Project Canterbury

The Life and Work of William Augustus Muhlenberg
Doctor in Divinity

By Anne Ayres

New York: T. Whittaker, 1889.



The Muhlenberg Family.--The Patriarch Muhlenberg.--General Muhlenberg's Last Sermon--The Marriage of William Augustus Muhlenberg's Father and Mother in Connection with the Jay Treaty.--Conrad Weiser.--Question as to Whom he Married.

CHAPTER II. 1796-1811.

Birth and Childhood.--Early Religious Sentiment.--Death of his Father.--Preference for the Episcopal Church in his ninth Year.--A Quaker School-master.--The Academy.--Exemplary Boyhood.--Inventive Faculty.--St. James's Church.--Disappointment at the Consecration.--Innate Ecclesiastical Aestheticism.--Boy Journals.--Grammar School of the University

CHAPTER III. 1811-1815.

College Life.--A True Friend.--Youthful Sports.--Confirmation.--Retiring yet Courageous.--The Juniors and the Provost.--Studies.--Church Observances.--Philomathean Society.--College Classmates.--Life-long Friends.--An Impenitent Boy Friend.--Public Affairs.--Closing Events of War of 1812.--A Day of Military Service.--The Treaty of Ghent.--Peace joyfully Welcomed.--Graduated with Honors

CHAPTER IV. 1815-1820.

Study of Theology.--Interview with Bishop White.--The Theological Seminary Question.--Earnest Preparation.--First Communion.--Self-searching Questions at Close of Year.--Reforming the Organ Loft.--Office of Clerk abolished.--Removal to Arch St.--A Prayer in Every Room.--Founded a Church in Huntingdon Co.--Proposed Visit to Europe abandoned.--Ordained Deacon.--Bishop White's Assistant.--Extreme Diffidence at Beginning of Ministry.--Bishop White's Meekness.--Anecdotes.--The Sunday Schools.--Church Music.--An Auxiliary Bible Society.--Visiting among the Poor.--Ordained Priest--Accepts a Call to St. James's, Lancaster.--Letter from Bishop White

CHAPTER V. 1820-1824.

Religion and Learning in Lancaster.--Apathy of the People.--Mr. Muhlenberg's Activity.--Forms a Sunday School.--Interest in Public Education.--Obtains Passage of Bill through Legislature.--Large School-house erected.--Personal Devotion to this School.--Improves the Monitorial System.--Other efforts for Enlightenment of the Town.--The Special General Convention, 1821.--Plea for Christian Hymns.--Effort in another Direction.--Church Poetry.--Hymn Committee appointed at General Convention, 1823.--Mr. Muhlenberg a Member.--Faithful Pastoral Labors.--Extracts from Parish Notes.

CHAPTER VI. 1824-1826.

Joy and sorrow.--Resoluteness.--An Occurrence several Years later.--The Roman Catholic Preacher.--Sentiments regarding Celibacy.--His Journals and Prayers.--"I would not live alway."--History of the Hymn.--His Dissatisfaction with it.--A Fable Apologetic.--Power of Looking at himself Objectively.--Attempted Emendation of the Hymn.--Another in 1876.--Original Version in full.--Why he wrote these several Versions.--Unexpected Popularity of the Piece.--The Attention it drew.--Burdensome Honors.--A Contemporaneous Effusion.--Might have been a Poet.--Byron and Moore.--Conscious of kindred Power.--A Poet of a higher Kind.--Musical Gift.--A rare double Endowment.--Education prospectively his Vocation.--Resigns Charge at Lancaster.--Passage from his Farewell Sermon

CHAPTER VII. 1826-1828.

