Mr. Beecher a Younger Child—Death of his Mother—His Step-Mother's Religious Influence—Ma'am Kilbourn's School—The Passing Bell—Unprofitable Schooling—An Inveterate School Joker—Masters the Latin Grammar—Goes to Amherst College—His Love of Flowers—Modes of Study; a Reformer—Mr. Beecher and the Solemn Tutor—His Favorite Poetry—His Introduction to Phrenology—His Mental Philosophy—Doctrine of Spiritual Intuition—Punctuality for Joke's Sake—Old School and New School—Doubts on Entering the Ministry—Settlement at Lawrenceburg—His Studies; First Revival—Large Accessions to the Church—"Tropical Style"—Ministerial Jokes—Slavery in the Pulpit—The Transfer to Brooklyn—Plymouth Church Preaching—Visit to England—Speeches in England—Letters from England—Christian View of England—The Exeter Hall Speech—Preaches an Unpopular Forgiveness.

Henry Ward Beecher was the eighth child of Lyman and Roxana Foote Beecher, born in Litchfield, Connecticut, June 24, 1813. The first child of a family is generally an object of high hope and anxious and careful attention. They are observed, watched—and if the parents are so disposed, carefully educated, and often over-watched and over-educated. But in large families, as time rolls on and children multiply, especially to those in straitened worldly circumstances, all the interest of novelty dies out before the advent of younger children, and they are apt to find their way in early life unwatched and unheralded. Dr. Beecher's salary was eight hundred dollars a year, not always promptly paid. This made the problem of feeding, clothing and educating a family of ten children a dark one. The family was constantly enlarged by boarders, young ladies attending the female academy, and whose board helped somewhat to the support of the domestic establishment, but added greatly to the cares of the head manager. The younger members of the Beecher family therefore came into existence in a great bustling household of older people, all going their separate ways, and having their own grown-up interests to carry. The child, growing up in this busy, active circle, had constantly impressed upon it a sense of personal insignificance as a child, and the absolute need of the virtue of passive obedience and non-resistance as regards all grown-up people. To be statedly washed and dressed and catechised, got to school at regular hours in the morning, and to bed inflexibly at the earliest possible hour at night, comprised about all the attention that children could receive in those days.

The mother of Henry Ward died when he was three years old; his father was immersed in theological investigations and a wide sphere of pastoral labors and great general ecclesiastical interests, his grown-up brothers and sisters in their own separate life history, and the three younger children were therefore left to their mortal pilgrimage, within certain well-defined moral limits, much after their own way. The step-mother, who took the station of mother, was a lady of great personal elegance and attractiveness, of high intellectual and moral culture, who from having been in early life the much admired belle in general society, came at last from an impulse of moral heroism combined with personal attachment, to undertake the austere labors of a poor minister's family. She was a person to make a deep impression on the minds of any children. There was a moral force about her, a dignity of demeanor, an air of elegance and superior breeding, which produced a constant atmosphere of unconscious awe in the minds of little ones. Then her duties were onerous, her conscience inflexible, and under the weight of these her stock of health and animal spirits sunk, so that she was for the most part pensive and depressed. Her nature and habits were too refined and exacting for the bringing up of children of great animal force and vigor, under the strain and pressure of straitened circumstances. The absurdities and crudenesses incident to the early days of such children appeared to her as serious faults, and weighed heavily on her conscience. The most intense positive religious and moral influence the three little ones of the family received was on Sunday night, when it was her custom to take them to her bed-room and read and talk and pray with them. At these times, deep though vague religious yearnings were created; but as she was much of her time an invalid, and had little sympathy with the ordinary feelings of childhood, she gave an impression of religion as being like herself, calm, solemn, inflexible, mysteriously sad and rigorously exacting.

In those days none of the attentions were paid to children that are now usual. The community did not recognize them. There was no child's literature; there were no children's books. The Sunday school was yet an experiment, in a fluctuating, uncertain state of trial. There were no children's days of presents and fêtes—no Christmas or New Year's festivals. The annual thanksgiving was only associated with one day's unlimited range of pies of every sort—too much for one day, and too soon things of the past. The childhood of Henry Ward was unmarked by the possession of a single child's toy as a gift from any older person, or a single fête. Very early, too, strict duties devolved upon him; a daily portion of the work of the establishment, the care of the domestic animals, the cutting and piling of wood, or tasks in the garden strengthened his muscles and gave vigor and tone to his nerves. From his father and mother he inherited a perfectly solid, healthy organization of brain, muscle and nerves, and the uncaressing, let-alone system under which he was brought up, gave him early habits of vigor and self-reliance.

Litchfield was a mountain town, where the winter was a stern reality for six months of the year, where there were giant winds, and drifting snows of immeasurable depth, and ice and sleet storms of a sublime power and magnitude. Under this rugged nursing he grew outwardly vigorous. At nine years of age, in one of those winter droughts common in New England towns, he harnessed the horse to a sledge with a barrel lashed thereon, and went off alone three miles over the icy top of the town hill, to dip up and bring home a barrel of water from a distant spring. So far from taking this as a hardship, he undertook it with a chivalric pride. His only trial in the case was the humiliation of being positively commanded by his careful step-mother to wear his overcoat; he departed obedient, but with tears of mortification freezing on his cheeks, for he had recorded a heroic vow to go through a whole winter without once wearing an overcoat.

For education, technically so called, there were small advantages. His earliest essay of letters was to walk over to West street, to a widow Kilbourn's, where he sat daily on a bench kicking his heels in idleness, and said his letters twice in the day, and was for so long out of the way of the grown folks, which was a main point in child schooling. There was a tinner's shop hard by, and the big girls, some of them, contrived to saw off some of his long golden curls with tin shears contrived from the fragments cast out of the shop. The child was annoyed, but dared not complain to any purpose, till the annoyance being stated at home, it was concluded that the best way to abate it was to cut off all the curls altogether, and with the loss of these he considered his manhood to commence. Next, a small, unpainted, district school-house being erected within a stone's throw of the parsonage, he graduated from Ma'am Kilbourn's thither. The children of all the farming population in the neighborhood gathered there. The exercises consisted in daily readings of the Bible and the Columbian Orator, in elementary exercises in arithmetic, and hand-writing. The ferule and a long flexible hickory switch were the insignia of office of the school mistress. No very striking early results were the outcome of this teaching. Henry Ward was not marked out by the prophecies of partial friends for any brilliant future. He had precisely the organization which often passes for dullness in early boyhood. He had great deficiency in verbal memory, a deficiency marked in him through life; he was excessively sensitive to praise and blame, extremely diffident, and with a power of yearning, undeveloped emotion, which he neither understood nor could express. His utterance was thick and indistinct, partly from bashfulness and partly from an enlargement of the tonsils of the throat, so that in speaking or reading he was with difficulty understood. In forecasting his horoscope, had any one taken the trouble then to do it, the last success that ever would have been predicted for him would have been that of an orator. "When Henry is sent to me with a message," said a good aunt, "I always have to make him say it three times. The first time I have no manner of an idea more than if he spoke Choctaw; the second, I catch now and then a word; by the third time I begin to understand."

Thus, while Dr. Beecher victoriously demonstrated the consistency of decrees and accountability, and the elder brother was drawing all the hopes of the family as the first in his college class, and his elder sisters were writing poetry and receiving visits, and carrying on the cheerful round of Litchfield society, this bashful, dazed-looking boy pattered barefoot to and from the little unpainted school-house, with a brown towel or a blue checked apron to hem during the intervals between his spelling and reading lessons. Nobody thought much of his future, further than to see that he was safe and healthy, or even troubled themselves to inquire what might be going on in his life.

But the child most let alone, is nevertheless being educated gradually and insensibly. The calm, inflexible, elegant breeding of the step-mother, her intense solemnity of religious responsibility, indicating itself in every chance look or motion, fell on the sensitive child-nature like a constant moral stimulant. When a little fellow, whose small feet could not touch the bottom of the old family chaise, he was once driving with her on an errand. The bell tolled for a death, as was then the custom in rural places. "Henry, what do you think of when you hear a bell tolling like that?" she said. Astonished and awe-struck at having his thoughts inquired into, the child only flushed, and colored and looked abashed, and she went on as in a quiet soliloquy, "I think, was that soul prepared? It has gone into eternity!" The effect on the child's mind was a shiver of dread, like the being turned out without clothing among the icy winds of Litchfield hills. The vague sense of infinite, inevitable doom underlying all the footsteps of life, added to a natural disposition to yearning and melancholy. The scenery around the parsonage fed the yearning—Chestnut Hill on one side, with its lovely, softly wooded slopes, and waving grain-fields; on the other, Mount Tom, with steel-blue pines and a gleaming lake mirror at its feet. Then there was the piano always going, and the Scotch airs, Roslin Castle, Mary's Dream, and Bonnie Doon, sounding out from the parlor windows, and to which the boy listened in a sort of troublous and dreamy mixture of sadness and joy, and walked humming to himself with tears in his eyes.

The greatest trial of those days was the catechism. Sunday lessons were considered by the mother-in-law as inflexible duty, and the catechism as the sine qua non. The other children memorized readily and were brilliant reciters, but Henry, blushing, stammering, confused and hopelessly miserable, stuck fast on some sand-bank of what is required or forbidden by this or that commandment, his mouth choking up with the long words which he hopelessly miscalled; was sure to be accused of idleness or inattention, and to be solemnly talked to, which made him look more stolid and miserable than ever, but appeared to have no effect in quickening his dormant faculties.

When he was ten years old, he was a stocky, strong, well-grown boy, loyal in duty, trained in unquestioning obedience, inured to patient hard work, inured also to the hearing and discussing of all the great theological problems of Calvinism, which were always reverberating in his hearing; but as to any mechanical culture, in an extremely backward state—a poor writer, a miserable speller, with a thick utterance, and a bashful reticence which seemed like stolid stupidity. He was now placed at a private school in the neighboring town of Bethlehem, under the care of the Rev. Mr. Langdon, to commence a somewhat more careful course of study. Here an incident occurred which showed that the boy even at that early age felt a mission to defend opinions. A forward school-boy, among the elder scholars, had got hold of Paine's Age of Reason, and was flourishing largely among the boys with objections to the Bible, drawn therefrom. Henry privately looked up Watson's Apology, studied up the subject, and challenged a debate with the big boy, in which he came off victorious by the acclamation of his school-fellows.

His progress in book-learning, however, was slow, though his year at the place was one of great happiness. One trait of the boy, as it has been with the man, was a peculiar passion for natural scenery, which he found full liberty to indulge in his present surroundings. He boarded with a large-hearted, kindly, motherly woman, in a great comfortable farm-house, where everything was free and unconstrained. The house was backed by a generous old orchard, full of fruits and blossoms in spring and summer, and where the partridges drummed and whirred in winter. Beyond that were dreamy depths of woodland, and Henry's studies were mostly with gun on shoulder, roving the depths of those forests, guiltless of hitting anything, because the time was lost in dreamy contemplation. Thence returning unprepared for school, he would be driven to the expedient of writing out his Latin verb and surreptitiously reading it out of the crown of his hat, an exercise from whence he reaped small profit, either mentally or morally. In short, after a year spent in this way, it began to be perceived by the elders of the family, that as to the outward and visible signs of learning, he was making no progress. His eldest sister was then teaching a young lady's school in Hartford, and it was proposed to take the boy under her care to see what could be made of him.

