Skip to main content

Full text of "Annals of the American Associate, Associate Reformed, and Reformed Presbyterian pulpit; or, Commemorative notices of distinguished clergymen of these denominations in the United States, from their commencement to the close of the year eighteen hundred and fifty-five, with historical introductions"

See other formats

HjjsH'.'^vi vl,5 •. I, ' I,', ',",■:' '',1:- 


k . M ' I • -' 1 1 

I '• I . ' . I 

■ ■ . I ? .1 . ' I 1 . ■ 1 

' ■■■( 

1 I ■!• • 

-. ! 

; ! , I ; ! . 

ur'. :i;r,v,' .■ 


i! ;i; 



' I ' • ' 

l!!'':. i : ' 

lit:* >;•:' ''■?:'<' 


Presented to 

of tijc 

Ptt&^rsttg of 'QTorottto 

The Estate of the late Professor 
A, H. Young, M»A., D*C»L. 

Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2007 with funding from 

IVIicrosoft Corporation 

















t ' < i^'> i i 



Cambridge : Presswork by John Wilson and Son. 




In writing the following sketches, I have made free use 
of a volume, published in 1839, bv the Rev. James P. 
Miller, entitled " Biographical Sketches and Sermons of 
Some of the First Ministers of the Associate Church in 
America ; to which is prefixed an Historical Introduction," 
&c. I am also indebted to the lamented author of this 
volume for the use of some other valuable biographical 
material, which had not been embodied in his printed 
work. Dr. Beveridge, than whom I believe there is no 
better authority, has responded to my numerous applica- 
tions with the utmost promptness and cordiality. From 
Drs. Alexander and Peter Bullions, both of whom are 
now among the lamented dead, I have received very impor- 
tant aid ; as also from Rev. Dr. McElwee, the Rev. Dr. 
J. T. Cooper, and my much esteemed neighbour, the Rev. 
Mr. Morrow. To the Rev. Dr. Thomas Goodwillie I am 
under great obligation for large quantities of manuscript, 
containing the results of his researches through his father's 
voluminous correspondence, and shedding much light on 
the history of many of the earlier ministers. What my 
obligations are, and what those of the Christian public are, 
to the Rev. Dr. McClelland, those who read his letter upon 
Dr. Anderson, will be able to judge. And finally, I must 
mention, with special gratitude, Mr. John McAllister, of 
Philadelphia, who, though not, for many years past, con- 
nected with the Associate Church, had his early training 


and associations there, and has been in relations, more or 
less intimate, with many of its more distinguished minis- 
ters. He has met all my requests in the most- satisfac- 
tory manner, and with a graceful readiness equally 
creditable to the kindness of his heart, and his hereditary 
veneration for the Church of his fathers. The sketches 
themselves will reveal the names of many others, who 
have been important helpers to me in this enterprise, and 
to each of whom I beg now to ojQfer my hearty thanks. 

W. B. S. 


The Associate Churcli in North America had its origin in a petition of 
some individuals, who had migrated hither from Scotland and Ireland, to 
the Anti-burgher Associate Synod of Scotland, that they would send them 
some ministers, whose views of truth and duty were in accordance with 
those in which they had themselves been educated. In answer to this 
petition, Messrs. Alexander G-ellatly and Andrew Arnot were sent to 
Pennsylvania in the year 1753 ; the former, with a view of settling per- 
manently in this country, the latter to remain for only two years. Agree- 
ably to instructions which they had received from the parent Synod, they 
proceeded, in November of the year in which they arrived, to constitute 
themselves a Presbytery, under the name of the Associate Presbytery of 
Pennsylvania. Their labours, though attended, in the beginning, by many 
adverse circumstances, were yet, in a good degree, successful; and it was 
not long before applications were made for their services from different 
parts of Pennsylvania, and from New York, Delaware, Virginia and North 

Mr. Arnot returned to Scotland at the end of two years, and Mr. Gel- 
latly died after being in the country seven years ; but others came in their 
places, and, at the commencement of the Revolutionary War, the number 
had increased to thirteen. On the 20th of May, 1776, the Presbytery 
was divided, — the Ministers and Congregations in New York and farther 
East constituting what was called the Presbytery of New York, while 
those in Pennsylvania and farther South remained under the original 
designation, — the Presbytery of Pennsylvania. 

There were, at this time, in the Province of Pennsylvania, three minis- 
ters belonging to that Body of dissenters from the Church of Scotland, 
known as " Reformed Presbyterians." It was proposed to form a union 
between these Ministers and the Associate Presbytery of Pennsylvania ; 
and this was finally accomplished on the 13th of June, 1782, but not 
without great opposition, and only by the casting vote of the Moderator. 
The United Body denominated themselves the Associate Reformed Synod; 
but the portion of the Associate Presbytery that disapproved the measure 
continued their organization. 

In consequence of this union, the Presbytery of Pennsylvania was 
reduced to two Ministers, with their Elders ; and, as the Presbytery of 

* Sketch of the Assoc. Ch. by Rev. Messrs. W. J. Cleland and J. P. Miller. — Hist. Introd. 
to Miller's Sketches and Sermons. — Church Memorial. 


New York joined the union, these constituted the entire Associate Body 
in North America. The Ministers referred to were William Marshall of 
Philadelphia and James Clarkson of York County, Pa. The Synod of 
Scotland, however, soon sent over others to their assistance, and, ulti- 
mately, two of those who had at first joined the union abandoned it, and 
returned to the Presbytery of Pennsylvania. 

In 1794, the Rev. John Anderson, D.D., of Beaver County, Pa., was 
appointed Professor of Theology, and continued to hold this office until 
1819, when he resigned on account of the infirmities of age. In 1820 it 
was agreed to establish two Seminaries; one at Philadelphia, of which Dr. 
Banks was chosen Professor ; and the other at Cannonsburg, of which Dr. 
Ramsay was chosen Professor the ensuing year. The death of Dr. Banks 
in 1826 terminated the Eastern Seminary, or rather the Eastern was 
united at that time with the Western, and Dr. Ramsay was afterwards 
chosen to the Professorship in the united institution. The duties of this 
office he discharged alone until 1835, when a second Professor was elected. 
At this time the average number of students was about twenty, though it 
afterwards increased to nearly double of that number. 

Numerous applications for preaching being made to the Presbytery of 
Pennsylvania from Kentucky and Tennessee, the Presbytery recommended 
to the applicants to refer their request for missionaries immediately to the 
Synod of Scotland ; and, having done so, two missionaries (the Rev. 
Messrs. Robert Armstrong and Andrew Fulton) were sent to Kentucky, 
with authority to constitute themselves into a Presbytery. These mis- 
sionaries arrived in Kentucky in the spring of 1798, and, in November 
following, formed themselves, with Ruling Elders, into a Presbytery, by 
the name of the Presbytery of Kentucky. ' This accession of strength 
enabled these Presbyteries to form themselves into a Synod ; and, accord- 
ingly, the Synod, or Court of Review, designated as the Associate Synod 
of North America, had its first meeting at Philadelphia in May, 1801. 
The Synod consisted of seventeen Ministers, who were divided into four 
Presbyteries, — namely, of Philadelphia, of Chartiers, of Kentucky, and of 
Cambridge. Appeals might be taken from this Synod to that of Scotland 
until the year 1818; but at that time the General Associate Synod of 
Scotland declared it a co-ordinate Synod. 

As early as the year 1800 the Associate Presbytery of Kentucky sent 
up a request to the Presbytery of Pennsylvania that there might be some 
public authoritative deliverance against the practice of slave-holding. The 
Presbytery complied with the request, declaring slave-holding to be a 
moral evil, and altogether incapable of justification ; at the same time urg- 
ing the duty of endeavouring to enlighten the public mind in respect to it. 
But as the brethren in Kentucky found their efi'orts in relation to this 
object, for the most part, unavailing, they resolved to relieve their con- 
sciences by leaving the State ; and, accordingly, in 1804, they removed, 
with their congregations, to the adjoining free States of Ohio and Indiana. 


As, however, there were Associate congregations in the States of Vir- 
ginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee, some of whose 
members were already becoming slave-holders, a petition was presented to 
the Synod, in 1808, by some of the emigrants from Kentucky to Ohio, 
that all persons of this description should be excluded from the commu- 
nion of the Church. This led to the adoption of an Act by the Synod, in 
1811, declaring it to be a moral evil to hold negroes in bondage, direct- 
ing the members of the Church under their care to set them at liberty ; or 
if this were, from any cause, impracticable, to treat them as if they were 
free in respect to food, clothing, instruction and wages ; and those who 
refused to heed these directions they declared unworthy of the fellowship 
of the Church. It seems, however, that this Act never went extensively 
into eifect; the consequence of which was that the Synod, in 1831, passed 
a yet more stringent Act, by which all slave-holders were, from that time, 
forbidden to approach the Lord's table. In 1840 a Letter was addressed 
by the Synod to the people in their connection living in the Carolinas, 
which had the effect of removing the last vestige of slave-holding from the 
Associate Church, and of leaving no trace of that Church throughout that 
entire region, with the exception of one or two churches in East Tennessee. 
The Synod, having had no very definite rules of Discipline, had an over- 
ture prepared, and sent down to the Presbyteries, which was enacted as a 
Book of Discipline, in 1817; but, being subsequently found defective, a 
substitute for it was adopted by the Synod in 1843. 

About the year 1820 a union was attempted between the Associate 
Presbyterian Church and the Associate Keformed Synod of the West, 
who had separated from what was, at that time, the General Associate 
Reformed Synod, on account of the alleged latitudinarian principles of the 
latter; but, after considerable correspondence, which, for a time, seemed 
to indicate a favourable result, the attempt was abandoned. 

In 1825 the Synod, apprehending that Hopkinsianism and Unitarianism, 
then known to be extensively prevalent in New England, might spread 
into other parts of the country, published a Warning against these systems, 
especially the former, which they regarded as a reproduction of the system 
of Pelagius. 

The Associate Church engaged, at an early period, in the work of Mis- 
sions ; though her efforts were, for a long time, confined necessarily to the 
domestic field. Missionaries were very early sent to the Carolinas, who 
were instrumental in forming a Presbytery in that region. In 1822 two 
were sent to Canada West, who laboured for a short time in the region 
now occupied by the Presbytery of Stamford. In 1825 commenced a 
series of missions to Missouri and the Far West, the result of which has 
been the rapid and extensive growth of the Associate Church throughout 
that whole region. These missions have been sustained at an annual 
expense of six or seven thousand dollars, raised chiefly by contribu- 


In 1842 the Synod first moved in the work of Foreign Missions. Two 
missionaries (Messrs. Banks and Gordon) were appointed to labour in 
Trinidad; but Mr. Gordon soon died; and, though two or three other 
ministers, and some private members of the Church, went to labour in the 
same field, yet, in consequence of the unhealthfulness of the climate, the 
American missionaries all withdrew, leaving the work in the hands of a 
missionary of the United Presbyterian Church of Scotland, to whose sup- 
port the Synod made a liberal contribution. They have since had a mis- 
sionary in California, and two or three in Oregon; besides a Presbytery, 
consisting of three ministers, with their families, in Sialkot, Hindoostan. 

About 1832 two ministers in the South, — one in Virginia, the other in 
South Carolina, — were subjected to discipline on account of their connec- 
tion with Slavery, and, after retaining an independent position for several 
years, united with the Associate Reformed Synod of the South. A min- 
ister of the Presbytery of Miami also joined with a suspended member of 
the same Presbytery, and formed what they denominate the " Free Asso- 
ciate Presbytery of Miami." Between 1836 and 1840, certain difficulties 
agitated the Presbyteries of Cambridge, Albany and Vermont, which 
resulted in a division of the two former, and the withdrawment of all the 
members of the Presbytery of Vermont. These constituted themselves 
into a Synod, claiming to be the True Associate Synod of North America. 
A correspondence with a view to a re-union was opened in 1850, and con- 
tinued till 1854, when the object was effected. In 1851 the brethren of 
the Beformed Dissenting Presbytery made overtures for a union with the 
Associate Church ; and, after the requisite negotiation, the union was 
formed, a single member of the Presbytery only dissenting from the 

At this time the Associate Church consisted of 21 Presbyteries, 147 
ordained Ministers, 274 Congregations, and 20,617 Communicants. In 
1858, when the union with the General Synod of the Associate Beformed 
Church took place, there were 21 Presbyteries, 198 ordained ministers, 
293 congregations and 23,505 communicants. The amount contributed 
to benevolent objects during the year was $12,588.93. 

At the time of the union between the Associate and Associate Beformed 
Churches, there were in the Associate Church the following periodical 
publications : — The Evangelical Bepository, Monthly, published at Phila- 
delphia; The Presbyterian Witness, a Weekly newspaper, published at 
Cincinnati ; and the Westminster Herald, a Weekly newspaper, published 
at New Wilmington, Lawrence County, Pa. The Herald was the con- 
tinuation of the Friend of Missions, a small Weekly, published at Pittsburg, 

The Associate Presbyterian Church of North America, being a branch 
of the Church of Scotland, has always held the doctrines of the Beforma- 
tion as embodied in the standards of the Westminster Assembly. The 
Form of Presbyterial Church Government, and the Directory for Public 
Worship and for Family Worship, have also been recognized as authorita- 


tive by this Body. The twenty-third chapter of the Confession of Faith, 
respecting the relation of the Civil Magistrate to the Church, is received 
with some explanations, which are given in the Declaration and Testimony 
adopted and published by the Church. These explanations deny to the 
Civil Magistrate any right of control in the Church, as it respects either 
her doctrine or her discipline. This Church has always adhered, as a 
matter of principle, to the use of a literal poetic version of the Book of 
Psalms, in singing the praises of God. The " Declaration and Testi- 
mony," above referred to, contains an explanation and defence of some of 
the doctrines of the Confession of Faith, and states the prevailing errors 
against which the Church considers herself called upon to testify. To this 
Declaration and Testimony is prefixed a narrative of the leading facts in 
her history, and the reasons of her restricting her communion within her 
own bounds. 




[On the left hand of the page are the names of those who form the subjects of the 
■vyrork — the figures immediately preceding denote the period, as nearly as can be ascer- 
tained, when each began his ministry. On the right hand are the names of those who 
have rendered their testimony or their opinion in regard to the several characters.] 


1753. Alexander Gellatly 1 

1758. Matthew Henderson Thomas Beveridge, D.D 2 

i-T/.r -rrr-iT uf 1,11 ^ Rev. Jamcs P. Miller i «• 

1763. William Marshall J j^^^ McAllister, Esq \ ' 

ip-wrt T r^^ i S Thomas Beveridge, D.D ( ik 

1//2. James Clarkson {Rev. James P. Miller \ ^^ 

-•►-■'.n T 1. A J TV Tk O'homas Beveridge, D.D ) i»t 

1/83. John Anderson, D.D J Alexander McClelland, D.D I ^^ 

1784. Thomas Beveridge Thomas Beveridge, D.D 31 

i-no -nw .J /-I J -IT ^Thomas Goodwillie, D.D ) a^ 

1/88. David Goodwilhe J Peter Bullions, D.D I ^^ 

ih-oo A r^-uM-vcrx. 4. ^ Thomas Goodwillie, D.D ) a» 

1788. Archibald Whyte J Peter Bullions, D.D \ ^^ 

^^-- X T- T. 1 T^ TA ^ Alexander Bullions, D.D > ko 

1796. John Banks, D.D \ j^^^^ ^ Mathews, D.D \ ^^ 

] »7. Andrew Fulton Andrew Heron, D.D 56 

C James Morrow, Esq ^ 

1798. Robert Armstrong < Thomas Beveridge, D.D V 58 

( Andrew Heron, D.D ) 

^-/^/^ T^ • T. • 1 C Thomas Goodwillie, D.D ) oa 

1/99. Francis Pringle J ^^^ ^i^li^^ g McClure \ ^^ 

lOAA m^ AIT ^ Rev. James p. Miller J «-, 

1800. Thomas Allison J ^^^ j^j^^ T Brownlee \ ^^ 

1801. Thomas Hamilton James M. Mathews, D.D 75 

C Thomas Beveridge, D.D ^ 

1803. James Ramsay^ D.D < Rev. David G Bullions \ 77 

( Rev. S. F. Morrow ) 

lortp T t- oi- T T Tk ^ Peter Bullions, D.D ) o- 

1805. Joseph Shaw, LL.D J ^^^ Archibald Mclntyre \ ^^ 

I John Black, D.D ) 

1806. Robert Bruce, D.D < Alexander Bullions, D.D > 90 

f Rev. Andrew Bower ) 

1809. John Walter 1 S^:t ^bSs";!!:::: i::::: ^ ^^ 

1820. Andrew stark, LL.D 1 ^:rD''t'ZnL":::::::::::::: } "^ 

-.Do-i Av I. k A rk rk ( William M. McElwee, D.D } ■yn.^j 

1821. Abraham Anderson, D.D | ^^^^^^ Baird, D.D \ ^"^ 

,„„„ ^ ,r ,. T^T^ c Thomas Beveridge, D.D } no 

1822. James Martin, D.D J Rev. S. F. Morrow \ ^~ 

1823. David Carson William M. McElwee,D.D 117 

-^,. -, ,^, , f Hugh Mair, D.D ) 101 

1824. James Whyte ) Rev. D. G Bullions \ ^^1 

c Thomas Hanna, D.D ^ 

1825. James Patterson Miller < Joseph T . Cooper, D.D > 126 

, Rev. S. F. Morrow. 
1848. Thomas Beveridge Hanna liev. S . F . Morrow 132 




Alexander Gellatlt was a native of Perth, Scotland, and was bom about 
the year 1720. We know nothing of his history until the year 1752, when we 
find him a student of Theology in connection with the Antiburgher Synod of 
Scotland. That Synod had been urgently requested, by some of the inhabitants 
of the Eastern Counties of Pennsylvania, chiefly emigrants from Scotland and 
Ireland, to send missionaries among them, that they might enjoy Christian 
institutions in the same form to which they had been accustomed in their native 
country. With a view to meet this exigency, Mr. Gellatly was licensed to 
preach, and, as he was the first Missionary of the Associate Church to this 
country, he is justly entitled to the name of the Father of the Secession in the 
United States. He was accompanied hither by the Rev. Andrew Arnot, 
minister at Midholm, who, however, had leave to return, and actually did return, 
at the end of a year. They embarked early in the summer of 1753, and 
arrived here sometime before the close of the year. 

Shortly after their arrival, agreeably to their instructions, they constituted them- 
selves into a Presbytery, under the name of the Associate Presbytery of Pennsyl- 
vania, subordinate to the Associate Antiburgher Synod ; and, after a division of 
the Synod into General and Provincial Synods, subordinate to the Associate Synod 
of Edinburgh. They soon became obnoxious to some of their brethren, who had 
occupied their field of labour before them, and the Presbytery of Newcastle, subor- 
dinate to the Synod of New York and Philadelphia, published a Warning against 
them, representing them in the light of schismatics and errorists. They also, at the 
same time, republished at Lancaster, Pa., a book by a Mr. Delap, which had appeared 
not long before in Ireland, in which he attacks the Associate Synod in respect to their 
religious covenant bond. These publications were answered by the Seceders, within 
a little more than a year after their arrival, in a work published at Lancaster, and 
entitled " A Detection of Injurious Reasonings and Unjust Representations." It 
consists of two parts. The first part is by Mr. Gellatly, " wherein," according to 
the title, " the injury done to truth, and the unjust representation of, and reflections 
upon, the conduct of the Associate Presbytery, by the Rev. Mr. Delap, in his 
remarks upon some of the articles mentioned in their confession of sins, and on 
the act of Presbytery concerning their terms of communion, are discovered." 
The second part was begun by Mr. Arnot before his return to Scotland, and 
finished by Mr. Gellatly. It purports to contain " a discovery of farther injury 
to the truth by the Presbytery of Newcastle, in their Judicial Warning and 
Appendix, and their unjust representation of the principles and practices of the 
Seceders." The whole work extends to two hundred and forty pages. An 
Answer to this soon appeared, by Messrs. R. Smith and S. Fiuley, entitled " The 
Detection Detected." This again was replied to in 1758, by Mr. Gellatly, in a 
volume of more than two hundred pages, under the following title : — " Some 
Observations upon a late piece entitled ' The Detection Detected, or a Vindication, 
etc.,' containing a discovery of the manner how the Rev. Messrs. S. Finley and 

* The Church Memorial. — Miller's Sketches. 
Vol. IX. 1 


R. Smith, the authors of said piece, handle the Obligations of the National and 
Solemn League, the Nature of Faith, the Gospel Ofier, and some other points ; 
and showing that the Detection is not detected in the manner they pretend." 
There is a slight tinge of severity in Mr. GeUatly's writings, but they show con- 
siderable learning and ability. 

Mr. Gellatly was settled at Middle Octorora, in Lancaster County, and Oxford, 
in Chester County, Pa. Here he laboured with great diligence during the 
remainder of his life. He died on the 12th of March, 1761, in the forty-second 
year of his age, and the eighth after his arrival in America. He left a widow 
and an infant daughter, neither of whom long survived him. 

Mr. Gellatly was a man of vigorous intellect, of great wit, and of a gentle and 
amiable spirit. He never wavered in his adherence to what he belived to be 
truth, and never shrunk from any effort or sacrifice necessary to its defence. In 
the expression of his countenance, especially in the pulpit, there was a mingled 
mildness and majesty, that gave great effect to his evangelical utterances. He 
was an earnest, faithful, able minister of the Gospel. 




^^^-^ Cannonsburg, August 1, 1855. 

Kev. and dear Brothfi^?•^'■f'lltlength fulfill my promise to furnish you some 
. account of _th© h^ and character of the Rev. Matthew Henderson. As it is 
""■^--fiew-^ixity years since his death, his contemporaries have nearly all passed away ; 
but I have endeavoured to avail myself of the most authentic information concern- 
ing him within my reach. He is worthy of being commemorated in a more 
extended Memoir than it is possible should be written at this day. 

Matthew Henderson was one of the earliest Missionaries of the Associate 
or Secession Church of Scotland to the United States, and was the pioneer of 
that Church in what was then regarded as the Western wilderness, embracing the 
"Western part of Pennsylvania and the unknown region beyond. He was born 
in Fifeshire, Scotland, in the year 1735, and, according to the testimony of some 
members of his family, received his classical education at Glasgow College. He 
entered at an early period of life upon the study of Theology under the Rev. 
Alexander Moncreiff, one of the four first Seceders, — a man whose own theo- 
logical course had been pursued under the celebrated John Mark, of Leyden, 
who was himself eminent in his day for learning, piety, courage and generosity. 
Mr. Moncrieff was called " the Lion " among the fathers of the Secession, and 
his pupil, Mr. Henderson, appears, in this respect, to have imbibed the spirit of 
his Preceptor. He was licensed at the early age of twenty-one; and was 
ordained two years afterwards, in the summer of 1758, by the Presbytery of 
Perth and Dunfermhne, and was immediately sent across the Atlantic to 
strengthen the hands of the brethren who were labouring in Pennsylvania. 


He was the third permanent Missionary, sent by the Associate Church to these 
then British Colonies; his predecessors having been Messrs. Alexander Grellatly 
and James Proudfit. His acceptance of this missionary appointment speaks 
highly in favour of his zeal and self denial in the cause of Christ. At this time 
a missionary appointment to the wilds of America was regarded as nearly equi- 
valent to a banishment to Botany Bay. It was with the utmost difficulty that 
one or two, out of a large number appointed, could be prevailed on to accept of 
such a mission. The most rigorous measures were frequently employed, and 
even deposition from the ministry threatened, but all in vain. There is, how- 
ever, no account of any reluctance on the part of Mr. Henderson, or any resort 
to coercive measures. He appears to have been willing to engage in the work 
assigned him, and to have possessed the adventm-ous, fearless, and hardy spirit 
which fitted him so peculiarly for a pioneer of the Gospel in the wilderness. 

It was probably soon after his arrival in America that Mr. Henderson was 
settled at Oxford, Lancaster County, Pa., where he appears to have laboured 
upwards of twenty years. It is also probable that he had the pastoral care of at 
least one other place ; as about one third or fourth of his manuscript sermons, 
written between the years 1777 and 1779, and preserved by his children, are 
marked " Pe?2," which is evidently a contraction for the name of a place, but 
what it was has not been ascertained. About three years after his coming to 
America, the Rev. Alexander Gellatly, the father of the Secession in the United 
States, died in the forty-second year of his age, having exercised his ministry 
eight years in JMiddle Octorora, not far from Oxford. By this event, which 
took place in 1761, Mr. Henderson was left with only two associates in the minis- 
try, — Mr. James Proudfit, of Pequea, and Mr. Mason, the father of Dr. John M. 
Mason, of New York. These three, at this time, constituted the Presbytery of 
Pennsylvania, the only Court of the Associate Church then in this country. 

Mr. Henderson appears to have continued in the pastoral charge of Oxford till 
about the year 1781. In the mean time he was married to Miss Mary Paris, and 
became the father of several children. His name appears, up to about this time, 
in meetings held with a view to the union of the Associate and Reformed Pres- 
byteries. In the measures adopted to efiect this union he took a decided part 
with Messrs. Marshall and Clarkson against what he considered the loose and 
ambiguous terms in which the union was at last consummated. And it is not 
unhkely that, had he been present when the union was elFected, he would have 
joined the brethren in refusing to accede to it. But he had, in the mean time, 
been removed to a great distance, where he had not full opportunity of knowing 
the true state of things, and he, with his people, acceded for a time to the 
union. This event took place in 1782 ; and in 1789, having become dissatisfied 
with the newly organized Church, he made application to his former brethren of 
the Associate Presbytery of Pennsylvania, acknowledging his error in having 
withdrawn from their fellowship, and, agreeably to his request, he was restored. 
The proceedings on this occasion were published, and they evince a candid and 
ingenuous spirit on the part of Mr. Henderson, and a spirit of tenderness and 
faithfulness on the part of his brethren. 

Mr. Henderson was, at this time. Pastor of the Associate Congregations of 
Chartiers and Bufialo, Washington County, Pa. To these places he removed, in 
compliance with a call, in 1782 ; though he appeare to have visited this region as 
early as 1779. It is probable that he commenced the removal of liis femily to 


the West in the year 1781, or it may be 1782. After proceeding some distance, 
reports of the disturbances caused by the Indians reached them, and excited 
such an alarm that he left his family at Conegocheaque, and proceeded alone to 
his new charge. The family remained here about a year, in a very uncomfort- 
able situation, having no better dwelling than a rude cabin. Nor was their con- 
dition in this respect greatly improved, when they were once more united by 
their removal to the scene of Mr. Henderson's labours. 

For several years after Mr. Henderson's settlement in Chartiers, in 1782, he 
was the only Minister of the Associate Church West of the Mountains. In con- 
sequence of this he had the care of not only his own widely extended flock, but 
of several vacancies in the neighbourhood. Among these were Mingo and Mill 
Creek, to which congregations the Presbytery addressed letters, as well as to his 
own proper charge, at the time of his restoration to their fellowship. 

His life was evidently one of much labour, as well as hardship. He was 
accustomed to write his sermons, at least partially, though not in a hand easily 
legible. The inscription on his tombstone bears witness that he never for once 
disappointed his people on the Sabbath. He attended diligently to the duties 
of catechising and visiting from house to house. And as he abounded in labours, 
so an evident blessing attended them. And, though the generation which 
enjoyed his ministrations have nearly all passed away, the continued flourishing 
state of the congregations in which he finished his labours, has, no doubt, been 
owing, in a great measure, to the character which his ministry had impressed 
upon them. 

His voice was remarkable for its distinctness and power. In the summer sea- 
son he usually preached in a tent, at the foot of a hill, which is now occupied as 
the grave-yard of the congregation. From the bottom to the top of the hill is 
about fifty rods, and yet not only the sound of his voice, but his words, could be 
heard distinctly at that distance. He, neither in conversation nor in the pulpit, 
laid aside the broad vernacular of his country. His manner of addressing his 
people was also, according to the custom of his native land, plain and familiar. 
He called them aU simply by their proper names, like a father addressing his 
children. His reproofs of vanity or ill-behaviour, especially in the sanctuary, 
were sometimes plain, and even scathing, but not ill-natured. It has been related 
that, on one occasion, when a young female had made her appearance at church 
with a new dress, and had arisen several times to change her seat, or go out of 
the assembly, Mr. Henderson had noticed her movements, and, at last, having 
observed her rising once more, he said to her very calmly, — " That is the fourth 
time, my lass, that you have changed your seat. You can sit down now; we 
have a seen your braw new gown." The lass, to be sure, did not wait for a 
second invitation to be seated. 

In his appearance Mr. Henderson was of a very swarthy complexion. He 
had a keen black eye, was of large size and very erect figure, and possessed great 
muscular power. An anecdote has been related of him, and sometimes errone- 
ously attributed to others, which illustrates his great physical strength, and also 
the treatment to which even Ministers of the Gospel were exposed in those early 
times. On one occasion, when travelling over the Mountains to meet with his 
brethren in Presbytery, he happened to lodge at a tavern, where two men took 
the liberty of treating him with great rudeness. This he endured with much 
patience. His patience, however, was mistaken for timidity, and only encouraged 


their impertinence, till at last nothing would do but he must fight. This, of 
course, he was disposed to decline ; but, whether he would or not, they were 
determined upon an assault. Seeing, at last, that he could not evade them, he 
arose, and deliberately stripping off his black coat, laid it aside, saying, — " Lie 
there, the Rev. Mr. Henderson, and now Matthew, defend yourself." So saying, 
he seized one of the men, and dashed him out through an open window ; and 
was preparing to send the other by the same road to keep him in company. But 
this one, seeing the kind of man they had to deal with, was in no hurry to put 
himself in the way of such rough usage. Mr. Henderson, having thus taught 
them somewhat after the manner of Gideon's teaching the men of Succoth with 
the thorns and briars of the wilderness, passed the rest of the night in peace and 

Mr. Henderson appears to have been peculiarly affectionate towards his family, 
and in all his intercourse with society. His numerous and scattered sheep ren- 
dered it necessary for him to be often absent from home, and frequently for a 
week or more at a time. But he would surmount almost any difiiculty rather 
than cause uneasiness to his family by an absence beyond the appointed time. He 
expected a like punctuahty on their part ; and if the return of any absent mem- 
ber were delayed, he would ride ten miles or more to ascertain whether any acci- 
dent had happened. The day before his death, he had been disappointed by the 
continued absence of Mrs. Henderson, and two of his daughters, who had been 
detained while on a visit to some friends at a distance. One of his daughters, 
however, returned during the day. He appeared to be much gratified at meeting 
her, and, having walked out with her to the place where he was killed the next 
morning, he gave her repeated charges, in case of his death, to be kind to her 
mother. This and some other occurrences seemed almost to indicate a presenti- 
ment that his end was at hand. 

At the age of sixty he had become somewhat infirm, but not to such a degree 
as to interfere with his labours. His infirmities were no doubt occasioned by the 
hardships to which he had been exposed, and from which he took but little pains 
to protect himself. An aged member of the church who heard him once in his 
youth, when preaching in a tent during a shower, recollects that when some one 
was so kind as to hold an umbrella over his head, he respectfully declined the 
proffered favour, and proceeded in the services of the day, regardless of the rain. 
But, though fearless of other evils, he had been long troubled much with the fear 
of death — not so much with the fear of leaving the world as of the pains of dying; 
and it pleased a kind Providence to take him away in such a manner that he was 
exempted from the evils which he greatly feared. He was killed by the falling 
of a tree on the 2d of October, 1795, aged sixty years, and in the thui;y-seventh 
year of his ministry, reckoning from the time of his Ordination. 

The circumstances of his death, as related by the daughter who was with him 
at the time, are as follows : — On the evening of October 1st he had expressed to 
his children a wish that they would fell a bee-tree, which had been discovered on 
his farm ; and preparations were accordingly made to proceed to it early in the 
morning. He had acquainted his daughter Elizabeth, then a child of ten years 
of age, of their purpose, and told her that, if she could get up in the morning 
without awaking her younger sister, Jane, she might go with him. Accordingly, 
the next morning, he went quietly to her bed, and touched her gently, to awake 
her without disturbing her sister. She was soon up and dressed for the expedi- 


tion. Supposing her father to be also ready and waiting for her, she hastened 
forthwith to his room, but found him on his knees engaged in secret prayer, and 
immediately withdrew. After a httle she observed him going down to the spring 
with a basin and towel to wash himself, as was his custom in the morning. Some 
time after he returned, she again ventured into his room, and again found him 
engaged in prayer. Soon afterwards he came out, and, taking her by the hand, 
led her to the place, where two of his sons had been for some time engaged in 
felling the tree. The tree stood upon a bank, and it was supposed would fall 
down the side of it. Mr. Henderson and his daughter approached towards it on 
the higher ground, where it was thought there was no danger. Here they stood, 
for a little time, at some distance from the tree, awaiting its fall. It proved to 
be decayed in the center, and fell much sooner than was anticipated, and in an 
opposite direction also. Mr. Henderson, notwithstanding repeated cautions given 
to him, would always, when a tree began to fall, run from it in a direction oppo- 
site to that in which he supposed it to be falling. On this occasion, as usual, he 
ran, but in the same direction with the falling of the tree. His daughter followed 
his example, but varied somewhat in her course, and escaped injury. Her father 
had run to such a distance that it was only the branches that reached him, and 
his body was but little mutilated. Only a slight flesh wound was found upon his 
head, yet he appeared to have died instantly, not having been observed to move 
or breathe by his sons who were immediately beside him. 

Mr. Henderson was an earnest friend of education, and had an important agency 
in those incipient measures which finally resulted in the establishment of Jefl'erson 

Mr. Henderson was blessed with a numerous family — in all, fourteen children. 
Of these, four died in infancy. The othei-s lived to maturity, and a number of 
them to a great age. Matthew, his eldest son, was a very respectable minister 
of the Associate Reformed Church, and was for many years Pastor of a Congre- 
gation in the forks of Yough. Ebenezer* his third son, was a minister of the Asso- 
ciate Church, and was about to be settled in Philadelphia when he died. He had 
given promise of much eminence in the ministry, and died much lamented. Two 
of Mr. Henderson's daughters and one son are still living. 

I am very truly yours, 


* The Rev. Thomas Goodwillie has furnished the following additional particulars con- 
cerning Mr. Ebenezkr Hendkrson : — "He was taken on trial for license to preach, May 
25, 1799; and on trials for Ordination, May 12, 1800. In June, 1802, he accepted a call 
from Pittsburgh and Turtle Creek, and was settled over these churches in July following, 
and about the same time was married to a Miss Noble, of Octorora. According to appoint- 
ment, he went on a mission to the Carolinas. He took a fever, and, being anxious to get 
home, continued to ride on horseback till he came to an inn in Staunton, Va., where he 
was so very ill and delirious that he could proceed no farther; and here he died among 
strangers. My brother and myself, in going on a mission to the Carolinas, stopped at the 
same inn in Staunton, in the beginning of May, 1824. An old lady in the inn recollected 
his death, and related to us the circumstances. In my journal I find I have written, — 
*Here we visited the grave of the Rev. Ebenezer Henderson, in the Presbyterian church 
yard. At the head of the grave there is a sand stone with this inscription: — ' Here lies 
the body of the Rev. Ebenezer Henderson, a native of Pennsylvania, who departed this 
life September 17, 1804.' He had two children, a son and a daughter.' " 




South Argyle, N. Y., April 12, 1850. 

Rev. and dear Sir ; You ask me for a sketch of the late Rev. William 
Marshall of Philadelphia. I am quite willing to comply with your request, 
though, in doing so, I must be indebted chiefly to some notices of Mr. Marshall 
written shortly after his death by Mr. David Hogan, one of his intimate friends, 
and a Ruling Elder in his congregation in Philadelphia, during the whole period 
of his connection with it. I think it probable that this is now the only source 
of any extended information concerning him that can be relied on. A number 
of years ago, I made dihgent inquiry among the members of the congregation 
to which he formerly ministered, for reminiscences concerning him ; but I found 
only a soUtary individual, — a very aged lady, who had any recollections of him ; 
and those were so general as not to be worthy of special consideration. 

William Marshall was born about the year 1740, near Abernethy, in 
the County of Fife, Scotland. His father was a respectable farmer, and for 
many years an Elder in the Associate congregation, under the pastoral care of 
the Rev. Alexander Moncrieflf, one of the four ministers who first segeded from 
the Church of Scotland. 

Having gone through his preparatory studies, he was admitted into the Divinity 
Hall, under the inspection of Mr. Moncriefi", of whom he always spoke with 
affectionate regard. After attending tlie usual course of Lectures, he was taken 
under the care of the Associate Presbytery of Perth, with a view to his being 
licensed to preach the Gospel, and with the particular design of his being sent 
to America. His several discourses delivered before the Presbytery having been 
approved, he was in due time licensed to preach, and was immediately sent on a 
mission to Pennsylvania. 

He landed in Philadelphia in August, 1763. In October, 1764, the con- 
gregation at Deep Run, Buck's County, gave him a call to become their Minister. 
The Congregations of Octorora and Muddy Creek also made out calls for him 
soon afterwards. Tiiese three calls were presented to the Presbytery that met, 
on the 1st of November, 1764, at Octorora. The Presbytery having referred it 
to Mr. Marshall to make his own selection, he accepted the call from Deep Run, 
gi\ ing, as reasons for doing so, the unanimity of the people, their having been 
formerly disappointed, and the fact that their local situation rendered it difficult 
for the Presbytery to supply them with preaching. He was, accordingly, ordained 
at Deep Run, on the 30th of August, 1765, the Sermon on the occasion being 
preached from John iii, 10, by the Rev. John Mason. 

Petitions for supply of preaching being sent to the Presbytery from Phila- 
delphia, Mr. Marshall preached there ; and, in 1768, a call for him was presented 
to the Presbytery from the Congregation in Philadelphia, with reasons for his 
removal. After considerable delay, the Presbytery loosed him from his charge 
at Deep Run, on the 19th of April, 1769, and presented to him the call from 
Philadelphia, which he accepted with this limitation, — " that his installment be 
delayed till the Lord grant him further light about *it." This was agreed to. 



For two years after, he preached mostly m Philadelphia, and on the 30th of 
April, 1771, the pastoral relation between him and the congregation was fixed. 
Mr. Annan preached on the occasion from Isaiah liii, 11. 

Mr. Marshall was the first of the Associate Presbytery that officiated in Phila- 
delphia. The number of the people was small, and, as they had no place of 
worship, he preached in a vendue store. A small farm-house was afterwards 
occupied in Shippen street ; but this being limited by deed to a congregation in 
connection with the Burghers, and a contest about the property being Hkely to 
ensue, it was resolved to build another place of worship. A lot of groimd was 
purchased in Spruce Street, and the church erected in 1771. But the expense 
of the building far exceeded the ability of the people ; and, notwithstanding the 
vigorous efforts of Mr. Marshall in collecting money, a heavy and embarrassing 
debt remained on the congregation for many years. 

In the contest between Great Britain and her Colonies, Mr. Marshall was 
decidedly in favour of the latter. When the British took possession of Phila- 
delphia in 1777, he was obliged to take refuge in the country, and for some time 
preached to the people of his former charge at Deep Bun. His Congregation at 
Philadelphia suffered much at this time from the evils of War. The church was 
converted into a hospital for the Hessians; the pews were torn down and de- 
stroyed, and the windows nearly all broken ; the people were scattered through 
the various parts of the country, and several of them never returned. A good 
deal of Mr. Marshall's furniture was carried off ; so that, when the British left 
the city in 1778, he and the congregation had to begin the world anew ; and it 
was some time before the church was fully repaired. 

No transaction in which Mr. Marshall was ever engaged, was followed with so 
important consequences to himself, and to the Church with which he was con- 
nected in America, as the opposition he made to a union with the Reformed 
Presbytery, or, as they are commonly caUed, Covenanters. 

From the commencement of the American Revolution, the ministers of the 
Associate Presbytery were unanunously in favour of it ; and the ministers of 
the Reformed Presbytery took the same side. One difference between the two 
Bodies seemed thus to be done away ; and a union was, accordingly, proposed. 
A conference on the subject was held in Lancaster County in 1777. Mr. 
Marshall, however, was opposed to this union from the beginning, on any plan 
but that of the Reformed Presbytery's giving an explicit approbation of the 
principles of the Associate Presbytery. He was against any compromise, or the 
drawing up of articles of union in terms of doubtful construction. 

On the 13th of June, 1782, the union with the Reformed Presbytery was 
agreed upon by the casting vote of the moderator, Mr. Proudfit. The minority 
protested and appealed to the Synod in Scotland. This appeal being refused, 
Mr. Marshall read another protest, — taking the ground that the powers of the 
Associate Presbytery were vested in those who adhered to its true principles and con- 
stitution ; and he, as Clerk, took up the minutes and papers of the Presbytery, 
and, with the minority, retired to the Session House, chose a new Moderator, 
and, having done some business, adjourned. 

Mr. Marshall had the satisfaction to find the part he had taken approved by 
the Associate Synod, and the number of his adherents constantly increased. 
His situation in his own congregation, however, was not agreeable — some of his 
people, among whom were four or five Elders, leaned towards the union ; and, 


though they attended his ministry, mutual jealousies arose, which finally issued in 
an open rupture. 

In the beginning of 1786 a petition was produced at a meeting of Trustees, 
several of whom were Elders, to the Assembly of the State, to annul that clause 
in the Deed of Trust for the church which confined it to a congregation in sub- 
ordination to the Associate Synod in Scotland ; urging that this was improper on 
the ground that the Colonies were independent. The petition was carried 
through the congregation, and signed by a number of its members, and was after- 
wards presented to the Assembly. Mr. Marshall drew up a remonstrance against 
altering the Deed of Trust, which was also signed by his friends, and given in to 
the Assembly. Both parties were heard before a Committee of that Body. At 
length a bill was brought in which annulled the subordination to the Synod, and, 
besides, added a clause whereby church officers were obliged to take the oath of 
allegiance to the State. The Assembly threw out this last section ; and, as was 
the mode at that time, postponed the third reading of the bill till their next 

Matters were hastening to a crisis in the congregation. The Elders were 
cited to appear before their Presbytery, which met in Philadelphia on the 31st 
of May, 1786. Their conduct was voted censurable ; but, before they proceeded 
to any censure, a paper was read, signed by four of the Elders, signifying that 
they neither were nor had been in connection with the Presbytery since 1782, 
but belonged to another denomination. After reading this paper, the Presby- 
tery, on motion of Mr. Marshall, immediately proceeded to censure. They 
deposed tour of the Elders, suspended one, and excluded all five from the fellow- 
ship of the church. 

The excommunication, according to the Deed of Trust, deprived the Elders of 
their office as Trustees also ; but they, in retaliation, resolved to hold their offices 
by force, and to expel Mr. Marshall. Accordingly, in a day or two, they sent 
him a written notice, forbidding him to enter the church. They barricaded the 
door and windows, and kept guard around the building. On the next Sabbath 
morning, Mr. Marshall, acting by legal advice, went to the church to demand 
entrance. He was met by the armed Elders and their adherents', and forbidden 
to enter ; upon which he retired and preached in an adjoining building. The 
next Sabbath, the Elders procured a minister belonging to the Associate Reformed 
Synod, to preach in the church ; they keeping guard as on the preceding Sab- 
bath. Mr. Marshall went to the church for admittance, but was again met by 
the armed men. On being reftised entrance, he read a paper protesting against 
any person occupying his pulpit, to which he had not forfeited his right. He 
then retired and preached as before. 

Mr. Annan, within a few Sabbaths after Mr. Marshall had been thus violently 
kept out of his meeting-house, came on from Boston, and was employed to preach 
in it, under circumstances that induced the suspicion, on the part of Mr. Marshall 
and his friends, that the course which had been adopted might have been the 
result of collusion between him and the Elders. He was afterwards installed as 
Pastor in that meeting-house, and by the authority of Synod; but, as the efibrt 
to .gather a congregation was less successful than had been expected, he left it, 
and removed from the city only a few weeks before Mr. Marshall's decease. 

In consequence of these violent proceedings, Mr. Marshall instituted a suit 
for the recovery of his meeting-house. In the mean time, the Trustees of tho 
Vm TX. 2 



College unanimously granted him their Hall to preach in, until the case was 
determined. Here ho continued about five years, until his new church was 

At the session of the Legislature in the fall of 1786, the Bill for breaking 
the Deed of Trust was again taken up ; and a renewed opposition made to it by 
Mr. Marshall, principally on the ground that the contest was at issue in the 
Supreme Court. The Bill, however, passed into a law; but not without consid- 
erable opposition from several of the members of Assembly, who even entered a 
protest against it. 

Able lawyers were employed on both sides in the trial before the Supreme 
Court. A mandamus was issued, ordering the Trustees to restore the pulpit to 
Mr. Marshall, or show cause why they would not. Their answer to the order in 
substance was, " that Mr. Marshall, being in a minority in the vote about closing 
the Union, schismatically separated from the Presbytery, and apj)ealed to a Foreign 
Synod, to which Americans are not subject; that the Presbytery, in consequence 
of this conduct, by their warning, dismissed him from his pastoral charge ; and 
that, therefore, he had no right to the pulpit; and therefore could not be restored." 
To this plea Mr. Marshall put in a rephcation that " the church was for the use 
of the congregation, under the inspection of the Associate Presbytery, as said 
Presbytery is subordinate to the Associate Synod of Edinburgh ; and that he was 
not dismissed from the pastoral care of the congregation in June, 1782, nor 
deposed according to the form of discipline in use among Presbyterians.' 

The plea and reply came before a Jury, in January, 1789. Clergymen of 
various denominations were brought before the Court, or their depositions read, in 
order to give information about various ecclesiastical matters that occuiTed in the 
cause. The Court, in the charge to the Jury, said it was a new case in law and 
fact, and that they must decide according to the first principles of reason. No 
decision was given at this trial, as the Jury was equally divided. The case was 
again brought up in July, 1790. The pleadings of the lawyers were able and 
eloquent. Judges McKean and Bush, who were on the bench, gave opposite 
charges to the Jury. The verdict was against Mr. Marshall. 

This was a period in Mr. Marshall's life, in which he suffered much reproach, 
vexation and loss. He had always had a very slender income, — not quite two 
hundred and twenty dollars; but, notwithstanding his own poverty, and that of 
his congi-egation, and though he was in the decline of hfe and without a place for 
public worship, yet he does not seem to have been at all discouraged, but to 
have borne his adversities with firmness and resolution. 

The congregation resolved immediately to erect a new house for the worship 
of God, purchased a lot in a central situation, and finished the edifice within 
about a year. It was opened for the first time, July 31, 1791. Mr. Mai-shall's 
first discourse was from Haggai ii, 7, 8, 9. " And I will fill this house with 
glory, saith the Lord of Hosts. The silver and the gold is mine. The glory of 
this latter house shall be greater than the glory of the former ; and in this house 
will I give peace, saith the Lord of Hosts." 

After having been long in the fire of contention, it was grateful to Mr. Mar- 
shall and his people to settle down in peace. The temporal affairs of the church 
were also prosperous. 

About the year 1795 Mr. Marshall, as Moderator of the Presbytery, licensed 
the first Preaxjher, belonging to his denomination, who had been educated in 


America. Others were afterwards licensed, and by some accessions the Presby- 
tery increased so as to divide into four Presbyteries, and erect itself into a Synod. 
The first Associate Synod met in Philadelphia, on the 21st of May, 1801, and 
was opened with a Sermon by Mr. Marshall, who was the first Moderator. A 
friend said to him, a little before the meeting, — " If you live to preach the 
Synodical Sermon and to constitute the Synod, you may almost say, with old 
Simeon, — ' Now let me depart in peace ! ' " He cheerfuUy replied, — " You think 
I may then sing my nunc dimittas.'''' 

His public services were now nearly at an end, as he only lived to see the 
second meeting of Synod, in May, 1802. He was, shortly after this, attacked 
with a disease of the liver, which was aggravated and hastened to a fatal termi- 
nation by his going, in the course of the summer, to New York to assist in 
ordaining Mr. Hamilton, and to Carlisle, to install Mr. Pringle. He died on 
the 17th of November, 1802, in the sixty-second year of his age and the thirty- 
eighth of his ministry. On the Sabbath but one before his decease, he preached, 
sitting in his chair, from Psalm cxix, 75, — " I know, Lord, that thy judg- 
ments are right, and that thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me." The inscription 
upon his tombstone contains the original Hebrew of the passage, — " I know 
that my Redeemer liveth." 

Mr. Marshall published a Sermon on Psalmody, preached before the Associate 
Presbytery in 1773, designed to show that the Psalms of David only are to be 
sung in worship, and that Watts' Psalms and all other Hymns are unlawful to be 
used in the Church. He afterwards published a Catechism for Youth, to which 
was annexed an explanation of religious names and sects. In conjunction with 
Mr. Beveridge, he wrote a Catechism for Children. Between him and Mr. 
Beveridge a very intimate fi'iendship subsisted ; and after the death of the latter, 
Mr. Marshall wrote " Some remarkable Passages of his Life." He also wrote a 
Vindication of the Associate Presbytery in answer to an attack upon it by Mr. 
Annan, in 1791. A Theological Tract on the Propriety of removing from 
places where the Yellow Fever prevails, was addressed by him to the Serious 
People in Philadelphia and New York, some of whom had scruples about this 
matter. An Act of the Associate Presbytery against Occasional Hearing, being 
printed, he accompanied it with a review of the difierent religious denomina- 
tions in the United States, in order to illustrate the propriety of the Act. 

I may mention, in connection with the last named but one of Mr. Marshall's 
pubhcations, an anecdote illustrative of the facihty with which he could make an 
apt retort. As he was leaving Philadelphia, at one time, on account of the 
Yellow Fever, a man on the other side of the street accosted him, saying, — 
" The wicked flee when no man pursueth, but the righteous are as bold as a 
lion." To which Mr. Marshall repUed, — "A prudent man foreseeth the evil and 
hideth himself, but the simple pass on and are punished." 

Mr. Marshall was esteemed by the whole Body of Christians with which he 
was connected, as well as by others, for his usefulness and his good conduct 
as a citizen. As an evidence of the high estimation in which he was held, his 
Funeral was attended by the Governor and Chief Justice of the State and a 
large number of most respectable citizens. 

Mr. Marshall, in person, was of the largest size. He was some two or three 
inches over six feet high, and withal quite fleshy. I remember hearing the fol- 
lowing anecdote told of him in Pennsylvania. In the primitive churches in that 


State, especially in the Grerman Comities, the pulpits were very small. They 
resembled a deep flom* barrel placed upon its end, much more than a modem 
pulpit. And the opening for the door was in proportion to the size of the enclo- 
sure. Mr. Marshall being called to preach in one of those pulpits, the door of 
which was too small to allow him to pass into it, he, without anticipating any 
difficulty of this kind, walked up the steps and attempted to enter, when he found 
his ingress most unexpectedly arrested. He saw at once that he had no way of 
entering the pulpit but by raising his body above the top of it. He effected his 
purpose by placing his hands on the upper edge on each side of the door, and 
then raising his body so high that he could draw his legs in through the opening. 
Of course such a circumstance could not occur without producing a visible smile 
in the congregation. Mr. Marshall immediately commenced his worship by read- 
ing the common metre version of the 100th Psalm, in which occur the following 
lines: — 

" Know ye the Lord that He is God; 
Not we, but He us made." 

The following extract of a letter from John Adams, the second President of 
the United States, to his daughter, dated Philadelphia, March 30, 1777, bears a 
rather singular testimony to the patriotism of Mr. Marshall, as well as of his 
people, in reference to the great struggle which issued in our Independence : — 

" I have been this afternoon to a place of worship which I never attended 
before. It is the church of Scotch Seceders. They have a tolerable building, 
but not yet finished. The congregation is not large and the people are not very 
genteel. The Clergyman who officiates here is a Mr. Marshall, a native of Scot- 
land, whose speech is yet thick and broad, although he has officiated in this place 
near ten years. By his prayer and several passages in his sermon, he appears 
to be a warm American ; from whence I conclude that most of his congregation 
are so too ; because I generally suppose that the Minister will, in a short time, 
bring his people to his way of thinking, or they will bring him to theirs, or else 
there will be a separation. 

"After service, the Minister read a long paper, which he called an Act of the 
Presbytery of Pennsylvania, appointing a Fast, which is to be kept next Thurs- 
day. It is as orthodox in poMtics, as it is pious and zealous in point of religion." 

Mr. Marshall was married, it is believed, in or about the year 1774, to a Mrs. 
Marshall, the widow of a sea-captain. They had four children, — only one of 
whom, William, lived to mature years. Mrs. Marshall died at the house of 
Mrs. Walker, her oldest daughter by the first marriage, (who had previously 
been the second wife of Dr. Witherspoon, President of Prhiceton College,) near 
Carlisle, July 14, 1804. For many years previous to her death she had been 
helpless from palsy. 

If the above sketch of one of the Fathers of that branch of the Church with 
which I am connected wiU answer your purpose, I shall feel gratified in having 
placed it at your disposal. 

With much respect yours truly, 



FROM JOHN McAllister, esq. 

Philadelphia, February 28, 1853. 

Dear Sir: Mr. Marshall, concerning whom you inquire, was the first 
minister of whom I had any knowledge. My father was an Elder of his 
church. He baptized me, and I was accustomed to sit under his preaching 
till I was sixteen years old, — the period of his death. He was a frequent 
visitor at my father's house, and I often saw him at his own. 

Mr. Marshall was a tall man, of a large frame, and held himself very erect. 
He had a commanding intellectual forehead. Before the period from which I 
can recollect him distinctly, he had been afflicted with something like a 
cancerous affection, which had eaten off a part of one side of his nose; but I 
presume that, previous to that, he had been rather a handsome man. The 
members of his family severally were, I think, very large, well-formed people. 
I remember to have seen it stated in an obituary of his brother. Dr. Andrew 
Marshall, of London, that he once fought a duel with a Dr. Walsh, who was 
small and thin, and who, when he had taken his station, placed himself so as 
to present the smallest surface to his antagonist ; and Dr. Marshall regarded 
this as cowardly, and turned " the whole of his large front " towards 
Walsh, contemptuously desiring him to take good aim. 

Mr. Marshall's manner was always dignified — he seemed like one who had 
been accustomed to move in good society, and to be treated with deference 
and respect. He always walked with a cane, which, at every step, he struck 
heavily on the ground or pavement, but without inclining his body. He was. 
very much attached to Dr. Anderson, the first Professor of Divinity in his 
denomination. Dr. Anderson was very small of stature and allowed his 
head to droop forward. When he visited this city, he was always Mr. 
Marshall's guest ; and I can remember how much I used to be struck with 
the contrast when they were walking in company ; — Mr. Marshall's height 
seemed to be towering, and the contrast was the greater for Mr. Marshall's 
holding himself erect, while Dr. Anderson bent forward. 

Mr. Marshall made himself very generally acceptable in the ordinary inter- 
course of society. He was a cheerful and agreeable companion, had a large 
fund of anecdotes at command, and knew how to relate them very effectively. 
His wife, previous to her being married to him, was a widow lady, who kept 
a genteel boarding house ; and, as her husband's salary, from his small con- 
gregation, was not adequate to the support of a family, they still continued 
to take boarders. As the Old Congress generally sat in Philadelphia, some 
of the members always boarded at Mr. Marshall's ; as did also some of the 
members of the Convention of '87, which formed the Constitution of the 
United States. I have often heard my father speak of the very pleasant 
evenings which he spent at Mr. Marshall's in those days, in listening to the 
remarks of himself and his boarders. 

Of Mr. Marshall, as a Preacher, I am not able to say much from my own 
recollection ; but I believe his general ability in the pulpit was never ques- 
tioned. He always "prefaced" the Psalm at the beginning of the morning 
services. His discourses in the morning were generally from two, three or 
more verses ; and this was called '' Lecturing." He was strongly in favour 
of continuing the Scotch practice of "lining" the Psalm in singing. My 
father generally performed the duties of " Precentor " even to the last ; and 
he would fain have changed to reading two lines at a time, or even dispensing 
with the reading altogether ; but Mr. Marshall could never consent to such 
an innovation. 

He was very strenuous on the subject of keeping up all the services on 
Sacramental occasions, namely, — the observance of a Fast on the Thursday 



previous and a total abstinence on that day from business ; a Sermon on 
Saturday afternoon, after which the tokens were distributed; and two Ser- 
mons on the Monday morning succeeding. He very much regretted the 
''defection" in the Associate Reformed Body in relation to the Fast Day, 
as he did also the publication of Dr. Mason's book bearing on that subject. 
The services on the morning, when the Sacrament was dispensed, were very 
long ; the Action Sermon, fencing the tables, etc., occupied so much time that, 
although we began precisely at ten o'clock, it was about two o'clock before 
the communicants were seated at the first table. Then his addresses at 
the table were very long ; and I believe we did not get away until from four 
to half-past four in the afternoon. While he was distributing the tokens on 
Saturday afternoon, he would repeat the Song of Solomon in what I suppose 
would be called "Intoning." 

I am aware that Mr. Marshall was thought to be irritable. I do not recol- 
lect to have ever witnessed any demonstrations of that temper ; and I am quite 
sure that, in his treatment of children at least, he was remarkably kind and 
aflfectionate. His amusement was the cultivation of a small piece of ground, 
in the rear of his dwelling, as a flower-garden. His little study adjoining his 
parlour opened into this garden. I often spent an afternoon there with him. 
After passing some time in the garden, he would ask me into his study, when 
he would address me on the subject of religion. On one occasion, a few days 
after I had proposed to ray father to let me leave the Grammar School of the 
University and prepare myself for some active business, Mr. Marshall intro- 
duced the subject, and, in a most affectionate manner, urged me to continue 
at my studies with a view to the Ministry. He then asked me to kneel beside 
him, and he poured forth a most fervent prayer that the Lord would incline 
my heart to his service in the Ministry of the Gospel. The whole scene is 
fresh in my recollection. 

Mr. Marshall was extensively known and very highly esteemed in Philadel- 
phia ; and that too by our most respectable citizens. He and Dr. Rush were 
intimately acquainted. Dr. Rush's great medical practice prevented his attend- 
ing church very regularly ; but I can remember his coming occasionally to 
hear Mr. Marshall. They were in the habit of conversing familiarly on reli- 
gious subjects ; and Dr. Rush would sometimes borrow of Mr. Marshall vol- 
umes of sermons by some of the old Scottish divines. When the Spruce 
Street Church was built, in 1770, Mr. Marshall wished to call on the citizens 
for contributions, and it was necessary to procure the permission of the Gov- 
ernor, The Brief was obtained through the influence of Dr. Rush ; as Mr. 
Marshall states in a manuscript which is in my possession. The Brief itself 
is now before me, with the bold, strong signature of John Penn, and of his 
Secretary, Joseph Shippen, " By his Honour's command." It authorizes Mr. 
Marshall and the Elders and Deacons to apply, " in a decent and becoming 
manner," for contributions to an amount not exceeding one thousand pounds, 
and limiting them to twelve months from the date, March 25, 1771. Mr. 
Marshall says, in the manuscript referred to, — " Such was my assiduity that 
I was known in the city as ' the sturdy beggar.' My salary then was only 
£S0 per annum." 

On the 4th of July, 1780, the honorary degree of A. M. was conferred 
upon Mr. Marshall by the University of Pennsylvania — at the same time it 
was conferred upon six other clerical gentlemen, and on one person not clerical, 
who was no other than Thomas Paine. There is a full account of that Com- 
mencement in Dunlap's paper. It was the first after Dr. Ewing became Pro- 
vost, and his Address is published in extenso. There seems to have been some 
" flourish " on the occasion. Chevalier Luzerne, Minister from France, and 
other distinguished characters are named as being present; and we may 


imagine that as many of the Reverend gentlemen who were to be honoured 
with the A. M. as could be got together, would be ranged before the audience, 
and in the midst of them " Mr. Thomas Paine," as Dunlap styles him. 

About the time that Mr. and Mrs. Marshall ceased taking boarders, proba- 
bly about 1791, the Vicomte De Noailles arrived here, driven from France 
by the fury of the Revolution. He rented from Mr. Marshall his dwelling 
house, and Mr. M. withdrew to a small building which he had rented in the 
rear, reserving the privilege of passing through the entry of the main build- 
ing. De Noailles was a fine looking, gentlemanly man. He had many con- 
versations with Mr. Marshall, who was much entertained by his society. 
TV hile residing in that house, he would hear, from time to time, of some mem- 
ber of his family perishing by the guillotine ; and Mr. Marshall would of 
course sympathize with him in these afflictions. The Duke of Orleans, with 
his two brothers. Due de Montpensier and Due de Penthievre, made their home 
with Vicomte de Noailles for some time after their arrival in Philadelphia. 
When Mr. Cass was Minister to France, Louis Philippe related to him the 
adventures of himself and brothers in America ; and Mr. Cass understood 
him to say that, while in Philadelphia, he occupied the lower part of a house 
belonging to the Rev. Mr. Marshall in Walnut Street, above Fourth Street. 
There is some slight error here — Mr. Marshall's dwelling was in Spruce Street 
above Third, but his church was in Walnut above Fourth. 

Mr. Marshall's congregation was never large. They were almost all very 
plain people, — old country folks, — Scotch with a considerable sprinkling of 

With sentiments of respect, 

I am sincerely yours, 

JOHN McAllister. 



James Clarkson was bom, and educated, and became a Minister of the 
Gospel, in Scotland, but of the details of his early history, it is believed there is, 
in this country at least, no record. He migrated to America about 1772, soon 
after the arrival of the first ministers sent hither by the General Associate Synod 
of Scotland. Shortly after he came, (in 1773,) he was ordained to the work of 
the ministry, and was settled as Pastor of the Associate Church in Guinston, 
York County, Pa. He took an active part in the discussions which terminated 
in the formation of the Associate Reformed Church, by the union of the Asso- 
ciate and Reformed Presbyterian Bodies, in 1782 ; and distinguished himself par- 
ticularly by being one of the only two ministers (William Marshall being the 
other) who finally held out against the union. He was chosen Moderator of the 
Associate Synod in 1802. His congregation was in that part of York County 
called " the Barrens," where the land is proverbially poor, and the people iu 
those days were as poor as the land ; the consequence of which was that his 
salary never much exceeded two hundred dollars per annum; but with this, and 
the proceeds of a small farm, he was enabled to support his family. He con- 
tinued in the diligent discharge of his pastoral duties, till within a few years of 

*Miller*8 Sketches. — MSS. from Rer. Dr. Beveridge, and Rev. Thomas Goodwillie. 



his death, when, on account of increasmg infirmity, he was obliged to withdraw 
from active labour and resign his charge. He died in the year 1811. 

Mr. Clarkson was twice married. His first wife died in 1798, the mother of 
six children, — three sons and three daughters. By the second marriage he had 
only one child, — a son. The youngest son by the first marriage, Thomas Beve- 
ridge, was bom about the year 1794. He had finished his Theological course, 
under Dr. Anderson, in the spring of 1819, but, owing to imperfect health, was 
not licensed till about a year afterwards. His health, however, improved very 
much during his travels through the Church as a Missionary. He was ordained 
on the 13th of August, 1822 ; accepted a call from Mercersburgh and McConnels- 
burgh, on the 30th of October following, and, on the 8th of October, 1823, was 
settled as Pastor of these congregations. Here he laboured very acceptably and 
successfully for about ten years, when his health failed him and he resigned his 
charge. He died in the early part of the year 1836. He was a man of fine 
personal appearance, and of remarkably graceful and attractive manners. So 
much of natural vivacity had he, and withal so much of Christian principle and 
feeling, that it seemed as if no disease or trouble, or even the near approach of 
death, could have any efiect upon his spirits. He left a widow and three chil- 
dren. The only son, a pious and promising youth, died ere he had reached man- 
hood. One of his daughters is the wife of the Rev. James G. Carson. 

The Rev. Dr. Beveridge writes me concerning Mr. Clarkson as follows : 

"I never saw Mr. James Clarkson, and could add nothing of consequence to what 
his son Thomas has communicated to Mr. Miller for his Sketches. I remember 
haying heard Dr. Ramsay speak of a very singular effect produced upon him by a 
thunder-storm. He was riding with Mr. Clarkson when they were overtaken by a 
thunder-storm, and, had it not been for his knowledge of Mr. C.'s strictly temperate 
habits, he would have supposed him to be intoxicated. It would appear that the 
electricity had some peculiar influence over his nerves, for which I am not physiologist 
enough to account. Mr. James Martin, a very aged elder of Chartiers, once gave me 
an account of his admission to the Associate Church at Guinston, which showed 
that, though Mr. Clarkson was firmly attached to his profession, he had more liber- 
ality than some would be disposed to give him credit for. Mr. Martin, at the 
time, had in view a removal to the West, and stated this as a difficulty in the way of 
his uniting with the Ass >ci.ate Church, that he might be placed where he could not 
have access to ordinances dispensed in that Society, and might then consider it his 
duty to resort to them elsewhere. ' James,' said Mr. Clarkson, * your business is to 
inquire about present duty. As to the future, it will be time to inquire about your 
duty, when Providence places you in circumstances calling for it.' I would infer, 
from the manners of Mr. Clarkson's children, with most of whom I had a slight, and 
with one of them a very intimate, acquaintance, that the father had been a man of 
more than ordinary refinement, — a true Gentleman as well as a true Christian." 

The following is the testimony of Mr. Miller, as recorded in his Sketches : — 

''Although Mr. Clarkson was naturally hasty in his temper, yet, in his Session 
and also with others, he was persuasive, mild and patient, and, at no time, had he 
any unhappy jangling. He never had an ear for tattlers, but always endeavoured to 
turn their attention to themselves — this generally cut the tale short, and kept him 
in ignorance of every thing in the congregation but what would come before the 
session in a regular way. 

" In admilting members to the Communion he was exceedingly particular. This 
he used to think was one of the most difficult duties he had to perform as a min- 
ister, and it gave him the greatest anxiety. His manner was to request those who 
made application and were admitted to attend on the next Communion, to converse 
with him, in order to see whether they had made any attainments in knowledge, and 
that he might have another opportunity of instructing them as to the nature of the 
ordinance, and of recommending books for their perusal : accordingly, before a Com- 
munion, in appointing a day for young people to converse with him, a day was men- 
tioned for all those to come who had been admitted at the last Communion. This 



was no doubt one way in which his people were well instructed in Secession 

" With regard to his preaching, he pursued the old and the best plan of expound- 
ing the Psalms, and lecturing in the forenoon. He might be called a systematic and 
doctrinal Preacher generally. Thongh he could not be called an elegant speaker, yet 
he was an interesting Preacher; and had an impressive earnestness in his manner well 
calculated to draw attention. His enunciation was clear, manly and distinct; and 
though he sometimes hesitated, he would frequently speak with fluency. 

"All his talents were of the useful rather than the brilliant kind. As a man, he 
was cheerful and afiable ; at the same time he possessed a native dignity of which he 
could not easily divest himself, — undeviatingly adhering to what he conceived to be 
right, regardless of, consequences. Mr Clarkson was a zealous, faithful and consci- 
entious supporter of the Secession Testimony in America; and his labours seem to 
have been blessed with unusual success. The Secession Church has now upwards 
of one hundred and eighty congregations in America, the great majority of which 
lie in the United States, West of the Alleghany Mountains, and it has been remarked 
by those who have opportunities of personal acquaintance in most of those congre- 
gations, that there is scarcely one known in which some of those who were members 
in Guinston congregation are not to be found. And in many cases they formed the 
nucleus of the congregation." 



Cannonsburg, Sept. 19, 1848. 

Rev. and dear Sir: — I received yours of 13th idt., and, instead of thinking 
it any trouble to prepare such an article as you desire, respecting the late Dr. 
Anderson, I am obhged to you for the honour of assigning to me such a task. 

John Anderson was born in England, near the Scotch border, about the 
year 1748. He was the only child of his parents, and, at an early period of his 
life, was deprived of his father. After completing the usual course of studies, 
he was licensed in connection with the Associate or Secession Church of Scotland ; 
but, labouring under the two fold disadvantage of a weak voice and a hesitating 
manner, his services in the pulpit were so Httle valued that, for some years, he 
desisted from the exercise of the ministry, and was employed as a corrector of 
the press. In the year 1783 he migrated to the United States. He went with 
his aged mother from Scotland to Belfast, Ireland, and thence sailed in June of 
that year for Philadelphia, where he arrived some time in August. His voyage 
was, in several respects, a disastrous one. His library and other effects were 
put on board of a different ship from the one in which he sailed, and the vessel, 
being unseaworthy, was lost, and, as there was no insurance, this proved the 
entire loss of all his earthly property. But what affected him much more was 
the death of his aged and widowed mother, who was coming with him to a land 
of strangers, and whom, notwithstanding all his entreaties to have her preserved 
for burial on the shore, he was obliged to commit to the deep.* After his arrival 
in the United States, he spent some years in preaching in the South, in the State 
of New York, and the Eastern part of Pennsylvania. In the summer of 1788 
he went West of the Alleghany Mountains, and preached at two places in Beaver 

♦Another authority has it that his mother died while the vessel was aground, nine miles 
below Newcastle, Del., and was buried on an island in the river near that place. 

YoL. IX. 3 



County, about eight miles apart, — the one then known as Mill Creek and the 
other as Harman's Creek, now Service and Frankfort. Eeturmng to flie East 
side of the Mountains, he was, after the requisite trial, ordained by the Associate 
Presbytery of Pennsylvania, in the Hall of the University of Pennsylvania, at 
Philadelphia, October 31, 1788, — the Rev. William IMarshall presiding and 
preaching the Ordination Sermon. Having preached for a while in Eastern 
Pennsylvania, he returned, in the spring of 1739, to Western Pennsylvania, where 
he preached till the latter part of summer, and in August went to Philadelphia 
and New York. He attended the meeting of Presbytery at Cambridge, N. Y., 
on the 10th of September, on occasion of the Installation of my father. In the 
spring of 1790 he went to preach in Rockbridge County, Va., but returned 
again to Western Pennsylvania, and received a call from Mill Creek and Har- 
man's Creek, which he accepted at a meeting of the Presbytery in New York, 
in the autumn of 1792. 

Not long after his settlement here he was married to Miss Elizabeth Ingles, 
who made him an excellent and devoted wife. She survived him many years, 
and died at Service, aged upwards of ninety, having lost both her sight and hearing, 
so that the only intelligence which could be conveyed to her was by the sense of 

The country in which he settled was then new, and continued till the time of 
his decease to be but thinly inhabited. His salary was small, not more than two 
hundred dollars, which, together with a hundred dollars per annum for his services 
as Professor of Theology, constituted all the means of his eartlily support. As, 
however, he was married to a prudent woman, and as they lived in the most 
economical manner and had no children to provide for, he not only managed to 
subsist upon his small income, but even spared something occasionally out of it to 
aid some of the more necessitous of his students, by boarding them without charge 
and giving them money. 

I have referred to the fact that he was Professor of Theology — he was elected 
to that office in the year 1792 ; and received the degree of Doctor of Divinity 
from Jefferson College, in 1808. A small two story log building was erected 
upon the farm on which he lived, for the accommodation of his theological students. 
A library was also collected, consisting of about a thousand volumes of rare and 
valuable works, most of which were donations from brethren of the Associate 
Church in Scotland. In his office as Professor he continued till the spring of 
1819, when, owing to the infirmities of age, he resigned. He still attended to 
the duties of his pastoral office, till April 6, 1830, when, during his attendance 
upon a meeting of his Presbytery, he was suddenly called to his rest, in the 
eighty-second year of his age. The number of students under his care was never 
large — it probably never exceeded ten, and was generally not more than five or 
six. His chief employment as a Professor was in reading Lectures on Marck's 
^'■Medulla TheologicBP These he enlarged, on each repetition of them, until they 
became so voluminous that, although he read each day of the week except Mon- 
day and Saturday, from the middle of the day till from three to five o'clock, 
during the four months of the session, he was not able, with his last class, to 
finish the whole system during the four years of their attendance. The Lectures 
were full of sound and valuable instruction, but would likely have been more useful 
had they been more brief. He occasionally attended to the Exegetical reading 
of the New Testament, and taught Hebrew, but, owing to the time occupied in 



Didactic Theology, these branches were attended to but imperfectly. No instruc- 
tion was given in Biblical Literature or Ecclesiastical History, separate from 
such incidental notices of these things as came in the way in his Lectures on 

He was a man whom all his pupils venerated, and although they sometimes 
indulged in complaints respecting the uncultivated region where the Seminary had 
been established, and the tedious manner of their Teacher, yet they all, without 
exception, cherish his memory with the most singular regard. His acquirements 
in literature in general were uncommon, and especially in Theology, to which his 
attention was drawn, not only by his office as a Minister and Professor, but by 
his devoted attachment to Divine truth. It was the remark of his intimate friend. 
Dr. Nisbet, when he heard of his coming to this country, that " Such a Body of 
Divinity had never before crossed the Atlantic." His habits of study were such 
as few men could endure for a year, though he persevered in them from youth to 
extreme old age. It is doubtful whether he ever purposely made a social visit, 
and, as to exercise of body, he appeared to have tried it so little as not even to 
have any tolerable idea of his own physical strength. He has, for instance, been 
known to attempt lifting a log which would have been a tolerable draught for two 
horses. He attended to the duties of visiting ministerially the families and sick 
of his congregation with exemplary fidelity, and was punctual also in attending 
Ecclesiastical Courts, even at a gi*eat distance, so long as he was able ; and, on 
these occasions, when thrown into the society of friends, he showed himself not 
destitute of some degree of sociability; but, unless called out by some such occa- 
sions, he rarely left his study from the beginning to the end of the year. In con- 
sequence of this diligence, accompanied with a sound judgment and retentive 
memory, he became one of the most profound of theologians. He had also a most 
correct and discriminating mind ; and his writings show that he was not only 
familiar with the sentiments of others, but able to enter into fields of controversy, 
scarcely, if at all, occupied before, and to investigate them in such a manner as 
to leave little or nothing to be gleaned by those who came after him. 

Perhaps nothing in his character was so singular as his abstraction of mind 
and entire ignorance of the common affairs of life. He was, in this respect, a 
mere child. A few incidents will afford the best illustration of this trait in his 
character. During his stay at Philadelphia, in the house of a friend who was 
extensively engaged in business, and had a large family daily at his table, the 
Doctor, who could never be made to attend at the ringing of the bell, had been 
forgotten at breakfast, and, being once out of mind, he was the more readily forgotten 
a second time at dinner. He, however, persevered in his studies, unmindful of 
this neglect, till the craving for food in his naturally vigorous constitution over- 
came his relish for books, and towards the usual hour for tea, he came down to 
the lady of the house, rubbing his hands, as was his custom when embarrassed 

or agitated, and observed, in his usual hesitating manner, — " I think, Mrs. Y , 

I feel a little hungry." On the same or another occasion, when about leaving 
the city for the West, the gentleman with whom he lodged, knowing that he had 
no money, furnished him enough to bear the expenses of the journey; but, 
knowing also his thoughtless habits, he soon followed him after he had left his 
house, and, calling at a book-store to which the Doctor often resorted, he found 
him expending the last of his money in the purchase of books. As to missing 
his way, and meeting with strange adventures in his travels, when not in company 



with some other person, — these things were almost matters of course. His custom 
was, when setting out on a journey, to put a book into his pocket — this he would 
soon begin to read, and become altogether unmindful of every thing else. The 
horse, being weU acquainted with his master's habits, would take advantage 
of this abstraction, and, while the rider was regaling himself with this food for 
the mind, would very quietly betake himself to such food as he found by the 
wayside. In this posture they would continue perhaps for an hour, the Doctor 
reading and the horse feeding, tiU, by some means, he would be aroused from 
his reverie, when he would bestir himself to get the horse once more set in 
motion. Again the book would be resumed, and again the hoi*se, neither much 
injured nor alarmed by the blows he had received, would resume his feeding. 
Thus they would proceed, the horse also not unfrequently choosing the direction 
in which it best pleased him to travel, till the Doctor would be quite bewildered. 
On one occasion, ha,ving set out from home upon a cold day in the winter, with 
a view to attend a distant meeting of Presbytery, he indulged himself for a 
while in his usual practice of reading till the severity of the weather compelled 
him to desist. He now found himself in a place wHich he could not recognize, 
and began to urge his horse forward with unwonted activity, but, having ridden 
all day without discovering any habitation, or meeting any person from whom he 
could obtain directions, when the evening came, as a last resort, he gave the 
reins to the horse, thinking he might lead him to some shelter for the night. 
The horse, thus left to himself, soon brought him to an opening in the woods, 
and made directly for a habitation at a little distance. When arrived at the 
house, the Doctor knocked at the door, which was opened by an aged lady of 
respectable appearance, of whom, while he was shivering with the cold, he inquired, 
in a supplicating tone, whether he could get lodgings for the night. To his 
great surprise the lady accosted him by name, saying, " Dear me, is this you, 
Mr. Anderson ?" Finding that it was his own wife, he enquired, with great 
astonishment, — " And how did you come here ?" It was his own house, around 
which, at the distance of a mile or two, he had been travelHng aU day. It was 
no uncommon thing for him, when on a journey, to bring home nothing of a 
large supply of linen, except what was on his back. He»has been known, after 
preaching, to mount another person's horse, and ride away with it, simply because 
its colour was grey like that of his own. He knew nothing of the times of 
sowing and reaping, nor had he the least idea of the management of any business 
of a worldly nature, not even so much as to know whether the horns of a 
lady's saddle should be before or behind, or that such saddles should have 
horns at all. It is said that, having once attempted to put on a saddle for his 
wife, and having put it on with the horns behind, when told of his error, he 
expressed his astonishment that saddles should have hmrns. 

He was, in temper, somewhat irascible, and, although distinguished for meek- 
ness and humility, he was also impatient of contradiction, so far as related to 
matters of principle. This appears to have been partly owing to his ardent love 
of truth, and partly to his slowness and difficulty in expressing his mind, which, 
it may be observed, frequently produce this impatience. Although it was evident 
to all his acquaintances that he struggled much against the influence of his natu- 
ral temper, yet it would sometimes gain a momentary ascendancy. This did not 
often happen, but when it did, he would immediately afterwards manifest the 
deepest humiliation and penitence, soliciting, again and again, the pardon of those 



a^inst whom he had spoken with severity, and confessing, with the greatest grief, 
this infirmity of his natm-e. Perhaps in nothing did the power of Divine grace 
more clearly manifest itself than in its contests with this corruption. It was 
often exceedingly painful to his friends to witness his humiliation on these occa- 
sions. The inward anguish of his spirit betrayed itself even in the death-like 
paleness of his face. In his case, those Psalms which represent the spiritual 
troubles of the believer as dimming the eye, wasting the flesh, and otherwise 
deeply affecting the body, were no mere figures of speech. As a proof that anger, 
though sometimes prevailing, was one of those things which he allowed not, it 
may be mentioned that nothing of this infirmity betrays itself in his vsritings. 
Though engaged repeatedly in controversies, and sometimes treated with rudeness, 
he always replies with the utmost moderation and calmness, and even with great 
respect for the person of his opponent. 

Although it might not be anticipated, from some of the preceding remarks, yet all 
his acquaintances considered him as very much of a gentleman, in the best sense 
of the term. He was remarkable for his modesty, kindness and deference to 
others. In these respects, and even in his external carriage, he bore a striking 
resemblance to the Hon. John Q. Adams. Strange as it may seem that such a 
similarity should exist between persons in such different spheres of life, and who 
probably never saw each other, — yet such as have had some acquaintance with 
both have often noticed it. 

But the trait of character for which Dr. Anderson was most eminent, and 
which made him seem like one not belonging to the age in which he lived, was 
his extraordinary piety. Few, if any, in modern times, have lived so near Heaven 
as did this venerable man. A large portion of his time, both evening and morn- 
ing, he spent in secret prayer, and with Mrs. A. in reading the Scriptures, and in 
spiritual conversation. It was their custom also, many times during the year, to 
observe family fasts, — the greater portion of the day being employed by them 
and their domestics in alternate prayers in the family and closet. He was emi- 
nently distinguished by his love of the truth, and zeal for promoting it. He was 
equally eminent for a strict and conscientious conformity to the law of God in his 
practice. Perhaps few men ever illustrated better, by their example, the power 
of settled principles in religion. He had no enthusiasm, — was carried away by 
no excitement — both in the pulpit and out of it, his usual manner was perfectly 
calm. All classes esteemed him as a man to whom few, if any, might be com- 
pared for sincere and devoted love to the Lord Jesus. 

As a Preacher, Dr. Anderson was never regarded as having any claim to popu- 
larity, as this term is generally understood. He was so slow in speaking that 
some of his students could even, without the use of stenography, write his sermons 
in full as he delivered them. But though not an animated speaker, both the matter 
of his discourses and the spirit in which he spoke, showed him to be in great earnest. 
Such also was his deep insight into the mysteries of the Gospel, his acquaintance 
with the work of the Spirit of God, and his skill in applying the word to the 
cases of his hearers, that his ministry was held in the highest esteem among per- 
sons eminent for godliness. He was remarkable for his correctness in method and 
language. His hesitating manner appeared indeed to arise, in a great degree, 
from his unwillingness to say any thing which was not, both in sentiment and lan- 
guage, the very thing which he intended. His hesitation, also, was not attended 
with coughing, stammering or any of its usual accompaniments in others. He would 



stand perfectly still, and apparently at ease, till lie could settle in his mind wbat 
he was to say ; so that, when persons became ^miliar with his manner, as it 
appeared to give no pain to himself, it caused no uneasiness to them. As an 
illustration of the esteem in which his ministry was held by godly persons, I may men- 
tion the following anecdote. On a certain occasion the venerable Dr. McM , 

of the Presbyterian Church, together with a younger brother, attended upon his 
preaching. The young man listened with great impatience, and, after the services 
were concluded, began to speak of the sermon in terms of positive contempt. 
The aged and eminently pious father replied, — " It is well for us, my dear bro- 
ther, that God has not given to that man the gift of utterance, — else there would 
soon be none left to hear you and me." 

In person Dr. Anderson was of very low stature, but of a robust appearance 
for so small a man. His countenance was mild, his eye dark and piercing, — 
and of such power that, even in old age, he could see better than most pei-sons 
in their youth. He never had occasion to make use of glasses. 

As an Author, the small number of the society to which he belonged, and 
the unpopularity of most of the principles which he defended, have prevented 
his attaining that celebrity to which the intrinsic value of his works entitles him. 
He excels in the accurate arrangement of his thoughts, the precision with which 
they are expressed, and the clearness and force of his reasoning. He is one of 
those controvertists whom it is difficult to find off their guard. He appears 
to anticipate the cavils and objections which might be raised against him, and 
so expresses himself as to cut off all just occasion of this kind. His style is 
correct and chaste, but without ornament. In several respects, his writings 
resemble those of President Edwards, whom he much admired, and whose 
Theological creed, with few exceptions, was the same with his own. 

Besides some sermons and smaller works in pamphlet form, he published, at 
different times, the following, — " Essays on Various Subjects, Kelative to the 
present State of Religion," Glasgow, 1782; "A Discourse on the Divine 
Ordinance of Singing Praise," Philadelphia, 1791; and a Vindication of this 
Discourse, Philadelphia, 1793. These two Discourses were followed by a 
larger work on the same subject, entitled, " Viiidicke Cantus Dominici,''^ 
Philadelphia, 1800. In these works he defends the use of the inspired Psalms 
in the public and solemn worship of God, and opposes the introduction of other 
compositions in their place. He also published, in 1793, a small book entitled 
" The Scripture Doctrine of the Appropriation, which is in the Nature of Saving 
Faith, Stated and Illustrated." This work has been among the most acceptable 
and useful of his writings. An edition of it having been published in Scotland, 
some of the views defended in it were opposed by the Rev. Andrew Fuller, in 
his " Gospel worthy of all acceptation." "While in the Southern States Dr. 
Anderson also published a Series of Letters, addressed to the Rev. Mr. Hemphill, 
of the Associate Reformed Church. These relate to a union which had beon 
effected between a portion of the Associate and the Reformed Presbyterians. 
In 1806 he published a book entitled " Precious Truth." This is a defence of 
some doctrines of the Gospel, and of the writings of Messrs. Marshall, Hervey 
and others, from charges brought against them by Dr. Bellamy. His last publi- 
cation was a " Series of Dialogues on Church Communion." This is partly a 
reply to the Plea of Dr. John M. Mason for Catholic Communion, and partly 
a defence of the Communion maintained in the Secession Church. It was pub- 


lished at Pittsburg In 1820, and is at the same time the largest and most elaborate 
of all his works. He was employed also by Mr. Cramer, of Pittsburg, to prepare 
notes to an edition of Brown's Dictionary of the Bible, published in 1807. 
These notes are regarded by such as possess this edition of that work, as adding 
much to its value. The manuscripts left by Dr. Anderson were very numerous, 
but not intended for publication. He had thoughts of committing them to the 
flames before his death, but this was prevented by the sudden manner of his 
departure. It is not, however, likely that his wishes in respect to their publica- 
cation will be disregarded. 

That your present undertaking, and all your labours for advancing the cause 
of our common Lord, may be abundantly blessed, is the sincere desire of 

Yours very respectfully, 



New Brunswick, March 8, 1848. 

Rev. and dear Sir : Your request that I should communicate to you some 
of my recollections and impressions concerning my venerated Teacher, Dr. 
John Anderson, comes to me, on various accounts, with all the force of a com 
mand. Yet it finds me in such a state of health, and so occupied with pro- 
fessional engagements, that you must be content with a very hurried and 
imperfect discharge of the duty. Agreeably to your expressed wish, which 
entirely coincides Avith my own feelings, I shall confine myself to personal 
reminiscences, — saying nothing, or at least very little, which did not fall under 
my actual observation. Nor do I fear that the lapse of years has so blurred 
the picture that I shall expose myself to the charge of not holding the mirror 
true to nature. The impression made on my mind was like an inscription 
chiselled in marble, and will last while memory holds her seat. 

I became acquainted with the Doctor thirty-five years ago, — the first time 
I saw him being at a meeting of his Presbytery in Pittsburg, when I received 
admission into the Theological Seminary of which he was Professor. When 
the roll was called, and a small mouse-like voice answered to his name, I 
looked to the quarter from which it proceeded with no little curiosity and 
considerable disappointment. It was quite evident that his greatness did not 
lie in externals. He was remarkably small ; his stature not much exceeding 
five feet, with a large head enveloped in a forest of thick, tangled hair, which, 
spreading itself over his head and back, gave him the appearance of that odd 
South American animal called the Gnu. Nature, in setting him up, had for- 
gotten to supply the convenience of a neck, and there seemed to have been a 
great lack of muscle where it ought to have been, as his head was constantly 
inclined to his breast at an angle of forty-five degrees. His voice was low, 
though not unmusical, and he spoke with much hesitation and embarrassment. 
Indeed, he seemed to shrink from the labour of speaking at all, — sitting in a 
retired corner of the room like one in a dream on whom surrounding objects 
made no impression, except when startled by a remark addressed to him per- 
sonally. With one feature the most fastidious disciple of Lavater would have 
been satisfied, — a pair of brilliant black eyes, — though it was not easy to get 
a sight of them, — being generally fixed in earnest contemplation on the waist- 
band of his indispensables. 

Such was the casket. Let us now, as appearances are often deceiving, 
take a look within. His learning was solid, various and accurate, proving 
that, in his youth, he must have been a vigorous student. I doubt 
whether, at that time, he had quite his equal in the country West of 



the Alleghanies. He was thoroughly versed in the Old Theology, an excellent 
Latin scholar, and in Greek highly respectable. Of his Hebrew attainments 
I know nothing, but suspect that he was here deficient. He was well versed 
in the old Logic and Metaphysics, and took great delight in works of that 
kind. From remarks that casually dropped from him, I infer that he must 
have picked up considerable information in Physiology and Natural History ; 
so that it would have been rather hazardous for a stranger, in conversing with 
him, to assume that he was quite ignorant on any subject. Few were able to 
appreciate his acquirements, on account of his singular inability to start topics 
of discourse, and to give out his thoughts when they were started by others. 
A slight allusion to a classic story, or fact in science, or philosophical opinion, 
would often betray the existence of a rich fountain below the surface; but 
every drop was to be obtained by hard pumping, and few had the patience for 
this or the necessary skill. Accordingly, his friends generally observed his 
best wine came last. At the first mention of a subject, he appeared to know 
nothing ; but, under a judicious course of vellication, by questioning, object- 
ing and occasional assault on some of his intellectual hobbies, he would begin 
to show signs of life, and surprise his hearers as well by the vivacity as the 
richness of his illustrations. 

As a Theological Lecturer, he was extremely methodical, confining himself 
closely to his text book, which was the Medulla and Compend of John Mark. 
This divine was a special favourite with him; his obscure and crabbed diction 
being considered the beau ideal of elegant Latinity. The minute and endless 
divisions in which he abounds proved a great stumbling block to our worthy 
Professor, as it was an affair of conscience with him to follow them, and thus 
he engaged himself in tedious details when he should have been exhibiting 
the great and commanding principles of his subject. I must confess that he 
sometimes made me weary. His manner was embarrassed and hesitating, — 
resembling that of one who reads to himself a manuscript hard to decipher, 
and he seldom let us off with less than three hours. A great fault in our 
course was its being entirely confined to Didactic and Polemic Theology. We 
never recited a lesson in Ecclesiastical History, nor translated a single chapter 
in the Old or New Testaments. Doubtless he would have pleaded that they 
did not belong to his department ; but, as he was the only Professor to whom 
the Church entirely looked for the instruction of her sons, the neglect was 
inexcusable. We should remember, however, that this was nearly forty years 
ago, when the " System " was acknowledged sole monarch in the domain of 
Theology almost universally, — having not only over-topped its rivals, but, 
like Aaron's rod, swallowed them up. 

Truth requires me to state that there was an exercise held every Saturday 
morning, which we called " Biblical," and which really deserved the name. 
A Committee had reported, at a previous meeting, various difficulties or 
apparent contradictions in Scripture, which it was made the duty of another 
Committee to explain and harmonize. The occasion was full of interest and 
instruction, though our young critics complained oftentimes that sufficient 
latitude was not allowed them, and that they were pinned down too closely 
to the old traditional exegesis. The student who, in explaining a passage, 
did not " go out by the footsteps of the flock," or quoted, in any case what- 
ever, a Limborch and Whitby, against a Calvin and John Owen, always felt 
that he was on perilous ground. A peculiar jerking of the chair, and 
repeated enunciations of that famous Hebrew guttural, which a Dutch gram- 
marian defines " vox porculi clamantis ad matrem," had warned the gallant 
youth to mix with his valour a little discretion. Some instances of the crash 
which saluted an unfortunate genius when he neglected these " premonitory 
symptoms," were so excessively ludicrous that I sometimes call one up to 



relieve a fit of tic doloreux. After all, the surest test of merit in a teacher 
is the result of his labours; and whatever were the defects of his course, 
(faults of the age rather than the man,) it is generally admitted that he sent 
forth excellent Preachers. I do not, of course, rank myself in the number, 
but I am pretty confident that nowhere else would I have been subjected to 
the same mental discipline, or obtained the same amount of preparation for 
the ministerial work. 

His Preaching had the same general characteristics with his Theological 
Lectures, but it differed in two respects, which were striking to the most 
careless observer. The first was its plain and practical cast. The moment 
he entered the pulpit, he seemed to forget that there was such a thing as contro- 
versial divinity in existence, but dwelt on the simplest truths of the Gospel 
in the most simple manner possible, — like a father charging and exhorting his 
children, or a nurse cherishing her babes. We were sometimes desirous of 
hearing him discuss a subject arguraentatively, and sometimes he indulged us ; 
but instances were rare. It was quite plain the old man thought he had 
other business on hand than drilling eight students in theological dialectics. 
The matter of his discourses was intensely evangelical. The fulness of 
Christ as a Saviour, his perfect righteousness, the obligation of the Holy Law 
as administered by the great Mediator, the grace of the sanctifying Spirit, 
the blessedness of reconciliation to God, the full and free offers of the 
Gospel, — these were the themes on which he always expatiated with an 
artlessness and sweet simplicity of thought and expression that never failed 
to interest even those who " cared for none of these things." 

The other peculiarity was the surprising animation which he occasionally dis- 
played. I have already observed that his elocution was generally feeble and inef- 
fective ; but not unfrequently a thought, or whole train of thought, would 
break in upon him, that seemed to stir up his soul from its lowest depths. 
The change that came over him, at such times, was astonishing. The tongue 
of the stammerer now spoke plainly — his form would dilate, his voice roll like 
thunder, and his little black eyes would sparkle like two burning torches. 
He was often so pungent and overpowering on these occasions that I confess 
myself to have felt ill at ease, and that 1 was glad to see a collapse, which 
usually took place after a few minutes. 

But his personal qualities as a Man and a Christian were those which made 
the strongest impression on my young mind. In this respect I had opportu- 
nities of appreciating him not enjoyed by my fellow students. Our theologi- 
cal session continued only during the winter season — early in the spring, they 
all dispersed to their respective homes, and a re-union did not take place till 
late in the following autumn. But my case was different. Having come from 
the State of New York, where all my kindred resided, I found myself in the 
midst of strangers ; and this circumstance, with others not deserving mention, 
determined me to continue with the old gentleman during the whole summer. 
The locality of his residence was somewhat peculiar and worth a brief descrip- 

The mansion, a small cabin, having a single story and constructed of rough 
logs, was situated in a narrow gorge between two hills of such respectable 
altitude, that, in many parts of the country, they would be called mountains. 
The valley was less than a quarter of a mile wide, and divided by a pleasant 
brook which made sweet music, as it merrily passed along by the side of a rich 
natural meadow, covered by noble sugar-maples, and extending up to the 
house. Egress from the place was impossible, except by taking a long circuit 
through the woods, or climbing one of the hilly ramparts that invested it on 
all sides. Our nearest neighbour was a mile and a half distant, unless a dark 
solitary man might be called such, who lived a mile higher up the creek, but 

Vol. IX. 4 



who, not professing " Secession Principles," and moreover labouring under a 
strong suspicion of being a Yankee, was considered a little worse than nobody. 
In fact, we were as much shut out from the great world, as the monks of St. 
Bernard in their Alpine pass, besides having a much smaller family, — our 
whole establishment consisting of the Doctor and his wife, two girls, whom, 
in the want of children, they had taken to bring up, myself, and an old grey 
horse, whom I reckon with the humanities on account of his wonderful saga- 
city and the care he took of his master. It need scarcely be said that there 
were few signs of cultivation in our vicinity. All around us for miles was 
" vast wilderness and boundless contiguity of shade," such as would have fully 
satisfied the amiable Cowper, when sighing after a retreat from the follies of 
the world. Reading one day his beautiful lines, — " Oh, for a lodge," &c., 
to Mrs. Anderson, that excellent lady was so affected with his want of suita- 
ble accommodations that we conversed repeatedly, (not knowing that he had 
been dead some years,) on the subject of inviting him to come over and 
" lodge " with us, at the usual student's rate of five shillings a week. 

In this lonely spot Dr. Anderson passed the greater part of his life. Here, 
after serving God faithfully in his day and generation, he died, and here I, a 
volatile boy of fifteen, was shut up, by a wise and gracious Providence, for 
three years, to learn, by the contemplation of a living example, what Chris- 
tian holiness is, and what high degrees of it a poor, miserable worm of earth 
can attain with the aid of heavenly grace. 

How far he was indebted to his retired and isolated situation, removing him 
from the temptations incident to a public life, I will not decide. To detect 
the nice proportions in which nature, grace and external influences combine 
to the formation of character, — that, for instance, of a Leighton, or Blaise 
Pascal, is an operation of the higher chemistry, the secret of which is with 
Him who made us. But we can appreciate with considerable accuracy the 
fact, — the actual result which this combined agency produces ; and, applying 
this principle to the subject of my remarks, I say, with confidence, that he 
was no common man. From the first day of my acquaintance with him, it 
struck me that his piety was something quite unearthly, and not to be 
explained by any of the " laws of mind " laid down in Brown and Stewart. 
To say that he was animated by a profound reverence for the Supreme Being, 
never named Him without making a perceptible pause in his discourse, paid 
marked regard to the Di\4ne laws and institutions, was a strict observer of 
the Lord's day, &c., &c., would be to talk quite prettily and appropriately of 
some persons ; but, applied to John Anderson, of Service Creek, would be 
ridiculous bathos. God was his life, his soul, his all in oil ! In God his 
whole moral man lived and moved and had its being ! He walked with Him 
constantly, as a personal friend; and I doubt whether there was a moment 
when He was not present to him as a distinct object of thought. Very soon 
this fact struck me so forcibly that I determined to make the old man my 
particular study ; and began to play the spy on him to a greater extent than, 
under other circumstances, would have been dignified or proper. Ten times a 
day have I gone to his study door, and peered through the key-hole to see 
what he was doing ; and eight times out of the ten I found him on his knees. 
My little sleeping apartment was next to his, and often, long after our old 
wooden clock had commenced striking the small hours, I heard the low 
breathings of one in earnest devotion. Seeking an explanation, I was told, 
by the old lady, after some cross-questioning, that, being extremely subject to 
nervous wakefulness, he found nothing better to do than rise and spend a half 
hour in prayer. This mode of composing unquiet nerves appeared to me a 
strange business, and I resolved to know more about it. Searching carefully 
the partition, I found a large cranny, to which I applied my ear with such 



good effect that I was able to catch much of what he said — and such praying 
I never heard before, nor expect to hear again. It was not prayer in the 
common acceptation of the term, but an outgush of holy, child-like confidence 
in a Father with whom he was in familiar colloquy ; sometimes taking the form 
of a confession of unworthiness, sometimes that of an humble interrogatory, 
then passing over into a sort of argumentative pleading, in which he would 
remind his Heavenly Friend of his engagements in the everlasting covenant, 
of some gracious promise in the Word, of the blood-shedding on Mount Cal- 
vary, of his past providential dealings, and all this with such deep feelings of 
love, gratitude, self-abasement and triumphant hope, that I was absolutely 
astounded and tore myself away, aghast at the presumption with which I had 
been violating the sanctity of a place, holy as Heaven itself; stealing, like a 
vile thief and eaves-dropper, into the nuptial chamber, where the Lord was 
communing with his mystic spouse. To my mind there was something awful 
in the thought of a mortal creature holding such close correspondence with 
the invisible world ; — nestling itself, if I may so speak, in the very bosom of 
God. Many a night it robbed me of sleep, and when, on the following morn- 
ing, the little man joined our family circle, in his usual quiet and unobtrusive 
way, I would gaze at him as if I saw a spirit ! 

Much of this temper he carried into his religious exercises in the family, 
though I have heard it questioned, — only, however, by persons not favourably 
situated for judging. He was undoubtedly dull oftentimes ; but this pro- 
ceeded from his extreme timidity ; for, with all his excellencies, he was as 
bashful as a child. Odd as the remark may seem, it is strictly true, that the 
presence of a pair of lubberly students would weigh him down to the earth; and, 
accordingly, I always observed that our vernal migration produced the happiest 
effect upon him. He seemed to feel that he was alone with God, and the 
little flock committed to his guardianship, of which my extreme youth allowed 
him to consider me a part. It was now his spirit became emancipated, 
bounded at once into the empyrean, and there soared and swam like the eagle 
m its native element. Happy old man ! Death must have been comparatively 
a very trifling change to him ; for the hallowed employments and pleasures 
on which he entered, were those which formed the whole happiness of his 
earthly existence. 

Much of that almost infantile ignorance of the world for which he was 
remarkable, may be traced to this absorption of the mind in higher objects. 
His natural shrewdness was considerable, and the only reason of its imperfect 
development in relation to common occurrences must have been the small 
degree of interest he felt in them. They passed by, as the successive parts of 
a landscape pass by the traveller in a rail-car, while engaged in animated 
conversation. They were seen, but that was all. The faculty of attention 
did not act on them ; consequently they never lodged deep enough to fructify 
into maxims and rules of conduct. Thus he was known to miss the road to 
his own church (never with old grey) after travelling it every second Sabbath 
for twenty years. It is extremely doubtful whether he could discriminate 
between a dish of pork and of mutton, calling each by its proper name. On 
one occasion he exchanged a valuable horse, which a designing knave persuaded 
him was lame, for one that was stone blind and in the last stage of the glanders. 
There was nothing allied to stupidity in this, for I have not the smallest 
doubt that if he had felt it to be his duty to study horse-flesh, he would, in 
less than six months, have made himself the best farrier in the district. 

In the same way may be explained another peculiarity in his character, on 
which I have often reflected. There were few or none of his acquaintance 
with whom he had close and confidential intercourse. Loved by all, and in 
turn loving all, (for his heart was tender to a fault), he knew little of the pains 



and pleasures of human friendship. At least, I never heard him speak of 
more than two persons, the Rev. Messrs. Marshall and Beveridge, (both of 
them deceased,) in such a way as to suggest that they were any more to him 
than others possessing equal intrinsic worth. The truth is that one great 
object preoccupied his mind — the Lord Jesus was so sensibly and ever present 
that his heart had no room for any other, except as " beloved for Christ's sake." 
In this absolute independence of created sources of enjoyment, even the most 
innocent, there was a wonderful contrast between him and the pious Dr. 
Doddridge, with an equally striking likeness to Leighton and Payson. The 
former could scarcely live, except when basking in a friend's smile. His cor- 
respondents were numerous, and his peace of mind seems to have been entirely 
at their mercy. Witness the following paragraph from one of his letters, 
which, coming from such a man; must excite not only pity but astonishment. 
" Your reflections on the love of God, and the vanity of creature love, are just, 
and I enter into the spirit of them. I have a few darling friends ; yet from 
them I meet with frequent disappointments You, in particular, are always 
friendly and kind ; yet^ though I have some of the most delightful enjoyments 
of friendship with you, pain of parting, and the impatience of absence, embitter 
even these. My present happiness lies so much in my friends that they fre- 
quently discompose me. Every thmg like a slight or neglect from them 
touches to the quick, and when I imagine them out of humour I am so far 
from being cheerful that I cannot be goodnatured. If they look upon me 
a little more coldly than ordinary, while they express their afiection for another, 
I am uneasy, and a thousand minute occurrences, which others take no notice 
of, are to me some of the most solid afflictions of my life. They unfit me for 
pleasure and business. May God forgive me, they unfit me for devotion too." 

