Peter Thacher.

A sermon preached June 12, 1799, before His Honor Moses Gill, Esq., lieutenant governor and commander in chief : the honorable Council, Senate and House of Representatives of the commonwealth of Massachusetts at the interment of His Excellency Increase Sumner, esq., who died June 7, 1799, aet. 53 online

. (page 47 of 51)
Online LibraryPeter ThacherA sermon preached June 12, 1799, before His Honor Moses Gill, Esq., lieutenant governor and commander in chief : the honorable Council, Senate and House of Representatives of the commonwealth of Massachusetts at the interment of His Excellency Increase Sumner, esq., who died June 7, 1799, aet. 53 → online text (page 47 of 51)
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cant of our church, and never made any profession
of religion, for he never saw his way clear to do
so. Yet he was always a most reverent, devout,
and godly man.

At his table, covered with gifts from Him who
giveth us richly all things to enjoy, he invariably
asked God' s blessing, and gave Him thanks.

I cannot believe that the promises of Christ ever
fail. They are pledged by Deity, and they must
be fulfilled. And when I hear Christ say, "Ask,
and ye shall receive ; seek, and ye shall find ; knock,
and it shall be opened unto you," I must believe
that he who asks, receives ; and he who seeks,


finds ; and lie who knocks in the way of God' s
appointment must have the doors of everlasting life
unfolded for his entrance. And if this man honestly
praj^ed to God for light, honestly sought for truth,
as those who knew him best tell me he did, earn-
estly, and as a little child, knocked for Christ's sal-
vation ; then I think, though his soul was full of
doubts and darkness, as the saintly Cowper's was
through all his life, there may have yet come marvel-
ous light to him, at the very end, in answer to
his prayers. And so, on the Sabbath days, as I
shall see his face no more in this earthly court, I
hope I shall not be wrong in thinking of him, whom
we all loved, as worshipping in the great congrega-
tion of the white-robed host on high.

May God bring you all there, at last, dear friends,
and we will sing one song together of praise to the
Lamb !



From the Waterford Sentinel.
Our citizens were startled, on Friday morning, at the an-
nouncement of the demise of Hon. Hugh White, which
occurred at 7 o'clock on Thursday evening. He had been
attended by his physician but an hour previous, and left in an
apparently improved condition. He had been in feeble health
for a long time, but not until Sabbath morning last was he
in a condition to keep within his house. When he was first
taken worse with his last illness a dispatch was sent to his
son, residing in the west, stating that Me. White was sick
and that he had better return home. Singularly enough,
the condition of the invalid was so much improved that a
second dispatch was forwarded recalling the previous message,
but which soon was followed with the death announcement.
His difficulty was neuralgia of the heart. He leaves a wife
and two children, a son and daughter, to lament his sudden
death. Two children have preceded the aged father to their
spirit home. The deceased was a man of wide reputation.
He had represented his constituents from the Saratoga
District three terms in Congress, being elected in 1845, and
serving until 1851, and was the opponent of Chesselden Ellis,
of this place, the latter being succeeded by Edward Dodd,
of Washington county. He was a strong anti-slavery advo-
cate, a man of few words, but of great influence and power.


He was a lawyer of large education and fine ability. Charity,
with him, was no virtue. His heart was large and yielding,
and his purse was open and free in every laudable purpose.
He was possessed of considerable wealth, being worth be-
tween 8200,000 and $300,000. He had but recently returned
from a trip to the Golden State, and these columns had
intimated the publication of his experience and observations
during the journey, from his pen. He was a Trustee of the
Presbyterian church of this village. He was, also, at the
time of his death, President of the Saratoga County National
Bank of this place, having been elected to that position in
June last. On the 5th of June, 1860, he was elected a
Director of this bank, and on the 14th of June, 1864, was
chosen Vice-President, serving in that capacity until elected
its President, which was occasioned by the death of Hon.
John Cramer, who died on the 1st of June last. This bank
has suffered severe mortality among its officers and directors
during the last ten years. In May, 1860, Joshua Mandeville,
Director, died. On the 11th of February, 1862, John House,
also a Director, died. In October, of the same year, the
18th inst., John Knickerbocker died. He was the first and
only President of this bank from its organization, July 14th,
1830, to the time of his death. In 1864, on the 2d of Feb-
ruary, John Stewart died. He was a Director of the bank
from its organization, and was elected Vice-President June
9th, 1863. The death of D. Brainard King, also a Director,
occurred on July 6th, 1865. On the 1st of June, 1870, John
Cramer died. He was President of the bank at his death,
and had been its Vice-President from its organization to the
time he was made President, June 9th, 1863. It will be
observed that four of the leading members of this bank
bore the names of "John." Me. White was a friend to the


