lection of former times, six children were presented to receive bap-
tism at his hands. He had not been long in Boston before he re-
ceived convincing proof of the estimation and affection in which he
was held ; for measures were immediately taken for the organiza-
tion of a new parish, with the hope that his services might be
secured as rector. " Strong wishes," he writes, " have been ex-
pressed in many quarters to have me fixed in some position of use-
fulness here." It will be seen, as the narrative proceeds, that meas-
ures were speedily taken for the accomplishment of this object.
While absent with his family on a visit to New Haven, he was
kept apprised, by his attentive correspondent in Boston, of the prog-
ress and prospects of the enterprise above alluded to. On the 12th
of September, he was informed of the result of a meeting held for
the purpose of making arrangements for the organization of a new
parish, with such assurances of his being called and provided for as
rector, that he was no longer left in doubt as to the success of the
undertaking. To the Rev. J. L. Watson, with whom he had always
maintained the most friendly relations, he thus writes on the 16th:
" In writing to our excellent friend Dr. Shattuck, this morning, I
informed him that we should return to Auburn this week, and there
await any communication from the new parish. On further reflec-
tion, it seems best that we should remain here until the question is
officially decided, and so spare my wife and little one the fatigue and
expense of a journey of seven hundred miles and more, back and forth.
Will you please to inform my correspondent of this change in our
purpose, and to request that, whatever is intended for us, may be
sent to this place 1 Upon the receipt of the evidence of my r' • -tion
as rector, I will forward my resignation to Auburn without uclay,
and be prepared to enter on my new field of duty at the solemn
season of which the name of the parish will long, I trust, continue
to remind the crooked and perverse generations — preparing the way
of the Lord, and making straight his paths. I think it not improba-
ble that the parish of St. Peter's would desire me to remain until they
could make some provision for a successor. This they will find but
little difficulty in doing, as the parish is justly regarded as one of the
most desirable in the diocese. If local attachments, intimacies, and
kindred ties did not draw elsewhere, as in my case, there are few of
1844.] ST. PETER'S, AUBURN. 331
our western villages that would present more inducements. I have
experienced great kindness at their hands, and cannot think of leav-
ing them witliont much regret, and not a ' few natural tears.' But
while I shrink from contemplating the trying scene that awaits me
there, I confess to you, that the prospect of resuming my ministry
once more in my old and almost native haunts fills my mind with
a thousand pleasant images of the future, which I am too sanguine,
perhaps, in expecting to find renewals of the past ; but as they are
all connected with the satisfactory discharge of duties in which I
have had some experience, I trust it is not sinful to indulge them.
Favored as I shall be with the cooperation of so many of the flower
of the Church, I shall feel that it will be, in a great measure, my
own fault if I do not realize some of them. The thought of being
restored to the society and intercouse of those with whom I so long
took sweet counsel together and walked to the house of God in
company, is a luxury beyond the deserts of such a miserable sinner."
Again, on the 18th, writing to Miss H , he says, " I anticipate
a tryuig scene in leaving Auburn, for there has been much to attach
me to that cure, both to persons and places : but ' we trust that we
have a good conscience,' and have the sanction and approval of
those upon whose judgment we have been most accustomed to rely.
I confess that the footing upon which this business seems
likely to be placed, humanly speaking, inspires me with great hope
of success. At any rate, it will be commenced with advantages
which will throw a great weight of responsibility upon me if it should
fail. I feel a deep consciousness how entirely our strength is weak-
ness, and that, more than ever, I shall be with you in weakness and
in fear, and in much trembhng. Still, we know that there is a
mighty and mysterious power, through which, if we seek it, we ' can
do all things ; ' and I am sure that I shall have the sympathy of
yourself and many others, in prayers that to me, also, this grace may
be given, and that I may come to you in the fulness of the blessings
of the gospel of peace."
In a letter from Dr. Shattuck, of the 20th of September, he was
informed that the new parish had been duly incorporated, under the
name of the " Church of the Advent," and that arrangements had
been made for its complete organization. And in his next letter an
ofiicial call is communicated : —
Boston, September 25, 1844.
Rev. and dear Sir : At a meeting of the corporation of the parish of
the Advent, held last evening, you were unanimously elected the rector of
the parish, and I was appointed a committee to correspond with you, and
inform you of your election.
