people of Wrentham
should think you were not a real good Orthodox Deacon
His carriage, as I remember it, was somewhat antique and was called, half in fun and half in earnest,‘the Gospel wagon.’
It was literally a carryall, and was drawn by a good but not handsome horse, which had a bad habit of hugging the reins under his tail.
The deacon probably reasoned with him long to no purpose, and then, accepting the inevitable, rigged an arrangement of two rings attached to the carriage top, through which the reins were passed safely out of the way of the offending tail.
Horse and driver were much happier, although there were many smiling faces on the road; but the deacon was never disturbed by smiles, and he beamed too, especially when the gospel wagon was full of children going to Sunday-school.
Many an aged person or invalid was afforded the only chance to go to church by this same old carriage.
One room in his house was called the ‘prophet's room,’ and visiting ministers were always lodged there unless invited elsewhere.
Divinity students often spent the summer with him, saving the money that they would have had to pay for board during vacation for college expenses.
He was a tower of strength and sympathy to his own pastor.
Quoting again from Mr. Todd
: ‘I recall one time Rev. J. M. Manning, D. D.
, the former pastor of the Mystic Church
, afterward pastor of the Old South Church, Boston
, came to his office, with his usually sunny face clouded.
The deacon glanced at him, and said, “My dear pastor, something is weighing your soul down, and it must be lifted.
Let us have a talk together.”
They went into an inner room, and what was said is not known to the writer, but when they came out the cloud was lifted from the face of the “dear pastor,” and he seemed his old sunny self once more.’
At the council for the dismission of Mr. Manning
to the Old South, Deacon James
rose and said,‘My text is my sermon and my sermon is my text.’
He then opened his Bible and read from 2 Samuel: 12:—