Recollections of a Long Life
Theodore Ledyard Cuyler
Part 4 out of 4
a prosperous business man and an officer of my church. As for the other
class, who begin their domestic career by a pitiable craze to "get into
society" and to keep up with their "set" in the vain show, is their fate
not written in the chronicles of haggard and jaded wives, and of
husbands drowned in debt or driven perhaps to stock-gambling or some
other refuge of desperation?
In another portion of this autobiography I have uttered a prayer for the
revival of soul-kindling eloquence in the pulpit. In this age of dizzy
ballooning in finance and social extravagance, my prayer is: "Oh, for
the revival of old fashioned, sturdy, courageous frugality that 'hath
clean hands and a clean heart, and hath not lifted up its soul to
"Do you not discover a great advance in educational facilities and in
the enlargement of means to popular knowledge?" To this question I am
happy to give an affirmative reply. Schools and universities are more
richly endowed and our public schools have been greatly improved in many
directions. Among the educated classes, reading clubs and societies for
discussing sociological questions are more numerous, and so are free
lectures among the humbler classes. Books have been multiplied--and at
cheaper prices--to an enormous extent. In my childhood, books adapted to
the reach of children numbered not more than a score or two; now they
are multiplied to a degree that is almost bewildering to the youthful
mind. Newspapers printed for them, such as the _Youth's Companion_ and
the National Society's _Temperance Banner_, were then utterly unknown.
The sacred writer of the ecclesiastics needs not to tell the people of
this generation: "That of making many books there is no end."
It is not, however, a matter for congratulation that so large a portion
of the volumes that are most read are works of fiction. In most of our
public libraries the novels called for are far in excess of all the
other books. Let any one scrutinize the advertising columns of literary
journals, and he will see that the only startling figures are those
which announce the enormous sale of popular works of fiction. I am not
uttering a tirade against any book simply because it is fictitious. Our
Divine Master spoke often in parables; Bunyan's matchless allegories
have guided multitudes of pilgrims towards the Celestial City. Fiction
in the clean hands of that king of romancers, Sir Walter Scott, threw
new light on the history and scenes of the past. Such characters as
"Jennie Deans" and her godly father might have been taken from John
Banyan's portrait gallery; Lady Di Vernon is the ideal of young
womanhood. Fiction has often been a wholesome relief to a good man's
overworked and weary brain. Many of the recent popular novels are
wholesome in their tone and the historical type often instructive. The
chief objection to the best of them is that they excite a distaste in
the minds of thousands for any other reading. Exclusive reading of
fiction is to any one's mind just what highly spiced food and alcoholic
stimulants are to the body. The increasing rage for novel reading
betokens both a famine in the intellect, and a serious peril to the
mental and spiritual life. The honest truth is that quite too large a
number of fictitious works are subtle poison. The plots of some of the
most popular novels turn on the sexual relation and the violation in
some form of the seventh commandment. They kindle evil passions; they
varnish and veneer vice; they deride connubial purity; they uncover what
ought to be hid, and paint in attractive hues what never ought to be
seen by any pure eye or named by any modest tongue. Another objection to
many of the most advertised works of fiction is that they deal with the
sacred themes of religion in a very mischievous and misleading manner. A
few popular writers of fiction present evangelical religion in its
winning features; they preach with the pen the same truths that they
preach from the pulpit. Two of the perils that threaten American youths
are a licentious stage and a poisonous literature. A highly intelligent
lady, who has examined many of the novels printed during the last
decade, said to me: "The main purpose of many of these books is to knock
away the underpinning of the marriage relation or of the Bible." If
parents give house room to trashy or corrupt books, they cannot be
surprised if their children give heart-room to "the world, the flesh,
and the evil one." When interesting and profitable books are so abundant
and so cheap, this increasing rage for novels is to me one of the
sinister signs of the times.
Within the last two or three decades there has been a most marked change
as to the directions in which the human intellect has exerted its
highest activities. This change is especially marked in the literature
of the two great English-speaking nations. For example, there are now in
Great Britain no poets who are the peers of Wordsworth, Tennyson and
Browning;--no brilliant essayists who are the peers of Carlyle and
Macaulay, and no novelists who are the peers of Scott, Dickens and
Thackeray. In the United States we have no poets who are a match for
Bryant, Longfellow, Whittier and Holmes; and no essayists who are a
match for Emerson and James Russell Lowell--no jurists who are the
rivals of Marshall, Kent and Story; and no living historians equal
Bancroft, Prescott and Motley. These facts do not necessarily indicate
(as some assert) a widespread intellectual famine. The most probable
explanation of the fact is that the mental forces in our day exert
themselves in other directions. This is an age of scientific research
and scientific achievement. It is an age of material advancement, and in
those lines in which the human mind can "seek out many inventions." The
whole trend of human thought is under transformation. In ancient days
"a man was famous according as he had lifted up axes upon thick trees."
The man is famous now who makes some useful mechanical invention, or
explores some unknown territory, or bridges the oceans with swift
steamers, or belts the earth with new railways, or organizes powerful
financial combinations. If the law of demand and supply is as applicable
to mental products as it is to the imports of commerce, then we may
readily understand that the realm of the ideal, which was ruled by the
Wordsworths, Carlyles and Longfellows, should be supplanted by a realm
in which the master minds should be political economists, or explorers,
or railway kings, or financial magnates, or empire-builders of some
description. The philosophical and poetical yield to the practical, when
"_cui bono?_" is the lest question which challenges all comers. This
change, if it be an actual one, may bring its losses as well as its
gains. We are thankful for all the precious boons which inventive genius
has brought to us--for telegraphs, and telephones, and photographic
arts, for steam engines and electric motors, for power presses and
sewing machines, for pain-killing chloroform, and the splendid
achievements of skillful surgery. But the mind has its necessities as
well as the body; and we hope and pray that the human intellect may
never be so busy in materialistic inventions that it cannot give us an
"Ode to Duty," and a "Happy Warrior," a "Snow Bound," and a
"Thanatopsis," an "Evangeline" and a "Chambered Nautilus," a "Pippa
Passes" or a "Biglow Papers," an "In Memoriam" or a "Locksley Hall."
One characteristic of the present time is the radical and revolutionary
spirit which condemns everything that is "old," especially in the realm
of religion. It arrogantly claims that the "advanced thought" of this
highly cultured age has broken with the traditional beliefs of our
benighted ancestors, and that modern congregations are too highly
enlighted to accept those antiquated theologies. No pretentions could be
more preposterous. Methinks that those stalwart farmers of New England,
who on a wintry Sabbath, sat and eagerly devoured for an hour the strong
meat of such theological giants as Jonathan Edwards, and Emmons and
Bellamy and Dwight, would laugh to scorn the ridiculous assumption of
the present day congregations, many of whom have fed on little else
during the week but novels and newspapers. This revolutionary spirit is
expert in pulling down; it is a sorry bungler at rebuilding. Nothing is
too sacred for its assaults. The iconoclasts who belong to the most
extreme and destructive school of "higher criticism" have reduced a
large portion of God's revealed word utterly to tatters. King David has
been exiled from the Psalter; but no "sweet singers" have yet turned up
who could have composed those matchless minstrelsies. Paul is denied the
authorship of the Epistle to the Romans; but the mighty mind has not
been discovered which produced what Coleridge called the "profoundest
book in existence." The Scripture miracles are discarded, but
Christianity, which is the greatest miracle of all, is not accounted
for. The "new theology" which has well nigh banished the supernatural
from the Bible pays an homage to the principle of "evolution," which is
due only to the Almighty Creator of the universe. Spurgeon has wittily
said that if we are not the product of God's creating hand, but are only
the advanced descendants of the ape, then we ought to conduct our
devotions accordingly, and address our daily petitions "not to our
Father which is in Heaven, but to our father which is up a tree."
I do not belong to that class which is irreverently styled "old fogies,"
for I hold that genuine conservatism consists in healthful and regular
progress; and it has been my privilege to take an active part in a great
many reformatory movements; yet I am more warmly hospitable to a truth
which has stood the test of time and of trial. There are many things in
this world that are improved by age. Friendship is one of them, and I
have found that it takes a great many new friends to make an old one.
My Bible is all the dearer to me, not only because it has pillowed the
dying heads of my father and my mother, but because it has been the sure
guide of a hundred generations of Christians before them. When the
boastful innovators offer me a new system of belief (which is really a
congeries of unbeliefs) I say to them: "the old is better." Twenty
centuries of experience shared by such intellects as Augustine, Luther,
Pascal, Calvin, Newton, Chalmers, Edwards, Wesley and Spurgeon are not
to be shaken by the assaults of men, who often contradict each other
while contradicting God's truth. We have tested a supernaturally
inspired Bible for ourselves. As my eloquent and much loved friend, Dr.
McLaren, of Manchester has finely said: "We decline to dig up the piles
of the bridge that carries us over the abyss because some voices tell us
that it is rotten. It is perfectly reasonable to answer, 'We have tried
the bridge and it bears.' Which, being translated into less simple
language, is just the assertion of certitude, built on facts and
experience, which leaves no place for doubt. All the opposition will be
broken into spray against this rock-bulwark: 'Thy words were found, and
I did eat them, and they are the joy and rejoicing of my heart.'"
MY HOME LIFE.
One of the richest of the many blessings that has crowned my long life
has been a happy home. It has always seemed to me as a wonderful triumph
of divine grace in the Apostle Paul that he should have been so "content
in whatsoever state he was" when he was a homeless, and, I fear, also a
wifeless man. During my own early ministry in Burlington, N.J., my
widowed mother and myself lodged with worthy Quakers, and realized
Charles Lamb's truthful description of that quiet, "naught-caballing
community." On our removal to Trenton, when I took charge of the newly
organized Third Presbyterian Church, we commenced housekeeping in what
had once been the residence of a Governor, a chief-justice, and a mayor
of the city; but was a very plain and modest domicile after all. My new
church building was completed in November, 1850, and opened with a full
congregation, and I was soon in the full swing of my pastoral duties. As
I have already stated in the opening chapter of this volume, my father
and mother first saw each other on a Sabbath day, and in a church. It
was my happy lot to follow their example. On a certain Sabbath in
January, 1851, a group of young ladies, who were the guests of a
prominent family in my congregation, were seated in a pew immediately
before the pulpit. As a civility to that family we called on the
following evening, upon their guests. One of the number happened to be a
young lady from Ohio who had just graduated from the Granville College,
in that State, and had come East to visit her relatives in Philadelphia.