Poor dear Philip ! as brave old Luther would exclaim when he received 
communications, not unlike this of our good Doctor, from his namesake and 
prototype, the amiable Melancthon. Well might he add in the following para- 
graph, — " Let us learn to place supreme affection upon our Creator, for it is 
that alone which can afford us lasting satisfaction." His bark would have 
enjoyed a much more quiet berth in the chopping seas and cross currents of 
life, had he not so unwisely attached to it so many miserable hedgers, instead 
of holding on with calm and undivided reliance to the great sheet anchor 
within the vail. Dr. Anderson could not possibly have used such language 
under any circumstances. There was but one friend whose absence or frown 
could give him serious discomposure, and that friend never " looked coldly on 

Accordingly, he was always cheerful and happy. Though quiet and silent 
above most men, and generally looking downward, as if occupied with some- 
thing he did not care to speak of, yet those who caught the expression of his 
eye, saw that he was conversing with serene and pleasant thoughts. When 
suddenly addressed, he would start as if from a dream, and ask the speaker 
to repeat his remark. He had evidently been in the land of Beulah, discours- 
ing with " the shining ones who walk there, because it is on the borders of 
Heaven." Earth had little that could annoy such a spirit. I never knew 
him, during my three years' daily intercourse, to utter a fretful word concern- 
ing his secular concerns, or express a wish for something not at hand, or betray 
a secret thought that his earthly condition could in any way be bettered. 
His salary was about two hundred and eighty dollars a year, half of which 

his people paid in provisions. These were not always the best of their kind; 

a fact that often ruffled the good humour of his worthy partner ; — but never 
was there a bosom mord unfit than that of her liege lord to be the depository of 
her griefs. She never could ascertain even whether he heard her. This want of 
sympathy on so tender a point was positively the only drop of bitterness in 


her cup of domestic felicity; — from which may be inferred, without much 
violence, that, on the whole, the current of life ran pretty smooth in our little 

Another feature of character was his extraordinary humility. Dr. Anderson 
was a writer of considerable distinction. Few divines of the day were his 
superiors. Moreover, a respectable and growing denomination of Christians 
looked upon him, if not as their Moses and spiritual founder, at least as their 
ecclesiastical Joshua, who, by his prowess in the theological battle-field, had 
given them deliverance from their enemies round about. The manifestation 
of a little self-complacency, at times, would, under such circumstances, have 
been quite pardonable. A certain composed dignity, which seems to say in 
the most delicate manner possible that they and their company are not pre- 
cisely on an equal footing, is supposed to sit very gracefully on distinguished 
persons. But it was a gracefulness which he never reached. It always 
appeared to me that, living, as he did, in constant communion with God, he 
could not rise from the prostration of soul belonging to his habitual employ- 
ment so as to assert his proper place among men; accustomed to lie low in 
the dust before the " Excellent Glory," he crouched and shrunk before the 
most insignificant mortal. Examples without number could be given. 

His deportment at meetings of the clergy has been already noticed. We 
always observed, on such occasions, that, if there was a corner of the room 
particularly dark and retired, he was sure to occupy it. Scarcely ever would 
he rise to speak, even on subjects of importance, unless compelled by circum- 
stances or a call of the Moderator. I have repeatedly seen attempts made, 
by his brethren in the ministry, to pay him a compliment — but it was never 
undertaken twice by the same person. The old man would turn red in the 
face, as if struck with apoplexy, groan forth, with many repetitions, his 
favourite Hebrew guttural, and jerk his chair from right to left with surpris- 
ing agility. He seemed to think that the speaker could not be in earnest, 
but was laughing at him. Few things annoyed him more, in the intercourse 
of society, than being addressed as Doctor of Divinity — not that he felt (as 
far as I could learn) any scruples of conscience on the subject, but because he 
could not bear to be distinguished from his brethren. I have heard and read 
of a similar antipathy expressed by certain divines since that time, but, in 
most cases, have indulged in a little skepticism as to its reality. Somehow, 
above all the din of their noisy protestation '^nolo doctorari" the small voice 
has made itself heard, whispering that, at heart, they like to bear the cross 
rather better than their quiet neighbours ! But no such suspicion could pos- 
sibly be harboured against Dr. Anderson. A more artless, simple-minded 
being never existed. He could no more appear what he was not, or conceal 
what he was, than an infant at the breast. 

Perhaps the most striking exemplification of his humble and subdued spirit 
was the readiness with which he acknowledged his faults to those whom, by 
some heat of temper, he had offended. I will not deny the fact that he had 
his share of what Buchanan calls the ^^ perfervidum ingenium Scotorum,'' — in 
other words, that he was sometimes a little vehement, only, however, in mat- 
ters of controversy, and when he thought important principles at stake. 
When raised to such a point that he became distinctly conscious of it, he 
would retire from his parlour into his sanctum, where he would remain a few 
minutes ; then return, " calm as a summer morning," and, with a meek 
apology, resume the argument. I, myself, at the early age of sixteen, have 
had the honour of receiving his amende honorable — when the wonder was, 
not that he had been irritated, but that he did not attempt to cool my polemic 
ardour by some vigorous application of the argumentum a posteriori. I am glad 
to say that, on such occasions, I had grace to be greatly humiliated and grieved. 



The usual subject of dispute was the "War which had just commenced between 
our country and Great Britain. The old gentleman was a violent Democrat, 
— principally on religious grounds ; as he considered the British Government 
to be a great Anti-Christian power, which, by its usurpation of headship over 
the Church, and its hostility to a "covenanted reformation," had entailed upon 
itself all the woes written in the Apocalypse. The younger belligerent was a 
thorough-going Federalist, full of fire and fury against the " unnatural con- 
test " with our amiable mother. On the whole we were not badly matched. 
My adversary understood his subject, and had Grotius on the Rights of Neu- 
trals at his fingers' ends. Unfortunately for him, I had something at my 
tongue's end, which he had not, — a prodigious quantity of words ; and once, 
I so completely overwhelmed him with my nonsense that he lost all patience, 
— actually calling, without any attempt at circumlocution, the only son of my 
respected father a — magpie ! His manner was violent, and his voice trembled 
with excitement. Scarcely had the unlucky word escaped him, when he turned 
pale with horror, and rushed into his little closet, where he remained half an 
hour. But, oh, the transformation that had taken place in that brief period ! 
It could be compared to nothing but the change wrought in the tumultuous 
sea of Tiberias, when it heard the voice of its God, saying, in tones that pene- 
trated to its deepest caverns, " Peace ! Be still ! " The scene that ensued is as 
fresh before my mind as if it occurred yesterday. There stands the strong man, 
bowing himself before a petulant child ! Suffocated with emotion, — the tears 
streaming down his aged cheeks, and every limb trembling as if in a paroxysm 
of fever, he seizes my hand convulsively, and pours out his confession of the 
wrong he has done me, with a fervour and contrition of soul, that could not 
have been more deep or heartfelt, had he plunged a knife into my bosom ! 

I merely give this as a specimen of the man. In view of his whole charac- 
ter, it must be granted that his qualities were not the stuff" which heroes are 
made of — such, at leasts as stand for heroes in the world's vocabulary; but 
his record is on high; and he has long since gone to a place where I appre- 
hend few of these gentlemen will bear him company. 

I shall conclude my sketch with a brief notice of his worthy lady, to whom 
I have already more than once alluded. The old adage that marriages are made in 
Heaven, but so strangely jumbled, in their voyage downward, that few have 
the happiness of lighting on their proper mates, was signally refuted in the 
case of this truly primitive couple. Their manner of coming together was 
characteristic. The Doctor, having arrived at the shady side of forty, — his 
good people, sympathizing with his lonely and helpless condition., felt a great 
desire to see him married. But how to bring it about, in a country where the 
good old patriarchal mode of settling preliminaries by some judicious Eliezer 
of Damascus had gone into disuse, was a riddle which no Sphynx among them 
could expound. Providence, however, took the affair into his own hands, and 
accomplished it in the most quiet way imaginable, — providing him with a 
most excellent Eve, in a certain sense from his very side. On a pleasant win- 
ter night, while chatting with the honest Scotch farmer at whose house he 
lodged, the latter, encouraged by certain favourable appearances, introduced the 
subject of matrimony. The Doctor, having a distinct perception that this 
kind of covenant imperatively required a female, (differing here from the old 
" solemn league and covenant," which acknowledged, as parties contracting, 
only "noblemen, knights, burgesses, citizens and ministers of the Gospel,") 
was asking, in a tone of utter bewilderment and hopelessness, where on earth 
she could be obtained, when the door opened suddenly ; and in entered the far- 
mer's sister-in-law, a huge, antique maiden of forty-five, who resided with 
him in the capacity of deputy house-keeper. She was no Venus, nor exactly 
the lady who stood before the glowing fancy of Milton when he sang, 


'Grace was in all her steps, Heaven in her eye, 
In every gesture, dignity and love." 

But she was a pious and discreet Christian damsel, well skilled in the mys- 
tery of preparing the Doctor's favourite broth, and who could lilt Ralph Ersk- 
ine's '< Gospel Sonnets " like a nightingale. Struck with a sudden thought, 
James replied, " Atweel, Minister, What's to hinder thee from buckling with 
oor Lizzy here ".'* The good minister was electrified, seized the idea at once, 
wondering that it had never occurred before ; and Lizzy, nothing loth, was, in 
a short time, installed mistress of the manse. 

Their union was a " crowning mercy " to both, especially to the husband. 
She proved, in every respect, the very thing he needed — a Sarah, to guide his 
house with discretion (though she never gave him an Isaac) ; an Aaron to 
speak for him before the Pharaohs of the world, when it was needful to com- 
mune with them in the way of secular business ; and a Miriam to refresh him 
in his hours of weariness with a Psalm of David ; while, in his own proper 
domain, she was proud and happy to acknowledge his immeasurable superior- 
ity. Indeed, it was quite evident that, though comparing them physically, 
one might, without any great stretch of fancy, conceive of his creeping into 
her pocket, she thought him the greatest specimen of a man (the " two Ersk- 
ines " perhaps excepted) that had lived since the days of the Apostles ! She 
was never seriously offended with me but once — ^by my proposing that she 
should sing to him Burns' famous song, " John Anderson, my joe." Other 
delinquencies met with a ready forgiveness — my felonious visits, for instance, 
to her honey jar and hens' nests; the revengeful pranks on her two maidens 
for informing against me ; and even my schismatical proceedings " anent the 
War "; but that I should advise her to address Mr. Anderson with the profane 
familiarity of an old tinker's wife, threw the good soul into a terrible conster- 
nation. She was really angry, and nothing but pity on my youth restrained 
her from calling me outright a " Doeg, the Edomite " — nay, a very " Rab- 
shakeh "! She did not survive him long, and is lying, as I suppose, at his 
side, in the little burial yard, not far from their dwelling. With my know- 
ledge of the locality, I almost fancy that I could point out the very spot. 
Wherever it be, the ground is holy ; for it contains precious dust ; and were 
the question, what part of our great mother's bosom shall be our final rest- 
ing place, worth one moment's thought, I would ask no higher honour than 
that of lying at their feet. 

Yours with sincere regard and in Christian bonds, 





Thomas Beveridge was bom in the year 1749, of respectable parents, at 
Eastside, Parish of Fossoway, Fifeshire, Scotland. He was brought up under 
the ministry of the Rev. William Mair, of Muckart, author of Lectures on the 
first three chapters of Matthew's Gospel ; which Lectures are introduced with a 
preface from Mr. Beveridge's pen. Having gone through his preparatory course, 
be became a student of Theology under the direction of the Rev. William 
Moncrieff, of Alloa. 

♦Brief Memoir by Rev. William Marshall. — Miller'8 Sketches. — MS. from his son, 
Ilcv. Thomas Beveridge, D.D. 



Not long after ho was licensed to preach, he was appointed Assistant to the 
Rev. Adam Gib, an aged miQister of Edinburgh, with whom he laboured to 
great acceptance, for some time, as a son with a father. In the year 1783 the 
Associate Presbytery of Pennsylvania having sent to Scotland for aid, the 
General Associate Synod appointed Mr. Beveridge to come to America ; and, 
accordingly, after being ordained by the Associate Presbytery of Edinburgh, he 
came to this country in the spring of 1784. Shortly after his arrival, he took 
his seat in the Associate Presbytery of Pennsylvania, convened at Philadelphia. 

Scarcely had he become a ^member of the Body, when they found occasion to 
put his abilities in requisition for a very important service. It was thought 
expedient to draw up a " Testimony for the Doctrine and Order of the Church 
of Christ," accommodated, in some respects, to the peculiar state of things in 
this country; and Mr. Beveridge was appointed to frame the instrument. This 
work he performed in the course of the ensuing summer ; and in August of that 
year it was approved and adopted by the Presbytery. A request having been 
preferred to the Presbytery, by several respectable inhabitants of Cambridge, 
N. Y., that a minister might be sent to them, who should dispense the ordinances 
according to the received principles of the said Presbytery, Mr. Beveridge was 
sent, in the course of the autumn, to labour in that place ; and, after he had 
remained there a few months, the people were so well satisfied with him as to 
wish to secure his permanent services. 

In the spring of 1785 he visited the city of New York, and was instrumental 
in planting a church of his own communion there ; and, though he was never 
afterwards directly connected with it, he seemed always to regard it with an 
almost parental affection. 

Having received and accepted a call from Cambridge, he was inducted to his 
pastoral charge by the appropriate solenmities, on the 10th of September, 1789. 
The Sermon on the occasion was preached by the Rev. (afterwards Dr.) John 

Here Mr. Beveridge continued to labour with the most exemplary zeal and 
fidelity during the rest of his life. Though he was eminently devoted to the 
interests of his immediate charge, yet he by no means confined his labours to 
them, but went abroad, especially into the neighbouring towns, as occasion or 
opportunity offered, in aid of the great purposes of his ministry. In 1788 he 
presided at the Ordination of the Rev. David Goodwillie, in the Hall of the 
University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, and, in 1792, at the Ordination of the 
Rev. John Cree,* in the city of New York, and preached on both occasions. 

In June, 1798, he set out for Bamet, Vt., with a view to assist one of his 
brethren, the Rev. David Goodwillie, in the administration of the Lord's Supper. 
In passing through the town of Ryegate, he took a draught of bad water, which 
brought on a violent dysentery that issued in his death. Notwithstanding he 
was quite ill when he reached Bamet, he preached on Saturday; and, after 
assisting in the administration of the ordinance, (though so feeble that he was 
obliged to do it in a sitting posture,) he preached again on Sabbath evening. This 
was his last effort in public ; and it was characterized by an indescribable fervour 

* John Cree was an emigrant from Scotland, and was settled in the city of New York 
in 1791, — shortly after his arrival in this country. He was obliged to leave his congrega- 
tion on account of an inadequate support, and afterwards settled in Ligonier Valley, about 
fifty miles East from Pittsburg, where he laboured but a few years before his decease. 
He left a widow and several daughte':s. 


of spirit, which seemed to say that he was conscious of standing near the portals 
of Heaven. His death occurred three weeks after this ; and the interval he 
occupied almost entirely in exercises of devotion, or in testifying to those around 
him concerning his experience of the power and excellence of the Gospel. 

When the news of his illness reached his congregation, two of his Elders were 
immediately sent to ascertain his condition, and render him all needed aid ; and, 
as they did not return at the expected time, so great was the impatience of his 
flock to hear from him, that two others were dispatched on the same errand ; hut 
they were too late in their arrival at Bamet even to look upon his corpse, as it 
had just been committed to the grave. 

The disease by which Mr. Beveridge was affected, unhappily proved contagious, 
and was communicated to several members of the family of Mr. Goodwillie. 
Two of Mr. G-.'s children died of it, and were buried in the same grave, 
previous to the death of Mr. B ; and Mr. G. himself was so ill that his recovery 
was weU-nigh despaired of. The Sabbath found them in these affecting circiun- 
stances ; and when Mr. B. saw that a number of people had come together from 
sympathy for the afflicted family, — notwithstanding the earnest entreaties of his 
friends, he raised himself up in the bed, and, after prayer and praise, delivered a 
pertinent and excellent discourse on Psalm xxxi, 23 : "0 love the Lord, all ye 
his saints." The Church at Bamet was at that time in a divided state ; and he 
made a most pathetic application of his subject to their peculiar circumstances, 
and solemnly declared that, if they persevered in their contentions, he would be 
a witness against them in the judgment. His sermon was an hour long; and 
the effort, as might have been expected, proved too much for him. In the course 
of the night following, the intensity of his disease greatly increased, and both 
himself and his friends relinquished every hope of his recovery. Just at the 
dawn of day he sat up in his bed, and said, — " I am a dying man, and am 
dying fast ; but as to bodily pain, I am free from it. I feel no more of this 
than you do, nor is there a man in Bamet who is more at ease than I am. Did you 
ever witness any thing similar to this ? Are you not also persuaded I am dying ?" 
Upon being answered by one of them, — " yes," " It is well," said he, " I am 
not afraid to die." Mr. G. and his family having now come into the room, Mr. 
Beveridge remarked that he would pray with them once more before he departed ; 
and immediately he stretched forth his hands, and commended to God, with an 
audible voice, the Church of Christ in general, the Secession Body in particular, 
his own congregation at Cambridge, especially the younger portion of it, his 
brethren in the ministry, Mr. Marshall in Philadelphia, and Mr. Goodwillie, by 
name, praying that they might be sustained under their severe afflictions ; and, 
finally, he prayed for those who had so faithfully ministered to him in his illness ; 
and, having committed his own soul into his Redeemer's hands, he concluded, in 
allusion, no doubt, to what David says in the close of the seventy-second Psalm, 
with these words : — '' The prayers of Thomas Beveridge are now ended.^^ After 
this, he addressed words of exhortation to those who were about him, accommo- 
dating himself with great felicity to their different characters and circumstances. 
In the afternoon he called for Mr. Goodwillie, and asked him if he knew what 
time the Son of Man would come ; and he replied that he thought it would be 
about ten o'clock the ensuing night, or at latest about cock-crowing ; and the 
answer proved prophetic ; for, at just about ten, he expired without a stmggle. 

Vol. TX. 5 



His body lies in the burial place at Bamet, and in the part of it appropriated 
to the use of Mr. Goodwillie's family, by the side of his two children who died of 
the same disease with himself. A suitable monument has been built over hid 

Mr. Beveridge was married, shortly after his settlement in Cambridge, in 
1789, to Jeanet Frothingham, who had come, with her widowed mother, from 
Scotland to this country about the commencement of the War of the Revolution. 
She died November 8, 1820, having lived a widow twenty-two years. They 
had five children, three sons and two daughters. The young st son, and foiuih 
child, is the Rev. ThoTnas Bevendge, D.D., now (1863) Professor of Theology at 
Xenia, 0. 

Thomas Hanna Beveridge, a grandson of the subject of this sketch, and 
a son of the Rev. Thomas Beveridge, D.D., was the eldest child of his parents, 
and was bom in Philadelphia, March 31, 1830. His early intellectual develop- 
ments were somewhat remarkable. At the age of ten or eleven — his father 
having meanwhile removed to Cannonsburgh — he commenced the study of Latin, 
and, in 1842, when he was only twelve, entered the Freshman class of Jefferson 
College. He graduated in 1847, having been kept at home for a year before 
entering the Junior class. His religious character was developed silently and 
gradually, without any sudden and marked change at any particular time. In 
the fall of 1847 he commenced the study of Theology under the instniction of 
the Rev. Abraham Anderson, D.D. and his father. After passing through the 
usual course of study and the usual trials, he was licensed to preach by the Pres- 
bytery of Chartiers m the summer of 1851 ; but, as he was then only twenty-one 
years of age, it was with the understanding that he should be pennitted to con- 
tinue his theological studies during the ensuing winter. He, accordingly, attended 
the Seminary a fifth session, preaching occasionally in the neighbourhood. Dur- 
ing part of the year 1851 he was engaged in preparing for the press an account 
of the life of the Rev. T. B. Hanna, and a selection of his sermons, which was 
published shortly after. After suffering severely from ill health, and visiting 
various places, he went to Philadelphia in the early part of 1853, and in June of 
that year commenced his labours in what was then called the IMission Church, 
now the Sixth United Presbyterian Church of Philadelphia. He was ordained in 
October following. On the 13th of June, 1854, he wis married to Maiy Kerr 
McBride, of Philadelphia, by whom he had two children, both sons. In August, 
1860, agreeably to a request from the congregation in Kishacoquillas, in Mifflin 
County, Pa., he consented to supply their pulpit for two Sabbaths. He was 
accompanied by his wife and children, and he enjoyed the journey exceedingly. 
The morning after their arrival at the house of the friend with whom they stop- 
ped, (Wednesday,) he was seized with a violent illness, which proved to be con- 
gestion of the brain, and terminated his life in the afternoon of the same day. 
His remains were removed to Philadelphia, and his Funeral, the next Monday, 
was attended with every demonstration of affectionate respect. He possessed a 
vigorous and highly cultivated intellect, with the most kindly and benignant 
spirit, and adorned every relation that he sustained. A writer in Forney's 
Philadelphia Press presents the following outline of his labours : — 

" The life of Mr. Beveridge was a busy and brief one. He was born in March, 
1830, and died on the threshold of his thirty-first year. And yet the catalogue of his 
labours, even though his field was in the unostentatious sphere of the ministry, — a 


department requiring more labour, and exhibiting fewer immediate results, than any 
other human profession, is a record of unceasing toil, assiduity and attention. Let 
us briefly recapitulate. At twenty-one he had passed through College and the Theo- 
logical Seminary. At twenty-two, he publishes a volume biographical of Rev. T. B. 
Haniia, (a young divine whose career much resembled his own,) — a work highly cre- 
ditable to his head and heart ; at twenty-three, he assumes the charge of a congre- 
gation in tliis city ; at twenty-four, he becomes a Presbyter of the Associate Synod, 
and is ordained to the holy work of the Ministry ; at twenty-six, he edits and Tran- 
scribes for the press ' Anderson's Lectures on Theology," — a task of wonderful 
magnitude ; at twenty-eight, he assumes the editorship of the Evangelical Reposi- 
tory, the magazine of his denomination ; at twenty-nine, he is chosen Clerk of the 
United Presbyterian General Assembly ; at thirty, he is elected a member of the 
Assembly's Mission Board ; and, in his thirty-flrst year, he suddenly leaves the 
scene of his labours for that of labour's reward." 


Cannonsburg, January 16, 1848. 

Reverend and dear Sir : As nearly all those who have personal recollections 
of my father have passed away, I will not decline your request that I should 
furnish you with some general estimate of his character, though I do it under 
the full consciousness of the great delicacy of bearing testimony concerning 
one to whom I sustain so near and tender a relation. 

In respect to his early history I can add nothing of interest to the mate- 
rials already within your reach, except perhaps in one particular. This relates 
to the opposition which he made to the principle of Ecclesiastical Establishments. 
He has been much blamed by some, and much commended by others, for con- 
tributing to a revolution of sentiment on this subject, both in Britain and 
America. At the time when the first Seceders withdrew from the prevailing 
party in the Established Church of Scotland, in 1733, although they com- 
plained of many corruptions in the Church as established, and in the Establish- 
ment itself, yet they made no complaint against the principle of Establishments. 
They were opposed to what they considered great corruptions in some of the 
laws regulating the settlement of ministers, yet they were themselves settled 
according to these laws, and received their salaries from the Government, the 
same as others. But very soon after their secession, the faults of the Estab- 
lishment began to appear to some of the Seceders to be inseparable from its 
very nature. As Mr. Barnes says of the abuses of slavery, they appear to 
belong to the very essence of the thing. Hence they began to entertain 
doubts on the general question of Establishments. These were avowed first 
and most prominently among the members of the General Synod or Anti-Bur- 
gher division of the Secession. Some of their young men, when on trials for 
license, hesitated to give an unqualified assent to those articles of the West- 
minster Confession, which are generally considered as favouring the Civil 
Establishment of religion, and as giving to the Magistrate some control over 
the Church in matters purely religious. At first these scruples were so far 
removed that the Confession was received without any express limitation 
My father entertained these scruples, in common with some others, and was 
the first one ordained with an explicit allowance of objections against the Con 
fcssion on this point. Immediately after his Ordination, he sailed for the 
United States, and was appointed, together with Dr. Anderson, to prepare an 
exhibition of the principles of the Associate Church, auited to their circum- 
stances in this country. Into this exhibition, or Testimony as it is generally 
called, he introduced his views of the Magistrate's power, and a limitation of 
the approbation of the Confession on this subject. For doing this he was 
much blamed by those of his brethren in Scotland who still continued to 
advocate Civil Establishments of Religion. He was also severely handled by 
some other Presbyterian denominations in the United States, whose views of 



the separation of Church and State did not extend so far as his own. This 
exhibition of the principles of the Associate Church was republished in Scot- 
land, and strengthened very much the hands of those who have of late years 
been called Voluntaries. It was made the model of a new exhibition of the 
principles of the General Synod, which, after several years' consideration, waa 
enacted in 1804. This new testimony not only follows the form of the Ameri- 
can, but embraces nearly the same principles on the subject of the Magistrate's 
power. It was on this ground strenuously opposed by a few eminent men, 
who, in consequence of its adoption, were separated from their brethren. 
With the exception, however, of these men, the voluntary principle, favoured 
by this Testimony, has become nearly universal among the Seceders in Scot- 
land, and appears to be extending itself rapidly throughout Britain and the 
other Protestant nations of Europe. It is likely that, in effecting this revo- 
lution, there were many whose influence was greater than that of my father. 
Yet whatever influence he had, it was exerted zealously upon this side. He, 
however, complained that some of his brethren had carried their opposition to 
Establishments to such an extreme that he could not follow them ; and he is, 
by no means, to be identified with all the views defended at present under the 
name of Voluntaryism. He even expressed an entire willingness, so far as 
related to himself, that some of the expressions in the American Testimony on 
this subject should be altered to obviate the exceptions which had been urged 
against them, and particularly the expression respecting the Magistrate, — that 
«' his whole duty as a Magistrate respects men, not as Christians, but as 
members of civil society." * 

Although my father did not come to the United States till after the Revo- 
lution, he was a warm advocate of the cause of the Colonies in their struggle 
with Great Britain for their Independence; and when appointed as a Mission- 
ary to the United States, in 1783, he consented without hesitation. At this 
time ministers in Scotland had almost the same horror of a mission to 
America as if it had been a banishment to Botany Bay. The petitions sent 
to the General Synod from various parts of the States were frequent and 
urgent, and the Synod entered upon the subject of missions with commendable 
zeal. Both ministers and people contributed money to bear the expenses of 
the missionaries, and collected libraries for them, with great liberality, yet 
this reluctance could not be overcome. The Synod appointed some with the 
liberty of returning, after a fixed time, if they were not satisfied. Such as 
consented to go on this condition returned at the expiration of the time 
appointed. Many utterly refused a mission on any terms. The Synod at 
last proceeded so far in their zeal that they required every young man at his 
license to go, so that a willingness to accept of a mission to the United States 
was somewhat uncommon. However, the interest which my father had felt in 
the cause of the Colonies, as well as his zeal for the promotion of the Kingdom 
of Christ in the worlds made him welcome this field of labour, when assigned 
to him. Nor did his readiness in this case proceed from any weak and 
transient impulse — it was the result of principles which fortified him against 
the difficulties and discouragements attending his mission to a new countr}'', 
and to a small society, labouring under a general odium for refusing to con- 
sent to a union which they regarded as a defection from their principles, and 
also for maintaining their connection with a Church in Britain, at a time 
when the hostile feeling to that country was still at its height. On his 
arrival, he was far from expressing any disappointment. In a letter written 
to Professor Bruce, about ten months afterwards, he gives his first impres- 
sions in terms very favourable both to the country and to the people, — and 

* McKerrow's Hist. Secession, Chapt XI, pp. 378, et seq. Edition, 1841. Bruce's 
Review, pp. 118, 222, 350, tc. Ass. Test., Part I, Sec. 15. 


makes candid allowances for what he felt obliged to condemn. This will 
appear the more worthy of notice when it is added that, during all, or at 
least the most, of this time, he had been subjected to considerable expenses, 
and yet had received no compensation for his ministerial services, his funds 
being thus reduced so far that he began to meditate upon selling some of his 
books, of which he had brought over about five or six hundred volumes. 
This letter was published in the Christian Magazine, Edinburgh, 1799, and 
is re-published in Mr. Miller's Sketches, pp. 487-90. Mr. M. regards it as 
" a striking specimen of the quickness and accuracy of his discernment, the 
correctness of his observation, and the candour of his remarks." Had he 
been aware of all the circumstances under which it was written, it is probable 
he would have added that it affords equally striking proof of a disregard to 
the things of the world, faith in the Providence of God, and great cheerful- 
ness of spirit. In the last paragraph of the letter, he banters Professor 
Bruce about coming to America, on the ground that his wife and family would 
not stand in his way. This would hardly be understood, as it was intended, 
unless the reader were apprized that the Professor lived and died a bachelor. 

In this letter he expresses his opposition to ministers occupying themselves 
in farming, yet, soon after his settlement in Cambridge, in September, 1789, 
having married a lady who derived a small inheritance from her parents, he 
was persuaded by her to invest it in a farm, which proved a happy circum- 
stance for her and her family of five little children, when, in less than nine 
years after her marriage, she was left a widow. His salary was small and 
the family was left destitute of any means of support, except what was 
derived from this farm. But though, against his own inclination, settled 
upon a farm, he paid little or no attention to it, so that it never diverted him 
from his studies or other ministerial duties. 

Those who best remember his ministry all unite in testifying that he did not 
excel as an Orator. He retained his Scotch pronunciation, and, although of a 
mild disposition, it is said that, in his public speaking, his manner was some- 
what severe and stern. Sometimes persons not familiar with the Scotch 
dialect were not able fully to understand him, and occasionally even ludicrous 
blunders resulted from this circumstance. At one time he had chosen for his 
text Rom. iii, 27 : " Where is boasting then," etc. ? In the course of his 
sermon he found occasion to say a good deal, according to his way of pronoun- 
cing it, against bosten. A simple-hearted hearer afterwards expressed his 
surprise that Mr. Beveridge should have taken occasion to deal so sharply 
with good old Thomas Boston. It is evident, however, that, in more 
important things, his qualifications for the ministry were beyond the ordinary 
standard; and his ministerial labours, both in the pulpit and out of it, were 
held in much esteem. 

He has been sometimes spoken of as excelling in the appropriateness of his 
texts to different seasons and occasions. An instance of this has been 
mentioned to me, as occurring soon after his arrival in America. The War 
being just closed, he took occasion to address the congregation to which he 
was preaching from the words of the prophet Jeremiah xxxi, 2 : " The people 
who were left of the sword found grace in the wilderness." I have seen an 
account, in some History of the Revolution, of this text being used by some 
minister of the Gospel at the close of the War. Whether the reference was 
to my father, or whether he and some other had been led to select the same 
text, I am not able to say ; but of the fact of his preachmg from it on this 
occasion I have no reason to doubt. 

He was also very plain and pointed in his manner of preaching. As an 
instance of this, I have heard mentioned the case of one of his Elders, in all 
respects among the most prominent men in the congregation, who had been 



charged with an aggravated offence, for which he was, after due process, 
deposed and excommunicated. On the first Sabbath after the affair came to 
light, my father took for his text the words of Christ respecting Judas, — 
John vi, 70: "Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil?" It 
is said that the guilty person was repeatedly heard to groan with anguish 
during the discourse, yet he was so far from resenting it that he still con- 
tinued to attend on my father's ministrations, and was one of those who 
undertook a journey of a hundred and fifty miles to see him, when on his 
death-bed at Barnet. He always cherished his memory with the greatest 
regard, and often spoke of him with tears. It may not be uninteresting to 
add that this Elder never ceased to attend upon the ordinances of religion, 
and, before his death, which happened a few years ago, he was restored as a 
penitent to the communion of the church. 

But though my father appears to have been somewhat severe and pointed 
in his manner as a Preacher, he was of a pacific and affectionate disposition. 
This is evident, not only from the testimony of his acquaintances, but from 
various incidents in his life. It would hardly be possible for any one who 
had not a kind and friendly disposition to have acquired such an interest in 
the affections of others as was acquired by him. One of the friends of his 
youth, the late Mr. Barlass,* of New York, formerly a Minister in Scotland, 
travelled with him, when he was setting out for this country, to a certain 
point where it had been agreed that they would part. During the whole 
journey of some miles, such was their grief that neither of them was able to 
speak; and when they came to the appointed place, they parted without 
uttering a word. This minister, having a mysterious Providence, 
laid aside from his office, immediately set out with a view to spend the rest 
of his days with his old friend in America; but, to his great grief, heard of 
his death as soon as he landed fit New York. The affection subsisting between 
my father and Mr. Marshall, of Philadelphia, was more like that of brothers 
of the same family than of common friends. Perhaps it might be more justly 
said that it was far beyond any affection founded merely on consanguinity. 
He also lived on terms of the greatest intimacy with all his brethren, both in 
Scotland and the United States. Such also was the regard of the members 
of his congregation and others in the neighbourhood among whom he had 
laboured, that, long after his death, they could hardly speak of him without 

His pacific disposition, and also his disregard of worldly things, appear 
from the course which he pursued in reference to his own temporal affairs and 
those of his congregation. He was the first Minister of any Presbyterian 
denomination settled in the township of New Cambridge, as it was then called, 
and as such he became entitled to the possession or use of some land, agree- 
ably to certain provisions made by the original proprietors of the township ; 
but, as this claim was in some way disputed, he quietly yielded it rather than 
go to law. In like manner, after the union constituting the Associate 

* William Barlass was born in the Parish of Fowlis, about eight miles from Perth, 
Scotland, and was settled for some years at Whitehill, where he continued till 1797. He 
was a man of uncommonly fine personal appearance. In his old age one of his eyes was 
destroyed by a cancer, but the other was peculiarly brilliant and piercing. He was said 
by his countrymen to have been in the foremost rank of popular preachers. A grave 
charge, however, was brought against him, the truth of which he always denied, even 
till within a few moments of his death; and I learn from the best authority that there is 
good reason to believe that it had its origin in malice. Still there was so much credit 
given to it that he desisted wholly from the exercise of his ministry. He came to New 
York in August, 1798, and, for two years after his arrival, was engaged in teaching the 
classics. He then became a bookseller, and was very useful as an importer of rare and 
valuable foreign works. He remained in this business till the close of life. He died on 
the 7th of January, 1817. The next year a volume of his Sermons was published, to 
which was appended the correspondence of the author with the Rev. John Newton. 


Reformed Church had taken place, he was forcibly deprived of his place of 
worship by a few of the friends of that union ; but he persuaded his congre- 
gation, who generally adhered to him and their profession, to give up, for the 
sake of peace, what they all regarded as their just rights. They, accordingly, 
went to work, and soon erected a new and much superior church, and pros- 
pered not the less, either in their temporal or spiritual affairs, for having sub- 
mitted to what they felt to be a wrong. 

He was generally considered quick in discovering the true characters of men, 
and in foreseeing the turn which events were likely to take. Something of this 
talent appears in his letter to Prof. Bruce, referred to above. He appeared 
also to have attained, in some cases, a foresight of things, not like the extra- 
ordinary gift of prophecy, and yet beyond what could be the result of mere 
common prudence. Instances of this kind have occurred in the lives of good 
men, which can hardly be denied to be extraordinary, and they may perhaps 
be best accounted for as intimations which they have received in answer to 
prayer. He is spoken of by Mr. Marshall as eminent in prayer, and having 
intimate communion with God ; and it is likely that, in this way, he was led 
to certain anticipations which appeared to be beyond what natural reason, 
without any such aid, could suggest. As an instance of this, may be men- 
tioned his having told a very intimate friend that his youngest was the only 
one of his three sons who would succeed him in his office. The event in this 
case corresponded to his anticipations, although it must have appeared, at the 
time, no way probable. The health of the two older brothers was much more 
vigorous than that of the youngest, yet both of them died in their youth. 
There appeared to be many hindrances in the way of the youngest, particularly 
after the decease of the others, yet it pleased Providence to bring him forward 
to the Ministry. In directing his attention this w^j, his father's saying could 
have had no influence, as he had no knowledge of it till after he was engaged 
in preaching. That he also had some presentiment of his approaching death, 
'before leaving his family and congregation for the place where he was attacked 
by a mortal disease, was generally supposed at the time. The last sermon 
which he preached to his people before his departure was on the words of 
Christ, John xvii, 11, — "And now I am no more in the world, but these are 
in the world ; and I come to thee." This sermon he appears to have repeated 
at Barnet, after he was seized with the disorder which terminated in his death. 
His letter to Mr. Marshall, published in the Memoir of his life, appears very 
suitable to the condition of a person writing under the impression that the 
time of his departure was at hand. His wife also noticed something uncom- 
mon in the particular manner in which he bade farewell to her and his little 
children, when leaving them. Such things, indeed, are often noticed after an 
event occurs, which would not at all be regarded but for that event; yet it id 
sometimes difficult to resist the impression that people have been acting under 
some presentiments of approaching events. 

My father, as I have J)een informed by several persons, and as I am also 
told is stated in the Minutes of the Associate Presbytery of Pennsylvania, 
was elected by that Presbytery Professor of Theology, but declined an 
acceptance of this post, in consequence of which, Dr. Anderson was elected. 
In some branches of theological learning it is likely that he would have been 
found well qualified for this station, but he may have regarded the qualifica- 
tions of Dr. Anderson as, in other respects, superior to his own, and declmed 
the office in order that Dr. A. might be chosen to fill it. 

From an early period of his life, he had devoted much of his attention to 
the study of Church History, and had collected a number of rare books in this 
department. It was generally supposed that he was occupied, in his leisure 
moments, in preparing for publication something either on the General History 



of the Church, or of some portion of it. Whether he had actually written 
any thing of the kind I am not able to say. His hand-writing was remarka- 
bly illegible; and it being supposed, at the time of his death, that nothing 
could be made of his manuscripts, no care was taken of them, and they were 
soon destroyed. If, however, his attention to this department of literature 
resulted in no permanent benefit to the public from his own labours, it was of 
some service in giving direction to the studies and labours of another, who 
afterwards became both useful and eminent as an Historian. The late Dr. 
McCrie, in a letter addressed to myself, states that it was the report of my 
father's attainments in Church History which first directed his attention to 
the subject. 

Very few of my father's writings have been published, and those which 
have been are all brief articles ; chiefly letters and sermons. The most impor- 
tant work of this kind in which he engaged was the Testimony of the Asso- 
ciate Church in the United States. This was chiefly penned by him, as it is 
evidently much more in his style than that of Dr. Anderson, the other mem- 
ber of the Committee appointed to prepare it. He wrote with great facility, 
and was considered in Church Courts as much more at home in drafting 
papers than in making speeches. His style excels in ease and simplicity, but 
sometimes exhibits signs of negligence, especially in some of his private let- 
ters, the publication of which was probably not anticipated by him. 
I am, my dear Sir, truly yours, 





David GtOODWILLIE, a son of James and Mary (Davidson) Goodwillie, waa 
born December 26, 1749, in Tanshall, in the Parish of Kinglassie, about fifteen 
miles North of Edinburgh, and was baptized by the Rev. John Erskine, son of 
the celebrated Ralph Erskine. His father was a member of the Estabhshed 
Church of Scotland, and a Ruling Elder in the Parish of Kinglassie, whose 
minister, Mr. Currie, at first pubhcly favoured the Er.skines and others who 
seceded fi:'om the Established Church of Scotland in 1733 ; but when, by his 
writings, he came to oppose the Secession or Associate Church, his Ruling 
Elder, espousing their cause as the cause of God, joined that Church, and 
became a member of the Congregation of Aberuethy, twelve miles distant. 
When the Associate Congregation of Leslie was organized, he became a member 
and an Elder, and continued so till his death, which occurred in January, 1782. 

The subject of this sketch is supposed to have been employed in manual 
labour until he was about eighteen years of age, when he began to study with a 
view to the ministry of the Gospel. He commenced his academical course at 
Alloa, and finished it at the University of Edinburgh. He studied Theology 
under the direction of Professor Moncreiff, at Alloa, where the Theological Semi- 
nary of the Associate Church was estabhshed. After his Theological course 
was completed, the Associate Synod recommended that he should be licensed to 

*MS. from his son, Rev. Dr. Thomas Goodwillie, and Communication from Rev. Dr 
Alexander Bullions. 



preach ; and, accordingly, having gone through the preparatory trials with accept- 
ance, he was licensed, by the Presbytery of Kirkcaldy, early in October, 1778. 
The next month, by appointment of the Synod, he went to Ireland, where he 
remained nearly a year, preaching to the vacant congregations of the Associate 
Church ; after which he returned to Scotland. In September, 1785, he went, by 
appointment of Synod, to England, and was engaged for the greater part of a 
year preaching in Kendal, in Westmoreland County, and Whitehaven, in Cumber- 
land County. The rest of the time between his licensure and his mission to 
America he was employed in fulfilling appointments in preaching to the vacant 
congregations of the Associate Church in different parts of Scotland. 

In consequence of an application from the Associate Presbytery of Pennsyl- 
vania to the Associate Synod of Scotland for preachers to be sent to America, 
and of a petition from the Church and town of Barnet, Vt., to that Synod to 
send them an ordained minister, the Synod recommended to Mr. Goodwillie to go 
to America, in response to these applications. He acceded to the proposal ; and, 
having taken leave of his relatives and friends, he sailed from Greenock for New 
York, in company with the Rev. Archibald Whyte, on the 15th of May, 1788. 
He arrived at New York on the 5th of May following, and preached there on 
the three succeeding Sabbaths, after which he went to Philadelphia, where he was 
received by the Associate Presbytery of Pennsylvania, on the 28th of the same 
month. The Presbytery, with a view to his greater usefulness, resolved to 
ordain him at an early period, and assigned him subjects of trials for Ordination. 

According to appointment of Presbytery, he preached in Oxford and Rocky 
Creek, Pa., in June and July ; in Rockbridge, Va., in August ; in Mill Creek, 
FrankHn, Rocky Creek, and other places in the same region in Pennsylvania, in 
September and October. He attended the meeting at Pequea, October 1, 1788, 
and, his trials for Ordination having been sustained, he was ordained to the ofl&ce 
of the Holy Ministry, in the Hall of the University of Pennsylvania, on the 
31st of the same month, — the Rev. Thomas Beveridge preaching the Ordination 
Sermon, and delivering the Charge, both of which were afterwards published. 

About the close of November Mr. Groodwillie reached Cambridge, Washington 
County, N. Y., where he laboured during the next winter, occasionally preaching 
also in Argyle and Saratoga. In April, 1789, he returned to Philadelphia, where 
he attended the meeting of the Presbytery, and then went to Carlisle, Pa., and 
laboured there and thereabouts during the months of May and June. During 
the remainder of the summer he was occupied chiefly in preaching in the city of 
New York, but in September went again to Cambridge, and presided at the Installa- 
tion of the Rev. Thomas Beveridge, as Pastor of the Congregation in that place. 

The towns of Barnet and Ryegate, lying on the Connecticut River, in the 
State of Vermont, were settled by companies from Scotland before the Revolu- 
tionary War, who, during that period, associated with a view to obtain preachers 
according to their own faith. It has already been stated that the Congregation 
of Barnet had requested the Associate Synod of Scotland to send them a 
minister ; and in May, 1789, a communication was received, directing them to 
apply to the Associate Presbytery of Pennsylvania, to which the Synod had sent, as 
missionaries, Mr. Goodwillie and Mr. Whyte. Accordingly, in June following, 
the town petitioned that Presbytery that they would supply them with preaching, 
intimating, at the same time, a preference for the services of Mr. Goodwillie. 
The Presbytery responded favourably to their application, and, accordingly, Mr. 
Vol. IX. 6 



G. came to Bamet in November, 1789, and laboured there till the end of Feb- 
ruary, 1790, occasionly preaching also in Ryegate. On the 5th of July, 1790, 
the congregation gave him a unanimous call to become their minister. This call 
ho accepted, and, after all the requisite preliminaries had been attended to, he 
was installed as Pastor of that congregation on the 8th of February, 1791, — Mr. 
Beveridge presiding, and the Rev. Dr. Anderson preaching the Sermon, from 
Acts xxvi. 22. When the call from Bamet was executed, twelve members of 
the congregation of Ryegate attended and signed a paper of adherence to the 
call, expecting to receive a portion of his labours. On petition to the church 
and town of Bamet, the congregation of Ryegate were allowed one-sixth part of 
Mr. GoodwiUie's labours, beginning with his settlement in Bamet, and continu- 
ing till the autumn of 1822, when they obtained a settled mmister. Mr. Good- 
willie was the first Presbyterian minister settled in the State of Venuont, and, for 
nine years, the first settled minister of any denomination in the County of Caledonia. 

On the 7th of May, 1790, Mr. GoodwiUie was man-ied to Beatrice, daughter 
of David and Margaret (Gardner) Henderson, by their friend, the Rev. William 
Marshall, in his own house in Philadelphia. Mrs. Goodwillie was a native of 
Kirkcaldy, Scotland, and came to this country with Mr. Goodwillie in 1788, and 
resided two years with her brother in Fredericksburg, Va. She was a lady of 
the finest intellectual and moral quahties, and proved in every respect a helpmeet 
to her husband, and a benefactress to the congregation over which he presided. 

For twelve or fifteen years after his settlement in Barnet, Mr. Goodwillie suf- 
fered not a little from the privations and discomforts incident to a newly settled 
country, and still more from the dissensions of a few individuals, and from two 
difficult and doubtftd cases of discipline. But, even during this period, the 
church was always in a flourishing state, the number of its members being regu- 
larly on the increase. 

In answer to petitions from Canada for preaching, he left home, by appointment 
of Presbytery, in January, 1798, and travelled upwards of a hundred and fifty miles 
beyond Montreal, and returned towards the close of February, having performed 
a journey of more than six hundred miles through the woods, amidst the frosts 
and snows of winter. 

In the year 1804 Mr. Goodwillie was subjected to some annoyance by certain 
attacks that were made upon him outside of his own communion, but he met 
them with great Christian forbearance and dignity, and they never injured him 
further than to produce a temporary disquietude. His congregation continued to 
prosper, in respect to both numbers and spirituality. It appears from the 
Church Record that, during his ministry, more than four hundred persons were 
enrolled on the list of communicants at Bamet, and it is supposed that nearly 
two hundred made an open profession of their faith at Ryegate, making the whole 
number whom he admitted to Church fellowship, during a ministry of forty yeai-s, 
about six hundred. 

In 1826 Mr. Goodwillie was reheved, in a measure, from the cares and labours 
of his office, by the settlement of his son Thomas as his colleague. The Ordination 
and Installation took place on the 27th of September, on which occasion the Charge 
to the youthful Co-pastor was delivered by his venerable father. 

On the 4th of February, 1827, Mrs. GoodwiUie died in the sixty-sixth year 
of her age, in the triumphs of faith, and with the words, — " Lord Jesus, come 
quickly," — upon her lips. Her aged husband, though bowed under the rod, 


was enabled to say, as she lingered on the borders of the invisible world, — " I 
resign you to the Lord, from whom I received you." 

The last time Mr. Goodwillie dispensed the Lord's Supper to his church was 
on the 27th of June, 1830. Two days after this, he delivered the Charge to the 
Rev. William Pringle,* at his ordination at Ryegate, ten miles from his resi- 
dence. On the 18th of July he preached his last sermon to his congregation, 
fi'om the text, — " There remaineth, therefore, a rest for the people of God : Let 
us, therefore, labour to enter into that rest." The discourse was one of uncom- 
mon power, and deeply affected his audience. On Thursday following he seemed 
overcome by the excessive heat of the weather, and this exhaustion was quickly 
followed by congestion of the lungs, attended with cough and raising of blood. 
His sickness continued twelve days, during the greater part of which time he was 
delirious ; but, in the near approach of death, he recovered the use of his reason, 
and rendered the most abundant testimony to the all sustaining power of Christian 
faith. He died on the 2d of August, 1830, in the eighty-first year of his age, 
and the fifty-second of his ministry. Hfs Funeral was attended by an immense 
concourse ; and on the next Sabbath an excellent Funeral Discourse was delivered 
by the Rev. William Pringle, from Psalm cxlii, 5. His death was greatly 
lamented, not only throughout the region in which he lived, but wherever he was 

Mr. Goodwillie participated in some degree in civil affairs. In 1805 the 
town of Barnet elected him a member of the Legislature of the State, which 
held its session that year at Danville, seven miles from his residence. He always 
returned home on Saturday and preached to his people on the Sabbath. In 1807 
he was chosen Town Clerk, and afterwards Town Treasurer, and was annually 
re-elected to these ofiices till 1827, when he declined a re-election. He was 
appointed the first Postmaster of Barnet in 1808, and held the office till 1818. 
He had a very extensive correspondence, especially with eminent clergymen, both 
in this country and in Scotland. 

Mr. Goodwillie was the father of eight children, — four sons and as many 
daughters. Two of his children, a son and daughter, died in early youth, in 
1798, of an epidemic, on the same day and under peculiarly afflictive circum- 
stances. Two of his sons, Thomas and David, were graduated at Dartmouth 
College in 1820, studied Theology under Dr. Banks at the Eastern Theological 
Seminary of the Associate Church in Philadelphia, and were licensed to preach 
by the Associate Presbytery of Cambridge, September 29, 1823, their venerable 

♦The Rev. William Pringle was born in Perth, Scotland, in 1790. His father was 
the Rev. Alexander Pringle, D.D., who, for more than sixty years, was minister of the 
Associate Congregation of Perth. After being, for some time, a student at the Univer- 
sity of Edinburgh, he studied Medicine, and was admitted to practice, and shortly after 
migrated to Canada. He soon determined, however, not to practise Medicine, and 
returned to Scotland and prosecuted the study of Theology under the Rev. John Dick, 
D.D., of Glasgow. He was licensed by the Associate Presbytery of Perth, April 16, 
1823, and immediately entered upon his labours as a probationer. Having preached, for 
some time, in Scotland, he again left his native country, and came to the United States, 
in the autumn of 1827, and soon after joined the Associate Presbytery of Cambridge. He 
received a call from the Associate Congregation of Ryegate, Vt., and was ordained, and 
installed Pastor, by the Presbytery of Cambridge, June 29, 1830. Here he laboured 
faithfully until his health failed, in consequence of which he resigned his charge on the 
2l8t of June, 1852. He died suddenly, of an organic disease of the heart, December 14, 
1858. He was engaged, during the last years of his life, upon a work entitled *<The 
Cosmography of Scripture," and was just finishing it when he died, the last sentence 
being left incoraplote. He was an excellent Scholar, an able Preacher, and was highly 
respected in all his relations. 



father being the Moderator of the Presbytery. Thomas, as has abeady been 
stated became a colleague with his father. David accepted a call from the con- 
gregation, of Deer Creek, Poland and Liberty, on the line running between 
Pennsylvania and Ohio, and was ordained and installed by the Associate Pres- 
bytery of Ohio, on the 26th of April, 1826. Two of his daughters were married 
to clergymen, — the one to the Rev. Alexander Bullions, D.D.,* the other to the 
Rev. John Donaldson. 


Barnet, Vt., August 15, 1862. 

My dear Sir : I will not refuse the request you make of me, though a com- 
pliance with it must subject me to the somewhat delicate task of speaking of 
my own much loved and venerated father. I shall endeavour, however, to 

* Alexander Bullions, a son of William and Isabella (Malcolm) Bullions, was 
born in Auchtergaven, Scotland, in February, 1779. His father was a farmer, and both 
his parents were exemplary members of the Church of Scotland, in the bosom of which 
ho was himself born and baptized. His mother taught him to read, and he never 
attended school more than a month until he was seven years old, there having been no 
school in the neighbourhood in which his father lived. The family having now changed 
their residence, he was accustomed to attend school in the winter, and to work on his 
father's farm in the summer, till he had reached his sixteenth year. The first thing of 
which he had any recollection was a resolution to bo a Preacher; and the reason was that 
he thought all mi usters were good men, and that this would be a sure way to get to 
Heaven. He subsequently formed the purpose to be a Missionary, in connection with a 
conversation that his sister had with him about the judgment day. His mind was, from 
his earliest years, much turned towards serious things, and for six years after he made a 
profession of religion he thought he had unbroken communion with God. When he 
joined the Church, which was not far from the age of sixteen, he joined the Associate, 
and not the Established, Church, to which his parents belonged. He fitted for College 
at two parochial schools, and at an excellent Academy in Perth. He entered the 
University of Edinburgh in 1798, having previously read the greater part of the Latin 
and Greek Classics. He remained at the University four years; nnd then studied 
Theology for about five years under the Rev. Archidald Bruce, of Whitburn. On the 
20th of May, 1806, he was licensed to preach by the Associate Presbyterj* of Perth. He 
had regular appointments for only four Sabbaths previous to his leaving Scotland. It 
was his wish to go to India as a Missionary; but no British vessel at that time would 
carry out a missionary, because it was thought that any attempt to introduce Christian- 
ity there would lead to Revolution. He sailed for New York on the 4th of October, 
1806, and landed on the 8th of December following. He remained in New York till after 
the first Sabbath in January, and then went to Albany and passed a Sabbath, and 
thence to Cambridge, and took charge of the congregation with which he continued till 
the close of his life. He was married in September, 1810, to Mary Goodwillie, who died 
in 1830. They had six children, all of whom lived to become members of the Church. 
Two of his sons have been graduated at Union College, — David Goodwillie, in 1835, who 
became a clergyman, and was for some time settled as a colleague with his father, but is 
now (1863) in the Old School Presbyterian Church, and settled as Pastor at West Milton; 
and William, in 1844, who became a Physician, settled in Argyle, and died in 1851. His 
eldest daughter, Margaret, was married to the "Rev. William Pringle. Dr. Bullions 
was married about two years after the death of his first wife, to Mary, daughter of 
William McClellan, of Hebron, who died without issue in April, 1855. He received the 
degree of Doctor of Divinity from the Western University in Pennsylvania about 1830. 
In the course of his ministry he performed a great amount of missionary labour at 
different periods. In 1824 he spent fourteen weeks labouring in Upper Canada. In 
1846 he spent nearly the entire year in travelling in the capacity of a missionary in the 
States of Ohio, Virginia, Missouri and Iowa. Dr. Bullions, with two or three others of 
his brethren, fell under censure of the Associate Synod many years ago, and were sus- 
pended and deposed the same day, with their congregations. They continued a separate 
organization until the meeting of Synod in Albany, in 1854, when a reunion was effected. 
Dr. Bullions published a Tract entitled "Marah's Waters Sweetened, or Afiiictions and 
Consolations of the Righteous"; another on Repentance; and another on Pardon, which 
has been republished by the Presbyterian Board of Publication; besides various con- 
tributions to periodicals. He died at Cambridge, June 26, 1857, in the eightieth year 
of his age. He was a man of great intellectual power, of extensive acquirements, 
of boundless good humour, of unswerving integrity, of a most genial spirit, of earnest 
devotion to his work, and of a commanding and far reaching influence. 


say nothing concerning him which any body who knew him well would regard 
as even doubtful. 

I may say, without the fear of contradiction, that my father was an emi- 
nently devoted and successful Minister. During his whole ministry, even to 
old age, he was not only diligent in performing the public services of the Sab- 
bath and visiting the sick, but he paid, annually, a Pastoral visit to each 
family in the congregations of Barnet and Ryegate, and catechised parents 
and children in public meetings in different parts of the two towns. On one 
occasion the female head of a family, which he called to visit, refused to 
receive him as a Minister. As he was about leaving, he turned round at the 
door of her house, and, wiping his feet on the floor, said to her, — " Christ 
commanded them whom He sent to preach the Gospel in every house or city 
to shake off the very dust of their feet as a testimony against them who 
would not receive them nor hear their words, and to depart, saying, — ' Be ye 
sure of this — the Kingdom of God is come near unto you.' " But the truth 
and grace of God soon prevailed, for what he said and did on this occasion 
had such an effect upon the woman that she soon professed her faith in Christ, 
and he baptized both herself and her children. 

He brought from Scotland a large library, chiefly theological, though many 
of the books were much damaged by the exposure to which they were sub- 
jected in their transportation up the Connecticut River. When at home, he 
kept closely confined to his study-room, adjoining his library, and, even till 
near the close of life, he was in the habit of continuing his studies till mid- 
night. His manuscript sermons and lectures show that they were prepared 
with great care and labour. On Sabbath forenoon he was accustomed to 
expound the Scriptures ; and he expounded most of the Books of the Old 
Testament as well as the New, not only bringing out the great truths con- 
tained in them, but exhibiting them in their practical bearings. His sermons 
were systematic, logical and highly evangelical. He was eminent in the gift 
of prayer. The whole tenor of his ministrations was adapted to advance the 
knowledge, faith and Christian activity of his people. 

My father's mental endowments were well suited to his calling and condi- 
tion, and his ministrations were, to the end of life, acceptable and profitable 
to the people among whom he laboured. He was a man of close observation, 
of profound common sense, of a thorough knowledge of human nature, and of 
such general information on most subjects of interest that his presence was 
felt to be an element of pleasure and improvement in almost any circle. He 
was candid and charitable in his judgment of others, and was a wise Coun- 
sellor, and a faithful and affectionate Friend. His people consulted him in 
respect to their temporal as well as spiritual matters; and they never had 
reason to regret having followed his advice. He was withal a very good 
Physician ; and he often had occasion, especially while the country was new, 
to unite medical with pastoral attentions. He was social and affable, and 
had many humorous anecdotes at command, which he always related in the 
proper place and at the right time. He had great shrewdness and promptness, 
which enabled him sometimes to meet a difficult case in a most felicitous man- 
ner. He was called to marry a couple in Cambridge in 1789, and, just as he 
was commencing the ceremony, a young man in the company arose and said, — 
*'I object to this marriage because the bride has promised to marry me." He 
immediately took the bride, bridegroom and objector into a room by them- 
selves, where the bride confessed that she had promised to marry the objector, 
and said that she was willing and ready to fulfil that engagement ! He 
advised the bridegroom, as the bride had treated him so disingenuously, to 
have nothing more to do with her — and he readily took the advice. All then 
returned to the room where the marriage was to be celebrated, and he actually 


married the lady to the gentleman who had raised the objection. He then 
sat down to comfort the disappointed bridegroom ; and, in the presence of the 
whole company, he exhorted him not to be discouraged, as there were young 
women in abundance who would make good wives. " Here," said he, " is a 
pretty black-eyed lass — what would you think of making suit to her ?" The 
young man took advantage of the hmt, and the black-eyed beauty soon became 
his wife, and the wisdom of the advice was manifest in the fact that it turned 
out that he got the better wife of the two. When my father was Moderator 
of the Associate Synod in 1803, after the motion for final adjournment was 

carried, one of the members, Mr. B , rose and very improperly introduced 

some of his own personal grievances in reference to certain other members. 
Several immediately rose to reply, when the Moderator said, — " The Synod 
has agreed to final adjournment. Mr. B. is out of order. He has disburdened 
his conscience. Let us pray ;'' and, immediately after prayer, adjourned the 
Synod till the next year — and thus the affair was happily ended. When a 
member of the Legislature of Vermont in 1805, his reply to the arguments 
of an opponent was so forcible and facetious that the whole house was con- 
vulsed with laughter ; and his opponent, though he knew it was at his 
expense, had the magnanimity not to resent it. 

He was a great friend of learning, and laboured publicly and privately till 
an Academy was established at Peacham, five miles from his residence, and 
several years before any other clergyman was settled in this region. He was 
one of the Board of Trustees from its origin in 1795 to 1827, and during 
this time attended all the annual meetings of the Board, and was for many 
years its President. When the Semi-Centennial Anniversary of the Institu- 
tion was celebrated, several very eminent men took part in the exercises, and 
the good and faithful offices of this early benefactor were not forgotten. 

I think I may safely say that he left behind him a name which is still 
fragrant throughout this region. 

Believe me very truly yours, 



Trot, February 26, 1863. 

My dear Sir : My first meeting with the Rev. David Goodwillie was in 
Cambridge, in 1818, the year after I came to the United States. I accom- 
panied him, by his request, to Barnet, the place of his residence, to assist him 
in the administration of the Lord's Supper. From that time we were always 
friends, and my meetings with him were sufficiently frequent, and my rela- 
tions with him sufficiently intimate, to supply me with the requisite material 
for the communication you ask for. 

Mr. Goodwillie had the advantage of a fine personal appearance. He had a 
large frame, though he was not corpulent, and a full face, beaming with intel- 
ligence and good humour. His movements were easy and rapid, and his general 
air indicated a wakeful mind and a habit of industry. He had a vigorous and 
well-trained intellect, and withal more than commonly versatile — for there was 
scarcely any thing to which he did not find it easy to turn his hand. He was 
one of the most amiable and benevolent of men, and his genial and kindly spirit 
attracted every body. And yet no man was truer than he to his own con- 
victions. When his judgment was once matured upon any subject, it must be 
an argument of extraordinary force that could ever reverse it. At the same 
time he was not intolerant towards those who differed from him, but lived in 
the kindest relations with all with whom he had any intercourse. The right 
which he claimed of judging for himself in respect to all subjects, he cheerfully 
accorded to others. In all the intercourse of private life he was a most agreeable 



companion — while his conversatii>u was never trifling or undignified, it was 
lively, racy, intelligent, sometimes sparkling with wit, and always breathing 
a most benevolent spirit. 

I have not often heard Mr. Goodwillie preach, but I believe I have a tolera- 
bly correct idea of what he was in the pulpit. He may have been accustomed, 
for the most part, to write his sermons fully ; but my impression is that, in 
his later years, a portion at least of his preparation for the pul|)it was merely 
mental and spiritual — he used to sit in his chair and muse, and then go forth 
and deliver his Master's message. I remember to have heard that, on one 
occasion, he arose in the pulpit, and stood for some time in perfect silence ; 
and afterwards, when asked for an explanation, he said, — " I was just cast- 
ing about for a bright thought to hiuuoh forth with." His voice was pleasant, 
without being very loud ; his enunciation distinct, and his manner considera- 
bly animated, without much gesture. His sermons, in respect to both matter 
and construction, were what you might expect from his having been educated 
in Scotland, and among the Seceders — they were intensely evangelical, and 
were divided and subdivided with most systematic exactness. They were, I 
think, especially adapted to instruct and edify. 

But one of the most striking peculiarities of Mr. Goodwillie's character was 
his remarkable facility at adaptation. While he preached the Gospel faithfully 
and attended well to all the interests of his flock, he was put in requisition for 
various civil and secular services, all of which he performed as acceptably as if 
his training had been in civil life ; though he never even seemed to put off* the 
character of a Christian Mmister even while he was immediately engaged as a 
servant of the State. On one occasion, when he was a member of the Vermont 
Legislature, there was a good deal of infidel influence in the house, and one cf 
these sceptical gentry took it into his head to move that they should, perhaps on 
account of a pressure of business, continue their sittings on the Sabbath. The 
eyes of the members were generally directed towards Mr. Goodwillie, and one 
person who was sitting near him called to him to second the motion. He 
immediately rose, in great dignity, and said, — <' I second the motion. Sir ; not 
because I approve of it, but because I should like to know who are the persons 
in this house that are willing thus to profane God's holy day. I call for the 
ayes and nays. Sir." The motion was instantly withdrawn. He never forgot 
that he was a Minister of the Gospel, and never allowed others to forget it. 

I am. Reverend and Dear Brother, 

Yours Faithfully, 




Barnet, Vt., January 1, 18G3. 
Dear Sir : Agreeably to your request, I send you a brief sketch of the life of 
the Rev. Archibald Whyte, drawn chiefly from information obtained from his son, 
and from my father's somewhat extensive correspondence with him ; and also a 
statement of my own impressions of his chanwiter, derived from an intimate 
acquaintance with him of more than thu*ty years. 

Archibald Whyte was bom December 25, 1755, on Westlock farm, in the 
Parish of Eddleston, Peebleshire, Scotland. His father was Thomas Whyte, a 



farmer possessing considerable property, and the maiden name of his mother was 
Dalziel. He is supposed to have laboured on his father's farm till he was about 
twenty years of age. Having prosecuted his preparatory studies under Alexan- 
der Tweedie, of Temple, he entered the University of Edinburgh in 1777, and 
remained till 1781. His certificate of membership in the Associate Congregation 
of Howgate is dated February, 1777. From 1781 to 1786 he studied Theology 
under Professor Moncrieff, in the Theological Seminary of the Associate Synod 
of Scotland, at Alloa. He was licensed to preach in August, 1786, probably by 
the Associate Presbytery of Edinburgh, and preached his first sennon in Kilwin- 
ning immediately after. He continued for twenty months to preach, according to 
his appointments, in the congregations of the Associate Church in different parts 
of Scotland. In response to a petition from the Associate Presbytery of Pennsyl- 
vania to the Associate Synod of Scotland, in 1787, that Synod appointed Mr. 
Whyte and my father to come to America ; and, in fulfilment of that appointment, 
they crossed the ocean, and landed in New York on the 5th of May, 1788. On 
the Sabbath succeeding their arrival, Mr. Whyte preached in New York, and 
immediately after directed his course North to Washington County, where he 
preached — at Cambridge and Argyle — until about the middle of September. 
In the mean time, his credentials were presented to the Associate Presbytery of 
Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia, and he was regularly received by that Presbytery. 
From that time till 1796 he itinerated and preached, by appointment of Pres- 
bytery, in the States of New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia, and twice visited 
the Carolinas, where he was very kindly received ; and one of their congregations 
gave him a call, offering £70 sterling as a salary ; but he declined it, chiefly, it 
would seem, from his opposition to Slavery. During the same period he preached 
in the Western parts of Pennsylvania, beyond the Allegheny Mountains. Aft^r 
having preached a year in America, he was ordained by the Associate Presbytery 
of Pennsylvania, May 26, 1789, at Muddy Creek, (now Guinston,) York County, 
Pa., the Rev. Thomas Clarkson presiding at his Ordination, and preaching from 
I. Cor. iv, 2. 

After having been in America two years, he was married, May 27, 1790, to 
Margaret Kerr, of Marsh Creek, Adams County, Pa. For a few years his wife 
accompanied him, as he travelled about preaching in different and distant parts 
of the country. The Presbytery of Pennsylvania had many vacant congrega- 
tions to supply, scattered through all the immense region from Bamet, Vt., on 
the North, to South Carolina on the South, and as far West as the parts of 
Pennsylvania adjacent to the Ohio River. As the preachers under the care of 
the Presbytery were few, Mr. Whyte had many long and difiicult journeys to 
make. North, South and West, in fulfilling his appointments. These journeys he 
made on horseback ; and, not having been accustomed to this mode of travelling 
in his youth, he never became an expert horseman. As his wife, who was a 
better equestrian than himself, accompanied him on these journeys, it is said that 
she used to ride on before him through the deep waters to be forded, and the 
difiicult and dangerous places to be passed, and then gave him directions how to 
follow. In a few years after their marriage, when their children began to multi- 
ply, it became necessary to provide a permanent place of abode. After travel- 
ling together through the Carolinas in 1792, they came to Cambridge, N. Y., 
the greater portion of his labours being required in that part of the Associate 
Church. Here he obtained for his family temporary accommodations in the 


house of his friend, the Rev. Thomas Beveridge, who was Pastor of the Associate 
congregation in that place. In 1792 he received a considerable sum of money, 
as patrimony, from Scotland, with which he purchased three hundred and twenty 
acres of land in Argyle, Washington County, N. Y., part of which he improved, 
and built the house upon it in which he lived and died. Notwithstanding his 
home was in Argyle, he continued, for many years, to fulfil, with great punc- 
tuality, the appointments of Synod and Presbytery to preach in the vacant congre- 
gations in different parts of the country, though, in doing so, he was often obliged 
to take long and tedious journeys, and sometimes to be absent from home for 
several months. In 1812, after preaching for some time in the Eastern parts 
of Pennsylvania, he crossed the Allegheny Mountains again ; and, in 1813, he 
laboured in the Western parts of that State near the Ohio River. Between 
1796 and 1822 he was eight times in this place, then the place of my father's 
residence, assisting him at the dispensation of the Lord's Supper; and, as late 
as the winter of 1831—32, he preached here six months during the Pastor's 
absence on account of his health. The last time he preached was at North 
Argyle, a few miles from his residence, on Sabbath, October 5, 1845, in the 
forenoon, from Matt, v, 16, and in the afternoon from John viii, 36. He was 
now near the close of his ninetieth year, and had been a Preacher for more than 
fifty-nine years. The disease of which he died was of but four days' continuance, 
although, for a month or two previous to its commencement, a slight decline of 
the vital power had been observed. On the Wednesday immediately preceding 
his death, he became deeply lethargic ; and nothing could arouse him for any 
length of time except religious exercises, in which he would still devoutly engage. 
He died in Argyle, which had been his home forty-nine years, on the 6th of 
January, 1849, twelve days after he had completed his ninety-third year. At 
his Funeral, which was very numerously attended, the Rev. Alexander Bul- 
lions, D.D., long his kind and faithful friend, delivered an appropriate Discourse, 
and Messrs. Miller and Mairs engaged in prayer. 

Mr. Whyte was extremely methodical in all his habits. He kept memoranda 
of almost every thing pertaining to his ministry. From his Diary it appears that 
he had preached eighteen hundred and forty times, in a hundred and twenty- 
eight different places ; — namely, one hundred times in fifty-four places in Scot- 
land, and seventeen hundred and forty times in seventy-four places in America. 

Mr. Whyte was a valuable member of Church Courts. He was Moderator 
of the Associate Synod, which met at Pittsburg, Pa., in 1813, and was for 
many years Clerk of the Associate Presbytery of Cambridge. He always 
cherished a strong attachment to the rehgious principles and usages of the Church 
of which he lived and died a member and a Minister. 

He was a man of deep devotion and active piety. His trials were numerous 
and various, and some of them peculiarly severe ; but his meekness, patience and 
resignation were most exemplary. He was modest and humble, upright and 
honourable, careful and conscientious in the discharge of his duties to God and 
man. He had a cheerful, contented and social disposition, that threw sunshine 
into every circle where he might happen to be. 

He brought from Scotland a large and valuable Theological library, with which 
he had made himself very famihar. As he possessed superior talents and learn- 
ing, and was especially well versed in Theology, his sermons were rich in evan- 
gelical truth, well digested and arranged, and were eminently adapted to edify 
Vox IX. 7 



the intelligent and pious part of his congregation. He was never a popular 
Preacher, but it was the fault of his hearers if he was not always, in a high 
degree, a useful one. 

Mr. Whyte was fond of hearing and telling a good anecdote. He had many 
such at his command, and knew well how to suit them to company, times and 
circumstances. I remember the following, having some reference to himself, 
which he used sometimes to relate with great zest. Not long after he began to 
preach, and before he left Scotland, he called, on one occasion, on the Rev. 
David Somerville,* a venerable but rather eccentric man, who afterwards came 
to this country. He was conducted into the room where Mr. Somerville had just 
commenced family worship. He was very particular in praying for his wife, 
children and servants, each by name. Mr. Whyte was waiting for his turn, when 
the excellent minister mentioned " the lad who came in at the ' oor o' prayer ;" 
and earnestly prayed that " his five bit loaves, and few sma fishes, with which he 
fed the people, might be greatly blessed and multiplied to them." " Sma, sma 
enough, indeed, thought I," added this humble modest man, when he related the 

Mrs. Whyte died on the 1st of January, 1819, aged fifty-four years. They 
had six children, — four sons and two daughters. The eldest son enlisted in the 
War of 1812-15, and died in the army. The youngest, Archibald, bom August 
3, 1800, was graduated at Union College in 1822 ; studied Theology under Dr. 
Banks in the Eastern Theological HaU of the Associate Church ; was licensed 
to preach by the Associate Presbytery of Cambridge, June 19, 1826 ; was 
ordained and settled as Pastor of the Associate Congi*egation of Baltimore, Md., 
December 5, 1827 ; and, in 1833, removed thence to one of the Carolinas. 

Wishing you great success in the important work in which you are engaged, 

I remain, with high esteem, 

Yom*s very truly, 



Tkot, February 25, 1863. 

My deajr Sir : It was not more than a week or two after my arrival in this 
country, in 1817, that I made the acquaintance of the Rev. Archibald Whyte, 
and from that time till his death I had the pleasure, not only of being intimately 
acquainted with him, but of reckoning him among my most valued friends. 

* David Somerville was born in Scotland, West of Edinburgh, and, after passing 
through the usual preparatory studies in the country, entered the University of Edin- 
burgh. Having completed the usual academical course, he studied Theology under the 
Rev. Professor Moncrieif, of the Associate Synod of Scotland. After being licensed to 
preach, he laboured chiefly within the bounds of the Presbytery of Glasgow; and, hav- 
ing received a call from the Associate congregation at Strathaven, he was ordained and 
installed there about the year 1769 or 1770. He laboured there with much success for 
nearly twenty years, when, in consequence of a great loss of blood from the nose, he 
became so much enfeebled that he felt obliged to resign his charge. After making a 
short visit in Ireland, he came with his family to this country, being attracted hither 
especially by the fact that he had a brother settled as a merchant in Baltimore. He 
arrived here in the year 1790 or '91, and shortly after became a member of the Associate 
Presbytery, and, as his health permitted, preached in the vacancies in Pennsylvania ind 
Virginia. He died in Rockbridge County, Va., about the year 1793. He is represented 
as having been an earnest, devoted minister, very active and useful in Church Courts, 
and, before the loss of blood in Scotland already referred to, very popular as a publio 
speaker. He published a Sermon preached at Paisley, Scotland, on a day of Humilia- 
tion, in 1776 ; and it has been republished in Mr. Miller's volume of Biographical Sketches 
and Sermons. 



We were accustomed to visit frequently at each other's houses, and to indulge 
in the fullest and freest interchange of thought and feeling ; and it is not 
unlikely that our relations were the more intimate from the fact that we were 
both natives of the same country, and had, to some extent, common recollec- 
tions and associations. 

In stature Mr. Whyte was rather below the medium, with about the usual 
amount of flesh — he had a high and capacious forehead, and a long face, the 
lower part of which was more than ordinarily thin. The general expression 
of his countenance was highly benignant, and it indicated also what he really 
possessed, — a sound and well balanced intellect. His heart was as full of 
kindness as that of any other man you would meet ; and no one knew better 
than he the luxury of serving a friend, or of doing good even to the most 
undeserving. And while he was so generous and benevolent, he was no less 
discreet and thoughtful, and never by inadvertence placed himself in any 
equivocal attitude, or put in jeopardy the interests, or wounded the feelings, 
of others. His mind had nothing of what would commonly be called 
brilliancy, but it was clear and logical, and generally worked out results 
which it would not be easy to gainsay. And it was not a mind that was 
prone to keep in a beaten track — there was often a richness, freshness and 
beauty in his thoughts, which would have done no dishonour to many a man 
of wider fame and higher pretensions. 

And this leads me to speak of him as a Preacher — and here I am obliged 
to acknowledge that he had not a single attribute of a popular speaker. His 
sermons were excellent — they were fully written out, and in respect to 
spirit, sentiment, and I may add style, were all that could be desired — indeed 
he possessed rare skill in evolving the meaning of a passage — while every 
thing was so simple as to be adapted to the humblest intellect, there would 
often be an air of originality about it that the most cultivated mind would 
greatly admire. But these excellent sermons were — shall I say murdered in 
the delivery. It was a great burden to him to commit to memory ; and when 
he had done his best, he could not be sure that his memory would not fail 
him ; and hence his delivery was laboured, embarrassed, and often exceed- 
ingly painful to his hearers. Though his sermons were always replete with 
excellent matter, and were well worthy of the attention of any audience, it 
was only that portion of his hearers who could overlook a crude and most 
unattractive manner, who could suitably estimate the privilege of sitting 
under his preaching. I heard him preach a sermon on Saturday before a 
Communion at Cambridge, which both myself and Dr. Alexander Bullions 
were so much pleased with that we asked him if he would favour us with 
the perusal of the manuscript. lie did so, and the first the old gentleman 
knew of it, it appeared as an article in a Magazine of which I was at that time 
editor, signed Lukos (White.) I knew that he would not be offended by the 
liberty ; and he was not, but laughed heartily when the fact was made known 
to him. 

In Ecclesiastical Bodies his voice was not often heard, but when he did 
speak, he was sure to command attention by an exhibition of good sense and 
sound judgment. Every thing that he said and did was according to rule, 
and was dictated by temperate and enlightened views of the subject under 
consideration. His opinions alw^ays derived great weight from his acknowl- 
edged clearsightedness, sobriety, integrity and impartiality. A stranger to 
all show and pretension, he was a mass of solid excellence. 
I am, Reverend and Dear Brother, 

Yours respectfully, 





John Banks was born in Stirling, Scotland, about the year 1763. He 
received his education, both classical and theological, in his native country. He 
was settled, for some time, as a Minister, in the Presbytery of Edinburgh, and, 
just before he left Scotland, was an Assistant to the Rev. Adam Gib ; but he 
resigned his charge and crossed the ocean in 1796, with a view to find a home 
and a permanent field of labour in this country. During the winter of 1796-97, 
he was engaged in preachmg to the Associate Congregation in the city of New 
York, and received a call to become their Pastor, which, however, he dechned in 
1798. Shortly after this he received another call from the Associate Congi-ega- 
tion of Cambridge, N. Y.: this he accepted, and was installed in his pastoral 
charge in September, 1799. Here he remained till June, 1802, when he was 
" loosed " from his charge and accepted the Pastorship of the Church in Florida, 
N. Y. During the fourteen years that he continued here, he united with the 
office of a Minister of the Gospel that of a Teacher, receiving into his family and 
under his instruction, not only boys with a view to their being fitted for College, 
but young men who wished to prosecute the study of Hebrew as part of their 
preparation for entering the ministry. 

In 1808 the degree of Doctor of Divinity was conferred upon him by Union 

In December, 1815, it was resolved, at a congregational meeting of the Asso- 
ciate Church in Philadelphia, to invite Dr. Banks, with the approbation of Pres- 
bytery, to labour among them as a permanent supply. The proposed measure 
having received the sanction of Presbytery, he accepted the invitation, being 
" loosed " from the pastoral charge of the congregation at Florida, on account of 
insufficient salary, in February, 1816. He arrived, with his family, in Phila- 
delphia, in May following, and commenced his labours in his new field, and, at the 
same time, opened a Select School for instruction in Greek and Latin ; and after- 
wards he took charge of the Gmmmar School connected with the University, and 
had also quite a number of pupils in Hebrew, among whom were several clergy- 
men of the city. After having served the congregation, as a permanent supply, 
for about two years, they gave him a unanimous call, in May, 1818, to become 
their Pastor. He accepted the call, and was installed the next month, the Ser- 
mon on the occasion being preached by the Rev. Thomas Hamilton, and the 
Charge to the Pastor and the People given by the Rev. Thomas Smith.t In 
1818, he was Moderator of the Associate Synod. 

In May, 1820, the Associate Synod elected him Professor of Theology in the 
Eastern Theological Semmary, situated at Philadelphia. In accepting the office, 
he made the following communication to the Synod : — " My present engagements 
in the University are necessary to the support of my family. The revenue from 
the University amounts to $1,000 per annum. But, on account of the superior 

* MSS. from Rev. Drs. A. Bullions and Thomas Goodwillie, and J. McAllister, Esq. 

f Thomas Smith was an emigrant from Scotland. He was appointed as a missionary 
to this country by the Associate Synod in 1790, but declined the appointment. Some 
time afterwards, however, he came hither, and travelled for many years without receiv- 
ing any calls. He was at last settled at Huntington, Pa., and died in August, 1825. 

JOHN BANKS, D-D. ' 53 

excellence of the studies connected with the teaching of Theology, I should resign 
my situation in the University for $500 per annum, and, had it been in my power, 
I should have been glad to teach Theology without any pecuniary remuneration 
at all." The Minute of the Synod in relation to this proposal is as follows: — 
" After considering, at some length. Dr. Banks' proposal, the Synod cannot but 
acknowledge his generosity in offering to make such a sacrifice by resigning his 
place in the University, &c.; but they cannot at present engage to pay the sum of 
S500 per annum, and would not think themselves justified in desiring him to 
rehnquish his place in the University." It appears, however, that, by some subse- 
quent arrangement, the sum of five hundred dollars was actually paid to him. 

Dr. Banks retained his relation both to the Church and to the Seminary, dis- 
charging his duties to each with great fidelity, till the close of his life. On the 
9th of April, 1826, he went through all the services of the Sabbath with unac- 
customed energy and solemnity. The next morning, about nine o'clock, he was 
struck with apoplexy, and expired almost immediately, without a struggle or a 
groan, in the sixty-third year of his age. 

Dr. Banks published a Sermon, on the " Unsearchable Eiches of Christ," 
preached at the Ordination of the Rev. Thomas Hamilton, in 1802. 

In 1799 he was married to Mary Miller, of Octorora,, Lancaster County, Pa., 
by whom he had five children, — all sons. His second son, John^ and his fourth 
son, William, became Physicians. His third son, Joseph, was a Minister of the 
Associate Church. He was born at Florida, N. Y., July 27, 1806 ; was gradu- 
ated at the University of Pennsylvania in 1823 ; and was a student of Theology 
under his father at the time of his death in 1826. He was licensed by the 
Associate Presbytery of Philadelphia, October 1, 1828, and shortly after went 
South, and was ordained October 15, 1831, by the Associate Presbytery of 
Carolina, as Pastor of Bethany and Sardis Churches, S. C, and Pisgah and 
Nob Creek, N. C. He subsequently settled in the congregations of Northfield, 
Stow and Springfield, 0. ; but, in consequence of feeble health, resigned his 
charge, and accepted an appointment as Chaplain in the Western Penitentiary of 
Pennsylvania, at Allegheny City. He was appointed a Missionary to the Island 
of Trinidad, July 27, 1843, and, for eight years, laboured earnestly in that 
capacity. On his return, in 1851, he established a semi-monthly paper, styled 
"The Friend of Missions." He was, for many years, a sufferer from consump- 
tion, of which he died at his residence in Mercer, Pa., April 8, 1859. He was 
an accomplished Scholar and well read Theologian. On the 2d of June, 1831, 
he was married to a Miss Roseburgh, of Pittsburg, who died on the 31st of 
July, 1840. On the 22d of January, 1852, he was married to Mrs. Elizabeth 
W. Walker, widow of the Rev. W. Houston Walker,"* of Ohio, who survived 
him. Mrs. Dr. Banks remained some years in Philadelphia after the death of 
her husband, and then returned to Florida, where he had been settled, and died 
in 1833. 

* W. Houston Walker is believed to have been a native of Mercer Countj', Pa. He 
graduated at Franklin College, 0., and was licensed to preach in the summer of 1838. 
He was married to a Miss Whitten, of Pittsburg. Soon after his licensure he was 
settled at Scottsville, a small village about twenty miles below Pittsburg, and near the 
Ohio River. His health failed within less than two years from his settlement, and he 
died at the house of his relative, the Rev. John Walker, June 23, 1841. He was an 
earnest preacher, and exceedingly zealous against Slavery. When asked why he intro- 
duced the subject into every sermon, his answer was that he could find no text which did . 
not lead to it. 




Cambridge, N. Y., October 21, 1852. 

Dear Sir : My first meeting with Dr. Banks was in this place, early in the 
year 1807. He had been, for several years, settled over the congregation of 
which I have since been Pastor ; but he was, at that time, in charge of a 
church in Florida, Montgomery County. I cannot say that my relations with 
him were ever very intimate ; and yet we often met as co-presbyters and other- 
wise ; and probably I knew enough of him, especially as his character was a 
somewhat striking one, to justify me in attempting to comply with your 

Dr. Banks had the advantage of a good personal appearance. He was a 
portly, well-made man, with a complexion uncommonly ruddy, owing, as I 
have reason to believe, to a strong tendency of blood to his head. His coun- 
tenance was expressive of a susceptibility to strong emotion. His manners 
were unstudied, but not ordinarily lacking in dignity. He dealt much in 
anecdote, and enjoyed a hearty laugh, though he was not particularly fond 
of being himself the subject of it. In what is commonly called a knowledge 
of the world he was a mere child ; and there are innumerable traditions, 
many of them of the most laughable kind, illustrating this trait in his char- 
acter. Though he had some excellent talents, he was so guileless that he was 
ill-prepared to encounter the trick and artifice of the world. He was natur- 
ally of a most excitable temperament ; and I doubt not that this was con- 
nected with the tendency of blood to the head, to which I have already 

As a Preacher, Dr. Banks' manner was in a high degree monotonous. His 
voice was melodious, and not at all lacking in power ; but he had trained it 
to such perfect uniformity that its legitimate effect upon an audience was by 
no means secured. He wrote his sermons, I think, pretty fully, and com- 
mitted them to memory ; though I do not know but that he may have occa- 
sionally resorted to other modes of preaching. His sermons had in them a 
large amount of good, solid divinity, but they were not characterized by a 
graceful or particularly correct style, and were, especially in the early parts 
of his ministry, deficient in pointed application. I have heard many men 
preach, whom I should rank much above Dr. Banks, but as a Lecturer, I do 
not remember to have heard more than two individuals whom I regarded 
his superiors. The reason of his excellence in this department was that he 
had a memory that retained nearly every thing ; and he had not only read all 
the best critics and commentators on the Scriptures, but had thoroughly 
digested them ; and they were always entirely at his command, and he gener- 
ally used them with excellent judgment. I have often, in private, and for 
my own edification, set him to talking upon the Prophecies, and other obscure 
portions of Scripture, and I generally found that he had an opinion consider- 
ately formed, and that he had arguments at hand with which to defend it. 

Dr. Banks had little or no imagination, but his judgment seemed to be good 
in regard to all matters that were not immediately of a worldly kind. He 
was one of the most diligent students that I ever knew. If he left home on 
business, he would be pretty likely to take along with him some musty folio, 
with which to occupy any leisure that he might have on the way. Vitringa 
and Owen were among his favourite authors ; and his familiarity with these 
and other kindred writers can hardly be imagined. He was a most thorough 
Latin, Greek, and Hebrew scholar. So intimately acquainted was he with the 
Hebrew Bible, that I greatly doubt whether you could have read to him a 
verse from any part of the English Bible, but that he would have instantly 



given you the corresponding Hebrew. He could also write Hebrew with great 
ease. He was a capital teacher, and made many excellent scholars ; but I 
have understood that he was a fearful disciplinarian. 

Dr. Banks was, so far as I know, an acceptable Pastor, though his people 
were aware of his uncommon excitability, and it is doubtful whether they had 
that love for him that cast out all fear. It is probable that this constitutional 
feature modified somewhat his religious character; but I think all who knew 
him must have felt satisfied that he was sincerely devoted to the honour 
of his Master and the best interests of his fellow-men. 

I am truly yours, 



New York, January 3, 1853. 

My dear Sir : I cannot hesitate a moment about complying with your request 
for my recollections of my venerable friend and former teacher, the Rev. Dr. 
Banks. He was settled as a minister at Cambridge, a few miles from my native 
place, when I was graduated at College, and, as my mind was directed to the 
study of Theology, and I knew that he had a great name as a Hebrew scholar, 
I determined to avail myself of the benefit of his instruction in the Hebrew 
language. I accordingly placed myself under his care, and remained with 
him long enough to enable me to form a pretty good estimate of his character 
and his remarkable acquirements. 

Dr. Banks had naturally a strong, vigorous mind, but was remarkably defi- 
cient in imagination. Beyond most men whom I have known, he carried his 
heart in his hand. He had great strength of feeling ; and when he was exci- 
ted, his feelings would sweep along with the impetuosity of a whirlwind. In 
his extreme frankness he would often oflfend against the dictates of prudence, 
and say and do things which his sober judgment would not justify. He had 
also, in an eminent degree, the gift of believing, — believing things which to 
most other persons would have seemed incredible. But he had noble and gen- 
erous qualities, and it was no difficult thing to pacify him, even when he was 
under the strongest excitement. 

But what constituted Dr. Banks' chief distinction was his remarkable famili- 
arity with the Hebrew language. To this the whole energy of his mind seemed 
to be directed. He lived and moved and seemed to find a great part of his 
enjoyment among Hebrew roots. As an instructor, I should unhesitatingly 
assign to him the very first rank : he was not only never at a loss, but I 
always felt that what he imparted was only a drop to an ocean, compared with 
what he possessed. Sometimes after I had gone through my recitation, he 
would refer to some difficult passage in the lesson, and would say, — " Come, 
here is one glorious dark place that we have passed over — let us look at it a 
little ;" and then he would give me the various renderings of which it was 
susceptible, and finally would give the one which he thought the best. He 
seemed literally to revel over such passages, and he never failed to pour a flood 
of light upon them. 

As a Preacher there was nothing about Dr. Banks that could be considered 
attractive. Of course he never showed a manuscript in the pulpit; and I do 
not know whether he ever wrote his sermons — certainly I had no evidence that 
he did. His delivery was entirely monotonous and without animation, and 
withal was pretty strongly marked with the Scotch accent. His discourses, 
however, were always sensible, and contained much of Bible truth, given out 
after the Scotch manner. His love of Hebrew discovered itself strongly even 
in the pulpit ; insomuch that he rarely used the common translation of the 
Bible, but evidently translated the Hebrew for himself as he went along. To 


a student of Hebrew he was a most instructive preacher, but to one who was 
altogether ignorant of the language, a good deal in his sermons would be of 
little account. 

I remember a striking incident illustrative of his love of Hebrew that once 
occurred in his administration of the Lord's Supper. He had occasion to quote 
th^ passage in the Prophecy of Isaiah — " Surely He hath borne our griefs and 
carried our sorrows." And having quoted it in English, he gave the Hebrew 
word for " hath borne," which sounds as if it were written Nansan. There 
was an honest old Scotchman sitting next to me, who supposed that the Doc- 
tor had said, with his usual Scotch accent, " Not so," and he instantly said to 
himself, in so loud a whisper that I heard it, — " And how is it then .''" By 
this time the Doctor went on to explain Nansan and relieved the old gentle- 
man by saying that the meaning of the word was " He lifted up and carried 
away " our griefs and sorrows. 

I do not think that Dr. Banks had ever much to do with his people, except 
from the pulpit ; but still he was greatly respected by them, as well as by the 
community at large. 

Yours as ever, 




Andrew Fulton was bom and educated in Scotland, but I am able to 
learn nothing concerning his early history. He was licensed to preach the 
Grospel, by the Associate Presbytery of Kilmarnock, on the 17th of December, 
1793. After being employed about three years and a half — part of the time in 
Ireland — as a probationer, he was taken on trial for Ordination, with a view to 
being sent on a mission to the State of Kentucky, in response to an application 
that had been made, by several individuals residing in that State, to the General 
Associate Synod of Scotland. On the 28th of June, 1797, he, with another 
licentiate, — Mr. Robert Armstrong, was solemnly ordained, at Craigend, near 
Perth, by the Associate Presbytery of Perth, — the Rev. Alexander Pringle 
presiding on the occasion, and preaching from Mark xvi, 15. 

Mr. Fulton, with his missionary companion, sailed for America on the 8th of 
August, following their Ordination, and arrived in New York on the 13th of 
October. They proceeded immediately towards their missionary field. There 
being, at that day, no regular public conveyance across the Alleghany Mountains, 
they travelled on foot from Carlisle, Pa., to Pittsburg. As they arrived at 
Pittsbxu-g just at the opening of winter, it was thought inexpedient that they 
should attempt to descend the Ohio River before the next spring. They, there- 
fore, remained in the neighbourhood of Pittsburg during the winter of 1797-98, 
and were employed in preaching to different congregations, as there was occasion 
or opportunity. 

Early in the spring they resumed their journey to Kentucky. They descended 
the Ohio River to Limestone, now Maysville, Ky., in one of the ordinary rude 
boats, then the only vessel known upon those Western waters. Kentucky being, 

*Miller»s Sketches. 



at that time, the great point in the West towards which the tide of emigration 
was flowing, these missionaries readily found others preparing for the same desti- 
nation ; and they actually joined with one or two families of emigrants in fitting 
out a boat for the voyage, and also performed their part of the labour in manag- 
ing it. 

In November, 1798, after their arrival in Kentucky, they proceeded, agreeably 
to their instructions, to constitute themselves a Presbytery, under the name of 
the Associate Presbytery of Kentucky. They found here a wide field open before 
them, and frequent applications from different parts of the State were made for 
their services. Mr. Fulton accepted a call from the congregation of Drennon's 
Creek, in Henry County, where he laboured with great dihgence and success for 
seventeen years. The greater part of his congregation, however, from a consci- 
entious opposition to Slavery, had, meanwhile, removed to the State of Indiana 
and settled near Madison, Jefferson County. In November, 1815, Mr. Fulton, 
by the authority of Presbytery, followed them, and they again came under his 
pastoral charge. Here also his labours were attended by a manifest blessing, 
and his congregations were rapidly upon th^ increase. But within less than three 
years from the time of his arrival there, his labours and his life were both at an 
end. He died of a fever, on the 10th of September, 1818, in the sixty-third 
year of his age. He left a widow and three children, — two daughters and a 
son, the latter of whom was born but a few hours before his father's death. Mrs. 
Fulton was subsequently married to Colonel James Morrow, of South Hanover, 
Ind.; and one of the daughters became the wife of the Rev. James Adams, of 
Massie's Creek, 0. 


Cedarvillb. O., March 16, 1863. 

Rev. and dear Brother : In your highly respectable list of deceased Fathers 
of the Associate Presbyterian Church, I know of none more worthy of com- 
memoration than Andrew Fulton. From the reminiscences and associations 
of my early boyhood I had formed a high estimate of his character before I 
ever saw him ; and personal acquaintance in after life, instead of diminishing, 
enhanced, the estimate. This acquaintance, it is true, was formed only a few 
years before his death ; and, owing to the distance of our locations from each 
other, our intercourse was necessarily infrequent. But it was amply suffi- 
cient to enable me to form a correct opinion of the man — for he was one of 
those transparent beings whose characters are so unobscured by any veil, that 
you can see through them at a single glance. 

Mr. Fulton's personal appearance was much in his favour. He was of 
about the middle height, a little inclined to be stout, of rather a florid com- 
plexion, and a countenance in which intelligence and benignity were so 
beautifully blended that it was difficult to say which had the preponderance. 
His manners were as simple as childhood itself, and his manners were a 
faithful index to his heart. Indeed if 1 were to search among all my 
acquaintances of former days to find the most perfect specimen of true 
Christian simplicity, I believe I should settle upon Andrew Fulton. He was 
emphatically a Nathaniel, — "an Israelite in whom was no guile." He was 
cheerful and social in his disposition, and yet had the gravity and dignity 
becoming a minister of the Gospel. He was most laborious in his calling, — 
ever watchful for opportunities of doing good, and cheerfully sacrificing any 
personal interest for the promotion of his Master's cause. And while he was 

Vol. IX. 8 



firm in his adherence to his own well-matured convictions, one of the most 
conspicuous traits of his character was the gentleness and mildness which he 
manifested in his treatment of others. He was no Esau to " over drive," 
but, like Jacob, his manner was to "lead on softly." 

Such being the spirit of the man, his labours were highly esteemed and 
greatly blessed. He made no pretensions to splendid oratory, and scrupu- 
lously avoided every thing like parade or ostentation. But his discourses 
were always framed with good judgment and logical correctness; were full 
of evangelical truth luminously presented, and faithfully applied to the hearts 
and consciences of his hearers; and were delivered with his characteiistic 
directness and simplicity. And the results of his labours are, to this day, a 
standing testimony to the fidelity and diligence that characterized his 
ministry. It has been my privilege, more than once, to pass some time in 
the congregation of Carmel, Ind., where he finished his course, and where 
the Rev. Moses Arnott is now the esteemed Pastor ; and rarely have I found 
a people so much distinguished by an intelligent acquaintance with Gospel 
truth, and exhibiting such evidence of vital and practical godliness as that 
congregation. The Lord grant that many more " Carmels " may " blossom 
as the rose," to the glory and praise of the great Husbandman. 

I remain vour brother in Christ, 



Robert Armstrong was a native of Midholm, Roxboroughshire, Scotland ; 
but little is known of his parentage, except that it was very humble. Neitlier 
his tomb-stone, nor any other record, so far as is known, reveals the year of his 
birth. He was brought up under the ministry of the Rev. Andrew Amot. He 
received his classical education at the University of Edinburgh, and afterwards 
studied Theology at Whitburn, under the Rev. Archibald Bruce, at that time 
the Professor of the General Associate Synod. The certificate of his Ordination 
to the Ministry is dated June 15, 1797. He had been licensed to preach, some- 
time in the winter preceding, by the Associate Presbytery of Kelso. 

From his early youth he was thrown almost entirely on his own resources ; 
but, by his energy and perseverance, he eflfectually overcame all the obstacles that 
he found in his way. He taught a country school, or acted as private tutor in 
the families of gentlemen ; and, by this means, was enabled to make extensive 
acquirements in literature and science, as well as in Theology. 

He was licensed and ordained with a view to his coming to America. In the 
year 1796 an application was made to the General Associate Synod of Scotland, 
by some members who lived near Lexington, Ky., for a minister of their own 
communion to be sent to them; and the petition was answered by sending two 
ministers instead of one, — namely, Mr. Armstrong and Mr. Andrew Fulton. 
At the time the request was received by the Synod, Mr. Armstrong had not yet 
finished his course of study preparatory to the ministry; and the fact that he 

* Miller's Sketches. — Evangelical Repository, 1858. 


was thus prospectively selected by the Synod, would seem to indicate that they 
regarded him as possessing special qualifications for the contemplated mission. 

The two persons above named were commissioned by the Synod to constitute 
themselves, on their arrival at the place of their destination, into a Court, by the 
name of the Associate Presbytery of Kentucky. Having spent the preceding 
winter in Pennsylvania, they arrived in Kentucky in the summer of 1798, and, 
on the 28th of November following, in obedience to the Synodical instructions, 
they constituted the Court. Mr. Armstrong now received a unanimous call to 
act as Pastor to the United Congregations of Davis' Fork, Miller's Run and 
Cane Run; and he was installed in this charge on the 23d of April, 1799. 
Here he continued to labour with acceptance and success till the autumn of 1804. 

In the course of this year the members of Mr. Armstrong's three congrega- 
tions, having become tired of living in a region in which Slavery existed, and 
having come to the conclusion that it was hostile to the cultivation of religion, 
(their Pastor also sympathizing deeply in their convictions and feelings on the 
subject,) formed a purpose of migrating, almost en masse, to the State of Ohio. 
They forthwith accomplished their purpose, and removed to Greene County, 0., 
confidently expecting that their Minister would soon be re-settled among them. 
They were quickly organized under the name of the United Congregation of 
Massie's Creek and Sugar Creek ; and, on the 2d of September of the same year, 
he was ordered by Presbytery to rejoin his charge. The state of things about 
him was exceedingly rude — he sometimes preached in a cabin, and sometimes 
under the shade of a tree, until they got up a log meeting house ; which, after a 
while, gave place to a more commodious and comfortable church edifice. 

Here Mr. Armstrong laboured with great self-denial, and not without pleasing 
success, for seventeen yeai*s. Shortly after this, his charge was divided, and 
another minister was settled over one-half of it. His labours, from this time, 
were confined to Massie's Creek Congregation, until the 9th of January, 1821, 
when, from causes which in no degree reflected upon his good name, he demitted 
his charge about ten months before his decease. 

A short time previous to his death, he went to Flat Rock in the State of 
Indiana, intending also to remove his family thither. He returned on the 27th 
of September, and, on the succeeding night, was taken very ill. He was satisfied 
that his end was near; but he had no anxious fear in the prospect of his depar- 
ture. To a young minister, who visited him at this time, he expressed his lull 
confidence of the truth of the doctrines he had preached, and spoke of them as 
the ground of his immortal hopes. He died on Sabbath morning, the 14th of 
October, 1821. His Funeral Sermon was preached by the Rev. James Adams, 
from Daniel xii. 2. 

He was married to a Miss Andrews, daughter of one of the members of his 
congregation, who, with two daughters, survived him. His widow was subse- 
quently married to the Rev. Mr. Neil, at that time a minister of the Reformed 
Dissenting Presbytery, and one of the daughters also was married to a clergyman. 

The only productions of Mr. Armstrong's pen that are known to have been 
published are a few letters addressed to his friends in Scotland, and after his 
decease, a Sermon on Romans viii. 32, and a Charge delivered to the Rev Wil- 
liam Hume, at his Ordination. 




Greene County, O., December 13, 1849. 

Rev. and dear Sir : My opportunities for knowing the Rev. Robert Arm- 
strong concerning whom you inquire, have probably been better than those of 
almost anybody now living. I was for a time under his ministry in Ken- 
tucky, and was among those who called him to Ohio, in the year 1804. I 
was a member of his congregation, and on terms of friendship with him, for 
more than seventeen years. 

Mr. Armstrong was small of stature, but had a commanding expression of 
countenance. He was not of a robust constitution ; yet zeal in his Master's 
cause prompted him to perform a great amount of labour, and led him to 
endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. Though sociable, he still 
maintained his dignity ; though faithful, he was not censorious ; though cheer- 
ful, he was far from levity. In his intercourse with the world the golden rule 
was his guide. He was free to speak about worldly things, and seemed 
desirous to render himself useful in every relation ; in respect to the present 
as well as the future. In his living he was economical without being penu- 
rious, and practised a degree of hospitality which was honourable to him alike 
as a man and a minister. He had treasured up a great many interesting anec- 
dotes, especially respecting remarkable providences, which he could introduce 
to good purpose, in accommodation to the company in which he happened to 
find himself. He brought with him from the old country some notions of 
rank that were not exactly in harmony with the spirit of our republican insti- 
tutions ; but he prudently suppress ed them, and very happily conformed to 
the habits of the people among whom his lot was cast. 

You can hardly conceive the difficulties which he had to encounter, growing 
out of the fact that the country was then, to a great extent, a wilderness. 
His journeys, taking him over bad roads and across deep waters, were attended 
with not only fatigue but danger; yet, with all these difficulties, he would 
travel South, on horseback, about two hundred miles, to attend a meeting of 
Presbytery in Tennessee, and then again, about three times that distance East, 
to attend a meeting of Synod in Pennsylvania. The houses being literally 
few and far between, it was necessary to carry both << purse and scrip," and 
this he did without a murmur. I speak on this subject knowingly, for some- 
times I had the pleasure of travelling with him. 

He was exemplary in the duty of attending Ecclesiastical Courts, and had a 
due share of influence in all of them. I have been informed that, for some 
time after his arrival in Kentucky, his preparation for the pulpit cost him con- 
siderable study ; but his discourses were uniformly well composed and appro- 
priate. He often administered the Lord's Supper without assistance, attend 
ing to all the duties not only of the immediate occasion but of the days 
observed in connection with it. He was evidently sometimes greatly fatigued; 
and yet he never seemed to falter in his work. 

