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company of “Connecticut Guards,” which had been called out for the defense of New London,) employing himself on his father's farm, and teaching a district school. In the early part of this temporary residence at home, he made a public profession of religion; and towards its close, he was united in marriage to his cousin, Miss Laura Hale of Canterbury, Ct., to whom he had long been ardently attached, and whose beauty of person, amiableness of disposition, culture of mind, refinement of manners, and deep fervent piety, rendered her worthy of the enthusiastic admiration and affection with which he ever regarded her. More than a year after her death, he married, in Aug., 1825, Miss Lucy S. Turner of Boston, who survives him.
At the close of the war, early in 1815, Mr. Hale returned to Boston, and soon entered into mercantile business: in which he continued, experiencing various changes, prosperous and adverse, more of the latter however than of the former, yet ever preserving an unsullied integrity, till he removed to New York, where he took charge of the commercial and business department of the Journal of Commerce, in September, 1827, the time of its origin.
During this period of twelve years, Mr. Hale was an enterprising, active and steadfast Christian. In Park street church, with which he at once connected himself, he was a leading member of the choir, a faithful teacher in the Sabbath School, and was constant in his attendance at the conference room, bearing an acceptable and edifying part in the services of that place. He was one of those, who, in the year 1822, went from Park street church, to unite with a similar colony from the Old South church, and a fragment of the Essex street church, then on the verge of dissolution, in forming the Union church.
"This was the first aggressive movement of any importance on the part of the Orthodox since the development of Socinianism in Boston. It was therefore a movement of peculiar interest and responsibility. A gentleman familiar with the enterprise observes, •There was plenty of work to be done by the infant church, for the whole current of popular influence was against them. A congregation was to be collected; Sabbath Schools were to be gathered and instructed; religious meetings were to be held, in the conference-room and in private houses; and a multitude of benevolent enterprises, yet in their infancy, presented strong claims for aid.'
" In this new field there was a demand for all his talents and all his zea). He was a member of the choir; he was chosen superintendent of the Sabbath School and was very efficient in that capacity; he was on the business-committees both of the church and the society, and assisted in compiling their manual and laws; he was accustomed to visit the poor, to hold meetings in halls and in private houses, and in every way to labor for the kingdom of Christ. A gentleman of Boston, who was associated with Mr. Hale in the Union Church from its organization to the time of his leaving the city, says of him, 'He was one of the most active and efficient members of the church always present at our public and private meetings—always ready to lead in our devotions and instruct us by his exhortations-unwearied in his labors on our several committees, for visiting families-examining candidates for admission to the church and conducting our church music. Of his labors as su
perintendent of the Sabbath School I can not speak from personal knowledge, having had the charge of another school. We admired him for the ability with which he presented truth in his addresses in our meetings, and for the clearness and soundness of his judgment in matters of business. In the language of our pastor, he was a strong man arined.' He was noble and gentlemanly in his deportment-upright and honorable in his dealings. He was warm-hearted and generous as a friend-humble and devoted as a Christian. No Christian brother ever called forth more fully my confidence and my love. None ever laid upon me such heavy obligations of gratitude by his deeds of kindness and princely generosity.' "--pp. 39, 40.
Though the chief sphere of Mr. Hale's public activity was the church, he acted a useful part as a citizen, with public spirit and zeal in behalf of good morals and measures of reform. He labored in various ways, and at length with success, to abate the nuisance of booths and liquor stands about the Common. He endeavored to prevent the desecration of the Sabbath. On these and kindred subjects he wrote occasional articles for the newspapers. A series of letters, addressed to the Committee for erecting the Tremont Theater in Boston," with the signature of “A Father," which he published in one of the daily papers, and which attracted much attention at the time, is republished in the volume before us. He was, for a time, a regular contributor to the Boston Recorder, and had, in fact, the editorial charge of its department of political affairs and of foreign and domestic intelligence. He advocated, and carried, in Faneuil Hall, at the expense of much opposition, and even of attack and ridicule in the columns of the newspapers, a proposition to elect the inspectors of the public schools by wards, instead of by general ticket: a measure which ensured the election of some orthodox men, and weakened the control which Unitarian supremacy had exercised over the public schools. He was also active in bringing about "the change of the government of Boston from town to city," and advocated that measure in an able speech in Faneuil Hall.
The following incident, narrated by Gerard Hallock, Esq., the surviving editor of the Journal of Commerce, in his “tribute to the memory of Mr. Hale,” which Mr. Thompson has appended to his memoir, illustrates the generous public spirit of Mr. Hale, and shows a link in the chain of Providence, by which he was at length connected with Mr. Hallock in the charge of the paper, which they conducted so ably for many years.
