Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

ters of the gospel; and six others in a course of preparation, or candidates for the christian ministry.

He was in childhood observed to possess lively and quick perceptions, and a pleasant and amiable disposition. At the age of thirteen, he was a subject of special religious impression ; and although he made no profession of religion at that time, he ever after mentioned that as the period when he hoped he experienced religion. In his fifteenth year, he made a profession, and united with the church in his native town.

He pursued his studies, preparatory to entering College, with an older brother, then minister of Western, Massachusetts, the Rev. Sylvester Burt, now minister of Great Barrington, in the same State. He graduated ai Williams College, in 1812; having sustained high standing, both as a scholar, and as a man of pure morals and ardent piety.

He studied theology, in different periods of his course, with Rev. Josephi Lyman, D. D., of Hatfield, Massachusetts, and Rev. David Porter, D. D., of Catskill,' in the State of New-York. He commenced his professional labors at Kingston, New Hampshire, under the patronage of the Massachusetts Society for promoting Christian Knowledge. In the commission, which is dated 1 March, 1814, he was appointed to preach in several destitute towns in New Hampshire.

He went to Durham in June, 1811. His labors were continued here, with the exception of four or five Sabbaths in Salisbury, Connecticut, where he had an invitation to settle in the ministry.

He was consecrated to the pastoral office in Durham, 18 June, 1817.

The zeal, ability, and success, with which he fulfilled his ministry, are generally known, and especially to his Society, to his brethren in the

The church in Durham, consisting at the time of his death of about seventy members, increased from a very few, to that number, through the blessing of God on his ministrations.

He was in no small degree instrtimental in rebuilding other parts of the walls of our Zion. He engaged with earnestness in the missionary cause, and filled with ability the office of a trustee of the Missionary Society of this State. His influence was felt in the circle of his brethren in the ministry, and in all our churches ; and wherever it extended, did much to promote the cause of good morals, evangelical truth, and gospel order.

With an affectionate and benevolent heart, ready to every kind office of humanity and christian charity, he possessed a strong, discriminating, and active mind, and much independence, and decision of character. There was in him a more than ordinary union of ardent feeling and sound judgment; which qualified him to devise, carry forward, and influence others to promote plans of usefulness to Zion.

As a preacher, the most weighty truths formed the matter of his discourses, and the style and manner in which they were exhibited, were original and impressive.

Of the affection and deep feeling with which he sought the salvation of souls, it is hardly necessary to speak. Ye all are witnesses, that he " ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears."

Had he possesse i firmness of health in proportion to the native vigor of his constitution and powers of his mind, what might he not have effected ? It is wonderful that, under the debility, restlessness, and agony of his disease, he should have accomplished so much. A weak mind would soon have sunk under such a pressure. An indolent mind would have found, in such circumstances,

27

full excuse for inactivity. But he was not sustained by native vigor and fortitude only. He could say, in all his labors and afflictions,

“ I can do all things, or can bear

“ All sufferings, if my Lord be there." I would not advert to his afflicted condition, in April, 1827, which was afterwards followed with far greater suffering, were it not that I may introduce the sentiments he expressed in relation to it, in a letter to a brother in the ministry.* “I can only say to you, that this week is a week of trial and of deep affliction. But it is the

But it is the cup which my Father has given me, and shall I not drink it. It was an hour ever to be remembered for its painfulness, and for the wonderful manifestation of the divine presence. Never was I divinely sustained of God as in that hour. Oh! help me to praise his name.

If I see you again, I will tell you all; and if not, only let us be faithful unto death.”

When he could no longer fulfil the usual duties of the ministry, he undertook another important service in the cause of the Redeemer, as Editor of the New-Hampshire Observer. This work he performed with much ability. By this labor, which occupied a few of the last months of his life, his usefulness was prolonged, his worth became more generally known, and his loss will be more extensively felt.