His manner of preaching was solemn and impressive ; and though his deliv- 
ery was somewhat slow, it was far from being wearisome. The great theme 
of his public ministrations was Jesus Christ and Him crucified. He would 
sometimes exhibit the terrors of the law for the conviction of sin, but always 
in connection with the gracious provisions of the Gospel. He would rebuke 
with all authority, sometimes by a look, sometimes by words, growing 
sharper as the case seemed to require. On one occasion he was preaching to 
a large assembly ; and before the tent (a platform seated under the shade of a 
tree) were several young people laughing and talking and eating. He at first 
reproved them mildly, but without efiect. Then, with a stern countenance, 


he quoted the proverb, — "Though thou shouldst bray a fool in a mortar 
amoug wheat with a pestle, yet will not his foolishness depart from him." 
This, with a few additional remarks, silenced the frivolity of the young people, 
and made them thoroughly ashamed. I may safely say that he was a consci- 
entious, devoted and able Minister of the New Testament. 

Very respectfully. 



Cannonsburg, October 18, 1859. 

My dear Sir : My acquaintance with the Rev. Robert Armstrong was not 
for a long period, but it was quite intimate. In the autumn of 1819 I was 
sent as a probationer to what was then called the Presbytery of Kentucky, 
(now Miami,) of which Mr. Armstrong was a member. I was chiefly occupied 
in preaching at Xenia, Greene County, 0., only four miles from the church in 
which he ministered, and much of the time was spent either at his house, or else- 
where in his company. Being settled at Xenia the next year, and a virtual 
separation having taken place between Mr. Armstrong and his congregation 
about the same time, he was frequently one of my hearers, and spent a good 
deal of time with me as a visitor. 

One of the first things which would strike the attention, in forming an 
acquaintance with Mr. Armstrong, was the singular disproportion between his 
physical and his intellectual and moral nature. He was not only of low 
stature and slender frame but absolutely dwarfish. He would never wear any 
article of dress closely fitting his body, nor even a pair of boots fitted to the 
size of his extremely delicate feet. By this means, and also by his grave and 
dignified behaviour, he, in a great measure, counteracted the impression which 
his personal appearance was fitted to make. The late Major James Galloway, 
who had been for many years under his ministry, and assisted in preparing 
his body for burial, remarked that he had never before had any idea of the 
smallness of his body ; — that it was more like the body of a child than of a 
man. One of his eyes was also turned outward, and seemed always to be 
looking sideways, even when he was looking straight before him. This 
frequently occasioned mistakes, — persons on one side of him supposing that 
he was addressing them, when he was speaking to some one immediately in 
front. On one occasion, having reproved a hearer for some disorder, an indi- 
vidual on the side of the eye which was always looking sideways, finding that 
eye fixed upon him, spoke out in the congregation, denying that he had been 
making any disturbance. Mr, Armstrong forthwith turned around to him 
and said, — " Sir, I was not meaning you, but a guilty conscience needs no 
accuser." Although, in these respects, his appearance was somewhat to his 
disadvantage, yet his face was well formed, and indicative of refinement, 
firmness, intelligence and kind afiections. There was also such a propriety 
and natural dignity in his behaviour that few persons commanded more general 
or more deserved respect. He was not a man with whom either strangers or 
friends would feel disposed to trifle. 

He was fond of company, and quite ready, entertaining and instructive in 
conversation. Frequently, when a literary or religious topic was introduced, 
he would become quite animated, and give something like a continuous lecture 
upon it. Yet, though, at such times, in a great measure engrossing the con- 
versation, there was nothing like egotism or vanity in his remarks, and he was 
as ready to be the listener as the lecturer. 

Mr. Armstrong was, by no means, lacking in moral courage. He never 
hesitated to express his opinion on any suitable occasion, or to administer a 
reproof where he believed it was merited. Being at the house of a friend. 



where another guest was very forward in conversation, he availed himself of 
an opportunity to make him acquainted with his mind in a way not to be 
mistaken. This individual was about to propose a question to him, and pre- 
faced it with many expressions of modesty and confessions of ignorance. 
" Mr. Armstrong," said he, " when we poor ignorant people are in company 
with you learned men, we wish to get from you all the information we can — 
so I hope you will excuse me for proposing a question to you which has caused 
me some study." Mr. Armstrong did not wait to hear the question, but 
immediately replied, — " Sir, when I hear persons making such professions of 
ignorance, I always conclude that they wish to be considered as possessed of 
more than common information." At another time, being present in a house 
during family worship, and observing a Quaker sitting with his hat on, he 
arose very deliberately and removed it. Having travelled a journey of a hun- 
dred and fifty miles, to preach in a vacant congregation and dispense the ordi- 
nance of the Supper, when about to return home, a member of the congrega- 
tion came to him, and offered him as compensation for his service between two 
and three dollars, making some apologies for the smallness of the sum. Mr. 
Armstrong refused to accept the money. " Sir," said he, " there is not one 
of you who would consent to go to Massie's Creek, bear the expenses of the 
journey thither and home again, spend between two and three weeks in attend- 
ing to my affairs, and then accept of such a sum as a remuneration for your 
services. No, you must either do better, or I will accept of nothing. I don't 
care for myself — 1 am able to live independently of any compensation for my 
ministerial labours ; but if I submit to such imposition, you will be ready to 
practise it upon young men, and others not able to live without compensa- 
tion." The good effect of this lesson was not only apparent at the time, in a 
more liberal contribution, but there is reason to believe that it has not even 
yet been forgotten by the members of that congregation. 

It must not be inferred, however, from these incidents, that there was ordi- 
narily any thing like severity in Mr. Armstrong's manner. This was never 
the case except when he had to do with affectation, injustice, meanness, or 
something fitted to excite indignation, or meriting sharp reproof. In his 
intercourse with persons whom he respected he perhaps e<ven erred in the 
opposite direction — in being too indirect in pointing out their faults. He 
was accustomed, when he saw any thing amiss in his friends, to relate some 
anecdote, or throw out some general remarks, calculated to set them right, 
without making any direct personal application. As he frequently spoke of 
this as a commendable method of conveying an admonition, and was known 
to be in the habit of availing himself of it, the very natural consequence was 
to keep his friends always on the watch, and to lead them frequently, in con- 
versing with him, to put to themselves the question — " Does he mean me ? or 
is he not endeavouring to bring some fault of mine to my notice .'"' 

Mr. Armstrong's attainments in Theology and general literature were very 
respectable. He laboured under some disadvantages in his youth, which, how- 
ever, proved to him, as they have done to many others, advantages in the 
end. His mind was disciplined by the very hardships attending his early 
education. In the field of his ministerial labour his leisure and opportunities 
for study were limited. But he had a vigorous mind, a good literary taste, 
quite a large and valuable library, and, so far as his opportunities permitted, 
he was a diligent student. Such were his acquirements, and such his stand 
ing among his brethren, that when Dr. Ramsay was elected Professor of The- 
ology in 1821, Mr. Armstrong was the only opposing candidate, and received 
a respectable vote, though left in a minority. 

As a Preacher, Mr. Armstrong was far from being brilliant, or in the com- 
mon acceptation of the word, highly popular. His discourses were chiefly of 


the didactic type, and had somewhat the character of theological treatises ; 
but they were marked by such comprehensiveness and vigour of thought, and 
delivered with such marked propriety and calm earnestness, that he was 
usually listened to with close attention. His voice, considermg especially his 
diminutive size, was remarkable for its power and compass. He spoke with 
great deliberation, distinctness and readiness. He was a successful labourer 
in his Lord's vineyard, and his name deserves to be held in everlasting remem- 
brance. I am very sincerely yours, 



Cedarville, Greene County, 0., March 2, 1863. 

Rev. and dear Sir: The name of the Rev. Robert Armstrong, concerning 
whom you inquire, is associated with some of my earliest recollections. 
When I was a mere boy, in Scotland, my native country, a deep and indeli- 
ble impression was made upon my mind by reading in the Scottish Magazines 
letters from the Rev. Messrs. Armstrong and Fulton, Missionaries from the 
General Associate Synod of Scotland, containing details of their journeyings 
and labours through the wilderness of Kentucky. At that time I had not 
the remotest thought of ever being associated in the same work with these 
brethren, on this side of the Atlantic. But the early impression retained its 
place, and when, after my licensure in 1813, I became personally acquainted 
with them, I found it more than realized. 

My opportunities of personal acquaintance with Mr. Armstrong were com- 
paratively slight, being, in a great measure, limited to our meetings, from year 
to year, in the Associate Synod. He and his congregation had, on account 
of Slavery, removed from Kentucky to Greene County, 0., where he died, 
while my location was in the valley of Virginia. Our acquaintance was, 
however, sufficient to enable me to form a pretty accurate estimate of his 
character and worth. 

With a corporeal frame much below an average size, Mr. Armstrong possessed 
a vigorous and capacious mind, — remarkable rather for promptitude of con- 
ception, power of comprehension and solidity of judgment, than for any 
of the more brilliant and startling qualities. Neither in the pulpit or out 
of it was he ever known to make any effort at display. In conversation he was 
always solid, instructive, and yet lively. Perfectly natural and unaffected in 
his manners and behaviour, he commanded the universal confidence and 
esteem of all with whom he associated. His sermons were always thoroughly 
digested, logically arranged, and faithfully applied to the consciences of 
his hearers. I am assured by many of his former parishioners, whom I 
knew intimately, that he was perseveringly faithful and assiduous in the 
discharge of his more private pastoral duties, teaching not only " publicly 
but from house to house," ever aiming to be instrumental in bringing sinners 
to Christ, and "in building up saints in their most holy faith," 

As a member of a Church Court he had few equals. He was emphatically 
a man of business. It was always a pleasure to serve on a Committee with 
him. Clear headed, prompt and systematic, it was seldom that a Report 
that came from either his lips or his pen, had to encounter much opposition. 

One of his most prominent and attractive characteristics was his truly 
catholic spirit. While he was sincerely attached to the distinctive principles 
of the Church with which he was connected, and ever ready to defend them, 
he embraced, in the ardour of his affection, all who gave evidence of being 
the followers of the Lamb. He was no Ultraist or Sectarian. 

In a word, Robert Armstrong was one of the strong men of his denomina- 
tion during the period in which he lived, and his memory will be long revered, 



and the results of his labours gratefully acknowledged, throughout the whole 
region where he exercised his ministry. 

I remain, Reverend Sir, yours fraternally, 





Barnet, Vt., September 3, 1862 

Dear Sir : I am happy to send you, in compliance with your request, a sketch 
of the life of the Rev. Francis Pringle. The material for the sketch has been 
partly furnished by hLs son, a most respectable gentleman of the city of New 
York, and partly drawn from my father's correspondence with Mr. Pringle, and 
other early ministers of the Associate Church. I think you may rely upon the 
authenticity of every part of it. 

Francis Pringle was born in Path-Head, a suburb of Kirkcaldy, Fifeshu-e, 
Scotland, in the year 1747. His parents were worthy and intelligent members 
of the Associate Congregtition of Path-Head, and were very careful in the 
religious education of their children. His father was a manufacturer of linen- 
ticking, in moderate worldly circmnstances. 

Franm, the third of nine children, naturally grave and quiet, early manifested 
a desire for a liberal education, which his parents encouraged by sending him to 
a Grammar School in Kirkcaldy to study the classics. In his fifteenth year he 
became a member of the Associate Congregation of Path-Head, and thence- 
forward prosecuted his studies with a view to the Holy Ministry ; though he did 
not take a regular college course. In his eighteenth year he began the study of 
Theology at Alloa, under the Rev. Professor Moncrieff, in the Theological Hall 
of the Associate Synod. Having completed the prescribed theological course, he 
was, after the usual trials, licensed to preach the Gospel by the Associate Pres- 
bytery of Kirkcaldy, when he was in the twenty-first year of his age. A few 
months after he began to preach, he was sent to Ireland to supply the vacant 
Congregation of Gilnahii-k, near Belfast. Though the congregation was not 
large, nor the situation in other respects very inviting, he commenced his work 
there with great zeal, and some of the good fruits of it began quickly to appear. 
So acceptable were his services that the congregation, at no distant period, gave 
him a call to become their Pastor. After due deliberation, he accepted the call, 
and was ordained, and installed as Pastor of the Associate Congregation of 
Gilnahirk, by the Associate Presbytery of Belfast, on the 25th of August, 1772. 

On the 13th of September, 1775, he was married to Margaret, daughter of 
Henry Black, a merchant of Kirkcaldy, Scotland, a godly man, and an Elder 
of the Associate Church in that place. 

Mr. Pringle's ministrations in this field of labour were evidently attended with 
the Divine blessing. For twenty-six years he laboured here with great fidelity, 
and with a good degree of success. But, in 1798, the " Irish Rebellion " broke 
asunder the endeared relation between him and his people. The " United Irish 
men's oath " to throw ofi" the Government of Great Britain had been secretly 


administered to many Protestants as well as Roman Catholics. Several young 
men belonging to Mr. Pringle's congregation had taken that oath, and were 
known to be engaged in conspiracy against the Government ; and some of the 
members of the congregation openly favoured the treasonable project. This was 
a painful state of things for their Pastor to contemplate. Parties in disguise 
ranged through the country at night in quest of fire-arms. Such a party came 
to his house one Sabbath night, and very civiUy asked for his gun. He told 
them that he had no gun ; that he had no need of one ; that he was a man of 
peace, and determined to follow peace, and that the weapons of his warfare were 
spiritual. "Allow me," he proceeded, " to tell you that you are engaged in 
rebellion against a legitimate Government, which is a great crime, and deserves 
tlie severest punishment. I entreat you to desist from your wicked course, which 
will end in disappointment and disgrace, and bring you to the gaUows. I shud- 
der at your crime and its consequences." They thanked him for his well-meant 
advice, and proceeded on their march in quest of fire-arms. Subsequently, the 
Government enforced the oath of allegiance on many who had taken the United 
Irishmen's oath. Some of his congregation had taken both of these oaths, but 
insisted that, as the oath of allegiance was forced upon them, it was not binding. 
Mr. Pringle considered such persons as guilty of perjury, and thought that it was 
his duty to utter the unwelcome truth. He soon found that there was a portion 
of his congregation to whom his ministrations would not be any longer acceptable. 
To purge the church by discipline, at such a time and in such circumstances, 
seemed impossible. To remain neutral he deemed neither safe nor proper. He 
could not know who were friends or who were foes. He became anxious also 
for his sons, some of whom were approaching manhood, and thought it dangerous 
for them to remain among a people tainted with treason. Accordingly, after 
prayerful deliberation, he came to the conclusion that it was every way desirable 
that he should remove his family from Ireland. He proceeded forthwith to take 
the necessary steps to a proper dissolution of the Pastoral relation and the wind- 
ing up of his family affairs, and then took a sorrowful farewell of many endeared 
members of his congregation and other acquaintances, and, with his wife and five 
sons, left Gilnahirk in the autumn of 1798, leaving behind their eldest and only 
surviving daughter, then lately married. Having determined to migrate to 
America, they paid a visit to their relatives in Kirkcaldy and Path-Head, who 
persuaded them to remain there tiU the next summer. He immediately engaged 
in preaching in the vacant congregations of the Associate Church in Scotland, 
and became acquainted with the Rev. Doctors McCrie and Paxton, and some 
other Ministers of the Associate Synod, with whom he corresponded after his 
removal to America. 

But he was anxious to be engaged in his Master's work on this side of the 
ocean. Leaving his eldest son to attend the University of Edinburgh, he, with 
his wife and four sons, having taken an afiectionate leave of their many relatives 
and friends in Kirkcaldy, embarked, on the 8th of August, 1799, for New York. 
After a boisterous passage of seven weeks, during which he maintained family 
worship every day, and preached on three of the included Sabbaths, they arrived 
safely in New York, on the 26th of September, where they received a cordial 
welcome from the members of the Associate Congregation of that city. It appears 
that it was his design, according to the recommendation of the General Asso- 
ciate Synod of Scotland, to go on a mission to Nova Scotia ; but, not finding a 
Vol. IX. 



vessel in Scotland sailing directly for that Province, he took one for New York, 
intending to go thence to Nova Scotia by the earliest opportunity. But, when 
he arrived in New York, he ascertained that, on account of the prevalence of the 
Yellow Fever, no vessel would sail for Nova Scotia during that season. This seemed 
a providential indication in favour of his accepting an invitation from the Associate 
Presbytery to remain and preach in their vacancies. He supplied the vacant 
Congregation in New York until the next spring, to their very genei-al acceptance. 
He was formally received as a member of the Associate Presbytery of Pennsylva- 
nia, on the 12th of May, 1800. According to the appointment of Presbytery, 
he preached in the vacant congregations in the Eastern part of Pennsylvania, and 
received a call to the Associate Congregation of Carhsle, where he was installed 
by that Presbytery, August 27, 1802, it being understood that the small neigh- 
bouring congregation of Dickinson should receive a portion of his pastoral labours. 

Mr. Pringle, during his long life, not only performed a vast amount of labour, 
but was " in aiflictions oft," enduring them with a patient and submissive spirit. 
He had thirteen children, all of whom died before then- parents, except two, who 
still survive, and arc the only members of the family who were ir.arried. Seven 
of the children died when young — the rest lived to matm*ity, and were an honour 
to their excellent parents. Four of their sons received a liberal education, and 
two of them became settled ministers of the Gospel. The eldest and only sur- 
viving daughter, who was married in Ireland, is yet living there at an advanced 
age. His eldest son, who still survives, finished his education at the University 
of Edinburgh, and was, for forty years, engaged in various duties in the old Bank 
of New York. Some years after Mr. Pringle came to this country, he experi- 
enced a grevious trial in the death of his third son, who became partially deranged, 
and was drowned when absent from home. He was a man of superior talents 
and excellent education, having graduated at Dickinson College. The news of 
the heart-rending event reached his excellent father just as he was about to 
enter the pulpit on Sabbath morning. With ready submission to the will of God 
and the most calm self-control, he went through all the public services of the day; 
and yet, for many years after, he could not allude to the subject without manifest 

His two youngest sons, James and Francis, were both graduated at Dickinson 
College in 1808 ; both studied Theology under the Rev. Dr. John Anderson, at 
that tune Professor in the Theological Seminary of the Associate Church ; and 
both were licensed to preach, by the Associate Presbytery of Philadelphia, in 
October, 1812. 

James Pringle was distinguished for great originaUty, a vivid imagination, 
and ardent feehngs; and he was withal a very diligent and successful student. 
He became a very acceptable Preacher, and received a call from the Associate 
Congregation of Steel Creek, N. C, where he was ordained and settled in April, 
1814. He was chosen Moderator of the Synod in 1818. 

Francis Pringle, Jr., was a man of superior intellect, of great good 
judgment and high culture, and so devoted to his studies that he frequently 
continued them through nearly the whole night. He received a call from 
Ryegate, Vt., and one from Xenia and Sugar Creek, 0. The latter he 
accepted, and was ordained and installed by the Associate Presbytery of 
Chartiers in November, 1811. Here he laboured with great diligence and 
fidelity until 1817, when, being of a delicate constitution, his health failed, in 



consequence of which he made a journey to North Carolina, to visit his brother 
James, where he died of consumption, March 15, 1818, in the twenty-ninth 
year of his age. His brother, who was a man of vigorous constitution, conti- 
nued to preach the Gospel to the bond and the free until the following autumn, 
when he was seized with a lung fever, of which he died on the 28th of October, 
in the thirtieth year of his age. These two brothers, who were strongly attached 
to each other in life, were scarcely divided in death — they died in the same 
house, the same room, and the same bed ; they were laid in the same grave ; and 
the same monument records their excellence and their end. The bereaved 
father, though he felt the rod in these dispensations most keenly, was still able to 
recognize, with a truly fihal and submisvsive spirit, the hand that wielded it. 

But Mr. Pringle's afflictions were not yet at an end. She who, for fifty years, 
had been the companion of his pilgrimage, and the sharer of his joys and sor- 
rows, and, for some years, the only remaining member of his family, died on the 
15th of February, 1826, in the seventy-eighth year of her age. He felt the loss 
most deeply, as she was a woman of superior discernment, of great Christian 
excellence, of extensive religious knowledge, and had been in every way a help- 
meet to him. Being now left alone, so far as wife and children were concerned, 
he had a comfortable home oifered to him in a family belonging to his congrega- 
tion, where his wants were kindly ministered to as long as he remained in Car- 
lisle. In consequence of the increasing infirmities of age, he resigned his pastoral 
charge, and preached his Farewell Sermon on the 14th of May, 1832, — the 
occasion being, both to him and his people, one of most tender interest. He 
now accepted the kind and oft-repeated invitation of his only surviving son to 
take up his residence with him in the city of New York. Though he had 
reached the age of fourscore and four years, he was still able and ready to do 
some work in his Lord's vineyard. He preached, by invitation, in Troy, Cam- 
bridge, Salem, Hebron, and other places in the same region. He returned to 
the city and spent the following winter, preaching occasionally, reading and visit- 
ing, and in various ways rendering himself useful. In the spring of 1833 he 
visited Newark, N. J., where he preached, spending the Sabbath at the house of 
a friend. As he was dressing himself the next morning, his foot caught in a 
fold of the carpet, in consequence of which he fell, and fractured his thigh near 
the hip-joint. He was unable to rise, but a call soon brought the family to his 
assistance. He was carried home to his son's in a litter. The most skilful 
surgeons pronounced the case incurable. He suffered little pain, and became 
able to move himself from one room to another in a wheeled chair. He endured 
the affliction with most exemplary patience, and calmly anticipated his approaching 
departure. In a few months the fractured limb became dropsical, and his health 
gradually declined, till, with an unwavering faith in his gracious God and Redeemer, 
he died on the 2d of November, 1833, in the eighty-fifth year of his age, and the 
sixty-fourth of his ministry. 

Mr. Pringle preached a Sermon on the Qualifications and Duties of the 
Ministers of Christ, before the Associate Synod of Ireland, at its opening Ses- 
sion in Belfast, July 12, 1793, which was published by request of the Synod, and 
has since been republished in this country. Soon after his decease, a Sermon on 
" Prayer for the Prosperity of Zion " was published in the Religious Monitor, 
which he had sent to the editor for publication, and was supposed to have been 



written by him a short time before his death. Both these productions are highly 
creditable at once to his ability and his faithfulness. 

Mr. Pringle was a remarkable textuary. You might recite any part of the 
Bible, and he could at once give you the book, chapter and verse ; or if you were 
yourself to mention these, he could quote the passage. He studied the Bible 
more than all other books; and hence his wonderful facility at quoting it. His 
excellent lectures and sermons were admirably illustrated by a long life of singu- 
lar purity and goodness. He had a rare gift of teaching the young and the old, 
both in pubhc and in private, and ho had a mild, yet effectual, way of reproring 
and rebuking, as well as teaching, admonishing and exhorting. 

Mr. Pringle never had a robust constitution, but, by a very regular and tem- 
perate manner of living, he uniformly enjoyed good health. One of the promi- 
nent traits of his character was his great promptitude and punctuality in fulfilling 
all his appointments, and performing all his work in due season, and in an exact 
and orderly manner. His observance of Divine Providence was close and con- 
stant, and his submission to his Heavenly Father's will, under great trials, was 
cheerful and unqualified. His profound reverence for God, his solemnity in all 
sacred services, his evident spiritual-mindedness, his daily meditations on the 
Divine works and word, his meekness, zeal and humility, — all proved him a man 
of God, with a pure heart, a good conscience and faith unfeigned. 

He was devoted to the interests of the Church within whose bosom Providence 
had cast his lot, and the Church in turn manifested, in various ways, her appre- 
ciation of his extraordinary worth. In 1804 he was chosen Moderator of the 
Associate Synod, and, about the same time. Stated Clerk of Synod, which office 
he held till 1827, when he resigned, and the Synod voted him " thanks for his 
long and faithful services." In 1828 he was again chosen Moderator. After the 
death of Messrs. Marshall and Clarkson, he was chiefly instrumental in keeping 
alive the Associate Presbytery of Philadelphia ; for, though the only minister left 
in it, he occasionally visited all the vacant congregations and cherished them with 
jpaternal care. By the appointment of the Associate Synod, he was one of the 
annual examiners of the Theological Seminary established at Philadelphia, and he 
faithfully fulfilled the ofiice. 

He possessed that godliness which, with contentment, is great gain. So eco- 
nomically did he manage his temporal affairs that, with a salary of less than three 
hundred dollars, and occasional donations from benevolent individuals and other 
sources, he creditably supported his family, gave four of his sons a collegiate edu- 
cation, performed journeys every year to the Presbytery and Synod, and yet con- 
tributed quite liberally to various objects of benevolence. By his last will, he 
gave the greater part of his hbrary to the Theological Seminary of the Associate 
Ohurch in Philadelphia. He was a burning and shinmg hght, an eminent exam- 
ple both to ministers and to people. 

With high esteem yours truly, 



Pittsburg, October 12, 1867. 

My dear Sir : The Rev. Francis Pringle, concerning whom you ask for my 
recollections, I remember with intense affection and gratitude. My impressions 
of his character were received in early childhood, and my acquaintance with 


him began as far back as my memory can go, and continued without inter- 
mission for many years. My opportunities of observation were favourable, so 
far as I had capacity to observe. He was the Gamaliel at whose feet I was 
brought up. 

His family had, at that time, grown up to manhood, and gone forth into the 
world ; and he and his aged wife lived alone. Being the beloved Pastor of our 
family, and his presence as well as that of his wife always welcome, this 
aged couple made frequent visits to our house, a pleasant rural residence about 
a mile distant from the town of Carlisle, where they always were at home, 
and where they oftentimes remained for days and weeks together. These 
friendly and welcome visits continued without interruption for a long period. 

Mr. Pringle's parish, though not large in point of numbers, covered a wide 
extent of territory, and the duty of pastoral visitation became proportionally 
arduous ; but he performed this duty regularly and punctually, regardless of 
roads and of weather. If any of his flock were absent from the services of 
the Sanctuary, this watchful shepherd inquired at once into the reason, and, 
in case of sickness, he was at their side within less than twenty-four hours. 
I suppose there was not a man, woman or child, under his pastoral care, with 
whose whole character, mental, moral and physical, he was not conversant. 
He understood them about as well as a parent understands the temper and dis- 
position of his children ; and he bestowed on each little less than a paternal 
regard. This gave him the advantage which a physician has, who is familiar 
with the constitutions and habits of his patients. He inspired fear of a 
peculiar sort, — the fear of doing any thing to distress him. 

The personal appearance of Mr. Pringle, it is easy to remember, but diffi- 
cult to describe. In stature I should think he might have been rather below 
the medium. He Avas erect in his person, lithe and active, and even in old 
age sat handsomely upon a horse, and was no mean pedestrian. His features 
were neither delicate nor coarse, but strong, well defined and expressive. His 
high and venerable head was crowned with a profuse and healthy suit of fine, 
silvery hair. His eyes were serene and blue as the sky, and the general 
expression of his countenance was a beautiful embodiment of his whole char- 
acter. His dress was always neat, but plain, and not fitted, in any way, to 
attract attention. 

His manners were, or seemed to be, the natural result of his moral 
and physical organization. They were frank, simple, cordial, and brimful 
of benevolence. That they were not otherwise than attractive is evident from 
the fact that young and old, ignorant and educated, merry and sad, were sure 
to be attracted by his company. While he always breathed a cheerful spirit, 
he never lost sight of the appropriate dignit)'' of his calling. 

Mr. Pringle was in the habit of retiring early and rising early. He took a 
great deal of exercise daily. He never missed his walk when the weather per- 
mitted. I have seen him, on a rainy day, walk backward and forward, with 
great energy and rapidity, in the parlour, for an hour at a time. I remember, on 
one occasion, when the snow had fallen a foot deep upon the ground, he went 
to work and shovelled a path through it for a considerable distance. There 
was no necessity whatever for his doing this ; but he said he must take his 
exercise ; and this was the mode of taking it which he preferred. 

His love of truth amounted almost to a passion. In the statement of facts 
he could not endure artificial embellishments or exaggerations. His own 
habit of never deviating a particle from sober verity is pretty well illustrated 
by the following anecdote : — A man (no parishioner of his or of any body else) 
whose habit of frequent intoxication caused many feuds at home, would, after 
his frolic was over, voluntarily come to Mr. Pringle to express his penitence 
and promise reformation. On one occasion when this individual was leaving Mr. 


Pringle's house, he remarked, — " This unfortanate man has been to see me on 
the same errand forty times." A person, who happened to be present when the 
remark was made, said to him, — " Mr. Pringle, why do you speak so much 
at random ? You say forty times — you might as well have said fifty or a 
hundred is this mode of speaking quite in accordance with your own pre- 
cepts?" "Oh, yes," he replied, " it is fully so ;" and, leaving the room, came 
back in a moment with a little blank-book and a pencil in his hand. " Now, 
said he, " here you may count thirty-nine marks, each one of which denotes 
a visit similar to the last ; and this one makes forty. Indeed," he continued, 
«' several of his calls were omitted; for the idea did not strike me until the 
frequency of his visits suggested it ; and my intention is, when they reach 
fifty, to show him these entries, hoping it may have some eifect to shame him 
into sobriety or an attempt at reformation ; for I do not suppose that he has 
any correct idea of the frequency of his transgressions, or the violations of 
his promises of amendment." He added, — " You see now that in this I have 
spoken the truth, and have not dealt in figures of speech, but in figures of 

When he felt himself called upon to administer reproof, it was done after 
the fashion of the Old Prophets — there was no circumlocution, or indirectness 
or excessively delicate handling; but the rebuke was just as personal and 
pointed as if he had said, in so many words, — " Thou art the man." But his 
manner, after all, was so mild and his look so benevolent, that, instead of giv- 
ing offence, he usually made himself the object of deeper reverence. His 
manner of rebuking a profane swearer was something like this — said he, 
" Instead of taking your Maker's name in vain, substitute some harmless and 
indifferent words for these tei-rible expletives — say, for example, tree, pot, 
kettle, horse — try this, and it will seem to you absurd ; and so it is absurd 
and nothing more. But your way of swearing is equally absurd, with pro- 
faneness superadded. This vice gratifies no appetite as some vices do : he is 
a silly fish that swallows a hook that has no bait upon it. My young friend, 
God is the hearer of prayer ; and when a man calls upon his Maker daily to 
damn his soul, it would be surely no wonder if He should take him at his 

One of his sons, the Rev. James Pringle, who was stationed, if I mistake 
not, in one of the Carolinas, and who, like Demetrius, had a good report of 
all men, died very suddenly. A casual visitor was present when the letter was 
received, announcing the sad intelligence. Neither parent betrayed any violent 
emotion. In a calm voice, Mr. Pringle said to his wife, — " Peggy, James 
never cost us a tear until now. * The Lord gave and the Lord hath taken 
away, blessed be the name of the Lord.' Let us retire and pray that we may 
obtain strength to bear with Christian fortitude our terrible bereavement." 

He once married a couple, whose mutual infirmities of temper sometimes 
marred, to some extent, their domestic harmony. Some time after, he made 
a journey to the neighbourhood, and, calling upon them, was received most 
cordially. He asked leave to invite some company to meet him at their house 
the next evening, which was cheerfully granted. Having assembled several of 
those who had been guests at the wedding, he requested his host and hostess 
to stand up on the floor, which they did ; and then, in a manner the most 
impressive, he married them over again. After the ceremony was ended, he, in 
the most artless and affectionate way, said that he wished to remind them of 
some mutual promises they had made before, in presence of himself and those 
witnesses — and he had taken this method of doing it. The evening passed off 
pleasantly, and his intrepid conduct, instead of giving offence, increased affec- 
tion ; and this sensible pair were in the habit, ever after, of sending him valu- 
able presents as long as they lived. 



Some of his rural parishioners, whose week-day employments were in the 
open field, being unused to a sedentary habit, would occasionally fall asleep 
during the sermon. For this offence his manner of reproof was somewhat 
original. After patiently permitting them to enjoy their nap for about ten 
minutes, or for such length of time as he deemed sufficient to refresh them, 
without saying one word, or for a moment losing the calm, benevolent expres- 
sion of his countenance, or making the least pause in his discourse, he would 
bring down a volume of David's Psalms on the big Bible that lay closed before 
him, with such prodigious force that the crack resembled the report of a mus- 
ket, and in an instant " murdered sleep." The silence in church was always 
profound, and equally so in the street ; and this gave to these explosions a 
fearful distinctness, that made them as appalling as they were irresistible. 

Mr. Pringle was remarkable for self control. I never saw him at any time, 
or under any circumstances, exhibit the least sign of impatience or discontent, 
or give utterance to a hasty expression. The great equableness of his spirit, 
and the uniform consistency of his life, left a powerful impression in favour 
not only of his own character, but of the cause to which he was so earnestly 
devoted. As a couple of men were working on the Baltimore turnpike road, 
near Carlisle, Mr. Pringle happened to be passing along on foot, and one said 
to the other, " There goes Mr. Pringle ; he looks thinner than usual." "Yes," 
replied the other, " but he is all in Heaven, except what you see of him." 

Few men of his day, or of any day, have been the subjects of more heartfelt 
respect and affection than Mr. Pringle. He was constantly receiving presents, 
not merely from his parishioners, but often from those of different denomina- 
tional connection from his own. His name was a household word in town and 
country. At a party or a wedding, the young and gay would cluster around 
him. On the street, men of the roughest nature and most careless life always 
spoke to him, and of him, in most emphatic tones of good will and cordial 
regard. His character was an institution in the sphere in which he moved. 
He scattered cheerfulness, and love, and light, wherever he went. We looked 
at him as a star whose light was borrowed from a source beyond the sun. 
Very truly. 

Your friend and obedient servant, 




The parents of Thomas Allison were natives of Scotland, and members 
there of the Anti-Burgher branch of the Secession Church. The father, John 
Allison, was a man distinguished not only for piety, but also for intelligence and 
mental activity. The mother, Jane (Brownlee) Allison, not less distinguished 
for the same qualities, belonged to a numerous family, now scattered through 

Scotland and the United States, including among its members the Rev. 

Brownlee, many years Pastor of the Secession Church in Falkirk, Scotland ; 
his brother, the Bev. William C. Brownlee, D.D., of the Reformed Dutch 
Church in the city of New York, etc. They migrated to this country at 
an early period, and hved for some tune in Eastern Pennsylvania, where — 

♦MS. from Rev. J. T. Brownlee. 



probably in the County of York — their seventh son, Thomas, was bom, on the 
3d of June, 1771. His parents, however, removed, in his early childhood, to 
Chartiers, Washington County, in the Western part of the State. There he 
passed his youthful days, but in what manner is not certainly known, though the 
presumption is that he was engaged principally in agi-icultural pursuits. The 
known character of his parents for intelligence, piety and unflinching adherence 
to the religious truths they professed, is the only evidence furnished in respect 
to the character of the early religious training he received. 

He did not enter upon his classical studies tiU he was somewhat advanced, — 
probably not till he had attained his majority ; and then he pursued them chiefly 
at Cannonsburg Academy, now Jefierson College. He prosecuted his theological 
studies imder the direction of the Rev. Dr. John Anderson, the first regularly 
appointed Theological Professor in connection with the Associate Presbyterian 
Church in the United States. Having gone through the regular coui-se of four 
years, he was licensed to preach about the beginning of the year 1800. The 
branch of the Church to which he belonged being then comparatively small, and 
many of the congregations connected with it being already supplied with Pastors, 
most of whom were missionaries sent over by the parent Church in Scotland, his 
ministrations as a licentiate were confined to a few congregations, though these 
were widely scattered. 

From the beginning, he was well received as a Preacher, in evidence of which 
is the fact that calls were soon made for his pastoral services by the United Con- 
gregations of Mount Hope and Cross Creek, the former in Washington County, 
Pa., the latter in Brooke County, Va., and by the congregation in Cambridge, 
Washington County, N. Y. He accepted the call from the first mentioned con- 
gregation, and was ordained, and installed as their Pastor, by the Presbytery of 
Chartiers, in the year 1801. The relations thus constituted between him and 
these congregations continued tiU a short time before his death, when, on account 
of age and infirmity, and at his own request, the Presbytery dissolved it. 

Mr. Allison's physical constitution was robust, and his general health, at least 
during the greater part of his life, good, — in testimony of which is the fact that 
he was prevented from preaching, by illness, but a very few Sabbaths during his 
whole ministry, and those few were chiefly during the last years of his life, when he 
was subject to occasional violent attacks of sick headache. For several days pre- 
vious to his death, he had been slightly indisposed ; but it was only two days 
before, that he was seized with congestion of the stomach and bowels, which, 
after subjecting him to severe sufiering, terminated his life. He died in April, 
1840. His remains were followed to the grave by a large concourse of people, 
including not only his own congregation, but the greater part of the community in 
which he lived ; but, though several of his brethren in the ministry were present, 
no Funeral Sermon was preached, it being, at that time, a custom in the Asso- 
ciate Church and some other branches of the Church in that part of the country, 
to bury their dead without ceremony, on the ground that silence best becomes 
such a solemnity. 

In the year 1800, — some time before his settlement in the ministry, — ^he was 
united in marriage with Anne, daughter of the Rev. Matthew Henderson, for 
some years Pastor of the Associate Congregation of Chartiers at Cannonsburg, 
Pa. Having survived her husband more than thirteen years, she was removed 
by death on the 4th of October, 1853. They had twelve children, eight daugh- 



ters and four sons ; some of whom are deceased, while others still remain, (1855) 
in the different walks of pubhc or private usefulness. 


South Argyle, April 13, 1850. 

My dear Sir : I cheerfully comply with your request for some brief account 
of the late Rev. Thomas Allison. My early years were passed in a congre- 
gation adjoining that of which he was Pastor ; and for three or four years 
after I left College I was accustomed constantly to sit under his ministry. I 
therefore knew him intimately, and am in little danger of mistaking in regard 
to the prominent features of his character. 

In his person he was about five feet ten inches high, of a sandy complexion, 
rather florid, and somewhat inclined to corpulency. His manners were bland 
and gentlemanly, so that he was never otherwise than at home in the most 
polished society ; and yet this seemed to be rather the product of nature than 
of culture. 

He possessed a mind distinguished at once for vigour and discrimination. 
He was capable of grappling successfully with abstruse and difficult questions, 
either in Morals or Theology, and would not unfrequently present a striking 
and original view of a subject as soon as it was proposed to him. He thought 
with much accuracy and precision, and expressed his thoughts with great 
ease, in corresponding language. He was remarkable for strong common sense, 
and an intimate knowledge of the human heart. His views of men and things 
were equally minute and correct, and betokened a habit of close observation. 

Mr. Allison was not naturally a man of active physical habits. This, I 
have no doubt, interfered somewhat with the popularity, if not the success, of 
his ministry. His preaching was rather practical than doctrinal. His voice 
was feeble and incapable of any great compass. He had a fine command of 
language in the pulpit as well as elsewhere, and his matter also was 
uniformly good, but he loved a careless, half-lounging posture, and perhaps 
his general manner indicated less interest in his subject than was desirable to 
secure the highest degree of attention. Still, however, there was so much 
well-digested thought in his discourses, and such uncommon felicity of 
expression, that he was always listened to with interest, and the greater, in 
proportion to the intelligence of his hearers. In the application of his dis- 
course, without any alteration of his voice, he would sometimes be exceed- 
ingly impressive. I ought to add that his aversion to physical effort never 
kept him from the faithful discharge of his pastoral duties. I never heard it 
intimated that he was lacking in due attention to the interests of his flock. 
He was fond of reading, and kept himself well informed of the general 
progress of things in the world. 

In the ordinary intercourse of society he was affable and agreeable, and 
abounded in pleasant anecdotes. His powers of conversation I have not often 
known surpassed. He was, however, capable of the keenest sarcasm, and 
showed great impartiality in the use of it, dealing it out alike upon friends 
and foes. It may be that he did not always wield this dangerous weapon 
with the utmost discretion. 

Mr. Allison was exceedingly averse to going from home, or to receiving 
appointments to be fulfilled at a distance. He was, however, a good member 
of a Public Body, and his opinion was always listened to with respectful 
deference. He was perhaps distinguished rather for sustaining and forward- 
ing important measures than for originating them. 

I am. Reverend and dear Sir, with respect, yours truly, 

Vol IX 10 




"West Middletown, Pa.. January 22, 1855. 

Dear Sir: I have a distinct remembrance of the Rev, Mr. Allison, concern- 
ing whom you inquire, having passed several of my earliest years under his 
ministry, but his death occurred when I was too young to enable me to write 
much concerning him from personal knowledge. I am obliged, therefore, in 
complying with your request, to rely, for the most part, upon the testimony 
of others ; but his character has always been so familiar to me that I believe 
I may venture to speak of it with some degree of confidence. 

Mr. Allison's mental abilities were regarded by all who knew him and were 
capable of judging, as very far above mediocrity. His scholarship was both 
extensive and accurate. As a Preacher, though not distinguished for that com- 
manding eloquence which sometimes holds an auditory entranced, he was yet 
possessed of a free elocution, and his sermons were, in the estimation of all 
enlightened and cultivated minds, of a high order. They were generally pre- 
pared with great care and many of them written out fully ; but, whether fully 
written or preached from an outline, so correct was his analysis of his sub- 
ject, so full and clear and logical the division, so precise and 'pointed the 
discussion, that not only was criticism for the most part disarmed, but often 
the enthusiastic admiration of the most critical hearer elicited. His habit of 
full and careful preparation he followed up as long as he continued to preach ; 
and it is worthy of note that so impressed was he with a sense of the import- 
ance not only of full but of fresh preparation for the pulpit, that he seldom, if 
ever, made use of the notes of a former discourse without subjecting them to a 
careful revision. A few of the notes of his sermons in the earlier years of 
his ministry I have had an opportunity to examine ; and I can truly say that 
they all seemed to me to bear the stamp of intellectual greatness ; and not 
only so, but were verbally and literally, and even in their punctuation, cor- 
rect ; and yet so distrustful was he of any former preparations, that his 
revision of them for after use was always made with pen in hand. 

But great as were Mr. Allison's abilities, and the consequent influence 
which he exerted in the pulpit, perhaps he made himself still more powerfully- 
felt in the Church Courts. The windy eloquence that sometimes takes the 
attention of a popular auditory, if indulged in at all in a Church Court, passes 
only for wind ; while real talent and acquirements, coupled, as they were in the 
case of Mr. Allison, with a fervid and vigilant zeal for the welfare of Christ's 
cause, cannot fail to exert a commanding influence. During the last few years 
of his life, his hearing was so impaired that — much to the regret of his breth- 
ren in Cliurch Courts — he was, to a great extent, disqualified for taking an 
active part in their proceedings. Previous to this, his position was always 
that of a leading member ; and, possessed as he was of a strong mind, a sound 
judgment, and an ardent zeal for the purity of God's truth and the prosperity 
of his cause in the world, he exerted not only a powerful, but generally a 
highly salutary, influence. It should, however, perhaps, be stated, in this 
connection, that he had one quality of mind that, in some circumstances, 
tended rather to neutralize his otherwise good influence. Though, in most 
cases, he was abundantly able to expose the fallacious or defective reasoning 
of an opponent, without resorting to any such means, he sometimes, under 
circumstances of special provocation, employed a caustic severity of retort, 
that made him rather an object of dread than of respect with some who dif- 
fered from him in judgment. 

His publications were few and inconsiderable. He always felt an aversion 
to authorship. The only printed productions he left were some which he 


could not well avoid, principally Reports which he wrote as Chairman of 
various important Committees, (a post which he often occupied,) and which 
were published in the Minutes of Synod, and frequently in separate pamphlets. 
These were all characterized by marked ability, but they were generally on 
subjects of temporary or local interest, and they have passed away with the 
occasions which originated them. 

I remain, with high respect, very truly yours, 




Thomas Hamilton was born near the borough of Washington, Washington 
County, Pa., about the year 1776. His father was a highly respectable citizen, 
and, for some time, held the ofl&ce of High Sheriff of the County. His early 
religious impressions are supposed to have been received through the influence of 
a godly mother. While he was yet quite young, his mind had taken a decidedly 
religious direction, and he expressed a wish to devote himself to the Ministry of 
the Gospel ; and this desire was cordially responded to by his friends. He 
received the rudiments of his education at the Grammar School at Cannonsburg, 
Pa., which has since become Jefferson College ; and was afterwards connected, as 
a student, with Dickinson College, though the absence of his name from the 
College Catalogue would seem to imply that he did not gi-aduate. 

After completing his literary course, he entered the Theological School of the 
Associate (Church, under Dr. Anderson, and was a member of the first or second 
class that passed through that institution. In due time he was taken on trial for 
licensure, and was actually licensed (it is believed) in the year 1801. 

After he had preached for some time in different vacancies of the Associate 
Church, he was sent to supply a Congregation in the city of New York, which 
had been organized by the E-ev. Thomas Beveridge, in the spring of 1785. 
Notwithstanding this congregation numbered among its members some influential 
and prominent families, they had not — owing, as is supposed, to the small number 
of Associate Ministers then in the country — up to this time ever had a settled 
Pastor. After Mr. Hamilton had preached to them a few Sabbaths, they gave 
him a call, which he accepted ; and, on the 10th of June, 1802, he was ordained 
to the sacred office, and installed as Pastor of that Congregation. In connection 
with these services was the administration of the ordinance of the Lord's Supper. 
Dr. Banks preached the Ordination and Installation Sermon, and Mr. Marshall 
presided at the dispensation of the Sacrament. 

Mr. Hamilton continued in the faithful discharge of his ministerial duties for 
about sixteen years, when he was suddenly arrested by the malady that termi- 
nated his life. After a somewhat lingering illness, he died at New York, on the 
23d of August, 1818, at the age (as is believed) of about forty-one or forty-two. 

The only production of Mr. Hamilton's pen, known to have been published, is 
a Sermon appended to the brief sketch of his life by Mr. MiUer, and another in 
the fifteenth volume of the Religious Monitor. 

* Miller's Sketches. — MS. from John McAllister^ Esq. 



Mr. Hamilton was married on the 26th of May, 1827, at Rockland, Del, to 
Margaretta Marshall, daughter of William Young. They had four children at 
the time of his death , — three sons and one daughter. The eldest son, William 
Young, was graduated at Jefferson College in 1833, studied Theology at the 
Seminary at Cannonsburg, was licensed to preach, and had actually supplied for 
a time some vacant congregations, by appointment of Synod, but, in consequence 
of some mental disorder, was taken off from his labours for several years, and, 
though he partially recovered, he never afterwards resumed them. He died in 
or about 1860. Mrs. Hamilton removed to Philadelphia with her family imme- 
diately after her husband's death, and remained there till her own death, which 
occurred on the 5th of April, 1827. 


New York, April 7, 1863. 

My dear Dr. Sprague: When I came to New York to reside in 1804, the 
Rev. Thomas Hamilton was settled here as Pastor of the Associate Church, 
and I ver}"- soon made his acquaintance, and continued in pleasant relations 
with him to the close of his ministry and life. Though we belonged to differ- 
ent denominations, and were therefore not ecclesiastically thrown together, yet 
we occasionally visited each other, and often met in the ordinary intercourse 
of society, so that I had a good opportunity of judging of his more prominent 
characteristics. Though upwards of forty years have passed since our last 
meeting, my recollections of him are sufficiently distinct to justify me in 
attempting to comply with your request. 

Mr. Hamilton was a man of a sound, well-balanced mind, and of a highly 
respectable degree of cultivation. He never said brilliant or startling things, 
but he impressed you at once as a man of calm, reflective habit, who always 
reached his conclusions deliberately, and who rarely had occasion to abandon 
them. He was naturally kind and amiable, but was resolute in his adherence 
to his convictions of right, and would never yield them for the sake of accom- 
modating a friend, or from any considerations of personal convenience. His 
habits were rather the opposite of demonstrative, especially in general society, 
though he always seemed to enjoy familiar intercourse with his friends. My 
impression is that he never mingled much in public concerns, and had but little 
acquaintance outside of his own congregation or immediate circle ; though this 
was not the result of any illiberal views or feelings, but of a somewhat deli- 
cate temperament that naturally courted retirement. In person he was tall 
and slender, and of a prepossessing countenance. He was a sensible rather than 
an impressive Preacher — his sermons were carefully written, and delivered 
memoriter; and though his preaching did not captivate the multitude, it edi- 
fied the thoughtful and intelligent. He was very diligent and conscientious in 
all his pastoral duties, availing himself of every opportunity to direct the 
thoughts and regards of his people to their higher interests. Both in the pul- 
pit and out of it there was an all pervading seriousness about him, which 
marked him as a man of God. His whole air and manner kept you mindful 
of his high vocation. 

Mr. Hamilton was strongly attached to the Associate Church, and always 
ready to promote its interests by every means in his power. At the same 
time I never saw in him the least indication of a sectarian spirit, and I doubt 
not that he was a cordial well-wisher to the prosperity of every evangelical 
denomination. I well remember that he stood high in the regards of Dr. Mason 
for his great probity, consistency and Christian worth. 

Your ever affectionate friend, j. M. MATHEWS. 




James Eamsat was bora in Lancaster County, Pa., on the 23d of March, 
1771. His parents, Eobert and Mary Ramsay, belonged, at the time of his birth, 
to the Reformed Presbyterian Church, or Covenanters, and were always much 
respected for their intelligence and piety. James was the first-born of fifteen 
children, the larger number of whom he survived. About two years after his 
birth, his parents removed from Lancaster County to what was then known as 
the Western Wilderness, and resided about two years at Williamsport, on the 
Monongahela River. The settlements in that region were few and scattered, and 
were constantly exposed to the hostile incursions of the surrounding Indians. 
It was amidst such scenes of danger, and those of the Revolution which immedi- 
ately followed, that James first formed his acquaintance with the world ; and to 
this no doubt was to be attributed, in some degree, the remarkable energy of 
character which he exhibited in after life. 

At the end of two years the family removed fi:om Williamsport to Pigeon 
Creek, then within the bounds of the Congregation of the venerable Dr. McMillan, 
one of the most distinguished of the fathers of the Presbyterian Church. With 
this church the parents connected themselves, as did their son James also, at a 
very early period of his life. 

At the age of twenty-one he made a joint purchase of a farm, two miles from 
the village of Frankfort, Beaver County, Pa., and went with one of his brothers 
to reside there. This was within the bounds of the Presbyterian Congregation 
of Mill-Creek. Here, after some time, he was induced to change his ecclesiastical 
relations. He was led to this chiefly in consequence of the substitution, then 
becoming quite common in the West, of Watts' Hymns for David's Psalms in 
the public worship of God. Being fully convinced that this usage was unscrip- 
tural and adverse to the legitimate ends of devotion, he felt himself constrained 
by conscience to join a communion whose practice on this subject was in accord- 
ance with his own convictions. He, accordingly, united with the Associate Con- 
gregations of Service and King's Creek, then and for many years afterwards under 
the pastoral care of the Rev. Dr. Anderson, Professor of Theology in the Asso- 
ciate Church. His change of ecclesiastical connection was attended with no 
unkind feeling either on his own part, or on the part of the brethren from whom 
he felt obliged to separate. 

It is not known at what period of his life his thoughts were first directed 
towards the Ministry, though he seems to have meditated such a purpose previous 
to his connection with the Associate Church. It is supposed that he commenced 
his classical studies under his minister. Dr. Anderson, when he was about twenty- 
five years of age. He afterwards studied at the Jefferson Academy, since incor- 
porated as Jefferson College. In the year 1805 he received from this insti- 
tution the degree of Master of Arts. After completing his classical studies, he 
pursued the study of Theology under Dr. Anderson — this was between the years 
1800 and 1803. 

♦Evangelical Repository, 1855. — MS. from Rer. Dr. Beveridge. 



Mr. Kamsay was licensed at Buffalo, by the Presbytery of Chai*tiers, on the 
14th of December, 1803, when he was within a few months of completing his 
thirty-third year. He laboured for some six weeks after his licensure in the 
Presbytery of Chartiers, and then, during the greater part of the remainder of the 
year 1804, in the Presbyteries of Cambridge and Philadelphia. At the close of 
this year, he returned to Chartiers, and laboured within the bounds of that Pres- 
bytery till his settlement. He received an urgent invitation to take charge of 
the Associate Congregation of Cambridge, N. Y., then vacant by the removal of 
Dr. Banks ; but he thought it his duty to decline it. At a meeting of the Pres- 
bytery of Chartiers, April 17, 1805, four calls were put into his hands jfrom as 
many different congi'egations ; and the one which he finally accepted was from 
the Congregation of Chartiers. Here he was ordained and installed on the 4th of 
September following, the Sermon on the occasion being preached by the Rev. 
Thomas Allison. 

He addressed himself now to the various duties of the pastoral office with the 
utmost faithfulness and assiduity. In the sixteenth year of his ministry, he was 
called to a post of increased responsibility. Dr. Anderson having, in 1819, 
resigned the Professorship of Theology, the Synod, at their next meeting, in 1820, 
resolved to establish two Seminaries, to be called the Eastern and Western. In 
1821 Mr. Ramsay was chosen Professor in the Western Seminary ; and, in the 
ensuing winter, entered upon the duties of his new office, being at this time fifty 
years of age. This post, in connection with his pastoral duties in a large congre- 
gation, rendered his subsequent life very laborious. To his other offices was added 
the Professorship of Hebrew in Jefferson College, to which, however, he devoted 
but a small part of his time. He resided on a farm about a mile from Cannons- 
burg, and read Lectures to his students at his own house. Most of them boarded 
in his house ; but, as the number increased, and the boarding of so many became 
inconvenient, he removed from his farm into Cannonsburg, where he was relieved 
from the necessity of taking more than suited the convenience of his family. 
After the death of Dr. Banks, Professor of the Eastern Seminary, which 
occmTed in 1826, the Synod agreed, in 1828, to unite the two Seminaries ; and, 
in 1830, they fixed upon Cannonsburg as the place, and the next year elected Dr. 
Ramsay (for he had received the degree of Doctor of Divinity from Jefferson 
College in 1824) Professor in the united institution. He continued to attend to 
the duties of his Professorship till the meeting of the Synod at Washington, in 
1841, when he gave notice of his intention to resign. This was in conformity 
with a resolution, adopted by him a long time before, that he would not hold his 
office after reaching the age of seventy. His resignation was tendered at the 
meeting of Synod at Xenia, in 1842, and was accepted with warm expressions 
of respect for his character and gratitude for his services. 

He still continued in his pastoral relation, and was able for several years more 
to attend to all his ministerial duties. In June, 1849, he felt it necessary to 
urge the resignation of his pastoral charge, which had been previously offered, 
but the consideration of which had been delayed by the Presbytery, in compliance 
with a petition from the congregation. He was, accordingly, released from hia 
charge, after having held it upwards of forty-four years. 

Some time after resigning his Professorship, Dr. Ramsay returned to the farm 
which he had left for the sake of the students, and continued his residence there 
till about eighteen months before his death, when he removed with his wife to Frank- 


fort, and resided with their son-in-law, the Rev. Dr. M'Elwee. He still conti- 
nued, though in his eighty-fourth year, to preach occasionally in his son-in-law's 
pulpit ; and, though feeble in body, was cheerful and even lively in conversation. 
Three weeks before his death, he was seized with cholera-morbus, from which he 
recovered, only, however, to sink under another disease to which he had been 
subject for many years. He died on the 6th of March, 1855, within a few days 
of having completed his eighty-fourth year. 

In the summer of 1805 he was married to Margaret, daughter of James 
Paxton, who resided in the neighbourhood of Chambersburg, Pa. They became 
the parents of two children, — a son and a daughter. The son, James P., was 
gi-aduated at Jefferson College in 1827 ; studied Theology under his father for 
five consecutive years ; was licensed to preach, by the Presbytery of Chartiers, 
August 27, 1833 ; after itinerating a short time, accepted a call, in November, 
1834, from the Congregation of Deer Creek, New Bedford, Lawrence County, 
Pa. ; and was ordained and installed in that charge, July 31, 1835, by the 
Associate Presbytery of Ohio. Here he continued to labour with great fidelity 
for about twenty years, when he was obliged, on account of long continued and 
increasing indisposition, to demit his pastoral charge. He subsequently took up 
his residence in New Wilmington, and, occasionally, for a time, exercised his 
ministry when his health permitted. He died in great peace on the 30th of 
January, 1862. He was a man of highly respectable powers, and of an amiable 
and gentle spirit ; was an instructive and impressive Preacher, and an attentive 
and faithful Pastor. The daughter Maria, became the wife of the Rev. William 
M'Elwee, D.D., Pastor of the Associate Congregation of Frankfort, Beaver 
County, Pa. — Mrs. Ramsay still (1864) survives, being now in her eighty-fourth 

Dr. Ramsay never published any thing more extended than a Presbyterial 
Report ; but, after his death, there appeared, in connection with a brief " Memo- 
rial " of him, the outlines of nineteen sermons, several of which had been taken 
down at the time of their delivery. 


Cannonsburo, May 10, 1855. 

Rev. and dear Brother : My first acquaintance with the Rev. Dr. Ramsay 
was formed, when I was in the ninth year of my age, at which time he 
preached as a probationer in Cambridge, N. Y. It was continued by occa- 
sional visits, and our frequentlj'' beino; together at Synodical meetings, till the 
year 1835, when we became associated as Professors in the Theological 
Seminary at Cannonsburg. This relation brought us into habits of almost 
daily intercourse, and our intimacj'^ continued till the time of his removal to 
Frankfort, in 1853, so that- my opportunities of judging of his character were 
very abundant. 

Dr. Ramsay was quite tall and slender, and not altogether graceful in his 
movements, but it is rarely that a countenance meets our view in which are 
indicated with such distinctness, and in such agreeable harmony, quickness 
of discernment, mildness of temper, affectionateness of disposition and con- 
tentment of mind. Little children, of whom he was very fond, were attracted 
to him at once by the kindness and cheerfulness so apparent in the expression 
of his countenance, in his conversation and whole deportment. There were 



also blended with these indications such seriousness and gravity as ensured 
respect and gave force to his ministry. 

In his intercourse with society he always showed himself, as to all the 
substantial qualities of that character, to be a true Gentleman. Few could 
be compared to him in the talent for entertaining and instructive conver- 
sation. His mind was not only well stored with religious truth, but well 
informed on almost every subject of importance. He was not disposed to 
engross the conversation, or direct attention to himself, but, in his own 
modest way, could express his mind freely and appropriately on all common 
topics. He was not rude, dogmatical, or over-bearing, but remarkably 
affectionate, and ever ready to yield all due deference to others. While he 
abhorred duplicity and flattery he was yet careful not causelessly to wound 
the feelings of any; but rather to say things which would be agreeable and 
useful. His friendships were warm, almost unbounded, and though he was 
capable of dislike, he knew how to treat even an enemy with decent courtesy. 
The consequence of this was that he was always a most welcome guest in 
the houses of his acquaintances ; he was usually the centre of attraction in 
the social circles with which he mingled, and his society was courted equally 
by young and old, rich and poor. 

Perhaps no trait in his character was more prominent, more universally 
admitted and admired, than his strict unbending integrity. In this respect, 
it would be hard to find his equal, and it is believed it would be impossible 
to find his superior. Such was his reputation for honesty and integrity, that, 
not long before his death, a gentleman of the highest standing in the County 
remarked in reference to a question affecting his character for veracity, that^ 
if Dr. Ramsay was convicted of falsehood, he could never again believe him- 
self. His honesty in his dealings was such that persons who could not com- 
prehend his conscientiousness were ready to accuse him of simplicity. Few 
could be as watchful to take the advantage of others in a bargain as he was 
to avoid it. He has been often known, at auctions, to bid up articles where 
there was no competition, through an unwillingness to obtain them under 
their true value. A gentleman who had sold or traded away a horse for the 
Doctor, came to him and boasted that he had gained for him an advantage of 
ten dollars, supposing that this would be highly gratifying. The Doctor 
never signified whether he was pleased or not, but, upon the first opportunity, 
quietly handed over ten dollars to the person supposed to be the loser in the 

In connection with this may be noticed his disregard of wealth ; his indif- 
ference in this respect, if not indulged even to a fault in himself, was certainly, 
in some cases, the occasion of faults in others. It encouraged imposition. He 
was far from being ignorant of worldly things. He knew even better than the 
most of men what was just and proper in worldly transactions ; he knew as 
well as others when he was defrauded, but would rather submit to injustice 
than contend — hence, unprincipled persons often took advantage of him in 
their dealings, presuming that it might be done with impunity. In a few, and 
but very few, instances, his indignation against the meanness of individuals in 
their extortion prompted a resistance to which the love of money could never 
have moved him. In the early part of his ministry, he had some difficulties to 
contend with in providing for his family, but the blessing annexed to liberality 
attended him, and, for the remainder of his life, though not what would gene- 
rally be regarded as a rich man, he had not only a competence but an abun- 

Dr. Ramsay was very celebrated for a peculiar kind of wit, which derived 
much of its power from his gravity, and was so far from detracting from his 
ministerial character and usefulness that it rather added to both. His wit 


was altogether remote from levity ; neither was he addicted to malicious or 
biting sarcasm ; but he abounded in a species of wit of the most innocent and 
inoffensive character. His remarks were often so unexpected, uttered with so 
much apparent seriousness, and exhibited things in such a ridiculous light, 
that their power in provoking laughter was altogether irresistible. Some- 
thing of this often appeared in the pulpit, but so restrained and connected 
with his seriousness, that it seldom, if ever, had any tendency to produce a 
smile, but often smote upon the conscience with great power. As an example 
of this may be mentioned a remark made in a sermon preached not many 
years before his decease. He had heard, as was thought, an unfavourable 
report respectmg some young people whose parents were members of the 
Church, and took occasion, without any allusion to individuals, to describe in 
a very striking manner their course of conduct and its consequences. He 
closed by observing that such young persons were in the broad way that 
leadeth to destruction ; " Yes," said ho, " going to the pit as fast as their feet 
can carry them ; unless," he added, as if correcting himself, " they take 
Judas' road." He often introduced observations of this kind in a manner so 
unexpected and yet so appropriate, that the hearers were at the same time 
agreeably surprised and powerfully impressed. He seldom preached without 
saying something which, either in itself, or in the peculiar and pointed way in 
which he uttered it, was calculated to take a firm hold of the conscience, and 
excite serious reflections. To borrow one of his own expressions, sometimes 
used respecting the performances of others — " His sermons had teeth." 

As a Preacher, the Doctor would not be ranked among the most popular 
by a certain class, though, by some of the best judges, he was considered as 
one of the greatest orators. He undoubtedly possessed many and great excel- 
lencies. His general acceptability, when commencing his ministry, is evident 
not only from the number of the calls which he received, but from the respectable 
character of the congregations giving them. Three of these, at least, were, at 
this time, among the largest, most intelligent and pious congregations of 
the Associate Church. As he advanced in years, his application to study, 
and the increase of his religious experience, rendered his ministerial labours 
still more valuable. The first impression with strangers was seldom favour- 
able. He spoke slowly, though without any painful embarrassment. His 
style was plain, and his manner not altogether graceful. But, after a little 
familiarity with his manner, the hearer not only became reconciled to it, but it 
seemed even to add to the effect of his preaching. It was obvious to every 
one that he had no thought of what he was doing with his hands or feet, or 
how he appeared in the eyes of the people, — that his whole soul was engaged 
in his Master's work. Though slow, and not at all boisterous in speaking, he 
was always earnest, sometimes burning with zeal. The method of his ser- 
mons was clear and logical. His subjects were remarkably appropriate to the 
occasion. His illustrations were scriptural, and often exceedingly pertinent 
and striking. He generally comprehended much in a few words, so that those 
who looked more to the thoughts than the volubility of the speaker, had no 
cause for weariness. He would weary intelligent people less by a sermon 
of an hour and a half than many rapid speakers would in half an hour. Look- 
ing merely at the thoughts, he would say more in a few minutes than many 
would say in a whole day, or perhaps in all their lifetime. 

He had a just perception of things, and a lively imagination, and hence 
excelled particularly in description. He made a frequent and unusually happy 
use of the figure called Personification. His example was once quoted, by 
the Professor of Rhetoric in Jefferson College, to illustrate this figure ; with 
the observation that a distinguished member of Congress, who happened to 
hear him, in passing through the village, had spoken of him as one of the few 

Vol. IX. 11 



pulpit orators he had ever heard. Some of his descriptions, though they could 
not now be given in his own words, or accompanied with his manner, will be long 
remembered by the hearers. Such, for instance, is his account of the descent of 
Moses from the Mount, to which he, on one occasion referred, at the close of the 
dispensation of the Supper, expressing to the people his fear that, like Israel at 
that time, some of them would soon be found singing and dancing about the 
golden calf, applying his remarks to the sin of inordinately seeking after wealth. 

Another peculiarity in his preaching was the method which he often 
employed to gain and fix the attention of his hearers. He would, without 
any appearance of having studied this as an art, begin with some remarks, 
the particular object of which the hearers would not readily perceive. After 
he had excited their curiosity as to his design, fixed their attention and 
prepared the way, he would make the application to the purpose intended so 
unexpectedly and so appropriately that they were taken by surprise, and con- 
vinced almost before they were aware of it. He seemed in this to have 
copied the spirit, without following the form, of some of our Saviour's parables. 

Upon a Sabbath which happened to be the first day of the year, the Doctor 
read for his text, John iii, 16 : " For God so loved the world that He gave 
his only begotten Son," &c. ; and, after looking around for a little upon the 
congregation, as his habit was, he began by observing that this was New 
Year's day, and then enlarged upon the practice of making it a time for offer- 
ing gifts. After keeping the minds of the people, for some time, in suspense, 
as to the connection of such remarks with the solemn work of the ministry, 
he added that the text revealed to us the greatest and best of all gifts, — 
God's gift of his only begotten Son. 

All the Doctor's acquaintances agree in opinion that in no part of his 
ministerial duty did he excel more than in prayer. His manner in this exer- 
cise, like that in his preaching, was slow and deliberate, almost hesitating, yet 
few could be compared to him for appropriateness, propriety and fervency. 
His theological students often remarked how apposite his prayers were to the 
subjects under discussion. The afflicted and dying appeared generally to 
regard one of his pra3''ers as the greatest of all services which could be 
rendered to them in this world. He seemed not only to have a peculiar 
power to carry his fellow- worshippers with him to a Throne of Grace, but to 
bring away something for their profit and consolation. He was often sent 
for in cases of sickness, not only by the members of his congregation but hj 
strangers, and even by such as had previously professed but little regard for 
his ministrj^ There was no one whose conversation and prayers were more 
valued than his in cases of this kind. 

Though noted for his strict adherence to his religious profession, he was 
far from being uncharitable towards those whose creeds differed from his. 
He loved the image of Christ wherever he could find any traces of it ; he 
rejoiced in the prosperity of all parts of his Kingdom, and spoke of the satis- 
faction which was sometimes manifested by the members of one denomination 
in hearing of some evil befalling another, as one of the surest indications of 
the want, or at least the weakness, of grace. In his private intercourse with 
his brethren of other churches, while faithful to his own profession, he was 
not forward to enter into controversy, or say offensive things ; and, in his 
public ministrations, when his subjects led him to speak of opinions and usages 
which he condemned, he did so in such a spirit that no reasonable person 
could be displeased. He Avas accustomed to inculcate upon students and young 
preachers a respectful treatment of such as differed from them, observing that 
there was little prospect of convincing men by causelessly wounding their 
feelings and insulting their judgments. As the consequence of this course of 
conduct, he secured the favourable regards of all good men, and even the 


respect of bad men. No Minister of the Associate Church had a better repu- 
tation either in it or out of it. Every one was ready to rise up in his defence, 
and to repel indignantly any attack made upon his character. 

As a Professor of Theology, his department was Didactic Theology and 
Hebrew. In teaching Theology his custom was, on alternate days, to read a 
short Lecture and catechise the students on the subject of it. The latter of 
these exercises was what he chiefly depended on for informing their minds. 
He had no ambition to make to himself a name by an affectation of originality, 
or the introduction of novelties. With excellent powers of judgment and 
discrimination, with an imagination and ingenuity sufficient to have raised him 
to a high rank among those having the reputation of original thinkers, he was 
content to travel in the old and safe way in which others had gone before him. 
He was firmly attached to the system of doctrine derived from the Bible by 
the first Reformers and their immediate successors. He was thoroughly fami- 
liar with it, and very capable of teaching it in a clear and comprehensive man- 
ner. In the Hebrew he was in a great measure self-taught, never having 
proceeded much, if at all, beyond the first principles of the language, till his 
election as Professor. But, considering his age at this time, and the multi- 
plicity of his labours, it was rather remarkable that he made such progress in 
this branch of study as he did. So far as is known, there were no complaints of 
his incompetency in teaching it. He excelled as a critic upon the performances 
of the students, having a quick discernment of any thing amiss in the doctrines 
advanced, the plans of their sermons, their style and general character as 
speakers. Still he had not an eye merely for their faults, but could see and 
commend what was worthy of praise. In pointing out faults, he was not 
usually severe, but sometimes could not refrain from the indulgence of his wit, 
and raising a laugh at the expense of the young men. Yet, in doing this, there 
was evidently no intention to give offence, and generally none was taken. The 
standing of those ministers who prosecuted their studies under him is gene- 
rally such as to reflect no discredit upon their Teacher. 

That which constituted his greatest excellence was his sincere and ardent 
piety. No man was less disposed to make a parade of his religion — no man 
less needed to do it. His piety shone forth so clearly in his whole life that it 
could not be hid — it was a piety not in word but in deed and in truth. Like 
all members of the human family, he had his infirmities, but they were neither 
numerous nor glaring. It has been said of some that even their faults lean to 
virtue's side. It might be said of Dr. Ramsay that his chief faults consisted 
in the excess of his virtues. His modesty, his indifference to the world, his 
forbearance and his friendships, were sometimes carried to an extreme. 

Yours sincerely and respectfully, 



"West Milton, N. Y , February 9, 1863. 

My dear Sir : All that I knew personally concerning Dr. Ramsay fell within 
the period of my theological education. I was his pupil for four years, and 
was accustomed to recite to him or hear his Lectures five days in the week. 
I knew him not only as an Instructor but as a Preacher, and occasionally met 
him also in private, so that I had a tolerably good opportunity of forming a 
judgment of his general character. 

Dr. Ramsay had a highly intellectual expression of countenance. He waa 
a tall, lean, rather gaunt looking man, with thin high cheek bones, high fore- 
head, a small but piercing eye. He was social and pleasant in private inter- 
course, and could bear his part to advantage in conversation on almost any 
subject that might come up. There was nothing arrogant or assuming about 



him, but yet he had great self-control, and was little likely to be awed by the 
force of circumstances, no matter what they might be. 

As a Teacher, he was very systematic and perspicuous, and adhered with 
great tenacity and exactness to the accredited standards of orthodoxy in his 
Church. He evidently had the interests of his pupils greatly at heart, and 
was always ready to confer favours upon them whenever it was in iiis power. 

His style of preaching was somewhat peculiar. I presume he never wrote 
his sermons, at least when I was accustomed to hear him, beyond the merest 
outline. He had a sharp, shrill voice, and a clear and ready utterance; and 
though, at the beginning of his discourse, he usually manifested little emotion, 
as he advanced his mind would often fire up, and he would deliver himself 
with great energy, and very considerable effect. When his mind was in a 
more passive attitude, he would generally stand with his two hands in the 
pockets of his pantaloons ; but when he was aroused, he would lift his pocket 
Bible, with his right hand, above his head, and the gesture, if not the most 
graceful, really had great power in it. His sermons were richly stored with 
Gospel truth, and were highly prized by those who welcome the truth in its 

Dr. Ramsay was undoubtedly one of the leading spirits of the Associate 
Church in his day. He had great control in Deliberative Bodies, and was 
honoured alike for his integrity, good judgment and firmness of purpose. 
His name is still fragrant in the circles in which he was known. 

Fraternally yours, 



Albany, July 8, 1862 

My dear Sir : When I entered the Theological Seminary at Cannonsburg, 
Dr. Ramsay had just resigned his Professorship, but he still had his home 
there, and I had frequent opportunities of seeing him. I had seen him indeed 
at my father's house, while I was yet a mere child ; but my first acquaintance 
with him, and my earliest intelligent observation of his character, were at the 
time to which I have referred. Notwithstanding his connection with the Semi- 
nary had ceased, he still took a deep interest in its prosperity, and was ready 
to do any thing in his power that was likely to minister to it. He would 
sometimes be present at our exercises in preaching, and his criticisms upon 
our performances were generally very just and pertinent, though occasionally 
seasoned by a slight dash of sarcasm. The Doctor's weakest point, perhaps, 
in connection with the pulpit, was a rather awkward and uncultivated pronun- 
ciation. On one occasion, when he was present at one of our exercises, a stu- 
dent made such fearful havoc with even the plainest rules of orthoepy, that 
one of his fellow-students who was called upon to criticise the performance 
read off a list of this kind of offences that seemed truly appalling, but, by 
way of comforting his brother, added that he pronounced a good many words 
correctly. The Doctor, taking the full force of the joke, and withal being quite 
aware that his own greatest strength did not lie in that direction, quietly 
remarked that there were no words in the sermon but what he could under- 
stand, and added that the criticism which had been made, reminded him of 
another which a young man made upon a performance of his fellow-student, 
namely, that " his pronoonciation " (a pronounced as if it were ah) " was very 

Dr. Ramsay was tall and slender, and altogether of no gainly appearance. 
His manners were exceedingly plain, though their simplicity and kindliness 
made you easily forget what seemed to be the want of early culture. But he 
was a man of capacious mind and of highly liberal attainments. He was pro- 



foundly read in Theology, and was never at a loss for arguments wherewith 
to defend any of the articles of his faith. He had performed excellent service 
as a Professor, and had retired amidst the benedictions and grateful remem- 
brances of the whole Church. He was a logical and highly instructive 
Preacher, but his manner was ordinarily too deliberate to suit the multitude, 
though he sometimes would get an impulse that would render his utterance 
both fluent and fervent. In the early part of his ministry, he wrote his ser- 
mons, then fell into the habit of preaching from mere premeditation, but, in 
his later years, returned, as I have been informed, to his early practice of 
writing. He had a very strong hold of the affections of his people, and indeed 
he enjoyed, in a high degree, the respect and confidence of all who knew him. 
He exerted great influence in the Church, not only by his general character as 
an able, learned and eminently godly man, but by the prudent and vigorous 
control which he exercised in her various Deliberative Bodies. When I knew 
him, he had become, to some extent, disabled by infirmity; but, as long as 
he lived, his presence was felt to be an element of power. 

Dr. Ramsay was so conscientious that his scruples in respect to small mat- 
ters would sometimes excite a smile. For instance, I remember to have heard 
that, on one occasion, his wife went out and purchased some article at what 
she considered a very reasonable rate, and, on her return, spoke rather exult- 
ingly of her good bargain. The Doctor inquired of her what the ordinary 
price of the article was, and, on being told, went straight off, without saying 
a word, and made up the full price. If there was a doubt at any time in 
regard to what justice permitted or required, he never gave himself the benefit 
of it. 

Yours truly, 





Joseph Shaw, a son of James and Ann (Patterson) Shaw, was born in the 
Parish of Rattray, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, and was baptized on the 6th of 
December, 1778. His parents were respectable, pious persons, but in rather 
moderate worldly circumstances. He spent his early years in his native village, 
where he had the advantages of good schools and of good society. Here he 
acquired not only a common education, but the necessary preparation for entering 
College. He became a member of the University of Edinburgh a little before 
he had completed his thirteenth year. He never ceased to regret commencing 
his coUegiate course at so early a period, before his faculties were suflficiently 
developed to enable him to take the full advantage of all the instruction which 
he there enjoyed ; and he was accustomed, in view of his own experience, to 
caution parents against committing a similar mistake in respect to their children. 
The expenses of his coUege • life were met principally by his father, but partly 
also by his own efforts in teaching a school during his vacations. His course at 
the University was at a period when nearly every Professorship was identified 
with some illustrious name, — such as Robertson, Blair, Playfair, Daelzel, Dugald 
Stewart, &c. He graduated in the year 1794. 

* Memoir by Rev. A. Whyte, jr. — MS. from Rev. Dr. A. Bullions. 



From his earliest years lie had manifested a serious turn of mind, and while 
he was yet quite young had become a member of the Associate Church. He had 
also, from the commencement of his academical studies, had in view the Ministry 
of the Gospel as his profession ; and, accordingly, immediately after leaving the 
University, he entered the Associate Divinity Hall at Whitburn, thereby placing 
himself under the instruction of the venerable Professor Brace. Here he 
remained nearly the whole of five years, and at the close of his theological 
course, in 1799, was licensed to preach the Gospel. The winter previous to his 
licensure he spent in Edinburgh, reviewing some of his former studies, and prose- 
cuting others that did not belong to the ordinary coui-se. He was a member of 
an Association that met weekly for pui-poses of literary, moral and religious 
improvement, and was here greatly respected by all his associates. At this time 
his style of writing was rather dry and frigid, but characterized by great neatness 
and precision. And, as this was the kind of style that marked his preaching as 
a probationer, he did not succeed well in catching the popular ear, and, so far as 
is known, received no call from any congregation to settle among them. By the 
ministers, however, his seiTices seem to have been more highly appreciated ; and 
hence, when the Associate Church in Walnut Street, Philadelphia, became vacant 
by the death of the venerable William Marshall, application being made to the 
General Associate Synod of Scotland for a successor, they unanimously appointed 
Mr. Shaw to the place. 

He accepted the appointment, and, in the autumn of the year 1805, arrived 
in Philadelphia, and commenced his labours in the congregation to which he had 
been designated. In due time he received and accepted a call to become their 
Pastor, and was installed shortly afterwards. His services were highly accepta- 
ble, and his prospects of usefulness altogether promising. 

In the year 1809 Mr. Shaw went to Guinston, about seventy miles from 
Philadelphia, to dispense the Lord's Supper ; and, during his absence, was seized 
with the then prevailing influenza. In consequence of not taking suitable care of 
himself, his lungs became seriously affected, so that he was confined to his room 
and even to his bed for several months, and no less than fifteen blisters were 
successively applied for his relief By the blessing of God attending the skilful 
and faithful treatment of Dr. Rush, he gradually recovered in some degree, but 
he was able to preach but little for several years, and never subsequently enjoyed 
perfect health. Under these circumstances he judged it proper to terminate his 
ministry at Philadelphia — and so he did in 1810 ; but this result was not reached 
without considerable disquietude and dissatisfaction. His sufferings, in connec- 
tion with both his severe illness and the separation from his charge, were beheved 
to have been spiritually beneficial to him ; and from that time it was remarked 
that the tone of his Christian and Ministerial character was much more elevated 
than it had been at any preceding period. 

He spent a portion of the summer after his removal from Philadelphia in 
making a voyage to Nova Scotia for the improvement of his health, preaching 
occasionally as he found himself able. The next winter he spent in Cambridge, 
N. Y., with his friend Dr. Alexander Bullions, endeavouring, by gentle exercise 
and a cautious use of medicine, to improve his physical condition; and he par- 
tially succeeded. During this visit he delivered to the congregation to which 
Dr. Bullions ministered a series of discourses which were listened to with great 
interest, and, as an expression of their gratitude and sympathy, they presented him 


with a handsome sum of money. With his characteristic hberality, however, he 
applied this donation to the founding of a ministerial library among them, which 
has since become the most valuable library of its kind in the whole region. 

In 1813 Mr. Shaw received and accepted an invitation to become Professor 
of Languages in Dickinson College. Here he continued, labouring with great 
zeal and fidehty, until 1815, a short time before the operations of the College 
were suspended. In that year the Trustees of the Albany Academy called him 
to the same Professorship in their institution which he had previously held at 
Carlisle. Here also he taught with great success, and was equally admired for 
his talents and accomplishments and esteemed for his private virtues. Under him 
and his able associates the institution took a higher stand than it had at any preceding 
period. In 1821 he was honoured with the degree of Doctor of Laws from 
Union College. 

Dr. Shaw had, for many years, been subject to a periodical illness, during the 
month of August, resembling the influenza from which he had suffered so 
seriously in 1809. In August, 1824, soon after the commencement of the 
summer vacation in the Academy, he left Albany for Philadelphia ; and, on his 
arrival there, was seized with a violent cold, from which, however, he had partly 
recovered before the close of the week. He was engaged to preach on the 
following Sabbath ; and though, on the morning of that day, he was threatened 
with serious illness, yet, being unwilling to disappoint the congregation who had 
expected his services, he went through the regular exercises of the forenoon. 
His disease almost immediately developed itself in a raging fever ; but in three 
or four days it had apparently spent itself, and every thing seemed to indicate a 
speedy recovery. Scarcely had the favourable change begun to be realized 
before there was a fearful relapse, in which was recognized very soon the 
harbinger of approaching death. In a few hours his spirit had fled. His 
disease proved to be an inflammation of the stomach, and was pronounced by 
his medical attendants to be one of the most deceptive and malignant cases 
which had ever come within their observation. 

Dr. Shaw published a Sermon preached before the Albany Bible Society, in 
1820. The last sermon that he ever preached, entitled " The Grospel Call," was 
published, shortly after his death, in connection with a brief biographical notice 
of the author. Several of his discourses appeared at a still later period in the 
Religious Monitor — also a series of Dissertations on the Sanctification of the 
Church, and the Gospel Ministry. 


Troy, March 14, 1854. 

Dear Sir : My friend and countryman, Dr. Shaw, concerning whom you ask 
for my personal recollections, was in several respects a superior, even a 
remarkable, man. 

I cannot say that his personal appearance was particularly prepossessing. 
He was short and thick, firmly built, and always neat in his appearance. His 
face was full and square, his eye dark and penetrating, and the whole expres- 
sion of his countenance, though not specially benignant, was deeply intellec- 
tual. His manners in general society were far from being free ; and he would 
doubtless have been more generally popular, if he had been more communica- 
tive ; but those who knew him well and were admitted to his confidence, knew 
that he was capable of warm and generous feelings. 



His mind, in its general character, was rather solid than brilliant. With- 
out any high degree of imagination, he possessed a sound, discriminating judg- 
ment, good logical powers, and an exact and delicate taste. While he was at 
the University of Edinburgh, I have been informed that his written productions 
underwent so careful a pruning by his own hand, that there was sometimes a 
sacrifice of spirit and interest to rigid correctness ; but this fault gradually 
disappeared ; and, though his writing was always so correct as well-nigh to 
bid defiance to criticism, his sermons at least came to exhibit a very good 
degree of evangelical unction. 

And this leads me to speak of him as a Preacher. His manner in the pul- 
pit was more than commonly quiet and unpretending, and I cannot say that 
it was very impressive. But his discourses were sure to be highly relished by 
the more intelligent and reflecting class. The}'- were written fully out, even 
to the application, but his manuscript was never seen in the delivery. And 
they were not only written, but evidently written with remarkable care, in 
respect to both sentiment and style. He never went into the pulpit half pre- 
pared, and could never tolerate any thing there but beaten oil. 

Dr. Shaw's naturally retiring and taciturn manner disqualified him for the 
highest degree of usefulness in private religious intercourse. He had not a 
facility at introducmg serious conversation, especially in regard to one's per- 
sonal state ; but he was nevertheless a truly devout man, and had no commu- 
nion with the spirit of worldliness and levity. Indeed the temper which he 
manifested was eminently a Christian temper ; and his general deportment in 
the world reflected honour on his profession as a Minister of Christ. 

I should not do him justice if I were not to add that he was more than 
commonly charitable and public spirited. He imparted liberally of his sub- 
stance to those who were in need. He was the friend of those great institu- 
tions designed to aid in spreading the Gospel through the world, only the 
infancy of which, however, he lived to witness — he fully sympathized with the 
spirit in which they originated, and contributed to them according to his 

He possessed not only a highly vigorous, but highly cultivated, mind, as 
might have been expected from the fact that his course at the University 
of Edmburgh was during one of the most brilliant periods in the history 
of that Institution — while Robertson, the Historian, was its Principal, and 
Blair, Finlayson, Playfair and Dugald Stewart were among its Professors. 
With a mind thus thoroughly furnished in the various departments of know- 
ledge, and especially in the classics, and with a happy talent at rendering him- 
self intelligible to every capacity, he was a most thorough and efficient teacher. 
In his discipline he was exact, — probably severe — at any rate such was the 
opinion of some of his pupils who were able to testify from a pretty large 
experience ; but this was only the acting out of his natural temperament in 
connection with a controllmg desire to do most and best for those who were 
committed to his care. 

I had no acquaintance with Dr. Shaw in Scotland, and never saw him until 
I came to this country in 1817, when I found him a Professor in the Albany 
Academy ; but from that time till his death, I knew him well, and reckoned 
him among my intimate friends. I am happy thus to bear testimony to his 
high intellectual, moral and Christian worth. 

Yours truly, 





Albany, March 24, 1849. 

My dear Sir; From the time that Dr. Shaw removed to this city, and 
became Professor of Languages in the Albany Academy, he was very intimate 
in my family, and spent many of his leisure hours with us. It was seldom 
that a day passed, whilst we remained in Albany, that he did not call; and 
although the heads of the family might be out, he would spend what time he 
had to spare with the children, to whom he was warmly attached. 

After the removal of my family to Philadelphia, Dr. Shaw spent his sum- 
mer vacations with us ; and there he departed this life, deeply lamented by 
all who knew him. I can truly say that I never knew a man of more incor- 
ruptible integrity, or more disinterested benevolence, than he possessed. So 
firmly did he stand to his own convictions of what was true and right that I 
verily believe he would have suffered martyrdom rather than depart, in the 
slightest degree, from what he regarded as the strict line of Christian duty. 
His charity to the poor was limited only by his means. He was in the habit 
of placing a sum of money in Mrs. McTntyre's hands, at the commencement 
of winter, to be appropriated by her to the relief of the suffering poor. He 
dressed neatly but plainly, and was remarkably temperate in both eating and 
drinking. He was strictly economical, never spending any thing needlessly, 
while yet he was more indifferent to worldly gains than almost any person I 
have ever known. On one occasion, he placed in my hands a thousand dol- 
lars, with a request that I would invest it for him according to my own 
judgment. I bought State stock with the money, and handed him the 
certificate for it. Some two years afterwards, I was informed, by the Cashier 
of the State Bank, that, although this stock stood on his books, no interest 
thereon had been paid or called for. I spoke to Dr. Shaw on the subject, and 
found that he had forgotten that he had any such certificate in his posses- 
sion, though, upon examination, he quickly found it among his papers. 

Dr. Shaw was modest and unassuming in his manners, and in general 
society was somewhat inclined to be taciturn, so that only those who were 
intimate with him could fully appreciate his extraordinary worth. Though 
always ready to converse on religious subjects, he was free from sancti- 
monious airs, and did not forget the wise saying of Solomon, that " every 
thing is beautiful m its place." Notwithstanding his retired habits, he was a 
diligent student of human nature, and few men knew better what was going 
on in the world than he. He possessed great meekness and equanimity of 
temper, and, though not insensible to injuries, never indulged in a spirit of 

I cannot say that Dr. Shaw, as a Preacher, was especially attractive to 
the multitude, but his discourses were full of excellent thought, and were 
marked by decided ability. Every thing that came from his pen indicated a 
careful and thoughtful habit of mind. He had the reputation of being a very 
superior scholar, and I have no doubt that he possessed one of the most 
cultivated minds of his day, in this country. 
I am, my dear Sir, 

With sincere respect and esteem. 

Your most obedient servant, 


Voi IX. 12 




Robert Bruce was bom in the parish of Scone, County of Perth, Scotland, 
in 1776. He was descended from a highly respectable family, which traced their 
ancestry back to Robert Bruce, the famous King of Scotland. Having gone 
through the preparatory course of study, he entered the University of Edinburgh 
in 1798, being then in his twenty-second year. During his CoUege life he was a 
most diligent student, having not only an intense love of books, but an iron con- 
stitution also, which enabled him to gratify this passion with impunity to the 
largest extent. In 1801 he was admitted as a student of Divinity, after an exami- 
nation by the Associate Presbytery of Perth, and for five years prosecuted his 
theological studies under the venerable Professor A. Bruce. Here, as in his col- 
lege course, he devoted himself most assiduously to his studies, with correspond- 
ing rapidity of improvement; and, by his exemplary and winning deportment, 
rendered himself a favourite, not only with his Professor, but with aU his fellow 

He was licensed to preach by the Associate Presbytery of Perth, in 1806 ; 
and was immediately after selected, by the Scottish Synod, to come as a Mission- 
ary to the United States. In fulfilment of this appointment, he reached this 
country before the close of that year. After travelling some two or three years, 
as a Missionary, chiefly in the Carolinas, he found his way to Fort Pitt, (now 
Pittsburg,) and became the Pastor of the Associate Congregation in that place. 
In 1820, when the Western University was founded, he was chosen its President; 
a position for which his high character and hberal attainments eminently qualified 
him. In this capacity he served, with great acceptance and usefulness, until 1843, 
when he tendered the resignation of his office. After this he had an important 
agency in establishing another institution, (Du Quesne College,) of which he 
became Provost, and held the place till the close of his life. This, however, was 
for only a brief period, as he died on the 14th of June, 1^6, in the seventieth 
year of his age. The last sermon he ever preached was from John xiv, 2. " In 
my Father's house are many mansions." The whole period of his residence in 
this country was forty years. He exercised his ministry in Pittsburg thirty-six 
years ; presided over the Western University twenty-three years ; and was Pro- 
vost of Du Quesne College two years. 

He was honoured with the degree of Doctor of Divinity, by Jefierson College, 
in 1824. 

Dr. Bruce published an Address delivered before the Pittsburg Philosophical 
Society, 1828, and a small volume of Discourses on various points of Christian 
Doctrine and Practice, 1829. 

In 1810 he was married to Margaret, daughter of George and Joanna Gos- 
man, of the city of New York. They had a large family of children, — sons 
and daughters. Mrs. Bruce died at Pittsburg, on the 24th of April, 1851. 

* Obituary Notices. — Communication from John McAllister, Esq. 



Pittsburg, May 18, 1848. 

My dear Sir : I am willing to do any thing in my power towards erecting 
a suitable monument in honour of my much valued and deeply lamented friend, 
Dr. Bruce. I was for many years in most intimate relations with him, and 
had as good an opportunity of understanding his peculiar traits of character 
as I have ever had in respect to almost any other man. For upwards of ten 
years I was Professor in the Western University of Pennsylvania, of which 
he was at the same time Principal; and we were in habits not only of con- 
stant mtercourse but of most intimate friendship. He was constituted with 
rare attractions of character, and the nearer you came to him the more irresisti- 
ble you found them. 

Dr. Bruce was, in the best sense, a Christian Gentleman. His manners, 
though without any thing like studied refinement, were what you might expect 
as the natural product of a noble mind and a generous heart, developed under 
the influence of good society. While he was a model of fairness and frank- 
ness in all his intercourse, and was incapable of any thing approaching 
unworthy concealment, he was yet perfectly discreet, and never gave offence 
or inflicted a wound unnecessarily. His naturally fine feelings were sanctified 
and elevated by the living power of Christianity ; and you will rarely find an 
instance in which nature and grace have co-operated more effectually to form 
a character that every body delighted to honour. 

Dr. Bruce was eminent as a scholar. His knowledge of the Greek language 
particularly was very exact and extensive. In the University of Edinburgh, 
where he was educated, the Greek language was, and, for aught I know, still 
is, taught with extreme accuracy ; and, having a decided taste for this study, 
he pursued it to a great extent, and made corresponding attainments. But he 
did not pursue this branch to the exclusion of others — he was an excellent 
mathematician also, and was well skilled in mental and moral science. Indeed 
his education was uncommonly complete — it was not easy to introduce any 
subject connected with literature or general science, upon which he had not 
bestowed much thought, and was not ready to express an intelligent opinion. 

As a Divine, Dr. Bruce occupied a high place among the more eminent of 
his contemporaries. He had long been a diligent and vigorous student of 
Theology, and had investigated every part of that sublime science with the 
most scrutinizing care. The result of his inquiries ultimately placed him 
very firmly on Calvinistic ground; and I do not suppose that, at least from 
the time he came to this country, he departed a hair's breadth from the 
doctrines contained in the Westminster Confession of Faith, as it was received 
by the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. This system of doc- 
trine gave the general complexion to his preaching ; a very good specimen of 
which you will find in his published Sermons. He was highly acceptable in 
the pulpit, and rarely, if ever, carried thither an offering that cost him nothing. 
His discourses were well prepared, and were rich in evangelical truth, presented 
in a form well fitted to secure to it a lodgment in the mind, and an influence 
over the heart. 

Dr. Bruce exerted a wide and important influence during the whole period 
of his ministry. He was ready to every good work. There are many living 
witnesses to the purity of his example, the benevolence of his spirit, the 
elevation of his whole character. 

I am very truly yours, 





Cambridge, N. Y., October 21, 1852. 

Dear Sir : I cannot decline your request for my recollections of my early, 
honoured and deeply lamented friend, the late Rev. Dr. Bruce. I first became 
acquainted with him in the year 1798, when we were students together at the 
High School in Perth. We were afterwards associated in our studies, and in 
habits of most familiar intercourse, for three years, at the University of 
Edinburgh. We subsequently spent five years together in the study of 
Theology, under the Rev. Archibald Bruce, of Whitburn. We were both 
licensed the same year, by the same Presbytery. In short, we lived, slept and 
studied together pretty much for eight years. We migrated together to the 
United States, and though, after our arrival here, we resided at a considerable 
distance from each other, we usually met at least once a year, and, in addition 
to this, kept up a pretty constant correspondence. I mention these circum- 
stances to show you that if I do not give you a correct idea of Dr. Bruce's 
character, it will not be for the want of sufficient opportunities to become 
acquainted with it. 

Dr. Bruce's personal appearance was fine and commanding. He was, I 
should suppose, a little less than six feet in height ; portly and symmetrical 
in his form ; with a face rather full, and marked with an open and intelligent 
expression. His physical constitution was uncommonly firm, and his health 
almost uniformly vigorous. While his manners were free from any thing like 
parade or ostentation, they were still sufficiently cultivated to enable him to 
mingle with ease in the best society. The characteristic feature of his mind 
was a clear and solid judgment. Along with this was associated a good deal 
of imagination, which, in his earlier years particularly, he was rather fond of 
indulging ; but it was never his most prominent characteristic. His moral 
qualities were of a high order. His integrity was like granite — what he 
believed to be true and right he adhered to, no matter what sacrifice it might 
cost him. At the same time, he had much of a benevolent and considerate 
spirit, and never needlessly oflended the prejudices or wounded the feelings of 
any body. He was above all trick and artifice ; was a fervent lover of truth ; 
and was ambitious to excel in every thing good. In his intercourse with 
general society he was discreet and cautious, and yet, on account of his intel- 
ligence, generosity, and fine social qualities, he was always felt to be a most 
agreeable companion. He was never otherwise than a devout and exemplary 
Christian, though truth constrains me to say that the religious feeling seemed 
to me to have been more vigorous in him in the early part of his course than 
it ever was afterwards. I always thought that the study of Philosophy in 
College, and his literary pursuits in after life, proved unfavourable to the 
development of his religious affections. 

As a Preacher, Dr. Bruce was always acceptable, — T may say even popular, 
from first to last. His manner in the pulpit was dignified and manly ; his 
utterance distinct, unembarrassed and sufficiently rapid ; and his voice clear 
and sonorous, and loud enough to fill any church. When he began to 
preach, he had forty or fifty discourses carefully written out ; but though, 
for a while, he preached memoriter, he subsequently preached, I think, 
for the most part, from short notes ; and his sermons were generally rich in 
strong, well digested thought. I remember a circumstance, someAvhat morti- 
fying to himself at the time, which showed that he had some difficulties to 
overcome in forming the habit of extemporaneous speaking. When we were 
at College, in Edinburgh, we were both members of a Society, to which Dr. 
Dick, " the Christian Philosopher," and some other eminent men, then 



belonged, designed for moral and religious improvement. Bruce had been 
urged to try his hand in some of the discussions, and at length resolved that 
he would do so. He rose, on one occasion, with a smile upon his countenance, 
that seemed to be the harbinger of some very pleasant remarks ; but he stood 
and stood, in unbroken silence, until the smile gradually passed off, and gave 
way to a look of disappointment and mortification; and he actually sat down 
without delivering himself of a single word. He said afterwards that he had 
got an idea by the tail, but it escaped him before he had got full possession 
of it. He was not, however, discouraged by this unsuccessful efibrt, but sub- 
sequently tried again and again, with increasing success, until, after a while, 
he became a fluent and effective extemporaneous speaker. It was a fault in 
his early compositions, and even in his prayers, that his language was not 
always sufficiently simple. I remember an instance in which he was offering 
a morning prayer in my mother's family, and, in referring to the fallen angels, 
he spoke of them as having been " detruded into Tartarus." I mentioned it 
to him afterwards, and told him that he had been upon stilts ; but he said he 
had not used a word but that every body knew the meaning of. I proposed 
to appeal to my mother to see what would be her definition of the words 
"detruded" and "Tartarus," but he did not seem willing to hazard the 

In his Theological views Dr. Bruce was at last thoroughly Calvinistic; 
though he did not reach that point until he had encountered serious difficulties. 
So far as I know, these difficulties commenced, or at any rate were greatly 
increased, by his hearing Dugald Stewart's lectures on Philosophy. We were 
both so much troubled by the vexed question of Divine Decrees and Moral 
Agency that, on one occasion, we left our room at about nine o'clock in the 
evening, and walked a mile and a half to converse with a student of Theology 
of the Established Church, with a view to obtain some aid in settling our 
minds on this mysterious subject. We remained with him until after twelve 
o'clock; and though we found him a Calvinist, and went with an honest desire 
to be relieved of our difficulties, we undoubtedly left him an Arminian, and 
such I have reason to believe he continued to the end of his ministry. After 
we had retired that night, I w^ell remember that Bruce remarked, with no 
small concern, that he did not see how he should ever be able to subscribe to 
the Confession of Faith preparatory to entering the Ministry. This appre- 
hension, however, was not realized, as his difficulties yielded to more mature 
enquiry, and he reposed at last in the Calvinistic system, I believe, with 
undoubting confidence. 

Dr. Bruce was, through his whole life, a vigorous and untiring student. 
During the three years that we lived together at Edinburgh, he rarely went 
to bed before one or two o'clock in the morning, and never found time for any 
thing that was not designed to aid, either directly or indirectly, in the enlarge- 
ment of his knowledge or the culture of his intellectual or moral faculties. 
And the same remark substantially applies to the period during which he was 
a student of Theology. After he became President of Du Quesne College, his 
devotion to science and literature was most intense; and I am inclined to 
think that his zeal in acquiring and communicating this kind of knowledge 
may have interfered somewhat with his preparations for the pulpit, and per- 
haps with the general efficiency of his ministry. He was, however, always 
an able Preacher, as well as a diligent student and a learned man. 

Yours faithfully, 





Philadelphia, August 14, 1850. 

Reverend aud dear Sir : You have asked for my recollections of the late 
venerable Dr. Bruce, Minister of the Associate Presbyterian Church in Pitts- 
burg. I knew him well, and have no other than the most grateful recollections 
of him. He was long an inmate of the family of my grandparents ; and this, 
in connection with my relation to him as a student of the University and a 
member of his congregation, gave me an opportunity of understanding very 
thoroughly his character and habits. Nevertheless, I cannot undertake to be 
very particular, but shall only attempt to give you a general portrait of the 
man, as he still lives in my affectionate remembrances. 

As a Preacher, he was decidedly popular and successful. In his earlier years 
he was accustomed to make the most careful and mature preparation for the 
pulpit ; writing his sermons out most elaborately, and then delivering them 
memoriter : his manner, however, was free and earnest, as if he had been speak- 
ing extempore. In after life, when much of his time was necessarily devoted 
to the College over which he presided, his pulpit preparations cost him much 
less labour ; and yet he continued to the last to be an acceptable Preacher. 

In private life he was universally and most deservedly'' esteemed. With a 
remarkably bland and amiable temper, he combined good powers of conversa- 
tion, and uncommonly dignified manners ; which rendered him a favourite in 
every circle where he was well known. He was particularly careful, in all 
his intercourse, to avoid giving needless occasion of offence ; and he was one 
of the last men with whose feelings any one would be willing to trifle. At 
the same time he was always true to his convictions of duty, and counted no 
sacrifice dear which he was satisfied that duty required of him. 

As President of the College, he discharged his duties with great ability and 
fidelity. He had cultivated his powers in early life with great care, and he 
brought to this responsible station the fruits of long continued intellectual 
labour in a thoroughly furnished mind. A large number whom he has been 
instrumental of training to honourable usefulness, and who are now occupying 
various respectable stations in society, would cheerfully bear testimony to the 
salutary influence he exerted in cultivating their minds and moulding their 

It was sometimes thought, by some of his friends, that many people, while 
he lived, scarcely did him justice, in the opinion they formed of him. He was 
naturally so retiring and unostentatious that it was really necessary to know 
him well, in order to fully estimate his merits ; but so amiable and attractive 
were his qualities that the more one knew, the more he wished to know, of 
him. It has been said that he was related to the Royal family of Scotland : 
however that may be, I am sure that he was, in the best sense, a royal man ; 
possessing a great intellect and a great heart, and accomplishing great good 
for his generation and for posterity. 

Dr. Bruce was intimately associated with several eminent men, particularly 
with the late Rev. Doctors Kerr and Black, the latter of whom has but lately 
deceased; and in his intercourse with them, he, at once, received and imparted 
high intellectual and spiritual benefit. He enjoyed, in a very unusual degree, 
not only the confidence and esteem, but the veneration, of the mass of the 
community in which his lot was cast; and when he died, the great and uni- 
versal demonstrations of sorrow showed that, then at least, there was a due 
appreciation of his uncommon worth, and of the loss that was sustained by 
his departure. 

Your friend and brother, 






Xenia, O., March 12, 1863. 

Dear Sir: In compliance with your request, I will now give you some 
account of the Rev. John Walker. 

