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strained financially, he would step forward to do the humblest work. Literally, he would rather be a coorkeeper in the house of our God than dwell in the tents of wickedness. As “Jacob served seven years for Rachel, and they seemed unto him but a few days, for the love he had to her,” so Mr. John C. Chester served the church fortyseven years in the eldership, and it seemed to him but a brief period for the love he had to Zion. When fifteen years of age he turned unto the Lord, and for sixty-three years he was a worthy member of this church. He died July 10th, 1863, at the age of seventy-eight years. He was a native of Rhode Island, from whence he removed to this place in his boyhood. He married Miss Nancy Cartwright, and to them were born a number of children, several of whom still continue with us. A son and a grandson, since his departure, have been called to serve as elders in this church, so that since 1820 there has been, without interruption, a Chester in the eldership of this church.
The next brother chosen to be ruling elder was Jeremiah Case. He was born in the “city,” on Shelter Island. While visiting the South on business in 1816, he obtained a hope in Christ. In a short time he returned home and united with this church. Some fifteen years after, on the 13th of November, 1831, he was appointed a ruling elder and ordained by the Rev. Jonathan Huntting. His contemporaries esteemed him as a devoted Christian, whose godly life everywhere exemplified the excellency of the gospel and commended it to the world "as a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation.” Though invested with the authority of a ruler in the church, he did not “lord it over God's heritage,” but magnified his office by the exhibition of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of "great price.” He was "clothed with humility." Modesty was his daily habitude and meekness beautified, like a polished gem in a coronet, his whole life. But though free from a self-asserting, vaunting, demonstrative nature, he was not a weak, negative character, nor easily turned from the line of Christian duty. Though conciliating, he was neither vacillating nor pusillanimous in the maintenance of his own opinions. Though ready to yield to the better reason, he was firmly wedded to his own convictions, when justified by such reason. While gentle as a lamb and amiable as the exile of Patmos, he was still an earnest, laborious, self-sacrificing Christian, and a prudent, efficient officer in the church of God. When well stricken in years and weighed down with infirmities, he
moved to Greenport to reside with his daughter. There he remained until released from the ills of mortal life. The Master called him. Happy death! He went home to the banquet of love and the rest prepared for the people of God. He lived long, for he lived well, and his deathbed was a field of conquest, for on such a battleground death itself dies.
On the 3d of December, 1843, the church made choice of its eighth and ninth elders in the persons of Caleb S. Loper and Horace B. Manwaring. They were "at the same time solemnly ordained, according to the Directory by the Rev.Jonathan Huntting.” These two brethren were true yoke-fellows in the work of the Lord's house, continuing in this happy relation until death called the former, in 1860, to his heavenly home. Elder Loper was a native of Noyac, in the Town of Southampton, where he was born December 20, 1802. At the age of eleven years his parents moved to this island. He experienced the joys of sins forgiven in the great revival under the Rev. Jonathan Huntting in 1831. Two years after he removed to Greenport to engage in business, and when the Presbyterian Church was organized in that place, Feb. 7th, 1833, transferred his membership to it, being one of its original members. Here he remained but two years, when his business being destroyed by fire, he again moved to this island, at the same time transferring his membership to this his mother church. And here he continued to live until his death, on the 3d of October, 1860, in the fifty-eighth year of his age. Altogether he was a member of this church for twenty-seven years, and an elder for seventeen years. He possessed a strong, active mind, great decision of purpose, a large capacity for business, and an almost intuitive perception of character. He had only to look at another to reach a just conclusion respecting his moral worth. When he took a position in regard to any subject, however unpopular it might be, he was ready to avow and vindicate it. When the temperance enterprise was in its infancy, despised and sneered at, and not a few were predicting that it would die in its cradle, and that its swaddling clothes would be its winding-sheet, he rallied under its banner, and was the first on the island, hiring farm labor, who pledged not to furnish spirituous liquors to his workmen. This was a hazardous step, as but few persons would work on such terms, yet he adhered to the right regardless of consequences. He was too ingenuous and transparent to be ever guilty of duplicity, low cunning or double dealing. He filled the office of Justice of the Peace with wisdom, impartiality and equity, and was as just to an enemy as to a friend. Society very generally respected him for his ability, integrity, piety and usefulness. He was emphatically “a devout man, and one who feared God.” This church ought ever to hold his name in grateful remembrance, for he toiled, watched, wept, prayed and sacrificed no little to promote its welfare. He "ruled well” in God's house, and is therefore "worthy of double honor." His death was an unmeasured loss to this Society, but to him it was like the freeing of a bird from its cage. His spirit, released from its prison house, hasted away to revel in the bliss of endless life, where "the smile of the Lord is the feast of the soul.” He passed from mortal sight
“As sets the sun at eve, to rise in splendor where
Sweeping a harp of wondrous song with glory on his brow.” Caleb S. Loper was a Town officer almost continuously from 1824 to the day of his death, in 1860, serving in various positions, from the lowest to the highest, being chosen five times as Supervisor. He was also for a number of years a Trustee of this church. In 1826 he was married to Hepsibah P. Douglass, daughter of Elder Jonathan Douglass, by whom he had four children, one of whom was chosen as an Elder and in time became as distinguished for piety and usefulness as his father, in this church and community.
