Samuel M. (Samuel Melancthon) Worcester.

The life and Labors of Rev. Samuel Worcester, D.D.; former pastor of the Tabernacle church, Salem, Mass online

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Online LibrarySamuel M. (Samuel Melancthon) WorcesterThe life and Labors of Rev. Samuel Worcester, D.D.; former pastor of the Tabernacle church, Salem, Mass → online text (page 35 of 42)
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a book, or a periodical like the Edinburgh Review,
and read from it by the lamp at his pillow, — a prac-
tice which he would not himself have recommended
for imitation.

* To animals h« was not particularly partial. But some <3f these were
quite partial to him. Among- them was a fine brin-d led -gray mouser. Grim-
alkin was very neat, and would not tolerate a speck of dirt. He would come
up, pretty regularly, and seek admission at the study-door. The study being-
below the level of the adjacent rooms, was entered by a step, in each part of
which a circular opening was afterwards made, for ventilation. Many a
time a smile of surprise was awakened, in the face of some stranger, as the
favorite put his head through the orifice, and presenting himself in full length
and height of his goodly proportions, surveyed the scene, before determin-
ing- whether to walk up to the chair of his majestic but mild Master, for aa
interchange of salutations, or to repose himself on the table in front,— or, i«
cold weather, ascen4 to the top of the Russian stove, which came up from
the room below, and was not always too warm for his comfort. And many
a fond caress did the pet receive, in coming and going, at pleasure, by his
own private door of access, through which no one passed but himself.

t He thus supposed, that he not only relieved the partial inflammatioa
arising from their incessant use, but preserved the sight, so as never to be
obliged to own a pair of spectacles. Sometimes, as when sitting up to write
al Boston, he would borrow those of Mrs. Evarls.


Many times he sat up with Mr. Evarts, until the
clock reported a new day. It was a feast to listen to
their conversation, at table, or after family prayers, be-
fore resuming their private conferences. They each
enjoyed the reading of Scott's Family Bible. And in
their prayers, there was everything, which to human
view could be desired.

Towards the close of the week, Dr. Worcester's ap-
pearance would always be affected, by the approach
t)f the Sabbath. And during the sacred hours, there
was a solemnity in his manner, which had nothing of
repulsiveness ; but was as if every thing around was
spontaneously and gratefully felt, to be holy unto the
Lord. And in the whole expression of his character,
without the least exception, w^hether on the Sabbath
or other days, his children saw in him a consistent and
happy love to God and man. They could not but
feel, that he believed every word, which he professed
as his doctrinal faith ; and it cannot be deemed unac-
countable, that those of them who had the opportu-
nity of knowing most of the father's mind, should
never have entertained a thought of appealing from
his judgment, to the opinions or speculations of any
other man, in respect to questions of the highest per-
sonal concernment.

To his great regret, he was not able to prevent his
public engagements from interfering with those servi-
ces, which he wished to render to his children. A
series of letters to his son, at Harvard College, which
he had purposed to write, on various important sub-
jects, had a beginning, in course of nearly three years ;
but the beginning was also the end. Of his instruc-
tions, however, imparted in other modes, than the
epistolary, there are recollections, which might have a


record here, but for reasons more personal to the son
than the father. Yet it may not be unsuitable to re-
mark, that many reminiscences purely filial have been
silently introduced into the previous pages of these

In May 1818, Dr. Worcester resigned his office, as
Secretary of the Mass. Miss. Society. But he still
gave that institution his counsels and efficient influ-
ence. He aided In the formation of the Domestic
Missionary Society, in 1817. In 1819 he succeeded
Dr. Spring, as President of the M. M. S. His office
in the Salem and vicinity Bible Society was retained
until his death. There have been no such Annual
Reports since, as were furnished while he was the

June, 10, 1818, he preached the Annual Sermon be-
fore the Society, — from Psalm xix. 8. As published,
it was entitled, •' The Testimony of Jehovah, sure and
perfect." It has internal proof of being written, with
a view to the conflicting opinioias, relative to the
authority and intelligibleness of the Scriptures. It
was the last of the author's " Occasional Sermons,^*
which were printed. If he had been aware tbat it
would be, it could not well have been much different.
As in all his discourses, of every kind, he first laid his
foundation upon a rock; and the finished structure
which he reared, was " Holiness to the Lord."

