emphatic on any particular subject under discussion, at the same time moving his head, while his eyes flash as though he was shaking stars out of his forehead.’
was a man of such positive convictions concerning slavery and temperance, on account of them having a long and painful contest with the important church over which he was settled in Boston
, that we should naturally suppose they ran in his blood and that he had always held them.
This would be to mistake him. Perhaps they were more firmly held because they were mature convictions to which he gave the full consent of his mind and heart.
At any rate, in his youth, after leaving college, he was neither an abolitionist nor such a temperance man as he became afterward.
As to the first, he was rather tolerant of the evil of slavery as it existed in the South
, where he had been familiar with it during the four years he spent in Charleston
after graduating from college.
He was then a believer in the colonization of the negro, a mild but impossible cure for the evil which had many advocates among humane people who could not think the ‘patriarchal institution’ divine, but shrank from the heroic remedy of the abolitionists.
As to temperance, instead of being a teetotaler, whose praise he has sung more than any other of our poets, he had wine on his table when he gave dinners, and sometimes drank toasts with his friends.
On both of these subjects there was a radical change in his thought and in the habit of his life, probably induced by the greater seriousness which marked him after his purpose and vocation in life became clear to him.
's great-grandfather, the Rev. James Pierpont
, was the third minister of the First Church
of New Haven.
The faith then known as Orthodox was that of his family and was his own until coming to Boston
in 1812, when he attended the Brattle Street Church.
While in Baltimore
a Unitarian Church was formed, and he identified himself with it, a religious connection which he maintained ever afterward.