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Excerpts from “History of FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, Hazlehurst, Mississippi”
by John T. Armstrong, Jr.

In 1832 evangelists organized a Presbyterian Church in Gallatin, a community located four miles west of what is now Hazlehurst. The Gallatin Church prospered until 1858, when the railroad was constructed to the east, and Hazlehurst was settled and later incorporated. On July 29, 1860, Reverend D. A. Campbell of the Presbytery of Clinton (Mississippi) founded the Hazlehurst Presbyterian Church. With the advent of the railroad Gallatin declined, and by order of Presbytery the Gallatin Presbyterian Church was dissolved on March 11, 1866; the congregation of approximately twenty-five adults joined the Hazlehurst Church.

fpcHazlehurstMS_1860-1985_coverThe initial entry in the Session Book of the Hazlehurst Church is as follows: “At a congregational meeting held on the fourth Sabbath of July, A.D. 1860 in the town of Hazlehurst, Reverend D. A. Campbell of the Presbytery of Clinton, of the Synod of Mississippi, proceeded to organize a church, to be received under the care of said Presbytery. The following persons were enrolled as members: M.W.Trawick, Elijah Peyton, A. W. Griffing, Mrs. Elizabeth Griffing, Mrs. Phebe I. Griffing, Mrs. Lucy M. Campbell, Mrs. Matilda Peyton.”

The house of worship was completed in 1867. Although the structure has been enlarged and remodeled several times, the original building remains almost intact. The first building consisted of what is now solely the sanctuary. Exterior brick were added in 1941, and the educational annex, to the rear of the Church, was dedicated in 1959.

The steeple bell was cast especially for the Church in 1867, a gift from Miss Isabella Faler. In 1901, the Ladies Aid Society purchased the sanctuary chandelier. The fixture originally burned acetylene gas, but in 1920 was wired for electricity. The pulpit furniture was donated to the Church in the early 1870s by the A. Mangold family.

When the Church was remodeled in 1941, the present sanctuary pews were installed. They are of walnut and are the third set of pews to be used in the Church. At the end of each pew is a small plate bearing the name of the donor.

The sanctuary windows were presented to the Church in 1964 as a memorial to the ministry of Samuel Craighead Caldwell, D.D., long time minister of this Church. The three stained glass windows in the Fellowship Hall today were in the sanctuary behind the pulpit from 1901 until 1964.

A memorial tablet in the vestibule was dedicated to the memory of Reverend Martin W. Trawick, the first minister of the Church, 1864-1874. A second memorial tablet was placed in remembrance of Samuel Craighead Caldwell, D.D., who served as minister for forty-two years, 1888-1930.

Sixteen regularly installed ministers have nurtured the spiritual growth of the congregation over these one hundred and fifty-five years since 1860. Our current Interim Pastor, the Rev. Larry C. Mills, has ministered to the flock for six years, and counting. This Church has been blessed with ministers who have faithfully preached the Word of God from the pulpit.

Image: Front cover of The First Presbyterian Church, Hazlehurst, Mississippi, 1860-1985, by Allen Cabaniss, VDM.

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An Anonymous Author Identified

Henry Rowland Weed was born in Ballston, New York on July 20, 1789. He received his college education at Union College in Schenectady, NY, graduating in 1812, and prepared for the ministry at Princeton Theological Seminary, graduating there in 1815. He was ordained by the Presbytery of New York on January 4th, 1816 and installed as pastor of the Presbyterian church in Jamaica, Long Island, NY, where he served from 1816 until 1822.

His next charge was as pastor of the First Presbyterian church of Albany, NY, 1822-1829. Leaving the pulpit ministry for a time, he was employed as an Agent of the Board of Education, 1830-1832, after which he returned to the pulpit, first serving as stated supply for the First Presbyterian church of Wheeling, Virginia (later West Virginia). That arrangement led to his being called by that church and he continued there in Wheeling until 1870, his longest pastorate, though in his final years he was infirm and his associate often took over the duties of the pulpit.

Alfred Nevin notes that “Dr. Weed was an able, earnest, faithful and successful preacher. He contributed occasionally anonymous articles to the religious periodicals of the Church, including the Biblical Repertory, but avoided regular authorship. [Between 1829-1868, there were 39 articles that appeared anonymously in The Biblical Repertory; there was also one article by Rev. Weed which appeared under his own name]. For the use of his own Bible class, he published a series of questions on the Confession of Faith, which was afterwards published by the Presbyterian Board of Publication. Rev. Weed died at Philadelphia, on December 14, 1870.

We may never know which of the otherwise anonymous articles in Princeton’s Biblical Repertory were authored by Rev. Weed, but from another source, we do at least have some interesting insights into the man’s character in his early ministry :

From the Long Island Daily Press, Tuesday, January 29, 1929, Section A.

1815: Rev. Henry R. Weed, fresh from Princeton Seminary was called to the Presbyterian church. Weed discouraged the practice of giving wines and liquors at funerals. Time out of mind, in humbler families rum was handed from one to another as they stood out of doors about the house, each man drinking out of the mouth of the upturned flask. Wine was passed to the women within the house. Captain Codwise who lived at Beaver Pone had a cask of choice wine in his cellar for years, reserved for his funeral. The last and most distinguished occasion in Jamaica for thus regaling the attendants was the funeral of Rufus King, our minister to England, who died April 29, 1827, at the age of 73. It was a warm day and the waiters were kept going about indoors and out with silver saivers before them loaded with decantors, glasses and cigars.

1818: Mr. Weed and Mr. Sayres were chosen inspectors of common schools for Jamaica. They did their duty so strictly and exposed so many shortcomings in the teachers that they were not re-elected.

Those instances strike us as the errors of a young pastor, too often zealous about things that matter, yet without a balancing wisdom and measure of discretion. I think we can assume that he gained that wisdom over time, particularly given his long tenure as pastor in Wheeling.

As a sample of Rev. Weed’s Questions on the Confession of Faith, here are the questions attached to Chapter 1 – Of the Holy Scriptures:—

Question 1. – Do the works of creation and providence, teach us that there is a God? Psalm 19:1Romans 1:20.
Question 2. – Which of His perfections do they manifest?
Question 3. – Do they teach enough of God, to leave man inexcusable? Romans 1:20.
Question 4. – Do they afford all the knowledge that is necessary to salvation? Proverbs 29:181 Corinthians 1:21.
Question 5. – Has it pleased God to reveal Himself and the way of salvation to mankind in any other way? Hebrews 1:1-22 Peter 1:19.
Question 6. – In “what divers manners” did God reveal Himself to His people before the Sacred Scriptures were written?
Answer: By angels, dreams, visions, and voices, by Urim and Thummim and by immediate suggestion to the mind. See Numbers 12:68Exodus 3:1-4.
Question 7. – Why was revealed truth committed to writing? Romans 15:42 Timothy 3:16.
Question 8. – Do the Holy Scriptures now supersede the necessity of all those former ways of God’s revealing His will unto His people? 2 Timothy 3:15.

The full text of Rev. Weed’s Questions on the Confession of Faith and Form of Government of the Presbyterian Church (1842) is available in digital format.

Words to Live By:
Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe.
(1 Timothy 4:12).

How can a young pastor earn the respect due to his office as pastor? By being an example of the Christian faith, in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity. Occasionally you may see young pastors who have a tendency to be overbearing, perhaps thinking that a show of strength or adamant will is necessary to accomplish their goals for the church. But as Francis Schaeffer was good to remind us, “the Lord’s work must be done in the Lord’s way.”

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STUDIES IN THE WESTMINSTER SHORTER CATECHISM
by Rev. Leonard T. Van Horn

Q. 8. — How doth God execute his decrees?

A.
— God executeth his decrees in the works of creation and providence.

Scripture References: Rev. 4:11. Eph. 1:11. Isa. 46:10. Mark 13:31.

Questions:
1. To what can we compare the decrees of God to enable us to better understand them?

“We compare the decrees of God to the plans an architect draws for a great building. If most of us saw the blue-prints for this building we could not imagine what the building would look like . . . But when the building was all complete then we would see what was in the architect’s mind and what was the meaning of his blue-prints. So we cannot read God’s mind except by what He has said and done and by what He is doing.” (The Christian Faith According to the Shorter Catechism, by Dr. Wm. Childs Robinson, Pgs. 12-13).

2. What is the meaning of God executing His decrees?

The meaning is God bringing His will to pass, doing what He purposed from all eternity.

3. Is it possible for the decrees of God to fail?

It is not possible. No man can stay the hand of God or question what He is doing. (Dan. 4:35)

4. Where does redemption fit in the division of his decrees?

Redemption comes to pass in His providence as His majestic gift to some men through Jesus Christ.

5. What is the difference between His works of creation and providence?

Creation is His work of making all things out of nothing by the word of His power. Providence is His work of constant support and control of the universe and all that is in it.

6. What can be learned from the execution of God’s decrees?

Two verses are suggested to teach us great lessons: (1) Rev. 4:11 – the fact that He created all things for His own glory and therefore we should attribute to Him the glory, honor and power. (2) Heb. 1:3 – the fact that He is upholding all things by His power and therefore our complete sense of security is in Him.

