more genial tone to
the intercourse of the students. Athletic exercises have likewise
laid a strong hand upon much of the time formerly devoted to more
questionable recreations. Although the present furor in these sports
has its dangers and the matter is liable to abuse, yet they fill the
bill as nothing else ever did, and when pruned of their excrescences
will become a power for good. Young men of real stamina, however full
of blue veins and vitriol and however enamoured of baseball, football,
and boating, and hurried to extremes for the moment, will yet recall
and heed the words of Cicero who represents Milo of Crotona, the
greatest athlete of ancient times, who could kill an ox with a blow of
his fist, shedding idiotic tears as in his old age he looked upon his
flabby skin and shrunken muscles, and wept because he could no longer
contend and conquer in the Olympic games. Milo had muscle and nothing
else. May it never be said of Bowdoin students that they have muscle
and nothing else, and certainly not that they are destitute of it.

Great was the change when President Woods succeeded President Allen.
Never will the upper classes of that year forget the day of his
inauguration. When he took his stand upon the platform to deliver
his address, he laid upon the table before him a manuscript as thick
as a three-inch plank. A riband was passed through it, dividing it
into equal parts. But he never looked at it from the beginning to the
close, except that, when halfway through, he opened at the riband but
made no use of it. For more than two hours, without the hesitation of
a moment or the lapse of a word, he held that audience spellbound.
I have never known the man who could produce the impression--and a
permanent one--upon a wild boy that he could. There are many living,
distinguished and beloved, and many here present who will never forget
their obligations to Leonard Woods.

For a poor boy smitten with the love of knowledge to work his way
through college was once a formidable task. The only methods of doing
it were keeping school in the long winter vacation, manual labor as
they went along, or hiring money with the result of being burdened with
debt at graduation. The Education Society could do but little, and
there were no scholarships as at present. I walked seventy-five miles
over the frozen ground after Christmas to the Penobscot to keep school,
and back again through the mud in March, because I was too poor to
ride; and I had to hire a watch in Brunswick to keep school with.

The commonwealth justly expects much from the students and alumni who
enjoy the advantages both literary and pecuniary now accorded.

  “Ye are marked men, ye men of Dalecarlia.”

The associations of this day come home with peculiar force to the
minds of those who have been familiar with the history and watched the
progress of this college from the day it was a mere shrub, with bare
shade sufficient to cover its own roots, to this glad hour when they
rejoice that they are permitted to look upon it as a massive tree, on
whose broad foliage the sunlight loves to linger and the dew lieth all
night on its branches. Withered hands are lifted in benediction: the
tremulous accents of age join the universal jubilee. They will depart
cheered by the assurance that when the dial plate shall be taken off
from this great clockwork of the universe, and in eternity we behold
its secret wheels and springs, it will be found that those who, at this
seat of science, have separated themselves that they might intermeddle
with all knowledge, its officers and its benefactors, have lived,
labored, endured, not for themselves, but for their country and their


[Delivered at “Donation Party,” Harpswell, September 18, 1894]

Love, my friends and neighbors, is something that defies definition and
resents analysis. It is not possible to communicate the perception of
it to one who has never experienced it. It must be felt in order to be
known. It is likewise the most permanent of all the qualities of the
mind. Anger, however violent, expires with the occasion that called it
forth. Grief, however bitter and heart-rending, time will remove, and
it will blunt the sting of sorrow. But love is inexhaustible and grows
by what it feeds upon. Here is the father of a young family. He is
returning at night from his work. As he approaches the door, a little
one who can just go alone espies him. With cries of delight he runs to
meet his parent, till, out of breath and strength, he falls exhausted
into his father’s outstretched arms. The happy parent raises the
little one and kisses him. When he has kissed that child a dozen times,
does he not want to kiss him a dozen times more? Thus affection grows
by what it feeds upon and is inexhaustible. It will do or endure more
for the welfare of its object than any other faculty. You may hire a
man to labor for you, you may force him to obey you, but not to love
you. No power on earth can do that. On the other hand, does he love
you, that love will cause him to do more for you than all other motives
put together, and the more he does the more will he delight to do,
because love tells nothing is lost that a good friend gets.

[Illustration: ELIJAH KELLOGG AT EIGHTY. 1893.]

There are people before me to-night whom I began to love forty years
ago. Do I love them less? Is the affection worn out? No; it is worn in.
Then it was in the bark, but now it has got into the heart of the tree.

Here, also, are the children and grandchildren of those who are not,
for God has taken them, and the affection I bore their parents clings
to the children. It is not worn out, because love is stronger than
death. Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it.
Or if a man would give all the substance of his house for love, it
would utterly be contemned. It is love that makes home, love that makes
friends in the world, love that makes heaven, for God is love.

What has brought all these friends together to-night? They did not
come to get, but to give, not with their hands shut up, but with both
hearts and hands wide open. They have come to gratify their feelings of
neighborly friendship and affection; for if they did not thus gratify
those feelings, they would not enjoy what they had left. Ought I not
to be grateful to be the recipient of so much good-will, kindness, and
neighborly affection? I trust it will be an encouragement to render me
more faithful to your souls’ best interests, to work for you and seek
your good; to pray that God, who loves the cheerful giver, will reward
and bless you.

There were never two persons in this world who loved each other but
wanted and loved to eat together, and there were never two enemies who
did. There were never two persons who loved each other, loved God,
but who loved and wanted to pray together. We have eaten together; we
have enjoyed each other’s society; recalled the feelings of other and
happier days, before toil had stiffened our limbs, sorrow entered our
hearts, or tears trembled on our eyelids; now let us pray together
before we separate.


[Delivered at “Donation Party,” October 1, 1895]

In the ancient days, after the early Christian fathers who succeeded
the Apostles had departed, religion degenerated into superstition.
There arose under the influence of the Roman Catholic Church a class
of hermits, anchorites, and devotees who thought that heaven and
holiness were to be obtained by torturing and denying the flesh; that
by secluding themselves from society, by fastings and watchings, they
might escape temptation and sin and live nearer to God and merit the
divine favor.

In the North Sea are a group of islands belonging to Denmark, sixteen
in number, called the Färöe Isles, some of which are of considerable
size and inhabited, others mere patches of rocks and turf. Upon one
of these, which is a mere sand spit flung up by the sea, a hermit had
taken up his residence. His dwelling was built of the stones of the
place, and the entrance was so low that he went in and came out on his
knees. When the door was closed, it was lighted by an opening in the
top which permitted a view of the sky, of the sun when far advanced
in the heavens, of the moon and the stars, but not of the earth. Here
this pious but deluded saint passed his days in prayer, meditation,
frequent fasting, and reading the Bible. His food was brought to him by
the inhabitants of the neighboring islands who greatly revered him for
his holiness and sought his prayers for themselves and their household.
He imagined that if he could see only the heavens, he should become
less earthly; that by cutting himself off from the sins, the cares,
and the labors of worldly and sinful men and being alone with God,
he should make great advance in holiness. Poor deluded man! If, when
he looked upon the heavens, the sun, the moon, and the stars, he had
only taken a reasonable and scriptural view of the purpose for which
they were created, he would have perceived that it was for the good of
others they were created, to declare the glory of God to a universe,
to cause grass to grow for cattle, and herbs for the use of man; that
for six thousand years they had been holding to all the nations of the
earth their high and perpetual discourse of the wisdom, power, and
goodness of God, who openeth His liberal hand and satisfieth the desire
of every living thing. Such reflections would have taught him that
if, instead of spending his life and energies, and consuming soul and
body, in prayers and meditations that began and ended in themselves,
he had taken a portion of his time to keep the fire burning on his own
hearthstone, and then gone forth among those islanders and told them
of God and Christ and the duties they owed, given them the benefit of
and shared with them his wisdom and holiness, and taught them to love
God and each other, it would have been more acceptable to God, and in
blessing he would have been blessed. This mistaken man imagined he
was crucifying sin when he was only crucifying the natural affections
and sympathies God had given him to be gratified for his own good and
that of others. Man was not made to live in a state of isolation, but
in fellowship with his kind. The human heart craves sympathy just as
naturally as the vine stretches its tendrils to clasp some friendly
prop, and, failing to reach it, droops and withers and bears no fruit.
He, who is the centre of many loving hearts, whose interests, joys, and
sorrows are his and his theirs, is stronger and happier than he who
treads the brier-planted path of life alone, with no one to lean upon
and share the burden or the conflict with him. We were made to find our
happiness in the happiness of others. When is a gift valuable? When
it is a part of the heart of him who bestows it. That which makes the
gifts I receive upon occasions like this of priceless value to me is
that they come from those with whom I have lived in love and sympathy
so long that they have become part of myself. The Saviour has said it
is more blessed to give than to receive. It is more blessed to give
than to receive. It is more gratifying to be able to bestow favors
than to be obliged to receive them. It is more like our Maker. He
never receives anything, for all things are His. He is the universal
giver.... May He who gives us all things reward you in your persons and
in your households, and grant you that which He sees is best for your
happiness both here and hereafter.


[Delivered at “Donation Party,” October 19, 1897]

The sweetest word that ever trembled on human lips is the word “home.”
It embraces and concentrates in itself the germs of a thousand forces
of happiness, power, and progress yet to be developed from it. So
long as man wanders, and, like the savage, merely gathers what grows
of itself from the soil, or captures the fish of the streams, the
birds of the air, and the beasts that roam the forests, he makes no
progress; he bestows no labor upon, and therefore takes no interest
in, that abode which he is to abandon to-morrow. It is only when he
has a permanent dwelling and produces something from the earth that
progress, happiness, and the home relation begin. Home is the place
where character is built, where sacrifices to contribute to the
happiness of others are made, and where love has taken up its abode.
Love is the strongest passion of our natures and finds its happiness
in sacrificing for its object; the parent for the child, the child for
the parent, the sister for the brother. In this relation they are in
the best possible position for moral and intellectual development; they
stimulate and call out each other’s powers, energies, and affections.

Infinite wisdom has declared, “It is not good for man to be alone.”
There is not a more unsightly or unprofitable tree than a white pine
growing alone. It is a mass of knots, knobs, short-jointed, crooked,
and wind-shaken,--in short, a scrub. The lumbermen in contempt call it
a bull pine. But put a thousand of them together as near as they can
grow. What a change! As you enter that majestic cathedral no sunbeam
can pierce, and look up at those heights,--trees straight as an arrow
seventy feet to a limb,--you almost feel like uncovering in reverence.
Thus with the family relation. The happiest homes are those the members
of which are frequently called to sacrifice something or to deny
themselves something for the others’ comforts and happiness. It is this
that sweetens home. It is those who bear the burdens of life together,
relying upon and trusting in each other, who get the most out of life,
bear its trials without being soured by them, and rear children who
arise and call them blessed--children that have real manhood--who can
look danger in the eye without quailing and grapple to severe tasks
without wilting, and are nobody’s servants.

It is evident that home is not mere locality, that it is not defined
by metes and bounds. From Gibraltar to Archangel, from Calcutta to the
frozen seas, there are homes. One principle, one fruit-bud produces
them all. Home is not a thing that can be bought or sold in the market.
You may buy a homestead or a house, you may perhaps buy a wife, but you
cannot buy a woman’s love. Costly furniture, rich dresses, retinues
of servants, and luxurious dishes do not make homes. It is not the
residence but the affection of the occupants that constitutes the home.
Those who are united in the bonds of a true affection behold themselves
reflected in each other, and each is to the other as another self. In
the confidence of love there is repose.

My friends and neighbors, this assembly is made up of those who have
been reared and have reared others in homes where parental love and
filial affection were the mainsprings of action and the foundation of
charitable and friendly acts. The desire to share with others the gifts
a kindly Providence bestows on ourselves is bred in the atmosphere of
home. All the sweet charities of life are but the overflow of these
feelings and sympathies born and bred at the domestic hearthstone.

I thank you, my friends and neighbors, for the gifts of affection
bestowed this night, and may the blessing of God rest upon yourselves,
your children, and your homes.



Text: Luke xv. 18, 20. “_I will arise and go to my father._” “_But when
he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and
ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him._”

The Saviour, by a beautiful and affecting story, illustrates the
natural and inevitable result of a sinful course, a course of
ingratitude and disobedience to God. We have placed before us the life
of a Hebrew patriarch. In that land now so barren beneath the curse of
God and the curse of a despotic government, but once so full of beauty
and blossoming, when the Chosen People clothed its now barren mountain
peaks with clambering vines and its valleys with waving grass and
grain, dwelt a Hebrew, a righteous man among the kindred of his people,
to whom God had given goodly land, and flocks and herds in abundance,
whose tents stretched far over the plains, and who had servants
born in his house. This man had two sons, one of whom was much older
than the other. It was a pleasant household; the father was kind and
affectionate to his servants and to the poor,--a just man, fearing God
and tenderly attached to his children.

