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Samson Occom, sermon, Matthew 22:42; marriage ceremony

ms-number: 003222

abstract: Occom's partial notes for a sermon on the theme "What think ye of Christ?" are written in the same booklet as the text of a marriage ceremony.

handwriting: Handwriting is largely clear and legible. There are several deletions and additions. As is common with Occom, there are uncrossed t's, crossed l's, undotted i's, and dotted e's, which the transcriber has corrected.

paper: Several small sheets are folded into a booklet and are in good-to-fair condition, with moderate wear and staining. A hole in the top left corner of one recto runs through the next three pages resulting in a minor loss of text.

ink: Brown ink varies in intensity.

noteworthy: The sermon notes end abruptly and, after a blank page, Occom has written the text for a marriage ceremony. The sermon is undated; however, given the references to its audience, as well as language that is identical to that used in a later letter that refers to Occom's travels in England (manuscript 771424), it is likely that these are notes for a sermon that Occom delivered on his fundraising trip to Great Britain. In instances where Occom's intention regarding a word is uncertain, the word has been left unmodified in the modernized transcription. An editor, likely 19th-century, has made notes on one recto; these notes have not been transcribed.

events: Fundraising Tour of Great Britain


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


Non-contemporary text, not transcribed.

Blank page.

Matthew. 22:42
Saying what think ye
of Christ
It Looks to me Some like
a daring presumption, that
I should Stand before you
this Day as a Teacher,
what Can I Say to you,
you that are highly privi
leged of the Lord of hosts,
to whom God has done
great and marvelous things
, You that are Lifted within
Sight of Heaven, as it were,
in Point of Gospel Blessings,
and you that are refined with
Literature and kinds of Sciences
who am I should that I Stand

Stand before this Great con
gregation this Day, I [gap: hole][guess: that]
am but a Babe in Religion
that begun to think of it, as it
were but yesterday, imper
fect every way, I Shall but
Betray my Profound Ignorance
in speaking before you —
, for I have
not the wisdom of the wise nor
Knowledge of the Learned nor
Eloquence of an orator — but
I wish could with Propriety say
to any one Poor Impotent Soul
in this great Congregation,
as Peter Said to a Poor cripple,
Silver and Gold have I none
but Such as I have give thee
In the Name of Jesus Christ of
Nazareth, Rise up and walk
Indeed Sirs, when I thus consider
with myself I am ready to wish

myself in the Meanest Corner
of the House of god, if there is
any such Place, to attend
with Silence and proud humi
liation, and should esteem it
an Inestimable Privilege to Join
with the People of God in his
Divine Worship
Yet Since, God in his mysterious,
you almost miraculous Pro‐
vidence, has taken me from
the Dung Hill, and from Hea‐
thenish Darkness and Gross Ido‐
latry, — to this Sacred Desk, in
this very ꞈ before you, and be‐
fore the Eternal Jehovah, —
if it may be for gods Glory
and Honor, I think I am
ready to Stand before you
all, if it is only as a spec‐
tacle and a Gazing Stock,
But by the Importunity
of Some Friends I am willing

willing to gratify you all,
and presuming the Candor [gap: hole][guess: of]
this Assembly,
I will now freely begin with the
Text, with out any further
Apology, —
And here I have chosen an
inexhaustible Text no doubt you have heard which
represents the very Life and Marrow
of the Christian Religion, the
very Centre of the whole Bible
John V.39
our Text Contains the greatest Question
in the Christian Religion —
Life Everlasting is the reward
to them that Answers it right
but Eternal Death to them
that won't Answer it right
But to make a way for
the Text let us consider the
occasion of this Important
Question —

you may Remember, that
S[gap: hole][guess: e]veral Crafty Questions were
proposed to our Blessed by Differ‐
ent Sorts of People, to entangle
him, but they were taken in their
own Traps and were Confounded, and
while the Pharisees were gathered
together, Jesus took an opportunity
to propose unto them this one great
and most Important Question, which
was contained in their Religion,
Saying what think ye of Christ
whose son is he, they Said the Son
of David, etc.
Hear we may Plainly see,
what a restless thing Man's mind
is, (how busy were the thoughts
of these Men about Christ,) —
Man's thoughts are always upon
ago, on some object or other, it
is Like a Living Spring that runs
Continually; and Indeed it is this
that distinguishes him from the
Beasts of the Field; — But all
the objects of thought Christ Shou[gap: worn_edge][guess: d]
be the only object of Meditation
But man is far Degenerated