The young lady just mentioned was Miss Annie E. Mathiot, a daughter of
the Hon. Joshua Mathiot, an eminent lawyer, who had represented his
district in Congress. That evening has been marked with a very white
stone in my calendar ever since. It was but a brief visit of a fortnight
that the fair maiden from the West made in Trenton; but when she, soon
afterwards returned to Ohio, she took with her what has been her
inalienable possession ever since and will be, "Till death us do part."
My courtship was rather "at long range;" for Newark, Ohio, was several
hundred miles away, and I have always found that a man who would build
up a strong church must be constantly at it, trowel in hand. On the 17th
of March, 1853, the venerable Dr. Wylie conducted for us a very simple
and solemn service of holy wedlock, closing with his fatherly
benediction, one of the best acts of his long and useful life. The
invalid mother of my bride (for Colonel Mathiot had died four years
previously) was present at our nuptials, and for the last time was in
her own drawing-room. Mrs. Mathiot was a daughter of Mr. Samuel
Culbertson, a leading lawyer of Zanesville, and was a lady of rare
refinement and loveliness. She had been a patient sufferer from a
painful illness of several months' duration, and peacefully passed away
to her rest in September of that year.
Of the qualifications and duties of a minister's wife, enough has been
written to stock a small library. My own very positive conviction has
always been that her vows were made primarily, not to a parish, but to
her own husband; and if she makes his home and heart happy; if she
relieves him of needless worldly cares; if she is a constant inspiration
to him in his holy work, she will do ten-fold more for the church than
if she were the manager and mainspring of a dozen benevolent societies.
There is another obligation antecedent to all acts of Presbytery or
installing councils--the sweet obligation of motherhood. The woman who
neglects her nursery or her housekeeping duties, and her own heart-life
for any outside work in the parish does both them and herself serious
injury. If a minister's wife has the grace of a kind and tactful
courtesy toward all classes, she may contribute mightily to the popular
influence of her husband; and if she is a woman of culture and literary
taste, she can be of immense service to him in the preparation of his
sermons. The best critic that ministers can have is one who has a right
to criticize and to "truth it in love." Who has a better right to
reprove, exhort and correct with all long suffering than the woman who
has given us her heart and herself? There are a hundred matters in the
course of a year in which a sensible woman's instincts are wiser than
those of the average man. There is many a minister who would have been
spared the worst blunders of his life, if he had only consulted and
obeyed the instinctive judgment of a loving and sensible wife. If we
husbands hold the reins, it is the province of a wise and devoted wife
to tell us where to drive.
It is very probable that my readers have suspected that this portraiture
of a model wife for a minister was drawn from actual life; and they are
right in their conjectures. In the discourse delivered to my flock on
the twenty-fifth anniversary of my pastorate was the following passage,
to whose truth the added years have only added confirmation, "There is
still another sweet mercy which has been vouchsafed to me in the true
heart that has never faltered and the gentle footstep that has never
wearied in the pathway of life for two and thirty years. From how many
mistakes and hasty indiscretions her quick sagacity has kept me, you can
never know. If you have any tribute of thanks for any good which I have
done you, do not offer it to me; go carry it down to yonder home, of
which she has been the light and the joy, and _lay it at her unselfish
feet."_ On that occasion (for the _only_ time) I heard a murmur of
applause run through my congregation.
About the time of our marriage, I received a call from the Shawmut
Congregational Church of Boston, and soon afterwards overtures from a
Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, and from the First Presbyterian
Church of Chicago. All these attractive offers I declined, but within a
few months I accepted a call from the Market Street Dutch Reformed
Church of New York--a far more difficult field of labor. My ministry in
Trenton was one of unbroken happiness, and the Church were profusely
kind; but at the end of nearly four years I felt that my work there was
done. The young church had built a beautiful house of worship without a
dime of debt, and it was filled by a prosperous congregation. I was
ready for a wider field of labor.
The Market Street Dutch Reformed Church, to which I was called, was down
town, within ten minutes' walk of the City Hall, and was beginning to
feel the inroads of the up-town migration, when my excellent
predecessor, Dr. Isaac Ferris, left it to become the Chancellor of the
New York University. Although most of the well-to-do families were
moving away, yet East Broadway was full of boarding houses packed with
young men and these in turn packed our church on Sabbath evenings. Of
the happy spiritual harvest-seasons in that old church, especially
during the great awakening in 1858, I have written in the chapter on
Revivals. I was as eager for work as Simon Peter was for a good haul in
fishing, and every week there, I met on the platform the representatives
of temperance societies: The Five Points House of Industry, Young Men's
Christian Associations, Sunday schools or some other religious or
reformatory enterprise. These outside activities were no hindrances to
either pulpit or pastoral work; and, like that famous English preacher
who felt that he could not have too many irons in the fire, I thrust in
tongs, shovel, poker and all. The contact with busy life and benevolent
labors among the poor supplied material for sermons; for the pastor of a
city church must touch life at a great many points. Our domestic
experiences in early housekeeping were very agreeable. The social
conditions of New York were less artificial than now. Pastoral calls in
the evening usually found the people in their homes, and I do not
believe there were a dozen theatre-goers in my congregation. After a
very busy and heaven-blest ministry of half a dozen years, I discovered
that the rapid migration up town would soon leave our congregation too
feeble for self-support. I accordingly started a movement to erect a new
edifice up on Murray Hill, and to retain the old building in Market
Street as an auxiliary mission chapel. A handsome subscription for the
erection of the up-town edifice was secured, and the "Consistory" (which
is the good Dutch designation of a board of church officers), convened
to vote the first payment for the land. The new site was not wisely
chosen, and many of my people were still opposed to any change; but the
casting vote of one good old man (whom I shall thank if I ever encounter
him in the Celestial World) negatived the whole enterprise, and it was
A few weeks before that decision, I had received a call to take charge
of a brave little struggling Presbyterian Church in the newer part of
Brooklyn. I sent for the officers, and informed them that if they would
purchase the ground on the corner of Lafayette Avenue and Oxford Street,
and pay for it in a fortnight, and promise to build for me a church with
good acoustics and capable of seating from eighteen hundred to two
thousand auditors, I would be their pastor. Instead of turning purple in
the lips at such a bold proposal, they "staggered not at the promise
through unbelief" and in ten days they brought me the deed of the land
paid for to the uttermost dollar! I resigned Market Street Church
immediately, and on the next Sabbath morning, while the Easter bells
were ringing under a dark stormy sky, I came over and faced, for the
first time, the courageous founders of the Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian
Church. The dear old Market Street Church lingered on for a few years
more, bleeding at every pore, from the fatal up-town migration, and then
peacefully disbanded. The solid stone edifice was purchased by some
generous Presbyterians in the upper part of the city, who organized
there the "Church of the Sea and Land," which is standing to-day, as a
well-manned light-house amid a dense tenement-house foreign population.
The successful work that is now prosecuted there is another confirmation
of my favorite theory that the only way to reach a neighborhood crowded
with the poorer classes, is for the wealthy churches to spend money for
just such an auxiliary mission church as is now thriving in the
structure in which I spent seven happy years of my ministry.
This portion of Brooklyn to which we removed in 1860, was very sparsely
settled, and Rev. Henry Ward Beecher said to me: "I do not see how you
can find a congregation there." He lived to say to me: "You are now in
the center, and I am out on the circumference," Brooklyn was then
pre-eminently a "city of churches," and, though we had not a dozen
millionaires, it was not infested with any slums. In a population of
over three hundred thousand there was then only a single theatre, and
when one of our people was asked: "What do you do for recreation over
there?" he replied, "We go to church."
Certainly no one was ever attracted to our own modest little temporary
sanctuary by its beauty; for it was unsightly without, though very
cheerful within. Soon after we commenced the building of our present
stately edifice the startling report of cannon shook the land from sea
"And then we saw from Sumter's wall
The star-flag of the Union fall,
And armed hosts were pressing on
The broken lines of Washington."
Every other public edifice in this city then in process of erection was
brought to a standstill; but we pushed forward the work, like Nehemiah's
builders, with a trowel in one hand and a weapon in the other. To raise
funds for the structure, required faith and self-denial, and in this
labor of love, woman's five fingers were busy and helpful. One brave
orphan girl in New York gave, from her hard earnings as a public school
teacher, a sum so large that the announcement of it from my pulpit
aroused great enthusiasm, and turned the scale at the critical moment,
and insured the completion of the structure. Justly may our pulpit
vindicate woman's place, and woman's province in the cause of Christ and
humanity, for without woman's help that pulpit might never have been
On the 16th of March, 1862, our church edifice was dedicated to the
worship of Almighty God, Dr. Asa D. Smith, of Dartmouth College,
delivering the dedication sermon, and in the evening, my brilliant and
beloved brother, Professor Roswell D. Hitchcock, gave us one of his
incisive and inspiring discourses. The building accommodates eighteen
hundred worshippers, and in emergencies, twenty-five hundred. It is a
model of cheerfulness and convenience, and is so felicitous in its
acoustics that an ordinary conversational tone can be heard at the
opposite end of the auditorium. The picture of the Church in this volume
gives no adequate idea of the size of the edifice; for the Sunday School
Hall and lecture-room and social parlors are situated in the rear, and
could not be presented in the photographic view. I fear that too many
costly church edifices are erected that are quite unfit for our
Protestant modes of religious service. It is said that when Bishop
Potter was called upon to consecrate one of the "dim religious"
specimens of mediaeval architecture, and was asked his opinion of the
new structure, he replied: "It is a beautiful building, with only three
faults: you cannot see in it--you cannot hear in it--you cannot breathe
I need not detail the story of my happy Brooklyn pastorate; for that is
succinctly given in the closing chapter of this volume. Our home-life
here for the past forty-two years has been a record of perpetual
providential mercies and unfailing kindness on the part of my
parishioners and fellow townsmen. Brooklyn, although removed from New
York (for I cannot yet twist my tongue into calling it "Manhattan") by a
five minutes' journey on the East River Bridge, is a very different town
in its political and social aspects. New York is penned in on a narrow
island, and ground is worth more than gold. It is therefore piled up
with very fine apartment houses for the rich, or tenement houses for the
poor to more stories than the ancient buildings on the Canongate of
Edinburgh. Here in Brooklyn we have all Long Island to spread over, and
land is within the reach of even a parson's purse. A man never feels so
rich as when he owns a bit of real estate, and I take some satisfaction
in the bit of land in the front of my domicile, and in the rear, capable
of holding several fruit trees and rose-beds. Oxford Street has the deep
shade of a New England village. We come to know our neighbors here,
which is a degree of knowledge not often attained in New York or London.