One boy of eleven in a school of thirty or forty girls has not much chance of making a durable impression, but we question if any of Henry's school mates easily forgot him. If the under stratum of his nature was a dreamy yearning melancholy, its upper manifestation was in constant bubbling, restless effervescence of fun and practical joking. The school room was up a long flight of stairs, and one wet day Henry spent a recess when he was supposed to be studying grammar, in opening every umbrella brought to school, and so disposing them on the stairs that the luckless person who opened the outside door would witness a precipitate rush of the whole series into the street—which feat was successfully accomplished to the dismay of the late comer, and the tittering of the whole school, who had been somewhat prepared for the catastrophe.

The school room was divided into two divisions in grammar, under leaders on either side, and the grammatical reviews were contests for superiority in which it was vitally important that every member should be perfected. Henry was generally the latest choice, and fell on his side as an unlucky accession—being held more amusing than profitable on such occasions.

The fair leader on one of these divisions took the boy aside to a private apartment, to put into him with female tact and insinuation those definitions and distinctions on which the honor of the class depended.

"Now Henry, A is the indefinite article, you see—and must be used only with a singular noun. You can say a man—but you can't say a men, can you?" "Yes, I can say Amen too," was the ready rejoinder. "Father says it always at the end of his prayers."

"Come Henry, now don't be joking; now decline He." "Nominative he, possessive his, objective him." "You see, His is possessive. Now you can say, His book—but you can't say 'Him book.'" "Yes I do say Hymn book too," said the impracticable scholar with a quizzical twinkle. Each one of these sallies made his young teacher laugh, which was the victory he wanted.

"But now Henry, seriously, just attend to the active and passive voice. Now 'I strike' is active, you see, because if you strike you do something. But 'I am struck,' is passive, because if you are struck you don't do any thing do you?"

"Yes I do—I strike back again!"

Sometimes his views of philosophical subjects were offered gratuitously. Being held rather of a frisky nature, his sister appointed his seat at her elbow, when she heard her classes. A class in Natural Philosophy, not very well prepared, was stumbling through the theory of the tides. "I can explain that," said Henry. "Well, you see, the sun, he catches hold of the moon and pulls her, and she catches hold of the sea and pulls that, and this makes the spring tides.

"But what makes the neap tides?"

"Oh, that's when the sun stops to spit on his hands," was the brisk rejoinder.

After about six months, Henry was returned on his parents' hands with the reputation of being an inveterate joker, and an indifferent scholar. It was the opinion of his class that there was much talent lying about loosely in him if he could only be brought to apply himself.

When he was twelve years of age his father moved to Boston. It was a great change to the two younger boys, from the beautiful rural freedom of a picturesque mountain town to the close, strait limits of a narrow street in Boston.

There was a pure and vigorous atmosphere of moral innocence about the mountain towns of Connecticut in those days, which made the breeding up of children on the let-alone system quite feasible. There was no temptation to vice or immorality. The only associate of doubtful character forbidden to Henry, for whose society he craved, was Ulysses Freeman, a poor, merry, softly giggling negro boy, who inhabited a hut not far off, and who, it was feared, might indiscreetly teach him something that he ought not to know—but otherwise it was safe to let him run unwatched, in the wholesome companionship of bob-o'links and squirrels and birch woods and huckleberry bushes. There was not in all Litchfield in those days any thing to harm a growing boy, or lead him into evil.

But in Boston, the streets, the wharves, the ship yards, were full of temptation—the house, narrow and strait. The boy was put into the Boston Latin School, where the whole educational process was a solid square attempt to smite the Latin grammar into minds of all sorts and sizes, by a pressure like that by which coin is stamped in the mint. Educated in loyal obedience as a religion and a habit, pushed up to make the effort by the entreaties of his father, by appeals to his gallantry in overcoming difficulties, his sense of family honor, and the solemn appeals to conscience of his mother, Henry set himself doggedly to learn lists of prepositions and terminations, and bead-rolls of nouns that found their accusatives or genitives in this way or that, except in the case of two dozen exceptions, when they formed them in some other way, with all the other dry prickly facts of language with which it is deemed expedient to choke the efforts of beginners.

It was to him a grim Sinaitic desert, a land of darkness without order, where he wandered, seeing neither tree or flower; a wilderness of meaningless forms and sounds. His life was a desolation, a blind push to do what was most contrary to his natural faculties, repulsive to his tastes, and in which with utmost stress and strain of effort he could never hope to rise above mediocrity. One year passed in this way, and with the fear of disgrace in the rear and conscience and affection goading him on, Henry had actually mastered the Latin grammar, and could give any form or inflection, rule or exception therein, but at an expense of brain and nerve that began to tell even on his vigorous organization.

The era of fermentation and development was upon him, and the melancholy that had brooded over his childhood waxed more turbulent and formidable. He grew gloomy and moody, restless and irritable. His father, noticing the change, got him on a course of biographical reading, hoping to divert his thoughts. He began to read naval histories, the lives of great sailors and commanders—the voyages of Captain Cook, the biography of Nelson; and immediately, like lightning flashing out of rolling clouds, came the determination not to rest any longer in Boston, learning terminations and prepositions, but to go forth to a life of enterprise. He made up his little bundle, walked the wharf and talked with sailors and captains, hovered irresolute on the verge of voyages, never quite able to grieve his father by a sudden departure. At last he wrote a letter announcing to a brother that he could and would no longer remain at school—that he had made up his mind for the sea; that if not permitted to go, he should go without permission. This letter was designedly dropped where his father picked it up. Dr. Beecher put it in his pocket and said nothing for the moment, but the next day asked Henry to help him saw wood. Now the wood-pile was the Doctor's favorite debating ground, and Henry felt complimented by the invitation, as implying manly companionship.

"Let us see," says the Doctor, "Henry, how old are you?"

"Almost fourteen!"

"Bless me! how boys do grow!—Why it's almost time to be thinking what you are going to do. Have you ever thought?"

"Yes—I want to go to sea."

"To sea! Of all things! Well, well! After all, why not?—Of course you don't want to be a common sailor. You want to get into the navy?"

"Yes sir, that's what I want."

"But not merely as a common sailor, I suppose?"

"No sir, I want to be midshipman, and after that commodore."

"I see," said the Doctor, cheerfully, "Well, Henry, in order for that, you know, you must begin a course of mathematics, and study navigation and all that."

"Yes sir, I am ready."

"Well then, I'll send you up to Amherst next week, to Mount Pleasant, and then you'll begin your preparatory studies, and if you are well prepared, I presume I can make interest to get you an appointment."

And so he went to Mount Pleasant, in Amherst, Mass., and Dr. Beecher said shrewdly, "I shall have that boy in the ministry yet."

The transfer from the confined limits of a city to the congenial atmosphere of a beautiful mountain town brought an immediate favorable change. Here he came under the care of a mathematical teacher, educated at West Point, a bright attractive young man of the name of Fitzgerald, with whom he roomed. Between this young man and the boy, there arose a romantic friendship. Henry had no natural talent or taste for mathematics, but inspired by a desire to please his friend, and high ambition for his future profession, he went into them with energy, and soon did credit to his teacher at the blackboard, laboring perseveringly with his face towards the navy, and Nelson as his beau ideal.

Here also he was put through a strict drill in elocution by Professor John E. Lovell, now residing in New Haven, Conn. Of him, Mr. Beecher cherishes a grateful recollection, and never fails to send him a New Year's token of remembrance. He says of him, that "a better teacher in his department never was made." Mr. Beecher had many natural disabilities for the line of oratory; and their removal so far as to make him an acceptable speaker he holds due to the persevering drill of Mr. Lovell. His voice, naturally thick and husky, was developed by most persevering, systematic training. His gestures and the management of his body went through a drill corresponding to that which the military youth goes through at West Point, to make his body supple to the exigencies of military evolution. As an orator, this early training was of vital importance to him. He could never have attained success without it.

At the close of the first year, a revival of religion passed through the school, and Henry Ward and many others were powerfully impressed. It was in fact, on the part of the boy, the mere flashing out into visible form of that deep undercurrent of religious sensibility which had been the habit of his life, and the result of his whole home education. His father sent for him home to unite with the church on a great communion season; and the boy, trembling, agitated, awe-struck, full of vague purposes and good resolutions and imperfectly developed ideas, stood up and took on him irrevocable vows, henceforth in his future life to be actively and openly on the side of Christ, in the great life battle.

Of course the naval scheme vanished, and the pulpit opened before him as his natural sphere. With any other father or education, this would not have been an "of course;" but Dr. Beecher was an enthusiast in his profession. Every word of his life, every action or mode of speaking, had held it up before his boys as the goal of all his hopes, that they should preach the gospel, and the boy therefore felt that to be the necessary obligation which came upon him in joining the church. He returned to Amherst, where his classical education was continued for two years longer, with a view to fit him for college.

The love of flowers, which has always formed so marked a branch of his general enthusiasm for nature, developed itself at this time in a friendship with a rather rough man who kept a garden. He was so pleased with the boy's enthusiasm that he set apart a scrap of ground for him which he filled with roses, geraniums and other blooming wonders, and these Henry tended under his instructions.

At that time the love of nature was little cultivated among the community. By very many good people, nature was little spoken of except as the antithesis to grace. It was the tempter, the syren that drew the soul from higher duties. The chaplain of Mount Pleasant Institute, a grave and formal divine, found Henry on his knees in his little flower patch, lost in rapturous contemplations of buds and blossoms. He gave him an indulgent smile, but felt it his duty to improve the occasion.

"Ah, Henry," he said condescendingly, as one who makes a fair admission, "these things are pretty, very pretty, but my boy, do you think that such things are worthy to occupy the attention of a man who has an immortal soul?" Henry answered only by that abashed and stolid look which covered from the eyes of his superiors, so much of what was going on within him, and went on with attentions to his flowers. "I wanted to tell him," he said afterwards, "that since Almighty God has found leisure to make those trifles, it could not be amiss for us to find time to look at them." By the time that Henry had been three years in Amherst he was prepared to enter Sophomore in College. Thanks to his friend and teacher Fitzgerald, his mathematical training had given him the entire mastery of La Croix's Algebra, so that he was prepared to demonstrate at random any proposition as chance selected—not only without aid or prompting from the teacher, but controversially as against the teacher, who would sometimes publicly attack the pupil's method of demonstration, disputing him step by step, when the scholar was expected to know with such positive clearness as to put down and overthrow the teacher. "You must not only know, but you must know that you know," was Fitzgerald's maxim; and Henry Ward attributes much of his subsequent habit of steady antagonistic defence of his own opinions to this early mathematical training.

Though prepared for the Sophomore class, his father however, deemed it best on the whole, that he should enter as freshman, and the advanced state of his preparation therefore gave him leisure the first year to mark out and commence a course of self-education by means of the college libraries, which he afterwards systematically pursued through college life. In fact he gave no more attention to the college course than was absolutely essential to keep his standing, but turned all the power of study and concentrated attention he had acquired in his previous years, upon his own plan of culture. As he himself remarks, "I had acquired by the Latin and mathematics, the power of study. I knew how to study, and I turned it upon things I wanted to know." The Latin and Greek classics did not attract him. The want of social warmth in the remove at which they stood from the living present, alienated them from the sympathies of one who felt his mission to be among the men of to-day, and by its living literature. Oratory and rhetoric he regarded as his appointed weapons, and he began to prepare himself in the department of how to say—meanwhile contemplating with uncertain awe, the great future problem of WHAT TO SAY.

For the formation of style he began a course of English classical study; Milton's prose works, Bacon, Shakspeare, and the writers of the Elizabethan period were his classics, read and re-read, and deeply pondered. In common with most of the young men of his period, he was a warm admirer of the writings of Robert Hall, and added him to his list of favorite authors. His habits of study were somewhat peculiar. He had made for himself at the carpenter's, a circular table, with a hole in the middle, where was fixed a seat. Enthroned in this seat with his English classics all around him, he read and pondered, and with never ceasing delight.