Christian Schools Essential to the Commonwealth.--Originater of their Type.--Eventful Sunday at Flushing.--His Hymns of this date.--The Hymn Committee.--Association with Dr. H. U. Onderdonk.--Convention of 1826.--The Hymns passed.--Absence of Party Feeling.--A Dinner-Table Talk.--Taken at his Word.--The Flushing Institute.--Exhilarating Effect of a New Project.--Life-Long Fertility in Plans of Beneficence.--Searching the Ground of his Undertaking.--Opposition of Family.--His Mother's Fears.--A Portraiture.--The Reward he sought.--Visits Lancaster.--Dr. H. U. Onderdonk chosen for Assistant Bishop of Pennsylvania.--Carries the Tidings to the Bishop Elect

CHAPTER VIII. 1828-1835.

Flushing Institute in Operation.--Intensity of Religious Conviction.--An Apostle to Youth.--Characteristic Incident.--Theory of the School.--Its Government.--Secretary Forsyth and the Fourth of July.--Not Emulation but Christian Endeavor.--System of Marks.--An Evening in the Institute.--The Church Year.--His Assistants.--Private Interviews with Boys.--Unceasing Efforts for their Salvation.--Little Prayers for Little Things.--"Tabella Sacra."--The Rector's Rules for himself.--The Little Charity Box.--Cold Water Treatment of a Trick

CHAPTER IX. 1835-1839.

Preparations for St. Paul's College.--Repute as an Educator.--Reply to Bishop Doane's Proposal.--Purchase of a Farm near Flushing.--Success of the Institute.--Ten Thousand Dollars of Debt.--His Mother's Aid.--No Thought of Surrender.--Ultimately met his Expenses.--Scenery of College Point.--Laying a Corner-stone that Received no Super-structure.--Enduring Work of St. Paul's College.--Why the Permanent College Edifice was not built.--A noble Principle of Action.--Plans for a Sojourn in Europe.--His Brother's unexpected Death.--Characteristics of Dr. Frederick A. Muhlenberg.--Grief and Tenderness of Survivor.--Turns to Work again.--Temporary Buildings erected.--St. Paul's College begun.--Principles and Discipline of the Same.--The Rector's Increase of Care.--Divine Support.--Tenor of Daily Intercourse with Students.--Tact in Dealing with them.--Skilful Moral Probing

CHAPTER X. 1839-1843.

Exclusion of Emulation as an Incentive.--How it worked.--No Tolerance of Inferior Scholarship.--Examination of 1839.--Instructors educated in Institution.--The Faculty.--Dimensions of Buildings.--Other Statistics.--Dr. Muhlenberg's Proprietorship.--Physical Culture of Students.--Boating,--A Summer Evening Scene.--Impressiveness of the Place.--Noon-tide Chapel Service.--Religious Efforts beyond the College.--Chapel Services on the Great Festivals.--Aesthetic not Ritualistic.--Music and Song.--The Wreath-makers' Ballad.--Ode for the Ashburton Dinner.--Unresting Originating Power.--Numerous Educational Plans.--An Order of Christian Teachers for the Church.--Cadets' Hall.--Prose Compositions.--A Birthday in Retirement.--Spiritual Exercises.--His Christian Watchfulness

CHAPTER XI. 1843-1844.

Fifteen Years of unbroken Service.--Onerous Labors.--A Holiday.--Tractarianism.--Its Impression on him.--Notes from Journals.--Voyage to Europe.--Arnold Buffam.--Sight-seeing.--A Breakfast at Oriel.--John Henry Newman.--Dr. Pusey.--Ravished with Oxford.--In Paris.--The Wesleyan Chapel.--The Saintly Professor.--Preparations for Return.--A Sincere Prayer answered.--His Ecclesiastical Position

CHAPTER XII. 1844-1846.

Forgetting the Things behind.--New Subject for Creative Talent.--Contemplates Relinquishment of College.--What he had Accomplished for Christian Education.--The Church of the Holy Communion.--Why not St. Sacrament?--Peculiar Constitution of Parish.--Architecture of the Church.--Its Interior.--Evangelical Catholic Symbolism.--Church opened for Divine Worship.--Consecration by Bishop Ives.--Last Labors for St. Paul's College.--Its End.--Success of his Educational Work.--Reminiscences of Scholars--Bishop Bedell's Tribute.--Anecdote.--Church Sisterhoods.--A Bow drawn at a Venture.--The First Sister.--Answer to a Young Man asking his Friendship.--"Our Souls must work together."