“The circumstances,' says Mr. Hallock, which brought Mr. Hale and myself into connection with each other, as joint editors and proprietors of this paper, are a little remarkable. I became acquainted with him in Boston in 1823. He was then in prosperous business as a merchant; I was a stranger, comparatively very young, without pecuniary resources, yet resolved, if a few hundred dollars could be loaned me, to establish a weekly paper there, for which there appeared to be an opening. Scarcely had I made known my ob. ject, plan, and wants, when the money was handed me by David Hale, who had collected it from a few friends, himself included, with the condition that I should return it when convenient. In a little more than a year I did return it, with interest.'”—pp. 41, 42.
The important position of associate editor, and joint proprietor, of the Journal of Commerce, Mr. Hale occupied nearly twenty-two years. That paper originated in a true regard for the interests of morality and religion. The plan (which we believe has been faithfully carried out) was to have “a first rate commercial paper," without the customary violation of the Sabbath by labor, in the office, or in the collection of news, or in any way, during its sacred hours; withont any participation in the gain of those fashiouable vices which sap the foundations of morality and religion; and with the habit of plain speaking against moral delinquencies. It was established by the princely liberality of Mr. Arthur Tappan; who, after expending upon it during the first year thirty thousand dollars, relinquished it to his brother, Mr. Lewis Tappan, who, in a few months, made an arrangement by which Mr. Hale and Mr. Gerard Hallock became its editors and joint proprietors.
The character of Mr. Hale as an editor, we will give in the words of his biographer, Mr. Thompson, and of Mr. Hallock, his associate. The first paragraph is by Mr. Thompson, and the second by Mr. Hallock.
“ Although it was expected that Mr. Hale would devote himself rather to the commercial and business department of the paper, than to the departments of literature and politics, yet neither his thoughts nor his pen could be idle, and by the vigor and pertinence of his articles upon a great variety of subjects, he soon proved himself to be one of the ablest editors in the Union. Self-taught as he was in every thing beyond the rudiments of education, unskilled in the rhetoric of the schools, he yet wrote with a precision, a correctpess, and force of language, to which few attain. Elegance of composition he never attempted; but his words .fitly spoken' were soinetimes like apples of gold in pictures of silver.' He always expressed himself clearly, concisely, forcibly; and sometimes with that nice discrimination, both in words and ideas, which indicates the true philosopher. When we consider that he had no editorial sanctum; that his articles were written—not in a quiet study at homenor in a private office accessible only by tortuous staircases and labyrinth passages, and guarded by spring-locks against all who could not give the magic Sesame'--but in the business office of the Journal, of late years on the corner of Wall and Water streets, at a desk directly facing two doors, annid the rumbling of carts, the cries of street venders, the hum of conversation, the receiving and disbursing of money, and incessant interruptions from calls and questions requiring his personal attention—when we consider that his articles were written by snatches, in such a position, and were often sent to the compositor without revision, we are filled with astonishment at their excellence both of thought and style, and at the power of abstraction and of self-government which must have been acquired in order to produce such compositions in circumstances so unpropitious.”—pp. 51, 52.
"I own that at this time I did not appreciate, nor fully know, the strength of his intellectual powers; nor did either of us dream that he would ever take the stand which he has taken, as one of the ablest editors in the Union. I only expected to receive occasional aid from his pen, and that not of the highest order: but in point of fact, while he made his own (the commercial) department of the pa per all that could be desired, he became a most efficient coadjutor in the editorial department proper. For vigor of conception, force
of reasoning, and aptness of illustration, some of his articles would not suffer in comparison with the leading editorials of the London Times. Language he did not study, having had but a common school education in his youth, yet by long practice, lie acquired a facility of expression which many of the best scholars are not able to command. Thoughts he never lacked. They flowed faster than his pen could indite them."--pp. 138, 139.
