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Full text of "History of the Presbytery of Huntingdon"

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THE HUNTINGDON PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH. 



H:iSTOK."3r 



OF 



The Presbytery of Huntingdon ; 



BY 

WILLIAM J. GIBSON, D.D., 

PASTOR OF DUNCANSVILLE AND MARTINSBUKG CHURCHES. 



BELLEFOKTE, PA.; 
BELLEFONTE PKESS COMPANY PRINT. 

18 74. 



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J.195042 
PREFACE. 



The history of the Presbytery of Huntingdon was suggested more by 

circumstances of a personal character than of public consideration. The 

histories of other Presbyteries have been written, which have not had so 

long an existence, or more important events to record. It is proper at once 

5^ to state, that no person is responsible for this history but the writer, though 



he has received material aid in preparing it from some of the brethren of 
the Presbytery, with others of the Presbytery of Northumberland, which 
was formed of members originallj^ belonging to the Presbytery of Hunt- 
ingdon. For the historical part proper, the dependence has mainly been 
upon the Eecords of the Presbytery. External aid has been chiefly in the 
biographical part of the work. The names of all the brethren by whom I 
have been encouraged and favored with valuable help, are too numerous to 
mention. But I cannot forbear in this connection acknowledging my obli- 
gations to Dr. Egbert Hamill, the Stated Clerk of the Presbytery, and 
also Kev. Andrew D. Mitchell, Stated Clerk of the Presbytery of 
Carlisle, and the Kev. William Simonton, of the Presbytery of Northum- 
berland. When indebted to others for biographical sketches, and other 
service, the names are usually appended. 

The question, how far the truth of history requires the exposure to 
public view of the frailties and sins of those who have been members of the 
Presbytery, has been embarrassing and difficult of solution. It could not 
be expected that in the history of nearly three-quarters of a century, there 
would be found no blots or scandals among the members of the Presbytery. 
If no mention were made of these, and a perfectly unstained record only 
appear, it might have the appearance more of a eulogy than of an impar- 
tial history. Whatever may be justly said of the Presbyterian Church, it 
cannot be denied that she has ever been distinguished in maintaining purity 
in morals, and orthodoxy in doctrine in her ministry and members. And 
it is a well known fact, that it is more difficult to get into the ministry 
of the Presbyterian Church than that of almost any other known denomi- 
nation. But subjects of discipline among the members of the Presbytery 
have been few and far between, and almost every case originating out of 
the pernicious social customs of the times in which they lived. 

The history of the Presbytery of Huntingdon is necessarily, in part, a 
history of the Presbytery of Northumberland. The first sixteen years of 



4 PREFACE. 

its existence it covered all the territory now occupied by both Presbyteries. 
At the division in 1811, some of the most venerable members of the 
Presbytery were set off to the new organization. In view of this it seemed 
proper, as it was a great pleasure, to include in this history a sketch of the 
lives of those excellent fathers, though they were not members of the 
Presbytery of Huntingdon at the time of their death. To this end applica- 
tion was made to the descendants of those venerable men. Hence our 
obligations to Kev. Dr. Isaac Grier, Rev. Jno. P. Hudson, and the Rev.' 
William Simonton-, Stated Clerk of the Presbytery of Northumberland. 

The original design was principally to rescue from oblivion the names of 
the original members of the Presbytery, whose labors were so abundant, 
and whose trials and disadvantages were so great. In addition to the 
extensive fields which they had to cultivate, the want of suitable church 
buildings in which they had to minister, added greatly to their discomfort, 
which they shared in common with the people. The first churches were 
built of unhewn logs, without any plastering, sometimes without any floor, 
and always without fire. In the coldest season of the year, the minister 
had to preach and the people to hear, with their overcoats buttoned up to 
their chin, and seldom was the sermon less than an hour and a half, and 
often much longer. Instead of the cushioned pews of these days, slab-stools 
without any support to the back, and sometimes not even these, were the 
only sitting accommodations. In one instance, of which we have been 
informed, the congregation sat usually upon the sleepers on which the floor 
was afterwards laid, with their feet dangling to the ground. Our modern 
congregations with their expensive churches, luxuriously cushioned pews, 
multiplied heaters, and half-hour sermons, could they be transported back 
to those primitive times, might sooner renounce their faith in the gospel 
than submit to so much self-denial in the profession of it. But to those 
hardy gospel-loving people, a hardy God-fearing race of ministers preached, 
who expected to " endure hardness as goo(Lsoldiers of Jesus Christ. 

Let their ashes rest in peace, till they rise in glory in the general resur- 
rection morn. 

DuNCANSViLLE, May 20, 1874. 



PART I. 



CHAPTER I. 



INTRODUCTORY. 

