The Rev. Jonathan Edwards continued in Northampton more than twenty-three years, till he was dismissed in 1750. The causes which led to his dismissal were his endeavors to enforce what he considered to be his duty in regard to the discipline of the church, and likewise the opposition he made to the sentiment supported by his colleague and grandfather, Rev. Mr. Stoddard, that unconverted persons ought to be allowed to come to the sacrament of the Lord’s supper. In 1751, he was settled at Stockbridge as missionary to the Indians, where 1751, continued six years, preaching to the Indians and white people. Here he found leisure to prosecute his theological and metaphysical studies, and produced those works which will probably hand down his name to the latest posterity. In January, 1758, he reluctantly accepted the presidency of the college at Princeton, New Jersey. The small-pox prevailing, President Edwards was induced to be inoculated, which was the cause of his death, March 22, 1758, in the 55th year of his age.
David Brainerd, the celebrated missionary, died at the house of Jonathan Edwards, in this place, Oct. 9, 1747, in the thirtieth year of his age. His life was written by Mr. Edwards. “His life and diary,” says a celebrated English divine, “exhibits a perfect pattern of the qualities which should distinguish the instructor of rude and barbarous tribes; the most invincible patience and self-denial, the profoundest humility, exquisite prudence, indefatigable industry, and such a devotedness to God, or rather such an absorption of the whole soul in zeal for the divine glory and the salvation of men, as is scarcely paralleled since the age of the apostles. His constitutional melancholy, though it must be regarded as a physical imperfection, imparts an additional interest and pathos to the narrative, since we more easily sympathize with the emotion of sorrow than of joy. There is a monotony in his feelings, it must be acknowledged, and consequently a frequent repetition of the same ideas, which will disgust a fastidious or superficial reader, but it is the monotony of sublimity.”
[From the Massachusetts Spy, June 25, 1806]
“Springfield, June 10.
”Execution Of Daley And Halligan. — On Thursday last, pursuant to their sentence, Dominick Daley and James Halligan were executed at Northampton. At half past 10 o’clock, they were conducted to the meeting-house, by the high sheriff and his deputies, with a guard, composed of a company of artillery and a detachment of the militia. An appropriate and eloquent discourse was there delivered to a very crowded auditory, by the Rev. Mr. Cheverus, of Boston, from 1 John, 3, 15: “Whoever hateth his brother is a murderer,” After the sermon, the criminals were constantly attended by Mr. Cheverus, with whom, during the greater part of the time, they appeared to be engaged in prayer. At 3 o’clock, sentence was executed by Major-General Mattoon, sheriff of the county. Notwithstanding their protestations of innocence, in which they persisted in to the last, it is believed that of the 15,000 persons supposed to be present, scarcely one had a doubt of their guilt. Daley and Halligan were natives of Ireland. Daley was about 34 years of age, and has been in this country two years; he has left a wife, a mother, and brother in Boston. Halligan was about 27 years of age; and we believe has no connections in this country, in which he has resided for four years.”
The following inscriptions are copied from monuments in the Northampton grave-yard:
Here is inter’d the body of the Revd. Mr. Solomon Stoddard, A. M., sometime Fellow of Harvard College, pastor of ye church in Northampton, N. E., for near 60 years; who departed this life Feb. 11, 1729, and in the 86 year of his age. A man of God, an able minister of the N. Testament; singularly qualified for that sacred office, and faithful therein, sealed by the H. Spirit in numerous converts to Christ, by his solid, powerful, and most searching ministry. A light to the churches in general, a peculiar blessing to this; eminent for the holiness of his life, as remarkable for his peace at death.
Sacred to the memory of the Revd. David Brainard, a faithful & laborious missionary to the Stockbridge, the Delaware, & the Susquehannah tribes of Indians, who died. in this town, Oct. 10, 1747, aged 30.
A tabular monument of free-stone is placed over the grave of this celebrated missionary. The inscription at first was on an inlet of schistus, which many years since was destroyed by the frost, and the inscription at present is said to be unknown. An inlet of marble with the above inscription now supplies the place of the former one in the horizontal slab over his remains.
Here lies the Revd. John Hooker, who died of ye small pox, Feb. 6th, 1777, in the 49th year of his age & 23d of his ministry. In him an excellent & highly cultivated Genius, a graceful elocution, engaging manners, & the temper of the Gospel united to form an able and faithful minister, to render him examplary and beloved in all the relations of life. The affectionate people of his charge, in remembrance of his many amiable & christian virtues, erected this monument to his memory.
Solomon Williams, born July 25, 1752, lived as a pastor of the church of Christ in Northampton 56 years and 5 months. His spirit ascended in sweet peace to the upper Sanctuary on the morning of the Sabbath, Nov. 9, 1834.
In memory of Caleb Strong, late Governor of Massachusetts, who, after a life eminent for piety and devotion to the public service, died November 7th, 1819, in the 75th year of his age.
John Breck, Esq., died Feb. 26, 1827, Æt. 56 years.
Great day of dread decision and despair.
At thought of thee, each sublunary wish
Lets go its eager grasp, and drops the world,
And catches at each reed of hope in heaven.
In memory of Rev. Henry Lyman, son of Theodore and Susan W. Lyman, a missionary of the American Board, who, with his associate, Rev. Samuel Munson, suffered a violent death from the Battahs, in Sumatra, June 28th, 1834, aged 24.
We are more than conquerors.
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