Today’s post highlights a Reverend Mix from colonial New England: The Rev. Stephen Mix.
I discovered and purchased a book from eBay called The Colonial Clergy and Colonial Churches of New England by Frederick Lewis Weis. Published under the auspices of the Society of the Descendants of the Colonial Clergy (1620-1776), this book was published in Lancaster, Massechusetts in 1936. Stephen Mix appears on page 143.
According to the book’s abbreviations and notes key on page 238, this entry offers answers to these headings:
NAME: Stephen Mix
HIGHEST DEGREE EARNED: A.M.
BORN in New Haven, Connecticut on November 1, 1672
PARENTS: Thomas and Rebecca (Turner) Mix
COLLEGE: H.C. means Harvard College, graduating in 1690.
DEGREES EARNED AT THAT COLLEGE: The A.B. and A.M. are the degrees he earned from Harvard.
—A.B. and B.A. are the same thing: this person had a Bachelor of Arts degree
—A.M. and M.A. are the same thing: this person had a Master of Arts degree.
ORDAINED: in Wethersfield, Connecticut in 1694
SETTLED: He ‘settled’ down to be the pastor of a church
—SETTLED WHERE: He was the pastor for the Wethersfield, CT church.
—SETTLED WHEN: He served as pastor there from 1694-1738.
CONNECTICUT ELECTION SERMON: was in 1735. (more on this a bit later)
DIED: in Wethersfield, CT on August 28, 1738
There is a note (also on p. 238) stating “All ministers listed are Congregational unless otherwise designated,” therefore Stephen Mix WAS a Congregational Church pastor.
BY THE WAY…
– – – The section (pages 239-280) is a listing of all of those colonial New England churches, their founding date, their official name and a listing of all of their pastors (1620-1776). On pages 278 and 279, the Wethersfield, CT church is listed as starting in 1641 and was listed as “First Congregational Church.”
– – – An ELECTION SERMON, according to a posting on BeliefNet.com by Forest Church, was a pretty standard tradition in colonial New England. Church writes:
There’s a noble tradition in the ministry, going back to the 17th Century. One or two Sundays before an election, almost every preacher in the land devoted his sermon to the body politic.
It’s a great literary genre. Often, the brimstone was so hot that an Election Day sermon was the one sermon a minister might be remembered by.
There was a reason for that. No words were minced. He entered the pulpit and for the next two hours–count your blessings, folks–proclaimed a jeremiad. As in Jeremiah, the great Hebrew prophet.
Here’s how it went. The world has gone, or is about to go to Hell. The reason is simple. God is punishing you for your sins. Whatever is wrong in this world is wrong because you are wrong-headed, wrong-hearted, inattentive to God’s commandments, and God is watching and God is angry,and if you keep on messing up you will burn forever.
At least they burned for two long hours. Nonetheless, by the end of the pastor’s jeremiad, almost everyone who listened did in fact feel at least partially responsible for everything that was going wrong in the world. No more “throw the bums out”; the bums were us.