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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

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Non-contemporary text, not transcribed.

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Matthew. 22:42
Saying what think ye
of Chriſt
It Looks to me Some like
a Dareing Preſumtion, that
I Shou'd Stand before you
this Day as a Teacher,
what Can I Say to you,
you that are highly Privi
ledg'd of the Lord of Hoſts,
to whom heGod has done
great and Marvelouſs things
, You thar are Lifted within
Sight of Heaven, as it were,
in Point of Goſpel Bleſsings,
and you that are refin'd with
Literature and kinds of Sciences
who am I Shoud that I Stand

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Stand before this Great Con‐
greget[illegible] [guess: t ]ion this Day, I [gap: hole] [guess: that]
am but a Babe in Religion
that begun to think of it, as it
were but Yeſterday, and imper
fect every way, I Shall b [illegible] [guess: e] ut
ButBetray my Profound Ignorance
in speaking to before you —
And what Shall do, for I have
not the Wiſdom of the Wiſe nor
Knowledge of the Learned nor
Eloquence of the an oratour — but
I wiſh Coud with Propriety say
to any one Poor Impotent Soul
in this great Congregation,
as Peter Said to a Poor Criple,
Silver and Gold have I none
but Such as I have give thee
In the Name of Jeſus Chriſt of
Nazareth, Riſe [illegible] up and walk
In [illegible] deed Sirs, when I thuſ Conſider
with my Self I am ready to wiſh

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my ſelf in the Meaneſt Corner
of the Houſe of god, if there is
a [illegible] ny ſuch Place, to attend
with Silence and Prouud humi
liation, and Shou'd Esteeme it
an Ineſtimable Privilege to Join
with the People of God in his
Divine Worſhip
Yet Since, God in his Miſterious,
you almosſt Meraculous Pro‐
vidence, has taken me from
the Dung Hill, and from Hea‐
theniſth 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 to
ready to Stand before you
all, if it is only as a Spec‐
tic [illegible] al and a Gazing Stock,
But by the Importunity
of Some Friends an I am willg

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willing to gratify you all,
and Preſuming the Candor [gap: hole] [guess: of]
the whole this Assembly,
I will now freely begin with the
Text, with out any further
Apology, —
And here I have Choſen an
inexhauſtable 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 Anſweres it right
[illegible] but Eternal Death to them
that won't Anſwere it right
But to make a way for
the Text let us Conſider the
ocation of this Important
Queſtion —

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you may Remember, that
S[gap: hole] [guess: e]veral Crafty Queſtions were
Propoſed to our Bleſsed by Differ‐
ent Sorts of People, to Intangle
him, but they were taken in their
own Traps and were Confounded, &
while the Pharaſees were gathered
together, Jeſus took an oppertunity
to Propoſe unto them this one great
and moſt Important Queſtion, which
was Contain'd in their Religion,
Saying what think ye of Chriſt
whoſe son is he, they Said the Son
of David, &c
Hear we may Plainly see, how
what a Reſtleſs thing Man's mind
is, (how Buſy were the ſe thoughts
of theſe Men about Chriſt,) —
Man's thoughts are always upon
ago, [illegible] 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

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that his thoughts are Continu
ally runing other objects, up
on Creat [illegible] ure, more than upon the
Creator, — how apt isare maen in to
[illegible] [guess: this] our Day, to Inqiure after News
and if any remarkable thing is done by our
Fellow Men, how ready are we
to Aplaud and Admire such a
one, As in our Day, Chriſt has
greatly Honord, the King of Pruſ
in Riſing him, to Humble
his Enemees, how is he admir'd
every w [illegible] here, but it is to be
feard Chriſt is forgot by ma[illegible]
ny, he Shoud be our admirati
on and give him the Praiſe
for it is he yt has done this
all theſe theſe things by his
Servant, indeed Sirs Ceeſar
ought to have his Due

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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 Acount of X
According to Scripture [illegible]
1. as he was the Promiſed
2. as he was Actually Con‐
ceived and Borne unto the world
3. his Puplick Appearance
and Miniſtration.
1. his Miracles
2. his Doctrine

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

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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 Acording to Scrip
tures that was Repreſented by
various Names Titles and Sha
dows and Figures
he was Calld the ſeed of the
woman the ſeed of Abraham
Isa[illegible] [guess: e]a and Jacob, his Name
was Shilo, Miſſias Emanuel
a Servant the B [illegible] ranch a tryed
Stone the Chief Corner Stone
the Lord our Righteouſnes the
Root and the Rod of Jeſſe the
Morning Star, the Prophet
Prieſt and King the wonder
ful Counſeller the mighty god
the Ever laſting Father the Princ
of Peace, beſides theſe he was
Repreſented by various

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Figures Sacrifices and Cere‐
monies, and his Servants
the Pro [illegible] phets 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 [illegible]
there there were but few true
godly People ever among the
Jews, the and they were hated
by there own unbe Brethren, and,
were Slain Chiefly by their
own Brethren
2ly when Chriſt was Born
they Roſe up againſt him
and woud have Slew him
as Soon as he was born —
B And there were but few yt
Rejoicd at his Birth, Such
as the Shepherds, and the [illegible] [illegible]
and Anna the Prophetes

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and wiſe men from the Eaſt &c
/3[illegible] [guess: l ] his Publick appearance
and Mſiniſtration, 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 &c
and now was the Time for
man to think of him, but
what did they think of him?
and his Preaching was now
alſo Publick to every mans
Conſideration, but what did
they ſay of him, there was
Indeed Defferent Judgments a
bout him Some &c

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you do take this woman to be
your Married Wife, and
do in the Preſence of god
and before theſe witneſses,
Promiſe to band Covenant
to be a loving and faithful
Huſband unto her, untill
God shall Separat 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 Witneſes
Promiſe to be loving faithfl
and obedient wife unto
him, till god Shall sep[illegible]
you by Death

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I do then before god, and
theſe witneſes, Declare
you to be Huſband and
wif — Therefore what
God has Joind together
Let [gap: hole] [guess: no] man but aſund

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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.

Frederick II
Fundraising Tour of Great Britain
After many months of planning and shifting personnel, Occom, accompanied by the minister Nathaniel Whitaker, sets sail in December 1765 for a two-and-a-half year tour of England and Scotland in order to solicit contributions to Wheelock’s Indian Charity School and missionary efforts. Introduced to aristocrats and prominent clergy by the minister George Whitefield, Occom preaches many sermons, travels widely, and collects a large sum of money.
HomeSamson Occom, sermon, Matthew 22:42; marriage ceremony
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