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the closet and abroad worship with the vulgar — when emotion and sentiment, and tender imaginative piety have become handmaids of superstition, and dreamt themselves into forgetfulness that there is any difference between lies and truth - the slavish form of belief called Calvinism, in one or other of its many forms, has ever borne an inflexible front to illusion and mendacity, and has preferred rather to be ground to powder like flint than to bend before violence or melt under enervating temptation.”
It has been a religion full of beneficence, as we have seen, and of good morals. And singularly enough this old conservative place was one of the earliest homes of the anti-slavery agitation. Three years before our Independence the slave Cæsar Hendrick sued Simon Greenleaf for detaining him in slavery, and recovered eighteen pounds damages and costs. In the following year the North Church resounded with two stirring anti-slavery sermons from Nathaniel Niles; and Deacon Coleman, of Newbury, began in The Essex Journal his long and vigorous series of protests against slavery. In later days here was the birthplace of the great agitator, William Lloyd Garrison, who also found one fourth of the first members of the New England Anti-Slavery Society in Newbury and Newburyport. And it is a noteworthy fact that in the same season in which a public meeting was held here to express resistance to the Nullifiers of the South his fellow citizens refused a hearing to one whom they regarded as the great Nullifier of the North. The clergy have commonly been foremost in counsel, in action, and in honor. Rev. Paul Moody went as chaplain in the expedition to Louisburg and Samuel Spring to Quebec. John Lowell preached to Colonel Titcomb and his soldiers before they set out for Crown Point. Parson Toppan at midnight from a cart exhorted the recruits for Lexington. Rev. Jonathan Parsons after a sermon called out in the broad aisle volunteers for Boston and Bunker Hill. And the honors which this entire community paid to the Rev. Dr. Dana on his semi-centennial illustrated alike their respect for the man and the ministry. And well has the ministry of Newbury and Newburyport earned respect and honor. The names of Toppan, Parish, Woods, Spring, Bass, Proudfit, Dana, Dimrnick, Withington, and others, living and dead, are
ames of renown. Here labored at various times with extraordinary power that prince of English preachers, George Whitefield; here he died and here he lies buried. In the teeming brains of a Newburyport and a Salem minister, as they rode together in a chaise to Bradford, sprang up the grand scheme of the American Board of Missions; and from this port, in 1815, sailed the band of missionaries — ordained in the old Titcomb Street Church — that first carried the gospel to Ceylon. Of the thousands of vessels that have sailed hence over the wide ocean none have borne more precious freight than when the brig Dryad carried Meigs, Bardwell, Warren, Richards, and Poor to their noble work.
Such are some of the facts and traits that have marked the history of this community. It is not easy in this, its time of comparative restfulness, to imagine all the stir of the long past — what activities and festivities, what enterprise and bustle, what pomps and parade, what style and equipage, what brightness and fashion, what glitter and profusion have here had their home. In the times when its merchantmen were pouring in all the luxuries of Europe, these capacious old mansions were filled with a famous and abounding hospitality and a cultured social life. Its festive assemblies were gorgeous in gay apparel, winning in courtesy, elegant in equipage, graceful in refinement, and stately in ceremonial. There was a time when a bride was drawn to her home by six white horses, with outriders, footmen, and coachmen in new liveries ; when a young minister and his new-married wife were met and escorted by a procession of thirty chaises to meet a jovial assembly at the parsonage. The Hooper and Dalton estates were “the pride of Essex county"; and in 1780 to Prince Talleyrand and the French noblemen who accompanied him the hospitality of John Tracy “breathed an air of magnificence.” There have been public events that drew the eye and stirred the blood of the nation. From this port sailed Arnold with his feet of eleven transport vessels, accompanied by Aaron Burr and by Generals Morgan and Dearborn, of Revolutionary fame, on the unfortunate expedition to Quebec. Into this port, four months later, were brought two British prize vessels in one day, six months before the Declaration of our Independence. Over Parker River bridge came General Washington escorted by cavalry, infantry, and artillery, and followed by an immense procession, to be addressed by John Quincy Adams and moved to tears by the Ode of Welcome. And here too his death was as publicly recognized and Washington Street laid out to hand down his name forever. Over the same bridge came President Monroe to be met by a regiment of cavalry and a great cavalcade of citizens, to be heralded by the roar of cannon and the ringing of bells, to pass through an avenue of youth arrayed in white and blue, and a throng of enthusiastic people, and to be entertained at a sumptuous banquet where all party distinctions disappeared. Hither also came Lafayette, the nation's guest, welcomed by a vast crowd, whose ardor even the pouring rain could not dampen, to meet new friends and old companions in arms and to sleep in the chamber and the couch of Washington.
Not the least of the gala days was the bi-centennial celebration fifty years ago. It was a memorable day when that goodly company sat till the setting sun enchained by the voices of Edward Everett, Stephen H. Phillips, Caleb Cushing, George Lunt, Robert C. Winthrop, and Samuel L. Knapp, and their blood bounded to the rolling chorus:
Pilgrims and wanderers,
Hither we come ;
This is our home,”
and the brightness of the evening, graced by the wives and daughters of these ancient homes, well-nigh eclipsed the glories of the day. Indeed, it has been a part of the abounding life of the place to share in the excitements of the times, as formerly in the roystering commemorations of the Gunpowder Plot, the fierce onslaught upon the stamp distributers, the strong indignation at the destruction of our commerce, or the vehement rejoicings over the downfall of Napoleon. Every vibration in the atmosphere of public affairs has found here the mind to see, the nerve to feel, and the soul to respond.
Reminiscences like these, full as they are of pride and pleasure, often have their plaintive strain. They tell us of change. They are the echoes of a vanished voice, the lengthened shadows of a receding light. Commemorations even are wistful gazings into the past. We are reminded to-day that the voices which here were eloquent half a century ago are mostly silent, and the hands and hearts most active then are restful now.
We are reminded that the relative prominence of this ancient township which we eulogize to-day is to some extent that which has been. But this is only the common lot, the inevitable fate. In a world of evolution and of revolution all things have their rise, their prime, and their decadence. eration lights the torch and hands it along. A city or a state bears precious fruit and scatters it to the nations. Sometimes - as not here — there is complete decadence. The fisherman now spreads his nets at the