ST. ANN'S CHURCH FOR DEAF-MUTES
PRESENTED AT A PUBLIC MEETING
IN THE LARGE CHAPEL OF THE UNIVERSITY,
WEDNESDAY EVENING, NOVEMBER 16, 1853,
Proceedings of a Meeting held by Deaf-Mutes,
THURSDAY EVENING, DECEMBER 1st, 1853
The following gentlemen constitute the Committee under whose general directions the building fund for the proposed church will be completed and expended:--
JONATHAN M. WAINWRIGHT, Chairman.
ROBERT GRACIE, Secretary.
AUGUSTIN AVERILL, Treasurer, No. 47 South Street.
PROSPER M. WETMORE, BENJAMIN B. WINTHROP, FRANCIS VINTON, J. WATSON WEBB, BENJAMIN I. HAIGHT, G. THURSTON BEDELL, BENJAMIN C. CUTLER, G. JARVIS GEER, CYRUS CURTISS, SULLIVAN H. WESTON, HARVEY P. PEET, ROBERT D. WEEKS, W. A. SPENCER.
At the public meeting in behalf of ST. ANN’S CHURCH FOR DEAF-MUTES, held in the University, on Wednesday evening, November 16th, 1853, It was unanimously
Resolved,--That the Committee (mentioned on the foregoing page) be continued for the ensuing year; that renewed efforts be made to complete the building fund; and also, that the address of the Rev. THOMAS GALLAUET, the letter of Mr. JOHN CARLIN, and the poetical appeal in behalf of the church, be published for distribution.
The following Address of the Rev. Thomas Gallaudet
was originally delivered on the first Sunday of October, 1853,
being the first anniversary of St. Ann's Church for Deaf-mutes.
MY CHRISTIAN BRETHREN:
I shall not attempt, on the present occasion, to adhere to the unity of thought which should ever characterize a sermon founded upon a text of Holy Scripture, but allow myself to touch familiarly upon the various topics of interest connected with the progress of our undertaking.
We commemorate this day, I trust, with joyous hearts, though in a plain and simple manner, the first anniversary of St. Ann's Church for Deaf-mutes. We, as Churchmen, know that we are engaged in a good work, whenever we attempt to start a new parish which the necessities of increasing population demand: may we not say, without boasting, then, that we believe we are engaged in a particularly good work, in founding a church, within whose fold those may be gathered who have never before felt perfectly at home in the house of God, not only interesting them in a form of public worship which they can read and understand, but also giving them one full service every Lord's day, in their own beautiful and graphic language of signs. The striking adaptation of the Liturgy and all the offices of our church to the wants of deaf-mute persons is so manifest, that [5/6] it is candidly admitted by those even who are attached to the various organizations of Christian people which have their existence in our midst.
It is ever interesting to trace the providential circumstances which have brought about present results,--for though it is a difficult, and oftentimes presumptuous and hazardous matter, to undertake to tell what future events the finger of Providence is indicating, yet, it seems to me, that we are, with faithful and devout hearts, permitted to scan the past, and enjoy the blessed privilege of observing just where God has overruled our own plans and actions for our own good, for the benefit of our fellow-men, and for the glory of his most holy name. What a curious record would that be, which should set forth the various links in the mysterious chain of cause and effect which have drawn out the hearts of each person present towards this church, humbly yet confidently believing that, in the hands of God, it will prove the means of eternal salvation to many who shall come within the reach of its influence.
At the risk of seeming egotistical to the friends I see about me, the loss of whose good opinion would cause me deep regret, I shall presume to call attention to a brief recital of some providential incidents in the life of one, here present, to whom has been assigned the responsible post of centralizing and vitalizing the efforts which have thus far been made. I do this, because I think that most of the incidents are possessed of intrinsic interest, and because I think they are a forcible illustration of the great truth which should sustain the spirits of all who are trying to do good, that there is an unseen hand working out all those changes in life that often seem so mysterious to short-sighted mortals.