The stand he took in college, was from the first that of a reformer. He was always on the side of law and order, and being one of the most popular fellows in his class, threw the whole weight of his popularity in favor of the faculty, rather than against them. He and his associates formed a union of merry good fellows, who were to have glorious fun, but to have it only by honorable and permissible means. They voted down scraping in the lecture rooms, and hazing of students; they voted down gambling and drinking, and every form of secret vice, and made the class rigidly temperate and pure. Mr. Beecher had received from family descent what might be called a strictly temperance organization. In no part of his life did he ever use, or was he ever tempted to use tobacco or ardent spirits in any shape. All his public labors, like those of his father before him, have been performed by the strict legal income of ordinary nervous investment; they have not been those deep ruinous drafts on the reserved principal of vital force, which are drawn by the excitements of extra stimulants.

He also maintained the character of a Christian student, by conscientious attention to the class prayer meetings, in which he took his part, as well as by outside religious and temperance labors in the rural population in the neighborhood. He very early formed an attachment to a beneficiary in the college, a man, as he says, of the Isaiah type, large-souled, and full of devotion, who took the boy round with him on his tour of religious exhortation, insisting with paternal earnestness that it was his immediate duty to begin to practice for the work of the Christian ministry. Having brought him once or twice to read and pray, in a little rural meeting, held in a school-house in the outskirts of the village, he solemnly committed the future care of the meeting to the young disciple, and went himself to look up another fold. This meeting Henry religiously kept up among his others, with varying success, during his college career.

The only thing which prevented him from taking the first rank as a religious young man, was the want of that sobriety and solemnity which was looked upon as essential to the Christian character. Mr. Beecher was like a converted bob-o'link, who should be brought to judgment for short quirks and undignified twitters and tweedles, among the daisy heads, instead of flying in dignified paternal sweeps, like a good swallow of the sanctuary, or sitting in solemnized meditation in the depths of pine trees like the owl.

His commendation from the stricter brethren generally came with the sort of qualification which Shakspeare makes,—

"For the man doth fear God, howbeit it doth not always appear, by reason of some large jests which he will make."

In fact, Mr. Beecher was generally the center of a circle of tempestuous merriment, ever eddying round him in one droll form or another. He was quick in repartee, an excellent mimic, and his stories would set the gravest in a roar. He had the art, when admonished by graver people, of somehow entrapping them into more uproarious laughing than he himself practiced, and then looking innocently surprised. Mr. Beecher on one occasion was informed that the head tutor of the class was about to make him a grave exhortatory visit. The tutor was almost seven feet high, and solemn as an Alpine forest, but Mr. Beecher knew that like most solemn Yankees, he was at heart a deplorable wag, a mere whited sepulchre of conscientious gravity, with measureless depths of unrenewed chuckle hid away in the depths of his heart. When apprised of his approach, he suddenly whisked into the wood-closet the chairs of his room, leaving only a low one which had been sawed off at the second joint, so that it stood about a foot from the floor. Then he crawled through the hole in his table, and seated meekly among his books, awaited the visit.

A grave rap, is heard:—"Come in."

Far up in the air, the solemn dark face appears. Mr. Beecher rose ingenuously, and offered to come out. "No, never mind," says the visitor, "I just came to have a little conversation with you. Don't move."

"Oh," says Beecher innocently, "pray sit down sir," indicating the only chair.

The tutor looked apprehensively, but began the process of sitting down. He went down, down, down, but still no solid ground being gained, straightened himself and looked uneasy.

"I don't know but that chair is too low for you," said Beecher meekly; "do let me get you another."

"Oh no, no, my young friend, don't rise, don't trouble yourself, it is perfectly agreeable to me, in fact I like a low seat," and with these words, the tall man doubled up like a jack-knife, and was seen sitting with his grave face between his knees, like a grass-hopper drawn up for a spring. He heaved a deep sigh, and his eyes met the eyes of Mr. Beecher; the hidden spark of native depravity within him was exploded by one glance at those merry eyes, and he burst into a loud roar of merriment, which the two continued for some time, greatly to the amusement of the boys, who were watching to hear how Beecher would come out with his lecture. The chair was known in college afterwards, by the surname of the "Tutor's Delight." This overflow of the faculty of mirthfulness, has all his life deceived those who had only a shallow acquaintance with him, and men ignorant of the depth of yearning earnestness and profound strength of purpose on which they rippled and sparkled.

But at the time that he passed for the first humorist of college, the marks along his well worn volumes of the old English poets show only appreciation of what is earnest, deep and pathetic. He particularly loved an obscure old poet of whom we scarcely hear in modern days, Daniel, who succeeded Edmund Spenser as poet laureate, and was a friend of Shakspeare.

Some lines addressed by him to the Earl of Southampton, are marked by reiterated lines in Mr. Beecher's copy of the old English poets, which showed enthusiastic reading. He says, "This was about the only piece of poetry I ever committed to memory, but I read it so much I could not help at last knowing it by heart:"


"He who hath never warred with misery,
Nor ever tugged with fortune in distress,
Hath no occasion and no field to try
The strength and forces of his worthiness.
Those parts of judgment which felicity
Keeps as concealed, affliction must express,
And only men show their abilities
And what they are, in their extremities.

"Mutius the fire, the tortures Regulus,
Did make the miracles of faith and zeal;
Exile renowned and graced Rutilius.
Imprisonment and poison did reveal
The worth of Socrates, Fabricius'
Poverty did grace that common weal
More than all Sylla's riches got with strife,
And Cato's death did vie with Cæsar's life.

"He that endures for what his conscience knows
Not to be ill, doth from a patience high
Look on the only cause whereto he owes
Those sufferings, not on his misery;
The more he endures the more his glory grows,
Which never grows from imbecility;
Only the best composed and worthiest hearts
God sets to act the hardest and constant'st parts."

Such an enthusiasm shows clearly on what a key the young man had set his life purposes, and what he was looking for in his life battle.

Another poem which bears reiterated marks and dates, is to Lady Margaret, Countess of Cumberland, of which these lines are a sample:

"He that of such a height hath built his mind,
And reared the dwelling of his thoughts so strong
As neither fear nor hope can shake the frame
Of his resolved powers; nor all the wind
Of vanity or malice pierce to wrong
His settled peace, or to disturb the same;
What a fair seat hath he! from whence he may
The boundless wastes and wilds of man survey!

"And while distraught ambition compasses
And is compassed; whilst as craft deceives
And is deceived; while man doth ransack man,
And builds on blood, and rises by distress;
And the inheritance of desolation leaves
To great expecting hopes; he looks thereon,
As from the shore of peace, with unwet eye,
And bears no venture in impiety."

These verses are so marked with Mr. Beecher's life habits of thought, with his modes of expression, that they show strongly the influence which these old poets had in forming both his habits of thought and expression. His mind naturally aspired after heroism, and from the time that he gave up his youthful naval enthusiasm he turned the direction of the heroic faculties into moral things.

In the course of the sophomore year, Mr. Beecher was led, as a mere jovial frolic, to begin a course of investigation which colored his whole after life. A tall, grave, sober fellow had been reading some articles on Phrenology, on which Spurzheim was then lecturing in Boston, and avowed himself a convert. Quick as thought, the wits of college saw in this an occasion for glorious fun. They proposed to him with great apparent earnestness that he should deliver a course of lectures on the subject in Beecher's room.

With all simplicity and solemnity he complied, while the ingenuous young inquirers began busily arming themselves with objections to and puzzles for him, by reading the scoffing articles in Blackwood and the Edinburgh. The fun waxed hearty, and many saw nothing in it but a new pasture ground to be ploughed and seeded down for an endless harvest of college jokes. But one day, one of the clearest headed and most powerful thinkers in the class said to Beecher, "What is your estimate of the real logical validity of these objections to Phrenology?" "Why," said Beecher, "I was thinking that if these objections were all that could be alleged, I could knock them to pieces." "So I think," said the other. In fact, the inanity of the crusade against the theory brought forth converts faster than its direct defence. Mr. Beecher and his associates formed immediately a club for physiological research. He himself commenced reading right and left, in all the works of anatomy and physiology which he could lay hands on, either in the college or village libraries. He sent and bought for his own private use, Magendie's Physiology, Combe's Phrenology, and the works of Gall and Spurzheim. A phrenological union was formed to purchase together charts, models and dissecting tools, for the study of comparative anatomy. It was even planned, in the enthusiasm of young discipleship, to establish a private dissecting room for the club, but the difficulties attending the procuring of proper subjects prevented its being carried into effect. By correspondence with his brother Charles, however, who was then in Bowdoin College, an affiliated phrenological club was formed in that institution, and his letters of this period were all on and about phrenological subjects, and in full phrenological dialect. Mr. Beecher delivered three lectures on the subject in the village lyceum, and did an infinity of private writing and study.

He read the old English dramatists, particularly Ben Jonson, Massinger, Webster, Ford and Shakspeare, and wrote out analyses of their principal characters on phrenological principles. The college text-book of mental philosophy was Browne, and Mr. Beecher's copy of Browne is marked through and through, and interlined with comparative statements of the ideas derived from his physiological investigation. With these also he carefully read and analyzed Locke, Stuart, Reid, and the other writers of the Scotch school. As a writer and debater, Mr. Beecher was acknowledged the first of the class, and was made first president of the Athenian Society, notwithstanding it had been a time-honored precedent that that distinction should belong only to the presumptive valedictorian. The classics and mathematics he had abandoned because of his interest in other things, but that abandonment settled the fact that he could never aspire to high college honors. He however, wrote for one of his papers in a college newspaper a vigorous defence of mathematical studies, which won the approbation and surprise of his teachers. It was a compliment paid by rhetoric to her silent sister.

The phrenological and physiological course thus begun in college was pursued by few of the phrenological club in after life. With many it died out as a boyish enthusiasm; with one or two, as Messrs. Fowler of New York, it became a continuous source of interest and profit. With Mr. Beecher it led to a broad course of physiological study and enquiry, which, collated with metaphysics and theology, has formed his system of thought through life. From that day he has continued the reading and study of all the physiological writers in the English language. In fact, he may be said during his college life to have constructed for himself a physiological mental philosophy out of the writings of the Scotch metaphysical school and that of Combe, Spurzheim, and the other physiologists. Mr. Beecher is far from looking on phrenology as a perfected science. He regards it in relation to real truth as an artist's study towards a completed landscape; a study on right principles and in a right direction, but not as a completed work. In his view, the phrenologists, physiologists and mental philosophers of past days have all been partialists, giving a limited view of the great subject. The true mental philosophy, as he thinks, is yet to arise from a consideration of all the facts and principles evolved by all of them.

Thus much is due for the understanding of Mr. Beecher's style, in which to a great extent he uses the phrenological terminology, a terminology so neat and descriptive, and definite in respect to human beings as they really exist, that it gives a great advantage to any speaker. The terms of phrenology have in fact become accepted as conveniences in treating of human nature, as much as the algebraic signs in numbers.

The depth of Mr. Beecher's religious nature prevented this enthusiasm for material science from degenerating into dry materialism. He was a Calvinist in the earnestness of his intense need of the highest and deepest in religion. In his sophomore year there was a revival of religion in college, in which his mind was powerfully excited. He reviewed the almost childish experiences under which he had joined the church, as possibly deceptive, and tried and disciplined himself by those profound tests with which the Edwardean theology had filled the minds of New England. A blank despair was the result. He applied to Dr. Humphrey, who simply told him that his present feelings were a work of the spirit, and with which he dared not interfere. After days of almost hopeless prayer, there came suddenly into his mind an ineffable and overpowering perception of the Divine love, which seemed to him like a revelation. It dispelled all doubts, all fears; he became buoyant and triumphant, and that buoyancy has been marked in his religious teachings ever since.