As the two brothers were different in their age, so were they in their
dispositions. The elder son was sober, industrious, and found in the
care of the flocks and the quiet enjoyments of rural life enough to
occupy and interest him. The father could put confidence in him,
could go away from home and leave all his business to his care, sure
that it would be completed as if he himself were present. But though
sober, industrious, and trustworthy, and held by the restraints of
his education, yet he was not of an affectionate and generous nature,
but penurious and severe in his temper, and much more feared and
respected than beloved by his servants and his equals. But the younger
son was the very opposite. He was full of life and energy, but fickle
and restless, and directed his energies to no good purpose. He cared
nothing for business nor for cattle. He would not remain at home, but
wandered from tent to tent and from vineyard to vineyard and into the
distant city; the farm life was dull and distasteful to him. His father
could put no trust in him. If so be that his father went from home and
left him in charge of the flocks and the servants, he was sure to find
on his return that the flocks had strayed, that some of them had been
lost or devoured by the wolves, or to find his son frolicking with the
servants instead of directing their labor. Thus while he could trust
the elder son with everything, he could trust the younger with nothing,
and must always watch him with constant anxiety.

Yet, with all his faults, the younger son was generous and
affectionate, keen to perceive and understand, and of great
determination to accomplish when he was so minded. The father often
said to himself: “Oh, that my son would only do well! How much
comfort and honor would he be to me! And how much good he might
accomplish!” Indeed, it seemed ofttimes that the boy could not help
his wrong-doing; his wild, frolicsome, headstrong nature did so hurry
him along. Afterward he would be sorry and even shed tears, and then
go straightway and do the same again. Yet was the heart of the father
more after this wild slip of a boy than after the other.

There is in the heart of the parent a principle, not possible perhaps
to be explained, which leads him to be more attached to and indulgent
of the youngest child. There is something also in the very anxiety
that the follies of the disobedient child occasion which calls out and
fosters the affections of the parent more strongly for him than for
the one who never gives that cause for uneasiness. The father also
felt that the boy, though carried away by the impulses of his own
imaginations and the romance of his nature and spirit, was after all
of deeper affections and nobler impulses and greater capacity than
the other son, and had in him all the raw material of a noble, useful
character, could this impetuous spirit and these burning impulses be
subdued, not destroyed, and these energies wisely directed. Many a
bitter tear he shed, and many a prayer he put up to God for this child
of his love and his old age.

Matters went on in this way from bad to worse, the son becoming
more and more discontented and uneasy. He listened to the tales of
travellers who had been to distant lands and over the sea till his
blood boiled, and he said to himself: “Shall I never see anything but
these same hills and valleys? Shall I never hear any discourse but
about sheep and goats and fleeces of wool and cheese and barley? Shall
I never see anything of the great world of which I hear so much? Must
I stay here and milk goats when there is so much pleasure in the world
to be enjoyed?” But now the time draws near when he shall be of age
and his own master to go where he pleases. How he has been counting
the days and reckoning up the time when he shall escape the restraints
of home! No sooner has the time arrived than he goes to his father and
says to him, “Father, give me so much of your property as belongs to
me, my share.” He does not ask it as a gift, but as a debt which the
father was under obligations to pay him. What right had he to demand
anything of the father? Had it been his elder brother who made this
demand, who for many years after he was of age had labored hard and
given the proceeds of his labor into the common stock, there would have
been some justice in the request. But this man had never done anything,
had spent all he could get, had tried his father to the utmost, and
now had the assurance to come to his father and say: “Such a part of
the property belongs to me. I want it, that I may go where I like and
spend it as I wish.” He had been so long in the habit of receiving from
his father without effort of his own that he had come to consider it as
a matter of right.

The father was pained by this ungrateful conduct, and the prodigal in
his own heart felt ashamed of himself; in the bottom of his heart he
loved and respected his father, but the love of pleasure, his lofty
imaginations of the enjoyments to be found in the world of which he had
read, heard, and dreamed so much, overpowered all other feelings. Could
he only escape from the restraints of home and obtain money and means
to gratify his desires, he should be happy. The father without any
reproach divides his living and gives to him his share. He has never
seen so much money before in his life. He is mad with joy. He thinks
it will never be exhausted. He can hardly stop to bid good-by to his
family, to his father whose heart aches to see this son of his love so
glad to leave him. He takes his journey into a far country, just as far
from home as he can get, that his friends may not be able to know what
he is doing or to trouble him with advice. He’s had advice enough. He’s
had enough of home. He’s going to try the world. Now he gives loose
rein to all his lusts. He is soon surrounded by a circle of generous,
jovial companions who would die for him; who every day pledge him
health and happiness in the social glass; who, so far from troubling
him with advice, tell him he is a noble-hearted, princely fellow, and
that everything he says and does is just right. How much better they
are than his father’s old, stupid, hard-working servants, or than his
sober brother who thought only of sheep and begrudged him every cent,
or than his father who was always telling him about the temptations
of life! These noble, large-hearted fellows tell him money is made to
spend and life is made to enjoy.

While he is thus going onward in the pursuit of pleasure, there comes
a famine in the land. The prices of food rise to a fearful extent.
His money is exhausted, and he is amazed to find that his friends so
kind begin to cool in their affections just in proportion as his means
diminish. He finds that, so far from dying for him, their intention
is to live upon him till he has nothing left and then reproach him
for his extravagance. The friend who begged him to make his house his
home, just as though he were in his own father’s house, intimates
that times are very hard and every one must look out for himself.
Hunger succeeds and rags. He who never had a serious thought before
is serious enough now. He who never bestowed a thought upon food or
raiment must now find food or perish. In his necessity he resorts to
the house of a farmer and with humble tone begs work. He who demanded
of his father the property he had never earned a dollar of begs for the
meanest employment that may keep him from starving! The farmer tells
him that he may go into his fields and feed swine and eat a morsel with
the servants in the kitchen. But the servants’ fare is scanty, just
sufficient to preserve life. In the morning after taking his morsel, he
goes with a heavy heart to his work. What a contrast! He thought his
home lonesome; but where and what is he now? All around him the land
is scorched, the streams are dry, the trees leafless. He thought it
hard to feed cattle; he must now feed hogs and beg for the privilege.
Corn is so scarce that the swine can have only the husks, and he is so
hungry that he would fain fill himself with the husks that the swine
eat and no man gives unto him. Not one of all his former friends upon
whom he has spent so much will give him a crust.

He now comes to himself; for the first time in his life he begins to
think. He thinks of his kind old father, of his home where there is
plenty. He says, “How many servants of my father have bread enough
and to spare, and I perish with hunger!” He says, “Shall I go home?”
Pride whispers: “Go home? How can I look upon my father’s face, on my
brother who was always steady and industrious, and the old neighbors?
My very looks will tell what I am, and where I have been, and what I
have been doing. No, I won’t go home. I can’t go home. I will starve to
death first.” But it is much easier to talk about starving than it is
to starve. Hunger and poverty are hard masters. Long is the struggle,
terrible. At length he decides. “I will go while I have strength enough
left to get there. ’I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto
him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no
more worthy to be called thy son.’” And before his resolution has time
to cool, he sets out on his journey.

How truly and strikingly does this illustrate the condition of one who
wanders from God, and breaks the commands and deserts the house of his
Father in heaven. A young man has grown up the inmate of a Christian
family, but God has created him. His abilities of body and mind are
from God. The property which he acquires, the ability to obtain it,
and the opportunity and the time are God’s ability, God’s property,
God’s time. God declares that by using these in his service, he shall
be happy in life, and in eternity receive the crown of glory. But these
commands are not agreeable to him any more than the commands of the
father were to the prodigal. He does not feel that his abilities and
happiness are the gift of God, that he is under any obligation to his
Father in heaven. In the flush of youth and health and hot blood, he
feels that his strength is the strength of stones and his flesh brass.
He says to his heavenly, as the prodigal to his earthly, Father, “Give
me the portion of goods that falleth to me.” He feels that they are
his own to use as he pleases, and thus he means to do; though like the
prodigal all the return he has ever made to God is to sin against Him.
He loves not to think of God and eternity and Christ and sin. So, like
the son in the parable, he goes into a far country.

It is not literal space that is here meant; it is the distance of
thought and feeling and affections and obedience. A man need not go
out of his country to get far from God. At home, in the practice of
all the outward duties of morality, regular in the attendance upon the
sanctuary, he may yet live as far from God, as unwilling to submit to
His commands, as though living in the most disorderly manner and in
open sin. But whether on the ocean and in foreign lands he lives in
sin and spends his substance in riotous living and looks everywhere
among all forbidden pleasures for happiness, or on the land conceals a
proud heart under a correct life, the result is that he is wretched,
finds no peace. But now the Spirit of God touches his heart, leads
him to reflect upon his true condition. He comes to himself. “I have
broken the laws. I have grieved thy spirit. I deserve not the least
of thy mercies. Do with me what seemeth good in thy sight.” But then
the thought arises,--and it is a bitter one,--”How can I go into the
presence of that pure and holy God? I, so vile a sinner, who have
blasphemed His name! Can such a sin be forgiven?”

Let us now consider the reception the son meets with. It is noontide,
the time of burning heat. The cattle have sought the groves and the
cool places of the hills, or are standing in the running streams
beneath the tall reeds of the jungles. The goats seek the clefts of the
rocks. In his tent door, beneath the drooping branches of a sycamore
that screen it from the sun, sits an aged patriarch. On his face is
that submissive look that neither tongue nor pen can describe, and
that tells of high and holy communion with God. All around is peace
inviting to repose. The faint breath of the dying breeze is gently
rustling the leaves mingling with the hum of bees and the low murmur of
a distant brook. The servants are sleeping in the shadow. But the old
patriarch slumbers not with his slumbering servants. On his meek face
is a troubled look, and now and then a silent tear steals down his
cheek and falls upon his clasped hands. He is thinking of his absent,
dearly loved, wayward child! From the past he argues disastrously of
the future. If so headstrong and reckless under the mild restraint
of home, what will become of him when all check is removed? Where is
he, on sea or on land, this child of many prayers, many counsels, and
bitter anxieties? Is he living in riot and folly, or is he already
in suffering and distress, having not where to lay his head? Has he
remembered any of the words of affectionate counsel that have been
spoken to him? Do his thoughts ever turn toward his home and the
friends of his youth?

While the good father is thus sitting in his tent door praying for and
thinking of his son, he sees a traveller far off upon the plains, so
far that he just discerns him. He thinks, What if that should be my
son? So he steps out from the tent door and he looks long and eagerly,
for the traveller comes slowly. But as he approaches, the father sees
he is lame, footsore, and ragged, and his heart tells him: “This is
just the condition in which I might expect my son to come. Ah, yes,
that is he.” And instantly the father runs to meet him.

But what are the feelings of the prodigal as he draws near his native
country and the old familiar features of the landscape strike his eye,
and he sees in the distance his father’s tent and the old trees under
whose shadows he played when a boy? How does he feel? He does not feel
one-half the resolution he did when he set out. His hope which at first
sustained him begins to waver. He does not feel so much confidence now
as he did when he was farther off. He begins to think of his rags, and
the appearance he makes. He goes into the thicket and washes his face
in the brook and sleeks up his rags, and tries to make himself look
decent and respectable to meet his father. But it is no use. Wherever
he touches them they tear and finally fall off altogether, they are so
rotten. At length he gives up in despair and says: “Well, I must go as
I am, miserable wretch. I can’t make myself any better; the more I try
the worse I look. There’s nothing to make decency out of. Oh! what will
my father say to me, miserable? God help me!”

While he is thus talking and going along, he sees his father in the
tent door. “Oh,” he says, “there is my father now!” Then he stops right
short in the road and looks down upon the ground, and is of a good mind
to turn back and run away. But while he is hesitating, his father comes
running and falls right on his neck and kisses him. And when he feels
his old father’s arms embracing him, his lips on his cheeks, and his
tears on his neck,--oh, that is the worst of all. Then his heart is
like to break with sorrow. He did not expect such treatment as this.
If his father had only reproached him and said, “You vile, wicked boy,
is this what you have come to?” he could bear that better. But this
kindness and love,--it quite breaks his heart. Then as soon as he can
find voice for tears, he slips out of his father’s arms and falls
down on his knees and says: “’Father, I have sinned against heaven
and before thee, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.’ Don’t
call me son; it breaks my heart. Make me thy servant, thy slave. Thou
didst give me a goodly fortune which I never earned a dollar of. I have
spent it all in folly, wasted thy substance, and disgraced thy name in
foreign lands wherever I have been. I come here in wretchedness and
rags to disgrace thee still more among the neighbors that know thee and
thy goodness. Now, Father, let me be thy servant and serve thee, that I
may earn thee something to atone for spending thy property and to show
that I am really sorry.” But the father will hear nothing of all this,
and while he is speaking, cuts him short, saying to the servants who
stand wondering, “Bring forth the best robe; take off his rags; wash
his sores; put a ring on his hands, and shoes on his feet: and bring
hither the fatted calf and kill it; for this my son was dead, and is
alive again; he was lost, and is found.”

