[p. 113] frequently took on a solemn or pathetic energy, and his countenance an expression of fervent entreaty,—his eye being sometimes suffused with a tear, which gave the deepest and most touching effect to the supplications. In these devotional exercises he made not a little use of strong and bold figures, both from the Scriptures and of his own construction. One of these was: “Ride forth, King Jesus, triumphant on the word of truth; make it like a sword to pierce and like a hammer to break in pieces, and dissolve the hard and stony heart into godly sorrow for sin.” There were times when Dr. Osgood's preaching in boldness, vigor, and authoritative dignity surpassed that of any other man of his day in New England. I remember to have heard that when Daniel Webster removed to Boston and listened to Dr. Osgood for the first time in the Brattle-square Church he said it was the most impressive eloquence it had ever been his fortune to hear. My own early remembrance of his appearance and words in the pulpit is one of unmingled reverence. He seemed to me like an apostolic messenger from God. His whitening and at length silvered hair, his dignified look, and what I may call the whole presence of the man, enhanced the effect of the earnestness, and frequently the awful solemnity, with which he took our souls into the midst of the great truths of eternity. He sometimes committed to memory parts of his sermons with which he had taken peculiar pains, or which he thought peculiarly important. When he came to deliver these he would deliberately take off his spectacles, and either lay them on the pulpit cushion or hold them in one hand; then with an altered and subdued voice, and with a sort of gathering up of his whole person, he would say, “My brethren,” and then followed the earnest appeal, or the powerful statement, or the vivid description. Everybody who has heard of Dr. Osgood at all has heard of his apparently harsh and rude sayings, and of
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