1829: Rev. David Remington to Rev. Absalom Peters

Painting by Elizabeth H. Remington

This letter was written by Rev. David Remington (1795-1834), the son of Shadrack Remington (1765-1846) and Experience Granger (1767-1843). Rev. Remington was married to Esther Rutger Low (1808-1892) in 1826. He became the pastor the FIrst Prebyteria Church at Rye, New York, not long after this letter was written in 1829.

Remington’s obituary notice appeared in the 3o January 1834 issue of the New York Commercial Advertiser:

Died. At Rye, Westchester County, on Saturday boring, the 25th inst. Rev. David Remington, Pastor of the Church in that place, aged 38 years. His death was as sudden as it was unexpected.

The Remington’s had a daughter named Elizabeth H. Remington (1827-1917). She became an accomplished pastel painter with a studio on Fourth Avenue nearly Twenty-Third Street in New York City.

Stampless Letter

TRANSCRIPTION

Addressed to Rev. Absalom Peters, Corresponding Secretary Americal Home Missionary Society, 144 Nassau Street, New York [City]

Greenburgh [New York]
April 25, 1829

Page 1

Rev. and Dear Sir,

In again making a report of my labors among this people, it is gratifying to be able to say that our congregation has not decreased in numbers — that our prayer meetings are observed — that out bible class is continued — our sabbath school flourishing, and that harmony in the church and congregation prevails. But it is painful to be obliged to say that there is at the present time nothing specially encouraging amongst the people. Christians appear to have left their first love. There is a want of that piety that pities, that weeps and that makes the most vigorous efforts for the salvation of sinners. There is, however, here and there one that is seeing over the desolations of Zion & praying that God would turn her captivity as the streams in the south.

With respect to temporalities, there has been little or no change. The ability and disposition of this people to contribute to the support of the gospel is about the same. Two hundred and fifty dollars is as much as they are willing to pledge themselves to raise in money. I believe they wish and expect me to continue with them but without the continued aid of your society, I cannot think it my duty to stay, and with the same amount of aid which the committee granted the last year I have strong doubts whether it would in a pecuniary point of view be for my interest to continue here.

Page 2

Some of the principal men of the church recently organized at Rye have expressed a wish to obtain my services. This church is in its infancy and at present unable to give a minister a competent support, but there would be this advantage in Rye; whatever they should agree to give their minister would be punctually paid for although the congregation is small, it is composed of wealth. With regard to the prospects of that congregation, I can only say that there are a number of families residing at no great distance from the meeting house which attend no place of worship, and it is thought that some of these families at least will be gradually drawn to the place of worship, and become members of the congregation and support of the gospel.

At Sawpit, a village about two miles east from Rye, there is a field for usefulness, and the door appears to be now opening. An interesting sabbath school consisting of between seventy and eighty scholars has recently been got into operation, which is very flourishing. And it is in contemplation to make an effort to raise a congregation there, and if successful, to have it united with The in the support of a minister. I have spent two sabbaths at Rye and was upon the whole much pleased with their present situation and future prospects, and am persuaded that with the same salary it would be much to my pecuniary advantage to go there, and that because my salary would be regularly and punctually paid, whereas here, with the exception of what I receive from your society, it all comes by littles.

Page 3

I desire, however, to be actuated by higher and better motives than those of pecuniary considerations. If my heart does not deceive me, my wish is to do that which will most advance the Glory of God, and the interests of the Redeemer’s Kingdom.

I wish for your advice in this matter and am desirous of knowing whether if I continue where I am the committee will grant further aid to this people. And here I would say that the discouragements which exist here, are the same which often exist in other churches & congregations — a want of engagedness among Christians, and no seriousness among the impenitent. The people of Rye wish to know if there is any probability of my coming among them. You will perceive, therefore, that I am placed in a situation in which it is difficult for me to come to a decision without whether the Committee will continue to aid the church in Greenburgh if I continue here, or if in the case I should go to Rye they would be disposed to aid the church there. I feel attached to the people in this place and do not like to break away from them without a sufficient cause. Will you have the goodness to lay this matter before the Committee at their next meeting, and send me a line as soon thereafter as may be consistent with your numerous engagements.

I am very respectfully, yours &c., — D. Remington

P.S. I have said nothing to the people here on the subject of leaving them and believe that they would very reluctantly consent to my going.

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