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those early conformists to the church, we can but think them, by far the greater part, quite sincere and commendable in their motires.
But however this may have been, about the time above mentioned, . many Episcopal congregations were formed, and churches erected; among which was Waterbury. Within the memory of persons now living, on whose authority reliance may be placed, there was but one churchman here, a Mr. James Brown, who in derision was called bishop Brown. He removed to Waterbury from West-Haven, where he had probably been a parishioner of Dr. JOHNSON, who was first a congregational minister in that place. But some time in the year 1737, a Mr. ARNOLD, an itinerant missionary from the Society for propagating the Gospel; performed divine service here for the first time, according to the rites of the church ; when he baptized two infants, both of whom were lately living, and one is still a respectåble member of the church.
At this time the whole number of heads of families did not ex. ceed six or seven ; Mr. ARNOLD officiated a few times in his itinerancy, and then removed to some other quarter, but where, is not known. The numbers being but very few, Dr. Johnson, of Stratford, and Mr. BEACH, of Newtown, officiated occasionally with them, until about 1740, when it appears there was some small accession, and a Mr. MORRIS from Europe, another missionary from the Society, took charge of this and other parishes in the neighborhood. But what proportion of his services the church here enjoyed, is not remembered.
Mr. Monris continued but a short time and returned to Europe. And now the divisions and animosities increasing more and more in the congregational society, on account of the new light, as it was called, introduced by Mr. WHITFIELD and his followers, there was a large accession of names to the church, to the amount of twentyfive heads of families.
Being thus strengthened, it was resolved to erect a church. A subscription was accordingly opened : and as this document is still in being, bearing date 1742, it ascertains who were the names then considerable in the parish, which are as follows, viz. James Brown,
Richard Welton, 2d.
Ebenezer Warner. Most of these men have left a numerous progeny who belong to the church.
In April of the next year, 1743, John Judd, gave, as appears by the town record, a spot on which to build; and a small, but convenient church was immediately erected. The same year Mr. MorRis having removed, the Rev. JAMES Lyox, another European, took
* Still living, aged 91.
charge of the church under the direction of the Society, in England. He resided at Derby, and officiated one third part of the time at Waterbury.
The church still continuing to increase in numbers and zeal, a spirit of pious liberality appears to have gone forth among them, worthy of being imitated by their descendants of the present day; for in 1745, several considerable donations in land were made. --JOHN JUDD gave by deed six acres near the center of the town; Thomas BARNES, nine acres of out-land, which has since been improved to advantage; also, JONATHAN and DANIEL Scott, seventeen and a half acres of valuable timber land. But what most deserves notice is a deed conveying to the church two acres in the centre of the town on the main street, from OLIVER Welton, by consent of his guardian, he being a minor of nineteen or twenty ; and this deed he confirmed when of age. It is pleasant to record such an instance of piety and liberality in a youth, and equally so to reflect that he is still alive, still attached to the church, and though infirm from age, he enjoys the conscious satisfaction of having done his duty, and is looking soon to receive his reward in another life. Such an example we may wish, but can hardly hope to see imitated in our day, when the spirit of the present worla prevails so much over the concerns that belong to the next.*
But to return from whence we have digressed, and pursue the history of the church. Not long after the above donations were made, viz. 1747, a dwelling-house was built for a glebe on the land given by Mr. WELTON. This was done by the liberal exertions of individuals; and such an expression of their love to the service of Almighty God is not forgotten in his presence.
Mr. Lyon continued over his charge but two or three years, and was then removed by his own desire to Long-Island, in the then colony of New-York; where he remained many years a missionary to the Society in England. What should have induced him to leave a parish in so flourishing a state as Waterbury then appears to have been, is difficult to say, unless it were because he found, like many other Europeans, the manners and customs of Connecticut people not to accord with his feelings.
