Sunday, June 15, 2014

52 Ancestors #24 - Rev. Joshua Moody

Rev. Joshua Moody was the son of immigrant, William Moody and his wife, Sarah. His family came from England to Newbury, Massachusetts when he was about a year old. He is my ninth great-grandfather on two different lines. He was educated at Harvard College and graduated in 1653. He married twice - first to Martha Collins, sister of Rev. John Collins of London, and second to widow, Ann (Wall) Jacobs of Ipswich. 



In 1658, he went to Portsmouth, New Hampshire and started the First Congregational Church. His time in Portsmouth came to an end when he came into conflict with the Lt. Governor, Mr. Cranfield in 1684. After refusing to administer the sacrament (in the manner of the Church of England rather than in the manner of the Puritans) to Lt. Gov. Cranfield, Rev. Moody was indicted on February 5, 1684 and spent thirteen weeks in jail. His sentence was for six months but his supporters appealed and gained his freedom but if he started preaching again, he would be put back in jail. He moved to Boston and preached under Rev. Cotton Mather at the Old Church (First Church) in Boston until 1692. Rev. Josiah Moody was elected President of Harvard College on July 2, 1684. He declined, however, in favor of continuing his post as assistant minister of the First Church. 



During the witchcraft hysteria in 1692, Rev. Joshua Moody did not support the measures being taken to identify, try, and execute the alleged witches. He did all he could to support and free Philip & Mary (Hollingsworth) English - both accused witches. He helped them flee to New York in defiance of the popular sentiment. He was very lucky that he was not arrested for his actions and in the end, he also chose to leave Massachusetts and return to Portsmouth. He had remained in contact with his congregation there and the contentious Lt. Gov. Cranfield was gone. Rev. Josiah Moody died on July 4, 1697 at the age of 65 after a brief illness. Dr. Cotton Mather preached at his funeral. Two of his daughters married ministers and his son, Samuel was for several years a preacher at New Castle (Great Island), New Hampshire. 

Published works: 
" A Practical Discourse concerning the Choice Benefit of Communion with God in his house, witnessed unto by the experience of saints as the best improvement of time, being the sum of several sermons on Psalms 84:10, preached at Boston, on Lecture Days." Printed in Boston by Richard Pierce in 1685. 
"Sin of Formality in God's Worship, or the Formal Worshipper proved a liar and deceiver, preached on the weekly lecture in Boston, from Hos. 2:12." Published in 1691. 

The library of the Massachusetts Historical Society has 93 volumes of his sermons. The last is numbered 4070 and dated 30th September 1688. That is an average of two and a half sermons a week for thirty years! He had more sermons after that in Portsmouth. 

Rev. Joshua Moody
Rev. Samuel Moody
Joshua Moody
William Moody
Elizabeth Moody
William Ackley
Sarah Ackley
Mary Jane Abbott
Fannie May Capen
Thomas Richard Carter - my grandfather

Rev. Joshua Moody
Rev. Samuel Moody
Joshua Moody
Houchin Moody
Josiah Moody
Hezekiah Moody
Dolly Estes Moody
Charles Galen Blake
Harriet May Blake
Clayton L. Blake - my grandfather


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