John Walker was bom some time in the year 1787, in Washington 
County, Pa. His parents, with whom I was well acquainted, and in whose 
house I was a boarder for a year, were remarkable for their piety. As, however, 
is often the case in the work of the Spirit, their piety, though equally sincere, 
was manifested with some diversity. The father was distinguished for his 
gravity, the mother for her life and energy. The son inherited the prominent 
traits of the mother's character much more than the father's. After completing 
his classical studies at Jefferson College, in his native County, he studied 
Theology under the venerable Dr. Anderson, and was licensed in 1809, when he 
was in the twenty-second year of his age. He was soon afterwards settled in 
Mercer County, Pa. But, after struggling for three yeai-s with the hardships 
of poverty, he resigned his charge, preaching his Farewell Sermon on those 
words so appropriate to his own circumstances, — Acts xx, 31 : " Therefore 
watch, and remember that, by the space of three years, I ceased not to warn 
every one, night and day, with tears." He was next settled in 1814, in Harri- 
son County, 0., where he continued to labour till his death, which occurred in 

My first acquaintance with Mr. Walker was formed in 1815, at a meeting of 
the Associate Presbytery of Chartiers, of which he was at that time a member. 
As the members of the Presbytery began to collect, I noticed one man coming 
in, who I had not the remotest suspicion was either a Minister or an 
Elder. He was of middle height, very sandy in complexion, his features sharp, 
his eyes light coloured, quick and piercing, his hair rough, curled and matted, 
his dress neither very neat nor clerical. His countenance indicated unusual life, 
energy and good-humour. His motions were rapid and incessant. A seat 
appeared to be to him a place of confinement rather than of rest. He seldom 
sat more than a few minutes at a time, and then was continually shifting his 
position. One would have much more readily supposed him to be a person 
engaged in some roving business than a Preacher. I was not, however, left a 
long time in perplexity. The gentleman, who had attracted my attention, 
having somehow ascertained that I was a young student of Theology arrived 
from a distant part of the country, came to me, and with as much frankness and 
kindness as if we had been old acquaintances, shook hands with me, and told me 
that his name was Walker. He inquired about my affairs, and took as much 
interest in them as if I had been a near relative. By his free and fi'iendly 
manner he won his way at once to my heart, and he never lost his place in it. 
How great is the mistake of many in maintaining a respectful distance toward 
strangers, and especially young strangers, instead of meeting them with famiharity 
and affection ! Mr. Walker had no formality or stifihess in his manner, cal- 



culated to repel either young or old, acquaintances or strangers, but was every 
where and with all classes free, and even forward, though not impertinent. He 
had the happy art, when travelling, and, on all occasions, when thrown into the 
company of strangers, to form an acquaintance with them without exposing him- 
self to the charge of being an intruder. The secret of this art was that he 
evidently sought this acquaintance, not for the mere gratification of curiosity, or 
for any selfish ends, but to promote the pleasure and profit of the company. He 
seldom, if ever, fa,iled, when travelling, to secure attention to religious exercises, 
morning and evening, at public houses and on board of steam or canal boats, and 
he managed to introduce them in such a way that often the irreligious, instead 
of being displeased, appeared to be gratified. 

At the time of the interview above mentioned, Mr. Walker \'as the Pastor 
of the Associate Congregations of Unity, Cadiz, Mt. Pleasant and Piney Fork, 
Harrison County, 0. He had a charge like an Episcopal Diocese in extent, and 
yet these congregations formed but a small part of the scene of his labours. He 
was, for several years, the only minister of the Associate Church in all the North- 
em part of Ohio, with the exception of one or two whose charges were near the 
Pennsylvania line. Throughout this region there were numerous small settle- 
ments of families, whose main dependence was upon him for supply, and who all 
looked to him as a common father. Indeed, his popularity and influence 
among them were almost boundless. A large portion of his time was spent in 
travelling among these people, preaching and exhorting from house to house. He 
had a horse about equally remarkable for his unsightly appearance and his speed in 
travelling. He would mount Ball, as he called him, and set out on his missionary 
tours, riding at the rate of fifty or sixty miles a day over the then new and rough 
roads of Ohio. On his way from home he would call at difierent places, and 
make appointments for preaching at his return. Having proceeded to the extreme 
limit of his journey, and perhaps spent the Sabbath there, he would commence 
his journey homewards, preaching according to his previous engagements, pro- 
bably at three or four places during the day. He was not accustomed to write 
any thing more than a brief outline of his sermons, and often he wrote nothing at 
all. On one occasion, when returning home, he came to a place where he found 
the people assembled for sermon, according to an appointment he had made, but 
forgotten. The hour had arrived, and he had not so much as thought of a text. 
His own situation, however, soon suggested one, and he preached an excellent 
sermon from the words of Peter to the cripple, — Acts iii, 6 : " Silver and gold 
have I none, but such as I have give I thee." If the sermon were not silver 
and gold, there is reason to believe that it proved to the hearers, like the healing 
of the cripple, immensely more valuable. 

Mr. Walker was not a profound scholar, nor a man of uncommon strength of 
intellect, but was remarkable, beyond most men, for the readiness and sprightli- 
ness of his thoughts. Hence he excelled in debate, and was frequently engaged 
in public disputations. He had a public debate on Baptism with Alexander 
Campbell, the leader of the sect which bears his name. A report of this was 
published, and though the book was miserably executed, it was not discreditable 
to Mr. W.'s abilities as a disputant. He was also engaged at different times in 
public disputes on other subjects, and rather courted than shunned such opportu- 
nities of defending what he believed to be the truth. In such contests he was 
remarkable not only for his readiness, but for his self-possession and good-nature. 


He never became confused, ruffled in temper, or abusive in language, though he 
sometimes made his opponent writhe under the shafts of his wit. As a specimen 
of his readiness in retort may be mentioned his reply to Mr. Campbell, who, in 
his debate with Mr. W., accused him of having burnt one of his (Mr. C.'s) books. 
Mr. Walker observed that his opponent was under a mistake ; " The book," said 
he, "was my own; I bought it and paid for it." 

As Mr. Walker made but little preparation for the pulpit, his sermons were 
not finished compositions, if one might call by that name what had never been 
properly composed at all. Yet his life and energy made him generally accept- 
able as a Preacher, and few men have been more useful in building up the Church. 
His free and friendly manner, his indefatigable zeal and faithfulness, together with 
his plain and impressive way of exhibiting the truths of the Grospel, fitted him, in 
an eminent degree, for the field of his labour in the new settlements. In a few 
years his charge increased so as to support three ministers instead of one ; a large 
Presbytery was gathered around him, and some time before his death this Presby- 
tery was divided into two, of both which he might be considered the spiritual 
father. His manner as a public speaker was not in all things according to rule, 
but his evident sincerity and earnestness more than made amends for any faults 
of this kind, and his preaching was much relished not only by plain people, but 
by such persons of good taste as had a love to the Gospel. He was usually inte- 
resting, and sometimes truly eloquent ; and, though unsparing in his attacks upon 
whatever he regarded as sinful, he was a general favourite. Baptists, Methodists, 
Quakers, and others whose peculiar views he was ever ready to oppose, when an 
opportunity offered, yet always held him in the highest estimation. They had 
the fullest confidence in his honesty, piety and good-will. He blended together, 
as few have been able to do, the utmost zeal against what he believed to be error, 
with the kindest feelings toward those who held it. 

He was distinguished for his hospitality to Mends and strangers. His house 
was more like a tavern than a private dwelHng. His generosity in this and in 
other respects extended far beyond his means, which were never abundant. He 
had little tact for the management of worldly affairs, and was always embarrassed, 
yet never allowed his embaiTassments to impair the generosity of his disposition. 
Having met with repeated losses by the burning of his house with nearly all its 
contents, by the failure of such as he had trusted, and by his own mismanage- 
ment of his afiairs, in his later years he united the practice of Medicine to his 
labours as a Pastor. Indeed, having studied Medicine in his youth, he had before 
this acted to some extent as a Physician, though without compensation. Now, 
however, he commenced the business as a regular practitioner; but between 
gratuitous services to the poor, moderate charges where he made any, and the 
neglect of his patients to pay, his medical practice did but little to relieve him. 

At the time when Mr. Walker first settled in Ohio, he purchased a small farm 
on which he resided. But as no hterary institution existed at that time in the 
neighbourhood, he soon formed the design of having one estabhshed ; and, finding 
the citizens of the nearest villages not forward to move in this business, he, in 
connection with a neighbour, laid out a town on the adjacent portions of their 
farms, with a view to the estabhshment of such an institution. The town was 
called New Athens ; and, while a large portion of it was still covered with trees 
instead of houses, a classical school was commenced. Mr. W. several times 
visited the Legislature at Columbus, and exerted himself for years, amidst much 
Vol. IX. 13 



opposition, to obtain a Charter for an Academy, and, though repeatedly defeated, 
he never desisted till he had obtained a Charter, not for an Academy, but for 
Franklin College. This institution he always cherished with parental fondness, and, 
though never holding the office of a Teacher, or having any personal interest in 
it, he was ready to make almost any sacrifice for its sake. It has sometimes 
been in a flourishing state, but at present, owing to the removal of some of its 
ablest Professors, it is in a somewhat precarious condition. It was no inconsid- 
erable proof of Mr. W.'s zeal in the cause of literature, that, under discourage- 
ments which would quite have disheartened almost any other man, both before 
and after obtaining a Charter for his Collegj, he still persevered till the close of 
his life in his hopes, his labours and sacrifices for this institution. His zeal, 
however, was not for literature in the abstract, but as a handmaid to religion. 
His chief concern was to furnish facilities for the classical education of young 
men preparing for the ministry, and nothing gratified him more than the fact that 
so large a proportion of the youth educated at this College had devoted them- 
selves to the ministry, chiefly in the various branches of the Presbyterian Church. 

He was of a very lively, sanguine temperament, ever ready to look upon the 
bright side of things. It was this turn of mind which occasioned his worldly 
embarrassments. He made his calculations in the anticipation that all things 
were to work favourably, and without taking into the account any mishaps or 
losses. Consequently, his hopes were seldom realized ; yet, when one scheme 
failed, he was ever ready with another, designed to extricate him from the last 
embarrassment, but he still entered upon it with the same want of caution. 
Thus he kept on, struggling and hoping, but never rising above his difiiculties. 
His peculiar turn of mind rendered him one of the most agreeable and entertain- 
ing companions. Wherever he was, he still proved the life of the company with 
which he mingled. It seemed as if nothing could either ruffle his temper or 
exhaust his good-humour. 

Yet, though his conversation might sometimes even border on levity, he was a 
man of the most sincere piety and ardent zeal in the cause of Christ. Nothing 
like levity was to be seen in his behaviour when engaged in religious duties, nor 
was there the least disposition, when in the pulpit, to indulge in that wit which, 
at other times, appeared like an exhaustless and irrepressible fountain. His seri- 
ousness and earnestness were such as would soon banish from the mind all thoughts 
of jesting and all remembrance of his jests. He was a most zealous advocate of 
Temperance, even to Total Abstinence, long before the formation of Temperance 
Societies, and when the cause was by no means so popular as at present. He 
was also a most decided opponent of Free Masonry and all kindred Institutions. 
But, above all, his zeal against Slave-holding was boundless. He carried his 
opposition so far as to refuse giving pecuniary aid to emancipate slaves, conceiv- 
ing that this would be a recognition of the master's right to them as property. 

His kindness of disposition, his love of peace, and his readiness of mind, made 
him particularly useful in reconciling parties who were at variance ; and few eases 
of this kind came before his Presbytery, or the Associate Synod, in which he was 
not employed as a mediator. Sometimes he was sent hundreds of miles to attend 
to affairs of this kind, and he seldom failed in his efforts to restore peace. One 
of his enemies, (for he did not altogether escape enmity,) in allusion to these 
labours of love, was pleased to call him "The Synod's Scavenger." Happy 
would it be for Zion if her streets abounded more in scavengers of the same kind. 



Mr. Walker died on the 8th of March, 1845. The disease which, in a few 
days, closed his active and useful life, was erysipelas in the throat. This disease 
had been prevailing extensively in the neighbourhood, and had been treated by 
him, in numerous cases, with much success. But when attacked by it himself, 
with an unaccountable obstinacy he refused to employ the same means which had 
proved so successful in his treatment of others. Owing to the nature of the dis- 
ease, he was unable to converse without much difficulty and pain ; but none who 
knew his life could need his dying testimony to satisfy them that his end was 

Mr. Walker was twice married. His first wife was Miss Rachel Scroggs^ a 
sister of the Rev. Joseph Scroggs, D.D., of Ligonier Yalley, Pa. By this mar- 
riage he had six children, — four sons and two daughters. The third son, T. B. 
Walker, studied Theology, and was licensed to preach, but did not continue long 
in the ministry. His second wife wa-i a Miss Morrow of Philadelphia, who sur- 
vived him, and is married to a Mr. Nash, a respectable gentleman of Iowa. One 
or two of her children by Mr. Walker are still living. 

Yours sincerely, 



"West Milton, February 10, 186S. 

My dear Sir : I believe I knew the Rev. John Walker well enough to feel 
justified in attempting a compliance with your request for some brief notices 
of his character. I met him first at Cannonsburg, in 1837, when I went 
there as a student of Theology, and, as he was a member of our Board of 
Examiners, I saw him regularly at every examination during my four years' 
course in the Seminary. In addition to this, I was for six months engaged 
in teaching a school within the limits of his congregation, and, durmg that 
time, was a regular attendant on his ministry, and a frequent visitor at his 
house, so that I had the opportunity of seeing him under a variety of circum- 
stances. I have seen him also at my father's house, and, on one occasion, I 
remember to have heard him preach, with great animation and earnestness, in 
my father's pulpit, on the text, — " Our feet shall stand within thy gates, 

Mr. Walker had an expression of countenance indicative of quickness of 
thought and general strength and earnestness of character. His motions were 
rapid and energetic rather than graceful — and the remark applies as well to 
the movements of his mind as his body — he was characteristically earnest and 
active in every thing that he undertook, while he asked no other question in 
regard to the means of accomplishing his object than simply whether they were 
right. He was a man of generous and kindly feelings, and yet, under the 
intensity of his convictions, he would sometimes say and do things which a 
different spirit would have modified or perhaps avoided altogether. 

As a Preacher, Mr. Walker enjoyed a high reputation, and was in some 
respects quite peculiar. His general appearance in the pulpit was bold and 
commanding. His voice was loud and strong, but inclined to be harsh ; and, 
as he waxed warm under the influence of his subject, he sometimes swept 
along with almost the force of a tempest. His utterance was very rapid, and 
he rarely, if ever, hesitated for a thought or a word — and yet he was, more 
strictly perhaps than any clergyman I have ever known, an extemporaneous 
preacher. He lived about three-quarters of a mile from his church ; and I 
remember his once telling me that his habit was to make his morning sermon 



on the first half of his way to church, and, when he had reached a certain 
stump, to begin upon the afternoon sermon, and both were finished by the time 
he had reached the church door. The consequence of this was that his ser- 
mons were characterized more by bold and striking appeals than by any very close 
logical processes ; though he really showed himself possessed of very good 
powers of argumentation, whenever he was pleased to bring them into exer- 
cise. In his sermons, as they were so purely extemporaneous, he was very apt 
to make episodes with reference to any passing events that might occur to 
him ; and sometimes he would give a sarcastic thrust at the prevailing errors 
or questionable habits of the times, that would come like a streak of light- 
ning. The tone of his ministrations was decidedly evangelical, and yet it was 
highly denominational also, as no man could be more conscientiousl)'- and 
earnestly, not to say exclusively, devoted than he was to the interests of his 
own Communion. As he was a Physician as well as a Minister of the Gospel, 
the duties of the two professions often came near running into each other — 
that is, he would frequently go from the pulpit to the sick bed, and not less 
frequently from the sick bed to the pulpit ; and yet his duties in each case 
were performed as faithfully, and, for aught I know, as successfully, as if he 
had been exclusively a Minister or exclusively a Doctor. 

Mr. Walker, I think, excelled as a Pastor. He was much among his people, 
always labouring for their spiritual interests, and especially ready to mingle 
as a comforter with the afflicted. His disinterested regard for their welfare, 
as well as his naturally genial and generous spirit, made him a general favourite 
among them. 

He was an active and influential member of Church Courts and other 
Deliberative Bodies. He comprehended readily every subject that came up 
for discussion, and it cost him no effort to present his views of it in detail, or, 
if need be, to enforce them by argument. His natural constitution well quali- 
fied him to be a controlling spirit. 

For nothing was Mr. Walker more distinguished than his hatred of Slavery 
— I think I may safely say that he was distinguished even among the brethren 
of his own denomination, who, as a Body, have always been proverbially hos- 
tile to that institution. It seemed to be ever uppermost in his thoughts, and 
his deprecation of it became as natural to him as his breath. Often as I have 
heard him preach, and perform other religious services, I do not remember a 
single instance in which he failed to give expression, in some way, to his deep 
feeling on this subject. On one occasion I was present at a Communion in 
his church, including the preparatory services, and those which followed it, 
and I noticed that in every one of the exercises the sin of slaveholding was 
prominently introduced. 

Such, in general, are my recollections of Mr. Walker, and I shall be glad if 
you find them, in any degree, serviceable to you. 

Fraternally yours, 




Andrew Stark, son of David and Margaret (Hay) Stark, was bom at 
Sheilknows, in the Parish of Slamannan and County of Sterling, Scotland, in 
the year 1790. His father was a fermer in easy circumstances, and both his 
parents were persons of excellent character, and educated their children to fear 
God and reverence religion. His mother particularly was distinguished for both 
intelligence and piety. They had a large family of children, eight of whom 
lived to mature age. 

Andrew, having discovered at an early age much more than an ordinary 
degree of aptness to learn, was favoured in his opportunities for improvement 
above the rest of the children. His first instructions in Latin he received at 
the Parish School in Slamannan, but he was soon transferred to the Grammar 
School at Falkirk, and subsequently to a school at Loanhead of Denny, wliich 
he attended for about six months, living at home, and walking to the school, a 
distance of about four miles, every day. 

At the close of this period, in the beginning of 1805, he entered the Univer- 
sity of Glasgow, which he attended for six successive winters. During two 
or three of the summer vacations, after his second session at College, he was 
occupied in teaching a small country school in the neighbourhood of his father's 

In the autumn of 1809 he commenced a school in Glasgow, in the hope of 
being able thus to procure the means of support while he prosecuted his studies 
at the University. Here he continued till the close of the Session of College, 
in April, 1811, when he took the Degree of Master of Arts. As his school at 
Glasgow did not answer his expectations, he removed to the Parish of Beth- 
kennar, near Falkirk, where he taught a public school, with great success, for 
upwards of two years. 

Previously to his leaving Glasgow he had entered on the study of Divinity. 
The Theological Seminary of the denomination with which he was connected 
was then under the superintendence of Professor Paxton, in Edinburgh ; and 
the time of attendance was in the months of September and October. Mr. 
Stark's attendance commenced in September, 1810, and was continued, though 
not without some interruption, during the three following sessions. 

In the autumn of 1813, upon leaving the Divinity Hall, he went to London, 
(Chelsea,) where he engaged as a classical teacher. But, finding that his know- 
ledge of Latin Prosody was not adequate to the place which he occupied, he 
retu'ed, for a short time, to a situation in Guilford, in the County of Surrey, where 
less was required of him, and where he could devote a considerable part of his 
time to the study of Prosody. After being absent nearly a year, he returned to 
Chelsea, where he continued, till the time of his entering on trials for licensure as 
Classical Teacher, in a boarding school, under the Rev. Weeden Butler, a clergy- 
man of the Church of England. In the autumn of 1816 he spent a few weeks 
at Edinburgh to complete his course at the Divinity Hall, and immediately after 
returned to Chelsea. 

♦ MSS. from the Rev. Dr. Peter Bullions and Rev. Andrew Shiland. 



At one period of his life, probably while prosecuting his philosophical studies, 
his mind became perplexed with doubts in respect to the Divine authority of the 
Sacred Scriptures. He, however, instituted a most thorough inquiry on the sub- 
ject, and the result was that all his doubts were put to flight, insomuch that he 
declared himself as fiiUy convinced of the truth of Revealed Religion as he was of 
his own existence. 

After his return to Chelsea in 1816, he seems to have been not a little per- 
plexed as to the question whether it was, on the whole, his duty to enter the min- 
istry. His hesitation did not arise from any doubts of the truth and importance 
of what he would be expected to preach, but from the idea that perhaps he waj-- 
better adapted to some other employment, and could be more useful in it. In 
the summer of 1817, after having suffered a severe illness of several weeks, he 
returned to Scotland, and spent two or three months with his parents, and, hav- 
ing, in the mean time, been relieved of his perplexity in regard to the course of 
duty, he was taken on trials for licensure, and in due time was actually licensed 
to preach the Gospel as a probationer, by the Associate Presbytery of Edin- 
burgh. His first sermon was preached in the pulpit of his cousin, the Rev. Dr. 
Stark, of Denny Loanhead, on the 26th of October, 1817. Having preached in 
several vacant congregations, he was sent to the Congregation of South Shields, 
which had then recently become vacant ; and, after preaching there for a month, 
he received a call to become their Pastor. He accepted the call, and was ordained 
and installed on the 16th of September, 1818. The connexion thus formed, how- 
ever, was not of long continuance. The Presbytery, at their very next meeting, 
received a communication from him, purporting to be the demission of his charge ; 
and, at a subsequent meeting, in January, 1819, he strenuously urged its accept- 
ance ; assigning as a reason that the moral and religious state of the congregation 
was such that he could not continue to be their Pastor, and, according to his own 
views, be faithful. The Presbytery deemed the ground of his demission insuflB- 
cient, and declined accepting it ; but it was subsequently referred to the Synod, 
and ultimately the Presbytery, in accordance with the Synod's instructions, dis- 
solved the pastoral relation. This occurred on the 14th of June, 1819. 

Immediately after the meetmg of Presbytery in January, he went to London 
with a view to obtain employment again as a Teacher. In a short time he was 
introduced to a gentleman of large fortune, who employed him to give private 
lessons to his son ; and also introduced him to Sir Frederick Vane, who put his 
services in requisition in a similar way. In June of that year he entered into a 
new engagement with Sir Frederick, in the fulfilment of which he went to reside 
with him at his country seat on the Cumberland Lakes, where he continued for 
a year, amidst many advantages for improvement and enjoyment. On the termi- 
nation of this engagement, he resolved on migrating to the United States ; and, 
accordingly, in the month of June, 1820, he returned to Scotland, and made a 
farewell visit to his parents. He then proceeded once more to London, and, 
some time before the close of August, embarked for New York, where he arrived 
on the 6th of October. He came to this country without any fixed purpose in 
regard to his employment, willing to devote himself either to preaching or teach- 
ing as the Providence of God might seem to direct. 

For a year after his arrival in the country, he preached occasionally, and super- 
intended the studies of two or three boys, — the sons of wealthy gentlemen in 
the city of New York ; and, m the mean time, was looking out for some place 


where he might be permanently engaged as a Teacher. Dr. Mason, who was 
then President of Dickinson College, Carlisle, proposed to him to become a 
Professor in that institution ; and he was not disinclined to listen to the proposal ; 
but, just at that time, circumstances occurred which gave a different direction to 
his mind, and finally determined him to devote himself wholly to the ministry. 
The Grand Street Church, in the Associate connection, in the city of New York, 
had then recently become vacant by the death of their Pastor, the Rev. Thomas 
Hamilton, and Mr. Stark had, by request, occasionally supplied their pulpit ; and - 
so acceptable were his services that they sent an urgent request to the Presbytery 
to secure him as their stated supply for several months. The result was that he 
received a unanimous call to become their Pastor, which, after considerable hesi- 
tation, he accepted, and was installed in the early part of May, 1822. 

Mr. Stark's settlement over the Grand Street Church proved highly favour- 
able to its prosperity. Divisions, which had previously existed, were quickly 
healed, and the church grew, by gradual and healthful accessions, and became 
distinguished for its stability and efiiciency. He was honoured with the degree 
of Doctor of Laws, by the University of London, about the year 1844 or '45. 

Dr. Stark liad naturally a good constitution, but it had been greatly 
impaired by a violent fever in London, before he came to this country. But 
though his health, after his arrival here, was always delicate, he rarely suffered 
his infirmities to interfere with the regular discharge of his pastoral duties, except 
when he was actually confined to his bed. During one whole summer, he 
preached with mustard applications or bhsters upon his breast, though his congre- 
gation, and in some instances even his own family, were not allowed to know it. 

At length, however, he became so enfeebled that his physician advised strongly 
to a temporary cessation from labour, and recommended to him to make a visit 
to his native country. He fell in with the proposal, and embarked for England 
on the 3d of July, 1849, having taken leave of his people the preceding Sabbath, 
in the full expectation of returning to them again after a few months. He was 
able to preach twice on the passage ; but, soon after his arrival in Scotland, his 
symptoms became much more unfavourable, and the little strength that remained 
to him seemed to be rapidly wasting. Subsequently to this, however, there was 
an apparently favourable change ; and both he and his friends had strong hopes 
that it would prove the harbinger of a complete restoifation. In this state of 
hopeful convalescence, he retired to his bed, and fell into an apparently quiet 
slumber, in which he continued until death had done its work. He had, for 
some time previous, evinced a high state of spirituality, and only a few hours 
before, had offered a prayer in the family, so remarkable for pertinence and 
copiousness and elevation, that all who were present listened to it not only with 
deep interest, but with devout admiration. He died on the 18th of September, 
1849, at Denny Loanhead, Scotland, at the house of his cousin, the Rev. Dr. 
Stark. His remains were sent to this country, and are entombed in the Green- 
wood Cemetery. His Funeral Sermon was preached in Scotland, by his cousin, 
and in New York, by the Rev. Dr. Peter Bullions. 

Dr. Stark was married on the 8th of May, 1823, to Ellen, daughter of John 
and Mary McKie, of New York. They had five children,-three sons and two 
daughters. The eldest, John M, was graduated at Union College in 1849, 
became a Physician, settled in the city of New York, and has now (1863) the 



position of Surgeon, under the Government, at Fort Schuyler. One of the 
daughters is married to the Rev. Andrew Shiland. 

The following is a list of Dr. Stark's publications : — 

A Sermon entitled " Charitable Exertions an Evidence of a Gracious State :" 
a Sermon preached at the Ordination of Mr. Irvine, at Hebron ; [Published in 
the second volume of the Religious Monitor ;] a Metrical Version of the Church 
rf Scotland Defended; Biography of the Rev. James Whyte, prefixed to his 
Sermons ; a Lecture on Marriage ; Remarks on a Pamphlet, by the Associate 
Presbytery of Albany, in a Letter to the Associate Congregation of Grand 

He wrote also a History of the Secession, in a series of papers, published first 
in the Religious Monitor, and afterwards in the Associate Presbyterian Magazine. 
To the latter publication he contributed largely. 


Troy, March 13, 1854. 

Dear Sir: When I went to College at Edinburgh in the year 1810, I found 
Mr. (afterwards Dr.) Stark there, as a student of Divinity, under the Rev. 
Professor Paxton. I formed a very pleasant, though not especially intimate, 
acquaintance with him at that time, and knew that he had a high standing in 
his class, both as a scholar and a friendly and honourable man. I had but 
little intercourse with him during the period that intervened between the close 
of his theological course and my coming to this country ; and it was not till 
he came hither himself, in the year 1820, that my relations with him became 
in any degree intimate. From that time till his death, we were on terms of 
uninterrupted and confiding intimacy. 

There was nothing very strongly marked in Dr. Stark's personal appearance. 
He was rather below the medium height, was not unusually thin, nor yet 
inclined to corpulency ; had regular features, a dark complexion, and a dark 
piercing eye ; and altogether his face might be said to be of a highly intellect- 
ual cast ; and to the careful observer it revealed the true character of his 
mind. His perceptions were both quick and clear; and his judgments of 
character, though generally formed with great rapidity, seemed almost infalli- 
ble. His manner would be thought by a stranger to be somewhat distant and 
reserved; but when one became intimate with him, and had gained his confi- 
dence, (and indeed no one could be intimate with him till he had done this,) 
his reserve gave place to frankness and cordiality. He was remarkable for 
never even seeming to profess what he did not feel — he abhorred hypocrisy in 
every form, and few men, perhaps, have ever been more free from it. 

Dr. Stark deservedly ranked high as a Preacher. His sermons were care- 
fully written out, and were full of excellent evangelical instruction. It was 
evident, from the large amount of well-digested, well-arranged and well- 
expressed thought which they contained, that they had been elaborated with 
devout care. They were delivered mcmoriter, without any extraordinary 
animation, with little gesture, and with no attempt at any thing like pulpit 
oratory ; and yet there was a simplicity, dignity and fitness about his manner, — 
a solemnity and earnestness so impressive that he could hardly be otherwise 
than acceptable to any audience. He was particularly felicitous in expository 
preaching or lecturing. His intimate knowledge of the original languages, as 
well as of biblical literature and criticism, with his remarkably logical and pre- 
cise habits of thought, gave him an advantage here which I think few have 
possessed. His preaching was far less exciting than instructive — it was 
eminently fitted to make enlightened and thorough Christians. His public 


pra)'^ers were simple, evangelical and appropriate. One peculiarity of manner 
in prayer, and occasionally in preaching, attracted the attention of a stranger 
rather painfully, but ceased to be noticed by his stated hearers — I refer to a 
rapid movement or quivering of the eyelids, which I always supposed was a 
nervous affection. 

In the pastoral visitation of the people of his charge he was regular and 
assiduous — in visiting the sick and dying, conscientious and diligent. The 
dwellings of the poor were even more familiar to him than the mansions of 
the rich. He valued men not for their wealth or rank, but for their worth, 
and especially for their piety ; and his intercourse with all was respectful, 
friendly and profitable. 

In a Deliberative Assembly Dr. Stark had great influence, — and justly. He 
was a ready extemporaneous speaker, but he rarely spoke on these occasions, 
except m cases of importance, and then it was always manifest that he had 
something to say. His clear, safe, vigorous mind was sure to be awake and 
in exercise where the perplexity of the case demanded penetration and fore- 
cast. But unless some such exigency occurred, a whole session of a Presby- 
tery or Synod might pass and his voice be scarcely heard. 

In religious matters he was tolerant and liberal, but decided and firm in 
his own views, and honestly and devotedly attached to the principles of the 
Associate Presbyterian Church. In private, he was a truly devout man, 
carrying the influence of religious principle into every department of social 
life. It was his habit to rise early, and the first business of the day was to 
gather his family around him for domestic worship. After praise and reading, 
not a chapter merely, but a large portion of Scripture in course, in which 
each member of the family took a part, the prayer w^hich followed was such a 
model of simple, earnest, familiar pleading for all present, for absent friends, 
his people, the poor, afflicted, tempted, dying, — for the whole Church, for all 
men, as to impress even the thoughtless, and make the reflecting feel that it 
was good to be there — and then, when the business of the day was over, 
early in the evening, the same services were repeated. 

Besides this, his rule was to spend the hour immediately after breakfast, 
or early in the forenoon, in private meditation and devotion; and he adhered 
to this when at home, under every variety of circumstances, with scrupulous 
punctuality. In his family, too, he was a fine model of Christian dignit}'', 
propriety and faithfulness. He was particularly attentive to the spiritual 
interests of his children, showing them, by both example and precept, what 
true religion is, and endeavouring to impress them with its obligations. 

Exactness and punctuality in all matters were ever with Dr. Stark a part 
of religion. His engagements were never made thoughtlessly, and when 
made they were ever held sacred, and he was perhaps never known to fail of 
fulfilling them. He was economical in all his habits, but never mean; though 
his salary was very moderate and even inadequate, he never complained, and 
he had always at hand the means of rendering assistance where it was neces- 
sary. And these means were bestowed with a promptness and liberality as 
generous as they were unostentatious. Such confidence had those who knew 
him in his judicious application of means for the relief of the poor, that 
several of the wealthy men in his congregation, and among his acquaintances, 
frequently made him their almoner in this duty, and his applications for 
means to relieve special cases of suffering and distress were always successful. 

Dr. Stark's acquisitions were such as might have been expected from his 
fine intellectual powers. As a classical and English scholar, he may be said 
to have belonged to the first class. He had also a great amount of general 
knowledge, and kept himself thoroughly posted in regard to passing 
events, whether political, moral or religious. There was almost nothing he 

Vol. IX. 14 



did not know, and, in the circles of private friendship, his conversation vras 
as instructive and profitable as it was social and cheerful. Though he never 
published much, what he did publish is highly creditable to both his intellect 
and his heart. He had great power of condensing, and though his style was 
perfectly clear, he never troubled his readers with any waste words. His Biogra- 
phy of the Rev. James Whyte, introducing a volume of Mr. Wh3^te's Sermons, 
and his History of the Secession Church, published in the Presbyterian Maga- 
zine, show that he was capable of high excellence in different kinds of writing. 

Ever truly yours, PETER BULLIONS. 


West Milton, January 19, 1863. 

My dear Sir : My recollections of Dr. Stark date back to my childhood, 
I used to see him at my father's house when I was a small boy, and he came 
to assist my father at the Communion ; and I knew him all along until I had 
entered the ministry, and was associated with him in the services of his 
Communion. Indeed I knew him quite intimately till the close of his life. 

Dr. Stark was very much favoured in respect to his personal appearance. 
He was rather short and stout, had a round face and florid complexion, indi- 
cating a fine constitution, and had a bright piercing look that would prevent 
any body from asking the question whether or not he was an intellectual man. 
His mind had been subjected to the highest degree of culture that the most 
thorough Sci)tch education could secure. As a classical scholar, I believe he 
had few equals in this country. Such was his familiarity with Homer's Iliad 
that I have heard him say that if the last copy of it were lost from the world, 
he thought he could, without much difficulty, reproduce it. As might be 
expected, he had a high reputation as a Teacher, associating, as he did, with 
the maturest scholarship, those other qualities of mind and heart which gave 
him easy control over the young. 

Dr. Stark's discourses were admirable specimens of sound logic. They 
were carefully and accurately written, his style being so correct as to defy 
criticism, and so perfectly clear that his meaning was never rendered doubtful 
even to the humblest capacity in his congregation. His thoughts were always 
legitimately drawn from his text, and never betrayed a disposition to be wise 
above what is written. He never wandered away out of the range of evan- 
gelical themes for the sake of administering to any body's capricious taste; he 
felt — and he conscientiously acted upon the conviction — that the instrumen- 
tality for doing his work had been supplied to him by God's Word, and that 
he had no right to look beyond it. His voice was not loud, but it was distinct, 
and easily filled almost any church. Ho had but little gesture, but what he 
had was simple and natural. There was a subdued fervour and unction in his 
manner, that helped greatly to give his sermons their effect, while yet there 
was nothing that approached the appearance of artificial excitement. I 
think he rarely preached without mature preparation, though this was 
evidently rather a matter of principle than necessity, as he had no difficulty 
in extemporizing in Church Courts, and on other occasions where the exi- 
gency demanded it. I may say here that he was a highly influential member 
of the Synod, and though not disposed to put himself forward, his opinions 
were always received with that marked respect and deference to which they 
were so justly entitled. 

Dr. Stark was one of the most generous and magnanimous of men. He 
was incapable of taking any undue advantage, or placing himself in any 
equivocal attitude, for the sake of accomplishing any selfish object. I regard 
him as having been a fine specimen of both intellectual and moral nobility. 

raternally yours, d. G. BULLIONS. 





Abraham Anderson was bom near Neuville, in Cumberland County, Pa., on 
the 7th of December, 1789. He was a son of Abraham and Elizabeth Ander- 
son, both of whom emigrated from the North of Ireland, a few months before his 
birth. His mother originally belonged to the Associate Church, and his father 
to the Presbyterian Church of Ireland ; though, previous to his leaving Ireland, 
he had transferred his relation to the Associate Body. He (the son) remained 
at home, labouring upon his father's farm, until he had reached early manhood. 
During the war of 1812 he was called out with the militia under General Har- 
rison ; and, while thus engaged, he not only gained credit as a soldier, but uniformly 
exhibited the most exemplary deportment. His Sabbaths were spent in reading his 
Bible and some other religious books which he had taken with him; and that copy of 
the Bible he always kept and cherished with most reverential care. On his return 
home from his tour of military duty, in 1813, he immediately commenced his 
preparation for the ministry. Without any previous course of study, he entered 
Jefferson College, where they were accustomed, at that time, to receive students 
before they had yet begun the study of the Classics. He remained there four 
years, and graduated in 1817, having been distinguished through his whole course 
for diligent apphcation and excellent scholarship. 

Immediately after leaving College he commenced the study of Theology under 
the Bev. Dr. John Anderson, who was at that time the Theological Professor in 
the Associate Church. He continued with him one session, (five months,) and 
then studied under the general direction of the Presbytery three years ; at the 
same time prosecuting a course of medical study under the direction of Dr. Leth- 
erman, one of the most eminent physicians in that part of the country. He was 
chosen Professor of Languages in Jefferson College in 1818, and accepted the 
office and retained it until 1821. In October, 1821, he was licensed to preach ; 
and, after itinerating, about two months, in Pennsylvania and the Eastern part 
of Ohio, he went, by appointment of Synod, into the Southern States, and was 
very soon settled over the Congregations of Steele Creek and Bethany, Mecklen- 
berg County, N. C. After remaining here about ten years, during which time 
he exerted a highly beneficial influence, not only upon his own immediate congre- 
gations, but throughout the whole extent of the Presbytery, — his health had 
suffered so much, from the effect of the climate, that he found it necessary to 
seek a Northern residence ; though he resolved to remain until a suitable person 
could be found to succeed him. In 1831 an Act was passed in the Synod of 
the Associate Church, requiring the excommunication of all slaveholders; 
which, whatever might have been his views of the subject, he knew he 
should be unable to carry out. Having received an appointment from the 
Synod to visit certain churches at the North, he visited Hebron, Wash- 
ington County, N. Y. ; and, as he did not think it prudent to return 
immediately, on account of the prevalence of the cholera, he remained and 
preached at Hebron for some time. After he returned to the South, in the 

* Communication from himself. — Evangelical Repository, 1856. 



autumn of 1832, the congregation at Hebron sent a call after him ; and the fact 
of a person's having been found to succeed him, in connection with the embarrass- 
ment occasioned by the Synodical Act on Slavery, led him to accept it. He, 
accordingly, returned to Hebron in the summer of 1833, and settled there. He 
held the Pastoral relation to that church fourteen years and a half. In the 
autumn of 1847 he was elected Professor in the Theological Seminary of the 
Associate Church at Cannonsburg, as successor to the Rev. Dr. Martin. This 
post, in connection with the Professorship Extraordinary of Hebrew in Jefferson 
College, and the collegiate charge of the Congregation of Miller's Run, he held 
till the close of life. 

The disease, which terminated his life, was an inward inflammation, which had 
troubled him for many years. It was not, however, till within a few months of 
his death that it began seriously to interfere with his stated labours. In 
December, 1854, he found it necessary to cease from the exercise of his ministry, 
in the Congregation of Miller's Run, and to devolve the whole care of it on his 
colleague, the Rev. Dr. Beveridge. He still attended, though often with much 
pain, to his duties in the Seminary, and preached frequently on Sabbath evening. 
His condition for many weeks had seemed alternately more and less hopeful, 
until the 29th of April, 1855, when there was a decisive change that indicated 
that the time of his departure could not be distant. His sufferings in his last 
days were intense, insomuch that he was prevented from engaging much in con- 
versation ; but his mind was evidently in a tranquil and trusting state, and those 
who saw him die were fully persuaded that he felt nothing of death's sting or 
death's terrors. He died on the 9th of May, and was buried the next day at 
Chartiers, beside the graves of his parents. 

The degree of Doctor of Divinity was conferred upon him by Franklin Col- 
lege, Ohio, in the autumn of 1846. 

He was married at Salem, Washington County, N. Y., on the 9th of October, 
1832, to Mary, daughter of John and Eliza Law. They had one child only, a 
daughter, who is married. 

Dr. Anderson's publications are 

A Circular to the Churches in the Carolinas, about 1824; a Sermon on 
Covenanting, published in the Philadelphia Repository; and a Criticism on a 
Decision in a Church Case, given by a Judge in Vermont. 

I had the pleasure of a slight acquaintance with Dr. Anderson, having met 
him during a meeting of the Associate Synod in Albany a few years before his 
death. I was impressed by his grave and dignified appearance, and by the evi- 
dence he gave, in all his conversation, of a sound, well balanced and well culti- 
vated mind. He seemed especially at home in talking about the distinguished 
men in his denomination who had passed away, and evidently cherished their 
memories with great reverence. He also kindly communicated to me an account 
of the leading events of his own life, of which I preserved written memoranda 
that I have availed myself of in writing the present sketch. 


Frankfort Springs, Brown County, Pa., April 4, 1859. 

Rev. and dear Brother : My acquaintance with Dr. Abraham Anderson com- 
menced in September, 1822, while he was delivering his Ordination trials 
before the Presbytery of the Carolinas, and was afterwards cultivated in long 


journeyings with him to and from several meetings of the Associate Synod ; 
in many meetings of the Carolina Presbytery ; in many meetings to dispense 
the Lord's Supper ; in several meetings as delegates to the Convention of 
Reformed Churches ; in many meetings of the Theological Board ; in almost 
numberless meetings in our respective habitations, both in the South and in 
the North ; and by a somewhat extended friendly correspondence. The 
acquaintance for which Providence afforded such ample opportunity soon 
ripened into the most intimate and cordial friendship, — a friendship which 
never suffered the least interruption or abatement during his lifetime, and in 
which I confidently expect that we shall mutually rejoice amidst the scenes 
beyond the vail. 

Dr. Anderson's exterior was large, massive and comely ; and though large 
bodies and little souls are often conjoined, in his case the glory within was 
equal or superior to the expectations inspired by the outward form. He was 
able to accomplish much in a little time. What time he usually employed in 
preparing for the Sabbath I know not ; but, if an emergency required it, he could 
collect and arrange the materials of a sermon in a very brief period. He was 
not so remarkable, however, for the activity of his mental operations as for 
the compass and extent of his mental vision. Whatever subject he had occa- 
sion to handle, he seemed to rise above it, and to view all its different sides at 
once, with all the objections which might be brought against the view which 
he maintained. An elderly man in the South, connected with the Old School 
Presbyterian General Assembly, heard Dr. Anderson occasionally, and com- 
pared him to a great ploughshare, which makes a wide furrow and buries all 
the weeds out of sight. 

To a strong, well balanced mind were added, in the case of Dr. Anderson, a 
habit of great diligence, and the art of gathering up fragments of time and bits 
of opportunity and turning them to some good account. It does not appear 
that he kept a Diary ; but he kept a note book in which he recorded, with 
some remarks, any text by which his mind was impressed in reading ; and 
when his reflections did not lead him to fix on any particular subject for the 
Sabbath, he had recourse to this storehouse for assistance. 

To an industrious spirit was added the love of order. His books and papers 
were kept in their proper places. The different parts of his apparel were pro- 
perly disposed, and his expenditures were not suffered to flow out at random. 
He noted in a little book the incomes and outlays of the year ; and, at the end 
of the year, marked the paper and laid it by, and began anew. Indeed, the 
love of order was conspicuous in every thing about him — in his garden, yard 
and stable, as well as in his dwelling. 

The result of his well directed industry was a large store of varied informa- 
tion. He could read a Latin system of Divinity almost as freely as he could 
read English. He was so familiar with the Greek of the New Testament that, 
in family worship, he was accustomed to read the chapter directly from the 
original. He had a good acquaintance with the Hebrew of the Old Testa- 
ment, and with Ancient and Modern History, and with the principles of our 
Republican Government and of the Common Law. He was a good Physician, 
in all ordinary cases, and not ignorant of Chemistry, nor of Agriculture or 
Architecture. He was a man of excellent common sense, and was much at 
home amidst the details of practical life. 

He was distinguished for humility and patience. He thought it no degra- 
dation to leave his seat in College, and ride through the country, preaching the 
Gospel to the poor and ignorant ; and, when settled in a pastoral charge, he 
was not above preaching from house to house or of ministering to the hum- 
blest child of sorrow. He was full of zeal and full of kindness. When, in 
the commencement of my ministry, I told him of any diflSculty, or discourage- 



ment, or cause of perplexity, however trifling the thing was, he never made 
light of it, but listened with fixed attention ; and, when he had comprehended 
the case, he set himself to render me the desired assistance as promptly and as 
earnestly as if I had been his own son. When I first saw him, his lofty head 
and stern countenance led me to doubt whether there was much of tenderness 
in his nature; but an intimate acquaintance with him revealed to me a heart 
full of the most generous and kindly sympathy. 

He was remarkable for sincerity and magnanimity. If he had proposed a 
measure to the Presbytery or Synod, and a brother proposed something bet- 
ter, he would abandon his own proposal and urge the substitute. He did 
nothing through strife or vain glory. He never spoke that others might hear 
how well he could speak, nor continued to harangue and reason for the sake 
of victory. 1 never witnessed the semblance of envy or jealousy in any thing 
that he said or did, either in public or private. 

Dr. Anderson was as far as possible from any thing like levity. He was 
cheerful and affable, and would sometimes laugh heartily, but his ordinary 
habit of mind was grave. I remember to have heard him relate but one really 
laughable story, and that was somewhat at his own expense. 

He was a highly acceptable and useful Preacher. Though he was a large 
and strong man, such was his bodily organization that he could speak only in 
a conversational tone ; but, as his pronunciation was very distinct, he could 
still be heard with ease by a large assembly. It must be stated further that 
he had this mental peculiarity — while his memory readily grasped and retained 
ideas, he had less ability than the generality of men to remember and repeat 
sentences. At the beginning of his ministry, he wrote his sermons at full 
length, as young ministers of the Associate Church generally do ; but it took 
him a whole week to commit a sermon, and, after so much labour, he was 
hampered in the delivery. He concluded, after a few trials, that if he could 
preach only in this way, it would be necessary for him to abandon the minis- 
try. The plan which he finally adopted was that of writing the heads and 
particular divisions, with a few sentences under each division, indicating the 
course of thought to be pursued ; and, in this way, he very soon came to 
preach with ease and comfort. The matter of his discourses was solid and 
rich, but the language and style of delivery were plain and simple. The body 
of his sermon was usually argumentative, but in the close he almost uniformly 
made an impressive appeal to the conscience. 

He was, 1 think, even more distinguished on the floor of Synod than in the 
pulpit. In a time of excitement, his calm, dignified mien and gentle voice were 
as oil on the troubled waters. When darkness brooded over the Assembly, 
and many were unable to see the point at issue, his cool, luminous statement 
of the matter in question would often dissipate the darkness, and give to the 
discussion a new and better direction. He was eminently fitted for the chair 
of Didactic and Polemic Theology. His great intellectual ability and solid 
learning, his dignified appearance and admirable propriety of conduct, his con- 
descending kindness and unfailing patience, made him all that could be desired 
in that important post. 

Yours with great respect and sincere affection, 



New York, January 3, 1863. 

My dear Dr. Sprague: am sure you will find it easy to obtain a more 
satisfactory account of the late Dr. Abraham Anderson than I am able to 
give you, and yet my recollections of him are very distinct, and my opportu- 


nities for forming a judgment of his character were not inconsiderable. I 
knew him first as Professor in Jefferson College, during the latter part of my 
course in that institution ; and, though he was appointed to the Professorship 
immediately after he was graduated, it was universally conceded that he was 
well fitted for the place, and acquitted himself in it with high honour. I 
knew him at a later period, when he had returned to Cannonsburg as Pro- 
fessor in the Theological Seminary ; for, though I did not myself, at that 
time, reside there, I was there as an occasional visitor, and took care never 
to lose an opportunity of visiting Dr. Anderson. What he was as a Professor 
in the Semmary I had no means of knowing, except from report ; but the 
uniform testimony, so far as I know, was, that he possessed high qualifications 
for his department, and was eminently acceptable and useful. 

Dr. Anderson's mind was calm, reflective, discriminating, logical, rather 
than highly imaginative. No matter what might be the subject that occupied 
him, he held it to his mind till he had made himself master of it in its 
difierent bearings and proportions. His intellectual powers were marked by 
great sobriety and harmony — he did not view things in an exaggerated form 
— as the simple truth, so far as it came within the range of his faculties, was 
the object at which he aimed, so he generally attained it by the simplest and 
most natural process. As his mind was one of great activity, and his habits 
were essentially industrious, it was to be expected that he would have large 
mental acquisitions ; and no one could be well acquainted with him without 
perceiving that this expectation was fully realized. He seemed almost 
equally at home in the Languages, the Mathematics, Intellectual Philosophy 
and Logic ; and though he made no show of his attainments, they were all at 
his command, as so much well adjusted intellectual furniture. 

Dr. Anderson was a man of a kindly and benevolent spirit, and always 
ready to confer a favour whenever it was in his power, though he was perhaps 
the opposite of demonstrative. He never said or did any thing merely for 
effect. In the ordinary intercourse of society, he was rather inclined to be 
reserved, though, with his intimate friends, he was delightfully free and com- 
municative. His religious character was pure, elevated, consistent, without 
the least approach to any thing that savoured of enthusiasm. I do not 
remember ever to have heard him preach ; but his reputation as a Preacher 
was just what you would expect from the general character which I have 
ascribed to him — his sermons were sensible, logical, and highly evangelical, 
and better fitted, in respect to both matter and manner, to interest and edify 
the thoughtful and intelligent hearer than to powerfully impress and bear 
away the multitude. He had great influence in Church Courts, not only 
from his general weight of character, but from his familiarity with the usages 
of such Bodies, and his facility at public business. He had, throughout the 
whole community, the reputation of a wise, learned, unostentatious, excellent 
man. His death was felt to be a calamity far beyond the limits of his own 

I am, my dear Dr. Sprague, 

Ever yours most truly, 





James Martin, a son of William Martin, was bora in Albany, N. Y., May 
12, 1796, — his parents having emigrated from Ireland to this comitry a short 
time before. While he was yet a child, the family removed to the town of 
Argyle, Washington Comity, N. Y. His parents had been members of the 
Associate Presbyterian Church in their native countrj', and their desire to enjoy 
rehgious privileges in the same ecclesiastical connection was a principal reason of 
their removal to Argyle. James worked upon his father's farm until he was 
seventeen or eighteen years of age, when he expressed the desire, and formed the 
purpose, of obtaining a collegiate education. He commenced his preparation for 
College at a private school in the village of Argyle, and afterwards became a 
member of the Washington Academy at Cambridge, where he remained until 
he was fitted to enter College at an advanced standing. He entered the Junior 
class in Union College, Schenectady, in 1817, and, having held a veiy high rank 
as a scholar throughout his whole course, graduated in 1819. 

Mr. Martin had the benefit of a strictly rehgious education, and was always 
exemplary in his external deportment, but did not make a public profession of his 
faith till he was approaching the close of his academical course. He was accus- 
tomed to scrutinize closely every doctrine that he received, and at one time the 
whole system of Christianity appeared to him so great a mystery that he found 
himself inclined to pause on the borders of skepticism. He, however, ultimately 
reposed, with the fullest conviction, in the entire system of evangelical doctrine, 
and gave abundant proof of its power in his daily life. 

At a meeting of the Associate Synod at Pittsburg, in May, 1819, the Rev. 
Dr. Anderson, on account of his advanced age, tendered his resignation as Pro- 
fessor of Theology, — agreeably to an intimation given the preceding year, — 
which was now accepted. A change of the location of the Theological Semmary 
being necessary, before the appointment of another Professor could with propriety 
be made, a Resolution was adopted, deferring that appointment, and committing 
the education of the students to the respective Presbyteries within whose bounds 
they resided. Mr. Martin, in consequence of this Resolution, commenced his 
theological studies under the care of the Presbytery of Cambridge ; but when a 
Theological Seminary was established at Philadelphia, and Dr. Banks elected to 
the Professorship, Mr. Martin, with several other students, became connected 
with this new institution. 

At the meeting of Synod at Philadelphia, in May, 1822, he was appointed to 
be taken on trial for licensure by the Presbytery of Cambridge ; and, in pursuance 
of that appointment, was actually licensed to preach the Gospel, on the 2d of 
September following. 

The Associate Congregation of Albany, almost immediately after he was 
licensed, petitioned the Presbytery that they might be allowed to have his services 
for one year ; and their request was granted. But, after he had been preaching 
for some time to this congregation, he became strongly impressed with the idea 

• Evangelical Repository, VI. — Communication from his family. 


that it was very desirable that he should spend another term at the Seminary; 
and, accordingly, having obtained permission from the Presbytery, he passed the 
greater part of the winter term of 1822—23 in again attending on the instructions 
of Dr. Banks. In the spring of 1823 he returned to Albany, where he con- 
tinued to labour so acceptably to the people, that, in the course of the year, he 
received a unaminous call to become their Pastor. This call having been accepted, 
he was ordained, and installed Pastor of that congregation, on the 19th of May, 
1824. The Sermon on the occasion was preached by the Rev. Mr. Campbell, 
and the Charge to the Minister and the people was given by the Rev. Dr. 

In 1833 Mr. Martin became connected, editorially, with the Religious Monitor, 
— a periodical publication which had been commenced some time before, but had 
had no responsible editor. He did not, at first, allow his name to appear on the 
title page, though he had the exclusive editorial control of the work ; but, in 
1836, he became its proprietor as well as editor, and, from that time, his connec- 
tion with it, in both capacities, was distinctly announced. This connection con- 
tinued until the close of the fifteenth volume ; and the work, in his hands, 
acquired a high character, even beyond the limits of his denomination. 

In May, 1840, Mr. Martin attended the meeting of the Synod, in Philadel- 
phia, in his usual health, as he supposed, with the exception of a slight cold. 
At that meeting it was found necessary to send a Commission to Barnet, Vt., to 
settle some difficulties that had arisen in the Presbytery of Vermont. Mr. 
Martin was one of the Commissioners, and, being chosen Moderator, it devolved 
on him to open the meeting with a Sermon. The Commission was to meet in 
Bamet, about two hundred miles from Albany, on the 10th of July. When the 
time arrived for setting out on this journey, Mr. Martin was still sufiering severely 
from his cold, though there was nothing to occasion him any alarm. As he pro- 
ceeded, with his brethren, on the journey, travelling by private conveyance, he 
became increasingly ill, having a very severe cough, attended with considerable 
fever. The day before they were to meet in Barnet, and when they were within 
a short distance of the village of Bradford, on the Connecticut River, he was 
seized with a violent hemorrhage from the lungs. They hastened on to Brad- 
ford ; and when Mr. Martin got out of the carriage, at the hotel, and sat down 
on the steps of the piazza, the first resting place at hand, the blood was flowing 
freely from his mouth. After obtaining medical aid, the hemorrhage was stopped, 
and they proceeded on their journey. But, shortly after reaching Bamet, the 
hemorrhage returned with increased violence, and it was repeated for several suc- 
cessive days. The disease, with the depletion that was judged necessary to arrest 
it, so reduced his strength that he was obliged to remain in Bamet several weeks 
before he was able to return home ; and, indeed, so great was his prostration that 
his system never afterwards fully recovered its former tone. 

During the whole of that year he scarcely attempted to speak in public at all ; 
but, the next year, his health was so far improved that he was able to appear 
quite frequently in his pulpit. At the meeting of the Synod in 1842, in conse- 
quence of Dr. Ramsay's resignation of the Professorship of Didactic Theology 
and Hebrew in the Theological Seminary, it became necessary to elect a successor 
to him in that office ; and the person chosen was Mr. Martin. He accepted the 
place, and immediately resigned his pastoral charge at Albany, after an accepta- 
ble and useful ministry there of eighteen years. 
Vol TX. 15 



In the summer of 1842 Mr. Martin removed, with his family, to Cannonsburg, 
Pa., whore the Theological Seminary was located, and entered on the duties of 
his new appointment, at the opening of the term in the fall of that year. 

In 1843 Mr. Martin was honoured with the degree of Doctor of Divinity from 
Jefferson College. 

Dr. Martin proved himself a very competent and acceptable Professor. He 
preached occasionally for his brethren, and in vacant churches in the neighbour- 
hood, but his strength was nearly all given to the immediate duties of his Pro- 
fessorship. The last time he attempted to preach was at a place called Peter's 
Creek, where he went to assist in the administration of the Lord's Supper. The 
effort was too much for him, and the next day the hemorrhage, by which he had 
been so often afflicted, returned upon him, and he resolved not to hazard again 
an effort at public speaking. He, however, soon recovered from this attack, and 
his improved condition awakened the hope that his life and usefulness might be 
prolonged through a series of years ; but this hope proved sadly delusive. On 
the evening of the 24th of April, 1846, after a day of more than usual exercise 
and comfort, he experienced a return of hemorrhage so violent that he was never 
afterwards able to leave his bed for more than a few minutes at a time. He lin- 
gered, in great patience and in the full exercise of all his faculties, until the 15th 
of June, when he quietly passed away. 

Dr. Martin was married, in 1825, to Rebecca, daughter of Matthew and Eli- 
zabeth (Given) White, of Albany. By thm marriage there were four children, 
two of whom died in infancy. Mrs. Martin died in 1835. In May, 1836, he was 
married to Jane, daughter of John Watson, of Cannonsburg, Pa., who became the 
mother of five children, — all daughters. 

Besides the liberal contributions which Dr. Martin made to the Religious Mon- 
itor, he published a duodecimo volume, (the substance of which, however, origi- 
nally appeared in the Monitor,) entitled '' An Essay on the Imputation of Adam's 
First Sin to his Posterity," 1834 ; and a Sermon entitled " The Duty of Sub- 
mission to Church Rulers Explained and Defended," 1841. This was the Discourse 
which he had prepared to preach at Bamet, when he was prevented by an attack 
of illness from fulfilling the appointment. 


Cannonsburg, May 14, 1854. 

Dear Sir : I am not at all disposed to decline your request for my recollec- 
tions of the late Dr. Martin, as he was a valued and intimate friend whose 
memory I delight to honour. 

Though I had occasionally seen him at an earlier period, I may say that my 
acquaintance with him commenced while I was residing at Cambridge, N. Y., 
and a short time previous to his settlement in Albany. From that time till 
the close of his life T knew him intimately. While I had a Pastoral charge 
in Philadelphia, he often assisted me on Communion occasions, and I some- 
times went to Albany to render him similar aid. During the last four years 
of his life we were associated as Professors in the same Theological Institu- 
tion, and, of course, were in habits of constant and familiar intercourse. 

There was nothing in Dr. Martin's personal appearance that would be 
likely particularly to attract you. He was rather below the middle size, with 
dark complexion, dark hair and light eyes, and a face bearing strong marks 
of intellect. He had an uncommonly well-shaped and expressive forehead. 
His movements were characterized by deliberation and dignity. 


In his manners he was gentlemanly, though in general society somewhat 
reserved. When you knew him intimately, however, his reserve disappeared, 
and he hecame a highly agreeable companion. Though he was far removed 
from every thing like levity, he would occasionally unbend in the confidence 
of private intercourse, and would sometimes participate in lively and even 
jocose conversation. His habit, however, was to be grave ; and the departure 
from it formed the exception, — not the rule. He was generous and honour- 
able in all his relations. His hospitality scarcel}'- had a limit ; and I have 
understood that so many were willing to avail themselves of it, that, 
with a moderate salary, he found it somewhat difficult to meet his current 

Of the character of Dr. Martin's intellect I need not speak particularly, as 
it will be sufficiently manifest from what I shall say of him in his different 
relations. As a Preacher, he always had a high rank in his denomination — 
indeed, his popularity, so far as I know, was universal. His voice, though 
not one of extraordinary power, was clear, melodious and impressive ; and it 
was sufficiently loud to fill with ease our largest places of worship. His 
enunciation was remarkably distinct, so that every word fell upon your ear in 
all its fulness. There was no great variety in his intonation, neither could 
his delivery be considered in any degree monotonous. He had no exuberance 
of gesture, but what he had was appropriate, and fitted to render his 
utterances more impressive. His manner was energetic and effective, but not 
highly impassioned — you saw the workings of a vigorous and earnest intel- 
lect, but little of that warm glow that indicates deep and powerful emotion. 
His sermons were far from being imaginative or beautiful; but they were full 
of well digested thought, were arranged with logical accuracy, and while they 
were so plain that the common mind could not fail readily to apprehend them, 
they showed so much intellectual vigour and such careful elaboration, that the 
most profound and cultivated minds were arrested by them. He often wrote 
out his discourses at length, and often preached from a full outlme ; and some- 
times, I believe, without much premeditation; but never, so far as I know, 
had even notes before him in the pulpit. 

No where were Dr. Martin's powers brought out to better purpose than in 
Church Courts. There his quick perceptions, his sound judgment, his admi- 
rable self-possession, his perfect familiarity with every thing pertaining to 
ecclesiastical procedure, gave him an influence which few ministers ever 
acquire. I remember an instance in which he had taken an active part in a 
process that resulted in the suspension of an old Scotch Elder; and however 
the Elder might have been dissatisfied with the result, he afterwards expressed 
his admiration of Dr. Martin's perfect coolness and dignity in the manage- 
ment of the case. 

Dr. Martin was a good general scholar, and acquired knowledge with great 
ease ; and he knew how to turn his knowledge to the best account. I think, 
however, that he was more indebted for his acquisitions to his facility at 
acquiring than to any remarkable degree of application. He was somewhat 
averse to bodily exercise ; and this probably reacted, to some extent, upon 
his mental habits. I do not mean to intimate that he was not a student, but 
only that he was not in this respect greatly distinguished. I ought to add 
that, during the last few years of his life, his health was so much impaired as 
to disqualify him for severe or protracted mental effort. 

As a Professor, Dr. Martin was very competent, conscientious, diligent and 
acceptable. His attainments in his department were highly respectable, and 
he had a more than common facility at communicating his own knowledge to 
the minds of others. He was a remarkably good critic ; and though he some- 
times perhaps approached severity, yet so just were his remarks, and so 



manifestly dictated by a desire to benefit the students, that they were 
generally little disposed to complain. I ought to add that he was uncom- 
monly faithful in respect to their spiritual interests ; availing himself of every 
opportunity to urge upon them the paramount importance of cultivating 
practical godliness. I well remember that, on occasion of one of their meet- 
ings, he inquired of them whether if there was one traitor among the twelve 
who constituted our Lord's immediate family, there was not reason to fear 
that there was more than one among them, as they were double the number. 
He evidently lived, during the whole period of his Professorship, under a deep 
impression that his time for serving his Master and the Church on earth was 
short, and this, no doubt, gave a complexion, in some degree, to his inter 
course with the students. 

Yours very respectfully, 



Albany, July 7, 1862. 

My dear Sir : I met the Rev. Dr. Martin, concerning whom you ask for my 
recollections, for the first time, at the meeting of the Associate Synod, in 
Xenia, 0., in 1842, — the same year that he was appointed Professor of The- 
ology and Hebrew in our Theological Seminary. The next time I saw him 
was in the fall of the same year, when he entered on the duties of his Profes- 
sorship, and I became a student under him. I had the benefit of his instruc- 
tion during my whole course in the institution, and his connection with it, as 
a Professor, continued but a s ingle session after mine, as a student, closed. It 
was chiefly in his relation as Professor that I knew him, though I met him 
occasionally in private, and perhaps had sufficient means of forming a correct 
idea of his character. 

Dr. Martin could hardly fail to impress you, at first sight, as a thoughtful, 
earnest, resolute man. His manner was in a high degree dignified, and at first 
he seemed not very accessible ; but, as you came to know him better, you 
found him familiar and affable, and manifesting quite a genial spirit. There 
was very little reserve in his intercourse, even with the students, after he 
became well acquainted with them ; and he generally secured, in a high degree, 
both their respect and good-will. He was susceptible of very strong feeling, 
but he exercised great self-control, and was very rarely betrayed into any 
hasty or indiscreet utterances which he had occasion to regret. 

Dr. Martin was a good general scholar, and, in the department of Theology 
particularly, his views were exceedingly clear and well digested. He had a 
well defined system of faith, and though he did not regard all its parts of 
equal importance, there was no point of what he believed to be Scripture doc- 
trine that he held lightly. As an Instructor, he had a happy faculty at bring- 
ing his own mind in contact with the minds of his pupils, and putting them 
in possession of the exact shade of thought which he wished to convey. We 
always felt, when we were listening to him, that we were getting the results 
of mature and profound reflection. 

As a Preacher, Dr. Martin was rather didactic than hortatory, edifying than 
highly popular. He was always perfectly self-possessed, and uttered himself 
with a dignified calmness, that evinced his high estimate of the truth he was 
delivering, and predisposed his audience, especially the more intelligent portion 
of them, to give him their fixed attention. He was not profuse in his gesture, 
though the little that he had was unstudied and appropriate, and evidently 
the prompting of the thought which he was developing. An air of simplicity 
and naturalness pervaded his whole manner. His thoughts were clearly con- 
ceived and clearly expressed, and the tone of his preaching was eminently 


doctrinal and evangelical. It was impossible to listen to him attentively with- 
out either gaining some clearer views of Divine truth, or becoming more deeply 
impressed with its importance. 

Dr. Martin had great control in a Deliberative Body. With strong common 
sense and a deep insight into the human character, and an intimate acquaint- 
ance with the details of public business, he was always recognized as a master 
spirit, if not the master spirit, of any Deliberative Assembly to which he hap- 
pened to belong. He was regarded by many as rigid in his views of ecclesi- 
astical discipline, but his course in this respect, whatever it might be, was 
evidently only the following out of his conscientious convictions. 

In general. Dr. Martin was at the greatest remove from every thing that 
had in it the semblance of trifling; but he would now and then say some- 
thing that would reveal a vein of quiet humour. One instance of this now 
occurs to me. The mama for cultivating whiskers had not then been intro- 
duced into this country ; but one of our students had nevertheless ventured 
so far upon making himself singular as to suffer his beard to grow much beyond 
what the usage of that day would justify. It so happened that this student, 
in a sermon that he delivered as an exercise in the Seminary, used the expres- 
sion, " beard the lion in his den ; " and when the Doctor came to criticise 
him, he remarked, in substance, that he did not like that expression ; that, 
though he had not his spectacles, and did not see very distinctly, he thought 
he recognized something on his face that might have suggested it ; but he 
added that, for his part, he did not like whiskers, and the only man whom 
he ever knew wear them in the pulpit, he believed had no piety. 

Very truly yours, 




David Carson, a son of David and Jane (Oliver) Carson, was bom in Grreen- 
castle, Franklin County, Pa., on the 25th of October, 1799. His parents, who 
were of Scotch ancestry, though natives of the North of Ireland, migrated to the 
United States in 1798, and took up their abode in Greencastle, where they placed 
themselves under the ministry of the Rev. John Young, of the Associate Reformed 
Church. Mr. Young was succeeded by the Rev. John Lind, under whose pasto- 
ral care the son passed his early years. It was through Mr. Lind's influence 
that his attention was first permanently directed to his immortal interests, and 
that, at a later period, he formed the purpose of devoting himself to the Christian 
Ministry ; and it was under his instruction also that he went through the course 
of study preparatory to entering College. In due time he entered Jefferson Col- 
lege, where he maintained a high rank as a scholar, and graduated in 1819. It 
was during his college life — it is believed in 1818 — that he made a public pro- 
fession of his faith in connection with the Associate Reformed Church. 

It was about this time that that Church was so deeply agitated with the con- 
troversy on the subject of Communion, which resulted in the union of a large por- 
tion of it, under the lead of Dr. Mason, with the General Assembly Presbyterian 
Church. The rupture thus made in the Church to which Mr. Carson belonged, 

* MSS. from his son; Bev. D. W. Carson, and Key. Dr. Beveridge. 



in connection with the bitter contests which attended it, occasioned him great 
perplexity and distress. He shrank from the prospect of entering the ministry at 
such an inauspicious period; and, having finished his collegiate course, he endea- 
voured to find a situation in which he might be advantageously employed as a 
Teacher. Providence seemed to baffle every attempt which he made in this dii'ec- 
tion ; and, finding, at last, that there was no other door open to him, he 
entered on a course of Theological study in the Seminary of the Associate 
Reformed Church in the city of New York. He was there during the winters of 
1820-'21, and of 1821-'22; but the winter of 1822-'23 he spent at Philadel- 
phia, pursuing his studies under the Rev. Dr. Banks, Professor in the Theologi- 
cal Seminary of the Associate Presbyterian Church, chiefly with a view of per- 
fecting himself in a knowledge of the Hebrew, — Dr. Banks being, at that time, 
esteemed one of the most eminent Hebrew scholars in America. It was some 
time during this year that he decided, after long and severe mental conflict, to 
connect himself with the Associate Presbyterian Church ; and, accordingly, after 
passing the usual trials, he was licensed to preach the Gospel, by the Associate 
Presbytery of Philadelphia, on the 8th of October, 1823. 

By the rules of the Associate Church, licentiates on probation for the ofiice 
of the ministry were required to itinerate within the bounds of the Church, for 
at least one year, as missionaries under the appointment of the Synod. This 
service Mr. Carson seems to have performed to great and universal acceptance. 
He received calls from the Congregations of Octorora, &c., in the Presbytery 
of Philadelphia ; from Poland, in the State of Ohio ; from the Congregations of 
Big Sprmg, Pistol Creek and Munroe, in East Tennessee ; and from several 
other places. He accepted the call from the Congregations in Tennessee, on the 
ground that they were in more unpromising circumstances, and, owing to their 
isolated position, less likely to obtain a Pastor, than the others. He was, accord- 
ingly, ordained to the work of the Ministry, and installed as Pastor of these con- 
gregations in October, 1824. 

In this large and widely scattered charge he laboured for about ten years. In 
October, 1833, he was elected Professor of Hebrew, Bibhcal Antiquities, Chro- 
nology and Church History in the Associate Presbyterian Seminary, then at 
Cannonsburg. Having signified his acceptance of this appointment, he resigned 
his pastoral charge, and removed with his family to his expected field of labour 
in the spring of 1834 ; and shortly after his arrival there, he received and accepted 
a call from the congregation of Washington, Pa., to labour among them as their 
Pastor. The journey of upwards of six hundred miles, which brought him to 
Cannonsburg, he performed in a private conveyance, reaching his destination in 
the month of June. But he did not live to enter on the duties of his Pro- 
fessorship. His constitution, though naturally vigorous, had been somewhat 
enfeebled by excessive labour. His journey, too, had been attended with great 
feitigue, as, besides removing his family, he brought with him a number of negroes, 
who had been manumitted by their master, and sent, under his care, to be 
settled in the Free States. A few weeks after his arrival in Cannonsburg, he 
was prostrated by a disease from which he had previously been a sufierer, and to 
the removal of which — now that it had settled upon his lungs — medical skill 
proved unavailing. He died, after a confinement of four or five weeks, on the 
25th of September, 1834. During his last illness, his mind was in a state of 
perfect tranquillity, and was occupied chiefly upon subjects pertaining to the 


Kingdom of Christ. His death was every way worthy of the devoted Christian 
life which had preceded it. 

Mr. Carson's only publications were occasional articles which appeared in some 
of the periodicals of the day, the longest of which was a Review of the Hop- 
kinsian system, — the prevailing system of doctrine in the region in which he 
lived. This was published in the County paper at Maryville. 

Mr. Carson was married, in October, 1827, to Jane, daughter of James 
and Eleanor (Cowan) Gellespy — the family was one of great respectability, and 
was connected with one of his congregations. They had three children, two of 
whom are now (1863) ministers of the Gospel, in connection with the United 
Presbyterian Church. Mrs. Carson still survives. 


Frankfort, Beaver County, Pa., December 3, 1863. 

Rev. and dear Brother : I have been somewhat tardy in answering your 
letter asking for some estnnate of the character of the Rev. David Carson, 
partly because I supposed the matter did not require haste, but chiefly because 
I had to wait for certain papers which, I calculated, would enable me to do 
greater justice to the subject. 

I had not the happiness of much intercourse with Mr. Carson. Our first 
meeting was in the city of Steubenville, Ohio, in the summer of 1824. At 
that time we lodged together in the house of a common friend two or three 
days, and I heard him preach a single sermon. Our next meeting was in the 
city of Baltimore, where we assisted the Rev. A. Whyte in administering the 
Lord's Supper. This was in the spring of 1830. From Baltimore we travelled 
together by steamboat to Philadelphia ; and in the latter city attended the 
meeting of the Associate Synod for eight or ten days, boarding, however, at 
diiferent houses. When the Synod had adjourned, we returned to Baltimore, 
lodged with a common friend, and preached together on the Sabbath. There 
was a meeting of the Associate Synod at Cannonsburg, in October, 1833. 
Mr. Carson and myself were in attendance. In the course of that meeting 
he was chosen Professor of Ecclesiastical History and Hebrew Antiquities, in 
the Theological Seminary at Cannonsburg, and, accepting the appointment, he 
moved thither with his family, in June, 1834. Having come to Cannons- 
burg about the middle of the week, and learning from Dr. Ramsay that I 
had the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper on hand, and would probably be 
alone, he was so kind as to take his horse and come to my assistance. When 
the Sacrament was over he returned with me to my house ; and the next 
morning we rode over to Robinson, seven miles, and attended a meeting of the 
Associate Presbytery of Chartiers. These interviews were so few and distant 
from each other that, had no other means of knowing Mr. Carson been 
thrown in my way, I should hardly feel warranted to claim any thing more 
than a superficial acquaintance with him. But, boarding with Dr. Ramsay's 
family from the fall of 1822 till the spring of 1825, with whom Mr. Carson 
had boarded during his collegiate course, I was made very familiar with his 
name and character before I had seen his face. In the fall of 1825 I supplied 
his pulpit in Blount County, Tenn., for two months, the Synod having sent 
him on a mission to the State of Missouri. He was very often spoken of by 
the people of his charge during those months, and, though it is long since his 
death, my familiarity with him has been kept up by constant friendly inter- 
course with Mrs. Carson and her two sons who have entered the ministry. 

Mr. Carson was somewhat beneath the ordinary stature, being five feet and 
four or five inches in height. He was. however, a strong, sturdy man, broad 



in the shoulders and well compacted. His forehead was lo^ty and broad, his 
cheeks well rounded and having a fresh, rosy tint. Being short-sighted, he 
wore spectacles, both in and out of the pulpit. 

In respect of mental and moral qualities, Mr. Carson was distinguished 
among his associates at College, and among his brethren in the Ministry. But 
that which arrested the attention and secured the approval of others was not 
a single excellence shining in him with transcendent brightness, but a happy 
combination of many excellencies, possessed by others indeed, but not often in 
the same degree or the same variety. 

Mr. Carson's intellectual endowments were of a high order. His ideas 
were clear and manly, his language was appropriate, direct and forcible, not 
combined with puerile platitudes or tawdry ornaments. And the gifts which 
his Maker had bestowed upon him he cultivated with diligence. He applied 
himself closely to his studies at College, and at the Theological Seminary, 
and through life, as he found opportunity. He was indeed so moulded and 
attempered that whatever he did, he did it with his might. When in his 
youth he engaged in play, he was among the foremost in the play. When he 
entered into conversation with others, he brought all his powers into exercise, 
and did not speak of one matter, while his thoughts wandered after another 
— when he laughed, he did not laugh with a sort of reluctance, but cordially, 
with such lively ringing tones that it was refreshing to hear him. I am 
reminded, in this connection, of an anecdote that was told of him, in Dr. 
Ramsay's family, in the winter of 1823. There had been a religious awakening 
in Jefferson College, in the spring of 1818 or '19. All the students were 
impressed more or less. A young man by the name of Trimble, rooming with 
Mr. Carson, was deeply impressed. In solemn seriousness, bordering on 
melancholy, he took it into his head that it was a sin to laugh. He informed 
Mr. Carson of the conclusion to which he had come. Mr. C. could not agree 
with him. The matter was debated for some time ; and, as neither was able 
to convince the other, they agreed to ask the opinion of Dr. Ramsay. This 
was done the next morning at the breakfast table. " Dr. Ramsay," inquired 

Mr. C ," What is your opinion about laughing — is it a sin to laugh .? " Dr. 

R., looking around the table, and observing that all were composed and wait- 
ing for his answer, said, with a dry humour, for which he was remarkable, — * 
"It is just as sinful to laugh as it is to sneeze." Mr. C, unable to maintain 
his gravity, burst into so hearty a laugh, that even Mr. Trimble was obliged to 
participate in it. 

Mr. Carson was distinguished for his fervent piety. Like Elijah he was 
very zealous for the Lord God of hosts. Like the beloved John, he was a 
sincere lover of Christ and of all the things of Christ. He was remarkable 
for tenderness of conscience, deep humility and a lively concern about the 
salvation of his brethren according to the flesh. These and various other 
distinctive traits of Christian character came out in his daily life, and they are 
strikingly manifest in many of his letters which have been preserved and have 
been submitted to my inspection. 

In his public ministrations Mr. Carson displayed decided ability, but his 
manner was so simple, and his utterances so plain and so well lilled up with 
corresponding feelings, that perhaps no hearer ever suspected that he was trying 
to exhibit himself. His delivery was not rapid but distinct and emphatic. 
Very often his eyes were suflused and the tears flowed freely ; yet there was 
no trembling of the voice nor distortion of the countenance. When he 
assisted me at the Sacramental service in 1834, he introduced the exercises of 
the Sabbath by reading and expounding the 63d Psalm. In offering the 
expository remarks his feelings rose at once. He went on for thirty-five or 



forty minutes, the tears flowing continually; but those wno sat at a distance 
only observed a singular solemnity and earnestness. 

Being sincere, earnest and hearty in the Lord's cause, he did not smother 
his convictions, but cherished them, and acted in accordance with them. 
Embracing in 1818 Dr. Mason's scheme of Catholic Communion, he received 
the Lord's Supper, for the first time, at the hands of Dr. McMillan, a minister 
of the General Assembly, though he still regarded the Associate Reformed 
Church as his proper home. Being convinced, in 1822, that Promiscuous 
Communion is injurious to the cause of truth, and subversive of wholesome 
discipline, he renounced it, withdrew from those that favoured it, with whom 
he had been accustomed to go, and attached himself to the brethren of the 
Associate Church, who regarded that form of communion as a very dangerous 
kind of latitudinarianism. Believing Slavery to be a moral evil, he assailed 
it even in Tennessee, and did all he could to purge the Church and the land 
of it. He likewise testified against Freemasonry, and the use of songs of 
human composition in the solemn worship of God. When, in Divine provi- 
dence, he was called to minister among strangers, he seems not to have con- 
sidered very much whether the hearers would receive his testimony or not. 
He was so faithful to his convictions that he did not blink the truth, or shun 
a plain, open testimony in its behalf, under any circumstances. 

In addition to what I have already said of the character of Mr. Carson's 
ministrations, I may say that he had a noble voice, strong and clear, but not 
harsh, which he had the power of modulating according to his own will. He 
could lower it to a whisper audible throughout the church, however large, 
and in a moment raise it up to thunder tones. I distinctly remember having 
myself been startled, when, after many petitions uttered in a moderate tone, 
he called out, with a loud, ringing tone, — " Awake, awake, put on thy strength, 
Oh Arm of the Lord, awake as in ancient days, in the generations of old." 

I will only notice one other feature in Mr. Carson's character, — namely, 
his strong faith in the testimony of God. He believed the doctrinal teachings 
of the Word to be the most sure and certain truth. He believed the laws of 
God to be the dictates of Divine wisdom and goodness, working out the right 
and good way. He believed the ordinances of God's appointment to be the 
only means of acceptable worship. He believed the threatenings and trembled, 
the promises and rejoiced. He so realized the being, presence and power of 
the Master as to be in a great measure regardless of the approval or scorn of 
men. "By faith the Elders obtained a good report," and our Elder obtained 
his good report in the same way. Animated by this heavenly principle, he 
read and studied, prayed, and preached and walked, " choosing rather to suffer 
affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a 

Yours with sincere respect, 




James Whyte, a son of James and Helen Whyte, was bom in Muthill, in 
Perthshire, Scotland, in the year 1794. His father cultivated a small farm, from 
the profits of which he was able to maintain his family in a creditable manner. 

* Memoir prefixed to his Sermons. — MS. from Mrs. Whyte. 
Vol. TX. 16 



Both of his parents were professors of religion, attached to the Secession Church, 
and, for a long period, members of the Associate Congregation of Kinkel, under 
the pastoral care of the Rev. Mr. Muckersie, an eminently godly minister and 
author of a well known Catechism. They were particularly careful in the reli- 
gious training of their children ; and to their good influence, under God, this son 
gratefully ascribed his preservation from many youthful foUies and gross sins. 
While he was yet very young he showed a great fondness for study, and this led 
his parents to resolve on giving him the advantages of a collegiate education. 
Having fitted for College in his native place, he entered at Glasgow in the year 
1810 ; and about the same time both his pai-ents were removed by death. Dur- 
ing his whole College course he was diligent in study and exemplary in deport- 
ment, and showed himself possessed of talents that gave promise of distinguished 
usefulness. In 1815, about the time that he left College, his mind was first 
seriously and earnestly directed to the subject of religion as a personal matter ; 
and, after several months of ineffectual striving in the spirit of the Law, he was 
brought to a cordial compliance with the terms of the Gospel and became a cheer- 
ful and active Christian. Shortly after this he conmienced the study of The- 
ology in the Divinity Hall at Edinburgh, under the direction of the Rev. Mr, 
Paxton, at that time Professor of Divinity to the General Associate Synod. In 
consequence of the death of his parents, he had been left, in a great measure, 
dependent upon his own exertions for the means of deftnying the expenses of his 
education ; but this he was enabled to do by teaching a school, first in the neigh- 
bourhood of Dunblane, and afterwards at Menstrie, near Stirling, during his vaca- 
tions. Having completed his course of theological study preparatoiy to licensure, and 
having gone through the usual exercises for trials before the Presbyteiy, he was 
licensed to preach the Gospel by the Presbytery of Stirling, in connection with 
the Antiburgher Church, in the spring of 1819. He conmienced his labours in the 
Orkney Islands, and was invited to a settlement there, which, however, he declined. 

The same year, and not far from the tune that he was licensed to preach, he was 
married to Jane, daughter of Alexander and Ellen (Ford) Wh}1;e, of Limekilns, 
in Fifeshire. 

Mr. Whyte, from his very first appearance in the pulpit, attracted unusual 
attention, and his services were put in requisition by some of the most respecta- 
ble congregations within the limits of the Body with which he was connected. 
After the two Bodies, Anti-Burghers and Burghers, were merged in the LTnited 
Associate Church, he continued to preach, with great acceptance, within the new 
organization, and several highly important vacancies were at his command, if ho 
would have accepted them. As, however, he was not entirely satisfied with the 
principles of Union, and took exceptions to some of the early measures adopted 
by the Body with which he was now in connection, he withdrew from that com- 
munion in 1824, and joined with a few others in protesting against it. And now, 
in fulfilment of a purpose which had even preceded his entrance on the ministry, 
he resolved to cross the Atlantic and seek a field of labour in the United States; 
and, accordingly, he arrived with his family in New York, in October, 1824. 
Shortly after his arrival, he joined the Associate Church, and, wherever he 
preached, was listened to with the deepest interest. Two calls, — one from 
Argyle, and another from Salem, were presented to him at the same time ; and, 
having accepted the latter, he was ordained, and installed over that congi'egation, 
on the 6th of July, 1825. 



It was a striking illustration of Mr. Whyte's unjissuming and unambitious 
spirit that he was disposed to accept this very retired sphere of labour, when his 
talents would have entitled him to look for one of the most prominent pulpits in 
the country. Here, however, he continued to labour, with great satisfaction and 
efficiency, until he was dismissed to his reward. His last illness was an inflam- 
mation of the lungs, terminating on the brain. He had gone to Argyle to 
preach ; and, after going through the accustomed labours at the church, on the 
Sabbath, he was expected to preach at the poor-house in the evening, but was 
too unwell to fulfil the appointment, and, instead of attempting it, returned home. 
In the latter stage of his illness, his mind was so far unstrung that he took no 
note of any thing that was passing around him. Just before his death he seemed 
to fall asleep for a few moments ; and, on opening his eyes, was asked whether 
he had been asleep ; and his reply was, " Yes, blessed be his holy name ; " and, 
shortly after, fell into his last slumber. He died, after an illness of about ten 
days, on the 13th of December, 1827. His Funeral Sermon was preached by the 
Rev. Dr. Alexander Bullions, of Cambridge. 

Mr. Whyte was the father of five children, — four daughters and one son. Of 
these only one daughter, with the mother, still (1862) survives. 

Some time after Mr. Whyte's death, a volume of his Sermons was published 
in this country, and afterwards republished in Scotland. The Scottish edition 
included also a sketch of his life. 


Fergus, Canada "West, October 18, 1848. 

Rev. and dear Sir : Your request that I should furnish you with some of my 
recollections of the Rev. James Whyte it gives me pleasure to comply with. 
My acquaintance with him was quite intimate, and my attachment to him 
devoted ; but our personal intercourse was confined almost entirely to the 
period of his curriculum as a theological student, and scarcely extended at all 
to his ministerial course. I will give you freely my idea of his character, 
resulting not merely from my own intimacy with him, but from what I know 
of his general reputation. 

As a Man, he was amiable, unassuming and benevolent. In his conduct in 
the various relations of life he was uniformlj'- correct, prudent and dignified. 
Towards those whom he deemed his superiors he was always deferential in 
his bearing; while towards his inferiors he exhibited the most graceful and 
winning condescension. As a Friend, he was devoted and constant ; full of 
that warm and generous sympathy that makes a friend so welcome in the hour 
of need. In short, his private character presented a rare assemblage of excel- 
lencies, which might very well justify the application of those lines of the 
Roman poet : — 

"Incorrupta fides, undique Veritas, 
Quando ilium inveniet parera." 

As a Christian, he was at once humble and fervent. His uncommon devoted- 
ness to God appeared in almost all his movements. No one who saw him 
could doubt that his grand aim was to attain to the highest measure of Chris- 
tian holiness. It was emphatically true of him that he had his conversation 
in Heaven. Whatsoever things were true, honest, just, lovely and of good 
report, — these things he ever cultivated and pursued. From his boyhood till 
near the period of his dissolution, he was wont to keep a Diary, wherein he 
uniformly noted the dispensations of Providence toward himself, the Church 
and the world ; and studied so to improve these, through grace, as to render 



them constantly subservient to his sanctification. In his devotional exercises 
he had great enjoyment ; nor were his prayers confined to stated periods ; for 
while he was conscientious and regular in the performance of secret and family 
worship, he was much given to ejaculatory prayer, — thus exemplifying the 
Apostolic precept, — " Pray without ceasing." Religion with him was far 
enough from being a matter of mere expediency, or a subject of mere mental 
speculation. It was a matter of the highest personal and practical concern, — 
that filled his whole soul and regulated his whole life. 

As a Preacher of the Gospel, he was gifted in no common degree. So far 
as impression or popular effect was concerned, it is not too much to say that 
he stood in the first rank. He had a remarkable power of seizing and 
enchaining the attention of an audience. His preaching was far enough from 
being mere declamation ; while his discourses were marked with great sim- 
plicity and classical accuracy of expression, and at the same time indicated a 
glowing and highly poetical fancy, they were replete with evangelical senti- 
ment, and possessed an unction that bespoke a deep and strong current of 
religious feeling, — an all absorbing interest in the topic which he had in hand. 
He had a marked predilection for the descriptive kind of preaching; and here 
he showed himself to possess remarkable graphic power. His descriptions 
were those of a master painter; for he infused into his characters so much life, 
and often threw around them such an incomparable charm, that the effect upon 
his audience was prodigious. The minutest circumstances connected with 
character, (circumstances which would have been by ordinary minds entirely 
over-looked,) he would seize upon and exhibit with surprising effect. He was 
full of earnest and impassioned appeals to the heart and conscience ; and it was 
not easy for any one who heard him to resist the impression that the one 
commanding object that he had in view was to promote the glory of his Mas- 
ter in the salvation of his fellow-creatures. He was a scribe well instructed 
in the mysteries of the Kingdom, a workman that needed not to be ashamed. 

And while he was a most faithful and earnest Preacher of the Gospel, his 
labours were eminently acceptable, — not merely in his own denomination, but 
among Christians of other communions. He was, indeed, a magnet of univer- 
sal attraction. But it was not merely or chiefly the blaze of genius, or the 
glow of imagination, but the holy kindlings of a heart actuated by an intense 
desire for the salvation of a dying world, through the power of the Cross, that 
rendered his public ministrations so irresistible. You may judge something 
of his popularity in Scotland from the fact that he received from various con- 
gregations no less than thirteen calls, to settle with them in the ministry, — a 
circumstance quite unprecedented, at least in the Secession Church. But his 
popularity never injured him. He continued to the close of life the same hum- 
ble, unostentatious, self-distrustful person as he was at the commencement of 
his career. By a mysterious dispensation of Providence he was called early to 
his rest and his reward; but there are many, on both sides of the Atlantic, 
who will never forget the charm of his example or the power of his ministra- 

I am, with sincere and affectionate regard, truly yours, 



"West Milton, February 6, 1863 
My dear Sir : My acquaintance with the Rev. James Whyte was compara- 
tively brief, though it covered the whole period of his residence in this country. 
As he was settled in the immediate neighbourhood of my father's charge and 
of my own home, he very soon became intimate in our family, and so con- 
tinued till he went to take possession of one of the Heavenly mansions. 


Though I was myself quite young, he made a strong impression upon me, and 
my recollections of him have scarcely faded at all with the lapse of years. 

He was rather a short, thick-set man, with light complexion and light hair, 
and an expression of countenance blending finely the intellectual with the 
graceful and the amiable. His general appearance betokened rather feeble 
health; and this I believe to have been a true index to his actual condition. 
His manners were exceedingly quiet and gentle, indicating an utter unconscious- 
ness of his fine intellectual powers and of the almost unprecedented popularity 
which had attended him as a Preacher prior to his coming to this country. 
He was deliberate in his movements and quiet in his whole bearing. Though 
there was no approach to any thing like a distant or unsocial manner, 1 should 
say that he was rather sedate than cheerful. This might have been partly the 
result of natural temperament, but I doubt not that his deep sense of the 
solemnity and responsibility of the work in which he was engaged had also 
much to do with it. But you could not fail to discover at once that he was 
one of the most benevolent of men. His heart was always going out in 
strong desires for the happiness of all whom his influence could reach ; and 
these desires were evidently the working of not only a naturally amiable but 
deeply Christian spirit. 

The several traits of character which I have attributed to Mr. Whyte came 
out very impressively in his ministrations in the pulpit. I cannot say that he 
was a bold, startling, or especially striking Preacher ; but he was pre-emi- 
nently tender, gentle and attractive — his sermons were written with great 
care, and in a style of uncommon grace and beauty, and were of a deeply evan- 
gelical type ; and they were delivered in that simple, earnest, even beseeching 
manner, that drew his audience to him by an irresistible influence. He cer- 
tainly had uncommon power as a Preacher ; and the secret of it lay, to a great 
extent, in his utter self-forgetfulness, and his manifest deep concern that his 
message might take efiect upon the hearts and consciences of those whom he 
was addressing. He would pour out his bright and beautiful thoughts with 
such inimitable fervour and pathos that he must have been singularly consti- 
tuted who could listen to his simple and glowing utterances without being 
impressed by them. I heard him preach the sermon, which has since been 
published, on that touching incident in our Saviour's history, — ^the raising of 
the Widow's son in the city of Nain ; and his tones of deep pathos, conveying 
sentiments such as his subject would naturally suggest to such a mind, almost 
vibrate on my ear to this day. 

In his pastoral duties Mr. Whyte was most diligent and faithful. He was 
especially at home amidst scenes of sorrow, and knew as well as any other 
man how to bind up the bleeding heart. As a natural consequence, he pos- 
sessed, in a very uncommon degree, the affection of his people, and, when he 
died, they became literally a congregation of mourners. 

I think he had little to do with the more general concerns of the Church, 
especially as they were connected with Ecclesiastical Bodies. All his tastes 
and habits were adverse to every thing of a controversial bearing, and I think 
also he had not much executive talent — his forte undoubtedly lay in the easy 
and effective discharge of the immediate duties of a Preacher and a Pastor. 

Fraternally yours, 




James Patterson Miller, a son of Hugh and Mary (Patterson) Miller, 
was born at King's Creek, Beaver County, Pa., on the 1st of August, 1792. 
His father, though not directly involved in the famous Whiskey Insurrection in 
Western Pennsylvania, did not refuse to permit his house to become an asylum 
to some who were implicated in it. The son, James P., though then only a few 
years old, distinctly remembered having seen two men at his father's house, who, 
when visitors were known to be approaching, would retreat to the garret, drawing 
after them the ladder by which they had ascended. His mother, who was an 
earnestly rehgious woman, devoted this son, in her own solemn desire and purpose, 
from his very birth, to the Ministry of the Grospel. It is believed that his 
knowledge of this fact had no small influence in enabhng him to resist the 
temptations to which he was afterwards subjected to seek preferment in political 

He commenced the study of Latin, under the instruction of the Rev. George 
Scott, a Presbyterian minister, near Hookstown, in the year 1809. In due time 
he entered Jefferson College, and it is believed that his attendance there termi- 
nated in 1814, though, for some reason, he did not receive the degree of Bachelor of 
Arts until 1818. While he was a student in College, his mother died suddenly 
of dysentery, and both himself and a younger brother were brought to the borders 
of the grave by the same disease. In subsequently giving an account of the 
state of his mind in the near prospect of dissolution, he said, — " My physical 
powers were utterly prostrated, so that I was unable to speak, yet my mental 
faculties seemed unimpaired. I heard the physician say that I would probably not 
live an hour. I remembered my mother's prayers in the family, when my father 
was occasionally absent, which had always made a strong impression on my mind. 
My firm belief that she was a true Christian, and that her prayers for me would 
be heard, gave me great consolation, and I could say with hope, — ' I am thy 
servant, the son of thine hand-maid.' " 

Shortly after leaving College, he took charge of an Academy in Winchester, 
Va. Here he proved himself an excellent disciplinarian as well as very compe- 
tent teacher; and he secured, in a high degree, the confidence and good-will of 
both his employers and pupils. During his residence here he mingled chiefly with 
Episcopalians, and had much pleasant intercourse with them, and was not a little 
edified by the Episcopal Ministry (that of the late Bishop Meade) under which 
he sat ; but his attachment to the Church of his fe,thers, in respect to both doc- 
trine and polity, remained undiminished. 

After a residence in Virginia of between one and two years, he returned to 
Pennsylvania, and commenced the study of Theology in the Theological Seminary, 
under the Rev. John Anderson, D.D., in the autumn of 1815. He attended the 
Seminary two sessions, and then took charge of a Classical School in Cadiz, O., 
where he remained, it is believed, a year or two. In 1820 he was married to 
Elizabeth, daughter of John Roberts, of Cannonsburg, and, shortly after this, 

•MSS. from Mrs. Miller and Rev. Dr. Hanna. 


removed to Steubenville, 0., where he became the Principal of another Academy. 
He was taken on trials for licensure in the spring of 1821, but was not actually 
licensed till the spring of 1825. Some have supposed that this delay on his part 
was occasioned by a somewhat serious impediment in his speech, which he was 
apprehensive would disqualify him, in a great measure, for the labours of the pul- 
pit; while others, and perhaps with better reason, have conjectured that it was 
attributable to some lingering aspirations for political life. The latter supposition 
is rendered more probable from the fact that it was not till after lie had suffered 
a sore bereavement that he resumed his original purpose of preaching the Gospel. 

Notwithstanding Mr. Miller was indefatigable in his labours as a Teacher, yet 
his active mind sought additional employment, and his predilection for political 
life prompted him to become the editor, for some time, of a political newspaper. 
He is said to have been the first person in the State of Ohio, who publicly urged 
the claims of General Jackson to the Presidency of the United States. At this 
time there was every thing to indicate that he would quickly become absorbed in 
politics ; but that Infinitely Wise Providence that often disappoints our hopes in 
the ordering of our lot, had another path marked out for him. Mr. Miller's wife, 
who was a highly estimable lady, and had never been satisfied with his having 
failed to carry out his original purpose to preach the Gospel, was seized with 
erysipelas, and died, after a short illness, in December, 1824, leaving two young 
children. This event, as appears from a private record of it, made, at the time, 
by his own hand, was the means of giving a new direction to his course of life, 
and leading him solemnly to renew his purpose to enter on the Gospel Ministry. 
But, before receiving license, he spent a few months, chiefly with a view to obtain 
a better knowledge of Hebrew, with Dr. Ramsay, at that time Professor in the 
Theological Seminary at Cannonsburg. The first year of his ministry he spent 
chiefly in itinerating in the West ; and the next year he was sent, by the Synod, 
with the Rev. John Walker, Pastor of a Church at New Athens, 0., to visit 
various places in Indiana, Illinois and Missouri, which were destitute of religious 
ordinances. The winter of 1827-28 was signalized by the prevalence of heavy 
rains and desolating floods throughout that region, by means of which the hard- 
ship and fatigue attendant on his mission were greatly increased. 

He was ordained at Unity, in the Presbytery of Muskingum, on the 6th of 
September, 1827. In 1828 he received another appointment, by the Presbytery, 
as a Home Missionary, in connection with Mr. John Kendall.* The year 
following he received a call from Madison, Ind., and one from Argyle, 
Washington County, N. Y. ; the latter of which he accepted. On the 3d of 
May, 1829, he was married to Amanda Davidson, daughter of a Physician, of 
Xenia, 0.; who became the mother of three children ; and, in October of the 
same year, he was installed Pastor of the church to which he had been previously 
called. Here he exercised his ministry with exemplary diligence during a period 
of twenty-two years. The congregation over which he was placed was di\ided, in 
1830, into North and South Argyle, on accoimt of the large area over which it 

* John Kendall was a native of Greene County, 0. He studied Theology under Dr. 
John Anderson, and was appointed to be taken on trials for licensure in 1815, but for 
pome unknown reason he declined. He then went to Xenia, 0., and became editor of a 
eecular newspaper, in which business he continued ten or twelve years. He, however, 
subsequently changed his purpose, and in the summer of 1827 was licensed to preach. He 
itinerated for a few years through the churches, but was at length attacked by catalepsy, 
which very materially impaired his intellect. After living for some years in a secluded 
state he died 



was scattered. The Church of South Argyle, to which his labours were confined 
after the division, was, during his whole ministry, not only blessed with peace, 
but with a gradual and almost constant increase of intelligent and exemplary 
members. Several congregations in Indiana and Illinois were composed, to a 
great extent, of persons who had emigrated from South Argyle. 

Mr. Miller had, during his whole ministry, taken a deep interest in Missions, 
not only to the Heathen, but also to destitute places in our own country, and had 
contributed pecuniary aid to this cause up to the full measure of his ability. He 
often expressed his regret that he was too far advanced in life to devote himself 
to the work of Foreign Missions. Several times he visited Canada on short mis- 
sionary excursions, and, in 1844, spent a few months in itinerating among the 
destitute in the Far West. In 1850 the Associate Presbyterian Church deter- 
mined to send missionaries to the Territory of Oregon. Mr. Miller, believing 
that his prosperous Church in South Argyle would have no difficulty in supplying 
itself with a Pastor, offered his own services as a Missionary to Oregon, provided 
a person better suited to the enterprise could not be found. His offer was cor- 
dially accepted ; and, accordingly, in the year 1851, he, with Mr. Samuel Irvine, 
a son of an old fellow-student of Mr. Miller, set out for this new and arduous 
field of labour. The parting with his congregation and friends was most sad and 
tender, and his Farewell Sermon, which was preached on the 2d of March, was 
addressed to a weeping audience. He embarked at New York for San Franciscc 
on the 15th of April, and arrived on the 28th of May ; thence, on the 4th of 
June, he sailed for Oregon, and arrived at the mouth of the Columbia River on 
the 8th. Here, in a small village, where rehgious services had never been per- 
formed, and the Sabbath never recognized as a day of rest, he planted himself in 
the spirit of a true missionary, and, in a course of untiring self-sacrifice and devo- 
tion to his work, spent the remainder of his days. 

During the three years of his ministry here, Mr. Miller enjoyed excellent 
health, insomuch that he was never taken off from his labours by indisposition 
for a single day. In September, 1853, he organized a congregation, and his 
public services, considering the new country and the small population, were well 
attended. He was mainly instrumental in uniting the members of the Associate 
and the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Churches in Oregon into one Body, 
under the name of the United Presbyterian Church of Oregon. His prospects 
of usefulness were never brighter than when God, in his infinite wisdom, wag 
pleased to bring both his services and his life to a close. 

Mr. Miller had often expressed the hope that he might be permitted to be 
engaged in active duty while he lived, and had remarked that he could never 
join in the petition of the Litany to be delivered from sudden death, believing 
that, if he were prepared, as a Christian ought always to be, sudden death was 
much to be preferred to a lingering fatal malady. And this desire of his heart 
was signally granted. He preached his last sermon, in robust health, on the 2d 
of April, 1854, on the Glories of Christ's Kingdom. Two days after this he 
made a short visit to Portland, and, as he was returning home, on the 8th, the 
boiler of the steamboat exploded, and he was killed instantly by a piece of iron 
striking his head. His wife and one of his children were present to witness the 
terrible catastrophe. His body was interred near the scene of his principal 
labours in Oregon. The Rev. Mr. Blain, on whom it devolved to occupy his 
pulpit first after his decease, dehvered an appropriate Sermon from Titus ii, 12, 13. 



Mr. Miller published, in 1839, an octavo volume, with the following title : — 
"Biographical Sketches and Sermons of some of the First Ministers of the 
Associate Church in America : To which is prefixed a Historical Introduction 
containing an Account of the Rise and Progress of the Associate Reformed 
Church for the First Half Century of her existence in this country." 


"Washington, Pa., April 14, 1858. 

Dear Sir : My acquaintance with the Rev. James P. Miller commenced in 
the fall of 1816, when he and I entered the Theological Seminary together 
under the charge of the Rev. John Anderson, D. D. From that time until 
about 1826, my opportunities for knowing him intimately were very favour- 
able. His natural powers of mind were quite above mediocrity, and his 
attainments as a scholar were highly respectable — indeed, he seemed to have 
a natural taste for literary pursuits, and was admirably fitted, as well by his 
manners as his scholarship, for conducting a literary institution ; — an employ- 
ment to which he devoted himself with great success for several years previous to 
his licensure. His commanding personal appearance, his good temper, his 
readiness to communicate, all conspired to secure to him the respect and good- 
will of his pupils. 

Mr. Miller possessed fine social qualities, which, with his good taste and 
good sense, made him a very agreeable companion. He was a close observer 
of passing events, and he carefully treasured the results of his observation, to 
be appropriated as circumstances might afterwards require. He was a man 
of decidedly practical habits, and was never satisfied unless he was doing 
something that would tell benignly on the interests of his fellow-creatures. 
His friendships were sincere and ardent ; and his incorruptible integrity 
secured to him the most unbounded confidence. 