human family, and all who knew him loved him. In his
death a good man has passed away. He was 72 years of age.
His funeral occurs from his late residence, on Monday next,
at 11 a. m.

At a meeting of the Board of Directors of the Saratoga
County National Bank, held last evening, the following
action was taken :

Sakatoga County National Bank,

Friday, October 7, 1870.}

At a meeting of the Directors, held this evening, the fol-
lowing preamble and resolutions were unanimously adopted,
and ordered to be published :

Whereas, This Board has been convened in consequence
of the sudden and unexpected death of our late associate
and President, Hon. Hugh White, therefore —

Resolved, That in his death we recognize the overruling
hand of him " who doeth his own pleasure among the armies
of heaven and the inhabitants of earth," and "who doeth
all things well," in thus taking from our midst one with
whom we have been long associated, and to whose sound
judgment and financial ability this institution has been
largely indebted.

Resolved, That in his death we mourn the loss of one who
will be missed, not only at our Board, but in all the rela-
tions of life, honored for his social qualities, large-hearted
benevolence, and general usefulness in our community, a
citizen beloved and respected by all.

Resolved, That we tender to the widow and family of our
deceased associate and friend, our warmest sympathy in this


hour of their affliction, and that in token of our esteem and
respect we will attend his funeral in a body.
By order.



From the Ballston Journal.

Hof. Hugh White died at his residence, in Waterford,
at half-past seven o'olock, Thursday evening, October 6th,
aged 72 years. Mr. White was affected by neuralgia of the
heart, and died from a sudden attack of that disease. He
attended his business as late as Tuesday evening, appearing
to be then in his usual health. He returned a few weeks
ago from a trip to California, being greatly improved in his
health thereby. About three years since he suffered from a
partial paralytic stroke, which damaged him, both mentally
and bodily, to such an extent that he has never fully recov-
ered from it. Previous to the attack he was a man of
energy and ability in mind and body.

Me. White has been identified with Cohoes and its busi-
ness ever since the water-power at that place was first utilized,
and was connected with the original Cohoes Company, which
built the first factories and made Cohoes the leading manu-
facturing city of this State. Mr. White endeavored to
have the buildings and water-power located on the opposite
side of the river from Cohoes, which would make a large
village between the present city and Waterford. Van Kens-
selaer, the patroon, who was a member of the company,
overruled all objections, and had the location settled on his
own lands.


Me. White has ever since been connected with various
companies in Cohoes, and was, at the time of his decease, a
heavy stockholder in them.

In politics Me. White obtained honorable distinction.
He represented this district in Congress three terms, from
1845 to 1851, and held a high position in the House. He
was at that time a Whig, but became a Republican at the
formation of that party ; and he was also a steady opponent
of the institution of slavery. He was earnest in support of
all war measures, and contributed freely, by money and
personal influence, to the suppression of the rebellion. Dur-
ing his residence in Waterford he has been a consistent
member of the Presbyterian church. He was, at his death,
President of the Waterford Bank.

From the Albany Evening Times.

Hon. Hugh White, a prominent citizen of Waterford,
died quite suddenly at his residence, last evening, of neu-
ralgia of the heart. Me. White had been in delicate health
for some years, and his condition within the past few days
had led to his son being telegraphed for. Yesterday he
seemed so much better that a counter dispatch was for-
warded. Me. White was conversing with his family at
half-past six, when he complained of feeling rather cold,
and proposed to lie down. A few minutes after a cry of
extreme pain was heard from his apartment, and his family
entered to find him insensible. Death ensued within
twenty minutes. Me. White was a native of this State
and a branch of the family from which the village of
Whitestown takes its name. He represented his district in
Congress from 1845 to 1851, and had been a prominent con-


tractor on the extensive improvements made by the Cohoes
Company some years since. He was over seventy years of
age. a large man, of fine appearance, and was well known
for his public spirit.