Early in 1819, the Prudential Committee were much
disquieted by very unexpected information, that the
General Government wished to remove all the Chero-
kees beyond the Mississippi ; and that a delegation
had gone to Washington, with full powers to nego-
tiate for a removal. Dr. Worcester left home, February
11th, and by a forced journey, with great exposure of

YQU -n 35*


what remained of health, reached Washington, in sea-
son to aid in a treaty, which promised everything, that
the friends of Missions could desire. The Prudential
Committee " recorded their solemn vote of thanksgiv-
ing" for the result of the agency of Dr. Worcester, at
Washington. His own letters to his family, to Mr.
Evarts, Mr. Cornelius, and Mr. Kingsbury, were filled
with the joy and hope, which indited his address to the
Cherokee Delegation.

" To the Hon Charles R. Hicks and the other Delegates
of the Cherokee Nation^ now at the city of Wash-
Brothers, —

I rejoice with you, and thank the Great and Good
Spirit for his kindness to you and to your nation. It
was a day of darkness. You were in great distress ;
your nation was in distress. You feared that you
would be compelled to give up your houses — your
corn-fields — your rivers, plains and mountains — all the
lands of your fathers — your schools and your hopes of
advancement in knowledge and in civilized life; and
to go far back into the wilderness, where you would
be strangers^ and find none of the things which you
love and desire, and where your children would grow
up without instruction and your nation melt away and
perish. You came with trembling hearts to make
known your grief and your fears, to your Father the
President. Your friends at the North, who established
the school for you at Brainerd, hearing of your afflic-
tion, were grieved ; and I came to this city, that I
might be near you, and see what might be done for
your help. The President has felt like a Father, and
listened to you with pity. The dark cloud has passed
away; the sun shines out, and the day is bright. A
good portion of your land is secured to you. The
wicked men who seek your hurt, are to be kept from
troubling you. You are to be allowed to sit quietly
around your own fires, and under your own trees ; and


all good things are to be set before you and your chil-

Brothers, the Great Spirit is good. He loves his
children, the Red as well as the White. He has made
them all of one blood ; and they should all love him
and one another. He has inclined the heart of your
Father the President to be kind to you. He has made
you glad with this bright day. And we should all give
thanks to Him, and praise his name.

Brothers, you have thought that white men were
your enemies ; and certainly too many of them have
been your enemies. But not all. Many have long
been your friends ; and now many more are coming to
be your friends. The Missionaries and Teachers, who
are instructing you and your children, are your friends ;
the men who sent them to you are your friends ; and
the hundreds and thoiisands of good men and women,
in all parts of this country, who are giving their mioney
to support the Missionaries and Teachers, and the
children at the schools among you, are your friends.
All good Christians are your friends. They love their
Red Brothers and Sisters of the wilderness, and desire
to do them good. Every day they think of you — are
grieved for your sufferings — and pray the Great Spirit
to remember you in mercy, and to make his face to
shine upon you.

Brothers, I rejoice greatly, that some of your lands
are given for a school fund. This will be a rich treas-
ure to your nation, for many generations. You may
increase it from time to time, by giving other lands.

Brothers, it is the morning of a new and happy day.
The Cherokees are to become a civilized people and
good Christians, Their country is to become a land
of cultivated fields — of good houses — of villages and
cities — of schools and churches ; and to be beautiful
awd flourishing like the garden of God. Let them all
be inspired with this desire and hope, and seek this
elevation and glory ; and they will become good and
great and happy.

Brothers, the American Board of Commissioners for
Foreign Missions sent to you the good men and


women who are at Brainerd ; and another benevolent
society sent to you those who are at Spring Place.
These two Societies are bound together by the bright
chain of christian love ; both of them love the Chero-
kees, and they will do what they can to make all white
people love the Indians and seek their welfare. They
have sent to you the good Missionaries and Teach-
ers — and will send you more. — not to get away your
lands — not to rob you of your cattle — nor to do you
any harm ; but to teach your people and your children,
all that is good for them to know, and to help them in
all that is good for them to do. They will be lights in
your nation, to guide your feet in the way of peace.
They will tell you of the Great and Good Spirit, the
God who made the sun and moon and stars, the world
and all that is in it. They will tell you of Jesus Christ,
the Son of God, who came down from the bosom of
his Father, to seek and to save lost mankind. They
will tell you of heaven, that bright and happy world,
to which all good men of all nations will go when they
die, and where they will dwell together in the presence
of the Glorious Father of them all, and in perfect love
and peace ; and neither hunger any more nor thirst any
more, forever.

