The Reverend NATHANIEL GOOKIN was educated at Harvard College, where he graduated in 1675. On Mr. Oakes’ acceptance of the presidency in 1679, (102) the church gave “a Call to Mr. Gookin to be helpful in the ministry, in order to call him to office in time convenient.” (103) After Mr. Oakes’ decease the church invited him to the pastoral office. He accepted the invitation; and was ordained November 15, 1682. He was a Fellow of Harvard College. After a ministry of scarcely ten years, he died on the Lord’s-day, August 7, 1692, in the thirty-fourth year of his age, and tenth of his ministry.
The shortness of Mr. Gookin’s ministry, and the imperfection of the early records of the church, leave us very deficient in the means of obtaining his history and character.
He was a son of Major-General Gookin, whose distinguished character, and eminent services, have been noticed in the preceding history. Tradition informs us, that he lies interred in the south-east corner of the burying ground, beneath a brick monument, covered with a stone slab, the inscription of which is not now legible. He left a son, of his own name, who graduated at Cambridge in 1703, and was, afterward, settled in the ministry at North Hill, a parish in Hampton, New Hampshire. This Mr. Gookin is represented by a contemporary minister as a man, whose fidelity, industry and skill in prosecuting it, as well as exemplary caution and prudence, were too well known to need any attestation.” (104) He died in 1734, Aetat. XLVIII, leaving a son of his name, who graduated at Cambridge in 1731, and succeeded his father in the ministry, at Hampton, Oct. 31, 1739. This son is represented as one, “who, upon many accounts beside his own personal worth, ought to be near and dear” to his society, “being both ways descended from those who have been stars of the first magnitude.” (105) He died in 1766.
102 ^ His previous election, in 1675, was pro tempore.
103 ^ Church Records.
104 ^ The Rev. Mr. Shurtleff’s Sermon, at the ordination of Mr. Nathaniel Gookin, in 1739.
105 ^ Mr. Shurtleff informs us, (Ordin. Serm.) that the Rev. Seaborn Cotton was this Mr. Gookin’s great grandfather. I suppose the second Mr. Nathaniel Gookin (son of the ministry of Cambridge) married a daughter of John Cotton, (his predecessor in the ministry) who was a son of Seaborn, (his predecessor) who was a son of the renowned John Cotton, one of the first ministers of Boston.