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“Dear Sir, More than fifty years ago, while standing near this memorable spot, I was consecrated to the Pastoral office over the church and religious society in this place, by my then fathers and brethren in the ministry, who have long since finished their course, and one after another gone the way of all the earth. A vivid recollection of those past scenes and events, awakens the most serious, the most painful and the most grateful reflections, anticipations, and emotions in my breast, on this affecting occasion. Though I have very frequently attended the usual solemnities of an ordination, yet this, in which I am now appointed to bear a part, is to me, in many respects, the most solemn and interesting one that I ever attended in the long course of my protracted life. I never read of but one man who was placed in a situation similar, or more striking and impressive than mine at this present moment; and I hope I do feel, in some measure, as Aaron felt when Moses, at the divine command, took him and Eleazar his son up to Mount Hor, in the sight of all the congregation of Israel on the day of his death; and there stripped off his sacerdotal robes, and put them upon Eleazar his son and successor in the most holy and sacred office on earth. This instance, dear Sir, is instructive to us both. It tells me that I must soon die, but it supposes that you may yet live many years; and in that case, admonishes you to fill my place properly, and supply my deficiences in the great work which I have for ever relinquished.”
He entertained the council, with a great number of visiting clergymen, and other gentlemen who were present on this occasion, at his own house and at his own expense.
After the religious exercises of the day were over, and he found opportunity to indulge himself in a social interview with the numerous friends who had convened on that occasion, he appeared in all the vivacity and cheerfulness of youth. There was a glow of health upon his cheek, his form was erect, his step was firm, and his movements were quick and regular. The excitement of the occasion served, no doubt, to bring all his powers both of body and mind into more vigorous action than usual. But it was remarked by a number who were present, at that time, that his mental activity, his social powers, and the zest with which he participated in the enjoyments of the day, were more than equal to what young men are accustomed to manifest on similar occasions.
His conduct toward his colleague was uniformly marked with paternal kindness and fidelity. The following testimony from Mr. Smalley himself, is gratifying evidence that the relation of colleague-pastor is not necessarily an unhappy one.
“ It was not without trembling solicitude that I entered upon that intimate and solemn relation with him, in the year 1829. I had serious apprehensions that I should not be able to meet the demands of a
people who had enjoyed his services for more than half a century; and knowing what collisions of opinion and feeling had often arisen between colleagues of different temperaments and habits of thought, I greatly feared that it would be impossible for me, in preaching and pastoral deportment, to secure his approbation in any tolerable degree. But after an experience of more than nine years, I can truly say, that it is practicable for associate pastors of the same church to live in perfect harmony and peace, though differing greatly in age, in temperament, in style of communicating thought, and in many of the modes of pastoral supervision. From the first, he won my affection and confidence, and taught me to trust in him as a friend and father. He only asked that I would yield to him his place and rights, and most cheerfully he accorded to me all that I could reasonably desire. It was my privilege to seek his advice on all occasions of interest and solicitude; and it was his pleasure to select from his rich and varied experience those maxims of practical wisdom, and those opportune suggestions, which at once removed apparent difficulties and pointed out a path of light. In his criticisms on my public performances, he was uniformly kind and candid. The stated seasons in which I used to go and sit at his feet to listen to his timely and varied instructions ; to suggest my doubts and difficulties; and have them removed by his pithy and sententious sayings, his luminous and ready statements; have a degree of sacredness in my mind, are among the most hallowed, the greenest spots on my memory of past years. With no mind have I been permitted to hold more intimate communion on the great truths of our holy religion than his; from no one have I ever received more unequivocal testimonials of disinterested friendship; and I seriously doubt whether the minister now lives, with whom I could spend nine years of such uninterrupted harmony and perfect good will, as I did when associated with him. Numerous and strong were my attachments to the church and people of Franklin ; to break the ties that bound me to them was indeed painful ; but it was long before I could feel willing to leave that father in Israel, with whom I had spent so many delightful and profitable hours. Yet, when at last I frankly told him my views and confidingly asked him what I should do, he touchingly replied, “Though I had hoped to be spared this trial yet I do not see but you ought to go.' Now that he is dead, I mourn for him as a father; and yet I rejoice in the strong assurance that he is an inhabitant of that city which he was accustomed to speak of with glowing energy, and is holding communion with those sainted spirits which entered upon their reward before him.”
The revival which took place under the ministry of his successor gave him great satisfaction. Though he could not attend many of the extra meetings, nor be frequently abroad among the subjects of the work, yet he did much at home by his counsel and prayers to aid others in carrying it forward. Many came to converse with him under serious impressions, to whom he gave instruction in his usual appropriate and faithful manner.
