price as not to prevent its being a sort of universal manual. It is a
happy evidence of the increase of the spirit of prayer amongst us,
that such books are more and more in demand. It will, I trust,
supply the void which we all feel to exist. Most pious families, out
of the Church or in it, begin to prefer, I believe, a simple spiritual
form to extemporaneous diflfusive exercises, especially when so many,
even of circumcised lips, are rather those of Moses than Aaron. I
need not say, at any rate, how glad we shall be to use it, and to
know in the hours of our separation that we are calling upon God
with one mind, and with one mouth also. These are associations
which the Church makes peculiar provision for cherishing in all her
public services ; and it is good to carry them deeply into our pri-
vate devotional exercises and our household communion."
The following incidental remark is thrown out in a letter of No-
vember 14, among many personal allusions : " My head is full of
' unwritten ' essays in prose and poetry, on sundry subjects, some
of which I hope will be ready for use in the course of the winter."
In a letter of the same date, to his friend Miss H , he speaks
still more explicitly on this subject. " My heart, to tell the whole
truth, has been set upon sending you some rhymes of the series
which I have so long contemplated ; but the hcau ideal recedes like
the rainbow as you attempt to approach it, and the consequence is
that you have had neither rhyme nor reason." Before dismissing
this topic, he says, " Let me not forget to say, that if the editor of
the Witness wishes the lines on Christ Church, they may have my
imprimatur ; and if satisfactory, they will, I trust, be earnests of better
things to come. With regard to the motto, I approve of the sug-
gestion to strike out the clause alluded to. It grates harshly upon
the ear, and perhaps inspiration alone has a right to make just such
an application. It certainly would be misapprehended and resented
1842.] ST. PETER'S, AUBURN. 303
in Boston, however true it might be regarded of ancient Per-
There is something exquisitely touching in the following jjassage,
which is transcribed from the same letter. Tlie child wiiosc death
is iiere alluded to was baptized " William Croswell " by his
own hand, while he was last in Boston. " Poor Mrs. Golbert ! as
1 rejoiced with her when I signed my name upon that little ' blossom
t)f being,' how my heart trembles to think of the grief with which
parents feel the loss of a child. And ' yet it is one,' to use the
words of my favorite country parson's daughter, 'which ought to
yield most readily to the comforts of religion. Though the baby be
as fair as ever sun shone upon, it is none too fair for the place he
has gone to. When I see how very much evil there is in the world,
how much " sin to blight," how much " sorrow to fade," can I grieve
tiiat so many frail buds are transplanted by the Lord of the garden
to a fairer climate ? O, no ! Jesus said. Suffer little children to
come unto me ; and I do believe he said it, not only in reference to
the group of young Israelites then gathered around him, nor merely
as an encouragement to Christian parents to trust their living treas-
ures to his care, but that his omniscient eye looked round at that
moment on the innumerable multitude of these little ones, whom his
free grace has, in all ages, called to glory.' I know no more beau-
tiful passage on the subject out of the Scriptures. Tell our afflicted
friends how much I think of them in their bereavement, and that I
have written out this passage for their consolation. As I turn from
those thus mourning for their little one to the cradle at my side,
how much cause have we to rejoice with trembling, that, while one
is taken, another is left ! Graciously preserved through all the perils
of a joaip.ey of eight hundred miles, she reposes in health and safety
in the house where she was born."
But few incidents remain to fill up the record of the present year.
Besides the ordinary and current duties of the parish, — including
sermons on Sunday, morning and evening, and Sunday school
instructions every afternoon, — his preparations for the du^ obser-
vance of the Thanksgiving and Christmas solemnities added much
weight to his cares ; and the year closed as it had begun and con-
tinued, with frequent, not to say daily, returns of the headache.
He would most cheerfully have accepted a very pressing invitation
to attend the consecration of Bishop Eastburn, in Trinity Church,
Boston, on the 29th of December, had it been consistent with his
sense of duty to his people ; and coming, as the invitation did, not
only from many of his excellent friends in Boston, but also from
his bishop, the refusal cost him the exercise of much self-denial.