The social life here is also less artificial than at the other end of
the bridge. There is less of the foreign element, and of either great
wealth or poverty; we have neither the splendor of Paris, nor the
squalor of the by-streets of Naples. The name of "Breucklen" was given
to our town by its original Dutch settlers, but the aggressive New
Englanders pushed in and it is a more thoroughly Yankee city to-day than
any city in the land outside of New England. My old friend, Mayor Low,
urged the consolidation of Brooklyn with New York on the ground that its
moral and civic influence would be a wholesome counteraction of Tammany
and the tenement-house politics. For self-protection, I joined with my
lamented brother, the late Dr. Storrs, in an effort to maintain our
independence. Ours is pre-eminently a city of homes where the bulk of
the people live in an undivided dwelling, and I do not believe that
there is another city either in America, or elsewhere, that contains
over a million inhabitants, so large a proportion of whom are in a
school house during the week, and in God's house on the Sabbath.
[Illustration: THE LAFAYETTE AVENUE CHURCH.]
One of the glories of Brooklyn is its vast and picturesque "Prospect
Park," with natural forests, hills and dales and its superb outlook over
the bay and ocean.
I hope that it may not be a violation of propriety to say that the Park
Commissioners in this city of my adoption bestowed my own name on a
pretty plot of ground not far from my residence; and its bright show of
flowers makes it a constant delight to my neighbors. Last year some of
my fellow-townspeople made an exceedingly generous proposition to place
there a memorial statue; and I felt compelled to publish the following
reply to an offer which quite transcended any claim that I could have to
such an honor:
176 SOUTH OXFORD STREET, JUNE 12, 1901.
MESS JOHN N. BEACH, D.W. MCWILLIAMS, AND THOMAS T. BARR.
_My Dear Sirs_,
I have just received your kind letter in which you express the
desire of yourselves and of several of our prominent citizens that
I would consent to the erection of a "Memorial in Cuyler Park" to
be placed there by voluntary contributions of generous friends here
and elsewhere. Do not, I entreat you, regard me as indifferent to a
proposition whose motive affords the most profound and heartfelt
gratitude; but a work of art in bronze or marble, such as has been
suggested, that would be creditable to our city, would require an
outlay of money that I cannot conscientiously consent to have
expended for the purpose of personal honor rather than of public
utility. Several years ago the city authorities honored me by
giving my name to the attractive plot of ground at the junction of
Fulton and Greene Avenues. If my most esteemed friend, Park
Commissioner Brower, will kindly have my name visibly and
permanently affixed to that little park, and will direct that it be
always kept as bright and beautiful with flowers as it now is, I
shall be abundantly satisfied. I have been permitted to spend
forty-one supremely happy years in this city which I heartily love,
and for whose people I have joyfully labored; and while the
permanent fruits of these labors remain, I trust I shall not pass
out of all affectionate remembrance. A monument reared by human
hands may fade away; but if God has enabled me to engrave my humble
name on any living hearts, they will be the best monument; for
hearts live on forever. While declining the proffered honor, may I
ask you to convey my most sincere and cordial thanks to the kind
friends who have joined with you in this generous proposal, and,
with warm personal regard, I remain,
THEODORE L. CUYLER.
I cannot refrain here from thanking my old friend, Dr. St. Clair
McKelway, the brilliant editor of the _Brooklyn Eagle_, for his generous
tribute which accompanied the publication of the above letter. His
grandfather, Dr. John McKelway, a typical Scotchman, was my family
physician and church deacon in the city of Trenton. Among the editorial
fraternity let me also mention here the name of my near neighbor, Mr.
Edward Gary, of the _New York Times_, who was with me in Fort Sumter,
at the restoration of the flag, and with whom I have foregathered in
many a fertilizing conversation. Away off on the slope above beautiful
Stockbridge, and surrounded by his Berkshire Hills, Dr. Henry M. Field
is spending the bright "Indian summer" of his long and honored career.
For forty years we held sweet fellowship in the columns of the _New York
The experience of the great Apostle at Rome, who dwelt for nearly two
years in his "hired house," has been followed by numberless examples of
the ministers of the Gospel who have had a migratory home life. My
experience under rented roofs led me to build, in 1865, this dwelling,
which has housed our domestic life for seven and thirty years. A true
homestead is not a Jonah's gourd for temporary shelter from sun and
storm, it is a treasure house of accumulations. Many of its contents are
precious heirlooms; its apartments are thronged with memories of friends
and kinsfolk living or departed. Every room has its scores of occupants,
every wall is gladdened with the visions of loved faces. I look into
yonder guest chamber, and find my old friends, Governor Buckingham, and
Vice-President Wilson, who were ready to discuss the conditions of the
temperance reform which they had come to advocate. Down in the
dining-room the "Chi-Alpha" Society of distinguished ministers are
holding their Saturday evening symposium; in the parlor my Irish guest,
the Earl of Meath, is describing to me his philanthropies in London, and
his Countess is describing her organization of "Ministering Children."
In the library, Whittier is writing at the table; or Mr. Fulton is
narrating his missionary work in China; out on the piazza my veteran
neighbor, General Silas Casey, is telling the thrilling story of how he
led our troops at the storming of the Heights of Chapultepec; up the
steps comes dear old John G. Paton, with his patriarchal white beard, to
say "good-bye," before he goes back to his mission work in the New
No room in our dwelling is more sacred than the one in which I now
write. On its walls hang the portraits of my Princeton Professors, and
those of majestic Chalmers and the gnarled brow of Hugh Miller, the
Scotch geologist, the precious gifts of the author of "Rab and His
Friend." Near them is the bright face of dear Henry Drummond, looking
just as he did on that stormy evening when he came into my library a few
hours after his arrival from Scotland. I still recall his reply to me in
Edinburgh, when I cautioned him against permitting his scientific
studies to unspiritualize his activities. "Never you fear," said he, "I
am too busy in trying to save young men; and the only way to do that is
to lead them to the Lord Jesus Christ," In former years this room was
my beloved mother's "Chamber of Peace" that opens to the sun-rising. Her
pictured face looks down upon me now from the wall, and her Bible lies
beside me. In this room we gathered on the afternoon of September 14,
1887, around her dying bed. Her last words were: "Now kiss me good
night," and in an hour or two she fell into that sweet slumber which
Christ gives His beloved, at the ripe age of eighty-five. Her mental
powers and memory were unimpaired. On the monument which covers her
sleeping dust in Greenwood is engraved these words: "Return unto thy
rest, O my soul; for the Lord hath dealt bountifully with thee."
This room is also hallowed by another tenderly sacred association. Here
our beloved daughter, Louise Ledyard Cuyler, closed her beautiful life
on the last day of September, 1881. On her return from Narragansett
Pier, she was stricken with a mysterious typhoid fever, which often lays
its fatal touch on the most youthful and vigorous frame. She had
apparently passed the point of danger, and one Sabbath when I read to
her that one hundred and twenty-first Psalm, which records the watchful
love of Him who "never sleeps," our hearts were gladdened with the
prospect of a speedy recovery. Then came on a fatal relapse; and in the
early hour of dawn, while our breaking hearts were gathered around her
dying bed, she had "another morn than ours." Why that noble and gifted
daughter, who was the inseparable companion of her fond mother, and who
was developing into the sweet graces of young womanhood, was taken from
our clinging arms at the early age of twenty-two, God only knows. Many
another aching parental heart has doubtless knocked at the sealed door
of such a mystery, and heard the only response, "What I do thou knowest
not now, but thou shalt know hereafter." Upon the monument that bears
her name, graven on a cross, amid a cluster of white lilies, is
inscribed: "I thank my God upon every remembrance of thee." The lovely
twin brother, "Georgie" (whose sweet life story is told in "The Empty
Crib"), reposes in our same family plot, and beside him lies a baby
brother, Mathiot Cuyler, who lived but twelve days. As this infant was
born on the twenty-fifth of December, 1873, his tiny tomb-stone bears
the simple inscription: "Our Christmas Gift."
During all our seasons of domestic sorrow the cordial sympathies of our
noble-hearted congregation were very cheering; for we had always kept
open doors to them all, and regarded them as only an enlargement of our
own family. In our household joys, they too, participated. When the
twenty-fifth anniversary of our marriage occurred, they decorated our
church with flags and flowers and suspended a huge marriage-bell on an
arch before the pulpit. After the President of our Board of Trustees,
the Hon. William W. Goodrich, had completed his congratulatory address,
two of the officers of the church in imitation of the returning spies
from Eshcol marched in, "bearing between them on a staff" a capacious
bag of silver dollars. A curiously constructed silver clock is also
among the treasured souvenirs of that happy anniversary.
In April, 1885, the close of the first quarter-century of my ministry
was celebrated by our church with very delightful festivities. Addresses
were delivered by his Honor Mayor Low, Dr. McCosh, of Princeton, Dr.
Richard S. Storrs, and the Hon. John Wanamaker, Post-Master General. A
duodecimo volume giving the history of our church and all its activities
was published by order of our people.
From such a loyal flock in the full tide of its prosperity, to cut
asunder, required no small exercise of conscience and of courage. When
the patriarchal Dr. Emmons, of Franklin, Massachusetts, resigned his
church at the age of eighty, he gave the good reason: "I mean to stop
when I have sense enough to know that I have not begun, to fail." In
exercising the same grace, on a Sabbath morning in February, 1890, I
made before a full congregation the following announcement: "Nearly
thirty years have elapsed since I assumed the pastoral charge of the
Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church; and through the continual
blessings of Heaven upon us it has grown into one of the largest and
most useful and powerful churches in the Presbyterian denomination. It
has two thousand three hundred and thirty members; and is third in point
of numbers in the United States. This church has always been to me like
a beloved child: I have given to it thirty years of hard and happy
labor. It is now my foremost desire that its harmony may remain
undisturbed, and that its prosperity may remain unbroken. For a long
time I have intended that my thirtieth anniversary should be the
terminal point of my present pastorate I shall then have served this
beloved flock for an ordinary human generation, and the time has now
come to transfer this most sacred trust to some other, who, in God's
good Providence, may have thirty years of vigorous work before him, and
not behind him. If God spares my life to the first Sabbath in April, it
is my purpose to surrender this pulpit back into your hands, and I shall
endeavor to co-operate with you in the search and selection of the right
man to stand in it. I will not trust myself to-day to speak of the pang
it will cost me to sever a connection that has been to me one of
unalloyed harmony and happiness. It only remains for me to say that
after forty-four years of uninterrupted mental labor it is but
reasonable to ask for some relief from the strain that may soon become
too heavy for me to bear."