that his thoughts are Continu
ally runing other objects, up
on Creature, more than upon the
Creator, — how apt are men in
our Day, to inquire after News
and if any remarkable thing is done by our
Fellow Men, how ready are we
to applaud and Admire such a
one, As in our Day, Christ has
greatly honoured, the King of Prus
sia
in Rising him, to Humble
his enemies, how is he admired
everywhere, but it is to be
feared Christ is forgot by ma[illegible]
ny, he should be our admirati
on and give him the Praise
for it is he that has done
all these these things by his
Servant, indeed Sirs Caesar
ought to have his Due

All that I shall have to
do with this Text is, to See
what Different opinions there
has been about Christ in all
Ages, Both under the old and
New Testament,
and in doing of which I shall
give you Short account of Christ
According to Scripture
1. as he was the Promised
Messiah,
2. as he was Actually Con‐
ceived and Borne unto the world
3. his public Appearance
and Ministration.
1. his Miracles
2. his Doctrine

4. his Death [illegible] Burial and re‐
surrection, and Appearance
to his Disciples
5. his Ascension and Exalta‐
tion at the Right Hand of god
the Father
6. his Intercession,

7. his Second Coming to Judge
the world at the last Day
1 first then let us see how was
Christ represented to the world
under the old Covenant, and what
Treatment he met with in the
world, we find according to Scrip
tures that was Represented by
various Names Titles and Sha
dows and Figures
he was called the seed of the
woman the seed of Abraham
Isa[illegible][guess: e]a and Jacob, his Name
was Shilo, Messiahs Emanuel
a Servant the Branch a tried
Stone the Chief Cornerstone
the Lord our Righteousness the
Root and the Rod of Jesse the
Morning Star, the Prophet
Priest and King the wonder
ful Counsellor the mighty god
the Everlasting Father the Prince
of Peace, besides these he was
represented by various

Figures Sacrifices and Cere‐
monies, and his Servants
the Prophets Did many Signs
and wonders by his opperati
yet most all the world were
against them Except a few,
as the Jews were the Peculi
ar People of god all the world
was against them, and
there were but few true
godly People ever among the
Jews, and they were hated
by their own unbe Brethren,
were Slain Chiefly by their
own Brethren
Secondly when Christ was Born
they Rose up against him
and would have Slew him
as Soon as he was born —
And there were but few that
rejoiced at his Birth, Such
as the Shepherds, and the [illegible][illegible]
and Anna the Prophetess

and wise men from the East etc.
/Thirdly his public appearance
and ministration, 1 his mira
and secondly his Doctrine
we find his first appearance in
the Temple of God, Sitting in
midst of the Doctors, Both hear
ing and Asking them Questions
and often this we have an
Account of his Miracles etc.
and now was the Time for
man to think of him, but
what did they think of him?
and his Preaching was now
also public to every mans
consideration, but what did
they say of him, there was
Indeed different Judgments a
bout him Some etc.

Blank page.

you do take this woman to be
your Married Wife, and
do in the Presence of god
and before these witnesses,
Promise and Covenant
to be a loving and faithful
Husband unto her, until
God shall separate you
by Death —
you do in like manner
take this Man, to be
your Married Husband,
and do in Presence of god,
and before these Witnesses
Promise to be loving faithful
and obedient wife unto
him, 'til god Shall separate
you by Death

I do then before god, and
these witnesses, Declare
you to be Husband and
wife — Therefore what
God has joined together
Let [gap: hole][guess: no] man but asunder

Blank page.

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.

Frederick II
Fundraising Tour of Great Britain
HomeSamson Occom, sermon, Matthew 22:42; marriage ceremony
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