It was an evidence of his great benevolence as well as strength of character, 
that he should, at so advanced an age, have formed and carried into efiect the 
purpose of migrating to a distant region in the character of a missionary. 
His sudden and sad removal from the world was indeed among the dark 
dispensations of Providence ; but there is little doubt that his labours in that 
diflBcult field are destined to be gratefully remembered both on earth and in 

I am. Dear Sir, 

Very respectfully yours, 



Philadelphia, July 14, 1862. 

Dear Sir : I cheerfully comply with your request for some of my recol- 
lections of the Rev. James P. Miller. Although his field of labour was 
remote from mine, and he was in the ministry many years before me, yet, as 
an Editor, I had much correspondence with him, and very frequently saw him 
in the Associate Sjmod, and for some days shared his hospitality. 

As a Preacher, there was an earnestness and naturalness in his manner, 
that arrested the attention and kept alive the interest of the hearer. He had 
nothing of that sing-song tone, which, in former days particularly, was so 
common among the ministers of the Secession, and which so often acted as a 
lullaby upon the nerves of their hearers. It was not often my privilege to 
hear him, but I have sometimes heard him when I thought him impressively 

Vol. IX. 17 



Occupying the post of an Editor, I had a favourable opportunity of becoming 
acquainted with Mr. Miller as a writer ; and I can truly say that I always 
felt gratified on receiving a communication from him. His articles were 
characterized by great propriety and good sense. Instead of dealing in prolix 
introductions, he entered at once in medias res, and always showed that he 
clearly understood his subject. His manuscript was remarkably accurate, and, 
even when written in haste, scarcely needed any revision. 

Mr. Miller was somewhat of an antiquarian, and took great pleasure in 
searching out the details of the history of the different branches of the Seces- 
sion Church, both in this country and in Great Britain. His octavo volume, 
entitled " Biographical Sketches," &c., is a monument of his taste and labours 
in this direction. It was his purpose to bring down the history commenced 
in that volume to the present time ; but this purpose was frustrated by his 
mission to Oregon. Previous to his departure, he placed in my hands the 
early Records of the Presbytery of Pennsylvania and of the Associate Synod, 
with an earnest request that I would prosecute the work which he had com- 
menced. This I have been prevented from doing by the press of editorial and 
pastoral duties; but I earnestly hope that some one may yet be found who 
will undertake it. 

Notwithstanding his deep interest in the past, he was intensely alive to all 
the movements of his own time. He was emphatically a Reformer. The 
cause of Temperance and Emancipation called forth his warmest sympathies, 
and received, through good report and through evil report, his etfective co-opera 
tion. The use of tobacco, in all its forms, he reprobated as inconsistent not 
only with good manners but good morals ; and it was his firm conviction 
that Christians, and especially Ministers of the Gospel, were bound to set their 
faces against it. Had I been disposed to take a smoke, I think I should have 
hardly ventured to do it in his presence. 

Mr. Miller was a close and diligent student of the Bible in the original lan- 
guages. He preferred to go to the fountain head to find out exactly the mind 
of the Spirit rather than trust to any translation. Both himself and some of 
his children were in the habit of using the Greek Testament in family wor- 
ship. He bestowed much attention on the Prophetical Scriptures. He em- 
braced, at least, in its outline, what has been called the Millenarian system of 
interpretation, believing that the Second Advent would be pre-millennial. 

He was distinguished for his minute acquaintance with the forms and order 
of Ecclesiastical Courts. I have often heard him referred to by his brethren 
as being without a superior, or perhaps without an equal, in this respect, in 
the Secession Church. 

Of Mr. Miller's social qualities it is not easy to speak in terms of exagge- 
rated praise. He made every one in his company feel perfectly at ease, and 
there was a charm in his fine genial spirit that was quite irresistible. This, 
no doubt, had much to do with his great success as a Pastor, and the affec- 
tionate remembrance in which he is still held by those who once enjoyed the 
benefit of his ministry. His presence was highly prized and much sought for 
by the sick, not merely from the medical skill which he possessed, but from 
his cheerful and soothing manner in ministering to their spiritual wants. 

He had a strong attachment to the principles of the Secession Church. In 
the latter part of his ministry, however, his attention seems to have been par- 
ticularly directed to the divided state of the Church, and to the evils growing 
out of it, and he became earnestly desirous that different branches of the Pres 
byterian Church might be united in one Body. As might be expected, he 
appeared to some of his brethren, who viewed the subject from a different 
standpoint, to have declined in his love of the peculiar principles of the Seces- 
sion Testimony. But to me it appeared not that he loved the principles of his 



Church less than formerly, but that his love of all friends of the truth had 
grown much more fervent. His views of Prophecy contributed not a little to 
this state of feeling. He believed there were scenes of trial before the Church, 
and that God's people should be uniting their energies against a common foe. 
I am, my dear Sir, yours fraternally, 



Albany, July 8, 1862. 

My dear Sir : My earliest recollections of the Rev. James P. Miller reach 
back to the time when I was probably not more than ten years old. He used 
then sometimes to be at my father's, and I distinctly remember the impression 
which his gigantic form and his capital jokes used to make upon me. A man 
with a larger frame than he had, I have rarely, if ever, met with. He could 
not have walked through Broadway, in New York, but that the eyes of many 
would have been turned upon him as a magnificent specimen at least of physical 
humanity. His weight was so immense that when, in the early part of his 
ministry, he used to perform journeys on horseback, he was accustomed to 
put in requisition two horses, — alternately leading one and riding the other. 
One of the stories which I heard him relate concerning himself, in my child- 
hood, was, that, as he was riding on horseback, with a large blue cloak wrapped 
around him, a stranger who was coming toward him, and wishing to get off 
a good joke at his expense, made as if he would turn out, and said, as if 
discovering his mistake, — " Oh, I thought this was the stage coach." When 
I came to Albany, my relations with Mr. Miller became intimate, and our 
intercourse was frequent, until he left this part of the country for Oregon. 

Mr. Miller had a countenance indicating strength of mind and of purpose ; 
both of which qualities he undoubtedly possessed. His manners were urbane 
and gentlemanly, and revealed a heart of much kindliness and warmth. He 
was exceedingly hospitable, always giving his friends a cordial welcome, and 
always doing every thing in his power to render them happy. In his general 
intercourse with society he made himself popular by his intelligence, his good 
humour, his active habits, and his deep interest in whatever was going on 
around him. He had very decided political views, and he did not hesitate to 
express them, or to act upon them, whenever he thought occasion required. 
He was deeply interested in every thing pertaining to the History of the 
Church, especially of the Ecclesiastical Body with which he was immediately 
connected ; and probably no person within the limits of his communion has 
done so much to rescue from oblivion the memories of our ministers who 
have passed away, as himself. He was a man of enlarged and liberal views 
in respect to whatever related to the general progress of human society. He 
was a well educated man, and I believe a good scholar ; and he was a good 
Preacher withal ; though the effect of his preaching was considerably dimin- 
ished by a slightly hesitating manner. It was an evidence of his high tone 
of Christian public spirit that, at so advanced an age, he should have 
enlisted in an enterprise so arduous as that to which he may be said to have 
sacrificed his life. 

Very cordially yours, 




1S48— 1852. 

Thomas Beveridge Hanna was bora near Cadiz, 0., on the 27th of 
March, 1823. His father, the Rev. Thomas Hanna, D.D., was, at that time, 
Pastor of the Associate Presbjrterian Congregation in that place. His mother 
was Jemima Patterson, eldest daughter of Robert Patterson, of Mount Pleasant, 
O., afterwards of Wheeling, Ya. He early discovered a fondness for books, 
and could not, on any light consideration, be persuaded to lose even a single 
day from his school. A considerable part of his English education, and the 
rudiments of Latin and Greek, he acquired under the tuition of several students 
of Theology, who afterwards became Ministers in the Associate Church. He 
commenced the Latin Grrammar when he was nine years old, and, though he did 
not pursue his studies regularly from that time, he entered the Freshman 
Class in Franklin College, Ohio, in the autumn of 1840, at the age of twelve, 
and remained there, with little or no interruption, till August, 1844, when he 
was admitted to the degree of Bachelor of Arts. He graduated with the 
highest honours of his class, dehvering the Valedictory Oration. 

His mind seems to have received a decidedly serious direction from his earliest 
years, and it is probable that he scarcely remembered the time when he did not 
intend to be a Minister of the Gospel ; but he did not make a profession of reli- 
gion till the summer of 1844, when he became a member of the Church at 
Cadiz, then under his father's pastoral care. 

In the autumn of 1844 he was admitted to the study of Theology by tho 
Presbytery of Muskingum, and, immediately after, entered the Theological 
Seminary at Cannonsburg. Here he passed through the regular course, develop- 
ing talents of a high order, prosecuting his studies with great diligence and 
thoroughness, and securing to himself the warm regard, not only of the Professors 
and his fellow students, but of many in the surrounding community. As there 
was but one session of the Seminary in the year, extending from the beginning 
of November to the close of March, he had the intervening seven months to 
himself. This time he divided between his theological studies, general reading, 
preparing Discourses for Presbytery, and teaching a few scholars in his father's 

In June, 1848, he was licensed to preach by the Presbytery of Muskingum. 
He commenced his public labours by fulfilling an appointment of Presbytery to 
supply vacant churches for three months within the Presbyteries of Muskingum 
and Chartiers ; and on the 10th of September proceeded to Wisconsin, where he 
had had a field of labour assigned him by the Board of Home Missions. 
On his arrival there he found that his home was to be at Waterville, in 
Waukesha County. The people were generally poor, and the best accommoda- 
tions he could obtain were barely comfortable. He took board at the village 
tavera, and, by the kindness of a young physician of the place, was allowed to 
use his ofiice as a study. 

In this field Mr. Hanna continued very laboriously occupied until May, 1849, 
when he visited Washington, then the residence of his father, and had the pleasure 
of spending a little time under the paternal roof A meeting of the Synod took 

* Memoir of his life, by Rev. T. H. Beveridge. 



place at Allegheny about this time, at which a call was presented to him from 
Cambridge, 0., and its connections, in the Presbytery of Muskingum, and 
another from the Associate Congregation of Clinton, Allegheny County, Pa., 
under the care of the Presbytery of Chartiers. The latter of these he accepted. 
He determined, however, in accordance with the advice of his Presbytery, as well 
as with his own inclination, before entering on his duties as Pastor, to labour a 
few months as a Missionary in the city of New York. He, accordingly, went 
thither in the month of June, and remained until the end of October, labouring, 
with great acceptance, in what is called the Mission Church. His condition here 
was rendered perilous, and his labours the more arduous, by the fact that the 
cholera was, at that time, prevailing, to a fearful extent, in the city. 

About the first of November Mr. Hanna returned from New York, and com- 
menced preaching at Clinton. After the usual trials, he was ordained, by the 
Presbytery of Chartiers, to the ofiice of the Ministry, and installed Pastor of the 
Associate Congregation of Clinton, on the 13th of December, 1^9. The Ser- 
mon on the occasion was preached by the Rev. Dr. McElwee, and the Charge to 
him as Pastor was delivered by his father. 

Mr. Hanna now entered upon the duties of the pastoral office with great alac- 
rity and earnestness, and with an evident purpose to make the salvation of his 
people his one all-absorbing object. The commencement of his labours seemed 
to give promise of a happy and effective ministry ; but only two brief years had 
passed before his Master called him to give an account of his stewardship. On 
the 20th of January, 1852, he sufiered a severe attack of bilious colic ; but, as 
he had previously been subject to the same complaint, it excited no special alarm. 
The disease seemed to yield to some of the usual remedies, and, on Thursday, 
two days after the first attack, he supposed that he should be able to preach on 
the ensuing Sabbath. But, on Friday, his symptoms became more unfavourable, 
and his disease took the form of severe inflammation of the bowels. His family 
friends, being informed of his dangerous illness, hastened to his bedside, expect- 
ing to see hira die ; but, after their arrival, an apparently favourable change took 
place, which led his physicians as well as friends to indulge strong hopes of his 
recovery. These hopes, however, were but short-lived, as another change, of a 
different nature, very speedily followed. On Wednesday, the 4th of February, 
his most alarming symptoms re-appeared, and, in spite of all the appliances of 
medical skill, he sunk rapidly, and his death occurred about eight o'clock the next 
morning. The exercises of his mind were, to some extent, modified and rendered 
less satisfactory by the nature of his disease ; but there was enough in his last 
hours to form a bright confirmation of the evidence that had been accumulating, 
in connection with his devoted life, that it was gain for him to die. The services at 
his Funeral, at which no less than fourteen of his ministerial brethren, of differ- 
ent denominations, were present, were conducted by the Rev. Dr. Anderson and 
the Rev. Nicholas Murray. 

Shortly after Mr. Hanna's death, a Memoir of him, by the Rev. T. H. Bev- 
eridge, was published, in connection with fourteen of his Sermons. 


Albany, July 3, 1862. 

My dear Sir : T have very distinct and pleasant recollections of the Rev. 
Thomas B. Hanna, as I was associated with him as a student in my prepara- 



tion for the ministry. My intercourse ceased with him after we left the Semi- 
nary, except that he paid me one short visit after my settlement in this city. 

Mr. Hanna was of a tall and slender form, uncommonly youthful in his 
appearance, but with a fine, bright, benignant face, which predisposed every- 
body to like him. As you became acquainted with him, one of the first things 
that impressed you was his great modesty — you saw at once that he had 
formed no extravagant idea of his own abilities, and that he had no disposi- 
tion to render himself unduly conspicuous. He had an uncommonly gentle 
and kindly spirit, never giving needless ofience in his intercourse, and always 
ready to confer favours whenever he had an opportunity. He was marked for 
his ingenuousness and candour. Of any thing like unworthy management, or 
attempting to carry a point by indirect or unfair means, he was utterly inca- 
pable. No one could doubt that the object at which he was professedly aim- 
ing was the object which he really had in his eye; no one ever feared that he 
would circumvent or deceive him, even in the most unimportant concern or in 
the slightest degree. And he was as conscientious as he was ingenuous. He 
had but one rule by which to order his conduct, and that was the will of God, 
as indicated by his Word and Providence, and interpreted by an enlightened 
conscience. "When he had once considerately answered to his own mind the 
question what the Lord would have him to do, his purpose was formed, and 
no earthly power was strong enough to move him from it. While his natu- 
rally amiable spirit made him condescending in all matters in which he did 
not feel that duty was positively involved, there was no sacrifice to which he 
would not submit rather than be false to his honest convictions. And to 
crown all, I must refer to his piety — it was not fitful, blazing to Heaven one 
day, and dying away into profound indijfference the next ; but it was consist- 
ent, intelligent, all-pervading — his faith was a living principle, that worked by 
love, and purified the heart, and overcame the world. It made him strong to 
perform the duties of life and strong to endure the trials of life ; and its power 
was strikingly manifested when he was getting ready to put off his earthly 
house of this tabernacle. 

Mr. Hanna's talents were remarkably well adapted to the pulpit. His ser- 
mons were rich in evangelical thought, expressed with great simplicity and 
clearness, and often with uncommon beauty. His manner was at once grace- 
ful, forcible and earnest ; and you could not resist the impression that the 
preacher felt that he was dealing in eternal realities. His published sermons, 
though highly creditable to his taste, his culture and his piety, do not, after 
all, fully represent his power in the pulpit ; for the latter part of his sermon, 
embracing his most earnest appeals to the hearts and consciences of his hear- 
ers, was usually left unwritten. Nothing, perhaps, in connection with his 
preaching, was more remarkable than the deep knowledge which it evinced of 
the workings of the human heart ; — a knowledge which could never have been 
acquired but by a most diligent study of his own heart, in connection with 
the Word of God. 

As a Pastor, he was eminently devoted to all the interests of his flock. He 
mingled with them with an affectionate freedom, that always secured to him a 
cordial welcome to their houses and their hearts. He was especially adapted 
to be a comforter in affliction — his sympathetic spirit quickly vibrated to 
every note of sorrow that fell upon his ear. He bestowed much care and 
attention on the young, conducting a Bible class on Sabbath morning for their 
benefit, and always keeping a watchful eye on the concerns of the Sabbath 
School. In short, he seemed ever intent on doing good among his people; and 
the deep grief which his early death called forth among them, showed how 
highly they appreciated his character and services. 

I am yours truly, S. F. MORROW. 




Allison, Thomas 71 

Anderson, Abraham , D.D 107 

Anderson, John, D.D 17 

Armstrong, Robert 58 

Banks, John, D.D 52 

Beveridge, Thomas 31 

Bruce, Robert, D.D 90 

Carson, David 117 

Clarkson, James 15 

Fulton, Andrew 56 

Gellatly , Alexander 1 

Goodwillie, David, D.D 40 

Hamilton, Thomas 75 


Hanna, Thomas Beveridge 132 

Henderson, Matthew 2 

Marshall , "William ^ 7 

Martin, James, D.D 112 

Miller, James Patterson 126 

Pringle, Francis 64 

Ramsay, James, D.D 77 

Shaw, Joseph, LL.D 85 

Stark, Andrew, LL.D 101 

"Walker, John 95 

"Whyte, Archibald 47 

"Whyte, James 121 



Baird, Robert, D.D 110 

Beveridge, Thomas, D.D. ..2, 17, 35, 61, 

79, 95, 114 

Black, John, D.D 91 

Bower, Rev. Andrew 94 

Brownlee, Rev. John T : . . . . 74 

Bullions, Alexander, D.D 54, 92 

Bullions, Rev. David G.. . 83, 99, 106, 124 

Bullions, Peter, D.D 46, 50, 87, 104 

Cooper, Joseph T., D.D 129 

Goodwillie, Thomas. D.D.. . . 44, 47, 64 
Hanna, Thomas, D.D 129 


Heron, Andrew, D.D 57, 63 

Mair, Hugh, D.D 123 

Mathews, James M., D.D 55, 76 

McAllister, John, Esq 13 

McClelland, Alexander, D.D 23 

McClure, Hon. William B 68 

McElwee, W. M., D.D 108, 119 

Mclntyre, Hon. Archibald 89 

Miller, Rev. James P 7, 73 

Morrow, James, Esq 60 

Morrow, Rev. S. F 84,116,131, 133 




Banks, Joseph 53 

Barlass, William 38 

Beveridge, Thomas Hanna, 34, 35 

Bullions, Alexander, D.D 44 

Clarkson, Thomas Beveridge 16 

Cree, John 32 

Henderson, Ebenezer 6 

Kendall, John 127 


Prinde, Francis, Jr 66, 67 

Pringle, James 66, 70 

Pringle, Rev. William 43 

Ramsay, James Paxton 79 

Smith. Thomas 52 

Somerville, David 50 

Walker, W. Houston 63 

Whyte, Archibald, Jr 50 



Not a small portion of those to whom I am indebted for 
the material for this series of sketches, have passed away, 
and some of them have not only themselves become legiti- 
mate subjects for commemoration, but are actually among 
the worthies here commemorated. Of these I may mention 
particularly the Rev. Dr. McJimsey, whose early and 
warm approbation of the plan of my work helped to give 
me an impulse towards carrying it out, and whose inti- 
mate acquaintance with the Fathers of the Church, as 
well as his habit of accurate and impartial observation, 
has given great value to his communications. I am also 
under obligations to the Rev. Dr. Dales, of Philadelphia, 
and the Rev. Dr. Mathews, of New York, and to the Pro- 
fessors in the Allegheny Associate Reformed Theological 
Seminary, for much important information, besides the 
valuable letters which bear their names. And I cannot for- 
bear here to repeat what I may have said elsewhere, that I 
owe much to the kindness of several distinguished ministers 
at the South, towards whom no adverse political relations 
can ever extinguish my gratitude. And, last of all, I beg 
to tender my warmest acknowledgments to the Rev. Dr. 
John Forsyth, whose identification with the Associate 
Reformed Body during nearly his whole life, and his 
perfect familiarity with the history of the denomination, 
together with the kindly interest he has taken in my 
enterprise, have rendered his services quite invaluable; 


and his facile and graceful pen lie has allowed me to put 
in requisition most freely, even beyond the limits of the 
denomination with which he has been more immediately 
connected. To all who have rendered me their assistance, 
in any way, I acknowledge myself a grateful debtor. 

W. B. S. 



The Tinion of the Associate and the Reformed Presbyteries, constituting 
the Associate Reformed Church, may probably be traced, in some degree 
at least, to the War of the Revolution. The weakness of the congrega- 
tions of the diflferent sects of Scotch Presbyterians had, for some time, 
suggested the importance of consolidation for the sake of increased 
strength ; and the Independence of the Colonies was thought by many 
to remove the previously existing causes of disunion. The question of a 
union came at length to be agitated with great earnestness, and several 
Conventions were held in reference to it; until, at length, in October, 
1782, the Reformed Presbytery, the Associate Presbytery of New York, 
and a considerable part of the members of the Presbytery of Pennsylvania, 
met at Philadelphia, and formed themselves into a Synod, under the name 
of the Associate Reformed Synod of North America. The following 
articles constituted the basis of this union:— 

1. That Jesus Christ died for the elect. 

2. That there is an appropriation in the nature of faith. 

3. That the Gospel is addressed indiscriminately to sinners of mankind. 

4. That the righteousness of Christ is the alone condition of the Covenant of 

5. That Civil Government originates with God the Creator, and not with Christ 
the Mediator. 

6. That the administration of the kingdom of Providence is given into the hands 
of Jesus Christ the Mediator; and Magistracy, the ordinance appointed by the Moral 
Governor of the world, to be the prop of civil order among men, as well as other 
things, is rendered subservient, by the Mediator, to the welfare of his spiritual 
kingdom, the Church, and has the sanctified use of it and of every common benefit, 
through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

7. That the law of nature and the moral law revealed in the Scriptures are sub- 
stantially the same, although the latter expresses the will of God more evidently 
and clearly than the former; and, therefore, Magistrates, among Christians, ought 
to be regulated, by the general directory of the Word, as to the execution of their 

8. That the qualifications of justice, veracity, etc., required in the law of nature 
for the being of a Magistrate, are also more explicitly revealed as necessary in the 
Holy Scriptures. But a religious test, any farther than an oath of fidelity, can 
never be essentially necessary for the being of a Magistrate, except where the people 
make it a condition of government. 

9. That both parties, when united, shall adhere to the Westminster Confession of 
Faith, the Catechism, the Directory for "Worship, and Propositions concerning 
Church Government. 

10. That they shall claim the full exercise of Church Discipline, without depend- 
ence upon Foreign Judicatories. 

• Sketch of the Assoc. Ref. Ch. by Dr. Forsyth.— Do. by Dr. Dales 


The Body thus formed was composed of three Presbyteries, numbering 
fourteen ministers ; though the number was immediately increased by the 
addition of the Presbytery of Londonderry, which remained in connection 
until 1802. One of the first Acts of the Synod, after its organization, 
was the adoption of a series of Articles, afterwards published under the 
name of the Constitution of the Associate Reformed Church; but these 
Articles were ultimately laid aside for a fuller exposition of the faith of 
the Church. The Synod, at its meeting at Grreen Castle, Pa., in May, 
1799, issued its formal Standards, consisting of the Westminster Confes- 
sion of Faith and the Catechism, with a revision of the Articles relating 
to the power of the Civil Magistrate. The Directory for Worship and 
the Propositions of Church Government remained unchanged ; while the 
Rules of Discipline and Forms of Process were merely reduced to a 
regular system for the sake of more convenient application. The Book, 
as thus prepared, was published under the title, — "The Constitution and 
Standards of the Associate Reformed Church in North America." 

For twenty years after the union, the Church greatly prospered, inso- 
much that the demand for labourers was greater than the Synod could 
possibly supply. While the Church was thus increasing its numbers and 
extending its boundaries, it was proposed that the Synod should be 
divided into subordinate Synods, and that delegates should be chosen, by 
each Presbytery, to attend an Annual Assembly, which should be called 
a General Synod. Accordingly, at the meeting in New York, in October, 
1802, the Provincial Synods of New York, Pennsylvania, Scioto, and the 
Carolinas, were constituted; and in May, 1804, the first General Synod 
of the Associate Reformed Church met in Gruen Castle, Pa., in which 
there was a representation of the eight Presbyteries of which the Synod 
was composed, — namely, Washington, New York, Philadelphia, Big 
Spring, Kentucky, Monongahela, and First and Second Carolinas. This 
measure did not result favourably to the prosperity of the denomination. 
The Provincial Synods, on account of the wide extent of country covered 
by them, became irregular and delinquent in their meetings, and, after a 
few years, ceased to assemble altogether. There was an unfortunate 
centralizing of power, by means of which a spirit of jealousy was engen- 
dered in different portions of the Church, which brought in its train very 
serious evils. The Carolinas were, by their own request, constituted an 
independent Body, leaving the General Synod composed of only the 
Synods of Pennsylvania and New York. About the same time, the 
proposition for a union with the Reformed Dutch Church, having been 
the subject of protracted discussion, was laid aside. In 1821, at the 
meeting of Synod in Philadelphia, overtures were received from the 
General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church for a union of the two 
Bodies ; and each Body appointed a committee to conduct the negotiation 
to its legitimate result. The joint Report of these committees recom- 
mended that "the different Presbyteries of the Associate Reformed 


Churcli should either retain their separate organization or be amalgamated 
with those of the General Assembly, at their own choice;" that the 
Theological Seminary of the General Assembly and the Theological 
Seminary of the Associate Reformed Church should be consolidated ; 
and that the Theological Library and funds belonging to the Associate 
Reformed Church, should be transferred to the Seminary at Princeton. 
This plan, having received the approval of the two Bodies, was sent down 
to the Associate Reformed Presbyteries for their action. At the next 
meeting of the General Synod, in 1822, it appeared that a large majority 
of the Presbyteries and congregations were decidedly opposed to the 
projected union. Notwithstanding this, however, the Synod resolved to 
proceed, and, after a debate of several days, the vote was taken, and 
there were six for union, five against it, and four silent. The vote was 
declared to be in favour of the union ; the General Synod of the Associate 
Reformed Church was declared to be dissolved; its members were invited 
to seats in the General Assembly; and the Library of the Associate 
Reformed Theological Seminary was at once removed to the Theological 
Seminary at Princeton. This library was recovered, by a protracted 
law-suit, in 1838. 

Thus terminated the General Synod, without, however, involving the 
extinction of the Church itself. The great mass of her ministry and 
membership remained true to her principles and interests, and set them- 
selves at once to the work of endeavouring to heal her wounds and secure 
her perpetuity. The Western portions, comprising more especially the 
Presbyteries of Monongahela and Ohio, in the Synod of Scioto, had 
organized themselves, as early as 1820, as an independent Synod, under 
the name of the " Associate Reformed Synod of the West." In October, 
1839, it was deemed advisable to form a new Synod, to be styled, "The 
Second Associate Reformed Synod of the West." In October, 1852, a third 
Synod was organized, called " The Associate Reformed Synod of Illinois." 
These several Synods were placed under the care of a General Synod, to 
be composed of delegates from the several Presbyteries ; to have no 
appellate power, except in cases of doctrine ; and to superintend the whole 
department of Missions. It was called "The General Synod of the 
Associate Reformed Church of the West;" and so rapid was its growth 
that, in 1855, when, by the union with the Synod of New York, it ceased 
to be known as the General Synod of the West, it included within its 
bounds three Synods and twenty-two Presbyteries. The Southern por- 
tion of the Church, composing the Synod of the Carolinas, was, after its 
withdrawal from the General Synod, in 1821, continued as an independent 
Body, under the name of " The Associate Reformed Synod of the South." 
This Synod has, within its bounds, eight Presbyteries and sixty-five 
ministers. About 1852 there commenced a correspondence between this. 
Body and the General Assembly, with reference to a union; and the 
correspondence is still continued with the Southern portion of the 


Presbyterian Church. The Synod of New York, having never withdrawn 
from the General Synod, and not assented to the Act of union with the 
General Assembly in 1822, occupied the ground, and claimed the rights, 
of the General Synod. Accordingly, its three Presbyteries, — New York, 
"Washington and Saratoga, met as a Synod, at Newburgh, in September, 
1822, and unanimously resolved to prosecute their appropriate work with 
undiminished vigour. Such was the increase of this Body that, in 1855, it 
numbered six Presbyteries, including fifty ministers. These several 
Synods, — the General Synod of the West, the Synod of the South, and 
the Synod of New York, though existing as three independent divisions, 
have adhered to the same standards and been united in a general 
co-operation. However, in May, 1855, a union was effected between the 
Synod of New York, and the General Synod of the West, in Pittsburg, 
Pa, under the title of "The General Synod of the Associate Keformed 
Church." This united Body entered upon its work both harmoniously 
and efficiently. At the time when the union with the Associate Church 
was consumated, in May, 1858, it contained 4 Synods, 28 Presbyteries, 
253 Ministers of the Gospel, 367 Congregations, 31,284 Communicants, 
3 Theological Seminaries, and 6 Foreign Missionaries. At the same time, 
there were, in this Body, the following periodical publications : — The 
Christian Instructor — a Monthly, published at Philadelphia; the United 
Presbyterian, — a Weekly newspaper, published at Pittsburg; and the 
United Presbyterian of the West. 

As early as 1796 the Synod passed an Act in reference to a Synodical 
fund, one of whose objects was declared to be to " assist pious youth who, 
from poverty, cannot comfortably and successfully pursue their studies, 
and the establishment of a Professorship of Theology for the instruction 
of such as design the Holy Ministry." In 1800, in consequence of the 
increasing demand for ministers, it was resolved to take measures for the 
establishment of a Theological Seminary; and, in the mean time, in order 
to meet the then present exigency, efforts were to be made to obtain a 
supply of ministers from Scotland. For these purposes Dr. John M. 
Mason was sent as an agent to Great Britain in 1802 ; and he succeeded 
in obtaining funds to the amount of about six thousand dollars, the 
greater part of which was expended in the purchase of a library. He 
also brought with him five Scottish ministers, who came with a view to 
make this country the future theatre of their labours. At the first meet- 
ing of the General Synod, in May, 1804, Dr. Mason was chosen Professor 
of Theology, and it was agreed that the Seminary should be opened, in 
the city of New York, on the first Monday of November, 1805 ; and, 
accordingly, on that day, the institution commenced its course, under 
highly favourable auspices. Tn 1809, the Rev. James M. Mathews, one 
of the first class of students in the institution, was elected Assistant Pro- 
fessor of Biblical Literature and Church History — he held the office until 
1818, and then resigned, with a view to becoming the Pastor of a "Reformed 


Dutch Church in New York. In 1821, Dr. Mason, having discharged 
the duties of his Professorship with distinguished ability for sixteen 
years, and finding himself broken down in consequence of his manifold 
and uninterrupted labours, was compelled to relinquish his place; and, 
at length, in May, 1821, the institution which had given to the Church 
no less than ninety-six ministers, was obliged, from various causes, to 
suspend its operations. 

In 1825 the Synod of the "West resolved to establish a Theological 
Seminary at Pittsburg, and the Rev. Joseph Kerr, D.D., was chosen its 
first Professor ; but he had held the office only four years, when he was taken 
from it by death. In 1831, — the place having been somewhat informally 
supplied, during the two preceding years, by the Rev. Mungo Dick, — the 
Rev. John T. Pressly, D.D., of the Associate Reformed Synod of the 
South, was chosen to the ofl&ce of Senior Professor. That office he has 
continued to hold till the present time, (1863,) his associates in charge 
of the institution being the Rev. A. D. Clarke, D.D., who was chosen to 
the Professorship of Biblical Literature and Criticism in 1847, and the 
Rev. D. R. Kerr, D.D., who was called to the chair of Ecclesiastical 
History and Church Grovernment in 1851. Not less than three hundred 
young men have passed through their preparatory course for the ministry 
in this institution. 

In 1829 the Synod of New York resolved to revive the Seminary that 
had been susp-nded in New York in 1821, and the Rev. Joseph McCarroll. 
D.D., of Newburgh, N. Y., was chosen the first Professor In 1839 a 
fine, commodious edifice was completed for the accommodation of the 
institution, and in 1852, the Rev. John Forsyth, D.D., was called to the 
Professorship of Biblical Criticism, Ecclesiastical History and Church 

In 1839 the Synod of the West resolved to form a second Synod of the 
West, and established a second Theological Seminary within its bounds. 
The Rev. Joseph Claybaugh, D.D , was chosen Professor of Theology, 
and the Rev. S. W. McCracken, Professor of Hebrew; and Oxford, 0., 
was fixed upon as its location. Dr. Claybaugh died in September, 1855, 
and was succeeded by the Rev. Alexander Young. In 1858 the 
Seminary was removed from Oxford to Monmouth, 111. 

The Associate Reformed Synod of the South has a flourishing Theolo- 
gical Seminary at Due West, Abbeville District, S. C, which has fur- 
nished Pastors to a large number of churches within the bounds of the 
Svnod, and has enjoyed the confidence of the Church at large. It has 
also under its care a highly respectable College, known as " Erskine 

The Associate afid Associate Reformed Bodies continued separate until 
1858, when, with the exception of a few ministers and congregations of 
each side, they were united in one Body, under the name of the United 
Presbyterian ( hurch of North America. This Body now (1863) consists 


of a General Assembly, 7 Synods, 44 Presbyteries, 462 Ministers, 671 
Congregations, and 57,514 Communicants. It has 3 Theological Semin- 
aries, and 6 Foreign Missionary Stations. 

The Associate Reformed Church declared, in its standards, issued at 
Green Castle, in 1799, that it is " the will of God that the Sac/ed Songs^ 
contained in the Book of Psalms, be sung in his worship, both public 
and private * * * * nor shall any composures merely human be sung in 
any of the Associate Reformed Churches." This law, though it has not 
always been rigidly adhered to, has never been repealed. The subject 
of Communion has, at different times, been under the consideration of 
the Church, and the action which has been taken in respect to it has 
varied with the diversity of circumstances. The General Synod, in 1811, 
passed a Resolution, recommending mutual forbearance, and evidently 
allowing some latitude on this subject; but this action, in connection 
with the remonstrances of Presbyteries against any thing like promis- 
cuous communion, together with the publication of Dr. Mason's celebrated 
work on " Catholic Commmunion," combined with other circumstances to 
hasten the dissolution of the General Synod, and the resolving of the 
different Synods into separate and independent Bodies. In 1838 the 
Synod of New York, at its meeting at Salem, passed Resolutions, utterly 
disapproving the principle or practice of Open Communion, but still allow- 
ing, in extraordinary cases, occasional communion with themselves to 
members of other churches. 


[On the left hand of the page are the names of those who form the subjects of the 
work — the figures immediately preceding denote the period, as nearly as can be 
ascertained, when each began his ministry. On the right hand are the names of 
those who have rendered their testimony or their opinion in regard to the several 


1764. James Proudfit Robert Proudflt, D.D 1 

1761. John Mason,D.D 1 ^t^trUun^-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.V.Vj * 

1761. Robert Annan ISefMSeTs'. l^-V.:::: \ " 

1764. Thomas Clark, M.D \ ^f^^^^ ^^ D.D ! ! 1 1 ! ! ! ! ! ! | '' 

1^7^ A k^ A Tk w S John M. McJimsey, D.D ) „., 

17/4. Alexander Dobbm \ j^^^^^ ^ Mathews,' D.D. ... ! ( ^7 

1784. Matthew Henderson, Jr 1 Rev! h! ConTell"^?!:;:;.\\': ;;:::: \ ^^ 

1789. JohnDunlap J L"!.' Sin^ D.D;V.:V.V.V.V.V.; J ^^ 

-iToA T 1, V i John C. Young, D.D ) .. 

1790. John Young J John M. McJimsey, D D I ^^ 

r Arthur Burtis, D.D ] 

1792. AndrewOliver ?a?ob''su"?;i:^VEs, ! : ! ! ! ! i ! i i ! ! ! ! ^^ 

I James Thompson, Esq j 

1793. GeorgeMairs 1 ^^p^e telt^kl^'.v.: •.::::::::;•. I ^2 

1794. John Ridden, D.D \ ^"-^^SSi?: ! 1 ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! i ! ! 1 ! ? 57 

1794. John Hemphill, D.D \ S^^id'IfacdiU.!'?!'."". ! ! ! ! ! i ! ! ! ! i ! ^ ^2 

1794. Alexander Proudflt, D.D 1 itnet°rT:iie?; dId .•.•.•.•;::::.V.1 '' 

1794. William McAuley John Forsyth, D.D 78 

f Robert Proudflt, D.D ^ 

1794. John M.McJimsey, D.D ] Sn riirrifotiiD. •.•.•.•.:::::: 8^ 

( Malcolm McLaren, D.D j 

1796. Alexander Porter John T. Pressly, D.D 93 

i»7AT T n rk r» 5 C. G. McLean, D.D ) ,,. 

1797. James Gray, D.D J John M. Duncin, D.D ( ^^ 

1797. John Steele J. Claybaugh, D.D 102 

^onn T o • 5 John Forsyth, D.D ) -^e 

1802. James Scrimgeour J j^^^^ ^ Mathews, D.D \ ^^^ 

1802. Isaac Grier, D.D \ g^; i^:iZ^:^;': ; ; ; ; [ ] ] ; ] ; ; ] ! ; [ | HO 

■lOAr. T. 1. * -c. * J Robert Proudfit, D.D ) -^. 

1802. Robert Forrest J John Forsyth, D.D \ ^^^ 

f James Prestley, D.D "j 

lono T t- TT T^ T\ j David Macdill, D.D -,„ 

1803. Joseph Kerr, D.D j Elisha P. Swift, D.D f ^^^ 

[ Joseph Claybaugh, D.D ) 



1804. MungoDick Rev. H. Connelly 126 

("J. M. Mathews, D.D ] 

1807- JohnLind UriStt:D''D !!•.'?::::::::::: i^o 

(johnM. Krebs, D.D J 

1809. George Stewart J. M. Mathews, D.D 135 

1809. George Buchanan Rev. John M. Galloway 138 

18,0. Ja^esGalloway 1 ?:cTvlrvl°ck''en'?D.D;::::. ■.•.•.•; h« 

C Charles G. McLean, D.D J 

1811. John Mason Duncan, D.D < Jacob Van Vechten, D.D > 145 

( William J. Sprole, D.D ) 

1820. James Lemonte Dinwiddie, D.D. . Joseph T. Smith, D.D 154 

1824. Joseph Claybaugh, D.D R. D. Harper, D.D 156 

1826. Richard "Wynkoop Hon. Daniel Weisel 158 

1829. Joseph Reynolds Kerr | jrephcTaytug?; D.D ;■.■.•. ■.•■.:::: ( 161 

1001 tr tr « David R. Kerr, D.D ) --„ 

1831. Moses Kerr | Rev. H. Connelly ::;..;( ^^ 



James Proudpit was bora near Perth, Scotland, in the year 1732. His 
parents were of respectable standing, and members of the Established Church of 
Scotland. They bestoAved great care upon his religious education, and, as was 
common in Scotland at that time, taught him the Westminster Catechism with 
the Scripture proofe. Having evinced, from his childhood, a serious turn of mind 
and great fondness for study, as well as highly respectable talents, he was early 
destined to the Ministry of the Gospel, and, at a suitable age, was sent to the 
University for his -education. Here he became acquainted with some members 
of the Secession ; and, having become dissatisfied with the EstabHshed Church, 
especially from having witnessed the violent settlement of Ministers by patronage, 
contrary to the expressed wish of the people, he resolved to change his ecclesias- 
tical connection, and, after mature deliberation, united with that branch of the 
Secession denominated Anti-Burghers. His parents earnestly protested against 
his taking this step, regarding it as fatal to his prospects of temporal preferment ; 
yet, as he was conscious of being influenced by a strong sense of duty, he could 
not be persuaded to abandon his purpose, and, after completing his literary course, 
commenced the study of Theology under the direction of the Rev. Alexander 
MoncriefF,t Professor of Divinity in that denomination, — for whom, in token of 
his high regard, he afterwards named a son. Having completed the prescribed 
theological course, in 1753, he was licensed by the Presbytery of Perth and 
Dumferline to preach the Gospel. About this time frequent applications for min- 
isterial aid were made to the Associate Synod in Scotland, by persons living in 
the British Colonies, who adhered to the principles of the Secession. The Rev. 
Alexander GeUatly and the Rev. Mr. Araot had been sent out a few weeks 
before, in answer to their applications ; the former for permanent settlement in this 
country, the latter to labour as a Missionary for a single year. Mr. Proudfit was 
deemed eminently qualified to occupy this then new field of labour ; and, accord- 
ingly, in July, 1754, he was ordained to the ministry, with a destination for North 
America. The Ordination Sermon was preached by the Rev. George Brown, 
from Gal. i, 15, 16. The Presbytery then directed him to repair to the West 
of Scotland, and remain there until an opportunity should ofier for sailing to 
North America. 

A few days after this, Mr. Proudfit, in fulfilment of this appointment, embarked 
for America, and, after a favourable passage, reached Boston in the month of 
September ; and, with as little delay as possible, proceeded to Pennsylvania, where 
he was to find his future field of labour. On reaching Philadelphia he met 

* Christian Magazine, II. — Christian Instructor, New Series, V. — MS. from Rev. Dr. 
John Proudfit. 

t Alkxander Moncriepf was born in 1695. As the eldest son, he inherited the estate 
of Culfargie, in the parish of Abernethy. He studied at St. Andrews, and then at Ley- 
den under Mark and Wessel. He was ordained, and installed Minister of Abernethy, in 
1720. He warmly sympathized with Ebenezer Erskine, joined in the protest against the 
censure inflicted on him, and was one of the first members of the Associate Presbytery. 
He died October 7, 1761, in the sixty-seventh year of his age and the forty-second of 
his ministrv. He published An Inquiry into the Principle, Rule and End of Moral Actions ; 
Christ's Call to the Rising Generation; Three Sermons; and two volumes of Miscellaneous 

Vol. IX. 1 


the Rev. Mr. Amot, who had completed his missionary torn*, and was then 
returning to his charge in Scotland. Messrs. Gellatly and Proudfit were now 
the only ministers connected with the Associate Synod in these Colonies ; and, 
after prosecuting their labours alone for about six years, they were at once 
gladdened and strengthened by the arrival of Dr. John Mason and the Rev. 
Robert Annan. Mr. Proudfit, after being occupied in itinerant service several 
years, — planting congregations and nurturing them, received a call from the 
Associate Church in Pequea, Pa., which he accepted, and thus, for the first time, 
became a stated Pastor. He lived in the immediate neighbourhood, and in most 
fraternal relations, with the Rev. Robert Smith, one of the most distinguished 
ministers of the Presbyterian Church of that day. 

When the Associate Reformed Synod was constituted, about the year 1780, 
Mr. Proudfit cast in his lot with that Body. But, owing to a diversity of senti- 
ment in relation to this movement among the people of his charge, and more 
especially owing to the desolating effects of the Revolutionary War, his congrega- 
tion became greatly reduced in numbers, and he began to look out for a larger 
field of usefulness. Just at that juncture two calls were presented to him ; one 
from a congregation in the interior of Pennsylvania ; and another from Salem, in 
the State of New York. He accepted the latter call, and removed with his 
family to Salem in the autumn of 1783. There was not, at that time, a minister 
of his own denomination within a hundred and fifty miles, and scarcely a settled 
minister of any denomination North or West of Albany, in the State. His 
labours here were both multiplied and arduous. Though nominally Pastor of 
the Church at Salem, yet he preached occasionally at Cambridge, Hebron and 
Argyle, in Washington County, and in various places in the Counties of Saratoga 
and Montgomery ; and he was spared to see what he found well-nigh a moral 
wilderness converted into a garden. 

Mr. Proudfit having become quite advanced in life, and his health being 
seriously impaired, his congregation, in 1794, united in calling his son, the Rev. 
Alexander Proudfit, to become his colleague ; and this union was, accordingly, 
happily consummated. He continued, however, notwithstanding his increasing 
infirmities, to share in the discharge of parochial duties until the year 1799, when he 
was visited with a paralytic shock, which terminated forever his public services 
in the sanctuary. From this time his powers of both body and mind rapidly 
decayed until the 22d of October, 1802, when he fell asleep, in the seventieth 
year of his age, and the fiftieth of his ministry. A Sermon was preached on the 
occasion of his death, by the Rev. Dr. Gray, of Hebron, from Psalm cxii, 6 : 
" The righteous shall be in everlasting remembrance." 

Of Mr. Proudfit's marriages there remains but a very defective record. 
When or to whom he was first married, I have sought in vain to ascertain — it is 
known, however, that by this marriage there were seven sons, one of whom was 
the Rev. Dr. Alexander Proudfit, three of whom entered the medical profession, 
two were merchants, and one a farmer. His second wife was a Miss Houston, 
who became the mother of one daughter, who still (1862) survives. 


Professor in Union College. 

Schenectady, June 4, 1855. 

Dear Sir : The Rev. James Proudfit, concerning whom you inquire, was my 
father's brother, both having emigrated from Scotland to this country, a little 
after the middle of the last century. As, however, my uncle resided at Salem, 
N. Y., and my father in York County, Pa., my opportunities for seeing my 
uncle in early life were not very frequent, being limited to the occasional 
visits which he made to us, chiefly or entirely, when he attended the meetings 
of Synod at Philadelphia. Shortly after my graduation at Dickinson College, 
in 1798, I went to Salem, and took up my residence in his family, and pur- 
sued my theological studies chiefly under the direction of his son, the late Dr. 
Alexander Proudfit. I continued m his family nearly four years; and, 
though I had the opportunity of seeing much of him, he was, during much 
the greater part of the time, rendered quite helpless by paralysis. Though I 
had not the privilege of knowing him well in the days of his full activity and 
vigour, 1 had the best possible opportunity for witnessing the exercise of his 
passive graces ; and I can truly say that in this respect he was " glorious '* 
even «in ruin." After other subjects had well-nigh faded from his mind, the 
great truths of religion seemed to be as fresh and welcome to his thoughts as 
ever; and his command of Scripture, and his ability to refer to the place 
where any particular passage was to be found, were truly surprising. His 
religious experience was so deep, and his religious knowledge so thorough and 
minute, that when he had sunk back to the imbecility of childhood in relation 
to every other subject, he could still bear his part in religious conversation 
with the same apparent relish, and almost with the same degree of intelli- 
gence, as in his better days. 

Mr. Proudfit was a tall man, — I think rather more than six feet high, and 
in the days of his health was well proportioned ; though, when I knew most 
of him, he was somewhat emaciated by disease. Every thing about his 
appearance and manners betokened gravity. His countenance, though not 
marked by any thing like austerity, indicated an uncommonly thoughtful 
habit of mind. His movements were staid and deliberate, and his whole 
appearance, both in public and in private, eminently clerical. He was never- 
theless of a kind and amiable temper, and was not destitute of humour, 
though it was rare that he thought proper to indulge it ; and I might almost 
say, never, unless it were to administer a timely rebuke to impertinence. He 
was remarkable for having all his feelings and faculties under the most perfect 
control — I never heard of his being thrown off his guard by any sudden 
emergency, or of his being surprised even into an indiscretion. 

If I were to describe his intellect in a single word, I should say it was 
eminently sound. He was not distinguished for imagination, nor, so far as I 
know, for a philosophical turn of mind; but he was remarkable for good 
judgment, excellent common sense, and enlightened, sober and practical vievvs 
of whatever subject engaged his attention. He possessed also an extraor- 
dinary memory; having every part of the Bible at his command, beyond 
almost any other person whom I have ever known : insomuch that it used to be 
said that, if the Bible were actually to be lost out of the world, he could go 
very far toward replacing it. He was, in a very high degree, a practical man. 
The great object of his life evidently was to make the most of his faculties in 
doing good to his fellow- creatures, and promoting his Master's cause and 

His preaching was not what would commonly be called popular ; but it was 
sensible, well considered and highly instructive. He preached from copious 


notes, which, I believe, were always written in short hand. He made much 
more use of the Scriptures in the way of proof and illustration than is com- 
mon at this day, or, I believe I may add, than was common even in his own. 
He kept his hearers constantly impressed with the idea ihat he was delivering 
to them not only the mind, but to a great extent the very letter, of the 
Spirit. His voice, though sufficiently distinct, was rather feeble; his gestures 
were few and not particularly forcible ; and his general manner by no means 
distinguished for extraordinary animation. But there was such evident sin- 
cerity pervading every thing that he said, and so much good sense, combined 
with rich evangelical instruction, that no one of a docile spirit could fail to 
be at once interested and edified by his ministrations. I ought to add that 
my impressions in regard to his preaching are derived more from the testi- 
mony of others than from my own observation. In my early life, when he 
used to visit my father, I remember hearing him preach in a barn in the neigh- 
bourhood in which we lived ; but, after I came to live in his family, the only 
public service I ever heard him perform was at the Communion table, when 
his voice had become so feeble that it was not without great difficulty that he 
could be heard. 

As a Pastor, h*} was a model of prudence, fidelity and affection. He 
estimated highly this kind of ministerial influence, and always aimed to make 
the most of it. His visits were, for the most part, strictly pastoral, and 
designed immediately to subserve the spiritual interests of his flock. 

Though Mr. Proudfit was decided in his denominational preferences, he was 
a truly liberal minded man, and had a cordial welcome for all who seemed 
to him to bear the Saviour's image. As an illustration of this, I may men- 
tion that he cheerfully co-operated in the formation of the Northern Mission- 
ary Society, which was composed of Christians and Ministers of different 
denominations, and was its first President. Had he lived at the present day, 
when there is much more of commingling of the various Christian sects, I 
doubt not that both his principles and his spirit would have brought him 
still more largely and extensively in contact with other denominations. 

In the Judicatories of the Church his modesty always diposed him to give 
place to others, and he was never a forward or noisy member of any Public 
Body. But he was always discreet and judicious, and accomplished more by 
wise counsels than most others did by long speeches. He was held in great 
respect not only by his own Body, but by Christians of all denominations, 
and by the community at large. 

With great respect I am truly yours, 






Philadelphia, May 24, 1849. 

Rev. and dear Sir : It gives me great pleasure to learn that among the hon- 
oured and useful ministers whom your work is designed to commemorate, is the 
venerable Dr. John Mason, (father of the late Dr. John M. Mason,) of New 
York. I have taken some pains to investigate his history, by a reference to 
Presbyterial and Synodical records, and have gathered also whatever traditionai-y 


information I could obtain, that seemed sufficiently authentic ; and, though the 
materials, after all, are very scanty, I am inclined to think that I have succeeded 
in bringing together nearly all that now remains concerning this venerable man. 

John Mason was bom near Mid-Calder, in the County of Linlithgow, Scot- 
land, in the year 1734, being the eldest son of the family. His father was a far- 
mer, and both his parents, who were eminently pious persons, died while he was 
quite young, but not tiU they had had time to impress him with the obligations 
of early piety. 

His early training was under the influence of the Associate or Secession Church 
of Scotland, in its best days. On the 9th of April, 1746, this branch of the 
Church which, in thirteen years, had grown from a small Presbytery into a large 
and useful Synod, was unhappily divided, by what was termed the " Burgess 
oath,"* into the Burgher and Anti-Burgher parties, each claiming to be the true 
Associate Synod. With the latter of them Mr. Mason identified himself, and, 
after a thorough preparatory course, pursued his theological studies at Abernethy, 
with the Bev. Alexander MoncriefF, the first Professor of Divinity in the Anti- 
Burgher Synod. At the age of twenty he spoke the Latin language, in dis- 
coursing upon History, Philosophy and Theology, with as much ease as his 
mother tongue ; and, at the age of twenty-four, was an assistant Professor in 
Logic and Moral Philosophy in the Theological Institution where he had himself 
studied. His piety also manifestly kept pace with his literary attainments; and, 
even at that early period of his life, he was remarkable for his spiritual fervour 
and devotion, — spending much of his time in his closet, and sanctifying all his 
studies and labours with the Word of God and with prayer. 

At length the time arrived for his entrance on the work to which he had 
devoted himself. In the spring of 1761 the Synod, having received an earnest 
petition from a Congregation in New York, (long known as the " Cedar Street 
Church,") directed his Presbytery to ordain him to the office of the Holy Ministry. 
This was done ; and he was immediately sent out, as one eminently fitted, by his 
intellectual and spiritual endowments, as well as by a warm attachment to the 
peculiarities of his Church, for that highly important and responsible place. He 
came in company with the Bev. Messrs. Bobert Annan and John Smart t ; and, 
arriving in June, was shortly afterwards installed in the pastoral charge of the 
people that had called him. His heart became deeply engaged in his work ; and 
so much was he affiicted by the general destitution of the Gospel in its purity 
and power throughout the country, that the next spring he addressed several com- 
munications to the Synod in Scotland, soliciting, in the most earnest manner, for 
additional aid. Accordingly, the Synod designated a number to this field ; only 
one of whom, however, Mr. William Marshall, a native of Abernethy, and at that 
time a student under Mr. Moncrieff, became an efficient labourer. By order of 
the Synod, he was licensed at an early day, and sent to this work ; and, after 

* This oath was the one administered to all town officers, and the clause which occasioned 
all the painful and disastrous results to the Secession Church, was as follows : — '^ Here I 
protest, before God and your lordships, that I profess and allow with my heart the true 
religion, presently professed within this realm, and authorized by the laws thereof ; I 
shall abide thereat and defend the same till my life's end, — renouncing the Roman reli- 
gion, called Papistry." The question was, — Can members of the Associate Synod pro- 
fess, as the true religion, that which the State establishes in the Church from which the 
Secession was made ? Burghers said Aye — Anti-Burghers said Nay. 

•j- Mr. Smart, after remaining a few years in this country, returned to Scotland, whero 
ho spent the remainder of his life. 



labouring for some time, was ordained to the pastoral charge of the Congregation 
of Deep Run and Neshaminy, Bucks county, Pa., August 30, 1765, — Mr. Mason 
preaching the Sermon from John iii, 10, and constituting the pastoral relation. 

Shortly after this Mr. Mason became deeply interested in the relations between 
the Burghers and the Anti-Burghers in this Country ; and, feeling that the mat- 
ters which alienated brethren in Scotland ought not to separate them here, and 
that the hands of all would be strengthened by gathering these different Bodies 
together, he earnestly undertook to effect a union between them. The dispute 
which had long been carried on between the two Secession Synods at home, he 
characterized as " the dry, the fruitless, the disgracmg and pernicious controversy 
about the Burgess Oath." He said, — " This controversy has done infinite injury 
to the cause of God in Scotland, and wherever it has shed its malignant influences. 
For my own part I cannot reflect upon it without shame and perplexity. Though 
we differ only about the meaning of some Burgess Oaths and Acts of Parliament, 
yet our mutual opposition has been as fierce as probably it would have been had 
we differed about the most important points of Christianity. The infatuation we 
have fallen into will amaze posterity." With this feeling he went forward, and 
though his course displeased the Synod in Scotland, and even caused his name 
to be erased from the roll, "as no longer entitled to a seat among them, until 
there should be an opportunity for bringing his case to a final trial," yet he saw 
much of his heart's desire and prayer granted, — the distinction between the Bm*- 
ghers and the Anti-Burghers, in this country, entirely broken down ; and a con- 
sequent happy increase of vital godliness in the churches, and of saving know- 
ledge among the destitute in various parts of the land. 

Up to the month of May, 1776, there was but one Associate Presbytery in 
this country. This was the "Associate Presbytery of Pennsylvania, subordinate 
to the Associate Synod of Edinburgh," and there were thirteen ministers mem- 
bers of it. These were scattered over such a wide extent of country, and their 
meeting together was attended with so great expense of money and time, that 
they found it impossible to have that active co-operation which is necessary for 
most effectively advancing the cause of Christ. Mr. Mason, therefore, early 
favoured a division of the Presbytery, which, after some discussion, was effected 
with general unanimity. And though this division was blamed by the Synod in 
Scotland, inasmuch as it was made without consulting that Supreme Judicatory, 
yet, so far as this country was concerned, harmony and efficiency were happily 
promoted by it, and the good work was more energetically and successfully 
carried forward. The division of the Presbytery into two, and the facility which 
was thus afforded ministers of holding regular official intercourse, really promoted 
the unity and efficiency which Mr. Mason so ardently sought. 

This iiiovement, in behalf of what was supposed to be the best interests of the 
Scottish Churches in the Provinces, was early afterwards followed by another 
towards a union of an extensive and most important kind. Thus far the several 
Reformed Presbyteries, — the Associate which was organized in 1754, and the 
Reformed Presbyterian or Covenanter, in 1774, had been subordinate to Synods 
in Scotland. During the War of the Revolution, however, the communication 
with the mother country had been almost entirely interrupted, and the ministers 
in the several Presbyteries had been led to feel a painful necessity for Synods, 
and an ecclesiastical state of things adapted to their new condition in the land of 
their adoption. But they were weak in their separate and divided position. Mr. 


Mason, therefore, readily listened to any proposition which had in view a union 
of brethren, of " like precious faith ; " and after some years of prayerful con- 
ference and deliberation, he and his friends, the Rev. Robert Annan of Wallkill, 
N. Y., and the Rev. James Proudfit of New Perth, now Salem, N. Y., agreed 
to a basis which was accepted by the entire Reformed Presbytery, composed of the 
Rev. Messrs. Cuthbertson,* Dobbin and Lind. After further negotiations, these 
Presbyteries met with the Associate Presbytery of Pennsylvania, at Pequea, and 
on the 13th of June, 1782, agreed upon a general union. And that the very 
name of the United Body might be indicative of its origin, it was styled, " The 
Associate Reformed Church." 

In all these movements Mr. Mason bore a leading part, drafting, as is believed, 
the leading articles of the basis of Union ; and he was honoured with the office 
of Moderator, at the first meeting of the United Body in General Synod, Octo- 
ber, 1783. Indeed, whatever tended to the unity of the visible Body of Christ 
was most congenial to his feelings. And, from the time that this union was con- 
summated, he seemed to labour with even greater interest and success than ever. 
Nor was he without ample furniture for his work. He was a man of sound and 
vigorous mind, of extensive learning and fervent piety. As a Preacher, he was 
uncommonly judicious and instructive, and his ministrations were largely attended 
As a Pastor, he was especially faithful and diligent. To great learning there were 
united in him meekness, prudence, diligence, knowledge of the world, and an 
affectionate superintendence of the interests, temporal and spiritual, of his flock. 
He so arranged his studies and other engagements in regard to time, that he had 
always some part of the afternoon to devote to visiting the families of his con- 
gregation. These visits were short, the conversation was serious, awakening, 
instructive and affectionate, and seldom did he leave a house without solemn 
prayer on behalf of its inmates. He did not consider any of his people's inte- 
rests as beneath his notice, while his matured judgment and enlarged experience 
made him a wise counsellor and useful friend. On one occasion a lady, at whose 
house he called, in the spirit of a faithful Pastor, told him that she was sadly 
troubled by unworthy servants. " Ah, Madam," said he, " have you over prayed 
to the Lord to provide worthy servants for you ? Nothing which concerns our 
comfort is too minute for the care of our Heavenly Father." 

* John Cuthbertson was born in Scotland about the year 1720. He studied for the 
ministry probably under the Rev. John McMillan, the father and founder of the Reformed 
Presbytery of Scotland. He came to this country in 1752, and, for more than twenty 
years, was the only Reformed Presbyterian Minister in America. It is not quite certain 
whether he came hither on his own motion, prompted by his own missionary zeal, or by 
the formal appointment of the Reformed Presbytery. This Judicatory was constituted 
August I, 1743, by two ministers, with their elders, — namely, Rev. Messrs. John McMil- 
lan and Thomas Nairn, and eight years afterwards (1752) the small Body was rent 
asunder by a dispute among its members regarding some doctrinal points. This was the 
very year of Mr. Cuthbertson's arrival in America; and the Kmallness of the Body, in its 
united state even, would have precluded the possibility of its lending him much aid in 
his mission. He seems to have established himself in Octorora, though, for twenty years, 
he bad sole charge of the small Reformed Presbyterian Societies scnttered over the Thirteen 
Colonies, and of course a very large portion of his time was spent in travelling. He 
entered cordially into the Union in 1782, and, until the close of his life, appears to have 
regularly attended the meetings of Synod. After tbe Union, his field of labour was 
restricted to his own immediate charge at Octorora, though he seems to have retained 
the habit, to some extent, of visiting many of the localities where Covenanters had 
settled During the last visit of this sort that he made, some rumours got afloat preju- 
dicial to his character for temperance, which were brought to the notice of Synod, 
by the Presbytery of New York. He had evidently acted indiscreetly, since his own 
Presbytery, after an investigation, administered a formal rebuke to him, and suspended 
him from the exercise of the ministry for four weeks. He died at Octorora, March 10, 1791 


On another occasion he met, in his pastoral charge, a difficulty which serious 
young persons often experience. A daughter of the excellent Mrs. Isabella 
Graham had wished to be connected with his church, but was afraid that her 
heart was not sufficiently engaged in the service of God. Her case was made 
known to him. With a peculiar kindness and solemnity of manner, he said, — • 
" If the world, with all its wealth, pleasures and power were placed in one scale, 
and Christ alone in the other, which would your heart freely choose as its 
portion ? " " Oh, Christ, Sir, Christ," said she. " Come then," said he, 
" and show this by professing Him before the world, trusting for the grace by 
which a weak faith may yet attain the Ml assurance." She came ; and of her 
and her sisters their mother afterwards said, — " I have reason to think the Lord 
ratified their surrender of themselves to Him." Very similar was his faithful 
dealing with the late excellent Dr. Alexander Proudfit, in the character of a 
tender counsellor and friend. Just after graduating with much honour at 
Columbia College, New York, in 1792, and when somewhat excited with ambi- 
tious feelings and hopes, Mr. Proudfit called on Mr. Mason for advice in respect 
to his future course. In answer to an inquiry as to what profession he had 
chosen, Mr. Proudfit answered that he had not yet fuUy determined. Instantly, 
discerning the cause of his indecision, the venerable Pastor and friend replied, — 
"Alexander, — if you leave the service of Christ in the Ministry for the pursuit 
of worldly honours. He will raise up others to serve Him, but you may be lost." 
Immediately this " word in season " was blessed ; and, from that short interview, 
the young student went forth to become a man whom many have risen up to call 

As a pubhc man, Mr. Mason was greatly respected and honoured, and exerted 
an extensive and benign influence. From 1779 to 1785 he was a faithful and 
useful Trustee of the College of New Jersey, and in 1786 received from that 
institution the honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity. In the time of his 
country's need he also showed himself his country's friend. Leaving the com- 
forts of home, during the occupancy of New York by the British army, in the 
War of the Revolution, and placing his family at Pluckemin, N. J., he willingly 
encountered the dangers and hardships of the camp, that he might, as a Chaplain, 
counsel and encourage the American troops in their struggle for liberty and for 
right. Nor was he less zealous for what he deemed ecclesiastical rights, — for 
when an attempt was made some years before, to set up, on the model of the 
Established Church of England, an Archbishopric, he drew a strong pen in 
opposition to the measure, and perhaps had as much to do as any other person in 
defeating it. 

In his own family Dr. Mason was eminently faithful and happy. Much of 
his time was spent in devotional exercises. His children were regularly instructed 
in the Scriptures, the Psalms versified, and the Assembly's Catechism with 
proofs ; and often did his distinguished son, the late Dr. John M. Mason, ascribe 
his own ability, which every one knew to be most remarkable, to quote extended 
and appropriate passages of Scripture, to the early training which he received 
from his venerable father. In his intercourse with his ministerial brethren, how- 
ever they might belong to a different denomination from himself, he exhibited 
the most kind and fraternal spirit, and studied in every way to promote their 
interests. When, for instance, the first movement was made, about the year 
1770, for having English preaching in the Reformed Dutch Churches in New 


York, under the ministry of the Rev. Dr. Laidlie, a great excitement prevailed. 
Some forty or fifty families were so disturbed by this innovation upon their long 
established order, that they determined at once to leave the denomination. 
Accordingly, they waited upon Dr. Mason, and informed him of their wish to 
attach themselves to his charge. His congregation was at that time comparatively 
feeble, and such an accession would have been of the utmost consequence to him. 
Without, however, hesitating a moment, he calmly told them that he thought 
them acting under the influence of improper feelings, — that they had better 
return to their church; and if, after six months or a year, they found error 
preached, or that their souls were sufiering for spiritual things, and that God, 
and not merely their passions, pointed them to such a change as they now pro- 
posed, he would then consider the request to be taken under his pastoral care. 
The majority of them returned. Dr. Laidlie prospered in his ministry, and on 
Dr. Mason and his flock came the blessing of the Peace-maker. Indeed, his 
heart warmed with Christian love; and his counsels and energies were always 
ready for any work that promised good. This was so peculiar that, when he 
died, his venerable and attached friend, the Rev. Dr. Rodgers, of New York, 
said, — " I feel as if I had lost my right arm." 

His labours were abundant, — often extending to distant places in his own and 
neighbouring States ; and his ministerial services were attended with an unction 
which made them of a sweet savour to those who hungered and thirsted after 
righteousness. At length, however, the energies of nature gave way. After 
labouring nearly thirty years in his charge, his recollection suddenly failed him 
one day in the midst of his sermon, and he sat down in his pulpit, unable to pro- 
ceed. Rising, in a few moments, he was enabled to say, in a pecuharly tender 
manner, that he considered this event as a call from his Heavenly Master to 
expect a speedy dismission from earth, and then solemnly admonished them to be 
prepared for the will of God. It was a touching scene. His people loved him 
as a father, and were dissolved in tears. He thence passed to his house, and waa 
shortly attacked with his last illness. Patient and self-possessed, through the grace 
which he loved to magnify, the scene of his departure was joyful and triumphant. 
His views of Christ, in his grace and in his glory, were rich and refreshing, and 
next to these he loved to dwell upon the beauty and power of brotherly love in 
the Church of God. Calling his daughter to his side, he requested her to write 
a letter which should be directed to each member of the Synod. That letter 
was short, but how rich in the spirit of Him who said, " Love one another !" It 
was this : 

" Dear Brethren : — Farewell ; be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live 
in peace, and the God of love and peace shall be with you." 

" Your dying brother, 


At length, on the 19th of April, 1792, he died ; and his death, like his life, 
was an honourable testimony to his Redeemer's power and grace. 

Dr. Mason was twice happily married ; and, by both marriages, became con- 
nected with respectable Dutch families in New York. His first wife was Catha- 
rine Van Wyck, who became the mother of nine children, of whom only three 
lived to maturity. The eldest of these (Helen) became the wife of Matthew 
Duncan, a merchant in Philadelphia, and the mother of John M. Duncan, D.D., 
for many years Pastor of the Associate Reformed Church in Baltunore. The 
Vol IX. 2 



second was the late Dr. John M. Mason, whose praise is in both hemispheres. The 
youngest {Margaretta) was married to the Hon. John Brown, one of the first 
Senators in Congress from Kentucky. Mrs. Mason died June 31, 1784. He 
was subsequently married to Sarah Van Alstine, who had no children, and sur- 
vived him many years. 

With much respect I am very truly yours, 



New York, June 26, 1849. 

Reverend and dear Sir: In complying with your request for some account 
of my early friend and Pastor, Dr. Mason, I am forcibly reminded of God's 
word, Deuteronomy viii, 2 : " And thou shalt remember all the way which the 
Lord thy God hath led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee 
and to prove thee, what was in thine heart, or whether thou wouldst keep 
his commandments or no." 

My mother and family were introduced to the Rev. Dr. Mason, by the Rev. 
Mr. Ellis, of Paisley, in Scotland. He was the first to welcome us to a for- 
eign land, and his kind attentions to the widow and the fatherless ceased only 
with his life. He was the Urst to persuade me publicly to acknowledge God 
as my Saviour and Redeemer. I was received into the communion of his 
church early in the year 1791. The next year I saw his remains consigned 
to the tomb, and ceased not to weep, and refused to be comforted, till his place 
was supplied by his distinguished son, the late Rev. Dr. John M. Mason. 

Though more than half a century has elapsed since the death of the elder 
Dr. Mason, I have still a vivid recollection of his personal appearance and 
manner. He was of middle stature, not corpulent, had black hair, and a mild 
but penetrating black eye. He was distinguished for gentlemanly manners, 
staid deportment and decision of character. He was strict in his family disci- 
pline, uncommonly systematic in all his habits, and withal " given to hospi- 
tality." His sermons were thoroughly studied, his delivery was plain and 
energetic, and every thing, both in matter and manner, indicated a paramount 
regard to the glory of God and the salvation of souls. If an anecdote were 
admissible, the following might perhaps serve to illustrate his character more 
fully. A worthy Minister from Ireland, of somewhat eccentric habits and 
manner, travelled as a Missionary through the United States, and occasionally 
occupied Dr. Mason's pulpit. The good man was much annoyed at the fash- 
ionable style of the ladies' dress in those days, particularly their high head- 
dresses, and urged Dr. Mason to preach against them. « My dear Sir," replied 
the Doctor, " my business is more with the heart than the head. Looking to 
God to give effect to my preaching, I endeavour to convince my hearers that 
they are sinners, that they need a Saviour, and that they are bound to humble 
themselves before God, and give themselves wholly to his service. When this 
is effected, the head-dresses will come down of themselves." 

I will only add the following brief notice of Dr. Mason's death, from a letter 
written by my beloved and venerated mother, Mrs. Isabella Graham, to a 
friend in Scotland : 

" New York, April, 1792.— Sabbath noon. 

" It is not my custom to take my pen on this day, even to write to a Christian 
friend, having occasion for my whole time with my family and with my God in secret; 
but I cannot go to dinner; I cannot eat; I cannot talk to my girls; my heart must 
bleed afresh upon the same altar where it has often been pierced. Oh, Madam, my 
dear Dr. Mason goes and leaves me here alone; in all probability, his course is nearly 
finished, and his crown awaits him. Five physicians now attend him closely. I havo 



seen him often, and he says. — 'AH is well, and all will be well.^ Of the physicians 
he said, — 'Yes, yes, it is very well, they are useful men in God's hands. They may 
be useful in patching up this tabernacle a little. If it be raised to usefulness, I am 
content. If not to usefulness, I do not desire it. I feel no concern about the issue 
of this : the will of the Lord be done.' 

" Sabbath Evening. — I have again seen my dear Pastor, and discern the clay dis- 
solving fast. The words of dying saints are precious ; and his are few. He thus 
accosted me : — ' I am just awaiting the will of God; for the present, I seem a useless 
blank in his hand; I can say very little ; be not too anxious for my life, but transfer 
your care to the Church; my life or death is but a trifle; if the Lord have any use 
for me, it is easy for Him to raise me up still; and if He do, it will be agreeable to 
observe his hand distinct from men; if He should not, you will all be cared for; 
leave all to Him and seek his glory.' He could say no more, nor will I to-night, but 
address myself to our Lord on his behalf, yours, my own and our dear concerns. 

"April 23, Monday. — It is finished. My dear Minister's dying scene is over. On 
Thursday, the 19th of this month, a quarter before ten o'clock, a. m., the Lord 
received his spirit and laid his weary flesh to rest. He had a sore conflict with the 
king of terrors, who seemed allowed to revel through every part of his mortal frame. 
His legs were mortified to his knees. He had not been able to lie down for four 
■weeks, and died in his chair. Like his Master, he groaned, but never complained. 
He had a draught of his Master's cup; but the bitter ingredient, desertion, made no 
part of it. I had the honour to close his eyes, and to shut those dear lips from whence 
so many precious truths have proceeded, and to mix with the ministering spirits 
who attended to hail the release. » * * This is a great work finished. Dr. Mason 
was a city set on a hill. He was with the army during all the "War, after the evac- 
uation of New York; had great influence over the soldiers; preached the Gospel of 
peace uniformly, but never meddled, with politics, though he was fully capable. In 
every situation the Lord supported him in uniformity and consistency of character; 
and carried him through without a single spot or stain." 

I have written under great infirmity, being now in my eightieth year ; and 
I only regret that you have not found one more capable than myself of per- 
forming the service you have asked of me. 

Wishing you success in all your labours of love, 
I remain, Reverend Sir, 

Yours, with Christian respect and regard, 




Egbert Annan, a son of Robert Annan (his mother's maiden name was 
Landales) was bom in the town of Cupar, Fife, Scotland, in the year 1742. Of 
his early history nothing definite can now be ascertained. After pursuing the 
usual course at the University of St. Andrews, he commenced the study of The- 
ology under the venerable Alexander MoncrieflF, one of the original Seceders. 
Among his fellow-students were Messrs. John Mason and James Proudfit, who 
afterwards became fellow-labourers with him in this country. He was licensed 
by the Associate Presbytery of Perth, when only about nineteen years old, and 
was, shortly after, appointed by the Synod to visit the American Colonies in the 
capacity of a Missionary. He was little inclined to accept the appointment, but 
it seems to have been scarcely at his option whether or not to do so, as the 
Synod, from their earnest desire to supply the waste places of the New World, 

♦ Christian Instructor, 1845. — MS. from Samuel Annan, M.D. 



had passed an Act, prohibiting the name of any probationer appointed to America 
from being proposed to any vacant congregation in Scotland. 

Mr. Annan arrived in New York in the smnmer of 1761, and, after labouring 
as an itinerant about four years, was ordained and installed at Neelytown, N. Y., 
in 1765. Here he remained fourteen years, having charge at first of what are 
now the congregations of Hamptonburg, Little Britain, Graham's Church, and 
Bloomingburgh, though, ultimately, he confined himself to one of them. 

When the War of the Revolution broke out, and through its whole progress, 
Mr. Annan showed himself a most earnest patriot, and not only in his private 
intercourse but in the pulpit vigorously defended the American cause. The fol- 
lowing incident may serve as an illustration of his patriotic ardour : — In the fall 
of 1775 the people of Boston, being reduced to great straits in respect to provi- 
sions, sent over to the State of New York for aid ; and, accordingly, a public 
meeting to respond to this application was held in the town of Hanover, (now 
Montgomery.) As no other person could be found who was able to speak to 
advantage in vindication of American rights, Mr. Annan, finally, though reluc- 
tantly, consented. The discussion, after a while, began to wax unduly warm, 
when, to prevent its becoming a bitter strife, Mr. Annan suddenly cried out, — 
" As many as are in favour of assisting the people of Boston and the cause of 
liberty, follow me." The effect was well-nigh electric — as he moved out of the 
house, nearly the whole assembly followed him. 

Mr. Annan's fervid patriotism, and especially his denunciation of the British 
Government, during the period of the Revolution, made him a man of mark, and 
attracted the attention even of the Father of his country. On one occasion, while 
the anny was in winter quarters, Washington, accompanied by Colonel Hamil- 
ton, the Marquis Lafayette and General Knox, paid him a visit. On their arri- 
val, they found him engaged in teaching two of his sons the Greek Testament. 
They stayed a considerable timC) Washington taking the lead in the conversation. 
Colonel Hamilton, after the other three had left the room, took up the Greek 
Testament and looked at it as if he were familiar with it. Mr. Annan supposed 
that he was the only one of the illustrious party that could translate a word of it. 

Of the union by which the Associate Reformed Synod was constituted Mr. 
Annan was an earnest and efficient advocate. He was deeply impressed with the 
idea that the Providence of God had, by the Independency of the United States, 
so reduced the difierence between the two parties that there was no sufficient rea- 
son why they should remain any longer asunder ; and the final effecting of the 
Union, which was, in no small degree, through his instrumentality, was a consum- 
mation which he welcomed with devout joy. At a later period (in 1802) he 
expressed himself decidedly favourable to a Union between the Associate Reformed 
Synod and the General Assembly. 

In 1783 Mr. Annan removed from Neelytown to Boston, having accepted a 
call fi'om the congregation worshipping in Federal street. This was originally 
an Irish Presbyterian congregation, and was, for many years, under the pastoral 
care of the Rev. Mr. Morehead. Although the congregation was composed, 
originally, of very thorough Presbyterians, yet, in the course of y ars, as the emi- 
gration from Ireland and Scotland to Boston declined, it had so far yielded to 
the surrounding influences of Independency, that, when Mr. Annan took the pastoral 
charge, it was scarcely more than nominally Presbyterian. During his residence 
in Boston, which was for about three years, he had a high reputation as a Preacher, 



and was not altogether unknown as a man of scientific research. In the first 
volume of the Transactions of the American Academy of Science (Boston) there 
are several interesting papers written by him, one of which contains the earliest 
published accounts of the Mammoth remains discovered in Orange County. 

In 1786 he received and accepted a call from the Old Scots Church, (Spruce 
Street,) Philadelphia. His relation to the Church in Boston had not been other- 
wise than pleasant ; but as the Synod had made it imperative that he should 
" admit the Psalter used, and the mode of singing practised, in the Church of 
Scotland," and as he foresaw that this could not be done but at the expense of 
dividing the congregation, and as he had found it extremely difficult withal to 
maintain Presbyterian discipline in Boston, he thought it best, in view of all 
these circumstances, to avail himself of an opportunity to enter another field of 
ministerial labour. 

Mr. Annan's removal to Philadelphia was little favourable to his personal com- 
fort ; as a portion of the Spruce Street Church, headed by the former Pastor, 
Mr. Marshall, had seceded in consequence of the union, and were, at this time, 
engaged in a legal prosecution for the recovery of the property ; in which, how- 
ever, they were unsuccessful. The contest between the parties was carried on in 
an earnest and even bitter spirit, and it is said to have operated, more than any 
other circumstance, to retard the growth of the Spruce Street Congregation. 

Mr. Annan continued in this charge until 1801 or 1802, when he removed to 
Baltimore, to take the pastoral oversight of a congregation which had been then 
recently formed in that city. Here he remained until 1812, when he resigned his 
pastorship, and was shortly after succeeded by the Bev. John M. Duncan. He 
retired now to a place which he had purchased in York County, Pa. ; but, though 
he never took another pastoral charge, he was usefully employed in supplying 
vacant churches in that region. He kept up his habits of study, and his powers 
of mind remained in full vigour, to the close of life. His death was occasioned 
by his being thrown with great violence from his carriage. He had preached on 
the previous Sabbath from Bomans v, 2 : "By whom also we have access by 
faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God." 
Not being able to finish the discussion, he had appointed the next Sabbath to com- 
plete it, and was on his way to the church when the fatal disaster occurred. He was 
taken up and carried home in a state of insensibility, and never rallied sufficiently 
to recognize any member of his family. He survived only two or three days, 
and died on the 5th of December, 1819. His remains were interred in the Octo- 
rora burying ground, now connected with the Associate Congregation. 

The following is a list of Mr. Annan's publications : — An Overture illustrat- 
ing and defending the doctrines of the Westminster Confession of Faith : prepared 
by appointment of the Associate Beformed Synod of North America, 1787. A 
Concise and Faithful Narrative of the various steps which led to the Unhappy 
Division among the members of the Associate Body in the United States, 1789. 
Animadversions on the Doctrine of Universal Salvation, 1790. The Connec- 
tion between Civil Government and Beligion, 1790. Mr. Annan had a long con- 
troversy with Dr. Bush, of Philadelphia, on the subject of Capital Punishment, 
in one of the newspapers of that city, in 1790. 

Mr. Annan was married (it is believed in the year 1764) to Margaret, daughter 
of William Cochran, of CarroUsburg, York County, Pa. By this marriage 
there were two children, Eobert Landales and William, both of whom became 



physicians — the former and the elder settled in Emmittsburg, Frederick County, 
Md., and died 1827; the latter settled in Philadelphia, and died in 1797. Their 
mother died on the 13th of October, 1793. The next year Mr. Annan was 
married to Elizabeth, daughter of Samuel and Elizabeth Hawthorne, who lived 
near the village of Strasburg, Lancaster County, Pa. She died in Lane 
County, Pa., on the 23d of July, 1813. The children of this marriage were 
six, — three sons and three daughters. Samvd, the second child, studied Medi- 
cine, partly in this country and partly in Edinburgh, and has been a medical 
practitioner successively in Emmittsburg, Baltimore, Lexington, Ky., and St. 
Louis, Mo. John Ebemzer and William were both graduated at Dickinson 
College in 1824 ; both entered the ministry of the Presbyterian Church ; and 
the latter is now the Rev. Dr. Annan, of Pittsburg. 

John Ebenezer Annan was born about the year 1803 ; and when he was in his 
ninth year removed with his father from Baltimore to his farm in Lancaster 
County, Pa. From early boyhood he was remarkable for his love of reading, 
though, up to his sixteenth year, he was principally occupied with the labours of 
the farm, enjoying no other advantages for education than are usually furnished 
by the common schools in the rural districts. Shortly after the death of his 
father, he entered the Classical School at Gettysburg, Pa., then under the care of 
the Rev. Dr. McConaughy, afterwards President of Washington College ; and 
so rapid was his progress that, in about eighteen months, he was admitted to the 
Sophomore class in Dickinson College, then under the Presidency of Dr. Mason. 
In 1822 he became hopefully the subject of a revival of religion in College, and, 
some time after, made a public profession of his faith. He graduated in 1824 
with the highest honours of his class. Notwithstanding he was now only in his 
twenty-first year, the uncommon vigour and maturity of his intellect, as well as 
his acknowledged rare acquirements, led the Trustees of Miami University, Oxford, 
0., to appoint him to the Professorship of Mathematics in that institution. Here 
he remained for several years, and, during this period, was ^^gorously engaged in 
the study of the higher branches of Mathematics, and wrote elaborate articles 
for several of the leading Scientific and Literary Reviews, including the " North 
American," and " Silliman's Journal of Science and the Arts." At this period 
also, he published Strictures upon Raymond's Political Economy, and Brown's 
Philosophy, which were written with great care and ability. But, as he was 
resolved to devote his hfe to the Ministry of the Gospel, he gave up his Profes- 
sorship after a few years, and, having attended the Theological Seminary at 
Princeton during one session, was licensed on the 16th of May, 1829, by the 
Presbytery of Baltimore, to preach the Gospel. His first efforts in the pulpit 
were received with marked approbation. In July succeeding the period of his 
licensure, we find him on a missionary tour in Ohio, and labouring with great 
diUgence and acceptance at Somerset, in Perry County, and throughout the sur- 
rounding country. He remained here until December, when he was ordained, by 
the Presbytery of Baltimore, as an Evangehst. Shortly after this he was invited 
to preach by the Presbyterian Congregation in Petersburg, Va., and, after 
supplying their pulpit a few Sabbaths, received a call to become their Pastor. 
He accepted the call, and was installed on the 10th of July following. He com- 
menced his labours here under circumstances of great promise ; but, in less than 
two months, was stricken down by the fever which is common in Southern lati- 
tudes, and especially dangerous to the unacclimated, and, after a very severe illness 



of a few days, closed his earthly career, on the 29th of August, 1830. He had 
gone to attend a Ministers' meeting at Lewisburgh, Greenbrier County, in the 
interior of the State, and it was there that the summons to depart met him. In 
his character were united a noble intellect, a warm and generous heart and a 
devoted Christian life, giving promise of the highest usefulness in the ministry. 


Montgomery, Orange County, N. Y., July 12, 1848. 

Rev. and dear Sir : In compliance with your request, I will now 
endeavour to give you a brief and faithful statement of my recollections 
and impressions in regard to the character and usefulness of the Rev. Robert 
Annan, one of the eminent fathers of our Associate Reformed Church. It 
was my privilege, early in life, to become personally acquainted with him, 
although it was a long period after his arrival in this country, probably thirty 
years, — the place of my birth and education being remote from the field of his 
ministry. He was, at the time I first saw him and heard him preach, at 
about, if not past, the meridian of life. He occupied the Moderator's chair 
when I was examined and licensed by the Presbytery, and addressed to me a 
solemn and affecting Charge on that occasion ; and a letter of his, still in my 
possession, urging me to accept a call from Neelytown Congregation in 
Orange County, of which, in connection with Little Britain Congregation, he 
had himself been the Pastor, had no small influence in determining my choice ; 
although I entertained a preference for Kentucky as the future field of my 
labours, which I had previously visited as a Missionary. As a Christian, he 
stood high with all who were acquainted with him ; and the purity and 
integrity of his character as a Minister of Christ were never called in question ; 
although, in particular instances, some might have thought that he scarcely 
paid sufficient deference to public opinion. 

His ministry was highly acceptable, and there is reason to believe eminently 
useful, in the several congregations of which, for a longer or shorter period, he 
was Pastor. Although I took the pastoral charge of the Neelytown con- 
gregation long after the close of his ministry among them, I still found there 
abundant evidence of the happy effects of his labours. His memory, as an 
able, eloquent and faithful Minister, was still held, especially by aged and 
devout Christians, in the highest veneration. 

As a Pastor, he was very instructive and very impressive. Erect and 
portly in his person, rising considerably above the common stature of men, 
with noble countenance and piercing eye, his whole appearance was command- 
ing. He was not in the habit of fully writing out his sermons, and his 
speaking seemed extemporaneous ; but he was always perfectly self-possessed, 
often rising to a high pitch of eloquence, his subject so animating and 
irradiating his countenance that one who was accustomed to hear him told 
me that it seemed to him that his face sometimes shone like the face of Moses 
when he came down from the Mount. The matter of his preaching was 
thoroughly evangelical, admirably uniting doctrinal instruction and practical 
Christian duty. He had a musical and well-regulated voice, and spoke with 
great ease and fluency ; and though his gesture was not very abundant, it 
was natural and effective. While he delighted in preaching the evangelical 
doctrines, they were always so exhibited as to have a direct practical bearing. 
I heard him preach a sermon before the Synod from the text, — " Now the end 
of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and a good conscience, 
and of faith unfeigned "; — the object of which was to illustrate the nature of 
evangelical obedience, which he said was emphatically charity ; love to God 
and to our fellow-men ; and he expressed his regret that the original word 



had not been translated love — that being its most proper and comprehensive 
sense : while the word charity, as now commonly used, is of a more vague 
and limited meaning. He mentioned to me, some time after, as a matter that 
deeply affected him, that one of his brethren came to him shortly after the 
delivery of his discourse, and inquired whether he had him particularly in his 
eye in some of his statements. This showed that his sermon had taken 
hold of at least one conscience. 

It is admitted by all who knew Mr. Annan that he possessed uncommon 
ability and address in effecting reconciliation among brethren who were at 
variance, and in healing differences between ministers and their congregations. 
His speeches on such occasions were admirable, and breathed the most Chris- 
tian and forgiving spirit. An instance of this kind occurred in the con 
gregation of Salem, Washington County, during the ministry of Dr. Thomas 
Clark, he having been settled among them while Salem was yet a frontier 
settlement. Mr. Annan, after addressing the congregation on the subject of 
their difficulty in a tender and impressive manner, requested that all who 
wished the continuance of Dr. Clark's ministry among them would signify 
it by going out of the church at the East door, and those who felt differently 
to go out at the West door : the result was that the whole congregation, with 
the exception of one individual, went out at the East door, thus expressing, 
in the most public manner, their wish that their worthy minister should 
remain with them. Mr. Annan then, in no measured terms, administered a 
merited reproof to the individual who alone, and in the presence and against 
the express wish, of the whole congregation, could come out in this manner, 
against his Pastor, and a faithful Minister of Jesus Christ. 

In the Judicatories of the Church Mr. Annan always took a prominent 
part, and exerted a powerful influence. He urged and defended his measures 
with great ability, and, as his natural temperament was warm and quick, he 
would sometimes, under a deep sense of the rectitude of his cause, be betrayed 
into expressions which could not be justified ; but, as soon as he had taken 
time to reflect, he was always ready to acknowledge his error. With all his 
lofty bearing on some occasions, and severe as he was in his reproof of the 
conduct of wicked men, he cherished habitually a spirit of humility and 
meekness, and acknowledged to some of his Christian friends that the sallies of 
his temper gave him occasion for deep humiliation. 

In his intercourse with his more intimate friends, his conversation some- 
times betrayed a vein of pleasantry and wit, but in general it was marked 
by great dignity, and much of it was of a decidedly spiritual character. He 
seemed habitually to act under the influence of the Divine injunction, — " Let 
no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good 
to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers." When 
dining one day with the late Dr. Mason, in company with several of the 
younger brethren in the ministry, the question was asked him, whether he had 
not been in the ministry half a century.'' He replied, "Thereabout," and 
then said, with great gravity, " When I had been in the ministry forty years, 
that passage of Scripture came very forcibly to my mind, ' Forty years was I 
grieved with this generation.' " Dr. Mason, who was remarkable for repartee, 
immediately answered, — " I know not how that may be, but I believe that 
you have grieved some of this generation forty years." 

With much regard, 

I am sincerely yours, 





New York, August 6, 1861. 

My dear Dr. Sprague : It costs me no self-denial to record my recollections 
of the Rev. Robert Annan, — for I remember nothing concerning him that will 
not well bear the light ; and little effort, — for my impressions of him are so 
distinct that I can have no doubt of their correctness. My acquaintance with 
him began while I was a student in the Theological Seminary — he was one of 
the Superintendents of the Institution, and, on account of his age and stand- 
ing, generally acted as their Chairman. Though I was a young man and he 
pretty far advanced, I became quite intimately acquainted with him at that 
early period, and our acquaintance ripened into a friendship which continued 
till he was called to his reward. 

Mr. Annan had an uncommonly commanding personal appearance. He had 
a large, full, well-set frame, and was slightly inclined to corpulency. He had a 
bright, piercing eye, and his whole countenance was expressive of high intel- 
lectual powers and great strength of purpose. His manner was as command- 
ing as his person ; though there was nothing stern or forbidding in his demeanour, 
there was a dignity that always secured respect, even veneration. He had fine 
powers of conversation, and his presence was always recognized as a leading 
element of interest in any company. His mind was decidedly of a superior 
order, clear, logical, discriminating, comprehensive ; and it had been subjected 
to the highest culture. His feelings were eminently kind and genial, and 
though I think he was naturally excitable, and was capable of saying severe 
things, and did sometimes say them under the pressure of exciting influences, 
he generally exhibited great self-control. 

As a Theologian and a Minister of the Gospel, he held a very high rank, 
not only in his denomination, but in the Church at large. He had been all 
his life a diligent student, and, with such powers as he possessed, it was impos- 
sible but that he should have made immense acquisitions. He preached with 
great power, and scarcely any clergyman came to the city of New York who 
attracted larger congregations. The fact of his having been one of the original 
formers of the Associate Reformed Body from the Associate and the Reformed 
Presbyterian Church, had made him very extensively known, and contributed 
to greatly increase his influence ; though, independently of this circumstance, 
his acknowledged high ability as a Preacher would have made him much sought 
after. His sermons were a model according to the old Scotch standard — they 
were full of Scripture truth, brought out with great clearness and force, and 
delivered with a simplicity and boldness and fervour that made them well-nigh 
irresistible. His voice was clear and strong, his intonations free and natural, 
and his action abundant and full of significance. I have heard sermons from 
him that would not have dishonoured Dr. Mason in the days of his greatest 
strength. I ought to add that he was capable of great tenderness as well as 
great boldness and force ; and sometimes the exhortation with which he closed 
his discourse would be in the highest style of the pathetic. 

As a Writer, Mr. Annan was probably distinguished above any other minis- 
ter of his communion, during the period in which he lived, unless Dr. John 
M. Mason were an exception. He had great tact and ability in controversy, 
and I think also he was not wanting in polemical taste. He always met his 
antagonist with great fairness as well as force, and his friends generally had 
little doubt as to the issue of any contest in which he might engage. 

I call to mind the interviews which I used to enjoy with him, with heart- 
felt pleasure. With a memory which retained almost every thing that had 
ever been lodged in it, with an exuberance of good-humour and kindly feel- 

VoL. IX. 3 



ing, with a graceful facility of communication on every subject, and a most 
happy talent at adapting himself to every variety of character and condition, 
he seemed to me one of the finest specimens of intellectual and moral nobility 
which I had ever seen. He has impressed himself indelibly on the character 
of his denomination. 

Very truly and affectionately, 





Philadelphia, June 24, 1849. 

Beverend and Dear Sir : The position which the Rev. Dr. Clark long and 
usefully occupied in some of the most interesting portions of our country, I think, 
justly entitles his name to a place in your proposed work on the American Min- 
istry. He was a faithful Minister of the Gospel, and a far-seeing and indefatiga- 
ble labourer on behalf of the best interests of the community at large. 

Of the particular time or place of his birth I have no certain information. That 
he was a native of Scotland, however, there can be no doubt ; and that he early 
enjoyed the instructions and prayers of godly parents may be inferred from the 
fact that he always venerated the pious advantages of his youth, evinced a remark- 
able tenderness of conscience, and laboured in the ministry as if he had been 
thoroughly taught how to redeem the time by discovering and improving opportu- 
nities of doing good. 

After a thorough course of study, he graduated at the University of Glasgow, 
and, during the War against the Pretender, in 1745 and 1746, did feithful service 
in the army. 

According to a practice which was common with the young men preparing for 
the ministry a century since, Mr. Clark pursued a thorough course of Medical 
study also in the University, and took the degree of Doctor of Medicine. In this 
way he was often afterwards able to minister to the wants of the body, and thus 
more effectually reach the soul with his spiritual medicines. It was from this 
he obtained his usual epithet in this country, — " Dr. Clark. " 

The earliest public mention made of him is in connection with the first meet- 
ing of the Associate Burgher Synod at Stirling, Scotland, on the 16th of June, 
1747. At this meeting Congregations and Societies in various parts of the coun- 
try made application to the Synod for advice " in their present circumstances," 
and for a supply of preaching. In the unsettled state of things, and in the pain- 
ful destitution of ministerial help, the Synod could giv6 no immediate reply to 
these applications, but directed the Presbytery of Glasgow to take Thomas 
Clark and two other students of Theology, whom they also named, on trial for 
licensure. This the Presbytery did, and after pursuing his studies at Stirling, 
the next winter, under the Rev. Ebenezer Erskine, who was the first that had 
charge of the Burgher students, he was licensed in the following April, (1748,) to 
preach the Gospel. 


At that time frequent and urgent petitions were sent from Ireland for minis- 
terial aid. Three Congregations, Killeney, Ballymoney and Ballybay adhered 
to tlie Burgher Synod, and were deeply anxious for supplies and for Pastors. On 
the 27th of the following June, therefore, Mr. Clark was appointed by the 
Presbytery to supply these vacancies, and immediately set out on his mission. 
His preaching was highly acceptable, and at a subsequent meeting of Synod in 
Stirhng, a unanimous call was presented to him from this congregation, and also 
one from Clanannus and Scoon, near Perth, in Scotland. The former was 
accepted, and three members of the Presbytery of Glasgow having been appointed 
to fix the pastoral relation, he was ordained by them to the work of the Gospel 
Ministry, and installed over the Congregation of Ballybay, in the County of 
Monaghan, Ireland, on the 23d of July, 1751. 

During the summer of 1751 he and two other ministers were formed into a 
Presbytery, styled the "Associate Presbytery of Down ; " and now a wide field 
was opened before him. He loved it and his labours were abundant. But 
his very fitness for it soon threatened to be the occasion of his removal ; for deeming 
him happily qualified for supplying the Institute, and having pressing calUs from 
the Colonies of North America for ministerial help, the Synod appointed him, in 
1754, to sail for Pennsylvania in the following August, and labour in the ministry 
there until the next April. To this he consented, for, having received a com- 
mission to " go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature," 
he held himself ready for any indication of the Divine will. Providence, how 
ever, interposed difficulties, and, by a new direction of Synod, he continued his 
labours at Ballybay. But while it was not yet the will of God that he should 
make known the riches of grace abroad, it was the Divine will that he should 
be a witness for his Master's cause at home. He lifted up his voice, with great 
earnestness, against what he considered defections from the purity of Christian 
doctrine and practice, and hereby brought upon himself a torrent of opposition. 
At length, as he refused to swear by kissing the book, which he believed was a 
Popish superstition, to which no Protestant could with propriety submit, and as 
he also would never consent to take the abjuration oath, in which the swearer 
bound himself to own the King as Head of the Church, and to help Bishops 
dethrone the King if ever he should become a Presbyterian ; he was pursued 
by the hand of the civil law, and, as he was about to moderate a call in New- 
Bliss congregation, was arrested just as he closed his sermon. The people would 
have immediately rescued him, but he mildly bade them be calm and do no harm. 
All that night he was kept under guard in a tavern, and the next day was taken, 
amidst the tears of multitudes, along the road to Monaghan, and thrown into 
jail to await his trial. Thence he wrote letters of instruction and comfort to his 
people, and they came freely to him. Besides preaching to them while he was 
in prison, he baptized there thirteen of their children, and married one couple, 
who were afterwards under his pastoral care on the Catawba River in South 
Carolina. At length the day of trial came, but his commitment being found to 
have been erroneous, and his imprisonment false, he was immediately discharged; 
and, when he was urged to prosecute his persecutors, and had every assurance of 
a verdict in his favour, he gently lifted his eyes to Heaven with the exclama- 
tion, — ' Vengeance is mine ; I will repay, saith the Lord.' " 

From that time, though often troubled, he was unfettered, and faithfully pur- 
sued his work. But his long imprisonment had served to wean him, in a great 



measure, from attachment to his country, which induced him to think of a field 
of labour in the wilds of America, where he could enjoy his religious sentiments 
free from the stringent arm of civil authority, which had been so powerfully 
thrown around him. In this feeling his people largely participated, and the 
Providence of God gradually made his duty clear to him. On the 18th of Decem- 
ber, 1762, he was bereaved of his wife, who was an eminently godly woman, and 
not long afterwards two calls were addressed to him from America ; — one from a 
small settlement in the Province of Rhode Island, and the other from a people 
near Albany, in New York. To these calls he felt disposed to listen, and the 
more so, as he observed a diminished attention in public worship among his peo- 
ple; a weariness among the youth in repeating the Scriptures and Catechism 
between sermons, as had been their custom under his ministry ; a neglect o£ 
secret prayer by some in the intervals of public worship, and an engaging in 
unprofitable conversation by others ; and " some," he said, " appeared in practice 
to adopt the Quaker's opinion, that very little or no salary should be paid to 
ministers, though it be God's express ordinance, saying 1 Cor. ix, 14, — 'The Lord 
hath ordained that they which preach the Gospel should live by the Gospel.' '* 
In view of these things, and particularly of the fact more painful to him than all 
others, — that " he had not heard of any person alarmed or edified by any of the 
public ordinances for a great while," — ^he was led sorrowfully to suppose that his 
usefulness was at an end in that place, and to ask, — " What dost thou here, 
Elijah ?" When, therefore, the above calls came, he concluded it was his duty 
to lay the matter before the Presbytery, and, on their acceding to his wish, and 
appointing him to supply in America for one year, he at once prepared to take 
his departure. On the last Sabbath of his ministry in Ballybay, he preached from 
1 Cor. ii, 3, — " I was with you in weakness, in fear and in much trembling," — a 
passage which " contains," said he, in a letter to them long afterwards, " the his- 
tory of my sixteen years' sojourning with you." 

Previous to this important step being taken. Dr. Clark opened a correspon- 
dence with the late Hon. Robert Harpur, of King's (now Columbia) College, in 
the city of New York, furnishing him with the names of one hundred families 
in the North of Ireland, that were desirous of migrating to America ; and, on 
the 23d of November, 1763, Mr. Harpur obtained a warrant from the Govern- 
ment to survey a tract of forty thousand acres of land. North of the present 
towns of Kingsbury and Queensbury, Warren County, N. Y., for their location. 
Thus encouraged. Dr. Clark set sail from Newry, Ireland, on the 16th of 
May, 1764 ; but he was not alone — nearly three hundred of his people and their 
neighbours accompanied him. Not an untoward event occurred during the pas- 
sage, and on the 28th of July they safely reached New York. Here the 
company divided, one portion proceeding South, and settling in the neighbour- 
hoods of Long Cane and Cedar Spring, in North Carolina, and the other passing 
up the Hudson River to Stillwater, above Albany, N. Y., where they were to 
remain until the place of their permanent residence should be more definitely 
determined. To both of these companies Dr. Clark was drawn by the strongest 
ties of Christian sympathy and love, but his first choice was to labour with those 
that went North, and he was of the utmost service to them in various ways. A 
few of the families went on immediately to the tract in Warren County, for which 
Mr. Harpur had applied ; but, after spending the next winter there, they were 
so disheartened by the di'eary appearance of the country, as well as the deep 



snows and pinching cold, that, although Mr. Harpur obtained, on the 15th of May, 
1765, a grant of four hundred acres for each family, they preferred abandon- 
ing- all, if a more favourable location could be elsewhere secured, and returned 
to their friends at Stillwater. As the Pastor and friend of the Colony, Dr. 
Clark felt anxious for their best interests, and directed his attention especially to 
Washington County. In his exploration of that region, he visited what is now 
the town of Salem in the spring of 1765, and preached the first sermon ever 
heard there. It was in the house of Mr. James Turner, — the only house then 
erected on the plain where that beautiful village now stands ; and the congrega- 
tion was made up of a few individuals, who gathered in from the isolated dwel- 
lings in the surrounding region. To attend this service some females walked 
seven miles through the woods, having no other guide than marked trees. 

At that time the entire township was providentially in a most favourable state 
for Dr. Clark's undertaking. On the 5th of January, 1763, Alexander Turner, 
James, his son, and twenty-two of their neighbours in Massachusetts, presented 
a petition to the Governor of the Province of New York for a patent, which was 
obtained on the 7th of August, 1764, conveying to them twenty-five thousand 
acres of land, which embraced the principal portion of the present town. 
Immediately afterwards, they conveyed twelve thousand acres of this tract to 
Oliver De Lancey and Peter Dubois, in the city of New York, and in the 
same year the patent was surveyed and divided into eighty-eight acre lots. All 
the parties then made divisions of their land by ballot, — De Lancey and 
Dubois drawing lots to the amount of twelve thousand acres ; and all entered 
into mutual stipulations that three particular lots, situated near the centre of the 
town, which had been drawn by the " gentlemen," and three intervening ones, 
belonging to the " patentee," should be devoted to the support of a Minister and 
School-master. Just after these arrangements were completed Dr. Clark arrived, 
and, having examined the different tracts of land in that region, and ascertained 
the terms of their titles, he selected Salem as the most eligible spot for his 
Colony, and, in September, 1765, obtained from De Lancey and Dubois a grant 
of all the lands belonging to them in the township; they reserving a per- 
petual yearly rent of one shilling per acre when settled, and stipulating to pay 
the grantee a reasonable remuneration for procuring their speedy settlement. 
The way thus being prepared, the Colony removed from Stillwater, and every 
person who desired it received from Dr. Clark a farm, subject only to the 
annual rent just specified. Not long afterwards a church and school-house were 
erected on one of the church and school lots already described. This church 
was the first in the County, and, at that time, the only one in the State North 
of Albany. The name which the emigrants gave to the town was " New 
Perth," and the original tract was long known as " Turner's Patent." 