SECURITY

According to some teachers of psychology, the child is not to be punished; the young person is to be allowed freedom; the older person must have everything going his way — all of this so that none will lose his sense of security.

The word “security” has rapidly become one of the most important words in our language. Adjustment, success, marriage and many other facets of life have all come to depend on security.

Is this matter of security so important for our lives? Does so much really depend on it? Is it possible to live without a sense of security? These questions, and others, are questions asked in our age.

Our Catechism Question gives the answer to many of these inquiries. Our Lord recognized that security is important — though it is not the security fashioned by the modern psychologist. The security that comes to the Christian is the recognition of Isaiah 46:10 – “Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.” This is the basis of a security that is lasting, a security that places its confidence in the God of the Scriptures.

In Hebrews 13:5 the writer states: “ … be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” Immediately following we find: “So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.” Certainly it is important for us to understand that we have this security. We are taught that we are not alone in the providences of life but that we have, in God, the One who is upholding us by His power. We are taught that His power is executed in His decrees and He is doing what He purposed from all eternity.

This type of security is important. This security is not lost on the basis of whether or not we are punished, or allowed freedom, or have everything going our way. It is based first on our having a saving know¬ledge of Jesus Christ, by His grace. Second, it is based on our keeping the commandments of God. At that point we recognize that God can uphold us and keep us — and we are secure.

Published By:
THE SHIELD and SWORD, INC.
Vol. 1 No. 8 (August 1961)
Rev. Leonard T. Van Horn, Editor

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From the church’s web site, at http://www.fpcgulfport.org/history

The First Presbyterian Church of Gulfport, Mississippi, was organized on Friday, February 17, 1899, following a petition to the New Orleans Presbytery from eight individuals: Dr. A. Murdock, Mrs. E.T. Platt, Mr. Kenneth McLeod, Mrs. Sarah McLeod, Mrs. T.S. Strange, Mrs. M. Hauser, Mr. W.J. Quarles, and Mrs. W.E. Quarles. The church actively met together under the leadership of the Rev. Dr. J.D. Mooney, who served as Stated Supply for just over 2 years, until November 1901. During the first few years of its existence, the church met in the public school building until that building burned down sometime in 1900 or 1901.  Subsequently, the church met in various buildings around town–one of which was a two-story structure located on the west side of 28th Avenue.church3

From September 1902 until November 1904, the Rev. Dr. D.L. Temple served as Stated Supply. Shortly after arriving in Gulfport, Dr. Temple established a building program to begin construction of a new church facility, which was to be built on four lots located on the western side of 13th Street. These lots were conveyed to the church by Captain J.T. Jones in May 1901, for the grand sum of $1. The new facility, which cost a total of $1,500, was completed near the end of the year in 1903 anddedicated on January 30, 1904.

A year later, in February 1904, the church installed its first pastor, the Rev. Fred L. McFadden, who served until September 1907. The Rev. McFadden was only 31 years old when he became the church’s first pastor. He claimed he was descended from the Scottish minister and reformer Robert Bruce, who succeeded John Knox at St. Giles High Kirk in Edinburgh. No doubt it was partly because of this fact that McFadden was encouraged to go on and do further post-graduate study at the University of Edinburgh, which he did beginning in 1907.

On December 9, 1909, the Rev. Dr. Herbert A. Jones was installed as the church’s second pastor. Dr. Jones was born in Liverpool, England, but became a citizen of the U.S. when he was 23 years old. He served various churches in Tennessee, Texas, and Colorado before accepting the call to come to Mississippi. He rapidly became one of the most well known and beloved preachers in the state. Twice he had the privilege of preaching before the President of the United States (once before President James Garfield and once before President Woodrow Wilson). Dr. Jones served Gulfport until his death on January 12, 1915, and he was buried in the cemetery at Pass Christian. During Dr. Jones’ tenure as pastor in Gulfport, Captain J.T. Jones again conveyed property to the church for the sum of $1. This property, which was given in honor of Dr. Jones, was later to become the site of the 1922 church facility.

Dr. Jones was followed by the Rev. Alfred C. Ormond, who was installed as pastor on July 1, 1915, but who resigned after only 3 years to enter the service of the Y.M.C.A. during World War I. Our next minister, the Rev. Dr. Charles S. Newman was installed on December 18, 1918, and was a significant leader in our church’s history. It was during Dr. Newman’s 13 year pastorate that the church experienced real growth and change, both spiritually and materially. The congregation grew from 231 members in 1918 to 421 in 1932, when Dr. Newman retired. A new church building program was inaugurated and completed under Dr. Newman’s leadership as well. This building was located on the corner of 24th Avenue and 13th Street. Although it was finished in 1923, the building was not dedicated until May 27, 1928, when the small debt that was incurred was fully repaid. Dr. Newman retired in May 1932, leaving behind a large sum of money (approximately 25% of the purchase price) for the church to purchase and install a pipe organ for the new facility.

The only native Mississippian to serve as an installed pastor of our church was the Rev. Dr. James N. Brown, who served from May 15, 1933, to October 15, 1953. Dr. Brown’s pastorate was the first of two long-term ministries in First Presbyterian Church. During his twenty years in Gulfport, the church received 1,246 new members, baptized 411 children and adults, and witnessed 819 marriages and 298 funerals. Also during his long pastorate, the church opened and operated what was known as “the Church House,” a ministry to provide hospitality and refreshment and other help to soldiers serving in our armed forces. Three ladies, Mrs. W.H. Caraway, Mrs. L.P. Ritchie, and Mrs. C.H. McWilliams, were responsible for beginning this ministry project. They were ably assisted by many women in the church, perhaps most notably, Mrs. A.C. Hutto, Mrs. Edith James, and Miss Josephine Newton. Over 70,000 servicemen registered at the Church House from 1942 to 1946.

church1The Rev. Dr. Richard L. Summers was installed as the church’s sixth pastor in July 1954. Although Dr. Summers was only 30 years old when he was called to First Presbyterian Church, he had already served as pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in Slidell, Louisiana, for four years and had completed work on a Doctor of Theology degree in Church History and Theology. He served here at our church for just over thirty-two years, until September 1986. Under his guidance and leadership, the congregation increased to a membership of 882 and initiated a church building program that culminated in the construction of our previous church facility located on the corner of 24th Avenue and East Beach Boulevard (across the street from the 1922 building). The new building was dedicated on January 17, 1965. It was also during Dr. Summers’ pastorate that the congregation voted to leave the Presbyterian Church U.S. and join with the already established Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) on January 10, 1982. We were officially received into Grace Presbytery of the PCA on May 10, 1983, at the First Presbyterian Church of Hattiesburg.

The Rev. Dr. Danny C. Levi followed Dr. Summers and served from July 26, 1987, until December 15, 1991. During his pastorate, the church placed a greater emphasis on missions and outreach, on Advent and Easter, and on the midweek services than it had before. The first assistant pastor in the church’s history, William R. Lyle, was ordained and installed on January 2, 1991 and served almost 2 years, until December 31, 1992. Dr. Levi received his Doctor of Ministry degree during his time in Gulfport.

The Rev. Marshall D. Connor became our eighth pastor on March 1, 1993, and served for just over 11 years until July 31, 2004. The Rev. Connor is fondly remembered as a good Bible teacher and a loving pastor and friend by many in the congregation. He has retained close ties to our church since his departure in 2004, returning not too long ago to baptize his granddaughter. It was during his tenure at FPC that the church’s preschool expanded its operations and became the Covenant Christian School, providing teaching for K-6th grades. Mrs. Carol Milner was the school’s first director. She was succeeded by Mr. Charles Brueck, who ably served the school on a volunteer basis until it closed its doors just before Hurricane Katrina in 2005. During M.D. Connor’s pastorate, the church celebrated its centennial anniversary.

The Rev. Dr. Guy M. Richard became the ninth pastor of First Presbyterian Church in September 2005, in the wake of the nation’s worst natural disaster, Hurricane Katrina. His initial ministry was filled with recovery and rebuilding efforts, as the hurricane destroyed our church facility (causing somewhere in the neighborhood of $4 million in damage) and the homes of one-third of the families in our church.

ChurchThe church built its present facility in 2009 and held its first worship services on November 22 of that year. In God’s providence, the facility was able to be dedicated on the 45th anniversary of the dedication of the prior facility that had been destroyed by Hurricane Katrina (January 17, 2010).

Dr. Richard, interestingly, shares a common bond with our church’s first pastor: they both studied at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. Dr. Richard completed his Ph.D. there in Systematic and Historical Theology in 2006. He is married to Jennifer, and together they have a son, Schyler, and two daughters, Jane Barton and Ellie.

This brief survey of the history of First Presbyterian Church has not been able to mention the many Godly men and women who have prayed for and served our church with their lives and resources since 1899. Special attention must be given to the ruling elders who have so ably and faithfully served this congregation since its inception and especially to those who currently fill that office. Without these men, humanly speaking, the church would not be where it is today.

