Henry C. Wright, afterward a prominent Abolitionist, had lost his parish, a few miles above Newburyport, for the alleged indecorum of swimming across the Merrimack River.
My first actual proposal of innovation was in a less secular line, but was equally formidable.
It was that I should be ordained as Theodore Parker had been, by the society itself: and this all the more because my ancestor, Francis Higginson, had been ordained in that way — the first of all New England ordinations — in 1629.
To this the society readily assented, at least so far as that there should be no ordaining council, and there was none.
William Henry Channing preached one of his impassioned sermons, The gospel of to-day, and all went joyously on, youth at the prow and pleasure at the helm, not foreseeing the storms that were soon to gather, although any sagacious observer ought easily to have predicted them.
It must be borne in mind that during all this period I was growing more, not less radical; my al