Samuel Lambert

1802 - 1884

Cumberland Presbyterian Minister

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By Rev. W. E. Porter

The Rev. Samuel Lambert was born in Henderson County, Ky., Oct. 27, 1802, and died at his residence in Benton County, Miss., near Saulsbury, Tenn, Oct. 4, 1884. God is gathering his children into the heavenly home.

Nothing is known by the writer of the early or youthful days, and marriage, etc., of "Uncle Sam," as he was familiarly known. Nevertheless his companion went to her reward over twenty years ago. "Uncle Sam" was licensed to preach the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ by Hopewell Presbytery, Oct. 13, 1828, at Bethel, Carroll County, Tenn.; was set apart to the whole work of the gospel ministry by the same Presbytery, at Trenton, Gibson County, Tenn., March 3, 1832. Two years after his ordination he traveled as missionary in West Tennessee. In 1839 he did mission work in North Mississippi. He expressed himself as receiving great encouragement while missionating. The oldest citizens of one of the communities in which he preached during the last year of his mission work, say that many of his hearers would take their guns on Sunday morning and hunt until "church-time," then stand their guns by trees about the preaching-place till service would close; they would then gather their guns and resume their hunt for the remainder of the day. They say his preaching at that early day was so plain, persuasive, and impressive, that he soon succeeded in civilizing that community. Then following closely was a grand and glorious meeting, which resulted in the organization of a Cumberland Presbyterian Church.

As a minister, "Uncle Sam" had strong convictions, and was as nearly led by them as any man. His zeal invariably was tempered with knowledge. He was courteous to his members on all occasions, young and old. His preaching, as already indicated, was plain, pointed, practical, and forcible. His ablest efforts were when speaking of the wonderful love of God toward perishing souls. The last conversation the writer had with him, he said it had always been much more pleasant to his feelings to talk of the love rather than the wrath of God; but, said he, "Porter, it must be done. Shun not to declare the whole counsel of God in your preaching. You are responsible to God for its delivery, and the world for its reception or rejection."

As a citizen of the country, "Uncle Sam" used his freedom or liberty with the highest regard for that of others. He was truly patriotic. During his pastoral care of Hopewell Church, for a period of twenty-five years, he never failed to observe the days of fasting and prayer, as directed by the authorities of the country, and invariably would request observance of the same on the part of the entire congregation. He had a deep, feeling interest in the various offices of his country. He was never known to fail attending an election when well. He made no practice of talking politics, but acted his part nobly.

As a Free Mason, the fraternity had no purer member. He practiced without the lodge what is taught in all well-regulated lodges. He was elected Worshipful Master of Berlin Lodge, and served as such for many years. He was buried by the lodge, and the exceedingly large procession composed of it and members from adjacent lodges showed the high esteem in which he was held by the fraternity.

As a father and grandfather, there seemed to be as much loving-kindness manifested by him toward his posterity as is possible by any man.

As uncle, he certainly equaled any man living in warm-hearted and devoted nephews and nieces. He appeared to be everybody's uncle, and all were glad to meet and have him with them.

His piety the most fanatical could not question. His course was uniform. Surely he lived as the Bible and the Holy Ghost indicated.

As a presbyter, he was unpretentious--seldom made a speech. His time was when "the house" had indulged in continued discussion. A few remarks from him then "called for the vote."

He was very careful in receiving young men under care of the Presbytery, to know if they had experimental knowledge of Holy Ghost religion, and if they had evidence to themselves that they were called of God to preach the gospel. The writer well remembers the close examination he underwent by him when entering the ministry. He disapproved ordaining men to the whole work of the gospel ministry until by strict trial they had proved themselves worthy of the sacred office.

While he was very unassuming in Presbytery, yet when appointed or elected to a duty he performed it with credit to himself and honor to his office. The members of Bell Presbytery esteemed "Uncle Sam" as highly as it is possible for men to esteem another. His name will never die in Bell Presbytery. He has been actively engaged in the duties of his high calling fifty-six years. For the last ten years he had charge of three churches, and preached monthly to each.

The week previous to the attack of fever with which he died, I was with him at one of his churches in a series of meetings. He did efficient altar-work. The meeting continued eight days. I could not remain for the last service. That dear man of God received nine adult members by experience, gave a lecture, and administered the sacrament of the Lord's Supper. Thus ended the public labors of one more of God's honored ministers. How sad we feel in parting with those we love in this world! But the gospel assures us that we shall see the face of those in heaven who die in the Lord. Thank God for it! I insist that the many relatives and friends try by the grace of God to meet "Uncle Sam" in heaven, where parting will be no more.
[Source: The Cumberland Presbyterian, December 11, 1884, page 2]

Updated April 7, 2008

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