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change of residence, have been numerous. My mind, however, has generally been so depressed that I have not had the resolution to take up my pen. Though I have not lately had those fits of melancholy to which I was formerly subject, yet I seem to be the victim of a languor that indisposes and disqualifies me for exertion. This state of my mind I attribute partly to constitutional malady, but particularly to my having been of late hurried through scenes so novel, and so wholly opposed to my former sentiments, habits, and pursuits. From a wise law of nature, however, which gradually bends the mind to the circumstances in which it is placed, I am becoming more reconciled to my situation; and I am awakened from this fatal torpor by the reflection that I am sacrificing to it the highest duties and enjoyments of life. I moved to town last December, at which time I entered on the duties of my office as one of the assistant ministers of Trinity Church. I find enough to occupy my thoughts and my time. I have so many interruptions, and so many engagements, that my mind and feelings become relaxed and dissipated. I am endeavoring to introduce order and energy into my studies and duties, which will, no doubt, have a favorable effect on my mind. I can, however, never like a city. I pant for the enjoyments of the country, and still indulge the hope of being one day able to realize a plan of happiness somewhat like my wishes. Who is there that does not indulge this hope? Yet do not suppose that I am unhappy; from the lofty regions of inexperienced fancy, in which we often soared, I have sunk down to the plain, but perhaps more valuable enjoyments of common life. Except when under the uncontrollable influence of constitutional melancholy, I can generally find happiness in the endearments and duties of domestic life--in the enlivening hopes of friendship-in plans of literary improvement and professional duty; and if I know my own heart, I can say, that regarding this world as the scene of much vice and misery, and containing no bliss but what will be infinitely exalted in that which is to come,
I cherish always with pleasure, and sometimes with triumph, the prospect of leaving it, and entering on the perfection and unutterable happiness of my everlasting existence.
J. H. HOBART.'
This letter must surely have been penned in some gloomy moment, for it certainly presents a picture which his nearest friends cannot realize. It is a morbid exaggeration of momentary feeling: he mistook the shadow of a cloud for the darkness of night; but the cloud soon passed, and all was bright again. To such alternations ardent minds are proverbially subject, but Mr. Hobart less so than any the author at least has known. Cheerful activity seemed part of his nature ; it beamed forth in all that he said or did ; whatever he thought or felt came forth from his heart as water from a living spring, bright and sparkling ; his words, too, moved as quickly, like unto those of one who feels himself impelled to speak. That he had his moments of lassitude, there is no doubt; but compared with most men, they were few and far between. He was by nature happy and light
hearted. In the medley of mental musings, the cheerful thought with him was always uppermost, and often expressed itself with childlike simplicity on his countenance. What were you smiling at?' I once said, on meeting him, walking alone. "At my own thoughts,' replied he; 'I am so apt to do it, I am sometimes afraid of being taken in the streets for a simpleton.' This it was that gave to him in society a bright and cheerful tone, in voice, look, and manner. His entrance into the room was like a ray of light for wakening up the dull or dispirited, and no chance companion of an hour could ever part from him without feeling that he had been in the society of a cheerful and happy man, as well as a most able and good one.
From his Removal to the City in December, 1800, to the first of
his Publications in 1803 ; from the 25th to the 28th Year of his Age.
Trinity Church-Early History-Actual Condition-Style and Estimate
of Mr. Hobart as a Preacher-Styles of Preaching–His Performance of Pastoral Duties–Domestic Establishment-Anecdotes of KindnessHabits of Study--Official Duties in General and State Conventions.
The parish of Trinity, with which he now became connected, was among the oldest in the Northern States. The Province of New York, being gained by conquest, became consequently a royal colony. The Church of England, therefore, came in with the government, in 1664, or rather in 1667, when, by the treaty of Breda, the colony was ceded. The Church thus became, in some sense, established.
Among the rights to which it at once succeeded, was the use of the garrison chapel, which stood within the fort, near what is now termed the Bowling Green, at the foot of Broadway. Upon the subsequent increase of the congregation, a parish church was erected under the name of Trinity,' which stood where the present church of that name now slands. This was in the year 1696, under the reign of Wil. liam and Mary, by whom, or rather by the
colonial governor, under authority committed to him, it was liberally endowed - an adjoining property, known as 'the King's Farm,' being granted to the corporation for the support of the services of the Protestant Episcopal Church.*
This edifice was originally a small square building, accommodated to present necessity ; but being twice enlarged, viz. in 1735 and 1737, it became one of the largest and most splendid churches in the country, being one hundred and forty-six feet in length, seventy-two in width, with a noble spire one hundred and eighty feet in height. On the 21st September, 1776, it was involved in the memorable and inelancholy conflagration which devastated that part of the city, and lay in ruins during the remainder of the revolutionary war, and for some years afterward.
The present edifice, inferior in size to the old, being forty-two feet shorter, was erected in 1788, and consecrated in 1791, by the first Bishop of the Diocese, the Right Rev. Samuel Provoost. In addition to the parish church, two chapels within its.bounds had successively been erected previous to this period, viz. St. George's, in 1752, and St. Paul's, in 1766.
* The original grant was a temporary one, 6th May, 1607, by Governor Fletcher. It was made perpetual by a grant from Lord Cornbury, 1705, and in 1709 confirmed by the Colonial Assembly under Governor Ingoldsby.