Mr. Beecher's doctrine upon the subject is that the truths of the Divine nature are undiscoverable by the mere logical faculties, that they are the province of a still higher class of faculties which belong to human nature, the faculties of spiritual intuition; that it is through these spiritual intuitions that the Holy Spirit of God communes with man, and directs through them the movements of the lower faculties. In full faith in the dependence of man on the Holy Spirit for these spiritual intuitions, he holds substantially the same ground with Jonathan Edwards, though he believes that Divine influence to be far more widely, constantly and fully given to the children of men than did that old divine.

During his two last college years, Mr. Beecher, like other members of his class, taught rural schools during the long winter vacations. In this way he raised funds of his own to buy that peculiar library which his tastes and studies caused him to accumulate about him. In both these places he performed the work of a religious teacher, preaching and exhorting regularly in stated meetings, giving temperance lectures, or doing any reformatory work that came to hand. In the controversy then arising through the land in relation to slavery, Mr. Beecher from the first took the ground and was willing to bear the name of an abolitionist. It was a part of the heroic element of his nature always to stand for the weak, and he naturally inclined to take that stand in a battle where the few were at odds against the many.

In 1832 Dr. Lyman Beecher moved to Cincinnati, two years before the completion of Henry's college course.

He graduated in 1834, and went out to Cincinnati. The abolition excitement at Lane Seminary had just ended, by the departure of a whole class of some thirty students, with Theodore Weld at their head.

Dr. Beecher was now the central point of a great theological battle. It was a sort of spiritual Armageddon, being the confluence of the forces of the Scotch-Irish Presbyterian Calvinistic fatalism, meeting in battle with the advancing rationalism of New England new school theology. On one side was hard literal interpretation of Bible declarations and the Presbyterian standards, asserting man's utter and absolute natural and moral inability to obey God's commands, and on the other side, the doctrine of man's free agency, and bringing to the rendering of the declarations of the scriptures and of the standards, the lights of modern modes of interpretation.

Dr. Wilson, who headed the attacking party, was a man in many points marvellously resembling General Jackson, both in person and character, and he fought the battle with the same gallant, headlong vigor and sincere unflinching constancy. His habits of thought were those of a western pioneer, accustomed from childhood to battle with Indians and wild beasts, in the frontier life of an early state. His views of mental philosophy, and of the modes of influencing the human mind, were like those of the Emperor Constantine when he commanded a whole synod of bishops to think alike without a day's delay, or those of the Duke of Wellington, when he told the doubting inquirers at Oxford, that "the thing to be done was to sign the thirty-nine articles, and believe them." The party he headed, were vigorous, powerful and with all that immense advantage which positive certainty and a literal, positively expressed belief always gives. With such an army and such a general, the fight of course was a warm one, and Dr. Beecher's sons found themselves at once his armor bearers in the thickest of the battle. The great number of ascending judicatories in the Presbyterian Church gave infinite scope for protracting a contest where every point of doctrine could first be discussed and voted on in Presbytery, then adjourned to Synod, then carried to General Assembly, and in each had to be discussed and decided by majorities. What scope for activity in those times! What racing and chasing along muddy western roads, to obscure towns, each party hoping that the length of the way and the depth of the mud would discourage their opponents, keep them away and so give their own side the majority. Dr. Beecher and his sons, it was soon found could race and chase and ride like born Kentuckians, and that "free agency" on horse-back, would go through mud and fire, and water, as gallantly as ever "natural inability" could. There was something grimly ludicrous in the dismay with which Dr. Wilson, inured from his boyhood to bear-fights, and to days and nights spent in cane-brakes, and dens of wolves, found on his stopping at an obscure log hut in the depth of the wilderness, Dr. Beecher with his sons and his new school delegates, ahead of him, on their way to Synod.

The study of theology at Lane Seminary, under these circumstances, was very largely from the controversial and dialectic point of view. It was, to a great extent, the science of defence of new school as against old school.

Mr. Beecher was enthusiastically devoted to his father, and of course felt interested in his success as a personal matter, but in regard to the whole wide controversy, his interest was more that of a spectator than of a partizan on either side. He had already begun his study of mental and moral philosophy on a broad eclectic basis, taking great account of facts and phenomena which he saw to be wholly ignored by the combatants on both sides. The mental philosophy of Reid and the Scotch school, on which Dr. Beecher based his definitions, he regarded as only partially true, and had set down in his own mind at a definite value. The intense zeal and perfect undoubting faith with which both sides fought their battle, impressed him as only a strange and interesting and curious study in his favorite science of anthropology.

He gave his attention to the system, understood it thoroughly, was master of all its modes of attack, fence and defence, but he did it much as a person now-a days might put on a suit of mediæval armor, and study mediæval tactics.

Mr. Beecher had inherited from his father what has been called a genius for friendship. He was never without the anchor of an enthusiastic personal attachment for somebody, and at Lane Seminary, he formed such an intimacy with Professor C. E. Stowe, whose room-mate for some length of time he was, and in whose society he took great delight. Professor Stowe, a man devoted to scholarly learning and Biblical criticism, was equally with young Beecher standing as a spectator in the great theological contest which was raging around him, and which he surveyed from still another stand-point, of ecclesiastical history and biblical criticism. It was some considerable inconvenience to the scholarly professor, to be pulled up from his darling books, and his interjections were not always strictly edifying when he was raced through muddy lanes, and rattled over corduroy roads, under the vigorous generalship of Dr. Beecher, all that he might give his vote for or against some point of doctrine, which, in his opinion, common sense had decided ages ago. He was also, somewhat of a strict disciplinarian and disposed to be severe on the discursive habits of his young friend, who was quite too apt to neglect or transcend conventional rule. The morning prayers at Lane were at conventual hours, and Henry's devotional propensities, of a dark cold winter morning, were almost impossible to be aroused, while his friend, who was punctuality itself, was always up and away in the gloaming. One morning, when the Professor had indignantly rebuked the lazy young Christian, whom he left tucked in bed, and, shaking the dust from his feet, had departed to his morning duties, Henry took advantage of his own habits of alert motion, sprang from the bed, dressed himself in a twinkling, and taking a cross-lot passage, was found decorously sitting directly under the Professor's desk, waiting for him, when he entered to conduct prayers. The stare of almost frightened amazement with which the Professor met him, was the ample reward of his exertions.

Though Professor Stowe never succeeded in making him an exact linguist, or shaping him into a biblical scholar, yet he was of great service to him in starting his mind in a right general direction in the study of the Bible. The old and the new school were both too much agreed in using the Bible as a carpenter does his nail-box, going to it only to find screws and nails to hold together the framework of a theological system. Professor Stowe inspired him with the idea of surveying the books of the Bible as divinely inspired compositions, yet truly and warmly human, and to be rendered and interpreted by the same rules of reason and common sense which pertain to all human documents.

As the time drew near in which Mr. Beecher was to assume the work of the ministry, he was oppressed by a deep melancholy. He had the most exalted ideas of what ought to be done by a Christian minister. He had transferred to that profession all those ideals of courage, enterprise, zeal and knightly daring which were the dreams of his boyhood, and which he first hoped to realize in the naval profession. He felt that the holy calling stood high above all others, that to enter it from any unholy motive, or to enter and not do a worthy work in it, was a treason to all honor.

His view of the great object of the ministry was sincerely and heartily the same with that of his father; to secure the regeneration of the individual heart by the Divine spirit, and thereby to effect the regeneration of human society. The problem that oppressed him was, how to do this. His father had used certain moral and intellectual weapons, and used them strongly and effectively, because employing them with undoubting faith. So many other considerations had come into his mind to qualify and limit that faith, so many new modes of thought and inquiry, that were partially inconsistent with the received statements of his party, that he felt he could never grasp and wield them with the force which would make them efficient. It was no comfort to him that he could wield the weapons of his theological party, so as to dazzle and confound objectors, while all the time conscious in his own soul of objections more profound and perplexities more bewildering. Like the shepherd boy of old, he saw the giant of sin stalking through the world, defying the armies of the living God, and longed to attack him, but the armor in which he had been equipped for the battle was no help, but only an incumbrance!

His brother, who studied with him, had already become an unbeliever, and thrown up the design of preaching, and he could not bear to think of adding to his father's trials by deserting the standard. Yet his distress and perplexity were so great that at times he seriously contemplated going into some other profession.

What to say to make men Christians,—how to raise man to God really and truly,—was to him an awful question. Nothing short of success in this appeared to him success in the Christian ministry.

Pending these mental conflicts, he performed some public labors. He was for four or five months editor of the Cincinnati Journal, the organ of the N. S. Presbyterian Church, during the absence of Mr. Brainard. While he was holding this post, the pro-slavery riot which destroyed Birney's press occurred, and the editorials of the young editor at this time were copied with high approval by Charles Hammond, of the Cincinnati Gazette, undoubtedly the ablest editor of the West, and the only other editor who dared to utter a word condemnatory of the action of the rioters. Mr. Beecher entered on the defence of the persecuted negroes with all the enthusiasm of his nature. He had always a latent martial enthusiasm, and though his whole life had been a peaceful one, yet a facility in the use of carnal weapons seemed a second nature, and at this time, he, with a number of other young men went to the mayor and were sworn in as a special body of police, who patroled the streets, well armed. Mr. Beecher wore his pistol, and was determined, should occasion arise, to use it. But as usual in such cases, a resolute front once shown dissolved the mob entirely.

In his last theological term he took a Bible class in the city of Cincinnati, and began studying and teaching the evangelists. With the course of this study and teaching came a period of spiritual clairvoyance. His mental perplexities were relieved, and the great question of "what to preach," was solved. The shepherd boy laid aside his cumbrous armor, and found in a clear brook a simple stone that smote down the giant, and so from the clear waters of the gospel narrative, Mr. Beecher drew forth that "white stone with a new name," which was to be the talisman of his ministry. To present Jesus Christ, personally, as the Friend and Helper of Humanity, Christ as God impersonate, eternally and by a necessity of his nature helpful and remedial and restorative; the friend of each individual soul, and thus the friend of all society; this was the one thing which his soul rested on as a worthy object in entering the ministry. He afterward said, in speaking of his feelings at this time: "I was like the man in the story to whom a fairy gave a purse with a single piece of money in it, which he found always came again as soon as he had spent it. I thought I knew at last one thing to preach, I found it included everything."

Immediately on finishing his theological course, Mr. Beecher married and was settled in Lawrenceburg. He made short work of the question of settlement, accepting the very first offer that was made him. It was work that he wanted, and one place he thought about as good as another. His parish was a little town on the Ohio river, not far from Cincinnati. Here he preached in a small church, and did all the work of the parish sexton, making his fires, trimming his lamps, sweeping his house, and ringing his bell. "I did all," he said whimsically, "but come to hear myself preach—that they had to do." The little western villages of those days had none of the attractions of New England rural life. They were more like the back suburbs of a great city, a street of houses without yards or gardens, run up for the most part in a cheap and flimsy manner, and the whole air of society marked with the impress of a population who have no local attachments, and are making a mere temporary sojourn for money-getting purposes. Mr. Beecher was soon invited from Lawrenceburg to Indianapolis, the capital of the State, where he labored for eight years.