The paternal molding of the character of the individual in question, was well calculated to bring about his present position. Paternal admonition, advice, entreaty, warning and [6/7] example, were from the founder of the first institution for deaf-mutes in this country,--a man of forcible character and consistent piety, who had such influence over all who came within reach of his words and acts, especially over his own household, that he frequently induced them to give up cherished plans. Thus, the father, though a Congregational minister himself, and bringing up his family according to the general views of this body of Christians, prevailed upon the son to abandon the favorite idea of entering the most flourishing university in the land under Congregational influence, and to go through the course of study prescribed by the Episcopal college of his native city. This led the way to a knowledge of our church, and to such subsequent convictions of its claims to catholicity, apostolic order, and the possession of the faith once delivered to the saints, that the young graduate was forced to seek for admission into her fold. A strong desire then took possession of his heart to enter at once upon theological studies, as preparatory to a speedy entrance upon the work of the gospel ministry; but parental counsel again interposed with so much effect, that this course was abandoned, and a situation in the institution for deaf-mutes in this city applied for and obtained. Behold how the maternal influence had prepared the way for the proper charge of the new duties assumed. The mother's love and care, the mother's reproof and encouragement, had been manifested only in the language of the beaming eye, the expressive countenance, and the thought-bearing gesture, for she was of the class in whose welfare we feel so deep an interest. The knowledge of conversing freely with deaf-mutes, gained by his mother's side, and by familiar intercourse with the pupils of that institution over whom his father had so long presided, was of incalculable advantage to the inexperienced teacher, soon showing him where the key could be found, which would unlock the hearts as well as the minds of those whom God, in his [7/8] mysterious providence, had constituted so differently from the great majority of their fellow-creatures. Though looking up to his mother with all the respect and love which were due to her high qualities and uncommon character, he had fully determined that it would be inexpedient for him to marry a deaf-mute, but he met with one who disarmed him of his notions, and became his wife. Though constantly looking for the time when he should be presented to the bishop for orders, yet circumstances kept him a candidate for seven long years, and then, having realized the dream of his youth, in taking a personal part in the solemn ordination service, and in feeling the authority-giving pressure of apostolic hands, he, unconscious of the future, took his first step outside of his official duties at the institution, forming and carrying into execution a plan for the benefit of the educated deaf-mutes of this community, just at the time when they were ready to enter into it with zeal, having failed in an endeavor to form a society for mutual encouragement and assistance among themselves. A weekly evening class was organized for religious and miscellaneous instruction, in the vestry-room of St. Stephen's Church, whose rector had become interested in the work proposed to be accomplished. Two were present on the first occasion. In the course of a few weeks, however, it became necessary to obtain a larger room, where from forty to fifty would frequently gather. Two years of such grateful labor, brought at length the conclusion to the mind of the minister that a higher and holier work must be taken in hand. One year ago he had the indescribable satisfaction of conducting, in this place of worship, the first services of St. Ann's Church for Deaf-mutes, and to-day presents himself before its friends, with many thanks for their cheering co-operation, midst the obstacles which must ever cluster around all new undertakings, and asking their prayers that his life and health may be spared till the holy influence of courts consecrated to Almighty God [8/9] shall add grace and symmetry to the heartfelt worship here performed.
My Christian brethren, it is true that, after all, I may have mistaken my calling, and must yet bite the bitter dust of disappointment; but as long as I see around me so many who seem determined that I shall succeed, as long as the services of our church are attended in the manner they have been during the past year, I shall enjoy the satisfaction and powerful stimulant of believing that, in consequence of the providential incidents already alluded to, the number of which might be still farther increased, I have been specially raised up to push forward the important work we have in hand, pledging my untiring devotion to whatever may be necessary to insure its permanence. There is something sublimely invigorating in the thought that we are fulfilling the mission assigned to us by the great Director of all earthly events. We should not be too hasty in determining that, in our present position, we are thus fulfilling our mission; but when at length the conviction forces itself reasonably upon our mind that we are, with what energy, self-sacrifice, and indomitable perseverance should we press forward to the accomplishment of the grand object for which we labor.
