the pastor till his decease, in December, 1822.
Undoubtedly, at the time of his settlement, his creed was what was then deemed strictly orthodox, and in a written statement containing his doctrinal views, on accepting the call, he acknowledged his belief ‘in the doctrines specified in the assembly's catechism,’ ‘which doctrines,’ said he, ‘I am bound to profess, and as a preacher to teach and inculcate.’
The opposition to his settlement was very small, and seemed to come from those who were called Arminians
, and was founded upon his belief in those doctrines ‘which,’ said they in their written protest, ‘represented an infinitely holy God as the cause of all sin in his children.’
But his opposers soon became reconciled and gave him their hearty support, and during his life there was no interruption to the harmony of the church.
Yet but few reasoning, thinking men can maintain to old age either the philosophical or the theological opinions they held in youth.
Though Dr. Osgood
never called himself a Unitarian, and never distinctly and publicly avowed a change in his belief, there can be no doubts, from many remarks dropped as if casually, and various little incidents which occurred, that for the latter part of his life the assembly's catechism ceased to be held in reverence, and that he was much more in accord with Dr. Channing
than with John Calvin
A little anecdote told me more than fifty years ago, by a gentleman who had means of knowing of what he spoke, indicates something of the gradual change in his opinions.
He was one of the ordaining council at the settlement of Rev. B. B. Wisner
over the Old South Church.
He took no active part in the long examination of the candidate, but when the others had finished he said to the candidate, ‘Young man, do you really believe in all this that you have stated?’
The answer was of course in the affirmative.
‘Well, well,’ said the doctor, ‘if you live to be as old as I am you won't believe more than half of it.’