SEVERAL histories of the Presbyterian Church in the United 
States, in whole or in part, have been written, and by the most 
competent persons. We have been favored with the Constitutional 
History of the Presbyterian Church by Dr. Hodge of Princeton ; and 
the history of the church by the Rev. Richard Webster. The former 
is the history of the church from its formal organization by the con- 
stitution of the Presbytery of Philadelphia in 1705 to 1741, when the 
great schism occurred. The latter is the history of the church from 
its origin until the year 1760. No doubt Mr, Webster's history would 
have been brought down to a much later period of the church, had 
not his life been cut short in the midst of his labors. Dr. C. Van 
Renssel^r, who wrote a brief Memoir of the author, says in reference 
to his history, as published under his supervision : " Another remark 
I make here respecting his work is, that it only professes to give the 
early portion of the history of our church. The period embraced in 
the present volume is a little more than half a century, and is limited 
to the reunion of the Synods of New York and Philadelphia, in 1758. 
The reader, therefore, must not expect to find a complete history of 
the Presbyterian Church in the United States. The early portion, 
which is exceedingly rich in events and in illustrious men, possesses a 
peculiar interest ; and this is the portion comprehended within the 
scope of Mr. Webster's researches." There is, therefore, much left 
by Dr. Hodge and Mr. Webster for the future historian. 

Much complaint has been made by all writers on the history of the 
church, because of the loss or obscui-ity of records, and that important 
facts and incidents have been buried with those who had cognizance 
of them, and might have perpetuated them by a permanent record. 
And this with respect to all the Synods and Presbyteries, in all parts 
of the church. And this has followed naturally from a want of 
consideration in regard to the great interest which future genera- 
tions would undoubtedly take in the events pertaining to the lives of 
the fathers, and these venerable personages themselves. Important 



8 HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 

events, sufficiently known and interesting to those then living and 
acting, have been buried by the lapse of time beyond the hope of a 
resurrection. Several writers have of late endeavored to gather 
together and place on permanent record the facts of history that may 
yet remain in various parts of the church ; but have had much occa- 
sion to complain of insufficient Presbyterial and Congregational 
records. Especially with regard to the latter cause of complaint, the 
writer, in entering on the history of the Presbytery of Huntingdon, 
has been much embarrassed. Some very worthy and excellent at- 
tempts have been made by late writers in various parts of the church 
to snatch from oblivion much local history of Presbyteries and 
churches, and with eminent success. Such has been the history of 
Old Redstone, by the late Rev. Joseph Smith, D. D., and of the Pres- 
bytery of Erie, by the Rev. S. J. M. Eaton, D. J). 

The writer of the History of Huntingdon Presbytery cannot hope 
to equal their success in the execution of his purpose. The fathers of 
the Presbytery of Huntingdon have left but few written memorials 
behind them. They were not writers, but workers, and with such a 
wide and extended district of country as was originally compre- 
hended within the bounds of the Presbytery to be cultivated, and 
the few there were to cultivate it, they had no time to write and 
record, apart from the claims of present duty. 

The history of the Presbytery of Huntingdon is the history of its 
original and deceased members, at least in part ; therefore the utmost 
effijrts have been made, consistent with circumstances, to collect 
materials to give reliable sketches of the lives of these fathers and 
brethren. With regard to the churches, and the dates of their first 
organization, in many instances the writer has been unable to obtain 
any certain dates ; and this has been especially the case with refer- 
ence to the first churches supplied by the original members of the 
Presbytery. There is reason to believe that most of them were 
organized years anterior to the formation of the Presbytery ; and 
some had no formal organization at all, at least none that could have 
been of record. The Presbytery of Huntingdon covered a district of 
country lying in the very centre of the State, between what was then 
known as the great west and the east ; and as the population pressed 
from the East to the West, settlements were formed at various sup- 
posed desirable points in the centre. Here Presbyterians were found 
scattered among various communities, and sometimes forming the 
vast majority of these settlements. They brought with them their 



HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OP HUNTINGDON. 9 

Bible, Confession of Faith, Psalm or Hymn Book — but most generally 
the Psalm Book in Rouse's version — and their love of the church of 
their fathers. But ministers to preach the gospel and administer the 
ordinances were few in comparison with the number of the settlements 
and points to be supplied ; it was therefore but natural, and in many 
instances a matter of necessity, that these scattered Presbyterians, 
who were "as sheep without a shepherd" in the wilderness, should 
voluntarily band themselves together under the lead of their princi- 
pal men, who acted as elders, without any formal ordination, and the 
congregation without any formal organization. And those acting in 
the capacity of elders were, ordinarily, what the nancie imports, [pres- 
buteroi,) the aged men of the various societies. Some aged and godly 
men would first call the people together in social meetings for prayer 
and praise, and out of these sprang the larger gatherings. In this 
state the first ministers and missionaries found them ; and without at 
all distui'bing their voluntary organizations, j)roceeded to preach the 
word and administer ordinances to them. And who, at this late day, 
will censure them, though there was no formal organization of con- 
gregations, and therefore none to be recorded. The thing was there ; 
God approved and blessed his people by sending to them in due time 
the living minister, with the ordinances which He is accustomed to 
bless to increase in numbers and in grace. No doubt the best elders 
the church has ever had, canae into office in this way ; godly men, to 
v/hom their co-worshipjoers voluntarily submitted. But it leaves us 
with inability to give date or history of the organization of many 
churches. 