With great regard, I am.
Very truly, yours,
G.C. SHATTUCK, Jr.
Rev. William Croswell.
332 MEMOm OF AVILLIAM CROS-S\^LL. [1844.
On the receipt and acceptance of this call, he immediately ten-
dered his resignation of his cure at Auhnrn in the following letter : —
BosToif, September 24, 1844.
To THE Wardens and Vestry of St. Peter's Church, Auburn.
Gentlemen : Considerations growing chiefly out of the state of my own
health and that of uiy family, and the necessity of long and expensive an-
nual absences on that account, have for some time impressed me with the
conviction, that it would be my duty to resign my present interesting
cure. An invitation received during my absence to assume the charge of
" The Church of the Advent," a new parish just organized in Boston,
and to be commenced with the opening of the ecclesiastical year, has led me
to the conclusion that the time to act upon that conviction has arrived. I
therefore respectfully tender herewith my resignation of the rectorship of
the parish of " St. Peter's Church, Auburn." I cannot sever a tie which has
bound us together in such happy and harmonious relations without a severe
trial of feeling ; but, at the same time, not without a full persuasion, that, in
so eligible a parish, there will be no difficulty in securing a pastor after your
own mind. As part of our canonical obligation, to " do nothing without the
bishop," I submit a copy of this letter to our beloved diocesan, with a
most grateful appreciation of the privileges which I have enjoyed under
his episcopal guidance, and a most unaffected reluctance to labor under any
other master builder. I shall be happy to continue to serve the parish so
long as my engagements will permit, or until provision is made to secure a
successor, or other arrangements settled for permanent ministrations. Mean-
while, with a lively remembrance of the kindness of the parish, individually
and collectively regarded, during my connection with it, and with unabated
and earnest wishes for its welfare and prosperity, I am, in the bonds of the
Gospel and the Church of Christ,
Your friend and fellow-servant,
It now remained for him to return to Auburn, to take leave of
the parish, and to make the necessary preparations for his removal.
Accordingly, on the 26th of September, he left New Haven, with
his family and his cousin Miss Sherman, and after spending a night
at Hartford, proceeded by stage and steamboat to Springfield. But
here the mother and child, being, it was thought, too unwell to bear
the fatigue of the long, immediate journey westward, were persuaded
to set their faces directly to Boston ; while he and his cousin set for-
ward on their way to Auburn, and, by journeying all night on the
railroad, reached Auburn on Saturday, the 28th, at nine o'clock in
the morning. " The night," he says, in announcing his arrival,
" was as bright as a full harvest moon could make it ; but it was
very cold for the season, and the hoarfrost was like snow upon the
ground. We kindled up a fire upon our arrival, and have contrived
to make ourselves comfortable. My letter was received by the junior
warden yesterday, and had been seen by the members of the vestry
individually ; but as several were absent from town, it was thought
best to delay the meeting till Monday. All seem surprised ; many
will be sorry ; some, perhaps, quite the reverse ; it would be strange
if it were not so." Speaking of information received from Boston,
1844.J RESIGNATION OF ST. PETER'S. 333
he says, " Bishop Eastbukn made no objection to my coming,
though he would have preferred one whose theological views more
nearly corresponded with those of the Rev. Mr. Butler ! " He
concludes, " The prospect seems more cheerful than it did at first ;
and I hope we shall have a happy and harmonious leavetaking, and
without any needless delay."
Sunday, the 29th, he officiated as usual ; but the day being stoimy,
but few attended the services.
On Monday evening the wardens and vestry met, and accepted
his resignation ; making choice, at the same time, of the Rev. Sam-
uel H. CoxE as his successor. And on the following day he re-
ceived the official notice of the result : —
Auburn, October 1, 1844.