The parish now remained vacant for several years, during which, according to a laudable custom then universal in this state, prayers
This Mr. Welton, among his friends, is an interesting character. He served his country in a military capacity, in the war against France; was in the action at Lake George, and the repulse at Crown Point, when the gallant Lord Howe was killed. He still speaks of those scenes in which he bore a part, and which were so interesting to himself and friends, with all the en. thusiasm natural to a benevolent heart. On these subjects will he dilate till the tears flow, and his utterance is stopped by the vehemence of his emotions. Within these few years he has been called to undergo heavy calamities. The loss of a favorite son, Mr. ARD WELTON, who died in July, 1803, much lamented by all his friends, being taken away in the vigor of life, was a severe affliction to his declining years. And to add still more to his sorrows, a prom. ising grandson was taken from him the last year, being then a member of Yale College. For the character of this young man, see Obituary of our Magazine for March, 1806.
and printed sermons were read every Sunday by some one best capable of doing the duty. It is not remembered by what clergyman, or whether by any, occasional services were performed; but it is most likely such was the case, since they continued united in zeal, and increasing in numbers. Two years after the above mentioned lands were given, viz. 1747, they were all deeded to the venerable Society in England for propagating the Gospel, by certain persons authorized thereto; and the legal title still remains in that corporation.*
In 1749, Dr. Mansfield returned from England in holy orders ; and as a missionary, took charge of the parishes of Derby, Waterbury, and some others in the neighborhoor. He also resided at Derby, and officiated one third of the time at Waterbury. Having now for the first time a clergyman who was a native of the state, they went on harmoniously, and were edified in love. Under his administrations many names were added to the church. Those who had been born and brought up under her nurture began now to take an active part in her support. Dr. MANSFIELD's piety and zeal made bim beloved and respected. The aged who yet remember his services, speak with delight of the alacaity with which he used to take a journey of twenty miles or more, and that over an extremely bad road, in discharge of any extra parish-duty. No extremity of weather or badness of roads prevented his visiting the sick, baptizing children, or committing to the earth the remains of his parishioners, when called upon for any of these purposes. Nor, as those can testify who know him, has he yet remitted much of that punctuality, after a lapse of more than half a century. For this his praise is in all the churches where he is known: and may he be an instructive example to his brethren, teaching them to despise labor and fatigue, when the service of their Lord and Master calls ; for in this way a clergyman can do more good, and more effectually gain the love of his people, than with all the fine sermons in the world.
In 1759, Dr. Mansfield relinquished his charge of Waterbury, and confined his services to Derby and Oxford ; of which two parishes he is still the venerable and much respected rector. The Řev. JAMES Sovil, a native of the town, now came into the mission ; which had so much increased in numbers and strength, that they thought themselves abie, with the Society's salary, which was but 301. sterling, to contribute one half the support of a clergyman. In a little more than twenty years, they had grown from a half a dozen, to a respectable congregation for a country town ; for they were as a city that is at unity with itself. Accordingly, Mr. Scovil resided and officiated here one half the time, and the other half at NewCambridge, now Bristol, and Northbury, now Plymouth, where there had been churches of about the same standing in age with Waterbury.
After this arrangement nothing worthy of being recorded took place till about 1764 or 5; when the numbers of church people in
There are many other tracts of land lying in the same situation among us. Would it not be well to enter into some general measures, and open a nego. tiation with the Society on the subject, to obtain such a conveyance as mar prevent those lands being misapplied ?
Westbury, now Watertown, having greatly increased, it was thoughť requisite to build a church there, which was done with great unanimity and dispatch. In consequence of this, Mr. Scovil's services were in part withdrawn from New-Cambridge and Northbury and applied to the new congregation. In this situation things continued during several years more. His parishes increased in numbers and respectability. Punctuality in the performance of his duty, notwithstanding the extensive ride he had to perform, was a remarkable trait in his character. His grave and becoming deportment made him be respected by all who knew him. The soundness of his doctrines delivered from the pulpit should not be reckoned among his chief excellencies, for he taught his people from house to house. He comforted the aged, instructed the young, and made himself agreeable to children; no despisable qualification in a clergyman. The writer of this sketch well recollects, that when a small child, osten and again his heart has lept for joy at the sight of Mr. Scovil, knowing that he would have something engaging to say.
