Archive:The Universalist Register, 1882

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The Universalist Register (1882).

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Biographical Sketches of Deceased Clergy and Lay People

Rev. George Wallace Whitney, son of Samuel and Lydia Whitney, was born in Nashua, N.H., March 27, 1843, and died of consumption in Waltham, Mass., May 26, 1881. He was educated in the public schools of Nashua, and received his religious training in the Congregational church until his eighteenth year, when he made the acquaintance of Rev. Joseph O. Skinner, then pastor, in Nashua, and became an attendant of his church. He soon embraced Universalism, and after leaving school began the study of divinity with Rev. Harrison Closson, pastor of the society in Cavendish, Vt. His first sermon was preached on the day of his majority, at West Windsor, Vt., where he preached part of the time in 1865. He was located at Westminster, Mass., in 1866, preaching a portion of the time also at West Boylston. On July 24, 1867, he was ordained at Beverly, Mass., and settled there until 1872. From Beverly he went to Quincy, where he was pastor until 1878, preaching also at North Weymouth from 1874 to 1877. In 1878 he assumed the pastorate of the parish in Augusta, Me., and remained there until the progress of his disease forced him to resign. He preached his last sermon Jan. 9, 1881.

If the quality of Mr. Whitney's ministry may be known by its fruits, it was abundantly successful. At Beverly, an organ was purchased and the parish largely increased in numbers. In Quincy, a parsonage was built, $2,500 were collected towards a building fund, and many were added to the church. At North Weymouth, a chapel was built and a church organized. At Augusta, a vestry was added to the church. He had inborn the elements of a preacher; he was logical and a ready and gifted speaker, but his great strength lay in his earnest, sympathetic nature which found out the best qualities in his hearers and roused them to action. When conscious that his life work was ended, he saw the approach of death with calmness; his sufferings seemed but to develop greater spirituality. In one of his last letters to a friend he says: "Never until these days of trial and sickness, has the spiritual and divine been so real or my faith in another life so strong." His parents, his wife, and several brothers, among them Rev. E. W. Whitney, survive.

Copyright © 2007, Carolyn Cook and the Whitney Research Group

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