May He of whose only gift it cometh that we may lawfully use
such language, and entertain hopes so high, enable us to yield our-
selves to these sanctifying and solemn convictions ; and, expanding
our souls towards every human being, whether near or distant,
whether in this world or the other, whom he hath made dear to us,
may he call forth our hearts and minds to grasp all that is meant
in these marvellous words ; that so, rising above the feeling which
thinks Christ honored by contrasting his grace and merits with his
own ordinances, we may seek ever to view and receive him in the
sacraments of his ineffable mercy to mankind, and excite our
expectations to reach after some special intercourse with him and
his in the communion of his dying love ! "
The father and the two surviving brothers of the deceased, having
been summoned by telegraph, arrived at Boston on Monday even-
ing, and, on the following day, the arrangements were settled for
the funeral solemnities, and for conveying the remains to the place
of interment. The funeral was solemnized on Wednesday morn-
ing. The Right Reverend' Bishop Eastburn in his episcopal
robes, and a large number of the clergy in their priestly vestments,
agreeably to a resolution passed at a previous meeting, met at the
residence of the deceased, in Green Street. The bishop and clergy
preceded the bier, which was borne by the wardens and vestry of
the Church of the Advent, attended by the following pall bearers
in surplices : —
The Rev. Dr. Edson, of Lowell,
The Rev. Dr. Burroughs, of Portsmouth, N. H.,
The Rev. Dr. Vinton, of Boston,
The Rev. Dr. Wells, of Boston,
The Rev. Mr. Greenleaf, of Boston,
The Rev. Mr. Mason, of Boston,
The Rev. Mr. Clinch, of Boston,
The Rev. Mr. Lambert, U. S. N.
The procession was met at the door of the church by the Rt. Rev.
Bishop Williams, D. D., of Connecticut, the Rev. Dr. Wainavright,
of New York, and the Rev. Drs. Eaton and Strong. The burial
service was read by the Rt. Rev. Bishop Williams and the Rev.
Dr. Wainwright. " The church was crowded," says the Christian
Witness, " with a most solemn assembly, and all the services of the
mournful occasion were deeply impressive." Among the clergy
present, in addition to those already named, were the Rev. Drs.
1851.1 THE FUNERAL. 481
Fuller, Shepard, and Wayland, and the Rev. Messrs. Robinson,
Randall, Allen, Wildes, Smithett, VVithington, Baury, S. B.
Babcock, W. R. Babcock, Bartlett, Burroughs, F.stes, Fales,
Field, Foxcroet, Hallam, Haskins, Hoppin, Wm. Horton, Page,
Geo. W. Porter, and Slafter, of Massachusetts ; Rev. .Tohn
Kelly and Rev. W. S. Childs, of New Hampshire ; Rev. S. R.
Slack, of Virginia ; and Rev. N. W. Monroe, of New York.
At the conclusion of the services at the church, the coffin was
conveyed to the station house of the Worcester Raih'oad, and put in
charge of a committee of the parish, consisting of Messrs. C. P.
Gordon, (Junior Warden,) .T. P. Tarbell, F. E. Oliver, N. A.
Parks, Charles Grafton, and R. H. Salter, who j^roceeded, in
company with the lather, brothers, and a few other friends, to New
Haven. They arrived early in the same evening, and were met
by several of the vestry of Trinity Church and other friends, who
attended the body to the parsonage, where it was placed in the
same parlor which had been, but a few days previous, the scene of
some of the happiest hours in his father's house.
On the following morning, his mortal remains were borne to the
family burying lot in the New Haven cemetery, and committed to
his grave by the side of that of his elder brother, whose early death
had called forth one of the sweetest and most touching poetical
effusions of his pen.*
CHARACTER OF THE DECEASED.
His biographer might shrink almost intuitively from the perform-
ance of this delicate portion of his undertaking, were he obliged to
rely solely on his own judgment. He might fear, that, through the
warmth of paternal affection, the more attractive points in his char-
acter might be overdrawn ; or, dreading the imputation of such
undue partiality, he might be induced to withhold many things
absolutely necessary to the full development of the truth. But,
happily, he is placed in no such dilemma. The materials for this
part of the work are furnished by other hands; and he may employ
the language of friendship, indeed, but a friendship, we trust, not
to be suspected of improper bias. We select, from a mass of public
and private testimonials, all that may be deemed essential in making
out the portraiture. These are drawn from the periodical press,
from the action of public bodies and associations, from pulpit
discourses, and from the voluntary tributes of private friendship.