" Rev. and dear Sir : The wardens and vestrymen of St. Peter'.s Church,
Auburn, have received your note of the 24th ult., announcing your resigna-
tion of the rectorship of the parish. While they admit the force of the do-
mestic reasons which have produced this step on your part, they cannot allow
tlie occasion of their acceptance of your resignation to pass without an ex-
pression of their sincere regret at the separation. We have been associated
for a period of four years, in the relation of pastor and people, under circum-
stances of both joy and sorrow ; and it gives us pleasure to bear testimony
to the kindness, faithfulness, and ability with which you, as a Christian min-
ister, have discharged its various and responsible duties amongst us. If any
thing can add to your consciousness of having faithfully discharged your
duty to the great Head of the Church, in administering the admonitions and
consolations of our holy religion, it will be in the reflection that those ties
which have so long bound us together in sacred fellowship are borne in re-
membrance by your parishioners with grateful pleasure. Be assured, sir,
you will carry with you, wherever you go, our warmest wishes for your pros-
perity, happiness, and continued usefulness.
I have the honor to be, in behalf of the wardens and vestrymen of St.
Peter's Church, Auburn, your sincere friend and obedient servant,
S. A. GOODWIN.
Rev. William Croswell.
From his diocesan, Bishop De Lancet, who was, at the time, in
Philadelphia, attending the session of the General Convention, he
received the following note, of October 8, written in great haste,
and amid the absorbing duties of the House of Bishops : —
" . . . I am so occupied that I am only able to say how
sorry I am that you are about to leave the diocese, as stated in your
letter. I will not complain, however, for I know you would only
do it on solid and conscientious grounds. May God bless you and
yours wherever you go ; and be assured of my affijctionate regard
and love. I shall hope to hear from you before you start for
Boston. The election of Mr. Coxe, as your successor, so promptly
and harmoniously, gives me great pleasure. May the work prosper
in his hands."
334 MEMOIE OF T\r[LLIAM CROSWELL. [1844.
On the 9th of October, he writes to his mother, — his father being
absent at the General Convention, — "It has been a great relief to
both Elizabeth and myself that my wife and Maky were safely
domesticated for the winter. What with the fatigue and exposure
of the journey, the anxiety and discomfort of breaking up the house,
and the parting with every human being, man, woman, and child, in
the parish, the trial, I fear, would have been too great. ... I
wrote to the Rev. Mr. Coxe, at the request of the vestry, with great
cordiality. He has given me a very affectionate reply, and will
probably be here this week. As soon as I can set him on his way
rejoicing, I shall go on mine."
To some of his friends he writes, under the same date, in a more
pensive mood, enclosing copies of the following stanzas, "which,"
he remarks, " are probably the last strains which I shall ever indite
in this consecrated house, now ' left unto us desolate.' " They were
written in a copy of Milton, presented by the Rev. E. G. Prescott,
who died on his passage to the Azores, on the third day after his
departure, on the morning of the 11th of April, 1844. Copies were
transcribed, not only for these, but other friends, and were finally
published at the close of Bishop Doane's commemorative discourse.
To Miss Callahan he writes, " Though I do not consider them as
worthy of publication, I know that you will value them, and that
there are other friends, in whose kindred eyes they may have an
interest, apart from the consideration of poetical merit."
Thy cherished gift, departed friend,
With trembling I unfold,
And fondly gaze upon its lids
In crimson wrought, and gold.
I open to its dirge-like strain
On one who died at sea ;
And as I read of Lycidas,
I think, the while, of thee.
Thy languid spirit sought in vain
The beautiful Azores,
But, ere it reached the middle main,
Was rapt to happier shores.
As in a dream-like, halcyon calm,
It entered on its rest,
Amid the groves of Paradise,
And islands of the blest.
1844.] KEMOVAL TO BOSTON. 3a5
Kind friends afar, at thy behest,
Had fitted bower and hall »
To entertain their kindred guest
In ever-green Fayal.
In greener bowers thy bed is made,
And sounder is thy sleep,
Than ever life had known, among
The chambers of the deep.
No mark along the waste may tell
The place of thy repose ;
Yet there is One who loved thee well,
And loved by thee, who knows.
And though now sunk, like Lycidas,
Beneath the watery floor.
Yet His great might that walked the waves
Shall thy dear fonn restore.
Though years must first pass by, no time
His purpose shall derange.
And in his guardianship thy soul
Shall suffer no " sea change."
And when the depths give back their charge,
O, may our welcome be
With thine, among Christ's ransomed throngs,
Where there is " no more sea " !
