alone with satisfaction to his people, but with their high appreciation of him and pride in him. Then a change took place on the part of some of them, due especially to his preaching on such agitating subjects as temperance and slavery.
The sermons which were the cause of this division of feeling are not to be found.
Those I have spoken of are of a later date when the controversy was well under way. But at the beginning, there was much outward kindness; for after the unrest began, in 1835, his parish gave him a year's vacation when he went abroad, they paying his salary and supplying the pulpit in his absence, besides giving him a generous sum of money for his journey.
One cannot tell what was in their mind, whether they supposed rest would change his conviction as to his duty, or whether a sense of obligation to them for their favor would accomplish the end they so much desired.
It is clear that his course was one deliberately chosen which he could not put aside, for as early as 1838, not more than two years after his return to his pulpit, at a meeting of the proprietors of the church, it was ‘Voted; That the members of this society have viewed with deep regret the zeal of their reverend pastor in those exciting topics which divide and disturb the harmony of the community, thereby alienating his friends and diminishing his usefulness as the Christian
teacher of this society; that they believe the precepts of the gospel do not warrant him, as a Christian minister, in interfering with the established laws of the land; but that the alteration of old and the adoption of new laws belong to legislators duly elected for that purpose; that they believe he was settled as the teacher of the doctrines and virtues of the Saviour of the world, who did not interfere with the civil law, but whose object it was to promote peace on earth and good will among men. Voted; That a committee of five be appointed to confer with the Rev. John Pierpont
upon his duties and relations to this society, and that they be requested to report at an adjourned meeting.’
Here was the beginning of a controversy that was