Having such a clergy man, it is not wonderful that parishes should increase; which they did to such a degree, that in the year 1771, it was unanimously agreed among them that another clergy man was wanted. Mr. Scovil accordingly gave up New-Cambridge and Northbury, to a successor, and confined his services to Waterbury and Westbury, officiating two thirds of his time at the former place; and that to universal acceptance, as before. What was the number of his parishioners, either when he came into the mission, or at the time of which we are treating, is not ascertainable by any correct documents now to be found, for parish records of this nature were not then kept, nor indeed now are by any body but the clergyman ; they were hence all removed by Mr. Scovil with his family.
Soon after this time commenced the war between the mother country and the colonies; in which the church in Waterbury suffered a considerable diminution of numbers and strength, though not to the same extent as was suffered in some other places. It is well remembered that in this part of the country, the professors of the church of England very generally conceived the measures of the colonists to be unjust, or at least unwise, and likely to end in nothing but defeat and ruin. In those critical times, when the public mind was in a state of fermentation, and the town divided almost equally between the two parties, the church with few exceptions embracing one, and other denominations the other, Mr. Scovil's prudence and moderation were conspicuous. Aided by a like prudence in a few others, the instances of violence and indignity were rare towards any one. He himself suffered none, though he did not pretend to dissemble his sentiments. Sometimes indeed he had reason to fear from the threats that were uttered; yet it was observable that those threats never proceeded from any who knew him.
Notwithstanding this comparative moderation, there were several influential characters who thought best to join the British forces at New-York, leaving their property 10 confiscation, and their families to poverty and want; and taking away numbers of the younger sort ; thus materially weakening the church, and dishearteving those that
renained. They however did not despair, but continued to put their trust in that God who had promised to be always with his church ; and they have since seen abundant reason to exult in that confidence. For although the termination of the war produced a removal of their much respected clergyman, yet they have since increased, and are flourishing more than ever.
[To be continued.]
Observer. SINCE I have taken upon me the censorial character, and ex: ercise a self-institute prerogative of inspecting the practices of the church in your country, I beg leave, Mr. Editor, to assure you, that my only motive is, to awaken the minds of my brethren of the church, to a sense of the danger arising from innovations or negligence ; and to stimulate them to a timely removal of such noxious shoots as may have sprung up, before they increase to a size sufficient to threaten danger to the original stock. “ For the want of a nail,” says Dr. Franklin, “ the shoe was lost ;” and the evil, not being checked, increased to such a degree that the rider eventually perished, " being overtaken and slain by the enemy.”
I shall confine myself in my present communication, to the subject of funerals and church yards; animadverting upon such deficiencies of propriety as have fallen within the sphere of my olaserration. I have ever considered the human body as being superior to the ordinary mass of clay, and consequently deserving of more honor and attention than other substances, even after it may have lost the power of motion, and is fast hastening to corruption. To deny the corpse the privilege of the scpulchre, and “bury it with the burial of an ass, being drawn forth and cast without the city," has ever been, and I trust ever will be, considered as an examplary judgment ; so much so, that upon the strength of this opinion, the civil power has thought fit to frame a statute, subjecting to this condemnation, such as are convicted of capital offences, or are found to have laid violent hands upon themselves. Attempts to lessen or abolish the force of this idea, by silently, irreverently or negligently consigning to the earth the last relics of a fellow mortal, have a powerful tendency, not only to destroy the finer feelings of sensibility and sympathy, but to introduce the baneful doctrines of materialism ; which at one bold stroke cuts asunder all ties of religious and moral obligation. To avoid falling into either of these, the church has directed a most suitable service to be performed at the interment ; in which the surviving friends are comforted with the hope that their brother has made a goodly exchange ; whilst the instability and vanity of human life, and the joyful assurance that the righteous shall enjoy a glorious resurrection, are firmly impressed upon the mind of every auditor.
I would charitably believe, Mr. Editor, that the Episcopalians of this country are generally convinced of the propriety of the Rubrics and service, which relate to funerals, and give their assent to them ; but I am sorry to find this assent to be so facit that a want of con