Oliver N Bacon.

A history of Natick, from its first settlement in 1651 to the present time; with notices of the first white families, and also an account of the centennial celebration, Oct. 16, 1851, Rev. Mr. Hunt's address at the consecration of Dell Park cemetery, &c. .. (Volume 2) online

. (page 8 of 22)
Online LibraryOliver N BaconA history of Natick, from its first settlement in 1651 to the present time; with notices of the first white families, and also an account of the centennial celebration, Oct. 16, 1851, Rev. Mr. Hunt's address at the consecration of Dell Park cemetery, &c. .. (Volume 2) → online text (page 8 of 22)
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fabric. ^ But alas ! they forgot to put under the chief corner-stone.
Of course the fabric was no sooner reared than it tumbled in the dust.
As a nation they openly discarded all religion. Passing through
Brest and Paris, the most central cities in the country, you would
behold, posted up in capitals, this motto, " No priests, no religion, no
God ! " Turning the eye on the opposite posts you would see written, '
in legible characters, " No God but liberty."

Infatuated people, thy liberty is gone 1 — where now is thy God ?
I speak these facts, not to elate nor shame you, but as my own
countrymen, I warn you " Come not ye into her secrets, lest ye
partake of her plagues."

Americans ! would we preserve the admirable fabric which was
reared by our patriotic fathers we must not take away the chief
corner-stone, virtue and religion.

Gentlemen, officers, and soldiers of the militia, a part of the con
elusion belongs to you. I mourn with you at the recollection of
those lusts and passions from whence come wars and fightings. I
regret that general depravity which renders it necessary for you to
be clad in the habiliments of war. But as inhabitants of the world
we must meet the world as it is. We may wish it were better, and do
our endeavor to reform it, yet it is a duty we owe ourselves, our
families, our country and our God, to put ourselves in an attitude of
self defence. Gentlemen, your commissions in the military department
of our government are honorable ; your stations rank high. In
your hands are deposited an important trust. It is you who must first



hear the calls of our country, and take the first rank in times of war
as well as in times of peace.

Your good sense will not suffer you to be elated in view of the im-
portance of your offices ; but, feeling your responsibility, you will
endeavor to fill them with dignity and fidelity.

You will make yourselves masters of the military art, and martial
your troops to the best advantage, that they may see you are worthy
the posts you hold. You will unite the energy of the officer with
the feelings of the soldier, that you may ever maintain discipline on
your parades, and at the same time not appear tyrannical. In
raising each other to posts of higher office, you will pay no attention
to party feeUngs, but be actuated solely from a sense of genuine merit.

Soldiers, so long as ye act in character, your rank is scarcely a
step in the rear of your commanding officers. You are as honorable
in obeying as they are in commanding. Though you mi:iht do but
little without them, they certainly could 'do nothing without you.
Let it ever be your ambition, while under arms, to act the soldier.
Equip yourselves like soldiers. Respect your officers, cheerfully
obey them. Let expression and not the tongue evince your martial
feelings. In doing this you add dignity and worth to your charac-
ters ; you show yourselves worthy the name of an American soldier.

Officers and soldiers, your stations are not incompatible with
the Christian character. Your equipments are not complete till you
put on the 'Christian armor. In addition to your other equipments,
permit me, in the language of an apostle, to exhort. Take to your
self the whole armor of God, having on th^ breastplate of righteous-
ness, and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace.

Above all, take the shield of faith, whereby ye shall be able to
quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. Take the helmet of salvation
and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Thus
equipped you are prepared to fight the lawful battles of your
country. I pray God that none of your blood may ever be spilled
on the field of battle ; that the alarm of war may never echo this
side of the Atlantic. But ye are surrounded with bloody neighbors ;
neighbors that have drenched the plains of Europe, and crimsoned
the ocean with human blood. Lest they unexpectedly surprise you,
be ever on your watch. Never let the sword or the spear rest in
your hands, keep them habitually ready for actual engagement ; and
should the voice of war ever resound in our land, may the God of
armies protect you.


