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entertaining a hope that I shall be more extensively useful to the cause of religion, and expecting finally to be placed in an agreeable situation with respect to support, I feel disposed to accept your call.”
April 12, 1798, Dr. Cutler wrote to Judge Putnam on this subject. From a draft of this letter some extracts are here given : “By my last, you will be informed of the delivery of your letter to Mr. Story. Since that time, we have had re. peated conversations on the subject of your invitation. He has now concluded to give his answer in the affirmative. His attachment to you, to the people who have invited him, and to the Country, you may be assured, has induced him to make no small sacrifices in giving up his prospects here. In Beverly, where he is now preaching, and wherever he has preached in this vicinity, he has rendered himself very acceptable to the people. The present scarcity of Candidates heightens the probability that he might have been invited to settle in some of our best Congregations, where much larger salaries are given than you have offered. Those now given are from four hundred to a thousand dollars per annum, and frequently some other perquisites besides.
“I can in truth declare I know of no subject which lies with so much weight upon my mind as that your settlement may be furnished with a number of able and faithful ministers, that foundatiɔns may be early laid for Congregational Churches and Societies. I conceive their form of government and discipline to be congenial to the true spirit of liberty, and more conducive to the civil and religious interests of the people than any other in the Christian world. The happy effects have long been experienced in every part of New England, and which, in my opinion, gives them many advantages above any other part of the Union. Convinced I am that religious establishments and social worship are essentially necessary, in a civil view, to the well-being of society, especially under a free government, if no regard is had to the interesting concerns of a future world. You can not be too solicitous to have them early established in your rising settlement.
“You will at once see the sacrifices Mr. Story must make in returning to you. I most sincerely congratulate you on his determination to do so. May it endear him to you, and may you regard him not only for his amiable personal qualities, but for his work's sake. And may he prove a great blessing to rising Churches, to Christian Societies, and to the cause and interests of our blessed Lord and Redeemer.”
May 15, 1798. The Church in Marietta and vicinity“ voted unanimously that the Rev. Manasseh Cutler be and he is hereby appointed Agent for and in behalf of this Church, to join with Mr. Story, the Pastor elect, in convening an Ecclesiastical Council for the purpose of ordaining the Pastor elect: And that Dr. Cutler represent this Church in all matters necessary for having the said ordination effected. Attest: Rufus Putnam, Clerk.” The Trustees of the Association for the support of Teachers of Religion and Morality, at Marietta, also appointed Dr. Cutler their Agent to represent them in all matters pertaining to Mr. Story's ordination, of which event the following letter gives a detailed account:
[ To General Putnam.]
HAMILTON, Oct. 23, 1798. Dear Sir:-Expecting that Mr. Story would return soon after his ordination, I delayed writing by the Post. But the sickness at Philadelphia, and the printing the ordination Sermon, which is now just out of press, has detained him. He is now with me, and proposes to set out for Boston next Monday, where he is obliged to tarry a few days, and then will go on for Marietta. He has informed you of his ordination on the 15th of August. For the honor of our company and the Western Territory, we thought it best to call a respectable council. We jointly addressed letters missive to eleven churches, all of whom complied, and the council was formed at my house, at ten in the morning. The council consisted of gentlemen of as much respectability as, perhaps, was ever convened in an Ecclesiastical council in the county of Essex. They expressed much satisfaction with the regularity of the proceedings of the church and association at Marietta. We dined at half past twelve, and at two the procession was formed, and we walked to the Meeting House through a crowd of spectators. Though the day was somewhat rainy, a very large concourse of people were collected. Some hundreds, I believe, were unable to get into the Meeting House. To prevent accident, the galleries were previously secured by supporters ; and to prevent disorder, I had requested the constables to attend, with their staves of office. The solemnity was introduced and closed with anthems adapted to the occasion. Through the whole of the service there was the most perfect order and decorum. Never have I seen so large an assembly preserve through the whole of the exercises so profound a solemnity. We have had the pleasure to hear that the audience were much pleased and gratified. I thought it best that there should be a formal result of council, though not common at ordinations, which was done, and is printed, together with the charge and Right IIand of Fellowship, and annexed to the sermon. The council ordered the several parts as follows: Rev. Dr. Barnard, of Salem, introductory prayer; Rev. Mr. Isaac Story preached; Rev. Mr. Forbes, the ordaining prayer; the charge was assigned to me; Right Hand of Fellowship, Rev. Mr. Wadsworth, of Danvers; and concluding prayer, Rev. Mr. Dana, of Ipswich. It was my expectation that the company at my house would be large, but it was greater than I had contemplated, though our provision was sufficient. We dined upward of an hundred, and a very large number at tea. It is but doing justice to our people to inform you that general provision was made for company, and many of the inhabitants of the town entertained as large numbers as they, probably, would have done if it had been an ordination of their own.