Brothers, you will love the good Missionaries and
Teachers ; and your people will love them and hearken
to their voice. This will be for your good and the
good of your children; and white men and red will
become brothers and friends indeed, and hurt each
other no more.

Brothers, return to your country in peace and with
gladness of heart; and tell these good tidings to your
Council and your people, that they also may be glad.
And may the Great and Good Spirit keep you in his
merciful hand, and bless you and your nation, as long
as the moon endures. Brothers, Farewell.

S. Worcester, Cor. Sec. A. B. C. F. M.

Washington CUi/, March 4:thj 1819.

May 11th, at a national talk and council "of the
Cherokees, this address was read and interpreted. All


appeared much pleased." " As the way of improve-
ment was pointed out and the blessings that would
follow described, all seemed to say, ' We will follow
this advice and shall experience this good.' "

About thirteen years afterwards, the devoted mis-
sionaries were obliged to abandon the consecrated
station, where the lovely Catharine Brown was pre-
sented to Christ, as of " the first fruits " of the exertions
of the American Board of Missions for the conversion
of the Heathen.* But there was an unanticipated
blessing to come. That treaty with the Cherokees,
which was negociated with the advice and approval
of Dr. Worcester, was a powerful weapon in the hands
of Mr. Evarts, as " William Penn," in 1829. It pro-
cured from the Government valuable aid to the mis-
sionary stations, and to the Indian youth, at the Mis-
sion School, in Cornwall; and was of great importance
in obtaining indemnities and other advantages for the
Board, as well as a more liberal provision, it is proba-
ble, for the Cherokees, in the exchange of their lands,
when two of the missionaries had been made such ex-
amples of heroic martyrdom,! and when at the point
of the bayonet the Indians were compelled to remove
beyond the Mississippi.

On his way to Mount Vernon, there was in the pub-
lic conveyance a young clergyman, since very favor-

* '^•To yon has been granted the distingvished felicity and honor, of seeing
as seals of your own labors, the first fruits of all onr designs and exertions and
prayers for the coiiversion of the Heathen to Christ. Your brethren in India
have been laboring long- with no encouragement, no joy of this kind." — Let-
ter of Dr. W. to Rev. C. Kingsbury, and Messrs. Hall and Williams, Jan.
30, 1818.

t Rev. S. A. Worcester and Dr. Butler, who were imprisoned, as if felons,
in the Georgia State Penitentiary. Those concerned in the infamous out-
rage were afterwards as much anxious to have the prisoners depart, as were
the magistrates of Phillippi, when they " sent the sergeants, saying, Let those
men go .'"



ably known, — who. although of " liberal " sentiments,
had admired his spirit in the Letters to Dr. Channing,
which he considered a model of controversial discus-
sion. It was the first time he had met him, in a social
interview. He said of him, in years afterwards, that
he appeared at first very much fatigued, and somewhat
as if not inclined to converse. But a change soon
came over him. " He seemed entirely absorbed in
meditations upon objects of benevolence, and in pur-
poses of good. And I felt, that I had never seen any
man, who possessed such a heavenly frame of mind.
I regard it as one of the pleasantest experiences of my
life, that I enjoyed that interview with Dr. Worcester,
in the ride from Washington to Alexandria."

" Baltimore, March 9, 1819.
My dear Zervia, —

* * * On Friday morning, about 9 o'clock, in
company with the Rev. Mr. Harrison, I set out for
Mount Vernon by the way of Woodlawn, the residence
of Major Lewis, whose wife was the Miss Eleanor
Park Custis, grand daughter to Lady Washington,
whom you know in the family picture. I had letters
of introduction — was received with great cordiality
and affectionate politeness — and was constrained to
stay at Woodlawn over night. Mr. Cornelius knows
the enchanting spot and the charming family. They
remember him with great afTection, and delight to talk
of him and the Indian boys. Next morning, about 10
o'clock, I took leave of Woodlawn, not without emo-
tion ; and, attended by Major Lewis, visited Mount
Vernon. My feelings while viewing this consecrated
spot, late the residence of the Father of his and our
country ; while passing from apartment to apartment
through the mansion ; while surveying his lawn, his
serpentine walks, his gardens, his groves, his beloved
Potomac, with all the venerable scenery ; — and es-
pecially while lingering at his tomb ;— I shall not


attempt to describe* Suffice it to say, I could not
but admire the wisdom and goodness of God in con-
cealing the tomb of Moses ; nor think it strange, if a
nation ignorant of Him who made the earth and the
heavens, should have a Washington, they should exalt
him after death into a deity.

