THE POT BELLY STOVE ROOM

Take Off Your Coat and Sit For A Spell To Relax Your Mind
thelivyjr
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Re: THE POT BELLY STOVE ROOM

Post by thelivyjr » Mon Mar 02, 2020 1:40 p

STOCKBRIDGE, PAST AND PRESENT; OR, RECORDS OF AN OLD MISSION STATION., continued ...

SECTION XXIX.

PRESIDENT EDWARDS AND WIFE.
, continued ...

The student was not a recluse, scarcely recognizing his own family; but as iron sharpeneth iron, so these companions sharpened the piety of each other.

The study of Mr. Edwards, while in Stockbridge, was at the west end of his house, opening from the west parlor; a little nook.

Once or twice during each day he called in his wife for prayer; here they always united in devotion after the family had retired at night; and her visits for social interchange of thought were very frequent.

His evenings were silent with his family in conversation upon the usual topics of the day; but always upon religion at the last.

On Saturday, all labor was closed before the setting of the sun; and the Sabbath was heralded in by a hymn of praise, and prayer.

Still, President Edwards was a close student during his hours of study; and he never rode to the woods, his daily exercise in summer, without taking his pen with him to note down any happy thought which occurred; and in the night a pin was often stuck in his curtain to recall some idea in the morning.

In the winter he cut wood half an hour or more, each day, for exercise.

Usually he devoted thirteen hours of the twenty-four to study.

During the afternoon he felt exhausted, and took a cup of strong tea, the same leaves being again used by his prudent wife for the evening meal.

His own meals were finished before those of his family; and he would retire to his study and save the few minutes before he was recalled to say grace.

To the government of his children he was very attentive; but the temporal concerns of his household were left entirely to his wife.

He knew his books, and his family, but never visited his people except in sickness, and did not know his own cattle.

But he had not a happy talent at conversation, unless removed from all restraints, and consciously in the presence of true friends only.

He seemed to be created expressly for the work which he accomplished, that of preacher and author.

TO BE CONTINUED ...

thelivyjr
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Re: THE POT BELLY STOVE ROOM

Post by thelivyjr » Tue Mar 03, 2020 1:40 p

STOCKBRIDGE, PAST AND PRESENT; OR, RECORDS OF AN OLD MISSION STATION., continued ...

SECTION XXIX.

PRESIDENT EDWARDS AND WIFE.
, continued ...

The people of Stockbridge were generally united in Mr. Edwards, and much attached to him.

When he rose in the pulpit, they expected a treat, not of oratory, but of truth; and though his sermons were long, very long indeed, and he held his notes in one hand, resting his elbow on the desk, and seldom raised the other hand, except to turn over his leaves, yet the congregation looked astonished and disappointed at the close, that the discourse had been no longer.

The last Sabbath which he spent in Stockbridge, President Edwards read the 20th chapter of Acts, so touchingly appropriate, and preached from the text: "We have here no continuing city, &c."

When the day of his departure arrived, he made himself ready, took leave of his family, and stepped into the yard.

Then turning back he said, "I commend you to God" and left.

These were his last words to them.

In February he was inaugurated, and entered upon some of the duties of his office.

But the Small Pox was prevailing in Princeton; and on the 10th of that month he was inoculated.

At first, all seemed well; but some of the pustules being in the throat, he was unable to swallow the needful medicines, and, as it was expressed, "Jesus permitted him to fall asleep on the 22d of March, 1758."

When the news reached Stockbridge, Mrs. Edwards was in feeble health; but she bore it calmly, though deeply afflicted, and fully recovered.

Miss. Burr was inoculated at the same time with her father, and recovered.

But April 27th she died, seemingly without any disease.

Her physician said he could only say that "a messenger was sent to call her home."

In September Mrs. Edwards went to Philadelphia to bring Sarah and Aaron Burr to Stockbridge.

She passed through Princeton in perfect health; but on reaching Philadelphia, was taken ill, and died on the 2d of October.

Her remains were taken to Princeton where they rest with those of her husband, and of President and Mrs. Burr.

TO BE CONTINUED ...

thelivyjr
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Re: THE POT BELLY STOVE ROOM

Post by thelivyjr » Wed Mar 04, 2020 1:40 p

STOCKBRIDGE, PAST AND PRESENT; OR, RECORDS OF AN OLD MISSION STATION., continued ...