* The " Two Graves ; " see page 16.
MEMOIR OF WILLIAM CROSWELL. [1851.
THE PERIODICAL PRESS.
The Boston daily papers, in announcing, on the following day,
the striking circumstances of his death, appended such eulogistic
remarks as seem to have heeii dictated by the first impulse of the
moment. One or two extracts will serve as specimens : —
From the Courier. — " Dr. Croswell was a native of Hudson,
N. Y., but had been for many years an inhabitant of Boston, and
was at one time rector of the North Church. He was eminent for
the kindness of his heart, the amenity and unaffected simplicity of
his maimers, and the genuine Christian benevolence which is not
confined to theory, but exhibits itself in daily practice. The be-
reaved, the afiiicted, and the destitute were certain to find his heart
and purse open for their consolation and relief The memory of
his quiet and unobtrusive charities will rise in the hearts of all who
knew him, like flowers to deck the good man's grave."
From a correspondent of the Transcript. — " Thus Dr. Cros-
well died emphatically in the gospel harness — the very condition
above all others in which he would have prayed to close up his use-
ful and dutiful life. To a few of his closest friends he had some
time ago expressed the conviction that he was liable to be called
away at almost any moment ; and he was always ready for the
event which has surprised his people with a sorrow that may not be
told. He was indeed a high model of Christian character ; full of
honorable, and gentlemanly, and endearing qualities ; in a word,
his daily life was an embodiment, so far as human frailty may well
permit, of our holy religion. The worshippers at the Church of the
Advent loved him as a father, and honored him greatly as a man.
To those whose sick bed he has softened with his calm sympathies
and solemn benedictions, his death is a loss indeed.
" In person. Dr. Croswell was above the medium size, finely
built, and a very pattern of manly beauty. His mind was an admi-
rable combination of genius and practical wisdom, its greatness so
hidden in its fine proportions that it took a long and close acquaintr
ance rightly to measure and estimate his powers."
To these may be added a few extracts from the religious peri-
odicals of Boston : —
From the Christian Witness. — " The sudden summons of a
friend from this world to the next almost invariably shocks the
mind with a species of awe, when the unlooked-for intelligence first
strikes the ear. We seem to start at it as at something dreadful ;
1851.] CHARACTER OF THE DECEASED. 483
and yet, when it occurs under circumstances sucli as attended the
last hour of our deceased brother, there is much in it which, to the
Christian mind, is truly pleasant. There is something delij'htful,
we might say almost glorious, in tlie idea of the Christian soldier's
dying in the field with ' all his armor on.' In such a death tliere
is much more to be thankful for than there is to be dreaded.
" Dr. Croswell was endowed with an intellect of a high order,
well disciplined by a classical education. His poetical gifts were
such as would have placed him among the first of American poets,
had he given particular attention to their cultivation. Some of the
pieces from his pen are among the choicest gems in our language.
Blessed with a very amiable disposition, which manifested itself in
a manner marked for its amenity, it is not extraordinary that he
had many friends, and that they were strongly attached to him.
Few men in this community have been more respected. All ad-
mired the purity and simplicity of his Christian character, however
they may have diftered from him in his theological views. He has
gone to his rest. Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord."
From the Christian Register. — "The circumstances of the de-
cease of this worthy and lamented clergyman are peculiarly im-
pressive, we will not add affecting, because that must be regarded
a happy and even enviable departure by which the faithful ser-
vant is permitted, as in a moment, to depart from his labor to his
" Our opportunities did not bring us to any intimacy of friend-
ship with this excellent person, nor would our personal acquaint-
ance authorize our attempting to portray his character. That office
should be reserved for those who knew and can appreciate his
peculiar gifts and virtues. But we were accustomed to meet Dr.
Croswell as a neighbor, and for several years, while he was
rector of Christ Church, in the northern part of the city, being
within the same walks of professional duty, we were witnesses for
ourselves, and not seldom did we hear from others, of the constancy,
fidelity, cheerful contentment, and religious trust with which, from
Sabbath to Sabbath, and from year to year, he fulfilled a laborious
ministry, and discharged much duty with little recompense of re-
ward. We loved to meet him in our own walks of duty, to ex-
change with him, if not professional congratulations, yet fraternal
sympathies, and then to go on our way cheered by the light of his
manly countenance and the kind pressure of his hand.