As the church in general, and the Presbytery of Huntingdon in 
particular, has been much indebted to the faithful eldership for her 
peace and purity, it is the design to gather and preserve such memo- 
rials of deceased elders of the Presbytery as the materials placed 
within reach may render possible. It is to be regretted that not only 
the first and original elders of the congregations at the time of the 
organization of the Presbytery have passed away, but the generation 
succeeding them having also passed away, their grand-children know 
little about them but their names. But something is known about 
elders of later date, worthy sons of venerable sires, who have stood 
in their lot in days of the Church's trials. The names and deeds of 
some of these shall be recorded, so ftir as sj^ace and means shall 
permit. 



CHAPTER II. 



FROM THE ORGANIZATION OF THE PRESBYTERY IN 1795 TILL THE YEAR 1800. 

The formation of the Presbytery — The first Moderator — Rules of Order — The extent of Its Ter- 
ritory — The Pastoral Charges of the original members — The Missionary Fund— Action of 
Presbytery in relation to Aged and Invalid Ministers, and the Families of Deceased Minis- 
ters — Committee appointed to examine the Credentials of Traveling Ministers — The first 
Candidate for the Ministry — First Death — Resignations — Salaries — The first Stated Clerk — 
The first Commissioners to the General Assembly — No Alternates to the Elders appointed — 
Presbyterial Meetings — The second Candidate, and the first Licensed — Mr. S. Bryson Called, 
Settled, Resigns, Cited, Tried, and Suspended — Salaries — Prudence in settling controversies 
in regard to salaries — Attendance on Meetings of the Presbytery — Reference from Pine 
Creek. 

THE ministers who were constituted into the Presbytery of Hun- 
tingdon, originally belonged to and formed a part of the Pres- 
bytery of Carlisle. 

The Presbytery was formed by the direct action of the General 
Assembly, but not without the concurrence of the Synod. An over- 
ture was laid before the Assembly through the Synod of Philadelphia, 
requesting the division of the Presbytery of Carlisle. 

The following is the record of the act of the General Assembly, in 
accordance with which the Presbytery of Huntingdon was organized : 

"The General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of the United 
States in America, having erected such of the members of the Carlisle 
Presbytery as were situated North of, or by a line drawn along the 
Juniata river, from the mouth up to the Tuscarora mountain, and 
along the Tuscarora to the head of the Path Valley; thence Westerly 
to the Eastern Boundary of the Presbytery of Bedstone, so on to 
leave the congregation of Bedford to the South, into a Presbytery by 
the name of the Presbytery of Huntingdon; and appointed their first 
meeting on the second Tuesday of April, A. D., 1795, to be held at 
Mr. Martin's Church in Penns Valley ; in consequence of this act of 
the General Assembly, the Presbytery of Huntingdon met at the 
place and the day aforesaid. 

Constituted with prayer by the Rev. John Hoge, after he had 
preached from John 1 : 12, he being appointed by the General 
Assembly to preside until a Moderator was chosen. 



HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 11 

The following ministers and elders were present at the organization 
and first meeting of the Presbytery : Rev. John Hoge, James Martin, 
Hugh Magill, Matthew Stephen, Hugh Morrison, John Bryson, 
Isaac Grier, and James Johnston; with the elders John Watson, 
Walter Clark, Robert Smith, and William Hammond. Mr. Hoge 
was chosen the first Moderator, and Mr. James Johnston, Clerk." 

The first business attended to by the Presbytery was the adoption 
of rules for the transaction of business; thirteen in number, and very 
much the same in substance as now govern all Church courts in the 
transaction of business. No doubt they were copied from rules 
adopted by the General Assembly, so far as applicable to presbyterial 

business. , 

It will be seen by the act of the Assembly constituting the Presby- 
tery, that it covered a large district of country in the interior of 
Pennsylvania. There are now no less than fifteen counties embraced 
within the original bounds of the Presbytery, viz: part of Perry 
county, and all of Juniata, Mifflin, Huntingdon, Blair, Centre, 
Clinton, Lycoming, Northumberland, Snyder, Union, Columbia, Clear- 
field, Montour, and part of Cambria. In all these bounds there were 
only eleven ministers, the eight who were present and enrolled on the 
first day, and three who were absent, namely : Messrs. David Bard, 
David Wiley and John Johnston. On the second day of the sessions 
of the Presbytery Mr. Wiley appeared, with his elder, David Van- 
dyke, and were enrolled ; also Robert Riddle, Esq., a member of the 
Session of Shaver's Creek congregation. 

The following are the pastoral relations of the original members of 
the Presbytery, who sustained pastoral charges at the time of the 
organization, so far as can be gathered from the minutes. But it is to 
be remembered that besides the pastoral charges in which they were 
formally installed, these ministers had various points which they 
statedly supplied, within what was considered the bounds of their 
respective charges; for congregational limits were then very much 
extended, and several congregations and pastoral charges now exist 
within the bounds of what was then a single charge. 

The Rev. John Hoge seems to have had no particular pastoral 
charge, but as an evangelist, or presbyterial missionary, supplied 
vacancies as providence opened the way, or Presbytery appointed. 
The only record made in the minutes concerning him even in the 
capacity of a Stated Supply, is the application of Briar Creek to have 
him appointed as their supply for one- third of his time; which request 



12 HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OP HUNTINGDON, 

was granted. On all other occasions, at least with few exceptions, in 
the record of supplies, Mr. Hoge is appointed to supply vacancies at 
discretion. He was appointed by the General Assembly to preside 
and open the Presbytery at its first meeting to organize, probably 
because he was the oldest member of the Presbytery at the time ; or 
present as a commissioner in the General Assembly when the Presby- 
tery was constituted. 