SECTION XXIX.

PRESIDENT EDWARDS AND WIFE.
, concluded ...

The children of President Edwards were all born in Northampton.

Sarah, Mrs. Parsons, was born Aug. 25, 1728, on the Sabbath.

Jerusha, born April 26, 1730.

She was expected to have married Brainerd the missionary; but they both died in 1747.

Esther, Mrs. Burr, a woman of great piety, born Sabbath, Feb. 13, 1732, married in Stockbridge, June 9, 1752.

Mary, born Sabbath, April 7th 1734, the mother of President Dwight.

Lucy, born Tuesday, Aug. 31, 1736, was with her father at the time of his death, and afterwards married Jahleel Woodbridge.

Timothy, born Tuesday, July 25, 1738, married in 1760, and made a home in Elizabeth Town for the family.

Susannah, born Friday, June 20, 1740, Mrs. Porter of Hadley.

Eunice, born Monday, May 9, 1743, Mrs. Pollock of Carolina.

Jonathan, born May 26, 1745, Sabbath, President of Union College.

Elizabeth, born Wednesday, May 6, 1747, died at Northampton, 1762.

Pierrepont, born Sabbath, April 8, 1750, died at Bridgeport April 14, 1826.

The children of Mrs. Burr were taken by Timothy Edwards, Esq. who returned to Stockbridge in 1771.

In 1775, Aaron was in Cambridge College, and from there joined the American Army and went with Arnold to Quebec.

He is said to have lived in Stockbridge.

He was, in the family of his uncle, an inhabitant of this place for a few years, but was little at home, and obtained none of his training here.

We do not claim him as a Stockbridge Man and are happy not to do so; but it is pleasure to know that the child of such consecration showed signs of relenting at the close of his sinful career.

That part of the house which President Edwards built has been taken down, and another erected in its stead.

His couch was burned with the house of Rev. Dr. Field during his ministry among us; but his cherry book-case, with its sliding doors of the same material, his leaf chair, an article much used in those days, and his consulting desk, which is either hexagonal or octagonal, and turns on a pivot, may still be seen in the house of Mrs. Cowles of Canaan, Ct.

TO BE CONTINUED ...

thelivyjr
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Re: THE POT BELLY STOVE ROOM

Post by thelivyjr » Fri Mar 06, 2020 1:40 p

STOCKBRIDGE, PAST AND PRESENT; OR, RECORDS OF AN OLD MISSION STATION., continued ...

SECTION XXX.

SUCCESSOR OF PRESIDENT EDWARDS — DR. STEPHEN WEST.


At the request of both Whites and Indians, the Council which met to dismiss President Edwards presented a request to the Commissioners that they would "call" Rev. John Brainerd, the much loved brother of David Brainerd to fill his place.

The Trustees of the College of which he was one, were also requested to use their influence with Mr. Brainerd and his flock, to induce them to remove.

Mr. Brainerd was, in 1753, pastor of the Indian congregation in Bethel, New Jersey, and had at this time his congregation in Cranbury, in the same State.

They were considered the most virtuous, and religious collection of Indians in the country, being the same which was taught by his brother.

The Stockbridge Indians offered them land for a settlement if they would consent to remove with their pastor.

About that time, he was succeeded at Cranbury by William Tenant, and removed to Great Egg Harbor, from which place he removed to Brotherton, N. J.

But his reply to Stockbridge is not known.

At a Precinct Meeting in Feb. 1858, the Town voted to pay Mr. Stoddard, who was then preaching here, the same salary which had been paid to President Edwards, in proportion to the time which he should remain.

There seems to have been no wish to retain him longer than till another could be found; but for what reason does not appear.

TO BE CONTINUED ...

thelivyjr
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Re: THE POT BELLY STOVE ROOM

Post by thelivyjr » Sat Mar 07, 2020 1:40 p

STOCKBRIDGE, PAST AND PRESENT; OR, RECORDS OF AN OLD MISSION STATION., continued ...

SECTION XXX.

SUCCESSOR OF PRESIDENT EDWARDS — DR. STEPHEN WEST.
, continued ...

Jan. 1759, it was voted to pay Rev. Stephen West an annual salary of £6 13s 4d, and 40 loads of wood delivered at his door, besides £40 settlement, lawful money, provided he remained as pastor.

