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had several children. His son Oliver, after finishing his education at Harvard College, entered into mercantile business with his father, from whose experience and counsels he may have derived no less benefit, than from his stock in trade.
Mr. Wendell possessed a rare combination of talents and virtues, alike adapted to the offices of public and of private life. Mild in temper, benevolent in disposition, upright in principle, and resolute in action, he was conciliatory in address, and exemplary in life; and uniformly had the esteem and confidence of his friends and of the community. He was in the consultations of the early patriots of the American Revolution, and contributed to the acquisition and maintenance of the liberty and independence of the Commonwealih and country. After the Constitution was settled, he was often a member of the Senate, and of the Council, in the government of the Cornmonwealth. During his public life, he was Judge of Probate for the county of Suffolk; President of Union Bank; a Fellow of the Corporation of Harvard College; President of the Society for propagating the Gospel among the Indians and others in North America; and a Trustee of Phillips Academy, Andover. Retiring from the city, he spent several of his last years in Cambridge, where he died, January 15, 1918, aged 85.
The evening of his days was serene and tranquil. While conscious of uprightness, he relied not on his integrity as meritorious, but founded his hope of future happiness on the propitiation made for sin by Jesus Christ; this hope was a steadfast anchor to his soul. Religious contemplation, and devotional exercises, habitual to him in public and active life, were cherished by him in secrecy and the stillness of retirement. Easy and gentle, at last, was his descent to the grave, and the observer might "see in what peace a Christian can die." His remains were deposited in the family tomb, in the Chapel burial-ground in Boston.
To the public notice of his death was annexed the following sketch of his character, written in the Council Chamber at the State House, on the reception of the intelligence of his death, by a highly respected friend,* who, by long intercourse with him in public and private life, was a competent judge of his character. “İn all relations of life, as a man, citizen, and magistrate, JudGE WENDELL was distinguished for uncommon urbanity of manners, and unimpeach. ed integrity of conduct. During the course of a long life he had been successively called to fill many high and responsible offices. The punctuality and precision with which he fulfilled all the duties connected with them, were highly exemplary. Full of years, he has descended to the grave regretted and beloved by all who knew him; happy in the consciousness of a life well spent, and rejoicing in the prospect of felicity in a future state, of which a firm faith in his Redeemer gave him the assurance."
Judge Wendell married, in 1762, Mary, a daughter of Edward Jackson, who graduated at H. C. 1726, married Dorothy Quincy, and
* President Quincy.
was a merchant of Boston. He was the son of Jonathan, who was a brazier and nail-maker, and married Mary Salter, March 26, 1700, lived in Boston, and left an estate of about £30,000. He was the son of Jonathan, who married Elizabeth and settled in Boston. He was born in England, and was the son of Edward, born in 1602, who emigrated from White Chapel, a parish in London, to this country about 1642, took the freeman's oath, May, 1645, and in 1646 purchased of Gov. Bradstreet a farm of 500 acres of land in that part of Cambridge which is now Newton, for £140. For his second wife he married March 14, 1649, Elisabeth Oliver, widow of Rev. John Oliver, the first minister of Rumney Marsh, (Chelsea) and daughter of John Newgate of Boston. He was one of the most respectable men of the Colony, and was much engaged in public life. He died July 17, 1681, aged 79. Judge Wendell had several children, most of whom died young. Oliver and Edward never married, and have deceased. Sarah married the Rev. Dr. Abiel Holmes of Cambridge, by whom she had five children; namely, Mary Jackson, who married Usher Parsons, M. D., of Providence, R. I.; Ann Susan, who married Rev. Charles W. Upham of Salem; Sarah Lathrop, who died 1812, aged 6 years; Oliver Wendell, M. D., of Boston, who married Amelia Lee Jackson, daughter of Hon. Charles Jackson of Boston ; and John, an Attorney at law, living in Cambridge.
For the above facts we are indebted principally to the late Rev. Dr. Holmes of Cambridge, and Francis Jackson, Esq., of Boston.
HON. JONATHAN LAW, GOVERNOR OF CONNECTICUT. [The facts in this Memoir were obtained through the obliging instrumentality of Prof. Kingsley of Yale College.]
