MY HOME LIFE.
One of the richest of the many blessings that has crowned my long life has been a happy home. It has always seemed to me as a wonderful triumph of divine grace in the Apostle Paul that he should have been so “content in whatsoever state he was” when he was a homeless, and, I fear, also a wifeless man. During my own early ministry in Burlington, N.J., my widowed mother and myself lodged with worthy Quakers, and realized Charles Lamb’s truthful description of that quiet, “naught-caballing community.” On our removal to Trenton, when I took charge of the newly organized Third Presbyterian Church, we commenced housekeeping in what had once been the residence of a Governor, a chief-justice, and a mayor of the city; but was a very plain and modest domicile after all. My new church building was completed in November, 1850, and opened with a full congregation, and I was soon in the full swing of my pastoral duties. As I have already stated in the opening chapter of this volume, my father and mother first saw each other on a Sabbath day, and in a church. It was my happy lot to follow their example. On a certain Sabbath in January, 1851, a group of young ladies, who were the guests of a prominent family in my congregation, were seated in a pew immediately before the pulpit. As a civility to that family we called on the following evening, upon their guests. One of the number happened to be a young lady from Ohio who had just graduated from the Granville College, in that State, and had come East to visit her relatives in Philadelphia. The young lady just mentioned was Miss Annie E. Mathiot, a daughter of the Hon. Joshua Mathiot, an eminent lawyer, who had represented his district in Congress. That evening has been marked with a very white stone in my calendar ever since. It was but a brief visit of a fortnight that the fair maiden from the West made in Trenton; but when she, soon afterwards returned to Ohio, she took with her what has been her inalienable possession ever since and will be, “Till death us do part.” My courtship was rather “at long range;” for Newark, Ohio, was