Griswold, Alexander Viets, Dd

Griswold, Alexander Viets, D.D., a bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church, was born April 22, 1766, in Simsbury, Conn., and died in Boston Feb. 15, 1843. He early evinced great capacity, and attained considerable proficiency in Greek and Latin, but untoward circumstances thwarted his desire of taking a collegiate course. After studying law for several years, he decided to enter the ministry, and became a candidate for orders in 1794, officiating in the parishes of Plymouth, Harwinton, and Litchfield; was ordained in 1795, and continued in charge of the three parishes named until 1804, when he accepted Bristol parish, R. I. In 1809 he was chosen rector of St. Michael's, Litchfield, and had accepted the call, but, being elected in May, 1810, bishop of the Eastern diocese, then embracing Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and Maine, the purposed change was not consummated. He was consecrated in May, 1811, and for some years discharged the double duty of bishop and parish priest. "The year 1812 was signalized by an extensive revival of religion under his ministry," and '"again and again his flock was visited with similar seasons of refreshing from the presence of the Lord" In reply to objections made against such "awakenings or reformations,'' he published some papers on "Prayer-meetings and Revivals," in which he ably and zealously vindicates them from "the exaggerated charges of disorder, fanaticism, and delusion," and maintains that under proper guidance they promote the religious life and power of the Church. Yielding to the general desire that his residence should be more centrally located for his diocese, in 1829 he accepted the rectorship of St, Peter's, Salem, Mass., and removed thither in 1830. He remained in Salem until 1835, when provision having been made for his independent episcopal support, he removed to Boston, and devoted the remainder of his life exclusively to his episcopal duties. In 1842 he was relieved by the appointment of an assistant bishop, whose consecration was his last ordaining act. lie died suddenly of heart disease. Bishop Griswold was eminently distinguished among the clergy of his Church for his evangelical spirit and earnest religious life. His chief works are, On the Reformation and the Apostolic Office (Boston, 12mo) : — Sermons (Phila. 1830, 8vo) : — Prayers (N. Y.): — Remarks on Social Prayer-meetings (Boston, 1858, 12mo). See Stone, Life of Bishop Griswold (Phila. 1844, 8vo); Sprague, Annals, v, 415 -425; Christian Observer. July, 1843; Allibone, Dict. of Authors, i, 744. (J. W. M.)

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