In the mean time, however, he seems to have sought a solace in
composing the beautiful pastoral which is subjoined. These stan-
zas were sent to the Albany Argus and to the New York Church-
304 MEMOIR OF WILLIAM CROSWELL. [1842.
mail for publication, and from tliose papers they were transferred
to the Christian Witness and Church Chronicle, and perhaps to
some other periodicals. They were also sent to a friend in Boston,
and to his father, accompanied by this r.emark : " I send the above,
not as a substitute for a letter, but to show you what I have been
about, and as an earnest that the sluices are in some sort opened
of the old poetic feeling, and that I trust it will flow out to better
purpose than of late years."
A CBMSTMAS E\'ENmG PASTORAL.
' Te shall have a eong as in the night when a holy solemnity is kept."
My own dear Church, how can I choose
But turn, in spirit, back to thee.
As on this hallowed night I lose
Myself in pensive revery ?
For in thy courts a single day,
'Tis good, if, but in thought, to dwell ;
Nor may I tear my heart away
From all that it has loved so well.
How sweet to hear at eventide
The pealing of thy silver chime.
In tuneful changes far and wide,
Give note of coming Christmas time ?
How richly through the wintry sky
It floats ! as if the heavenly train
Sang " Glory be to God on high.
And peace to peaceful men,"
While thus the vocal heavens invite.
And bells ring out in angel tone,
To Bethlehem let us haste to-night.
And see the wonders there made known.
Thy radiant courts are all a-blaze,
And brilliant is the festive scene.
As when rose on the prophet's gaze
Fair Canaan, dressed in living green.
The wreaths in loftiest arches tied,
The boughs in each deep window spread,
The festoons swung from side to side.
The columns twined and garlanded •
*^*2.] ST. PETER'S. AUBURN.
The leafy cross which venturous arm
Has dared to hang the chancel o'er,
Give all tlie shady lodge a charm
That never met the eye before.
Thus, verdant as a sylvan tent,
Thine old age puts its greenness on;
Thy bowery aisles all redolent
With goodliest smell of Lebanon.
How fresh the branches stand, and thick!
With what a dazzling light, and clear,
Like Aaron's golden candlestick.
Gleams out each ancient chandelier !
And he who looks above the crowd
May almost see, in vision, swim
Beneath the cornice, veiled in cloud,
The mystic shapes of cherubim ;
Now, listening to the grateful strain,
Each in his angle seems to rest.
With twain unfolded wings, and twain
Spread crosswise on his raptured breast.
And now a joyous echo rings.
As if the whole angelic row.
That o'er the rood loft poise their wings,
Their loud, uplifted trumpets blow ;
And quivering now through wavy trees,
And throbbing breasts, with thrilling sound'
Of solemn pastoral symphonies,
A glory truly shines around.
It shines on robes without alloy,
On priestly vestment, pure and white,
And on the shepherd's head whose joy
It is to watch his flock by night.
It brightest shines where hearts once cold
Are kindling with the truths revealed.
And, like the faithful swains of old,
Beneath their gladdening influence yield.
Thrice blest who thus the night prolong,
Who soar on each inspiring tune.
And emulate the " shining throng "
That pass away to heaven too soon '
Thrice blest, who, as the years roll by,
More fondly treasure up the word,
306 MEMOm OF WILLIAM CROSWELL. [1843.
And God their Savior glorify
For all that they have seen and heard !
Though many a friend is dead and gone,
Though many a sainted face we miss,
Long may thy tuneful peal ring on,
That calls, dear Church, to feasts like this !
For whence could joy and comfort flow
To aching hearts that bleed for them,
But for His grace, whose reign below
Began this night in Bethlehem ?
To this last verse was appended, as a note, " This was one of the
dying sentiments of a late young servant of Christ, eminent alike for
his early endowments of grace and genius, whose ' sainted face we
miss ' among the baptized children of Christ Church, Boston. ' O,
say not so,' said he, in his last days, to a sorrowing friend wlio spoke
of having a gloomy Christmas on account of his decease, ' O, say not
so, but think what we should all be but for the birth which Christmas
day commemorates ! ' See Bishop Doane's memoir of the late
Rev. B. D. WiNSLOw."
To this note it is not inappropriate to add the following short
extract from one of his last letters of the year : " I had a kind let-
ter from Bishop Doane yesterday. He tells me that Winslow's
Remains have been printed at Oxford, and that he has a copy for
me. You may be sure that I shall value it higlily. 1 have many
delightful reminiscences of that departed saint, which, if my hfe is
spared, shall in some way be given to the world." Alas ! that his
life ended too soon — that the work was never done !
