THE Church of St. James, in New London, appears first to have attained its corporate existence in 1732, by the election of Wardens and Vestrymen, with the father of Bishop Seabury, the Revd. Samuel Seabury, a Missionary of the Society for Propagating the Gospel, as its Rector. The services of the Church of England, however, had been held in New London, with more or less regularity, during several years previous; and the effort to build a church for the use of the congregation was begun as early as 1725, though the building was not completed till 1732. This building was in use until it was consumed in the fire from which New London suffered in the attack upon it by the forces of Benedict Arnold: and the congregation remained without a church until 1787. Bishop Seabury's advent to New London having been some two years before the completion of the new building, he held services for the time being in the Court House, and is said to have celebrated the Holy Eucharist every Sunday in the parlour of his residence, the parsonage-house, which had been erected about 1747. [Annals of St. James' Church, New London, by Revd. R. A. Hallam, D. D., pp. 70, 71.] In this Bishop Seabury resided from his first coming to New London on his return from England, until the time of his death.
"No formal call to the Rectorship," says Dr. Hallam, "is recorded in the Parish Book. Perhaps there was none; but he entered without ceremony on this portion of his diocese as that in which he chose to dwell, and was content to add to the duties of the Episcopate the humble labors of a parochial pastorate. And the people welcomed him gladly, 'esteeming him very highly in love for his work's sake,' and glad and honored to have, as their more immediate pastor, one to whom they owed also the higher affection and respect due to him as their bishop." [Hallam's Annals of St. James' Church, New London, p. 70.]
The family of Bishop Seabury at this period consisted of three daughters, and three sons, all adults. His wife, as has been mentioned, had died while he resided in New York during the War, and one son had died in infancy. The eldest of his children, Violetta Ricketts, born October 9, 1758, was married to Charles Nicol Taylor, who served as an officer in the Royalist army during the Revolution. There were two sons of this marriage, and two daughters; one of whom, Charlotte Violetta, married Isaac Wilkins, a son of Bishop Seabury's old friend who had succeeded him as Rector of St. Peter's, Westchester, descendants of which marriage are still living; and the other of whom, Maria, married Thomas H. Merry, of which marriage also there are still honored descendants.
The second of the Bishop's children, Abigail Mumford, born February 12, 1760, was married to Colin Campbell, and had issue two daughters, one of whom was married to Mr. John Treadwell. I believe there are no descendants of this line.
The third child, born July 20, 1761, is entered by the Bishop in his family record as Mary, though the custom was to call her Maria; a custom which the Bishop may possibly have originated in order to avoid confusion, as Mary was the name of his wife as well as of this daughter. The name Maria does not seem to have been previously a family name, though several of the Bishop's descendants have borne it in remembrance of this daughter of his; who, remaining unmarried, seems to have been his chief dependence in the way of domestic comfort, and not only to have presided over his house, but also to have been very near to him in affectionate companionship.
Samuel, the next child of the Bishop who attained maturity, born October 29, 1765, was a doctor of medicine. He died in comparatively early life, having married Frances Taber; of which marriage there was no issue.
The next son, Edward, born October 5, 1767, married Lucretia Otis, but of this marriage also there was no issue.
The youngest son of the Bishop, born May 29, 1770, and named Charles, after Dr. Inglis, sometime Bishop of Nova Scotia, married Ann Saltonstall, daughter of Roswell Saltonstall of New London, and Elizabeth Stewart his wife. Of this marriage there were five sons, Samuel, Charles Saltonstall, William, Edward, and Richard Francis; of whom Samuel, Charles Saltonstall and Richard Francis married and left issue. The other two sons, William and Edward, died unmarried.
