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not pull them on again; so he tied them with his mail straps to his saddle. On the way he met Parson Bellamy, when they commenced the old dispute on foreordination and free will. * Now,' says Parson Ross to Parson Bellamy, 'you think you can reconcile foreordination with free will ? Yes.' "Well,' says Parson Ross, you cannot even tell me why my boots are tied on behind me!' Parson Ross was of the Old Divinity' party, and was considered orthodox, while Parson Bellamy was of the New Divinity. He was educated at Princeton, and rec'd his diploma from Pres't Burr.” (From MS. by Deacon Isaac Sherman, printed in the Bridgeport Standard.)
REV. JAMES BEEBE, OF TRUMBULL. Rev. N. T. Merwin writes: “Rev. James Beebe, pastor of the Congregational church (then called Presbyterian), from 1747 to 1785, was a Revolutionary patriot. He took an active part in the capture of Ticonderoga, during the French and Indian war, and was active in stirring up the enthusiasm of the people in the war of the Revolution. He had a son David, who was a Captain in the Colonial army, and did good service in the Revolution.
" Parson Beebe collected a public meeting in his house one evening while the war was brewing. While he was addressing the people assembled there, reports of guns at a distance were heard, and fires were seen, intimating that the British were coming. The reverend general was keen, as well as patriotic, and suspecting a trick, he sent a body of men round by a back road, cut off the retreat of this scouting party, and captured them ; when lo! it was some of the young men of the town, who had burnt heaps of cornstalks, and fired their guns, to play a joke on the folks at the meeting, and test their patriotism."
ITEMS OF RECORD..
Benjamin, son of Brigadier-General Gold Selleck Sylliman and his wife, born Aug. the 8th, and baptized Sept. the 12th ; the General then being a prisoner on Long Island, his lady fleeing from the conflagration of Fairfield, and took refuge in this society.”
ANDREW Eliot, minister of Fairfield, born 1743, son of Andrew Eliot, D. D., of Boston, graduated at Harvard in 1762, where he was a tutor; ordained June 22, 1774, died Oct. 26, 1805.
The following are extracts from letters which he wrote to his father during the war:
“FAIRFIELD, June 26th, 1778. “The General Association sat at Pauge (Northford), near New Haven. I went as one of the delegates from our Association, and had the honor and trouble of serving as scribe to that venerable body. The interview was most agreeable, entertaining and profitable. I returned much pleased. Dr. Bellamy was our Moderator, and the Association was made up of new and old divinity men. But not a word of these peculiarities. The substance of our doings and conversation was how we should in the best and most effectual way promote Christian religion and morality-stem the torrent of vice in this degenerate age, and cultivate Candor, Harmony and Catholicism among Ministers, as well as among people. It was once and again observed, that all speculative disputes and party zeal should be laid aside—that Infidelity kept pace with increasing vices—and that there was the greatest occasion for Union in defence of the Christian cause."
“FAIRFIELD, July 10th, 1778. “I wish Dr. Franklin was as great a Christian as he is a philosopher. What infinitely greater reason would he have to weep at the vain pomps and ceremonalia of this evil world ?-Alas! Britain how art thou fallen ! Ah! America to what art thou driven—to be forced to leave the land of thy forefathers' sepulchres, once a land of Liberty and religion-and to seek alliance and protection from part of the domains of the Man of Sin!”
Rev. Moses Mather was born at Lyme, March 6, 1719, graduated at Yale College in 1739. He received the degree of D. D. from New Jersey College in 1791 ; died Sept. 21, 1806.
"On Sunday, the 22d of July, 1781, while the congregation were employed in public worship, a body of British troops, consisting chiefly of refugees, surrounded the church, and took the whole number prisoners, together with their minister, the Rev. Moses Mather, D. D. This venerable man was marched with his parishioners to the shore, and thence conveyed to Lloyd's neck. From that place he was soon marched to New York, and confined in the Provost prison. His food was stinted, and wretched to a degree not easily imaginable. His lodging corresponded with his food. His company, to a considerable extent, was made up of mere rabble; and their conversation, from which he could not retreat, composed of profaneness and ribaldry. Here he was insulted daily by the Provost marshal, whose name was Cunningham,-a wretch remembered in this country only with detestation. This wretch, among other kinds of abuse, took a particular satisfaction in announcing from time to time to Dr. Mather, that on that day, the morrow, or some other time at a little distance, he was to be executed.