Let us, however, always strive to take a calm and considerate view of our position, and the end which we desire to attain. Let us not feel that it should be the all-engrossing concern of society at large. Let us not inflate it beyond proper proportions, but promptly allow the superior or equal claims of such other schemes of good-will to man as are really possessed of them. In all works of practical benevolence, zeal must be combined with discretion, and earnestness must be controlled by judgment. And let us ever be ready to say in our hearts, that if this work, which is so dear to us, is not of God, let it not prosper, but let providential circumstances bring it to a [9/10] speedy termination. This is looking at our labor with the eye of true Christian philosophy. With regard to this church, we are not called upon to assume the attitude of beggars, in soliciting money to defray its expenses, and to increase its building fund. We simply say, here is a newly started church, designed to take special charge of educated deaf-mute persons and their families. The steps in its creation have thus far been regular, in accordance with the course of proceeding laid down by the Protestant Episcopal Church. It has not only the sanction, but the cordial co-operation of the Provisional Bishop of the Diocese. It is waiting for the proper time to come, when it shall be organized into a regular parish, incorporated, and received into the convention; and that in order to a speedy accomplishment of the various ends which it proposes, it needs a church edifice. Having stated our object, and our present condition, we call upon Christian people in general, and Churchmen in particular, to answer whether we ought to go on, or retire from the field we now occupy. If it is their opinion that progress should be the watchword, we must then respectfully ask what sum of money God has enabled them to appropriate to this, as one of the many Christian enterprises that demand their support, and gratefully receive whatever they think it is right to give. This community may rest assured that no system of importunate begging will ever be entered upon in behalf of St. Ann's Church for Deaf-mutes; for we believe that as soon as its mission is thoroughly understood, it will at once be placed where its friends desire it should be.
Listen now, my brethren, to a brief summing up of our doings for the year just past. Divine service has been held twice every Sunday, without interruption--in the morning with the voice, and in the afternoon by signs. This course was adopted, that not only deaf-mutes, but their families, other relations, personal friends, and such other persons as might choose to rally [10/11] around the minister in furtherance of his plans, could have the opportunity of joining together in sustaining one church. When the proposed edifice shall be completed, it is designed to have evening service also with the voice. At morning service, owing to the kindness and constant attention of a lover of music, who promptly consented to assume the responsibility of conducting the singing, assisted by two or three friends, we have enjoyed the privilege of making melody not only with our hearts, but with our mouths, and of ascribing praise and glory to the Lord in those words and strains which have come down to us from the ancient time. Of course, at our silent service, we have attempted to make the harmony of motion take the place of the harmony of sound. Some of the deaf-mutes attend the morning service, and appear to take much satisfaction in reading the prayers and lessons, and it is believed that if they could be surrounded by the solemn associations connected with solemn nave, high, retreating roof, stained glass windows, prominent chancel, font and altar, desk and pulpit, and could have pew arrangements adapted to their wants, that a large number would follow the example of the few, and derive much profit from following the service, thus becoming familiar with verbal expressions for their devotional feelings. On the third Sunday of every month the Holy Communion has been administered, portions of the service being frequently translated into the language of signs, for the benefit of the deaf-mute communicants, of whom there are at present fourteen. I express my own feelings, and I believe the impressions of all who have been present, when I say that the simple solemnity of this beautiful service has never been more deeply realized, than when, even in this ill-suited place for its celebration, the broken bread and the poured wine have been eaten and drunk, in the almost breathless silence which occurs as the elements are passed to those whose ears are closed to vocal sounds. It is due to the rector of St. Clement's Church, [11/12] to state that we have been indebted to his courtesy for the use of the communion-set belonging to that parish. A movement, however, has recently been commenced, by one who is ever ready to help forward efforts to do good, to procure a communion-set which we can call our own. It is to be hoped that success will crown her attempt to cheer us on, and that at no distant day she may experience the pleasure she expects to have, in sending a thrill of joy through our hearts.
The collections at the offertory, and also at the afternoon service on communion Sundays, have been set apart as a fund for the sick and poor, and have amounted to seventy dollars and fifty-two cents. Thirty-nine dollars have been expended in affording assistance to a deaf-mute family in trouble and sickness, in paying portions of funeral expenses, and in relieving the wants of two or three applicants for charity, leaving a balance on hand of thirty-one dollars and fifty-two cents. The receipts from the other Sunday collections and donations, including three hundred dollars from Trinity Church for the rent of this chapel, have amounted to $596 68. The expenses for rent and various incidentals, have amounted to about $471, leaving a balance of $125, which, in accordance with a general wish to that effect, will be considered as the salary of the minister. This, all will agree, is a much more satisfactory pecuniary report, than if we had at once plunged into debt.