In this place, which appeared so providentially prepared in the wilderness, the 
benevolent and devoted Pastor gathered his flock around him, and, corresponding 
with his friends in Scotland and Ireland, and even causing one of his people to 
revisit them, and lay before them the condition and prospects of this new home, 
he was instrumental in bringing out a number of emigrants during the following 
year. Nor was he unmindful of the spiritual interests of his people. With 
increasing diligence he gave himself to his ministerial work, and, mingling the 
religion of an intelligent and fruitful faith with all the affairs of the settlement, 
he was eminently useful, and, to this day, the savour of his name is precious 



throughout that region. His works do follow him, and many have risen to call 
him blessed. 

As has been stated, Dr. Clark was a member of the Burgher Synod in Scot- 
land, and was the first Burgher Minister who came to this country. None of 
his denomination were around him, and an isolated position was inconsistent alike 
with his feelings, his principles and his usefulness. Early in 1765, therefore, he 
applied to the Anti-Burgher Associate Presbytery of Pennsylvania, — the only 
Associate Presbytery in this country, for admission to its membership ; and, after 
considerable delay, during which certain articles explanatory of the terms upon 
which he would join the Presbytery, and would be received by that Body, were 
drawn up and duly signed, he was admitted on the 2d of September, 1765, and thence- 
forward devoted himself with renewed zeal to his work. From the singular cir- 
cumstance that the pastoral relation between him and the Church in Ballybay, Ire- 
land, had never been formally dissolved by the Presbyteiy, that Church having 
risen up from Ballybay, and quietly settled down in Salem, there was never any 
formal organization of the Church, or installation of the Pastor, in this country ; 
and in that situation he remained until his removal about fifteen years after- 

In May, 1776, the members of the Presbytery having increased to thirteen in 
number, and its bounds being now very extensive, it was agreed to form two 
Presbyteries, — the Presbytery of Pennsylvania and the Presbytery of New 
York. In the latter of these Dr. Clark was placed, with Rev. Messrs. John 
Mason, D.D., of New York city, and Robert Annan, of Wallkill, N. Y., and with 
them and men of kindred spirit in the cause of Christ, he laboured in making the 
Gospel known, and in prayerfully and anxiously seeking the unity and the pros- 
perity of the Church. In this he was in his congenial element ; and hence it was 
that, though his natural dislike for debate, and his multiplied labours throughout 
the missionary field as well as in the pastoral charge, prevented his attending 
the preliminary meetings of the Presbyteries, yet he was most cordially desirous 
of the union, which was effected between the Associate and the Reformed Pres- 
byterian Churches, at Pequea, Pa., on the 13th of June, 1782; and by which 
the Associate Reformed Church was called into existence. 

Thus he was at length permitted to see the church of his anxieties and prayers 
established, his people happily settled in their temporal concerns, and himself and 
them united in an ecclesiastical connection which he approved, and with brethren 
whom he loved, and in this situation he zealously watched for the good of the 
community. In various ways he planned and laboured for the public good, and 
a foundation was thus laid for a community which has been eminent to this day, 
for its intelligence, enterprize and high moral and religious character. Nor 
were his people ungrateful for his devotion to their interests — they loved him as 
the best of benefactors and friends, and their profiting under his ministry appears 
in their descendants to this day. 

At length, however, the Head of the Church signified that he had work for 
him in another sphere. After several years, a few persons in his congregation 
conceived a prejudice against him, and, as he was at that time on a visit 
to the former members of his charge, who had settled in the South, and 
whom he found " fainting and scattered abroad, as sheep without a shepherd," he 
was overcome with their entreaties for the bread and water of life ; and, conclud- 
ing to demit his charge at Salem, he shortly after became the Pastor of the Uni- 


ted Congregations of Cedar Spring and Long Cane, in South Carolina. Yet ho 
never ceased to be deeply concerned for the people of Salem. He visited them 
several times and baptized some of their children. His last visit was in 1787, 
when he lectured in the church on the Thirteenth chapter of the Book of Judges, 
and, in a most affectionate and solemn manner, committed them all to the grace 
of God, until Pastor and people would meet in the Heavenly Sanctuary. 

In his Southern field he gave himself to the most arduous labours. At first 
he preached in a rough log church, about two miles South of the present place 
of worship in that charge. Not long afterwards a commodious house was erected 
for him, and he was remarkably successful in gathering a congregation. In every 
place he had a message, and every incident and object furnished him with an 
occasion or a means of setting forth the Gospel. On one of his missionary excur- 
sions, he was overtaken, on a Saturday evening, at a tavern, in a place of great 
moral destitution, and not being willing to do the evil of travelling on the Sab- 
bath, even that he might do the good of preaching, he was compelled to remain. 
In his closet he enquired what work the Lord would have him do in that place ; 
and, without making himself known, waited until the Sabbath morning, when, 
finding there was no place of worship in the neighbourhood, and that multitudes 
of persons were to attend a horse-race near by, he mingled in the crowd, and at 
length raising himself in an elevated position, just before the race was to begin, 
called out, with a loud voice. " There is danger, my friends, there is danger here 
— let us ask God to take care of us and bless us ;" and immediately commenced 
a prayer, which produced a very general and powerful impression. This he fol- 
lowed with preaching, and that with such effect that the race was broken up, and 
the GDspel was effectually planted in that place. 

In the discharge of his duty he was eminently faithful, and though his manner 
was oftentimes singular, it was generally most effective. One of his Irish mem- 
bers was in the habit of using miaced oaths in her conversation. Having, at one 
time, a distressingly sore mouth, she asked him for a remedy. He gravely told 
her the disease probably came fi:*om the "faiths" and the "troths" and the 
" feign-a-bits " which she had brought over the sea, and that she could not expect 
to be better until she had sent them all back again. 

He was remarkably attentive to the young. Catechizing was his delight, and 
even on a casual visit he would make some remark, or use some illustration, 
which would almost indelibly fix important principles in the tender mind. A 
venerable mother, recently deceased, in Newburgh, N. Y., could never divest her- 
self of the impression made on her mind by his conversation, when, stopping at 
her father's one day for some refreshment, on one of his long missionary tours, he took 
her on his knee, (at that time about three or four years of age.) and in his broad 
dialect, and searching, but kind maimer, said, — " My bonny gude girl, do you 
ever steal ony thing ?" " No, Sir," she lisped. " Never take a pin, or a wee bit 
o' riband or ony thing ?" " No, Sir." " Och, ye ha'e a bad heart, and must 
pray to God to tak it away for the love o' Christ, or the de'il will whop ye for 
ever." His letters to his different flocks were particularly instructive and impres- 
sive. He also wrote an able defence of the Scripture Psalms for the worship of 
God, and gave a solemn warning that a departure from what he regarded the 
Scripture plan would, in this, as well as in other things, be followed with th^ 
saddest results to the purity and the peace of the Church. 



But the time of his departure came — it was sudden, but he was at his post. 
On the 25th of December, 1793, he had been sitting for some time in his study 
by himself, when a servant, on passing the door, heard a singular noise in the 
room, and, on entering, found him expiring. He was calmly sitting in his chair, 
apparently smitten with an apoplectic stroke. He died instantly. Before him 
was a letter, dated " Long Cane, South Carolina, March 15th, 1791," and 
addressed " to the members of his former charge at Ballybay, Ireland," as his 
"dearly beloved and longed for, whose great salvation from the power and prac- 
tice of sin," says he, in the opening of the letter, " I have much longed for these 
forty years past. Some of you I still claim as my joy, even as my crown of 
joy." The last words were, " What I do thou knowest not now, but thou shalt 
know hereafter ;" and the pen fell from his hand forever. He was buried amid 
universal regrets in the grave-yard of Cedar Spring. His resting place is near 
the church, and is enclosed by a brick wall and arch, while over the whole a 
sycamore and oak gently wave their sheltering boughs. His life was an emi- 
nently active and useful one ; his death was peaceful ; and there is no reason to 
doubt that '' his rest is glorious." 

I am, my dear Sir, truly yours, 



Xenia, O., December 4, 1858. 

Rev. and dear Sir : I have in my possession a very old and mutilated book 
of pamphlets, among which are two works published by Dr. Clark ; and as 
one of them sheds some light upon his early history, it has occurred to me 
that some account of it might not be unacceptable to you. 

The first (the title of which is lost) appears to be a republication of " The 
Last and Heavenly Speeches and Glorious Departure of John Viscount Ken- 
muir." There is a Preface to it, signed " Thomas Clark, Edinburgh, Janu- 
ary 31st, 1749." The second is the one from which the statements in the 
" Church Memorial " were formed. The full title (and you will no doubt 
judge it sufficiently ample) is as follows : — " Some Letters from the Rev. 
Thomas Clark, Minister of the Gospel, to his Congregation at the New Meeting- 
house in Ballybay, while Prisoner in Monaghan Jail, on account of his scruples 
of Conscience at some forms of expression in the Abjuration Oath, and the 
manner of Swearing by Kissing the Book. In regard it's judged that, as 
the Scotch and English Churches are, in many pomts, of very opposite princi- 
ples, so it is inconsistent for any Presbyterian to be sworn by said oath, 
reduplicating in a clause of an Act therein mentioned to support the English 
Church principles, being formerly bound by his baptismal vows to support the 
principles of the Church of Scotland. Besides, it is certam that, as Kissing 
the Book is a superstitious form of swearing nowhere warranted in Scripture, 
lifting up the right hand being the form observed by God and his saints in 
swearing oaths, so all Christians are commanded to ' be followers of God as 
dear children,' i. e. in his imitable examples, Eph. vi, 1. 'And I have given 
you an example that ye do as I have done,' saith our Lord, John xiii, 15. 
Likewise a ministerial Warning and Charge to said Congregation against 
Sabbath-breaking, Profane-swearing, and other Vices too common in these 
times. 'Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you and persecute you, and 
shall say all manner of evil against you falsely for my sake * * * rejoice 
and be exceeding glad, for so persecuted they the prophets,' Matt, xi, 12. 
Dublin: Printed for Robert Johnston, Bookseller, 1754." On the back of 



the title-page is the following : " N. B. Several of Mr. Clark's Elders, hear- 
ing of his arrestment, met him at a house on the road to jail, where they 
halted and agreed that the congregation should be warned to assemble, and 
observe the next day in Fasting and Prayer — wherefore he sent this first let- 
ter from jail to them the morning of said Fast day ; and Mr. Thompson read 
it when public worship was over, having preached from Lam. ii, 19, " Arise, 
cry out in the night, &g." The congregation being very much moved, were 
mostly in tears that day. The " Preface to the reader " is as follows : — 
< The Rev. Mr. Clark was educated in the principles of the Scotch Church 
from his infancy. He appeared in arms, a volunteer with the militia raised 
against the Pretender, Anno 1745 and 1746 ; having studied Divinity several 
years, was licensed by the Presbytery of Glasgow, 1748. Near two hundred 
families of Presbyterians in and about Ballybay did, about that time, leave 
their former teachers, because they could not find themselves edified by them, 
nor believe some things they taught ; therefore applied to said Presbytery of 
Glasgow for supplies; who, considering their complaint and petitions, granted 
their request at last, and sent among others Mr. Clark to preach among them. 
Afterwards said families joined and sent commissioners to the Associate Synod 
in Scotland with a petition and call for said Mr. Clark being settled among 
them ; whereupon the Synod laid aside another call that came before them for 
him, and appointed the Presbytery of Glasgow to ordain him at Ballyba}'', 
which, accordingly, they did, near the new meeting house, July 23d, 1751, 
in conformity to the rules of the Scotch Church in the like case. As the peo- 
ple had, for the above reasons, left their former teachers, so it is generally 
reckoned that spite and envy on that account moved them, particularly Mr. 
James Jackson of Ballybay and Mr. D. Hutchison of Monaghan, and their 
friends privately to be the instigators of procuring that warrant which was 
granted against him April 18th, 1753. Because they knew that Mr. Clark, as well 
as many other useful ministers, and very loyal subjects in Scotland, had, in con- 
science, scrupled at said oath, and kissing the Book, for the reasons foresaid ; 
and so as the law is strong m that case, they no doubt hoped, by putting it in 
force, to ruin him ; and so disappoint the people of his ministry, that they might 
be obliged to return with their stipends to their said former teachers, and be 
forced to take from them any sort of preaching they might be pleased to give 
them. Whereupon, one George Kerr, a hearer of said Mr. Jackson's, together 
with some others of his elders and hearers, did, on January 23d, 1754, at New 
Bliss, in the very time of public service, arrest Mr. Clark and carried him 
about fourteen miles to Monaghan Jail, escorted under a strong guard of horse 
and foot, raised by said Kerr for that purpose. He patiently remained prisoner 
in said jail until the 8th of April last, when the Right Hon. and Hon. the 
Lords Judges of Assize, finding the committal insufficient to detain him (Bles- 
sed be God) gave orders for his release. During his said imprisonment the 
following letters were sent by him to his congregation, and read publicly to 
them by Mr. John Thompson, probationer. Upon the people's frequent and 
earnest requests, Mr. Clark gave allowance to print these letters, with the 
Warning, which was only done in short-hand the week before his release, and 
extended since. He could not well refuse them to the people, seeing said 
letters and Warning are all the people have, instead of all those ministerial 
labours they had a prospect of, in case he had been at liberty of conscience 
which all others of his Majesty's subjects, under the name of Ministers in 
Ireland, yea, and the Popish priests also, enjoy, except himself only. 
There was again a new summons or writ issued against Mr. Clark, on or 
about the 24th of April last, notwithstanding what the judges had done, and 
is also presumed to be done chiefly at the instigation of the aforesaid New-light 

Vol. IX 4 



teachers and their friends, in a private way, and what the end will be the Lord 
only knows." 

After this Preface there follow four letters, dated January 24th, February 
3d, March 16th and April 5th, 1754. The last is the Warning referred to in 
the Preface. The whole extends to fifty-two pages. 

Thes only other publication of Dr. Clark, of which I have any knowledge, 
is a pamphlet entitled "Plain Reas;ons." It was in defence of the use of the 
Psalms in praise. 

I will add a few anecdotes in respect to Dr. Clark, which used to be cur- 
rent, and which may possibly help to illustrate some of his characteristics. 

On one occasion, when preaching, he took for his text Phil, iv, 13. He 
began by reading the first half of the verse, — " I can do all things ;" and 
then abruptly added, " What's that you say, Paul, ' I can do all things ' .'' I'll 
had ye a guinea o' that. But stop, let me see, ' I can do all things through 
Christ which strengtheneth me.' — Oh, yes, if that's all, I can do that, too, and 
I'll keep my guinea to mysel'." At another time, when preaching out of doors, 
having said something very pointed, he observed, — " How ye'll be all saying, 
* That's very right, but it don't apply to me.' There's a man who thinks it 
don't suit him at all, but exactly suits that other," pointing to some individ- 
ual in the Assembly ; <« that other man thinks it don't apply to him, but to 
another sitting behind him, and he thinks it don't suit him, but suits exactly 
that man sitting upon the fence," pointing to one in that position. On ano- 
ther occasion, when preaching with a brother behind him, who thought him 
rather tedious, and was about to give him a hint of this by pulling his coat- 
tail, he, very unexpectedly to the brother, remarked that, whenever Christ 
gave his servants any thing good to say, Satan was already behind them to 
pluck them by the coat-tail and get them to sit down. It is hardly necessary 
to add that the impatient brother did not think proper, in this way, to offici- 
ate for the Adversary. When travelling (I think in Vermont) he fell in com- 
pany with a stranger with whom he rode a good part of the day. Coming at 
last to a place where their roads parted, they bade each other farewell, and 
rode each on his own way a short distance. The Doctor then halted and called to 
his fellow traveller to come back, saying that they had forgotten something. 
When met again at the forks of the road, the Doctor said to him, — '* Sir, we 
have been travelling together some hours, enjoying each other's company, and 
may never meet again in this world. I think it would be well, before pai'ting, 
to have a word of prayer." The stranger, though much surprised, made no 
objection. They dismounted, and, kneeling by the road side, the Doctor offered 
an appropriate and fervent prayer. He then proposed to the other that he 
should pray. The man declined this, and, being much importuned, at last 
acknowledged that he had never prayed in his life. The Doctor, however, 
would take no denial. He told him, if he had never prayed hitherto, it was 
high time to begin. The man, finding that there was no escape for him, at 
last kneeled down, and said, — " Lord, thou knowest I can't pray at all." 
" That," said the Doctor, " is an excellent beginning — only persevere and you 
will do well." Many years afterwards, a minister, in his travels through Ver- 
mont, happened at a house where he lodged for the night, and finding himself 
in a praying family, made some inquiries, in reply to which the gentleman of 
the house related the above story as the history of his first attempt at prayer. 
Dr. Clark, having set out with an Elder to fulfil an appointment, passed a 
night at a house some eight or ten miles from the place where he was to preach 
the next day. During the night their horses had wandered away, and in the 
morning the Elder insisted on setting out forthwith to hunt them. The Doc- 
tor, however, would not consent to his going till after worship, assuring him 
that nothing would be lost by prayer. The Elder, with great reluctance. 


yielded, and, much to his surprise, as soon as worship was ended, the horses 
were found coming up leisurely to the house. An old gentleman in Tennessee, 
who remembered having met Dr. Clark in one of the Carolinas, told me that, 
bemg at the time a small boy, the Doctor had taken him between his knees to 
talk to him. He said he had never forgotten the first question asked him : — 
" John, have the cats got any souls ?" The above, I suppose, will suffice in 
the way of illustrative anecdotes. 

I will only add that 

I am sincerely yours. 




Montgomery, N. Y., November 28, 1848. 

Rev. and dear Sir : It gives me pleasure to comply with your request in fur- 
nishing you with some brief sketches of my excellent friend, long since departed, 
the Rev. Alexander Dobbin ; and, in doing so, I shall avail myself of some 
notices of his life and character which I had occasion to prepare several years 

Alexander Dobbin was bom in Londonderry, Ireland, February 4, (0. 
S.) 1742. Little is known of his parentage, or of his early religious education 
or exercises, excepting that his father was a sailor by profession, and probably a 
religious man ; as it has been stated on good authority, that it was on account 
of the early piety of his son that he directed his studies with a view to the Minis- 
try; and the purpose of the son to devote himself to this work was formed at 
the early age of seventeen. With this in view, he studied Latin and Greek in 
Londonderry, and then became a student in Glasgow, where he pursued his lite- 
rary and theological course for seven years. On leaving College he was soon 
licensed to preach the Gospel, and was ordained by the Reformed Presbytery of 
Ireland, commonly known by the name of the Covenanters, on account of their 
attachment to the principles of the Covenanted Reformation in Scotland. He 
never had a pastoral charge in Ireland, and was ordained with the express design 
of leaving his native country, and preaching the Gospel in North America. 
From his early piety and the devotedness of his subsequent life to the interests 
of the Redeemer's Kingdom, there can be no doubt that he was influenced in the 
choice of the Gospel ministry, and of his ecclesiastical relations, by a deep sense 
of religious obligation. He was licensed, ordained, and married, and sailed for 
America, — all in the short period of six weeks. The Rev. Matthew Lind, a 
senior minister of the same denomination, accompanied him in his voyage, and 
they arrived in safety at New Castle in the year 1774. Both these excellent 
men were sent out by the Reformed Presbytery of Ireland to preach the Gospel 
in this country, in consequence of urgent solicitations for a supply of ministers, 
made by emigrants from Scotland and Ireland, who either had belonged to or 
preferred that denomination. These two ministers, soon after their arrival, with 
the Rev. John Cuthbertson, who had been sent to this country by the Reformed 



Presbytery of Scotland as early as the year 1752, constituted themselves into a 
Presbytery, known as the Reformed Presbytery of North America. 

Shortly after Mr. Dobbin's arrival in this country, he was settled as Pastor 
of a congregation at Rock Creek, near the spot where Gettysburg, Pa., now 
stands, although that town was not in existence until several years after his 
settlement in that vicinity. This was his home, and the centre of his labours, 
while he Kved ; though, for four years after his settlement at Rock Creek, he 
preached, the fourth part of the time, at or near Green Castle, Franklin County. 
In addition to his pastoral duties, which he discharged with most exemplary 
diligence and punctuality, he made several missionary tours, preaching the 
Gospel in more remote and destitute places. 

Mr. Dobbin possessed an eminently catholic spirit, — an illustration of which 
we have in the early and prominent part which he took in the effort to heal one 
of the divisions of the Church ; in other words, to effect a re-union between the 
Reformed Presbytery and the Associate Body in this country. The difiference 
of views between these two Religious Bodies, previous to the Declaration of 
American Independence, related principally to the lawfulness of acknowledging 
the government of Great Britain, as it was constituted. This difiference having 
been in a measure removed, in the providence of God, by the above important 
event, Mr. Dobbin was among the first and most eflScient members of his Pres- 
bytery to countenance a union of the two denominations. As these two Eccle- 
siastical Bodies held substantially the same views in respect to doctrine, discipline 
and government, agreeably to the Westminster Confession of Faith, to which both 
professed their adherence and attachment, it appeared to judicious and unprejudiced 
men, in each of the separate Bodies, that there was no sufficient reason why they 
should remain distinct denominations. Both the Bodies now agreed in acknow- 
ledging the lawfulness of the civil authorities estabhshed in the United States by 
the Revolution, in the accomplishment of which the zealous and patriotic co-opera- 
tion of the members of each of the denominations had been eminently instru- 
mental. Mr. Dobbin, accordingly, as one of the ministers of the Reformed 
Presbytery, took an early and decided part in the deUberations and proceedings 
in relation to the proposed union. After the lapse of some years, during which 
several meetings of the two Bodies were held for conference and mutual explana- 
tions, the two Presbyteries of the Associate Body, (wnth the exception of two 
ministers who did not fall in with the measure,) and the Reformed Presbytery, 
were merged in one denomination, under the name of the Associate Reformed 

Not far from the time when this union was consummated, there was an Asso- 
ciate Congregation at Marsh Creek, which had then recently become vacant, at 
the distance of a few miles from the place of Mr. Dobbin's settlement. This 
congregation presented a call to Mr. D., and obtained him for their Pastor for 
half of the time ; and until the close of his ministry, he continued to preach 
alternately between that congregation and Rock Creek, now Gettysburg, where a 
new place of worship was erected for him some time previous to his death. Not- 
withstanding his new congregation had been formerly connected with the Associate 
branch of the Church, — a circumstance which might naturally enough have 
predisposed them to jealousy and dissatisfaction, especially as efforts were made 
by Ecclesiastical Bodies in fatherland to disparage the union and break it up, — ^yet 
such was the combination of gifts and graces in Mr. D.'s character, that the har- 


monious relations between him and his people are not known ever to have suffered 
the least interruption. 

As an interesting and instructive Preacher, Mr. Dobbin was held in high esti- 
mation. His mode of preaching was, in some sense, extemporaneous. I do not 
mean by this that his sermons or lectures were not studied and well-digested ; but 
they were not read, neither were they written out and committed to memory. 
His method was to make a brief analysis of his subject, and, after mature reflec- 
tion, to trust to his feelings in the delivery for the appropriate language. The 
matter of his sermons was highly evangelical ; and yet it was no further doctrinal 
than as it had an important bearing on Christian principles and a holy practice. 
His voice was strong and sonorous ; his gesture striking and occasionally eccen- 
tric ; and his manner, on the whole, highly acceptable. On Communion seasons 
he was especially appropriate and excellent. 

As Mr. Dobbin had a large family to educate, and was unable, from his 
limited means, to send them abroad for this purpose, he was induced, chiefly by 
this consideration, to open a private classical boarding-school in his own house, 
and he continued it without interruption from 1788 to 1799. As there was no 
similar institution in the region, it soon came to be extensively known and 
patronized ; and it proved in its results to be of incalculable benefit to many of 
the youth of that district, and through them to the next generation. He was 
much distinguished for his attainments in classical learning, particularly in the 
Latin, Greek and Hebrew languages. The late Dr. Gray, than whom it would 
be difficult to find a more competent judge, once said of him that, " at a meeting 
of their Presbytery, he gave a critical analysis of one of the Psalms, extempore, 
in which he displayed a profound acquaintance with the original language and 
with the rules of criticism." Many of his students have been distinguished in 
the difierent professions, and not less than twenty-five of them became Ministers 
of the Gospel. Previous to the period when the Theological Seminary in New 
York went into operation, under the instruction of the late Dr. Mason, Mr. 
Dobbin might be regarded as really the Theological Professor of his denomina- 
tion ; not indeed by the appointment of Synod, but by the voluntary selection of 
his students, and the implied approbation of the Ecclesiastical Body with which 
he was connected. His services in this department were of great value, and 
there are several clergymen still living, who can testify, from their own expe- 
rience, to the ability and fidelity with which he discharged this important trust. 

Mr. Dobbin was remarkably punctual in his attendance on meetings of Presby- 
tery and Synod; and a full share of public duties, on these occasions, was 
always assigned to him. As a proof of the high estimation in which he was 
held by his denomination, he was chosen, at different times. Moderator of the 
Synod. This, however, was conferred upon him at the first meeting of the 
General Synod, held at Green Castle, in 1804; and, at the next meeting at 
Philadelphia, in 1805, he preached the Opening Sermon, — the last sermon, it is 
believed, that he ever preached in the presence of the Synod, though he attended 
several of its subsequent meetings. 

In his private and social intercourse Mr. Dobbin was uncommonly agreeable. 
Being naturally of a cheerful and playful disposition, his company was always 
acceptable to the families in which he occasionally lodged. On one occasion, 
being asked by the lady of the house where he stopped, how many children he 
had, he pleasantly and respectfully replied, — " Madam, I have seven sons and every 



one of them has a sister." The answer at first excited astonishment at the size of 
his family, until he informed his hostess that, although he had seven sons, he had 
at that time only one daughter. 

Mr. Dobbin was twice married. His first wife, whose maiden name was 
Isabella Gamble, he brought with him from Europe. From this union there 
were ten children, — seven sons and three daughters. One of the sons, Daniel, 
was a physician, and another, James, a lawyer. Mrs. Dobbin died on the 19th 
of August, 1800, in the forty-ninth year of her age. Mr. Dobbin was married, 
a second time, in 1801, to the widow of Daniel Agnew, of Adams County, Pa. 
Her maiden name was Mary Irvin. There were no children by this marriage. 
The second Mrs. Dobbin died August 21, 1824. 

Mr. Dobbin continued his labours with great zeal, and no inconsiderable suc- 
cess, until October, 1808, when, on his way to church in Gettysburg, he ruptured 
a blood-vessel by coughing, and was unable to preach any more. His disease 
settled into consumption and terminated fatally June 1, 1809, when he was in 
the sixty-seventh year of his age. During the period of his decline, and in the 
near approach of death, he was full of peace and hope, and furnished a delightful 
proof of the all-sustaining power of the Gospel which he had preached. In his 
intercourse with his people he was very familiar, and did not scruple to play ball 
with them, and mingle with them in other amusements. He dressed in short 
pantaloons, with long stockings, and wore the wig. He had a large pointed nose, 
and a bright black eye. His speech was strongly marked by the foreign accent. 
With his great excellencies he combined striking eccentricities. 
I am, dear Sir, with great respect, yours, 



New York. June 19, 1862. 

My dear Dr. Sprague : The Rev. Alexander Dobbin, of whom you ask for 
my recollections, I did not know until he had considerably past his meridian ; 
but, from the time that I was a student of Theology till his death, I had fre- 
quent and good opportunities of gathering material, from personal intercourse 
with him, for an intelligent estimate of his character. 

Mr. Dobbin was rather small in stature, and was by no means imposing in 
his general appearance. His face, like his heart, was benignity itself — his 
features were always lighted up with a most loving smile, and he could not 
open his lips but that you felt that you were in contact with a most loving 
spirit. Without the semblance of any thing that looked patronizing, he 
seemed to delight especially in acts of kindness towards his younger brethren 
in the ministry; never losing an opportunity to perform a kind act, or drop a 
cheering word, which would in any way minister to their comfort or advan- 
tage. I remember being once at a dinner party with him in Philadelphia; 
and, being seated next to him at the table, I took his tumbler to drink, sup- 
posing it were my own. Observing my mistake, he said to me, with great 
good-nature, in Scotch phrase, — what amounted to this, — « I am glad to 
share with you in any thing that will promote your enjoyment." He was very 
social and communicative, but always talked in a discreet and edifying man- 
ner. You could not converse with him, even casually, without being impressed 
with the idea that his soul was a fountain of pure sunbeams. 

I think I never heard Mr. Dobbin preach, but he had a good reputation as 
a Preacher, being rather sound and instructive than brilliant or striking 


Without any particular evidence in respect to his character as a Pastor, T 
venture to say, from what T knew both of his head and of his heart, that he 
was rarely excelled either in pastoral tenderness, diligence or fidelity. I 
often met him in Ecclesiastical Bodies, and was always impressed by the 
sound judgment and prudent forethought which he manifested on these occa- 
sions. Whenever he offered an opinion or a suggestion, he was always listened 
to by his brethren with deferential attention. Every where his simplicity, his 
integrity, his benevolence, his good sense, secured to him a large share of con- 
fidence and good-will, and an enduring memorial in the hearts of those with 
whom he associated. 

Most affectionately, 





Stewartsville, Fa.j September 17, 1862. 

My dear Sir : After having explored as dihgently as I could the field of the 
Rev. Matthew Henderson's labours, (which is now my own field,) and gathered 
from some of the surviving members of his family whatever facts of interest they 
could furnish respecting him, I herewith send you the following sketch as the 
best result I have been able to reach. 

Matthew Henderson the younger was born on Octorora Creek, ChevSter 
County, Pa., on the 10th of January, 1762 ; and, being the eldest child of the 
family, he received the name borne by his father and grandfather. He inherited 
from his father a large share of independence, combined with an amiable disposi- 
tion and a high degree of reverence. He was carefully instructed in the know- 
ledge of the Bible, and also of the devotional formularies of the Associate 
Reformed Church, but was not imbued with a sectarian spirit. His father was a 
liberal minded, self-sacrificing minister, who felt deeply the claims of the desti- 
tute, and therefore had a warm heart for all who earnestly laboured for their 
salvation. He infused the same spirit into his son ; taught him to adhere firmly 
to his own convictions of truth, but to make the advancement of Christ's cause 
his primary object, and to love all who were fellow-labourers in his work. 

A hundred years ago, educational facilities in this region were very limited ; 
and hence Mr. Henderson's classical education was principally under his father. 
He began the study of Latin with a Mr. McGregor, a teacher of an English 
school, when he was about sixteen years of age. The Associate Presbytery, in 
order " to encourage pious and promising young men to pursue studies with a 
view to the Holy Ministry," appointed the Rev. John Smith " to instruct such 
as " might " offer themselves, in philosophy, as Divine Providence " might " lead 
the way." Mr. Smith being a fine scholar, and the ministerial neighbour and 
intimate friend of the elder Mr. Henderson, the young man was placed under his 
care. Of the time that he remained there, or of the progress that he made in 
his studies we have no account ; but, as the father had a large family, and was 
frequently called to a distance to fulfil appointments, it is probable that the eldest 


son would be kept at home as much as possible. He never entered College. 
At the age of twenty he accompanied his father's fiimily to the Valley of the 
Chartiers, and probably had charge of them during the jouraey. An-ong the 
earliest recollections of one of the younger brothers is the fact of his crossing 
the mountains, riding behind Matthew on a gray mare. 

In those days the Pastor's house was sometimes, to the student of Theology, both 
Seminary and Home. Therefore, under his father's instructions, in the log cabin, in 
the scarcely disturbed wilderness, young Matthew Henderson had almost as good 
an opportunity of preparing for the ministry as if he had remained in tlie East. 
It is believed that he spent some time also under the care of the Rev. Mr. Smith, 
so that his theological course was probably more thorough than his chissical. 
During this time the Associate and Reformed Churches were united ; and, early 
in the summer of 1784, Mr. Henderson was licensed by the Second Associate 
Reformed Presbytery, which embraced the churches in Pennsylvania. 

After licensure he returned to the West, and preached, by appointment, among 
the settlements in Westmoreland County, and part of what is now Allegheny. 
There Divine Providence appointed his future labours. 

About seventeen miles above Pittsburg the Monongahela receives a large tribu- 
taiy, called " The Youghiogheny," but locally known as " The Yough." The 
fine lands on these rivers attracted emigrants, who came by way of Cumber- 
land. Those settlers who held, with chai-acteristic tenacity, the faith of the 
Secession and Covenanting Churches, refused to form connections with other 
denominations, and, though their numbers were small, they formed Societies or 
Congregations of their own. One of these had their " Tent " mid-way between 
the rivers, about eight miles from their junction, and was known by the name 
given to the District, " The Forks of Yougk.^^ It is now known as Bethesda. 
Across the Youghiogheny, about ten miles distant, another congregation had been 
formed, called Brvsh Creek, but now known as Bethel. In 1785 Mr. Hender- 
son accepted a call from these congregations, and was ordained and installed in 
November of the same year. His field of labour was very extensive, the families 
who regarded him as their Pastor being scattered over a territory not less than 
forty or fifty miles long and twenty broad. Besides, he frequently preached in 
other settlements. As the population increased, other ministers eame to the West, 
and his labours were proportionally reduced, but, for a few years, he and his 
father were the only ministers of the Associate Reformed Church, West of the 

In 1786 Mr. Henderson was united in marriage with Rebekah, the only 
daughter of Samuel Patterson, of Mountjoy, Lancaster County, Pa., and first 
cousin to Miss Patterson, who became the wife of Jerome Buonaparte. She was 
a lady of great personal attractions and uncommon loveliness of disposition. In 
her life she appears to have exemplified well what King Lemuel says concerning 
a virtuous woman. The heart of her husband trusted her, and many who vis- 
ited in their house and enjoyed their generous hospitality, were loud in the praises 
of their happy family. Mrs. Henderson died in 1829, — the same year in which 
her husband retired from the pastorate. 

About three years after his settlement, Mr. Henderson gave up the Brush 
Creek Congregation, and took in its place a small Society, a few miles below the 
present site of Brownsville. Unhappy divisions now arose. Men came in who 
were not satisfied with the Union, and the peace of many congregations was greatly 


disturbed. Mr. Henderson conducted himself with great mildness and prudence, 
and yet with equal firmness, and showed much ability in his discussions mth those 
who condemned the position of the United Church. These dissensions so essen- 
tially weakened the congregations that it became necessary for him, in 1800, to 
resume the charge of the Brush Creek Congregation. In 1818 he was again 
released from it, and gave all his labours to the Forks of Yough until 1829, when 
he was permitted to give up the pastoral office altogether, on account of the infirmi- 
ties of age. He, however, continued to preach, by appointment of Presbytery, 
some four years longer. About the close of 1833 his health became very feeble. 
In his memorandum book of sermons, opposite to the Sabbath, such notes as the 
following begin to appear, increasing in frequency with each successive month — 
" At home — cold and windy." " Heard Rev." — So and So — " Very unwell ;" 
" In bed ;" " Recovering ;" " Sick ;" — &c. His last sermon was preached on 
the third Sabbath of February, 1835, from I. Peter i, 18, 19. " Ye were not 
redeemed with corruptible things," &c. Three times afterwards he heard other 
ministers preach ; and then the note, for several successive Sabbaths, evidently 
written each time with a most feeble hand, is, " At home, sick." The rest of the 
page is blank ; his pen had made its last record. About two weeks before his 
death he took cold, under the influence of which he sank rapidly. His death-bed 
experience appears to have been what might have been expected from his life, 
hopeftil and peaceful, without any remarkable demonstrations of triumph. On the 
afternoon of July 21, 1835, he sank to his rest, like the sun in a cloudless sum- 
mer evening, without gorgeousness, but in softly blended tints, which fiU our 
minds with glorious thoughts of Heaven. 

Mr. Henderson had nine children, six sons and three daughters. One of his 
sons, James P., received a liberal education, and is now an esteemed physician at 
Newville, near Mansfield, 0. The other surviving members of the family remain 
in the vicinity of the old homestead, highly respected members of society and 
of the church. 

Mr. Henderson was a person of commanding appearance. His voice was full 
and sonorous, and his delivery distinct and impressive, uniting calmness and 
deliberation with energy. He was not a profound scholar, but his general 
knowledge was quite extensive, and he had, in an unusual degree, the power of 
using it for the public good. He was somewhat acquainted with Medicine, and 
occasionally bled with the thumb lancet, and administered some of the more 
common and efficient medicines. 

He possessed good executive ability, and managed his own afiairs, and those 
entrusted to him, with prudence and skill. He was scrupulously faithful in 
fulfilling engagements. His name appears on the roll of members present at 
Presbytery almost as regularly as the date and place of meeting ; and he was 
never absent without a satisfactory excuse. He often rode the Youghiogheny 
when the ice was running and the water was in the saddle skirts, rather than 
disappoint his congregation.* Sometimes, in mid-winter, he would come from the 
water with his feet wet, and ride to the church without stopping, and go through 
with two services in a house without fire, — a luxury not then introduced into 

*In view of the times in which he lived, and the circumstances in which he was placed, 
it was fortunate for himself, as well as those to whom he ministered that, in the prime of 
life, Mr. H. was an accomplished horseman, and, when in the saddle, fully master of the 

Vol IX. 5 



meeting-houses. At an early period, he was appointed to visit some settlements 
in Kentucky. The greater part of his way was through a wilderness, held 
almost exclusively by the Indians. We now know little of the dangers and 
hardships of such a journey on horseback ; but such considerations did not weigh 
much with the bold and hardy pioneers, like Mr. Henderson, and their appoint- 
ments were almost sure to be fulfilled.* 

In his domestic relations Mr. Henderson was exceedingly happy. His letters 
which remain are very brief, but they show his warm attachment to his family, 
and the deep interest he took in all that pertained to the prosperity of the Church 
and the welfare of the Country. He did not discard politics as unbecoming a 
Minister, and did not fear the desecration of the pulpit by the introduction of 
subjects of national interest. Some of his earliest impulses were received during 
the Revolution, and he often, in the pulpit, as in conversation, depicted the stir- 
ring scenes of that stormy period. Sensitive to every thing pertaining to the 
honour of the nation, he was a warm supporter of the Government in the War 
of 1812, and preached to the Volunteers on taking up their line of march for 
the defence of the country. 

As a Preacher, Mr. Henderson, could not certainly be considered, in the 
higher sense of the word, eloquent. His sermons were unwritten. He made 
brief notes, but they were never before him. Even on special occasions, they 
were written only in outline ; and hence nothing remains which could be pub- 
lished as a fair specimen of his discourses.! Possibly it might have been better 
for him to have written more ; but the times in which he lived did not call for 
the graces of rhetoric and oratory so much as the simple and earnest exhibition 
of truth. His ministrations in the pulpit were instructive and edifying, — fitted 
to awaken the conscience and purify the heart. 

*As Mr. H.'s risit, at this early period, to Kentucky was perhaps the most hrilliant 
episode in his life, it may be proper perhaps to notice it a little more in detail. 

Toward the close of the last century, the interior of Ohio was a savage wilderness, the 
white settlements being, for the most part, confined to the borders of the Ohio river, and 
a short distance up its tributaries. In 1794 General Wayne defeated the combined 
Indian tribes at Maumee Rapids; and in 1795 ho concluded a treaty of peace with them 
at Greenville. In May, 1796, Congress passed a law authorizing Ebenezer Zane to open 
a road from Wheeling, in Western Virginia, to Limestone, now Maysville, Ky. In the 
following year, Mr. Zane, accompanied by his brother Jonathan Zane and his son-in- 
law, John Mclntyre, both experienced woodsmen, proceeded to mark out the new road, 
which was afterwards cut out by the two latter. The cutting out, however, was a very 
hasty business, in which nothing more was attempted than to make the road passable for 
horsemen. This road was known as " Zane's Trace," — about 280 miles in length, and 
was the one taken by Messrs. Henderson and Proudfit in their mission, in 1797, to Ken- 
tucky. What others accompanied them on this perilous expedition, going or returning, 
is not fully remembered; but Mr. H. had been heard to speak of a Captain Foreman as 
one of the party, who is believed to have been his only companion on the return. They 
experienced much hardship from the inclement season of the year, the fording of streams, 
in some instances swimming their horses through the swollen waters and floating ice, without 
opportunity of drying their boots and other clothing, and from the snow bending down the 
branches of the trees over their trail in the wilderness, and covering them sometimes 
several inches as they slept in their blankets at night. From his memorandum book it 
appears that Mr. H. preached at "Short Creek," on his way to Wheeling, September 
16th and 16th, at "Sciota,'* or Chillicothe, on the fourth Sabbath of the same month, 
on his route to Kentucky, and again at "Sciota," on his return, on the fourth Sabbath 
of November, in the intermediate period having preached twenty-three times in Ken- 
tucky and the Southern part of Ohio, preaching twenty-seven times, in all, from the 
time of leaving home to his return, and baptizing twenty-nine children. His first dis- 
course, after returning, was on the second Sabbath of December, and he must have been 
absent from home at least three months. 

t In 1851 one of Mr. Henderson's sermons was published in the 2d vol. of the Pulpifc 
of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church. 


He excelled as a Pastor. He was eminently fitted for mingling with the 
people and moulding their character by his private influence. One, who had 
the opportunity of knowing him well, says, — " He was social and even gay. He 
was unusually beloved by the young. I distinctly remember that I never was 
happier than when I was in his company. He was clear in communicating 
instruction, tender to the sorrowful, attentive to the sick. While he was not 
censorious, he never even connived at what he believed wrong. He rebuked sin 
by gentle admonition or sad silence. He was no mischief-maker, tattling about 
the people, and insinuating evil of his brethren. He was prudent ; and hence his 
influence was sought in removing jealousies and reconciling difierences. He was 
not restless in his disposition — he mingled the conservative with the progressive, 
occupying the ground along the line which divides the two extremes in Church 
and State." None will venture to charge him with studying novelties, or 
attempting the introduction of new measures, yet he was deservedly ranked 
among the more liberal of his day. He adhered firmly to the old paths, but 
was among the earliest and warmest supporters of Bible Societies and other 
kindred Associations. He was a faithful Preacher — ^he did not wink at evils 
which he saw among the people ; and he taught them to be faithful by exhibiting 
to them his own fidelity. But perhaps the greatest element of his power was 
his unquestioned piety. He made no parade of it; but it shone in all his 
actions, and was the spirit of his whole life. He lived in an atmosphere of love 
to God and man. He had a high relish for the ordinances of Grod's house. 
From the memorandum book, already referred to, it appears that, when not 
preaching himself, he embraced frequent opportunities of being present at the 
Communion in neighbouring congregations. 

There were no remarkable fruits by which to measure Mr. Henderson's use- 
fulness. There were no great revivals under his ministry. His influence, like 
his labours, was uniform and steady. His congregations gi'ew in membership and 
in grace. Under his ministry, and that of his brethren in the General Assembly 
Presbyterian Church, the community in which he lived became, and continues, 
distinguished for its high moral character. 

Assuring you of my interest in your great work, and my hope that you may 
be spared to complete it, 

I remain your brother in Christ, 



Newburgh, June 19, 1862. 

My dear Sir : When I was about seventeen or eighteen years of age, I began 
to attend on the ministry of the Rev. Matthew Henderson, and T sat under his 
preaching, either statedly or occasionally, during a period of five or six years. 
It was through his instrumentality that my mind first took a decidedly relig- 
ious direction, and in due time he baptized. me and admitted me to the commu- 
nion of the Church. You will readily understand, therefore, why I cherish 
his memory with great affection, and why I am more than willing to do any 
thing in my power for the perpetuation of his name and influence. 

Matthew Henderson was a large man, full six foet in height, of muscular 
frame and good proportions. His features were more than commonly large, 
but his countenance was expressive of ingenuousness and candour. His man- 
ners were far more cultivated than were those of the mass of clergymen, at 



that day, in the part of the country where he lived ; indeed, I think he pos- 
sessed great natural dignity, and it seemed never to cost him any effort to 
adapt himself most felicitously to any circumstances in which he was placed. 
His natural dispositions were kind and amiable, and his social powers of a 
high order, so that his presence was always welcome to any circle into which 
he might he thrown. He was, by no means, given to trifling in his conversa- 
tion, and yet he was habitually cheerful, and was never offended by a witty 
saying or a good joke where there was nothing in the circumstances to render 
it unsuitable. He was exceedingly interesting in his own family. I used 
sometimes to visit at his house, and was struck with the fact that he was the 
revered centre of one of the most pleasant domestic circles that I had ever met 

The great natural dignity, to which I have referred, gave a complexion to 
his professional as well as social character. In the pulpit he was the very 
personification of dignity. His air and manner, his mode of utterance as well as 
all that he said, had a sort of elevated character, well becoming the mission of an 
Ambassador of God. His preaching was chiefly in the way of exposition, and 
it was judicious, instructive and eminently successful in bringing out the mind 
of the Spirit. He moved about among his people in a manner that secured at 
once their respect, confidence and affection — it was diflScult to say whether they 
admired, revered or loved him most. His presence in the Presbytery or 
Synod was always felt to be an element of strength and of safety. He adorned 
every relation that he sustained. 

Very sincerely yours, 




John Dunlap, the eldest child of John and Margaret (Thompson) Dunlap. 
was born in Dolphinton, County of Lanark, Scotland, on the 15th of Septem- 
ber, 1757. He was the eldest of five children. His parents were both mem- 
bers of the Church, though of different branches of it ; his father belonging to 
that branch of the Secession called Burghers ; his mother to the Church of 
Scotland. At the age of fourteen he was hopefully converted, and began 
almost immediately to have aspirations for the Gospel ministry; but there 
were, at that time, obstacles in his way that seemed insurmountable. His father, 
who was himself devoted to agricultural pursuits, was employed by a number of 
farmers, to go to America and purchase for them a tract of land, as a prepara- 
tion for their migrating hither ; he expecting to return to Scotland, and bring 
his family to this country, in company with those for whom he was to negotiate, 
the next year. Accordingly he crossed the ocean and landed in New York, in 
the year 1774, bringing his son John as the companion of his travels. On his 
arrival here he found the country in a state of deep political agitation, and he 
very soon entered warmly into the great controversy of the day, espousing 
earnestly the American cause. The next year (1775) he enlisted in the army as 
a volunteer, taking his son, then only fifteen years of age, along with him. They 

* MS. Autobiog. — MS. from Rev. J. D. "Wells. — Proceedings of the Fifteenth Anniv. 
of the W^ashington Co. Bib. Soc. 



were at the siege and capture of St. John's, in connection with which they 
endured great hardships, encountered fearful perils and rendered important 
services. At the close of that campaign they went to Salem, Washington 
County, N. Y., and remained during the following winter. In the spring of 
1776, notwithstanding the defeat of the American army before Quebec, and the 
death of General Montgomery, and the generally unpropitious state of affairs, 
such was the fervour of their patriotism that they again volunteered their services 
in the cause of freedom. It was only for a brief period, however, that the father 
was permitted to serve ; for he was taken ill at Albany, of a disease known as the 
cami>disteniper, and died in September, 1776, in the fifty-second year of his 
age. He carried his devotional habits with him into the army, observing 
regularly in his tent morning and evening worship, and cultivating Christian 
intercourse, as far as he could, with his fellow-soldiers. His wants, during his 
last illness, were kindly ministered to by some benevolent individuals in Albany, 
and he shared largely the consolations of Divine grace in the prospect of his 
departure, and in his passage through the dark valley. By his death the object 
for which he came to this country was entirely defeated. 

The son was now left an orphan and comparative stranger in a strange land; 
and, at the close of the campaign, he retired from the army. He had never yet 
made a public profession of religion, though he had, for two or three years, as he 
believed, been living under its power ; but, shortly after his father's death, he 
was examined and received to the communion of the Church under Dr. Thomas 
Clark, of Salem, who, ever afterwards, continued to treat him with a kindness 
scarcely less than parental. It was chiefly through Dr. Clark's influence that 
facilities were furnished him for obtaining an education preparatory to his entering 
the ministry. 

From the time of his father's death until 1783 he was engaged chiefly in 
teaching an English school ; and he had now begun to despair of ever attaining 
his long cherished object of entering the ministry, on account of his utter 
inability to meet the expenses of his education, — nearly the whole of the little 
property that he had received from Scotland having been lost in the depreciation 
of the Continental money. It was at this time that, through the conjoint influ- 
ence of Dr. Clark, who had long been his steadfast friend, and Dr. John Mason, 
of New York, he was recommended to the favourable notice of Peter Wilson, 
LL.D., Principal of a very flourishing Academy in New Jersey. Dr. Wilson 
received him as a member not only of his school, but of his family; and there 
sprang up between the teacher and the pupil a degree of afiectionate confidence 
that would not have dishonoured the relation between parent and child. Here 
Mr. Dunlap commenced the study of the Languages and Mathematics, and at the 
same time became an assistant in Dr. Wilson's school ; performing his duties as a 
teacher during the day, and as a student during part of the night. He continued 
thus employed till he had finished both his classical and mathematical course, 
when an opportunity unexpectedly occurred, through the kindness of a benevo- 
lent individual in New York, for his prosecuting his theological studies under the 
direction of the elder Dr. Mason. Of this opportunity he most thankfully 
availed himself; and, after continuing his studies for two years, he was licensed 
to preach the Gospel, by the Associate Reformed Presbytery of New York, on 
the 13th of October, 1789. 



After preaching for some time with much acceptance, as a candidate, he 
received a unanimous call from the Associate Reformed Congregation in 
Cambridge, Washington County, N. Y., which he accepted on the 13th of 
October, 1790, — one year, to a day, from the time of his licensure. The people 
composing this congregation were of different denominations, — many of them 
from the Ecclesiastical Body under the care of the General Assembly ; and these 
latter, not being satisfied with the mode in which the goverament of the Chmch 
was there administered, very soon withdrew and formed a congregation by them- 
selves; thereby considerably reducing the infant congregation of Mr. Dunlap. 
A congregation in Galway, hearing of the embarrassment to which he was sub- 
jected in connection with his charge, almost immediately made overtures to him 
to become their Pastor ; but he declined the proposal, and actually remained with 
the congregation at Cambridge nearly twenty-six years. 

Mr. Dunlap was one of the original Directors of the Northern Missionary Soci- 
ety, and its President in 1806. Having a comparatively small pastoral charge, 
he repeatedly undertook long and difficult journeys through the newly settled 
districts of the State, in behalf of this Society. By this means he acquired 
much familiarity with missionary life ; and, accordingly, when the Young Men's 
Missionary Society of New York was formed, he was invited to enter into its 
service. With this in view, he resigned his pastoral charge in Cambridge, on the 
3d of September, 1816. The field assigned him was chiefly the territory which 
now forms Oneida and Oswego Counties. Leaving his pleasant and commodious 
home in Cambridge, he removed first to Rome, and, after a few months, to Fair- 
field, N. Y. In the last mentioned place he preached about half the time, — his 
eldest son, then a student of Theology, reading a sermon and conducting the ser- 
vice during the other half. There was no church edifice or organization there, 
and their public service was held in the chapel of the Medical Academy. During 
the five years in which he was thus engaged in the work of Domestic Missions, 
he was instrumental in organizing eighteen churches, and fostering them in their 
infancy until several of them were able to support their own Pastors. 

In 1822 Mr. Dunlap, finding his labours and exposure too severe for him, under 
the infirmities of advancing years, gave up his commission as a Missionary, and 
returned, with his family, to Cambridge. And now that he was again among the 
scenes of his earlier life, he resumed his active co-operation with the friends of 
the Bible cause in Washington County, and engaged in evangelical labours that 
were not interrupted until he was laid aside by disease. He was the first Presi- 
dent of the Washington County Bible Society, from its organization in 1813 till 
1816, when he left Cambridge ; and his interest in this Society continued unaba- 
ted till the close of his life. His chief employment, after his return to Cambridge 
in 1822, was supplying the vacant pulpits of the churches at Hebron, Arlington, 
Sandgate and Fort Ann, in each of which plaxjes his memory is still gratefully 

He was laid aside from bis public labours a little less than two years before his 
death ; and, while suffering under a most painful malady, such was his love for 
the ministry, and such his desire to benefit his fellow-creatures to the last, that, 
until his strength was almost gone, he used to invite his neighbours, and especi- 
ally the young people, to his house, that he might testify to the value of the Gos- 
pel, and instruct them in the things pertaining to the Kingdom. 


The disease of which he died was cancer. In the fall of 1828 he submitted 
to a most painful surgical operation, which he endured with great fortitude. From 
that time until his death his sufferings were intense and almost uninterrupted, but 
his spirit was not only peaceful, but even triumphant. He died on the 7th of 
March, 1829, in the seventy-third year of his age, and the fortieth of his minis- 
try. His Funeral Sermon was preached by the Rev. Dr. Alexander Proudfit, of 
Salem, who had been the companion of many of his early missionary labours, 
and was his faithful friend till the close of life. 

His only publication was a Sermon entitled " The Power, Justice and Mercy 
of Jehovali, exercised upon his Enemies and his Friends " ; delivered on board 
the Fleet at Whitehall, 1814. It passed to a second edition in 1823. 

Mr. Dunlap was married, on the 11th of April, 1791, to Catharine, second 
daughter of Peter Curtenius, of the city of New York, the first Auditor or 
Comptroller of the State, after the adoption of the Constitution. They had six 
children, two sons and four daughters. His eldest son was educated for the min- 
istry, but, after obtaining license to preach, was obliged to turn aside to agricul- 
tural pursuits, on account of the failure of his health. One of his grandsons, 
the Rev. J. D. Wells, D.D., is the highly respected Pastor of a Presbyterian 
Church in Williamsburgh, L. I.; and two of his grand-daughters have been mar- 
ried to Foreign Missionaries. Mrs. Dunlap died on the 24th of July, 1830, in 
the seventieth year of her age. 


Williamsburgh, L.I., August 6, 1863. 

My dear Sir: The Rev. John Dunlap, concerning whom you inquire, was 
my maternal grandfather. My recollections of him are those of a child from 
three to fourteen years of age. I remember him as a genial, kind-hearted old 
gentleman, a lover of children, a lover of good men, a friend of the poor, and 
a man ready for every good work. 

He was fond of horticulture and agriculture, and planted trees, the shade 
and fruit of which he long enjoj'-ed. He was so tender of robins and other 
birds that he would not have them destroyed, though we thought they had 
more than their share of the cherries. lie loved books and had a good library. 
In the affairs of the nation he took the liveliest interest, having reached the 
country simultaneously with the sitting of our General Congress in Philadel- 
phia, in 1774, and fought in several battles of the Revolutionary War, before 
he was seventeen years old. In the War of 1812 he served for a time as a 

He was a liberal-minded and warm-hearted Christian and Christian Minis- 
ter. Our family devotions were introduced by a short invocation. Then came 
the reading of Scripture, sometimes M^ith exposition and exhortation. The 
Psalm or Hymn — for he loved the Hymnology of the Christian Church, and 
did not confine us to Rouse's version of the Psalms — was next ; and the fer- 
vent prayer for ourselves and all men closed the service. 

From the testimony of others I know that Mr. Dunlap was of a simple, 
confiding disposition, too honest and pure-minded to suspect others of any 
fraudulent intentions. For this reason he was imposed on in business trans- 
actions, and lost a portion of the property that came to him by marriage. 

There was a Scotch bluntness and almost harshness of speech about him, 
by which, in his earlier years, he sometimes gave offence ; but, in later life, 
his character mellowed into a pleasant and beautiful ripeness. Made perfect 
through suffering, he bore the image of Christ. 



As a Preacher, he was plain, instructive, direct, evangelical and intenselj 
earnest. Without a pleasant voice, he secured attention to the truths of the 
Gospel, by declaring them with sincerity, unction and great zeal. 

It would be impossible to do justice to my grandfather's Christian or Min- 
isterial character without making \erj prominent his great interest in the 
spread of the Gospel over the whole earth. A Domestic Missionary himself, 
and longing to see the land for which he had, at so early an age, put his life 
in peril, pervaded with the influence of truth, he watched, with ever increas- 
ing interest, the signs of the coming of Christ's Kingdom in Heathen lands. 
This was attributable in part — I would rather say chiefly — to his own sincere 
and earnest devotion to Christ, and partly also to his association with such 
large-hearted men as Dr. Alexander Bullions, Dr. Nathaniel S. Prime and Dr. 
Alexander Proudfit. 

Such are some of my recollections and impressions concerning my venerable 

Very sincerely yours, 



Saugerties, November 13, 1863. 

Rev. and dear Brother : You have asked me to communicate to you my 
impressions of the leading characteristics of the Rev. John Dunlap. My first 
acquaintance with him was in 1801. I had then commenced my theological 
studies under the direction of Dr. Alexander Proudfit, of the neighbouring 
town of Salem, and had frequent opportunities of seeing and conversing with 
Mr. Dunlap. The most prominent qualities by which he was distinguished as 
a Man and a Minister, were strongly indicated in his personal appearance. His 
countenance was expressive of great energy and strength of purpose; and while 
these traits were strikingly manifested throughout his whole ministry, they 
were specially demanded by the peculiar state of the churches in which he was 
called to labour. 

There was in ^Ir. Dunlap a certain sternness of aspect, but it was only 
necessary to know him, to know that he was one of the most warm-hearted 
and genial of men. There was nothing morose nor sullen in his nature. He 
had a vigorous constitution, capable of great endurance. His voice was one 
of remarkable compass and strength. His gesture was free and appropriate, 
and helped to increase, in no small degree, the effect of his utterances. His 
aim evidently was to deliver the whole counsel of God. The trumpet in his 
hand never gave an uncertain sound. In the selection of his subjects he 
seemed most frequently to have in his eye the awakening of the careless and 
the unmasking of the hypocrite. When I listened to him I used often to be 
reminded of the voice of the stern Reformer in the wilderness, — " Repent, for 
the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand." But while his application of the truth 
to the sinner's conscience was most faithful and pungent, he was gentle to tl. 3 
mourners in Zion, and encouraged the Christian combatant to perseverance by 
holding up the promise of the sustaining sympathy of the Angel of the Coven- 
ant. In his intercourse with his brethren his great frankness and manifest 
sincerity inspired the utmost confidence, while his generous hospitality always 
secured to his guests a cordial welcome. In the Judicatories of the Church he 
was regarded as a wise counsellor, and an efficient co-operator in carrying into 
efibct plans for the extension of the Redeemer's Kingdom. A careful student 
of his own heart, and a close observer of mankind and of the movements of 
Divine Providence, he was an expert casuist. 

Cambridge was his first and principal charge. From his earliest ministry 
he was much interested in missionary efforts in the Home Department, always 


ready, in the destitution then prevalent in the Northern and Western parts of 
our State, to undertake toilsome journeys, thus laying the foundation of many 
churches which are now firmly established, and are active and liberal auxilia- 
ries in spreading the Gospel at home and abroad. The labours and anxieties 
incident to the Pastorate, with the weight of years, led him to resign his charge. 
He had frequent invitations to visit vacant churches, and, in his own charge 
and in surrounding places, a migratory spirit prevailed which opened new and 
not unpromising fields of labour. Into these he entered not as a stranger, 
but as one who had already been to many, whom he found there, a spiritual 
father ; and here no doubt he gathered gems which will forever adorn the 
Mediator's crown. 

I have thus given you my recollections of one who was a friend of my 
youth, and whos3 memory I still gratefully cherish. I have no hesitation in 
assigning him a place with the " Elders who have obtained a good report 
through faith." 

With sentiments of unfeigned regard I remain truly yours, 



PaESiDENT OF Cbntrb Gollege, Danville, Kt 

Danville, Kt., May 9, 1856. 

My dear Sir : It is a delicate service that you have assigned to me, — that of 
writing about my own beloved and venerated father. But my aifectionate reverence 
for his memory, as well as my disposition to oblige you, will not allow me to decline 
your request. At the same time, I am bound to say that I was but a month 
old at the time of his death, so that I can say nothing in respect to his character 
except from the testimony of others. 

John YouNa, born September 4, 1763, in York County, Pa., was the eldest 
son of William and Margaret (Schuyler) Young. His parents were both 
the younger children of fiimilies possessed of some wealth and rank in Scot- 
land, and who had been, for generations back, distinguished for piety. After 
marriage they had migrated to Pennsylvania, where their means enabled them 
to live in comfort and independence. While both parents were distinguished for 
deep and fervent piety, the mother was remarkable for extraordinary intellectual 
endowments. Their eldest son had, from his birth, been prayerfiiUy devoted to 
the service of God in the work of the Ministry. Both parents died, leaving six 
children, at the time when John was in his sixteenth year. The provision which 
had been made by will for the completion of his education, was defeated by the 
rapid depreciation of the Continental money, which had been received in pay- 
ment at the sale of the estate. This misfortune compelled him, after closing his 
preparatory studies in Greek and Latin, under the Rev. W. Latta, to teach 
school for a time, and afterwards write in the Clerk's office at Annapolis, that he 
might obtain the means necessary for finishing his collegiate and theological course. 

On graduating at Dickinson College, in 1788, he delivered the Valedictory 
Vol. IX. 6 



Oration, and immediately, in connection with some dozen others, commenced the 
study of Theology under Dr. Nisbct, the President of that Institution. He was 
licensed to preach April 26, 1790, by the Associate Reformed Presbytery of 
Pennsylvania. He was, from that period, engaged, by appointment of Presby- 
tery or Synod, in supplying vacant congregations in the South and West, until 
the time of his settlement over the United Congregations of Timber Ridge and 
Providence, in Rockbridge County, Ya., August 20, 1792. He continued in 
this charge until the year 1799, when he accepted a call from the United Con- 
gregations of Green Castle and West Conococheague. About the same time he 
received a call from Lexington, Ky., and another from the city of New York. 
The acceptance of the latter was strenuously urged upon him by Dr. John M. 
Mason, but he preferred a more retired field of labour. He continued to reside 
in Green Castle until his death, which took place in July, 1803. He died of 
bilious fever, induced by over-exertion in preaching thrice in the open air in a hot 
summer's day. He had, soon after his settlement in Yirginia, married Mary 
Clarke, daughter of George Clarke, Esq., of Green Castle. He left two sons 
and two daughters. The oldest son, after graduating at Carlisle, at the age of 
seventeen, entered into mercantile pursuits, and died while still young. The 
daughters are still living, — one the widow of the Rev. John Lind, who succeeded 
my father in his last pastoral charge, the other the widow of J. P. Ramsey, a 
merchant of Philadelphia. My mother remained a widow till her death, a few 
years ago. 

As a Preacher, I believe it was universally admitted that my father was more 
remarkable for strength and solidity than for elegance and ornament — though a 
strikingly fine personal appearance, a briUiant black eye that seemed to penetrate 
the soul of the hearer, a natural and somewhat impassioned delivery, with a plea- 
sant voice, made his preaching as agreeable as it was instructive. He aimed to 
enlighten the understanding and awaken the conscience, and his preaching was 
greatly blessed. His sermons and lectures, even when not written, were prepared 
with great care ; and more than one-half were written out, committed, and delivered 
from memory. While he was faithful and laborious in his pastoral duties, regu- 
larly visiting and catechising all the famihes of his various congregations, and while 
he devoted a considerable portion of time to discharging the duties of an Evan- 
gelist, by preaching in destitute churches, and building up new churches, he was 
so indefatigable in acquiring knowledge, and so thoroughly mastered all that he 
acquired, that his attainments, both as a scholar and a divine, were very superior 
in their extent as well as in their accuracy. His love of learning made study a 
pleasure to him, and few men have ever surpassed him in redeeming time to 
devote to literary and scientific pursuits. 

In his general intercourse with society he so happily blended dignity with 
afiability as to command universal respect and esteem ; while, in the narrower 
circle of his private friends, his perpetual cheerfulness, affectionate disposition, 
playful wit and copious intellectual resources, made him an object of the most 
fond admiration and devoted attachment. There was in his character a singular 
union of the gentler with the sterner virtues. Uncompromising integrity, 
undaunted courage and inflexible principle, were found in him, in conjunction 
with a purity of sentiment, delicacy of taste and tenderness of feeling, that were 
almost feminine. To warm and generous affections he united a serenity of dis- 
position, so unvarying that one who had lived for ten years in the closest daily 



and hourly intercourse with him, had never but once seen his temper in tho 
slightest degree ruffled. 

I have now given you the substance of what I know in respect to my father, 
and if it shall avail at all to your purpose, I shall be truly gratified. 

Very truly your friend, 


Cbawford Town, Orange County, N. Y., March 20, 1850. 

Rev. and dear Sir : I am happy to learn that you propose to include in 
your intended work some account of the life and character of the Rev. John 
Young, whose ministry, in the all-wise but mysterious Providence of God, 
was brought to a close while he was yet in early life, nearly half a century 
ago. In accordance with your request, I take great pleasure in stating to 
you what I personally know in regard to him. Of his early life and history 
I have no knowledge, the place of our birth and residence being at some 
distance from each other. While a student at the Seminary of the Rev. 
Alexander Dobbin, I first saw Mr. Young, and heard him preach before 
Presbytery his first trial sermon, which was highly approved, and was con- 
sidered as giving promise of future eminence. About the time I entered 
Dickinson College, or soon after, he, with seven other j^oung men, finished 
their course of theological study, under the learned Dr. Nisbet. 

As Mr. Young was soon after licensed and settled as the Pastor of Timber 
Ridge Congregation in Virginia, I had little opportunity of intercourse with 
him, or of hearing him preach, until the time of my own licensure. After 
that period, I met with him more frequently, and was always edified by his 
conversation, and pleased with his general bearing. Soon after my licensure I 
was appointed, by Synod, to visit Kentucky and preach for some months in 
places where my services might be desired, and where Mr. Young had 
previously been sent on a missionary tour ; and, wherever I went, I found 
that both his preaching and his character were held in high estimation. On 
my return through Virginia, I called at his house, and was treated by him 
and his excellent lady in the kindest and most hospitable manner. I remained 
with him over the Sabbath, — it being a Sacramental occasion, — and heard 
him preach on the morning of that day. His text was Genesis, xlix, 26, in 
its connection ; but chiefly the last clause of the verse — « They shall be on 
the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of him that was separate 
from his brethren." Christ, the Mediator, the subject of the prediction, and 
the great antitype, was the delightful theme of the sermon, and it was rich 
in evangelical truth, and delivered with great solemnity and pathos. I do not 
recollect that I ever heard him preach afterwards, although I saw him 
repeatedly at meetings of Synod. 

As a Preacher, Mr. Young took a decidedly high rank. His enunciation 
was distinct and deliberate, but without hesitancy ; his language clear and 
forcible, but not florid ; the subject matter of his discourse doctrinal and 
instructive, but having a decidedly practical bearing. He had but little 
gesture, but that little was natural and appropriate. His whole manner was 
dignified, solemn and impressive. Like Cowper's favourite Preacher, — 

"He was serious in a serious cause." 

j.yii an evidence of the deep interest which Mr. Young felt in the cause of 
Christ and his truth, I may here state an incident which occurred shortly 
before his decease, and when he viewed his death as very near at hand. As 
the General Synod was to hold its first meeting, after its organization at 



New Castle, in May following, he left it as his solemn dying charge, to be 
given to his brethren, at the meeting of the Synod, that, as the cause and 
truth of Christ were committed to their care and keeping, they should be 
faithful to their trust, as they would have to give an account of their steward- 
ship. This solemn charge of a dying brother was delivered from the pulpit, 
to the fathers and brethren in Synod assembled, by the late Dr. Mason, in 
the close of his Sermon, at the Opening of the Synod, in a very impressive 
manner. So solemn a charge, under the circumstances connected with it, 
came with an almost overpowering force. 

Faithful and dignified as was Mr. Young in his character and deportment 
as a Minister of Christ, he possessed all those qualities as a INTan, which were 
necessary to render him a most agreeable companion and valuable friend. 
With great decision he united great kindliness of spirit — he was meek, and 
modest and without pretension, while yet he was ready to every good work. 
His early death blasted many fond and cherished hopes. 
With great respect and esteem, 

Your friend and brother, 


As the Rev. Dr. John C. Young, the writer of the first of the preceding 
letters, has gone to his rest, and as he occupied a position of high influence in 
the Presbyterian Church, it is thought proper that some notice of him should 
appear in connection with the sketch of his father, notwithstanding his death 
occurred at too late a period to place him within the legitimate limit of this 

John Clarke Young, a son of the Rev. John Young, and Mary Clarke, 
his wife, was born in Greencastle, Pa., on the 12th of August, 1803. His 
father dying while he was an mfant, he was brought up entirely under the 
direction of his mother,, a wise and judicious woman, who was spared to see 
her only living son occupying a high position of honourable usefulness. 
Having gone through his course preparatory to entering College, under Mr. 
John Borland, an eminent teacher in the city of New York, he was for three 
years a member of Columbia College, but, at the end of that time, trans- 
ferred his relation to Dickinson College, where he graduated in 1823, during 
the Presidency of Dr. John M. Mason. He had already united with the 
Church, and determined to prepare for the Ministry under Dr. Mason, having 
declined an offer to enter the profession of the Law, under the auspices of his 
maternal uncle, Matthew St. Clair Clarke, at that time an eminent practi- 
tioner and politician. He entered the Princeton Theological Seminary in 
1824, and remained there two years; and then, in 1826, became a Tutor 
in the College of New Jersey, where he served till 1828. He was licensed to 
preach, in the spring of 1827, by the Presbytery of New York. After 
preaching in several Eastern cities, where he was strongly solicited to settle, 
he visited Lexington, Ky., and was elected and installed Pastor of the 
'McChord Presbyterian Church in that city. In the fall of 1830 the Presi- 
dency of C'entre College, at Danville, becoming vacant by the resignation of 
Dr. Blackburn, Mr. Young, though only entering his twenty-eighth year, was 
unanimously chosen his successor. For nearly twenty-seven years, and until 
his death, he occupied this honourable position with great credit to himself, 
and with the highest advantage to the institution. 

In 1834 the Presbyterian Synod of Kentucky, at its meeting in Danville, 
passed some very decided Resolutions favourable to the gradual emancipation 
of the slaves. A very able Address, from the Committee, written by Mr. 
Young, was published, and widely circulated, and attracted great attention. 
He had subsequently an animated discussion with Messrs. Steele and Crothers, 


of Ohio, on Abolitionism, in which he drew a broad line between the Anti- 
slavery views of the Emancipationists of Kentucky and those of the Abo- 
litionists. He continued until his death the advocate of gradual emanci- 

The Presbyterian Church in Danville having become vacant in 1834, he was 
invited by the congregation to supply their pulpit. He entered upon this 
duty, in connection with his duties to the College, as an experiment ; and he 
continued its performance, with great acceptance and success, for twenty- 
three years — in the First church until 1852, and then in the Second church, — 
a branch of the same congregation, until 1857. The original congregation 
had grown under his ministry until the pastoral labour had become more 
than he was able, in consistency with his other duties, to perform. 

In 1839 he was honoured with the degree of Doctor of Divinity from the 
College of New Jersey. In 1853 he was Moderator of the General Assembly 
of the Presbyterian Church. 

Dr. Young's health was generally good up to the last two years of his life. 
During that period he was afflicted by a disease of the stomach, which finally 
terminated in a hemorrhage, causing his death on the 23d of June, 1857. 
He died, as he had lived, cheerfully and piously. 

During his residence in Lexington he was married (November 3, 1829) to 
Frances A., the eldest daughter of Cabell Breckenridge, and grand-daughter, 
by her mother's side, of Dr. Samuel Stanhope Smith. By this marriage there 
were four daughters, three of whom are married to clergymen. Mrs. Young 
died in 1837; and in 1839 he was married, a second time, to Cornelia, 
daughter of the Hon. John J. Crittenden, by whom he had six children, — 
three sons and three daughters. His two eldest sons were graduated at 
Centre College — one of them is already (1863) in the ministry, and the other 
in a course of preparation for it. 

Dr. Young published A Speech delivered before the Kentucky Colonization 
Society, 1831 or '32; An Address on Temperance, delivered at the Court House 
in Lexington, Ky., 1834; An Address to the Presbyterians of Kentucky, 
proposing a plan for the Instruction and Emancipation of their Slaves. By a 
Committee of the Synod of Kentucky ; accompanied by an Appendix, entitled 
"The Doctrine of Immediate Emancipation Unsound, in reply to Brothers 
Steele and Crothers," which had at first been printed in the newspaper, 1835 ; 
The Duty of Masters : A Sermon preached in the Presbyterian Church at 
Danville, Ky., 1846 ; A Sermon on the Sinfulness, Folly and Danger of 
Delay, in a volume, edited by the Rev. Thomas P. Akers, 1851 ; An Address 
delivered at the Inauguration of the Professors of the Danville Theological 
Seminary, 1854. After his death, a Sermon on Prayer was published by the 
American Tract Society. 

The following is an extract from a communication from the Rev. R. W 
Dickinson, D.D., dated Fordham, April 20, 1863. 

'*'When Mr. John C. Yonng. on entering the Seminary at Princeton, took a room 
in the house in which I was boarding, I found myself prepossessed in his favour, no 
less by his personal appearance than from what I had previously heard of him. 
There was a quiet dignity in his person, an air of intelligent serious purpose in his 
countenance, blended with an expression of purity and benignity, that awakened an 
interest in hi'^t, and betokened more than ordinary promise : it was manifest, too, 
that he was scholarly and regular in all his habits, and withal consistently devout. 
Amiable, considerate, exemplary, he had few, if any, of the faults which, not 
unfrequently, may be detected in the character of students. He was seldom ruffled; 
never readily excited or depressed ; equally removed from coarseness and levity ; 
not unmindful of the feelings of others nor forgetful cf his own dependence and 
responsibilities. Though highly valuina: his time, he was not annoyed by interrup- 
tions, nor averse to inquiries, nor backward to aid others in study, — having equal 
facility in acquiring and communicating knowledge. Courteous to all whom he 



might meet, yet was he, in a sense, reserved ; and it was only in the company of the 
few that he ' unbent' — having comprehended the significancy of Lawyer PJeydel's 
remark, * that there are some people in the world who have too much malice or too 
little wit.' 

" So far as I observed, Mr. Young was never troubled with doubts, which beset 
the minds of some of our number at the time, — doubts either in relation to his own 
interest in the Saviour, to the truth of Christianity, or even the truth of any 
articles of our faith. He never ventured beyond the limits of legitimate specula- 
tion, nor discussed a point for the sake of discussion. This was apparent in an 
Association composed of twelve members of the Seminary, (called the Round Table 
Club,) meeting once a month for the purpose of discussing various points. While 
some of us thought that we paid Truth but an easy homage if we contented our- 
selves wil h overlooking or underrating the weapons of her opi)onents, Young always 
opened or closed on the side of orthodoxy, and thought it better, if we must argue, 
to speak in the name of an opponent, not as if we held antagonistic opinions — so 
that, on one occasion, while I was contending that an ignorant ministry was more 
favourable to piety than a learned one, he virtually reproved me because I had 
spoken as if I really believed what I had said. 

*' His particular talent, however, seemed to be for the languages. He mastered the 
Hebrew with ease; read the classics with zest; appreciated their beauties; quoted 
with accuracy from both the Greek and Roman authors; drew from them and from 
Ancient History his happiest illustrations; and, having formed his taste on the best 
models, discriminated with precision and criticised with judgment. I do not think 
that he would have been regarded as either witty or ludicrous; though no one 
enjoyed the flashes of wit, or was quicker to perceive a vein of humour or to narrate 
an amusing incident, than he. While his sense of the ludicrous was never at fault, 
he had no sympathy with ridicule, much less with unnecessary' or unjust severity. 
Thus, when, towards the close of a very serious meeting, in tlie ' Theological 
Chamber,' at which we were prayerfully considerin? the best means of promoting a 
Revival of Religion, a certain brother rose, and in a little, sharp, quick voice, said, — 
' I think the best means would be for the brethren to pay their debts — I heard a 
storekeeper say that he could never become pious till some of the brethren jjuid him 
what they owed him '. — Young was painfully subjected to what good old Dr. Miller 
used to call the contentio laterum. On the other hand, when the hite Dr. John M. 
Mason, the last time he ever moderated the Second Presbytery of New York, replied 
to a candidate for licensure who had modestly said (for the old gentleman's articula- 
tion was not then distinct) that he did not exactly understand the question, — ' Can't 
help that, young man, can't help that — can't give you understanding ! ' Young had 
no sympathy with the suppressed laugh that pervaded the Body — he felt too much 
for the candidate. 

" In short, it was Mr. Young's object, while he was at the Seminary, to fit himself 
for his work; to avoid every thing at variance with it, and to render all his studies 
subservient to the defence and illustration of revealed truth; and all this so dili- 
gently and quietly, without ado or ostentation, that it might have been difficult to 
say whether it was the result of grace or of early educational training; yet, though 
so studious and intellectual, he never lost sight of the importance of personal piety, 
nor neglected the cultivation of his spiritual nature. 

" I heard him preach his first sermon in the old Cedar Street Church for the Rev. 
Dr. McElroy. It was characterized, as I presume all his subsequent discourses 
were, by just views and right sentiments, expressed in a clear, correct and rather 
ornate style; a steady advance of thought rather than by flights of eloquence or 
bursts of emotion; leading me to the conclusion that he would never fail to interest, 
to instruct, and to influence aright all whose privilege it might be to listen to his 
pulpit utterances or to cultivate his personal acquaintance. 

" On leaving the Seminary I saw him but seldom, and then only for a short time, 
during his occasional visits to the North; yet I lost not my interest in him, ncr was 
ever surprised to hear of his growing reputation and influence in the sphere in which 
he was so early placed after going to Kentucky, and for which he was eminently 
qualified by the whole course of his youthful studies." 

R. W. D. 





Buffalo, October 8, 1864. 

My dear Sir: I cheerfully comply with your request to send you some 
account, including my own recollections, of the life and character of the Rev 
Andrew Oliver. 

Andrew Oliver was bom in the parish of Abbotsrule, Roxburghshire, Scot- 
land, on the 31st day of January, 1762. His father, Greorge Oliver, of English 
descent, led the humble life of a shepherd. His mother, Helen Freeman, who 
was Mr. Oliver's second wife, was a woman of eminent piety. They had four 
children, of whom Andrew was the youngest. He attended for a season a clas- 
sical school in the North of England, and it is said that he was engaged for a 
time in learning the printer's business. He seems to have been a child of God 
from his earliest years. He was so young when he became a subject of Divine 
grace that he could not remember the date of his conversion. At the age of 
fourteen he was received into the church. When about twenty-four years old, 
he married Elizabeth, daughter of Robert Ormiston, a substantial farmer of Eck- 
ford-East-Mains, Roxburghshire. Her mother's name was Mary Given. Shortly 
after his marriage in 1786, he came over to this country. After residing two 
years at Saco, Me., he removed to Londonderry, N. H., where he became 
acquainted with the Rev. William Morrison, by whose influence he was led to 
prepare for the Gospel ministry. He studied with Dr. Morrison and applied 
himself to his work with so much assiduity and devotion that he became almost 
blind. After his licensure by the Presbytery of Londonderry in 1792, he under- 
took a missionary tour on horseback to the State of New York, taking with him, 
on account of his blindness, a young man as a guide. Though labouring under 
this great disadvantage, his preaching was very acceptable and edifying. After 
his return in 1793, he was called to take charge of the Presbyterian Church in 
Pelham, Mass. During his ministry in this place, he enjoyed the society of the 
neighbouring ministers, and was an intimate friend of the Rev. Samuel Taggart 
of Colraine and Dr. Parsons of Amherst. Entering upon his work with large 
and liberal views of ministerial duty, and fiill of missionary zeal, he preached the 
Gospel in the region round about Pelham, and gratuitously supplied the pulpit 
of a neighbouring society at such times as would not interfere with his regular 
services at' Pelham. He did not regard it as consistent with his notions of inte- 
grity and his pastoral relation to the church of Pelham to receive any compensa- 
tion for these services. But the people whom he had served made him a present 
of about forty dollars. Instead, however, of accepting this gift, he divided it 
between the church of Pelham and the Society which had given it, and thereby 
both were offended, — the one because he did not keep the whole of the proffered 
gift, and the other because he shared it between the two Societies. To his hon- 
est and unselfish mind their displeasure at his conduct seemed quite unreason- 
able, and he was so troubled at this development of what appeared to him selfish- 
ness and injustice that he determined to resign his charge and seek a new field 
of labour. Leaving his family at Pelham, he set out in search of a new home, 



and extended his inquiries into the State of New York, where, several years 
before, he had laboured for a time as a Missionary. He spent several months in 
Springfield, Otsego Countj'^, N. Y. His services were so acceptable to the peo- 
ple of this place that they invited him to become their Pastor. He accepted the 
call, and, having made arrangements for his settlement, went back after his 
family. This consisted then of his wife and seven children, all of whom, except 
the oldest, were bom at Pelham. 

When Mr. Oliver came to Springfield in 1806, there was no Presbyterian 
house of worship. He preached in the Baptist Church on the hill at West 
Springfield, and also for a season half the time at Middlefield, in a bam. After 
about nine months, he purchased a small farm at East Springfield, and built a 
commodious house with money that was due to him from Pelham. His son Wil- 
liam, then a boy fourteen years old, went after it on horseback, bringing the 
money home with him in his belt. Feeling the necessity of a house of worship, 
he urged the people to undertake the work of erecting one. When the fi-ame 
was up, and the completion of the work was delayed, in order to arouse their 
zeal in the enterprise, he preached an earnest and stirring sermon on Haggai i, 
•4 : "Is it time for you, ye, to dwell in your ceiled houses, and this house lie 
waste," &c. He contributed of his own limited means to this undertaking, and 
encouraged the people until the work was finished. He laboured here with 
great faithfulness and success for several years, when an unhappy division arose, 
originated by persons who did not relish the Calvinistic doctrines of Mr. Oliver. 
They succeeded in driving away the venerable Pastor from the field, which he 
had cultivated with great faithfulness and with abundant tokens of Divine 
favour. On parting with them he preached an aifectionate Farewell Sermon from 
II Cor. xiii, 11. " Finally, brethren, farewell ; be perfect, be of good comfort, 
be of one mind, live in peace ; and the God of love and peace shall be with 
you." The best of his flock, with an attachment and devotion to their afflicted 
Pastor rarely equalled, followed him, and afterwards united with the Associate 
Reformed Church which was organized under his auspices. On one occasion, 
after his removal from the Presbyterian Church, he so far controlled his feelings 
as to attend a Communion service on the Hill, in the church from which he had 
been ejected, and which had now called another minister. But he was passed 
by and not permitted to participate in the service. This treatment was a severe 
trial for his gentle forgiving spirit. His labors in connection with the Associate 
Reformed Church were richly blessed, and his associations with the ministers of 
that Body pleasant and peaceful. In the year before his death, during his 
illness, his pulpit was supplied for some time by the Rev. Malcolm N. McLaren, 
D.D. His congregation had erected a new house of worship at East Springfield, 
where their beloved Pastor continued to preach, until he was called to rest from 
his labours on the 24th of March, 1833. 

To this event Mr. Oliver had long been looking forward with that sure and 
steadfast hope " which entereth into that within the vail." Living by faith and 
walking with God, he had been for years anticipating the time of his departure. 
In a letter to his son. Dr. Andrew F. Oliver, of Penn Yan, dated December 
12, 1829, he thus alludes to the approaching end of his pilgrimage : — 

" I am now in advanced life, and the increasing infirmities of old age notify me 
that my pilgrimage cannot be far from its close; and well will it be if I can say, 
with the g"eat Apostle, when my journey is ended, — ' I am now ready to be offered, 



— I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: 
henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness.' The great end of 
living should be to live well in order to die well, and those only die well who die in 
the Lord. The warfare is not yet ended, and the enemy appears very powerful at 
times, but the Captain under whom I serve, in whom I have long put my trust, I 
firmly believe, will finally gain for me the victory. And what an inconceivably 
glorious victory will it be when I shall stand on the verge of time, and through free 
grace be able to say, ' I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course.' 
If so, my passage through the Jordan of death will be far more glorious and happy 
than that of the ancient people of God through the river Jordan. It is true they 
had the ark of God, the symbol of the Divine presence; but I think I shall have 
the real presence of my great Immanuel, according to his own promise, — ' I will 
never leave thee nor forsake thee, &c.' " 

During Mr. Oliver's residence in Otsego County, he enjoyed the society and 
friendship of the Rev. Dr. William Neill, then of Albany, and the Rev. John 
Smith, of Cooperstown, Dr. James Carnahan, of Utica, Rev. Eli F. Cooley, of 
Cherry Valley, the Rev. Daniel Nash, of the Episcopal Church, and others, by 
each of whom he was highly esteemed. He was instrumental, with others, in 
forming the Otsego County Bible Society, which was organized March 7, 1813. 
The Rev. Daniel Nash, of Exeter, was the first President, and Mr. Ohver, the 
first Vice-President. In 1816 this Society appointed him, together with the Rev 
E. F. Cooley, of Cherry Valley, and James Fenimore Cooper, of Cooperstown 
delegates to co-operate with others in foiToing the American Bible Society. 

The personal appearance of Mr. Oliver was dignified and commanding. He 
was tall and well-proportioned, with blue eyes and a full forehead, to which his 
habit of combing his hair back gave prominence. His countenance bespoke 
benignity and intelligence. He was plain and simple in his diet, and neat and 
becoming in his dress. His manners were gentle and conciliating ; and his mod- 
esty and humility, his sincerity and guilelessness, apparent to all. His winning 
ways won the confidence of children, whom he often entertained with stories of the 
old country. 

Deeply imbued with a missionary spirit, he made himself acquainted with the 
work and wants of the Church. It was his constant custom to ride over to 
Cherry Valley every Monday morning in his gig, and get from his daughter, 
Mrs. Morse, the New York Observer, Missionary Herald and other periodicals, 
which he read with avidity. 

Though ardently attached to the doctrines of the Church of his fathers, Mr. 
Oliver had not a particle of bigotry. He loved all who loved the Saviour. He 
did not magnify indifferent points by making them vital articles of faith and terms 
of communion. During his ministry in the Presbyterian Church, he used Watts' 
Psalms and Hymns, though some of his people did not approve of the practice. 

As a Preacher, he was simple, earnest and affectionate. It was no uncommon 
thing for him and for his hearers to be moved to tears. He rarely ever wrote 
out his sermons, but generally preached fro.n very brief notes. His discourses 
were rather expository than topical; his arrangement quite methodical, yet natu- 
ral, and his application pointed and practical. He was very fond of taking his 
texts from the " Songs of Solomon," and the " Revelations." His sermons, though 
marked more by simplicity, unction and earnestness, than by elegance or strength, 
made a deep impression on the minds and hearts of his hearers. 

As a Pastor, he loved to visit the homes of his people. Few could minister 
so well as he the balm of consolation to the aiHicted. His prayers were full, fer- 
vent and comprehensive, abounding in Scriptural language and breathing the spirit 

Vol. IX. 7 



of adoption. Eut it was at Communion seasons that he was most effective, and 
came nearest to God and to the hearts of his people. He appeared then, as one 
of his people said of him, "as an angel of light." It was his custom to have a 
Fast on Thursday, the Preparatory Lecture on Friday, and also a service on Mon- 
day after the Communion. He always wore bands when he administered the Lord's 
Supper. He retained, for some time, the practice of the Scotch churches of giv- 
ing tokens to the communicants, and he gave the token in such a manner as to 
impress the recipient with the great solemnity of the service, sometimes sa3ing, 
as he gave it, — " When you receive this, may you also receive the grace of God 
in your heart." He administered also the sacrament of Baptism with great 
impressiveness, and pointed out to parents their covenant obligations with unusual 
clearness and earnestness. 

Regretting that my time and opportunities have not permitted me to give you 
a more perfect sketch of one whose " memory is blessed " and worthy of all 

I am, Rev. and dear Sir, 

Very truly yours, 



Penn Yan, N. Y., August 17, 1864. 

My dear Sir : I remember very little of m}-- grandfather, but that little is 
all beautiful. He appeared to me when a boy — and the memory is fresh 
to-day — as a true Christian Gentleman. He possessed great benignity of dis- 
position. He was very kindly in his manners, venerable in appearance, and 
dignified in carriage. When he was excited in the pulpit, or out of it in family 
devotion and exhortation, which was in the old Scotch fashion, very common 
in those days, but very rare now, he expressed himself with a natural elegance 
and poAver truly eloquent. If all we leave after us really worth any thing is 
the memory of us, then certainly he left after him a precious and blessed 
legacy in one of the noblest and purest of memories, — one that is more true 
and worthy and really more deserving the monumental pile than that of the 
most successful gainer of earthly glory. 

Very sincerely yours, 



Brockport, N. Y., August 11, 1864. 

Dear Sir: My first recollections of Mr. Oliver began in 1806, when I was 
about five years old. I went with my mother to hear him preach in the old 
Yellow Meeting House. His text was: "Remember now thy Creator in the 
days of thy youth," &c. It was a sermon for children, and the first sermon 
I ever heard. Though my mother had not failed in teaching me the rudi- 
ments of Gospel truth, yet such was the power of the sermon that T resolved 
to be good, to make my salvation sure and to become a Minister. Soon after, 
he came to our house and left there a New England Primer; and we three, 
Joseph, Ellen and myself, began to commit the Catechism to memory. In the 
winter he came to catechise us as a family. I remember that he twice visited 
our school-house to catechise the neighbourhood, when he found it filled with 
parents and children, the parents standing in classes of about ten, and the 
children all seated in a row. He framed his questions so as to have the 
answer he wished, Yes or No. You perhaps may think that I have an uncom- 



mon memory ; but it is not so. The reason is he made his mark on that 
generation. His manner was remarkably kind and gracious, and his heart 
full of love. This was the secret of his power. He was one of the " meek 
of the earth," as his after life clearly demonstrated. Under the greatest 
provocations he possessed his soul in patience. 

His manner in the pulpit was calm, gentle, dignified and persuasive. His 
countenance always brightened when he found his hearers interested in his 
sermon, especially when he spoke to them of the love of Christ, a theme on 
which he always dwelt the longest. He was a profound student of the 
Prophecies. I retain more ideas concerning the "Man of Sin" from him than 
from all other preachers I have ever heard. 

I remember that my mother would often say, as we were seated around the 
table after meeting, — " I wonder if there was any thing forgot or left out of 
the prayer this morning." He was pre-eminently a man of prayer; and 
though there might be a sameness in his prayers in the pulpit that was annoy- 
ing to the worldly, they were full of unction to the godly. 

His manner at Communion was truly impressive. He made the Sacra- 
mental services most solemn and affecting. I remember to have wondered 
why such men as old Deacon Sheldon and such women as old Mrs. "Wilson 
should weep at "the gracious words which he spake;" but it is all plain to me 
now. He made more out of the Abrahamic Covenant than any man I have 
ever heard, and always availed himself of the ordinance of Baptism, to 
enforce the privileges, duties and blessings of that Covenant. He aimed at 
laying the foundation of a Gospel experience in a knowledge of what God has 

I can only add that I am aware that this is a poor copy of the original. 
About the year 1820, soon after I united with his church, his d'eepest 
troubles began. In 1826 I left Springfield, and only visited the place twice 
after that during his life. When I heard of his death I could only exclaim, — 
" How are the mighty fallen and the weapons of war perished !" 

I confess that to begin this was quite an irksome task, for it is a kind of 
work to which I am little accustomed ; and I also confess that in the perform- 
ance of it I have, as in the performance of many other duties, found much 
pleasure ; for it has given me an unexpected opportunity of testifying to the 
worth and excellence of one of God's faithful servants. 

Yours with much respect, 



Pendlkton, N. T., July 9, 1864. 
Rev. and dear Sir : In answer to your request to give you my recollections 
of the Rev. Andrew Oliver, I would say that he was tall in stature and vene- 
rable in appearance. He seemed to be a man of feeble constitution. His 
manners were uniformly mild and agreeable. In conversation he was always 
interesting, yet grave and solemn. His style of preaching was much like that 
of the old Scotch divines, such as Boston and the Erskines. After taking his 
text, he would give a somewhat long introduction, then lay out the several 
heads, and, taking them up separately, would explain and enforce them with 
great clearness and ability, and lastly make the application. Though he 
never used written sermons, yet he was as systematic as any man I ever 
heard. In one branch of ministerial duty he excelled all I have ever known, 
and that is in the administration of the Lord's Supper. This ordinance was 
administered twice a year. He often had the assistance of the Rev. James 
Mairs of Galway on such occasions, and he made Communion seasons more 
solemn and interesting than any I ever witnessed before or since. He made 



it a point to visit all the families in the society twice every year. He would 
give notice from the pulpit that he would visit a certain section on a given 
■week, and so would go through the congregation. Besides this, once every 
year he called the young people together at different times, in different parts 
of the town, for public catechising. In receiving members into the Church he 
was very close and careful in examining each candidate for admission. 
I am, Rev. and dear Sir, 

Your most obedient servant, 




George Mairs was bom at Drumbeg, Monaghan County, Ireland, in 
April, 1761, being the second son by his father's second marriage. Both his 
parents were devout and earnest Christians, and were especially careful in the 
religious training of their children. His father was a linen draper, and originally 
designed this son for the loom. One day, however, being somewhat vexed at 
his son's rather unpromising attempts to become initiated in the mysteries of this 
occupation, he rather abruptly told him to quit it, and never try his hand at it 
again. George, not feeling himself drawn very strongly toward the loom, was 
more than willing to yield to his father's prohibition ; and he remained unsettled 
as to his future course until he had reached his sixteenth year, when his step- 
brother proposed that he should enter upon the study of Latin, and, if he were 
thus disposed, should prepare for the ministry. His brother referred him for 
advice to an elder half-sister, who also had a son of about his age. On being 
consulted, she immediately fell in with the suggestion, and arranged that the two 
should pursue their studies under a private tutor in a room which she caused to 
be fitted up for the purpose in her own house. That young associate in study 
was William McAuley, afterwards a very useful Minister of the Associate 
Reformed Church, in Delaware County, N. Y.; and these two proved the 
nucleus of a school of a dozen boys, nearly all of whom became Ministers of 
the Gospel, and one of whom was the Rev. Joseph Kerr, J). D., who was, for a 
long time, one of the lights of the Associate Reformed Church in Pennsylvania. 

From this preparatory school young Mairs went to the Univoi-sity of Glasgow. 
Here he applied himself to his studies with great diligence, and made very rapid 
progress, especially in the Latin language. Up to this time, though he had been 
designed for the Ministry, he had never been the subject of any permanent reli- 
gious impressions ; but, shortly after entering the University, he became deeply 
sensible of his guilt and ruin, and his mind was so powerfully wrought upon that 
his health failed, and he was obliged, for the time, to quit his studies and return 
home. But it was not long before the clouds which had gathered around him 
passed off", and the peace that passeth understanding gained possession of his soul. 
While he was upon his knees, earnestly supphcating God's gracious interposition 
in his behalf, he seemed to be suddenly lifted into a region of light and glory, 

♦ Christian Instructor, vii. — MS. from his son. Rev. George Mairs. 


and had the new song upon his lips, even the song of praise to a forgiving God. 
He immediately apprised his father of the happy change he had experienced, 
and received from him appropriate counsel and instruction. And now he was 
prepared to return to College, and to pursue his studies with a very different 
spirit from what he had ever done before. Having, in due time, honourably 
completed his college course, he placed himself, as a theological student, under 
the instruction of that great and good man, John Brown of Haddington. 
Here he remained, for some time, engaged almost exclusively in the study of the 
Bible ; and, having completed the prescribed course, he was licensed to preach 
the Gospel by an Associate Presbytery in Ireland. After labouring as a probationer 
for eighteen months, he was ordained and installed in the pastoral charge of the 
Congregation of Cootehill, County of Cavan. Here he laboured with great 
acceptance, and not a few became the hopeful subjects of renewing grace through 
his instrumentality. 

At that time frequent calls for help in spiritual things were heard from some 
of the n:w settlements on this side of the Atlantic. Mr. Mairs, partly from 
sympathy with those here who were destitute of religious privileges, and partly 
from his dislike of the interference of the magistrate in spiritual things, with 
which the Dissenting Churches in his own country had to contend, finally 
resolved on seeking a field of labour in this Western world. Accordingly, on 
the 2d of May, 1793, at a meeting of the Presbytery of Ballybay, he demitted 
his charge, and on the 12th of the same month, sailed for New York, where he 
arrived in August following, being accompanied by his brother, the Rev. James 
Mairs, who afterwards became Pastor of the Associate Reformed Church in 
Galway, N. Y. On the first Sabbath after their arrival, they preached for the 
Rev. John M. Mason, (thj youthful successor of the Rev. Dr. John Mason, 
who had died the year before,) and, by his advice, set out the next day for New 
Perth, (now Salem,) Washington County, the residence of the Rev. James 
Proudfit. There they spent their second Sabbath ; and the subject of this 
sketch, as he came from the pulpit, was not a little affected at finding numbers 
of persons gathering around him, and recognizing in him, with heartfelt joy, the 
minister they had heard in their native land. At the suggestion of Mr. Proud- 
fit, he went, the next week, to a settlement at Galway, Saratoga County, and, 
finding there a people eager for the Word and Ordinances, he prepared the way 
for his brother to enter upon his long and useful ministry in that place. Return- 
ing to Salem, he thence proceeded to the present towns of Hebron and Argyle, 
where churches had been previously organized. Here his preaching met with 
such acceptance that, on the 27th of September, he was unanimously called to the 
united charge, and, on the 14th of November following, was installed as their 
Pastor, his brother preaching the Sermon from II Cor. iv, 5 ; and the Rev. 
James Proudfit delivering the Charges. Thus but a few weeks intervened 
between his leaving his people in Ireland and his being settled with good pros- 
pects of comfort and usefulness in America. 

This charge he held for six years ; during which time he laboured with great 
fidelity and success. By this time the congregations had so increased that each 
was able to support a Pastor, and each wished to remain under his pastoral care. 
Being warmly attached to both, he left the decision to the Presbytery ; and, being 
directed to the Argyle portion, he was shortly afterwards installed over that 



flock. Here he held on the even tenor of his way, labouring noiselessly but faith- 
fully and efficiently, through a long course of years. 

As advancing age brought with it its infirmities, Mr. Mairs at length felt the 
need of having some one to share his labours, and, on the 3d of September, 1823 
he was privileged to see his own son and namesake set apart as his colleague in 
the ministerial office, — this being the first collegiate charge in the history of the 
Associate Reformed Church. During the first five years after this connection was 
formed, he officiated only on Sabbath morning ; and, after that, for five years 
more, he was accustomed to sit in the pulpit, and read the first Psalm that was 
sung, accompanying it with a lecture ; but he did not attempt to preach. At 
length he became too weak to attempt any thing beyond the reading of the Psalm; 
though, as long as he was able to lift his trembling forai into the pulpit, he was 
sure to be there. But he finally reached the weakness of a second childhood, 
and, for the last two or three years of his life, was incapable of any exertion, 
either bodily or mental ; and yet, after his intellect had become a wreck, he 
would sometimes seem to catch a glimpse of the glory beyond the vail. On the 
10th of October, 1841, the day on which the church to which he had ministered for 
almost half a century, were commemorating their Redeemer's death, he was seized 
with violent illness, and, after a brief period of extreme suffering, sunk calmly to 
his rest on the following dny. His Funeral Sermon was preached by the Rev. 
Ebenezer Halley, of Salem, and was pubhshed. 

Mr. Mairs was married, during his settlement in Ireland, to Sarah M'Fadden, 
an intelligent and godly woman, who became the mother of eleven children. She 
died on the 18th of February, 1818. He was united in marriage again, on the 
14th of November, 1825, with Margaret, daughter of Thomas Whiteside, of 
Cambridge, N. Y., who, with one child, survived him. Two of his sons were 
graduated at Union College, and George^ the elder, as has already been stated, 
became his father's colleague and successor. 

Mr. Mairs had a brother, James Mairs, who was a pupil in Theology of John 
Brown of Haddington, came to this country about the year 1793, and shortly 
after became Pastor of the Associate Reformed Congregation of Galway, (now 
West Charlton.) He was a man of urbane and gentlemanly manners, was an 
acceptable preacher, and eminently devoted to his work; but, owing to some 
adverse circumstances, he resigned his pastoral charge about five years before his 
death, and then went to live with his children in the city of New York, where he 
died on the 18th of September, 1840. 


Troy, February 16, 1863. 

My dear Sir : Of the Rev. George Mairs I can speak from a somewhat 
familiar acquaintance, commencing in the year 1818, and continuing till the 
close of his life. My appreciation of his character is such that it is a 
pleasure to me to do any thing to honour and perpetuate his memory. 

Mr. Mairs was a man of low stature, of rather spare habit, with a round 
face, bright eye, and somewhat intellectual expression of countenance. Ilis 
manners were free from all parade and aifectation, and were characterized by 
great suavity, which was evidently the result of the workings of a most kind 
and genial spirit. His Christian character was marked by great purity, 
consistency and devotion ; and to this no doubt was to be referred, in no 
small degree, the success that attended his labours as a Minister. He was 



most conscientious and diligent in the discharge of all his ministerial duties. 
His preparations for the pulpit were most mature and deliberate, and were the 
joint product of the intellect and of the heart ; of careful study and earnest 
prayer. But while each sermon embodied a large amount of Scriptural 
thought, well digested and well arranged, and was therefore suited to the 
taste of the more reflecting and cultivated class of Christians, the style was 
so perspicuous and simple that the most illiterate never hesitated as to his 
meaning. Though his illustrations were chiefly drawn from Scripture, yet 
many of them were from the scenes of every day life ; and were well fitted 
to secure the attention of his hearers. He was especially fond of lecturing 
on the Psalms; and every Sabbath morning through his whole ministry, 
unless there may have been some rare exceptions, he brought David to 
minister to the consolation and spiritual growth of his people. 