His life here was of an Arcadian simplicity. He inhabited a cottage on the outskirts of the town, where he cultivated a garden, and gathered around him horse, cow and pig; all that wholesome suite of domestic animals which he had been accustomed to care for in early life. He was an enthusiast on all these matters, fastidious about breeds and blood, and each domestic animal was a pet and received his own personal attentions. In the note-books of this period, amid hints for sermons, come memoranda respecting his favorite Berkshire pig, or Durham cow. He read on gardening, farming, and stock-raising, all that he could lay hands on; he imported from eastern cultivators all sorts of roses and all sorts of pear trees and grape vines, and edited a horticultural paper, which had quite a circulation.

All this was mainly the amusement of his leisure hours, as he preached always twice on Sunday, and held at an average five other meetings a week in different districts of the city. For three months of every year, by consent of his people, he devoted himself to missionary duty through the State, riding from point to point on horseback, and preaching every day of the week.

In his theological studies he had but just two volumes—the Bible and human nature, which he held to be indispensable to the understanding each of the other. He said to himself, "The Apostles who first preached Christ, made converts who were willing to dare or do anything for him. How did they do this?" He studied all the recorded discourses of the Apostles in the book of Acts, in his analytical method, asking, to what principles of human nature did they appeal? What were their methods of statement? He endeavored to compose sermons on similar principles, and test them by their effects on men. He noticed that the Apostles always based their appeals to men on some common truth, admitted by both parties alike; that they struck at the great facts of moral consciousness, and he imitated them in this. He was an intense observer and student of men as they are. His large social talent, his predominating play of humor and drollery, were the shields under which he was constantly carrying on his inquiries into what man is, and how he can be reached. Seated in the places where men congregate to loaf and talk, he read his newspaper with his eyes and ears open to more than its pages. His preaching began to draw listeners as a new style of thing. Its studies into human nature, its searching analysis of men and their ways, drew constant listeners. His fame spread through the country, and multitudes, wherever he went, flocked to hear him. Still, Mr. Beecher did not satisfy himself. To be a popular preacher, to be well spoken of, to fill up his church, did not after all satisfy his ideal. It was necessary that the signs of an Apostle should be wrought in him by his having the power given to work the great, deep and permanent change which unites the soul to God. It was not till about the third year of his ministry that he found this satisfaction in a great revival of religion in Terre Haute, which was followed by a series of such revivals through the State, in which he was for many months unceasingly active. When he began to see whole communities moving together under a spiritual impulse, the grog-shops abandoned, the votaries of drunkenness, gambling and dissipation reclaimed, reformed, and sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in their right mind, he felt that at last he had attained what his soul thirsted for, and that he could enter into the joy of the Apostles when they returned to Jesus, saying, "Lord, by thy name even the devils were made subject unto us."

His preaching of Christ at this time was spoken of as something very striking in its ceaseless iteration of one theme, made constantly new and various by new applications to human want and sin and sorrow.

A member of his church in Indianapolis, recently, in writing the history of the church with which he was connected, thus gives his recollections of him:

"In the early spring of 1842, a revival began, more noticeable, perhaps, than any that this church or this community has seen. The whole town was pervaded by the influences of religion. For many weeks the work continued with unabated power, and at three communion seasons, held successively in February, March and April, 1842, nearly one hundred persons were added to the church on profession of their faith. This was God's work. It is not improper, however, to speak of the pastor in that revival, as he is remembered by some of the congregation, plunging through the wet streets, his trousers stuffed in his muddy bootlegs, earnest, untiring, swift; with a merry heart, a glowing face, and a helpful word for every one; the whole day preaching Christ to the people where he could find them, and at night preaching still where the people were sure to find him. It is true that in this revival some wood and hay and stubble were gathered with the gold and silver and precious stones. As in all new communities, there was special danger of unhealthy excitement. But in general the results were most happy for the church and for the town. Some of those who have been pillars since, found the Saviour in that memorable time. Nor was the awakening succeeded by an immediate relapse.

"Early in the following year, at the March and April communions, the church had large accessions, and it had also in 1845. There was, indeed, a wholesome and nearly continuous growth up to the time when the first pastor resigned, to accept a call to the Plymouth Congregational church, in Brooklyn, New York. This occurred August 24th, 1847, and on the nineteenth of the following month Mr. Beecher's labors for the congregation ceased.

"The pastorate, thus terminated, had extended through more than eight years. During this time much had been accomplished. The society had built a pleasant house of worship. The membership had advanced from thirty-two to two hundred and seventy-five. What was considered a doubtful enterprise, inaugurated as it had been amidst many prophecies of failure, had risen to an enviable position, not only in the capital but in the State. The attachment between pastor and people had become peculiarly strong. Mutual toils and sufferings and successes had bound them fast together. Only the demands of a wider field, making duty plain, divided them, and a recent letter proves that the pastor's early charge still keeps its hold upon his heart. It is not to be wondered at that the few of his flock who yet remain among us always speak of 'Henry' with beaming eyes and mellowed voices."

One expression in this extract will show a peculiarity which strongly recalls the artless, unconventional freshness of Western life in those days. The young pastor, though deeply and truly respected by all his elders and church members, was always addressed as "Henry," by them with a sort of family intimacy and familiarity. It was partly due to the simple, half woodland habits of the people, and partly to that quality in the pastor that made every elderly man love him as a son and every younger one as a brother.

Henry's tastes, enthusiasms, and fancies, his darling garden, with its prize vegetables and choice roses, whence came bouquets for the æsthetic, and more solid presents of prize onions or squashes for the more literal—all these seemed to be part and parcel of the family stock of his church. His brother Charles, who from intellectual difficulties had abandoned the ministry, and devoted himself to a musical life as a profession, inhabited, with his wife and young family, a little cottage in the same grounds with his own, and shared his garden labors, and led the music of his church. "Henry and Charles" were as familiarly spoken of and known in Indianapolis circles as Castor and Pollux among the astronomers. In one of the revivals in Indianapolis, Charles, like his brother before him, found in an uplift of his moral faculties a tide to carry him over the sunken rocks of his logic. By his brother's advice, he took a Bible class, and began the story of the life of Christ, and the result was that after a while he saw his way clear to offer himself for ordination, and was settled in the ministry in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Thus that simple narrative had power to allay the speculative doubts of both brothers, and to give them an opening into the ministry.

Mr. Beecher has always looked back with peculiar tenderness to that Western life, in the glow of his youthful days, and in that glorious, rich, abundant, unworn Western country. The West, with its wide, rich, exuberant spaces of land, its rolling prairies, garlanded with rainbows of ever-springing flowers, teeming with abundance of food for man, and opening in every direction avenues for youthful enterprise and hope, was to him a morning land. To carry Christ's spotless banner in high triumph through such a land, was a thing worth living for, and as he rode on horseback alone, from day to day, along the rolling prairie lands, sometimes up to his horse's head in grass and waving flowers, he felt himself kindled with a sort of ecstacy. The prairies rolled and blossomed in his sermons, and his style at this time had a tangled luxuriance of poetic imagery, a rush and abundance of words, a sort of rich and heavy involution, that resembled the growth of a tropical forest.

"What sort of a style am I forming?" he said to a critical friend, who had come to hear him preach.

"Well, I should call it the 'tropical style,'" was the reply.

The Western people, simple and strong, shrewd as Yankees, and excitable and fervent as Southerners, full of quaint images and peculiar turns of expression derived from a recent experience of back-woods life, were an open page in his great book of human nature, where character revealed itself with an artless freshness. All the habits of society had an unconventional simplicity. People met with the salutation, "How are ye, stranger?" and had no thought of any formal law of society, why one human being might not address another on equal terms, and speak out his mind on all subjects fully. When invited to supper at a thrifty farmer's, the supper board was spread in the best bed-room, the master and mistress stood behind the chairs of their guests and waited on them during the meal, and the table groaned with such an abundance of provision as an eastern imagination fails to conceive of. Every kind of fowl, choicely cooked, noble hams, sausages, cheese, bread, butter, biscuit, corn cakes in every variety, sweet cakes and confections, preserved fruits of every name, with steaming tea and coffee, were all indispensable to a good supper.

Of poverty, properly so called, there was very little. There were none of those distressing, unsolvable social problems which perplex the mind and burden the heart of a pastor in older states of society.

Mr. Beecher's ecclesiastical brethren were companions of whom he never fails to speak with tender respect and enthusiastic regard. Some of them, like Father Dickey, were men who approached as near the apostolic ideal, in poverty, simplicity, childlike sincerity, and unconquerable, persevering labor, as it is possible to do. They were all strong, fearless anti-slavery men, and the resolutions of the Indiana Synod were always a loud, unsparing and never-failing testimony against any complicity with slavery in the Presbyterian church.

As to the great theological controversy that divided the old and new school church, Mr. Beecher dropped it at once and forthwith, being in his whole nature essentially uncontroversial. It came to pass that some of his warmest personal friends were members of the Old School church in Indianapolis, and offspring of the very fiercest combatants who had fought his father in Cincinnati.

Mr. Beecher was on terms of good fellowship with all denominations. There were in Indianapolis, Baptists, Methodists, and an Episcopal minister, but he stood on kindly social terms with all. The spirit of Western society was liberal, and it was deemed edifying by the common sense masses that the clergy of different denominations should meet as equals and brothers. Mr. Beecher's humorous faculty gave to him a sort of universal coin which passed current in all sorts of circles, making every one at ease with him. Human nature longs to laugh, and a laugh, as Shakspeare says, "done in the testimony of a good conscience," will often do more to bring together wrangling theologians than a controversy.

There was a store in Indianapolis, where the ministers of all denominations often dropped in to hear the news, and where the free western nature made it always in rule to try each others metal with a joke. No matter how sharp the joke, it was considered to be all fair and friendly.

On one occasion, Mr. Beecher, riding to one of the stations of his mission, was thrown over his horse's head in crossing the Miami, pitched into the water, and crept out thoroughly immersed. The incident of course furnished occasion for talk in the circles the next day, and his good friend the Baptist minister proceeded to attack him the moment he made his appearance.

"Oh, ho, Beecher, glad to see you! I thought you'd have to come into our ways at last! You've been immersed at last; you are as good as any of us now." A general laugh followed this sally.

"Poh, poh," was the ready response, "my immersion was a different thing from that of your converts. You see, I was immersed by a horse, not by an ass."

A chorus of laughter proclaimed that Beecher had got the better of the joke for this time.

A Methodist brother once said to him, "Well now, really, Brother Beecher, what have you against Methodist doctrines?"

"Nothing, only that your converts will practice them."

"Practice them?"

"Yes, you preach falling from grace, and your converts practice it with a vengeance."

One morning as he was sitting at table, word was brought in that his friend, the Episcopal minister, was at the gate, wanting to borrow his horse.

"Stop, stop," said he, with a face of great gravity, "there's something to be attended to first," and rising from table, he ran out to him and took his arm with the air of a man who is about to make a serious proposition.

"Now brother G——, you want my horse for a day? Well, you see, it lies on my mind greatly that you don't admit my ordination. I don't think it's fair. Now if you'll admit that I'm a genuinely ordained minister, you shall have my horse, but if not, I don't know about it."

Mr. Beecher took ground from the first that the pulpit is the place not only for the presentation of those views which tend to unite man's spiritual nature directly with God, but also for the consideration of all those specific reforms which grow out of the doctrine of Christ in society. He preached openly and boldly on specific sins prevailing in society, and dangerous practices which he thought would corrupt or injure.