Thus it is with the returning and repentant sinner. When he is far from
God and is first drawn by the Spirit and assured by revelations of His
mercy, he with considerable courage begins to seek and pray. But as he
comes nearer and the light from the Excellent Glory grows stronger, and
he sees more of his sins, he begins to doubt and to falter. But when
God sees him thus afar off, sees a little love in his heart, He comes
to meet him. He puts the robe of Christ upon him and gives to him the
signet ring.

My dear friends who are out of Christ, you are away from home. You
are perishing. You have no food for your souls. You will die and be
lost. Why sit here and perish in a foreign land? Why feed on husks when
you may have the choicest of the wheat? There is bread enough in your
father’s house. Many have gone there; more are on the road; others are
coming. Won’t you join the goodly company? Be resolute. Say, “I will.”
Be resolute as in the emergencies of life and business; as when the lee
shore is on one side and the gale on the other, and the seaman presses
the canvas on the cracking spars and the straining rigging, and the
ship must carry it or be dashed upon the breakers; be resolute as when
one sees his friend perishing in the water and says, “I will save him
or die with him.”

My dear hearers, won’t you say: “I will go. Nothing shall keep me back
from my Saviour. Sins nor fears nor devils shall not stop me. I will
try if I die. I know that God is merciful.”


The Second Epistle of Peter, Chapter III, part of 16th verse. “_In
which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are
unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other Scriptures,
unto their own destruction._”

In speaking from this text I might dilate upon the etymology of the
words “unlearned” and “unstable.” I might go on to observe that we
must take the Bible as a whole and be taught of the Spirit in order to
practice its plain truths and fathom its more difficult ones; that as
in the schools of human science the elementary text-books are simple
while those designed for the advanced classes are more abstruse, thus
the Bible contains many things which are now far beyond the reach
of our minds, but to the comprehension of which we shall clamber up
in eternity; that in the Bible, the book of time and eternity, the
two volumes are bound in one. Here we only read the preface and the
introduction; in the hereafter we shall peruse the whole of the book.

But as these themes are frequently discussed with more of learning than
I can presume to bring to the task, I shall pursue a less beaten path
and content myself with observing that to “wrest” a thing signifies
to wrench or twist it from its true position; the very word implies
violence. Thus to wrest a truth of Scripture signifies to detach it
from the other truths of the system, to make it bear a false meaning,
or to rob it of all meaning. A truth of Scripture thus wrested is no
longer a truth, and is, therefore, of no avail to the man who has
wrested it. It can do him no good; he can no more get to heaven with it
than a man who should tear a plank or a breast-hook from a ship could
cross the Atlantic upon it. But as there are capillary veins and nerves
in the bodily organization which discharge important though minute
functions, and becoming diseased affect larger vessels and tissues,
the consequence of which is sickness, and the result death, so there
are methods of wresting the Scriptures less violent but not less
fatal in their consequences. So great, my friends, is the evil bias of
our nature and so deceitful is the human heart that we are prone to
deceive ourselves, imagining that we are doing the will of God while we
are doing our own will, obeying while we are wresting the Scriptures.
This principle, following the example of Jesus of Nazareth, I will
illustrate by a parable.

In that never-to-be-forgotten year when the Pilgrim Fathers of New
England rose up from their knees beneath the cliffs of Holland and
embarked, there dwelt, where Derwent-Water pours its swift current into
the black gorges of a lonely tarn, the descendant of a house, rich
in ancestral memories and renowned in arms. Often had these massive
walls rung to the battle clarion and its floors echoed to the tread
of mail-clad men. But their descendant, though inheriting all the
lofty heroism of his race, is, with a heart subdued by grace, a man of
scholarly tastes, of peace, and of God.

Amid the family circle where are the mother that reared, the wife that
cherishes him, and the children who climb his knees, he lives, labors,
and prays. “Surely,” said some looker at the outward appearance, “this
man does not serve God for naught. Has not God made a hedge about him
and all that he has? He would have his good things in both lives. Is he
willing to sacrifice anything? Would he do anything with the Cross of
Christ other than build it into the masonry of his castles or inscribe
it upon the banner folds of his vassals?” Let us see.

He enters his library, a room of antique mould; the roof groined and
blazoned reflects a thousand hues of soft light from lamps of fretted
gold. The thickly carpeted floor returns no echo to the footfall. View
him as he stands beneath that mellow light: The face is the face of a
prophet. The pure white brow, which no hardship has bronzed and around
which the locks of early manhood are clustering, is as radiant with
goodness as heaven’s own light. The eyes suffused, not dimmed, by that
mist which is the forerunner of tears, are turned toward heaven, while
from their calm depths, pure as those through which wanders the light
of stars, beam glances of gentle affection, a humility not assumed but
ingrained like the summer flush upon the cheek of a ripened grape. The
strong, firm lips are slightly parted with an expression of purpose
and action; motionless they seem to utter, “Father, what wilt Thou have
me to do?”

Thoughtful he stands, then bows that stately head in deep contrition
before God. He kneels, indeed, upon an embroidered cushion, but it
is wet with tears. This man of noble blood and old descent, who
sayeth “to this man ’Go,’ and he goeth, and to another ’Come,’ and
he cometh,” grovels in the dust before his Maker. In his anguish he
prostrates himself upon the floor; he cannot get low enough before
his God. It is in his heart to embark with the Pilgrims, and he asks
counsel of Heaven: “Father, wilt Thou that I leave these towers of my
ancestors, moistened with their blood and beneath whose shadows their
bones lie mouldering, and my mother now in the wane of life? Wilt Thou
that I should take the wife of my bosom, my little ones reared in
luxury and with tenderness, that I myself ever having lived and loved
among the gifted and the great should go forth with my brethren to
the wilderness? Tell me, O my Father, that it is my duty, and I will
fling my whole estate into thy treasury as willingly as ever prodigal
wasted his in riotous living; I will venture my life and the lives of
those dearer to me than my own as readily as ever one of my warrior
ancestors laid lance in rest to break a hedge of spears. Thou knowest
that I love mother, wife, and children, comfort, refinement, wealth;
that life is sweet to the lusty and the young. Thou knowest how dear
to me are these old trees beneath which in childhood I played, these
swelling hills, these gently sloping vales, this fair stream whose
gleam I love at the sunset hour to catch through green foliage and to
whose murmur I love to listen, this chosen retreat filled with books
that embalm the lore of centuries whither I may retire after drinking
a thousand inspirations from without, and in silent prayer and thought
make them my own, growing in the reaches of my lonely thought to
greater affluence of progress and power. But I love Thee, O Lord Jesus
Christ, my Saviour, more than these; therefore let me go. Already my
brother and my kindred deem that I shrink from sacrifice and thus shall
thy name be dishonored through me. Thou lovest me not, else wouldst
Thou chasten me, wouldst permit me to endure hardness. Surely I am a
bastard and no son. He that never suffered never loved.”

But while thus he prays and pleads, a voice from the Excellent Glory
whispers to his soul: “I know thou lovest me. Yet shalt thou not
embark. In Abraham I accepted the full purpose and the firm intent; so
will I in regard to thee. I have in reserve for thee tasks as stern,
and sacrifices as great, as the forests of America can furnish, tasks
for which I created thee and gave thee thy capacities. Thy forefathers
were men of brawn, but thou art a man of mind. Have not I chosen the
men who are to go? Their flesh is hard, their bones are strong to bear
the harness, and their whole course of thought is of a sterner cast,
better fitted than thine to bear the sword and set the battle in array.
It is not my will that the fire shall die upon the ancient altars;
remain thou to quicken its flame. I will not that thy mother, that
old saint who hath reared her household in the nurture and admonition
of the Lord, shall in her old age lack the protection of the son best
fitted of all her race to cherish her declining years; for I am a
covenant-keeping God. Remain, therefore, to lay thy hand upon her eyes.
Learning, eloquence, and passing knowledge to bend the minds of men
of all ranks to thy wish are thine. Go then into the councils of the
nation, there to use thy power for me, to moderate the fierceness of
persecution and send succor to those who are to go forth with the wolf
and the bear to the hillside. There are keener pangs than those born
of flowing blood and stiffening wounds on lonely battlefields, gashes
deeper than the tomahawk and the scalping knife can make, wrestlings
more terrible than those with flesh and blood. Fear not that thou
shalt lack occasions to prove thy zeal. Thou shalt find all the sunny
memories of thy life turned to gall. The church to whose altar thy
mother had thee linked with all the sweet memories of thy childhood
shall close to thee its doors. Thy children shall be excluded from
those seats of learning where their kindred and their mates resort.
And thou must endure all these things being among them, and thus the
iron will be pressed into thy soul day by day, which is more terrible
than to endure in a foreign land where thou art equal to thy fellows in
suffering and in privilege. These are sterner trials to the flesh and
to the faith, than when war horses are neighing and clarions sounding
to the charge, and the maddening rush and roar of conflict impart the
very courage they require to rush on perils and set thy life upon a
cast. Over the wreck of chosen thoughts and blighted hopes, through
the anguish of susceptibilities which refinement and culture have made
capacious of suffering of which under natures are incapable, shalt thou
glorify me.” Yet how many a short-sighted onlooker at that day, unable
to appreciate the inward motive, judged him who remained as shrinking
from the reproach of the Cross and wresting the Scriptures to suit a
carnal policy and the love of ease.

Let us view this principle in yet another light. In a distant apartment
of the same castle is seated one whose features, though of a stronger
and sterner cast, browned by toils and exposure on fields of battle,
still bear that family resemblance which denotes them brothers. But
his limbs are cast in nature’s stronger mould, and his hand turns
naturally to the sword hilt. Upon his knees is a bundle of letters that
he peruses with eager interest. They are from the exiles in Holland,
informing him of the time of their departure, and urging him to join
them. And among the letters are some from his old companions in the
war of the low countries. Wrapped in thought the hours pass by him
unheeded. At length, rising suddenly to his feet and thrusting open
the door that leads to the great hall of the castle, he paces the
stone floor. His eye kindles as it glances over the portraits of grim
warriors and the proud trappings that adorn its walls. He stops in his
lofty stride, a frown gathers upon his brow, his hand grips to the hilt
of the sword at his side. He has made up his mind. His is the giant
strength and haughty pride of an heroic line. Retiring to his chamber,
he likewise kneels to pray, while the frown of anticipated conflicts
and the flush of stirring memories have scarce yet faded from his brow.
But there is no tremor in the hard tones of his voice, none of those
bitter tears that wet the pillow of the other fall from his eyes. There
is no breaking down of the strong man before Him who is stronger than
the strong man armed. But he prays like Henry the Fifth at Agincourt
or Bruce at Bannockburn. To carry his point he prays “my will be done”
with the spirit of those who inscribed upon the muzzles of their
cannon, “O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy

This man has condescended to help God. Through the long tempestuous
voyage, those fearful months of mingled famine and plague when the
icy breath of winter penetrated even to the pillows of the dying, and
the Pilgrims drove the ploughshare through the graves of those most
dear to them lest the savage should count the dead and ascertain their
weakness, he passed unbroken. Neither hunger nor sickness bows his
iron frame nor breaks his haughty spirit, and yet, unknown to himself,
he is all the while wresting the truths of Scripture, and deems he is
doing the will of God while he is consulting his own inclinations. Is
the discipline of Providence therefore to waste itself upon this rugged
nature, only to be repelled like the surf from the rock, in broken
wreaths of foam? Will he never become as a little child that he may
enter into the kingdom?

