T. De Witt Talmage eBook

Thomas De Witt Talmage
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 389 pages of information about T. De Witt Talmage.

    When Talmage the terrible shouts his “God-speed”
      To illit’rate (and worse) immigration,
    Who knows but his far-seeing mind feels a need
      Of recruits for his mix’d congregation? 
    And when he, self-made gateman of Heaven, says he’s glad
      To rake in, on his free invitation,
    The fit and the unfit, the good and the bad,
      Put it down to his tall-’mag-ination.—­Pan.

My critics were particularly wrought up again on my return from Palestine over my finances.  What a crime it was, they said, for a minister to be a millionaire!  Had I really been one how much more I could have helped some of them along.  Finally the subject became most wearisome, and I gave out some actual facts.  From this data it was revealed that I was worth about $200,000, considerably short of one million.  In actual cash it was finally declared that I was only worth $100,000.  My house in Brooklyn, which I bought shortly after my pastorate began there, cost $35,000.  I paid $5,000 cash, and obtained easy terms on a mortgage for the balance.  It was worth $60,000 in 1890.  My country residence at East Hampton was estimated to be worth $20,000.  I owned a few lots on the old Coney Island road.  My investments of any surplus funds I had were in 5 per cent. mortgages.  I had as much as $80,000 invested in this way since I had begun these operations in 1882.  Most of the mortgages were on private residences.  I mention these facts that there may be no jealous feeling against me among other millionaires.  Because of my reputation for wealth I was sometimes included among New York’s fashionable clergymen.  I deny that I was ever any such thing, and I almost believe such a thing never was, but I find, in my scrapbook, a contemporaneous list of them.

Dr. Morgan Dix, of Trinity Church, with a salary of $15,000, heads the list, Dr. Brown of St. Thomas’ Church, received the same amount; so did Dr. Huntington of Grace Church, and Dr. Greer of St. Bartholomew’s.  The Bishop of the diocese received no more.  Dr. Rainsford of St. George’s Church received $10,000, and like Dr. Greer, possessing a private fortune, he turned his salary over to the church.  The clergymen of the Methodist Episcopal churches were not so rich.  The Bishop of New York received only $5,000.  The pastor of St. Paul’s, on Fourth Avenue, received the same amount, so did the pastor of the Madison Avenue Church.

The Presbyterian pulpits were filled with some of the ablest preachers in New York.  Dr. John Hall of the Fifth Avenue Church received the salary of $30,000, Dr. Paxton $10,000, Dr. Parkhurst and Dr. C.C.  Thompson $8,000 respectively.  Dr. Robert Collyer of the Park Avenue Unitarian Church, received $10,000, and Dr. William M. Taylor of the Broadway Tabernacle the same amount.

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T. De Witt Talmage from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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