To this offer he assented, and was set over the people by the ceremony of ordination, June 13, 1759, having been "introduced to the town in November of 1758."

Mr. West was descended from Francis West, who emigrated from Salisbury, England, to Duxbury, by invitation, in the very early days of the Colony, and married Margery Reeves.

Samuel, their eldest son married Triphosa Partridge, and was the father of Francis, who married Mercy Mina, and with his son, Judge Zebulon West, was among the early settlers of Tolland, Conn.

Zebulon was the father of Stephen.

His mother was Mary Delano, of Dartmouth, Mass.

He was born in Tolland, Nov. 2, 1735; graduated at Yale College in 1755, studied Theology at Hatfield with Mr. Woodbridge, teaching school at the same time; was licensed by the Hampshire Association, it is supposed near the close of 1757, or the beginning of 1758, and was soon after stationed at Fort Massachusetts in this County, as Chaplain.

There he could have remained but a few months.

Soon after his settlement, he married Miss Elizabeth Williams, daughter of the late Col. Ephraim Williams; and commenced house keeping in the dwelling erected by that gentleman, and used during the war as a Fort.

When settled, Mr. West was Arminian in his sentiments, and perhaps favored the Stoddardean views.

But the church were known to be established in the opposite doctrine, from the fact of their settling, and retaining President Edwards, even while he was still, through the press, carrying on the controversy with Mr. Williams of Lebanon; and Dr. West went forward in the course since pursued.

TO BE CONTINUED ...

thelivyjr
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Re: THE POT BELLY STOVE ROOM

Post by thelivyjr » Sun Mar 08, 2020 1:40 p

STOCKBRIDGE, PAST AND PRESENT; OR, RECORDS OF AN OLD MISSION STATION., continued ...

SECTION XXX.

SUCCESSOR OF PRESIDENT EDWARDS — DR. STEPHEN WEST.
, continued ...

There were at that time but four settled pastors, besides himself, within the present limits of the County, viz. Rev. Jonathan Hubbard of Sheffield; Rev. Thomas Strong of New Marlborough; Rev. Adonijah Bidwell of Tyringham, and Rev. Samuel Hopkins of Barrington.

With Dr. Hopkins he soon formed an intimacy.

Their sentiments were unlike, but both loved discussion; and the result of their discussions was a change of Mr. West's views, from Arminian, to the extreme of Calvinism.

Believing that some would be lost, he reasoned that hence it was for the glory of God, and should be fully acquiesced in by his saints; and, if they were willing that any should perish, to be disinterested, they must be willing, themselves to be lost ones, and forever hate, and blaspheme their rightful sovereign and Savior, because he would thus be most glorified.

Reasoning, not without plausibility, until we reach the result, and confront it with such Scriptures as — "He is not willing that any should perish;" "As I live, I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, &c."

"Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit."

But in the case of Mr. West, the change was for good, and resulted, as he ever after believed, in his true conversion; not however until after a long season of conflict.

The first person in his parish who noticed the change, was Mrs. Churchill.

She was a very pious woman; and on returning from church the Sabbath after it took place, remarked that Mr. West was a new man.

From this time must be dated his Christian character.

Doubtless he was exact, and systematic in many things before, but now his system was sanctified.

TO BE CONTINUED ...

thelivyjr
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Re: THE POT BELLY STOVE ROOM

Post by thelivyjr » Mon Mar 09, 2020 1:40 p

STOCKBRIDGE, PAST AND PRESENT; OR, RECORDS OF AN OLD MISSION STATION., continued ...

SECTION XXX.

SUCCESSOR OF PRESIDENT EDWARDS — DR. STEPHEN WEST.
, continued ...

Dr. West was peculiarly methodical.

To commence with the Sabbath; His shoes were always brushed, and other personal preparations for the day of rest completed before the setting of the sun on the previous day, and Saturday night was really kept.

On the Sabbath, no one was allowed to stroll in the street, fields, or even in the garden, over whom he had any control.

His sermons were not extempore, but only the leading ideas were noted down.

One sermon would cover one quarter of a sheet of paper, and he always kept two or more on hand.

His hours for close study were in the morning, between breakfast and eleven o'clock: then he wished to be by himself.

The remainder of the day he often spent in his parlor; (generally so, until the latter part of his life, when Mrs. West sat in the study,) and even children who might be at his house, ran in and out at pleasure, without fear or restraint.