From these brief references it will have appeared that the only descendants of Bishop Seabury bearing his name are those who trace through his youngest son, the Revd. Charles Seabury. Richard Francis, the youngest married son of the Revd. Charles, settled in Illinois, and left there surviving him three sons, Charles, Richard and Samuel. The second son of the Revd. Charles, Charles Saltonstall, who settled on Long Island, had four sons, two of whom, Thomas and Samuel, left male issue. Samuel, the eldest son of the Revd. Charles, followed the course of his father, grandfather and great-grandfather, in receiving Holy Orders, and spent a long, and conspicuously influential and useful life in the discharge of his vocation in New York, as Rector of the Church of the Annunciation, Editor of "The Churchman," and Professor in the General Theological Seminary, lie died in 1872, leaving him surviving several daughters and one only son, the present writer, who has two sons, Samuel Seabury, and William Marston Seabury.
So much in reference to the family of Bishop Seabury it has seemed desirable to record here; yet the purpose with which the record was begun, was not so much to give an account of his descendants, as to indicate the home associations by which he was surrounded in the closing years of his life. There are no traditions in respect to what then constituted his household. The parsonage-house was small, and all the members of the family, except Alaria, being married, it is natural to suppose that they all had their own homes, though probably still in New London. The one exception to this was in the case of Mrs. Taylor who, after her husband's death, made her home with her father; so that the household would seem after that to have comprised herself and her family, as well as her unmarried sister.
Coming back from one of his journeys, October 20, 1792, the Bishop makes the following entry in his Journal:
"Upon my return home, I found my family in deep affliction for the death of my Son-in-law, Mr. Charles Nicol Taylor, who died in September last at Norfolk in Virginia. May God be the protector of his widow and fatherless children, Have mercy upon them, O God, and bless them for Christ's sake. Amen."
In a letter to her husband's sister, Mrs. Matthias Nicol, dated November 3, 1702, Mrs. Taylor writes:
"In bitter affliction I have given up the house I hired with such pleasing expectations, and for the present have returned to my father's whose goodness I have often experienced and always been grateful for."
These references give all the information which appears to be attainable in reference to the Bishop's household. He frequently mentions his sons Edward and Charles in various connections, and once refers to the serious illness of his son Samuel: but there is no reason to suppose that any of these were of his household. Probably his associations were closer with his son Charles, as being his son in the Ministry as well as in the family than they were with the others; and the facts that Charles had married the daughter of one of the wardens of the Parish, Mr. Roswell Saltonstall, and that to some extent at least he acted as his father's assistant in the Church, would render those associations closer.
All traditions represent Bishop Seabury as of robust constitution, constant good health, and remarkable bodily strength. He seems never to have suffered from any extended illness, and to have been always capable of undergoing hardship and labours without fatigue. Dr. Hallam, one of his successors in the Rectorate of St. James, brought up in New London among those who had been personally acquainted with Bishop Seabury and had clear remembrances of him, describes him as in person not very tall, but stout, robust, and massive. Dr. Burhans who had been ordained by Bishop Seabury, and who had many personal remembrances of him, some of which in the latter part of his life he put into writing, describes him as "not above the medium height, of full plethoric habit in proportion to his height, attributing to him also "a high forehead, full face, and dark grey eyes." The Bishop's allusions to his health, in one or two instances in his Journal, intimate, indeed, what it would be natural to expect, that in the course of the last few years of his life he had some warning's of decreasing strength; but there was nothing to keep him from the regular and energetic discharge of his duty. So late as June 9, 1794, which would be in the ninth of the little more than eleven years of his Episcopate, he notes in his Journal "Rain prevented me from visiting Woodbridge according to appointment. N. B. This is the first appointment in which I have failed since I have been in Connecticut--such has been the goodness of God." And there are the records after that of visitations, with many official acts, and many long hard miles of travel; so that his natural force seems hardly to have been abated even to the end. Only one slight attack seems to have been at all serious; and that took no hold upon him. On the 7th of June, 1794, he says, "Some symptoms of a paralytic nature attacked me in the street, and alarmed me very much "; but on the next day, which was Whitsunday, he writes: "Was weak and languid. But God enabled me to go thro' my peculiar duties, & to preach all day. A. M. ... P. M. ... Ordained Mr. Daniel Burhans, Priest, confirmed 35. Dr. Hubbard consecrated the Eucharist." This last item is all that shows him as not fully up to his work; for, no doubt, under ordinary conditions he would himself have been the Consecrator. So, he went steadily on with his regular work of every kind, until one day, after some parochial visits in New London, he stopped at the house of Mr. Roswell Saltonstall, and remained to tea. Complaining at the end of the meal, of a violent pain in the breast, he rose from the table, but instantly fell, and almost immediately expired: a sudden death, in the sense of being the wholly unexpected termination of a long, active and useful life; but, surely, by no means the death unprovided for, against which it may be presumed we chiefly pray in the Litany. No one could have been more conscious than this faithful soldier and servant of Christ, of the need of being always ready to respond to the call of his Master, whensoever it might come to him.
