Goodell, William, Dd

Goodell, William, D.D., a Congregational minister and eminent-missionary, was born at Templeton, Massachussetts, February 14, 1792. In early youth he manifested great energy of character. At fifteen he went sixty miles on foot, carrying his trunk, to Phillips Academy, in Andover; and there, and afterwards in Dartmouth College, he overcame all difficulties until he graduated in 1817. He spent three years in Andover Theological Seminary, and in 1820 was accepted as a missionary of the American Board. He traveled for some time as agent for raising funds for the society from New England as far as Alabama, and also visited the Cherokee and Choctaw missions east of the Mississippi. In December 1822, he sailed for Malta. After preaching in English and studying other languages during nine months, he left Malta for Beirut, where he arrived November 16, 1823. "By the residence there of Messrs. Goodell and Bird, Beirut became a regular station of the Board. After some attention to the Arabic, Mr. Goodell went, in June 1824, to Sidon, to study the Armeno-Turkish language with an Armenian ex-bishop, Yakob Aga, where he became acquainted with another Armenian bishop, Dionysius Carabet, who, a year and a half later, was received into the mission church at Beirut. Thus singularly did the 'Mission to Syria and the Holy Land,' at the very outset, take hold of a people who were not thought of-in its establishment, and of whom but a few individuals were found by it except as pilgrims to the sacred places. In March 1826, after the repulse of the Greeks in an attack on Beirut, Mr. Goodell's house was plundered and his life endangered by Arab soldiers. In May 1828, war being imminent between Turkey and England, the missionaries were obliged to flee to Malta. There Mr. Goodell labored in connection with the press until the summer of 1831, when he repaired to Constantinople, and commenced the mission to Turkey, with special reference to the Armenians, in which he was joined a few months later by the Reverend H.G.O. Dwight. From that time on his work lay specially among the Armenians. Mr. Goodell's early experience and natural temperament combined, with divine grace, to fit him eminently to meet them with a cheerful patience. With a true Christian heroism, in which his wife had an equal share, he encountered such incidents of life as being obliged, by conflagrations, visitations of pestilence, convulsions and war, the extortions of landlords, hierarchical persecutions, interference of government, etc., 'to pack up and move' his residence 'some thirty times in twenty-nine years,' and battled with the opposition and obstacles that were ever before him as a missionary. Indomitable in his purpose to do good, affable and courteous in manner, of ready tact, and abounding in resistless pleasantry, he gained access wherever he chose to go, and exercised a magnetic attraction that never left him without subjects on whom to pour, in some form, the light of truth. He commanded the respect of foreign ambassadors and travelers, of dignitaries of the Oriental churches, bankers, and the highest in society, with whom, at different periods, he had no little intercourse, as well as the common people; and even enemies to his work were constrained to honor him. Few possess in so high degree as he did the admirable faculty of doing good without offense, and of recommending personal religion to the world." One of his most important labors was the translation of the Bible into Armeno-Turkish, commenced in 1843, and finished (the last revision) in 1863. In 1855 he returned to America, worn out with labor, and died in Philadelphia February 18, 1867. "In the future history of the kingdom of Christ in the lands which include the site of the garden that was planted in Eden, and the scenes of events most sacred to Christian hearts, the name of William Goodell will be precious to successive generations of sanctified souls, even to the end of the world." — Missionary Herald, May 1867.

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