Few students who have never been fathers, preserve a mind so free in old age, to enjoy, and enter into the feelings of childhood.

He was not gay; but always mild, kind, and affectionate; so that while there was an unwillingness to displease him, there was no fear of offending.

It is the testimony of an adopted daughter, that during the whole of her residence in his family, she never for once saw his temper in the slightest degree ruffled: and his colleague, who spent several years in his family, when too he was in the decline of life, says that he never saw him offended except in one instance; and then he quickly repented, and went to the kitchen to confess his fault, and ask forgiveness of the domestic whom he had sharply rebuked.

His even habits had their foundation in an even temper.

TO BE CONTINUED ...

thelivyjr
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Re: THE POT BELLY STOVE ROOM

Post by thelivyjr » Tue Mar 10, 2020 1:40 p

STOCKBRIDGE, PAST AND PRESENT; OR, RECORDS OF AN OLD MISSION STATION., continued ...

SECTION XXX.

SUCCESSOR OF PRESIDENT EDWARDS — DR. STEPHEN WEST.
, continued ...

When dressed in the morning, he always retired for private devotion.

For breakfast he always ate a piece of toast of the same size, and drank two and one-half cups of coffee.

With his tea, he ate a little bread, but no delicacies; and then, about seven in the evening, directed his housekeeper to cook for him a bit of meat, measuring the size on his finger.

Occasionally she would cook a little more, sure of having it herself, for he never overstepped his prescribed limits.

After this meal, he again retired for devotion; and after his second evening pipe, summoned the family for domestic worship, and retired for the night, expecting his household to do the same.

This, if he was not particularly fatigued: but when weary from any cause, he wished to sit up and rest himself, after the house was quiet for the night.

His boots and shoes stood in the same place from year to year, and his hat, whip, and overcoat, were always hung on the same nails.

If about to undertake a journey, his hat and whip were taken down the night before starting, and laid upon the table.

As he never traveled in public conveyances he laid his plans for each day; and Miss Strong of Hartford once told him, that she believed the elements were subject to him, for his plans were always accomplished.

It was often remarked, that his wife knew as well when to have his tea ready if he was to return from Newport, as if he had only gone to the village.

He would never return on Saturday if it could be avoided; and never, once excepted, rode on the Sabbath in making his exchanges.

Once the preservation of health required that he should not spend a second night where he could not sleep; a measure to which his brother, a boarder, and in no haste to return to his study, predicted he would be driven.

He had no faith in dispensations to the teachers of morality, to set aside any of its claims; in a division of labor which should extend to preaching and practice, in any particular.

Upon this point his principles were well defined, firm and unswervingly carried out.

TO BE CONTINUED ...

thelivyjr
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Re: THE POT BELLY STOVE ROOM

Post by thelivyjr » Wed Mar 11, 2020 1:40 p

STOCKBRIDGE, PAST AND PRESENT; OR, RECORDS OF AN OLD MISSION STATION., continued ...

SECTION XXX.

SUCCESSOR OF PRESIDENT EDWARDS — DR. STEPHEN WEST.
, continued ...

In person he was small; and he always wore the cocked hat and short clothes common in his younger days, with "bands" at the neck like the Episcopal clergyman.

By his people, and by others, he was beloved, and reverenced.

It is related of a little boy in one of the neighboring towns, that being compelled to pass at nightfall through the woods with his cow, he always repeated constantly, "Old Dr. West; Old Dr. West;" sure that no harm would come near him while he possessed such a protection.

In 1775, Dr. West resigned the care of the Indians to Mr. Sergeant, and received his support entirely from the whites.

His salary was then £80; one year during the Revolutionary War it was not paid, and the town were for some time behind.

But at length it was raised and he was thus enabled to paint his house, and indulge himself in some other comforts not before enjoyed.

In 1792, he received from Dartmouth College the degree of D.D.; and at the founding of Williams College 1793, he was chosen one of the trustees, and also Vice President; which offices he held until age obliged him to resign, in 1812.

As an expounder of the Scriptures, Dr. West is said to have had no equal in the country; and he was much in the habit of expounding on one part of the Sabbath.

In this way, he went twice through the New Testament.

As a preacher, he was highly esteemed.

As a scholar, he was deep and industrious.

Besides Latin and Greek, he read Hebrew, but not readily.

