Ralph Waldo Emerson eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 304 pages of information about Ralph Waldo Emerson.

CHAPTER III.

1828-1833.  AET. 25-30.

Settled as Colleague of Rev. Henry Ware.—­Married to Ellen Louisa Tucker.—­Sermon at the Ordination of Rev. H.B.  Goodwin.—­His Pastoral and Other Labors.—­Emerson and Father Taylor.—­Death of Mrs. Emerson.—­Difference of Opinion with some of his Parishioners.—­Sermon Explaining his Views.—­Resignation of his Pastorate.

On the 11th of March, 1829, Emerson was ordained as colleague with the Reverend Henry Ware, Minister of the Second Church in Boston.  In September of the same year he was married to Miss Ellen Louisa Tucker.  The resignation of his colleague soon after his settlement threw all the pastoral duties upon the young minister, who seems to have performed them diligently and acceptably.  Mr. Conway gives the following brief account of his labors, and tells in the same connection a story of Father Taylor too good not to be repeated:—­

“Emerson took an active interest in the public affairs of Boston.  He was on its School Board, and was chosen chaplain of the State Senate.  He invited the anti-slavery lecturers into his church, and helped philanthropists of other denominations in their work.  Father Taylor [the Methodist preacher to the sailors], to whom Dickens gave an English fame, found in him his most important supporter when establishing the Seaman’s Mission in Boston.  This was told me by Father Taylor himself in his old age.  I happened to be in his company once, when he spoke rather sternly about my leaving the Methodist Church; but when I spoke of the part Emerson had in it, he softened at once, and spoke with emotion of his great friend.  I have no doubt that if the good Father of Boston Seamen was proud of any personal thing, it was of the excellent answer he is said to have given to some Methodists who objected to his friendship for Emerson.  Being a Unitarian, they insisted that he must go to”—­[the place which a divine of Charles the Second’s day said it was not good manners to mention in church].—­“‘It does look so,’ said Father Taylor, ‘but I am sure of one thing:  if Emerson goes to’”—­[that place]—­“’he will change the climate there, and emigration will set that way.’”

In 1830, Emerson took part in the services at the ordination of the Reverend H.B.  Goodwin as Dr. Ripley’s colleague.  His address on giving the right hand of fellowship was printed, but is not included among his collected works.

The fair prospects with which Emerson began his life as a settled minister were too soon darkened.  In February, 1832, the wife of his youth, who had been for some time in failing health, died of consumption.

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