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monwealth, Yale College. Many of them kept schools of a higher order, at which the youth in their own congregations, and from other places, could prepare for Harvard College, or for Yale, after that was founded.
They promoted general intelligence in many of the towns, by the establishment of libraries, in which standard English books were to be found, and which were extensively read.
They promoted good manners, or the minor morals, in the school, on the wayside, in the family, and in the house of God.
It was the grand object of their professional life to promote the Christian graces among their people.
Nor did they labor in vain. Under their culture the wilderness of 1636 blossomed like the rose in 1776. There was no commonwealth on this continent, or on the surface of the round earth, which, in proportion to its population, surpassed Connecticut in the universality of education, in general intelligence, in family religion, and happiness. The ministers and their people could sit under the three vines, symbolized in the armorial bearings of the colony; they could read the modest motto on those bearings, which ascribes everything to God and nothing to man, Qui transtulit sustinet : they could look into the hall of legislation which was opened every May by a sermon from one of their number; they could look into the courts of justice, opened with prayer; they could look into town meeting, and freeman's meeting, opened with prayer by the minister; they could look into Yale College and the schools, which were religious institutions; they could look into the churches, often crowded with worshipers on the Sabbath, and, in the fullness of their gratitude they could, with upturned eyes, in view of all these glories of the commonwealth, exclaim: What hath God wrought!
But afterwards, slips of these three vines took root elsewhere. From the hive of Connecticut swarms of workers went forth to the west, to the far west, to the great west, to plant there the institutions of their native State.
About the year 1820, during the years of my tutorship in Yale College, students would come from Ohio, especially from the Western Reserve, and enter the institution. After showing the “mettle of their pasture,” Prof. Silliman would say, in his sprightly genial way, in reference to them and the locality from which they came: “Connecticut rediviva !”
And afterwards, even down to the present time, there has been many a hamlet, many a town, many a village, many a city, of which it might be said, Connecticut rediviva.
STATEMENTS BY INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS OF
THE COMMITTEE. Rev. NATHANIEL NILES was born in South Kingston, R. I., April 3, 1741 ; graduated at New Jersey college, 1766.; studied theology with Dr. Bellamy; preached in several places in New England; was married to a Miss Lathrop in Norwich, where he resided a number of years; afterwards removed to West Fairlee, Vt., where he was speaker of the General Assembly, member of Congress, judge of the Superior Court, and author; died October 31, 1828, at West Fairlee, Vt. He was a gentleman of great worth, of various and decided talent; a useful man, and greatly respected. While in Norwich in 1775, he wrote the following “Sapphic Ode," which sounded to the dwellers among the hills and valleys as a trumpet call, summoning them to arms. And during the Revolutionary War, when sung in the full choir, with earnest expression by the sons and daughters of Connecticut, it seemed, like the
“ Blast of that dread horn,
On Fontarabian echoes borne," wailing disaster and defeat, and rousing the courage of the faltering to do or die. In language it is sufficiently classic, and decidedly Christian.
“ The poet seems to have had in view the following atrocities of British agents, which had recently been perpetrated :
“During the battle on Breed's hill, June 18, 1775, by the orders of General Gage, the town of Charlestown was laid in ashes, by which 2,000 people were in a moment deprived of their habitations, furniture, and other necessaries, and property amounting to one hundred and twenty thousand pounds sterling, perished in the flames !”
“To gratify personal malice and revenge, on the 19th October, 1775, Captain Mowat, commander of a sloop-of-war, under the orders of Admiral Graves, proceeded to burn the town of Falmouth (now Portland), Maine, destroying all the public buildings but one, and one hundred and thirty dwellings, and a great number of out-buildings.
“ By this wanton and malicious act of revenge, about one hundred and sixty families were driven, at a late period of the year, to find an asylum as they could, from the severity of the approaching winter !” (President Dwight's Travels in New England.)
This ode has been denominated “The War Song of the Revolution." It found its place in various singing books used in churches. The tune can be found in “The Keynote,” a singing book published as late as 1864.
THE AMERICAN HERO.
A SAPPHIC ODE.
Sounding with death groans ?
What shape he comes in.
God our Creator.
Well may we praise Him, all His ways are perfect;
Struck blind by lustre !
Good is Jehovah in bestowing sunshine,
Shout louder praises !
When called to yield it.
Torturing Æther! Up the bleak heavens let the spreading flames rise, Breaking like Ætna through the smoky columns, Lowering like Egypt o'er the falling city,
Wantonly burnt down. While all their hearts quick palpitate for havoc, Let slip your blood-hounds, nam'd the British lions ; Dauntless as death stares, nimble as the whirlwind,
Dreadful as demons ! Let oceans waft on all your floating castles, Fraught with destruction, horrible to nature; Then, with your sails fill'd by a storm of vengeance,
Bear down to battle !
From the dire caverns made by ghostly micers,
Quick to destruction !
War, I defy thee !
To the encounter.
Life, for my country and the cause of freedom,
Life is redoubled.
In the book entitled “Revolutionary Memorials," Rev. Wheeler Case speaks of Burgoyne's mention of the pulpit orators, in the way of warning the people against them. This implies that Burgoyne well understood that the clergy had great influence with the people.
RECORDS OF THE GENERAL ASSOCIATION OF CONNECTICUT,
VOL. I, 1738-1799. A General Association of the Pastors of the Consociated Churches in the Colony of Connecticut, convened by Delegation at the house of the Rev'd Daniel Welch in Mansfield, June 21, 1774.
The Rev'd Messrs. Waterman, Drummond & Baldwin were appointed a Committee to draw a Draft of a Letter of Condolence [sic] to the ministers of Boston under the present melancholy Circumstances of that Town.
The Rev'd Messrs. Cogswell & Johnson were appointed to compleat the Draft of a Letter to the ministers of Boston.
The Committee appointed prepared a Draft of a Letter to the ministers of Boston, which after Correction was accepted & is as follows:
Rev'D & DEAR SIRS.
We your brethren of the Colony of Connecticut met by Delegation from the several counties in General Association, at our annual meeting, cannot but deeply feel impressed with the present melancholy threatened Situation of America in general & the distressed State of the Town of Boston in particular, suffering the Severe resentment of the British Parliament by which the Subsistance of thousands is taken away. We readily embrace this opportunity, to manifest our hearty sympathy with you in your present Distresses. We consider you as suffering in the common cause of America [sic]- in the cause of civil Liberty, which if taken away, we fear would involve the ruin of religious Liberty also. Gladly would we contribụte every thing in our Power for your Encouragement and Relief; however our Situation enables us to do little more