Fellow citizens, you have an imperfect view of the government
under which we live. We have seen the props necessary for its

Others might be educed, but they are all summarily comprised
in the four that have been named, — education, frank and reason-
able discussion, observance of laws, and religion. Once more take
a view of the fabric standing upon these four pillars. The fabric is
good, we all agree, but what say you to the foundation ? Are all the
pillars sound, or are they defective ? As an individual I confess to
you I tremble when I see on what my country rests. I fear the
perpetuity of our government ; and though I should be accused of
treason, I cannot, I dare not suppress it. When I see the founda-
tion taken from a building, I know, as sure as matter will gravitate
towards the centre, that building must fall Not that the foundation
is as yet entirely taken from our government. No ; some of the
pillars stand unimpaired. Time, instead of mouldering, seems to in-
vigorate. Education flourishes ; laws are generally observed ;
mutinies and insurrections are unpopular with the judicious of all
parties ; but others, particularly those of good sense and reli'nous
order, are defective. There is a very great proneness in people to
believe what they desire, upon the slightest evidence, and to reject
what they do not relish, even in the face of demonstration. I only
ask gentlemen to open their eyes, and look at the state of religion
and morals in our country, and then say if such fears are perfectly

The unhappy political divisions in our country are truly alarming-.
No house, no nation can be strong when it is nearly equally
" divided against itself." We do not wish to indulge a needless
timidity, and torment ourselves before the time ; nor would we be so
stupid and heedless to the future as to see the breaches and not "-ive
the alarm. We would not lull the people to sleep cryino-, " Peace
peace," when sudden destruction awaits us. If we will suffer party
feeling to usurp the throne of reason, and licentiousness to occupy
the place of virtue, without the spirit of prophecy we may predict
the downfall of our country, and bid a long farewell to American in-
dependence ! But is there no alternative, no hope in our case ?
Yes, I rejoice with you, fellow citizens, that this anniversary ushers in
a brighter morning than the last. May it continue with increasing
lustre unto the perfect day. Our difliculties with foreign powers are


in some measure adjastecl. Our flag once more traverses the ocean,
and a door seems to be open for greater union among ourselves.
The God of heaven is giving us another trial, to see whether we will
preserve our independence, or prostrate our liberties upon the shrine
of passion. Americans, it is time to cease domestic hostilities.
Party spirit has reigned long enough ; some of the nobler feelings of
the soul ought to be promoted and encouraged. Let us return and
unite in the good old principles of our fathers, both as it respects
politics and religion. Let party names be forgotten and lost in the
better name of true American.

Doubtless we have our Catalines who are lurking in ambush to
give the fatal blow, and want nothing but a convenient opportunity
to assassinate the republic. Yet we fondly hope the number of-
Ciceros are sufficient to detect them. Honest men and men of
talent, we trust there are, of all parties, who are willing to devote
their talents, their property and their lives, for the preservation of
their country. Let them unite — let u.s unite with tliem, and we may
form a powerful phalanx against the common enemy. If there
must be a division, let not the dividing line separate honest men, but
let it be drawn between honesty and dishonesty, virtue and vice,
treachery and patriotism. ,May this anniversary witness a coal-
escence of all genuine Americans. And from this day may honest
men bury in eternal oblivion all those petty animosities and false
insinuations which sender strife.

i *






Settlemext of Rev. Martin Moobe. Some account op his Ministry.
Dismission. Subsequent Life. His Published AVorks.

Rev. Martin Moore was the next pastor of this church. Two
years and seven months elapsed after the death of Mr. Sears before the
ordination of Mr. Moore. During that time, Messrs. Samuel Parker,
Joel Wright, Calvin Wait, Isaac Jones, and John Taylor preached,
as candidates. The call of the church bears date of November 18
1813 ; the concurring vote of the town was given December 6 ; an
affirmative answer was communicated January 2, 1811, and on the
16th of February following he was ordained. Mr. Moore was born
in Sterling, in the county of Worcester, A. D. 1790, and graduated
at Brown University, A. D. 1810. He was dismissed from Natick,
August 7, 1833, and soon after installed pastor of the Congregational
church in Cohasset, from which place, after a residence of eight
years, he removed to Boston, where he has since resided. He has
been for the last eleven years one of the editors and proprietors of
the Boston Recorder, now the Puritan Recorder. Those best
acquainted with Mr. Moore can accurately imagine what will be the
language of the biographer, who, it is to be hoped, some distant day
shall record his history. " Monuments and eulogy belong to the
dead." We seem, at last in our work, to walk in our own times, to
tread among the living and the active men around us ; and when we
see the grey hairs and venerable form of him who for a score of
yers stood and guarded the town from external and internal foes,
let us bless a kind Providence which has preserved him so long, and
sincerely hope that many years will yet elapse before his removal to
that bourne his predecessors have sought shall render it proper for
a biographer to publish a history of his life, or a sketch of his

The following is a list of his published works, beside several
articles for periodicals : — 1st. A Sermon delivered at Natick in
1817, giving an account of the religious society and church. 2d.