"Blessed are those servants whom the Lord when he cometh shall find watching: . . . and if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants."
The Bishop died on the 25th of February, as we commonly speak, in the year 1796; or, if we may be allowed to use the proper ecclesiastical computation, on the Feast of St. Matthias; the year 1796 having been a bis-sextile or leap year, and what we now call the 25th of February being only the latter part of St. Matthias Day--which, although marked as the 24th in the calendar, is also that sixth day before the Calends of March, the doubling of which is appointed to supply the loss of the twenty-four hours as yet uncounted, and gives to the fourth year its proper name of fcw-sextile. This association of the day of the Bishop's death with the anniversary of St. Matthias, may seem to be fanciful--to some, perhaps, trivial; but I know not who is authorized to set bounds to the range of associations, or to the devout lessons which they are capable of teaching; and to me, I confess, there is something most suggestive and refreshing in the remembrance that the humble and self-denying Christian who was ordained to be the Apostle of the New World, began his earthly life on the Feast of St. Andrew, who, gladly leaving all that he had, was the first disciple of Our Lord; and ended that life on the Feast of St. Matthias, who, being numbered with the eleven Apostles after the defection of Judas, was thus appointed to repair the first breach in the succession of Christ's Apostolic Ministry. ["A leap-year consists of three hundred and sixty-six natural days of twenty-four hours each; but the Church Calendar makes every year, a leap-year as 'well as a common year, to consist of exactly three hundred and sixty-five days; and consequently the intercalated day cannot of itself become a calendar day, but can only be inserted in the Calendar by being joined with another day, and having the same letter with the day to which it is joined. The intercalation is made on the sixth day before the Calends of March, which answers to our 24th day of February; but it is not made by adding a new day to the Calendar year, but by doubling one day in the Calendar year. Hence the sixth day before the Calends of March was twice repeated, and the one day was called the first sixth, and the other day the second sixth; whence the year came to be called Bis-sextile. The proper letter for the 24th day of February is f, and hence the old copies of the Calendar give the rule for that day, "F litera bis numeretur," the letter F must be counted twice; showing that these two natural days are held and accounted to be one and the same Calendar day, having one and the same letter in common." (The theory and use of the Church Calendar in the measurement and distribution of time," by the Revd. Samuel Seabury, D. D., pp. 36, 37.) See also pp. 53-61, of the same work as to the modern assignment of a 29th day of February as the intercalary day; and in regard to the curious controversy in the 17th and 18th centuries as to the proper time of observing St. Matthias' Day in leap-year, in which the author remarks that "the case is one in which the Church has ruled one way, and a convenient compliance with the customs of the world has drawn us the other way." It would appear that the Feast was observed in leap-years on the 25th for more than five hundred years before and since the Reformation, and continued to be so observed in England for many years after the revision of 1662, which was the first to introduce the 29th in the column for February; and that the Roman usage as to St. Matthias has remained unchanged, "the Roman offices requiring the feast to be observed in leap-years on the 25th of February, and the present breviaries having as a running title for the Feast of St. Matthias, "Die XXIV vel XXV Februarii," and expressly directing that the feast shall be celebrated on the 24th in common years, and on the 25th in a leap-year."]