From the Cohoes Cataract.

Our citizens were startled yesterday morning by the
announcement of the death of Hon. Hugh White. The
sad event occurred at his residence on the opposite side of
the river, at half-past seven o'clock on Thursday, evening,
after an illness of a few days. Although a resident of
Waterford, Mr. White's business interests had been so
closely identified with Cohoes since its earliest history, that
he has always been esteemed one of our citizens, and his
loss will be sincerely mourned by our people, as that of an
upright, useful man. He was one of the pioneers who
prepared the way for the growth and prosperity of Cohoes
as a manufacturing town.

Mr. White was the son of Judge White, of Whitestown,
Oneida County. His brother, Canvass White, and himself,
came to Cohoes about 38 years ago. They planned the
works of the Cohoes Company, and Mr. Hugh White had
the charge and whole care of the works for many years.
He also, in connection with other strong parties in New
York and Albany began the present Harmony Company's
works. He was essentially an executive man-; what he
undertook he always accomplished, for he was a man of
strong, indomitable will ; he was generous and large-hearted
in all his dealings. He represented the Saratoga district
in Congress from 1845 to 1851, and was a hard worker for
three successive terms, and will be remembered, especially


among working men, both in Congress and in his own
county and immediate neighborhood. Many young men
have been started on in the world by his kindness and his
means, which he often used very freely in such cases. He
had reached the age of 72 years. "We understand the
funeral services will be held at his late residence on Monday,
at 11 o'clock.

From the Cohoes Cataract.
The last sad rites of respect to Me. "White were observed,
as announced, last Monday. Private services for the family,
and most intimate friends, were held at his late residence,
and at eleven o'clock his body was removed to the Presby-
terian church, "Waterford, where a large congregation of
prominent citizens from this place, Lansingburgh, Troy,
Albany, "Waterford and New York, had assembled. The
ceremonies were conducted by the pastor, the Eev. R P. H.
Vail, who, in his sermon, paid a fitting tribute to the many
noble qualities that characterized the deceased. The re-
mains, attended by a large number of sincere friends, were
then conveyed to the family burial-place in the Albany
Eural Cemetery. The pall-bearers were the Hon. T. G-.
Younglove, Lysander Button, Esq., A. Stewart, Esq., Geo.
H. Stewart, Esq., Hon. Judge Cheever, John C. House, Esq.,
G. W. Eddy, Esq., W. T. Seymour, Esq.


From the Utica Daily Observer.

Messrs. Editors : It was announced in your columns some
weeks since that the Hon. Hugh White departed this life
in his mansion at Waterford on the evening of the 6th of
October. But as the deceased was endowed with qualities
of heart and mind, which, superadded to educational acquire-
ments, and an uncommon aptness for " business," gave him
a prominence in the great race of life in advance of most of
his cotemporaries, I have thought that, in compliance with
your suggestion, a more particular notice of his life and
career, and of the historical incidents connected therewith,
would be acceptable to the public at large, and especially so
to the wide circle of his relatives and friends in Whitestown
and Oneida county, where he was born, reared and educated.

Hugh White, of Waterford, was born in December, 1798,
and was consequently nearly 72 years of age at his decease.
He was the third son of Capt. Hugh White, the latter being
the third male offspring of Judge Hugh White, the proprie-
tary settler and founder of Whitestown : And the subject
of this notice was the fifth Hugh White of the lineal
descendants of Elder John White, the progenitor of the
American Whites.