“But Dr. Mather was not without his friends friends, however, who knew nothing of him except his character. A lady of distinction, having learned his circumstances, and having obtained the necessary permission, sent to him clothes, and food, and comforts, with a very liberal hand.” (Pres. Dwight's Travels.)
A poem, containing fifty-three stanzas, was written on the affair by Peter St. John, a schoolmaster of Norwalk, of which the following is the first stanza:
"July the twenty-second day,
A horrid action was begun.” Mr. Mather was an earnest advocate of the rights of the colonies, and openly encouraged his parishioners to enlist in the patriot army. Many of the people, however, favored the cause of King George, and joined the British forces on Long Island.
About the ist of August, 1779, a squad of eight tories, five of whom were his own parishioners, entered his house by night, and took him and four of his sons prisoners. After about five weeks, he was permitted to return with two of his sons, his other sons still remaining in prison for several months longer.
HEZEKIAH RIPLEY, D. D., born in Windham, Feb. 3, 1743 ; Yale College, 1763; ordained in Greens Farms, Feb. II, 767, and continued in the peaceful discharge of parochial duty until the commencement of the Revolutionary War; died 1822.
Faithful to those principles of civil and religious liberty for which his ancestors had been distinguished, he did not hesitate respecting the course which he should pursue. He discharged for a time the duties of a chaplain in the Continental army, and participated largely in the sufferings of that eventful period—his house, his furniture, and a portion of his library, having been burned by the enemy. I have been informed by those whose recollections embraced that period, that, during their public worship, alarming tidings were not unfrequently received. In such cases, and at the desire of Mr. Ripley, who was unwilling to forego those services, persons were stationed at such points that they might give timely notice of the approach of the enemy.
While his countrymen were engaged in war, his feelings were alive to their success; although amid the contest, he pursued those labors which were appropriate to a servant of the Prince of Peace. The independence of the country established, he was relieved from the almost constant alarm and anxiety coincident to a residence upon the sea-board, and gladly hailed the return of peace, when every man could sit under his own vine and fig tree, having none to molest or make him afraid. He was now enabled to assist in the support of those institutions with whose prosperity the welfare of our country is so intimately connected. (Extract of a letter from Rev. Thomas F. Davies. Sprague's Annals, vol. i, p. 647.)
He rode out with many of his people to meet General Washington when on his way to Cambridge, to assume command of the army, and escorted him as far as Fairfield, where they dined. As they parted, Washington said to him. can hold out one year, our liberties will be secured.”
“ If we
ISAAC LEWIS, D. D., born in Stratford, Jan. 21, 1746; Yale College, 1765; ordained at Wilton, Oct. 26, 1768; settled in Greenwich, Oct. 18, 1786; died Aug. 27, 1840.
Mr. Lewis espoused his country's cause with great zeal during the Revolutionary struggle, and both himself and his family had a full share in the sufferings and perils of that eventful period. On one occasion, when the British were trying to effect a landing at Norwalk, and the people had congregated to repel them, a cannon ball from one of their vessels struck the beach, within three feet of the spot on which he was standing, and then bounded with great force, and lodged in the ground three or four rods distant. At the burning of Norwalk so complete was the desolation that only one house, and that unfinished, and at a distance from the village, was suffered to remain ; but, in that solitary dwelling the inhabitants assembled to observe a day of fasting and prayer, and Mr. Lewis preached an appropriate sermon to them from Isaiah lxiv, 11-12.
In the summer of 1776, he was appointed chaplain to the regiment commanded by Colonel Philip B. Bradley, then stationed at Bergen. He remained in the army actively engaged in his appropriate duties, nearly seven months, when he was attacked with a violent fever which then prevailed in the camp, and was, for some time, so ill that his recovery was considered hopeless. But, having naturally a vigorous constitution for medical skill to act upon, his health was gradually restored. After the State troops were disbanded, he was appointed chaplain in the Continental army, but his people being unwilling to spare him again, he declined the appointment.
David Avery, son of John and Lydia (Smith) Avery, was born at Norwich, Conn., April 5, 1746. He was fitted for college in Dr. Wheelock's school, Lebanon ; entered Yale a year in advance, and was graduated in 1769. He studied theology under Dr. Wheelock; was ordained a missionary to the Oneida Indians, as colleague with Samuel Kirkland; was installed at Windsor, Vt., March 25, 1773; and dismissed April 14, 1777, to enter the army as chaplain. He was at the taking of Burgoyne, at the capture of the Hessians at Trenton, and in the battle of Princeton ; served three years as chaplain in the army ; settled at Bennington, Vt., Wren