– See more at: http://www.fpcgulfport.org/history#sthash.3AQiJRmv.dpuf

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mooreTV02Thomas Verner Moore was born on February 1, 1818, in Newville, Pennsylvania, a small town in Cumberland county, near Carlisle, PA. Completing his preparatory years, Thomas initially attended Hanover College, in Indiana, studying under the esteemed Dr. Blythe. Perhaps it was to save on expense that he then returned home to complete his collegiate education at Dickinson College (1838). He worked briefly as an agent of the American Colonization Society in 1839 before leaving to prepare for the ministry at the Princeton Theological Seminary.

In the Spring of 1842, Rev. Moore was installed as pastor of the Second Presbyterian Church of Carlisle, PA, though he only held this post for three years, resigning because of some church difficulties. Then in 1847 he accepted a call to the First Presbyterian Church of Richmond, Virginia.  During his Richmond years, he served as moderator of the seventh PCUS General Assembly, when it met in Nashville, in 1867.

He remained at Richmond through the duration of the Civil War until 1868, when his frail health prompted him to accept a call to the First Presbyterian Church in Nashville, Tennessee. Presumably it was thought that the change of climate might help in his recovery. He continued his ministry there in Nashville until his death, on August 5, 1871.

Thomas Verner Moore was a prolific writer and he served for many years as the editor of The Central Presbyterian.

Words to Live By:
From the closing words of Rev. Moore in one of his addresses, delivered in 1846:

“And though your names may never gild the flaunting page of history, or your record be engraved on the monumental marble to mark the spot that enshrines your dust, yet you shall have a more enduring memorial in the glad hearts you have cherished, and the sad hearts you have cheered, and more enduring still in that dread and awful scroll whose words of flame have been written by the finger of the Almighty : whose seals shall be opened in the terrific scenes of the judgment, and whose pages shall be unfolded in the retributions of eternity.”

May your lives be lived to the glory of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

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On the Death of a Christian.

J.J. JanewayOn Sabbath, January 31, [1858] he was confined to that bed, from which he never arose. Five months of wearying sickness passed away till all was over. He never complained—always said he did not suffer, though it seemed to his attendants almost impossible that he did not. The coloured man who had long lived in his house nursed him faithfully. His children were much with him. At times his disease appeared so violent that it seemed impossible that he could survive. But he rallied again. He insisted that morning and evening worship should be performed in his chamber, and readily detected the absence of any of his servants. Worship was ordinarily performed by one of his sons. If at any time their own duties compelled them to be absent, he would be propped up in his bed, and utter his usual fervent prayers.

Disease obscured his mind, and caused confusion and wandering. But on the subject of religion, or any exposition of the Scripture, he was clear as ever. Not one syllable is he remembered to have uttered which betrayed confusion, where the interests of Christ’s kingdom were concerned. When any of his grandchildren approached him who were not in communion with the church, he faithfully conversed with them—bade them meet him at the judgment-seat, on the right hand. He was remarkably earnest in his appeals, and enforced them with urgency. The ruling passion was strong in death.

When he was told of the occurent revivals of the noon-day meetings for prayer, and of the general interest manifested everywhere in religion, his countenance beamed, and he said there were more glorious days at hand, and that the Redeemer’s kingdom would be ushered in by such displays of grace. Towards the close, he said to his eldest son : ” I am tired of eating—I want to go home!” But still the strong man of his constitution struggled with disease; pin after pin seemed loosening in the tabernacle; symptom after symptom developed unfavourably, but his frame did not succumb. The nature of his disease was such as to prevent such exhibitions as are often seen in God’s dying children. This was the appointment of God, and a life of such eminent holiness did not require any other illustration of the grace of God. At the close of June, he became unconscious, and lay for two or three days without any communion with the outer world. His children were with him, hourly waiting for his departure, and at last, on Sabbath, June 27th, just before the setting of the sun, he entered on his eternal Sabbath, and doubtless, as a good and faithful servant, was received by his Lord, whom he had served earnestly, in as far as the imperfection which cleaves to our nature permitted.

His funeral was attended in the First Presbyterian church, when the Rev. Dr. Hodge, who had been received by him, in the dew of his own youth, into the communion of the church, preached his funeral sermon, full of affection, and replete with memorials of his deceased  and venerable friend.    Devout men carried him to his tomb—Christian ministers who had come at the summons, from their homes, to see the last of one whom they venerated when living, and mourned when removed. After the death of his wife, he had built for himself a family tomb, and was anxious that it should be of capacity sufficient to accommodate the remains of his family, and of his children to the fourth generation. He seemed to take pleasure in the thought that their dust should repose together till the morning of the resurrection, and rise, he trusted, an unbroken family, to the right hand of his Saviour.

[Excerpted from The Life of Dr. J. J. Janeway, pp. 260-261.]

Words to Live By:
May we all die well; may we all die in Christ, our names written in the Lamb’s Book of Life; may we all, in this life and while there is life, seek Christ as our only Savior and Lord.

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EDWARD PORTER HUMPHREY, D.D., L.L.D., was the eldest son of Rev. Dr. Herman and Sophia Port Humphrey, and was born in Fairfield, Conn., January 28, 1809, and died in Louisville December 9, 1886.

He was from one of the oldest English-American families.  The first of his ancestors in England were those who followed William the Conqueror from Normandy in 1066.  Dr. Herman Humphrey, the father of Dr. E. P. Humphrey, was for twenty-two years president of Amherst College.  One can trace in the father’s character and career a marked similarity to the character and career of his eldest son, the Rev. Dr. E. P. Humphrey.  Both were eminently successful in the pulpit and in their services among the people.  Both were distinguished teachers, excelling in clearness of mind and in lucidity of statement.  Both were wide in their sympathies, counting nothing beyond them when their fellow-men were concerned.  Each after retiring from active service lived to enjoy the honors and esteem of those whom they had served so faithfully, and yet each was, to the quiet close of an eventful life, untiring in all the labors of which his constitution was capable. One might write of Dr. E. P. Humphrey as was written of his father, “As the years went on the position accorded him in the town was phenomenal.

In connection with many families his relationship was truly patriarchal.  Their homes, their tables, their gardens with all they contained of bounty or fruitage were as open to him as if each had been his own.  The sick and the dying watched eagerly for his coming, and for the comfort of his ministrations, and when some heavy sorrow fell with crushing weight upon a household the most natural cry seemed to be: `Send for Doctor Humphrey.'”

Dr. Edward Porter Humphrey’s youth was spent in Connecticut. He was prepared for college at the academy in Amherst, Massachusetts, and in 1828 he graduated with honor from Amherst College.  In 1831-32 he was principal of the academy at Plainfield, Connecticut.  During this time he pursued his theological studies, and in 1833 graduated at the Andover Theological Seminary.  His inclination led him to begin his ministry in the Southwest, and during the year 1834 he labored in connection with the Presbyterian church in Jeffersonville, Indiana.

In 1835 he became pastor of the Second Presbyterian church in this city.  He gave himself completely up to work in the interest of his church for eighteen years, and his influence was felt, not only in its rapid and permanent growth, but also in a marked degree throughout the city, and in the entire denomination to which he belonged.

Dr. Humphrey, as early as 1852, was elected Moderator of the General Assembly of the then Old School Presbyterian Church, and his sermon, called “Our Theology,” preached at Charleston, S. C., as retiring Moderator, was circulated by the Presbyterian Board of Publication for many years after.  Dr. Humphrey preceded Dr. Stuart Robinson as pastor of the old Presbyterian church on Third street, between Green and Walnut, which was afterward converted into a theater, and is now known as the Metropolitan building.  His eloquence, when pastor of this church from 1835 to 1853, won him great fame.  His discourse at the dedication of the Cave Hill cemetery, in 1848, was rich in eloquence and classical learning, and strong in that faith in immortality which he taught at all time.

In 1852 he received the degree of Doctor of Divinity from Hanover College, Indiana.  In 1853 he was appointed by the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church, professor in Princeton Theological Seminary.  This he declined, but soon after he accepted the professorship of Church History in the Theological College in Danville, Ky.  It was during the latter years of his residence in Danville, 1851-66, that the exigencies occasioned by the bitter and disastrous civil strife called into prominence many of his distinguishing characteristics.  Among these were his unwavering loyalty to the National Government, together with a magnanimity and conciliation of spirit which were potent influences in hastening the return of concord and amity, both in society and in the church. In 1866, in response to an urgent appeal, he returned to Louisville to take temporary charge of a new church made up of many members of the old Second Church, of which he had been pastor for eighteen years.  The new organization was called the College Street church.  His health, which had begun to fail, rapidly improved on his return to Louisville, and he became permanent pastor of the new church.  Under his ministry it became one of the largest and most influential congregations in the city.  In 1871 his Alma Mater, Amherst College, conferred the degree of L.L. D., on him.  He continued his labors as pastor and preacher until 1880, when he retired from the active duties of his pulpit and was succeeded in the new and handsome church, which his congregation had built, by Rev. Dr. Christie.