A Life of the Apostle Eliot, published in 1822, and a second edition
in 1842. 3d. A History of the Boston Revival in 1842.

The following extract from a sermon preached at Natick in 1817,
will give the reader an idea of his style :

" The goodness of God to us as a town demands our most grateful
acknowledgments. He has given us a fruitful soil and a competency
of the good things of this life. The town since its settlement has
been favored with a good degree of health. It has been preserved
from the pestilence that walketh in darkness, and from the destruction
that wasteth at noonday. At an early period in the History of New
England, God was pleased to visit the natives, who were then the
proprietors of this town, with a time of refreshing from the presence
01 the Lord. By the instrumentality of Eliot, a good number of
these benighted pagans were turned from darkness to light, from the
power of Satan to God. The names of Eliot and Brainard, are
praised in all the churches.

In the days of Whitfield, when the New England churches were
visited with a shower of righteousness, this town received a portion
of this blessing. At this period, fifty were added to the church.
God evidently gave you a blessing in your late pastor. Although
his ministiy w'as short, and at some periods he had occasion to take
up the mournful lamentation of the prophet, ' Who hath believed
our report, and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed ? ' yet the word
preached by him accomplished what God pleased, and prospered in the
thing whereunto he sent it. The church in this town has been repeat-
edly dissolved, but it has been as often gathered again. God has never
permitted it to be extinguished. It continues to this day. I trust
the language of God to it at this time is, ' Fear not, little flock, it is
your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.' I trust there
are in this place, as there were at the church in Sardis, in the days
of the Revelation, a 'few names who have not defiled their garments.'
In view of all the goodness which God has caused to pass before you
and your fathers this day, say with the Psalmist, ' Bless the Lord,
our souls, and all that is within us, bless his holy name.'

God has given you occasion to sing of mercies. He has also given
you occasion to sing of judgments. You have not at all times had
that peace and harmony which constitute a considerable portion of
human happiness. Although men under such circumstances are
disposed to free themselves from guilt and lay blame upon the


opposite party, yet the fact is, that in the heat of controversy many
things are said and done on both sides which are wrong. If the
point can be obtained, the means of obtaining it are not so much
regarded as they ought to be. Sin is always the procuring cause of
misery. Dissensions should be viewed as the fruits of sin, and as
evidences of God's displeasure against it. In view of dissensions
that have existed heretofore among you, you should be led to mourn
for sin which was the procuring cause of these dissensions. Each
should say. What sins have I done ? Each should turn to the Lord
with full purpose of heart to serve Him. Each should from the
heart, forgive his brother that has trespassed against him, then God
will also forgive him his trespasses. Were this disposition universal
there would be no difficulty in devising means again to unite the town
in forming one religious society. Let each pursue this course of
conduct and we shall soon know how good and how pleasant it is for
brethren to dwell together in unity.

We should meet together, not merely as we do now, to transact our
civil business, but every Sabbath we should unitedly present our
supplications before the throne of grace, — we should join our hearts
and voices in songs of praise. We should be one family, partakers of
each other's joys and sorrows. The deadly wound would be healed.
The God of peace would be with us and bless us.

Where are the natives that were the original proprietors of this
town ? Not only those are dead who were alive when the white
people first began to settle among them, but the tribe has become
nearly extinct, and their l^n^uage entirely lost.

Where are the first white settlers of this town ? They are all
gone to their long homes ; a few only of the second generation are
in the land of the living. Many of the third and fourth, and some of
the fifth generation have passed off the stage of action. Our chil-
dren will shortly inquire where are their fathers. Soon we who are
busy and active shall be gathered to our fathers, even as they were
gathered unto theirs. Time is ever on the wing. The grave already
opens its mouth to receive us.

