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Rev. NATHANAEL EMMONS, D. D.;
TAUGHT AND SHOWN,
HIS LIFE AND DEATH.
By Rev. THOMAS WILLIAMS, A. M.,
OF EAST GREENWICH, R. I.
“One man among a thousand have I found.” — SOLOMON.
PUBLISHED BY FERDINAND ANDREWS.
FARVAND CHILEGA is may 1914 LIEFLY gift of
Joseph , swa
Entered according to Act of Congress in the year 1840, by
FERDINAND ANDREWS, in the Clerk's office of the District Court of the District of Massachusetts.
FOLSOM, WELLS, AND THURSTON,
PRINTERS TO THE UNIVERSITY.
Rev. MR. WILLIAMS : The undersigned gentlemen were chosen by the church and congregation, at a public meeting, the 18th of October, to wait upon you and solicit for the press a full copy of the sermon, that you had been requested, a long time since, by our venerable Pastor, to preach, whenever in God's providence he should have finished his course among us. And your pledge to him you have redeemed to our satisfaction, with peculiar ability. You will, we presume, respond, when we tell you, that any thing and all things relating to him are received by us with no common interest.
Far be it from us, at this time, to attempt to pass an eulogium upon that sermon: but permit us to say, we think it contained much deep thought, research, knowledge, and wisdom; and that it was, in every respect, exceedingly appropriate to the occasion.
JOSEPH T. BACON.
MARLBOROUGH Hotel, Boston, ?
THURSDAY, 5th Nov. 1840. } GENTLEMEN: On Saturday, the 24th of October, I received by the hand of Dr. Miller, the request, which you were chosen, by the church and people in Franklin, at a public meeting on the 18th of that month, to present to me for a full copy of the sermon, that was prepared to be preached at the funeral of Dr. Emmons, in order to its publication. With this request I account myself to be obliged to comply, by considerations, which are perfectly independent of my judgment and choice. If I could have been discharged from a compliance with the earnest and repeated entreaties of Dr. Emmons, that I should preach on the solemn event of his death, as I most heartily and frequently desired I might have been, I should not have been subjected to a pledge, which filled me with fear and trembling, day and night, almost one quarter of a century. But, Gentlemen, you assure me, that the pledge has been redeemed; and to your satisfaction. For this happy assurance, I render thanks to God for his strength in my weakness, and for the sufficiency of his infinite and sovereign grace in the service, which he was pleased to assign me and enable me to perform. I need your testimony and the testimony of the church and people in Franklin, to the accuracy and fidelity of the statements, which were made in the sermon, respecting the character of your most reverend and most worthy pastor and teacher. But you have testified, not by words only, but by deeds, to the excellence and eminence of his character, in the expressions of reverence and affection, which you have given to his name, by your attention and kindness to his family in their affliction and bereavement; and which have been shown so wisely, as to excite the admiration and gratitude of the thousands, who witnessed your conduct on the day of his burial; and also to spread, far and wide, a good report of the character of the church and people, who were, for so many years, the object of Dr. Emmons's most faithful labors and most constant and fervent prayers.
Should I proceed, Gentlemen, in this reply to your request, to such a length as my heart would carry me, this note, which ought
to be brief, would be longer than the sermon which was preached on the life and death of your ascended Nathanael. Yet that sermon will do little towards a full and just knowledge of his character, as it was, of necessity and with propriety, confined to one single subject, which was his official conduct in the ministry of the Gospel. As a son and brother, as a husband and father, a neighbour, a Christian and friend, a companion and gentleman, a scholar and author, a member and a ruler of a christian church, a parishioner, an attendant on public worship and a hearer of divine instruction, a citizen, a patriot and philanthropist, he was as eminent and exemplary, as consistent and amiable, as he was in the office of a teacher and preacher of divine truth.
If this statement be correct, as I firmly believe it to be and as I am prepared to testify and maintain before God and man, what thanks and praises are due, not to Dr. Emmons only, nor chiefly, but to the Father of his spirit and the Former of his body, the Author and Fountain of the knowledge, goodness and wisdom, which were in him so constant and abundant! You, therefore, will unite with me and you will request the church and people to unite with us and with the friends of God and man, of New England and the United States, not only in praises for the bestowment of past mercies, but in prayers and exertions for needed blessings, that the ministry and memory of Dr. Emmons may be turned to the best account, in respect to the momentous period, which now exists in the movements and aspects of divine providence towards our land and the nations and kingdoms of the world. Permit me to request a very special remembrance in prayer to God, as well as in influence with man, for the Hon. Williams Emmons and the Rev. Dr. Ide, that they may be assisted, directed and prospered in the great concern, which rests in their hands and on their minds, by the appointment of Dr. Emmons and the righteous allotment of Almighty God, respecting the publication of his instructions in a series of volumes, in such a manner as shall serve to instruct and bless the families, comfort and strengthen the churches, guide and guard the states and counties, the cities and towns, of our beloved and favored country; and to extend the principles and interests of piety, patriotism, and philanthropy among the nations and families of the whole earth.