“I. D. ESQR
DECEASED MARCH ye
18th IN ye 82d YEAR OF
HIS AGE 1688^9.”
President Stiles, in his “History of the Judges,” says, “So late as the last French war, 1760, some British officers passing through New Haven, and hearing of Dixwell’s grave, visited it, and declared, with rancorous and malicious vengeance, that if the British ministry knew it, they would even then cause their bodies to be dug up and vilified. Often have we heard the crown officers aspersing and vilifying them; and some so late as 1775 visited and treated the graves with marks of indignity too indecent to be detailed.”
By those who can make a due allowance for difference of time and circumstances, the graves of these exiles will be visited with sentiments of veneration. It would have been grand to spare the presumptuous monarch; but we cannot feel surprised that he was sacrificed to the indignation of an outraged people. In these days, happily, kings and nations have learned that to take away the life of tyrannical rulers, or of resisting subjects, is but to sow the seeds of future troubles, and not to lay the foundation of permanent peace.
A Fast-Day—Political Sermons—A Church of Coloured People—The Sabbath—Morning Service—Afternoon ditto and Dr. Hawes—Prayers at College Chapel—United Service in North Church—The Cemetery—The “Fathers”—Professor Gibbs—Annual Election—Statistics—Arrival at Hartford—Mr. Hosmer—Chief Justice—Deaf and Dumb—Charter Oak.
Good Friday was observed by the people of New England as an annual fast-day, to humble themselves on account of their national sins. It seemed, somewhat to our inconvenience, to be literally and very rigidly observed in the circle in which we moved. On that day all ministers are at liberty to preach upon politics. Accordingly, my friend Mr. Sawyer took for his text Isaiah lviii. 6: “Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?” He touched upon the war with Mexico, but dwelt chiefly on the subject of slavery in America. His remarks were, however, too much mingled with party politics to make the church uncomfortable.
In the afternoon I heard Mr. Dutton, in the North Church. His text was Neh. ii. 3, and his subject Patriotism. The existing war occupied much of his attention, and was strongly and unsparingly denounced. The maxim—too frequently heard at that time in the United States—“Our country, right or wrong,” he shattered to atoms. Defensive war, however, he justified. He dwelt powerfully on the responsibility connected with the exercise of the elective franchise, and urged the duty of voting, at all times, not blindly and for party purposes, but intelligently, honestly, and piously. Exceptions might perhaps be taken by some to his views on defensive war; otherwise the discourse was excellent and seasonable. At the close of the service, we went, in accordance with previous arrangements, to be his guests for a few days.