Rev. Nathaniel Bouton, 1799–1878

[Mentioned in the Message to The Mother Church for 1901, p. 32]

Nathaniel Bouton's name is prominent in the annals of Concord, New Hampshire, as clergyman and public-spirited citizen. He went to the Old North Congregational Church almost immediately after his graduation from Andover Theological Seminary.

A highly intellectual man, he kept up his reading of the classics and did not neglect philosophy and poetry. Sometimes at morning prayers with his family he read passages in Hebrew from the Psalms or the Prophets. And always after choosing his texts for his Sunday sermons, he examined them in the Hebrew or Greek before developing them. His Sundays were busy, for there were three services; and since his congregation was largely the same for the morning and afternoon services, his sermons had to be different. The evening service was less formal in that he did not preach on a text. Weekdays there were district lectures, Bible classes, prayer meetings, and pastoral calls.

Bouton early learned to use his time profitably. English grammar was not taught in the small Connecticut school he attended; so he memorized the rules contained in "Murray's Abridgement." His love of books led him to become a printer's apprentice, but before he had served his term he decided to become a minister. With the help of his father and friends, he bought his release and prepared for Yale, entering the sophomore class and graduating as valedictorian.

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Signs of the Times
May 25, 1957

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