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Samson Occom, sermon, Ephesians 5:20

ms-number: 003221

abstract: A sermon on Ephesians 5:20 — "Giving thanks always for all things unto God" — about how, where, and when to give thanks to God.

handwriting: Handwriting is clear and legible. There are some crossed l's, uncrossed t's and dotted e's that have been corrected by the transcriber.

paper: Small sheets folded into a booklet and bound with thread or twine are in good-to-fair condtion, with light-to-moderate staining and wear that results in some loss of text.

ink: Brown ink varies in intensity throughout.

noteworthy: The sermon is undated. It mentions 2 Corinthians 9.6.7, Isaiah 1.2, Psalms 116.12, and Genesis 32.

Ephe V. 20
Giving thanks always for all
things unto God,
 Perhaps there is no Duty
incumbent upon Intellagent Crea‐
tures, more frequently Calld for, in
the Providence of God, than this
Duty of giving thanks to god,
there is nothing So Reaſonable and
Becoming in Dependant &Creat as this giv‐
ing of thanks, to their great Preſer
ver,— Yea all the Creation, even
the Inanimate Creation Seems to
manifeſt this Duty, to the great
Creator —
 We may at once Perceive
Something very great and weighty
in theſe few Words, if we doe but
liſten and attend to them, and
Shou'd find work enough all ˄ day
and a Glorious work too
In the firſt Place, upon Reflecti[gap: tear][guess: on]
we find the work it Self or the Duty
Giving thanks, Se[illegible]conly, upon
inquiry to whom we are to give
thanks, we may find object,
unto GOD; Thirdly we find,
the Time when, this Duty, of
giving Thanks is to be Done it is
Always Fourthly we find the
Matter, or for what we are to
give Thanks; for all Things
Theſe four Particulars I
Shall endeavor to repreſent
in the following Diſcourſe
Firſt then, I will endea‐
vour Repreſent to you the Duty
it Self, to Give Thanks,
This, I Conclude is well under‐
ſtood by all, that are grown
to Years of underſtanding,
It is to have a grateful Since
and Right apprehention of
the Benefits Conferred upon us
and an Acknowledgment of &
Confeſſion of our Oblications
to our Benefactors with glad
gladneſs of Heart, attended
with Humility, and a Careful
and Right uſe of the Benefits
we Receive, even agreable to
the Mind and Pleaſures four
of Benefactors for which they
beſtowd their Bound upon us
The work Anong Men, the
work of the giver is one, and
the work of the Receiver is a
nother,˄ we are dependent Crea
tures upon one to another, the
greateſt of men Can't well live with‐
out the vulgar Sort, and we,
as Sotiable and Fellow Creatures,
give and receive Benefets one
from another, The giver has
[illegible: [guess: one]] Precept from God the great
Benefactor, as we find the Duty
in 2 to the Corin 9.6.7 and many
other Places in the Word of god —
and the Receiver has another
Command or Precept from God th[gap: tear][guess: e]
Great Benefactor, their wor[gap: tear][guess: k]
is to Receive Right, and to be [gap: tear]
be truely Thankful, in the firſt
Place to God the only giver of
all good things, and next to god
we are to be thankful to the
Inſtruments by whom we have we
Received Benefits, — let the Second
givers or Inſtrumental Benefactors
give as they Pleaſe whether out
a right vew or not, that is none
of the Receivers Buſineſs, they
ought to See to it, to do the work
that is Lay'd upon them, by their
Benefactors, to be Truely Sincere‐
ly and Hearltyly thankful, both
to god and to his People by wi
whom they have received bene‐
factions — But man is Such a
Creature, many of them when
they Receive a Kindneſs from
their fellow Men, they are Ready to que‐
ry and wou'd know whether the
giver, gave freely and Cheerfully
or Grudgingly and of Neceſſity,
and if they Suſpect the Sincerity
[gap: tear][guess: of] the Doner, they are Ready
to diſpiſe the Benefits and the
Benefactor, and are Ready to fling the
gifts back in the Face of the
giver with a Surly Countenance —
this Plainly Argues the Horrid
and Helliſh Ingratidtue, in the
unworthy Wrectch, Such cannot
be thankful to god, for they don't
Conſider that all theſe good things
are from god, for it is he that
opens the Hands, if not the Hearts
of his People, to give to the Nee‐
dy, and therefor Thanks and Praiſe
is his Due Chiefly; and But if
the Receiver Cant be thankful
to their fellow Creatures that have
Shown kindneſs to them; how Can
they be Truely thankful to god —
Isa[illegible: [guess: i]]. 1.2
But thoſe that are
truly Thankful are melted
Down with the Benefets they have
Receiv'd, it excites [illegible]true humi‐
liation and Self Loathing in them
As we find holy Pratrearch Jaco[gap: tear][guess: b]
Confeſſing his unworthineſs of the
Leaſt of gods Mercies Gene.32 [gap: tear]
again an ungrateful wretch. Sets
Price upon the Benefits he rece.s
, or has a Scale as it were, So he
wou'd Put the Donations in the one
and Propotionable thanks in the other
or rather his Blank Indgratitude —
the ungrateful Pharaſee thought
he did enough in Religion ˄ —
But the Grateful Man Sets no
Price upon the Benefits he receies
nor limits to his thankfulneſs, he
thinks he Can never be thankful
enough for Favours received —
Thus we find the truely thankful King of
Israel, the Psalmeſt, Psal 116. 12
what Shall I render unto the Ld for all
his Benefits towards me? it Seems
by theſe words, that the holy Psalst
found himself unable to make Suta‐
ble Returns to God for all the Kind‐
[illegible]neſs he had receivd from god
from him, and it was his Dili‐
gent Search or Study to find a way
to manifeſt his gratitude by unto
god, as his holy thanksgiving Psas
abundantly Show, — if we oſerve
David in his great work of giving
Thanks, According to his Psalms