I returned to Alexandria about 3 P. M. On the
Sabbath, preached A. M. at Mr. Andrew's Church ; P.
M. at Dr. Morris' ; and in the evening returned to
Washington, had an interview according to appoint-
ment with the Cherokee delegates, and received their
Talk in answer to mine. It was affectionate, and
grateful, and good. Yesterday, I had an interview
with General Macintosh, Chief of the Creeks, and his
attendants ; had more last words with others ; and at
evening took leave of my red Brothers, who, as well as
myself, had appointed to commence their journey home-
ward in the morning. It was a tender scene. — If there be
no other good result from this visit, I think I shall love
the Cherokees better than before, and be more engaged
for their welfare. But I hope this is not all. The
Government is conciliated — the Cherokees are quieted
— a fund equal to three or four hundred thousand dol-
lars is provided for promoting their education; and a
foundation, I trust, laid for good to them and their
children, forever. The God of all the families of the
earth be praised !

But the Cherokees have not all my affections. My
heart is continually telling me, that I have a family
and a people — wife, children, friends, — most dearly
loved. My tenderest thoughts are propelling me to-
wards Salem; but probably I shall get on no farther
than Philadelphia this week, and reach home not until
the last of next week. — My love to all the children.
Kiss Elizabeth and Abigail for me, and tell them, fa-
ther hopes he shall find tbey have been good little girls.
Love to cousin Deborah, to Mr. Cornelius, and to all
friends.— My dearest love, Yours, truly,

Samuel Worcester."

* *' I have wept at the tomb of Washington," &c.— Letter to Mr. Evarts.


In a Steamboat, on the Delaware river, March 12th,
he wrote the letter to his wife, in which he noticed the
death of Dr. Spring, (p. 105.) " Often have we taken
sweet counsel together, and gone to the house of God,
on solemn and momentous occasions, in company.
But it will be so no more. Dear servant of our Lord
Jesus, he rests from his labors, — rests, I am persuaded,
in the bosom of everlasting love. To me and to all
his associates, and friends, and acquaintances, it is an
earnest admonition, to do with our might, working
while the brief day lasts, as followers of them, who
through faith and patience inherit the promises. The
God of all grace and consolation comfort his family
and sanctify his removal to us all."

Of the city of Washington, he said, — "in a spiritual
respect, it was to me like the house of death." He
was " much refreshed, at Alexandria, at Woodlawn,
and especially at Baltimore," where he " seemed to be
in the circle of beloved Christian friends at Salem."

It had afforded him much pleasure, to perform va-
rious services, as a member of the Massachusetts
Peace Society, — which was instituted, Jan. 1816. At
an important meeting, he appeared in his brother's be-
half, to advocate a memorial to Congress, for the pre-
vention oi privateering^ in the event of any future war
of our country.

" Salem, April, 2, 1819.
My dear Brother, —

I am highly gratified by the information you give
me respecting the letters from India. J. N. Mooyart,
Esq. is indeed ' an admirable man.' Many proofs of
the excellency of his heart and character have come to
my knowledge. Of the Rev. B. C. Meigs, of his de-
light and efficiency in doing good, you can hardly



entertain too high an opinion. They will do much,
and our missionaries in India at the several stations
will do much, for the cause oi peace, I shall be much
pleased if the Executive Committee determine accord-
ing to your proposal, to return to India the amount of
the $25 donation 'in Tracts of the Society — ^one half
to the disposal of the benevolent donor, and the other
to our missionaries at different stations." We have
three missionaries in waiting for the earliest oppor-
tunity to take passage for India, — destined for Ceylon.
We hope they may get away within a month.

T-he business on which I went to Washington suc-
ceeded beyond my utmost hopes. * * *

I desire to thank the God of all mercy for his kind-
ness to you and your dear family, and pray that you
may be favored in still higher degree with the blessing
of health. Since my return from Washington, my
health has been depressed by an influenza, and yester-
day I was unable to be out. Am somewhat better
to-day. Family well, and with me bear a sincere and
lively affection to you and your family."

