Obituary of Rev. Nathaniel Gookin

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Rev. Nathaniel Gookin

April 15, 1687 - August 25, 1734

The Boston News-Letter, From Thursday August 29, to Thursday September 5, 1734

Hampton, August 28, 1734. On Lord's Day Morning the 25th Instant died here the Rev. Mr. Nathaniel Gookin in the 48th Year of his Age, and the 28th of his Ministry, He was the Son of the Rev. Nathaniel Gookin, Minister of Cambridge, and Grandson to the Hon. Major-General Gookin. He had a liberal Education in the School & College at Cambridge: His natural Powers were quick & strong, and his Improvements in Learning and Religion were very remarkable, and by his close Application to his Studies, especially in Divinity, he made an early & bright appearance in the Pulpit 1710. Upon the Death of the venerable Mr. John Cotton our former Pastor, he was called & ordained to the Pastoral Office in this Town, in which Station his natural and acquired Abilities, in conjunction with his sincere Piety, and steady Prudence, Zeal & Faithfulness in his Lord's Work, rendred him truly great & good; a Star of the first Magnitude, highly esteemed & beloved by all that knew him: He was justly esteemed by the most Judicious, a well accomplish'd Divine, a judicious Casuist, excellently qualified both to feed & guide the Flock of Christ, an eminent Preacher, excelling in the most correct Phrase, clear Method, found scriptural Reasoning, a masculine Stile, manly Voice, grave Utterance, and a lively close Application to his Hearers, with great Affection, and yet free from Affection. The Classis of Ministers to which he belong'd plac'd much of their Glory in him & highly valued his Judgment in all Cases that came before them. He was a zealous Assertor of the civil Rights & religious Liberties of Mankind. His Temper was grave & thoughtful, yet at times chearful and free, and his Conversation very entertaining. In his Conduct he was ever prudent & careful of his Character, both as a Minister and as a Christian. He was much given to Hospitality, and took great pleasure in entertaining such as he might improve by conversing with: A Gentleman of a generous & catholick Spirit; a hearty Friend to his Country and to our eccleliastical Constitution. And always approved himself a bright Example of those Doctrines and Virtues which he so plainly preacht and earnestly recommended to others. For some time before his Death he was diverted from his beloved Work, by a sore Malady that affected his Throat or Pallate, which deprest his Voice and obstructed his Speech, whereby being taken off from that which was so much his proper Element, he at length fell under the sad impressions of a slow Fever, under which he languisht for 3 or 4 Months, bearing all his Tryals with an admirable Patience and Submission, and at last with great Peace and Comfort resigned his Spirit to GOD that gave it, with him to keep an everlasting Sabbath. He left behind him a sorrowful Widow, the pious and virtuous Daughter of our former Pastor, and 9 Children, 6 Sons & 3 Daughters, many of which are in their tender Infancy, whole Circumstances passionately bespeak the generous Charity of such as abound, and are able to minister to their Support. He was this day honourably Interr'd with great Respect and deep Lamentation, after a Funeral Sermon preacht by the Rev. Mr. Fitch from Acts13.36. And his generous and affectionate People were at the Charge of his Funeral, & unanimously Voted One Hundred Pounds for that end. And as their Liberality has abounded to their venerable Pastor both living and dying, so it is hoped that they will continue their Kindness to the sorrowful Widow and Orphans. During his Confinement, with his free Consent, the Reverend Mr. Ward Cotton was introduced and settled at his Collegue in the Pastoral Office who now survives as his successor, for whom what can we desire better then that the Mantle of the departed Elijah may fall and rest on Elisha.

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