JONATHAN Law, Governor of the Colony of Connecticut, descended from Richard Law, who came from England in the year 1640, and was one of the first settlers in the town of Stamford, Ct., in 1611. He left one son, Richard, who afterwards moved to Milford in that State, where his son Jonathan, his only son and the subject of this Memoir, was born, Aug. 6, 1674. His mother was Sarah, daughter of George Clark, Sen., a planter. He was educated at Harvard College, then the only Academical Institution in New England, and received his degree of Bachelor of Arts in 1695. The law was the profession which he selected, and after passing through the course of studies usual at that period, he was admitted to the bar, and fixed his residence in his native town in 1698. He soon became distinguished as a lawyer and an advocate, and after a few years was made Chief-Judge of New Haven County Court. This office he held for five years, and in May, 1715, he was transferred to the Bench of the Superior Court of the Colony, as one of the Associate Judges, where he continued, with the exception of one
At the annual election in 1717, he was chosen an Assistant, an office of great trust and importance, being ex officio a Legislator, a member of the Governor's Council, and a judicial
Magistrate throughout the Colony. This station he resigned in 1725, on his election to the office of Lieutenant-Governor, and the same year he was appointed by the General Assembly Chief-Jus. TICE of the Superior Court, both which offices he held until the year 1742; when he was elected Governor, and continued in that office until his death, which, after a short and painful sickness of three days, occurred at Milford, Nov. 6, 1750, at the age of 76 years. He left seven sons and a widow, his fifth wife.
A funeral Oration in Latin was delivered on the occasion in the chapel of Yale College, by Mr. Stiles, then senior Tutor in that Institution, and afterwards its distinguished President. It portrays in the most glowing colors, the mild virtues of his private life, and the singular success of his public administration.
During this period, there was a time when religious dissensions, which originated in the excessive zeal of itinerant preachers, had made their way into sober and regular ecclesiastical communities, by which means they were greatly disturbed, and the Colony was convulsed almost to its centre.
Early in the eighteenth century, a wonderful attention to religion had been excited in various parts of Connecticut. It seems to have been a genuine revival, not unmingled, perhaps, with some slight alloy of enthusiasm. Soon after this the celebrated Mr. Whitefield, whose sincere and honest piety Cowper has immortalized in the most glowing colors, whose eloquence vanquished on one occasion even Franklin's philosophical caution, after preaching with the greatest applause and effect, at the South, came to New England at the pressing invitations of the clergymen of Boston. On his return, he passed through Connecticut, where the people crowded to hear him, and sunk under the weight of his powerful Christian eloquence. His example seems to have been followed by others of weaker intellect and less judgment; by men, who mistook the illusions of their own minds, for the operations of the Holy Spirit. There was particularly a Mr. Davenport of Long Island, who had been a sound and faithful minister, but, unfortunately, partook of the same spirit, and by his precepts and example, encouraged the wildest extravagances of sentiment and conduct. Some of the “ New Lights,” (as they were called,) boldly proclaimed their intimate communion with the Almighty, in raptures, ecstacies, trances, and visions. A few of the clergy were not free from these errors, and forsook their own charge to labor in the vineyards of others. In some counties, lay-preachers sprang up, who pretended to divine impulses and inward' impressions, and professed a supernatural power of discerning between those that were converted, and those that were not. Confusion prevailed at their meetings, and instead of checking these unseemly disorders, the leaders labored to increase and extend them. Such excesses threw a shade on real piety, and threatened to subvert the foundations of pure and genuine Christianity throughout the Colony. The Legislature, between whom and the church there was then a much closer connection
than at this day, in consequence of the numerous applications made to them for their interference and protection, enacted laws, the severity of which was not justifiable, but may, in some measure, be palliated when we consider the magnitude of the evil. A heated zeal and a misguided conscience, rather, perhaps, than a contempt of the authority of government, gave rise in some counties to loud murmurs and great dissatisfaction.
Governor Law, although an ardent friend of the gospel system in its original purity, opposed with all the energy he possessed, this wild spirit of fanaticism. To him was its suppression, in no small degree, to be attributed. With the skill of an experienced pilot, he kept his eye always fixed on the star of civil and religious liberiy, and steered the political bark unhurt, amidst the dangers that surrounde it. It was to these troubles that President Stiles alluded in the Eulogy before spoken of, when, after paying a just compliment to his predecessors, he adds:
“ Sed gloria Conservandæ reipublicæ ac perite per procellas intestinas periculosissimasque confusiones fortiter et clementer administranda sit soli sapienti et illustrissimo Law.”
It was during this term of service, likewise, that the expedition against Cape Breton was undertaken. The plan was formed by Gov. SHIRLEY of Massachusetts, and was executed by raw, undisciplined troops, ignorant of the arts of regular warfare, with the most brilliant success. He saw the great importance of this enterprise, and labored, with unwearied industry, to prevent its failure.
