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Samuel Stone

Samuel Stone.—This very pious divine was born at Hertford, and educated in Emanuel college, Cambridge. Having finished his studies at the university, he sojourned for some time in the house of the excellent Mr. Richard Blackerby. Here, while he received useful instructions from his venerable tutor, he imbibed his excellent spirit and prmciples. Afterwards, he became minister atlowcester m Northamptonshire, where his superior accomplishments and great mdustry were manifest to all. This, however, would not screen him from the oppressions of the times. He was an avowed, but modest nonconformist to the ecclesiastical impositions; and having no prospect of enjoying his liberty in his native country, he resolved to withdraw from the scenes of persecution, and retire to New England. He went in the same ship with Mr. Cotton and Mr. Hooker, and arrived m the year 1633; when he was chosen colleague to Mr. Hooker over

♦ Mather's Hist, of KewEng.b.iii. p. 115,116. + Ibid. p. 114.

the church which they gathered in a new plantation, which they calied Hartford. This church afterwards became famous in the new commonwealth.

Dr. Maiher gives the following account of this holy and 'excellent man. He was godly, §ober, and righteous, and could with truth appeal to God, and say, " Lord, thou knowest all things, thou knowest that 1 love thee." He was remarkable for the observance of clays of fasting and prayer, by which his spirit was wonderfully ripened for the heavenly inheritance. His conversation was grave, serious, and holy; and he was a most exact observer of the sabbath. The sermons which he intended to deliver on the Lord's day, he usually delivered in his own family on a Saturday evening. In his sermons, which were rather doctrinal, he handled the great points of divinity with admirable skill. He delivered tbem with an uncommonly nervous address, and concluded with a close and direct application to the hearts of the people: by his fervent prayers, his sound doctrine was turned into devotion.

Towards the close of life Mr. Stone was exercised with, much trouble. A misunderstanding arose betwixt him and one of the elders of the church, which could not be rectified without the dismission and removal of several pious members further up the country. It is not easy to conceive how extremely painful this was to his humble and holy souL He, however, continued feeding the flock of God fourteen years with Mr. Hooker, and sixteen years after him. In due submission to God, he was desirous to leave the world and be with Christ. Expressing his longing desires for heaven, he used to say," Heaven is the more desirable for such company as Hooker, and Shepard, and Hains, who are got there before me."' He died July 20, 1663. Mr. Stone was a pious, learned, and judicious divine, equally qualified for the confirmation of the truth and the refutation of error. His ministry was attended with the powerful demonstration and application of the truth. His views of church discipline were congregational.+ He published "A Discourse upon the Logical Notion of a Congregational Church," of which Dr. Mather gives a very high character.

* Mather's Hist, of New Kng. b. iii. p. 116—118. + Mortou's Memorial, p. 168.

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