There was a strong feeling in Indianapolis against introducing slavery into the discussions of the pulpit. Some of his principal men had made vehement declarations that the subject never should be named in the pulpit of any church with which they were connected. Mr. Beecher, among his earliest motions in Synod, however, introduced a resolution that every minister should preach a thorough exposition and condemnation of slavery. He fulfilled his part very characteristically, by preaching three sermons on the life of Moses, the bondage of the children of Israel under Pharaoh and their deliverance. Under this cover he gained the ear of the people, for it has always been held both orthodox and edifying to bombard the vices and crimes of old Testament sinners, and to show no mercy to their iniquities. Before they were aware of it however, his hearers found themselves listening to a hot and heavy attack on the existing system of American slavery, which he exposed in a most thorough, searching manner, and although the oppressor was called Pharaoh and the scene was Egypt, and so nobody could find fault with the matter of the discourse, the end and aim was very manifest.

Nobody was offended, but many were convinced, and from that time, Mr. Beecher preached Anti-Slavery sermons in his church just as often as he thought best, and his church became an efficient bulwark of the cause.

The Western states at this time were the scenes of much open vice. Gambling, drinking, licentiousness were all rife in the community, and against each of these, Mr. Beecher lifted up his testimony. A course of sermons on those subjects preached in Indianapolis and afterwards published under the title of "Lectures to Young Men," excited in the day of their delivery a great sensation. The style is that of fervid, almost tropical fullness, which characterized his Western life. It differs from the sermons of most clergymen to young men, in that free and perfect knowledge it shows of all the details of the evil ways which he names. Mr. Beecher's peculiar social talent, his convivial powers, and his habits of close Shaksperian observation, gave him the key of human nature. Many a gambler or drunkard, in their better hours were attracted towards a man who met them as a brother, and seemed to value and aim for the better parts of their nature. When Mr. Beecher left Indianapolis some of his most touching interviews and parting gifts were from men of this class, whom he had followed in their wanderings and tried to save. Some he could save and some were too far in the whirlpool for his arm to pull them out. One of them said when he heard of his leaving, "Before any thing or any body on earth, I do love Beecher. I know he would have saved me if he could."

Mr. Beecher was so devoted to the West, and so identified with it, that he never would have left what he was wont to call his bishopric of Indiana, for the older and more set and conventional circles of New York, had not the health of his family made a removal indispensable.

He was invited to Brooklyn to take charge of a new enterprise. Plymouth Church was founded by some fifteen or twenty gentlemen as a new Congregational Church.

Mr. Beecher was to be installed there and had to pass an examination before Eastern theologians. He had been, as has been shown, not a bit of a controversialist, and he had been so busy preaching Christ, and trying to save sinners, that he was rather rusty in all the little ins and outs of New England theology. On many points he was forced to answer "I do not know," and sometimes his answer had a whimsical turn that drew a smile.

"Do you believe in the Perseverance of the Saints?" said good Dr. Humphrey, his college father, who thought his son was not doing himself much credit in the theological line, and hoped to put a question where he could not fail to answer right.

"I was brought up to believe that doctrine," said Mr. Beecher, "and I did believe it till I went out West and saw how Eastern Christians lived when they went out there. I confess since then I have had my doubts."

On the whole, as Mr. Beecher's record was clear from the testimony of Western brothers, with whom he had been in labors more abundant, it was thought not on the whole dangerous to let him into the eastern sheep-fold.

Mr. Beecher immediately announced in Plymouth Pulpit the same principles that he had in Indianapolis; namely, his determination to preach Christ among them not as an absolute system of doctrines, not as a by-gone historical personage, but as the living Lord and God, and to bring all the ways and usages of society to the test of his standards. He announced to all whom it might concern, that he considered temperance and anti-slavery a part of the gospel of Christ, and should preach them accordingly.

During the battle inaugurated by Mr. Webster's speech of the 7th of March, and the fugitive slave law, Mr. Beecher labored with his whole soul.

There was, as people will remember, a great Union Saving Committee at Castle Garden, New York, and black lists were made out of merchants, who, if they did not give up their principles, were to be crushed financially, and many were afraid. Mr. Beecher preached, and visited from store to store, holding up the courage of his people to resistance. The advertisement of Bowen & McNamee that they would "sell their silks but not their principles," went all through the country, and as every heroic sentiment does, brought back an instant response.

At this time Mr. Beecher carried this subject through New England and New York, in Lyceum lectures, and began a course of articles in the Independent, under the star signature, which were widely read. It is said that when Calhoun was in his last illness, his secretary was reading him extracts from Northern papers, and among others, one of Mr. Beecher's, entitled "Shall we compromise?" in which he fully set forth the utter impossibility of reconciling the two conflicting powers of freedom and slavery.

"Read that again!" said the old statesman, his eye lighting up. "That fellow understands his subject; he has gone to the bottom of it." Calhoun as well as Garrison understood the utter impossibility of uniting in one nation two states of society founded on exactly opposite social principles.

Through all the warfare of principles, Plymouth Church steadily grew larger. It was an enterprise dependent for support entirely on the sale of the seats, and Mr. Beecher was particularly solicitous to make it understood that the buying of a seat in Plymouth Church would necessitate the holder to hear the gospel of Christ unflinchingly applied to the practical issues of the present hour. Always, as the year came round, when the renting of the pews approached, Mr. Beecher took occasion to preach a sermon in which he swept the whole field of modern reform with particular reference to every disputed and unpopular doctrine, and warned all who were thinking of taking their seats what they must expect for the coming year.

When the battle of the settlement of Kansas was going on, and the East was sending forth her colonies as lambs among wolves, Mr. Beecher fearlessly advocated the necessity of their going out armed, and a subscription was raised in Plymouth Church to supply every family with a Bible and a rifle. A great commotion was then raised and the inconsistency of such a gift from a professedly Christian church was much insisted on. Since then, more than one church in New England has fitted out soldiers and prepared munitions of war, and more than one clergyman has preached warlike sermons. The great battle had even then begun in Kansas. John Brown was our first great commander, who fought single handed for his country, when traitors held Washington and used the United States army only as a means to crush and persecute her free citizens and help on the slavery conspiracy. During the war Mr. Beecher's labors were incessant. Plymouth Church took the charge of raising and equipping one regiment, the First Long Island, and many of its young men went out in it. Mr. Beecher often visited their camp during the time of their organization and preached to them. His eldest son was an officer in it, and was afterwards transferred from it to the artillery service of the regular army.

At this time Mr. Beecher took the editorship of the Independent, a paper in which he had long been a contributor. He wished this chance to speak from time to time his views and opinions to the whole country. He was in constant communication with Washington and intimate with the Secretary of War, in whose patriotism, sagacity and wonderful efficiency he had the greatest reliance.

The burden of the war upon his spirit, his multiplied labors in writing, speaking, editorship, and above all in caring for his country, bore down his health. His voice began to fail, and he went to Europe for a temporary respite. On his arrival he was met on the steamer by parties who wished to make arrangements for his speaking in England. He told them that he had come with no such intention, but wholly for purposes of relaxation, and that he must entirely decline speaking in England.

In a private letter to his sister at this time, he said, "This contest is neither more nor less than the conflict between democratic and aristocratic institutions, in which success to one must be defeat to the other. The aristocratic party in England, see this plainly enough, and I do not propose to endeavor to pull the wool over their eyes. I do not expect sympathy from them. No order yet ever had any sympathy with what must prove their own downfall. We have got to settle this question by our armies and the opinions of mankind will follow."

He spent but a short time in England, enjoying the hospitality of an American friend and former parishioner, Mr. C. C. Duncan. After a fortnight spent in Wales, he went into Switzerland through Northern Italy and Germany.

Mr. Beecher always had side tracks to his mind, on which his thoughts and interests ran in the intervals of graver duties. When he came to the life of a city, and left his beloved garden and the blooming prairies of the West behind, he began the study of the arts as a recreation, and prosecuted it, as he did every thing else, with that enthusiasm which is the parent of industry. He bought for himself quite an art library, consisting of all the standard English works on the subject, and while up and down the country on his anti-slavery lyceum crusade, usually traveled with some of these works in his pocket, and read them in the cars. He also made collections of pictures and choice engravings, with all the ardor with which before he collected specimen roses. At intervals he had lectured on these subjects. His lecture on the Uses of the Beautiful, was much called for throughout the country. He was therefore in training to enjoy the art treasures of Europe.

He had a period of great enjoyment at Berlin, where, in the Berlin Museum, under the instructions of Waagen the director of arts, he examined that historical collection, said to be the richest and most scientifically arranged series to mark the history of art which can be found in Europe. The scenery of Switzerland and the art galleries of Northern Italy also helped to refresh his mind and divert him from the great national affliction that weighed on his spirit.

At Paris, he met the news of the battle of Gettysburg and the taking of Vicksburg, and recognized in them the only style of argument which could carry the cause through Europe. Grant was a logician after his own heart.

Mr. Beecher, on his return to England, was again solicited to speak in public, and again declined. So immutable was his idea that this was a battle that Americans must fight out, and which could not be talked out.

He was at last, however, made to see his duty to that small staunch liberal party who had been maintaining the cause of America against heavy odds in England, and he felt that if they wished him to speak, he owed himself to them; that they were brave defenders hard beset; and that their cause and ours was one. Such men as Baptist Noel, Newman Hall, Francis Newman and others of that class, were applicants not to be resisted.

He therefore prepared himself for what he always has felt to have been the greatest effort and severest labor of his life, to plead the cause of his country at the bar of the civilized world. A series of engagements was formed for him to speak in the principal cities of England and Scotland.

He opened Friday, October 9th, in the Free Trade Hall, in Manchester, to a crowded audience of 6,000 people. The emissaries of the South had made every preparation to excite popular tumult, to drown his voice and prevent his being heard. Here he treated the subject on its merits, as being the great question of the rights of working men, and brought out and exposed the nature of the Southern confederacy as founded in the right of the superior to oppress the inferior race. Notwithstanding the roar and fury and interruptions he persevered and said his say, and the London Times next day, printed it all with a column or two of abuse by way of condiment.

October 13th, he spoke in the city hall at Glasgow, discussing slavery and free labor as comparative systems. The next day, October 14th, he spoke in Edinburgh in a great public meeting in the Free Church Assembly Hall, where he discussed the existing American conflict from the historical point of view.

This was by far the most quiet and uninterrupted meeting of any. But the greatest struggle of all was of course at Liverpool. At Liverpool, where Clarkson was mobbed, and came near being thrown off the wharf and drowned, there was still an abundance of that brutal noisy population which slavery always finds it useful to stir up to bay and bark when she is attacked.

Mr. Beecher has a firmly knit vigorous physical frame, come down from back generations of yeomen, renowned for strength, and it stood him in good service now. In giving an account afterwards, he said, "I had to speak extempore on subjects the most delicate and difficult as between our two nations, where even the shading of my words was of importance, and yet I had to outscream a mob and drown the roar of a multitude. It was like driving a team of runaway horses and making love to a lady at the same time."

The printed record of this speech, as it came from England, has constant parentheses of wild uproars, hootings, howls, cat calls, clamorous denials and interruptions; but by cheerfulness, perfect fearless good humor, intense perseverance, and a powerful voice, Mr. Beecher said all he had to say in spite of the uproar.

Two letters, written about this time, show the state of his mind during this emergency:

Sunday, Oct. 18, 1863. London.

