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by the consciousness of convictions vindicated, integrity sustained, and courage on the side of his country rewarded, would not be harmonious and happy uncrowned by forgiveness of his enemies.
He was a sort of Cromwellian Christian, striking straight out without fear; but he had also become tolerant in the midst of triumph, and generous in the midst of success.
PATRIOTIC CLERGYMEN OF THE OLDEN TIME.-PROPHECY OF
THE MAGNETIC TELEGRAPH AND THE ERIE CANAL BY JOEL BARLOW, 1779.
OFTEN as I think of the late civil war, it is difficult to realize that this is the same people only a few years ago ready for conflict and death. There is still unrest in portions of the South, but the peace is so general, the absence of armed authority so marked, and the submission so sincere that we seem to be as far removed from martial habits as if we never had an army or an enémy. But for their titles we should not know the veterans on either side. They are all at work for a living in private or in civil life. Except the few that are kept to maintain the remnant of the regular service, the large remainder are where they were before the war. The brave brigadier who stormed the breach is a busy lawyer, the dashing colonel who attacked the heaviest odds is a master mechanic, the bold captain is a clerk, while the privates are as quietly industrious as if they had not been shooting at each other ten years ago. But where are the clergymen who preached war, who denounced the rebels, who anathematized the Yankees, who held slavery, on the one hand, as a divine institution, and, on the other, as the offspring of the devil? They, too, have vanished, and are heard of only in their earnest prayers for the restoration of fraternity between the sections. Many of them were as violent as the politicians; and the politicians denounced the preachers who did not pray on their side with especial emphasis. A political parson was the horror of the Confederates if he was an Abolitionist, and of the Unionists if he was a rebel. Reading an interesting little volume, a few days ago, on “The Chaplains and Clergy of the Revolution,” by J. T. Headly, a very careful and industrious writer, it occurred to me that some allusions to a few of those historic characters would be useful just now. They would show that the lights of the Church were at least as excitable a hundred years ago, and as ready to fight for their politics, as they are to-day; and that a political parson in the days of '76 was a very familiar and influential personage. These examples will also show how they appreciated the cause for which they fought, and predicted the harvest of the seed sown in the Revolution. Many incidents of their lives possessed a poetic interest, especially as we approached our Centennial year,
because all of them lived in the era of the great Declaration.
What were known as election sermons” were preached before the Governor and House of Representatives, especially in Massachusetts, preceding the Revolution, and from 1770 to 1776 were always in the interest of liberty, going often to the verge of treason. In 1774 the royal Governor of Massachusetts refused to appoint a fast, on the grounds that it was "only to give an opportunity for sedition to flow from the pulpit." After the Declaration of Independence patriotic clergymen took very high grounds, especially in New England. In December of 1775 Washington wrote to the Continental Congress asking an increase of the pay of chaplains in the army; and on the gth of July, 1776, he referred to the act by which the chaplain of each regiment was to be paid thirty-three and one third dollars per month, and called upon the colonels and commanding officers to procure chaplains of good character and exemplary lives, and that all inferior officers and soldiers pay them suitable respect, adding,“ the blessing and protection of Heaven are at all times necessary, and especially in times of public distress and danger.” From these examples grew the practice of clergymen preaching what were known as political sermons in great public conflicts. They were generally as remarkable for their piety as for their courage. Rev. John Mills, of Delaware, though of a nervous and timid temperament, knew no fear in his devotion to liberty, and, a few days before the Declaration of Independence, preached to his people, from 1 Kings xii., 16, of the revolting tribes and the times of Rehoboam—“What portion have we in David ? neither have we inheritance in the son of Jesse : to your tents, O Israel !" Rev. Thomas Read, of Pennsylvania, shouldered his musket, and, with forty to fifty others, marched to Philadelphia, to aid in fighting against Howe. Rev. David Caldwell, of Pennsylvania, had his house plundered, his library and furniture destroyed, simply because of his devotion to liberty. Rev. Robert Davison, of Maryland, addressed the assembled troops, from i Chronicles V., 22 : "For there fell down many