Rev. Calvin Park (1774 – 1847)

”Was the son of Nathan Park, and was born in Northbridge, 11 Sept., 1774. He graduated at Brown University, 1797, and A. M.; and from which he received the degree of S. T. D., 1818. He studied theology with Rev. Dr. Austin of Worcester. In 1800, he accepted the office of Tutor in his Alma Mater, which office he filled until 1804, when he was elected Professor of Languages. In 1811, he took the chair of Moral Philosophy and Metaphysics, and continued in it until his resignation, 1825.

He preached, from the beginning of his connection with the college, in destitute churches in the vicinity, but he was not ordained until 1815, May 17 ; when, at his request, the Mendon Association convened at Franklin, and he was there inducted into the sacred office, as Evangelist. Rev. Dr. Crane, of his native town, preached the sermon. After the resignation of his professorship, he commenced preaching to the Evangelical church in Stoughton. He was installed as pastor, 13 Dec, 1826. In 1840, he resigned the pastoral charge, but still resided in the town until his death, 5 Jan., 1847, the same day on which died his near and well-loved brother in the ministry, Rev. Daniel Thomas of Abington, in the 73d year of his age. His last words were : ‘It is well that we are not always to live.’

Dr. Park married Miss Abigail Ware of Wrentham, the daughter of Mr. Nathaniel and Abigail Ware. He had three children :

1. Harrison G., Rev., now in Burlington.

2. Edwards A., Rev., S. T. D. and Divinity Professor in Andover Theological Seminary. He married Miss Maria Edwards, daughter of Wm. Edwards, of Hunter, Greene Co., N. Y., and recently deceased at Brooklyn.

3. Calvin E., Rev., and pastor of the Congregational Church in West Boxford. He married Miss Harriet T., daughter of Joseph Pope of Portland, Me., deceased.

The following extract from a biographical sketch of Dr. Park, on the Records of this Association, is deemed pertinent and truthful:—

‘ As a teacher, he was apt, faithful, and thorough. If any under his care were not good scholars, the fault was not in him. He possessed a clear, discriminating mind, and sound judgment. He was not satisfied with looking at the mere surface of things, but disposed to examine elements and principles ; and was one who could see effects in their causes.

As to character and habits, he was correct, stable, conscientious, pious, and devout. Although he had great sensibility and quickness of feeling, yet his passions were under control. No one, it is presumed, ever found confidence in him misplaced.

His mind was of a meditative and pensive cast. As a moralist and divine, he had no superior. His views of the great doctrines of the Gospel were strictly Calvinistic They were his own; made so not by adoption, but by a careful examination of evidence. He knew what and why he believed. So rooted and grounded was he in the truth, that he was not shaken by any of the new or plausible theories which came up in the religious community.

As a preacher, he was clear, definite, instructive, solemn, and impressive. He fully and faithfully preached what he believed. His aim in his sermons was at the understanding, conscience, and heart of his hearers. But few preachers, with his compass of voice, or even with a much greater, could keep an audience more still and attentive.

He was not a man of noise and display, but of sound thought and close reasoning.  He felt, and he made his hearers feel.’ ”

Source:  A Centurial History of the Mendon Association of Congregational Ministers…, by Rev. Mortimer Blake, Published by Sewall Harding, Boston, 1853, pages 172-4

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