CHAPTER XIII. 1846-1849.

Began Pastorate in New York.--An Educator still.--His Works linked together.--The Locality.--A Congregation formed.--An exceptional free Church.--Its Attractiveness.--Dr. Muhlenberg as a Preacher.--Pentecostal Days.--Festival and Fast.--Care for poorer Members.--A Christian House-warming.--The Pastor's Cloak.--First Idea of St. Luke's Hospital.--Thirty Dollars.--Dearth of Hospital Accommodation.--How to begin a Work of Charity.--No Charitable Organizations in the City.--Dr. Muhlenberg's Influence on Inner Life of the Church.--Opposite Elements.--Leaf from Journal.--What three Years accomplished.--Origin of Fresh Air Benefit.--First Christmas-tree for the Poor.--Church Seats.--Epigram on Pew Auction.--Origin of Pews.--Bishop Burnet and the Court Ladies

CHAPTER XIV. 1849-1851.

Impetus given to Hospital Project.--A Day in the Annals of the Church.--Public Plea for a Church Hospital.--St. Luke's Incorporated.--A Hundred Thousand Dollars asked.--Large Subscriptions.--Robert B. Minturn and the Anonymous Five Thousand.--First Idea as to Names of Donors.--Review of Cholera Summer.--Death of Choir Boy.--Labors during Epidemic.--Visiting Cholera Hospital.--Another Chorister taken.--Music of the Church of the Holy Communion.--Boy Choirs.--Mode of Supporting a Free Church.--The Weekly Eucharist and Daily Service.--A Missionary Meeting.--Rubrics not Choke-Strings of the Heart.--The Friday Evening Lecture.--The Sacramental System.--Bishop Ives's Submission to Rome.--Would like to wear coarser Clothes.--Devoted filial Love.--His Mother's last Illness and Death.--The Funeral.--Tender Sentiment.

CHAPTER XV. 1851-1852.

Projects an Evangelical Catholic Periodical.--Deference to his Mother's Wishes.--Object of the Paper.--What is Evangelical Catholicism?--General Surprise on Issue of "Evangelical Catholic."--Longings for Christian Unity.--Hints on Catholic Union.--Minor Use of Periodical.--Sisterhood of Holy Communion organized.--Its Principles.--St. Luke's Hospital.--A Young Physician's first Fee.--Significant Bequest.--Negotiations of Corporation of St. Luke's with Church of St. George the Martyr.--Site consecrated before determined upon.--Urgent Demands for Hospital Shelter.--The Embryo St. Luke's in a Rear Tenement House

CHAPTER XVI. 1853-1855.

Memorial to the House of Bishops.--Papers on the Memorial.--A Proper Radicalism.--Dr. Harwood on Origin of Memorial.--Reminiscences by Dr. E. A. Washburn.--Not daunted by Unsuccess.--Ceaseless Efforts for Unity.--A Favor to the Sisterhood.--Infirmary of Church of the Holy Communion.--Happy Service.--Quarantined.--The Pastor's Visits.--Ideal of a Sister of Charity.--Corner-Stone of St. Luke's Hospital laid.--Location.--General Plan of Building.--A Street Incident.--Bearing Injuries

CHAPTER XVII. 1855-1856.

A Summer in Europe.--St. Bartholomew's Hospital.--St. Barnabas, Pimlico.--An Hour with Maurice.--Working Men's Bible Class.--A quiet old Town.--Ely Cathedral.--The House of Peers.--The Lords Spiritual.--Home Thoughts.--Switzerland.--The Silber Horn.--A Sunday at Strasburg.--The Lord's Day in Paris.--Refined Godlessness.--Hubner's Painting.--Delight in his Christmas Gift.--A Reunion.--His Sixtieth Birthday

CHAPTER XVIII. 1856-1859.