we may Eaſily find his experimental
Notice and his wiſe Conſideration
of the Benefits of god towards him
and this begets a grateful Sence
of the Favours of god, and that
breaks forth into Publick Praiſes
and thanksgiving — Yea upon find
ing himſelf unable to give Sufi
cient thanks to god for all his
goodneſs, he Calls all Creatures
both in Heaven and Earth to Join
with him in his great work of
giving thanks and Praiſe unto
God; and indeed it Reaſonable and
Right that Dependent Creatures
Shou'd be truely thankful to their
up holder and only Benefactor,—
This Seems to be inate in the very
Dumb Beaſts of the Feald, they
Manifeſt a kind of Gratitude to
their Benefactors or Maſters, by
a Certain Noiſe, or the Motion
of their Bodies,— the Fowls of
the A[illegible]ir Mount up to wards hea‐
ven and Sing forth their Artleſs [gap: tear]
to God, — Toads and Frogs, and
all the venomous Kind, have their
way of giving thanks to their Mas[gap: tear][guess: ters]
yea the very Inſects of the Earth
Seing their various Notes of Praiſe
to god, if all theſe Creatures give
thanks and Praiſe to god, how
ought Man who is Endow'd to give for whoſe sake thanks and
Praiſe to the God of heaven, it
is Mans Beauty and Glory as well
as Duty, to give thanks and Praiſe
to Heaven, and it is his happineſs
So to do —
Secondly let us tConſider
the object, or to Whom we are
or ought to give thanks, it is
unto God, the Great Creator of
Heaven and Earth, and the upholder
and Governor of the Same, and the only
Benefactor, unto him we are to give
 To him we are to give thanks
that Curiouſly and Wonderfully
Fraim'd our Bodies out of the Duſt
of the Earth —
To him, that Breathed into
our Bodies the Breath of Life, yt
Cauſed us to become Living Souls
[gap: tear][guess: w]e are to give thanks.
To him we are under Infinite
obligations, who Confers, not few and
Small Inconſiderable Benefits up
on us, but very all godod things
not at times only, but Continualy
To him we are to give thanks
who hath Created ye Lights for our Eyes
the whole world for our Sakes —
To him we are under greateſt
obligations, he that hath made the
Pleaſant Light for our Eyes, he that hath
Made the Herb of the Field, and
all the Fruits of the Earth for
the life of Man, He that hath
made all manner of Four footed
Beaſts and Creeping things and
the Fowls of the Air, and the
Fiſhes of the Seas. He that hath
given and Deliver'd all theſe Crea‐
tures unto us, to him we are to ˄
unfeigned thanks
To him we are to give moſt
humble thanks, into whoſe Juſti[gap: tear][guess: ce]
we have forfited all Mercyies, yet
Continues his Mercies to us thr[gap: tear][guess: o]
the Mediator
To him, in whom Live Move and
have our Beings, we owe all
Poſſible Thanks —
To him, who hath given his
only begotten son into the World, to
Save us vile Sinners from everlaſt
Ruin, to Eternal Happineſs, I Say
to him we are Bound to give moſt
Sincere and humble, Yet Joyful
Thanks —
Thirdly let us Conſider the
Time, when, this Duty of giving
thanks is to be done, it is allways
there is no Limited Time, or a Certain
T. in of our Life to give thanks, but at
all Times; this is altogether Reaſon‐
able, for we always Receive bene‐
fits and Mercies of various kinds
from god, we live and Move and
have our Being in him Continualy—
all the Faculties and Powers Both
of Soul and Body are Maintain'd
in us by god Continualy, the food
and Drink [illegible]which we Continualy
Uſe is the Lord's, the Earth upon
which we have Always Liv'd is the
[gap: tear][guess: Lor]ds the Air in which we always
Breathe in is the Lords; and So in
return, as we always live upon
a goodneſs of God, So Shou'd our
thanks be always to God — further
this giving of thanks always may
Suppoſe or require a thankful
Fraim of Heart to God always —
to have grateful Sence of the good‐
neſs of god Always, — and to have
holy reſolution to [illegible]go on in giving
thanks to god always, as David
abundantly Shows in his holy P[illegible: [guess: salms]]
his reſolution was to Praiſe God —
all this Time; So Shoud all rational
Creatures reſove, — again we Shou'd
always be very Strict in attending to Cer‐
tain Seaſons or Perticural Times
of giving Thanks to God;, whether
PrivetPublick Privet or Secret; yea
as there is no Minute of our lives
empty of Mercies from god, So Shoud
we fill every Minute of our lives
with thanks [illegible]to god, I [illegible] David Says
I will Praiſe God Seven Times a
Day, or give thanks Seven Times a
Day, — So Shou'd we give thanks to
god, not only Seven Times a Day
but Seventy Times Seven
I mean to have a Thankful Fraim
of Heart all the Day Long —
we don't mean in all this that we are
obliged to Manifeſt our thankfulneſs
[illegible]always in one Continued Act either
by word of Mouth or by the Poſture
of the Body for this is Impoſible
in the Preſent Settuation of our Life,
we are Neceſſarily Calld to other
enmediate Acts of Duty from
Day to Day, we Neceſſarily spend Som
time in Sleep, But this need
not, yea Can't Break off our thank
fulneſs if we are true thankful—
—As a Wiſe Man, is a Wiſe Man,—
always whether he Sleeps or wakes
whether a broad or at home, he
is Still the Same [illegible]Wiſe Man—
So a thankful Man is always
So —
Fourthly and laſtly let
us Conſider the Matter of our
thankfulneſs. It is for all things
for Every thing that we have Receivd
and any thing that we now Poſſes
and Enjoy, and for all things yt
we for hope to Receive hereafter—
here we may be Naturaly Lead
to Conſider three Particulars, for
which we are to give thanks to
Firſt for Creation
Secondly for Preſervation
Thirdly for Redemption
Firſt then we [illegible] are to give thanks
for our Creation of our
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Occom, Samson