Kev. James Martin, the second on the roll, was the pastor of East 
and West Penns Valley, Warrior's Mark and Half Moon. Hugh 
Magill, pastor of Lower Tuscarora and Cedar Spring. Eev. Matthew 
Stephen, at the organization of the Presbytery, was not an installed 
pastor, but held a call from Upi^er and Centre congregations in 
Wayne township, Mifflin county, which he had accepted ; but at the 
meeting of Huntingdon Presbytery, October 6, 1795, requested leave 
to return the call, not having been installed. 

Rev. Hugh Morrison was the pastor of Buffalo, Sunbury and 
Northumberland. 

Rev. John Bryson, pastor of Chilisquaque and Warrior Run. 

Rev. Isaac Grier, pastor of Pine Creek, Lycoming and Great Island. 

Rev. James Johnston, pastor of East Kishacoquillas, and Stated 
Supply of West Kishacoquillas. 

Rev. John Johnston, pastor of Hart's Log and Huntingdon. 

Rev. David Wiley, pastor of Cedar Creek and Spring Creek. 

Rev. David Bard, pastor of Frankstown congregation, now known 
as the congregation of Hollidaysburg. 

It is worthy of notice, that after organization of the Presbytery, 
and the adoption of standing rules for the transaction of business, the 
first business taken up was the consideration of a recommendation of 
the General Assembly respecting contributions to the missionary 
fund ; and finding that few of the members had paid due attention 
thereto, it was strictly enjoined on all the members to be attentive to 
that business ; and either convey their contributions to the Treasurer 
of Presbytery, or to the Treasurer of the General Assembly at their 
next meeting. Rev. James Johnston had been appointed Treasurer 
of the Presbytery. These missionary funds were designed for the 
same use as now, domestic and foreign, though applied through differ- 
ent agencies. At the same time, in compliance with a requisition of 
the General Assembly, the proposition to raise a fund for the support 
of invalid Presbyterian ministers, and the families of deceased 
ministers, who may need assistance, was considered ; and the opinion 



HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON, 13 

of Presbytery was expressed, with apparent unanimity, "that it was 
inexpedient, and probably would not answer the valuable end for 
which it was designed." When we consider the large field which the 
members of the Presbytery had to sujiply, the widely scattered con- 
dition of the Presbyterian societies, tlie newness of the various settle- 
ments, the comparative poverty of the people, and the difficulty of 
sustaining those who were in the active labors of the ministry among 
themselves 5 we cannot wonder that the members of the Presbytery, 
at that early day, thought it inexpedient, because seemingly imprac- 
ticable to contribute to such a fund. It is only of late years that this 
object has been reduced to form, and made one of the regular objects 
of the churches' contributions; though certainly one which should 
never have been overlooked. It may be added, that there are reasons 
which might be assigned, why such a fund was not so imj^eratively 
demanded at that early day, as now, when the Church has become so 
extended, its membership so much more numerous, and its ministers 
greatly multiplied. In those times it was so much easier for ministers 
to get possession of a piece of land ; which they did, and in most 
cases found it necessary to cultivate, at least, in part, as a means of 
support for themselves and families. These lands descended to their 
children: and to this day we have some of their descendants living 
amongst the people whom their fathers served in the ministry, in 
comfortable, if not in affluent circumstances. Yet it must not be 
understood, as if these fathers were opposed to having provision made 
for suiDerannuated and invalid ministers and their families after their 
decease, bvit only that it was inexpedient and hopeless to urge it on 
the churches of the Presbytery at that time when more urgent objects 
were before them. They could not have been opposed to the object 
itself. 

At the same meeting of the Presbytery a committee was appointed 
to examine the credentials of ministers coming within their bounds. 
So careful were they that no unsuitable and uncertified minister 
should impose upon the people. According to the strict presbyterian 
rules to which they had been accustomed, and which they had estab- 
lished among themselves as soon as they were set off into a 
Presbytery, no traveling minister might preach within their bounds 
without the consent of the Presbytery, if in session, or the committee 
on credentials, if he came during the intervals of Presbytery, And 
no congregation might invite, or employ a minister that did not 
belong to the Presbytery, without first asking the consent of the 