On Thursday evening, the 3d of March, a public meeting was held in this room, for the purpose of calling more general attention to our undertaking. The Provisional Bishop presided, and showed, by his warmth of manner and force of words, that his heart was touched by the appeal which was made. A committee of gentlemen were appointed to aid us in our efforts, under whose auspices the building fund has been commenced, and augmented, till it now amounts to nearly $6,500 the greater part of which has been actually paid into the hands of the Treasurer, and placed at [12/13] interest. Through the hot weather, the exertions of this committee were necessarily suspended; but they have it in contemplation to call another public meeting, report progress, and enter anew upon their duties, hoping to raise during the winter the requisite sum of money, and to procure the site, so that the corner-stone of the longed-for church may be laid in the spring.
On Sunday afternoon, the 12th of June, the Provisional Bishop made an official visitation here, and confirmed six deaf-mute persons. There would have been another, but she was prevented from being present by circumstances beyond her control. One of the persons confirmed was a parishioner of St. John's Church, Buffalo, who being a pupil in our institution, received this apostolic rite with the hearty approval of her rector. That deeply interesting service, taken in connection with its wholesome effect upon the prosperity of this parish, offers a forcible illustration of the great advantage of having in the church of God an order of chief pastors, who can pass through the various parts of their diocese, and stimulate the clergy and laity to renewed fidelity in their high and heavenly calling. If the minister of Christ ever grows weary, and suffers his hands to drop at his post, a visitation from his faithful bishop will generally result in increased warmth about the regions of his heart. The blood will course through his veins as of old, and his eye will beam forth the cheerful light his spirit has received from Christian communion with his father in the Lord. Let our prayers to God ascend that the life of our good, self-denying and peace-loving bishop may long be spared to sustain us in the course, which we, as a church, have marked out, and to accomplish all his purposes for the benefit of the diocese at large.
During the year past, the sacrament of Holy Baptism has been administered to three infants, three funerals have been [13/14] attended, and the marriage ceremony performed once: various sick persons have been visited, and such parochial visits made as circumstances would allow. It is a source of regret that other engagements have made them so few and irregular.
Some three or four months ago our Sunday-school was started, and has since been held in this place, at half past nine o'clock, every Sunday morning. It numbers only two teachers and eight scholars, but it is, nevertheless, a beginning, and affords deaf-mute parents the opportunity of having their children trained up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. This opportunity has been gratefully improved by two such families. We desire, moreover, to gather into this school such deaf-mute children as are too young to be sent to the institution.
It would be a pleasing task to recount all the acts of kindness and Christian sympathy which have, from time to time, been extended to us. There have been many at our services whose faces were strange to me, but I knew that they belonged to our great common brotherhood of Christian people, and my heart went forth to them for remembering us and encouraging us, even though they did this by only an occasional attendance upon our services. Our thanks are due to those clergymen, one in particular, who have taken the place of the minister when necessity required him to be absent, and to those professional gentlemen who have so cheerfully rendered their services to the destitute sick. Our thanks are due for Prayer-books, for generous subscriptions and donations, for a gem of poetry, pleading for the speedy erection of our church, and for Christian courtesy on all sides. I must not forget to mention that the venerable missionary bishop of the North-west, promptly responded to the appeal for the building fund, manifesting the wide scope of his charity, even while struggling with all his might for church extension on the extreme limits of advancing civilization.