In one of the earliest letters of this year he expresses his senti-
ments on two popular topics, which are so rational and temperate
that they must commend themselves to the respect even of those
who may differ with him in opinion. Speaking of certain voluntary
associations of which young men become the most ardent and liberal
supporters, he says, "They are not without their dangers, at least
to young men whose principles are not fixed, not only in the expense
of time and money which they involve, but in the facility which they
afford for forming other associations of a different cfiaracter, and in
1S43.] ST. PETER'S, AUBURN. 307
drawing off the interest from domestic, not to say religious duties.
A tithe of the effort, time, and money which are required to give
temporary activity and vitality to ohjects that perish in the using,
woukl, with God's blessing, go much further in promoting the designs
of that society, of which Christ is the almighty Head and Founder,
with which we are all bound to be identified, as we value our soul's
welfare, in time as well as eternity, and which is destined to survive
' the wreck of matter and the crush of worlds.' But I must not
forget that I am not writing a sermon, though I feel that I ought to
be." Again, with reference to a practice which was then becoming
very prevalent, — that of raising money for charitable purposes by
means o( fairs, — he says, "The ladies of the First Presbyterian
Church got up a fair in aid of a destitute church at the west, at
which, report says, dancing was among the entertainments of a ques-
tionable character. Subsequently a sort of rival ejiterprise was got
up for the relief of the poor of the village, which comes off to-night.
Attempts have been made to get the patronage of the clergy in
behalf of the object, and, with the exception of my own, have, I be-
lieve, been generally successful. I consented to read the notice last
Sunday, but coupled it with a protest against this mode of raising
money for any charitable object. Consistency requires me to main-
tain this ground, which has not been suddenly taken. I have for
years entertained the most conscientious convictions of the inconsist-
ency of these schemes of extortion with all Christian principle,
and have further noticed some of tlieir mischievous effects upon
those who have most actively engaged in them. I shall probably
subject myself to some censure on this account, in some quarters ;
but it matters little. The time will come when I shall stand justified
before men, as I trust I do before God, in this matter."
On the recurrence of St. Paul's day, the fourteenth anniversary
of his ordination, he throws oft" in a letter to his father the following
characteristic passage : " Alas for me if I forget the memory of this
day fourteen years since ! How vividly its transactions still recur
in the private watches of the night ! How profitably should they
mingle with the thoughts of this consecrated day ! I shall try to
embody the reminiscences they awaken in some fitting shape. Mean-
while their record is on high."
On Sunday, the 19th of February, he received verbal intelligence
of the sudden demise of the Right Rev. Bishop Griswold ; and he
thus speaks of the event in a subsequent letter to his father : " Un-
expected as was the intelligence of the death of our right reverend
father and friend, the presiding bishop, we were much struck
by the fact that it should have first been communicated to Bishop
De Lancey by Governor Seward, under this roof, where the mem-
ories of Bishop Hobart's fragrant name fill the house as with
the odors of precious ointment, and amid the scenes where our
308 MEMOm OF "SVILLIAM CROSWELL. [1843.
diocesan received his episcopacy at the hands of Bishop Griswold.
We had no particulars till the papers of the next day arrived; and
yesterday an invaluable correspondent anticipated every inquiry
which we could possibly have made, in a full account of the death
and funeral. ... I mourn tlie loss of Bishop Griswold most
sincerely. Not only in our official relations, but personally, he was
always paternal and tender ; and I shall ever dwell with a sad pleas-
ure upon those hours of earthly intercourse never to be renewed,
but to be superseded, if I am but as well prepared as he was for
death, by something better in heaven."
This train of reflection was further continued in a letter to the
correspondent above alluded to. Miss H , under date of Ash
Wednesday, March 1. "Your letter touching the last things of
the dear old bishop was too good, as I thought, for me alone ; and
I made some extracts for the Gospel Messenger. . . . If I
were to begin to tell of the emotions which that event has awakened
within me, I should hardly know where to stop. It is most grateful
and soothing to notice the universal expression of veneration and
respect which the announcement of his death has called forth in all
quarters, far and near. Truly, great is the lamentation that has
been made over him ; and I sorrow with multitudes at the thought
that I shall see his saintly face in the flesh no more. May we all
so truly profit by the dispensation, that we may see his face again
in glory, and may it be our renewed desire and prayer, that we may
stir up the gift that is in us, by the laying on of his hands."