..We have met with great difficulty in getting a candidate. Several that seemed inclined to go have disappointed us. Soon after the ordination, Mr. Perkins (son of Dr. Perkins, of Plainfield, in Connecticut) came to my house, and agreed to accept your terms. Mr. Story being then with us, we agreed with him that he should go on to Connecticut, and obtain ordination at large, and be ready to go on with Mr. Story, who was to call upon him. But, a little time after, he wrote us that his health was such that he thought he should not be able to go, and desired that we would engage somebody else. Since that time we have met with no other candidate disposed to go, and had very much given up the hope of obtaining one. Early yesterday morning Mr. Perkins came to my house, and finding no one was engaged, proposed to go, and appeared much engaged. I mentioned, as I had done before, the necessity of his receiving ordination, which I conceived to be of great importance to the settlement there, as installations and ordinations might then be perforined in the country. He assured me that he should not be willing to go unless he was ordained, as it was his intention to spend his days there; and one strong inducement was, that his sister was lately married to a son of Colonel Putnam, who, with young Dr. Putnam and his wife, had set out for the country, Ile likewise said it was necessary that he should be ordained here, for otherwise he could not be ready to go with Mr. Story. I readily consented to provide for the council, and have the ordination in our Meeting House. The time was so short before Mr. Story would go, that the utmost dispatch was necessary. As there was not occasion to apply to churches, but only to a suitable number of ministers, the ordination might take place as soon as they could be convened, and proper arrangements made. We fixed on the next Thursday, that he might have time to return home on Friday and Saturday. We also agreed on eight ministers who should be requested to attend and assist. He proposed to set out immediately for Mr. Story, who was at Cape Ann, and to get him to my house as soon as possible, which he did. It being so sudden a matter, I thought it best to go to each of the ministers myself. Having dispatched messengers to different parts of the town, to notify the people, and request them to attend the service at 2 o'clock on Thursday, I set out myself to see the ministers we had agreed to invite. Having seen a number of them, I returned last evening, and found Mr. Story and Mr. Perkins; but, to my extreme mortification, found that Mr. Perkins had thought, upon the whole, that he must go to Plainfield to be ordained. This was a point that, after all that could be said, he could not give up. We then agreed that the day of his ordination should be the 17th Sept., at Plainfield, and that Mr. Story should be present and take a part in the service; that he should be ready to set out im
mediately after on his journey. Having thus agreed, he set
With sincere affection,
M. CUTLER. If you should see my son, I will thank you to inform him that we are all well, and, if you please, acquaint him with the circumstances of the ordination. Will you be so kind as to inform me respecting the Land Tax? Are you to have a general Assembly this Autumn? What is the state of our settlement? What is the probable number of settlers on the whole purchase? Are you Federal ? We hope Bonaparte is a prisoner, but have our fears. I sent a letter received from my son, containing an account of the celebration of Independence at Waterford, to Russell, Editor of the “ Sentinel.” He was