[p. 114] his neglect or contempt of what the world calls politeness and decorum. The truth was, he was originally a man of strong and somewhat rough nature, who abhorred disguise, pretence, and quackery of all sorts,— open, bold, and uncompromising, thinking much of realities and little of conventional standards. He had rough impulses, and spoke blunt words; but I am sure that what might appear to be unkindness or rudeness was in reality the result of uncalculating, spontaneous honesty of soul. His heart was essentially and truly a kind, Christian, noble heart, and would sometimes melt into an unexpected tenderness, that was the more touching in a man of his strong qualities. For myself, I must say that from the earliest to the latest period I always found him kind, benevolent, and considerate toward me. I preached my first sermon in his pulpit; it was a trying day to me; but the sharpness of the trial was increased by his taking me into his study before meeting and saying: “Come, you must read your discourses to me before you preach, that I may give you my opinion of them.” With no little perturbation I complied, and as I read, he would say to some of my youthful crudities of thought or expression, “That won't do; you must alter that.” I passed through the ordeal with trembling on my spirit; and although the good man's manner was certainly not soft or flattering, yet he meant it in all kindness, and afterwards he encouraged, and comforted, and animated me not a little. I have often thought that what was often construed as severity or roughness in Dr. Osgood might have been simply the result of more fearlessness than other men possessed. Moral courage was one of the strong elements of his character—it never quailed; he would say what he thought he ought to say, or what the case required, let men think what they would of it. It is easy to see that a man of such feelings and principles might often be misconstrued or misrepresented. Nevertheless, the lion heart is often the kindest of hearts.
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
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.