 My brethren, let us give thanks to God for the great measure of success which he has thus far vouchsafed us, and let us never think of faltering in our onward course, even though we have to submit to many self-denials. My faith is strong enough to believe that the day is not far distant when our eyes shall be greeted with a pleasant sight--St. Ann's Church for Deaf-mutes--a neat, yet substantial and church-like edifice, in an inviting situation, with as much of nature's green about it as city limits will allow, having attached to it a lecture-room, reading-room and library for the Sunday-school, for the intellectual and moral improvement of all the young persons of the parish, though especially for the deaf-mutes, who are cut off from those sources of information and acquisition of knowledge which abound in our city. This accomplished, our deaf-mute friends, in choosing residences, would cluster about the church, forming society for each other, and much reducing the labor of the minister in making them pastoral visits. What a philanthropist would that man of wealth be, who should build for them model lodging-houses, to be rented at moderate rates! And then, after a while, in close proximity to the church, must come St. Ann's Home for Deaf-mutes, where the aged and infirm can be cared for, and have their pathway to the tomb softened by the consolations of our holy religion. This Home must be so endowed that it can receive its inmates from all parts of the country; for how many there are, scattered over the hills and valleys of the land, pining in almost isolated solitude, for light from Heaven to burst upon their fainting spirits. From rooms of sickness, infirmity, and approaching death, they could enter the church, witness her solemn service, and catch something of the spirit of its divine Master, till the lamp of life burned out. What a satisfaction it would be, to minister to the temporal and spiritual wants of these sick and gray-haired children of silence! This, brethren, is my day-dream. How [15/16] soon shall it be realized? We need the help of all persons who are willing to join themselves with us, and submit to much self-denial, in order to labor for such a desirable consummation. What we do, should be done quickly. Two of the funerals already referred to, were of deaf-mute young men, so sadly led astray by wicked companions, as to yield to the seductions of the world, the flesh and the devil. One of them was of weak mind, and we cannot therefore speak with much certainty of his preparation for death. We have some hope, however; for, after a long sickness, in which he suffered excruciating pain, he did seem to be conscious of his sins, and to manifest sorrow for them, with faith in Jesus Christ as his only Saviour, just before his heart gave its last throb. The soul of the other young man passed away sadly, under a dark, dark cloud. A drunken revel, brought on a fit of apoplexy, in which he died. He was possessed of many fine qualities, and in his periods of soberness was the stay of a widowed mother and only sister, by whom bitter tears were shed as his mortal remains were borne away to their last resting-place. Is it not highly probable that, if all our plans had been in operation, such associations would have been thrown around these persons as would have kept them from walking in the counsel of the ungodly, from standing in the way of sinners, and from sitting in the seats of the scornful? How many more young deaf-mute men of promise must be deceived by mad visions of vanity, before we can offer them our quiet reading-room and library, and invite them to our lectures, as sources of rational pleasure, to take the place of the reeking groggery or the gay saloon?
The enlightened Legislatures of our land, and benevolent individuals without number, have wrought a noble work in founding and supporting the various institutions in which deaf-mute children may be made acquainted with the knowledge of [16/17] written and printed language, and thus introduced to the elements of practical knowledge. The progress which some of these pupils have made, is truly remarkable. Moral and religious instruction, too, has been imparted in the school-rooms and in the chapels, and many have learned to love the Lord Jesus Christ, and to strive to obey his precepts. But owing to the peculiar position which all public institutions in this country hold, in consequence of the various conflicting systems of religious instruction having equal rights in the eye of the law, the full and perfect idea of the church, as we hold it, cannot be presented in them. Religious instruction in the chapel is given on Sunday by the teachers in turn, without regard to ministerial functions. The sacraments, of course, are never administered therein, and various other matters which we deem of great importance, cannot be attended to, from the nature of the case. We all have to be guided by circumstances in this world, and the institutions for deaf-mutes in this country have accomplished a grand work, as far as they have gone. We believe that the church of Christ, visibly existing in its ministry and sacraments, is God's great instrument for throwing the serene light of the gospel into the darkened hearts of mankind. In starting and carrying on this church, therefore, we have entered upon a clear and straightforward course. No uncertain notes are here to be sounded; no vague signs are here to be made. Persons who resort to this church for direction in their duty, will be told that in baptism a man receives remission for his sins, and that in the supper of the Lord he receives superhuman strength to aid him in his struggle for heaven. They will be taught, however, that these sacraments are no charms, but that in order to be made effective to the soul's health, they must be received in deep and unfeigned repentance for sin, and in simple faith in the merits of Jesus Christ as the great Redeemer of the world. They [17/18] will be taught, moreover, that faith, to be satisfactory, must show itself in all the blessed works of love to God and goodwill to man that the Saviour proclaimed while sojourning upon earth. They will be taught not to rely in processes, in emotions, in states of mind, in looking at a past point of change in life; but that determined efforts at real growth in grace are the only evidence of the working out of that course of life which will finally, for Christ's sake, be entitled to heavenly rewards.
Our compassionate Saviour healed the deaf man of Decapolis. Ephphatha unlocked his ears, and the finger's touch unloosed his tongue. We can work no miracles, but our efforts are tending to the utterance of this gracious word to the inner man of our deaf-mute brethren. Let us labor, then, cheerfully, that we may bring about the fulfillment of that prophecy of the great Isaiah, which applied not only to our Saviour's missions but, figuratively, to these latter days: "Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing."