Bishop Seabury having been born November 30, 1729, and dying February 25, 1796, his exact age at the time of his death was 67 years, two [calendar] months, and 25 days; which is noted here because a different account has sometimes been given of it, arising from an ambiguity in one of the inscriptions relating to him. His Episcopate, extending from November 14, 1784, to the date of his death, covered the comparatively brief period of eleven years, three months, and eleven days. A life of trouble, and almost ceaseless strife; of incessant labours and many sorrows; of much misunderstanding and most undeserved reproach! An Episcopate of magnificent opportunities, of which he made the very most that could be made under the restraining and hampering limitations which surrounded him! And yet withal, a life and ministry full of good tempered cheer, and self-surrendered faithfulness; of absolute honesty, fearlessness and devotion; and singularly free from any trace of that self seeking and personal ambition, which sometimes taint the record of most glorious accomplishments! Such a life and ministry as might well make him ready to hear, whensoever it might come to him, the Angelic word of deliverance from the burden of the flesh--"Go thou thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days!" Daniel xii, 13.
There seem to be no contemporaneous records extant descriptive of Bishop Seabury's death. "His funeral," says Dr. Hallam, "was attended without pomp, the only record of it in the register book of the parish being the simple words:
"February 28, 1796. Buried, by the Rev. Mr. Tyler, of Norwich, Right Rev. Samuel Seabury, D. D., Bishop of Connecticut and Rhode Island."
. . . He was buried in the public burying ground in New London, and a table of gray marble placed over his grave, with the following inscription, written by the Rev. Dr. Bowden, of Columbia College, N. Y.:
Here lieth the body of
Samuel Seabury, D.D.,
Bishop of Connecticut and Rhode Island,
Who departed from this transitory scene, February 25th,
1796, In the sixty eighth year of his age.
Ingenious without pride, learned without pedantry, Good without
He was duly qualified to discharge the duties of
The Christian & the Bishop: In the pulpit he enforced religion: In his conduct he exemplified it: The poor he assisted with his charity: The ignorant he blessed with his instruction: The friend of man, he ever desired their good; The enemy of vice, he ever opposed it. Christian! Dost thou aspire to happiness? Seabury has shown the way that leads to it." [Annals of St. James' Church, New London; pp. 77-78.]
The Rev. Dr. Burhans, in the remembrances of Bishop Seabury which he contributed to Sprague's Annals of the American pulpit, quotes a description given of the Bishop's funeral by a certain Mr. Rogers, a Baptist neighbour of Dr. Burhans, which as coming from an eyewitness of the scene is not without its value, and is of interest as suggestive of the regard in which the Bishop was held by the humbler sort among his fellow townsmen. [Vol. V, pp. 154-158. From an extract made for me by Revd. Mr. Hooper.] Mr. Rogers spoke of the Bishop as one of the most mild and exemplary men he ever knew; and, as remarkable for visiting and relieving the sick and the poor, the widow and the orphan. "The most interesting funeral," continued Mr. Rogers, "I ever attended was Bishop Seabury's. It was not only the largest, but the most solemn and affecting. . . . The sidewalks from the Church to the grave for some considerable distance, were lined with the decrepit, the aged, the halt and blind, lamenting their loss; and while their withered cheeks were bathed in tears, their heads uncovered, and their gray locks waving in the wind, their wailing and lamentation were articulate." Dr. Hallam, too, describing Bishop Seabury's pastoral life, speaks particularly of his benevolence and charity, and of his being "always ready to use the medical skill which he had acquired in early life gratuitously for the benefit of the poor and needy, doing good with his narrow income to the utmost extent of his ability; so that when he died, he had 'a tune of orphans' tears wept over him,'--sweetest and most honorable requiem that can attend the bier of any man." [Hallam's Annals of St. James', p. 74.]
