previous next


He was strongly attached to the Protestant, Congregational order of church government, and had little love for Episcopacy. His “Plea for infant baptism” was considered one of his ablest works. Though early biased in favor of Calvinism, he would not allow himself to be a slave to other men's decisions. He would judge of the Bible for himself. Nullius addictus jurare in verba magistri. We should like to have seen him in the situation of Rev. Marmaduke Mathews, the first minister of Malden, in 1650, who was accused of free thinking and free talking; and “the General Court ordered Governor Endicott, in its name, to admonish him.” We think the General Court and Governor, before they had got Dr. Osgood under their spiritual duress, would have been glad to say, “Go thy way for this time: when we have a more convenient season, we will call for thee.”

He was that “freeman whom the truth makes free,” and maintained that right reason is to our understandings what the Spirit of God is to our hearts. El sabio muda consejo, el nescio no. His views of the gospel dispensation gradually expanded, and thus modified, his former faith. On the evening of that day when he had taken a most decisive stand in the stormy debates which arose in the council, before the ordination of the Rev. Mr. Wisner over the Old South Church in Boston (1819), he proposed to me the following easy question: “Why will Mr. Wisner's creed be like a lighted candle?” Answer.--“The longer it lives, the shorter it will be.” Dr. Osgood might have taken as his motto, Liceat concedere veris. His catholicism was proverbial; and he maintained until his death the friendly interchange of pulpits with both parties, after the Trinitarian controversy of 1810 had commenced. He ever classed himself among those called “orthodox,” --that is, Calvinistic,--and was consistent with his profession. He was tolerant without religious indifference, and candid without forgetting his rebuke of sin. An old and heretofore respected member of the Medford church became “an infidel free-thinker,” --rejecting the divine authority of Christ and the New Testament. Before the church proceeded to deal with him, Mr. Osgood wrote him a private letter as a friend. The letter is dated, “Medford, Sept. 10, 1798;” and, with his plain style and strong sense, he pleads with his erring brother as with a father, a citizen, a patriot, and a philanthropist. Among other ideas are these:--

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Mystic River (Massachusetts, United States) (1)
Medford (Massachusetts, United States) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
David Osgood (3)
B. B. Wisner (2)
Marmaduke Mathews (1)
John Endicott (1)
Jesus Christ (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
1819 AD (1)
1810 AD (1)
September 10th, 1798 AD (1)
1650 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: