Four months after the above was uttered, on the 28th of April, 1861, after the attack on Fort Sumter, and the whole North had burst into a flame, people of all denominations flocked to Dr. Furness’s church, as to that church which had shown that it was founded on a rock, and none can ever forget the long-drawn breath with which the sermon began: “The long agony is over!” It was the "Te Deum” of a life-time.
Dr. Furness’s words and counsels were not wanting throughout the war, and his sermons were constantly printed in the daily press and in separate pamphlet form. And since its close he has continued his absorbing study of the historical accounts of Jesus.
Dr. Furncss was born in Boston, in April, 1802, and was graduated at Harvard, in 1820, and five years later became the minister of the First Congregational Unitarian Christians, in this city, and is consequently the senior clergyman, here, on the score of length of pastorate.
Happy is the man, and enviable the gospel minister, who, looking back upon his course in the great anti-slavery contest, can recall as the chief charge brought against him, that of being over-zealous! That he spoke too often and said too much in favor of the slave! There are but few men, and still fewer ministers, who have a right to take comfort from such recollections! and yet it is to this small class that the cause is most indebted under God, for its triumph, and the country for its deliverance from Slavery.
The character and career of the leader of the movement for immediate emancipation in this country, are too well known to be dwelt on here; nor, in the space at our command, is it possible to give in full those facts of his life which have already appeared in print. His earliest biographer was Mary Howitt; and another even more famous authoress, Mrs. H.B. Stowe, in “Men of Our Times,” has stood in the same relation to him, while his life-long friend, Oliver Johnson, has writen the best concise account of him, in “Appleton’s New American Cyclopaedia.”
Mr. Garrison (the Cyclopaedia is, on this point, in error) was born December 12, 1804, in Newburyport, Mass., his father, Abijah Garrison, being a ship-captain, trading with the West Indies, and his mother, Fanny Lloyd, a woman of remarkable beauty, as well as piety and force of character. Intemperate habits led the husband and father from home to a solitary and obscure end, leaving his family entirely dependent. William (or as he was always called, Lloyd), was the