O,—priest, whose ministrations, laid aside To bring fulfillment of the fearful curse Upon thy race, have now that curse assured,— Look back!—and see the altar, bared to view Of vulgar herd and phrenzied populace. “The veil in twain is rent,”—and never more Shall dread Shekinah show Himself to thee;— But where each humble soul, with sin oppressed, Lifts up the cry of penitential grief, A temple shall be found,—and deep within, Shall dwell that sacred Presence,—evermore.
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THE FIRST SCHOOLMASTER OF BOSTON.
By Elizabeth Porter Gould.
When Agassiz requested to go down the ages with no other name than “Teacher,” he not only appropriately crowned his own life-work, but stamped the vocation of teaching with a royalty which can never be gainsaid. By this act he dignified with lasting honor all those to whom the name “Teacher,” in its truest meaning, can be applied.
In this work of teaching, one man stands out in the history of New England who should be better known to the present generation. He was a benefactor in the colonial days when education was striving to keep her lamp burning in the midst of the necessary practical work which engaged the attention of most of the people of that time. His name was Ezekiel Cheever. When a young man of twenty-three years, he came from London—where he was born January 25, 1614—to Boston, seven years after its settlement. The following spring he went to New Haven, where he soon married, and became actively engaged in founding the colony there. Among the men who went there the same year was a Mr. Wigglesworth, whose son, in later years, as the Reverend Michael Wigglesworth, gave an account of Mr. Cheever’s success in the work of teaching, which he began soon after reaching the place. “I was sent to school to Mr. Ezekiel Cheever, who at that time taught school in his own house, and under him in a year or two I profited so much through y’e blessing of God, that I began to make Latin & to get forward apace.”
Mr. Cheever received as a salary for two or three years twenty pounds; and in 1643, while receiving this salary, his name is sixth in the list of planters and their estates, his estate being valued only at twenty pounds. In the year following, his salary was raised to thirty pounds a year. This probably was an actual necessity, for his family now consisted, besides himself and wife, of a son Samuel, five years old, and a daughter Mary of four years. Ezekiel, born two years before, had died. This son, Samuel, it may be said in passing, was graduated at Harvard College in 1659, and was settled as a clergyman at Marblehead, Massachusetts, where he died at the age of eighty-five, having been universally esteemed during his long life.