Yes. His daughter is dying. The daughter, the only remaining member of
a once numerous household, whom he loves with an affection the more
absorbing since he loves nothing else, to whom he has given the scanty
morsel suffering hunger himself, whom he pressed to his bosom in the
long nights of that terrible winter that she might gather warmth from
his hardier frame, and around whom cluster all the affections that
throb beneath the crust of his rugged nature, as the oak wrappeth its
roots about the place of stones,--that daughter is dying. Though it
is now the Indian summer and an abundant harvest has scattered plenty
among the dwellings of the exiles, his daughter is perishing beneath
the terrible exposure she has endured. Upon her delicate frame the
previous winter and spring have done their work. Stretched upon a couch
of skins, she is fading like the yellow and falling leaves that the
forest is showering upon the roof, and the morning breeze is gathering
in little heaps around the threshold of the rude cabin. The strong man
has met one stronger than himself. The arrow aimed by no uncertain hand
has found the joints of the harness. A sweet smile begotten of that
peace of God, which passeth all understanding, mingles with the hectic
flush on her cheek; and as he watches the ebbing tide of life, every
sigh of pain, every frown that furrows the pale brow, wrung from her by
the agony of dissolution, shakes his iron frame. But it is suffering,
not submission. She lifts her finger, and he is at her side, takes her
head upon his broad shoulder, and his war-worn cheek is pressed to
hers, while the golden locks mingle with his white hairs like sunbeams
reposing upon a fleecy cloud, as he listens to her low speech.

“Father, I must soon leave thee.” A hot tear falling on her cheek is
the only reply. “Father,” she says, laying her thin finger upon a
yellow leaf that an eddy of the wind just then blew in at the open door
upon the bed, “I am like this leaf, almost at my journey’s end.”

“I know it, my child,” is the low answer.

“Canst thou give me up?”

“I cannot give thee up. Not a drop of my blood flows in any living
being but in thee, the blood of a noble race. I had thought that in
this new soil, transplanted, the old oak might flourish with renewed
strength; but over thee, the dearest and the last, is creeping the
shadow of the grave. My sons died a soldier’s death, and I mourned
them as a soldier should. Thy mother I married as the great marry, for
reasons of state and policy, but thou with thy gentle ways hast knit
thyself into my very heart, and I must lay thee in a nameless grave,
and conceal it from the Indian’s gaze, while thy kindred sleep beneath
sculptured marble and the shadow of proud banner folds. Thine uncle who
thought to take the journey with us flinched when it came to the trial,
while I have faced pestilence, treachery, and war. Surely I have borne
a heavy cross, and thus am I rewarded. God is too hard with me. He has
no right to bereave me in my old age of the only being I ever truly

“Father, whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth.”

“Dear child, torture me not thus or I shall go mad.”

“No, father, but thou wilt go mad if, in this desperate sorrow, thou
dost not win Heaven’s grace. If thy heart does not break in penitence,
thy brain will reel in madness. Father, dear father, it becomes me
to seek knowledge of thy gray hairs, and thou art esteemed by all a
man of shrewd counsel. But to those who, like me, are on the brink of
eternity, there is given a knowledge not of earth, and through these
weak lips the spirit speaks. Deceive not thyself. Thou hast as yet
borne no cross, but thou hast wrested the Scriptures. May it not be to
thine own destruction. Thy spirit could not brook oppression, and, as
thou couldst not resist, so hast thou fled from it. The perils of exile
and the stormy seas were less terrible to thee than the foot of the
oppressor on thy neck. Thou wast bred amid the alarms and in the bloody
frays of the border wars; thou hast loved the clash of steel, and the
smoke of battle is as the breath of thy nostrils. Thou hast been a
man of blood from thy youth up. My uncle was bred a scholar amid home
delights, unused to scenes of trial and hardship. They had terrors for
him, whereas they had none for thee. And yet he would have gladly come
with us had he not been forbidden of Heaven. I heard him pleading with
God to make known to him his duty. That which would have been to him a
real cross but was none to thee he was willing to take up. But God has
laid upon him a weightier one at home. Thus hast thou prayed to have
thine own way, hast suffered in accordance with thine own will, not the
will of God. The cross, the real cross, is now before thee. Wilt thou
take it up? If thou dost not do this, father, whither I go thou canst
not come. For nineteen years thou hast anticipated my slightest wish.
Wilt thou now refuse my last request? I, a timid maid, a daughter of
affluence and luxury, who had never listened to a harsher sound than
the murmur of Derwent-Water over the rocky bed and the breath of morn
among the hills, have broken every tie, torn from my heart the youth
I loved, because he stood between me and Christ, encountered perils
before which warriors quail, for the love of Jesus. I have drunk of the
bitter cup, but the cross has brought me to the crown. I see it. It
glitters in the hand of Christ. Soon it shall press my brow. Never in
the flush of youth and love in my early home did I know such joy as in
this savage wilderness, this rude hut, and at this dying hour fills my
soul. So will the cross bring thee to the crown. Dear father, wilt thou
not say, ’Thy will be done’?”

The words died upon her lips like the murmur of distant music. Her
head which in the last energies of expiring nature she had raised from
his shoulder fell back, and she passed away even on his bosom. The red
light of morning fell on that still cold face on which the strong
man’s tears were showering like the summer rain, but they were tears
of submission. In that midnight vigil he had lived years, had fathomed
the difference between doing the will of God when it suited and when it
crossed his inclination, between wresting and wrenching the Scriptures
into conformity with a haughty spirit and bringing that spirit into
obedience to the truth; between making a cross to suit ourselves and
then bearing it in our own strength and for our own glory, and taking
up that which Christ places before us.

Are we, my dear friends, wresting the Scriptures, picking and choosing
among the commands of God, and obeying only those that run parallel
with our inclinations? Have you gone just so far in obeying the
commands of God as fashion and the custom of your acquaintances would
go and stopped short when duty became self-denial? Have you done just
as little for Christ as you thought could in any way consist with a
fair profession in the eyes of the world, and have you gone just as
far in the pleasures of the world as you in your judgment might go and
still escape the fate of the unbeliever?

Some persons wrest the Scriptures with a rude force, a noisy and
destructive violence, denying the existence and attributes of their
Maker, and are open scoffers and unbelievers; but others with a silent,
imperceptible force, unperceived even by themselves, and silent as
the power of frost which lifts the whole northern continent upon its
shoulders. Their morality, Christian culture, urbanity of deportment,
earnestness in defence of sound doctrine, private and public charities,
are not grounded on a new heart, but proceed from other motives;
force of education, the restraints of society, the love of a sect,
connection of religion with some political opinion, and not from the
spirit of love to Christ which it breathes; they spring from the desire
to be reconciled to God by something less galling to the pride of the
human heart than unconditional surrender. My friends, receiving the
doctrines of Scripture without obeying their requirements is a plain
and palpable wresting of the Scriptures. You believe there is a God
whose hand rules the universe, yet you have never bent the knee to ask
for His direction or to thank Him for the mercies He has bestowed. You
believe that you must strive to enter in at the strait gate, yet you
have never striven. You believe that when a person feels in his soul
the strivings of the Holy Spirit directing him to God, he ought, if he
would be saved, to fall in with and supplement them by his own efforts.
You have felt these strivings, yet you have never lifted a finger to
help yourselves. Is not this holding the truth in unrighteousness?

Delay is wresting the Scriptures. God saith, “Now is the accepted
time.” Unbelief says, “Will not another time do just as well?” God
says, “To-day if you will hear his voice.” Procrastination says, “Will
not to-morrow do as well?” God says, “You know not what a day may bring
forth.” The careless hearer says, “To-morrow shall be as this day and
much more abundant.” Thus you think one thing and do another. This is
not the way to live, and certainly it is not the way to die. Remove, I
entreat you by faith and repentance, this strange discrepancy between
faith and practice.



[From a sermon to Bowdoin Students, October, 1889.]

Autumn is a most beautiful and joyous season of the year; more so even
than spring. The winds are low, and rich with a solemn music. The days
are clear and bright and have an element of assurance that pertains not
to the changeful skies of April. The air is bracing and salubrious. The
drapery of nature is gorgeous with the blended beauty of infinite hues.
The crimson and scarlet of the oaks, the bright yellow of the birch,
the bluish green of the willows contrasted with the brown and orange
of the soil and rocks, are all radiant in the sunlight and the keen
frosty air. The rich yellow of the corn bursting from the husk, the
loaded stalks swaying heavily in the October wind, all combine to form
a picture more beautiful, far more satisfactory, than spring presents.
Spring is the season of hope, yet it is hope deferred. Many unforeseen
casualties may destroy the crop before it is ripe for the sickle. But
harvest is hope realized. It is the time of taking possession.

Thus it is with the servant of God. The autumn of his life is more
glorious than its spring. That was hope; this is reality. Then a long
road beset with perils lay before him; now they have been passed.
Notwithstanding his trials, life has been sweet. It has not been
altogether toil. He has beheld with open sense this glorious world
and appreciated what the Creator has done for the happiness of his
creatures. The song of birds, the breath of flowers, the majesty of
seas, and the grandeur of mountains and of forests, the hope of spring,
the beauty of summer, and the sweet companionship of kindred hearts,
have all been his. But now he is to possess the source of all that so
delighted him. He is to grasp that unseen hand that led him when he
knew it not, and held the tangled thread of his daily life. He is to
exchange the stream for the fountain, the sunbeam for the sun itself.
The journey has not been without much of profit and pleasure, and the
heart of the wayfarer has been cheered by messages from loved ones, but
he would rather be at home. He who made the flower is lovelier than
the flower. He who gave the grace doth the grace exceed. To sow the
seed and watch its growth has been a hopeful labor, but it is better
to bind the sheaves. Rich are the fading splendors of the autumn and
gorgeous the dyes in which the Almighty has decked the departing year.
Sweet the murmur of autumnal winds among the falling leaves mingling
with the deeper cadence of the streams. But a brighter glory illumines
the autumn of life that has been spent with God and for God. What
language shall describe, what figures worthily set forth, the maturity
of a soul that in these days of secular knowledge and Gospel privilege
has gathered to itself, with a sanctified avarice, all that God has
taught in the mighty utterances of nature and the clearer revelation of
His word, that has laid art and science under contribution and grappled
to every opportunity of intellectual and spiritual growth, that by
trial has been refined, and by blessings quickened to a higher measure
of gratitude and love.

Permit one united to you by the college tie to which time only adds
intensity and depth, who has travelled over the path your feet are
now pressing, who has reached that period of life when the tissue
of the dream robe has fallen and when dreams unchilled by truth no
longer minister that maddening fuel to the feverish blood, permit one
to inquire if you are laying the foundations for such a maturity as
has been described. You are living in a day that affords opportunity
and likewise compels responsibility. Inspired by such sentiments,
using aright your splendid opportunities and holding yourself true to
your great responsibilities, may you resemble trees planted by living
waters. May you be enrolled among the inhabitants of the city that hath
foundations built by God on the banks of that river

   “Whose sapphire crested waves in glory roll
    O’er golden sands, and die upon the shore in music.”


 [From a sermon preached at the Second Parish church, Portland, Maine,
 on Sunday, August 5, 1900, “Old Home Week.”]

Hebrews vi. 19. “_Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both
sure and steadfast, and which entereth into that within the veil._”

The apostle declares that the relation of a hope in Christ to the soul
is the same as that of the anchor to the ship.

The value of an anchor in emergencies is well known. A large ship
filled with passengers is making her passage in midwinter across the
western ocean. As she strikes soundings the weather thickens. The wind
is easterly; the gale increases; the sea makes; snow begins to fall;
and no pilot is to be found. But confident, too confident, of his
ability, the master, unwilling to lie off, runs into the narrow channel
of Boston Bay. The gale increases; the snow thickens. Sail after sail
is taken in until the ship under short canvas can no longer hold her
own, but makes leeway continually. Suddenly arises the cry, “Breakers
to leeward! Breakers to leeward!” and the seamen behold the long, black
line of ragged rocks and the white surf that breaks upon them, where
the strongest ship becomes in a few moments like the chips and bark
that fell from her timbers in framing.

There is now but one resource. Canvas can do no more. The navigator’s
expedients are exhausted. There is but one hope left to cling to. The
anchor may bring her up. With the skill and energy of men working for
their own lives and the lives of those dependent upon their exertions,
the ship is brought to and the anchors are let go. The ship trembles as
fathom after fathom of massive chain is jerked through the hawse-holes.
The fire flies from the iron folds that encircle the windlass, and, as
she comes up to that terrific sea breaking mountains high, taking it
over both shoulders and filling her whole waist with water, pitching
and wallowing till every stick seems about ready to go out of her, and
the windlass itself to be carried into the bows, anxious eyes look
ahead at the seas and astern at the breakers. A cry is heard: “She
drags! She drags! The surf is bringing the anchors home! They won’t
hold!” Every cheek grows pale and strong men tremble.