The congregation was quite astounded by this unexpected announcement,
but they recognized the motive that prompted the step, and acted
precisely as I desired. They agreed at once to appoint a committee to
look for a successor. In order that I might not hamper him in any
respect, I declined the generous offer of our church to make me their
As my pastorate began on an Easter Sabbath, in 1860, so it terminated at
the Easter in 1890. Before an immense assemblage I delivered, on that
bright Sabbath, the Valedictory discourse which closes the present
volume, and which gives in condensed form the history of the Lafayette
Our noble people never do anything by halves; and a few evenings after
the delivery of my valedictory discourse they gave to their pastor and
his wife a public reception, for which the church, lecture-room and the
church parlors were profusely adorned; and were crowded with guests.
Congratulatory addresses were delivered by Dr. John Hall of the Fifth
Avenue Presbyterian Church, New York, by Professor William M. Paxton, of
Princeton Theological Seminary; and congratulatory letters were read
from the venerable poet, Whittier, the Hon. William Walter Phelps, Mr.
A.A. Low (the Mayor's father), General William H. Seward, Bishop Potter
and Dr. Herrick Johnson, besides a vast number of others renowned in
Church and State. On behalf of the Brooklyn pastors an address was
pronounced by the Rev. Dr. L.T. Chamberlain, which was a rare gem of
sparkling oratory. In his concluding passage he said: "Nor in all these
have I for an instant forgotten the dual nature of that ministry, which
has been so richly blessed. I recall that in the prophet's symbolic act,
he took to himself two staves, the one was 'Beauty,' while the other was
'Bands.' In the kingdom of grace and in the kingdom of nature,
loveliness is ever the fit complement of strength. Accordingly, to her,
who has been the enthroned one in the heart, the light-giver in the
home, the beloved of the church, we tender our most fervent good wishes
For her also we lift on high our faithful, tender intercession. To each,
to both, we give the renewed assurance of our abiding affection. God
grant that life's shadows may lengthen gently and slowly! Late, may you
both ascend to Heaven: long and happily may you abide with us here!" The
report of the proceedings of that evening says that at this reference to
the "dual" character of his ministry, "the veteran pastor sprang to his
feet and, seizing Dr. Chamberlain's hand, exclaimed; 'I thank you for
that, and the whole assembly's applause revealed its heartfelt
sympathy." I had declined more than once, for good reasons, the kind
offer of my generous flock to increase my salary, but, when on that
evening that crowned my thirty years of labor, my dear neighbor and
church elder, Mr. John N. Beach (on behalf of the congregation), put
into my hands a cheque for thirty thousand dollars, "not as a charity
but as a token of our warm hearted grateful love," I could only say with
the Apostle Paul: "I rejoice in the Lord that your care has _blossomed
out afresh_" (for this is the literal reading of the great apostle's
The proceedings of that memorable evening were closed by a benediction
by the Rev. Dr. Charles L. Thompson, then Moderator of our General
Assembly and now the super-royal Secretary of our Board of Home
Missions. The proceedings were afterwards compiled in a beautiful volume
entitled "A Thirty Years' Pastorate," by the good taste and literary
skill of my beloved friend, the late Jacob L. Gossler.
In justice to myself, let me say that I have given this narrative of the
closing scenes of my pastoral labors, not, I trust, as a matter of
personal vain glory; but that good Christian people in our own land and
in other lands may learn from the example of the Lafayette Avenue
Presbyterian Church how to treat a pastor, whose simple aim has been,
with God's help, to do his duty.
LIFE AT HOME--AND FRIENDS ABROAD.
A few months after my resignation, the Lafayette Avenue Church extended
an unanimous call to the Rev. Dr. David Gregg, who had become
distinguished as a powerful preacher, and the successful pastor of the
old, historic Park Street Church, of Boston. He is also widely known by
his published works, which display great vigor and beauty of style, and
a fervid spirituality. When Dr. Gregg came on to assume his office, I
was glad, not only to give him a hearty welcome, but to assure him that,
"as no one had ever come up into the pilot house to interfere with the
helmsman, so I would never lay my hand on the wheel that should steer
that superb vessel in all its future voyagings." From that day to this,
my relations with my beloved successor have been unspeakably fraternal
and delightful. While I have left the entire official charge of the
church in his hands, there have been many occasions on which we have
co-operated in various pastoral duties among a flock that was equally
dear to us both. Recently the Rev. George R. Lunn, a young minister of
exceedingly attractive qualities both in the pulpit and in personal
intercourse, has been installed as an assistant pastor. The divine
blessing has constantly rested upon the noble old church, which has gone
steadily on, like a powerful ocean steamer, well-manned, well-equipped,
well-freighted, and well guided by the compass of God's infallible word.
Last year the church rendered a signal service to the cause of Foreign
Missions by erecting a "David Gregg Hospital" and a "Theodore L. Cuyler
Church" in Canton, China. They are both under the supervision of the
Rev. Albert A. Fulton, who went out to China from our Lafayette Avenue
flock, and has been a most energetic and successful missionary for more
than twenty years.
My ministry at large has brought a needed rest, not by idleness, but by
a change in the character of my employment. Instead of a weekly
preparation of sermons, has come the preparation of more frequent
contributions to the religious press. Instead of pastoral visitations
have been the journeyings to different churches, or colleges, and
universities and Young Men's Christian Associations for preaching
services. I doubt whether any other dozen years of my life have been
more crowded with various activities. To my dear wife and myself have
come increased opportunities for travel, which have been, during the
almost half century of our happy wedded life, a constant source of
enjoyment. We have journeyed together from Bar Harbor, in Maine, to
Coronado Beach, in Southern California. We have traversed together the
Adirondacks, the White Mountains and the Catskills, the prairies of
Dakota and the orange groves of Florida, the peerless parks of Del Monte
on the shores of the Pacific, and the "Royal Gorge" in the heart of the
Rocky Mountain Range. Our various trips to Europe have photographed on
our hearts the memories of many dear friends and faces, some of whom,
alas! have vanished into the unseen world. In the summer of 1889, when
we were at Ayr, the late Mr. Alexander Allan, came down for us in his
fine steam yacht, the _Tigh-na-Mara_, and took us up to his hospitable
"Hafton House" on the Holy Loch, a few miles below Glasgow. For several
days he gave us yachting excursions through Loch Goil, and the Kyles of
Bute, and Loch Long, with glimpses of Ben-Lomond and other monarchs of
the Highlands. When we saw the gorgeous purple garniture of heather in
full bloom, we no longer wondered that Sir Walter Scott was quite
satisfied to have his beloved hills devoid of forests.
Another memorable visit of that summer was to Chillitigham Castle in
Northumberland, from whose towers we got views of Flodden Field and the
scenes of "Marmion." The venerable Earl of Tankerville (who was a
contemporary and supporter of Sir Robert Peel in Parliament), and his
warm-hearted Countess, who has long been a leader in various Christian
philanthropies, entertained us delightfully within walls that had stood
for six centuries. In a forest near the Castle were the famous herd of
wild cattle which are the only survivors of the original herd that
roamed that region in the days of William the Conqueror. They are
beautiful white creatures, still too wild to be approached very nearly;
and Sir Edwin Landseer, an old friend of the Earl, has preserved
life-sized portraits of two of them on the walls of the lofty dining
hall of the castle. When the servants, gardeners and other retainers
assembled for morning worship in the chapel, the handsome old Earl
presided at the melodeon, and the singing was from our American Sankey's
hymn-book, a style of music that would have startled the belted knights
and barons bold who worshipped in that chapel five centuries ago.
While at Dundee, as the guests of Mr. Alexander H. Moncur, the
Ex-provost of the city, I had the satisfaction of preaching in St.
Peters Presbyterian Church, whose pastor, sixty years ago, was that
ideal minister, Robert Murray McCheyne. The Bible from which he
delivered his seraphic sermons was still lying on the pulpit. When I
asked a plain woman, the wife of a weaver, what she could tell me about
his discourses, her remarkable reply was: "It did me more good just to
see Mr. McCheyne walk from the door to his pulpit than to hear any other
man in Dundee." A fine tribute, that, to the power of a Christly
personality. A sermon in shoes is often more eloquent and
soul-convincing than a sermon on paper. I spent a very pleasant hour
with sturdy John Bright, and he told me that he had more relatives
living in America than in England. His reason for declining the
invitation of our government to visit the United States was that he knew
too well what our enthusiastic countrymen had in store for him. The
separation of Bright and Gladstone on the question of Irish Home Rule
had a certain tragic element of sadness. When I spoke of this to Mr.
Gladstone, the old statesman of Hawarden tenderly replied: "Whenever I
think now of my dear old friend, I always think only of those days when
we were in our warmest fellowship" Among the many other recollections of
foreign incidents I must mention a very delightful luncheon at Athens
with Dr. Schlieman in his superb house which was filled with the
trophies of his exploration of the Troad and Mycenae. I found him a most
genial man; and he told me that he had never surrendered his American
citizenship, acquired in 1850. It was very amusing to hear him and his
Grecian wife address their children as "Agamemnon" and "Andromache" and
I half expected to see Plato drop in for a chat, or Euripides call with
an invitation to witness a rehearsal of the "Medea." Athens is to me the
most satisfactory of all the restored cities of antiquity, every relic
there is so indisputably genuine. My sunrise view from the Parthenon was
a fair match for a midnight view I once had of Olivet and Gethsemane.
I cannot close these recollections of foreign friends without making
mention of the late Mr. William Tweedie and his successor the late Mr.
Robert Rae, the efficient Secretaries of the National Temperance League
(of which Archbishop Temple has long been the President). They rendered
me endless acts of kindness, and at their anniversary meetings I met
many of the most prominent advocates of the temperance reform in Great
Britain. It gives me a sharp pang to recall the fact that of all the
leaders whom I met at those meetings, the gallant Sir Wilfred Lawson and
Mr. Caine are almost the only survivors.
Returning now to the scenes of our happy home life I should be
criminally neglectful if I failed to give even a brief account of the
gratifying incidents connected with the recent commemoration of my
eightieth birthday. Reluctant as I was to quit the _good Society of the
Seventies_, the transition into four-score was lubricated by so many
loving kindnesses that I scarcely felt a jolt or a jar. During the whole
month of January a steady shower of congratulatory letters poured in
from all parts of the land and from beyond sea, so that I was made to
realize the poet Wordsworth's modest confession:
"I've heard of hearts unkind kind deeds
With coldness still returning,
Alas, the gratitude of men
Has oftener left me mourning."
In anticipation of the event Mrs. Houghton, the editor of the _New York
Evangelist_, to which I have been so long a contributor, issued a
"Birthday Number" containing the most kindly expressions from
representatives of different Christian denominations, and officers of
various benevolent societies, and from representative men in secular
affairs, like Mr. Andrew Carnegie, Mr. Jesup, General Woodford, the Hon.
