Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

independent States. The name of her father is in fact so much identified with the early history of the Church in this country, as well as with the personal fortunes of Bishop Hobart, as to deserve from his biographer a more than passing notice.

Thomas Bradbury Chandler was born at Woodstock, Mass., 26th April, 1726, * educated at Yale College, Conn., and ordained in England in 1751, by the Bishop of London, under whose Episcopal charge the Colonies then were. On his return to this country he became Rector of St. John's Church, Elizabethtown, N. J., in which humble and quiet retreat, resisting with true Christian humility all temptations to change, he lived, labored, and died.

In this choice, indolence, however, had no part, for he there labored both faithfully and fearlessly, and that not only in his parochial

* Extract from the Life of the Red. Hugh Peters, Chaplain to Oliver Cromwell. London, 1815.—- The second daughter of William (a brother of Hugh) married Colonel John Chandler, of Andover, one of whose descendants was the Rev. Thomas Bradbury Chandler, D. D., Rector of an Episcopal Church in Elizabethtown, New-Jersey, a pious and literary character of the first rate in America. The Doctor left several daughters, one of whom is wife of the Rev. Dr. Hobart, an Episcopal clergyman in the city of New York, who is an author and preacher of high fame. He is a descendant from the yoụnger brother of the Earl of Buckinghamshire in England.'

charge, but in the general concerns of the Church. The great object to which, beyond his immediate duties, he devoted himself, was the obtaining an episcopate for the Church in the colonies. This formed the subject of several successive · Appeals'* to the government at home, both in Church and State. But though its justice and expediency were alike granted, the boon was not obtained. The Bishop of London, Dr. Lowth, was content to praise the argument instead of acting upon it. The nation in general,' says he, in a letter to their author, is greatly obliged to you for your three pamphlets, which, I am sure, if plain reason and good sense, strongly and forcibly urged, and placed in the clearest light, can meet with any attention, must have a great effect, as indeed I hear they have, and I hope so essential a service will not be forgotten.'

The concluding word of the above quotation deserves notice, as it shows that the Bishop underrated the motives of the writer. In afteryears, when the policy for which Dr. Chandler now vainly pleaded was freely adopted by the British government toward their remaining American colonies, the newly-created bishopric of Nova Scotia was, without solicitation, offered to him, while he had the satisfaction of showing, by his equally decided refusal, that he had pe. titioned in former times for the Church, not for himself.

* See his Appeal in behalf of the Church .of England in the Colonies; Appeal defended; Appeal further defended; Address to Southern Churchmen; Life of Dr. Johnson, &c.

That he was not forgotten in England in the better sense of affectionate remembrance, may be judged from the parting letter, some years after, of the Archbishop of Canterbury to Bishop White on his consecration. If he should not be able to write to Dr. Chandler, he begs the Bishop “to assure him of his affectionate esteem and regard, and his hearty prayers for his better health.'*

The home picture given of Dr. Chandler by one who had the best means of gathering information, is full of beauty and interest, the true picture in short of the village pastor. Upon his missionary salary of 501., with some slight contributions from the congregation, a parsonage and small glebe, he lived,' says Dr. B., t'with such a degree of ease and comfort, with such a free and unbounded hospitality, as are remembered by many still living, both with wonder and pleasure. I have scarcely ever met,' says he, with any aged person belonging to our Church,

* White's Memoirs, Protestant Episcopal Church, p. 397. + Berrian’s Narrative, p. 71.

who had visited Elizabethtown, that did not delight in recalling the many happy hours he had spent in that agreeable family, and at that hospitable board. But extensively as he was known and respected by strangers, he was still more beloved by his parishioners and friends. Cheerful in his temper, easy and accessible in his intercourse with others, fond of study, of retirement, and all rural pursuits, but yet of blending and sweetening them with social enjoyment; remaining much at home, and from an aversion to preaching elsewhere, never qut of his own pulpit, it was natural thạt his affability, his kindness, his constant presence, and unintermitted labors, should greatly endear him to his people.'

But the storm of the Revolution at length broke in upon his peaceful retreat. In common with many whose characters forbid their motives being impeached, he had deprecated the contest with the mother country, and not only so, but labored with no feeble pen to avert it. When actual war came, and there was no longer room for the peace-maker, he retired before the storm, and after a short concealment in New York, eventually took refuge in England. But even there we may trace the footsteps of one who had preached the Gospel. Such was the remembrance he had left behind him ; such the

sanctity of the home where he had dwelt, and the respect universally felt for his widowed family, that amid the fluctuations of alternate success, which awaited the contending parties in New-Jersey, the parsonage was often made a place of common refuge. These Christian charities, on the edge of war, it is indeed delightful to contemplate : they are like the sweet budding flowers that grow up on the brink of the torrent or the avalanche.

The reception he met in England was that due to a scholar, a divine, and a faithful subject. The University of Oxford conferred on him her highest academic degree; the government quadrupled his annual stipend, raising it to 2001. ; and upon the erection of Nova Scotia into a bishopric, its acceptance, as already mentioned, was not only proffered but pressed upon him. Persisting in his refusal, to which, in some degree, he was led by feeble health, the Archbishop of Canterbury called upon him to name the candidate, and it was on his suggestion that the station was conferred on the Rev. Dr. Inglis, former Rector of Trinity Church, New-York, who, on his part, was at the very time uniting with others of the American clergy in recommending Dr. Chandler to the same office, 'as one every way qualified as their letter

« ZurückWeiter »