Each moment has its sickle, and cuts down
The fairest hope of sublunary bliss.

During the past year a number of us have been bereft of friends.
Some of us have been called to part with a father, some with a


brother, some with sisters, and some with children. During the past
year death made inroads upon this society. We have lately entered
upon a new year. In all human probability it will be said to some
one of us, ' Tlds year thou shalt die.'' Which family death will
enter, which seat he will make vacant in this house, no one knows but

We know not at what hour of the night our Lord will come ;
hence we ought always to watch and be ready. Blessed is that
servant whom his Lord when he cometh shall find so doing."

«• •




Settlement of Rev. E. D. Mooke. Dismissiox. Notice or Rev. Samuel
Hunt. Charge at his Oiidination. Dismission. Settlement of Rev.
Elias Nason. His Publications.

Rev. Erasmus D. Moore was the immediate successor of him Avho
has last received our attention. He was born in Winsted, Conn., and
received his collegiate education at New Haven, as also his theo-
logical education. He was ordained at Natick, November G, 18o3.
Rev. Dr. Skinner preached the sermon on the occasion. Rev. Dr.
Ide, pastor of the Second Congregational Church in Medway, gave
the charge to the pastor. Rev. Samuel Lee, then of Sherborn,
Mass., made the addiess to the people. Mr. Moore was dismissed
from his charge in April, 1838. Since that time he has been suc-
cessively pastor of the church in Kingston, and Barre, Mass., and for
ten years editor of the Boston Recorder, Reporter and Congrega-
tionalist. He is now a resident in town.

The congregation, after the dismission of the above pastor, listened
to thirty-nine different preachers before they became satisfied that
their interest demanded the settlement of any one. Rev. Samuel
Hunt at last received the unanimous call of the church and society,
and was ordained pastor, July 17, 1839. Rev. Dr. Ide, of Medway,
preached the sermon. Rev. L. Hyde, of Wayland, offered the or-
daining prayer. Rev. W. Pierce, of Foxboro', gave the charge
to the pastor, and Rev. Edmund Dowse, of Sherborn, gave the
right hand of fellowship.

Mr. Hunt is a native of Attleboro', Mass. ; was graduated at Am-
herst college in 1832 ; theologically educated at Princeton, New
Jersey. He was dismissed from Natick, May 22, 1850,

There are very few congregations in this section of Massachusetts
where Mr. Hunt is not known and respected, and ever a welcome
visitor. The reader need only to peruse the specimens of his pro-
ductions which appear in other parts of this work, and to know his
manner of delivery, to join in the opinion of his friends universal!}'',
that he possesses qualities as an orator which are equalled by few, and


"which justly entitle him to the position he occupies among his breth-
ren in the ministry.

The charge of Rev. Mr. Pierce at the ordination of Mr. Hunt, is
so unique in its character, and at the same time so able and solemn,
that I have concluded to give the present and future readers an op-
portunity of perusing it.


Dear Sir : — By the choice of this church and your own consent,
with the sanction of this ecclesiastical council and the solemnities of
the present occasion, you are this day invested with the pastoral

It is your hope, sir, and we trust your most fervent prayer, that you
may be a pious, faithful minister ; finish your course with joy, and at
last, with all the redeemed of the Lord, receive a crown of life. You
will, therefore, listen to considerations of the most weighty charac-

And first, sir, I charge you in the name of this council, — I charge
you to attend to the piety of your own heart. This duty, though not
peculiar to the Christian minister, is an item of such a nature as can-
not be dispensed with. If there is one thing on earth more out of
place or character than another, it is a man undertaking without piety
to discharge the duties of the Christian minister. His heart cannot
be in his work, and without this he will lose his own soul, and be very
liable to lose the souls of those who hear him.

The most awful spectacle exhibited at the judgment day, — ^yeSjthe
most fearful doom of all the dammed of lost men, will be that of the
man who in this world undertook to preach the Gospel without religion,
and at last went down to hell with most of his congregation.

