Rev. Charles Elliott Harwood
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Sarah Wyman Whitman's Memorial Stained Glass Window
Rev. Harwood was well liked, and after his sudden death a memorial window was commissioned by Sarah Cabot Wheelwright, and installed high on the wall above the pulpit. It is round, but appears elliptical in the closeup view because I took that picture from almost directly below. The inscription reads:
IN LOVING MEMORY OF
Recently it has come to light that the window is the work of artist Sarah Wyman Whitman. When I sent the closeup image of the window to Betty S. Smith by email, she replied as follows:
A Tribute to the Late Rev. Charles Elliott Harwood.
It was suggested to me by a mutual friend that I, on account of my personal knowledge of the late Rev. Charles Elliott Harwood, and my nearness to him in his somewhat extended field of labor, should contribute a few words to his memory. Realizing the fact that the present secretary of the alumni association of Andover Theological Seminary has already prepared a sketch of his life and labors for a regular printed necrology in behalf of the above association, I shall simply dwell upon the life, the characteristics of the late reverend gentleman.
About a year ago I was asked to officiate at the funeral service of a Christian woman whose home was formerly on Cranberry Island, but a short distance to the south from my present home. I shall never forget that service. On arriving at the Island (having been transported there by boats) I met at the meeting place of pebble and wave Rev. Mr. Harwood. He had extended to me the courtesy of his church in which to preach the funeral sermon. We walked together from the beach to the church at the head of the procession. On arriving there I returned his courtesy by asking him to take a part in the service. He cheerfully consented.
This is the one time in my life that I ever preached in a church not of my own persuasion and the one experience of my life in conducting a service with a clergyman of another denomination. I shall never forget his kindness, his sweetness of disposition. He proved himself there what I afterwards felt more convinced of -- the polished gentleman and thorough Christian. Naturally, through this incident, we became quite attached to each other. He never failed to call at the rectory in North East Harbor when on a visit to this place. I became quite interested in his work and at his request gave him the names of summer residents, both here and Seal Harbor, and wished him "God speed" and success within the limits of my ecclesiastical jurisdiction.
At the laying of the corner stone of our new parish house he came over and I introduced him to the clergy of Maine, and such men as Dr. Huntington Of Grace church, New York, Archbishop Tiffany and Dr. Homer. In talking over matters with these reverend gentlemen on late occasions Mr. Harwood's name and work came up and they were all unanimous in their estimate of his devotedness to his work, his skill, his stick-to-it-iveness and polish as a gentleman. The Rt. Rev., the Bishop of Albany, on one occasion mentioned the work of Mr. Harwood in our chapel, and on another occasion spoke in the warmest terms of the reverend gentleman and commended his appeal for assistance, not only to the summer people at large, but also to the Episcopalians then residing here. The Bishop often spoke of his labors and faithfulness. In fact, he had found a warm spot in the hearts of all the summer residents of this place by his frankness, push, energy, faithfulness and zeal.
I officiated at a second funeral in his stead while he was away on his vacation, and when the news arrived that he had passed into the spirit-land, I was shocked at his sudden death. Believing by force of conversation with him, that he possessed quite a library, I went over to the Island and there met his brother, Myron W. Harwood, administrator of his estate. I was more than surprised when I found myself in his cozy "den." Books upon books! I found it was one of the best selected libraries that it has ever been my good fortune to see. It was the best confirmation -- evidence of what I ever found in him, wide in its scope and concentric in its object. Every form of the best literature, both profane and sacred. Wide as the scope was, there was a subtle blending and gradual-narrowing down to all-important point within the better knowledge of Christ and His times.
I am personally acquainted with a large number of his flock that was, and the opinion as expressed by all, whether while in life or now in death, he did in life "all things well." That influence exerted in life so ably over his flock will still go on -- a life lived well, in death is productive of even richer results to those who still live, for by it and through it the "graveyard loses its gloom and becomes a seed plot for immortal flowers." His faults, if any, could only have been discerned by the very best of Morse microscopes. I believe that his nature had been impregnated and possessed by the Holy Spirit.
He had in himself the reflex of the perfect humanity of Christ. He was lovingly gentle and transparently unwordly. There was nothing of the unsympathetically autocratic about him, whether with the one or with the many. I believe that he even possesed that Siamese twin-lived nature of the Blessed Master, as the Lion of Judah and yet the Lamb of God. While his mind delved in the abstract, yet it had a fine grasp upon the concrete and his aim was ever the pushing forward of a contigious duty. There was such a whole-heartedness in his service for Christ that death could at no period come upon him prematurely. He has gone to that now, to us unseen world, and in our faith and trust we thank God over the unretraceableness of his footsteps and are in the possession of the full hope that he, in his present sphere really is what we here believe in measured line, "Transplanted human worth shall bloom to profit otherwhere."
(Rev.) Joseph R. Norwood,
Above newspaper clipping courtesy of Charlotte Harlan, transcribed 25 June 2000 by Bruce Komusin.