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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.

Modernized Version -- deletions removed; additions added in; modern spelling and capitalization added; unfamiliar abbreviations expanded.

Ephesians V. 20
Giving thanks always for all
things unto God,
 Perhaps there is no Duty
incumbent upon intelligent Crea‐
tures, more frequently called for, in
the Providence of God, than this
Duty of giving thanks to god,
there is nothing So reasonable and
Becoming in dependent creatures 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 do but
listen and attend to them, and
should find work enough all ˄ day
and a Glorious work too
In the first Place, upon Reflecti[gap: tear][guess: on]
we find the work itself or the Duty
Giving thanks, Secondly, 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
itself, 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 sense
and Right apprehension of
the Benefits Conferred upon us
and an Acknowledgment and
confession of our obligations
to our Benefactors with glad
gladness of Heart, attended
with Humility, and a Careful
and Right use of the Benefits
we Receive, even agreeable to
the Mind and pleasures for
Benefactors for which they
bestowed their Bound upon us
among Men, the
work of the giver is one, and
the work of the Receiver is a
nother,˄ we are dependent Crea
tures one to another, the
greatest of men Can't well live with‐
out the vulgar Sort, and we,
as sociable and Fellow Creatures,
give and receive benefits one
from another, The giver has
Precept from God the great
Benefactor, as we find the Duty
in 2 to the Corinthians 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 truly 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
Received Benefits, — let the Second
givers or instrumental Benefactors
give as they please whether out
a right view or not, that is none
of the Receivers business, they
ought to See to it, to do the work
that is laid upon them, by their
Benefactors, to be truly Sincere‐
ly and heartily thankful, both
to god and to his People by
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 would know whether the
giver, gave freely and Cheerfully
or Grudgingly and of necessity,
and if they suspect the Sincerity
[gap: tear][guess: of] the donor, they are Ready
to despise 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 ingratitude, in the
unworthy wretch, 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 therefore Thanks and praise
is his Due Chiefly; But if
the Receiver Cant be thankful
to their fellow Creatures that have
Shown kindness to them; how Can
they be truly thankful to god —
Isaiah. 1.2
But those that are
truly Thankful are melted
Down with the benefits they have
received, it excites true humi‐
liation and Self Loathing in them
As we find holy Patriarch Jaco[gap: tear][guess: b]
confessing his unworthiness of the
least of gods Mercies Genesis32 [gap: tear]
again an ungrateful wretch. Sets
Price upon the Benefits he receives
, or has a Scale as it were, So he
would Put the Donations in the one
and proportionable thanks in the other
or rather his Blank Ingratitude —
the ungrateful Pharisee thought
he did enough in Religion ˄ —
But the Grateful Man Sets no
Price upon the Benefits he receives
nor limits to his thankfulness, he
thinks he Can never be thankful
enough for Favours received —
Thus we find the truly thankful King of
Israel, the Psalmist, Psalms 116. 12
what Shall I render unto the Lord for all
his Benefits towards me? it Seems
by these words, that the holy Psalmist
found himself unable to make suita‐
ble Returns to God for all the kind‐
ness he had received
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 psalms
abundantly Show, — if we observe
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 sense
of the Favours of god, and that
breaks forth into public praises
and thanksgiving — Yea upon find
ing himself unable to give suffi
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
should be truly thankful to their
upholder and only Benefactor,—
This Seems to be innate in the very
Dumb beasts of the field, 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 Air Mount up towards 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
Sing their various Notes of praise
to god, if all these Creatures give
thanks and praise to god, how
ought Man who is endowed 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 consider
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
framed our Bodies out of the dust
of the Earth —
To him, that Breathed into
our Bodies the Breath of Life, that
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 all good things
not at times only, but continually
To him we are to give thanks
who has Created
the whole world for our Sakes —
To him we are under greatest
obligations, he that has made the
pleasant Light for our Eyes, he that has
Made the Herb of the Field, and
all the Fruits of the Earth for
the life of Man, He that has
made all manner of four-footed
beasts and Creeping things and
the Fowls of the Air, and the
fishes of the Seas. He that has
given and delivered all these Crea‐
tures unto us, to him we are to ˄
unfeigned thanks
To him we are to give most
humble thanks, into whose justice
we have forfeited all Mercies, yet
Continues his Mercies to us through
the Mediator
To him, in whom Live Move and
have our Beings, we owe all
possible Thanks —
To him, who has given his
only begotten son into the World, to
Save us vile Sinners from everlasting
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 always
there is no Limited Time, or a Certain
time 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 continually—
all the Faculties and Powers Both
of Soul and Body are maintained
in us by god continually, the food
and Drink which we continually
use is the Lord's, the Earth upon
which we have Always lived 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 should our
thanks be always to God — further
this giving of thanks always may
suppose or require a thankful
frame of Heart to God always —
to have grateful sense of the good
ness of god Always, — and to have
holy resolution to 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 should all rational
Creatures resolve, — again we should
always be very Strict in attending to Cer‐
tain seasons or particular Times
of giving Thanks to God;, whether
public private or Secret; yea
as there is no Minute of our lives
empty of Mercies from god, So should
we fill every Minute of our lives
with thanks to god, David Says
I will praise God Seven Times a
Day, or give thanks Seven Times a
Day, — So should we give thanks to
god, not only Seven Times a Day
but Seventy Times Seven
I mean to have a Thankful frame
of Heart all the Day Long —
we don't mean in all this that we are
obliged to manifest our thankfulness
always in one Continued Act either
by word of Mouth or by the posture
of the Body for this is impossible
in the present situation of our Life,
we are necessarily called to other
Acts of Duty from
Day to Day, we necessarily spend some
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 abroad or at home, he
is Still the Same 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 everything that we have received
and any thing that we now possess
and Enjoy, and for all things that
we hope to Receive hereafter—
here we may be naturally 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 are to give thanks
for Creation
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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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