Mr. Mairs had uncommon qualifications for the more private duties of the 
pastoral ofiice. Possessing that simplicity of character that disarms suspicion, 
that wisdom that looks well to times and circumstances, that perseverance 
that never wavers or falters at the sight of obstacles, and that mild and 
gentle spirit that attracts and charms all who come within the range of its 
influence, to all which was superadded an earnest devotion to the cause and 
honour of his Master, it is not strange that it became a difficult matter to 
decide whether he accomplished more by his labours in the pulpit or out of 
it. He was particularly attentive to the children of his congregation, and 
could generally call each of them by name. He had catechetical exercises 
one half of the year for the benefit, not merely of the young, but of persons 
of all ages ; and, during the other half, he was occupied in visiting from house 
to house. In making those visits he seemed like a father in the midst of his 
family, exerting himself to the utmost to promote the spiritual improvement 
of every member. He had a most happy talent at keeping his congregation in 
a state of peace; for though he dealt faithfully with wilful offenders, all that 
he did was so manifestly dictated by a spirit of love and good-will that it 
was not easy even for the offenders themselves to find fault. As might have 
been expected under such an influence, his congregation, though large and 
consisting of the usual variety of characters and tempers, was a model of 
harmony and peaceableness. 

He had great influence in meetings of Synod, and his acknowledged good 
judgment, and firmness and integrity generally predisposed the Body in 
favour of any measure he might suggest. Whenever any subject of special 
importance presented itself, he was very likely to be placed at the head of the 
Committee to whom it was referred. All his influence was quiet and noise- 
less, but it was benign and often powerful. 

In his more private and domestic relations he demeaned himself with great 
propriety, dignity and affection. His presence always diffused contentment 
and joy throughout his household. His friends confided in him without 
reserve, and he never deceived or disappointed them. The whole community 
in which he lived reverenced him, and when he died, it seemed as if there was 
mourning in every house. 

With much respect and affection, 

I am, Reverend and dear Sir, yours truly, 



South Easton, N. Y., March 2, 1863. 
My dear Sir : My acquaintance with the Rev. George Mairs began in 1828; 
and well do I remember how deeply I was impressed, on my first introduction 
to him, by his great simplicity of character, and that warmth and benignity 



of heart which glistened in his very eyes, and assured you at once of being in 
the presence of an Israelite indeed in whom there was no guile ; and during 
the many years that followed, whether in private intercourse, or in our 
association as co-presbyters, he appeared uniformly the same as in this first 
interview. It was often my privilege to sit with him in his study, where 
he seemed most at home, and there enjoy those precious seasons of lively 
spiritual communion with him, which were always profitable, but only too 
brief. As I used occasionally to visit him, he would sometimes withdraw me 
from the company in the parlour, by whispering in my ear, — « Let us go to 
the study — we can enjoy ourselves better there ;" and there, indeed, in the 
company of his old friends, as he used to call his favourite Ambrose, Owen, 
Flavel, and other authors, with a living friend also to commune with, he 
seemed in his native element. Stirring up the embers in his fire-place, if the 
weather was cold, and heaping on the wood, — pleasantly remarking at the 
same time that he knew how to build a fire, — ^he would sit and converse for 
hours so delightfully that I scarcely knew how to break away from him. He 
loved to dwell on the goodness of God towards himself all his life long, and 
the happiness he had enjoyed in his family, and among the people committed 
to his care ; and, on one of these occasions, when I referred to the satisfac- 
tion which he must feel in having his son associated with him in the 
ministry, he replied with much feeling that he reckoned that among his 
greatest blessings, and then spoke of a sermon which he had heard him 
preach on the preceding Sabbath, from which he had derived great comfort. 

My first appearance in public, after being licensed to preach the Gospel, 
was in his pulpit. I preached in the morning, which was all I had expected 
to do ; but, in the intermission, he said, — " Now you must preach in the 
afternoon." This I declined on the ground that I was not prepared for 
another service, and was almost certain of a failure if I attempted it. He 
still insisted, remarking, — " There is no fear of you — only have faith ; only 
have faith," he repeated — and preach I did ; and never in my life have T felt 
more freedom and comfort in preaching than I did that afternoon. And often 
since, in hours of weakness and trembling, I have been comforted and 
strengthened by that simple expression of the good father, as if I heard his 
affectionate voice, — only have faith. 

On returning home after the public services of the Sabbath, he would gather 
all his family, including domestics and visitors that might happen to be with 
him, and engage in prayer ; and long shall I remember with what affectionate 
earnestness he commended all present to God, with fervent supplications that 
the word preached that day might be profitable, and that God would prosper 
his own cause in every part of the world. In these scenes of patriarchal 
simplicity and devout fervour, I have been sometimes reminded of Burns' 
inimitable " Cotter's Saturday Night." Such were the candour and honesty 
of that venerable man that the heart of his people trusted in him with the 
utmost confidence ; and when any diflQculty or doubt troubled them, they had 
recourse to him as children to a father. 

I recollect asking him, when we were together in his study, and subse 
quently to my first settlement, how he had succeeded in building up and 
maintaining, almost without a rival establishment, so large and prosperous a 
congregation. He then went into a history or his labours from the very 
first, — stating that, when he came to Argyle, it was comparatively a wilder- 
ness ; and as settlers came in, he sought them out, and made himself 
acquainted with their circumstances and wants, interesting himself in their 
temporal as well as spiritual welfare ; and thus growing up with him, they 
naturally looked to him as their friend and counsellor, and they had never 
'•eased to regard him with feelings of affection and confidence. He had much 



of that quiet good-humour which tends so powerfully to disarm opposition, 
and makes you pleased in spite of yourself. At a meeting of Presbytery, 
held in Dr. Proudfit's house, — an arrangement not uncommon in the winter 
season, I remember he arrived, in breathless haste, just as the Moderator had 
constituted the Court, and the Clerk was commencing to read the names of 
the members. He whispered to me at the door, with great glee, — " Just in 
the nick of time ;" and, on being called to state his reason for absence from 
a former meeting, he said, with all gravity, and in a manner peculiarly his 
own, that he really did not remember what the reason was, but he was sure 
it must have been a good one. 

As a Preacher, he was highly interesting and instructive ; and his illustra- 
tions of Divine truth were frequently so apt and striking that they were little 
likely ever to be forgotten. It was, perhaps, in his prefaces, or " lecturing on 
the Psalms," that he was most distinguished ; and this book of devotion fur- 
nished him an inexhaustible mine from which he dug the purest gold. He 
seemed himself conscious of his superiority here. " James," said he to his 
brother, on one occasion, — " James, you may beat me at preaching, but I can 
beat you on the Psalms." 

I must not omit to say that he was peculiarly happy on Sacramental occa- 
sions. I have heard addresses from him at the table such as I have seldom 
listened to elsewhere. The last time I heard him in public was on such an 
occasion ; and, though feeble in body, his whole soul seemed fired with Divine 
love, as if he had caught a glimpse of the glory hereafter to be revealed. His 
address was founded on the words of Ahasuerus to Esther, — " What wilt 
thou. Queen Esther, and what is thy request .''" And then he proceeded, in 
a manner of which I can convey no adequate idea, to unfold the treasures of 
that Kingdom of Glory which God has prepared for them that love Him; 
saying, with great emphasis, that their happiness was not in receiving the 
half, but the whole, of the Kingdom. 

But Mr. Mairs' sympathies were not all expended upon his own people or 
his own denomination. While heartily approving of his own order, he was 
kind and conciliatory towards those who difiered from him in their views of 
Church polity. The eccentric Lorenzo Dow, who was, at one time, making 
a brief visit to Argyle, received tokens of Mr. Mairs' good-will, and was 
entertained at his house ; and Dow expressed the highest admiration of his 
character. Eminently a man of peace, he not only enjoyed this precious 
blessing in his connection with his own people, throughout his entire ministry, 
but he was always on the alert to restore peace wherever it had been tempo- 
rarily interrupted. He has been known to travel a considerable distance in 
old age, and in the depths of winter, to reconcile parties at variance ; and 
these efforts rarely, if ever, failed of being successful. 

I am very truly yours, 




NoBLESTOWN, Pa., January 6, 1851. 
Rev. and dear Sir ; I have delayed a compliance with your request for some 
time, in consequence of finding more difficulty than I anticipated in collecting the 
materials requisite for such a document as you requested. I have endeavoured 
Vol IX. 8 



to explore the best sources of information concerning Dr. Riddell within my 
reach, and I think you may rely on the authenticity of every thing that I shall 
communicate. In the illustration of his character, as well as in the nan-ative of 
his life, I shall rely chiefly on those who were intimately acquainted with him • 
as it is now twenty-one years since his death, and my own recollections of him 
are not sufficiently distinct or extensive to justify me in trusting exclusively to 
them as the basis of such an account as you desire. 

John Riddell was bom in Monaglian County, Ireland ; and if his age is 
correctly stated on his tomb-stone, he must have been bom in the year 1758. He 
was the oldest of several children, all of whom received a good common school 
education. His parents, Hugh and Jane Riddell, were in easy worldly circum- 
stances, and sustained a fair reputation for industiy, morality and piety. They 
were regular members of a congregation then under the pastoral care of Mr. 
Rogers, a Seceder minister, to whose ability and faithfulness and other good quali- 
ties an aged sister-in-law of Dr. Riddell, now in this country, bears pleasing testi- 
mony. With such parents, and such a Pastor, it is not surprising that the sub- 
ject of this notice should have been religiously educated. The aged lady already 
referred to has informed me that it was an early manifested and superior aptness 
to learn, which induced his parents to bestow upon him a liberal education. She 
states also that he never returned from CoUege at the close of a session without a 
silver medal, — a testimony of his superior proficiency in college studies. 

It is not certainly known, at least by any of his friends on this side of the 
Atlantic, in what year he commenced his collegiate course. His diploma, how- 
ever, shows that he graduated at the University of Glasgow on the 10th of April, 
1782. And it would seem, from a comparison of dates, that, almost, if not alto- 
gether, as soon as he had finished his collegiate course, he commenced, and prose- 
cuted to a successful issue, the study of Theology. This he did under the super- 
vision and instruction of the celebrated John Brown, of Haddington. He was 
licensed to preach on the 14th of June, 1788. On the 18th of November of the 
same year, he was installed Pastor of the congregation in Donaghloney, County 
Down. In this connection he remained till the spring of 171U, when he demitted 
his charge, and migrated to the United States. In August of the same year he 
was installed at Robinson Run, as Pastor of the United Congregations of Rob- 
inson Run and Union, in the vicinity of Pittsburg. As these congregations rap- 
idly increased under his ministry, he was, in a few years, released from the charge 
of Union, and settled, agreeably to his own preference, and to the entire satisfac- 
tion of the people, for the whole of his time, at Robinson Run. The whole 
period of his ministry in this congregation was thirty-five years. 

Dr. Riddell was a man of medium size ; and though aflSicted occasionally with 
sick headache, yet his constitution appears to have been sound and vigorous, and 
aU his motions were light and quick. His visage was rather long and sharp ; his 
eyes were dark and piercing ; his lips thin and slightly compressed. Though not 
of a majestic corporeal appearance, yet there was something commanding in his 
countenance. It betokened independence of mind; it indicated decision and 
energy, and gave an expression of thoughtfiilness. There was something in it, on 
account of which he would have been taken for a student, a man whose principal 
business is thinking — there waf, something in it, too, on account of which he 
would have been taken more readily than some others of the class for a clerical 



He became naturalized not long after his arrival in the United States, and, 
from that time forward, he took a sober but steady interest in the welfare of his 
adopted country. His vote and his influence in other ways, so far as he thought 
proper to exert it, were in favour of the Federalist party, as it was called in those 
days. At some stage in the progress of the war of 1812, he preached a Sermon 
from the words, — " Oh, thou sword of the Lord, how long will it be ere thou be 
quiet ? Put up thyself into thy scabbard, rest and be' stiU. How can it be 
quiet seeing the Lord hath given it a charge against Ashkelon, and against the 
sea-shore? There hath he appointed it." Jer. xlvii, 6, 7. This sermon 
was not preached on the Sabbath day, and, as it touched somewhat on politics, it 
was, as might have been expected, not universally acceptable. 

Dr. Riddell was twice married, — once in Ireland and once in his adopted 
country. A Miss Margaret Arnold was the object of his first choice. She 
died about eleven years after his arrival in the United States. His second wife 
was a Mrs. Gabby, originally a Miss Mitchell, of Washington County, Pa. He 
reared a family of ten children, five by his first wife, and five by his second. 
His widow and most of his children are still living. One of his sons, John^ 
graduated at Jefferson College, studied Law, and became somewhat eminent as a 
practitioner at the Bar, — first at Greensburgh, and then at Erie, Pa. His career 
of usefulness was cut short by a lingering illness, terminating in death. Another 
son, George^ studied Medicine, and another still, Joseph K., the youngest member 
of his family, studied Theology, but is not now in the exercise of the ministry. 

Dr. Riddell was as quick as almost any other man in his discernment of what 
propriety required in any case, and he was prompt in obeying the dictates of a 
sound judgment, a generous disposition, a warm heart, a discriminating taste. 
He could accommodate himself to persons of aU capacities, and, so far as it miglit 
be innocently done, to people of every character, taste and employment. He 
never forgot, however, the sacredness and lofty bearing of his calling ; he never 
sacrificed, for the sake of making himself agreeable to any, the sobriety and 
gravity for which his religion and ofiice called. He seemed to act on the prin- 
ciple that all with whom he had any intercourse must understand that he was an 
Ambassador of Christ as well as a man, an acquaintance, a scholar. Though 
disposed to maintain his social as well as civil rights, yet he was not supercilious, 
and he would have scorned meanness as well as injustice. He could utter a 
seasonable and delicate jest, and could appreciate genuine wit in others. As to 
manners, he had evidently read and studied a greater than Chesterfield, even 
Him who has said, — " Therefore all things, whatsoever ye would that men should 
do to you, do ye even so to them ; " and who has taught his followers to be 
" pitiful " and " courteous ; " tu be " kind one to another, tender-hearted, for- 
giving one another." 

His ministerial career extended through a period of forty-one years. It was 
characterized by diligence, faithfulness, zeal and courage. It was probably not 
long after his settlement at Donaghloney, that he went, at the request of an 
English gentleman, residing in that quarter, into the County of Mayo, in the 
Province of Connaught, to spend a few days there in preaching. This Province 
was almost exclusively Romanist, and it is easy to see the efiect which his minis- 
try would produce in such a community. When it was thought proper that he 
should return home, his English friend accompanied him a few miles, placed 
several guineas in his hand, and told him to make all the haste possible, as the 



Romanists would doubtless pursue him. They did pursue him, and, at one time 
when his horse stumbled and partly fell, and of course lost some time in recover- 
ing his position and velocity, they were so near that some of the stones which 
they cast, fell within a short distance of him. However, he managed to keep 
in advance of them, and finall}'^ got clear of them altogether; but the race cost 
the life of his noble steed. 

When Dr. Riddell ckme to the United States, he connected himself with that 
branch of the visible Kingdom of Christ, known then, as it still is, as the Asso- 
ciate Reformed Church. This Body had sprung into existence between the years 
1780 and 1783, and was therefore in its infancy when he became a member of 
it. It passed through a period of great perplexity and trouble, betwixt the years 
1811 and 1819 ; and Dr. Riddell t<x)k an active part in the management of its 
affairs, and did much to promote its enlargement and prosperity, as well as to 
preserve its distinctive character. He was amongst those who opposed, during the 
period referred to, some of the proceedings of the General Associate Reformed Synod, 
and who finally, in 1820, resolved to constitute themselves into an independent Synod, 
to be designated by the title of the " Associate Reformed Synod of the West." 
This was, in fact, the act of a subordinate Synod already in existence, — the Synod 
of Scioto, of which Dr. Riddell was a member. He was, from the first moment 
of his connection with the Body, zealously devoted to the constitution and stand- 
ards of the Associate Reformed Church, with the final discussion and settlement 
of some parts of which, in the year 1799, he had something to do. He was an 
excellent member of Ecclesiastical Courts, having a peculiar talent for business, 
and being, at the same time, deeply interested in whatever seemed, in his view, 
to promise any advantage to the cause of truth and godliness. 

He was a close student. Instead of retaining, as many have done, the 
peculiarities of pronunciation, style and method, which may have prevailed in 
his native country, at the time when he received his education, he conformed, 
in the literary quahties of his conversation and public exhibitions, to the country 
in which he lived, and he kept pace with the improvements of the age. His 
prevailing style of preaching is said to have been argumentative. He is admitted, 
by all who knew him, to have been an apt and acute disputant, a sound and 
judicious reasoner, and he was called, at least on one occcsion, to try his powers 
in a public discussion of some points still in controversy betwixt Calvinists and 
Arminians. He was not, however, incapable of managing, to good effect, a 
pathetic subject ; and though he never gained the reputation of being an orator, 
yet he could exercise considerable control over the feelings of an audience. His 
gesticulation was not always the most appropriate or graceful ; yet his whole man- 
ner was indicative of earnestness, and he generally secured attention. I have 
often heard intelligent and pious men say, — " If you wish to have a difficult 
subject ably investigated and lucidly argued, employ Dr. Riddell." This shows 
in what his strength was supposed chiefly to He. 

He prepared for the pulpit with much care. Though the farm on which he 
lived, and which he owned, was large, consisting of about four hundred acres, yet 
he did not consume much of his own time in looking after it. He was mostly 
employed either in his study, or in the transaction of some business connected 
with his profession and office. He generally wrote his sermons, though he made 
no use of his manuscript or of notes in the pulpit. His memory, naturally good, 
was well trained, and he never appeared to have any difficulty in commanding 


the thoughts which he had previously committed to paper. He did not confine 
himself to any one manner of treating a text. His divisions were sometimes 
textual, but more frequently they were topical. It was an evidence of the high 
estimation in which his acquu-ements were held, that the Trustees of Washington 
College, Pa., conferred on him, several years before his death, the degree of 
Doctor of Divinity. 

He was an excellent Pastor as well as an instructive Preacher. He was 
frequent in pastoral visitations and in catechetical instructions amongst his 
people. He was attentive to the sick, not only of his own congregation but of 
the community at large ; and his conversation with the subjects of affliction of any 
kind was not only instructive but affectionate and impressive. 

That he was not, and is not, more extensively known, in the Christian world, 
may be owing, in part at least, to the fact that none of the productions of his pen 
were ever published. It is thought that if he had lived a few years longer, he 
would have published a work on the subject of Religious Covenanting, as he has 
left behind him a large, though unfinished, manuscript on that subject. It has 
been examined by at least one competent judge, who has pronounced it to be 
worthy, so far as it goes, of its author. 

Dr. Riddell had failed as little as almost any other man, when he was attacked 
by his last illness. The last public business to which he attended was the per- 
formance,, a few miles from his own residence, of the marriage ceremony. He 
came home unwell, and became gradually worse, until the 4th of September, 1829, 
when he was released from his sufferings and taken to his eternal rest. He died 
of dysentery, in the seventy-second year of his age. He was confined thirty-one 
days, and at times suffered very much; but still he had, for the most part, the 
full use of his reason, in the exercise of which, and through the assistance of 
Divine grace, he " let patience have her perfect work," and waited in faith and 
hope the pleasure of his Master. Sensible of his own unworthiness, he relied 
upon the merits of Christ, and expired in the firm belief of the Gospel, and in 
the rich and sweet enjoyment of its consolations. His remains, on the day after 
his decease, were followed to the grave by a very great number of people, many 
of whom felt that they had sustained a loss which could not be easily made up, 
and amongst whom the general impression was that a star of no mean lustre had 
disappeared from the firmament of the moral and ecclesiastical world. 

Yours with great respect, 



Newburgh, June 26, 1862. 

My dear Sir ; My recollections of Dr. Riddell, though they date back to my 
eaily days, are still alike vivid and grateful. When I was at College I used 
sometimes to walk out to his church, a distance of six miles, to attend the 
Communion ; and, on these occasions, I sometimes slept at his house. I had 
considerable acquaintance with him also, while I was a student of Theology, 
and had the opportunity of observing particularly his wisdom and energy, as 
they were displayed in the Presbytery. My personal knowledge of him ceased 
almost entirely when I was licensed to preach ; but the impression he made 
upon me has thus far shown itself proof against the lapse of time. 

Dr. Riddell's personal appearance was not imposing. He was rather beneath 
the common height, and within the common breadth ; but his face, though 
rather inclined to be grave, was pleasant, and his eye penetrating. His man- 



ners were urbane and gentlemanly, and reflected what he undoubtedly pos 
sessed, — a spirit of great benevolence and candour. His mind was of a very 
superior order. He thought clearly, logically, profoundly; and he generally 
reached his conclusions by so luminous a path that it was not easy success- 
fully to gainsay them. As a Preacher, he commanded great attention by his 
felicitous exhibition of Divine truth, and especially by his well-considered 
trains of argument. My impression is that he never carried a manuscript into 
the pulpit ; but his thoughts were well-arranged in his mind, and he could 
expand them to any extent, and with great power. His mind, naturally fer- 
tile and inventive, had been subjected to very careful and thorough discipline ; 
and it was difficult to place him in any circumstances, or present before him 
any subject, in respect to which he was not quite at home. I remember, on 
one occasion, witnessing the evidence of his high intellectual resources at 
a Communion season in his church. I had gone out with two or three 
of my friends, not only to be present at the Communion, but to attend 
the preparatory exercises on the preceding days. Dr. Riddell had made 
arrangements, as he supposed, to secure the presence and aid of one or two of 
his brethren, in the services of the occasion ; but, by a misunderstanding, or 
from some other cause, no one came to his help. Thursday, Friday, Saturday 
came, and the exercises of each successive day devolved exclusively upon him- 
self. The Sabbath came, and still he was without a helper. As the church 
to which he ministered was large, there was occasion to serve the table several 
times; and each time he introduced a fresh argument for the celebration of 
the ordinance. There was a richness, an appropriateness, an originality, a 
variety, in the addresses which he successively delivered, and which were evi- 
dently the unstudied efl'usiona of his prolific mind, that marked him as an 
extraordinary man. I never knew of his proving inadequate to any emer- 
gency that he was called to meet. 

I hardly need add, after the statements already made, that Dr. Riddell had 
great control in the ecclesiastical affairs of his denomination, and indeed 
exerted a powerful influence in society at large. He was a man of great 
shrewdness in worldly matters, and had unusual tact and skill in the manage- 
ment of property. He used sometimes to let some of his parishioners have 
the benefit of his sagacity in this line, and some even charged him with being 
more of a lawyer than was consistent with entire devotion to his professional 
duties. There was nothing, however, I believe, that interfered with his minis- 
terial reputation or usefulness. 

Fraternally yours, 





President of Erskine College, Due West, S. C. 

Due "West, S. C, December 8, 1850 
Dear Sir: Your request for some account of my venerated father I will 
endeavour to comply with, though I confess to some embarrassment in doing it, 
growing out of my near relationship to the person of whom I am to write. 

John Hemphill was born in the County of Derry, Ireland, in the year 
1761. His father, John Hemphill, visited this country in his youth, but, for 



some reason, returned to Ireland and remained there. Subsequently to his 
return, he was married, and became the father of two sons, both of whom 
migrated to this country. One of them settled in -South Carolina, and the 
other enlisted in the American army during the struggle for Independence, and is 
supposed to have fallen in the battle of Brandywine. The mother of these sons 
having died, their father contracted a second marriage with Margaret, a daughter 
of William Ramsey. By this marriage he had four children, three sons and one 
daughter. The three sons (one of whom is the subject of this sketch) came 
to America, and all settled in Chester District, S. C. The daughter was mar- 
ried in Ireland, and remained, so far as is known, on her native soil. 

The father of these children is represented as one of the strictest of the 
Covenanters ; — so strict that he would break rather than bend from his perpen- 
dicular position. " He viewed the Crown of England" (writes a grandson) " as 
stained with the blood of our Reforming Fathers, and carried his testimony so 
far that he refused to pay the taxes imposed by the Government, and allowed 
his property to be taken and sold to pay his tax, rather than compound (as it 
was called.") Several letters addressed to his son John, prove him to have 
been a man of good sense and solid principles, and of strong parental affection. 
His son was a strict Covenanter before leaving Ireland, but, on reaching this 
country, was induced to connect himself with the Associate Reformed Synod, 
then recently formed. His father, in one of his letters to him, suggests a doubt 
in regard to the propriety of this step, but, after all, refers the ultimate decision 
to his own judgment and conscience. 

Notwithstanding the excellent advantages for religious instruction which my 
father enjoyed under the parental roof, he determined, while he was yet at an 
early age, to leave his native country, and seek a home on this side the Atlantic. 
He landed at Philadelphia, shortly after the close of the American Revolution, 
destitute of funds, having but a single guinea to procure either the comforts or 
the necessaries of life. He was a tailor by trade ; and, by untiring industry and 
rigid economy, he secured funds, and along with them friends, and eventually 
made his way to South Carohna, to the residence of his half-brother. Here he 
plied his needle, and likewise commenced his classical course, having obtained a 
common English education before he left Ireland. He began the study of Latin 
in Chester District ; and an old drunkard, by the name of Warnock, taught him 
his first lessons ; but his education, preparatory to entering College, 'svas obtained 
chiefly under the direction of Dr. Alexander, of York District. 

After finishing his preparatory course, he repaired to Dickinson College, Car- 
lisle, then under the Presidency of the venerable Dr. Nisbet ; but he seems to have 
been so far advanced in his studies that he was enabled to join the Senior class. 
His history at this period, and for some time afterwards, is contained in the fol- 
lowing extract of a letter addressed to me by the Rev. Dr. McJimsey, of your 
State, who was my father's intimate associate in College : — 

'' My first personal acquaintance with your father took i>lace at Dickinson Colle7;e, 
Carlisle. We were in the same class and graduated in May, 1792; although he was 
several years older than myself. Of his classical attainments I possess no definite 
knowledge; as our studies in the class were of a philosophical character; and we 
were chiefly occupied in hearing and writing the Lectures delivered by the Profess- 
ors. His general standing, as a scholar, I am sure, was respectable; while his attain- 
ments in scriptural and theological knowledge probably exceeded those of any other 
in the class ; and it was one of the largest that had graduated. 



*'0n leaving College, we spent some time together, in the study of Hebrew and 
Theology, under the instruction of the Rev. Alexander Dobbin, near Gettysburg, 
York County, now Adams. He pursued and completed his theological studies after- 
wards with the Rev. Matthew Lind, of Greencastle. 

" We delivered our first trial discourses before the First Presbytery of Pennsyl- 
vania, at Big Spring, in August, 1793. and were licensed together in May, 1794, — 
the Rev. Robert Annan, Moderator, who gave us the Charge. 

" As your father was to go on a mission to South Carolina, and myself to Ken- 
tucky, it was judged proper that our Ordination should take place in October follow- 
ing, at Greencastle. His, accordingly, did take place; but mine, at my own urgent 
request, was deferred. The members of Presbytery present on the occasion were 
the Rev. Messrs. Lind, Dobbin and Young. We then parted in cordial friendship, 
and, as our fields of labour in the Lord's vineyard were remote from each other, we 
had little opportunity afterwards for personal or ministerial i;,tercourse. We had 
the pleasure of seeing each other occasionally at the meetings of Synod. The last 
letter I received from him affected me deeply, as he stated that he felt sensibly the 
infirmities of age, and that his memory had greatly failed him. Our mutual attach- 
ment was most cordial and lasting. I esteemed him as a faithful and excellent friend, 
— of unquestionable integrity and piety, of a clear understanding and sound judg- 
ment, zealous for the truth, and ready to defend it on all occasions, — of which he 
furnished a good specimen in his pamphlet on "The Duty and Occasions of Fasting." 

After his Ordination at Greencastle he repaired to the South, and spent the 
winter and spring of 1794—95, preaching chiefly in vacant congregations, and 
returned to Greencastle in May, 1795. 

In 1794 he was married to Jane, a daughter of the Rev. Matthew Lind, who 
had been his theological instructor. His family was left at Greencastle during 
his first visit to the South, but, in the fall of 1795, he removed to the South, 
taking with him his family, consisting of a wife and an infant daughter. The 
connection was a happy one to him, though not of very long continuance, as it 
was terminated by the death of his wife in 1809. Notwithstanding she is repre- 
sented as having been a devoted Christian, yet, like some other good people, she 
seems to have been troubled on her death-bed with distressing doubts in respect 
to her spiritual state ; but, before the final struggle took place, her doubts were 
all dissipated, and her soul was filled with the most ecstatic joy. 

Being bereft of his partner and left with a large family, my father found it 
necessary ere long to seek another companion. Accordingly, in 1811, about two 
years after the death of his first wife, he was married to Mary, the widow of Dr. 
Andrew Hemphill, a physician of the same name, but not a relative. She was 
the daughter of Colonel Nixon, who fell in a skirmish with the Tories during 
the Revolutionary struggle. She still survives, but bears the marks of care and 
age. She proved an affectionate wife and a good stepmother. 

My father was installed Pastor of Hopewell, Union and Ebenezer, in the year 
1796. In this connection he remained until a short time before his death, when 
his charge was demitted to Presbytery. In his ministrations he was assiduous, 
faithful and energetic. 

The following extract of a letter, from an excellent Ruling Elder, sets forth, 
in rather an unpolished but yet truthful manner, his character as a Christian 
Minister, and the estimation in which he was held by his brethren : 

' Your father was not an orator ; but all those who valued the matter were well 
pleased with his preaching. His practice was to explain a Psalm, or part of one, in 
the morning, in which he was practical and excellent. In the summer he frequently 
lectured in the forenoon and preached in the evening. He was considered a syste- 
matic and thorough Divine, and a great reasoner. No man was more punctual in 
family visitation and in catechising the children and others; in conversing and pray- 
ing with and for them; and, as to attending meetings of Presbytery and Synod, 
there was no one who was more faithful, or whose opinions were more looked up to 



by his brethren. When he was providentially prevented from attending, they felt 
as if the Head was missing. In fact, he was an able and faithful Minister of the 
New Testament, always ready and willing to oppose innovations or errors, let them 
come from what quarter they might." 

To this I may add that he was probably one of the best disciplinarians in the 
Synod; and his congregations, especially that of Hopewell, among whose 
members he resided, was perhaps under better regulations than almost any 
congregation in the State. Societies were formed in its different sections, and 
meetings were held in turn at the houses of the members on Sabbaths when 
there were no exercises at the church. The exercises of the Societies on these 
occasions consisted in reading the Scriptures and Sermons, in prayer and praise, 
and in catechetical instruction to both old and young, both the Shorter and Larger 
Catechisms being used. The Elders drilled the young people in the same Cate- 
chisms at church. In this way they became well acquainted with the doctrines 
of the Gospel, and they have generally proved to be substantial members, in 
whatever portion of the Church their lot has been cast. Many of them have 
removed to other States, and are now found, in considerable numbers, in the 
Associate Reformed Congregations of the West and North-west. 

Though my father was, as his Elder has justly remarked, not reckoned an 
orator, yet he was not otherwise than an acceptable speaker. His attention was 
directed more to the matter than the manner. His power lay in argumentation, 
rather than in polished thoughts or pathetic appeals. He appears to have 
written out many of his sermons in the early part of his ministry ; but in the 
latter part he satisfied himself with notes more or less copious. His sermons 
were more after the Boston and Erskine style than according to the fashion of 
the modern pulpit. 

His constitution was firm and vigorous, and consequently he was enabled to 
endure much fatigue without exhaustion or injury. He frequently rode to one 
of his churches, (Union,) sixteen miles distant, on Sabbath morning, explained 
the Psalm and preached two sermons, and returned home the same evening. 

He published nothing, so far as I know, except the Essay, above alluded to 
by Dr. McJimsey, on Religious Fasting, which, with an Appendix, consists of 
a hundred and sixty pages. 

Being at Jefferson College at the time of his death, I am indebted to others 
for my knowledge of his closing scene. For several weeks previous to his 
demise, he was in a low and helpless condition ; and, during this time, he was 
scarcely capable of holding any conversation. His mind, it seems, had lost its 
activity, and a sort of mental stupor had ensued. In consequence of this, his 
friends were denied the privilege of listening to his dying testimony in favour 
of the Gospel he had loved and preached, but the remembrance of his devoted 
Christian life remained to tliem, and in it they found the best of all evidence 
that he entered into rest. He died on the 30th of May, 1832, in the seventy- 
first year of his age. 

By his first marriage my father had three sons and four daughters ; and by 
his second, three sons and one daughter. Of the daughters but one (of the 
first wife) survives. Two of the sons have been removed by death. Three of 
them are graduates of Jefferson College. Hon. John Hemphill, Chief Justice 
of Texas, was, probably, the first graduate of that institution from South 
Carolina. James Hemphill, Esq., the eldest son by the second marriage, 
graduated at the same institution in 1833, and is now a practising attorney in his 
Vol. IX. 9 



native district ; and I was myself a member of the same class, and received 
my degree at the same time. From the same institution at which his sons were 
educated my father received the degree of Doctor of Divinity in 1828. 

Hoping that the above sketch will answer your purpose, and wishing you 
entire success in your laudable attempt to preserve the memory of devoted 
ministers of the Gospel, who now rest from their labours, 

I am, My dear Sir, yours in the bonds of Christian affection, 



Sparta, III., February 26, 1852. 

Dear Sir : I cheerfully comply with the request contained in your letter 
which has just come to hand. I was born in Dr. Hemphill's Conoregation ; 
but before I had arrived at the age of eighteen, my father removed to the 
State of Ohio. Dr. H. was of about the ordinary stature, — rather slender, — 
what would generally be called a "handsome man." His countenance mdi- 
cated cheerfulness, kindness, benevolence. In a controversial pamphlet 
having a bearing upon the union in which the Associate Reformed Church 
had its origin, I remember, he was designated, not with a sneer but in since- 
rity, " the amiable Mr. Hemphill." He was eminently a devout man. He 
frequently lodged at the house of my grandfather, who was a member of 
Session in a remote branch of his congregation. When a lad, like other 
grandchildren, I used to stay at my grandfather's ; and having accidentally 
discovered the " solitary place," to which Dr. II. retired for secret prayer, I 
crept up so near that I could hear him, impelled by no higher motive than 

Having left the South at so early a period of life, my estimate of his mental 
character and ministerial qualifications is founded chiefly in the opinion of 
others, who were long and intimately acquainted with him, some of whom 
were his co-presbyters, — and from at least one production of his pen. In his 
more youthful days he was considered about on a par with the late Dr. Mason, 
of New York, as an expounder of Scripture, though he never possessed much of 
Dr. M.'s popular eloquence. Not having been lanuched into deep waters, — his 
situation not furnishing the same inducements to a very high order of mental 
effort, he could not be expected to keep pace with Dr. Mason. He seldom did 
an imprudent thing, and I am not aware that, under any combination of 
circumstances, he was ever induced to take a step, which impaired, in any 
degree, the confidence which his Christian friends reposed in him. Notwith- 
standing he was perhaps even strenuous in his religious views, and was a very 
staunch advocate of the peculiarities of the Associate Reformed Church, he 
still enjoyed, in a high degree, the esteem of good people of other Christian 
denominations around him. I have been credibly informed that young minis- 
ters of the General Assembly Presbyterian Church, and of the minor Presby- 
terian denominations, frequently sought his advice in matters of ecclesiastical 
polity and discipline. 

I understand that you intend publishing a notice of Doctors Riddell 
and Kerr, of the Monongahela country. Compared with Dr. Kerr, — 
Dr. Hemphill's mind was more logical; he was a more close and pro- 
found thinker^ but inferior as a pulpit orator. Had Dr. Kerr been settled 
in New York or Philadelphia in his youth, he would have ranked with the 
Masons, Romeyns, Milledolers, &c. Compared with Dr. Riddell, Dr. Hemp- 
hill's mind was less adapted to manage questions of subtle casuistry — his 
style was less polished and classical, though he was considered a more pro 



found scholar and theologian. In respect of popular talent, they were about 
on an equality. 

In what follows you will of course make allowance for the partiality which 
a person always feels for the place of his nativity. I have had some acquaint- 
ance with all the Presbyterian denominations of the West, and in the middle 
Atlantic States, but if I am not mistaken, there was long a prevailing type of 
piety in Hopewell, (Dr Hemphill's congregation,) different from, — superior to 
what has come within my knowledge, any where else. Though every where 
there are congregations which contain a few, and sometimes more than a few, 
individuals, who are perhaps equally devoted. Near the beginning of the 
present century, ministers of another denomination, who had travelled exten- 
sively, were known to say that there was more serious practical piety there 
than in any congregation with which they were acquainted. Its members were 
numerous, and they were communing members — adherents were hardly known. 
But as they did not possess much wealth, and were generally a plain and 
unlettered people, they " dwelt alone and were not numbered among the 
nations." This tone of piety may be traced to two causes — First, the origmal 
founders of the church were generally from the North of Ireland, who had 
not only read their Bibles, but were intimately acquainted with the writings 
of Flavel, Owen, Boston, &c. Second, to the influence of Dr. Thomas Clark, 
who organized the congregation ; of Rev. John Boyce,* a pious and pathetic 
preacher, who was its first Pastor ; and, finally, to that of Dr. Hemphill. 
Old Hopewell has three daughters, in the West, who bear her name ; one of 
which, previous to its division into three congregations, excelled the mother in 
wealth, numbers and Christian efficiency, though perhaps, from her dwelling 
places, there were, at no time, so many effectual fervent prayers sent up to 
the throne of grace. 

Respectfully yours, 





Alexander Prottdfit was the fourth son of the Rev. James Proudfit, 
and was bom at Pequea, Pa., in November, 1770. In his boyhood he 
was distinguished for vivacity, activity and resolution. In his thirteenth year he 
removed, with his father's family, to Salem, N. Y., and soon after began his pre- 
paration for College, under the instruction of Mr. Thomas Watson, a Scotchman, 
who had a high reputation as a classical teacher. Here he remained till the 
year 1785, — not far from two years, — when he was removed to an Academy at 
Hackensack, N. J., then under the care of that eminent scholar and teacher, Dr. 
Peter Wilson. His connection witli this school continued till March, 1789, when 
he became a member of the Sophomore class in Columbia College, New York. 
Dr. Wilson, at the same time, became Professor of Languages in that institution ; 

* The father of John Boyce emigrated from Ireland about the time of the Revolution- 
ary War, and settled in what was called the Long Lane Settlement in South Carolina. 
He graduated at Dickinson College in 1787 ; studied Divinity under the Rev. Matthew 
Lind, of Greencastle, Pa., and was the first Pastor of Hopewell congregation, Chester 
District, S. C. He died of consumption after a very brief ministry. He was highly 
esteemed both as a Man and a Minister. 

t Memoir by Rev. Dr. Forsyth. — MS. from his son, Rev. Dr. John Proudfit. 



and Mr. Proudfit continued to reside in his family, as he had done previous to 
his removal. There existed the most intimate relations between the venerable 
te?X3her and his pupil, until they were broken by death. 

Mr. Proudfit was graduated in 1792, with the highest honours of his class. 
He had made a public profession of religion about the time that he entered Col- 
lege, with an intention of devoting himself to the ministry ; bnt, soon after he 
graduated, his purpose in regard to a profession began to waver, and it was chiefly 
through the influence of his friend, the Rev. Dr. John Mason, that he was pre- 
vented from marking out for himself a diflerent course of life. He soon entered 
on the study of Theology, under the direction of his father ; and, after having 
remained at home one year, returned to New York, to avail himself of the The- 
ological Lectures of the late Rev. Dr. John H. Livingston, then Professor of 
Divinity in the Reformed Dutch Church. He was hcensed to preach on the 7th 
of October, 1794, at Galway, N. Y., by the Presbytery of Washington, of which 
his father was a member. 

About three months after Mr. Proudfit's licensure he was called, by the con- 
gregation of Salem, to settle as colleague with his father. This call he accepted, 
and was ordained, and installed in that charge, on the 13th of May, 1795. 

On the 2d of October, 1796, he was married to Susan, daughter of General 
John Williams, of Salem, — a lady of fine intellectual, moral and Christian 
qualities, who had received her education partly under that eminent female 
teacher, Mrs. Isabella Graham. 

In the autumn of 1802, while Dr. John M. Mason was in Europe sohciting 
funds in aid of the Theological Seminary founded by the Associate Reformed 
Church, Mr. Proudfit, by appointment of Synod, supplied his pulpit about two 
months. During this time he laboured for the promotion of the spiritual interests 
of the congregation with as much zeal and dihgence as if he had been their stated 

In 1812 he was honoured with the degree of Doctor of Divinity from both 
Middlebury and Williams Colleges. 

In June, 1819, he was elected Associate Professor with Dr. Mason in the 
Theological Seminary of the Associate Reformed Church. He accepted the 
appointment ; but, as the session commenced in November, he had little time to 
prepare for the arduous duties which he thereby assumed. His connection with 
the institution seems to have been a source of considerable disquietude to him, 
and it continued only during a single session. 

In 1821 Dr. Proudfit experienced various severe trials, one of which was a 
greatly reduced state of health. In consequence of this he was obliged to 
abstain from preaching a considerable time, during which he was occupied chiefly 
in travelling in New England. After some months his health was so frir restored 
that he was able to resume his accustomed labours. 

The Theological Seminary in the Associate Reformed Church, after a suspen- 
bion of its operations for seven years, was at length revived and established at 
Newburgh ; and, during the summer of 1833, as well as at a later period. Dr. 
Proudfit was occupied, so far as his other engagements would permit, in 
endeavouring to farther the interests of that institution. In 1835 the Synod 
appointed him Professor of Pastoral Theology ; and, for a while, he entertained 
the idea that he might be able to spend so much time at Newburgh, during each 
session of the Seminary, as would suffice for the delivery of a brief course of 


Theological Lectures ; but, finding this to be impracticable, he resigned his office 
in 1837. He, however, still retained a deep interest in the institution, and often 
took part in the examination of its students. 

Towards the close of the year 1833 he was earnestly requested, by the Yoimg 
Men's Bible Society in the city of New York, to assist them in raising a con- 
siderable sum, for which they had become responsible, to aid the circulation of 
the Scriptures in foreign lands. He yielded to their request, and, at a most 
inclement season, undertook and performed this important service. The Society 
testified their grateful estimate of his labours in a series of Resolutions, the 
most honourable to his zeal and fidelity. 

In 1835 Dr. Proudfit was chosen Secretary to the New York Colonization 
Society ; and he immediately solicited and received a dismission from his pastoral 
charge with a view to accept the appointment. His congregation, in the accept- 
ance of his resignation, manifested the highest appreciation of his services and 
the most afiectionate respect for his character. 

Having laboured in the cause of Colonization with most untiring zeal until 
1841, Dr. Proudfit tendered the resignation of his office as Secretary of the Soci- 
ety ; but, by the urgent request of the Executive Committee, was induced to 
retain the office till near the close of the next year. 

In retiring from the service of the Colonization Society, it was by no means 
Dr. Proudfit's intention to withdraw altogether from the field of active Christian 
effort. He had still two objects which he was earnestly desirous of accomplishing 
— one was the bringing out of a new edition of his works, chiefly with a view to 
circulation in the destitute portions of our country ; the other was the raising of 
an amount sufficient for the liquidation of the debt of the Theological Seminary 
at Newburgh. But these favourite objects it was not the design of Providence 
that he should five to accomplish. Shortly after he resigned his office, in the win- 
ter of 1842-43, he began to suffer from a serious affection of the eyes, which 
not only rendered him incapable of active labour, but confined him to his house, 
and almost entirely to his room. He, however, recovered from this affection, and, 
for a short time, both his health and spirits seemed to have regained their accus- 
tomed vigour. He had now taken up his residence with his son (Professor 
Proudfit,) at New Brunswick, N. J.; and he set out fi*om home with a view to 
visit the Rev. Dr. Forsyth, of Newburgh, and assist him during a state of special 
religious interest in his congregation. He had reached New York, with the inten- 
tion of going to Newburgh the next day ; but when the next day came, he found 
himself so unweU that he judged it expedient to return to New Brunswick rather 
than proceed on his journey. He did accordingly return ; and, on his arrival, 
immediately betook himself to his chamber, which he never left until he was car- 
ried from it a corpse. His disease proved to be a catarrhal fever, which, after a 
rapid course, terminated fatally, on the 17th of April, 1843. He was in full 
possession of his faculties to the last, and his sufferings and death were full of 

Dr. Proudfit was the father of four children, — three sons and a daughter. His 
eldest son, John^ was graduated at Union College in 1821 ; entered the ministry ; 
was for several years Pastor of a Presbyterian Church in Newburyport, Mass.; 
and has since been a Professor, successively, in the New York University and 
Rutgers College. The second son, James Ouoen, was graduated at Union College 



in 1824, became a merchant in New York, and died at the house of his brother 
in New Brunswick, November 23, 1846, at the age of foi-ty-one. 
The following is a list of Dr. Proudfit's publications : — 

The Gospel designed for all Nations: A Sermon preached before the 
Northern Missionary Society, at their Annual Meeting in Troy, and 
afterwards, by particular request, in Albany, - - - - 1798 

An Act on the Kingly Authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, prepared by 

order of the Associate Reformed Synod, - - - - 1798 

The Spiritual Steward : A Sermon preaclied in New York at the Open- 
ing of the Associate Reformed Synod, ----- 1802 

The One Thing Needful: In six Practical Discourses, designed for 

the Inhabitants of the Frontier Settlements, - - - - 1804 

The Female Labourer in the Gospel, [This was re-published in Edinburgh.] 1805 

The Barren Fig Tree cut do^vn — also the Healing Balm administered to 

the Diseased Soul : Two Lectures. A New Year's Gift, - - 1806 

The Ruin and Recovery of Man, in Sixteen Discourses : For Frontier 

Settlements, 1806 

Our Danger and Duty: Two Sermons delivered on the Fast Day 
appointed by the Associate Reformed Presbytery of Washington, on 
account of the alarming aspect of affairs in our country, - - 1808 

Ministerial Labour and Support : A Sermon preached at IMiddlebury at 
the Ordination of Henry Davis, D.D., and his Induction as President 
of the CoUege, 1810 

Life and Immortality brought to Light in the Gospel : The Substance 

of Two Discourses delivered in the North Dutch Church, Albany, 1815 

Discourses on the Doctrines and Duties of Christianity, - - - 1815 

Tidings of Great Joy for all People : A Sennon preached before the 

Washington County Bible Society, ----- 1816 

The Extent of the Missionary Field a Call for the Increase of Mis- 
sionary Labourers : A Sermon preached before the Middlebury Col- 
lege Society for Educating Indigent Youth for the Gospel Ministry, - 1817 

Personal Sobriety, Righteousness to Man, and Piety to God, our Duty, 
Glory and Interest : A Sermon preached in the South Dutch Church, 
Albany, before a Convention of Delegates from Moral Societies in the 
State of New York, 1820 

Ministerial Duty and Encouragement : A Sermon preached in Cambridge, 

at the Ordination of Mr. Donald C. McLaren, - - - - 1820 

Lectures on the Parables, ------- 1820 

The Duties of the Watchman upon Zion's Walls : A Sermon preached 
before the Associate Reformed Synod of New York, met at Galway : 
Also an Address delivered to the Students of Theology at the Seminary 
in the City of New York, 1822 

An Address before the American Society for Meliorating the Condition 

of the Jews, in New York, ---.-- 1825 

An Address before the American Tract Society, - - - - 1825 

An Address to the Coloured Emigrants embarking for Bassa Cove, - 1836 

In addition to the above he published the following Tracts, all of which have 
passed through more than one edition : — 



A "Word to Mothers on the Religious Instruction of their Children. 

A Word to Children concerning their Everlasting Interests. 

An Address to the Rising Greneration. 

An Address to the Inhabitants of the Frontier Settlements. 

A Letter to a Member of mj Church, on leaving my Pastoral care. 

An Address to Mothers on the ImjDortance of maintaining Family Religion 
Tvhen it is neglected by the Father. 

A. Short Method of occupying a Single Talent to the Best Advantage. 

It is known that he projected Tracts on the following subjects, and that 
several, if not all, of them were actually published : — 

On the Importance of Secret Prayer. 

The Church in the House. 

On the Importance of Attending Public Ordinances. 

On the Advantages of Attending them. 

An Address to Teachers of Common Schools. 

In 1807 Dr. Proudfit edited a re-publication of A Scriptural Yiew of the 
Constitution, Order, Discipline and Fellowship of the Gospel Church. By the 
Rev. Archibald Hall, of London ; originally published 1769. 

I saw Dr. Proudfit first, I think, in 1823, at West Springfield, where he 
spent a few hours with me, on his way to attend the meeting of the American 
Board of Foreign Missions at Boston. I was greatly struck by his staid and 
impressive manner, the kindhness of his spirit, and above all by the depth and 
fervour of his religious feelings. After I came to live in Albany, I became quite 
well acquainted with him, and often had the pleasure of seeing him at my house, 
and more than once of hearing him in my pulpit; and the more intimate my 
acquaintance with him became, the more were the impressions which I received 
concerning him, at our first interview, confinned. His mind and his heart seemed 
always intensely set upon doing good. Sometimes when I saw him, the Coloni- 
zation Society seemed uppermost in his thoughts, and then again the Bible Society; 
but whatever the particular object might be, he always addressed himself to it with 
the fervour and energy of a ruling passion. The force of his religious fcehngs some- 
times led him to do things out of the common course; but if any had been disposed 
to criticise, his deep sincerity, which was manifest in every look and word, would 
have disarmed them. For instance, I remember, on one occasion, just as we 
were going to church, and the bell had nearly done tolling, he said to me and 
one or two other ministers who were staying with me, — " Brethren, let us not go 
to the house of God till we have had a word of prayer;" and instantly broke out 
in a fervent supplication for the Divine blessing on the services in which we were 
about to engage. When the American Board met in Albany, in 1829, the 
Annual Sermon was preached in the Second Presbyterian Church, by Dr. Archi- 
bald Alexander. Dr. Proudfit was in the pulpit, and the moment that Dr. 
Alexander sat down, he rose, and out of the fulness of his heart, spoke, for some 
eight or ten minutes, urging with great impressiveness and pathos some thought 
that had been suggested in the sermon. The same thing, done by another 
person, might have seemed strange; but, in his case, it was so evidently the sim- 
ple workings of a spirit of fervent devotion to the cause, that it seemed natural 
and unexceptionable. I received marked kindness from him at difierent times, 
and I never think of him but with mingled gratitude and reverence. 




Glasco, June 26, 1855. 

Rev. and dear Brother : I have too long delayed to comply with your request 
for my recollections of my excellent and honoured friend, the Rev. Dr. Alexander 
Proudfit. I was, for about three years, a resident in his family; accompanied 
him on many of his missionary excursions ; had the opportunity of seeing him 
under a great variety of circumstances, and was in habits of familiar inter- 
course and correspondence with him during a considerable part of my life. It 
costs me little effort, therefore, to perform the service you have requested of me. 

Dr. Proudfit was of medium height, slender in person, and when "the 
strong man bows himself," erect in attitude. His countenance bore unmis- 
takable indications of reflective intelligence. Although he was, at no period 
of his life, in possession of very vigorous health, and any considerable exer- 
tion was sure to be followed by exhaustion, there was an elasticity which 
quickly restored the balance. He was an early riser — at early morn he was 
found in his study. He was a man of system ; and his adherence to it con- 
tributed to his health, and prolonged his usefulness. He avoided that which 
has been injurious, and in many cases fatal, to persons of studious habits, — 
inattention to proper exercise. He was fond of nature — the fields and woods 
had attractions for him ; and, by walking and riding, he sought a change, and 
returned to his studies with an increase of vigour. He had a love for retire- 
ment, and was a diligent student of the Word of God and his own heart, and a 
careful observer of the movements of Providence. He often quoted, and seemed 
to adopt as the motto of his life, the language of the ancient painter, — " Nulla 
dies sine linea." 

His manners were expressive of kind affections and cultivated tastes ; they 
were formed on the Christian model, and presented a happy combination of 
*' whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things 
are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report." 
The principles and spirit of the Gospel were so interwoven with his whole char- 
acter, that he may be said to have been moulded by them, personally, relatively 
and socially. His manners reminded you of some of the fathers of the American 
Church — such as Rodgers, Livingston and Miller ; between whom and himself 
there existed a warm regard and frequent intercourse. It was a style of 
manners that you felt had a sort of official appropriateness — it seemed adapted 
to the men and their position, and was in accordance with the views, habits 
and tastes of their contemporaries. The line of separation between the dif- 
ferent ranks of society was, in that day, more distinctly marked than it is at 
present. This formality and precision affected only the exterior aspect, and 
were not incompatible with heartfelt courteousness. Their conversations were 
utterances of the heart. Dr. Proudfit's social affections were ardent and 
constant, and his animal spirits had that agreeable flow so happily described 
by his favourite Cowper — 

" A constant flow of love that knew no fall, 
Ne'er roughened by those cataracts and breaks 
"Which humour interposed too often makes." 

He was not the creature of impulse, nor chargeable in his attachments with 
fickleness or caprice. Generous in his confidence, distrust was painful to him; 
and although, from an extended intercourse with mankind, he had been ex- 
posed to the ordinary manifestations of human weakness and perverseness, yet 
they did not chill the genial current of his heart. He was an instructive com- 
panion ; and, without any effort at display, could pour forth from his well 
furnished mind the treasures which he had accumulated by extensive reading, 



reflection and observation. He expressed his own opinions with frankness, 
but manifested a becoming deference to the opinions, and a delicate regard to 
the feelings, of those with whom he conversed. Familiar intercourse height- 
ened the estimate of his gifts and graces. While grave, he was yet cheerful; 
and while he was distinguished for Christian sobriety in his deportment, he 
was still alive to the imaginative and witty. He was eminently "a lover of 
hospitality." His brethren of different denominations found in him a faithful 
friend and a judicious counsellor. The sympathies of the brotherhood were 
felt in all their sacredness, and the expression of kind afifections was grateful 
to the guest, it seemed so manifestly a spontaneous effusion of the heart. All 
found in his dwelling the quiet enjoyment of a Christian home. 

As a Preacher, Dr. Proudfit had a high place among the excellent Preachers 
of his day. His discourses combined the doctrinal and the practical in very 
happy proportions. He declared the whole counsel of God; there was no 
concealment or modification of the Gospel ; and the attentive hearer could not 
but perceive that it was his earnest desire, in all his ministrations, " by mani- 
festation of the truth, to approve himself to every man's conscience in the 
sight of God." His illustrations were clear and pertinent ; he presented the 
truth with simplicity and force, and brought it home to the conscience in direct 
and pungent appeals. He was scrupulously careful to maintain the dignity of 
the pulpit. There was no ostentation or parade of learning in his discourses ; 
and though they were elevated in their tone and spirit, they were so plain and 
simple that persons of humble capacities and little culture could easily under- 
stand them He had great tenderness and earnestness of manner ; and, though 
his voice was sufficiently loud and distinct to be easily heard through a large 
church, his mode of utterance was somewhat peculiar, and might have seemed 
at first scarcely natural, though I believe it was the legitimate result of his 
Scottish descent and his early education. 

As a Theologian, he had no love of paradox, and never indulged the petty 
ambition of attracting attention by startling novelties. His mind w^as sound, 
clear and discriminating; and, while his views of the leading truths of the 
Gospel were well defined, and his adherence to them unshaken to the end of 
his earthly course, he loved the Saviour's image wherever he recognized it, 
and could enjoy fellowship with all who " love our Lord Jesus Christ in sin- 

Dr. Proudfit was perhaps never more at home than in training young men 
for the ministry. He was eminently fitted for this by his high literary and 
theological attainments, and his earnest and active piety. While his superin- 
tendence was vigilant and kind, he endeavoured, both by his example and 
instructions, to place before them a high standard of spiritual attainment. He 
had an excellent literary taste, and had all the means of cultivating it that 
could be furnished by an extensive and well selected library. He was a tho- 
rough classical scholar — he discerned, as if by intuition, the beauties of the 
ancient Latin and Greek writers, and could quote, with readiness and appro- 
priateness, whatever was necessary for illustration or embellishment. He was 
also familiarly acquainted with the Fathers of the Christian Church, and 
appreciated their distinctive merits ; he read them with discrimination and 
independence, and, while he admired the good, and true, and beautiful, which 
he found m them, he never bowed implicitly to them or to any other human 

One of the most distinguishing features of his character was active benevo- 
lence and public spirit. He occupied a conspicuous position among those who 
may be considered as the pioneers in diffusing the Gospel in the destitute 
portions of the State of New York, and as having rendered important service 
towards its extension throughout the world. He brought to this great work 

Vol. IX. 10 



all the ardour, activity, and persevering energy that belonged to him, both 
as a Man and as a Christian. He was accustomed amidst the labours incident to 
a large pastoral charge, to make missionary excursions into the destitute 
regions not only in the Western part of his own State, but in Vermont and 
Massachusetts also ; and he not only preached frequently, but distributed 
tracts and standard theological works, which he carried with him for the 
purpose. In the prosecution of this benevolent work he performed long 
journeys, and submitted to great inconveniences, and even hardships, with a 
zeal which seemed to rise with the occasion, and which no difficulties could 
repress or exhaust. The interest which he subsequently took in establishing 
and sustaining the great National Benevolent Institutions of our country, 
such as the Bible, Tract, and Colonization Societies, will never be forgotten 
by his coadjutors, and its results can never be fully estimated on this side 
Heaven. And, in addition to these more general exhibitions of his benevolent 
spirit, I may mention that he assisted, by his contributions, many young men 
in the prosecution of their academic and collegiate course, some of whom have 
since been highly distinguished in the walks of literature, and others have 
occupied prominent stations of ministerial usefulness. 

But that which constituted the crowning attraction of Dr. Proudfit'a 
character, was his elevated spirituality. It was apparent to every one, who 
had an opportunity of observing his course, that he walked with God. In all 
his intercourse with his fellow men, whether with those who loved religion or 
those who neglected it, he always obeyed the command to let his light shine. 
He had an admirable tact in the introduction of serious remarks, and would 
often give a religious direction to ordinary conversation in so easy a manner that 
one would scarcely be sensible of the transition. He uniformly spoke of his 
own spiritual relations with the confidence of assured hope. Amidst the 
duties, temptations and vicissitudes of life, he endured as seeing *' Him who 
is invisible," and, as the earthly tabernacle yielded to decay, he felt a joyful 
assurance that it would be exchanged for " a building of God, a house not 
made with hands, eternal in the heavens." 

Very truly yours, 



Albany, February 15, 1858. 

Dear Sir : In compliance with your request, I furnish you with a few remi- 
niscences of the late Dr. A. Proudfit. I was indebted for my intimate 
acquaintance with him to the circumstance of being, at one time. Pastor of 
the same church in which he had so long and usefully laboured. From the 
period of my installation to his last illness, (embracing a space of nearly six 
years,) he annually made a visit to his beloved flock. Each of these extended 
to five or six weeks, and, as I was frequently, during this period, in his 
society, and accompanied him in many of his visits among his old parishioners, 
I am enabled to furnish some notices of his social and religious character. I 
shall confine m)'self almost entirely to what fell under my own observation. 

No other attestation of his Christian excellence and the worth of his min- 
isterial labours is needed, than the satisfaction which these annual visits gave 
to the people of his former charge. They were always fondly anticipated, 
and were enjoyed, through successive years, with unabated satisfaction. 
While the people joyfully welcomed back their venerable teacher, their faithful 
counsellor and friend, who had been ever prompt to allay dissension or relieve 
despondency, to impart instruction to the young and consolation to the age<l, 
and who had visited them all in their dwellings in seasons of joy and bereave- 
ment, the visit was no less agreeable to himself. There he had spent the 



scenes of his youth. There he was installed over a people who had long 
enjoyed the pastoral labours of his venerable father. There, in his first and 
only charge, he had laboured for forty years, among an intelligent and excel- 
lent congregation, who had duly appreciated his sterling qualities and had 
greatly profited under his ministry. The annual trip therefore to Salem was 
always the subject of much previous converse and preparation. It was not 
only pleasant for Dr. Proudfit to exchange during the heat of summer the 
''fumum strepitamque Romce, " for the sweet repose and lovely scenery of his 
native vale, (and our country, amid its almost endless diversities of situation, 
has few more attractive sylvan retreats,) but it was still dearer to him as the 
spot where he could behold many fruits of his ministry, and enjoy those feel- 
ings which the heart retains the longest and cherishes the most tenderly. 

During these visits, my pulpit, of course, was always open to him, and he 
was never reluctant to occupy it. Dr. Proudfit was entirely at home in vin- 
dicating the peculiar doctrines of the Bible, as the volumes which he has pub- 
lished abundantly testify, — but the discourses to which I listened were 
devoted not so much to the defence as the enforcement of Divine truth. lie 
always secured the attention of his audience. Though he never aimed at any 
thing like startling antithesis or brilliant metaphor, designed to take the 
popular ear, and always dciliverod his sermons in a calm, dispassionate man- 
ner, often without gesticulation, and in a voice whose tones, though silvery, 
were in danger of becoming monotonous to a hearer, he was nevertheless a 
deeply impressive preacher. His conceptions were always clear and well 
defined. The arrangement of his subject was logical, and there was often a 
force and point in his expressions which not only arrested but riveted atten- 
tion. His language, though always simple and chaste, was sometimes singu- 
larly beautiful. When we add to these a mmd richly stored with Divine 
truth, from a devout study of the Scriptures and the most eminent Puritan 
writers, an impassioned zeal for the spiritual welfare of his fellow men, 
inducing an unction and fervour of manner rarely exceeded, it is not strange 
that he had a place among the most effective Preachers of his denomination. 

At the close of every visit he was accustomed to take a solemn and affec- 
tionate farewell of the people from the pulpit. The scene was deeply affecting, 
nor did it lose its impressiveness by repetition, as each returning year dimin- 
ished the probability of our seeing him again. I never witnessed a more 
thrillmg scene in the house of God, nor listened to more solemn appeals, than 
on one of these occasions. Feeling that he must soon put off the earthly 
tabernacle, he reminded them of his long ministry among them, and of that 
solemn account which he and they must shortly render before the Judge of 
all; and then, summoning up all his energies, he, in a strain of deep pathos 
and fervour, addressed the several classes of his audience. The careless and 
impenitent were warned and reminded of their guilt in their habitual rejection 
of the Gospel ; the young were affectionately counselled to remember their 
Creator ; and the aged encouraged to steadfastness and zeal by the good hope 
in Christ Jesus. Some of the scenes of his past ministry, favoured, as it 
had been, with the signal testimonies of Divine grace wxre introduced, and 
notices of the eminently pious, who had gone to receive their reward during 
the period of his labours among them, were given wath singular beauty and 
effect. He finally told them that this might be the last time they would ever 
listen to him ; that their spiritual welfare, next to his own and that of his 
family, lay nearest to his heart ; and that the next time they would hear his 
voice, might be at the judgment seat of God, where he must testify either for 
or against them. At the close of the address, when the solemn farewell was 
pronounced, the intensity of his feelings almost choked his utterance, and the 



emotions of the speaker were responded to by the tears and sobs of the 
crowded assembly. 

In his intercourse with his people there was a happy union of dignity 
which commanded respect, and of kindUness which invited confidence. His 
manners were polished without being finical, and his general deportment par- 
took more of the refinements of a city Pastor than of one reared amid the 
seclusion of a village. His eminence in the Church, and the deep interest he 
felt in the religious institutions of his country, had brought him into contact 
with the best society; and these advantages, united with a native delicacy of 
mind and feeling, rendered his manners singularly dignified, but never 
interfered with his cordial and confiding intercourse among his people. The 
village of Salem is small, and his hearers therefore chiefly came from the rural 
districts around it. Nothing afforded him greater pleasure than his pastoral 
visits among his people, all of whom were in circumstances of worldly com- 
fort, and many of them thoroughly acquainted with the doctrines of the 
Gospel. One circumstance which often diminishes the interest of these visits 
is the want of sympathy between the people and the Pastor, owing, some- 
times, to his deficiency of knowledge respecting their circumstances and 
habits. No such diflBculty existed in his case. Not only had he been reared 
among his people, but, possessing the advantages of a quick eye and a tena- 
cious memory, he rarely forgot a countenance ; he could call each of his 
people, old and young, by name, and could readily call up the leading facts 
connected with the history of every family. No one could be more felicitous 
than Dr. Proudfit in taking advantage of these incidents, and engrafting upon 
them lessons of interesting religious instruction. Whatever the subject of 
conversation might be, it was almost certain to be used as the vehicle for 
communicating some practical hints. Among an agricultural population, the 
state of the seasons, as affecting the fruits of the earth, was naturally a 
frequent subject of conversation. How impressively, from the season of 
spring, did he inculcate upon parents the importance of instilling the truths 
of religion into the minds of their children, as the grand means of shielding 
them against the temptations of the world, and fitting them for spheres of 
usefulness in society and in the Church ; and, as he saw them, m autumn, 
" bearing their sheaves," while he failed not to inculcate the duty of gratitude 
to God for the liberal distribution of his blessings, the important lessons 
which that season taught of the relations of this life to another, under the 
idea of sowing and reaping, were always enforced with great urgency and 

There was one department in which Dr. Proudfit pre-eminently shone — I 
allude to his catechetical instruction of the young. He took a deep interest 
in this portion of his charge. He instituted various plans to elevate the 
standard of Christian education among them. And that Sabbath seldom, if 
ever, passed, on which their special instruction did not form a part of his 
ministrations from the pulpit. He was also wonderfully gifted in the ability 
to awaken the interest and fix the attention of children, by simplifying reli- 
gious instruction to their easy comprehension. The doctrines of the Bible, 
and often the leading incidents in the Saviour's history, were the subjects on 
which he examined them. Particular passages in the life of Jesus were 
dwelt upon, difficulties were explained, allusions to oriental customs or natural 
productions clearly brought out and applied, interesting religious anecdotes 
narrated, and the service was closed in an affectionate address respecting the 
importance of their spiritual welfare. Many of his people attributed to these 
interviews their first enduring impressions of religion. 

The habits of Dr. Proudfit were eminently devotional. He loved prayer, 
and lived in the habitual exercise of it — so much was this the case that when 



friends came to visit him, the circumstances must have been peculiar if the 
visit was not closed with a service of social prayer. This was sometimes 
repeated four or five times in an evening, so that his dwelling was indeed the 
House of God and the Gate of Heaven. The members of his Session have told 
me that when each of them, in rotation, have accompanied him in his pastoral 
visits, it was no unusual occurrence for him to order the wagon to be driven 
under the shade of a tree, by the road-side, where, sheltered from the rays 
of the sun, he would pour forth an affectionate prayer, embracing the interests 
of his family, his session and his flock, the welfare of his country and the 
diffusion of the Gospel over the world. For the last of these objects he 
always manifested the deepest interest. His name is honourably identified 
with the institution of Foreign Missions. He frequently preached on public 
occasions in their behalf, and continued a liberal supporter and a zealous advo- 
cate of them while he lived. 

Dr. Proudfit was an ardent admirer of nature. This, which is usually felt 
only by the young and ardent, continued with him a passion to his old age, 
nor was he ever more elevated or gratified than when he had it in his power 
to communicate his emotions to others. A wild-flower by the way-side, a 
majestic tree standing alone in a field, a sunset, or the corn waving its grace- 
ful leaves, were objects from which he seemed to experience the highest delight. 
These pleasures were enhanced from the opportunities thus afforded him to 
expatiate on the indications of wisdom and benevolence which are seen in the 
works of the Almighty. One of his favourite studies eminently fitted him for 
this — it was the subject of adaptation. He had evidently read with great 
care such works as Derham's Physico-Theology, Rae on the Divine Wisdom, 
and Paley's Natural Theology. He would frequently, in his walks, pluck a 
flower, and point out the evidences of skill displayed in its general structure 
and separate arrangements, as a conclusive argument for a supreme cause. 

Of the more active scenes of Dr. Proudfit's life, his valuable services to the 
Christian denomination with which he was connected, his prominent advocacy 
of most of the social and religious institutions of our country, the solicitude 
which he felt for the conversion of the Aborigines and the spiritual interests of 
the new settlers in our distant territories, his unwearied labours and success- 
ful agency in behalf of the Colonization Society, — of these and kindred spheres 
of usefulness I shall not speak, as I prefer to limit my notices to what fell 
under my own observation, or has been communicated to me by those under 
his pastoral charge. 

Dr. Proudfit's life must have been a signally happy one. His wife was a 
lady of truly amiable and excellent character, who sympathized with him in 
all his schemes, and did much to lighten his labours. By the members of his 
family he was regarded with feelings of the deepest reverence and affection. 
The church over which he had so long presided looked up to him as their 
spiritual father, nor did his demission of his charge tend, in the least, to abate 
their affection. By the religious part of the community his services were 
deeply appreciated, as those of an eminent disciple of Christ, and even ungodly 
men were compelled to respect one whose life was so faithful a transcript of 
the truths which he preached. 

As his life was thus happy, so his death took place under the most propi- 
tious circumstances. He endured his last illness under the roof of his son, in 
New Brunswick, where everything was done, that affection and medical skill 
could suggest, to alleviate his sufferings. He died in the hope full of immor- 
tality. His remains were brought to Salem for burial ; and, on the day fol- 
lowing, they were accompanied to the grave-yard by the largest number that 
had ever attended a Funeral in that village. The day was lovely, and the 
immense assemblage in the old burying-ground, on the East side of the vil- 



lage, presented a deeply imposing appearance. A hymn was sung before the 
last rites were performed, and the efficient choir of the Rev. Dr. Lambert, of 
the Presbyterian Church, led the devotions of the immense throng. The body 
was then consigned to the same grave where the ashes of his venerable father 
sleep, both to be partakers together of the same glorious resurrection. 

On the following Sabbath, the Rev. Dr. Proudfit, of New Brunswick, 
preached, in the forenoon, an able and impressive sermon from I Cor. xv, 55, 
*' death, where is thy sting ;" and the occasion was sought to be improved, 
in the afternoon, by him who has furnished this very imperfect tribute. 

I am, Dear Sir, 

Yours respectfully, 




Rev. and Dear Friend : I send you with great pleasure my recollections of 
the Rev. and venerable WitLiAM McAuley of Kortright, and I do tins the 
more cheerfully, because I think that if his name did not appear on your roll of 
worthies of the Associate Reformed Church, the roll would be materially defect- 
ive. You have often, I dare say, been reminded by your correspondents in all 
branches of the Church, of those well known lines of Gray, " Full many a 
flower is born to blush unseen," and have been surprised to find how many men 
of exalted talent, perhaps of genius, have lived and died in obscurity. You have 
had so many accounts of such persons, that you have possibly come to regard 
most of them as the exaggerations of friendship or affection. I confess that for 
myself I am inclined to believe that there is a good deal of truth in them — that 
a large number of those whose names would have been utterly forgotten but for 
the enduring monument which you have erected and on which they are inscribed, 
if their life " lines had fallen" in more favourable places, might have won for 
themselves lasting renown. Certainly that feeling is strong within me in regard 
to Mr. McAuley. Beyond the limits of the not very lai-ge Synod in whose 
communion he lived and died his name was unknown ; so far as I know there is 
not a published page of which he was the author ; in a word, his entire ministry 
in this country, stretching through more than half a century, was spent amid 
the sequestered hills of Delaware County, and yet, from what I know myself, but 
much more from what I have heard of him from his contemporaries, I am per- 
suaded that if he had been called to labour in a different sphere, and in circum- 
stances favourable to the fiill development of the man, he would have won for 
himself a distinguished reputation. 

The Rev. William McAuley was bom in the North of Ireland about the 
year 1765. At the usual age he repaired to the University of Glasgow, the institu- 
tion in which most of the North Irish young men of that day, who intended to enter 
one of the learned professions, received their education. While a member of the 
University, Mr. McAuley gained very high distinction. He was regarded by his 
fellow students and the Professors as a youth of singular promise, and was the special 



favorite of Prof. Anderson, one of the most eminent scientific men of that time, and 
the founder of the Andersonian University of Glasgow. Having completed his 
academic course, he at once began the study of Theology under the well known 
and venerable John Brown, of Haddington, the Professor of Theology to the 
Associate Burgher Synod of Scotland, and was one of the last class of students 
taught by that great and good man. 

Mr. McAuley was licensed by the Associate Presbytery of Armagh in 1Y89, 
and on this occasion a little scene occurred which showed the sort of stuff of 
which he was made. I had an account of it years ago, by a venerable parish- 
ioner of mine, himself a native of Ireland, and who happened to be present at 
the meeting and a witness of the affair. The Sermon and Lecture of the young can- 
didate being under discussion, though better, I dare say, than many of the mem- 
bers of Presbytery could have preached, were most unmercifiilly criticised — accord- 
ing to the usage of Scottish and Irish judicatories of that day. Mr. McAuley 
endured the infliction as long as he could, but, at length, burning imder a sense 
of the injustice done his productions, he arose, " bearded the lion in his den," 
demanded to be heard in reply, and then proceeded to give the astonished fathers 
and brethren a taste of 'the same sort of excoriation as that to which they had 
subjected him. The very sublimity of the impertinence, as it must have seemed 
to them, probably saved him from instant suspension. Certainly he must have 
been an uncommonly bold young man, who would venture, in that way, to face a 
Scottish or an Irish Presbytery in those times. In 1790 Mr. McAulay was 
ordained by the same Presbytery as Minister of the Associate Congregation of 
TuUiallan, and, during the four years of his residence in this charge, he per- 
formed his pastoral duties, in and out of the pulpit, with very great acceptance. 
He came to this country in the summer of 1794, was received by the Associate 
Reformed Presbytery of Washington, (in the Synod of New York,) on the 2d 
of September of that year, and on the 25th of June he was installed by the same 
Presbytery in the pastoral charge of the United Congregations of Kortright, 
Harpersfield and Stamford, in the County of Delaware, N. Y. The new field 
into which he entered was then one of the " new settlements," on the confines of 
the unbroken wilderness, if not actually in it, and must have presented the great- 
est possible contrast to that which he had left, amid the verdant and cultivated 
hills and valleys of Ireland. To reach Delaware County in that day, whether 
one started from Albany or Catskill, a long journey through the wilderness was 
necessary, and when one arrived there, he would find himself in just such a 
" lodge " as Cowper longed for, " a boundless contiguity of shade." 

The history of Mr. McAuley 's pastorate in Kortright, though it extended over 
more than half a century, is soon told. His parish originally embraced two or 
three townships, but the number of his parishioners was small, and most of them 
were so poor that it was absurd to think of their supporting a minister. Their 
Pastor, while watching over their spiritual concerns, was obliged to depend mainly 
upon his own exertions for the supply of his own temporal necessities. In pro- 
cess of time, Mr. McAuley's fiimily grew to be a very large one ; his salary 
hardly amounted to $300, and was irregularly paid ; while preaching on the Lord's 
day, he was compelled to labour as hard as any of his hearers on every other day, 
and so he toiled, year after year, until he was past middle life, amid difficulties, 
privations, the pinchings of poverty, and the anxieties incident to a large family, 
such as few ministers or missionaries experience now-a-days. Ultimately his 



labours were confined to Kortright, which, while the mother of three or four 
respectable congregations itself, grew to be one of the largest and most substan- 
tial churches in all that region. In 1810 the Stamford branch of his original charge 
was set ofi" as a distinct parish under the care of the Rev. Robert Forrest. His 
settlement in this place proved a great comfort and blessing to Mr. McAuley. 
No two men, in many respects, could difier more than these two Pastors, who, for 
nearly forty years lived and worked together within some six or seven miles of 
each other. They became the most endeared friends, and regularly twice a year 
they assisted each other at the dispensation of the Lord's Supper. There was 
no man whom Mr. McAuley loved more warmly than Mr. Forrest, and there 
was no man for whom Mr. Forrest had a profounder veneration as well 
as affection than Mr. McAuley. Mr. Forrest, carried with him to the then 
wilds of Delaware County, a fine library. He was a lover of books, and 
having the means to do so, he made constant and valuable additions to his collec- 
tion. His settlement, therefore, in Stamford was a double boon to Mr. McAuley, 
for it gave him the companionship of a dear friend and fellow-presbyter, and also 
the access to books from which his remoteness from town and his poverty had shut 
him out for years. He had the happiness to see sundry colonies going forth from 
the mother church peacefully, and with their venerable Pastor's blessing, and to 
welcome, as his colleague and successor, my esteemed friend, the Rev. Clarke 
Irving, the present minister of Kortright. But so long as he himself was able 
to ascend the pulpit, and even when blindness and other infinnities of advanced 
age made it necessary for others to assist him into it, there was no one whom his 
people so loved to see there, or to whose voice they listened with greater delight. 
His death took place on the 24th of March, 1851. 

About the year 1810 or '12, an earnest efibrt was made by the old Associate 
Reformed Church of Albany, (now the 3d Presbyterian,) to induce Mr. McAuley 
to become its Pastor. But, as the congregation was not a very strong one, and as 
his family had grown to be a large one, his friends thought that the risk involved 
in removal to a new sphere was too great for him in his circumstances to run, and 
the plan was consequently abandoned. 

The first time that I ever saw him was in my childhood. There was a 
meeting of Synod at Newburgh, and Mr. McAuley was a guest of my father's. 
I have a dim remembrance of the sermon he preached on the Lord's day after- 
noon, though the fact might have faded from my memory if I had not so often 
heard the circumstances attending it repeated by my father and others who were 
present on the occasion. The leading men of the church had asked the Synod 
to arrange the services of the Lord's day, expecting, of course, that only the "big 
guns " would be employed, — to use a cant phrase — knowing as they did that the 
church would be crowded. The day came, and greatly to the mortification of 
the Elders and others, they learned that the person chosen for the service was 
the plain looking and rather humbly attired Mr. McAuley, of Kortright, who had 
not once opened his mouth in Synod, and from whom, judging by appearances, 
only a very ordinary sermon was to be expected. However the thing was done 
and could not be changed; they only hoped that there might be a thin audience, 
but in this too they were disappointed, for the church was as full as it could be. 
Mr. McAuley ascended the pulpit and began the service. The tone of his prayer 
surprised them a good deal, and they began to think, when it was ended, that they 
had possibly mistaken the man. He announced his text, I Peter i, 8. " Whom 



having not seen ye love," &c., and within five minutes he led the vast audience 
captive at his will. I have, as I said, a dim remembrance of that noble dis- 
course, for I was only a child at the time, but I can never forget the profound 
stillness of the church, nor the delight with which I listened to his rich Irish 
voice. I need not mention that ever after, Mr. McAuley was a prime favourite 
in Newburgh, and that, on his occasional visits, necessity was laid upon him inva- 
riably to preach. As a member of Synod, the meetings of which he punctually 
attended until kept at home by the infirmities of age, he was one of the most 
modest and retiring of men. It was an exceedingly rare thing for him to take 
part in a discussion, although he was always in his place and a most attentive lis- 
tener ; but when he did speak, it was to give in a brief, clear and simple way, his 
judgment and the grounds on which it rested. But by the fireside of a friend, 
or in his own house, he was as genial and accessible as a child, and wherever he 
was a guest, the little ones were sure to find the way to his lap. 

His head was one which would have filled a phrenologist with delight, and no 
one could look upon it without suspecting at least that it was the home of a supe- 
rior intellect ; and no one could look into his countenance without perceiving the 
traces of that love of humour for which his countrymen are generally noted. 
Indeed, I can weU believe that in his earlier years, his native humour and wit 
often overflowed ; but when I first knew him, he was past the meridian of life, 
and he had been called to drink deeply of the cup of sorrow, and consequently his 
humour came out in a quiet way. On one occasion when the Synod was to 
meet at Kortright, a large coach load of the brethren reached the parsonage 
about 8 p. M. We were of course warmly welcomed, but when some one was 
expressing his fears that there might not be beds enough for so large a company, 
Mr. McAuley with a humorous twiakb of his eye, replied that in any case we 
would not be so badly off as he was the first night he spent in Kortright, when, 
said he, " we had to sleep fourteen in a bed," i. e., on the soft side of the floor. 
He was once called to marry the nephew of one of his neighbours, a worthy 
Covenanter of the old stamp, who was disposed to measure the value of religious 
services by their length. Mr. McAuley, as his habit was, made the marriage 
service quite short, and when, at the close, he pronounced the young couple hus- 
band and wife, — " Humph," said the uncle, — " they are nae mair married than 
they were before." Mr. McAuley overheard the remark, though it was not 
intended to reach his ear, but he did not notice it in any way. Some time after- 
ward the uncle resolved to take to himself a wife, and as no minister of his own 
church could be got, he was forced, much against his will, to apply to Mr. Mc- 
Auley, who cheerfully consented to " tie the knot " for him. When the evening for 
the marriage arrived and the parties had presented themselves, Mr. McAuley 
addressed the bridegroom (after a single word to the bride) in a discourse regard- 
ing his duties and responsibilities of such length that the poor man, fairly wearied 
out, was forced to take a seat, leaving the lady standing alone. Mr. M. there- 
upon closed the service, and, after the customary congratulations, he, with a signi- 
ficant smile, asked the worthy Covenanter, — " Do you think that you are married?" 

But I must bring these reminiscences to a close. My letter is perhaps longer 
than it should be, and yet I feel that it will give your readers who never knew 
him, a very imperfect idea of the venerable man whom I have attempted to por- 
tray. That he was not an ordinary man all I think will admit, who consider the 
single fact that his " natural force " as a Preacher was considered as " unabated " 
Vol. TX. 11 



by the grandchildren and the great-grandchildren of those who seventy years ago 
or more settled in a wilderness, which, through their instrumentality, has been 
made to blossom as the rose. You can easily understand how a man of the most 
brilliant natural genius, if compelled to toil in the fields during the entire week, 
and to elaborate his discourses while following the plough, and to do this for ten 
years, would come to feel a positive distaste for the pen. It seemed to have been 
so with Mr. McAuley. His fellow-presbyters who knew his powers often tried 
to get some product of his pen that might be preserved. With this view he was 
appointed by the Synod to prepare a Testimony on an important doctrinal point, 
about the year 1833 ; but the habits of a life-time were too strong, and the docu- 
ment was unwritten. So that only the memory of his seiTnons, his piety, his 
pastoral work, remains. Stat nominis umbra. And yet I am pereuaded that, in 
the central portion of Delaware County, there are thousands, who, though they 
never saw him, yet from what their fathers have told them, will cherish with affec- 
tionate veneration the name, William McAuley. 

I am affectionately yours, 




John M. McJimsey, the eldest son of Robert and Mary (Harbison) McJim- 
sey, was bom near Carroll's Tract, York County, Pa., on the 18th of August, 
1772. His parents were both of Scottish ancestry ; though his father was bom 
in the North of Ireland, and his mother in this country. His father was a far- 
mer, and the family were in comfortable worldly circumstances. Both parents 
being devout Christians, he, with their other children, was carefully instructed in 
the principles of the Christian rehgion, and was required to recite the Westmin- 
ster Shorter Catechism every Sabbath day. It was especially to the influence of 
a pious mother that he attributed those early religious impressions which ultimately 
gave the decisive complexion to his character. 

When he was in his thirteenth year he was permitted, by his parents, at the 
urgent solicitation of some of their neighbours, to take charge of a small 
school. About six months afterwards he commenced his course of classical study 
under an Irishman, who taught a common Enghsh school in the vicinity; and, 
about a year after, he was placed under the tuition of the Rev. Alexander Dob- 
bin, his Pastor, who had recently opened a private school in his own house, near 
Gettysburg, and who was regarded as a thorough classical scholar. Under his 
instruction he continued about two years, and then entered the Junior class in 
Dickinson College. A year previous to his entering College, however, he was 
employed as an assistant in Mr. Dobbin's school, at the same time pursuing his 
own studies, under Mr. D.'s instruction. He entered College in the autumn of 
1790, in the eighteenth year of his age ; and, after passing through the usual 
course of studies, graduated in May, 1792. 

♦ MSS. from himself and his son, Rev. J. M. McJimsey, 



Mr. Mc Jimsey made a profession of religion at the age of about fifteen ; and 
he seems to have had the Ministry in view at a still earlier period. Immediately 
after his graduation, he commenced the study of Theology under the direction 
of Mr. Dobbin, in connection with three of his classmates. After remaining 
here about a year and a half, he studied for six months under the Rev. John 
Smith,* of Octorora ; and in May, 1794, was licensed to preach the Gospel, by 
the first Associate Eefonned Presbytery of Pennsylvania, at the Hill-Meeting 
House, Marsh Creek, then York County. 

After his licensure Mr. McJimsey was occupied more than a year under the 
direction of Presbytery, and, in accordance with his own desire, in preaching in 
different vacant churches within the limits of his denomination. By appoint- 
ment, he went on a mission to Kentucky, then the only State organized in the 
South West, and spent the winter of 1795 in preaching in different destitute 
places in that State. After his return from Kentucky, during the summer of 
1795, he visited, for the first time, the State of New York, preaching in several 
vacant congregations ; but he declined the offer of a settlement, on the ground 
that it was his intention, at that time, to make Kentucky his future field of 

On his return from the North to the city of New York, about the beginning 
of September, 1795, he was attacked by the Yellow Fever, and brought to the 
borders of the grave, at the house of his friend, the Rev. Dr. John M. Mason ; 
where he received every attention that the most generous sympathy could dictate. 
Having recovered from his illness, he took leave of his friends, among whom was 
Mrs. Isabella Graham, who kindly said to him, on parting, — " I wish you all 
prosperity, and affliction too, when necessary." About two months after his 
return to his father's, — on the 24th of December, 1795, he was ordained to the 
office of the Gospel Ministry, by the same Presbytery that had licensed him ; 
the Sermon on the occasion being preached by his former Pastor and instruc- 
tor, Mr. Dobbin. A call from a congregation in Kentucky had been previously 
put into his hands, and accepted by him ; but as it was then too late in the season 

• John Smith was born near Stirling, Scotland, about the year 1746. He was educated 
at the University of Glasgow, and studied for the ministry under Professor Moncrieff, of 
Alloa. In 17611 he was ordained by the Associate Presbytery of Stirling, with the special 
view of his going to America. He came to this country in 1770, and was soon afterwards 
settled in the pastoral charge of Octorora, Pa. He possessed fine pulpit talents, and hia 
attainments as a scholar and theologian were more than respectable; and, for some years 
he had charge of the few candidates for the ministry then under the care of the Presby- 
tery. He was a zealous friend of the union of the Associate and the Reformed Pres- 
byteries, and took a prominent part in the conferences and discussions which preceded 
and led to it. He was chosen Moderator of the Associate Reformed Synod in 1788, and, 
during the first ten years of the existence of the Synod, was a member of nearly every 
important Committee. In 1787 he was appointed, in connection with Dr. John Mason 
and the Rev. Robert Annan, to prepare an Illustration and Defence of the Westminster 
Confession. The larger part of the work was done by Mr. Annan, but the Report of the 
Committee to Synod proves that both Mr. Smith and Dr. Mason performed some share of 
it. In 1793 Mr. Smith joined with another member in a sort of Protest against the 
action of Synod in refusing to recognize the binding obligation of the Solemn League and 
Covenant; but, as the Protest was withdrawn before the Synod adjourned, his difficulties 
were thought to have been removed. But, in 1794, he abruptly left the Presbytery of 
which he was a member, giving no reason for the step, and joined the Associate Presby- 
tery. In announcing his purpose to his own congregation, he delivered a speech to them, 
which was considered so defamatory, that the Synod, in 1795, suspended him from the 
ministry. He remained in connection with the Associate Body for some years, but finally 
abandoned it, in consequence of some difficulties in which he was involved. He is believed 
to have spent his latter years in Western New York, and to have died about the year 



to undertake so long a journey, his departure was necessarily delayed till the fol- 
lowing spring. 

Before the period of setting out for Kentucky arrived, the Presbytery to which 
he belonged, at the earnest request of the Presbytery of New York, reconsidered 
and revoked his appointment to Kentucky ; and he was appointed to preach, a 
few Sabbaths, in the summer of 1796, to the then vacant congregation of Neely- 
town, in the township of Montgomery, Orange County, N. Y., where he had 
supphed for a short time the preceding summer. The result was that a unani- 
mous call was soon made out for him by the congregation, which he accepted ; 
and he was installed as the Pastor of the Neelytown Church, on the 22d of 
December, 1796, the Rev. Thomas Smith, Pastor of Little Britain Congrega- 
tion, officiating on the occasion. 

On the 12th of December, 1797, Mr. McJimsey was married to Ann, daughter 
of George and Mary (Bull) Wilkin, a member of the church of which he was 
Pastor. They had eight children, — five sons and three daughters. Two of the 
sons have been graduated at Union College, and are Ministers of the Gospel. 
Mrs. McJimsey was, for many years, bereft of her reason, but it was fully 
restored to her some time before her death. She died on the 12th of August, 
1852, in the seventy-seventh year of her age. 

When he became Pastor of the Neelytown Congregation, it was stipulated 
that he should preach a few Sabbaths in each year, in a neighbom-hood about ten 
miles distant, where a few families resided, connected with the Neelytown 
Church, who had united in his call, and were pledged for a part of his salary. 
These people, in 1799, erected a place of worship, to which they gave the name of 
Graham's Church ; and, after this, Mr. McJimsey preached, on alternate Sab- 
baths, there and at Neelytown; though he removed to a parsonage near 
Graham's Church, which had been bequeathed to the people by the individual for 
whom the church was named. The new church, however, was not fiiUy organized 
until June, 1802. 

Between these two churches he officiated as Pastor for about thirteen years 
from the time of his Installation at Neelytown; each Church gradually 
increasing in numbers during the whole period of his ministry. In 1809 he 
received a call from an Associate Reformed Congregation in Albany, which, by 
the advice of the Presbytery of New York, he accepted; and, on the 18th of 
October, his pastoral relation was dissolved. He removed immediately to Albany, 
and preached his first Sermon from Acts x, 29 : " Therefore came I unto you 
without gainsaying, as soon as I was sent for ; and ask, therefore, for what intent 
you have sent for me." His Installation, owing to some peculiar circumstances, 
did not take place till the 13th of July, 1810 ; when the Rev. Dr. J. M. Mason 
officiated, and preached a remarkably able and eloquent Sermon. 

Mr. McJimsey exercised his ministry in Albany with a good degree of 
accceptance and usefulness for more than three years ; when, owing to some 
adverse circumstances, especially the inadequacy of his support, he applied to 
the Presbytery to release him from his pastoral charge. This request was granted 
on the 7th of October, 1813. As he was now not a httle pressed in his pecu- 
niary circumstances, and no opportunity for resettlement in the ministry presented, 
he resolved to open a private classical school in Albany. In this school, which 
was continued without interruption for about two years, he was eminently success- 
ful; and, during this period, he was occupied, a large part of the time, on the 


Sabbath, in preaching to different congregations in the neighbourhood. He was 
finally induced to give up his school, chiefly by the consideration that an Academy 
was about to go into operation, and he was unwilling to hold an attitude that 
even seemed to be unfavourable to that important enterprise. 

Shortly after he closed his school he received an invitation to become the 
Principal of the Dutchess County Academy, at Poughkeepsie ; which he accepted. 
He, accordingly, removed to Poughkeepsie in November, 1815, where he remained 
in the successful discharge of his duties as Teacher for four years. 

In 1819 he was invited to take charge of the Academy at Montgomery, and 
to supply, half of the time, the vacant Congregation of Graham's Church, in the 
vicinity of which he had had the pastoral charge, previous to his removal to 
Albany. As this furnished him an opportunity of resuming his labours as a 
Minister, he accepted the two-fold invitation ; and, as the Church at Neelytown, 
which had formed the other part of his pastoral charge, was still vacant, he was 
soon employed to preach there every alternate Sabbath. He removed to Mont- 
gomery on the 1st of November, and immediately entered upon his varied and 
arduous duties. He found himself in the midst of a people still strongly 
attached to him, though they had become sadly reduced in numbers and strength 
during his absence. His labours among them, however, were now remarkably 
blessed, and a season of spiritual refreshing was enjoyed, in consequence of which 
each church received considerable additions. 

After a few years Mr. McJimsey resigned the charge of the Academy at 
Montgomery, but his ministry was continued with both churches until the be- 
ginning of the year 1832, when his labours at Neelytown were brought to a 
close, in consequence of the congregation at Graham's Church making arrange- 
ments to secure his services during the whole time. As he was disposed to 
listen to their proposals, that congregation presented a request to the Presbytery 
that he might be installed over them ; and, the request b :ing complied with, he 
preached his Farewell Sermon to the Neelytown Congregation, on the 5th of 
February, 1832, and was shortly after regularly installed as Pastor of Gra- 
ham's Church, the Rev. Dr. McCarroll,* of Newburgh, officiating on the occa- 
sion, by appointment of Presbytery. 

♦Joseph McCarroll was born at Shippensburg, Pa., on the 9th of July, 179'5. At 
an early age he united with the Associate Reformed Church of that place, of which his 
parents were members, and, as his mind was then turned towards the ministry of the 
Gospel, he began the usual course of study preparatory to entering College. He was 
thus engaged when the country was electrified by the tidings of the capture and burning 
of Washington by the British, and their threatened advance on Baltimore. The militia 
of that region marched in haste to the scene of conflict, and such was the patriotic ar- 
dour of the people of Shippensburg, that every man in the town, capable of bearing armsj 
hurried to the defense of Baltimore — jimong whom was Joseph McCarroll. 

The regiment to which he belonged formed part of the reserves behind the entrench- 
ments on the hills, about two miles from Baltimore, and hence did not go into action, 
though expecting to do so every moment. From this position Mr. McCarroll witnessed 
the bombardment of Fort McHenry, and the repulse of the British army and fleet — a 
spectacle which, in later years, he used to describe as one of the most imposing and mag- 
nificent he ever beheld. 

Soo« after his return home he entered Washington College, in Pennsylvania, and 
graduated in the class of 1815. For several years after leaving College, he was occupied 
as a Teacher in Bellefontaine, Greensburgh and Carlisle, and, in each of these places, 
won the warm regard of all with whom he was brought in contact. Meanwhile, he pro- 
secuted the studies preparatory to the Ministry, in such intervals of time as he could 
snatch from the hours <'emanded by the school-room. But, though he had an iron con- 
stitution, he found the double work so hard and wearing that he was on the point of 
abandoning the Ministry, and perhaps might have done so, if he had not been encour- 
aged to go forward by his friend, the Rev. John Lind, of Hagerstcwn, who used to call 



Mr. McJirasey bore an active part in the reorganization of the Theological 
Seminary of the Associate Reformed Synod, in 1829. He acted as Secretary of 
its Board of Superintendents fourteen years successively, and drew up its Annual 
Reports to Synod respecting the state of the Seminary. As an agent in collect- 
ing funds for the institution, he visited a large number of churches, and obtained 
by subscription an aggregate of nearly seven thousand dollars. 

He was honoured with the degree of Doctor of Divinity, from Rutgers College, 
in 1835. 

Dr. McJimsey continued his pastoral connection with Graham's Church till the 
close of his life. His health was so vigorous that he was able to discharge his 
ministerial duties till the Sabbath but one previous to his death ; and, on that day, 
he rode ten miles to fulfil an appointment. About the middle of August, 1854, 
he went to Newburgh to attend a meeting of his Presbytery, and, at the same 
time, to visit his son and family, who were passing the summer there. While 
engaged in his official duties, he was violently attacked by the cholera morbus, 
which, in nine days, terminated his life. He died in the full possession of his 
faculties, and in the serene confidence of a better life, at the Powellton House, 
Newburgh, on the 26th of August, in the eighty- third year of his age ; and his 
Funeral Sermon was preached by the Rev. Dr. McCartee, of Newburgh. 

Dr. McJimsey published Sermons under the following titLs: — The Christian's 
Hope of Immortality ; Sin and Death, or Grace and Life ; The World no Equiv- 
alent for the Loss of the Soul ; The Christian's Privilege and Duty ; also a 

him a "second Timothy." Accordingly, he entered the Theological Seminary of the Asso- 
ciate Reformed Church in New York, in the autumn of 1818. Before entering the Semi- 
nary he had mastered the Hebrew langunge, and had read the whole Hebrew Bible. 
Having completed the usual course of study, he was licensed by the Presi>ytery of Big 
Spring, on the 19th of June, 1821. For some months he supplied the Murray Street 
Church, New York, then vacant by the removal of Dr. Mason to Carlisle, with much 
acceptance. He was ordained by the Associate Reformed Presbytery of New York, and 
installed in the pastoral charge of the First Associate Reformed Church of Newburgh, on 
the 14th of March, 1823, where he continued his labours with great acceptance and success 
during the remainder of his life. In the autumn of 1829 he was elected Professor of 
Theology in the Theological Seminary of the Associate Reformed Synod of New York, 
which had been revived a short time before and removed to Newburgh. This office ho 
continued to hold till his decease, which occurred on the 29th of March, 1864. 

The following is a list of Dr. McCarroU's publications: — A Sermon preached at Salem, 
N. Y., before the Domestic Missionary Society of the Associate Reformed Synod of New 
York, 1826, Answer to a Discourse preached by Dr. Williiim E, Channiug at the Dedi- 
cation of the Second Congregational Unitarian Church, New York, 1827. Address on the 
Sabbath, 1827. Speech before the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of 1831, 
in support of a Claim of the Associate Reformed Synod of New York, to the Property 
transferred to the General Assembly by the General Synod of the Associate Reformed 
Church in 1822, 1831. The Way of Salvation : A Discour-^-e delivered at Newburgh, 1834. 
Ministerial Responsibility: a S«rmoii preached in the Associate Reformed Church, Phila- 
delphia, 1834. Review of the Opinions of Dr. N. W. Taylor, 1834. Review of Stuart 
on Romans, 1836. The Atonement: A Sermon on John 1,29, 1837. A Sermon preached 
at the Funeral of Mr. D. N. Carithers, 1838. An Address to the Students in the Theo- 
logical Seminary, Newburgh, 1839. Bible Temperance, in Three Discourses, lfc41. The 
Seraphim: An Address to the Students of the Theological Seminary, 1847. Fishers of 
Men: An Address to the Students of the Theological Seminary, 1848. The Book: An 
Address before the Students of the Theological Seminary, Newburgh, 1849. The Chris- 
tian's Hope: A Sermon on I Peter i, 3-5, 1860. An Essay on Capital Punishment, 1852. 
A God-sent Ministry the World's Great Need: An Addre!<s to the Students of the Theo- 
logical Seminary, 1852. An Essay on The Geology of the Bible, 1856. The Cherubim: 
A Sermon on Genesis iii, 24. 

Dr. McCarroll, though a quiet and undemonstrative man, possessed high intellectual 
ability and rare goodness. He won not only the respect but the warm affection of his 
Students. In the pulpit his manner was usually unimpassioned, but his utterances were 
so weighty as to command the fixed attention especially of the more intellectual portion 
of his audience. He was decidedly a man of mark, not only in his denomination but in 
the Church at large. 



Sermon occasioned by the Death of his Wife. He edited the American edition 
of Dr. Lawson's Lectures on Ruth. 

I first knew Dr. McJimsey about the year 1830, when, happening to pass a 
a Sabbath in Albany, he preached half a day in my pulpit. I had barely heard 
of him before, and knew nothing of his character as a Preacher. His text was 
" Those that be planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the Courts of 
our God." The Sermon was equally rich in evangelical thought, and simple and 
beautiful hi construction ; and I could not but marvel that the man who was 
capable of writing it, and delivering it with such graceful simplicity, should not 
be occupying one of the higher places of Zion. In private, I found him then 
and ever after, one of the loveliest of men, — warm-hearted, ingenuous and confiding. 
I had often occasion to put his kindness in requisition, and the first intimation of 
my wishes always brought from him a prompt and favourable response. I never 
had an interview with him, or received a letter from him, that did not deepen 
my impression of his great moral worth. 


Schenectady, June 6, 1855. 

Dear Sir : There may be others whose relations with Dr. McJimsey were 
more intimate than mine, yet there are probably few whose recollections of 
him reach back to so early a period. I saw him first at my father's, in York 
County, Pa., when I was quite in my boyhood. I became further acquainted 
with him the next year, when I was a pupil at the Rev. Mr. Dobbin's school, 
he being, at that time, a licensed Preacher. After I had graduated I came to 
reside permanently in the State of New York; and then I found him settled 
as Pastor of Graham's Church, in Montgomery County, where he spent the 
greater portion of his ministerial life. Though we were never thrown into Lhe 
same immediate neighbourhood, I often met him in Synod and at other times, 
and was always on terms of familiar and fraternal intercourse with him as long 
as he lived. 

Dr. McJimsey could hardly fail to impress you favourably, the moment you 
set eyes upon him. He was of about the medium height, rather inclined to 
be slender, of an expression of countenance at once intelligent and benignant, 
and almost always, in social intercourse, taking on a bright and winning smile. 
He was easy and light in his movements, social in his disposition, and ready, 
fluent and agreeable in conversation. He impressed you at once as a man 
without guile : and you could not, by any effort, work yourself into the least 
apprehension that he would ever, in any way, prove unkind or unfaithful to 
you. While he was a good talker, and was always ready to bear his part in 
any conversation that might come up, and always spoke intelligently and to 
the point, there was nothing that seemed monopolizing in his manner, — least 
of all was he disposed to make himself the hero of his own story. 

Dr. McJimsey's mind was uncommonly symmetrical. His perceptions were 
quick and clear, his judgment sober, and his taste formed after the best mod- 
els. He was not an impassioned Preacher, nor yet was he a frigid and lifeless 
one ; but there was a simple, dignified sort of earnestness that could hardly 
fail to secure the attention of any audience. And then there was a rich vein 
of evangelical sentiment running through his discourses, accompanied not 
un frequently with striking and ingenious illustrations, which gave him favour 
with intelligent as well as devout hearers. He was a vigorous Preacher, even 
in his old age ; and a sermon which he preached after the death of his wife, 
and not long before his own death, and which has been published, is distin- 



guished not more for its pathos and elevation of sentiment, than for its chaste 
and faultless stj'-le. 

Dr. McJimsey was always much at home in Public Bodies, and was always 
an active and useful member. While his judgment was regarded with high 
respect, he had great facility at communicating his thoughts, especially with 
his pen ; and whenever there was any Report to be prepared, the committing 
of it to him was always considered as a pledge that it would be done in the 
most felicitous manner. He was perfectly familiar with all the forms of 
ecclesiastical business, and would detect almost instinctively the least depar- 
ture from rule, while yet he was, by no means, a stickler for indifferent usages. 
He possessed, in the best sense of the word, a catholic spirit; one evidence 
of which was that other denominations honoured him as truly as his own. 

His Christian character was a lovely compound of the various Christian 
graces, especially of the more quiet and retiring ones. He was the subject 
of a protracted and most severe domestic affliction, of which it was natural 
that he should not be much disposed to speak. Once, however, when I was 
riding with him, he introduced the subject, and, while he evinced the deepest, 
tenderest sensibility, he showed also the most unqualified and cheerful sub- 
mission to the Divine will. His course through the world was comparatively 
a noiseless one, but it was marked by great consistency, purity and Christian 
elevation. Respectfully and truly yours, 



New York, December 16, 1854. 