Letter of Mr. John Carlin.
 RT. REV. DR. WAINWRIGHT:--
MY DEAR BISHOP.--As you are to preside over the meeting convened to devise means for increasing the building fund to the desired amount, I deem it most proper to give you a few pertinent observations which I have made respecting Rev. Mr. Gallaudet's qualifications and capacities as a minister of religion in a church for deaf-mutes. At the meeting of last year, you asserted that you first doubted the practicability of that above-named gentleman's undertaking, though laudable it indeed appeared, because of the peculiar nature of our misfortune; but when he gave you an explicit explanation of the modus operandi of reciting the creed, you said you became fully confident of his ability and success in his novel, and apparently difficult, enterprise.
Now, my dear sir, I am very happy to assure you that your confidence has not been misplaced; and that his qualifications as a shepherd ministering to the physical and spiritual wants of his flock, have given us all perfect satisfaction, and for his capacities of reciting the creed and of interpreting, by signs, his excellent verbally-written sermons, we feel it our duty to give him full credit. Moreover, his sterling virtues--as a man of strict veracity, honesty and justice--as a sincere and ever warm-hearted friend and advocate of the deaf and dumb--as a preacher of orthodox piety, and full of unaffected zeal and noble disinterestedness in what he is now at work, have endeared his illustrious name to the mute community. I have said his name is illustrious, because it was borne by one of the best men that the world has ever produced--his late father, whose eminent virtues and acts of philanthropy are too well known to need any comment. And as to his disinterestedness, it behooves me to say that he has never sought any pecuniary compensation for his labors, and that I, being myself a man of business, understanding the value of money, which, in the form of a salary, is indeed indispensable to the support of our minister, cannot but feel anxious to obtain and [19/20] secure it for him, and his successors, from the treasury of your wealthy church--I mean Trinity Church--in consideration that he has in his infant church no mute members who are men of wealth, with whom the churches of all denominations are blessed. Here I venture to hope that you will cheerfully lay this delicate subject for consideration before the vestry of said church.
Concerning the building fund, it seems necessary to state that the New-York Institution for the Deaf and Dumb, whither we used to go and attend the chapel on Sundays, is to be removed to the new site, about eight miles from this city--thus rendering the distance too great for us to go thither for that purpose. Imagine how desolate will be the condition of the mute residents of this great city and her sister cities, without having a church of their own to attend. Must they, thus isolated by reason of their want of hearing from those who enjoy that precious blessing, allow their souls to be enthralled by stolid indifference towards religion? Your good heart will say, No! All the hearts of good men will re-echo no.
For these weighty reasons, we are exceedingly desirous to have our church built with all possible despatch. Therefore, we respectfully solicit your goodness to request, through the medium of the press, all the churches of your own diocese, as well as those of the other States, and also the Protestant churches of other denominations, to contribute their mites towards that desideratum.
And, in conclusion, this graceful act of benevolence on their part will be an incense grateful to our hearts, and sweet to the Triune God, whom by his majesty and fatherly love for us all, we, rescued from the thralldom of ignorance and heathenism, have been taught to fear and love; whom, by the sublime sacrifice of his Son's life upon the cross, we have learned to love and admire with mute contemplation; and whom, by his holiness, we have been admonished to worship and adore with mute, but deep veneration.
I am, dear sir, yours, most respectfully,
NEW-YORK, November 15, 1853.
BY A LADY RECENTLY DEPRIVED OF HEARING,
THOUGH STILL RETAINING THE FACULTY OF SPEECH.
YES, build for us a fane,
O friends! that may remain
A noble token of your heaven-born love;
Where, gather'd in that fold,
The wanderer may behold
The path that leads through care to bliss above.
Where we, the silent ones
To whom sweet nature's tones
Are like a sealed book to the curious eye,
May learn, with thankful mind,
Those cheering truths to find,
Whose power can draw the sting from sorrow's sigh.
Where we, who mark how greet
Those favor'd friends who meet
With smiles of gladness and with words that cheer,
But turn on us, perchance,
Only the pitying glance,
May feel that we, as they, to God are dear.
Where we, who tread each day,
Lonely and sad, life's way,
For converse yearning when all round us smile,
May learn that He is nigh,
Whose presence can supply,
More than a brother's love--a solace all the while.