Mr. Coombs, Dr. St. Clair McKelway, and others. On the afternoon of
January 9th, the National Temperance Society honored me with a reception
at their Publication House in New York, which was attended by many
eminent citizens and clergymen, and "honorable women not a few." Letters
and telegrams from many quarters were read and an eloquent address was
pronounced by Mr. Joshua L. Bailey, the President of the Society. The
evening of my birthday, the 10th of January, was spent in our own
home, which was in full bloom with an immense profusion of flowers, and
enriched with beautiful gifts from many generous hearts. For three hours
it was the "joy unfeigned" of my family and myself to grasp again the
warm hands of our faithful Lafayette Avenue flock, and of my Brooklyn
neighbors who had for two-score years gladdened our lives, as the Great
Apostle was gladdened by his loyal friends at Thessalonica.
[Illustration: DR CUYLER AT 80]
[From a photograph, January, 1902]
On Saturday evening the 11th, the "Chi Alpha" Society of New York, the
oldest and most widely known of clerical brotherhoods, gave me their
fraternal greetings at the residence of the venerable Mrs. William E.
Dodge, now blessed with unimpaired vigor, in the golden autumn of a life
protracted beyond four-score and ten. The walls of that hospitable
mansion on Murray Hill have probably welcomed more persons eminent in
the religious activities of our own and other lands than any other
private residence in America. Brief speeches were made; a beautiful
"address" was presented, which now, embossed and framed, adorns the
walls of my library. After this the Rev. Charles Lemuel Thompson, an
Ex-moderator of our General Assembly, and now the Secretary of the Board
of Home Missions, read the following ringing lines which he had composed
on behalf of my fellow voyagers on many a cruise and in many a conflict
for our adorable Lord and King. My only apology for introducing them
here is their rare poetic merit which entitles them to a more permanent
place than in the many journals in which they were reprinted. I ought to
add that "Croton" is the name of the river and the reservoir that supply
New York with its wholesome water:
Fill--fill up your glasses--with Croton!
Fill full to the brim I say,
For the dearest old boy among us,
Who is ten times eight to-day.
It is three times three and a tiger--
It is hand to your caps, O men!
For our Captain of captains rejoices,
In his counting of eight times ten.
Foot square on the bridge and gripping
As steady as fate the wheel,
He has taken the storms to his forehead,
And cheered in the tempest's reel.
He has seen the green sea monsters
Go writhing down the gale,
But never a hand to slacken,
And never a heart to fail.
So It's--Ho'--to our Captain dauntless,
Trumpet-tongued and eagle-eyed,
With the spray of the voyage behind him,
And the Pilot by his side.
Together they sail into sunset--
Slow down for the harbor bell,
For the flash of the port, and the message
"Well done"---It is well--It is well.
So it's three times three and a tiger!
Breathe deep for the man we love,
His heart is the heart of a lion,
His soul is the soul of a dove.
It is--Ho!--to the Captain we honor,
Salute we the man and the day,
On his brow are the snows of December,
In his heart are the bird songs of May.
The Scripture passage from which I discoursed on the next Sabbath
morning, January 12th, in our Lafayette Avenue Church pulpit--"At
evening time it shall be light"--seems especially appropriate to an
autobiography penned at a time when the life-day is already far spent.
There are some people who have a pitiful dread of old age. For myself,
instead of it being a matter of sorrow or of pain, it is rather an
occasion of profound joy that God has enabled me to write in my family
record "Four score years." The October of life may be one of the most
fruitful months in all its calendar; and the "Indian summer" its
brightest period when God's sunshine kindles every leaf on the tree
with crimson and golden glories. Faith grows in its tenacity of fibre by
the long continued exercise of testing God, and trusting His promises.
The veteran Christian can turn over the leaves of his well-worn Bible
and say: "This Book has been my daily companion; I know all about this
promise and that one and that other one; for I have tried them for
myself, I have a great pile of cheques which my Heavenly Father has
cashed with gracious blessings." Bunyan brings his Pilgrim, not into a
second infant school where they may sit down in imbecility, or loiter in
idleness; he brings them into Beulah Land, where the birds fill the air
with music; and where they catch glimpses of the Celestial City. They
are drawing nearer to the end of their long journey and beyond that
river, that has no bridge, looms up the New Jerusalem in all its
In a previous chapter I have told the story of our bereavement when God
took three of our precious children to Himself; but to-day we can chant
the twenty-third Psalm, for the overflowing cup of mercies that sweeten
our home, and for the two loving children that are spared to us. Our
eldest daughter, Mary, is the wife of Dr. William S. Cheeseman, an
eminent physician in the beautiful city of Auburn, the County-seat of my
native County of Cayuga. It is the site of one of our principal
Theological Seminaries, from which have graduated many of the foremost
ministers in our Presbyterian denomination. One of the earliest
professors of that institution was the revered Dr. Henry Mills, who
baptized me in my infancy. Auburn is also well known as the residence of
our celebrated statesman William H. Seward, who was Secretary of State
under President Lincoln. From the window of my daughter's home I look
over at the summer house in which that illustrious patriot meditated
some of his state papers; and just beyond is the bronze statue reared to
his memory. Our only living son, Theodore Ledyard Cuyler, Jr., the
surviving twin brother of "little Georgie," fills an honorable position
as an officer of the Postal Telegraph and Cable Company in New York.
Since the death of his lovely young wife, several years ago, he has
resided with us, and his only son, "Ledyard," is the joy of his
grandparents' hearts. The sister and niece of my wife complete our
household--and our happiness.
My journey hence to the sun-setting must be brief at the farthest. I
only ask to live just as long as God has any work for me to do--and not
one moment longer. I do not seek to measure with this hand how high the
sun of life may yet be above the horizon; but when it does go down, may
my closing eyes behold the bright effulgence of Heaven's blessings upon
yonder glorious sanctuary, and its faithful flock. After my long day's
work for the Master is over, and this mortal body has been put to sleep
in yonder beautiful dormitory of "Greenwood" by the sea, I desire that
the inscription that shall be written over my slumbering dust may be,
"The Founder of Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church."
THE JOYS OF THE CHRISTIAN MINISTRY.
_A Valedictory Discourse Delivered to the Lafayette Avenue Church,
April_ 6, 1890.
I invite your attention this morning to the nineteenth and twentieth
verses of the second chapter of Paul's Epistle to the Thessalonians:
"For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing?
Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ
at His coming? For ye are our glory and joy."
These words were written by the most remarkable man in the annals of the
Christian Church. Great interest is attached to them from the fact that
they are part of the first inspired epistle that Paul ever wrote. Nay,
more. The letter to the Church of Thessalonica is probably the earliest
as to date of all the books of the New Testament. Paul was then at
Corinth, about fifty-two years old, in the full vigor of his splendid
prime. His spiritual son, Timothy, brings him tidings from the infant
church in Thessalonica, that awakens his solicitude. He yearns to go
and see them, but he cannot; so he determines to write to them; and one
day he lays aside his tent needle, seizes his pen, and, when that pen
touches the papyrus sheet the New Testament begins. The Apostle's great,
warm heart kindles and blazes as he goes on, and at length bursts out in
this impassioned utterance: "Ye are my glory and joy!"
Paul, I thank thee for a thousand things, but for nothing do I thank
thee more than for that golden sentence. In these thrilling words, the
greatest of Christian pastors, rising above the poverty, homelessness,
and scorn that surrounded him, reaches forth his hand and grasps his
royal diadem. No man shall rob the aged hero of his crown. No chaplet
worn by a Roman conqueror in the hour of his brightest triumph, rivals
the coronal that Pastor Paul sees flashing before his eyes. It is a
crown blazing with stars; every star an immortal soul plucked from the
darkness of sin into the light and liberty of a child of God. Poor, is
he? He is making many rich. Despised is he? He wouldn't change places
with Caesar. Homeless is he? His citizenship is in heaven, where he will
find myriads whom he can meet and say to them: "Ye, ye are my glory and
joy." Sixteen centuries after Paul uttered these words, John Bunyan
re-echoed them when he said:
"I have counted as if I had goodly buildings in the places where my
spiritual children were born. My heart has been so wrapt up in this
excellent work that I accounted myself more honored of God than if He
had made me emperor of all the world, or the lord of all the glory of
the earth without it. He that converteth a sinner from the error of his
ways doth save a soul from death, and they that be wise shall shine as
the brightness of the firmament."
Now, the great Apostle expressed what every ambassador of Christ
constantly experiences when in the thick of the Master's work. His are
the joys of acquisition. His purse may be scanty, his teaching may be
humble, and the field of his labor may be so obscure that no bulletins
of his achievements are ever proclaimed to an admiring world.
Difficulties may sadden and discouragement bring him to his knees; but I
tell you that obscure, toiling man of God has a joy vouchsafed to him
that a Frederick or a Marlborough never knew on the field of bloody
triumph, or that a Rothschild never dreams of in his mansions of
splendor, nor an Astor with his stores of gold. Every nugget of fresh
truth discovered makes him happier than one who has found golden spoil.
Every attentive auditor is a delight; every look of interest on a human
countenance flashes back to illuminate his own. Above all, when the
tears of penitence course down a cheek and a returning soul is led by
him to the Saviour, there is great joy in heaven over a repentant
wanderer, and a joy in that minister's heart too exquisite to utter.
Then he is repaid in full measure, pressed down, running over into his
Converted souls are jewels in the caskets of faithful parents, teachers
and pastors. They shall flash in the diadem which the Righteous Judge
shall give them in that great day. Ah! it is when an ambassador of
Christ sees an army of young converts and listens to the first
utterances of their new-born love, and when he presides at a communion
table and sees his spiritual off-spring gathered around him, more true
joy that faithful pastor feels than "Caesar with a Senate at his heels."
Rutherford, of Scotland, only voiced the yearnings of every true
pastor's heart when he exclaimed: "Oh, how rich were I if I could obtain
of my Lord the salvation of you all! What a prey had I gotten to have
you all caught in Christ's net. My witness is above, that your heaven
would be the two heavens to me, and the salvation of you all would be
two salvations to me."