My dear Doctor : I have left unanswered too long your letter respecting 
the late Dr. McJimsey. I have endeavoured to recall something which might 
be of use to you in your proposed biography ; but really I can find little to 
say beyond my expression of deep respect for this excellent and venerable man. 

I was very young when I entered his school. It was established, I think, 
in 1814, when I was only eleven years of age, and I remained under his care, 
according to my recollection, about two years. He removed from Albany, I 
think, immediately after the commencement of the Academy to which I was 
transferred) and, during the residue of his life, I saw him only once or 
twice, when he casually visited New York. 

I remember him with great affection and respect. He was not, I imagine, 
a deep scholar, and the education we received in his school did not approach 
the English standard, nor that of our classical schools in America of tho 
present time. But he was a patient, intelligent and judicious teacher. The 
little Latin, and much less Greek, which I retain, I owe principally to his 
tuition ; and more than this, he taught his scholars how to study, and formed 
in them habits of self-relying investigation. This, you will doubtless agree 
with me in thinking, is the most important gift of education. 

Of his moral qualities, — of the purity and excellence of his life, no praise 
can be too high. I did not know till long after our personal intercourse had 
ceased, how much sorrow and misfortune this mild, amiable and pleasing man 
had borne with uncomplaining fortitude and undisturbed equanimity. To his 
sweetness of temper, his patience with the waywardness and wantonness of 
youth, his firm and just government of his school, and to the deep and unob- 
trusive piety of his daily life, — to all this I bear heartfelt testimony. 

I was fond of him while I was his pupil, and years and reflection added 
gratitude to my attachment. 

This brief and simple expression of feeling is all I can give in answer to 
your request 

Believe me, with great respect, your most obedient servant, 




Missionary to India. 

New York, August 4, 1863. 

My dear Brother : My recollections of the Rev. Dr. Me Jimsey are of a very 
general character, and are confined chiefly to the years of my boyhood. 1 
remember his once showing me his Record of Baptisms, and pointing to my 
name on the list. This, if I recollect right, was on one of only two or three 
visits which I paid him after my attention had been turned towards the Min- 
istry of the Gospel. It seemed to afford him the utmost joy to see any one 
of his baptized children devoting himself to the service of Christ — indeed I 
never knew any minister of whom it could be more appropriately said that he 
seemed to have no greater joy than to see his children walking in the truth. 
He was anxious to have me go out as a Missionary from the Presbytery of 
which he was a member, but was met by difficulties which he was unable to 

The three features of his character that have impressed themselves most 
vividly on my memory are his wonderful cheerfulness, his uniform kindness 
and courtesy, and his perfect dignity. I never saw in him the semblance of 
any thing to indicate the least tendency to gloom or depression . The heavy 
afflictions with which he was visited, during the whole period of my recollec- 
tion of him, would have crushed many to the dust, and disabled them for a 
course of active usefulness; but I never saw him, even under his severest 
trials, when so much as the semblance of a cloud seemed to be resting upon 
him. He was evidently sustained by an indwelling, invisible power, that kept 
his heart in constant contact with the things that are not seen and are eter- 
nal. He seemed a noble illustration of God's faithfulness to his promise that 
his grace shall be sufficient for every time of need. But, though always cheer- 
ful, I doubt whether any one ever saw in* him the slightest approach to levity 
or trifling. His heart overflowed with kindness. None were so young and 
none so old, none so rich and none so poor, none so virtuous and none so 
debased, but that he was on the alert to do them good whenever it 
was in his powder. He was especially kind in his treatment of children. 
I never felt afraid to approach him, nor was I ever made to feel that he 
was so great, or so far above me, that I might not go and talk with him 
with perfect freedom. With all his kindliness and familiarity, however, 
he was uniformly dignified. His words, his manner, every thing per- 
taining to his deportment, evinced a calm and thoughtful habit of mind, and 
was fitted to awaken respect and veneration. He was a fine model of a Chris- 
tian Gentleman. His self-respect never degenerated into arrogance, nor his 
courtesy into obsequiousness or flattery. In the pulpit and out of the pulpit, 
his demonstrations were all worthy of an Ambassador of God. 

Believe me, very truly. 

Your brother in the Lord, 



Newburgh, October 24, 1856. 
My dear Sir : It gives me pleasure to comply with your request for a 
sketch of my impressions of the late Dr. McJimsey. I wish I could do more 
justice to the subject, — which I certainly should do, could I transfer to this 
sheet the image of that excellent man as it exists in my own mind. 

Although I had not perhaps so close an intimacy with him as some others 
of his clerical brethren who were nearer his age, yet I knew him well. Our 

Vol. IX. 12 



fields of labour were adjacent. I was his successor in one of the Societies in 
which he had long and faithfully laboured. We often met on social and 
religious occasions. He was a not unfrequent visitor at my house, and I was 
quite as often at his. Even though my opportunity for knowing him had 
been much less favourable, I could scarcely have failed of a correct perception 
of his character, — so free was he from any thing like disguise, and so much 
and truly did the man himself appear in his every day and every where 
deportment. This remark is not designed to convey the idea that he was 
unguarded and imprudent in action or in speech, garrulously throwing out 
expressions of thoughts and feelings as they arose in his mind, or flitted in 
lights and shadows over it — he was conscientiously careful what thoughts and 
feelings he harboured, and no less so what words he uttered. Reserved where 
reserve was proper, — in regard to all that others had a right to know, he was 
unveiled and open. His good sound sense and self respect preserved him from 
the weakness of aflfectation; his ingenuous nature shrunk from the least 
approach to dissimulation. Partly from principle and partly from the impulse 
of his nature, — either alone was suflBcient to produce the effect — he carried 
in his very appearance the features of his real character. 

His manners were plain and simple, and at the same time dignified, and 
perhaps I might add, courtly. He was every inch a gentleman. I will not 
say he belonged to the old or the modern school, although he united the pre- 
cision and dignity of the former with the easy and graceful urbanity of the 
latter. He belonged rather to that higher school, where true politeness is 
taught, not with reference to movement and attitude, but by implanting the 
spirit of Christian courtesy in the heart. The courteous bearing which 
always marked his conduct was not the result of studied attention to conven- 
tional rules — it was the effect of his instinctive perception of the proprieties 
of life; of his correct impulsive appreciation of what becomes the Man, the 
Christian and the Christian Minister ; and of that true kindness of spirit 
which prompts its possessor every where, and under all circumstances, with- 
out ostentation or without effort, to promote the comfort of others. His 

politeness, like his breathing, was not the effect of design, of plan, of effort, 

it was natural, spontaneous, unavoidable, a necessary function, an attribute 
of the man. 

He was a man of remarkable equanimity. Whatever may have been his 
natural temperament, grace had schooled and subdued it into great evenness 
and self-command. If he did not often rise into great elevation of spirits, 
he seldom sunk into great depression. If what the old Scotch folks call 
pouther had a place in his bosom, — and he was not wholly destitute of that 
commodity, — he was generally careful to keep it stowed away in its proper 
magazine, where the attrition of a careless foot, or the advent of a floating 
spark, might not produce ignition. Though, during a large portion of his 
life, he was sorely tried by severe affliction of members of his family, yet 
such was his ordinary composure and calmness of spirit that those not 
acquainted with his history might be daily conversant with him without sus- 
pecting that he was enduring heavy trouble. Never, excepting in the closest 
intimacy of most confiding friendship, did he give any verbal intimation, and 
seldom did his countenance indicate, that he was daily drinking the cup of 
affliction. This did not arise from any lack of tenderness — few men possessed 
quicker or finer sensibilities. Neither did it arise from pride, affecting a 
stoical apathy, or a philosophical superiority to the sorrows of life. Such 
pride had no place in his heart. Nor was it any want of conjugal or fatherly 
regard. In these and in all the relations of life, he was considerate, atten- 
tive, gentle, affectionate. It was the piety of a sanctified soul shining out in 
his life. It was the meekness of a subdued spirit acquiescing in the will of 



his Lord and Master. It was the power of faith rejoicing in the wisdom and 
goodness of a Covenant God, and giving a practical utterance to the sentiment 
of Job, — " Shall we receive good at the hand of the Lord, and shall we not 
receive evil ?" 

Dr. McJimsey was a godly man. Probably it would not be transcending 
the bounds of truth to say he was eminently so. No one who knew him 
could entertain a doubt of his piety. It proved itself, not by ostentatious ex- 
hibitions, but by the general tenor of his life. It was not confined to times 
and places. At all times, and wherever he went, it went with him, as the 
radiations of light move with the moving of a lamp that burneth. If it was 
not always equally full and clear, it was always unequivocal. It was re- 
moved as far as possible from that which is spasmodic and fitful. Staidness 
was an attribute of his piety, as well as of himself. It was not a monthly — 
blooming and fading with the changes of the moon ; nor was it an annual, 
which, however beautifully adorned with foliage under the summer sun, 
withers into barrenness at the approach of the wintry blast. It was an ever- 
green, retaining its beauty and manifesting increasing attractiveness amidst the 
storms and snows of winter. Although like every thing connected with our 
poor humanity, it sometimes varied in its appearance, it always exhibited 
a good degree of the freshness of "the tree planted by the rivers of water, 
that bringeth forth his fruit in his season." And although, like the tall 
mountain pine, it sometimes bent before the force of the storm, yet, in all its 
swaying to and fro, it always pointed and reached towards Heaven. I have 
seen him in various circumstances, and sometimes amidst exciting elements, 
and himself excited, though not often ; but I never saw him when he ap- 
peared to be unmindful of what became him as a Man, and an Ambassador of 
our Lord Jesus Christ. 

As a man of talents and substantial mental furniture. Dr. McJimsey occu- 
pied a highly respectable standing. He possessed a sound mind, well culti- 
vated and well stored. Not at all deficient in general intelligence, he was par- 
ticularly well informed in whatever pertained to his own profession. He was 
familiar with the Sacred Scriptures, and made much use of them in his pulpit 
exercises. His understanding was clear and discriminating. If his imagina- 
tion was not quick and livel}^ it was always chaste. His position among edu- 
cated men, and his general influence in society, are not to be attributed so 
much to any one prominent talent as to the general harmony of his intellect- 
ual powers. He had that happy combination of mental and moral properties 
which qualifies less for occasional dazzling exhibition than for steady and per- 
manent usefulness. Good sound judgment had more to do in making up the 
aggregate of his usefulness than originality of thought or elegance of expres- 
sion. If his mind did not move as fast as the minds of some others, it moved as 
sure. If it did not come as quickly to its conclusions, it usually came to 
them quite as correctly. What was lacking in celerity was compensated in 
strength. No one who knew him would ascribe to him the mental qualities 
that glitter ; but he had, in more than usual degree, those which are practi- 
cal and useful. He seldom let fly those scintillations which, however brilliant 
at the moment, so often prove, when subsequently examined, to be nothing 
but cinders. But whether in the coolness of reflective conversation or in the 
animation of heated debate, his mind always gave out the ring of the true 

Whether he should be pronounced eloquent or not, would depend, of course, 
on the taste of the hearer. If eloquence consists in fluent thoughts, giibness 
of utterance, theatric attitudes and violent gesture, or in sentiments adorned 
with florid imagery, and very prettily and gracefully delivered. Dr. McJimsey 
was at a respectable remove from eloquent. But if it consists in appropriate 



and connected thought, clearly conceived, and clearly, forcibly and feelingly 
expressed, then he was eloquent beyond the majority of his compeers. 

If he was not what is commonly termed a great Preacher, he was what is 
far better, a good one. He showed both his wisdom and his piety in the 
selection of subjects for his pulpit discussions, or rather in confining himself 
to those which the adorable Master has Himself assigned. Familiar as he 
was with the truths of the Bible, he had no need, and, loving those truths as 
he did, he had no desire, to occupy the sacred hours of the Sabbath and the 
Sanctuary in the discussion of political, scientific or literary matters. He 
never introduced secular subjects into the pulpit. The Bible furnished him 
with texts not only, but with subjects, and suggested the mode, or at least 
the spirit, in which they should be handled. The themes which engaged his 
most frequent attention, and on which he most delighted to linger, were those 
which cluster around the Cross. He was not ashamed of the Gospel of 
Christ, nor of any of its doctrines, however unpopular, or however contrary 
to the pride and wisdom of the world. He gloried in them, and made them 
the glory of his discourses and of his life. He was thoroughly of the old 
Scotch School in his Theology, a Calvinist of the Calvinists, as Paul was a 
Hebrew of the Hebrews, — pure and full-blooded. By the unyielding tenacity 
with which he clung to what he believed to be the truth, and the tolerance 
and kindness with which he treated those who differed with him, he showed 
that the spirit of truth was enshrined in his heart. 

In the pulpit, offering the prayers of the people to God, or delivering the 
message of God to the people, he was always serious and affectionate. It is 
rarer praise, and no less deserved, to say he was always serious and affec- 
tionate out of the pulpit. Even his cheerfulness had an air of seriousness 
about it, which savoured strongly of the fragrance of the closet, and his 
seriousness was characterized with a cheerful elevation of spirit, which 
betrayed the sacred source whence it was derived. Seen any where, he would 
be recognized as a Mmister of Christ. None who attended his ministry, or 
heard him but occasionally, could fail of receiving the impression that the 
principle that governed him was love to God and to the souls of his fellow- 
men. Those who heard him oftenest, and knew him best, carried this 
impression deepest in their hearts. 

Whether we contemplate our departed friend as to his natural endowments, 
his educational acquirements, his general intelligence, his habits of thought, 
his elucidations of Divine truth and his faithful application of it to his 
hearers, and the happy illustration of the power of grace which he gave in 
his life; he appears to have been admirably fitted for the work in which he 
was so long and so faithfully engaged. 

Wishing you success in the enterprise to which this is a trifling contribu- 
tion, and the blessing of our Lord and Saviour upon all your labours, 
I am, dear Sir, very sincerely yours, 






Allegheny, February 13, 1863. 

Rev. and dear Brother: In conformity with your request, I furnish the fol- 
lowing brief sketch of the life of my old friend and Pastor, the Rev. Alexander 

Alexander Porter was bom in South Carolina in the year 1770. After 
receiving the rudiments of a classical education in his native State, he took his 
collegiate course in Dickinson College, Carlisle, during the Presidency of Dr. 
Nesbit. There being, at that time, no Theological Seminary under the care of the 
Associate Reformed Church, he pursued the study of Divhiity under the direction 
of the Rev. John Jamison, of Indiana County, Pa., and was licensed to preach the 
Gospel in the year 1796. In the following year he was ordained to the office of 
the Holy Ministry, and was installed Pastor of the United Congregations of Cedar 
Spring and Long Cane, in Abbeville District, S. C. In a few years after Mr. 
Porter entered upon his pastoral labours, the congregations under his care increased 
to such an extent that one of them was sufficiently large to occupy the whole of 
his time. Accordingly, the pastoral care of the Congregation of Long Cane was 
relinquished, and his undivided attention was devoted to Cedar Spring. Here he 
laboured with much acceptance, and with a good degree of success, until the year 
1814, when he removed to the State of Ohio ; and, in the year following, was 
installed Pastor of the Congregation of Hopewell, in Preble County. Here he 
continued to labour assiduously and successfully, in a large congregation, till the 
year 1833 ; when, in consequence of declining health, he relinquished his pastoral 
charge. After this, he preached occasionally, as the state of his health would 
permit, for somewhat more than a year ; and finally closed his active and useful 
life on the 29th of March, 1836, in the confident expectation of a glorious immor- 

Mr. Porter was an interesting and acceptable Preacher. His tall and erect 
form, his solemn and dignified appearance, his placid countenance and penetrating 
eye, his clear and melodious voice, and his simple and persuasive manner, all 
combined to inspire the hearer with awe. He excelled particularly in a plain, 
simple exhibition of Cod's Word, possessing the happy faculty of unfolding the 
truths of the Gospel in a manner intelligible to the common people, while it was 
ne^er othei'wise than acceptable to the cultivated mind. Easy and familiar in his 
manners, he was an agreeable companion ; social in his disposition, he was always 
welcome to the domestic circle ; and both the young and the aged eagerly sought 
his society. While he filled the pulpit with dignity, his deportment in his inter- 
course with society was such as became a good Minister of Jesus Christ. As a 
necessary result, his influence, both with the people and with his brethren in the 
ministry, was very great, and there are probably few men who have been instru- 
mental in introducing into the Church of Christ, a greater number of persons 
who have adorned their Christian profession by a consistent deportment. 

Mr. Porter was an active and useful member of the Board of Trustees of 
Miami University fi:om 1819 till his death. 



Mr. Porter's only publication of which I have any knowledge was a pamphlet 
of considerable size on the Arminian controversy, in reply to one from a Mr. 
Glenn, a Methodist Preacher. Indeed, during the active period of his life, the 
facilities for printing in South Carolina were so limited that few comparatively of 
the ministry published any thing. 

Mr. Porter was married, in 1796, to Mary, daughter of John and Nancy 
Cochran, who resided in Abbeville District, S. C, within the limits of his pasto- 
ral charge. They had nine children, — four sons and five daughters, six of whom 
survived their father. His second son, Alexander, is a respectable Physician and 
a Ruling Elder in the Church, and resides in Fairhaven, Preble County, 0. His 
third son, James C, is a worthy minister in the United Presbyterian Church, 
residing in Little Rock, 111. In consequence of declining health, he has recently 
demitted his pastoral charge. 

Such, Dear Sir, is a very meagre sketch of the history, and a very imperfect 
delineation of the character, of a singularly excellent man, whom I knew well, 
under whose ministry I had my early training, and whom I succeeded in the 
pastoral care of the Congregation of Cedar Spring, of which I had the oversight 
for the first fifteen years of my ministerial life. I have stated nothing which 
any one who knew him would consider extravagant. Though he was not a man 
to excite the wonder of the world, he was a good scholar, an agreeable speaker, 
and profoundly ac(|[uainted with the Holy Scriptures. With serious persons, 
whether in humble life or in cultivated society, he was a favourite Preacher. And 
it is a fact worthy of notice that there are now persons who were trained under 
his ministry in Cedar Spring, or their off-spring, who are members of our Church 
in Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio, and, to a 
remarkable extent, they exemplify the life and power of religion. 

But you will see that I possess little skill in drawing a character, while I have 
a good model before me. If these few hints can be of any service to you, they 
are at your disposal. 

Wishing you great success in your labours, I am, with great regard, your 
friend and brother, 




Fort Plain, N. Y., December 20, 1848. 
My dear Sir : I am happy to comply with your request, in sending you such 
notices of the life of my beloved and venerated relative as are within my reach. 
James Gray was born December 25, 1770, in Corv^oam, County of IMonag- 
han, Ireland. He was descended of families of great respectability and substan- 
tial wealth. His father was the late Capt. John Gray, of the above mentioned 
place, and commanded a company of the celebrated Irish volunteers under Lord 
Charlemont. His mother's maiden name was Niblock. He was himself the 
first bom of the family, which consisted of four sons and three daughters. 



From childhood he was devoted to study, and had no taste for any other employ- 
ment. His father was disposed to fall in with his predilections thus early mani- 
fested, and gave him every opportunity for the culture of his mind that his 
ambition coveted. He was himself a person not only of great compass and 
soundness of mind and decision of character, but of genuine and earnest piety ; 
and it was his highest ambition, in respect to his son, that he should be an able 
and faithful Minister of the New Testament. He lived to witness the accom- 
plishment of this pious desire. 

After going through the elementary branches of his education, he entered the 
College of Glasgow, in 1790; and, having distinguished himself in the several 
classes he attended, he graduated in April, 1793. His diploma bears the signa- 
tures of fourteen Professors. 

His theological studies were prosecuted principally under the direction of one 
of the Fathers of the Secession in Ireland, the late Rev. John Rogers, of Bally- 
bay. He was licensed by the Presbytery of Monaghan. After preaching some 
time to vacant churches of the denomination of Burghers, with great acceptance, 
he took his letter of dismission and recommendation from the Presbytery of 
Armagh, of which, in the mean time, he had become a member, (May 10, 1797,) 
with a view of finding a home on these Western shores. Having, in the course 
of this year, married the widow of John McLean, M.D., he, with his wife and 
her two children, shortly after, embarked from Newry, and, in the month of June, 
landed in New York. In the succeeding autumn he was settled in West Hebron, 
Washington County, N. Y., in connection with the Associate Reformed Presby- 
tery of Washington. There he remained, in a retired and even obscure field of 
labour, until the fall of 1803, when, having received a unanimous call from the 
Church in Spruce Street, Philadelphia, in connection with the Associate Reformed 
Synod, he accepted the call and removed to that city. 

In 1805 he received the honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity from the Uni- 
versity of Pennsylvania. 

Next to Dr. Mason, he had probably the most important agency in establish- 
ing the Theological Seminary of the Associate Reformed Church in the city of 
New York. That institution he always regarded with the deepest interest, and 
in various ways lent it his cordial and efficient support. Knowing, as he did, the 
value of the highest intellectual qualifications for the ministry, it was a favourite 
object with him to increase the facilities of theological education as far as 

In 1808 he took an active part in the formation and management of the Phila- 
delphia Bible Society, (the oldest institution of the kind in the country,) and, after 
the first year, was, for a long time, its Corresponding Secretary. 

About this time he, in connection with Dr. S. B. Wylie, opened a Classical 
and Scientific Academy, which was well sustained for several years. At length, 
however, Dr. Gray came to feel that his labours in the Academy interfered too 
much with his appropriate duties as a Minister ; and, as he had accomplished the 
principal object for which he had embarked in the enterprise, he and his asso- 
ciate, by mutual consent, dissolved the connection. Shortly after this he demit- 
ted his pastoral charge of the Spruce Street Church and removed to the city of 

Having long contemplated publishing his views on certain points in Theology, 
he determined not to enter again into the pastoral relation. But, to support him- 



self and his family, he opened a select school in Baltimore, which was very pros- 
perous during the whole time that he presided over it. Here he composed and 
published his '• Mediatorial Reign of the Son of God." He began, also, his 
Theological Review ; but, as this was not sufficiently patronized, and as he had no 
funds to throw away, it was not continued beyond the first year — four numbers 
only were issued. 

In the spring of 1823 he, with his family, came to reside with me at Gettys- 
burg, Pa., where he continued till his death, which occurred September 20, 1824, 
in the fifty-fourth year of his age. 

Dr Gray's published works are a Sermon entitled Present Duty; A Disser- 
tation on the Priesthoods of Melchisedec, Aaron and the Lord Jesus Christ; 
The Fiend of the Reformation Detected ; Concio ad Clerum ; The Mediatorial 
Reign ; and the Theological Review. Had his life been spared, he had in- 
tended publishing another work or two, provided sufficient encouragement had 
been given to justify it. 

His habits as a student were in some respects remarkable. His devotion to 
his studies was so mtense as not to be disturbed by any thing about him. He was 
as collected amid confusion and uproar as when he was sitting alone in his 
study. When he was not reading or writing, he would often be walking, run- 
ning or. leaping, and still prosecuting his studies in connection with this bodily 
exercise. When on horseback, which was his fevourite mode of travelling, his 
friends had little difficulty in determining whether or not he was engaged in deep 
thought by the gait of his horse : if it was slow, it was an indication that he was 
relaxing his faculties, — if rapid, it indicated, with equal certainty, that his mind 
was occupied in profound contemplation. So perfectly were his faculties under 
his control that he could stop at any point in his course, attend to what turned 
up at the moment, and then resume, as if his thoughts had suffered no diversion. 
These characteristics he retained even to the last. Few men kept up the whole 
circle of thought, traversed by the three professions, more completely than he did. 
With Hebrew, Greek and Latin he was perfectly familiar. Whatever was best 
worth knowing in Sacred or Profane History he had at hand. With the natural 
and abstract sciences he was so familiar that he was able to converse and even to 
debate to advantage with their respective Professors. His personal appearance 
was striking. In height he was about five feet, eight inches ; muscular ; without 
any tendency to corpulency ; every limb fully developed, and all the joints well 
knit together, and every thing about his fi-ame indicating great activity, strength 
and power of endurance. His complexion was fair, inclining to the florid ; his 
lips thin and compressed ; his nose acpiline ; his eyes blue, and his forehead fully 
developed in the perceptive and intellectual regions. His temperament was san- 
guine, his friendships ardent and enduring, his antipathies few and short lived. 
He rarely lost a friend in the most exciting and protracted debates, and as rarely 
made an enemy. Moral truth, particularly as it lies in the inspired page, was 
the great central attraction of his soul. For that he lived and laboured and 
prayed. He held it with the utmost tenacity, and brought all the energies of 
his mind and heart to its vindication. 

In all the relations of life, as Husband, Father, Pastor, Citizen, he was faith- 
fill, amiable and conciliatory. The rich respected and the poor loved him. The 
intelligent found an instructive companion in him, and the ignorant, one whom 
they might ever approach without fear. And though he had never any children of 



his own, he found in his step-son and daughter two whom he could not have 
loved more fervently, if they had been his own ; and they merely knew that he 
was not their father according to the flesh — in every other respect they felt that 
they were not fatherless. His memory they cherish in their love, gratitude and 
veneration, in the fond hope of ere long meeting him in glory. 

Your very sincere friend, 

C. G. McLEAN. 


Baltimore, October 28, 1848. 

Dear Sir : Your letter of the 10th instant requests me to furnish you with 
my ''recollections" of the late Dr. Gray. The appeal has worked up sensi- 
bilities which, originating with my early years, when Divine Providence 
ordained his right to a moral parentage over my undisciplined mind, and 
remaining through the toils and struggles of my maturer life, I would most 
sacredly cherish, now that his Master has called him home. I knew him well, 
loved him dearly, and confided in him without reserve. But I wield not the 
pen that is adequate to do him justice. You say well, when you speak of 
him as "one of the greater,^* I would say one of the greatest "lights of 
the American pulpit." The late Dr. Mason was in my house, when the news 
of his loved companion's decease reached our city, and, on being told of it, 
bowing his head, the big tears rolling down his cheeks, he observed, — " the 
greatest man I ever knew." Leaving me the next day, feeble and tottermg as he 
was, he bade me farewell, saying, not only in words, but with his own expressive 
countenance, — the finest I ever beheld, — " I shall soon be with Dr. Gray." 

His Creator had richly endowed him. His mind was of the first order, 
and his heart of equal claims, — both nicely balanced, and properly adjusted 
in his high character. The delicacies and refinements of intellectual inter- 
course he knew well how to appreciate, — rendering due respect to age, willing 
that equals should rise to any eminence to which talent or providential cir- 
cumstances apparently called them ; kind and condescending to the young, 
whom he was ever ready to encourage and assist ; " compassionate to the 
ignorant and them that are out of the way ;" never indulging the habit of 
speaking evil of others, yet making others see and feel that he had a high 
and keen sense of honour. One circumstance in connection with the first 
class of these, and which you may take as a guaranty for all the rest, I heard 
him relate, when advance in life allowed me the intimacy which the remark 
implies. When the venerable Dr. Reid, for whom he entertained the most 
unqualified respect, appeared upon the College Green, the students always 
took ofi* their hats, to which this beloved Professor uniformly responded by 
the corresponding token. This, the youthful Gray determined he would not 
do; assigning to me, as his reason, that he exceedingly disliked to give the 
feeble old man so much trouble. Many would not so accurately discriminate 
between a fashionable custom and so happy and appropriate a moral reason 
for omitting it. 

On second thought, it seems to me that T may as well inform you of 
another circumstance, illustrative of his regard for the young. It occurred 
to myself, during a period of toil and sorrow that I am destined never to 
forget, and through whose results I am still passing on to the judgment-seat, 
full of hope, and without any personal regrets. In the midst of my painful 
investigations, I said to him, — " Doctor, I am somewhat offended with you.** 
*' And what about, pray. Sir ?" he replied. " "Why you know I am walking 
through troubles, through which you have given me much reason to believe 
you have yourself passed in your early years. I come to you with my 

Vol TX. 13 




problems and seeking relief. Instead of sympathetically relieving me, you put 
me under a course of catechism, until you find out how far I have gone, and 
then you leave me." He answered to the following effect, — " I know it ; I 
have done so on purpose, and have treated my son in the same way. You 
have your own work to do, — your own place to fill. We are in an unkind 
and misjudging world. After a while, when circumstances may require you 
to tell your own thoughts, that world will be mean enough to say you got 
your ideas from me ; and I am determined, so far as my conduct can do 
it, to deprive that world of the power of saying so with truth. Go on, 
and God bless you." I answered, — "Oh, if that is your reason, I forgive 
you." In the midst of my struggles, or rather when others discovered what 
I was about, he died. Have I not good cause to remember him, after having 
been brought so close in contact with a mind so superior, and that was 
honourable enough to entertain such prospective views.? He always treated 
the young student with kindness, desirous that his honours might be high 
and well-deserved. I heard him ask, in one of his speeches before the 
Synod, when the Act to establish a Theological Seminary was under discus- 
sion, and when it was by some urged that thereby the older ministry would 
be thrown into the shade, — " What father ever regretted that his son should 
be a wiser and better man than himself.?" 

The education of his early years must have been thorough ; his college life 
must have been a laborious one. In other words, the foundations must have 
been laid deep and broad; for the intellectual superstructure he so assiduously 
reared in after life was mighty. He was a ripe scholar, a profound metaphy- 
sician, an original, accurate and incessant thinker. His reading was exten- 
sive; his researches were various; his views ofttimes startling; his communi- 
cations prompt, never betraying any deficiency by stereotype thoughts or 
phrases, but always fresh and vigorous. No one, it seems to me, who can 
estimate mind, particularly when it is in full action, whether corresponding 
with him in general sentiment or not, would hesitate to accord all this to Dr 
Gray, and more. Let his works speak for themselves. 

I have often endeavoured to form for myself a full idea of this noble man, 
and have as often retreated into his own description of one whom, in his 
"Fiend of the Reformation Detected," he styles "the Investigator." "The 
Advocate of truth," which is another character most inimitably portrayed in 
that book, he certainly was; but then he grew into the Investigator. He 
never could have drawn these so entirely to the life had he not learned the 
exercises of their various intellectual powers from experience. Nor do I won- 
der that Dr. Mason expressed the opinion of him that I have already referred 
to, and that, in relation to his annual visit to Philadelphia, during the winter 
recess of the Seminary, he should assign one of his reasons to be that he 
might have a chat with Dr. Gray. 

Dr. Gray belonged to the Calvinistic school, and has pronounced the highest 
eulogy upon the spirit of that sect. He says : " The peculiar attribute which 
has distinguished the Calvinistic sect in all nations, and in all ages, is a firm 
and stubborn faith. I use these epithets in their fullest and most favourable 
sense. A Calvinist will believe God's Word, but he will believe nothing else, 
in matters of religion." Yet high as this estimate is, he did not consider that 
any right existed in that sect, nor does he suppose that it had ever been legiti 
mately assumed, to cripple his powers of thought or to control his conscience ; 
but adds, — " Talk to him (a Calvinist) of the decisions of ten thousand coun- 
cils, he cares nothing about them, and indeed rarely gives himself trouble to 
know any thing about them." Again, he says, "All the world should know 
that we are not disposed to surrender to any authority the liberty with which 
< Christ has made us free ; * the liberty of submitting our consciences to no 


authority but his own, and of knowing no law of duty but his law, which is 
the perfect law of liberty. Those who know this conscientious liberty, should 
be open and candid, but at the same time modest in asserting it." He freely 
availed himself of this liberty, as his writings abundantly show. How far 
this Investigator might have used this liberty, had it pleased God to have 
spared him to this day, when the mass of mankind may be seen marshalled in 
polemic strife, and the question of right in every form is convulsing both 
Church and State, it is not for me to say. 

There is a mental faculty which is rare, and which he possessed in an emi- 
nent degree it is that which enabled Solomon to acquire his peculiar fame^ 

even among inspired writers, and which has afforded so rich a repast to the 
Church in the book of Proverbs. Here Dr. Gray stands almost unrivalled. 
His knowledge of human nature was profound, and his observation on society 
and social manners was keen and accurate. Here he had often a tangled skein 
to unravel, but he unravelled it. This power, so peculiar and yet so valuable, 
gave him great advantages in enabling him to illustrate to the common sense 
of men general principles on which he ever reasoned, and great confidence in 
the prospective views he took. It fully explains a remark I once heard him 
make, which might seem to many quite enigmatical. He had taken a long 
journey on horseback, having been sent to preach to a vacant congregation. 
The Presbytery to which he belonged was small, and long rides were frequently 
assigned to the several members. He was complaining of his fatigue and dissipa- 
tion of thought, occasioned by the rough and protracted exercise. A young 
clergyman or student, knowing that he never wrote his sermons, asked him how 
he could preach under such circumstances. He replied, "I make every man I 
meet study my sermon for me." Thus he was always observing ; reading society 
instead of books, studying man instead of the volumes he had left behind. 

As a Preacher, he was a lecturer or expositor, rather than a sermonizer. 
We have his views on the comparative merits of these modes of pulpit exhibi- 
tion, detailed in the conclusion of his " Mediatorial Reign." See page 431, 432. 

" Preparation for the weekly exposition of Scripture compels a minister to 
be a diligent student. It keeps him habitually engaged over the whole field 
of literature, languages, criticism, history, chronology, laws, antiquities, every 
thing. A good expositor of Scripture must become a learned divine, accord- 
ing to the measure of his faculties. Who enjoys the benefit ? Himself first, 
and next the Church. Young preachers are apt to shrink back from the 
difficulties which attend a commentator. It would be nothing to diminish 
their fears by cherishing false hopes. The difficulties lie in the nature of 
things; and he who tries the work may expect to meet them. The only true 
encouragement is this : — That if the labour be difficult, the pay is glorious. 
The clear and assured view of evangelical truth, which the practice of Scrip- 
tural exposition produces ; the intellectual and spiritual riches which is the 
result ; the promptitude and facility with which Divine subjects will, by and 
by, be grasped, discussed and handled, — these are a few, and only a few of 
the precious rewards which God bestows on all the diligent students of his 
own Word. The minister who has conquered the difficulties of a commenta- 
tor; I mean he, who can, with reasonable industry, expound a chapter, or half 
a chapter of the Bible, on the Sabbath, has, in reality, conquered all the 
most formidable difficulties of his office. Sermons cost such a man almost 
nothing. Saturday is divested of all its terrors. He never trembles about a 
few leaves of manuscript. He can check for thousands, and is not afraid of 
failing for small change. If his heart be only right with God, he can hardly 
ever be unprepared for preaching the Gospel. Thus, before he has reached 
the meridian of life, he finds himself a man, and carries his sermons in his 
heart, not in his pocket." 



He was not what, in familiar phrase, is called a popular Preacher The 
mass could not find in him that which they commonly call eloquence ; which 
they professedly seek after ; ofttimes do not attain ; and do not know it when 
they hear it. There was a want of Demosthenic action, — of those dulcet and 
thundering tones which exert a sort of mesmeric influence, convert some 
deformity into a beauty, and end in a " bodily service," leaving the soul under 
the dominion of animal passion. He understood all this, and well describes 
it when he says, — " The age in which we live, too, is fastidious in its taste. 
It exacts — it can hardly tell what it exacts ; novelty, figure, pathos, rhetoric. 
We refuse to put up with sound good sense ; the man who rests the weight 
of his discourse upon the importance of the truth which he utters, will be 
suspected of some defect in genius or erudition. Never was an age less con- 
cerned about what is spoken ; but we insist it shall be spoken well. We 
demand, in composition, the pomp of Johnson, the magnificence of Burke, or 
the pathos of Curran ; and in utterance, we demand the attitudes, tones and 
thunders of the stage." Notwithstanding this public and injurious mistake, 
there was about him an eloquence of sentiment, often clothed in appropriate 
and most sublime language, which held his audience in rapt attention. I 
remember, when the Associate Reformed Church was terribly agitated on the 
subject of Catholic Communion, he was a delegate to the General Synod ; 
though he was prevented by scholastic engagements from attending constantly 
on their deliberations. On one of the afternoons, while this discussion was in 
progress, a pause had occurred, and, at the moment, Dr. Gray came in sud 
denly and rapidly. He inquired what was the subject before Synod; and, 
on being informed it was Catholic Communion, he began. Before he finished 
I saw candles brought in, but without particularly noticing the circumstance, 
until I heard him observe, — " I beg pardon of the Synod for detaining them 
so long ; but I really had not time to make a shorter speech, — my school 
demands so much of my attention." 1 was surprized at the apology, thinking 
it entirely uncalled for ; as he could not, I thought, have occupied more than 
half an hour. On referring to my watch, I found he had been speaking an 
hour and a half. One of the most eloquent sermons I ever heard from him 
was delivered under similar pressure. 

During that speech he observed that "communion could be held no further 
in any religious service, than that service went ; and that, therefore, no 
Christian brother, in enjoying fellowship in the ordinance of the Supper with 
the brethren of another denomination, did thereby sanction the errors of 
that denomination ; " and then he rose in his majesty of thought to represent 
the wilting character of sectarian disputations, and said, — " Why, Moderator, 
there are the Fishers, and the Erskines, and such like men — give them some 
great scriptural doctrine to handle, and they speak, they write like angels — 
give them some Secession peculiarity, — the burgess oath, or a like sectarian 
trifle, and they speak, they write like children." 

It was his lot to be the object of ill-natured remarks, — who is not } He 
might have readily replied to these, and in a manner that no critic of this 
order of slanderers could have forgotten. No man possessed keener wit, 
power of quicker retort, or could have employed more scorching satire. But 
his Christian feelings held him in check. He generally observed, — " Let such 
things alone, they'll die of themselves." A man of such various gifts and 
noble feelings must have been a most interesting companion — and such he 
was, whenever circumstances called him out or sufliciently interested him. 
Particularly was this the case when he met an investigator like himself, or, 
to use his own language, " when he met an artist, who had laboured at the 
same trade and given it up fairly ; they go in (to his workshop) and laugh at 
their folly ; and wonder how like to wisdom folly can look, and how very 


much the follies of different men may resemble each other." I have heard 
ardent wishes expressed, and often felt them myself, to be present at such 
interviews. But he writes, — " They would not let a young artist in, lest he 
should fall in love with one of their machines, (systems laid aside as useless,) 
and either steal it, or go home and make something like it." 

A young clergyman whom he greatly loved, and whose feelings he would 
have deeply grieved to wound, once undertook to reprove him for sleeping 
while he was preaching. " It was a poor compliment to me. Doctor, and 
might lower me in the estimation of my people." I was curious to know 
what excuse he would make for the apparent impropriety, or how he would 
blunt the edge of the remark, well understanding that there may be great 
difficulty in such an exalted man listening to an inferior mind, and that, not 
uncommonly. Preachers are most restless hearers. " Tut, man," he replied, 
<' I never slept under a blockhead in my life ; when I %as a young man, I 
remember two Professors in College, on whose lectures I was obliged to attend. 
One of them possessed the highest order of intellect, and his exhibitions were 
of the most finished description. I uniformly fell asleep during his interesting 
exercises. I was sorry for it, but could not help it. The other was an ordi- 
nary man ; and his lectures were dull and insipid. Under him I never could 
sleep, though I had tried it." Any man might feel himself gratified to 
hear from such lips that his preaching could so far interest such a mind as so 
to affect the physical action of the brain by which it worked. Perhaps a 
great deal of this was honest compliment — his character would guarantee 
that ; but Dr. Gray was a man of great bodily activity, — ever elastic and 
in motion, — rarely still, except when at his desk and laboriously engaged in 
composition ; and even there he would frequently and suddenly start up, and 
take a run or two around the premises as far as they would afford him room. 
Under some powerful and rapid impulses, he would frequently act so during 
his meals — his active, bounding mind could hardly brook restraint, but he 
would thus unexpectedly start off, impelled by some thought, suggested by a 
book he might be reading or by some of his own musings. His strong mind 
had its own peculiarities, and these might often amuse those who were but 
slightly acquainted with him. 

On one occasion, when ecclesiastical business had called him to a sister 
city, he was returning during the evening to his lodgings. But not having 
fixed his landmarks with sufficient distinctness in his mind, or being in one 
of those absent moods, which he says are not uncommon with investigators, 
he mistook the door, and went into the next house ; nor did he discover his 
mistake until he found himself in the parlour, and in the midst of a party of 
gentlemen and ladies. It was no difficulty to him to make the best of such 
an unlooked-for circumstance, but immediately apologized, and so handsomely 
that he was invited to spend the evening. He accepted the invitation, quickly 
made himself at home, and soon became "the life of the company." 

But I detain you too long in reading my hastily written sketches. If, how- 
ever, they can afford you any aid in delineating a character which richly 
deserves to stand out in bold relief before the American public, they are 
entirely at your service. If not, throw them among your papers. In some 
future year they may afford you no unpleasing remembrance of one, who, 
though not personally acquainted, was willing to respond to your call, and 
afford such aid as he could in your contemplated work. Or, perchance, they 
may meet the eye of some candid young student, who will be pleased to dis- 
cover that, in a preceding age, and before his own important advent, such a 
man had lived in our country. "In the morning sow thy seed, and in the 
evening withhold not thy hand ; for thou knowest not whether shall prosper 
either this or that, or whether both shall be alike good." I thank God that 



I ever knew Dr. Gray, and that I can never fall so low in my own estimation 
as to forget him. 

I am, My dear Sir, faithfully yours, 




Oxford, September 26, 1850. 

Rev. and dear Sir : In complying with your request for some notice of the 
life and character of the late Rev. John Steele, of the Associate Reformed 
Church, I shall venture to avail myself of a brief biographical sketch of him, 
from the pen of Dr. Bishop, late President of Miami University, and for many 
years a Co-presbyter with Mr. Steele, in Kentucky. The sketch is as follows: 

" William Steele and his wife were originally from Ireland. He was one of 
the first explorers of Kentucky, and had some very narrow escapes from the In- 
dians. He, on one occasion, went, by himself, in a canoe, from the place where 
Maysville now stands to Pittsburg. He finally settled with his family, at a very 
early period, on the Hinkston Fork of the Licking River, near Millersburg, Bour- 
bon County, where he and his wife lived tUl they were gathered to their fathers 
in a good and honourable old age. 

" Their son, John Steele, was bora in York County, Pa., December 17, 
1772. He received his grammar-school education in Kentucky, and his college 
course at Dickinson, under Dr. Nisbet, where he graduated in 1792. He 
studied Divinity under the Rev. John Young, of Greencastle, Pa., and was 
licensed by the First Associate Refonned Presbytery of Pennsylvania, May 25, 
1797, and ordained by the same Presbytery, in August, 1799. 

" He returned, very soon after his Ordination, to Kentucky, and devoted him- 
self exclusively to the discharge of his ministerial duties. During the first years 
of his ministry, he had the pastoral charge of four congregations, in four different 
counties. By the arrival of additional ministerial help, he was, in 1803, relieved 
from two of these congregations; but the two that he continued to serve were 
thirty miles apart. The state of society in Kentucky, during the whole of his 
residence there, was very unfavourable to the spread of the Gospel ; and there 
were, besides, some local difficulties of considerable magnitude, which were pe- 
culiar to the Associate Reformed Church. In 1817 he removed to Xenia, 
Greene County, 0., where he remained till October, 1836. Here, also, he had 
the charge of two congregations — one in Xenia, and the other in Springfield, 
Clark County, eighteen miles distant. 

" Mr. Steele was one of the first, if not the very first, of the sons of Ken- 
tucky, who devoted themselves to the work of the ministry. He was, in early 
life, and during his prime, a close student. He had an active and independent 
mind ; was an excellent member of Church Courts ; had peculiar qualifications as 
Recording Clerk ; never grudged any ministerial service which he could perform 
in any of his own congregations, or in any vacancy, and hence he was, in some 
seasons of the year, in the earher part of his life, fully one half of his time on 


horseback. He continued a faithful and labourious Pastor and Preacher, till the 
infirmities of age admonished him to retire. He had just moved to Oxford, and 
had made some arrangements for the accommodation of his family, with a par- 
ticular view to the education of his two youngest sons, when, without a groan or 
a struggle, he was called home to his Father's house, on the morning of the 11th 
of January, 1837, in the sixty-fifth year of his age, and thirty-eighth of his min- 

The above, I consider, a very feithful sketch. My acquaintance with Mr. 
Steele began in 1822, when he was appointed to superintend my theological stu- 
dies, our Seminary in New York having been suspended. For two years I was 
familiar with him as my Theological Instructor, and was afterwards a member of 
the same Presbytery with him tUl his death. He had, in early life, enjoyed edu- 
cational opportunities about as good as the country afibrded, which he had dili- 
gently improved ; so that he occupied a very respectable position in the ranks of 
an educated ministry. He had, while a student at Dickinson, taken fuU 
short-hand notes of all Dr. Nisbet's lectures on Intellectual and Moral Philo- 
sophy, Divinity, &c., of which he had several volumes (in short hand) carefully 
bound and preserved as an invaluable treasure. For the memory of Dr. Nisbet 
(by the way) he cherished a profound respect. Indeed, he was almost the only 
man from whose opinions, in some point or other, I never heard him venture to 
express his dissent. 

Mr. Steele had also, through Dr. Mason, early in the century, procured from 
Europe a number of valuable theological works, not procurable at that time in 
this country; and his library was among the very best ministers' libraries in the 
West, and with it he had made himself very familiar. He was an able, clear- 
headed Theologian, well-read in Church History, and versed in Ecclesiastical 
affairs. Great reliance was placed on his judgment in matters of disciphne and 
Church-order. He serv^ed long, with ability, as Clerk both of his Presbytery 
and of Synod. 

His mind was logical, somewhat scholastic. He was a close reasoner, careful 
in laying down his principles, and boldly and rigidly pursuing them to their legi- 
timate results ; giving no range to imagination nor dealing at aU in analogies, but 
pushing straight forward and marking very distinctly every step to his conclu- 
sion. He admitted less of what may be called the logic of the heart, than some 
men who were his inferiors in intellect, and by no means superior in moral and 
Christian worth. Hence he perhaps failed in modifying his principles in their 
application to circumstances, and was less popular as a Preacher than a man of 
his powers should have been, and had less visible success. By this, I would, by 
no means, intimate that he was not a successful minister — on the contrary, he 
has left his mark on an extensive and growing portion of the Church. The slow 
growth and subsequent decline of the churches which he served in Kentucky was 
owing to peculiar causes; and then these churches are, in a manner, reproduced 
in several large and flourishing congregations, which have sprang from them in 
Ohio and Indiana ; and though the churches he last served did not become large 
during his connection with them, they yet were in a thriving state, and have 
since become among the largest and most influential in any Presbyterian connec- 
tion in the West. The fruit of his labour has been gathered since he left the 
field and is still being gathered. He may be reckoned among those who sow 
while others reap. Certainly he laboured and others entered into his labours. 



Mr. Steele was characterized by quick penetration, decision, energy, firm adhe- 
rence to principle and fearlessness in doing what he thought was right, and in 
maintaining what he beheved to be God's truth. Yet he was a lover of peace, 
fond of making peace, and was very tender of both the feelings and reputation 
of others. He was a prudent man, and remarkably sparing both in praise and 
in censure. His stem integrity and independence, combined with modest self- 
respect, forbade him to be obsequious; yet he was companionable, and was like- 
wise familiar and free in his intercourse with his neighbours and fellow-citizens, as 
well as with his parishioners, ready to converse on all subjects — for he was a man 
of general information, and took a deep interest in public afikirs. With some 
sternness of countenance and manner, he was yet a man of great tenderness and 
of fine sensibilities, and was kind, obliging and generous ; and truly hospitable, 
but without ostentation. The naturally rugged features of his character were 
much softened by age ; and I think I have never known such a delightful mel- 
lowing of the mind and heart as was exemplified during the latter years of his 

In the pulpit Mr. Steele was very doctrinal and argumentative, yet animated 
and earnest. In later years he became more practical. In pathos he seldom 
indulged, and generally, when betrayed into it, his utterance was choked. His 
voice was strong and masculine, and his enunciation distinct and clear, but rather 
nasal. He was a methodical preacher, — his heads and inferences being distinctly 
stated, but he was not tied to any particular method, though he generally followed 
what is called the sdwlastm division. What his practice in early life was I am 
not able to state ; but in later years his only written preparation was in brief 
short-hand notes. He never read his sermons, — a practice indeed which has 
never been introduced in the pulpits of the Associate Reformed Churches West, 
and which the worthy subject of this notice decidedly condemned. He never 
played the orator, nor was he often called eloquent, yet his discom'ses occasionally, 
especially at Communion seasons, would compare well with those of the most dis 
tinguished Preachers of the day, in vindicating the Glory of the Cross, and 
bringing to view the Wonders of Redeeming Love. 

I would suppose that Mr. Steele was about five feet eight inches high. His 
head was large and thickly set with coarse black hair, which became silvered as 
he became old ; his beard was heavy and black ; forehead low but rather broad 
and well marked with the lines of thought ; his eyes small, black and piercing ; 
features marked, but regular; look, collected and resolved. He was remarkably 
light'luilt ; well made for activity and strength. In youth he was slender and 
neat; when I became acquainted with him, he had become somewhat fleshy, 
though not corpulent, and was very plain; rather careless, yet genteel, in his 
person and manners. He was a most estimable man of God. His death was 
sudden, but not unanticipated. He had come to feel that his work was done, and 
was quietly awaiting the call of his Master to enter his eternal rest. 

Shortly after he entered the ministry, Mr. Steele was united in marriage to 
Jane, daughter of Walter Cunningham, of Staunton, Va., who was an ofiicer in 
the army of the Revolution. In this marriage he was most happy, having 
obtained, as the companion of his life, a lady distinguished for intelligence, energy 
of character and devoted piety, who yet survives. They had eight children, — four 
sons and as many daughters. Of the sons one is a physician ; two are ministers 
in the United Presbyterian Church; one, a youth of great promise, died while a 


student of Theology, and the only surviving daughter is the wife of the Rev. 
Robert Brice, of Chester, S. C* 

Yours very truly, 





James Scrimgeour was born in the year 1757, in the neighbourhood of 
Edinburgh, Scotland. His mother, who was a member of the Secession Church, 
is represented as having been a lady of remarkable intelligence and piety. After 
the usual preparation for College, he entered the University of Edinburgh in 1772, 
where he became distinguished for his classical attainments. The University, at 
that time, had Dr. Robertson at its head, and most of the Professors were among 
the greatest lights in literature and science of their day. 

In 1777 Mr. Scrimgeour commenced the study of Theology at the Hall of the 
Associate Church, then under the direction of the celebrated John Brown, of 
Haddington, who is said to have formed a high idea of Mr. S.' talents and quali- 
fications for the work to which he was devoted. Under the instructions of this 
admirable Teacher and model, he prosecuted his theological course ; and, having 
performed his several parts of trial to unusual acceptance, was licensed by the 
Associate Presbytery of Edinburgh, in April, 1782. 

For two years after his Hcensure he preached in different parts of Scotland, 
and was among the most popular young men of his denomination. In Aberdeen, 
particularly, multitudes thronged to hear him, and his preaching left an impression 
of deep solemnity. Early in 1784 he was ordained as Minister of the Associate 
Congregation of North Berwick, a sea-port on the coast of East Lothran, — the 
Sermon on the occasion being preached by his venerable instructor in Theology. 
Here he laboured with much fidelity and considerable success for several years. 
In some of the neighbouring towns, particularly Dunbar and Haddington, ho 
officiated occasionally at the administration of the Lord's Supper, and his labours 
on those occasions were highly appreciated. 

In 1794 Mr. Scrimgeour was visited with a severe trial, by means of which 
his mental and physical constitution became so much affected that he felt obhged 
to resign his pastoral charge and retire from the active duties of the ministry. 
After his health was somewhat recruited, fearing to return immediately to the 
sedentary habit of a student, he resolved, to the deep regi-et of his people and of 
his brethren of the Presbytery, not to resume his charge in North Berwick. By 
the advice of his intimate friend, the late Rev. Dr. James Hall, then Minister of 
Rose street Congregation, but afterwards of Broughton Place, Edinburgh, he un- 
dertook the superintendence of a Theological bookstore in that city. This was 
his occupation for several years ; but he stUl preached occasionally in the city and 
the neighbourhood, and always with much acceptance. 

In 1802 the Rev. Dr. John M. Mason visited Great Britain, partly with a 
view to induce ministers in Scotland to migrate to this country. Several ulti- 

* This paragraph has been added in 1863. 
f Christian Instructor, 1847. 

Vol. IX. 14 



mately agreed to his proposal, and among them was Mr. Scrimgeour. He sailed 
in company with the Doctor and other brethren, and reached New York in Oc- 
tober, 1802. Soon after his arrival on our shores, he was installed Minister of 
the Scottish Church, Newburgh, where he remained until 1812, when he received 
and accepted a call to the adjacent Congregation of Little Britain. Here he re- 
mained tUl the growing infirmities of age compelled him to resign his charge. 
This he did a few months before his decease, which took place in the winter of 1825. 

During his incumbency at Newburgh Mr. Scrimgeour entered into the 
marriage relation with Miss Boyd, the eldest daughter of Robert Boyd, Esq., a 
lady eminently qualified for the place to which she was thus introduced. She 
died about three years after their marriage, leaving an only son. 

Mr. Scrimgeour's only publication, so fer as is known, is a Sermon entitled 
" Christ Forsaken on the Cross," pubUshed in the Associate Reformed Pulpit, 


CoLLEQE OP New Jersey, Princeton, May 10, 1852. 

Rev. and dear Sir : You desired me, when we last met, to send you my 
recollections of the Rev. James Scrimgeour. As he died while I was a mere 
youth, the reminiscences, which I cheerfully transmit to you, cannot, of 
course, be expected to include many incidents illustrative of his character in 
the public or private relations of life, of which I was myself personally cog- 
nizant. I have, indeed, heard a good deal respecting him from those who 
knew him long and well. I have a perfectly distinct recollection of his per- 
sonal appearance, his manner in the pulpit and his usual style of sermonizing. 
His image is before my mind quite vividly, and if I could only describe on 
paper the features which are so distinctly drawn on the tablet of boyhood's 
memory^ though I might still fail in making a very readable epistle, I am 
sure you would get at least a tolerably correct idea of the venerable man 
whom you have chosen as — so to speak — one of the representatives of the As- 
sociate Reformed Church. 

Let me, at the outset, say, in order to guard against possible misapprehen- 
sion, that, while Mr. Scrimgeour had some peculiarities which I may presently 
mention, he was not by any means «<a character, ^^ — to use a common and con- 
venient term. He was very far from being one of those oddities of whom even 
children will retam a lively remembrance, when men of less salient traits will 
be quite forgotten by them. Scotland has produced her share of this class of 
persons, and the churches of Scottish origin in this country have received 
from the mother land not a few ministers noted for their eccentricities. But 
Mr. Scrimgeour was not one of them. He was fond of retirement, the largest 
portion of his time being spent in his study, and this disposition, probably a 
natural one, was much strengthened by the trials to which he was subjected. 
Some circumstances connected with the death of his father, which took place 
not long after his entrance into the ministry, made so deep an impression 
upon his mind that, for a time, he was quite overwhelmed by the shock. 
Though he ultimately so far recovered from the effects of this heavy stroke as 
to be able to resume the work of a Pastor, his mind seems never to have re- 
gained completely its original tone. Besides this early affliction, he lost his 
wife — a woman every way qualified to make his home happy — within two or 
three years after his marriage. Yet he did not, like the misanthrope, shun 
society, nor was he accustomed, when in company, to indulge in those indeli 
cate revelations of his griefs which are sometimes heard. No one, however, 
could look upon his grave countenance without at least suspecting that he 
was a man who bad been called to drink largely of the waters of Marah. 



During the period of my personal knowledge of him, he was minister of a re- 
tired country congregation, and had few opportunities of mingling in general 
society. But he was often in Newburgh, and I may almost say, as often in 
my father's house. I cannot give you any thing like a detailed account of his 
social characteristics — all that I remember is, that he was read}'- enough to 
chat with his friends ; that, like many of the good old Scottish ministers, he 
had a vein of quiet humour, which now and then " cropped out," and of 
course no one relished better than himself the exhibition of the same quality 
by others in reasonable measure. 

It was, however, mainly as a Minister of the Gospel that T remember him. 
Shall I say that, though comparatively little known, he was really one of the 
greatest Preachers of his day .'' Perhaps if I did, I should only be repeating 
what a great many reminiscents have already said to you, but I shall say no 
such thing, and shall leave you to form your own judgment respectmg the 
preaching abilities of my venerable friend. Formed in the school of John 
Brown, of Haddington, all who knew him would admit that he was an excel- 
lent specimen of its peculiar style of Preachers. His sermons, several of which 
I possess, were evidently written with care, and yet, if you should eliminate 
from them all their Scriptural quotations, you would find the remainder like 
the worthy Professor Brown's Body of Divinity, under a like process, to con- 
sist of nothing but a skeleton. I have no doubt that many of our young 
preachers, fresh from the Seminary, would turn up their noses at the sight of 
these sermons, under the impression that it is the easiest thing in the world, 
with the help of a Concordance, to get them up ; but if they once made the 
experiment, they would find that, unless they were very familiar with the 
Bible, they could much sooner elaborate a discourse from their own brain than 
fill up the Scripture complement of one of Mr. Scrimgeour's skeletons. Judg- 
ing from the sermons that have come into my hands, as well as from my own 
recollections, I should say that Mr. S. never attempted metaphysical discussion 
nor deep argumentation, though he was probably not unequal to the task of 
dealing with the class of topics that require to be thus handled. He was 
trained in a school remarkable for its high estimate of the simple word of 
God, and, with the old-fashioned sort of Christians to whom he preached, no 
argument was half so convincing and edif3dng as a " thus saith the Lord." 

Those who knew him in the earlier years of his ministry have told me that 
he was then one of the most popular Preachers in the denomination to which 
he belonged, — the Burgher Seceders ; and, from what I know of the taste of 
Scottish Christians, as well as from my own recollection of his manner in the 
pulpit, I can easily credit the statement, and various reasons might be assigned, 
if it were worth while to dwell upon the point, why his ministrations were 
not so generally acceptable in this country as in his native land. Not to men- 
tion others, his strong Scottish accent, if not positively distasteful, would not 
be particularly pleasing to most Americans ; while the seclusion in which he 
lived prevented him from taking part in those philanthropic and religious 
schemes which serve as mental stimulants to those engaged in them, and, at 
the same time, help to give variety to the exercises of the pulpit. His own 
people, however, were strongly attached to him, and, in other congregations, 
containing a large Scottish element, as in that of his old friend Dr. Mason, of 
New York, in Newburgh, and elsewhere, his appearance in the pulpit always 
gave pleasure to his audience. When he visited these places, he very well 
knew that he would be required to preach, and he always went from home 
with an ample equipment, — that is, with from fifty to a hundred sermons in 
his portmanteau. On one occasion an excellent lady of my acquaintance 
travelled some fifteen miles to hear Dr. J. M. Mason, who was expected to 
preach in one of the Associate Reformed Congregations, back from Newburgh. 



When she reached the church, to her great disappointment, she saw Mr. 
Scrimgeour ascend the pulpit. Her first impulse was to quit the place and 
return home, but the '< sober second thought " of the Christian kept her in 
her seat. You may well suppose that she was not in the most favourable 
mood for appreciating the preacher, (whom she had often heard,) yet she 
afterwards declared that she went away quite captivated with the sermon, and 
fully persuaded that even Dr. Mason himself (whom she also knew) could not 
have better recompensed her for her long journey. 

Boy as I was, I would have gone any day a good long distance to hear Mr. 
Scrimgeour, nor would any thing have kept me from the church in which he 
was to preach but absolute inability to get to it. His majestic figure, the 
solemn yet kindly expression of his venerable countenance, kept my eye riv- 
eted upon him, while his deep-toned voice, his strong Scottish accent, and the 
fine old semi-chant or " intoning " with which his sentences were uttered, 
filled my ear like the richest music. But it was not his manner alone that 
fixed my attention. To this day I retain a lively remembrance of several 
sermons preached by him in the old Scots Church of Newburgh, especially of 
one from Psalm xxiv, 7-10. In answer to the enquiry of the text, — " Who is 
this King of Glory ?" he collected all the choicest types and similes of the 
Scriptures that set forth the manifold relations and grace of our Redeemer, 
arranged them in admirable order, quoting in full the passages in which 
they occur. You may imagine that there must have been something above 
the common run of sermons in this one, which could thus arrest the attention 
and fix itself in the memory of a boy. Often have I heard the older members 
of the congregation speak of this discourse, as one of rare richness. I may 
here mention that Mr. Scrimgeour studied brevity in all his pulpit exercises, 
and I have no doubt that many of his hearers were half amused and half vexed 
at the frequency with which his watch was pulled from his fob, and at the 
complaint, which always accompanied the act, of the extreme scarcity of 

While Mr. Scrimgeour retained a good deal of the old Scottish feeling about 
the proprieties of clerical costume, he seems to have fallen, during his latter days, 
somewhat into the free and easy style which obtains in some parts of our land. 
I once heard him, on a fearfully hot day, in his shirt-sleeves, an uncanonical 
sort of semi-surplice, in which he not unfrequently appeared in his own pulpit 
during the summer heats. It was at Newburgh, at the opening of the Asso- 
ciate Reformed Synod of New York. During the sermon, Mr. S. came near 
fainting ; the service was suddenly suspended, and, for a few moments, con- 
siderable alarm was felt. After a little, one of the Reverend fathers present 
proposed to relieve him of the service, but Mr. S., feeling himself by this time 
sufficiently recovered to continue his work, declined the offer, rose in the 
pulpit and resumed his discourse at the very sentence where he had broken 
off. Occasionally, in his own pulpit, little episodes would occur savouring 
largely of the ludicrous. He once observed one of his hearers in a profound 
slumber, when he stopped in his sermon and asked a parishioner sitting near 
to wake him up. The nudge, however, was so gentle as to make no impres 
sion on his somnolent neighbour. The good Pastor, perceiving how the case 
stood, exclaimed, with the greatest gravity and the broadest Scotch, " Shak 
him, Dawvid — Shak him." 

Like many of his countrymen, Mr. Scrimgeour was an inordinate consumer 
of snuif. Even while preaching, he would make large and frequent drafts 
upon his " mull." I remember to have gone with a young companion into the 
pulpit of the Church at Newburgh after a sermon by Mr. S., when we found 
on the carpet so much of this nasal stimulant that each of us collected a decent 
handful. You might suppose that this practice would produce some injurious 


effect upon his voice ; but such was not the case — the current of sound was 
too deep and strong to permit the snuff, largely as it was thrown in, to settle 
in the channel and harden into shallows ; no, it was borne along upon the 
surface of the mighty stream. 

Let me only add that Mr. Scrimgeour was an out-and-out Presbyterian, 
noted for his punctuality in attending Church Judicatories, and for his promp- 
titude in performing all assigned duties. My knowledge of him in this respect 
is, of course, wholly derived from the accounts of others; but all unite in 
testifying that he was a most conscientious attendant at meetings of Presby- 
tery and Synod, and, though not given to speech-making, took an active share 
in the business of the Court. One of my old fellow-presbyters told me that 
Mr. S. once gave him quite a fright. He was giving in to the Presbytery his 
trials for licensure, and had just read his Latin Dissertation, when Mr. Scrim- 
geour arose and asked, " Moderator, shall we impugn it ?" and then went on 
to say, in explanation of the formidable term, that, in former days, members 
of Presbytery were called upon to make their objections to the essay in Latin, 
to all of which the candidate was obliged to make, in the same language, an 
extempore reply. Mr. S. himself could have gone through the process with 
great ease ; but the other members, either out of kindness to their young bro- 
ther, who had expected no such ordeal, or perhaps suspecting that they would 
themselves be found rather rusty in their Latin, concluded to dispense with 
the impugnation. But I must close these reminiscences lest I make myself 
tedious; and I do so with the assurance that I remain 

Very affectionately yours, 



New York, January 26, 1861. 

My dear Dr. Sprague : "When I was licensed to preach, in New York, in 
1807, the Rev. James Scrimgeour was one of the leading members of the 
Presbytery ; and the acquaintance which I commenced with him then was 
always kept up as long as he lived. He was full six feet high ; had a 
decidedly Scotch face, though not otherwise strongly marked ; stooped slightly 
as he walked ; and was rather staid and deliberate in his movements. His 
mind was distinguished rather for a symmetrical combination of all the facul- 
ties, in a good measure of strength and activity, than for the extraordinary 
development of any one of them. And his preaching was what you would 
expect from such an intellectual constitution, taken in connection with a 
Scotch education of the strictest order. He divided, and sub-divided, almost 
without a limit ; but all that he said was luminous and sensible, and not a 
small part of it in the very words which the Holy Ghost teacheth. His sys- 
tem of doctrine was the sternest type of Calvinism ; and I doubt whether he 
ever preached a sermon by which this would not be revealed. He had but 
little gesture, and that little, as I remember, was not particularly impressive. 
His utterance was very distinct and deliberate, and yet was characterized by 
a good degree of earnestness. He was not much given to speaking in Public 
Bodies, though, when he did speak, it was always with good judgment and 
good spirit, and he was listened to with attention and respect. 

For nothing was Mr. Scrimgeour more remarkable than his unfailing good 
will and kindness. An instance of this now occurs to me, with which I hap- 
pened to be associated, which was of a somewhat ludicrous character, and 
might have been very serious in its consequences. I was going with him from 
Newburgh to visit the church at a place called Shawangunk ; and we were 
both riding on horseback. As we approached a school-house, the little chil- 
dren formed themselves into a line by the side of the street, to pay their 



respects, the boys by a bow, the girls by a courtesy, to the venerable man, as 
he passed. The old gentleman's horse, not being used to such an array of 
civility, suddenly shied off, and with so much rapidity as to leave the rider 
almost literally licking the dust ; and the first thing he said, before I had time 
to overtake and bring back his horse, was — <« My gude children, you see that 
your gude manners had well-nigh cost me my life." The spirit of good-will 
towards his fellow creatures always came out, wherever there was an opportu- 
nity to manifest it. 

Very truly and affectionately, 




Fairfield District, S. C, February 12, 1851 

My dear Sir : I cheerfully comply with your request for some brief notices of 
the life and character of the late Rev. Dr. Isaac Grier. I was bom within the 
limits of his pastoral charge, and received my early training under his ministry. 
It was my privilege to be frequently in his company, both before and since I 
reached mature years, — in his own house, in social parties, by the bedside of the 
sick, in ecclesiastical meetings, and on journeys of several hundred miles ; so that 
my opportunities for knowing him were, by no means, inconsiderable. I shall, 
in accordance with what I understand to be your wish, attempt not an elaborate 
and critical analysis of his character, but only some brief and simple memoirs. 

Isaac Grier was descended of a worthy parentage. His father, Robert 
Grier, was a native of Pennsylvania, and a member of the Reformed Presby- 
terian Church. In 1775 he removed to North Carolina, and in the same year 
married Margaret Livingston, an emigrant from Ireland. Immediately after- 
wards he repaired to Georgia, and settled in Greene County, where his son, the 
subject of this notice, was born in the eventful year 1776, being the first Presby- 
terian Minister born in that State. On the head stone placed over the grave of 
Margaret Grier, who lies in the burying ground of Sardis, Mecklenburg County, 
N. C, are inscribed these words — " The mother of the First Presbyterian 
Minister born in Georgia." The interior of Georgia was, at that time, regarded 
as frontier country, and was, therefore, much exposed to Indian depredations ; 
and, consequently, to escape those dangerous hostilities, Mr. Grier, with his 
family, retreated to Cabarras County, N. C, where his son Isaac was baptized by 
the Rev. Mr. Martin, an itinerating Minister of the Reformed Presbyterian 
Church. As soon as the hostilities on the frontier had ceased or abated, he 
returned to his former residence in Georgia. The youthful training of the son 
is presumed to have been of the strictest and most orthodox character, for his 
parents and preceptor were decidedly of the old school type. His academical 
education, preparatory to entering College, was conducted partly by Dr. Moses 
Waddell, who taught with some celebrity many years in the South, but chiefly 
by the Rev. Messrs. Cunningham and Cummins, of Georgia, Ministers of the 
General Assembly Presbyterian Church. 


Having completed his preparatory studies, he repaired to Dickinson College, 
Pa., where he graduated in 1800, under the Presidency of Dr. Nisbet. He 
studied Theology under the direction of the Rev. Alexander Porter, of the 
Associate Reformed Synod of the South, Pastor of Cedar Spring and Long 
Cane Congregations in Abbeville District, S. C, and was licensed at Long Cane, 
by an Associate Reformed Presbytery, September 2, 1802. After itinerating 
among vacant congregations for two years, he was called to take the pastoral 
care of the Congregations of Sardis, Providence and Waxhaw, in North 
Carolina, and was ordained to the Gospel Ministry at the first mentioned place, 
some time in the year 1804. He continued Pastor of these three Congregations 
until 1808, when he resigned the Congregation of Waxhaw, in consequence of its 
inconvenient distance from the other two churches, and united the Congregation 
of Steele Creek, which had been demitted by the Rev. William Blackstock,* to 
those of Sardis and Providence. In 1815 he resigned the Providence Congrega- 
tion, but retained his charge at Sardis and Steele Creek until 1842, when the 
infirmities of age rendered it necessary for him to resign his entire charge. 
From that time his health gradually declined till the 2d of September, 1843, 
when he was removed by death, after having laboured in the ministry about forty 

In 1837 he received the degree of Doctor of Divinity from Jefferson College, 
Cannonsburg, Pa. 

In person Dr. Grier was of about the ordinary statare. He was broad and 
well-built, possessing an erect and manly form, and well fitted for hardships and 
fatigue, being neither afflicted with leanness nor burdened with corpulency. 
Though he passed several ordeals of the severest sickness, and of medicines 
which took an unfortunate and well-nigh ruinous turn upon him, yet he wore, 
even to old age, the unwrinkled face and ruddy countenance of youth. 

Dr. Grier was a man of more than ordinary firmness; but whether he was so 
constitutionally or from education and habit I could scarcely venture an opinion. 
When his mind was once made up, whether in relation to truth or duty, it was 
with difficulty that it could be changed. What he believed to be right and true 
he adhered to with the utmost tenacity, even though it may have subjected him, 
iu some quarters, to the charge of bigotry. 

Punctuality was another of his prominent characteristics. It was a standing rule 
with him to fulfil all his appointments, whether they related to secular or ministerial 
engagements ; so that if ever absent from an Ecclesiastical Judicatory of which 
he was a member, or from a Congregation where it was announced that he would 
preach, he generally had the credit of being detained by circumstances beyond 
his control. 

The labours of Dr. Grier were signally blessed in one department where all 
ministers are not successful. While he had the pleasure of witnessing very con- 
siderable numbers making a profession of their faith under his ministry from 

* William Blackstock was born, educated and licensed to preach in Ireland. He 
migrated to this country about 1794. The Pres<bytery of the Carolinas report — that Wil- 
liam Blackstock, a probationer from the Presbytery of Down, in Ireland, had been received 
by that Body, and was ordained on the 8th of June, 1794, over the United Congregations 
of Steele Creek, Ebcnezer and Neeley Creek, S. C. Here he continued till the year 1804, 
when he resigned his charge nnd became a stated supply to the Churches of New Perth, 
New Sterling and Rocky Spring. He seems to have remained here till 1811, when he 
was settled at the Wiixhaws, N. C. He subsequently accepted a call from Tirzah, S. C, 
and died in 1830 or '31. He had a highly respectable standing in the ministry. 



year to year, yet, peradventure, in the whole course of his ministerial life, there 
was nothing more gratifying to him than the spectacle of so many young men 
among his parishioners turning their attention to a course of education prepara- 
tory to the Ministry, and, in due time, being actually introduced into it, and 
afterwards raised to stations of usefulness and respectability, and some of them 
to eminence, in the Church. Nearly two-thirds of the Presbytery to which he 
belonged consisted of ministers who had been bom and reared within the limits 
of his ministerial charge. 

Probably no minister in the denomination with which he was connected took 
more pains than he in the religious instruction of the coloured people. In 
addition to the catechetical exercises which were conducted at the church, during 
the intermission of public service, in the Summer, for their special benefit, he 
was accustomed, for a number of years, after preaching two discourses to his 
congregation, to deliver a third to the blacks, assembled at a given place, near 
his own house, some five miles distant from the church. 

His pulpit performances were simple, perspicuous and instructive, and gener- 
ally of a medium length. He was scarcely ever tedious in his public ministra- 
tions. He was fond of reading and conversation, and was never more pleased 
than when engaged with his favourite authors or conversing with his friends. 
Few divines were more conversant with History or better informed in Theology. 
Possessing excellent conversational powers, he was supplied with an almost inex- 
haustible fund of amusing and instructive anecdotes, and possessed the ability of 
rendering himself agreeable and interesting to his companions and fellow-tmvel- 
lers in journeys of weeks and months, as I am able myself to testify. 

In 1806 he was married to Isabella Harris, daughter of a Ruling Elder in 
his charge, — a lady distinguished for her fine intellectual and moral qualities, 
and for a most exemplary Christian character. She died in 1842, about a year 
previous to the death of her husband. They had three children, one of whom, 
the Rev. Robert C. Grrier, is a minister of the Associate Reformed Church, and 
a Professor in Erskine College. 

Yours with Christian regard, 



Newburgh, July 2, 1862. 

My dear Sir : After my graduation at College, I was, for two years, the 
Teacher of an Academy in Lancaster District, S. C; and then and there it was 
that I had the pleasure of an acquaintance with the late Rev. Dr. Grier, who 
was so well known and so highly esteemed, especially throughout the South- 
ern churches. Though he lived near the borders of North Carolina, some 
thirty miles distant from the place of my sojourn, I used to meet him at Pres- 
bytery, and occasionally at other times, and once I remember that he took 
me home with him after a Presbyterial meeting, and treated me with great 
hospitality and kindness. For one year I was a theological student, under 
the care of the Presbytery to which he belonged, and this brought me into 
nearer relations with him, and secured to me, on one occasion at least, the 
benefit of his criticisms upon a sermon which I was required to deliver as 
a theological exercise. 

Dr. Grier was of about the ordinary height, rather inclined to be stout, 
with a round full face, a benignant light eye, a mild, pleasant expression of 
countenance, and a general healthful appearance. He had a well balanced 


and well cultivated mind, and was more distinguished for the reflective and 
practical than the imaginative. He had an uncommonly gentle and kindly 
spirit, and was always on the alert to do good and communicate happiness 
whenever it was in his power. His manners were not formed after any stand- 
ard of artificial refinement, but were the simple acting out of strong benevo- 
lent feelings, under the combined influence of good sense and good taste. 
From the first hour you came in contact with him, you could not help being 
impressed with the sincerity, kindliness and dignity of his character ; and the 
more you knew of him, the more of admiration and veneration would these 
qualities elicit. 

Dr. Grier's preaching was sober and instructive, not brilliant or startling. 
It was very much of an expository character, and never failed to throw much 
light upon the portion of Scripture which he had under consideration. His 
voice was distinct and pleasant, but not of remarkable compass. In Public 
Bodies he always seemed at home, observed carefully all that was passing, 
and mingled freely and advantageously in any important discussions that 
might come up. Much deference was paid to him by his brethren, all regard- 
ing him as a clear-headed, right-minded, thoroughly practical man. I never 
had much opportunity of knowing what he was as a Pastor ; but, from my 
knowledge of his general character, I am quite sure I should hazard nothing 
in saying that he adorned the pastoral relation with the most graceful kind- 
ness and the most unremitted devotion. 

There was no feature in the character of Dr. Grier that I think of with 
more interest than his marked kindness to the slaves. He was a man of con- 
siderable property, and, in common with almost ever}'- body around him, was 
the owner of a number of negroes. But if all masters were like him, the sys- 
tem of Slavery would be shorn of its most offensive features. He seemed to 
me to exercise towards them an almost parental kindness. At morning and 
evening family worship, they came together as regularly as any other members 
of his household. He did not, as is common, employ a white overseer, but 
appointed the most intelligent of their own number to take a general direction 
of affairs, and this one reported to him, and received suggestions and instruc- 
tions from him, as often as there was occasion. I believe he was the first in 
that region to change the order of things in regard to the accommodation of 
the negroes in public worship. Formerly their inferiority in the house of God 
had been virtually recognized by their occupying seats in the remote part of 
the house ; but Dr. Grier introduced the practice of dividing the day between 
the blacks and whites, giving the afternoon to the former; and then, instead 
of occupying seats in the rear where they were nearly hidden by a high inter- 
vening partition, they were allowed to come forward and occupy the front 
seats, while the white people, if they chose to be present, took the less favoured 
position. I remember being there, on one occasion, at a Communion, in a for- 
est, at which he presided, and at the last table there appeared an imposing 
array of blacks, to whom he administered the ordinance with the utmost ten- 
derness and appropriateness. He seemed always to seek to promote the benefit 
of the coloured race, as if that had been his peculiar mission. 

Very resnectfully yours, 


Vol. IX. 15 




Robert Forrest was born at Dunbar, Scotland, about the year 1768. He 
was brought up under the ministry of the Rev. John Henderson, of the Burgher 
Secession Church, the author of a work entitled " The Legal Temper displayed 
in its Nature and Tendency." Of this excellent Pastor he retained, even to his 
old age, an affectionate remembrance, often referring in terms of the greatest 
respect to his piety and learning. At what precise time he first felt the power 
of Divine grace upon his heart, or consecrated himself to the ministry of recon- 
ciliation, I have not been able to ascertain. After attendmg. during the usual 
period, the Grammar School of Dunbar, he became a member of the University 
of Edinburgh about the year 1787. 

Having completed the usual classical and scientific course at the University, 
Mr. Forrest commenced the study of Theology, under the late Dr. George Law- 
son, of Selkirk, at that time Professor of Divinity in connection with the Asso- 
ciate (Burgher) Synod, and the successor in that ofiice of the eminent John 
Brown, of Haddington. Dr. Lawson was a man of profound and varied erudi- 
tion, mighty in the Scriptures, of deep and earnest piety, and of singular simpli- 
city of character and manners, — " an Israelite indeed, in whom there was no guile." 
By all his students he was not only respected as a theologian but loved as a 
father. Mr. Forrest, to his latest day, was accustomed to express his deep sense 
of the value of his instructions, and, indeed, he could hardly mention his name 
without giving some token of the veneration he felt for his memory. Among his 
fellow students at the Hall were Dr. Henry Belfrage, of Selkirk, author of 
" Sacramental Addresses " and other popular and practical works, and Dr. 
Andrew Marshall, the Father, as he has been called, of the " Voluntary Con- 

In 1796 Mr. Forrest was ordained and installed in the pastoral charge of the 
Associate Congregation of Saltcoate, a small town in the West of Scotland, on 
the coast of Ayrshire. Here he remained in the diligent discharge of his minis- 
terial duties until the visit of Dr. John M. Mason to Great Britain to obtain 
funds for the Theological Seminary, and a competent number of evangelical min- 
isters to meet the pressing demand made upon the Associate Reformed Church 
for the supply of ordinances. As all the documents connected with this import- 
ant mission have been published, it is not necessary, in this connection, to enter 
into any details of its history. It is sufficient to say that Mr. Forrest was one 
of the first to listen to the cry for help from the American Churcli. This offer 
was gratefully accepted, and, on the 1st of September, 1802, he sailed from Green- 
ock, in company with the Rev. Dr. Mason, Dr. James Laurie, Messrs. James 
Scri.ngeour, Alexander Calderhead, Robert Easton and Robert H. Bishop. 
They had a prosperous voyage and reached New York in time to attend the 
meeting of the Synod, which commenced its sessions in that city on the 21st of 
October, 1802 ; and, having presented their letters of dismission and other creden- 
tials, were at once received into Christian and ministerial communion. 

• MS. from Dr. Forsyth. 



During the first year after his arrival in this country Mr. Forrest visited various 
destitute portions of the Church, and, it is believed, spent some months in Lower 
Canada. On the 26th of April, 1804, he was installed Pastor of the Pearl Street 
Congregation, in the city of New York. He remained in this charge until the 
14th of June, 1808, when, at his own request, the connection was dissolved. 
After labouring, for some time, as an itinerant, in Central and Western New 
York and in Upper Canada, he was admitted to the pastoral charge of the Con- 
gregation of Stamford, Delaware County, on the 15th of January, 1810. Here 
he remained, performing with great diligence and faithfulness the duties of the 
ministerial office, until the growing infirmities of age induced him in 1843 to ask 
for a dissolution of his pastoral relation. During the following year he resided in 
the city of New York, but, finding the climate injurious to his own health, and 
also to that of his wife, he returned once more to the scene of his labours amid 
the pleasant hills of Delaware. But his race was well-nigh run. For half a 
century he had been permitted to preach the glad tidings of Redemption, and on 
the spot where he had so long testified the Gospel of the grace of God he was at 
last gathered to his fathers. Though his health was feeble during the last two 
years of his life, he was able occasionally to appear in the pulpit, and, with the 
utmost readiness, lent his aid to his brethren, of whatever name, when his 
strength allowed him to do so. In the autumn of 1845 he was seized with an 
illness which confined him to his chamber from that time up to the day of his 
death. He bore his protracted and often very severe sufierings with exemplary 
patience, and died on the 17th of March, 1846, in the seventy-eighth year of his 
age and the fiftieth of his ministry. 

He bequeathed his large and valuable library to the Theological Seminary, 
formerly at New York, now at Newburgh. 

The following is a list of Mr. Forrest's publications : 

Conversion of an Aged Sinner : A Narrative Tract, - - - - 1807 

Great Encouragement to Perseverance in Missionary Labours : A Sermon 
delivered before the Northern Missionary Society at their Annual Meet- 
ing in Lansingburgh, -------- 1815 

A Testimony on the Doctrines of Original Sin and of Atonement, pre- 
pared by order of the Associate Reformed Synod, - - - 1831 

He was also a liberal contributor to the Christian Magazine, - - 1832-42 


Union College, April 2, 1850. 

Rev. and dear Sir : I became acquainted with the Rev. Robert Forrest in 
the winter of 1802—03, — shortly after his arrival in this country. We were 
afterwards co-presbyters for about thirty-six years, and of course I had the 
opportunity of frequent intercourse with him. My earliest impressions con- 
cerning him, which were never afterwards essentially changed, were that the 
characteristics of the true Gentleman and of the Christian Minister were as 
happily blended in him as in any one with whom I was acquainted. His 
talents were rather solid than brilliant. He did not exhibit much original 
thought ; but, having time and opportunity for much reading, and having both 
a sound judgment and a retentive memory, he possessed very extensive infor- 
mation, particularly upon theological subjects. His preaching was calculated 
to enlighten the understanding, rather than to affect deeply the emotional 
nature ; and hence he seemed better fitted to edify saints than to extend the 



visible Church. His piety was deep and uniform, but altogether unobtrusive; 
and his aversion to the extravagance sometimes accompanying revivals led 
him perhaps too far in the opposite direction; but never to underrate the 
genuine appearances of vital religion. While firmly attached to the Church 
with which he was connected, he was liberal in his views of other denomina- 
tions, whom he considered as holding the fundamental truths of religion ; but 
I think he sometimes imagined errors in doctrine when there was nothing 
more than verbal inaccuracy, or indistinct statement. 

The most strict and unyielding integrity was a striking feature in his char- 
acter. He was utterly incapable of any thing approaching dissimulation, 
meanness or unworthy artifice. Possessing considerable property, he was 
generous in bestowing gifts upon those who were in need ; and, while indulgent 
himself to those who owed him support, he strenuously inculcated the liberal 
maintenance of Gospel Ordinances as a Christian duty. He was exemplarily 
punctual in attending Ecclesiastical Courts, and, indeed, in all his engage- 
ments. In his deliberations and decisions he was strictly conscientious ; but, 
often, from a momentary impulse, proposed measures which appeared to others 
unwise, and which he himself, upon a little reflection, would readily abandon. 
In our long and frequent intercourse in Presbytery and in Synod, he and I 
often differed in judgment upon measures under consideration, but I do not 
believe that either of us was ever the subject of an unkind feeling on that 
account. Yours truly, 



Theological Seminary, Newbcrgh, A.pril 10, 1856. 

Rev. and Dear Sir : In complying with your request to send you my recol- 
lections of Mr. Forrest, I feel that I am only obeying the Divine precept, — 
« Thine own friend, and thy father's friend, forget not." He was both. For 
many years, my father's house was his home, on the occasion of his annual 
visits to Newburgh, as one of the Superintendents of the Seminary ; and in 
his own modest parsonage on the banks of the Delaware, and amid the green 
hills of Delaware County, I spent some of the happiest days of my life when 
a student. I can never forget the pleasant fellowship with him at my father's 
fireside and his own, or the various talk in which he delighted, about books and 
passing events, and the men whom he had known in his native land, or those 
with whom he had become acquainted during his residence of forty years or 
more in America. His image is as distinctly before my mind's eye, his very 
attitude, as he used to sit with his snuff-box in his hand, or with the snuff 
between his fingers, or in the act of carrying it, as he did with exquisite 
grace, to his nose, — as distinctly as if I were looking upon his portrait. 

Yet I find it, by no means, an easy task to transfer this image to paper, 
inasmuch as it had few salient points. Mr. Forrest had no eccentricities, 
unless, indeed, you reckon as such his intense dislike of long speeches and 
sermons, — very good ones, of course, excepted, — a feeling which sometimes 
became objective — to use a Germanism — in the form of a vigorous yawn, which 
was neither agreeable to the Preacher nor stimulating to his eloquence. Once, 
and only once, I remember to have endured the infliction. It was during my 
first year in the Seminary, on the occasion of my class preaching before the 
Superintendents. I had the misfortune to be the last preacher of the evening. 
A moment's thought might have convinced me that the emphatic evidence of 
weariness that greeted and horrified me, was not occasioned by my sermon ; 
for I had not spoken three minutes, and I was, besides, rather a pet of my 
good old friend : but I can never forget the electric-like shock which that 
yawn produced. But let me pass to more serious matters. 



Mr. Forrest afforded a striking illustration of the extent to which a mind, 
naturally of no great power or compass, can be invigorated and enriched by 
persistent industry in scholarly culture. He had not a spark of that quality, 
so often noticed in pen-portraits, so rarel}"" met with in real life, — originality. 
He had no tendency to speculation, and no special aptness for elaborate reason- 
ing. He could not be called an independent thinker, ji-et he was, by no means, 
a slavish imitator of the models which he most admired. The principles of 
faith and polity in which he had been trained, by his venerated theological 
instructor, Dr. Lawson, of Selkirk, he adhered to through life with unde- 
viating consistency. It were an injustice to his memory to say that he took 
them upon trust. He stood where he did, immovably firm, because deeply 
convinced that he was standing on the rock of truth ; but the weapons by 
which he defended his position were derived from armories constructed and 
replenished by the heads and hands of others. He took care to surround 
himself with the best books in the various branches of Theology and Litera- 
ture, and he made their contents his own by hard and constant study. Even 
in his old age he kept up his habits of reading and of careful writing, and 
during the thirty-five years of his residence in Stamford, he always carried 
home with him from the city of New York — which he was accustomed to visit 
semi-annually — a goodly supply of the best productions of the British and 
American press. In his large library there was hardly a volume with whose 
contents he was not acquainted. The consequence was that his mental 
vigour, like his Christian graces, was renewed, day by day, even when the 
outward man was perceptibly decaying. And his friends in Newburgh were 
wont to say, from year to year, — "That last sermon is the best he ever 
preached here." Indeed, the last half dozen which I had the privilege to 
hear were truly noble discourses. 

In personal appearance Mr. Forrest was a man of presence. A stranger 
meeting him anywhere, in the street or the drawing room, would, at the 
first glance, conclude that he must be a Minister, and a Minister, too, worthy 
of all respect. 

Leading, as he did, the retired life of a student and rural Pastor, Mr. 
Forrest necessarily lacked that knowledge of men which can be got only by 
close and constant contact with men : — 

Fluctibus in mediis, et tempestatibus urbis. 

He thus became occasionally the victim, as I may say, of prejudices against 
individuals, which would, now and then, vent themselves in a hasty word. 
But if the very persons whose opinions or public conduct he perhaps was 
sharply condemning, had, the next moment, knocked at his door, it would 
have been instantly seen how evanescent were all his personal dislikes, and 
that on his heart the law of kindness was deeply engraved. 
Believe me to remain very truly yours, 




Pittsburg, March 3, 1862. 
Dear Sir: I have been requested to send you a memorial of the Rev. 
Joseph Kerr, D. D., formerly Pastor of the First Associate Eeformed Con- 
gregation in this city, of which I at present have the charge, and first Professor 



of Theology in the Theological Seminary of the Associate Reformed Presby- 
terian Church in the West. It is compiled in part from my own recollections, 
as I was under his pastoral care all the time he had charge of this congregation ; 
in part from information derived from the surviving members of his family ; in 
part from those who studied Theology in his classes ; but principally from 
obituary notices of him published shortly after his decease. His memory is 
cherished still in th ; hearts of all who knew him, and is like precious ointment 
poured forth, to this day, in the denomination of Chi-istians with which he was 
connected. I am altogether of opinion that his life is well deserving of a more 
public and general remembrance, and I am glad that you propose to give his 
name a place among those of the many eminent divines whose names you are 
embalming in the " Annals of the American Pulpit." 

Joseph Kerr, son of the Rev. Joseph and Elizibeth (Reynolds) Kerr, was 
bom in County Derry, near the border of County Tyrone, Ireland, in the year 
1778. His father was an eminent Minister of the Gospel, connected with the 
Burgher division of the Associate Synod in Ireland, and greatly esteemed in hLs 
day for his great abilities in the pulpit. Of the instructions and example of 
this eminently pious father his son was deprived, while yet a child. He was 
accustomed to retire for meditation and study to a secluded walk in his garden. 
To this place he had gone early in the morning of the day on which he died, 
and, on being sought for at the breakfast hour, was found lying in the walk, 
dead. Mrs. Kerr was left with a family of small children, over which she 
watched with great tenderness and care. Being possea«ed of some means, she 
was able to aiford to the subject of this memoir facilities for acquiring an educa- 
tion. Having passed through a suitable preparatory course, he entered the 
University of Glasgow, Scotland, about the year 1794. From this Institution 
he graduated when he was about twenty years of age. 

From early childhood he was the subject of religious impressions, and was 
esteemed by all who knew him as a pious and promising youth. He made a 
public profession of religion early in life. In what particular year cannot now 
be ascertained ; but, as is supposed, when he was about sixteen years of age, 
when he left home to enter the University of Glasgow. On his return, — after 
graduating, he was taken under the care of the Associate (Burgher) Presbytery 
of Derry, as a student of Theology, and prosecuted his studies for a time 
under the Rev. Dr. Rogers, of Ballybay, County Monaghan, Professor of The- 
ology for the Associate (Burgher) Synod in Ireland. 

He came to the United States in the year 1801, and put himself under the 
care of the First Associate Reformed Presbytery of Pennsylvania, as a student 
of Theology. In the year 1802 he was, at his request, and before he had 
delivered all the trials which had been assigned him by that Presbytery, dismissed 
to the Second Associate Reformed Presbytery of Pennsylvania. He was received 
by that Presbytery at its meeting in Robinson's Run Church, in April, 1803 ; 
the same meeting at which its name was changed to " The Presbytery of Monon- 
gahela," in accordance with an order of the General Synod. At this meeting, on 
the 27th day of April, 1803, Mr. Kerr was licensed to preach the Gospel. His 
licensure may be regarded as an epoch in the history of the Associate Reformed 
Church in the West. It seems to have inspired the fathers of the Presbytery 
with new life and hope. They were few in number and widely separated. At 
this time Western Pennsylvania was comparatively a wilderness, congregations 


were small and scattered widely apart, and settled Pastors were very few. Mr. 
Kerr laboured among these dispersed vacancies, extending from the ridges of the 
AUeghenies on the East, far into Ohio on the West, and from the Northern 
Lakes below Mason's and Dixon's hne on the South, with unheard-of popularity. 
Wherever he went he was admired and beloved. Calls for his labours were sent 
into Presbytery from a great number of neighbourhoods, and from several places 
that had not been previously recognized by Presbytery as any part of their charge. 
Indeed, his name rendered savoury that section of the Church to which he 
belonged. He laid, during his missionary labours in the extended bounds of the 
Presbytery, the foundation not only of the congregations where he first settled, 
but of many others whicli not only still exist, but continue to flourish, and some 
of which have been subdivided into two or more large and flourishing congre- 

After riding thus as a Missionary, for a year, Mr. Kerr was regularly invested 
with the sacred office. He was ordained by the Presbytery of Monongahela, at 
a meeting held at Short Creek, Va., on the 25th day of AprU, 1804. He con- 
tinued to supply the vacancies in the bounds of the Presbytery some months 
longer ; and, having declined several calls which, in a pecuniary view, were far 
more inviting, he, at length, from a prospect of usefulness rather than gain, 
accepted a call from the United Congregations of Mifflin and St. Clair, in the 
vicinity of Pittsburg ; and, on the 17tn of October, 1804, at the house of Nathan- 
iel Plummer, was installed Pastor of these congregations. 

In a few years each of these congregations declared itself able to support its 
own Pastor, and desired to obtain his undivided labours. The matter was post- 
poned, from time to time, until, in the year 1817, Mr. Kerr, considering his 
health inadequate to the labours required by two Congregations as large as these 
had become, demitted the charge of Mifflin Congregation, and the whole of his la- 
bours were given to the Congregation of St. Clair. Here he still continued to enjoy 
the smiles of his Divine Master, and laboured for several years with great success. 

In the mean time, an organization, with good prospects, had been effected by 
order of Presbytery in the city of Pittsburg, which, under the pastoral charge 
of the Rev. Joseph McElroy, — now Dr. McElroy, of the Presbyterian Church, 
Fourteenth street. New York city, had grown to be a large and influential con- 
gregation. On the removal of Mr. McElroy to New York the attention of this 
congregation was directed to Mr. Kerr, and, notwithstanding the affection known 
to exist between him and the people of his charge, a call was made out for him 
and presented through the Presbytery. Pittsburg was, at that time, considered 
one of the centres of influence in the Associate Reformed Church ; the position 
was a desirable one, and the pecuniary support large for that day. It may have 
been thought by some that these considerations would have weight with Mr. Kerr, 
but they did not. On the presentation of the call, he stated that he entertained 
a high regard for the people of the Congregation of Pittsburg, and most heartily 
desired their prosperity ; yet, inasmuch as he had always been of the opinion 
that a minister, who was comfortably settled in a congregation, with a mutual good 
understanding existing between him and his people, ought not, excepting under 
very imperious circumstances indeed, to think of removal, he could not separate 
himself from his congregation without doing violence to his feelings and to all 
his principles — he, therefore, begged leave respectfully to decline the call firom 



In the year 1825 the Associate Reformed Synod of the West resolved to 
establish a Theological Seminary, and elected Mr. Kerr their Professor of 
Theology. As Pittsbm'g was generally esteemed the most suitable locality for the 
Seminary, and as the Synod could not support the Professor, unless he had also a 
pastoral charge, the Congregation in Pittsburg, after taking the advice of some of 
the members of the Presbytery, renewed their call to Mr. Kerr to become their 
Pastor. When the matter came before the Presbytery, that Court, by its own 
act, transferred him from his then present charge to the charge of the Congregation 
in Pittsburg. In this decision of the Presbytery he acquiesced, and, having also 
accepted the Professorship, commenced his preparations for an immediate re- 
moval to Pittsburg, and was installed as Pastor in his new charge in October, 
1825. Previously to his removal to Pittsbm-g, that congregation, through fre- 
quent disappointments and discouragements, was considerably weakened. His 
settlement among them had an electrical effect in quickening them to new hfe 
and vigour. From a desponding, disintegrated handful they, in a very short 
time, became one of the largest and most respectable congregations in the city. 
Thus, wherever this good man was called to labour, it pleased the Head of the 
Church to bless his labours and to make manifest the savour of his knowledge 
by him. 

Shortly after entering on the duties of his Professorship of Theology in Pitts- 
burg, he received the honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity from the Western 
University of Pennsylvania. 

My personal recollections of Dr. Kerr, though I was but a lad when he died, 
are very distinct. His personal appearance was very imposing and attractive. 
He would have been marked any where, not because of obtrusion, for he was 
singularly modest, but from his general appearance. He was tall, straight, sym- 
metrical, with good features and well-formed head. His air was almost military. 
In him dignity was blended with gi'eat amiability. His countenance beamed with 
benevolence, and his eye, especially when he spoke, was remarkably expressive of 
deep interest in what he was saying. In society he was very complaisant, and 
in cases of affliction very sympathetic. With his fine powers and liberal culture, 
he could condescend, without any effort, to the humblest person or smallest 

As a Preacher of the Gospel he excelled. His appearance in the pulpit was 
always attractive. He was clothed there with the dignity of his office, and, 
sometimes, when greatly moved, rose to grandeur. His voice was sonorous, never 
offensively loud, and could be distinctly heard through every part of the largest 
church edifice. It could melt into the lowest tones of sorrow, and rise in trumpet 
tones to the highest pitch. I was not so capable at the time, being but a youth, 
of judging correctly of the matter of his discourses ; but I recollect that I was 
always interested. I never felt lassitude while he was preaching. Young as I 
was, I could understand him, and could carry home to the evening examination 
a good deal of what he said. This was not strange — the whole congregation 
appeared to hang upon his lips. He was, as the result, unusually successful in 
edifying his people, and in adding to the Church. One contemporary with him, 
writing of him, says, — " As a Pulpit Orator, he soon excited attention, and in 
his new field of labour he was unusually successfiil ; and he filled the Professor's 
chair with great acceptance. * * * But let there be no misapprehension. 
Dr. Kerr was not a skoury preacher, on whom a crowd would gaze in stupid won- 



del and then go away sure of nothing but that they had heard a great sermon, 
if they only knew what it was about ; but like Aaron he could ' speak well,' 
which John Quincy Adams says is the perfection of eloquence. Every speaker 
has some peculiarities of manner. When Dr. Kerr hesitated for a word to express 
his idea, he paused, cast his eye downward, and in a moment the word, the very 
right word, came." 

Dr. Kerr was eminently a pious man. He was decided in his views and con- 
sistent in his practice. Of an ardent temperament and of a very susceptible 
nature, yet such was his habitual self-control that I have never heard any one 
say that he had spoken in anger or unad\isedly with his lips, on any occasion, no 
matter what the provocation. He was withal a very benevolent man and much 
" given to hospitality." It was no uncommon thing for him, when living on a 
farm, to assist a young minister just starting out on his first tour to preach the 
Gospel, to a horse or equipments. He not unfrequently gave away the last 
dollar in the house. When elected to the Professorship of Theology, which he 
held for only four years, he, for the first two years, gave his salary, two hundred 
dollars, all that the Synod could afford to pay him, to commence a fund to assist 
young men in needy circumstances in prosecuting their theological course, and, 
during the last two years, he gave a hundred and fifty dollars each year toward 
the same object, besides large contributions toward procuring a necessary library 
for the Theological Seminary. 

In his intercourse with the people of his charge he was remarkably prudent— 
his counsels were eminently judicious and his influence was very great. His memory 
is still fondly cherished among those of his congregations who survive, and they 
speak of him as a model to be imitated. As a Father, the lives and deaths of 
his children attest his fidelity. In Church Courts he did not often speak, but 
when he did, it was with power. He had great strength iq debate, but appeared 
to be unconscious of it. He was incapable of any thing like indirection. Mr. 
McFarland, of Chilhcothe, 0., a man of considerable power in debate, who had 
sometimes encountered him in the Synod, once said, — " I like Mr. Kerr for an 
opponent, for you can see all of himy As a Man, in all the relations of life, 
there was no one more kind, more universally cheerful, or more instructive. He 
was a good man, and his " memory is blessed." 

One of his contemporaries, in an obituary notice, says, — " As this sketch may 
be handed down to a future age, it may not be amiss to state some of those per- 
sonal and moral qualities that rendered him so universally admired and beloved. 
His personal appearance was highly respectable and pleasing. He was tall of 
stature, straight and portly. He possessed a large share of social cheerfulness, 
and was, at the same time, very sympathetic and tender with the sufiering. His 
ideas were lucid, and he commimicated them with the greatest facihty. He was 
always pleasant and ready in speech, but in public speaking his fluency acquired 
an ardour which fascinated his audience. He had a well-balanced and capacious 
mind. His pulpit exercises were most remarkable for embodying a large amount 
of the richest evangelical matter. In the exercise of prayer he excelled. In his 
ministerial calling he was diligent in business ; fervent in spirit ; serving the 

One of his students of Theology, writing to me recently, says of him : 

" His best and noblest appearance was in the pulpit. Goodness, true greatness, 
and eminent godliness characterized him at all times and in all places, but espe- 

VoL. IX. IC 



cially in the sacred desk. He looked and spoke like a messenger fresh from the 
Divine Throne, whose soul overflowed with love to God and man. His lectures and 
sermons were lucid and forcible expositions of the Word of the Lord. The language 
was so plain, and the matter so important and attractive, that the ordinary hearer was 
edified and delighted, and the most cultivated and fastidious listener not displeased. 
A seeming unconcern in regard to the rules of oratory marked his delivery. At 
times his beseeching utterances were solemn and persuasive; at other times his 
burning words were awful and soul-harrowing. He kept his subject always between 
himself and his auditors; so that they saw and analyzed t7 rather than Aim The 
application of his discourses was searching and impressive. In this he excelled. He 
came near, in God's name, to every hearer, young and old, saint and sinner; and to 
each he addressed a suitable word in season. The application was always the warmer 
and better half of the discourse. I loved, admired and revered him: and so did all 
his students without exception." 

As a Professor in the Theological Seminary, Dr. Kerr was very successful, 
and gave universal satisfaction. In his intercourse with the students he was 
courteous and dignified. He was a mild critic, considerate of the feelings of the 
student, and yet faithful. He was careful not to wound while he corrected. He 
was an excellent instructor, clear, sufficiently concise, and had a happy faculty of 
bringing to view all that was legitimately connected with the subject in hand. 
He had great discernment of character, and could not be easily deceived as to 
the capacities, diligence or attainments of his students. He, by his urbanity, 
kindness and fciithfulness, rendered himself very dear to them all; and this is 
perhaps one of the best testimonials of his real worth as a Professor. 

In the year 1806 Mr. Kerr returned, for a short time, to Ireland, where ho 
was united in marriage, on the 6th day of April of that year, to Miss Agnes 
Reynolds, who still lives, at the advanced age of eighty years. He had, by this 
marriage, eleven children, — five sons