My Dear Friend:

You know why I have not written you from England. I have been so full of work that I could not. God has been with me and prospered me. I have had health, and strength, and courage, and what is of unspeakably more importance, I have had the sweetest experience of love to God and to man, of all my life. I have been enabled to love our enemies. All the needless ignorance, the party perversions, the wilful misrepresentations of many newspapers, the arrogance and obstinacy too often experienced, and yet more the coolness of brethren of our faith and order, and the poisoned prejudices that have been arrayed against me by the propagation of untruths or distorted reports, have not prevented my having a love for old England, an appreciation of the good that is here, and a hearty desire for her whole welfare. This I count a great blessing. God awakened in my breast a desire to be a full and true Christian towards England, the moment I put my foot on her shores, and he has answered the prayers which he inspired. I have spoken at Manchester, Glasgow, Edinburgh, and Liverpool, and am now in London, preparing for Exeter Hall, Tuesday next. I have been buoyant and happy. The streets of Manchester and Liverpool have been filled with placards, in black and white letters, full of all lies and bitterness, but they have seemed to me only the tracery of dreams. For hours I have striven to speak amid interruptions of every kind—yellings, hootings, cat calls, derisive yells, impertinent and insulting questions, and every conceivable annoyance—some personal violence. But God has kept me in perfect peace. I stood in Liverpool and looked on the demoniac scene, almost without a thought that it was me that was present. It seemed rather like a storm raging in the trees of the forests, that roared and impeded my progress, but yet had matters personal or wilful in it, against me. You know, dear friend, how, when we are lifted by the inspiration of a great subject, and by the almost visible presence and vivid sympathy with Christ, the mind forgets the sediment and dregs of trouble, and sails serenely in an upper realm of peace, as untouched by the noise below, as is a bird that flies across a battlefield. Just so I had at Liverpool and Glasgow, as sweet an inward peace as ever I did in the loving meetings of dear old Plymouth Church. And again and again, when the uproar raged, and I could not speak, my heart seemed to be taking of the infinite fullness of the Saviour's pity, and breathing it out upon those poor, troubled men. I never had so much the spirit of continuing and unconscious prayer, or rather, of communion with Christ. I felt that I was his dear child, and that his arms were about me continually, and at times that peace that passeth all understanding has descended upon me that I could not keep tears of gratitude from falling for so much tender goodness of my God. For what are outward prosperities compared with these interior intimacies of God? It is not the path to the temple, but the interior of the temple that shows the goodness and glory of God. And I have been able to commit all to him, myself, my family, my friends, and in an especial manner the cause of my country. Oh, my friend, I have felt an inexpressible wonder that God should give it to me to do something for the dear land. When sometimes the idea of being clothed with power to stand up in this great kingdom, against an inconceivable violence of prejudice and mistake, and clear the name of my dishonored country, and let her brow shine forth, crowned with liberty, glowing with love to man, O, I have seemed unable to live, almost. It almost took my breath away!

"I have not in a single instance gone to the speaking halls without all the way breathing to God unutterable desires for inspiration, guidance, success; and I have had no disturbance of personality. I have been willing, yea, with eagerness, to be myself contemptible in men's sight if only my disgrace might be to the honor of that cause which is entrusted to our own thrice dear country. I have asked of God nothing but this—and this with uninterrupted heart-flow of yearning request—"Make me worthy to speak for God and man." I never felt my ignorance so painfully, nor the great want of moral purity and nobility of soul, as when approaching my tasks of defending liberty in this her hour of trial. I have an ideal of what a man should be that labors for such a cause, that constantly rebukes my real condition, and makes me feel painfully how little I am. Yet that is hardly painful. There passes before me a view of God's glory, so pure, so serene, uplifted, filling the ages, and more and more to be revealed, that I almost wish to lose my own identity, to be like a drop of dew that falls into the sea, and becomes a part of the sublime whole that glows under every line of latitude, and sounds on every shore! 'That God may be all in all,'—that is not a prayer only, but a personal experience. And in all this time I have not had one unkind feeling toward a single human being. Even those who are opposers, I have pitied with undying compassion, and enemies around me have seemed harmless, and objects of charity rather than potent foes to be destroyed. God be thanked, who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

"My dear friend, when I sat down to write, I did it under this impulse—that I wanted somebody to know the secret of my life. I am in a noisy spectacle, and seem to thousands as one employing merely worldly implements, and acting under secular motives. But should I die, on sea or land, I wanted to say to you, who have been so near and dear to me, that as God's own very truth, 'the life that I have lived in the flesh, I have lived by faith of the Son of God.' I wanted to leave it with some one to say for me that it was not in natural gifts, nor in great opportunities, nor in personal ambition, that I have been able to endure and labor, but that the secret and spring of my outward life has been an inward, complete, and all-possessing faith of God's truth, and God's own self working in me to will and to do of his own good pleasure!

"There, now I feel better!

"Monday, 19th. I do not know as you will understand the feeling which led to the above outburst. I had spoken four times in seven days to immense audiences, under great excitement, and with every effort of Southern sympathizers, the newspapers, street placards, and in every other way to prevent my being heard. I thought I had been through furnaces before, but this ordeal surpassed all others. I was quite alone in England. I had no one to consult with. I felt the burden of having to stand for my country, in a half hostile land; and yet I never flinched for a moment, nor lost heart. But after resting twenty weeks, to begin so suddenly such a tremendous strain upon my voice, has very much affected it. To-day I am somewhat fearful I shall be unable to speak to-morrow night in Exeter Hall. I want to speak there, if the Lord will only let me. I shall be willing to give up all the other openings in the kingdom. I cannot stop to give you any sort of insight into affairs here. One more good victory, and England will be immovable. The best thinkers of England will be at any rate.

"I hope my people will feel that I have done my duty. I know that I have tried. I should be glad to feel that my countrymen approved, but above all others I should prize the knowledge that the people of Plymouth Church were satisfied with me.

"I am as ever, yours,
H. W. Beecher."

"Oct. 21, 1863. London.

"My Dear Friend:

Last night was the culmination of my labor, in Exeter Hall. It was a very fit close to a series of meetings that have produced a great sensation in England. Even an American would be impressed with the enthusiasm of so much of England as the people of last night represented for the North. It was more than willing, than hearty, than even eager, it was almost wild and fanatical. I was like to have been killed with people pressing to shake my hand; men, women, and children crowded up the platform, and ten and twenty hands held over and stuck through like so many pronged spears. I was shaken, pinched, squeezed, in every way an affectionate enthusiasm could devise, until the police actually came to my rescue, and forced a way, and dragged me down into the retiring room, where a like scene began, from which an inner room gave me refuge, but no relief, for only with more deliberation, the gentlemen brought wives, daughters, sons, and selves for a God bless you! And when Englishmen that had lived in America, or had sons in our army, or had married American wives, took me to witness their devotion to our cause, the chairman of the meeting, Mr. Scott, the Chamberlain of London, said that a few more meetings, and in some other parts of England, and the question would be settled! You will have sent to you abundant accounts, I presume.

"Lastly; England will be enthusiastically right, provided we hold on, and gain victories. But England has an intense and yearning sense of the value of success.

"Yours, ever lovingly."

Mr. Beecher returned from England much exhausted by the effort. All the strength that he had accumulated he poured out in that battle.

Events after that swept on rapidly, and not long after Mr. Beecher, in company with Lloyd Garrison, and a great party of others, went down to Fort Sumter to raise again the national flag, when Richmond had fallen, and the conflict was over. During his stay at the South, he had some exciting experiences. One of the most touching was his preaching in one of the largest churches in South Carolina to a great congregation of liberated slaves. The sermon, which is in a recently printed volume of sermons, is full of emotion and records of thankfulness.

Returning, he was met by the news of the President's death, at which, like all the land, he bowed as a mourner. Not long after, he felt it his duty to strike another key in his church. The war was over, the victory won. Mr. Beecher came out with a sermon on forgiveness of injuries, expounding the present crisis as a great and rare OPPORTUNITY.

The sermon was not a popular one. The community could not at once change the attitude of war for that of peace; there were heart-burnings that could not at once be assuaged. But whatever may be thought of Mr. Beecher's opinions in the matter of political policy, there is no doubt that the immediate and strong impulse to forgive, which came to him at once when his party was triumphant, was from that source in his higher nature whence have come all the best inspirations of his life.

Mr. Beecher's views, hopes, wishes, and the policy he would have wished to have pursued, were very similar to those of Governor Andrew, and the more moderate of the republicans, and he did not hesitate at once to imperil his popularity with his own party, by the free expression of his opinions. Those who have been most offended by him cannot but feel that the man who defied the slaveholder when he was rich, haughty and powerful, had a right to speak a kind word for him now when he is poor, and weak, and defeated. The instinct to defend the weaker side is strongest in generous natures.

Mr. Beecher has met and borne the criticisms of his own party with that tolerance and equanimity with which he once bore rebuke for defending the cause of the slave. In all the objects sought by the most radical republicans, he is a firm believer. He holds to the equal political rights of every human being—men and women, the white man and the negro. He hopes to see this result yet established in the Union, and if it be attained by means different from those he counseled, still if it be attained, he will sincerely rejoice.

Though Mr. Beecher has from time to time entered largely into politics, yet he has always contemplated them from the moral and ministerial stand-point. His public and political labors, though they have been widely known, are mere offshoots from his steady and habitual pastoral work in his own parish.

Plymouth Church is to a considerable degree a realization externally of Mr. Beecher's ideal of what a protestant church ought to be—a congregation of faithful men and women, bound together by a mutual covenant of Christian love, to apply the principles of Christianity to society. It has always been per se, a temperance and an anti-slavery society. The large revenue raised by the yearly sale of pews, has come in time to afford a generous yearly income. This year it amounts to fifty thousand dollars. This revenue has, besides the pastor's salary and current expenses, been appropriated to extinguishing the debt upon the church, which being at last done, the church will devote its surplus to missionary operations in its vicinity. Two missions have been largely supported by the funds derived from Plymouth Church, and the time and personal labors of its members. A mechanics' reading-room is connected with one of these. No church in the country furnishes a larger body of lay teachers, exhorters, and missionaries in every department of human and Christian labor. A large-minded, tolerant, genial spirit, a cheerful and buoyant style of piety, is characteristic of the men and women to whose support and efficient aid in religious works, Mr. Beecher is largely indebted for his success.

The weekly prayer-meeting of the church is like the reunion of a large family. The pastor, seated in the midst, seems only as an elder brother. The various practical questions of Christian morals are freely discussed, and every member is invited to express an opinion.

In one of these meetings, Mr. Beecher gave an autobiographical account of the growth of his own mind in religious feeling and opinion, which was taken down by a reporter. We shall give it as the fitting close of this sketch.

"If there is any one thing in which I feel that my own Christian experience has developed more than in another, I think it is the all-sided use of the love and worship which I have toward the Lord Jesus Christ. Every man's mind, that acts for itself, has to go through its periods of development and evolution. In the earlier part of my Christian career and ministry, I had but glimpses of Christ, and was eagerly seeking to develop in my own mind, and for my people, a full view of his character, particularly with reference to the conversion of men; to start them, in other words, in the Christian life. And for a great many years I think it was Christ as the wisdom of God unto salvation that filled my mind very much; and I preached Christ as a power, not at all too much, perhaps, but almost exclusively.

"Well, I think there has been going on in me, steadily and gradually, a growing appropriation of Christ to all needs; to every side and phase of experience; so that at no period of my life was I ever so conscious of a personal need, so definite, and at so many points of my nature, as now. I do not know that I experience such enthusiasm as I have at some former periods of my life; but I think that at no other period did I ever have such a sense of the fulness of God in Christ, or such a sense of the special point at which this divine all-supply touches the human want.

"A few points I will mention, that are much in my mind.

