mother was Margaret Vose, of Milton, Mass., also of English descent, and her family among the early settlers of the country.

The loss of his mother while he was an infant, separated him from his father's family during the first four years of his life. In the meantime his father removed to Salem, Mass., which was ever afterwards the family home.

A sister remarks, "I have heard my father and elder sisters say that Thomas was always exemplary as a boy. He was docile and obedient, and his conduct never called for reproof. Indeed, in after years, when he was absent at school or in college, he gave my father not a moment's uneasiness on account of his character."

It appears that the father of Mr. Savage early deter mined to bestow upon him all the advantages that could be derived from a thoroughly classical education, although his profession was not then determined upon. This purpose of the father was faithfully executed. The son proved himself an apt scholar, particularly in the languages. "His preparatory studies were pursued at Phillip's Academy in Andover; his collegiate course at Harvard where he graduated at the age of twenty years, with honor both in respect to character and scholarship,-being the eleventh of the family who had graduated at that University. After his graduation he immediately commenced his theological studies at the same institution. This continued for three years, which having completed, he received applications to preach in several of the pulpits in Boston and Salem, where his labors were received with great favor."

"Not wishing, however, to settle so early in life, he accepted an invitation to become a private tutor in Louisiana."

In a paper prepared by himself, refering to this period, he speaks of uniting with the Presbyterian church, with different views from what he had previously entertained on

Graduated 18/3

the Trinity and kindred doctrines. He speaks in this connection of having read Baxter's Reformed Pastor, Doddrige's Rise and Progress, and Wilberforce's View of Practical Religion, with great benefit.

This change of his religious views required a renewal of his license to preach, which was granted by the Mississippi Presbytery. He remained at the South seven years, preaching most of the time, but received no settlement. While there he married Miss Lucy Woodruff, of Connecticut.* About two years subsequent he returned to the North, arriving in Boston in the summer of 1824, after an absence of seven years.

He very soon received an application to supply the pulpit of Dr. Codman, of Dorchester, who was about to sail for Europe, to be absent a year. When this engagement expired, he was invited to preach in this town. And one year later, July 5th, 1826, he was installed by the Londonderry Presbytery as the pastor of this church and society. His pastorate here extended during the long period of forty years. He was the third pastor installed over this church, the first being settled 1757.

Mr. Savage found here a large congregation—a people united and well taught in the doctrines of the Cross, but having little of that ardor and demonstrative piety which they have since exhibited.

The Sabbath School was then in a forming state. No regular prayer meeting was maintained, and so far as known, there had been no general revival since the settlement of the town.

In 1831, the first of those blessed seasons was enjoyed. Others have followed; but perhaps the most wonderful was reserved for the last year of his ministry, as if the Di

*Mrs. Savage died May 16th, 1847. October 12, 1848, he was married to Miss Sarah Webster, daughter of Mr. Benjamin Webster, of Haverhill, N. H., who still survives him.

# Paster of this Church 40 year

vine Master would set the seal of his approbation upon the closing labors of his servant.

This town, like many others in New Hampshire, has suffered greatly from emigration. Still, the church and society have maintained their numbers and strength to a remarkable degree. The whole number added to the church during his ministry was 379 by profession, and 47 by letter.

We will notice some of the more prominent features of the character of our lamented brother Savage. It is not my purpose to attempt the drawing of a full life-likeness. Such an effort in me would be presumption.

1. His character presented a remarkable degree of completeness. There was no prominent defect-no stain, and now he is gone no shadow falls on his memory.

The mention of his name recalls nothing which would gladly be forgotten. "When a boy he gave his father no anxiety-he needed no reproof." Though that kind hand, which of all others does most to mold the character and restrain the vicious propensities of the natural heart, was palsied in death before he felt its gentle pressure, still he grew up a good boy. He was good at home-good on the street-in school-at college. He passed through no period of waywardness. He was a pure minded, honorable young man.

Of himself he says, "From childhood I was soberly inclined, and though I mingled much in athletic sports with those of my age, I had a strong aversion to the vicious and profane."

The man was the natural development of such a boy. He never gave his friends anxiety-never needed reproof. He retained through life a strong aversion to every thing "vicious and profane," or even coarse or unkind.

When grace sanctifies a nature so symmetrical, the christian has less to contend with than one of a different temperament.

In his diary, which he kept for forty years, he often speaks of defects, and urges himself up to an entire consecration—a fuller trust in God-greater diligence in his Master's service, and more of the gentleness and forbearance of Christ. His careful eye detected what others saw not; for his life was remarkably free from those excrescences which deform the characters of many even good


His ministry was in conformity with such a character and life. His people never felt that the week and the Sabbath clashed; that the pulpit and the street widely separated, the one doing violence to the other. His most intimate friends never placed the home and the prayer-meeting in unhappy contrast.

Those but slightly acquainted with Mr. Savage might have supposed that indifference to passing events and opinions of others was the occasion of his equanimity. Not so; he possessed a most sensitive nature. It was inseparable from his constitution. He was keenly alive to the treatment which he received from others, and in some instances he regarded himself as greatly wronged. Yet who ever heard a word of ill-will escape his lips, or the name of another used in a disparaging manner? And what is more remarkable, no such allusion deforms the pages of his diary. He seemed anxious to forget as well as forgive. He was a worthy example of that "charity which seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil."

One long acquainted with him says, "I have especially noted and admired his leaning toward young ministers. It was most kind and fatherly. They were sure of his


sympathy. No candidate for licensure or ordination could ever forget it. He felt that he was only an elder brother.

Mr. Savage was truly catholic. No narrow bands of sect or party could shut in the feelings of his large heart. He loved all good men. He delighted to dwell on the virtues of others,-on the faults of none. Who ever heard him expatiate on the defects of other men? No mean jealousies rankled in his heart.”

Another remarks, "In several respects Brother Savage was a remarkable man, especially so in his ardent and well balanced temperament. Grace and nature united to make a rare combination of all the virtues belonging to a christian gentleman. He had the courtesy of manner and of the heart.

"Man universal he had a natural love for, and this led to that marked attention which he always gave to friends and to strangers. He was likewise unselfish, and had a cheerful readiness to do anything which would help the cause of humanity or of Christ. He was unambitious, and thought much less of his reputation and his position than of the great interests of his Master's cause. With a trustful and confiding faith in the arrangements of Providence, he was willing to labor where God had appointed his mission. He was ready to take his part on all public occasions without inquiring whether his was a position of honor.

"He was trustful and a firm believer in the doctrine that God would take care of his own children and supply their needful wants."

In these respects he was a model for the young-a pattern for the christian, and an example to be imitated by that profession to which he was an ornament.

2. Mr. Savage was discriminating in his judgment of He read human nature more accurately than most


« VorigeDoorgaan »