Entirely right and earnestly to be desired as it is that the bodies which we commit to the ground, "looking for the general resurrection in the last day and the life of the world to come," should remain always undisturbed in their rest; yet there are sometimes considerations which seem to justify an exception to that rule. The building occupied by the congregation of St. James in New London, which had been consecrated by Bishop Seabury in 1787, had in process of time been found to be insufficient for the work of the Parish, and it was determined to erect a new building, the corner stone of which was laid in 1847, the consecration taking place in 1850. The erection of a substantial and beautiful stone Church which gave every promise of permanence, seemed to carry with it the suggestion to some that it would be a more appropriate resting place for the remains of Bishop Seabury, the former Rector of the Parish, than could be afforded by the public burying ground in which they had been placed. It is perhaps worthy of notice, as having been apt to predispose men to the thought of this transfer, that there had for some time in the earlier history of the parish prevailed the custom, not uncommon in English parishes, of burying the dead beneath the Church. Dr. Hallam, in his Annals of St. James, gives an account of a number of such interments under the first Church of the Parish, destroyed by fire in the War of the Revolution, the last of which interments was that of Mr. Matthew Stewart, one of the original Vestrymen of the Parish, and the father of Roswell Saltonstall's wife; and thus, by the way, the ancestor of Bishop Seabury's descendants through his son Charles. ["Mr. Stewart died in 1779, and was, doubtless, the last person laid underneath the Church. Being an ardent Royalist, he became obnoxious to public feeling, and was a virtual prisoner in his own house. And tradition says that his death was concealed to avoid popular violence, and his body interred by torchlight, on Sunday evening, under the old Church,"--Hallam's Annals of St. James, pp. 27, 28.]
Speaking of this removal of Bishop Seabury's remains, Dr. Hallam says, "It seemed a proper thing, especially as he had been rector of the parish as well as bishop of the Diocese, that they should now be transferred to the Church, and a suitable monument to his memory be placed over them. The idea found favor, both in the parish and in the Diocese at large. The Convention of the Diocese, held June 8, 1847, passed the following vote: 'That a Committee of three be appointed to collect, through private donations, a sum sufficient for the erection of a monument, of suitable stability and beauty, to the memory of the first Bishop of this Diocese, to be placed, with the consent of the vestry, within the walls of the new Church of his former Parish, St. James's, New London.' . . . The parish, on its part, though heavily, taxed for the erection of the Church, met the call handsomely and liberally. The work of preparing a design for the monument, and attending to its execution, was entrusted to Mr. Upjohn. [Mr. Richard Upjohn, who had made himself a name in the erection of the Church of the Ascension, and Trinity Church, New York, was also the architect of St. James' Church, New London.--Hallam's Annals of St. James', pp. 102, 105.] In the summer of 1849, the Church was so far advanced as to be ready to receive the monument, which was to be built into the eastern wall of the Chancel, and on the twelfth day of September, the ceremony of removing the Bishop's remains, and placing them in their final resting place was performed with appropriate solemnities. [Hallam's Annals of St. James' Church, pp. 104-105.] From the minute made at the time in the register book of the parish, a copy of which Dr. Hallam subjoined to the above account, it appears that the remains were placed in a new coffin and borne to the Church by eight Clergymen, and that the services at the Church were performed by the Rector, and the Revd. Dr. Jarvis, the son of Bishop Seabury's successor. Speaking of Bishop Seabury's remains, Dr. Hallam remarks that his bones were found perfect, but that no part of the coffin appeared, "except a portion of the lid, surrounded by brass nails in the form of a heart, containing within it, in brass nails also, these letters and figures:
I well recollect being present, as a lad of twelve years old, with my father at the grave when these remains were taken up; but the only thing which I remember to have noticed was the brass studded heart of oak, with the initials. [I recalled this remembrance in an address delivered before the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society, December 14, 1888, mentioning only the heart and the initials; not having observed the note of the age and the date, of which I afterwards learned from Dr. Hallam's account.]
Since the removal of the remains, the grave stone, with Dr. Bowden's inscription, has been placed within the enclosure on the north side of the present Church; as is noted by Dr. Hallam, who also mentions another tablet in the form of an obelisk, with an epitaph, which has been removed from the Church, and placed in the basement chapel below it; and I quote further from Dr. Hallam the following account of the new tomb with its inscriptions in English and Latin; the latter by the Revd. Dr. Samuel Farmar Jarvis, with Dr. Hallam's translation.