This " forefather" of the family migrated from Chelmsford,
England, in 1632-33, to the then vast wilderness of North
America, within the jurisdiction of the English Puritan
colony of Massachusetts Bay, and first settled with his wife
and two children at Cambridge ; afterwards, they removed
to Hadley ; and ultimately, with the Rev. Thomas Hooker
and followers, moved down the valley of the Connecticut
river, and founded a settlement, which has since grown to
be the city of Hartford. Very soon after the coming of this
colony to the new world, John White's name appears



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Amidst the discharge of onerous pastoral labors and at the request
•of the relatives and friends of Mrs. Moorhead, the following sermon
is published. Those who heard it delivered will find many of the
expressions changed or omitted. The author regrets this; but as it
was not entirely written out and memorized before it was delivered,
it was impossible to remember all the expressions used when it was
preached. It is with the hope, that it may prove useful to mourners
in Zion, that it is now given to the world in a printed form. It is not
prepared for the purpose of gratifying literary taste, but to present
to the minds of sorrowing believers truths which may alleviate their
sorrows and strengthen them for the conflict with death. How far
the author has succeeded in his aim, he leaves to the impartial deci-
sion of the candid and devout reader.

N. Woodside.



"But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning
them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have
no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so
them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him."

How exalted was the office of an apostle! The persons honored
to fill it had peculiar advantages and distinguished privileges. At
one time, under the direction of the Holy Ghost, they ^ere bearing
conviction to the hearts of sinners by the strength and pungency of
their language; at another time, guiding the sin-stricken soul to the
only source of eternal life and happiness. Now, we find them cast-
ing down those whose looks were lofty, and anon by their consoling
announcements lifting the burden of sorrow from the minds of the
disconsolate. They wrote and spoke not exclusively for their own
generation, but for successive generations to the end of time. With
the death of the apostles, the office passed away. It was not the de-
sign of our Heavenly Father to continue the office always. Hence,
it is declared, that when Christ ascended up on high, "he gave gifts
to men." "And he gave some apostles, and some prophets, and
some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the perfecting
of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the
body of Christ: till we all come in the unity of the faith and of the
knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure
of the stature of the fulness of Christ."

Paul was greatly honored as the instrument of transmitting to the
church at Thessalonica, and through her to Christians in every suc-
ceeding age, the comforting language of the text. He was inspired
to write truths which would form an impregnable bulwark to the
church against errors which abounded in his own age, and have since
sprung up to trouble believers on the subjects of death and the resur-

Although we do not exercise the apostolic office, yet it is the pecu-
liar privilege and high honor of a pastor to expound and enforce the
doctrines received from inspired apostles, — that the conduct of pro-
fessed believers may harmonize with the divine law, — that their sor-
row may not be despair, nor their joy unsanctified levity. Were be-
lievers without the instructions of the living teacher, their sorrows
would often be overwhelming. Having the truth before us, and car-

rying with us the commission to show it forth, we embrace the pre-
sent opportunity of showing the bereaved, that they are not to sor-
row as others who have no hope, — that there are infallible reasons
for believing, that although friends "have gone to that land from
whose bourn no traveller returns," yet you shall meet with them
face to face. "For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even
so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him."

In elucidating the truth contained in this passage, it may be well
to observe the following order: —

I. The nature of the believer's sorrow for the righteous dead.

1st. Natural grief is not forbidden by the divine law. The text
does not forbid it. Nowhere throughout the divine word is it prohi-
bited. The Christian religion does not destroy natural affection.
On the contrary, it increases it. The strongest natural affection is
found among true believers. Examples not a few can be adduced to
establish this statement. Few have attained such piety in religion
as Abraham, the father of the faithful. He had a strength of faith
which few possessed; a warmth of love to God that does not glow in
every bosom; and a zeal in preparing for heavenly enjoyment which
has scarcely ever been equalled. The possession and exercise of
these graces heightened rather than diminished his natural affection
for his beloved wife. In thought, you can travel back and view that
touching scene, when the venerable patriarch in Kirjath-Arba gave
evidence of the strength of his natural affection by mourning and
weeping over the lifeless remains of his beloved Sarah. Jacob, dis-
tinguished for his power in prayer, had strong natural affection. His
natural grief was deep when he thought his sons were dead. Listen
to his complaint when his sons returned from Egypt and related their
experience. "Me have ye bereaved of my children. Joseph is not,
and Simeon is not, and ye will take Benjamin away. All these things
are against me." The thought of parting with another son seemed
to overwhelm his soul with sorrow, and he exclaimed in the bitterness
of his anguish, "My son shall not go down with you; for his brother
is dead, and he is left alone. If mischief befall him by the way in
which ye go, then shall ye bring down my gray hairs with sorrow to
the grave.'' Gen. xlii. 38. Joseph, also, whose integrity and truth-
fulness shone most brightly, whose opposition to sin was calm and
determined, cherished the strongest natural affection for his father.
When Jacob "had made an end of commanding his sons," and had
"gathered up his feet into the bed, and yielded up the ghost," the
natural grief of Joseph was seen in his actions and his tears. He
embraced his father's corpse, and wept like a child. When Moses
died, the children of Israel wept for him thirty days in the plains
of Moab. David unstrung his harp when he heard of the untimely
death of his bosom companion, and wrote that inimitable elegy, in
which we can trace at once the outpouring of his natural grief, and
the scathing of the heights of Gilboa, where fell in conflict his con-
stant and endeared friend Jonathan. The prophets experienced na-
tural sorrow for the loss of friends. Ezekiel makes affectionate men-