After his retirement he engaged in literary and theological work, and spent the remainder of his life among the people to whom he had devoted himself in his early manhood.  The positions which Dr. Humphrey occupied demanded rare qualities and gifts, and with these he was peculiarly endowed.  His preaching, so distinctive as a simple and earnest presentation of the Gospel, enhanced in attractiveness by convincing argument and impassioned eloquence, made him distinguished as an ambassador of Christ.  As a theological teacher his knowledge of history, sacred and profane, and his unique methods of imparting truth not only stimulated the imagination of his pupils, but gave them the philosophy of the subject and stores of definite information.  His life covered a period in the Presbyterian church in which great questions of policy and theology were considered, and his power in the discussion of vital subjects, together with the clear and calm judgment he brought to bear upon them, impressed itself with controlling influence upon the great assemblies of the church.

His power was always the greater because of his kindly nature.  In advocating measures which seemed to him of great importance one felt that his fervor was inspired by the strength and courage of his convictions rather than by any personal considerations.  He was a man greatly beloved by his ministerial brethren and all who knew him, and while zealously devoted to the Presbyterian organization known as the “Old School” so long as it remained separate, he was no less earnest in his work for the unity of the Presbyterian church throughout the land, and foremost in promoting it in special crisis in later life.  His theology was always conservative and fully deserved the eminence be attained by a long life devoted to a cause he loved.  Dr. Humphrey was of slender figure and of about medium height.  His face was expressive of high intelligence.

His general appearance, in spite of his stature, was striking.  His voice, until near the end, was strong and clear, but even as he advanced in years he still retained his powers as an orator.  His last few years were spent with the family of his youngest son, but he was ready on all occasions to assist with his knowledge and experience all who applied to him.  He took the liveliest interest in the College Street Presbyterian church, of which he had been pastor, and the members of that congregation are among those who will most keenly feel his loss.  His last public appearance was at the funeral of the late James F. Hubner, when he assisted in conducting the service.

Excerpted from Kentucky: A History of the State, by Perrin, Battle, and Kniffin, 8th ed. (1888). — http://www.rootsweb.com/~kygenweb/kybiog/jefferson/humphrey.ep.txt 


For Further Study:
Archival collections at The Filson Historical Society, in Louisville, Kentucky:
1.  Isaac Shelby Papers, [John Williams Jacobs, Collector], 1792-1893, 0.66 cu. ft.
Abstract:  The collection primarily consists of papers of Isaac Shelby acquired from Shelby’s son-in-law, Charles S. Todd.  Included are letters and autographs of prominent political and military leaders from the late 18th to mid-19th centuries.  The letters discuss Indian hostilities, Ky. politics, and national affairs.  Correspondents include Willie Blount, John Breckinridge, John Brown, Elijah Clark, John C. Calhoun, Henry Clay, Joseph H. Daviess, Felix Grundy, Andrew Jackson, Robert P. Letcher, George Mathew, George Nicholas, Edmund Randolph, Charles Scott, Thomas Todd, Anthony Wayne, Daniel Webster, and James Wilkinson.  Subjects include Humphrey, Edward Porter, 1809-1897.

2.  Pope-Humphrey Family Papers, 1807-1938, 2 cubic ft. [1058 items].
Abstract:  Correspondence, 1807-1859, mainly concerning the family of Alexander Pope, a prominent Louisville lawyer, his son Fontaine, and son Henry Clay Pope during the Mexican War. Correspondence, 1860-1868, regards the family and social lives of Reverend Doctor E.P. Humphrey, a Presbyterian clergyman, his wife Martha Pope Humphrey, their daughters, and sons Edward W.C. Humphrey, and especially Alexander Pope Humphrey who attended Centre College and the University of Virginia from 1862 to 1868.

3.  Yandell Family Papers, 1823-1877, 2.66 cu. ft.
Abstract:  The correspondence, diaries, and medical notes of a family of KY and TN physicians. Most of the letters were written by Wilson Yandell, Lunsford Pitts Yandell, Susan Wendell Yandell, and Lunsford Pitts Yandell, Jr. The letters consist mostly of family news but also contain information relating to a variety of other topics, including medical practice,…slavery, the secession crisis, and the Civil War.  Correspondents or subjects include Edward P. Humphrey.

4.  Lecture notes : manuscript, Edward P Humphrey, 1856-1858, 240pp., in the Reuben T. Durrett Collection at the University of Chicago Library.
Abstract: Student notes from Edward P. Humphrey’s lectures on church history at Danville Theological Seminary in Kentucky. 

Bibliography—
1848
An address delivered on the dedication of the Cave Hill Cemetery : near Louisville, July 25, 1848 (Louisville, Ky. : Printed at the Courier job-room, 1848), 32pp.; 22 cm.  Appendix contains bylaws of the Board of Trustees and rules and regulations of Cave Hill Cemetery.

1849
A discourse of the spiritual power of the Roman Catholic clergy (Louisville, Hull & Brothers, Printers, 1850), 20pp.; 22 cm.  Delivered before the Synod of Kentucky, Oct. 13, 1849.

1850
A discourse on the death of Gen. Zachary Taylor, delivered in the Second Presbyterian Church, Louisville, Saturday, July 13, 1850 (Louisville, Hulls and Shannon, 1850), 16pp.

Breckinridge, W.L. and Edward P. Humphrey, Theological Seminaries in the West (Louisville : Hull & Brother, 1850), 41pp.

1851
A sermon for domestic missions, preached before the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church, by appointment, at their sessions at St. Louis, Missouri, May 1851 (Philadelphia, Published by the Board of Missions, 1851), 16pp.; 24 cm. “Thoughts on Presbyterian foreign missions”  Supplement to The Home and foreign record.

1853
Address delivered before the Society of the “Phi Delta Theta,” at the Miami University, June 29, 1853 (Cincinnati, C. Clark & Co., Ben Franklin Printing House, 1853), 23pp.

Clarke, John, Robert J. Breckinridge and Edward P. Humphrey, Addresses delivered at the inauguration of the professors in the Danville Theological Seminary, October 13, 1853 (Cincinnati : Printed by T. Wrightson, 1854), 74pp.

“The Tree Known by Its Fruits,” in The Living Pulpit, or Eighteen Sermons by Eminent Living Divines of The Presbyterian Church, with a biographical sketch of the editor, by Geo. W. Bethune, D.D., edited and published by Rev. Elijah Wilson (Philadelphia : For Sale by Wm. S. Martien, 1853), pp. 374-414.

1857
Christian missions in their principles : a sermon for the Board of Foreign Missions of the Presbyterian Church, preached before the General Assembly, at Lexington, Ky., May 25th, 1857 (New York : Printed by E.O. Jenkins, 1857), 31pp. [pp. 157-184]; 22 cm.  “Published by order of the General Assembly.”  Detached from The Foreign missionary, October 1857.

Our theology in its developments (Philadelphia : Presbyterian Board of Publication, 1857), 90pp.

1859
Humphrey, Edward P. and Thomas Horace Cleland [1816-1892], Memoirs of the Rev. Thomas Cleland, D.D., compiled from his private papers (Cincinnati, Moore, Wilstach, Keys & co., printers, 1859), 1 p. l., [9]-199 p.

1861
Robert J. Breckinridge and Edward P. Humphrey, editors, The Danville Quarterly Review (Danville, Ky. and Cincinnati, Ohio : Richard H. Collins, 1861), Vol. 1, no. 1 (March 1861) – Vol. 1, no. 4 (December 1861).

1862 – 1864
Breckinridge, Robert J. and Edward P. Humphrey, Danville Review (Danville, Ky. and Cincinnati [OH] : Moore, Wilstach, Keys & Co., 1862 – 1864), Vol. 2, no. 1 (March 1862) – Vol. 4, no. 4 (December 1864).

1866
Address delivered before the Lexington and Vicinity Bible Society, Lexington, Ky., December 23, 1866 (Lexington? 1866), 16pp.

1873
Africa and colonization : an address delivered before the American Colonization Society, January 21, 1873 (Washington, D.C. : M’Gill & Witherow, 1873), 14pp.

1877
The color question : a letter written for the sixtieth annual meeting of the American Colonization Society, Washington, D.C., January 16, 1877 (Washington, D.C. : Colonization Building, 1877), 10pp.

1883
Believe! only believe (Philadelphia, Presbyterian Board of Publication, 1883), 14pp.; 19 cm.  Tract no. 322 in the series Presbyterian Tracts.

The dead of the Presbyterian church in Kentucky : address delivered before the two synods of Kentucky at their joint centennial, held at Harrodsburg, October 12, 1883 (s.l., s.n., 1883), 20pp.

1888
Sacred history from the creation to the giving of the law (New York : A.C. Armstrong, 1888), xiii, 540pp.

Undated—
The inspiration of the scriptures (Philadelphia, Presbyterian Board of Publication, n.d.), 23pp.; 19 cm.  Alliance of Reformed Churches Holding the Presbyterian System. Council paper,; no. 2; Reprinted from Report of proceedings of the Second General council of the Presbyterian Alliance (September 1880).

Contemporary interaction—
Wilson, Samuel R. and Edward P. Humphrey, Rev. Dr. Wilson’s reply to the address of Rev. Dr. E.P. Humphrey, delivered in the First Presbyterian Church, Louisville, Ky., on the evening of July 27, 1866 (Lousiville, Ky., Louisville Courier Steam Press, 1866), 20pp.