He was conversant with the Septuagint.

The church enjoyed several seasons of revival under his ministry, and he admitted three hundred and eighty-four persons to the church by profession.

Of these, twenty-two were Indians.

Nine hundred were baptized during the same period.

When Dr. West married people of color, he always received the fee, but presented it to the bride.

TO BE CONTINUED ...

thelivyjr
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Re: THE POT BELLY STOVE ROOM

Post by thelivyjr » Thu Mar 12, 2020 1:40 p

STOCKBRIDGE, PAST AND PRESENT; OR, RECORDS OF AN OLD MISSION STATION., continued ...

SECTION XXX.

SUCCESSOR OF PRESIDENT EDWARDS — DR. STEPHEN WEST.
, concluded ...

The published works of Dr. West were mostly single sermons, but some were of a larger size.

His Essay on Moral Agency was published in 1772, though preached soon after his conversion.

Treatise on the Atonement, 1785; Sermon on Marriage, and vindication of Stockbridge Church for its course in the matter, 1779 and 1780; Sermon on the Impotency of Sinners, 1785 or 1790; Sermon preached at the execution of Bly and Rose, Dec. 6,1787; Ordination Sermons preached in 1795, 1802, 1806, and 1810, were published in the same order; Infant Baptism, 1795; two Sermons, 1797; Infant Baptism, a second work, 1798; Prayer for Ministers, preached in 1802; Life of Dr. Hopkins, 1805; Funeral Sermon, 1808; three Sermons on the Creation, 1809; and an Essay on the Divinity of Christ, composed at the age of 80, and republished in England since his death, 1816.

He also wrote for the various religious periodicals of the day.

Dr. West was not a believer in the pre-millenial advent of Christ; but he fully expected that that glorious morning of the church would be preceded by great convulsions in the political world which would cut off many of the enemies of God.

The return of the Jews to their own land, too, and the tender love of the Christian Church for that nation, "whose were the fathers, and of whom, concerning the flesh, Christ came," were, he believed, to be parts of the blessedness and holiness of the millenial period.

It has been asserted that he believed in the eternal punishment of infants for the depravity of their nature, inherited from Adam, and he has been professedly quoted upon that point.

But before his death, he publicly denied the sentiments and remarks ascribed to him, and explained his views as simply these — that if a parent truly gave up a child in baptism, it would be accepted and saved, whether it died in infancy, or lived to pass through the mental exercises of an adult convert.

But, on the other hand, if this duty was purposely neglected, or if baptism was unaccompanied by a faith in the parent which was prepared to train the child for God, whatever provision the Gospel had made in behalf of the infant, the parent had no right to its consolations, and no revelation was granted to him upon the subject.

He believed there was salvation for the child; but no covenant being entered into, and the child being incompetent to receive a promise, the whole matter lay in the secret councils of a holy God.

The people of Stockbridge were well indoctrinated under the ministry of Dr. West.

His conference meetings, and his meetings for young men, and those for young women, in which questions were given out and written upon, were good schools of theology.

But besides his own people he had many theological students, who fitted for the ministry under his care.

Among them were Mr. Seth Swift, Mr. Freegrace Reynolds, Mr. Gamaliel Olds, Mr. Jacob Catlin, Mr. Amsworth, Mr. Hallock, Mr. Samuel Spring, Mr. Samuel Whelpley, Mr. Amasa Jerome, Mr. John Sergeant, Mr. Steel, Mr. Prince Hawes, Mr. Thomas Robbins, Mr. Benjamin Bell, Mr. Holland Weeks, Mr. Elijah Wheeler, Mr. Peter P. Roots, Mr. Aaron Collins, Mr. Gordon Dorrance, and Mr. E. G. Swift, afterwards his colleague, &c.

Many of these were distinguished in after life, particularly Dr. Spring, Professor Olds, Dr. Catlin, and Mr. Hallock.

The first wife of Dr. West was Miss Elizabeth Williams, as has been mentioned.

His second wife was Miss Eleanor Dewey, daughter of Daniel Dewey of Sheffield, whom he married in Williamstown, in 1806.

He was, of choice, dismissed from his charge, Aug. 27, 1818, and died May 13, 1819, aged 84.

His second wife died in Sheffield, March 14, 1827, at the age of 73.

TO BE CONTINUED ...

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