The following verses were enclosed in a letter to the same corre-
spondent ; not, he says, for publication, and they have probably
never appeared in print. He styles them poor verses ; but of this the
reader must judge.
"HOUSES OF WORSHIP."
Pray tell me, is yon classic dome.
Hemmed in on either flank,
Designed for God's, or Mammon's home
A temple, or a bank ?
And tell me why, to human eyes,
No outward signs declare
If it be house of merchandise,
Or holy house of prayer.
The Hindoo pagod's towers are gay
With flaunting banners set;
And crescents in the sunbeams play
On mosque and minaret :
^®*3-J ST. rETER'S, AUBUIIN.
As by the synagogue I went,
Some months ago, I saw
Conspicuous in the pediment
The tables of the law.
But who shall say of this unique
With what it has to do,
Or Catholic, or Heretic,
Or Pagan, Turk, or Jew ?
Or that new pantheistic sect
Whose creeds with all accord,
And worship, with a like respect,
" Jehovah, Jove, or Lord " ?
O, why should Christian men thus fear
To lift on every shrine
The symbol to their souls most dear,
Faith's sure and steadfast sign ;
That swerves not when the vanes are whirled,
The sport of every breeze.
As fitful as this fickle world,
Or fancy's vagaries ?
But look on all the neighboring spires,
And see it written plain.
The shape which most the town admires
Is, like its name, but vain.
The Cross is still a stumbling block,
And noisy Gushfords vaunt
That nothing but your weathercock
Is purely Protestant.
There were some reason on their side,
If these same cocks could crow
As often as is Christ denied
By those who meet below ;
Or could they Avarn the wavering,
By passion tossed and doubt,
Of their unrest whom every wind
Of doctrine veers about.
At this time some plain indications were apparent that another
change in his pastoral relations was seriously contemplated, if not
desired. This did not arise from any disaffection between his peo-
ple and liimself. In the month of February, in reply to a sugges-
310 ilEMOIR OF WILLIAM CROSWELL. [1843.
tion that his services miglit again be required in Boston, he says, "I
confess, as years roll by, I do not feel any less like a stranger and
a pilgrim here, and cannot but hope, in the course of Providence,
that we shall yet be brought nearer to each other. And yet we
should be the most ungrateful of beings to complain of the line
wherein our lot is cast, or be otherwise than content with the state
wherein we are." He had every domestic comfort, and the affairs
of the parish were in a promising state ; but he had much to dis-
hearten him. He perceived an increasing tendency to indisposition.
His labors were frequently interrupted by violent attacks of head-
ache, and, during the winter, he suffered from time to time from
complaints of the throat, which caused much anxiety on the part of
himself and his friends, as well as his physician. When, therefore, ad-
vances began to be made from the former scene of his labors, it is
not strange that he should be inclined to listen. Accordingly we
find in several letters to his father and other correspondents, written
in April and during the Easter season, frequent allusions to a
possible change. Writing to Miss C , with reference to a sug-
gestion on this subject, he says, "We feel more and more, every
day, like those who have no continuing city — pilgrims who dwell
in tents, liable to be called to strike them at any time, either for
another world, or for another part of this." But in a letter of April
11 to his father, the suggestion takes a more definite shape : "My
Boston correspondents write me that the city mission is now vacant,
and inquiring whether, in case it were offered me at a salary of
one thousand dollars, and with a pledge to erect a chapel within the
ensuing year, I would be disposed to entertain it. I have replied,
that our aftairs here seemed to be at a crisis." He here mentions
certain contingencies, under which he should feel absolved from any
obligation to remain in Auburn. He adds, however, " It would be
painful indeed to contemplate the dissolution of my connection with
this parish ; and I have every reason to believe that the pain would
be mutual. But being regarded as one of the most desirable parishes
in the diocese, there would probably be little difficulty in supplying
it to their minds ; and though not perhaps given to change, they are
at least accustomed to it. With regard to the situation in question,
I have ever regarded it as one of the most enviable in the city, as
bringing him who is faithful to his duties nearest to him who was
anointed to preach the gospel to the poor, and who ever delighted
to call the poor his brethren. It is not a sphere whose occupations
are novel or imtried by me, having made myself familiar during my
whole ministry with its homeliest details, and become intimate with
its least inviting aspects. Though I know not therefore what I
ought to ask, perhaps I know the necessity of being bathed in the
baptism of his Spirit, who came, not to be ministered unto, but to
minister ; and with all the world before him where to choose, laid
1843.] ST. PETER'S, AUBURN. 311
his course through the lowest vale of humiliation. May God give
us all grace to follow more closely his holy example. Unless I am
greatly deceived in myself, I could be more useful in that situation
than almost any other ; and should be willing, at any rate, to try
the experiment, in case it should be expedient for me to go away.