Yet, my beloved people, when I recall the joy of my forty-four years of
public ministry I often shudder at the fact of how near I came to losing
it. For very many months my mind was balancing between the pulpit and
the attractions of a legal and political career. A single hour in a
village prayer-meeting turned the scale. But perhaps behind it all a
beloved mother's prayers were moving the mysterious hand that touched
the poised balance, and made souls outweigh silver, and eternity
Would that I could lift up my voice this morning in every academy,
college and university on this broad continent. I would say to every
gifted Christian youth, "God and humanity have need of you." He who
redeemed you by His precious blood has a sovereign right to the best
brains and the most persuasive tongues and the highest culture. Why
crowd into the already over-crowded professions? The only occupation in
America that is not overdone is the occupation of serving Jesus Christ
and saving souls. I do not affirm that a Christian cannot serve his
Master in any other sphere or calling than the Gospel ministry, but I do
affirm that the ambition for worldly gains and worldly honors is
sluicing the very heart of God's Church, and drawing out to-day much of
the Church's best blood in their greedy outlets. And I fearlessly
declare that when the most splendid talent has reached the loftiest
round on the ladder of promotion, that round is many rungs lower than a
pulpit in which a consecrated tongue proclaims a living Christianity to
a dying world. What Lord Eldon from the bar, what Webster from the
Senate-chamber, what Sir Walter Scott from the realms of romance, what
Darwin from the field of science, what monarch from Wall Street or
Lombard Street can carry his laurels or his gold up to the judgment seat
and say, "These are my joy and crown?" The laurels and the gold will be
dust--ashes. But if so humble a servant of Jesus Christ as your pastor
can ever point to the gathered flock arrayed in white before the
celestial throne, then he may say, "What is my hope, or joy, or crown of
rejoicing. Are not even ye in the presence of Christ at His coming?"
Good friends, I have told you what aspirations led me to the pulpit as a
place in which to serve my Master; and I thank Christ, the Lord, for
putting me into the ministry. The forty-four years I have spent in that
office have been unspeakably happy. Many a far better man has not been
as happy from causes beyond control. He may have had to contend with
feeble health as I never have; or a despondent temperament, as I never
have; or have struggled to maintain a large household on a slender
purse; he may have been placed in a stubborn field, where the Gospel was
shattered to pieces on flinty hearts. From all such trials a kind
Providence has delivered your pastor.
My ministry began in a very small church. For that I am thankful. Let no
young minister covet a large parish at the outset. The clock that is not
content to strike one will never strike twelve. In that little parish
at Burlington, N.J., I had opportunity for the two most valuable studies
for any minister--God's Book and individual hearts. My next call was to
organize and serve an infant church in Trenton, N.J., and for that I am
thankful. Laying the foundation of a new church affords capital tuition
in spiritual masonry, and the walls of that church have stood firm and
solid for forty years. The crowning mercy of my Trenton ministry was
this, that one Sunday while I was watering the flock, a goodlier vision
than that of Rebecca appeared at the well's mouth, and the sweet
sunshine of that presence has never departed from the pathway of my
life. To this hour the prosaic old capital of New Jersey has a halo of
poetry floating over it, and I never go through it without waving a
benediction from the passing train.
The next stage of my life's work was a seven years' pastorate of Market
Street Church in the city of New York. To those seven years of hard and
happy labor I look back with joy. The congregation swarmed with young
men, many of whom have risen to prominence in the commercial and
religious life of the great metropolis. The name of Market Street is
graven indelibly on my heart. I rejoice that the quaint old edifice
still stands and welcomes every Sabbath a congregation of landsmen and
of sailors. During the year 1858 occurred the great revival, when a
mighty wind from Heaven filled every house where the people of God were
sitting, and the glorious work of that revival kept many of us busy for
six months, night and day.
Early in the year 1860 a signal was made to me from this side of the
East River. It came from a brave little band then known as the Park
Presbyterian Church, who had never had any installed pastor. The signal
at first was unheeded; but a higher than human hand seemed to be behind
it, and I had only to obey. That little flock stood like the man of
Macedonia, saying, "Come over and help us," and after I had seen the
vision immediately I decided to come, assuredly concluding that God had
called me to preach the Gospel unto them.
This morning my memory goes back to that chilly, stormy April Sunday
when my labors began as your first pastor. About two hundred and fifty
people, full of grace and grit, gathered on that Easter morning to see
how God could roll away stones that for two years had blocked their path
with discouragement. My first message many of you remember. It was, "I
determined not to know anything among you save Jesus Christ and Him
crucified." Of that little company the large majority has departed. Many
of them are among the white-robed that now behold their risen Lord in
glory. Of the seventeen church officers--elders, deacons and
trustees--then in office, who greeted me that day, only four are living,
and of that number only one, Mr. Albion P. Higgins, is now a member of
this congregation. I wonder how many there are here this morning that
gathered before my pulpit on that Easter Sunday thirty years ago? As
many of you as there are present that were at that service thirty years
ago will do me a favor if you will rise in your pews.
(Thirteen people here stood up.)
God bless you! If it hadn't been for you this ark would never have been
Ah! we had happy days in that modest chapel. The tempest of civil war
was raging, with Lincoln's steady hand at the helm. We got our share of
the gale; but we set our storm-sails, and every one that could handle
ropes stood at his or her place. Just think of the money contributions
that small church made during the first year of my pastorate--$20,000,
not in paper, but in gold. The little band in that chapel was not only
generous in donations but valiant in spirit, and it was under the
gracious shower of a revival that we removed into this edifice on the
16th of March, 1862.
The subsequent history of the church was published so fully at the
notable anniversary five years ago that I need only repeat the chief
head-lines in a very few sentences. In 1863 Mr. William Wickes started a
mission school, which afterward grew into the present Cumberland Street
Church. In 1866 occurred that wonderful work of grace that resulted in
the addition of 320 souls to our membership, one hundred of them heads
of families. As a thank-offering to God for that rich blessing the
Memorial Mission School was established, which was soon organized into
the Memorial Presbyterian Church, now on Seventh Avenue, under the
excellent pastorate of my Brother Nelson. During the winter of 1867 a
conference of gentlemen was held in yonder study which set on foot the
present Classon Avenue Church, where my Brother Chamberlain administers
equally satisfactorily. Olivet Mission was organized in 1874. It will
always be fragrant with the memory of Horace B. Griffing, its first
superintendent. The Cuyler Chapel was opened on Atlantic Avenue in
March, 1886, by our Young People's Association, who are maintaining it
most vigorously. The little Corwin Mission on Myrtle Avenue was
established by a member of the church to perpetuate his name, and is
largely sustained by members of this church.
Of all the efficient, successful labors of the Lafayette Avenue
Temperance Society, the Women's Home and Foreign Missionary Society,
their Benevolent Society, the Cuyler Mission Band, the Daughters of the
Temple, and other kindred organizations. I have no time or place to
speak this morning. But I must repeat now what I have said in years
past, that the two strong arms of this church are its Sunday School and
its Young People's Association. The former has been kept well up to the
ideal of such an institution. It is that of a training school of young
hearts for this life and for the life to come. God's blessing has
descended upon it like the morning dew. Of the large number of children
that have been enrolled in its classes 730 have been received into
membership with this church alone, and to the profession of faith in
Christ--to say nothing of those who have joined elsewhere. Warmly do I
thank and heartily do I congratulate our beloved brother, Daniel W.
McWilliams, and his faithful group of teachers, and the Superintendent
of the primary department and her group of assistants, on the seal which
God has set upon their loving work. They contemplate the long array of
children whom they have guided to Jesus; and they, too, can exclaim,
"What is our joy or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the Lord?"
If the Sunday School has rendered good service, so has the well-drilled
and well-watered Young People's Association. The fires of devotion have
never gone out on the altar of their Monday evening gatherings. For
length of days and number of membership combined, probably it surpasses
all similar young people's associations in our country. About three
thousand names have been on its membership roll, and of this number
twelve have set their faces toward the Gospel ministry. Oh, what a
source of joy to me that I leave that association in such a high
condition of vigor and prosperity! No church can languish, no church can
die, while it has plenty of young blood in its veins.
What has been the outcome of these thirty years of happy pastorate? As
far as the results can be tabulated the following is a brief
summary:--During my pastorate here I have preached about 2,750
discourses, have delivered a very large number of public addresses in
behalf of Sunday Schools, Young Men's Associations, the temperance
reform, and kindred enterprises for advancing human welfare. I have
officiated at 682 marriages. I have baptized 962 children. The total
number received into the membership of this church during this time has
been 4,223. Of this number 1,920 have united by a confession of their
faith in Jesus Christ. An army, you see, an army of nearly two thousand
souls, have enlisted under the banner of King Jesus, and taken their
"sacramentum," or vow of loyalty, before this pulpit. What is our crown
of rejoicing? Are not even they in the presence of Christ at His
It is due to you that I should commend your liberality in gifts to God's
treasury. During these thirty years over $640,000 have been contributed
for ecclesiastical and benevolent purposes, and about $700,000 for the
maintenance of the sanctuary, its worship, and its work. Over a million
and a quarter of dollars have passed through these two channels. The
successive boards of trustees have managed our financial affairs
carefully and efficiently. The architecture of this noble edifice is not
disfigured by any mortgage. I hope it never will be.
There is one department of ministerial labor that has had a peculiar
attraction to me and afforded me peculiar joy. Pastoral work has always
been my passion. It has been my rule to know everybody in this
congregation, if possible, and seldom have I allowed a day to pass
without a visit to some of your homes. I fancied that you cared more to
have a warm-hearted pastor than a cold-blooded preacher, however
intellectual. To carry out thoroughly a system of personal oversight, to
visit every family, to stand by the sick and dying beds, to put one's
self into sympathy with aching hearts and bereaved households, is a
process that has swallowed up time, and I tell you it has strained the
nerves prodigiously. Costly as the process has been, it has paid. If I
have given sermons to you, I have got sermons from you. The closest tie
that binds us together is that sacred tie that has been wound around the
cribs in your nurseries, the couches in your sick chambers, the chairs
at your fireside, and even the coffins that have borne away your
precious dead. My fondest hope is that however much you may honor and
love my successor in this pulpit, you will evermore keep a warm place in
the chimney-corner of your hearts for the man that gave the best thirty
years of his life to your service.
Here let me bespeak for my successor the most kind and reasonable
allowance as to pastoral labors. Do not expect too much from him. Very
few ministers have the peculiar passion for pastoral service that I have
had; and if Christ's ambassador who shall occupy this pulpit proclaims
faithfully the whole Gospel of God and brings a sympathetic heart to
your houses, do not criticize him unjustly because he may not attempt to
make twenty-five thousand pastoral visits in thirty years. House to
house visitation has only been one hemisphere of the pastor's work. I
have accordingly endeavored to guard the door of yonder study so that I
might give undivided energy to preparation for this pulpit.
You know, my dear people, how I have preached and what I have preached.