Presently there is another cry: “Now she holds! She holds! The anchors
have got her!” And men who have not spoken together during the voyage
embrace each other for joy. The last link of scope is given; the chains
are weather-bitted; the slatting canvas is furled; the yards are
sharpened to the wind, and then she lies in that tremendous surf, whose
pitiless diapason drowns every other sound--two hundred souls depending
for life upon the links of those chains and the strength and clutch of
those anchors.

Thus with the soul of man. Without the Christian hope it is a ship
without an anchor, adrift on a stormy sea, at the mercy of its own
passions, the temptations of life, and the wiles of the devil. These
are the tempests which the soul must meet and struggle with; and,
destitute of the gospel anchor, it must make shipwreck of faith and a
good conscience.

The anchor is the seaman’s last resort. He has many expedients with
which to battle and make head against the tempest, but when all other
methods fail, then the anchor must bring her up or she is lost.

Thus the Christian, when all other expedients fail, when his own
strength is but weakness, flings himself upon the mercy of God, and
moors head and stern to the eternal promise and the covenants of grace.

“Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast,
and which entereth into that within the veil.”

Many a good ship has been lost, not because her anchors were
insufficient and her ground tackle poor, not because they were not
thrown clear and the ship properly secured to them, but because
the holding ground was bad,--a smooth ledge, a soft mud, or loose
sand,--insomuch that the anchors either slip over or cut through, and
the seaman must perish without any fault of his own. In other places is
found a soft mud or gravel upon the surface and beneath a strong clay,
into which the anchor beds itself so sure and steadfast that no wind
or sea will bring it home--the best of holding ground. Such anchorages
are highly prized by seafaring men; they will beat up many a mile to
windward to gain an anchor in them.

Thus the anchor of the soul is both sure and steadfast, because as
the anchor of the ship goes through the surface mud into the deep,
tenacious clay, it entereth into that within the veil.

The Holy of Holies, the most sacred place in the Jewish temple, was
concealed by a veil, which was rent in twain at the crucifixion. That
event was typical of those inward spiritual truths which are revealed
to the believer by Christ, and in which his hope consists. The promises
of grace and the inward witness of the spirit that he is an heir of
those promises through faith in Christ are the holding ground of the
believers’ anchor, where once bedded it is sure and steadfast.

These are inward spiritual joys of which the believer cannot be
deprived except by his own remissness and the letting down of the
anchor watch. These promises were the anchor of the apostle’s
experience. A rough, stormy life was his--almost always on a lee shore
and among the breakers. Very little smooth water did he see, for in
every city bonds and imprisonment awaited him; but he had on board
the gospel anchor, and shackled to it the chain of a rich and deep
experience. The bitter end of that chain was clinched around the riding
bits of his soul; and he had no fear that the anchor would come home or
the chain part that moored him to it, and he could say: “O death, where
is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?”

Life is the sea; the soul is the vessel; the grace, gifts, and
experience of the soul make up the priceless cargo with which the ship
is freighted. Heaven is the harbor all hope to make. The temptations,
labor, and afflictions of life are the tempests we must encounter. It
is a stormy sea and a wintry passage. You need good ground tackle and
good holding ground. Have you them? If not, it is from negligence, not
necessity. It is, my friend, because you have not bestirred yourself to
take hold of the promises of grace that have been pressed upon you.


O Thou who art equally supreme in the moral and the material universe,
guiding the sea-bird to her nest amid the blinding snows, the breaker’s
foam, and the driving mist of ocean, who makest small the drops of
rain, and a way for the lightning of thunder, and the thing that is hid
bringest forth to light, we adore thy power and thy wisdom; we magnify
thy grace; we hallow thy name. With penitence we confess our manifold
transgressions as individuals and as a nation. Holiness belongeth unto
Thee, but unto us shame and confusion of faces.

We thank Thee that Thou didst direct our forefathers to these shores,
and inspire them with purpose and wisdom to form a civil compact built
upon the principles of religion, education, law, and labor. We thank
Thee that, in the face of famine, pestilence, and relentless foes,
they accomplished their purpose, and with a spirit of self-sacrifice
worthy of the cause, devoted themselves as stepping stones to bridge
the path of future generations that they might create a republic, lay
the foundations of civil liberty, resist oppression, and seal their
devotion to their principles with their blood. We thank Thee that
though they have passed away, their principles have survived, and
that when the republic they had reared was rocking to its foundations,
assailed by foes without and treachery within, their children did
not prove unworthy of the sires who begat them, nor recreant to the
principles they drew in with their mothers’ milk and were taught at
their fathers’ knees. We thank Thee that they were equally ready to
vindicate at the cannon’s mouth and maintain with property or life the
principles of civil and religious liberty, and the inalienable right of
every man to the fruit of his own labor.

We pray Thee that, on this day, set apart by the Executive of the
nation as a day of grateful remembrance, we may appreciate the true
nature of the perils we have escaped and acknowledge our indebtedness
to the providence of that Being who ruleth over the affairs of nations.
May we not in our prosperity forget those dark hours when all faces
gathered blackness. May we not merely decorate the graves, but may we
ever cherish with affectionate remembrance our obligations to those
whose courage mounted in proportion to the imminence of the danger,
and who approved their loyalty with their blood. May we not on this
day fraught with associations so sad to those whose wounds, partially
healed, are this day reopened, forget the fatherless whose parents
sleep in bloody graves, and the widows whom this day reminds of all
they have lost, and the aged parents from whom war took the support
of their declining years. We commit these to thy care and keeping; we
commit unto Thee all those who suffered and sacrificed that the Union
might be preserved. And we thank Thee for the comfort of a vast army
come back from the deadly uproar of arms to take up again the unheroic
duties of life, and strive by honest living to maintain the principles
they fought to defend.

We pray for thy blessing upon thy servant. May he be enabled to expound
and enforce those principles which lie at the foundation of social
happiness and free institutions; those principles which have made this
republic, which a little more than a century ago was a mere shrub with
bare shade sufficient to cover its roots, to become a tree that hath
sent forth its roots to the sea and its branches to the rivers, and on
whose foliage the sunlight loves to linger, and on whose branches the
dew of heaven lieth all night.--AMEN.



 [First printed in _Bowdoin Portfolio_, September, 1839.]

    I would not be a fragile flower
    To languish in a lady’s bower,
    A silken thing of texture rare
    That fears to meet God’s blessed air;
    My life a water, stagnant, low,
    Without an ebb, without a flow;
    Chained like a captive to his oar
    To toil on, on, forevermore!
    And supplicate with frantic cry
    For the “poor privilege to die”;
    A smooth-faced boy, a harmless thing,
    A kitten playing with a string,
    A child without, a brute within,
    Without e’en energy to sin.
    Not thus, when erst that iron race
    From whom our birth we proudly trace,
    No sculptured arras decked the bed
    Whereon reposed the patriot’s head;
    Nor proud device or motto wore
    Those stern-faced men that lived of yore
    In the good days of “auld lang syne,”
    When liberty, a feeble vine,
    Lay bruised and trailing on the ground,
    Nor yet a single trellis found;
    Gently they reared its drooping crest,
    They bade its tendrils twine,
    And many a traveller since hath blessed
    The shadow of that vine.


 [First printed in _Bowdoin Portfolio_, November, 1839.]

    Ah! tell me not of your shady dells,
    Where the lilies gleam and the fountain wells,
    Where the reaper rests when his task is o’er,
    And the lake-wave sobs on the verdant shore,
    And the rustic maid with a heart all free,
    Hies to the well-known trysting-tree;
    For I’m the god of the rolling sea,
    And the charms of earth are nought to me.
    O’er the thundering chime of the breaking surge,
    On the lightning’s wing my course I urge,
    On the thrones of foam right joyous ride
    ’Mid the sullen dash of the angry tide.
    I hear ye tell of music’s power,
      The rapture of a sigh,
    When beauty in her wizard bower
      Unveils her languid eye.
    Of those who die in rugged fight
    And battling for their country’s right
    With the shivered brand in the “red right hand,”
    And the plaudits of a rescued land.
    Ye never knew the infernal fire,
    The withering curse, the scorching ire,
    That rages, maddens in the breast
    Of him who rules the billow’s crest.
    Heard ye that last despairing yell
    That wailed Creation’s funeral knell,
    When young and old, the vile, the brave,
    Were circled in one common grave?
    While on my ear of driving foam
      By moaning whirlwinds sped,
    O’er what _was_ joyous earth I roam,
      And trample on the dead.
    This is the music that my ear
    Thrills with stern ecstasy to hear!
    I love to view some lonely bark,
    The sport of storms, the lightning’s mark,
    Scarce struggling through the fresh’ning wave
    That foams and yawns to be her grave!
      I saw a son and father fight
    For a drifting spar their lives to save;
    The son he throttled his father gray,
    And tore the spar from his clutch away,
    Till he sank beneath the wave;
      And deemed it were a noble sight.
    I saw upon a shattered wreck
    All swinging at the tempest’s beck,
    A mother lone, whose frenzied eye
    Wandered in hopeless agony
    O’er that vast plain where naught was seen,
    The ocean and the sky between,
    And there all buried to the breast
    In the hungry surf that round her prest--
    With feeble arms, in anguish wild,
    High o’er her head she raised her child,
    Endured of winds and waves the strife,
    To add a unit to its life.

    I whelmed that infant in the sea
    To add a pang to her misery,
    And the wretched mother’s frantic yell
    Came o’er me like a soothing spell!
    Are ye so haughty in your pride,
    To deem of all the earth beside
    That yours are fields and fragrant flowers,
    And lute-like voices in your bowers,
    And gold and gems of priceless worth,
    And all the glory of the earth?
    Ah, mean is all your pageantry
    To that proud, fadeless blazonry,
    That waves in scathless beauty free
    Beneath the blue, old rolling sea!
    For there are flowers that wither not,
      And leaves that never fall,
    Immortal forms in each wild grot,
      Still bright and changeless all.
    Decay is not on beauty’s bloom,
      No canker in the rose,
    No prescience of a future doom
      To mar the sweet repose--
    There Proteus’ changeful form is seen,
      And Triton winds his shell,
    While through old Ocean’s valleys green,
      The tuneful echoes swell.
    But though a Demon rightly named,
    For terror more than mercy famed,--
    Yet demons e’en respect the power
    That nerves the heart in danger’s hour.
    And when the veteran of a hundred storms,
      Whom many a wild midnight
    I’ve girded with a thousand startling forms
      Of terror and affright,--
    When tempests roar and hell-fiends scream,
    The thunders crash, the lightnings gleam,
    ’Mid biting cold and driving hail
    Still grasps the helm, still trims the sail,
    Nor deigns to utter coward cries,
    But as he lived, so fearless dies,--
    Mingles his last faint, bubbling sigh
    With the pealing tempest’s banner-cry;--
    Then winds are hushed, the billow falls
      Where storms were wont to be,
    As I bear him to the untrodden halls
      Of the deep unfathomed sea!
    Now Triton sends a mournful strain
      Through all that vast profound,--
    At once a bright immortal train
      Comes thronging at the sound.
    And on a shining pearly car
      They place the honored dust,
    And Ocean’s chargers gently bear
      Along the sacred trust,
    While far o’er all the glassy plain
      By mighty Neptune led,
    In sadness moves that funeral train,--
      Thus Ocean wails her dead!
    And now the watch of life is past,
    The shattered hulk is moored at last,
    Nor e’en the tempest’s thrilling breath
      Can wake “the dull, cold ear of death.”
    No bitter thoughts of home and loved ones dart
    Their untold anguish through the seaman’s heart.

      Peaceful be thy slumbers, brother,
      There’s no prouder grave for thee,
      Well may pine for thee a mother,
      Flower of ocean’s chivalry!


    Still may I love, beloved of thee,
    My own fair city of the sea!
    Where moulders back to kindred dust
    The mother who my childhood nurst,
    And strove, with ill-requited toil,
    To till a rough, ungrateful soil;
    Yet kindly spared by Heaven to know
    That Faith’s reward is sure, though slow,
    And see the prophet’s mantle grace
    The rudest scion of her race.

    And while around thy seaward shore
    The Atlantic doth its surges pour,
    (Those verdant isles, thy bosom-gems)
    May Temples be thy diadems;
    Spire after spire in beauty rise,
    Still pointing upward to the skies,
    Unwritten sermons, and rebukes of love,
    To point thy toiling throngs to worlds above.


 [Written for the Semi-centennial Celebration at Bowdoin College,
 August 31, 1852.]

    From waves that break to break again,
      From winds that die to gather might,
    How pleasant on the stormy main
      Appears the sailor’s native height.

    And sweet, I ween, the graceful tears
      That glisten in the wand’rer’s eye,
    As haunts and homes of early years
      Begemmed with morning’s dewdrops lie.