In New York, as in Boston, notwithstanding the increased pressure of his business, Mr. Hale uniformly gave his chief interest, and proper attention, to the affairs of religion. When he came to New York he had no particular preference for the Congregational over the Presbyterian polity. But his experience of the latter for a few years resulted in a thorough investigation of the subject, and a very decided and active choice of the former. After being connected, chiefly on account of the change of his residence in the city, with several Presbyterian churches, with a growing dissatisfaction at what he deemed the too free exercise of official prerogatives, and the too limited liberty of the brotherhood, he joined, in the year 1837, a Congregational church, worshiping in the Broadway Tabernacle, which soon formed a union with the Dey street Presbyterian church. The united church, which was, by agreement, of a modified Presbyterian type, soon settled Rev. Joel Parker as its pastor, and was harmonious and prosperous for several months thereaster, until some disciplinary action by the session, deemed by some very arbitrary, created dissatisfaction. The circumstances, which constitute quite an important link in Mr. Hale's history, and indeed in the ecclesiastical history of New York and its vicinity, if not of the whole country west of New England, are thus briefly narrated by Mr. Hale's biographer.
“ An anti-slavery society was about to be formed in the Tabernacle Church. The session being opposed to the movement, cautioned the church against it. This produced much excitement among the friends of the society, one of whom, in particular, Mr. Lewis Tappan, then a member of the church, publicly denounced the course of the session as arbitrary, and insisted upon the right of forming such a society. At length Mr. Tappan was cited before the session as a disturber of the peace of the church, and a slanderer of its officers; but without being tried on the original charges, he was condemned for contumacy, and suspended from church privileges. From this sentence he appealed to the higher judicatories of the Presbyterian Church, and the decision of the session was finally reversed by the General Assembly. One great point in controversy was the right of Mr. Tappan to employ a reporter to attend on his trial before the session, and take notes of whatever should transpire. This right the session denied.
“ Mr. Hale, with his ardent love of liberty of thought and speech, and above all, liberty of Christian action, and with some personal experience of ecclesiastical dictation, could not remain an indifferent spectator of such an affair. He had no sympathy with Mr. Tappan's anti-slavery opinions or measures, and was not then on very friendly terms with Mr. 'Í'appan himself. But he felt that great principles were involved in the trial, and that Mr. Tappan was wronged and oppressed by the session. After expostulating with the elders in vain, he availed himself of the provision in the articles of agreement between
the united churches for occasional meetings of the whole church for business, and had a church meeting called by public notice · for the prayerful consideration of a case of discipline.'”—pp. 63, 64.
At this meeting Mr. Hale made an extended speech, which (as the church voted to admit a reporter, who took notes of all the proceedings) has been preserved, and is given in the volume before us.
It manifests a thorough knowledge of important principles of Christian liberty and church government, and a manly, bold and yet fraternal spirit. At the conclusion, he proposed that the following should be added to the permanent rules of the church.
"1. In the discipline of this church no member shall be obliged to make his defense before any judicatory other than the session of this church, and any member tried by the session shall have the right of appeal to the whole body of his brethren assembled in church meeting.
"2. The first church prayer-meeting in each season of the year shall be a business meeting, at which any member of the church may introduce any proposition which he deems proper, and meetings for business shall be held at any other time by direction of a majority of the members present at any weekly prayer-meeting; but such meetings, other than at the commencement of each season, shall be notified on the Sabbath preceding their occurrence. The covenant, or confession of the church, or its permanent rules may not be changed, except at a meeting specially notified for important business.
"3. At the annual meeting in April, a charch clerk shall be chosen who shall record all the resolutions and other proceedings of the church in a book, which book shall always be accessible to any member of the church during ordinary business hours.
“[After a protracted and animated discussion, the Moderator put the question on the resolutions submitted by Mr. Hale, and declared the vote by voices to be in the negative. The result was doubted and a count loudly called for, but the Moderator did not notice the call, and so the meeting was immediately adjourned.]"--pp. 77, 78.
The result of these and subsequent discussions and measures, is thus described in the volume before us.
“The effect of this discussion on the mind of Mr. Hale was to increase his jealousy of official prerogatives in a church, and his love for the free ecclesiastical institutions of New England. He began to study more attentively the Word of God, with reference to the rudimental principles of church polity therein contained. Thus the providence of God was preparing him to be, as it were, the parent of a new movement in the religious affairs of New York, and in the midst of ecclesiastical systems so long established here as to claim a sort of prescriptive right to the soil, to introduce successfully that simple and efficient system of church polity which has existed in New England from its first settlement, which is believed to have been substantially the system of the primitive churches, and which best secures Christian liberty and best develops Christian character. For such a movement there was needed a leader who could confront jealousy and bear the opposition even of brethren,-- who should be able to defend the cause which he espoused,-one who could go forward, if need be, alone, and in face of a virtual excommunication from Christian fellowship, to do what he felt to be important for the interests of truth and of Christ's kingdom.”—pp. 95, 96.