14 HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 

Presbytery for liberty to apply to the Presbytery of Cai'lisle for sup- 
plies — the very Presbytery from which most of the original members 
came ; and also to the older Presbyteries. And this rule was 
universally observed at a time when there was the greatest need of 
ministers to supply the numerous vacancies within the extended 
bounds of the Presbytery ; and when every accession to their ranks 
tended to diminish the laborious^service demanded of those already 
in the field. No doubt they were prepared to hail with joy every 
proper laborer that came into their bounds. There were great temp- 
tations to relax in the strictness of their rule in this respect. Presby- 
terians and Presbyteries have always exhibited a laudable degree of 
sensitiveness on this point. A pure and competent ministry has been 
the aim of the courts of the Church and of the people. At times 
Presbyteries and congregations may have been imposed on by 
unworthy candidates, but it has not been from wilful neglect on their 
part. And the care taken in this matter is still more noticeable from 
the fact that candidates for the ministry were very scarce. Yet at the 
first meeting of the Presbytery, one candidate offered himself to be 
taken under trial for the ministry, Mr. James Magill, supposed to be 
a son, or other relative of the Rev. Hugh Magill. He continued 
under the care of the Presbytery for about a year and a half, passed 
most of his examinations and parts of trial, and upon the point of 
licensure requested a dismission from the Presbyteiy. This was at the 
stated meeting of the Presbytery, October 6, 1796. Whether he was 
dismissed to the care of another Presbytery, or with a view to connect 
himself with another denomination, or that he had given up the 
purpose of entering the ministry, is not known, as there is no other 
notice taken of it in the minutes, except that he applied for a dismis- 
sion, which the Presbytery granted, with a certificate of good moral 
character. After that time no more is heard of him. One fact 
connected with his several parts of trial, serves to show that the 
members of Presbytery were by no means disposed to pass lightly 
over the examinations of candidates, or the pieces for exercise 
appointed them for delivery before the Presbytery. Their examina- 
tions seem to have been very thorough, and they were not readily 
satisfied with any part of trial. Therefore a lecture delivered before 
them, and in the presence of a public audience, the Presbytery 
refused to sustain; though Mr. Magill afterwards passed through 
several other parts of trial to the satisfaction of Presbytery. What 
influence the refusal to sustain a lecture delivered by him may have 



HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OP HUNTINGDON, 15 

had in inducing him to ask a dismission afterwards from the Presby- 
tery, may only be a matter of conjecture, if it had any influence at 
all. The next meeting of the Presbytery he delivered another 
lecture which was sustained. Such a case as this, which must have 
been the occasion of much mortification to the candidate, probably 
suggested the following standing rule, adopted by the Presbytery at 
its next regular meeting : " That no candidate be permitted to deliver 
any of his discourses before a public audience, except the Lecture and 
Popular Sermon ; and that only after Presbytery has received compe- 
tent satisfaction on all other parts of trial." 

The next year, at the Spring meeting, April, 1796, Mr. Samuel 
Bryson applied to be taken under the care of the Presbytery as a 
candidate for the ministry, and after the usual testimonials and exam- 
inations, he was so received, and assigned parts of trial. This is the 
second candidate taken under the care of Presbytery after its 
organization. 

Few as were the members when the Presbytery was organized, 
changes soon came, by which the number was diminished ; especially 
of those who had settled charges. Most of the members were old 
men at the time the Presbytery was set off from Carlisle. The Rev. 
James Martin died on the twentieth day of June, 1795, being per- 
mitted ouly once to meet with the Presbytery after its organization. 
At the second stated meeting of the Presbytery, the Rev. Hugh 
Magill, pastor of Tuscarora congregation (Lower Tuscarora) applied 
to have the pastoral relation to said congregation dissolved, on 
account of his age and infirmaties. This request was granted, the 
congregation consenting. 

On the 22nd of June, 1796, Rev. James Johnston, pastor of East 
and West Kishacoquillas, requested leave to resign his charge. The 
congregations being cited to appear by their commissioners at the 
next stated meeting to show cause, if any they had, why Presbytery 
should not accept his resignation ; did appear by their commisioners, 
and presented the following paper, signed by a majority of the mem- 
bers of the congregations : " That the congregations heartily desired 
that Mr. Johnston should continue their pastor, and that they would 
be perfectly satisfied with what ministerial duties his health would 
permit him to discharge." Nevertheless, Mr. Johnston having given 
sufficient reasons. Presbytery agreed to dismiss him ; and he was dis- 
missed on the fifth day of October, 1796. After Mr, Johnston was 
relieved of his pastoral charges, he continued to receive appointments 
1 



16 HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERV OF HUNTIIVGDON. 

from Presbytery as an occasional supply of vacant points, as his 
health would permit ; and at the same meeting of the Presbytery at 
which his pastoral relation was dissolved, the coinmissioners present 
from his late charge, requested that he might be appointed to supply 
their congi'egation for as much of his time as Presbytery could give 
them until the next meeting. Two appointments were given him 
elsewhere, and the rest of the time was left at his own discretion. 
This record shows that at the time of his resignation of his charge, 
he was not altogether disabled from any service ; and such were the 
great necessities and destitution of suitable supplies within the ex- 
tended bounds of the Presbytery, that the old men who, through 
infirmities, could not assume all the responsibilities of a pastoral 
charge, were impelled to do all they could to further the cause, and 
meet the wants of the churches.^' 

At the time of the organization of the Presbytery, and for many 
years afterwards, the salaries of pastors were small compared with the 
salaries now deemed a minimum salary. The largest salary on record 
till 1809, is that offered in the call from Bellefonte and Lick Eun 
congregations to Rev. James Lixn, being $500. The next highest 
salary was that offered in 1810 to Eev. William Kennedy by Lewis- 
town and West Kishacoquillas, being $480. And in 1820-1, the largest 
salary given was only $600 ; and these were the largest and among the 
wealthiest congregations in the Presbytery. But after all, compared 
with the gi'eater wealth of the congregations now, and the greater 
facilities for obtaining money for every thing a farmer has to sell, and 
the great advance in the price of the necessaries of life, there need be 
no hesitation in saying, that the salaries then promised were not only 
liberal, but more liberal than most now paid outside of the great 
cities. When a bushel of oats could be purchased at from ten to 
twelve cents; potatoes at the same rate; and wheat would only bring 
from twenty-five to thirty-seven cents, or ever rise to fifty or sixty 
cents, and no great demand at any price, and not always to be sold 
for cash ; it may surely be no more than justice to the fathers to saj', 
that the salaries they promised their pastors were comparatively 