    Borne on the fragrant breath of morn,
      His lazy vessel stems the tide
    Among the fields of waving corn
      That nestle on the river’s side.

    His mother’s cottage through the leaves
      Gleams like a rainbow seen at night,
    While all the visions fancy weaves
      Are stirring at the well-known sight.

    But sweeter memories cluster here
      Than ever stirred a seaman’s breast,
    Than e’er provoked his grateful tear,
      Or wooed the mariner to rest.

    ’Twas here our life of life began--
      The spirit felt its dormant power;
    ’Twas here the child became a man--
      The opening bud became a flower.

    And from Niagara’s distant roar
      And homes beside the heaving sea,
    Rank upon rank thy children pour,
      And gather to thy Jubilee.

    On these old trees each nestling leaf,
      The murmur of yon flowing stream,
    Has power to stir a buried grief,
      Or to recall some youthful dream.

    Each path that skirts the tangled wood,
      Or winds amidst its secret maze,
    Worn by the feet of those we loved,
      Brings back the forms of other days.

    Of those whose smile was heaven to thee,
      Whose voice a richer music made
    Than brooks that murmur to the sea,
      Or birds that warble in the shade.

    Around these ancient altar fires
      We cluster with a joyous heart,
    While ardent youth and hoary sires
      Alike sustain a grateful part.


 [Written for the Celebration of the Twenty-eighth Anniversary of the
 Boston Seaman’s Friend Society, at Music Hall, Boston, May 28, 1856.]

    I was not reared where heaves the swell
      Of surf on coasts remote and drear,
    But grew with roses, in a dell,
      And waked with bird-notes in my ear.

    Glad hours on golden pinions sped,
      As folded to her throbbing breast,
    A mother’s lips their fragrance shed,
      And lulled me with a prayer to rest.

    The red has faded from my cheek,
      And bronzed and scarred the boyish face;
    Affection’s eye might vainly seek
      One lingering lineament to trace.

    Shipwrecked, the Sailor’s Home I sought,
      My raiment gone, my shipmates dead,
    Through poverty reluctant brought,
      And there a sober life I led.

    But when the evening prayer was said,
      It brought the unaccustomed tear,
    A mother’s hand was on my head,
      Her voice was thrilling in mine ear.

    Old memories waked that long had slept,
      They forced the spirit’s brazen crust;
    I wept and prayed, I prayed and wept,
      Till anguish ripened into trust.

    Blest be the hands that reared thy dome
      The wandering seaman’s step to greet;
    Guiding the homeless to a home,
      And sinners to a mercy-seat.


    When first the human clay, instinct with thought,
    Doth feel the motions of those hidden fires
    That by a subtle alchemy sublime
    The crude contexture of its grosser powers,
    It is not life--rather capacity
    Of life and power hereafter to be given.
    Life lies beyond us, as an Orphic tale
    Of things mysterious and dimly seen,
    A gorgeous phantom, but a phantom still
    That ever is, and ever is without.
    We dwell amid the border flowers that bloom
    To bless and cheer life’s brier-planted paths,
    Its dusty turnpikes, and its scorching noons;
    And thus our primal being is a dream
    And most mysterious to the dreamer,
    E’en as the dim and iron forms that frown
    From the dark walls of some old corridor
    On which the moonbeams thro’ the crumbling towers
    Bestow expression and inform with life
    Delicious but delight indefinite.
    The finer tissues of that wondrous web
    That doth so strangely link spirit to sense
    Matter to mind, are all unwoven yet;
    Those subtle telegraphs that make report
    Of outward action to the inward life
    Still in the secret caves of being sleep.
    The soul is conscious of no other tie
    To nature than to love its beauty
    And with an open sense luxuriate
    In woods and fields with animal delight.
    For as the sturdy trunk and massive limbs
    Of the gigantic oak, lie deftly hid
    Within the acorn’s small periphery,
    Till in the pregnant bosom of the earth,
    Warmed by the sun, moistened with summer dews,
    It bursts its coffin and leaps forth to light;
    Thus when the soul is in its progress brought,
    Led on by nature’s genial processes,
    To touch reality and outward life,
    There is a stirring, from its inmost depths,
    Of yearning thoughts and deathless energies,
    Seeking the outward vesture that confers
    A definite existence and a form.
    Strong roots shoot forth and fibres more minute
    That by mysterious alchemy impart
    Substance to shadow, breath to lifeless forms.
    Life is no more a pageant to admire;
    Since with a yearning for a higher life,
    The power to struggle, and the thirst to know,
    Awakes a bitter principle to sin,
    Breeding intestine war and conflict fierce,
    Till powers are marshalled in the mind itself
    That with itself chaotic warfare wage.
    Henceforth man’s life is conflict, and his doom
    By conflict to grow stronger, to contend
    From the rude cross within some Alpine gorge
    To the proud blazon of ancestral tombs.
    In eastern myths and Christian chronicles,
    In heathen temples, and in holy shrines
    The same stern truth is graven on them all--
    That conflict only doth ennoble man.
    But man is not sufficient to himself
    In this great conflict, therefore God has given
    A twofold revelation to his faith.
    Subjective, one to reason makes appeal;
    The other to the grosser sense explains
    Stern truths by most persuasive images,
    Graving dread mandates on the shifting clouds,
    Weaving of wild flowers and of foliage green
    A genial symbol for a genial faith.
    This is the task to Poetry assigned:
    Of life divine to be the messenger.
    As to the sorrow-stricken soul of him
    Who knelt and prayed in lone Gethsemane
    The angel choir did gently minister,
    E’en thus true Poetry doth nerve the soul
    Upon its Alpine passage to commune
    With truths that quicken and with thoughts that stir.
    It is the soul’s sheet-anchor in the strife.





  TOPSHAM, MAINE, February 10, 1885.


_Dear Sirs_,--I have received your note requesting me to furnish
some reminiscences of Longfellow. I would say in reply that although
yielding to no one in my admiration of the character and genius of
Mr. Longfellow or regard for his memory, I still feel quite unable to
contribute anything that would meet your expectations or serve your
purpose, from the fact that my knowledge of him began and to a large
extent closed in very early youth before his powers had developed.
Nevertheless, as everything even remotely connected with him or his is
valued and treasured, I will endeavor to comply with your request.

Hon. Stephen Longfellow, the father of Henry, was a friend of my
father’s and resided near us. Judge Potter, the father of the poet’s
first wife, lived almost directly opposite to us; and in an adjoining
house a sister of the late Eben Steele taught a school which I attended
with two of the daughters of Judge Potter and other children. The
Potter children, being the nearest neighbors, were my playmates. I can
see them now with their little blue aprons and happy faces. There was
something very attractive in the expression of Mary Potter’s features,
the future wife of the poet. It remains as fresh in my recollection
to-day as it was then. I used to hear a great deal about angels, but
cherished very incoherent ideas in regard to them, and one evening when
my mother was teaching me a hymn, the conclusion of which was:--

    “May angels guard me while I sleep
    Till morning light appears,”

I astonished her by asking if Mary Potter was not an angel.

Though she was quiet and retiring, it made one happy to be in her
society; and she enjoyed fun as well as the rest of us, only in a more
quiet way. One morning there was a platform laid around the pump in
the schoolyard and a man employed to paint it red. On going to dinner
he put his paint-pot and brush under the edge of the platform where
we discovered it. The Potters wore red morocco shoes and I wore black
ones. Some other children who rejoiced in red shoes were very proud of
them, which excited my envy. I painted my own and the shoes of several
others a staring red, and we strutted among our mates with great
satisfaction, which, however, was somewhat abated upon the arrival of
the schoolmistress.

It was the custom at that time in Portland to send children to the
Academy very soon after leaving the primary school, and there I first
met Henry Longfellow; but he was a large boy fitting for college, and I
was a little one. I can therefore only give you the impression made (by
his habits and bearing) upon the mind of a boisterous boy who had with
him nothing in common. But I recollect perfectly the impression made
upon myself and others by his deportment, and from these impressions
draw the inferences I communicate. He was a very handsome boy, retiring
without being reserved; there was no chill in his manners. There was
a frankness about him that won you at once; he looked you square in
the face. His eyes were full of expression, and it seemed as if you
could look down into them as into a clear spring. There were many
rough boys in the school, a great deal of horse-play and a good many
rough-and-tumble games at recess, and the boys who were not inclined to
engage in them often excited the ill-will of their ruder mates who were
prone to imagine that the former felt above them. As a result the quiet
boys sometimes fell victims to this feeling and were dragged out and
rudely treated. But no one ever thought of taking such liberties with
Longfellow, nor did such suspicions ever attach to him. Not even John
Bartels or John Goddard ever meddled with him. I think John Goddard
expressed the common sentiment of the school when, after some boy had
remarked upon Longfellow’s retiring habits, he exclaimed: “Oh, let him
alone. He don’t belong to our breed of cats.” He had no relish for
rude sports, but he loved to bathe in a little creek on the border of
Deering’s Oaks. And he would sometimes tramp through the woods with
a gun; but this was mostly through the influence of others. He loved
much better to lie under a tree and read. Small boys think it a great
affair to tag after larger ones, especially if the larger ones carry
guns, and I have often picked up the dead squirrels that he and others
used to shoot in the oaks. And he and John Kinsman or Edward Preble
would boost me into a tree to shake off acorns for them.

His early associations were very strong, and as is the fact in respect
to most of us, they strengthened with age and cropped out everywhere
in his verse. One familiar with the scenes and events of his youth can
readily trace to their source the allusions in many of his verses. It
was doubtless after gathering the mayflower on some half-holiday or
tramping through the woods that, as he lay beneath some one of those
old oaks on the verge of the forest, with limbs thirty feet in length
within reach of the hand, and looked up through the branches and
watched the clouds go by, he received those impressions which took form
in the following lines:--

   “Pleasant it was when woods were green
    And winds were soft and low,
    To lie amid some sylvan scene,
    Where the long drooping boughs between
    Shadows dark and sunlight sheen
    Alternate come and go.”

Though Longfellow was a thoughtful, he certainly was not a melancholy
boy, and the minor key to which so much of his verse is attuned, and
that tinge of sadness which his countenance wore in later years, were
due to that first great sorrow which came upon him in the loss of
her to whom I have referred, and which was chiselled still deeper by
subsequent trials. He never buried her, and that beautiful tribute to
her memory in the “Footsteps of Angels” is as true as tender.

He was ever ready to extend a helping hand to others. After leaving
school we took different paths and never met again till 1870, when I
received a communication from him through Mr. James T. Fields, saying
that he had kept run of me and wished me to call upon him at a time
fixed by him. I went and was most cordially received. I asked him how
he had kept run of me. He replied through his brother Alexander, his
sister Mrs. Pierce, and Mr. James Greenleaf, his brother-in-law, an
intimate friend and later schoolmate of mine. We reviewed the past,
and almost the first question he asked in relation to it was about the
scholars in that Academy, and he mentioned almost every name but the
one I knew was most dear to him. This is what led me to say that he
never buried her.

But what a change in that care-worn face, marked with the deep lines
of thought and sorrow, from the smooth-cheeked boy of my early
recollections, unconscious of care and to whom the future was rainbow
tinted and full of hope. The eyes, however, had not lost their wonted
expression, and the same sweet smile was on his lips, and he encouraged
me in the kindest manner to continue in the course I had just then
commenced, in words that it does not become me to repeat, but which
will never be forgotten. And from that time to his death I found that
neither success nor sorrow had narrowed the sympathies or chilled the
heart of Henry Longfellow.


Some time since, in the story of a wasted life, we depicted the results
of intemperance and the terrible grasp which this vice fastens upon its
victims, alas, but seldom broken. Lest our young readers should be left
to imagine that reformation is hopeless, we will relate the story of
Ben Bolt.

Ben Bolt was an English sailor about forty years of age, and a very
powerful man, of an iron frame and constitution and a choice man on
board ship. He was withal intelligent, having received a good common
school education, and of most excellent disposition even when in
liquor. He was honest as the sun, was never known to back out of
a ship, cheat his landlord, or run away after getting his month’s
advance. Ben was an excellent singer, and obtained his name from a song
called “Ben Bolt,” that he was very fond of singing. What his real
appellation was, for many years I did not know. He had none of the
vices common to seamen except drinking, and that he had to perfection,
insomuch that he was seldom sober while on shore.

I was conscious of a singular attraction towards Ben; I liked him; and
whenever I could catch him comparatively sober, endeavored to wean him
from his cups. Sailors are, in general, inclined to relate incidents of
their life, and if they have religious or well-to-do parents, to speak
of them with satisfaction and honest pride. Ben, however, was reticent
in this respect.