Never be satisfied with a moderate degree of piety — with mere
grace enough to make a shift to get yourself into heaven. You must
have enough to induce you to labor faithfully to save your hearers.
The duties of a minister are so self-denying, require such a sacrifice
of pride and ease — such a holy baptizing of the whole man, that they
will be never faithfully carried through with that ordinary degree of
godliness which seems to content most Christians in the common walks.
Remember there is so much about your ministerial duty that is offi-
cial, that what would be evidence of piety in others can be none in


you. Then labor, sir, to obtain a high degree of practical godliness.
This will support you in every trial, give an unction to your ministry,
and carry you safely through it.

Having settled this part of the business, I proceed to the active
duties of the pastoral life.

And here, sir, I charge you to be a doctrinal, discriminating, faith-
ful preacher. Be sound in the faith yourself, and preach a sound
faith to your people. Feel your obligations to preach the whole coun-
sel of God. The Bible is a whole system of revealed truth. If any
part of it is suppressed in your public ministration, it becomes defec-
tive, and indescribable mischief may and generally does follow from
such a partial exhibition of it. For a minister of Christ to undertake
thus to improve what God has stamped w'ith the seal of perfection, is
little less than blasphemous presumption. As the last evil in the case
it betrays such a coAvardly spirit as should never exist in a minister of
Christ. Feel the fullest confidence that for all converting and sanc-
tifying purposes, "the law of the Lord ig perfect." That it is no
way to try to save your people by forsaking, or mutilating the means
Infinite Wisdom has provided to do it. You must not attempt to be
wiser than your Maker.

In meeting your people it is not what your sympathies might dic-
tate, or what you might be tempted to say in the hour of weakness,
but " Whatsaith the Lord ? " It is a gross insult to God for a minis-
ter to tamper with his word. How would a physician receive it if
you threw away one half of a medical prescription, and attempted to
produce with the other a result which could only be effected with the
whole ?

Have a sound faith yourself, fir, and preach a sound faith to your
people. And so preach it, not that they can understand it if they
will, but, that they must understand it whether they will or not.

Study to be simple. Remember the most eminent Christians are
best fed with the simplest truths, simply stated. Be content to say
plain common things, in a plain common Avay.

Make a scientific^ systematic preacher. Let your discourses be
methodical, without being long or dull. Sermonize by rule, but be
not too much pampered by rules. Remember that true eloquence
begins where rules end. Begin your sermons with a plan ; if the
unrestrained ardent worship of your own mind tear it half to pieces
in the issue, so much the better.


The wovH power embraces more excellences in a good sermon than
all other -words put together. But let it be the power of truth.
Never go out of your way for figures or flowers, or to read poetry to
your people. If they crowd your path, you need not refuse them.
Study to make a pungent, rather than a fine preacher ; a profitable,
rather than an entertaining minister. When your people think you
have exhausted your subject in your sermons, still surprise them with
specimens of new matter.

Invent no new truths, but take good care to bring up and set home
the old ones. And while you make your study your fortress and
abiding place, be careful to read men as well as books.

If you seem to neglect any part of your ministerial duty, let it be
the visiting your people. They may complain, still nothing will
atone for poor sermons on the Sabbath. People in general are
very erroneous in their estimate of the labors of the pastoral oflBce.
They do not see why a minister cannot visit four or five days, and
yet preach labored, interesting sermons on the Sabbath. If, amidst
many complaints, you are able, sir, to satisfy your own conscience in
this matter, it will be enough.

At least it will be as much as your brethren and worn-out fathers
in the ministry have ever been able to do. Besides, the utility of
much visiting is very questionable. It is commonly more interesting
than profitable. The Sabbath is the minister's day, and if he would
appear in his strength on that sacred day, and in the beauty and
strength of the ministerial office, his weekly visits must be few and

Hold no more meetings than you can make good ones. There
is more hearing than thinking at this day. More religion in the mass
than personal piety. In this respect " former days were better
than these."

Administer the Lord's Supper to your church ; the ordinance
of baptism to believers and their households.

1 2 3 4 5 6 8 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22

Online LibraryOliver N BaconA history of Natick, from its first settlement in 1651 to the present time; with notices of the first white families, and also an account of the centennial celebration, Oct. 16, 1851, Rev. Mr. Hunt's address at the consecration of Dell Park cemetery, &c. .. (Volume 2) → online text (page 8 of 22)