*The above statement is precisely as gathered from the Minutes of the Presbytery, but it is 
evident that there is some confusion in the Minutes, as Mr. Johnston continued to be the 
recognized pastov of East Kishacoquillas congregation till the time of his death, iu 1820. It 
is more than probable that it was the charge of West Kishacoquillas which Mr. J. resigned in 
1796. His original charge consisted of both East and West Kishacoquillas, and Little Valley. 
If the resignation of Mr. J. included both East aud West Kishacoquillas, then from that time to 
the end of life he was only the stated supply of East Kishacoquillas. 



HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OP HUNTINGDON. 17 

liberal, and their successors in the various congregations have nothing 
to boast of in the comparison. But there was in many cases, in not 
in most instances, a great draw back in regard to i^unctuality in pay- 
ment. The salary would be permitted to fall behind in a series of 
years, and the pastor either compelled' by his necessities, or out of 
good-nature, to forgive a part, on condition of prompt payment of the 
balance. Sometimes the final settlement was not attempted till after 
the death or removal of the pastor, and then difficulties would arise, 
and the Presbytery applied to by the executors of the deceased to 
interfere and prevent the settlement of a pastor till all arrearages 
had been paid to the former pastor. In several instances such appli- 
cation was made, and the Presbytery did interpose in all proper cases 
with the happiest results. And at this distance of time the wisdom 
displayed in the management of such cases cannot but be admired : 
e. g. the executors of the estate of Eev. James Martin applied to 
Presbytery '* to take such measures as they may deem advisable to 
bring to the most speedy issue a settlement with the congregations of 
West Penns Valley, Warrior Mark, and Sinking Valley." Accord- 
ingly the request was entertained by Presbytery, and two separate 
committees appointed of most respectable gentlemen — laymen — to 
ascertain and settle the balance due the deceased from each of the 
congregations named. To show the character of these committees a 
single name may be mentioned, the Hon. Andrew Gregg, then a 
member of the congregation of Bellefonte, and grand-father of Hon. 
A. Grf Curtin, late Governor of the State, now Minister to Eussia. 
Executors were not authorized to give a part of a pastor's salary on 
condition of the prompt payment of the balance. 

And here, as well as in any other place, it is due to these old fathers 
of the Presbytery to say, that the original members of the Presbytery, 
with the accessions made to their number from time to time till the 
beginning of the present century, appear to have conducted business 
not only in strict Presbyterial order, but with great wisdom and 
prudence. This appears in reviewing the minutes of their proceed- 
ings in the various emergencies which arose, and the appointment of 
committees for various objects. From their ecclesiastical origin, we 
would expect to find strict adherence to sound doctrine, as contained 



Note. — Salaries were raised by subscription papers passed through the various parts of the 
congregation, and often the subscriber promised to pay so much in money, and so much in 
produce — wheat, corn, and oats. And when the formal call was made out the promise was 
almost always to pay a certain amount in cash, and balance in produce of the farms. 



18 HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 

in the Westminster Confession of Faith and the Catechisms, Larger 
and Shorter ; but in matters requiring only practical discretion apart 
from authoritative rules, one would not be surprised to meet with 
some evident mistakes in judgment and prudence. But none such 
can be seen upon their recorded proceedings, when viewed with the 
eye of candor, and in the light of the times in which they lived. 
Particularly in the appointment of committees, for specific objects, 
they were eminently judicious. 

The Presbytery usually continued in session for three days at their 
Spring and Fall meetings, but seem to have held only one sitting each 
day. The reason of this, no doubt, was the distance they would have 
to go to their lodgings at night ; especially when meeting in a country 
congregation. 

The Rev. David Wiley was appointed the first Stated Clerk of the 
Presbytery on the last day of their sessions, October, 1796, just a year 
and a half after the organization. No Stated Clerk was needed 
sooner, for as yet there were few minutes to transcribe. Afterwards, 
at stated times, a committee of Presbytery was appointed to review 
the minutes that had been transcribed by the Stated Clerk and report 
to Presbytery. 