In spite of many interruptions, I have honestly handled each topic as
best I could. The minister that foolishly runs races with himself is
doomed to an early suicide. All that I claim for my sermons is that they
have been true to God's Book and the cross of Jesus Christ--have been
simple enough for a child to understand, and have been preached in full
view of the judgment seat. I have aimed to keep this pulpit abreast of
all great moral reforms and human progress, and the majestic marchings
of the kingdom of King Jesus. The preparation of my sermons has been an
unspeakable delight. The manna fell fresh every morning, and it had to
me the sweetness of angels' food. Ah, there are many sharp pangs before
me. None will be sharper than the hour that bids farewell to yonder
blessed and beloved study. For twenty-eight years it has been my daily
home--one of the dearest spots this side of Heaven. From its walls have
looked down upon me the inspiring faces of Chalmers, Charles Wesley,
Spurgeon, Lincoln and Gladstone; Adams, Storrs, Guthrie, Newman Hall,
and my beloved teachers, Charles Hodge and the Alexanders of Princeton.
Thither your infant children have been brought on Sabbath mornings,
awaiting their baptism. Thither your older children have come by
hundreds to converse with me about the welfare of their souls. Thither
have come all the candidates for admission to the fellowship of this
church, and have made there their confession of faith and their
allegiance to Christ. Oh, what blessed interviews with inquirers have
been held there! What sweet and happy fellowship with my successive
bands of helpers, some of whom have joined the general assembly of the
redeemed in glory. That hallowed study has been to me sometimes a Bochim
of tears, and sometimes a Hermon, when the vision was of no man save
Jesus only. And the work there has been a wider one for a far wider
multitude than these walls contain this morning. I have written there
nearly all the hundreds of articles which have gone out through the
religious press, over this country, over Great Britain, over Europe,
over Australia, Canada, India, and New Zealand. During my ministry I
have published about 3,200 of these articles. Many of them have been
gathered into books, many of them translated into Swedish, Spanish,
Dutch, and other foreign tongues. They have made the scratch of a very
humble pen audible to Christendom. The consecrated pen may be more
powerful than the consecrated tongue. I devoutly thank God for having
condescended to use my humble pen to the spread of his Gospel; and I
purpose with His help to spend much of the brief remainder of my life in
preaching His glorious Gospel through the press.
I am sincerely sorry that the necessities of this hour seem to require
so personal a discourse this morning; but I must hide behind the
example of the great Apostle who gave me my text. Because He reviewed
His ministry among His spiritual children of Thessalonica, I may be
allowed to review my own, too--standing here this morning under such
peculiar circumstances. These thirty years have been to me years of
unbounded joy. Sorrow I have had, when death paid four visits to my
house; but the sorrow taught sympathy with the grief of others. Sins I
have committed--too many of them; your patient love has never cast a
stone. The faults of my ministry have been my own. The successes of my
ministry have been largely due under God, to your co-operation, and,
above all, to the amazing goodness of our Heavenly Father. Looking my
long pastorate squarely in the face, I think I can honestly say that I
have been no man's man; I have never courted the rich, nor wilfully
neglected the poor; I have never blunted the sword of the Spirit lest it
should cut your consciences, or concealed a truth that might save a
soul. In no large church is there a perfect unanimity of tastes as to
preaching. I do not doubt that there are some of you that are quite
ready for the experiment of a new face in this pulpit, and perhaps there
may be some who are lusting after the fat quail of elaborate or
philosophic discourse. For thirty years I have tried to feed you on
"nothing but manna." Whatever the difference of taste, you have always
stood by me, true as steel. This has been your spiritual home; and you
have loved your home, and you have drunk every Sunday from your own
well, and though the water of life has not always been passed up to you
in a richly embossed silver cup, it has drawn up the undiluted Gospel
from the inspired fountain-head. To hear the truth, to heed the truth,
to "back" the truth with prayer and toil, has been the delight of the
stanchest members of this church. Oh, the children of this church are
inexpressibly dear to me! There are hundreds here to-day that never had
any other home, nor ever knew any other pastor. I think I can say that
"every baptism has baptized us into closer fellowship, every marriage
has married us into closer union, every funeral that bore away your
beloved dead, only bound us more strongly to the living." Every
invitation from another church--and I have had some very attractive ones
that I never told you about--every invitation from another church has
always been promptly declined; for I long ago determined never to be
pastor of any other than Lafayette Avenue Church.
What is my joy or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye--ye--in the
presence of Christ at His coming? Why, then, sunder a tie that is bound
to every fibre of my inmost heart? I will answer you frankly. There must
be no concealment or false pretexts between us. In the first place, as
I told you two months ago, I had determined to make my thirtieth
anniversary the terminal point of my present pastorate. I determined not
to outstay my fullest capacity for the enormous work demanded here. The
extent of that demanded work increases every twelve months. The
requirements of preaching twice every Sunday, to visit the vast number
of families directly connected with this church, attending funeral
services, conferring with committees about Christian work of various
kinds, and numberless other duties--all these requirements are
prodigious. Thus far, by the Divine help, I have carried that load. My
health to-day is as firm as usual; and I thank God that such forces of
heart and brain as He has given me are unabated. The chronic catarrh
that long ago muffled my ears to many a strain of sweet music, has never
made me too deaf to hear the sweet accents of your love. But I
understand my constitution well enough to know that I could not carry
the undivided load of this great church a great while longer without the
risk of breaking down; and there must be no risk run with you or with
myself. I also desire to assist you in transferring this magnificent
vessel to the next pilot whom God shall appoint; and I wish to transfer
it while it is well-manned, well-equipped, and on the clear sea of an
unbroken financial and spiritual prosperity. No man shall ever say that
I so far presumed on the generous kindness of this dear church as to
linger here until I had outlived my usefulness.
For these reasons I present to-day my resignation of this sacred,
precious charge. It is my honest desire and purpose that this day must
terminate my present pastorate. For presenting this resignation I alone
am responsible before God, before this church and before the world. When
you shall have accepted my resignation, the whole responsibility for the
welfare of this beloved church will rest on your shoulders--not on mine.
My earnest prayer is that you may soon be directed to the right man to
be your minister, to one who shall unite all hearts and all hands, and
carry forward the high and holy mission to which God has called you. He
will find in me not a jealous critic, but a hearty ally in everything
that he may regard for the welfare of this church.
As for myself I do not propose to sit down on the veranda and watch the
sun of life wheel downward in the west. The labors of a pen and of a
ministry at large will afford me no lack of employment. The welfare of
this church is inexpressibly dear to me--nothing is dearer to me this
side of heaven. If, therefore, while this flock remains shepherdless,
and in search of my successor, I can be of actual service to you in
supplying at any time this pulpit or performing pastoral labor, that
service, beloved, shall be performed cheerfully.
The first thought, the only thought with all of us, is this church,
_this church_, THIS CHURCH. I call no man my friend, you must call no
man your friend that does not stand by the interests of Lafayette Avenue
Church. It is now called to meet a great emergency. For the first time
in twenty-eight years this church is subjected to a severe strain.
During all these years you had very smooth sailing. You have never been
crippled by debt; you have never been distracted with quarrels, and you
have never been without a pastor in your pulpit or your homes when you
needed him. And I suppose no church in Brooklyn has ever been subjected
to less strain than this one. Now you are called upon to face a new
condition of things, perhaps a new danger--certainly a new duty. The
duty overrides the danger. To meet that duty you are strong in numbers.
There are 2,350 names on your church register. Of these many are young
children, many are non-residents who have never asked a dismission to
other churches; but a great army of church members three Sabbaths ago
rose up before that sacramental table. You are strong in a holy harmony.
Let no man, no woman, break the ranks! You are strong in the protection
of that great Shepherd who never resigns and who never grows old. "Lo! I
am with you always! Lo! I am with you always! Lo! I am with you
always!" seems to greet me this morning from every wall of this
sanctuary. I confidently expect to see Lafayette Avenue Church move
steadily forward with unbroken column led by the Captain of our
salvation. All eyes are upon you. The eye that never slumbers or sleeps
is watching over you. If you are all true to conscience, true to your
covenants, true to Christ, the future of this dear church may be as
glorious as its past. And when another thirty years have rolled away, it
may still be a strong tower of the truth on which the smile of God shall
rest like the light of the morning. By as much as you love me, I entreat
you not to sadden my life or break my heart by ever deserting these
walls, or letting the fire of devotion burn down on these sacred altars.
The hands of the clock warn me to close. This is one of the most trying
hours of my whole life. It is an hour when tears are only endurable by
being rainbowed with the memory of tender mercies and holy joys. When my
feet descend those steps to-day, this will no longer be my pulpit. I
surrender it back before God into your hands. One of my chiefest sorrows
is that I leave some of my beloved hearers out of Christ. Oh, you have
been faithfully warned here, and you have been lovingly invited here;
and once more, as though God did beseech you by me, I implore you in
Christ's name to be reconciled to God. This dear pulpit, whose teachings
are based on the Rock of Ages, will stand long after the lips that now
address you have turned to dust. It will be visible from the judgment
seat; and its witness will be that I determined to know not anything
among you save Jesus Christ and Him crucified. To-day I write the last
page in the record of thirty bright, happy, Heaven-blessed years among
you. What is written is written. I shall fold up the book and lay it
away with all its many faults; and it will not lose its fragrance while
between its leaves are the pressed flowers of your love. When my closing
eyes shall look on that record for the last time, I hope to discover
there only one name--the name that is above every name, the name of Him
whose glory crowns this Eastern morn with radiant splendor, the name of
Jesus Christ, King of kings, and Lord of lords. And the last words I
utter in this sacred spot are unto Him that loves us and delivers us
from sin with His precious blood; and unto God be all the praise and
thanks and dominion and glory for ever and ever. Amen.
Adams, Dr. William, 201-205.
Albert, Prince, 32.
Alexander, Archibald, 82, 191-3.
Alexander, Dr. James W, 9.
Alexander, Dr. Joseph Addison, 82, 193-5.
Alexander, Stephen, 9.
Allen, Mr. Alexander, 314.
Allison, William J, 121.
American Seamen's Friend Society, 255.
Anderson, Captain James, 146, 149.
Armstrong, Samuel C, 158.
Astor, John Jacob, 273, 275-6.
Aurora, birthplace, I.
Bailey, Joshua, 57.
Baillie, Mrs. Joanna, 30-1.
Barnes, Albert, 195.
Batcheler, General, 231.
Beecher, Henry Ward, 150, 152, 213-15, 295.
Beecher, Miss Catherine, 231.
Binney, Thomas, 170-172.
Blair, General Francis P., 10.
Bonar, Dr. Horatius, 40, 42.
Booth, Mrs. Catherine, 265.
Booth, General, 265.
Bowring, Sir John, 39-40.
Bright, John, 27, 134, 316.
Brown, Dr. John, 105, 109, 147.
Brooks, Phillips, 195.
