Special to The New York Times
NEWPORT, R. I., Sept. 7---The Rev. Edward A. Johnson, pastor of the First Baptist Church here, received many congratulations as he walked through Newport to-day because he declined to perform the wedding ceremony for Col. John Jacob Astor and Miss Madeleine Force for a $1,000 fee.
Some members of his church said he should he taken the money and performed the ceremony. Others offered congratulations to Dr. Johnson for his stand in refusing to marry the pair.
Justice Darius Baker of the Superior Court, who lives here, is in the South on his vacation, so if Col. Astor and his fiancée came here to be married, they would meet with disappointment, although though they might get another Justice of the same court to come here from Providence and tie the knot. The Rev. Mr. Johnson said to-day:
"I weighed the matter thoroughly and decided I could not afford to marry Col. Astor and Miss Force, no matter what the fee might have been raised to, and it was $1,000 that was offered me."