The Rev. James Johnston and Rev. John Bryson were the first 
commissioners appointed after the formation of the Presbytery to 
represent it in the General Assembly, and Mr. Gteorge McCormick 
and David Stewart, Esq., the ruling elders for same purpose. Mr. 
McCormick is believed to have been an elder of one of Mr. Grier's 
congregations, and Mr. Stewart of Hart's Log congregation, of which 
the Rev. John Johnston was pastor. Alternates were appointed to 
the ministerial delegates, but none to the elders ; and for several 
years afterwards Presbytery appointed no alternates to the elders. 
Is it to be inferred from this, that the attendance of elders on the 
General Assembly was a matter of no importance in the estima- 
tion of the Presbytery? By no means; the probable reason is to 
be found in the fact that few elders were willing to undergo the 
fatigue of the journey to and from Philadelphia, where the General 
Assembly was then always held, and few could afford the time then 
required to make the journey, together with the time spent in attend- 
ance at the Assembly. The journey was in those days made o^i horse- 
back, and probably not less than ten days were consumed, riding day 
after day, in travelling from the extremities of the Presbytery to the 
place of meeting, and as many on the return. The necessary expenses 



HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 19 

of the commissioners were provided for by the Presbytery from the 
commissioners fund, to which all the congregations were required to 
contribute, but no compensation for lost time. It was difficult to find 
elders who were willing to go to the Assembly, and the Presbytery 
selected those whom they had most reason to believe, from their cir- 
cumstances, would be likelj^ to attend, or who had promised to go, if 
appoinj;ed. The main question in the early times of the Presbytery 
was, Who will go ? Now it is considered a matter of favor to be per- 
mitted to represent the Presbytery in the General Assembly, In 
looking over the minutes, it will be observed as not an uncommon 
occurrence, that a young pastor is sent as a commissioner the first 
meeting of the Assembly after his ordination and installation ; as if 
the older member of the Presbytery would say, "let him learn to 
bear the yoke in his youth." But now times are altogether changed ; 
the facilities of travel are so much improved that time and space are 
annihilated, and with almost as much ease a person can travel from 
one extremity of the counti'y to the other, and with almost as little 
inconvenience and fatigue, as sitting in his parlor at home. In this 
connection the fact may be stated, that very often at the regular 
stated Spring and Fall meetings of the Presbytery not more than one 
half of the ministers would be present ; and this especially when the 
Presbytery met at the extreme ends of the territory ; and at the 
intermediate meetings during Summer and Winter, there would not 
be more, than was necessary to form a quorum. And on one occasion 
there was not a quorum until the second day. The state of the roads, 
and the distances the members had to travel to meet the brethren 
were the general excuses, and there is not an instance on record of the 
excuse of a member being deemed insufficient. When it is remem- 
bered that the Presbytery, till 1811, covered all the terrritory now 
occupied by the Presbytery of Northumberland, as well as the present 
boundaries of Huntingdon, the absence of a large proportion of the 
members occasionally, from the meetings of the Presbytery, is not to 
be wondered at. Some would have to travel from one hundred and 
fifty to two hundred miles to meet the Presbytery, and that on horse- 
back, by the most difficult roads. And it will also be recollected that 
the majority of the members were either old men, or past the merid- 
ian of life. 

Mr. Samuel Bryson was the second candidate for the ministry, 
under the care of the Presbytery ; but was the first the Presbytery 
licensed; Mr. James Magill having withdrawn before licensure. Mr. 



20 HISTORY OP THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 

B. was taken under the care of the Presbytery on the 13th of April, 

1796, and was licensed to preach the gospel on the 12th day of April, 

1797, Whether he pursued his literary studies privately, or at some 
public institution is not known, but the Presbytery certify at his 
licensure, that he had gone through a regular course of literature ; 
and he probably studied Theology with his brother, the Rev. John 
Bryson, of Warrior Run. At this time there were no Theological 
Seminaries connected with the Presbyterian Church. All theological 
students studied privately ; generally with the pastor of the congre- 
gation with which they were connected ; or with some neighboring 
minister. 

At the meeting of the Presbytery in October of the same year, a 
call was handed into Presbytery from Upper Tuscarora and Little 
Aughwick congregations for Mr. Samuel Bry'son ; which he requested 
the leave of Presbytery to retain in his hands for consideration till the 
next stated meeting. The call was accompanied with a subscription 
paper, amounting to upwards of £150. After consideration, at the 
next meeting of Presbytery Mr. B. declined this call. At the same 
meeting of Presbytery, a call from the united congregations of Spruce 
Creek and Sinking Valley was presented for Mr. Bryson ; accom- 
panied with subscription papers amounting to upwards of £144, which 
call he accepted. At an adjourned meeting of the Presbytery held at 
the house of Mr. Robert McCartney on Spruce Creek, November 20, 

1798, he was ordained and installed pastor of said congregations ; in 
which service Rev. John Bryson preached the ordination sermon, 
and Mr. Morrison presided and gave ^Hhe charge'''' agreeably to ap- 
pointment of a former meeting. The record of this installation 
service, in connection with the oi'dination, would seem to indicate 
that there was but one charge given, that to the minister. 