In the removal of Mr. Smalley, he met with a trial which he did not anticipate. Having committed to him the oversight of his flock, and beheld with pleasure the attachment of the people to him, and his increased usefulness among them, he desired and expected to leave them under his ministry when he should take his departure from the world. But a righteous Providence had decreed that he should again behold his people as sheep without a shepherd. This event, although severely trying to his feelings, he met with a degree of candor and submission worthy of a man who had long contemplated the instability of all human affairs, and acquired the habit of putting his trust in God alone. The change gave a new exhibition to the strength of his attachment to his people, and the interest he felt in their welfare. He again united his efforts with those of his people to procure the re-settlement of the ministry among them. On the fifteenth of November, 1839, the church gave the Rev. Tertius D. Southworth an invitation to become their pastor. This step was in accordance with the wishes of Dr. Emmons. The parish subsequently concurred with the church in this invitation, and on the 23rd of January, 1839, Mr. Southworth was installed. Dr. Emmons was requested, on this occasion, to give the charge, but declined on account of his great age. Almost ten years had gone over his head since the ordination of his first colleague, and brought with them the debilitating influence of extreme old age. He was able, however, to attend the exercises of the occasion, and to enjoy in a good degree the visit which he then received from a large number of his clerical and other friends.
His connection with Mr. Southworth continued until his death, and like that with Mr. Smalley, proved to be one of uninterrupted harmony. Mr. Southworth was happily disappointed in the character of the man. “I had received,” said he," the impression that he was austere, and arrogant; and of course, the legitimate conclusion was, that he would be a most uncomfortable colleague. But at my first introduction to him, his complaisance, and the kind and affable reception which he offered me, at once dispelled my false and groundless impression, so contrary to his nature and dishonorable to his character. From that time to the present, there has been no occasion to alter my favorable opinion of him. He never manifested the least inclination to dictate to me in my course, leaving me entirely unshackled and free. But his counsel, he was ever ready to impart. This was always wise, disinterested and seasonable. Gratitude to his memory demands of me an VOL. 1.
acknowledgment of many instances of advice peculiarly timely and very advantageous to me. As a counsellor he was to me inestimable. In this respect, I sensibly feel my need of him, and therefore sincerely and continually lament his death. He never gave me the slightest trouble by interfering with my arrangements. As he venerated the sacerdotal office, he always treated me with the greatest respect on account of it. He uniformly manifested towards me, the sincerest affection, kindness and friendship. During my connection with him, his conduct was such as to command my highest respect, my deepest veneration, my sincere and ardent love. I never saw the man, - my own reverend father excepted, — whom I so much revered and loved. In fine, Dr. Emmons was such an one as a modest, humble man, who is willing to be outshone by the brightness of a sun of almost unrivalled glory, would wish for a senior colleague. At the feet of such an one, it was delightful to sit and listen to the gracious words that proceeded out of his mouth, to the great things of God's law which he unfolded.”
In every degree of prosperity which attended the church and society under the ministry of each of his successors, he heartily rejoiced. Nothing seemed to raise his spirits and to gladden his heart so much as to find that his colleagues were discharge ing the duties of their high vocation with ability and faithfulness, and in this way gaining the affections and confidence of their people. On the other hand, the least symptoms of disaffection toward their minister, or want of confidence in him among the people, gave him great uneasiness. From the time of his retirement from the duties of his office, he uniformly declined taking any part in the public services of the sanctuary, or even in any private, religious meeting. His principal reason for this was, his determination never to be in the way of his successor, or to impose his services upon the people after they had become tired of them. But, although he took no part in any public service and endeavored by every means in his power to turn the hearts of his people to his successor; he did not cease to cherish the same strong attachment to the people, and the same lively interest in their welfare, which he had felt before. After he had done preaching, he acted the part of a good church member, and a good parishioner. He was always ready to do his part to sustain the institutions of religion. He was always, as long as he had strength to get there, found in the house of God on the Sabbath. He always endeavored to encourage the heart, and to strengthen the hands of his minister. He always sought, as well as desired, the union, the peace, and the prosperity of his parish. In a sermon preached the Sabbath after his interment, Mr. Southworth thus notices his attachment to his people.“ His idol, if he had one, was his parish. It was the object of his greatest care, and tenderest solicitude. Even to his last days, he manifested the greatest concern for your welfare, watching for you with godly jealousy; often repeating, I do love Franklin,' and offering up for you some of his latest prayers."
HIS DOMESTIC CHARACTER. DEATH OF HIS CHILDREN. DEATH
OF HIS SECOND WIFE.—HIS LAST MARRIAGE.
Dr. Emmons was ardently attached to his family. He was constitutionally a warm hearted and social man, and in spite of his deep speculations and studious habits, naturally became strongly attached to those friends with whom he was habitually and intimately associated. Of the strength of his attachments no one can doubt, who reads the record which he has made of his feelings when his first wife and children were taken from him. This early and sore bereavement probably did serve in some measure to moderate all his earthly attachments. It may have been designed to make him realize, more fully than before, the guilt and danger of loving the creature more than the Creator, or of depending upon any arm of flesh as the means of his support and happiness. It seems to have produced this important effect. In reserence to this event of divine providence he says, “I learned some things which I shall never forget, and for which I shall have reason always to bless God. I learned to moderate my expectations from the world, and especially from the enjoyment of children and earthly friends. I have scarcely ever thought of my present wife and children without reflecting upon their mortality, and realizing the danger of being bereaved of them. And I have never indulged such high hopes concerning my present family, as I presumptuously indulged with respect to the family I have laid in the dust." He was not, however, less sincerely or truly attached 10 his last family than to the first. He was a kind husband and father, and a constant, faithful friend. Those who have resided in his family, and others who have occasionally visited there, know what cordiality prevailed in this domestic circle, and