James Freeman Clarke; Autobiography, Diary and Correspondence

James Freeman Clarke

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This historic book may have numerous typos, missing text or index. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. 1891. Not illustrated. Excerpt: ... CHAPTER VIII. JOURNALS AND LETTERS. 1830-1840. There were of course a thousand temptations to a young man equipped as Mr. Clarke was to accept the charge of some vacant parish in New England, and carry on his work among those with whom he sympathized. But that enthusiasm of young New England, to which I have alluded, would not permit him to enter on a career which seemed to offer so little opportunity for missionary work. He preferred to carry such gospel as he had to a region where there were few churches of the denomination to which he belonged. In his Autobiography he has told us of the motives which influenced him in his decision to accept an invitation to preach in Louisville, Kentucky, where some persons, mostly of New England origin, had formed a Unitarian church.1 This was in 1833. At that time the signs of the coming of the slavery contest were but few. Still every one in New England knew that Kentucky was not New England, and the whole drift of public opinion there was different from that on which Mr. Clarke and his friends had been borne along. It was not many years, for instance, since some gentlemen of Lexington, Kentucky, had invited Horace Holley, the eminent liberal preacher of Boston, to be the president of the University of Transylvania. Dr. Holley had gone there with all the prestige which any man could carry from the East to the West; but the Presbyterian ministers of Kentucky, and those of the other Evangelical churches, were quite too strong for any such inroad. Dr. Holley and his friends were given to understand that there was no need for any such men as they were in that region. This was, I think, the only attempt which had been made, before the establishment of the Louisville Unitarian church, toward the transfusion of the New England re...

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