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[246]
Far be it from me to censure any of my brethren, who, after an equally honest and impartial inquiry, think in some respects different from me. Conscious of my liability to err,--from the infirmities of nature, the prejudices of education, and the acknowledged difficulty, on various questions, of ascertaining the true sense of Scripture,--I hope never to withhold that charity from others which I claim for myself. “Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind,” clearly implies the right of every man to read and understand the Scriptures for himself, with no other responsibility than to God and his own conscience. Each of us ought to think and judge for himself, using the reason which God has given us in searching and studying his revealed will. A mind thus independent, an understanding thus unfettered and unawed by uninspired names, is honorary to a Christian, especially to a minister of Christ.

While the subject of this notice was a granite man, not caring for “those soft parts of speech” which give a needed charm to social courtesy, we find him honest and expansive in his theological creed. “The elevation of his character, and the unconquerable force of his will, gave him, in all councils and conventions of clergymen, an authority which few ventured to resist. The strongest sympathies of his heart, and the most intimate of his ministerial relations, were with the more liberal of his clerical brethren.”

Pastor.--As a pastor, Dr. Osgood was less among his flock than some others; but his labors, prayers, and life were for the spiritual good of his people. There are those yet living who remember his kindness in seasons of sorrow; who have seen him enter their dwelling with looks of sympathy, and with words that showed the wish, if not the power, to comfort; yes, they have seen one, who to strangers appeared stern and unbending, melt into tenderness of look, of voice, and of manner, in the presence of bereavement.

Dr. Osgood suffered less from illness than most men; and never was a pulpit more uninterruptedly supplied by its occupant than his. He labored to the last week of his life. His dread of death was unaccountably great; and through life he seemed subject to the bondage of this fear. But the angel came during a season of apparent insensibility, and life ceased Dec. 12, 1822. Thus, at the age of seventy-six, closed his ministry of more than forty-eight years. He baptized 853 persons; married 359 couples; admitted to the church 304 communicants; and officiated at 990 funerals.

Every arrangement for a public funeral which respect for their venerable pastor could suggest was made by the town;

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David Osgood (2)
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