"When, in 1849, the Bishop's remains were placed under the chancel of the Church, then in process of erection, at the joint expense of the diocese and parish, a handsome monument of free stone, in the form of an Altar-tomb, underneath a canopy surmounted by a Mitre, was placed over his final resting place. On the slab above the tomb, this simple record was engraven:
The Right Rev. Father in God,
Samuel Seabury, D. D. First Bishop of Connecticut,
And of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States; Consecrated at Aberdeen, Scotland, Nov. 14, 1784:
Died Feb. 25, 1796; aged 67. The Diocese of Connecticut recorded here its grateful memory of his virtues & services;
A. D. 1849.
And, on a brass plate inserted in its upper surface, this inscription:
Sub pavimento altaris
Ut in loco quietis ultimo usque ad magni diei judicium
Exuviae mortales praesulis admodum reverendi nunc restant,
Samuelis Seabury, S. T. D. Oxon.,
Qui primus in rempublicam novi orbis Anglo-Americanam
E. Scotia transtulit
XVIII. Kal. Dec, A. D. CIOIDCCLXXXIV,
laborum et angustiarum tam chari capitis nunquam oblita in ecclesia nova S. Jacobi majoris Neo Londinensi olim sede sua hoc monumentum nunc demum longo post tempore
Anno Salut. nost CICCOCCCXLIX ponere curavit.
Of which the following is a translation:
Under the pavement of the altar, as in the final place of rest until the judgment of the great day, now repose the mortal remains of the Right Rev. Prelate, Samuel Seabury, D. D., Oxon., who first brought from Scotland, into the Anglo-American Republic of the New World the Apostolic Succession, Nov. 14, 1784. His diocese, never forgetful of the labors and trials of so dear a person, in the new Church of St. James the greater, of New London, formerly his see, now at last, after so long a time, has taken care to place this monument to his honor in the year of our salvation, 1849." [Hallam's Annals of St. James', pp. 79-80.]
I anticipate, and can hardly deny the justice of, the probable comment of the critical reader, that this chapter might more properly have been entitled as of Memorials of the deceased, than as of his departure: yet it is difficult to avoid the connection between the two; and I am disposed to think that as it has been the work of piety to commemorate the departed in places with which his name had some associations, so it may be accounted an act of reverent love on my part to group the most notable of them together at the close of this memoir.
There have been a goodly number of these memorials in various places; and it is certainly worthy of notice, as showing the cumulative force of the respectful regard of posterity for the devoted life which it has sought to commemorate, that none of these testimonies, except those at New London which were directly consequent upon the death, were given until more than half a century afterwards. The first of these later recognitions were those attendant upon the re-interment, which have been already described; and these were fifty-three years after Bishop Seabury's death. Since then there have been stained glass windows in the chapel of the Berkeley Divinity School at Middletown, Connecticut; in St. Andrew's, Aberdeen, and other Churches. The Altar, too, whereon, during his Rectorate of the old Church of St. James, Bishop Seabury was wont to offer the Eucharistic Sacrifice, has been religiously preserved for the same use in the Chapel of the Berkeley School. [ During the observance of the hundredth anniversary of Bishop Seabury's death at the Church of St. James, New London, I was permitted to wear a surplice of his, which for all that time had been carefully preserved through successive generations: a personal memorial which seemed to me of great significance and interest.]
A commemoration of a different kind, but very notable on account of its Presbyterian environment, is in the form of a tablet, bearing the Mitre, with an appropriate inscription, on the walls of the University of Aberdeen.
In St. Paul's Church in Rome, eminent among the Churches as the first of another communion, to be erected within the walls of the papal city, the fruit of the devoted labors of the Rev. Dr. R. J. Nevin, of blessed memory, are two lancet windows, depicting the martyrdom and burial of St. Paul, and commemorative of Bishop Seabury; these having been the gift of Mr. J. C. Hooker, an American resident of Rome, and the same gentleman I believe who was, in an earlier period of his life, one of the co-operators in the building of the Church of the Annunciation in New York--a holy place now also of blessed memory. At the request of Dr. Nevin I contributed to that memorial the following inscription:
"In Memoriam Samuelis Seabury. In Sacra Theologia Doctoris Oxoniensis-- Ordinarti Dioceseos Connecticutensis atque Episcoporum Catholicae Ecclesiae in Civitatibus Foederatis Americanis Primi rite et canonice consecrati ac missi--Aberdonae Die Nov. XIV. A. D. MDCCLXXXIV + Mortui Die XXV Febr.: A. D. MDCCXCVI + Fidem Scrvavit. +"; an inscription which, though it cannot claim to vie with the elegance of that which came from the classic pen of Dr. Jarvis, may yet possibly have served the purpose of informing some representatives of the Latin Church in the stronghold of Papacy, that Bishop Seabury was the first Catholic Bishop who was settled in the United States with lawful and Canonical jurisdiction.