Writing to Rev. Dr. Strong on St. John's day, June 24, he says,
"Prescott's death shocked me greatly. We were intimate, and
nearly the same age ; and I have some similar warnings to remind
me that the house of my earthly tabernacle is not too strong to be
dissolved. Whenever it is, may I have with you, dearest brother, a
share in that house of God, not made with hands, eternal in the
To another friend, the much venerated Miss Margaret Coffin,
he expresses similar sentiments of the scenes of desolation by which
he was surrounded, and of the great struggle which it cost him to
part with his people, moving him " oftentimes to tears." Speaking
also of his verses, he adds, "I have sent them only where they will be
sure of a partial construction, and with the apology, that according
to what a man hath it is required, and not according to what he
hath not." He concludes in this affecting strain : " For myself, I
confess I look forward with great delight to the period when our
intercourse shall be renewed as in other days, and with those also
whom, next to my own kindred in the flesh, I dearly love in the
Lord. That it may please God to allow us many years of happy
336 MEMOIR OF WILLIAM CROS^VELL. [1844.
intercourse, and that we may both live to see the work of the Lord
/prosper in our hands, and great peace upon Israel, is the fervent
prayer of yours, with great sincerity and affection."
In speaking of his approaching separation from this cure, he
expresses himself with much emotion : " I took my leave of the
parish from the pulpit on Sunday afternoon. The separation of
the ties that have bound us together has tried my firmness to the
uttermost. ... It was almost as solemn a ' rehearsal of death '
as that at Christ Church four years since. I find that my own
attachments are stronger than I was aware ; and there is every
evidence on the other side of the most unaffected and universal
regret." To another friend he expresses similar sentiments : " I
find the mutual attachments, which had sprung up and ripened, were
stronger than we were probably aware of on either side, and it
requires more firmness than I can always command to sever them.
I have received every demonstration of confidence, sympathy, and
regard, down to this last moment, when the house is dismantled,
and I have only to introduce my successor and take leave.
My cousin will probably take her departure to-morrow for New
Haven. When I shall be able to follow, I cannot now fix a day.
The last link, however, will soon be broken, and I shall be free,
It appears from his journal that he left Auburn on Friday, Oc-
tober 25, and making a short pause at Utica and Albany, passed
down the river on Saturday night to New York. Here he enjoyed
the hospitalities of his friend Couthouy, who then resided in the
city, and with him attended the ministrations of the Church of the
Crucifixion, having the gratification, which he had much desired, of
hearing Dr. Seabury. On the Thursday following he visited his
friend Bishop Doane, at Burlington, and returning on Saturday,
spent another Sunday in New York. On Monday, November 4,
he proceeded to New Haven, thence to Hartford, and on the 7th,
his fortieth birthday, he arrived in Boston, ready to resume his
ministerial duties among his old friends and brethren, but in a new
pastoral relation. He was just in time to answer to the following
pleasant call from his good friend Dr. Shattuck : —
" Rev. and dear Sir : Invitations are issued for Thursday evening, at
8 o'clock, to meet the rector, wardens, and vestry of the Church of the
Advent. Please do what you can to save us from such a predicament as
was that of the players who performed Hamlet, the part of Hamlet being
He writes in his next letter, « I was in season for the party at
Dr. Shattuck's, where 1 met with quite a host of catholic Church-
men, including some twenty of the clergy and laymen of all the
1844.] CHURCH OF THE ADVENT. 337
cliiirches. By a wonderful coincidence, it occurred to me often, in
the course of the day, that this day of my entrance was my fortieth
It now remained to make suitable arrangements for the celebra-
tion of divine worship under the new organization, and to com-
mence with the ecclesiastical year. Some little difficulty was expe-
rienced in [u-ocuring a room for this purpose. But it will be seen
by the subjoined card, which was issued at the time, that every thing
was in readiness for the anticipated service. And on the 27th of No-
vember he writes to his father in this wise : " This is a w^eek of
anxiety and care, but full of joyful anticipation. . . . We have
engaged our room, and are putting it in order. The 'devotions of
the people ' are veiy animating and abundant. Our only trouble is,
that we can get no room that will be large enough at present. I
have already the names of more than ninety who have voluntarily
enrolled themselves under my pastoral care, including children,
and nearly fifty communicants. Donations have been forthcoming
from all quarters for putting our oratory in order. In short, I have
all sorts of encouragement, and shall endeavor, by the divine bless-
ing, that it shall not be my fault if the work does not prosper in
such feeble hands. ... I have received from Bishop De Lancey
my letter dimissory, and shall present it to our present diocesan
to-day. He is civil ; and I ask and expect nothing more. ' A fair
field, and no favors,' is my desire. ... A great deal of duty, of
course, as you well know, in these preliminary matters, devolves
upon me ; though my coadjutors are very active, and ready to do
any thing to help forward the work. I will send you our card."
