Samuel Trott: 1783 – 1866
Dear Brother Beebe: Our aged and beloved brother, Samuel Trott, quietly and peacefully fell asleep in Jesus on Tuesday morning, October 30th, at his residence in Fairfax Co., Va., in the 83rd year of his age, leaving a widow, (his second wife) and only two living children, one of them in Texas.
Where ever the “Signs of the Times” has circulated, from the commencement of its publication, the name of S. Trott has been familiar to every reader; and generally at the end of some communication worth far more to every lover of truth than the subscription price of the paper. I feel that no language that I can employ can contribute aught to his worth, and I have not the materials at hand to enable me to furnish a correct biographical sketch. But as you are more familiar with his ministerial history than perhaps any one else, and have all the back volumes of the “Signs” to refer to, it is the wish of the family, in which I unite, that you should prepare and publish such an article as to you may seem proper. He has been actively engaged in the ministry for more than sixty years. It was not with him as, alas! it is with too many, a work of convenience or of secondary importance, but regarded as the great and leading business of his life. Through sunshine and storm, winter and summer, he was faithful to his appointments, and seemed to be always laden with gospel treasure. No man seemed to feel more sensibly his dependence upon God, and not seemed to be more constantly furnished unto every good word and work. To a naturally strong and logical mind he had added a liberal education, and a rich endowment of spiritual gifts rarely found combined in the same individual. I remember with virtuous pride and heartfelt pleasure that twenty-nine years ago he buried unworthy me in the baptismal grave; that two years later in connection with others, he ordained me to the work of the ministry; that we have traveled many thousand miles together, and I have heard him preach more discourses than I have any other man, and I think I can truly say that I never heard him preach that he did not say something I had never heard him say before. It was my privilege and pleasure to hear the last discourse he ever publicly preached, which was at the Baltimore Association in May last, from the words, “Except a man be born again he cannot see the kingdom of God,” and it seems to me then like a voice from the grave rebuking the foul spirit of fanaticism, and testifying that the boasted and boastful religion of the times amounted to nothing, and was no substitute for being born again.
Brother Trott was in many respects a remarkable man; with the meekness and simplicity of Moses he combined the boldness and independence of Paul.
While always ready and willing to profit by the views of the least, he was yet able to instruct the greatest among the children of God. While such was the simplicity of his character, that the child could approach him, the aged and infirm stood in awe before him. If any man in modern times deserved the appellation of father in Israel, surely he did. Never remarkable for large ingatherings in the church with which he stood connected, yet he has left a record and a testimony which can but tell upon future and unborn generations. He has cast bread upon the waters, which shall be seen after many days.
It is generally known that brother Trott has been looking for important events to transpire, in the course of the present year, in connection with the destruction of the man of sin, and it is a little remarkable that his own death should occur at the very time that he was looking so confidently for the development of some of those mysterious things brought to view in the book of Revelation. Yet it was some satisfaction that he lived to see the published report that the Pope of Rome had about lost all his temporal power. But I will not enlarge upon this and desire not to anticipate the article expected from your much more able pen, but would simply remark that he remained firm to the last, in the conviction that his views upon these important subjects were in the main correct. He might err in some unimportant details, and the changes that have been made in the measurement of time might vary the period, but of the general results, and their speedy accomplishment, he seemed to have no doubt. His last moments were marked by no special demonstration. Yet his death was just such a one as I would wish to die; with no particular disease, his body not racked with pain, his mental powers in full exercise to the last expression he was able to give, he quietly fell asleep like an infant in its mother’s arms.
A discourse was preached at his funeral, to a large and solemn assembly, from Genesis 49:33, “And when Jacob had made an end of commanding his sons, he gathered up his feet into the bed, and yielded up the ghost, and was gathered unto his people.”
Brother D. L. Harding was providentially present, and made some appropriate remarks. We shall see his face and hear his voice no more, but there are many of the children of God that never can forget him while life and mind endure. Yours lone and sad.
R.C. Leachman. Manassas, Va.
November 3, 1866.