Where, though no thrilling swell
Of pealing organ tell
To mortal ear the accents of our song--
Though never through the air
Rejoicing angels bear
Our supplications' sound to heaven's throng--
Yet shall the full heart pour
From its abounding store
An incense dearer than the censor's fume,
And He, who claims as due
The spirit's worship true,
Shall with his Spirit's light the mind Illume.
Where on the infant's brow,
With prayer and solemn vow,
The signing mark of Christ shall be imprest;
And o'er the bonded head,
When sacred hands are laid,
Petitions rise that each in heav'n may rest.
Where, in the holy bond,
The pledged ones shall be joined,
One to abide till death shall make them twain,
And o'er the sever'd tie,
The weeping heart and eye
Be soothed with hope of meeting yet again.
The hungry, thirsty soul,
By faith's divine control,
May feed on that blest food which satisfies;
The humble penitent
Shall feel, with glad content,
The Saviour's love will not his tears despise.
As drops of noiseless dew
The drooping plants renew,
That withering He beneath the scorching ray,
Those voiceless words shall fall,
Reviving, strengthening all
Who, wearied, bear the burdens of life's day.
Then, build for us a fane
Where we, in joy or pain.
May in our language e'er show forth our praise;
And haply future time
May wake your thankful chime,
That ye this temple fair have help'd to raise.
So on each gen'rous breast
May choicest blessings rest
From Him who gave these words our guide to be--
"Each seed of kindness shown
"To e'en the lowliest one
Of all my people, ye have shown to me!"
[* St Matt. xxv, 40.]
PROCEEDINGS OF A MEETING OF DEAF-MUTES, HELD IN THE
SMALL CHAPEL OF THE UNIVERSITY, ON THURSDAY
EVENING, DECEMBER 1ST, 1853.
The meeting having been called to order at the appointed time, on motion of Mr. Wm. Howell, Mr. John Carlin was elected Chairman.
Mr. GENET nominated Mr. G. W. C. Gamage as Secretary. The latter requested a ballot, which having been taken, he was declared duly elected.
Mr. CARLIN, in stating the object of the meeting, remarked that Rev. Mr. Gallaudet, who had so disinterestedly undertaken to carry out the project of erecting a church, in this city, for the use of deaf-mutes, which would be the first of its kind in the world, was so engaged with the duties of his Professorship in the Institution, and with the preparation of his sermons for Sunday, that it would not be just to allow the whole care of raising funds to devolve upon him. He would, therefore, suggest that an Executive Committee be appointed to push forward the work of soliciting subscriptions for the erection of the proposed church.
This suggestion of Mr. Carlin having been approved of, the following gentlemen were, by ballot, chosen to compose the Committee, viz.: Messrs. G. W. C. GAMAGE, J. H. BENEDICT, WILLIAM HOWELL, WILLIAM GENET, JOSIAH JONES and ROBERT LEEDER. Mr. CARLIN was subsequently added thereto, in virtue of his office.
 Mr. TRIST moved the following preamble and resolution, which were adopted:--
Whereas, there are a number of deaf-mutes having such an endowment of intelligence, combined with good taste and judgment, as should entitle them to the privilege of defining their views in relation to the proposed building for St. Ann's Church, and of representing the sentiments of the unfortunate community for whose use it is intended, therefore,
Resolved, That the Executive Committee be empowered to cooperate with the Building Committee, to whom the erection of the proposed edifice may be entrusted.
Mr. GAMAGE offered a short resolution in favor of the proposed undertaking, and said that about $6,000 had been already subscribed towards the building fund, but we still need $10,000 more. The excellent Institution for the Deaf and Dumb, where they have been accustomed to attend religious exercises on the Sabbath, is shortly to be removed, so that they will find it difficult to go there, as the distance is so great; and at that time, should there be no church erected, many deaf-mutes will thus be surrounded with such temptations as will lead them to ruin. In view of this, he would most respectfully call the attention of this meeting to this subject, and earnestly invite all present to contribute such sums as may be in their power towards the erection of the church.
Mr. GENET suggested that the clergymen of the different churches favorable to the objects of the meeting, should be requested to make collections in their several churches for the building fund.
Mr. GAMAGE presented resolutions expressive of the deep and sincere thanks of the meeting to Bishop Wainwright, and the benevolent gentlemen who composed the committee of which he was the chairman, and to their pastor, Rev. Mr. Gallaudet, for his zeal and untiring kindness in attending to their moral welfare.