Samson Occom was a Mohegan leader and ordained Presbyterian minister. Occom began his public career in 1742, when he was chosen as a tribal counselor to Ben Uncas II. The following year, he sought out Eleazar Wheelock, a young Anglo-American minister in Lebanon, CT, in hopes of obtaining some education and becoming a teacher at Mohegan. Wheelock agreed to take on Occom as a student, and though Occom had anticipated staying for a few weeks or months, he remained with Wheelock for four years. Occom’s academic success inspired Wheelock to open Moor’s Indian Charity School in 1754, a project which gave him the financial and political capital to establish Dartmouth College in 1769. After his time with Wheelock, Occom embarked on a 12-year mission to the Montauk of Long Island (1749-1761). He married a Montauk woman, Mary Fowler, and served as both teacher and missionary to the Montauk and nearby Shinnecock, although he was grievously underpaid for his services. Occom conducted two brief missions to the Oneida in 1761 and 1762 before embarking on one of the defining journeys of his career: a fundraising tour of Great Britain that lasted from 1765 to 1768. During this journey, undertaken on behalf of Moor’s Indian Charity School, Occom raised £12,000 (an enormous and unanticpated amount that translates roughly to more than two-million dollars), and won wide acclaim for his preaching and comportment. Upon his return to Mohegan in 1768, Occom discovered that Wheelock had failed to adequately care for his family while he was gone. Additionally, despite the vast sums of money that he had raised, Occom found himself unemployed. Wheelock tried to find Occom a missionary position, but Occom was in poor health and disinclined to leave his family again after seeing the treatment with which they had met while he was in Britain. Occom and Wheelock’s relationship continued to sour as it became apparent to Occom that the money he had labored to raise would be going towards infrastructure at Dartmouth College, Wheelock’s new project, rather than the education of Native Americans. After the dissolution of his relationship with Wheelock, Occom became increasingly focused on the needs of the Mohegan community and increasingly vocal in criticizing Anglo-Americans’ un-Christian treatment of Native Americans. In September of 1772, he delivered his famous “Sermon on the Execution of Moses Paul,” which took Anglo-American spiritual hypocrisy as one of its major themes, and which went into four printings before the end of the year. In 1773, Occom became further disillusioned when the Mason Land Case was decided in favor of the Colony of Connecticut. The details of the Mason Case are complicated, but to summarize: the Colony of Connecticut had gained control of Mohegan land early in the 18th century under very suspect circumstances, and successfully fended off the Mohegan’s 70-year-long legal challenge. The conclusion of the case came as a blow to the Mohegans, and further convinced Occom of Anglo-American corruption. Along with David Fowler (Montauk Tribe), Occom's brother-in-law, and Joseph Johnson (Mohegan), Occom's son-in-law, Occom helped found Brothertown, an Indian tribe formed from the Christian Mohegans, Pequots, Narragansetts, Montauks, Tunxis, and Niantics. They eventually settled in Oneida country in upstate New York. Occom moved there with his family in 1789, spending the remaining years of his life serving as a minster to the Brothertown, Stockbridge, and Mohegan Indians. Harried by corrupt land agents, the Brothertown and Stockbridge groups relocated to the eastern shore of Lake Winnebago, though Occom died in 1792 before he could remove himself and his family there. Occom's writings and legacy have made him one of the best known and most eminent Native Americans of the 18th century and beyond.

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