slain, because the war was of God.” Rev. Francis Cummings, of South Carolina, present at the Mecklenburg meeting, fought in several battles; and when South Carolina threatened Nullification, in 1833, when he was eighty years of age, said to a brother clergyman, who told him he was ready to draw his sword against the Government, "If you dare do so, I will draw my sword against you and cut you down." Rev. Jonas Clarke, of Massachusetts, discussed the question, preceding and during the Revolution, from the pulpit, and aided immensely to fire the people for the conflict. Hancock and Adams found an asylum in his house when proscribed by the Royal Government; and when they asked whether the people would fight, Clarke said, “He knew they would ; had he not trained them for this hour? Were his years of labor to be in vain? No, they would fight,
and, if need be, die, too, under the shadow of the house of God !” When he saw the men fall at Lexington, he said over their dead bodies, “From this day will be dated the liberty of the world.” He died in his seventy-sixth year, in 1805. Rev. Jacob Duché, who opened the old Continental Congress with prayer, in Philadelphia, was born in that city in 1738, and the scene connected with that prayer is the subject of one of John Adams's most beautiful letters to his wife. Rev. Samuel Spring, of Massachusetts, was another soldier-preacher, and accompanied Arnold in his marvellous expedition through the northern wilderness to Quebec, sharing all the vicissitudes and sufferings of the soldiers. In fact, the New England clergymen, by their inspiring addresses and great personal daring, prevented that section from remaining in the hands of the Crown.
Rev. Peter Gabriel Muhlenberg, known as the fighting clergyman, baptized John Peter Gabriel Muhlenberg, was born at the Trappe, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, on October 18, 1746. He was a splendid character. He was the soul of the opposition to the British influence at Woodstock, Virginia, where he settled after his return from Europe. Preaching for freedom, he determined to fight for it, and, as you have often read, he took leave of his people in a farewell sermon full of patriotic fire, and at the close of it declared that “the Bible tells us there is a time for all things—there is a time to preach and a time to pray; that the time for me to preach has passed away;" then, raising his voice until it rang like a trumpet through the church, "and there is a time to fight, and that time has now come;" and, closing the services, he stepped into the vestryroom, laid aside his gown, put on his colonel's uniform, and stood before his astonished congregation in full regimentals. Before night nearly three hundred men had joined his standard, and afterwards fought with him at the battle of Charleston. He rose to the rank of brigadier-general, took charge of all the Continental troops in Virginia, after which he joined Washington at Middlebrook, New Jersey, and marched with his brigade to the desolate encampment at Valley Forge. He fought at Brandywine, at Germantown, at Monmouth, and commanded the reserves at the assault on Stony Point. At the close of the war he was elevated to the rank of major-general. Returning to Pennsylvania, he was made chairman of the Executive Council, and afterwards went to Congress; and in 1801 was elected United States Senator, and the next year appointed collector of the port of Philadelphia, which office he held till his death, in October, 1807. A relative complained that he had left the Church and joined the army, to which he replied, "I am a clergyman, it is true ; but I am a member of society as well as the poorest layman, and my liberty is as dear to me as to any man. Shall then, sit still and enjoy myself at home when the best blood of the continent is spilling? You make a comparison which is odious. Did the man you refer to die in defence of his country? Far from it. He suffered for crime, and his life was justly forfeited to the law. Do you think, if America should be conquered, I should be safe? Far from it. And would you not sooner fight like a man than die like a dog ?”
A very remarkable character was Rev. Thomas Allen, of Pittsfield, Connecticut, born January 17, 1743 ; fighting and preaching throughout the Revolution. He died February 12, 1810, in the sixty-eighth year of his age. The biographer says, “Though a man of peace, he was also a man of blood; active and keen; his efforts were felt everywhere, and his blow fell quick and sudden as a bolt from heaven." There was another clergyman, an Irishman, who came to this country when he was eighteen, and graduated at Princeton in 1771. He became deeply enlisted in the Revolution, and enrolled himself as a private soldier, doing duty alike with his musket and with his prayer-book during the entire conflict. He was killed by the Hessians under the command of a British officer; and when he saw that his death was certain, he knelt down, committed