When convinced that his end drew near, the dying counsel of this beloved minister of Christ to

* He suffered the amputation of an arm, and about a year before, the amputation of a finger.

t". Many of the articles which have appeared in the paper, were written in bis bed, in the intervals of extreme suffering: The editorial matter was from his pen, until the last three or four weeks before his death. He may be said to have given bis last_labors to this object.”-Obituary notice in New Hampshire Observer, of 13 February, 1828

He alluded to his sufferings and consolations in an editorial piece in the paper of 26 December, 1827, on" the closing year.” “In passing to another year, we congratulate our friends on the multiplied blessing of that year which has passed away. Some of us, indeed, may have had sorrows. Alas ! we have had them. Still, let is never repine. The yeur has been erowned with mercies, and we have lived in the full protection of the Almighty. Let us look over our own life and roview it well. Letne ningle penitence for sia with our grateful recollections of the divine mercy,

his friends, and to those of the church who were near him, was affectionate, solemn, and seasonable. Placing himself in an attitude to utter his last words of advice, “Much depends,” said he to his afflicted christian friends around him, “much depends on this hour. I have loved this church. I have had their confidence, I still have it ; and my dying request is, that they will be much in prayer. You must stand firm, and do your duty. I see my conversation depresses the room, and I forbear."

In the close of life, he was composed, and rejoiced that he was in the hands of God. He said indeed of a death bed, “ It is a poor place to perfect the work of sanctification." But he also said, “ Where God is, there is happiness, and no where else is it perfect.” A friend on this inquired, “ Do you not wish to be there ?" He replied, “ I do."

Mr. Burt died at Durham, 9 February, 1828, having nearly completed his 39th year. He was elected a member of the New-Hampshire Historical Society, 8 June, 1825. Though he had expressed a warm approbation of the plan and objects of the institution, and discovered an interest in its success, yet the state of his health, and his arduous duties aster his election, did not permit him to contribute any thing directly for the Collections. But he prepared a history of the Church of Durhamn, with sketches of its several ministers, from its first establishment, which he published in the Observer ; some of which might, with propriety, be transferred to the pages of the Society's printed Collections.

Let us look abroad upon the church and the world. The year, which is closing, has been a year to be remembered in Zion forever. God has done great things for hie people and for mankind. The progress of truth and righteousness, and salvation, is becoming rapid and full of glory. We can only name there topics, and leave them. May we close the year, as we would close our life, in the service of God, and begio another, as we would begin the business of heaven, by devoting ourselves, and all we have to Him."

Penacook Papers. (The following papers were faithfully copied from the origivals on file in the office of the Secretary of the S:ate of Massachusetis, and furnished for publication by Mr. Joshua COFFIN. From these documents it appears, that some of the inhabitants of Newbury and Dover had, in the year 1659, petitioned " for a tracte of land to ye quantyty of 12 miles Square, at & place called Pennecooke.” A grant of 9 miles square was given on certain conditions, which, not being fulfilled, was of course void. In 1653, soine of the inhabitants of Saleın had a plantation gravied to them at Penacook, but they made no settlement. By the following papers it aspears, ibat as carly as May, 1063, Capt. Richard Waliron built a Truching House at Penacook, which wils enclosed by a dirt, and was probably the first house ever erecte i there ; and that “ Capt. Waldron and Peter Coffia intended to build there, and have ground broke upp lo br: iinproved." In June, 1668, Thomas Dichinson was murdered by an Iulian, which caused a great excitement, Whether his death prevented a settlement at Penas Luuk or not, is not known, li is, however, well known that no seulement was there made till 1726, which was 87 years afier thic first mention of it by Winthrop, in 1639.)

I. The Petition of Dover and Newbury, 1659. To the Honred Generall Courte, now assembled

at Boston. The humble petecyon of us whose names are underwritten, beinge inhabytants of this jurisdiction, and beinge senseable of the need of multeplyinge of towneshippes for the inlargement of the contrey, and accommodateinge of such as want oppertunity to improve themselves, have taken into consideration a place which is called Pennecooke, which by reporte is a place fit for such an one--Now the humble request of your petetioners to this honred Courte is, that we may have the grant of a trackte of land their to the quantity of twelve miles square, which being granted, we shall give up ourselves to be at the cost and charge of vewinge of it, and consider fully aboute it, wheather to proceed on for the settlinge of a towne or noe, and for that end shall crave the liberty of three yeares to give in our resolution; and in case that wee doe proseed, "then our humble request is, that we may have the grant of our freedome from publique charge for the space of seaven yeares

« ForrigeFortsæt »