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The Pastor to the Confederate States of America

palmerBM_02The guest preacher in the pulpit of the First Presbyterian Church of Chattanooga, Tennessee, was closing out his prayer when the cannon shot hit outside the window of the church.  Union forces of the Northern states were known to be advancing, but it was thought that Confederate forces were blocking their entrance to the city.  They were wrong, as the cannon shot proved.  But the Rev. Benjamin Morgan Palmer was not about to let anything hinder his prayer to the God of providence, But when he finally finished that long prayer and looked up, he found the pews empty with the congregation fleeing to safer places.

We could describe Benjamin Palmer in countless ways during his lifetime of 84 years.  He was a faithful pastor,  powerful preacher, theological professor, a Presbyterian of the Presbyterians, and a symbol of the immutability of the great essentials of the Christian religion.  Let’s take just three of these descriptions.

Palmer was the teaching elder at three Presbyterian churches during his pastoral ministry.  It was at this last one — the First Presbyterian Church of New Orleans, Louisiana — that he would reach the zenith of his influence.  The congregation increased in size under his ministry until it became the third largest Presbyterian church in the South.  He feared no one or nothing.  Once when a yellow fever epidemic hit the town, and most of the other pastors fled, he stayed on to minister in home and hospital to  those stricken with the disease. In later years, Palmer almost single-handedly brought an end to the practice of lottery in Louisiana. Click here to read his famous sermon on that subject.

Palmer’s preaching stirred many a soul.  Here were the fruits seen of his mother’s home-school training.  He could quote Biblical passages and Shakespeare with equal ease.  In fact, it was his Thanksgiving message in 1860 on secession and slavery which stirred the southern states to rise up and defend their homes against the threat of Northern aggression.  That one message caused him to become the pastor of the Confederacy. It convinced Louisiana to join the other seceding states.  And when after four hard fought years ended in defeat, he became the high priest of the Lost Cause.

Named after his uncle, who was himself a Congregational pastor, Benjamin Morgan Palmer was born on January 25, 1818, in a family full of ministers, including his own father. In schools and congregations, in seminary as a student and professor, as the first moderator of the Presbyterian Church of the Confederate States of  America, as the chaplain to the Army of the Tennessee (C.S.A.), as the spiritual comforter of the defeated South, Palmer served God and his generation as a symbol of the immutability of the great essentials of the historic Christian faith.  He possessed a life-long commitment to Reformed theology.

Words to Live By: Can it be said of you that you are known by your unswerving commitment to the essentials of historic Christianity? If you can, give praise to God for it, and if not, resolve to have it be your testimony from this day forward.

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Let us therefore glory wisely as unto Jehovah for the works that he did in the days of our fathers.

Thanksgiving is nigh upon us, and the following discourse was delivered on this day, November 24th, in the year 1853, by the Rev. Robert Sunderland, pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in Washington, D.C. While this discourse is interesting on many levels, it is at times flowery and it is perhaps too patriotic for the taste of many today. Yet Rev. Sunderland is also often insightful, even prescient. If nothing else, his discourse presents us with a reminder to first be thankful for all that we enjoy as citizens of this nation, and then to pray for all that are in authority:—

I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;
For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.
For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;
(1 Timothy 2:1-3)

[Please note that Sunderland’s occasional use of the term “Republican” is not in reference to the political party (which began in 1854), but rather he uses the term to refer to advocates of the constitutional republic set forth in the U.S. Constitution.]

The Memories of the Metropolis: A Discourse delivered on Thanksgiving Day, November 24, 1853, in The First Presbyterian Church. By Rev. Byron Sunderland, the Pastor. Washington: Wm. M. Morrison & Co., 1853.

Note: The following Discourse was delivered on the occasion of Thanksgiving, November 24th, 1853, observed, in accordance with the recommendation of the Mayor of the City of Washington, as a day of public worship and thanksgiving to Almighty God…

DISCOURSE.

2d Kings 2:19; Psalm 44:1; and Psalm 78:4.

And the men of the city said unto Elisha, Behold, I pray thee, the situation of this city is pleasant, as my lord seeth.” “We have heard with our ears, O God, our fathers have told us, what work thou didst in their days in the times of old.” “We will not hide them from their children, showing to the generation to come the praises of the Lord, and his strength, and his wonderful works that he hath done.”

Love of God, love of country, and love of home, are the deepest and purest sentiments to which humanity is competent. They promote both philanthropy and gratitude. They kindle the present by recollections of the past, and by the hopes of the future. They are the soul of that wild, eternal Psalm, whose theme is Providence, repeated from sire to son in endless generations,

I need scarcely remind you that on this day of public thanksgiving to Jehovah, in accordance with the recommendations of both civil and ecclesiastical authority, and in observance of a custom now almost universal throughout the Confederacy, it is our privilege as Americans, and especially as inhabitants of the Federal City, to bring into the sanctuary, and to lay on the altars of Religion, our public and solemn thanks. The joy and the grandeur of this moment fill me with emotions which no language can express. I see a nation of my countrymen covered with unspeakable glory bending reverently before Almighty God in devout and grateful recognition of his parental solicitude. It is enough, my brethren. It is the greatest of sublimities I shall ever witness beneath the sun! To say all which the vision of this day stimulates, demands a stouter frame and a more burning utterance than belong to my poor nature, It is only a few feeble strains of the great Epic of my country., here and there a faint snatch of her song of wonder now rolling from the tuneful harp of Providence as it is swept by the hand of the Almighty, that we can pretend to rehearse before you—a few things that the fathers have told us of the work that was done in their days, that they may not be hidden from the children, and that the name and the praise of the Lord of Hosts may never be forgotten !

We have, therefore, in the spirit of the text, selected as a theme for the present occasion,

“THE MEMORIES OF THE METROPOLIS.”

or those recollections of the City of Washington, which, in its rise and progress, not only illustrate the patronage of the Supreme Ruler of the Universe, but also, from their inherent beauty and thrilling power, serve to link ourselves in a romantic interest with those who went before, and those who shall come after us ; nay more, the remembrance of our beginning must prevail to heighten not only the fervor of our patriotism, but also the motives of our devout thanksgiving to the King of kings, when recited in contrast with the vicissitudes of an earlier history. The sun of our glory has just opened his portals, while the day of many an ancient capital has already gone out in darkness. To take a single example: It seems, from the allusion of the text, that so long ago as the times of the prophet Elisha, there stood a city in the East, the cradle of the human race, whence rose the nations of the earth. It was the far-famed Jericho, which, once blasted by the curse of Joshua, lay desolate for centuries. At length, rebuilt and reared among the hills, as ours to-day, it continued for ages the seat of learning and of laws, the resort of priests and prophets, and the ornament of Israel, But the Roman besom at length swept over it, the times were changed, and now it is but a wretched village of about fifty habitations!

The old town, once trodden by the feet of patriarchs and apostles, has sunken, into a heap of ruins. From the regions which once its towers illumined, the power and greatness of human life have been transferred. We have only to change the scene, and come round half the globe to where we stand to-day, and one might think that Arethusa’s fount, which whilom [at one time] flowed under the sea and burst up in the Sicilian Isle, had again appeared to lave the feet of this Queen of the Western Empire, and to make her glorious with the symbols of our national distinction. The course of human events has planted here the proudest pillar of government which the sun now shines upon. It is at length discovered how the Builder of the World, for a generation yet unborn, reared up this glorious circumference of hills, and overhung the ardent firmament, and rolled together the streams of yonder river, and strung through the vales which his hand scooped out the silver threads of springs, and clothed the slopes with verdure, and fringed the landscape’s with patriarchal trees, and guarded in long solitude even the swamp and the marsh and the fen, whose surface of reeds and samphire shook nightly to the rustling winds, that it might be for a place of habitation when the time should come, and a theatre of stirring scenes in one of the grandest ages of human achievement, and for a centre of exploit to a rising people whose career was to be unparalleled in the annals of the world. It seems like a vision of the night. Not many hundred moons ago, the wild Indian erected his wigwam where now we hear the busy hum of marts, where now our dwellings and churches stand, and where to-day we are assembled to worship God. The feuds of the Powhatans and Monacans are ended; and where once the council-fire was kindled in sight of yonder hill, the red men have vanished like the withered leaves which the winds of autumn are scattering, and which the next spring-breath may never find. It is but yesterday that the amphictyon of savage life was broken up, and on the very site of its ruins the prouder dome of the pale face has been upreared. It is but yesterday that, with the Capitol and the Presidential mansion, the Federal city has sprung up and these present thousands were gathered together—but a day since the hive was set and the Metropolitan swarm came in!

And there are those in the assembly to-day, I doubt not, who are familiar with it all, for the story of the beginning is no Grecian myth. No cloudy fable rests upon our origin; for when the oldest of our citizens were but children and youth, the foundations of the Metropolis were laid. These thronging memories will come back to-day and fill up with living images the meagre outline of the retrospect, which we want both the time and the information more fully to exhibit.