" As the rector of the Church of the Advent, whatever diversities
of opinion may have existed between himself and some of his breth-
ren, — into which neither we nor they would be disposed, "on this oc-
casion, for a moment to enter, — we learn from testimony, various
and affectionate, that he was to his people the object of their entire
484 MEMOIR OF WILLIAM OROSWELL. [185L
confidence and regard ; that ' they loved hiin as a father, and honored
hhn as a man,' And the whole aspect of the church on the morning
of his interment, as the bereaved flock gathered in silent and respect-
ful grief to pay their tribute to his remains, gave touching evidence
of their sense of their loss, that not only an instructor and guide,
but a friend and a pastor who knew his flock, and ' one who com-
forted the mourners,' was taken from them."
From other secular and religious papei's : —
The New Haven Register, to a brief notice of his death, adds this
testimony : " Besides the large circle of friends on whom this blow
has suddenly fallen, the Church of the Advent, of which he was
the rector, and which had grown up under his untiring labors, his
loss will, apparently, be irreparable. Quiet and unassuming in his
habits, his mind and heart were the home of the strongest affections,
of the keenest perception of the truthful and the beautiful, and of
the loftiest ideal conceptions : in works of art and taste, his judgment
was exquisitely nice and accurate. As a poet, Mr. Griswold has
appropriately included him in his list of the Sacred Poets of England
and America ; and the etlitor of the American edition of Reble's
Christian Year has enriched even that rare collection of gems with
extracts from the late Dr. Croswell's gifted pen. The editor of
that book also said of him, that ' he has more unwritten poetry
in him than any man he ever knew.' The strength of his re-
ligious character, and the depth of his devotion, will be most highly
appreciated by those who knew him best. He has fallen in the
vigor of manhood, with his armor on. Pleasant memories linger
behind him ; and the sympathies of true hearts in all parts of our
country will mingle with the sorrows of the bereaved family."
A communication under the signature of " H.," and dated
»« Church of the Advent, Boston, November 11, 1851," appeared in the
Neio York Churchnan. This communication, which we do not
hesitate to ascribe to the Rev. H. W. Hudson, contained, among
other things, a correct biographical sketch of the deceased, some
touching particulars of his last hours, (a portion of which we have
already cited,) and a few sentiments of high admiration, which were
also sent to the Boston papers. The few remaining passages are
subjoined as the testimony of one whose accuracy in judging can
only be excelled by the gracefulness of his drawing from the lin-
eaments of the human character. " Thus Dr. Croswell, the gifted
and the good, has passed away from us, closing up his useful and
beautiful life on the very field, and in the very harness, as it were,
of his heavenly warfare : the stroke of death literally took him
with the words of life upon his lio;^ — the condition, above all others,
1851.] CHARACTER. 485
vvliereiii he would have prayed, and indeed has often said he
wished, the last summons might find him." After nientiotiinjj his
settlement in the Church of the Advent, he adds, " He was the
first to institute and carry out in Boston the plan of a church with
free sittinj^s, the weekly offertory, and the daily service ; and that
church, from the beginning, has been a place where all who were so
minded could enjoy the precious gift of our daily matins and even
song. That plan has been altogether successful. In this sacred
work Dr. Croswell had given himself no rest, and under his wise
cherishing, with the blessing of God, a church has grown up in less
than seven years, which unquestionably has at this day more life,
more energy, and more operative virtue than any other parish in
New England. We can but hope and pray that the memory of
their, departed rector, so deeply beloved and so worthy of their love,
will be as an angel of peace to knit and hold that noble cluster of
warm hearts, clear heads, and steady hands into still increasing
strength. Doubtless they will adhere most religiously to the order
he has established — a course wherein they will hardly be opposed,
save by those who prefer their own opinions to the faith once
delivered to the saints.
" To have done such a piece of work, is itself the best possible
testimony to the strength and skill of the workman. This is no
time to enter upon his literary and intellectual merits : but Dr.