 A final resolution was put by Mr. BENEDICT, that the newspapers of this city be requested to publish the proceedings of this meeting, in order that the community may understand that the deaf-mutes desire to have an agent of their own to solicit subscriptions to complete the building fund for the proposed church, as soon as possible. This, and the other resolutions, were carried unanimously.
Rev. Mr. GALLAUDET returned his acknowledgments for the expression of kind feelings to him.
A vote of thanks was then passed to the Press, on motion of Mr. HOWELL which was briefly responded to by one of the reporters present, being interpreted by Mr. Gallaudet.
Mr. CHAMBERLAYNE moved a vote of thanks to Mr. Augustin Averill, for his kindness in taking charge of the building fund.
The meeting was closed with prayer and the benediction by Rev. Mr. GALLAUDET.
DONATIONS TO THE BUILDING FUND
ST. ANN'S CHURCH FOR DEAF-MUTES.
$500.00--Mrs. Loring, of Boston
$500.00--Miss Abby Loring
$714.07--Net proceeds of an Exhibition given by the N. Y.
Institution for Deaf Mutes, at Niblo's, thro' Dr. Peet.
$200.00--Miss C. A. Hedges
$100.00--Walter R. Jones; Spofford & Tileston; Josiah S. Bennet; Cyrus Curtiss; G. S. Robbins; August Belmont; Robert D. Weeks; E. G. Faile; Mrs. P. G. Stuyvesant; N. Denton, of Geneva; John C. Green; W. H. Aspinwall; J. Caswell; Henry Shelden; Henry Dwight, Jr.; A. Norrie; John A. Underwood; Mrs. Banyer and Miss Jay; Mrs. Cornelia W. Thompson of Boston.
$50.00--Henry Coit; John D. Jones; J. W. Alsop; Deforest Maurice; Wm. B. Campbell; James Nack; James W. Underhill; Robert B. Minturn; Mrs. S. F B. Morse of Poughkeepsie; Mrs. Remsen; Commodore Skinner of Washington; Shepherd Knapp; Anson G. Phelps; L. M. Hoffman
$32.00--Subscriptions thro' Miss C. E. Clark
$30.00--Josiah L. Hale
$28.00--Subscriptions thro' Mrs. Williamson, of Gravesend, L. I.
$25.00--P. Nelson Spofford; Daniel H. Arnold; Henry H. Elliott; John W. Culbert; Alexander Fraser; Grant & Barton; Mrs. Okill; B.H. Field; Philip Dater; John L. Aspinwall; H. A. Chittenden; John Jay; William Douglass; S. W. Goodridge; Caleb Barstow; A Friend; C. H. Marshall; G. B. Lamar; Levi Cook; T. C. Doremus; James K. Taylor; R. S. Fellowes; Henry Cary; H. S. Zerbell; J. H. Young; William A. Smith; W.M. Moore; Robert C. Goodhue; Cash; S. Cantrell; J. Sturges; H. C. Olyphant; David Hadden & Son.
$20.00--A Friend; Orlando Wood, Rev Dr. Pyne, of Washington.
$11.27 Savings of Wallis Berrien (deceased)
$10.00--Cornelius Oakley; A lady, through Dr. Cock; Mr. Robison; Cyrus W. Field & Co.; Cash; F. W. Hotchkiss; C. C. Carrow; W. H. Smith; Simeon Draper; R. L. & A. Stuart; W. A. Haines; Mrs. A. A. Meats of Washington; M. O. Roberts; T. O. LeRoy & Co.; Robert Gracie; A Friend.
$7.00--Pupils of T. Gallaudet
$5.00--Croney & Lent; Duncan C. Pell; Miss Susan Swift; Cash; N. S. Ludlam; Cash by Mrs. Park; Cash; T. K. Lees; Mr. Whitehouse; Mr. Ogden; Rt. Rev. Bishop Kemper; Frederick Harter; Mr. and Mrs. John Carlin; Miss Neilson; Cash.
The subscriptions in Washington city were obtained through the exertions of Mr. I. W. Compton, a deaf-mute young gentleman, who has a clerkship in the Treasury Department.
Our acknowledgments are due Mr. John T. Boyd, for his liberality in sending throughout the city, free of charge, between seven and eight hundred circular.