Another memorial notable as commemorating a somewhat different aspect of the Bishop's work, is that which is placed over the door of the Church Missions House in New York, and which is a stone relief of the figures of St. Augustine, and Bishop Seabury. The special significance of this commemoration, lies in the fact that Bishop Seabury's consecration, as the first consecration by Anglican Bishops for work outside of Great Britain, led the way for the establishment of the Missionary Episcopate of the Anglican Communion throughout the world. So that he may, in a very proper sense, be called the first of the Anglican Missionary Bishops.
The acquirement and preservation by the Diocese of Connecticut of the old parsonage-house at Woodbury, in which the election to the Episcopate took place, is also an interesting memorial.
The completion of the century following the election, the consecration and the death of Bishop Seabury produced many services and sermons commemorative of him--in Connecticut, in New York, in Scotland, and in England. The history of these is, of course, too long to enter upon here. The most eminent of them were, naturally, those in Scotland, and in St. Paul's Cathedral in London in 1884; the last named having been held on the day of the anniversary of the Consecration. An admirable account of this by the late Chief Justice Shea was engrossed in his own handwriting in a sumptuous volume which he afterwards lodged in the Library of the General Theological Seminary in New York; and the volume is in itself not the least of all the tributes to the memory which it seeks to perpetuate.
So now I draw to a close the account which I have endeavoured to give of the life of Bishop Seabury, as the story has been told to me in the family traditions in which I have been nurtured, and in the speech and writings of others, who have extended and enlarged the teaching of those traditions by the information which I have been able to gather from them. I have told the story as my own story, because I was fain to impart to others not merely the knowledge, but also the feeling and interest which have throughout my life been more or less a part of myself, and which have always been to me of the nature of an exalting inspiration. There are, I know, many things which might have been said, beside those which I have reported. There are, perhaps, some things which I have said, which would have been better left unsaid. But, as to the first, it has been absolutely necessary to make a selection, which involved also some rejection: and, as to the second, I commend myself to the charity of the reader. On the whole, I trust that what has been said may have given a truthful picture of the man, as he was in the reality of his nature, and in the vitality of the grace by which that nature was elevated and ennobled. The principles by which he was actuated, and the character which was both the result and the energizing force of those principles, it is hoped will have appeared from the story of his life; and will be appreciated by the reader, without further description or analysis.
And as I have tried, so far as that was possible, always to let the subject of this memoir speak for himself, perhaps I cannot do better than to let him take leave of us with that brief summing up of his life's experience with which he surrenders himself, after his manner, into the Divine keeping, as he makes in his Journal the record of what appears to have been his last visitation.
On Wednesday, the 4th of November, 1795, he notes his return to New London, after an absence of almost four weeks; and concludes as follows:
"In this journey I travelled 134 miles, preached 10 times, administered the Communion 5 times, and confirmed 198 persons.--And now, all glory to God for his innumerable benefits. Thou, O God, tookest me out of my mother's womb; Thou hast preserved me ever since; Thou hast blessed me with health. Thou hast provided me with the comforts and decencies of life; Thou hast vouchsafed me the means of grace, and the hope of glory; Thou hast raised me to an honourable station in Thy Church; Thou hast given me a willing heart to do my duty in it--confirm that ready disposition; Let Thy Holy Spirit ever direct it to thy glory, and the good of thy Church; Continue thy blessings to me; Bless also thy Church; may thy goodness lead me to love Thee above all things, through Jesus Christ. Amen."