The ninth elder, Horace B. Manwaring, was born in East Lyme, Conn., March 6th, 1805. When nineteen years old he made a public profession of faith in Christ and united with the Baptist Church in his native place. Nine years later, namely, about 1834, he removed to this island. Here he stayed until about 1838, when he moved to Gull Island, there to become the lighthouse keeper. This position he discharged for four years, at the expiration of which he once more took up his residence on this island, and continued here until his death. In 1842 he united with this church upon profession of faith in Christ. His views concerning baptism hindered him not in fellowshiping with those who differed with him regarding that ordinance. He loved the fellowship of those who honored God and enjoyed the communion of the Lord's Table with them. In less than a year after his uniting with this church he was chosen elder, and in this office served the church with zeal and wisdom for twentythree years, or until his death, on the 19th of February, 1866, in the sixtieth year of his age. He was noted for his good sense and extraordinary prudence.
As a neighbor he was peaceful and accommodating. His friendship was warm and abiding, his integrity universally recognized, and his sincere piety undoubted. He was not subject to changes in his devout habits, but was “always engaged in religion.” Judgment and prudence distinguished his administration, while his power in prayer and remarkable gift in exhortation made him unusually rich and edifying in his devotional exercises. His life was a testimony and his death a demonstration of the excellency of our holy religion. He approached life's closing hour calmly,
"Like one who wraps the drapery of his couch about him
And lies down to pleasant dreams." So serenely he closed his eyes on this fading, fleeting world to feast his clarified vision on the ever-enduring glories of heaven.
Mr. Manwaring was the son of Adam Manwaring and Temperance Dennison. He was twice married, his second wife being Nancy A. Havens, daughter of Elder Lodowick Havens. He possessed a wonderful gift of language, which he exercised to the great delight and profit of those who heard him testify of the goodness of God and supplicate the throne of grace. For many years he served the Town as one of its officers in various capacities, among them as Town Clerk from 1854 to 1857. Upon his death, in 1866, the whole community was overshadowed by sorrow in losing such a noble soul in the very midst of his powers, he being but sixty years old.
The tenth person chosen as elder was Charles T. Chester, elected the 25th of January, 1856, and ordained by the Rev. Daniel M. Lord. Mr. Chester was the son of Elder John C. Chester, and was born on Shelter Island. He united with the church July 1, 1849. In 1892 he was, at his own request, dismissed to the brethren. Being still a resident of this island we forbear speaking of his services and usefulness to the church at this time. He is the honored father of one of our present efficient elders and of the Rev. Nelson B. Chester already referred to.
The eleventh elder was Marcellus D. Loper, chosen and ordained at the same time with Elder Charles T. Chester. Mr. Loper was the son of Caleb S. Loper and grandson of Jonathan Douglass, both of whom had served so conspicuously in the eldership before him. He was born May 1, 1827, and united with the church January 16th, 1848. He continued his membership until his death, December 11th, 1895. As elder he served for nearly forty years. During all these years he was noted for his great love and zeal for Zion. He constantly had upon his heart the welfare of the church, and was a
most devout Christian. There was not a position of trust and honor in the gift of this church to which he was not called. Of him it can be said that he fulfilled the exhortation of Christ to “Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Being of such a pronounced Christian character the community gladly chose him, like the church, to almost every position of trust within its power, from the lowest to the highest. At the time of his death he was the Clerk of the Town, and in the church an Elder, Clerk of the Session, Trustee and Librarian of the Sabbath School. One can readily see from these how useful a citizen and member of the church he was. Well does the author of these papers remember the two visits he made upon Mr. Loper while supplying the pulpit of this church in the nionth of November, 1895. Mr. Loper was at the time seriously ill with the illness that resulted in his death. In these brief visits he impressed me as sweetly resigned to God's will; firm in 'his faith, having the triumph over death that comes by faith in the Son of God. The second visit was on the Monday after the Sunday on which the church extended the call to the author to become their pastor. Not being present at that meeting, he assured me personally of his hearty acquiescence in it, at the same time expressing the hope of its acceptance. The day after my arrival at home I received a letter from him, written after my leaving him, in which he again urged upon me the acceptance of the call, and explaining that the reason why he wrote was that he felt he had not been urgent enough at the time of my visit. These things are stated here simply to show the good, earnest character of the man who, though dangerously ill and near his death, lest he should not have been urgent enough pens his message to make sure of it. That letter is sweetly treasured, for the hand that penned it was soon struck with death, and the first service devolving upon the pastor elect the day after his arrival to take up his residence and work upon this island was the funeral service of this faithful soul. And in his going another soul was fixed in its eternal state among the multitude that have gone up to glory and the Father's house from this community and church. How large a company has already gathered on that Shining Shore. As a testimonial to his worth the following is a part of what was entered upon the sessional records:
"Whereas, Our Heavenly Father has taken from among us in the person of Marcellus D. Loper one whom we had learned to love and respect, whose counsel we sought and whose commendation we