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declined, and died away as the expiring taper, without a groan or struggle.
Through the course of his Christian pilgrimage ke exhibi. ted the sincerity of his profession, and the evidences of his mission, and never appeared to be ashamed of the gospel of Christ. His method of preaching was evangelical; he dwelt not on controversy, but, well-instructed in the essential truths of revelation, he kept nothing back that was profitable to the people of his charge. The church have indeed been called to witness the removal of a living member, with whom they took sweet counsel ; but they are comforted with the confidence that he is transplanted to a more genial soil, where he will ever bloom in the paradise of God.
Eld. NATHANIEL COLE, Jr., the son of Eld. Nathaniel and Anna Cole, was born July 14, 1780, in the town of Swansey, Mass., where he resided until he was twelve
of During a revival of religion in that town, when he was about the age of eight years, he experienced his first religious impressions ; and it was at this period he thought the Lord showed mercy to his soul. When he was twelve years of age his father removed into Richfield, Otsego Co., N. Y., where he resided nearly five years, teaching school and work. ing at his trade. During his residence in this place he mar. ried Miss Polly Whitney, in 1806. In 1807 he removed into Smithfield, Madison Co., where, from the state of his health, he was compelled to engage for some time in mercantile business. He officiated eight years as a justice of the peace, and four years as judge of the county court. In 1812 he was a member of the Legislature.
From the time of his first awakening he ever manifested a reverence for religion. This he evinced by his zeal to promote its interests, and his concern for the welfare of the church. In 1816 he was baptized by Eld. Nathaniel L. Moore, and united with the Baptist church in Fenner. He very soon began the improvement of his gifts, by addressing the people from passages of scripture. In 1806 he removed to Lenox, but not out of the bounds of this church. Soon after this, his mind being more deeply impressed with the duty of devo. ting himself entirely to the preaching of the gospel, he took measures to rid himself of his principal business, and com menced preaching Jesus and the resurrection. April 8, 1818, he was set apart to the work of the ministry by solemn ordi. nation, and took the pastoral care of the church. In Jan., 1819, he was brought to the brink of the grave by acute in. flammation of the liver, from which he never entirely recov. ered; however, he so far regained his health as to be useful in Zion.
He was a number of years an active member of the Board of the Hamilton Baptist Missionary Society, and of the Baptist Convention of the State of New York, after the union of those bodies. He was deeply interested in Indian reform, and was one of the Executive Committee for the Oneida sta. tion, from its establishment to the day of his death. In March, 1825, he was again brought very low by bleeding at the lungs. From this time he relinquished his pastoral duties, without any hope of resuming them. He, however, in some measure recovered, so as to be able to oversee his temporal concerns, and to preach a few times. But in March, 1827, his disorder assumed a more threatening aspect and baffled all human skill. He now saw the time of his departure was at hand, and therefore set his house in order; he settled his temporal concerns, gave directions to his family concerning his funeral, and respecting their tem. poral affairs in years to come. He then said, “I feel like one that is waiting to take his leave." He was exercised with much severe pain, but bore it with great patience. He continued to decline until the 4th of July, when, about 6 o'clock, P. M., perceiving his end was nigh, took the parting embrace with his family, shook hands with all in the room, and in a few moments his immortal spirit left this world of sin and woe, to celebrate the high praises of God in the kingdom of immortal glory. His funeral was attended on the 7th, and an appropriate discourse was delivered, by Eld. John Peck, from Acts. viii. 2: “ And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him.” A vast crowd of people assembled in the woods on the premises of the deceased. Everything around seemed to increase the solemnity of the scene ; when, after singing the “ Dying Christian,"and other appropriate hymns, his remains were conveyed to the family burying-ground, and decently interred.
He was a man of fixed principles, and was strenuous in maintaining his opinions, almost to a fault. He was par. ticularly zealous in contending for the distinguishing doctrine of free grace, on principles consistent with agency and moral obligation. On those points, as well as many others, he contended manfully. He was a man of stern integrity. This trait in his character was evinced in his conduct as a justice of the peace, a judge of the court, and a legislator. He was the distinguished individual who detected the mischievous bribery which was going on among the members of the House in 1812, and was instrumental in bringing the principal offender to condign punishment. In this transaction he evinced a mind superior to the influence of popular opinionthat looked with disdain on the glitter of proffered gold-and possessed with a high regard to the principles of equity and honor; and, conscious of the justice of his cause, could haz. ard almost everything dear; and scarcely aided by a single friend, could for many days, with undaunted firmness, stem a torrent of opposition, which must have overpowered the courage of any ordinary mind, until he carried his point, and commanded even the respect of his virulent opposers.