"THE CHURCH OF THE ADVENT
" Has been recently organized and incorporated, with a view to secure to the
inhabitants of the north-western portion of the city the ministrations of the
Protestant Episcopal Churcli; and more especially to secure the same to the
poor and needy in a manner free from unnecessary expense and all ungracious
" A convenient place of worship is about to be provided in the building
now in a course of erection on the corner of Lowell and Causeway Streets.
" Until this building is completed, temporary arrangements have been
made for holding divine service in an ' upper room ' at No. 13 Merrimack
Street, within a few doors of Causeway Street — to commence on Advent
Sunday, the first day in December.
" The sittings will be free to all. Permanent seats, however, will be ap-
propriated to those who signify their intention to become constant occupants.
" Tlie Church will be supported, as all churches were formerly wont to
be, by the voluntary oblations of the worshippers. In accordance with the
precepts of God's word and the order of his Church, opportunity will be
afforded for each individual, whether young or old, to ' offer his gift upon
the altar ' in that part of the divine service which is called ' the offertory.'
' Every man according as he is disposed in his heart, not grudgingly or of
necessity, for God loveth a cheerful giver.'
338 MEMOIR OF WILLIAM CROSWELL. [1844.
" A prominent object, in addition to the usual offices of worship, will be
the thorough catechetical training of the children in the principles and prac-
tice of Christ's religion, as set forth in the Book of Common Prayer.
" The cooperation of all who are disposed to take a part in this good work
is respectfully and earnestly solicited.
"For further information, apply to the rector, the Rev. W. Croswell,
7 Crescent Place, or to either of the following gentlemen : R. H. Dana,
Seiiior Warden, C. P. Gordon, Junior Warden, R. M. Copeland, Theo-
dore Metcalf, T. J. M. Dehon, T. D. Morris, W. E. Coale, R. H.
Dana, Jr., R. H. Salter, C. R. Bond, Vestrymen. •
" (i;^ The rector will hold himself in readiness to attend to any of the
duties of his calling, public or private, especially those connected with the
offices for the Visitation and Communion of the Sick, the Burial of the
The services were accordingly commenced, agreeably to this an-
nouncement. And he writes, December 3, " Advent Smiday was
rather unpropitioiis without, but the King's daughter was all glorious
within. Our loft was crowded all day and evening. The congre-
gation seemed much gratified, and expressed a hope that the future
might be according to this beginning. ... I have a delightful
letter from brother Strong, who was always one of my most valued
correspondents, and I am rejoiced to find so many hearts like his
beating so truly towards me."
As Dr. Strong was among those of his friends and bretln-en who
most deeply and sincerely regretted his removal from Boston to
Auburn, he is now found among the first to bid him a joyful wel-
come back. A portion of his letter is transcribed : —
Greenfield, JVovember 22, 1844.
Rev. and dear Brother : I do not know when I have experienced a
sensation of greater delight than when I was told in Philadelphia that you
were to return to Boston, to take the charge of a new parish. And I
intended to write you immediately on my arrival here, congratulating you,
and the Church, and myself on the auspicious occurrence. I have, however,
from illness and other causes, delayed the accomplishment of my design
until now, when I take up my pen for the purpose of welcoming you sincerely,
though late, to your old home and the many pleasant associations of your
former labors. And I do most fervently pray, that your valuable services
may be continued in this portion of the vineyard without interruption or
change, and that you may be as useful and as happy as your friends or
yourself can anticipate. . . .
Your friend and brother,
With a few brief extracts from his weekly correspondence, relat-
ing chiefly to the condition and prospects of his new enterprise, the
record of this eventful year is closed.
December 9, speaking of the new hall : " It advances slowly, but