tion of the death of his wife. Nor will it be considered derogatory
to the honor of the God-man to mention his grief for the bereaved
family at Bethany as additional testimony to the position we have
taken. Jesus sympathized with Martha and Mary, and his grief
was attested by the Jews, who exclaimed when they saw him weep
at the grave of Lazarus, "Behold how he loved him." The truth
that natural sorrow for the righteous dead is not forbidden, is sup-
ported by the writings and experience of patriarchs, prophets and
apostles, by the actions of holy men and pious women in every age,
and by the memorable example of our Lord, of whom the Holy Ghost
has left the infallible record for the consolation of believers, "Jesus

2. It is not the sorrow of despair. It is poignant and deep ; but
it does not terminate in despondency. The sorrow of despair is seen
in the frantic actions of those who "in this life only have hope, and
are of all men most miserable." The irreligious parent, from whom
death has snatched away an idolized child, is often heard "uttering
words unadvisedly." He complains of the righteous dealings of Je-
hovah. He considers them wrong, because they are beyond his com-
prehension. He cannot see why the object of his love should be re-
moved. He is alike ignorant of the cause of the removal and the
place to which his child has gone. The person ignorant of the ways
of God is neither at peace with himself nor his Creator. He rebels
against the sovereignty of God, questions his right to dispose of his
creatures as. he pleases, and consequently plunges himself into the
deepest misery. The sorrow of despair is the result of rebellion
against the righteous authority of Jehovah. The thoughts of the
wicked revert to the actions of men, and constantly dwell upon them,
as if they ought to have saved the life of the departed. Fault is
found with the actions of relatives, accusations are brought against
self for want of fore-sight in the treatment of the sick friend, and
the name of God is blasphemed by unhallowed repining at the dis-
pensation of his Providence. There is no comfort drawn from the
divine word, the mercy of God in Christ, the inflexible justice of God,
nor his unparalleled goodness. All these are overlooked. But the
believer, mourning for the righteous dead, surveys with the eye of
faith, the "covenant ordered in all things and sure,'' rests satisfied
that its provisions are sufficient for all who believe savingly, acqui-
esces in the sovereign disposal of relatives, and unhesitatingly says,
"Thy will be done." His sorrow is enlightened and resigned. It
neither springs from ignorance of the glories of the Godhead, nor of
the operations of grace in the human soul. It is chastened by a
knowledge of both, and is consequently positively beneficial. The
person may not be able to fathom the mystery of the removal; but
he knows, that "the works of His hands are verity and judgment."
Ps. cxi. 7. Feeling that God does all things well, the sorrowing be-
liever advances in holiness by the affliction. It is a blessing in dis-
guise. It leads him to say in the chastened language of the apostle,
"We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed,
but not in despair." 2 Cor. iv. 8.

Online LibraryPeter ThacherA sermon preached June 12, 1799, before His Honor Moses Gill, Esq., lieutenant governor and commander in chief : the honorable Council, Senate and House of Representatives of the commonwealth of Massachusetts at the interment of His Excellency Increase Sumner, esq., who died June 7, 1799, aet. 53 → online text (page 47 of 51)