He possessed a quick, discerning mind, and a readiness of communication. His style of preaching was argumentative, though sometimes he was quite pathetic. He was respectable as a preacher, but exceeded in private argument, and in desultory conversation : here he was often eloquent. He was a judicious counselor, and was called upon by churches and individuals to assist in settling their difficulties. But he has finished his work, and is gone, we trust, to receive his reward.
NATHANIEL J. GILBERT.
NATHANIEL J. GILBERT was the son of Elmer and Mary Gilbert. He was born in Weston, Fairfield Co., Conn., on the 28th of April, 1786, but removed with his parents when young into the State of New York. But few facts of his
juvenile years are preserved : 'tis said he was never known to utter a falsehood, and the sacred regard he had cherished for truth distinguished his whole life.
Being under the necessity of constantly laboring on a farm while young, his opportunities for acquiring an education were very limited; yet, by his untiring efforts in after. life, he not only obtained a good English education, but also stored his mind with a fund of rich and varied learning.
At the age of twenty-one he was married to Miss Phebe Grow, who lives to feel the loss of his society. Soon after his marriage he became the subject of grace, and was baptized by Eld. Levi Hall, then of Pleasant Valley, Orange Co., but who has since fallen asleep. Having made a profession of religion, Br. Gilbert felt a deep interest in the spiritual welfare of his neighbors, and he commenced en. deavoring to warn them of their danger, and to point them to the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sin of the world. At this time he resided in Sullivan county, about sixty miles from the place where the church of which he was a member usually assembled for divine worship; and as several other members of the same church were located near him, they were in the habit of maintaining public worship, as a branch, and Br. Gilbert ministered unto them much to their edifica. tion.
Some time in the year 1810 he left this place, and removed to the town of Windsor, Broome Co., where he commenced clearing land for a farm. At the period of his settlement there were but five Baptist professors in the whole town, and these were scattered over about fifteen miles of territory ; yet such was Br. Gilbert's anxiety to have the standard of the cross erected in the town, that he sought them out, em. bodied them in a conference, and appointed a place where they resolved to endeavor to maintain the worship of God. The place selected for their meetings was about four miles from the residence of Br. Gilbert; yet neither the summer's heat nor the winter's cold prevented his meeting with and preaching unto them, although he had to travel on foot through a trackless forest, where not even a marked tree was found to guide his footsteps, and often in the winter the snow two feet deep. But the Lord did not suffer him to labor in vain ; the moral desert soon began to blossom ; a church was organized, and he was ordained pastor. For several years he continued to labor in this field, much to the satisfaction of the church and the community who attended his ministry.
In 1818 he received an invitation to become the pastor of the church in North Norwich, Chen. Co., on the acceptance of which he removed to that place, and continued for five years to go in and out before them, in the faithful discharge of his sacred office. While he labored with this church, in view of the destitution which almost everywhere prevailed of ministerial labor, and having the consent of the church, he accepted three appointments from the Hamilton Baptist Mis. sionary Society, for short periods, to labor among the destitute.
These appointments he filled to the abundant joy of thou. sands, to whom he administered the bread of life, and also to the entire satisfaction of the Board.
In 1822 three active brethren who had settled at Syracuse, considering the prospect of the enlargement of that place, and believing it would be for the glory of God, and the advancement of his kingdom, to have the gospel preached there in its purity, made repeated and urgent requests to the Board of the H. B. Missionary Society for assistance. After proper investigation of the claims of the place, and mature de. liberation, with reference to the individual to be employed, the Board, at a meeting held in March, 1823, arrived at the conclusion, in which they were unanimous, to appoint Br. Gilbert their missionary at Syracuse. Upon his acceptance of the appointment he removed his family, and commenced the occupancy of the field, where, after toiling for more than nine years, the Master called him to his rest. From the very commencement of his labors the Divine blessing appears to have attended his ministry. The little church, which had been formed previous to his removal there, became much enlarged; a house of worship was erected, the funds for which he was enabled to obtain. For several subsequent years appropriations were made by the Board of the H. B. M. S., to them in sustaining their pastor, yet, by the blessing of God on his labors, Br. Gilbert had the happiness to see the church so increased in numbers and wealth, that they were able not only to support the gospel among themselves, but also to do more for benevolent purposes than they had ever received.