Go back then, in fancy, over the last portion of the eighteenth century, Standing on yonder hill, now crested by the nation’s Capitol, call to mind the old patents and the lines of the first surveys which had been made a hundred years before, for Richard Pinner, and William Langworth, and Captain Troop, and Francis Pope, who, seeing that his name was Pope, thought it no robbery to be equal with the Pope, and appropriated to his estate and the stream that watered it, the august names of Rome and the Tiber. His prophecy, which lingered for a century around the hill, has been at length accomplished, and now the Capitoline overlooks us in more than Roman majesty. As you stand gazing in after years from the same position, there lie outstretched around the lands of succeeding proprietors, on the one hand declining to the river’s brink, and on the other expanding in copse and forest, in ravine and meadow-land, away to the circling hills. There is Duddington pasture; there is the house of Daniel Carroll; yonder of Notley Young; and yonder still of David Burns.  There are the uplands, and the orchards green, and the old burial-places of the dead. The lark springs up from the dewy corn, singing for joy away to the gates of heaven, and the plover whistles shrill at the nightfall in yonder sedge. In many a footpath, and by many a spring, the children wander plucking the wild fruit and startling a merry echo in the deep woods. Sportsmen and fishermen haunt the shoals of Anacostia, whose rude old wharves scarce break the morasses and the water-courses which crowd over the site of the present avenue of Pennsylvania, and end away in the northern slashes. All the home scenes of incipient English life lie spreading around, and there is yet no sign of the coming grandeur which is in part to supersede the unbroken picture of rural loveliness which beams from the hamlets of Hamburg and Carrollsburg, and bursts from distant Arlington, from the heights of Georgetown, from Prospect Hill, and from the silver sheen of waters playing far away in moonlight to the sea,

But we had our Elisha, on whom the mantle of all the prophets had descended. He had smitten the waters of the Revolution, and passed over in triumph. Long years before, he had from his rough canoe explored the course of the Potomac, surveying with proud and patriotic eye the future seat of Empire. You will call to mind the act of Congress of 1790, and all the legislation both of Maryland and Virginia through which the desire of Washington was finally accomplished. You will call to mind that day when he came, like the seer of old, to perfect the titles and to prepare for the foundations ; and the men of Georgetown, like those of Jericho, said unto him, “Behold, I pray thee, the situation of the city is pleasant, as my lord seeth.” You will call to mind the negotiations of those terms and the names of the men who ceded to the Government the territory of the District of Columbia. You will call to mind the 15th day of April, 1791, when the corner-stone of the District was set up below Alexandria, and in the public concourse the minister of the cross pronounced the prayers of the infant nation; and how, soon after the other corner-stones were set, and the soil thus measured was consecrated thenceforth and forever to the cause of American greatness and to the religion of God.

Then followed a decade of years preliminary to the coming of Congress and the full establishment of the Government here in the year 1800. You may call to mind the men who, in the close of the last century, came to stake out the site of the city and from the wilderness yet unsubdued to cast the streets and avenues and the public squares, and to mark many a height and many a lawn for the reception of the sacred monuments. You have heard of Johnson, and Stewart, and Carroll, the commissioners of L’Enfant and Ellicott, the engineers; and of Hoban, Thornton, and Ballet, the architects. You have heard how they toiled till the plan of the city was completed, and the first great structures of our Republican Independence were about to be erected. You will call to mind the coming of Washington, in the month of September, 1793, to lay the corner-stone of the Capitol; the day of the procession, with life and drum, on a fallen tree across the Tiber, and up the narrow footway, amid the oaks and under-wood, to the memorable spot. You will remember, who saw that sight, the majestic form and the reverend countenance of the Old Hero as he lifted up his voice and spake to you. You will remember—for such a memory can never fade—how he passed away amid the solemn grandeur of the hour, and ever after from the heights of Vernon turned his anxious yet exultant gaze towards the Metropolis, till he fell asleep ; and now, where “the Father of his Country’’ reposes, the nations make their foremost pilgrimage.

The seed was sown, and the scions of the city were putting forth. The old roads gave place to new-made streets; the evening lights grew thicker; the marshes waxed small and thin; the bloom of civilization was gathering, on the young flower just bursting from the shadows of the wilderness. The times of Adams and Jefferson succeeded; three thousand souls already made up the population of the place. The Congress came, and the act of incorporation followed in 1802. The municipal functions went into operation and the Metropolis, now chartered in the sacred name of Washington, was fairly launched on her pathway of renown to turn back never. The mayors came, of whom Robert Brent stood first in the succession, whose worthy followers, even until now, no doubt many of you can remember. The fathers of the city council came; the physicians and the lawyers and the judges came; the noble artists came; the men of invention and of genius came,—and scattered their imperishable works among us.

The old ferry-boat which once plied from this to Alexandria was succeeded by nobler vessels. The scanty stores of Stettinius and Sommerville were superseded by long, magnificent blocks, adorned and filled by all the heraldry of merchantmen. The straitened inn of the stammering and eccentric Pitt could no longer accommodate the strangers; and there came in its stead, one after another, the spacious boarding-houses and the splendid hotels rising upon the avenues. The spirit of enterprise, fresh blown from the battle of freedom, was abroad on every breeze and inspiring every motion. You may remember the inscription on the sign of Peter Rodgers: “ Peter Rodgers, saddler, from the green fields of Erin and Tyranny to the green streets of Washington and Liberty. See Copenhagen—view the seas—’tis all blockade—’tis all a blaze! The seas shall be free! Yankee Doodle, keep it up.”

Droll as this language sounds to the ear, a sentiment of mighty import still swung in it before the door of the exiled Irishman. It bounded in the old men’s veins, and flashed on the ruddy cheeks of children. It was the price of blood; and the people of the country and the Metropolis felt that it must never perish.

On went the young city in wealth, in trade, in manufactures—but more than all, in public institutions, in monuments of elegance, and taste, and refinement; in foundations of charity, of science, of chivalry. The gentlemen of the Press came. The Ministers of the Cross came. The Presidents came. The Cabinets came. Congress succeeded Congress; and those Titan brothers, Clay, Calhoun, and Webster, long wrestled with antagonists in the forum of the Senate. Alas! they are no longer;—each lying in the dreamless sleep in his own place, far apart, as though a portion of our institutions, with them, had passed away.

And, indeed, it were long to tell of the great works done by herculean efforts, as the men multiplied and the town went on increasing.  It were long to tell of companies that pitched those tanks on yonder bottom-land at the beginning of the Mall, and made a fire-place whence all the lamps are lighted along the streets at night, turning even so much gas to good account—to tell of times when the steam-horse came, and neighed so loud that his shrill whinny startled the echoes on all the hills. It were long to tell how they caught also that wilder steed, which before had bounded free over all the continent of clouds unbridled, and tamed him down with juices in a cup and long, slim wires, and made him gentle as a fawn—the bearer of swift messages to all points.  It were long to tell how they planted the forges, and set up the machinery at the Navy Yard, as though Vulcan had indeed opened his workshop once more, that he might point for desolation the thunderbolts of Jove—how they reared the Observatory, to be for the light-house of the sky, where the genius of numbers out-rivals the imagination itself—how they have magnified the Departments of Government, where the machinery of the mighty Republic is silently but sublimely working off the burdens of empire. It were long to tell how they have received the tribute of the dying Smithson, and built a pile which, bearing his name, will perpetuate long the memory of his princely generosity—how they have garnished the pleasure-grounds and the public edifices with the immortal creations of such minds as Causici, Capellano, Persico, Greenough, Trumbull, and Mills. And how, at length, they have commenced to rear, so long deferred, that greatest pillar of American glory, the monument of the nation, where, in the Coliseum of our gathering greatness, shall be assembled the sculptured conclave of all our heroes around the form of Washington!

Ah! little now does the giddy maiden, whose tiny foot scarce touches the pavement over which she skips, flushed out in all the latest styles of fashion—and little does the dapper young gentleman, in his huge cravat and boots, fresh made of patent-leather, as he goes roistering from billiard-rooms and restaurants, wot [know] of the things here done by the consuming labor of hand and brain, where but a little ago the grey heron and the bittern hovered about the pools, and the fishermen spread their nets to dry in the noon-day sun. But thus the city’s life unfolded through all the times of transformation and of progress, with new difficulties daily overcome, and a real effort to make the future better than the past has been or than the present is; while in this advancement the woods were cleared, the ditches dug, the hills cut down, the banks erected, and time and sweat and money were poured out like water, till on the new arena no man can look without a just enthusiasm bearing him away delighted from this consecrated spot, and in the wrapt vision of all the sovereign States which circle round, causing him to exclaim in the language of the patriotic muse—

 “Lives there a man with soul so dead.
Who never to himself hath said.
This is my own, my native land.”

We have seen as best we might, in the brief time allowed us, the first fibres of that web which were gathered up from the forest land, from the pestilent marsh, and from the Indian trail—spun from the very moss that grew upon the trees, and strung by the pebbles that shone in the springs and by the edge of streams, as delicate at the beginning as the spider’s web. But our weavers came—the strong men, and hundreds of noble names we ought to name, but have no space; and each working in his way, they collected the filaments from the ruggedness of nature ; they of their diligence fixed the warp in the loom, and the great shuttle of Providence was given them, and they wove the texture which soon must other hands continue; thus weaving in common with our countrymen the ever-widening fabric of the Metropolis, spangled with diamonds, and furnishing, we hope, at some distant day the mighty turban of purple and gold that shall sit, in the future coronation of Humanity, on the brow of the American Republic, illumined by the triple stars of Science, Government, and Religion!  Such, my brethren, are some of the memories—would to heaven there were none other worse of this monumental city!—all themes of grateful reminiscence—making us thankful for what our fathers did, and thankful that on this day of thanksgiving we had their history to record and their memories to remember.

