Oakes, Urian

Oakes, Urian president of Harvard College, was born in England in 1631, and brought to America in his childhood. A sweetness of disposition exhibited itself early, and remained with him through life. He was graduated at Harvard College in 1649. He soon after returned to England, and was settled in the ministry at Titchfiedl, in Hampshire; but being silenced in 1662 as a nonconforming divine, he longed for employment on this side the Atlantic. The church of Cambridge, on the decease of Mr. Mitchell in 1668, sent a messenger to England to invite him to become their minister. He accepted in 1671, and was also placed at the head of Harvard College April 7, 1675, still however retaining the pastoral care of his flock. On Feb. 2, 1680, the corporation appointed him president, and persuaded him to be inaugurated, and to devote himself exclusively to this object. He died July 25, 1681. Mr. Oakes was a man of extensive erudition and distinguished usefulness. He excelled equally as a scholar. as a divine, and as a Christian. By his contemporaries he was considered as one of the most resplendent lights that ever shone in this part of the world. In the opinion of Dr. Mather, America never had a greater master of the true, pure, Ciceronian Latin, of his skill in which language a specimen from one of his commencement orations is preserved in the Magnalia. With all his greatness he was very humble, like the full ear of corn which hangs near the ground. He published an artillery-election sermon, entitled, The Unconquerable, All-Conquering, and more than Conquering Christian Soldier (1672): — Election Sermon (1673): — A Sermon at Cambridge on the Choice of their Military Officers: — A Fast Sermon — and an Elegy on the Death of Rev. Mr. Shepard, of Charlestown (1677), pathetic and replete with imagery. See Holmes, Hist. of Cambridge; Peirce, Hist. of Harvard University; Allen, Amer. Biogr. s.v.; Sprague Annals Amer. Pulpit, vol. v.

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