Governor Law was unquestionably a man of high talents and accomplishments, both natural and acquired. He was well acquainted with civil and ecclesiastical subjects, and gradually rose, by the force of his own exertions, to the highest honors of the State. He was of a mild and placid temper, amiable in all the relations of domestic life, and seems to have well discharged the duties imposed on him.
First-love is pure without a stain,
Sacred Poems, by Mrs. Bruce, London.
DR. WATTS'S LETTER OF CONDOLENCE TO MADAM SEWALL.
[The following letter of Dr. Watts was written to Madam Sewall, the wife of Maj. Samuel Sewall, a highly accomplished merchant of Boston, upon the sudden and affecting death of her two sons. These were children by her first husband, Mr. Nathan Howell, and her only children, for she never had any by Maj. Sewall
. For the letter and a number of the facts in relation to the sad event, we are indebted to Charles Ewer, Esq.; and through his instrumentality also the likenesses of the youth drowned were procured from Mrs. Loring. the wife of Henry Loring, Esq., of this city, and are now deposited in the Rooms of the New England Historic, Genealogical Society. The Rev. Samuel Sewall of Burlington informs us that the Rev. Dr. Sewall of the Old South Church, in his diary, notices the event as fol. lows: "1727-8 January 8, ( Monday,) George and Nathan Howell abt 15 & 14 yrs old, went a skating at the bottom of ye Common, and were both drowned. O Li Sanctify this awfull Providce to the near Relations ; Support & Comfort ym: Be to yne Handmaid' better yn 10 Sons: To ye Town! Awaken our young people to Kem? yr Creator and fly to X yt yy may be safe under ye Shadow of his wings. Jany 14 (Sabbath) I endeavoured to improve ye late awful Provide fr. Eccl. 9. 12."
Nathan Howell and Katherine George were married by Rev. Dr. Colman, Aug. 11, 1708 : George and Nathan, their sons, were born, - George, Nov. 1, 1712, and Nathan, March 21, 1713–14.
In Pemberton's Manuscript Chronology we find the following entry : “1728, January Sth, George and Nathan Howell of Boston, brothers about 14 and 15 years old, in scaling at the bottom of the Common, fell through the ice and were both drowned."]
November 7, 1728. MADAM,
Yesterday from Mr Sewall's hand I Received the favor of several Letters from my Friends in New-England, and a particular account of that sharp and surprising Stroak of Providence that has made a painful and lasting Wound on your Soul. He desir'd a Letter from my hand directed to you which might carry in it some Balm for an afflicted spirit. By his Information I find that I am not an utter stranger to your Family and Kindred. M' Lee your Venerable Grandfather was Predecessor to Mr Thomas Rowe my Honourd Tutor and once my Pastor in my younger years. M' Peacock who married your eldest Aunt was my intimate Friend. M's Bishop and Mr Wirly were both my Acquaintance tho' my long Illness and Absence from London has made me a stranger to their Posterity whom I knew when Children. But now I know not who of them are living or where. Doc Cotton Mather your late Father in Law was my yearly Correspondent, and I lament the loss of him. But the loss you have sustained is of a more tender and distressing kind; yet let us see whether there are not sufficient Springs of Consolation flowing round you to allay the smart of so great a sorrow. And may the Lord open your Eyes as he did the Eyes of Hagar in the Wilderness so to Espy the Spring of Water when she was dying with Thirst and her Child over against her ready to expire. Gen. 21, 19.
Have you lost two lovely Children? Did you make them your Idols ? if you did, God hath sav'd you from Idolatry; if you did not, you have your God still and a Creature cannot be miserable who has a God. The short words My God have infinitely more sweetness in them than My Sons or My Daughters. "Were they desirable Blessings? Your God calls you then to the nobler Sacrifice. Can you give up these to him at his call? God delighteth in such a Sacrifice. Were they your All? So was Isaac when Abraham was required to part with him at God's Altar. Are not you a Daughter of Abraham ? Then imitate you his Faith, his self-denial, his Obedience, and make your Evidences of such a Spiritual Relation to him shine Brighter on this solemn occasion. Has God taken them from your Arms ? had you not given them to God before? had you not devoted them to him in Baptism? are you displeas’d that God calls for his own? was not your heart sincere in the Resignation of them to him? Show then, Madam, the sincerity of your Heart in leaving of them in the Hand of God Do you say they are lost? not out of God's sight, and God's World, tho' they are out of our sight and our World. All live to God. You may hope the spreading Covenant of Grace has shelter'd them from the second Death. They live tho' not with you. Are you ready to say you have brought forth for the Grave? it may be so, but not in vain. Isaiah 65, 23. They shall not labor in vain, nor bring forth for trouble ; (that is for Sorrow and without hope) for they are the seed of the