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Page:Sketch of Connecticut, Forty Years Since.djvu/94

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SKETCH OF CONNECTICUT,

abated, because they found him "guilty of a skill, not coloured, like their own." Early instructed in reading, and the principles of religion, he had imbibed an ardent love for the Scriptures, and stored his memory with a surprising number of their passages. If the great Selden merited the name of a "walking dictionary," Primus might have been styled a living concordance. At the private religious meetings, which were occasionally held by the pious, it was customary, when any text was under discussion, whose place was doubtful in the memory of the speaker, to appeal to the venerable African. Then, from some remote corner, a modest voice would be heard, to pronounce with precision, respecting the chapter and verse. This information, which his humility generally connected with some expression of doubt, was almost invariably found a "sure word of testimony;" for he had made the Bible his sole study from his youth, exercising his memory, not only upon its substance, but upon its links of connexion and dependance, as the historian clings to chronology, to systematize the facts, with which his mind overflows.

Primus had been, for more than half a century, a member of the Congregational Church in his vicinity. We might say an ornament also, if the circle of Christian duties, and spiritual graces, were ever found so unmingled with imperfection, as to justify such an epithet. At that most solemn ordinance, appointed by the Saviour to "keep in remembrance hIs death till he come," the devotion, the