Burns, Robert, 12, 17-19, 26.
Bushnell, Horace, 190-1.
Byron, Lord, 13.
Campbell, Thomas, 31.
Carlyle, Thomas, 23-9.
Carnaham, Dr., President of Princeton, 9.
Carnegie, Andrew, 59-60, 275.
Cary, Edward, 301.
Cass, General Lewis, 34.
Channing, Dr. Ellery, 31.
Chauncey, Charles, 63.
Cheeseman, Dr. William, 322.
Chi Alpha Society, 319.
Christian Endeavor (See Young People's Society of, etc.).
Clark, Rev. Francis E., 87, 247, 258.
Comstock, Anthony, 264.
Cook, Joseph, 231.
Cox, Dr. Samuel Hanson, 209-13.
Crosby, Fanny, 43.
Cunningham, Professor, 13.
Cuyler, Benjamin Ledyard, Dr. Cuyler's father, 2; died, 3.
Cuyler, General, 2.
Cuyler, Dr., ancestry, 1, 2; childhood, 3; farm life, 4; early
religious training and reading, 5; preparation for college,
8; college memories, 9-11; visits England and
France, Wordsworth, Dickens, Carlyle, Mrs. Baillie,
the Young Queen, Napoleon, 12-36; first public address,
1842, 49, 50; visits Stockholm, 46; delivers his first
address in New York, 54; President National Temperance
Society, 57; views on temperance, 58-59;
chooses the ministry, 61; at Princeton Seminary, 62;
first pastorate, 62, 83; preaches at Saratoga, 64; methods
of preaching, 64-73; changes in pulpit methods, 75-81;
preaches five months at Wyoming Valley, 83, 84; work
in New York, 85, 86; Lafayette Avenue, 1860, 86;
methods of church work, 87-90; first literary contributions,
93; origin of "Under the Catalpa," 95; extent
of literary labors, 95; first book, 96; inspiration of
"The Empty Crib," 96; inspiration of "God's Light on
Dark Clouds," 97; visits to famous people abroad,
Gladstone, 99-104, Dr. John Brown, 105-109; Dean
Stanley, 109-115; Earl Shaftesbury, 116, 117, interviews
with famous people at home--Irving, 118-121; Whittier,
121-125; Webster, 125-132; Greeley, 132-137; Civil War,
138, services to "The Christian Commission," 130; at
Washington, 131; first meeting with Lincoln, 142; to
Europe in 1862, 145-149; at Edinburgh, 146-147; at
Paris, 148; address on Emancipation, 149-150; trip to
Charleston, Fort Sumter, 151; views on pastoral work,
159-169; British pastors--Binney, 170-72; Hamilton,
172-3, Guthrie, 175-76; Hall, 177-181; Spurgeon,
181-86; Duff, 187-89; reminiscences of Princeton Seminary
preachers, 191, reminiscences of famous American
preachers--Phillips Brooks, 190; Horace Bushnell,
191-2, Archibald Alexander, 191-3; Joseph Addison
Alexander, 193-5; Albert Barnes, 195, Dr. William
B. Sprague, 196-197; Dr. Stephen H. Tyng, 197-200,
Dr. William Adams, 201-5; Samuel Hanson
Cox, 209-13; Henry Ward Beecher, 213-15; Rev.
Charles G. Finney, 216-220; Dr. Benjamin M.
Palmer, 221-223; summering at Saratoga, 224-232;
meets leading Methodists--Bishop Jaynes, Bishop
Simpson, Bishop Peck, etc, 227-8, Bishop Haven,
229-31; summering at Mohonk, 232; Dr. Schaff, 235;
Dr. McCosh, 237-9; Mr. Smiley, 240; Indian Conferences
at Mohonk, 240; "Arbitration Conference," 240;
letter from President Harrison, 242, preservation of
health, 243, growth of church fellowship and diminution
of sectarianism, 244-9; exchanging pulpits, 246-9,
women in the pulpit--Miss Smiley, 249-50; foreign
missions, 251-254; Young Men's Christian Association,
255-57; Christian Endeavor Society, 258; missionary
work in New York, 260-268; missionary work in
Brooklyn, 268-272; views on the modern novel, 281-82;
views on the new theology, 285-87; ministry in
Burlington and Trenton, N J, 288, marriage, 289;
his wife, 289-292; Market Street Dutch Reformed
Church of New York, 292-294; calls to various
churches, 292; Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church,
294; Brooklyn, 298; house, 302-303; death of his mother,
304, death of his daughter, 304-5; celebration of quarter
century of ministry at Lafayette Church, 306;
resignation from the church, 307-09; travels, 314-317;
commemoration of 80th birthday, 317-20, valedictory
sermon, delivered at Lafayette Avenue Church, 325-46.
Cuyler, Theodore Ledyard, Jr., 323.
Dayton, Hon. William L, 148.
Delano, Captain Joseph C, 12.
Dickens, Charles, 20-22.
Dix, General, 57.
Dod, Albert B, 9.
Dod, Hon. Amzi, 11.
Dodge, Hon William E, 56, 57, 275.
Dow, Neal, 53-55.
Drummond, Henry, 303.
Duff, Dr. Alexander, 187-89.
Duffield, John T., 10.
Faraday, Sir Michael, 10.
Farrar, Archdeacon, 248.
Finney, Rev. Charles G., 76, 216-220.
Girard, Stephen, 273.
Gladstone, William E., 99, 104, 272.
Gough, Hon. John B, 51-53.
Gould, Miss Helen M., 251.
Greeley, Horace, 132-137.
Gregg, Rev. Dr. David, 312.
Grellet, Stephen, 121.
Gurney, Mrs. Joseph John, 121.
Guthrie, Dr. Thomas, 175-176.
Hackett, Horatio B., 231.
Hall, Rev Newman, 26, 177-181.
Hamilton College, 2
Hamilton, Dr. James, 172-3
Harrison, President Benjamin, letter to Dr. Cuyler, 242.
Harvey, Sir George, 107
Hatfield, Dr. Edward F., 47.
Haven, Bishop, 229-31.
Hayes, President R.B., 235.
Henry, Joseph, 9, 10, 140.
Hodge, Archibald Alexander, 10.
Hodge, Dr. Charles, 82.
Hopkins, Dr. Mark, 57
Howard, General O.O., 57.
Hoxie, Judge, 151, 152.
Huntington, Daniel, 259
Irving, Washington, 118-121.
James, John Angell, 174
Jaynes, Bishop, 227-8
Jesup, Morris K., 274
Judson, Adoniram, 253.
Kirk, Rev. Edward N, 73.
Ledyard, General Benjamin, Dr. Cuyler's grandfather, 1.
Ledyard, Hon Henry, 34.
Ledyard, Mary Forman, Dr. Cuyler's grandmother, 2.
Lewis, Senator Dixon H., 127.
Lincoln, Abraham, 141-146, 152-157, 229.
Little, Mr., founder of the "Living Age," 205.
Livingstone, David, 174.
Longfellow, Henry Wordsworth, 24.
Mandeville, Rev. Gerrit, 8.
Marquand, Frederick, 256.
Mason, Dr. Lowell, 43, 44.
Mathew, Father Theobald, 49-51.
Mathiot, Annie E., Dr. Cuyler's wife, 289.
Melvill, Henry, 170.
Miller, Dr. Samuel, 82.
Moffat, Robert, 174.
Mohonk, 224, 232-42.
Mohonk Lake Mountain House, 232-242.
Montgomery, James, 37-8.
Montgomery, Satan, 38.
Moody, Dwight L., 90-91, 216, 247.
Morrell, Charles Horton, 4.
Morrell, Louise Frances, Dr. Cuyler's mother, 2.
Mott, Richard, 121.
Muhlenberg, Dr. William Augustus, 45-6.
McBurney, Robert, 256.
McChyne, Robert Murray, 315.
McCosh, President of Princeton, 237-9.
McSloane, Bishop Charles P., 247.
McKelway, Dr. St. Clair, 301.
McLaren, Dr. Alexander, 66, 73, 172.
McLean, "Uncle Johnny," 9.
Napoleon, Grand Army of, 35.
Napoleon's Tomb, 35-6.
National Temperance Society and Publication House, 55, 57.
Nixon, John T., 10.
Palmer, Dr. Benjamin M., 221-223.
Palmer, Dr. Ray, 43-5.
Park, Edwards A., Professor, 209.
Pease, Rev. L.M., 260.
Peck, Bishop, 228
Phillipe, Louis, 34
Pierpont, John, 231.
Pratt, Charles, 274
Prentiss, Mrs. Elizabeth Payson, 47.
Raffles, Dr., 12.
Renwick, Professor, 13.
Robertson, Frederick W., 73.
Rockefeller, John D., 274.
Roe, Robert, 317
Salvation Army, 265-7
Sankey, Ira D., 91
Schaff, Dr. Philip, 235-7.
Schlieman, Dr., 316
Scott, Sir Walter, 16, 17, 30.
Scudder, Edward W., 10.
Seward, William H., 323.
Shaftesbury, Earl, 116-117.
Sloane, Rev. M., 42
Simpson, Bishop Matthew, 228-9
Smiley, Mr., Indian and Arbitration Conferences, 240-1.
Smiley, Miss Sara F., 249.
Smith, Dr. Samuel F., 46-47
Society for the Prevention of Vice, 264,
Southey, Robert, 16.
Spalding, Levi, 251.
Spurgeon, Charles H., 181-86.
Spurgeon, Rev. Thomas, 186
Sprague, Dr. William B., 196-197.
Stanley, Dean, 109-115
Stitt, Dr., 255.
Storrs, Dr. Richard S., 205-209
Strong's, Dr., Remedial Institute at Saratoga, 227.
Temple, Dr., 248
Thompson, Rev. Charles Lemuel, 319.
Torrey, Dr. John, 9
Tweedie, William, 317
Tyng, Dr. Stephen H., 197-200
Valedictory Sermon, 325-46
Van Buren, President Martin, 231.
Van Rensellaer, 93
Vickers, Mr., 37-8
Victoria, Queen, 32-4.
Walker, Richard W., 10
Washington, Booker T., 158
Webster, Daniel, 125-132
Wells College, 3
Whitcomb, Miss Mary, 51.
Whittier, John G., 121-125.
Wilberforce, William, 22
Willard, Frances E., 231.
Williams, Sir George, 116, 246-7, 255.
Wilson, Professor, "Christopher North," 13.
Wilson, Vice-President Henry, 231.
Woman's Christian Temperance Union, 60.
Wordsworth, William, 13-16.
Young Men's Christian Association, 246-7, 255.
Young People's Society of Christian Endeavor, 246-7
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