Mrs, Anna Maria Mac7nullan, Wilmington, Del.

'' Salem, Juhj 2, 1S19.
Dear Madam, —

Your highly esteemed favor, accompanying the ' tvjo
guineas,'' and conveyed through the hand of good Mr.
Ralston, has afforded me fresh cause of thankfulness
to Him, whose gracious influences are as ointment
poured forth, diffusing extensively a regaling fragrance.
Personally unknown as I am to you, I regard your
kind expressions of affection towards me, as evidences
of love to our common Savior and Lord, to whose
cause you suppose me to be devoted, and though most
unworthy to be instrumental in promoting. On this
account, they are inestimably precious. To me indeed
is this grace — this unspeakable favor — given, that I
should be employed in causing to be preached among

VOL. II. 38


the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ. And
it is refreshing and encouraging to receive from the
friends of the Redeemer and his great salvation,
though strangers to me in different and distant places,
assurances of affectionate confidence, concurrence, and
aid. But, dear Madam, have the goodness to remem-
ber, that to one placed in this responsible situation,
nothing can be of greater importance than the grace
of humility; and let all your affectionate regard to-
wards me, and especially towards that cause which is
* dearer to your soul than any other,' induce you ever-
more, to pray that this and every other grace requisite
for so arduous and sacred a work, may be granted to
me in abundant measure.

As I passed down the Delaware, last February,
"Wilmington struck my eye with delight. I remem-
bered that I had a kind friend and correspondent there ;
and I greatly desired to pass through the pleasant
Borough, on my return from Washington, but was
prevented by the badness of the travelling in March.
Had it been according to my desire and intention, I
might have had the pleasure not only of seeing you,
but also your dear mother, and of receiving from her
own hand, her precious free-will offering. She will
rejoice, however, to be assured, that the sacred gift is
in the Treasury of the Lord, and will be applied agree-
ably to her desire, to the publication of his glorious
Name and Salvation in that once' favored land and
city, in which he himself preached and wept, — labored
and suffered and died; and where the affectionate and
grateful ' il^fary ' received his kindest assurance, that
the token and ' memorial ' of her love to him was gra-
ciously accepted.

The twelve dollars from the Grand Jury of New-
castle, 'as their savings in wine,' is a donation of pe-
culiar value. Were this laudable example to be fol-
lowed, and proportionable savings generally to be
made in the various articles of superfluous expense,
how many hundreds of missionaries might be support-
ed, or thousands of heathen children educated, without
burthening or impoverishing any portion of the com-


munity ! Thanks and most affectionate regards to
yourself and your mother.

Sincerely your friend, •

S. Worcester, Cor. Sec. ^c.

For Obookiah, Catharine Brown, and others in
similar relations to the Board, he had a very peculiar
attachment. The feelings which he cherished towards
them, were not only of love, but of reverence. They
were in his view, " chosen vessels " of the Great Head
of the Church, by an extraordinary dispensation of the
love of God. He would mention them to his children,
and his associates and friends, as if they were the
brightest jewels of the Savior's crown of rejoicing.
In his Report to the Board, in 1818, he spoke of the
death of Obookiah, as " a deeply affecting frown,
which called for profound submission."

"He died as a Christian would wish to die. His
divine Master knew well, whether to send him back to
Owhyhee, to publish salvation to his perishing coun-
trymen, or to call him to higher scenes, in another
world ; and equally well does He know how to make
his death redound to the good of his surviving school-
fellows and friends, and to the furtherance of the great
cause, to which he was so ardently devoted.

" Obookiah," says his Report, in 1819, — ^" whose heart
was filled with the holy design, in whom a particular
interest was extensively felt, and on whom no ordi-
nary hopes were placed, — is not to return to Owhyhee.
God had provided some better thing for him. But
though dead, he yet speaketh ; and in a tone, and
with an emphasis, not to be unheeded. His Memoirs,
— like those of the still dearly remembered Mrs. New-
ell, — are pleading the cause, which was dearest to his
heart, with powerful effect." * * *

Online LibrarySamuel M. (Samuel Melancthon) WorcesterThe life and Labors of Rev. Samuel Worcester, D.D.; former pastor of the Tabernacle church, Salem, Mass → online text (page 35 of 42)