Individuality of St. Luke's Hospital.--Fundamental Idea.--Impressive-ness of Building.--Pleasure Grounds for Patients.--Plan of Interior.--Another Hundred Thousand Dollars.--Chapel opened for Worship.--A Hospital Church.--The Furnishing Committee.--A double good Work.--Prejudice disarmed.--Work begun in St. Luke's.--Solitariness of Building.--The first Workers.--The Hospital a Family.--Ways and Means.--Faith the best Endowment.--Harm of a Million of Dollars.--Arrangement with Board of Managers.--A welcome Handsel. Costly and beautiful Gifts.--First Annual Report.--The Hospital Associations


Takes up his Abode in St. Luke's.--A lofty Prophet's Chamber.--Early Rising.--Elasticity and Strength.--Sixty-three years old.--Sacra Privata.--St. Luke's a Monument.--Pertinent Words.--The Methodist's Prayer.--Evangelical Catholicity.--Bedside Ministrations.--Three Sketches by his own Pen.--Religious Services.--Use of the Prayer Book.--Household Evening Worship.--Turning passing Events to Account.--Visitors.--Impression on Different Minds.--Sunshine.


An Episode.--Abhorrence of Slavery.--Fugitive Slave Law.--Free Soil Question.--Republican Battle Hymn.--Votes for Mr. Lincoln.--Triumph.--Bombardment of Fort Sumter.--Shock felt in St. Luke's.--Response to Call for Volunteers.--Resident Physician and Surgeon enlisted.--Other Enlistments from Hospital.--Interest in his Soldier Boys.--National Hymn and Choral March.--A Christmas Morning Address.--A Hundred Thousand Men to be drafted.--Riots.--Colored Orphan Asylum burned.--St. Luke's threatened.--Two Days of Peril.--Dr. Muhlenberg and the Rioters.--The Vigilance Committee.--President's Proclamation for a General Thanksgiving.--The President's Hymn.

CHAPTER XXI. 1865-1866.

Benevolent Activities during War.--The selfish Landlord--Central Park Splendor.--An unrepining Spirit.--Evening Hours.--Soldier Patients.--Favoring the Poorest.--A Riddle.--Keeping Lent.--Efforts for general Observance of Good Friday.--Co-operation of Ministers of various Denominations.--Sermon in Dr. Adams's Church.--Bishop Potter's Pastoral.--Letters to a Friend.--Dr. Schaff's Service in Church of the Holy Communion.--Restoration of Church of Augustus.--Growth of exclusive Sentiment.--Death of Dr. Crusé.--A Pair of Saints.--Anecdotes.--An Olive Branch.--Act of General Convention of 1865.

CHAPTER XXII. 1865-1866.

Keeps up with the Christian Thought of the Day--Literary Ability--Christ and the Bible--"The Woman and Her Accusers"--Ten years without Verse-making--Later Compositions in Music and Poetry.--Talent for Improvising.--Muhlenbergianæ.--Satire and Mimicry.--Old Quin.--Tact in Reproving.--"Deliver us from Evil."--Permission to go to the Theatre.--Ingenious Argument.--The Requiem Mass.--Fluctuations of Temper.--Portrait by Huntington.--Mr. Minturn's Death.--"The Poor Man's Friend and Mine."--Mr. Minturn's Distinguishing Traits.--Anecdote by Bishop Potter.--A Short Funeral Sermon.--The Hospital Burial Plot.

CHAPTER XXIII. 1866-1869.

St. Johnland Begun.--The Benjamin of his Works.--The "Retroprospectus."--Christian Fatalism--Purchase of Farm.--Asks ten more Years.--A valued Birthday Gift.--His Golden Wedding.--Letter Congratulatory and Retrospective.--Funds for St. Johnland.--Tact and Principle in Money Matters.--The Spencer and Wolfe Home.--Three Thousand a Year.--St. Johnland's Gaudy Day.--"Glorious Birthday."--"Brotherly Words."--Foundation of St. John's Inn.--The Boys' House.--Church of the Testimony of Jesus.--Munificent Friends.--Laying Comer-Stone of Church.--Declaration of Evangelical Catholic Principles.--Verses.