One day I was sitting at an open window in the reading room of the
Sailors’ Home, and Ben was seated on the piazza outside singing a psalm
in a low tone; at the conclusion he turned, and seeing me, said:--

“Parson, I’ve sung that psalm many times in the parish church at home.”

Then, as though afraid I might pursue the subject further, abruptly
left. I judged from this that during his youth he might have sung in
the church choir; at any rate he could read music, had a thorough
knowledge of it, and was a skilful player on the violin.

There were two hundred grog shops within a short distance of the Home,
several within three or four rods of the door, and every inducement
was held out to encourage seamen to drink. Ben had shipped for New
Orleans, but when the hour came for the vessel to sail, he was missing.
The superintendent of the Home told the “runners” to go to Ben’s
room, get a key, open his chest, and see if he had got his outfit of
sea-clothes and was ready to go, and if so, to search among the grog
shops and find him; but if he had not got his outfit, he would take a
man who was ready and put Ben in another vessel.

I happened to be in the entry when they came upstairs, and went into
the room with them. They opened the chest, and there were his oil
clothes, sea-boots, woollens, and every part of his outfit, and stowed
snugly away among the flannels a two-gallon jug of whiskey. One of the
“runners” took it and was about to pour the liquor out of the window,
but I interfered, saying:--

“You have no right to pour his liquor out; he bought it and paid for it
and worked hard to earn the money.”

“It is against the rules of the house to bring liquor into it.”

“Well, it is here now.”

“When he goes aboard, the mate of that ship will throw it overboard.
The last time he went from here he carried a jug, and the mate of the
ship took all their liquor away, for every man in the forecastle had a

“Well, the mate can do as he likes, but you shan’t pour it out.”

I put the jug back and sat down on the chest to wait for Ben. The
“runners” did not succeed in finding him at his usual haunts, and, as
time was pressing, another man was taken and Ben left behind. I knew
he had a noble spirit of his own, and that taking liquor from him by
force had accomplished nothing in the past, and I resolved to make an
effort in another direction. I had some temperance tracts, written
by the boatswain of an English man-of-war, discussing the evils of
intemperance from the sailor’s standpoint, which I knew had produced
impressions upon many sailors. I spread one of these over the jug, then
took a Bible and opened to the twenty-ninth verse of the twenty-third
chapter of Proverbs, locked the chest, and went away.

The doors of the Home were locked at twelve o’clock, and those who were
not in by that time must stay out. Ben came home, as the watchman told
me, about ten minutes before twelve pretty decidedly drunk. Finding
himself safe in his room, he concluded as he was not going in the ship,
and didn’t need the whiskey to carry to sea, he would have a good drink
and turn in. Opening the chest, he saw the tract and read it, espied
the Bible and read that, the result of which was that he turned in
without tasting the whiskey. When he waked in the morning, he read the
tract again, then took the jug, turned the liquor out of the window,
and broke the vessel on the window-sill. At breakfast he told the
“runners” what he had done. Upon this they told him of what had taken
place the previous afternoon, and who had placed the tracts and Bible
in his chest beside the rum jug. He then came into my room, the tears
on his cheeks, exclaiming:--

“Parson, you wouldn’t let ’em pour out my whiskey.”

“No, Ben.”

“Well, I’ve poured it out and broke the jug, and so help me God not
another drop of whiskey shall pass my lips. Rum and I have fell out.
There’s two kinds of drunk, being drunk in the head and in the legs.
I was drunk in the legs last night; I had all I could do to get
upstairs, but my head was clear enough to read that tract and take the
sense of it. The boatswain of that man-of-war talks well ’cause he
talks from experience. I also read the Good Book and took the sense
of that. I went to the “runners,” and they told me you wouldn’t let
’em pour out the whiskey. Ah, that took hold. I knew it wasn’t ’cause
you wanted me to drink liquor that you wouldn’t let ’em pour it out.
I knew you was a bitter enemy to liquor, but a good friend to the man
who drinks it. Don’t think I’ve forgotten all the good words you’ve
said to me during the four or five years I’ve been knocking about this
house drunk. I’ve thought of ’em in the middle watch at sea when I was
myself. I’ve thought of these bloodsuckers round this house trying to
get my money away from me, to take the clothes off my back and the
shoes off my feet, and you trying to get me out of their clutches and
save my soul; and I’ve thought if ever I got ashore again, I’d ship in
with you and sign the articles, and now I am going to do it.”

“Are you really determined to leave off drinking, or is it a mere
impulse of the moment?”

“I never was more resolved to get drunk when I had come off a long
voyage than I now am to keep sober.”

“You cannot do this in your own strength. I have known hundreds attempt
it and fail; you do not, cannot realize the struggle it will cost. Let
us ask help of God.”

We knelt down together. When I had finished, I asked him to pray; he
said he could not.

“Then repeat the Lord’s Prayer with me; we are together in this thing
and must both have our hands on the rope.” He did so, and added to it,”
God, be merciful to me a sinner.”

“Your appetites and passions, Ben, have got you under their feet, and
you must have help outside of yourself; so long as you seek it where we
have sought it together this morning you will succeed.”

The next week he shipped for Australia. For five years I had seen him
go from the house on different voyages, and he had always gone so
intoxicated as to be barely able to sit in the wagon and unable to
get aboard without help. The captain or mate would often say to the

“What did you bring that drunken fellow here for? I was to have good
men from your place.” And the invariable reply would be:--

“Captain, he will be the best man in the ship when the rum’s out of
him. He’s a bully man.”

This time he went aboard sober and fit for any duty, and came home as
second mate of the ship. He was no longer Ben Bolt, but men who had
been in the ship with him and whom he brought to the Home, called him
Mr. Adams, William Adams.

Note these two characters so strikingly different in circumstances and
in results.

George L., spoken of in “A Wasted Life,” after several struggles for
victory over appetite, yielded and died by his own hand. William
Adams conquered, continued steadfast through life, and accumulated
property. George L. had youth on his side, a mother’s affection and
many kind friends to encourage him, and he made shipwreck. Adams at
forty years of age was a confirmed drunkard, all his associates were in
the practice of the same vice, all leagued together to drag him back,
and with but one friend to take him by the hand and encourage him to
a better course. George L. had a home, his flute, books, and steady
employment. He could attend lectures, find innocent amusement, and
good society. Adams was in the narrow compass of a ship’s forecastle,
where all the conversation among his shipmates was in respect to the
debauchery they had practised while on shore and meant to practise
again at the first opportunity. George L., if he had been so minded,
could have turned down the next street and got clear of his evil
companions, but Adams could not, and when the vessel arrived in a
foreign port, and the crew had money given them and liberty to go
ashore, the pressure was terrible. You may say, he could stay on board
and let them go; so he did. But if you think this was an easy matter
for a person of his previous habits, all I can say is, you don’t know
what sailors are, and are entirely incapable of forming any conception
of the strength of that instinct which leads a sailor to go with his
shipmates either in good or evil. We talk about the strength of the
college tie; the college tie is a spider’s web in the contrast.

Why, I have frequently known the whole watch in a crew of men who had
just come off a long voyage to insist on sleeping in the same room,
three in a bed, and the rest on the floor, because they had been so
long together in the forecastle in the same watch; but after three or
four nights they would pair off and take rooms two together.

All these trials, temptations, and discouragements Adams met and
surmounted. I attribute the failure of George L. to the fact that he
trusted in himself, and the success of Adams to the fact that he went
out of himself at the very outset, went to God for aid. In his case it
was the moral force supplementing the will that had become well-nigh
powerless which decided a contest in which character, consideration,
and happiness both here and hereafter, were at stake. All the talk at
present is about forces of various kinds; but if a young man would have
real force of character and wage a successful contest, let him seek for
it where William Adams sought and found.


A notable woman was Ma’am Price who taught school in Portland, Maine;
and Polly, her daughter, was a spunky piece and was ready with an
answer to anybody. The schoolroom was in Ma’am Price’s own house that
stood in Turkey Lane, so called from the following circumstance:
Mr.----, who lived in that locality, invited the Reverend Samuel Deane
to dine with him and partake of a turkey. The parson coming according
to appointment found a Cape Cod turkey on the table,--a boiled salt
fish. Notwithstanding the town christened the lane Newburg Street, the
name Turkey Lane clave to the spot more than forty years.

When the British destroyed the town, Turkey Lane was directly in
range of the enemy’s fire; and when Ma’am Price had removed her
household stuff to a place of safety, Polly resolved to save her pig.
A sea-captain who had assisted her advised her to turn the animal out
to shift for itself, as Mowatt had opened fire, and it was not worth
while to risk life to save a pig that was not likely to be hit by a
cannon-ball. Polly, however, fastened a string to the creature’s leg
and undertook to drive it a long mile to Bramhall’s Hill. The pig was
obstinate, Polly determined, the progress necessarily slow. Meanwhile
shells were bursting and flinging the dirt on Polly. One junk of earth
struck the stick from her hand, and red-hot cannon-balls were whirring
around her, but Polly was determined to save the pig, and save it she

Ma’am Price came to Portland from one of the West India Islands.
She was a woman of culture, but very decided and strict in school
discipline. If a boy refused to hold his head up, she fastened a fork
under his chin. No trifling with her.

Some years after this she was obliged to suspend her school on account
of an alarm of smallpox. A number of her scholars, among whom were
my mother and uncles, were inoculated with smallpox virus, put in a
pesthouse, and Ma’am Price, in whose experience and judgment the
parents reposed the greatest confidence, employed to take care of them.

It was customary, before the discovery of Jenner, to inoculate with
smallpox matter; but the patients being first put under a strict régime
and properly and seasonably cared for, the disorder was not much more
severe than varioloid. It was seldom that a patient died or was even

These young persons had been long kept on water gruel and were
convalescent, when Hugh McLellan, by aid of friends outside, procured
two lobsters. The whole company were around the table about to partake,
when Ma’am Price made her appearance, and forbade them to take a
mouthful, saying it would kill them. They were, however, resolved
to eat, live or die. When unable to prevent them, for the boys were
large, she took out her box that was filled full of yellow Scotch
snuff, strewed it over the fish, and stirred it in with a spoon. Though
provoked enough at the moment, they cherished no ill-will against her;
at least I think not, when I recollect the number of presents the boys
and girls, whose parents were Ma’am Price’s scholars, used to carry to
Turkey Lane.

The good lady’s house was a great resort for captains of vessels,
with whom her husband had been acquainted in the West Indies, and who
brought her a great many presents,--fruit, shells, coral, eyestones,
and vanilla beans. People who got anything in the eye would go to
her to have an eyestone put in, and the old ladies went there for
sweet-scented beans to put in their snuff-boxes.

We were everlastingly teasing to carry some present to Ma’am Price,
and we found our account in so doing. She would put the eyestones in a
saucer and pour in vinegar, when they would crawl all over the saucer.
She would show us old pictures, needlework, and beautiful shells, and
tell us stories about the West Indies and the pirates. And always when
we carried a present, she gave us tamarind or guava jelly, or some West
India fruit.

There was one fellow who thought--though doubtless it was just his
silly notion--that the boy who carried the most acceptable present
received the largest share of sweetmeats. So one time when he was going
to the good woman’s with several other boys, and all he had to carry
was a plate of doughnuts, while one of the others had a fifteen-pound
turkey, he told that boy if he would present the doughnuts and let
him present the turkey, he would give him two flounder hooks and a
gray squirrel; thus they swapped. We all thought the other boy rather
regretted it when going home, but he regretted it a good deal more
about a week after when Ma’am Price came to call on their respective
mothers and thanked his mother for “the nice plate of doughnuts” she
sent her. Ma’am Price was very punctual and particular in returning her
acknowledgments, and she did it like Britannia stooping to conquer.

I am now going to tell the most wonderful thing that ever happened to
this excellent woman. One forenoon during recess she went into her
little garden, picked a mess of beans in her apron, sat down in the
schoolroom to shell them, and shelled out three diamonds. What a talk
it did make! People came from all the towns round to hear the story and
look at “the diamonds that grew in a bean pod.”

I hear some boy say, “That never could be; diamonds couldn’t grow in a
bean pod.” I have quoted that as town talk, and Ma’am Price and Polly
always thought they grew there. I believe, moreover, that she shelled
them out of a bean pod; I shall stick to that. It’s not the least use
for you to tell me she didn’t. Mrs. Commodore Preble saw her with her
own eyes shell them out, and so did Mrs. Matthew Cobb who lived in the
cottage on the eastern corner of High and Free streets. My mother said
she did, and Mrs. James Deering said so too. Now, then, that’s not all.
The very day before the old lady died Miss Sarah Jewett said to her:
“Ma’am Price, did you truly shell those diamonds out of a bean pod?
Hadn’t the pod been opened, or was it solid together like the other

“Bless you, Miss Jewett, how could I tell? You know folks don’t look
at every bean or pea they shell, except there’s one that won’t open
right. I was shelling away and looking at the children to see that they
were all in their seats, when I felt something hard under my thumb and
looked into my lap, and there were two little shining things among the
beans, and another rolled out of the pod under my thumb when I took it

Miss Jewett had one of the stones set in a ring that is now in the
possession of William Gould of Windham. John Campbell, a relative of
Polly’s, has another, and where the third is I do not know.