Croswell was no ordinary man ; we have simply never known one
in whom the elements Avere more choicely mixed up. His mind
was a rare and happy combination of genius and practical wisdom ;
its real greatness being so hidden in its fine proportions, that it
took a long and close acquaintance rightly to measure and estimate
his powers. His breadth, and compass, and variety of intellectual
endowment, his clearness of style and subtilty of method, rendered
him an admirable study. Those who only saw the habitual smooth-
ness and serenity of his spirit could have little idea what rich
treasures of energy and living force were wrapped up in him ;
what a basis of firm, strong, manly sense and thought did underlie
the calm grace of his simple manners and the sweet order of his
every-day deportment. With less beauty and symmetry, he would
have seemed to have more strength of mind and character ; the best
evidence of his strength being, that he knew how to withhold it till
he had a fitting occasion for putting it forth. His taste was cxtiui-
site ; his sermons, which were certainly the best we ever heard,
were models of chaste and candid composition ; his keen sense ot
the sacredness of his office keeping out of them all that fiippant
smartness and brilliancy which distinguishes popular preachers.
" Dr. Croswell's ])iety issued in a still, deep, steady current of
good works : his method of religion was to have as much of sub-
stance, with as little of surface, as possible. In society he was
486 MEMOIR OF WILLIAM CROSWELL. [185L
modest and reserved ; and every thing about him quietly spoke the
delicacy and refinement of the finished gentleman. But, indeed,
(fi)r we must close this notice,) he was a high model of Christian
character ; full of honorable, and gentlemanly, and endearing
qualities ; in a word, his daily life was an embodiment, as far as
human frailty may well permit, of the very spirit and genius of our
" In person, Dr. Croswell was above the medium size, finely
built ; and all together might well be quoted as a pattern of manly
beauty. Last night we saw his remains ' hearsed in death ; ' and
certainly our eye never lighted on a more beautiful vision. It
seemed as if the departing spirit had lingered to trace its new-born
beauty upon the earthly form where it was used to abide."
The following, from the pen of the Rev. Dr. Horatio Potter,
rector of St. Paul's Church, in Albany, appeared in the Evening
Journal of that city : —
" Rev. William Croswell, D. D., of Boston. — How many
hearts, in every part of the country, will be profoundly aff"ected at
the sudden departure of this eminent and much-loved servant of
God ! It so happened that he had been little known in this com-
munity, not having officiated here for many years, and his visits to
the city having been unfrequent and strictly private ; but even here
there are very many who will desire to pay a fervent tribute to the
memory of this good man ; this gentlest and kindest of friends ;
this lovely Christian gentleman ; this zealous minister of God's
Church ; whose spirit, calm and cheerful, but elevated and glowing,
kept the fire ever alive on the altar, and diffused warmth and bright-
ness wherever it appeared. Who ever met him without wishing to
meet him again * There was something so soothing and so cheer-
ing about his presence, and something so placid and so elevated,
that turbulence, and passion, and care seemed to flee away at the
approach of his beaming countenance, while peace, and gladness,
and good will rose up to bid him welcome. And then he was so
reflective ; the play of his fancy was so beautiful and so Christian-
like ; his thoughts, especially when he was with only a few friends,
seemed to mount up so naturally to the dearest objects of Christian
taste and Christian devotion, and often to make themselves apparent
so sweetly in his looks and manner, when he was too modest and
too reverent to express them fully, — that you yielded yourself up
to truth and nature ; you became lost in the contemplation of
beautiful and holy things, and found so much of feeling, and so little
of art, that you forgot you were communing with an accomplished
" The writer of tliese few lines assisted at his ordination, when
1861.* CHAHACTER. 487
he was admitted to the sacred ministry by the Riglit Rev. Bishop
Brownell, of Connecticut, and well remembers how he appeared
that day, (twenty years or more ago,) and how his whole nature
seemed to bow down to receive the awful gift conferred upon liim.