CHAPTER XXIV. 1869-1872.

Incorporation of St. Johnland.--Diversified Objects of the Society.--Capabilities of the Place--Not ready for Cottages at first.--Family Life fostered in another Form.--St. Johnland Children.--Evangelical Brotherhood.--Church Services.--"Directory for the Use of the Book of Common Prayer."--Illustration from Supplement.--Dedication of the Church.--St. John's Inn has its House-warming.--A Cottage Tenantry.--Who and What they are to be.--Mistakes Corrected.--Educational as to Family Life.--The Great St. Johnland Text.--An Original Charity.--Transfer of Property to Trustees.--Mr. John D. Wolfe's Benefactions.--Anecdotes.--Influence of Dr. Muhlenberg in enlarged Gifts of Benevolence.

CHAPTER XXV. 1872-1873.

A summer Holiday.--The Peasantry of Europe and St. Johnland.--London.--Essay on Potentiality of the English Bishops. A Birthday abroad.--Home.--A Sea-Song.--The Bells of St. Thomas's Church.--Unimpaired Sensibility and Sportiveness.--Characteristics of early Manhood unchanged.--Extract from Letter.--The freshest of the Party

CHAPTER XXVI. 1873-1874.

One more Effort for Unity.--Address before Evangelical Alliance.--Representative United Communion.--Hedging in the Lord's Table.--Anticipation.--"Veni Creator."--The Dean of Canterbury, Bishop Cummins, and the Archbishop's Chaplain commune in Presbyterian Churches.--A Word going to the Root of the Matter--Liberality of the Episcopal Church as to Communion.--An Evangelical Catholic Union.--Bishop Cummins's Secession deplored.--A published Disapproval.--Reformed Episcopal Church.--Not an earnest Religious Movement.--Illness.--Mental Depression.--Spiritual Communion.--A last Writing in Journal

CHAPTER XXVII. 1874-1876.

Gradual Convalescence.--Never resumed his Pen.--Gleanings from his Friend's Diary.--"Is it not legitimate?"--Visions of St. Johnland.--People asking his Blessing.--Shrinking from Compliment.--Fear of human Praise.--What People asked of him--Esteeming others better than himself.--"Christ is all."--A Conscience void of Offence.--Last Use of his private Journals.--A Visit to the General Convention.--Improved Health.--Could Enjoy a Trip to Europe.--Counts his Residence in St. Luke's a Favor.--Never such another Christian within those Walls.--Delight in small Services for the Poor.--"Don't be too sharp in finding them out."--Notably Victimized.--Nothing more to take care of

CHAPTER XXVIII. 1876-1877.

Seldom at St. Johnland.--Delight in sheltering Children there.--Dr. Adams's Lunch Party.--Another "I would not live alway."--Fourscore not Labor and Sorrow.--The Youth of the Angels.--The right Side of Seventy.--Does not expect to lie down in the Dust.--The Festival of the Ascension.--Happy Gathering at St. Johnland.--The Chapel Service.--The Founder's Well.--Muhlenberg Endowment.--Eightieth Birthday.--"Let me die in my Nest"

CHAPTER XXIX. 1876-1877.

The Shadows lengthen.--Joy and Peace.--Effect of Birthday Tribute.--Public Esteem.--"From Tweed to Dr. Muhlenberg."--His latest Labors.--Last Visit to his Sister.--Washington's Birthday.--Sudden Illness.--Six Weeks of Trial--Died as he had lived.--Simplicity of Burial.--The Arrival at St. Johnland.--Impression on Bishop Kerfoot.--A noble Pageant.--His Grave-stone.--The Contributors.--St. Johnland Cemetery


Effect upon Community of his Death.--Multitude of Tributes.--Extracts from the more important.--The Bishop of Long Island and others.--An Ode "In Memoriam"

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