Whenever the children carried Ma’am Price a present, she would take the
diamonds out of a cotton in which they were kept, lay them in her lap,
and let the children handle them; after which she would tell how she
shelled them out of the bean pod, and how surprised she was.

I suppose if I don’t try to explain this mystery, I shall have forty
letters from boys inquiring how those diamonds came there. Well, my
father said that a vessel came to Portland from Brazil, on board of
which were several kinds of precious stones. The mate of the vessel
was paying attention to Polly, and he stole them out of the cargo and
put them in the bean. He dared not give them to Polly nor tell her
about it because he stole them; but as they had only about a dozen
bean vines, he knew she or her mother would find them after the vessel
was gone, so he put them in the pod just as he was about to sail. The
vessel was never heard from, and thus he never came back to claim
Polly nor to tell her where the diamonds, which were not of any great
value, came from, and Polly always thought they grew in the pod.
This was my father’s solution of the mystery which made considerable
of a stir at the time. As he knew all the parties and circumstances
thoroughly, it seems the most probable explanation; for nobody ever
doubted that Ma’am Price took them from the bean pod, and there were
not many that believed they grew there, though some did and looked at
it in the light of a special providence and provision for a worthy
woman; the objections to which are that, though diamonds, they were
rough diamonds, not much more valuable than quartz, and that Providence
provided abundantly for the good woman in the affections of her
scholars, who never suffered her to lack any comfort in her old age.

If Ma’am Price was severe in her management of scholars, she was not
more so than the parents themselves, as the following anecdote will
show. Captain Joseph McLellan had a thermometer, rather a rare thing in
those days. His wife went to meeting one Sunday, leaving the boys, Joe
and Stephen, at home. Stephen held the bulb of the thermometer to the
fire to see the mercury rise, and by so doing broke it. They were well
aware of the consequences. Joe told Stephen if he would give him fifty
cents, he would tell his mother that he broke it and take the whipping,
which he did. The next day the mother found out the true state of the
case and whipped them both, Stephen for breaking the instrument, and
Joe for telling a lie. These were the kind of women to handle unruly
boys when the father was at sea.



In a province of Old Spain respecting which the inhabitants were wont
to say that God had given them a fertile soil, a salubrious climate,
brave men, and beautiful women, but He had not given them a good
government lest they should not be willing to die and go to heaven,
there were two lakes separated by an intervening mountain. Each had an
outlet in a brook; and the two brooks, as they wound among the hills,
ran near each other, so that they were enabled to converse together
quite socially. They lay in the shadow of the hills among whose
roots rose the river Guadalquiver. The chain sloped by degrees to a
fertile plain covered with vineyards and olive trees. Fields of wheat
surrounded the scattered dwellings of the peasants and the tents of
shepherds whose flocks fed upon the mountains. The names of the brooks
were Bono and Malo.

One pleasant night at the close of a very sultry day they met to pass
the evening together; so, getting into a little eddy beneath the
shade of some large chestnut trees, where the moonbeams which glanced
tremulously through the foliage enabled them to see each other’s faces
indistinctly, they thus spake in murmurs.

_Bono._ “What a beautiful evening, neighbor Malo, after such a sultry
day! Yet I don’t know as I ought to speak ill of the weather, for it
has enabled me to do much good, to water many beautiful flowers and
fields of grain that otherwise would have perished.”

_Malo._ “I don’t know about that. Who thanked you for it? I have been
this whole day,--yes, for the matter of that, my whole life,--running
first here, then there, squeezed in flumes, tangled in water-wheels,
pounded in fulling mills, flung over precipices till my neck was
well-nigh broken. Again, I am kept broiling in the sun, and if I steal
for a moment into the shade, I cannot stay there. I have almost boiled
to-day journeying among hot rocks and over burning sands. And what
thanks have I got for it? Do you know, neighbor Bono, the old peasant

_Bono._ “Has he a daughter Lenore? Is his cottage shaded by two large
cork trees? And is there a field of saffron between his house and the

_Malo._ “Just so.”

_Bono._ “I have known him these many years. His daughter keeps a few
sheep and goats on the mountain and often drives them to my waters.”

_Malo._ “Well, only think! the old churl has been hoeing this morning
among his saffron; so at noon he comes to me and goes down on his hands
and knees to drink. Then he says, ‘I’ll bathe.’ So he bathes and,
without saying as much as ’By your leave’ or ’God is good’ or anything
of the sort, just puts on his clothes and walks off. Yet I have watered
his fields and those of his ancestors for a thousand years, have often
kept them from starving, and not one of them ever gave me even a look
of gratitude. But I am resolved to do so no more. I won’t wear out my
life for those who give me no thanks. I mean in the future to keep my
waters to myself and to water no one but myself.”

_Bono._ “Well, neighbor Malo,” replies Bono, with a murmur so sweet
that the nightingale who was saying her evening prayers in the almond
tree stopped to listen, “I cannot feel as you do, neither do I wish to.
I have, indeed, had some weary times, especially, as you say, to-day,
and sometimes have been almost dried up. But I know what my duty is;
God made me to water the earth and the plants. It would be pleasant to
receive gratitude, but if we cannot have that, there is one thing we
can always have,--the happiness of feeling that we have done our duty.”

_Malo._ “Duty! This is fine talking, but I heed it no more than the
song of that nightingale. What duty do I owe to that old peasant or any
of his kin? To the earth or the plants? What good have they ever done

_Bono._ “But, neighbor Malo, the duty I speak of is not to them but to
God. I have, as you very well know, turned the mills of Henrique these
forty years, and also the fulling mills of Gonzalez, his nephew. As I
said before, this old Alva’s daughter, who used you so scurvily, both
waters and washes her sheep in my stream. Not one of these people ever
thanked me; yet I love very much to see their sheep fat, their lambs
frisking on the hills, and their families thriving. I indeed enjoy
their happiness as though it were my own.”

_Malo._ “By this crouching spirit you invite insult and aggression.”

_Bono._ “But are we not as well off in this respect as our neighbors?
The earth bringeth not forth fruit for itself; the ocean shares not in
the profits of the voyage. Who thanks the patient ox for dragging the
plough all his life? The sheep gives her fleece to clothe them and then
has her throat cut and her skin pulled over her ears, and not so much
as ’Thank you’ or ’By your leave’ to it all. You and I have not thanked
God for this pleasant moonlight, this sweet shade, and these flowers
that perfume our banks. He, without any thanks, causes ’his sun to rise
on the evil and on the good and sendeth rain on the just and on the
unjust.’ Surely then we, His instruments, ought not to complain who are
so forgetful ourselves.”

_Malo._ “You are a very noisy brook as everybody knows, but I am
determined to take care of myself. I shall go home and stay at home.
And you, who are as full of Scripture as a brook is of pebbles, ought
to know that charity begins at home.”

_Bono._ “True, but it does not stay there. I shall be sorry to lose
your company; we have run together so long, but if you are resolved to
benefit only yourself, I am just as firmly resolved to benefit others;
yes, the last drop--I will share even that with the faint and the

Thus Bono went on overflowing with kindness the whole world. The good
brook ran among the vineyards, and the grapes hung in rich clusters; it
ran through the fields, and the grass turned to deeper green; the trees
said, “He waters us; let us shadow him.” The great oaks and sycamores
bent kindly over the brook, and their branches screened it from the
heat of the sun. The shepherds often wanted wood, but they said: “Let
us not cut down the trees that shade the brook, for it is a good brook.
It turns our mills and waters our fields and flocks. God be thanked
for the running water!” Thus the brook that worked for everybody was
loved and protected. It grew larger and ran in the Guadalquiver, and
there helped to water larger fields and turn larger machinery; it
ran to the ocean and foamed beneath the keel of mighty ships and was
diffused over the whole universe of God. It sent up so many vapors to
heaven that they returned in plentiful showers bringing back more than
they carried. Thus the brook that watered, not expecting any thanks or
profit, but because it was duty, was loved and blessed.

But how fared it with Malo who had retired into himself to take care
of himself and left his channel dry and dusty? For a while he had more
water than he knew what to do with. He was obliged to work night and
day raising his banks to keep it in. He labored a great deal harder to
keep the waters from breaking out and doing good to some one, watering
some poor man’s perishing crops, than he ever did before in watering
and fertilizing a whole province. Meanwhile, in the plains below,
the grass withered, the mill stopped, the flocks died, the shepherds
cursed the brook, and some of them cursed God. But Malo said: “Let them
curse. I’m for myself. I’ve water enough.” But by and by a fire at
which some shepherds were cooking their dinner got away from them, and
the wind being high ran up the dry bed of the brook in the withered
grass and dry leaves, and burnt up the forest on the sides of the hill
that fed the pond and all the trees that shaded it. The sun, then
pouring in with meridian heat, began to shrink the waters. There being
little motion in them since they had ceased to run, they putrefied
and the fish perished. Snakes, lizards, and all vile creatures came
to live there. Instead of flowers and foliage, bullrushes, reeds,
and the deadly aconite grew there. As the waters grew less and less
fewer vapors went up from it and less rain came down. After a while
it mantled over with a green scum, and malaria began to rise from it.
People began to die in the neighborhood; malaria got among the soldiers
in a garrison near by, and the doctors said, “It is the pond; it must
be drained.” Then all the country round about and the soldiers came
together and drained it dry, and brought down earth and rocks from the
mountain, and filled up the bed of the lake that there might be no more
stagnant water.

Thus it fell out to the brook that was determined to benefit only
itself. It lost all. It had both God and man to fight against. For
if men are not always grateful, they are not often slack in repaying
injuries. Let us follow the example of the industrious brook, and by it
learn in blessing to be blessed.


 [With the exception of “Norman Cline,” all these books are published
 by Lee and Shepard, Boston. “Norman Cline” is published by the
 Congregational Sunday-school and Publishing Society, Boston.]

 Good Old Times; or Grandfather’s Struggle for a Homestead. First
 published as a serial story in _Our Young Folks_ in 1867; published in
 book form in 1878.

 Norman Cline. 1869.


  Lion Ben of Elm Island. 1869.

  Charlie Bell, the Waif of Elm Island. 1869.

  The Ark of Elm Island. 1869.

  The Boy Farmers of Elm Island. 1869.

  The Young Ship-Builders of Elm Island. 1870.

  The Hard-Scrabble of Elm Island. 1870.


  Arthur Brown the Young Captain. 1870.

  The Young Deliverers of Pleasant Cove. 1871.

  The Cruise of the Casco. 1871.

  The Child of the Island Glen. 1872.

  John Godsoe’s Legacy. 1873.

  The Fisher-Boys of Pleasant Cove. 1874.


 The Spark of Genius; or the College Life of James Trafton. 1871.

 The Sophomores of Radcliffe; or James Trafton and his Bosom Friends.

 The Whispering Pine; or the Graduates of Radcliffe Hall. 1872.

 Winning his Spurs; or Henry Morton’s First Trial. 1872.

 The Turning of the Tide; or Radcliffe Rich and his Friends. 1873.

 A Stout Heart; or The Student from over the Sea. 1873.


 Sowed by the Wind; or The Poor Boy’s Fortune. 1874.

 Wolf Run; or The Boys of the Wilderness. 1875.

 Brought to the Front; or The Young Defenders. 1876.

 The Mission of Black Rifle; or On the Trail. 1876.

 Forest Glen; or The Mohawk’s Friendship. 1877.

 Burying the Hatchet; or the Young Brave of the Delawares. 1878.


 (Including “Good Old Times,” first mentioned above.)

 A Strong Arm and a Mother’s Blessing. 1881.

 The Unseen Hand; or James Renfew and his Helpers. 1882.

 The Live Oak Boys; or The Adventures of Richard Constable Afloat and
 Ashore. 1883.

       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber's Notes

Obvious typographical errors have been silently corrected. Variations
in hyphenation, spelling and punctuation remain unchanged.

The duplication of the title immediately before the frontispiece has
been removed.

Repetition of the sidenote “Journal” on each page of the section
devoted to the Journal has been removed.

Italics are represented thus _italic_.

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