And now the web is wider and the woof thickens, and we have already become a force. Fifty thousand people, such as you are, cannot be together in any spot on earth, much less here, at the heart, without being a force—a fountain of influence, giving and  taking with every section of the nation, and every quarter of the world, still growing to a larger force, and ending, perhaps, never as a force!  It remains, therefore, under the hallowed impulses of these passing recollections, to address to you some practical considerations which may not be unaccordant with the spirit of this occasion. Indeed, from the prominence on which we stand, we would, if it were possible, summon around us every class of our fellow-citizens, and would urge upon them the sentiments of patriotism, philanthropy, and piety, which so many glorious recollections of our past are eminently adapted to inspire.

I.     I would appeal to the massive millions of the people, and say, Your birth-right, Americans, has cost too much to be squandered—it promises too much for the future to be neglected. Remember, therefore, to preserve the Republic as it is—destined only to a just progress and expansion. There are many motives for this; our Government is the asylum of the world. We have drawn our blood from the Huguenot, from the Norman, from the Saxon, and the Celt. Men of all religions and of all philosophies are here; the emigrant and the exile from all quarters of the globe. They are our fellow-citizens, nursing the same shaggy breast of our common mother, which, out of the wilds of nature, was free from the first to give sustenance to all. It has been a thing taken for granted here from the beginning by our fathers and by ourselves, and so I hope it may ever be, that personal freedom, and private judgment, and the rights of conscience, so far as each is competent to them in his condition, are things too sacred to every human being to be invaded with impunity. It was seen that life had no impulse without liberty, and liberty no safeguards but virtue and intelligence; wherefore, the arms of the country were ever open to whatsoever human brother chose to abide with us; so that we had Jews and Germans, Yankees and Indians, the sons of Ireland, the emigrants of France and Spain, and Many nations, and the children of Ham, We had all foreigners, as when Jerusalem was filled with the representatives of the Eastern World. And thus far we have been more happy and more prosperous under the working of those great institutions which our fathers left us than any people hitherto. Preserve the Republic, then, in the name of God and Humanity, as it is. There was at times a love of liberty in the nations of antiquity, but they had more to contend with than we. Between tyranny and licentiousness, they could not see what kind of government was best; their revolutions were quick, turbulent, and extreme. Only France, among the moderns, can present a parallel, and that is because she has no religion, and has had none for a thousand years. But the want of faith in God is not the only danger to free governments, though from the want of faith most other dangers spring.  If there be a danger to our own beloved country, it is in the levity and inconstancy which ruined, ages since, so many famous people. Deep meditation, stern contentment with fortune, and a hard, tough patience, is what this people must cultivate : these things, in this age of activity and effervescence, are likely to dwindle out of us. If we would not share the fate of the Greeks, we must not be as volatile as the Greeks; we must take care not to degenerate from the old stock of the men of the Revolution. It is possible for this people, instead of remaining like the granite of their mountains, to become rather like a bottle of hartshorn; and if so, we can expect but little firmness where so many winds are blowing; for the bottle will some cunning hand uncork, and away will fly the spirits,

But other nations had not our civil polity. They generally had but two parts, and no third to balance. The affairs of state were simply a bone of contention between the aristocracy and the mobocracy, the senate and the rabble. Now, all government must sway; authority will not stand still, So subtle and so mobile are the elements of humanity, that you might as well think to fix the waves of the ocean by petrifaction as to suppose that so great a matter as the government of states can be made to stand still. And why?  If a chair in which a man is to sit be supported on the shoulders of living creatures—millions of men, for example—would it not be thought a thing incredible, yea, against nature, for those men to hold that chair perfectly still?  Even so is the authority of human government. It will incline as the people incline—either to a centralization of power, or to a diffusion of power—either to despotism or anarchy. The wisdom of a polity is to make these movements and counter-movements check one another; and it was never so done as in our own country. We have a constitution which procures that, while the sea of the masses is lashed into tumult, the chair of state remains untilted. We live under laws, both national, state, and municipal, most singularly constructed to avert the excess or the abuse of political power. The genius of our polity seems almost to have been inspired. Oh, then, by all that is sacred, let us preserve as it is! May the Almighty save us from doing anything to darken a prospect which—not all brightness, to be sure, nor yet all clouds—is growing and will grow into the glister of a perfect day, if not overcast by the ambition of the few and the fanaticism of the many!

Again, other nations have fallen through the spirit of arrogance. To their high notions of wisdom and prowess they blindly trusted. They had great land victories and great naval success; their treasuries overflowed. Prosperity reacted; their vigilance was gone, and they fell a prey to foreign foes, or the still more bitter retributions of intestine war. We, too, as a nation have had our similar success, which, of course, is like contagion in the land; and one town, tingling with the applause of triumphs by our common arms, sends the same thrill into another, till the continent trembles with the martial spirit which has kindled through the millions. It is a pitfall into which many states have plunged before us. A nation lusty with sinews and full of wealth, when so inflamed, is on the verge to lose freedom. The grosser passions are then stimulated, and abandonment to the crisis of the hour comes on apace. Happy are we, however, thus far in this country, that peaceful labor restrains this tendency to ruin. The mass of the people are heavy workers, and the whole domain of the Republic shakes with the vigor of humanity in its prime; and though floods of wealth are pouring in, and property is rising, and the acres just shorn of woods are more costly, still the national industry increases, and each man may earn his meal. All this tells up so much our happy condition as a people, for Freedom loves hardy children, It is a sign of her decay when, out of huge and magnificent palaces, there goes not every day a man to some thorough labor of life. Honest labor is no enemy to our happiness and elevation, and so I hope every man and woman who boasts these immunities may have it for as high an honor to be a sturdy worker. Work intensifies thought, and intense thought will save our country, under the guidance of God, from the evils of levity and arrogance, and wealth and conquest. Ah! then, Americans, do not only love liberty, but conceive also its true idea; study its conditions in man and in society; and, as the voice of your glorious future, by your own spirit, of patriotism, (which is none other than the equal love of your whole country, no single part excluded,) by the memories of our fathers, by the destiny of universal man—yea, and by the sanctions of our most holy religion, to cleave to the Constitution and to the Confederacy as it is; and so may God pity you as ever you depart from this substance of the nation’s life, or suffer the banner which it sports to trail! Oh! where shall men look for succor when those ensigns which wave beside the dome of the Capitol shall have ceased to symbolize the patriotism of the nation, or float no longer in mockery of a people that have lighted themselves to destruction!

II.    I call, therefore, upon the gentlemen of the Press to diffuse these sentiments, in every edition of book or journal, to the remotest dwelling. They are the life of those memories we have attempted to recall to you to-day. You hold in your hands the power to mould, in a very large degree, the opinions of our masses. We look with solicitude, not unmixed with pride and hope, as you move on in your stupendous mission. You wield a mighty weapon, and direct the most amazing force. The great Briareus of the printing art, scattering the sheets hourly like snow-flakes, is at your service to do your bidding; and the pulse of his giant heart, as it throws its diurnal circulation to every extremity, and falls along the tenderest nerve of every human interest, is giving tone and temper to the sum total of this instinctive and untiring people. You have the clue and the key, gentlemen, to their future destiny. Ah! do not miss the mark, and lead them wrong—like Polyphemus, strong but blind.

III.  I call, too, upon the gentlemen of the Bar, and all who, before the people, or on the bench, or in the halls of legislation, are gifted with the power of public speech. The memories of the Metropolis must especially invoke you: the very air seems to breathe around us here something of the power and elevation of eloquence devoted to the welfare of America, Gentlemen, the Jaws are in your hands, and yon are to conserve the purity of justice, and teach this great people its practice. You have it for a privilege to defend our Constitution—a document which as it has seemed to me to be almost inspired from heaven, as the only fitting and continual altar of the national sacrifice, and that alone on which the vestal fire will bum. This is the earnest lesson of jour calling. You have no need to become demagogues or hypocrites, no need for the chicanery and the scrambling of parties. If you do but speak right out the eternal principles of the early jurists and expounders of our Government, you will speak to the great heart of the people; and you know, if we have correctly stated the theory of our civil polity, there must be a spirit of loyalty to the organic life and law of the system, or the strength of the Government is paralyzed. Oh! gentlemen, you have a heavy and solemn work. May you have Solon’s wisdom, Cato’s integrity, and Tully’s silver tongue! And for the shades of the illustrious dead in whose presence we seem almost to stand, and for the dear sake of all those hallowed monuments, do not fail in any tittle of your great mission.