"The love of Christ, as I recollect it in my childhood, was taught almost entirely from the work of redemption. That work of redemption was itself a historical fact, and it was sought to stir up the heart and the affections by a continual review and iteration of the great facts of Christ's earthly mission, passion, atonement and love. I became conscious, very early in my ministry, that I did not derive—nor could I see that Christians generally derived—from the mere continued presentation of that circle of facts, a perpetual help, to anything like the extent that life needs. There would come to me, as there come to the church, times in which all these facts seemed to be fused and kindled, and to afford great light and consolation; but these were alternative and occasional, whereas the need was perpetual. And it was not until I went beyond these—not disdaining them, but using them rather as a torch, as a means of interpreting Christ in a higher relation—that I entered into a train of thought that revealed to me the intrinsic nature of God. I had an idea that he loved me on account of Calvary and Gethsemane, on account of certain historical facts; but I came, little by little, through glimpses and occasional appreciations, to that which is now a continuous, unbroken certainty, namely, a sense of the everlasting need of God, in Christ, to love. I began to interpret the meaning of love, not by contemplating a few historical facts, but by running through my mind human faculties, exalting them, and imagining them to have infinite scope in the divine mind. I began to apply our ideas of infinity and almightiness to the attributes of God, and to form some conception of what affection must be in a Being who had created, who had sustained in the past, and who was to sustain throughout the endless future, a race of intelligent creatures such as peopled the earth. In that direction my mind grew, and in that direction it grows. And from the inward and everlasting nature of God to love, I have derived the greatest stimulus, the greatest consolation, and the greatest comfort in preaching to others. I find many persons that speak of loving Christ; but it is only now and then that I meet those who seem to be penetrated deeply with a consciousness of Christ's love to them, or of its boundlessness, its wealth, its fineness, its exceeding delicacy, its transcendency in every line and lineament of possible conception. Once in a while, people have this view break upon them in meeting, or in some sick hour, or in some revival moment. That is a blessed visitation which brings to the soul a realization of the capacity of God to love imperfect beings with infinite love, and which enables a man to adapt this truth to his shame-hours, his sorrow-hours, his love-hours and his selfish hours, and to find all the time that there is in the revelation of the love of God in Christ Jesus all-sufficient food for the soul. It is, indeed, almost to have the gate of heaven opened to you. The treasure is inexhaustible.

Out of that has grown something besides: for it is impossible for me to feel that Christ loves me with such an all-surrounding love, and to feel, as I do every day of my life, that he has to love me with imperfections, that he never loves me because I am symmetrical, never because I am good, never because I deserve his love, never because I am lovely, but always because he has the power of loving erring creatures—it is impossible for me to feel thus, and not get some insight into divine charity. Being conscious that he takes me with all my faults, I cannot but believe that he takes others with their faults—Roman Catholics, Swedenborgians, Unitarians, Universalists, and Christians of all sects and denominations; and of these, not only such as are least exceptionable, but such as are narrow-minded, such as are bigoted, such as are pugnacious, such as are unlovely. I believe that Christ finds much in them that he loves, but whether he finds much in them that he loves or not, he finds much in himself of capacity to love them. And so I have the feeling that in all churches, in all denominations, there is an elect, and Christ sees of the travail of his soul, and is satisfied.

That is not all. Aside from this catholicity of love of Christians in all sects and denominations, I have a sense of ownership in other people. It may seem rather fanciful, but it has been a source of abiding comfort to me for many years, that I owned everybody that was good for anything in life.

I came here, you know, under peculiar circumstances. I came just at the critical period of the anti-slavery movement; and I came without such endorsement as is usually considered necessary in city churches in the East. Owing to those independent personal habits that belonged to me, and that I acquired from my Western training, I never consulted brethren in the ministry as to what course I should pursue, but carried on my work as fast and as far as I could according to the enlightenment of my conscience. For years, as you will recollect, it excited remark, and various states of feeling. And so, I felt, always, as though I was not particularly acceptable to Christians beyond my own flock, with the exception of single individuals here and there in other churches. But I have felt, not resentful, and hardly regretful; for I have always had a sort of minor under-feeling, that when I was at home I was strong and all right, though I was conscious that outside of my own affectionate congregation I was looked upon with suspicion. This acting upon a nature proud enough, and sensitive enough, has wrought a kind of feeling that I never would intrude upon anybody, and never would ask any favor of anybody—as I never have had occasion to do; and I stood very much by myself. But I never felt any bitterness towards those who regarded me with disfavor. And I speak the truth, when I declare that I do not remember to have had towards any minister a feeling that I would have been afraid to have God review in the judgment day, and that I do not remember to have had towards any church or denomination a feeling that Christ would not approve. On the other hand, I have had positively and springing from my sense of the wonderful love with which I am loved, and with which the whole church is loved, the feeling that these very men who did not accept me or my work, were beloved of Christ, and were brethren to me; and I have said to them mentally, "I am your brother. You do not know it, but I am, and though you do not own me, I own you. All that is good in you is mine, and I am in sympathy with it. And you cannot keep me out of your church." I belong to the Presbyterian church. I belong to the Methodist church. I belong to the Baptist church. I belong to the Episcopal church. I belong to any church that has Christ in it. I go where he goes, and love what he loves. And I insist upon it that though those churches exclude me, they cannot keep me out. All those I have reason to believe Christ loves, I claim by virtue of the love that Christ has for me. Hence, I have a great sense of richness. I rejoice in everything that is good in all these denominations, and sorrow for everything that is bad, or that hinders the work of Christ in their hands. And I look, and wait, and long for that day when all Christians shall recognize each other.

I think that people in the church are like persons riding in a stage at night. For hours they sit side by side, and shoulder to shoulder, not being able in the darkness to distinguish one another; but at last, when day breaks, and they look at each other, behold, they discover that they are friends and brothers.

So we are riding, I think, through the night of this earthly state, and do not know that we are brethren, though we sit shoulder to shoulder; but as the millennial dawn comes on, we shall find it out and all will be clear."


Agents Wanted Everywhere to sell Prof. Stowe's


The common popular objections to the Bible at the present day.

The evidences upon which we receive the Sacred Books, and description of the Ancient Manuscripts of the New Testament, with fac-simile illustrations.

Brief Biographies of One Hundred Ancient Witnesses to the New Testament, whose testimony is most important, much of it cited in this work.

The testimony for the Historical Books, and a full examination, separately, of the four Gospels.

The Apocryphal Gospels, and fragments of Gospels supposed to be lost.

Modern substitutes for the Gospel History, with an examination of the works of Strauss, Weisse, Gfroerer, Bruno Bauer, F. C. Baur, Renan and Schenckel, intended to meet the undermining process with regard to the authority of Scripture, so prevalent at the present day.

Acts of the Apostles, the Apocryphal Acts, and the fourteen Epistles of Paul. The Catholic and the Apocryphal Epistles. Revelation of St. John, and the Apocryphal Revelations.

The Bible Prophets and the Classical Oracles, contrasted.

The Apocryphal Books of the Old Testament, and the reason for their exclusion from the Canon.

It is a work of real value, not sectarian at all, not even Theological, but is just what it purports to be, a History of the Books of the Bible, sufficiently critical to meet the wants of the Professor, the Clergyman and the Student, and yet so simplified as to be the book needed by every Family and every Sunday School Teacher, as the Companion of the Bible.

This book is new and fresh from the pen of the author, who has long been urged to its preparation by Presidents of Colleges, and leading Ministers and Scholars of the various Christian denominations, and has given his best energies to its completion.

It contains about 600 pages Octavo, printed from new and beautiful clear type, selected expressly for this work, illustrated with a fine steel portrait of the Author, fac-similes of the early manuscripts on which the Bible was written, very curious and interesting, and other full page illustrative engravings, all in the highest style of engraving, by the best artists in the country. It is one of the most popular books ever published.

Over 25,000 copies of this work were sold within the first six months, and the sales are constantly increasing. A similar volume, on the Old Testament, by Prof. Stowe, will be issued during the present year. Clergymen, Experienced Agents, and Ladies, will find Prof. Stowe's book the very best of its kind to solicit for. For agency, terms, etc., apply or address



Thus, for instance,

Rev. T. J. Conant, D. D., (Baptist,) says:

It is an honest book: dealing fairly with the unlearned reader, and laying before him without concealment or disguise, what is patent to the Scholar, in the just belief that what is SAFE for the one is SAFE for the other.

Rev. W. Croswell Doane, (Episcopal,) says:

While he (Prof. Stowe) disposes of some so-called difficulties in an off-hand and popular way, one feels that he is amply able to meet them upon a level of more accurate arguing.... Free entirely from the levity of irreverence.

Rev. Joel Hawes, D. D., (Congregationalist, a venerable Clergyman now deceased,) said:

I am prepared to give it my hearty commendation.

Rev. E. N. Kirk, D. D., (the eminent revivalist,) says:

It is the best adapted to make the canon intelligible to our people, of any [book] I have read.

President Joseph Cummings, D. D., of Wesleyan University, (Methodist,) says:

I recommend, without hesitation or reserve, Rev. Dr. Stowe's work.... I am fully persuaded it will accomplish much good.

Prof. Austin Phelps, of Andover Theological Seminary, says:

I have seldom or ever read a volume which seemed to me to settle so many things in so simple and straightforward a way. The learning and philosophy of it are equally conspicuous.

Rev. C. P. Sheldon, (Baptist,) says:

It cannot but prove most valuable in checking the skeptical tendencies of the times.

Prof. J. Haven, D. D., of Chicago Theological Seminary, says:

It will be a chief benefit to the popular mind. It is thorough and complete in its handling of the main questions discussed.

Rev. Dr. Everts, of Chicago, (Baptist,) says:

It meets all the latest and more popular objections to the word of god, enabling even the unlearned believer to give the reason for his belief to the caviling skeptic or honest enquirer.

Rev. B. F. Rawlins, Evansville, Ind., (Methodist,) says:

It is certainly the greatest antidote for the infidelity of the times that I have yet met with.

Rev. T. W. J. Wylie, Prof. of Exegetical Theology in the Reformed Presbyterian Church, says:

Skeptical objections ... are fully met. It is pervaded with an evangelical spirit throughout. It is just what is wanted for general circulation. It will do much to counteract the subtle poison of infidelity.

Rev. H. A. Nelson, of St. Louis, (Presbyterian,) says:

I know of no book better calculated to help ordinary, intelligent and candid minds to understand and appreciate the Bible.

From the New York Independent:

Prof. Stowe's book ought to have wings, wherewith it shall fly to every minister's study-table, and perch in every Sunday School library.

Henry Ward Beecher, in his pulpit, said of Stowe's History of the Books of the Bible: "I hope every person who comes to Plymouth Church will put that excellent book into his library."

From Henry M. Storrs, Congregational Church, Cincinnati, Ohio:

Prof. Stowe's book is of exceeding value; what is more, is of exceeding value to the masses, not of Christians only, but of all our people.

From President Wallace, of Monmouth College, Monmouth, Ill.:

Prof. Stowe's History of the Books of the Bible contains a mass of information—a volume of great value to the common reader as well as the Scholar.


By SENATOR WILSON, of Massachusetts.

This volume contains nineteen chapters, giving brief sketches of the various measures of reconstruction—The Civil Rights Bill—The Freedmen's Bureau—Negro Suffrage in the District of Columbia—The Constitutional Amendment—The Admission of Tennessee—Negro Suffrage in the Territories—The several Reconstruction Acts and other measures.

Senator Wilson has sought, in this volume, to give a brief and impartial narrative of the legislation in Congress since the close of the war, relating to the Reconstruction and restoration of the rebel States to their practical relations. In tracing the record of the actors in the introduction and discussion of these great measures of legislation, he has given their ideas or quoted their words, so as to give the reader a clear conception of their position, feelings and opinions. The sketches of these measures, so comprehensive in their scope and character, cannot fail to be of interest to the general reader.

This work will be printed on beautiful white paper, from new type, which has been expressly selected for this book. It will be bound in a substantial manner. Sold by subscription, by


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