How many liearts has he won since that day ! — won for himself,
and won for his divine Master. Where has he ever been without
making himself loved ? It will be for others to speak of his powers
as a writer, as a poet, as a preacher, as a Christian pastor. Several
years ago, at the desire of a number of gentlemen in Boston, he
returned to that city, and tlie Church of the Advent was organized,
and its holy place opened for daily prayers and a weekly commu-
nion ; and there, twice every day, he was to be found leading the
devotions of an earnest and praying people. His aged father, that
valiant soldier of the cross, who has won so many trophies, yet
survives to follow all tliat is mortal of his gifted son to the tomb,
and to feel and know that that son has entered into his rest before
him. That he departed at the going down of the sun on God's holy
day ; that he was called even in the holy place, and in the midst
of his sacred ministrations, — what is this but a token of the rest,
the peace, the transporting service to which he has been exalled ?
Be this the comfort of that venerated and beloved parent. Be
this also our comfort, while we hasten to make ourselves ready,
' in faith to muse
How grows in paradise our store.' "
The number and variety of similar extracts from the religious
and secular publications of the day might be greatly enlarged: b'
the biographer must content himself with the following b: . pas-
sage from the New York Express. With reference to his efforts iu
rearing the new parish in Boston of which he was rector, the ed-
itor says, —
" In this work he has been for several years most assiduously
engaged, and his labors have been followed with the most encour-
aging success. These labors were intense and unremitted, and wore
greatly upon his physical strength. They were not only those of
writing and preaching sermons, and of holding two services every
day, but those also of parochial visitation and ministration. With
the great end of his anxious hopes and earnest toils almost fully
realized, and while actually engaged in the solemn duties of his
holy office in the church he had reared and among the flock he had
tended, he yielded up his spirit to Him who gave it, and cbanged
his ministry from earth to heaven. Years ago he wrote these lines
upon the death of the first Christian martyr, Stephen. How has
the holy prayer they breathed been answered !
MEMOIR OF WILLIAM CROSWELL. [1851,
' To us, with all his constancy,
Be his rapt vision given,
To look above and see
Revealments bright of heaven.
And power to speak our triumphs out,
As our last hours draw near.
While neither clouds of fear or doubt
Before our view appear.' "
CHRIST CHURCH, BOSTON.
At a special meeting of the wardens and vestry of Christ Church,
held in the vestry room, on Monday evening, November 10, 1851,
the following preamble and resolutions were unanimously passed : —
Forasmuch as it has pleased Almighty God, in his providence,
to take out of this life his faithful and devoted servant, the Rev.
William Ckoswell, D. D., rector of the Church of the Advent,
and sometime rector of this Church, therefore, —
Resolved, That, while we bow with meek submission to the will
of our heavenly Father, it is proper that we should mourn for our
loss, and testify to the feelings of sorrow and sadness with which
this sudden and afflictive dispensation has filled our minds.
Resolved, That the virtues of this faithful soldier and servant of
Christ, faithful to his life's end, his unassuming worth, the consist-
ency of his Christian character, his fidelity in the discharge of his
dutift as a Christian minister and Christian man, his kindness to
the poor, his counsel and assistance to the fatherless and widows,
are worthy to be had in remembrance by us, as a bright example
of what a Christian minister ought to be.
Resolved, That the remembrance of the kindness with which he
always assisted in this parisli, during the late vacancy in tlie rector-
ship, in visiting the sick and dying, and performing the last offices
for the dead, — never ofl^ering an excuse, nor delaying a moment
when called upon, — endears his memory to us, and causes us to
realize that a faithful servant of the Church has been removed, who
was ever ready at his post, and that we have indeed lost a friend.
Resolved, That, as we bow with submission to the dispensation
of our heavenly Father, we bless his holy name that we mourn
not as those witliout hope, but humbly trust that it may be so
ordered to us and to all tiiat its suddenness may teach us to appre-
ciate the shortness and uncertainty of human life, and that the good
example of our departed friend may teach us so to live that we
may be prepared to die.
Resolved, That we sincerely and affectionately sympathize \>itlj
the bereaved relations of the deceased in their affliction, and hiunbly
18ol.] TESTIMONIALS. 489
trust tlmt, from the heavenly source so often pointed out hy him
we now mourn, they may receive consolation in their bereavement.
Resolved, Tliat the rector, wardens, and vestry will attend the
funeral of the Rev. Dr. Crosvvkll, and that tiie rector and wardens
be ret^uested to take such other course to show respect to his mem-
ory as they may deem proper.
Resolved, That the preamble and resolutions be entered at length
upon the records of this church, and that copies be sent to the
fiimily of our deceased friend, and especially to the Rev. Dr. Cros-