IV.  I would appeal to all the parents and guardians of our youth, to inculcate, at the earliest period of life, the sentiments of our fathers—let them not be hidden from the children—that they too may learn, and learning, venerate the things that were done among us in times of old. Let me entreat yon to educate the children. They shall have neither mental enjoyment nor social position, nor even the capability of self-government, without. It was one of the earliest principles, deep-rooted in our soil, that information and science are the bulwarks of liberty. Preserve the colleges, and seminaries, and the free common schools, as you would your hearth-stones and your homes. We can indeed do without Cambridge and Oxford, and the French and German universities, because our Republican institutions are simpler and more straightforward: they will make every town in the nation to be what Athens or what Sparta was—the Damasimborter—the “tamer of men.” That is our great glory more than all our material prosperities. Our business is to look after the essential interests of mind, and quarry, from these thousands of children (each child the jewel of his mother and precious as Cornelia’s were to her,) the future pillars of our country’s citizenship. Oh! let it be done, I beseech you! Let neither the struggle for bodily subsistence, nor the conflict of manifold opinions, nor the subtlety of civil or ecclesiastical encroachment, prevent us in this fundamental labor! Remember the boys and girls who will stand where we now stand in the next generation; for that day of responsibility and action they need a thorough knowledge and discipline. Whatever else you do, give such men and women to the next age. They will be castle-gates more formidable than the great Hexapylum! The tendency of these times is to the surface, to volubility and froth, and great swelling words of vanity. Sink down into the youthful mind so many fathoms deep the solid learning of a wise education, and then when the lighthouse rises there in coming times, no billow can break up the foundations, no cloud obscure the clear beam which shines thence a wav over the sea of human commotion.

V.    And lastly, I would call on the Ministers of Religion—those men whose life it is to show the way to heaven by the avenue of the Cross. It belongs to the American people to cherish the Christian faith of our fathers, and to hold fast by the principles of the Bible in toleration and charity. It belongs to the American ministry to keep the pure flame burning in the great heart of the nation by the hopes of a Christian immortality. Deep faith in God and eternity was the foundation strength of the men of the Revolution. No flippant skepticism disgraced them—no scandal of infidelity blighted the character of their great works. They were made of a sterner stuff and of a nobler mould ; they had many creeds, it is true, but the vinculum of all was in their unqualified and unwavering trust in Jehovah, and in the constant recognition of his Providence; and thus they have shown to the generation to come the praises of the Lord, and His strength, and His wondrous works that He hath done! The nation was founded in their prayers and tears, baptized by their blood, and devoted to the Almighty by their sublime and invincible faith; the very corner-stones of the Metropolis were planted in crying and supplication to the Supreme Ruler of the Universe. The nations that had not this religion have perished. Our catastrophe will never come if we abide by its principles. Now, therefore, by all the motives that can most stir the blood and the spirit of Republicans, by the deep and solemn life of religion itself, by the mysteries of death, and the morning of the millennium, when all that is truly heroic in the history of man will be clothed with a new and another immortality, do I invoke the ministrations of the Pulpit, to imbue this ever-growing people with the spirit of that unseen but eternal power the sound of whose going is like the rush of armies—that spiritual, mighty wind, filling every heart and every house of habitation—that gift of prophetic devotion which drives men perpetually to the worship of the Deity—that new creation which passes over the millions, and they come forth, in a resurrection of beauty and of glory, at the voice of the Almighty.

And now, in conclusion, I call upon you, one and all, to pay thanksgiving for all the memories which cluster about us in the Providence of God, and which kindle to-day so many fires of gladness through all our borders, and stimulate so many hopes of the coming future. Let us thank the Bountiful Giver of our lineage and our estate, and from this day take new courage and go forward. Let us therefore glory wisely as unto Jehovah for the works that he did in the days of our fathers in the times of old, Let us glory in this growing greatness of the Republic, and in the seat and temple of Americas empire, towards which the eyes and prayers of all the sovereign tribes are this day doubtless turned. Let us glory in the men who here first made the timbers crackle before the axe and flame, and in the impulse of freedom and of faith which we ever had from them, Alas! how many of them are sleeping to-day in the places of sepulture hallowed by their fame; and the few that were of them, and still linger as if to watch the country’s and the city’s rising grandeur, will soon go to carry some better tidings of nobler things still done—that meeting, if such spirits ever meet beyond the returnless bourn, it may be to say, “The city hath a pleasant sight and glorious hopes for the future, and our sons are there full of our blood and courage; and the great web of our national story will they weave on, till, coming to join us here, they leave it to their sons to weave it still!”—a web of august memories as lasting as that rising and, we trust, imperishable monument, to which, in recognition of the gift of God in our great Washington, we ask you to-day, before retiring to the scenes of your family festivities, to pay the votive offerings of so free and so proud Americans!

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Learning to Wait Upon the Lord.

The Rev. Jacob Jones Janeway [1774-1858] was an early Philadelphia pastor who served initially as an associate alongside the Rev. Ashbel Green. Rev. Janeway was also a close friend and supporter of the early Princeton Seminary faculty.

In October of 1829, Dr. Green decided to accept a call to serve as president of Princeton College, and the people in his Philadelphia congregation, out of respect to his views of duty, made no opposition. Along with this pastoral bond, a union of the colleagues of thirteen years was to be dissolved. Never had there been variance, but always peace, friendship, and harmony. The junior pastor invoked God’s blessing upon his departing friend, and thus it was that Rev. Janeway wrote in his diary:—

October 25, Sabbath.

J.J. Janeway“This day I stood before my people as their sole pastor. Last Tuesday, Dr. Green was dismissed from his charge. Thus a connection which has subsisted between him and me for almost fourteen years has been dissolved. My burden is great, my station very responsible. I feel its importance and my own insufficiency. I am meditating on the promises, and endeavour to trust in God for all needed aid. He hath said, ‘Lo, I am with you always! My grace is sufficient for you. I will never leave nor forsake you!’ Precious promises ! May my faith be strong! What may be the Lord’s will, I know not. I am praying to know it. Sometimes I think of retiring from this place, in the expectation of becoming more useful by having more time for study. The Lord direct me and preserve me from error. When I touched on the dissolution of our connection, my soul felt, and my voice faltered. I have loved my colleague, and he has loved me. May our friendship be perpetual!”

A separation of the two churches was under discussion. As the one in the Northern Liberties had increased, and was now able to sustain the gospel, Dr. Janeway was in favour of the movement. It drew from the people in the new church, expressions of the most ardent attachment, and they urged as their chief objection, their unwillingness to leave his pastoral care. The Presbytery confirmed the separation, and dissolved the pastoral relation. Dr. Janeway was appointed to organize the First Presbyterian church in the Northern Liberties. Fourteen years and more had he served them, and he was honoured of God in building up the church, by increase in the number of their worshippers, and in bringing souls into his kingdom. When he announced to them that he was no longer their pastor, a great sensation was produced, and in the afternoon he laboured to show that the new arrangements were for their good; and finally, to soothe their feelings, it was required by them, that he should continue to preach with them, in exchange with the minister whom they might call. Deeply gratifying to his feelings was the affection manifested, and long was his memory precious among those who heard the gospel from his lips.

” God has given me,” he writes about this time, ” a very conspicuous station. But my ambition is to have a people that love me, and if it were the pleasure of God, I think I could without reluctance, retire from my present charge to one in the country. What avails being known, except deriving from it opportunity for doing good? May I be humble, active, diligent, successful, useful.” So much was his mind exercised on the subject, that after much prayer, it seemed to him to be his duty to resign his charge, though he decided to wait until the ensuing spring. As far as he could see, his mind decided, for reasons which satisfied him then, to seek a place more retired, and where he hoped to live in the hearts of a rural population. He did not fail to confer with his venerable preceptor, and lay his heart bare. In reply, he received the following letter [from Dr. Green], which, for its excellent spirit and Christian friendship, and as exhibiting a specimen of that excellent and holy man, we insert:—

” With much attention and tender concern I have read your last esteemed letter. I enter fully into your meaning, and I think I know your feelings and views. They are, I hope, correct and proper. The desire you cherish may be well founded; and as such, it will meet with the Divine approbation. But let me remind you, that it is usual with the Lord in His divine providence, to make His children wait for the accomplishment, even of those designs which He Himself has excited. In this way, they learn to live by faith, and exercise patience, which last is one of the most difficult to learn and practise, of all the Christian graces. Let what passes in your mind remain there undisclosed, at least for the present; what you impart to me is sacred and secret, but it will not be advisable as yet, to intimate any fixed design of this kind to your people, because it might alienate your best friends, and until the Lord opens another door it would expose you to very unpleasant consequences. Wait for the Lord and upon the Lord in his time, which is always the best. He will help and provide for you, and perhaps sooner than you may anticipate. In the meantime be not discouraged nor uneasy; read the 37th Psalm, exercise trust and confidence in your covenant Lord—all will be well. But remember, a good place is better than a bad change; but, if a change for the better can be effected, it will be a matter of praise and gratitude. It is sufficiently known among your faithful friends, that you contemplate, if practicable, a removal; they will be mindful of you, and do all they can to meet your wishes.”

[excerpt from The Life of Dr. J. J. Janeway, D.D., pp. 185-186.]

Words to Live By:
A pastor once counseled another, “If you don’t know what you should do, stay where you are until you do. I am convinced that God has important work where you are; see it and enter into it zealously until God clearly shows you the next move.”
The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps.” (Proverbs 16:9).

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