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Bought to Do a Nasty Job, Says the Rev. Mr. Richmond, and Others Join Attack
No Conscientious Minister Could Have Performed it, Say Congregational Official---Carpenter-Parson Not Paid
Special to The New York Times
PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 10---The Rev. George C. Richmond, rector of St. John’s Episcopal Church, who was the first minister to criticize Col. John Jacob Astor when his engagement to Miss Madeleine Talmage Force was announced, denounced in his sermon to-day the Rev. Dr. Joseph Lambert of Providence, R. I., who officiated ate the Astor-Force wedding yesterday in Newport.

“It has remained for a ‘Demas’ to forsake our standards,” he said. “One minister has at last been bought to do the nasty job. He was offered his price. Worse than Judas, he has taken his ‘thirty pieces of silver,’ and in a few weeks, I hope, instead of being driven by his own conscience (of which he is lacking) he will be driven from his sacred office and set to tending an Astor garage or cleaning out an Astor stable.”

“The pastor of the Elmwood Congregational Church in Providence is a disgrace to Congregationalism.”

Dr. Moseley H. Williams, clerk of the Congregational Ministers’ Association, also criticized Dr. Lambert.

“Of course, I can speak only for myself,” he said, “but I unhesitatingly say that it was a shame and an outrage. I was exceedingly sorry to hear that a Congregational minister performed that marriage ceremony. It was a union which no conscientious minister should have had anything to do with. I do not think that any Congregational minister in this city would have married Col. Astor.”
Told That His Services at Astor Wedding Were Not Required
PROVIDENCE, R. I., Sept. 9---The Providence carpenter-clergyman, Edwin S. Straight, who announced yesterday that he expected to officiate at the marriage of Col. John Jacob Astor to Miss Madeleine Force, returned to his home in this city to-day, making no secret at his chagrin at not being called upon to perform the marriage ceremony.

Mr. Straight did not have much to say, although he admitted that he felt “hurt and humiliated,” and that “a thousand dollars would not compensate for the injury done” to his feelings.

The former clergyman said that he went to Newport last night and stayed at a hotel, believing that he was to officiate at the wedding to-day. He did not go to Beechwood, Col. Astor’s Newport home, as he received word early this morning that his services would not be required.

When asked if his expenses at Newport had been paid by Col. Astor’s representatives Mr. Straight said:

“That is only what any gentleman would be expected to do.”

The Rev. Dr. Joseph Lambert returned to his home here to-day from Newport. Beyond stating that he had officiated at the Astor-Force wedding he said that he had no comment to make, and did not care to make public his views as to marriage and divorce.


Mark Baber, USA


Encyclopedia Titanica (2004) CRITICISE PASTOR WHO MARRIED ASTOR (New York Times, Monday 11th September 1911, ref: #3396, published 6 August 2004, generated 26th October 2021 11:40:09 AM); URL : https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/criticise-pastor-who-married-astor.html