Whether I am to be favored with this ofter, or whether the events
which may turn up here may induce me to regard more favorably
my position, a few days will now determine ; and in the mean while,
1 shall be thankful for your godly and fatherly judgment upon mat-
ters as they strike you." It is, perhaps, quite superfluous to say
tliat his father not only admired the spirit of this letter, but entirely
approved of his favoring the suggestions of his Boston corre-
On Easter Monday, writing to Miss Callahan, and enclosing the
Elegiac Stanzas in memory of her nephew, the Rev. Benjamin D.
WiNSLOW, already copied on page 234, he thus briefly alludes to the
labors of love and charity in which she had aided him during his
forjner residence in Boston, adding a remark fully expressive of the
feeling which reigned in his heart : "Rest assured that you are much
and often in my grateful thoughts, as I muse on the past, both in
connection with him, (Winslovv,) and especially in connection with
that most blessed walk of pastoral duty which has carried us together
to minister in the consecrated abodes of Christian poverty and dis-
tress. If it were God's will, with all the world before me where to
choose, I would ask to enlist in the same service again, and with
such helpers." Again, on the same day, in a letter to Miss Clark,
he says, " Brother wrote me last Monday, to ask whether I
would come if they did call for me, and bidding me write by return
of mail, if it were but three words. I did so, and filled my sheet ;
and authorized him, if he wanted any thing further, to obtain a sight
of my epistle to you. I hope I have acted in the matter with a due
discretion, and not said too much, nor any thing inconsistent with the
trust and dependence on divine direction, which, in so momentous a
matter, should be our^r*-^ principle. I have not allowed myself from
the outset to suppose that the question was yet at our disposal or
that of our friends ; knowing, by experience, that it is not in man that
walketh to direct his steps. Though I have endeavored to treat the
suggestion in the spirit of simple sincerity and good faith, I shall not,
I trust, give way to any feeling or any expression of disappointment,
however it may be finally settled." He adds, on hearing that Bishop
Eastburn had remarked to one of his parishioners who had recently
been in Boston that he was desirous of leaving Auburn, " I con-
fess I do not like altogether the bishop's way of stating the matter ;
never caring to be classed with those of whom it was said, I have
not sent them, and yet they ran ; or being desirous of coming to
Boston, except upon the supposition that my friends desired me to
312 MEMOIR OF WILLIAM CROSWELL. [1843.
Again, towards the close of the week, lie writes somewhat more
at large, to his friend Couthouy and to his father, and in language
of a similar import. The latter is more strictly confined to the sub-
ject. " Though it is Friday in the paschal week, the earth is still
very unclean. Nature is far from being advanced in the fairest
colors of the spring, to welcome the triumph of the great Head of
the Church over the grave : no vernal zephyrs, no green resur-
rection, to harmonize with the services of the chief festival. The
year is a month, at least, in arrears, as compared with the last, when
the roads were settled in March, and I filled my vase with early wild
flowers before this time. The advancement, however, will probably
be more rapid in consequence, and there will be little difference in
the progress of vegetation at the opening of summer. . . . The
churchyard is at present quite a scene of unwonted activity, being
full of men and boys trimming the old locust trees and setting out
new ones. ... I have heard nothing further from our friends
at the east since I wrote last. I am glad that your views on the
subject correspond with my own. If it were God's will, on my wife's
account as well as my own, it would require no self-denial to follow