Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts
Wheaton College
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1846

Death of Judge Wheaton

Judge Laban Wheaton, founder of Wheaton, died at the age of 92. His funeral oration was given by the Rev. Sylvester Holmes, Wheaton Female Seminary Trustee and pastor of the Pacific Congregational Church of New Bedford, MA.

Although the Judge was scarcely mentioned in the sermon, like many funeral orations of prominent people, this one was published shortly after the funeral. The sermon is significant, however, in its references to the Industrial Revolution as well as to Biblical themes. Rev. Holmes describes the immensity of life as "immeasurably great—for no human comprehension...can reach machinery so complicated—with wheels, and springs, and weights, apparently neutralizing and opposing each other, and yet all in their place, essential to the whole, and contributing, according to their measure, to the results to be produced,—nothing wanting, and nothing superfluous...."

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