In both of the calls to which reference has been made, that from 
Upper Tuscarora and Little Aughwick, and that from Spruce Creek 
and Sinking Valley, the salary promised seems to have been exceeding- 
ly liberal for those times, and for country congregations. The former 
congregations offered upwards of £150, the latter £144, and upwards. 
But when we know more about this matter, and how the amount was 
to be paid, it does not look so large, but, on the contrary, is greatly 
diminished in value. When the clerk of Presbytery records the calls 
he adds — " and subscription papers to the amount of £150 and £144." 
The idea conveyed by this record is, that the accepting minister 
took the subscription paper or pajjers as security for his salary, each 



HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 21 

one to pay the amount of his personal subscription as he could, or was 
willing, in grain, potatoes, or cabbage, more frequently than in money 
— the minister to collect his own salary as he could — and in case any 
one who chose to take offense at the minister, refused to pay, there 
was nothing left for the minister to do but to forgive him, or have a 
fight with his congregation. In case an appeal was made to the Pres- 
bytery, and the congregation compelled to make good the deficiencies, 
in most cases the pastor might as well resign the charge, for such 
would be the issue sooner or later. In this state of things the usual 
course of the pastor was to tender to Presbytery his resignation, on 
the ground of insufficient salary, or defective payment, and then if he 
were a pastor specially acceptable to the people generally, and his 
salary had fallen behind more through inconsideration than inten- 
tion ; or if there were a good deal of the grace of honesty among 
the people, deficiencies would be made up, and the removal of the 
pastor successfully resisted. We record these things because they 
are true, and we intend to keep to the truth of history, neither flat- 
tering people or ministers beyond their due. Congregations, and 
ministers too, ought to be aware that they are making the materials 
for future history. 

At the Fall meeting of the Presbytery in 1803, Mr. Bryson requested 
to be released from his pastoral charge of Spruce Creek and Sinking Val- 
ley ; and the congregations having appeared by their commissioners, 
and expressed their concurrence, it was resolved that Mr. Bryson's 
request be granted, and he was accordingly relieved from the charge of 
said congregations. At the same meeting he requested leave to travel 
out of the bounds of Presbytery, and preach at discretion. The Stated 
Clei'k was ordered to furnish him with proper testimonials of his good 
standing. Up to this time the Rev. S. Bryson appears to have been in 
good standing in the Presbytery. But at the Spring meeting of 1806, 
the following minute is recorded : " Presbytery agreed that the Stated 
Clerk be ordered to cite tlie Rev. Messrs. David Bard and Samuel 
Rryson to appear at their next meeting, and (agreeably to a resolution 
of the General Assembly, A. D. 1802) give an account how they have 
discharged their rainisterial duties." (Minutes of Presb'y, Vol. I, 201.) 
At the next meeting of Presbytery Mr. Bard appeared and fully satis- 
fied Presbytery in the matter inquired into; but Mr. Bryson did not 
appear, and the clerk was ordered to cite him to appear at the next 
Spring meeting. At this meeting he was again absent, but sent a 
letter to the Presbytery, stating some reasons for his not attending 



22 HISTORY OF THE PKESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 

Presbytery, and requesting the Presbytery to write to the elders of 
Spruce Creek and Sinking Valley congregations, urging them to fulfil 
their contract with him while he was their pastor. His request was 
granted, and the clerk directed to write to those congregations on the 
subject; but at the same time it was ordered, that Mr. B. be cited a 
third time to attend Presbytery at their Fall meeting. Mr. Bryson 
still not api^earing, the following minute was made by Presbytery — 
" The [Rev. Samuel Bryson not obeying the citation of Presbytery, 
their decision in his case was, on account of some peculiar circum- . 
stances attending it, deferred until their next meeting." 

At the meeting of Presbytery, April, 1808, Mr. S. Bryson attended, 
and assigned reasons why he had for time past neglected to attend to 
the duties of his office as a gospel minister, as follows: 1. That he 
was threatened with an incipient pulmonary complaint, which is 
increased by study. 2. The necessity of providing, by manual labor, 
for a numerous and increasing family. His reasons were deemed at 
the time satisfactory, and so recorded. But at the same meeting of 
the Presbytery a committee of some of the oldest and most judicious 
ministers and elders of the Presbytery was appointed to investigate 
rei:)orts injurious to Mr. Bryson's character, then in circulation, but 
which were in substance denied by him. The committee, according 
to appointment, met at Spruce Creek church, on the first Monday of 
May following (1808), and was opened with a sermon by the Rev. John 
Johnston, one of the committee. 

The committee took testimony and reported to the Presbytery at 
its next meeting, October 5, 1808- After hearing the report of the 
committee, and the testimony taken by them, the following minute 
was passed: ''The Presbytery having considered the testimony taken 
by the committee of investigation, appointed in the case of the Rev. 
Samuel Bryson, were unanimously of opinion that he ought to be 
suspended from the exercise of the gospel ministry, and he is hereby 
suspended." 

At the meeting of Presbytery, April 17, 1810, Mr. Bryson made 
application to have his suspension removed ; but Presbytery refused 
to accede to his request. The next year, at a meeting of the Presby- 
tery, a paper was received, signed by a number of the members of 
Spruce Creek congregation, in which they state, " that having been 
witnesses of Mr. Bryson's conduct since he was suspended from 
the gospel ministry, they see nothing in his behavior that should 
cause a continuation of his suspension." Upon which the following 



. HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTIXGDOX. 23 

minute was adopted : " Reports unfavorable to the character of Mr. 
B. being still in circulation, Presbytery are of the opinion that no 
decision can be made at present upon said paper." But Mr. Brysox, 
having professed his willingness to make those acknowledgements 
which the Book of Discipline requires, in the presence of the congre- 
gation where he resides. Presbytery agreed to receive (restore) him at 
the next meeting, if their way be clear. Min. Vol. T, p. 253. 

According to the above minute, at the October meeting following, 
the case of Mr. Brysox was taken up. A free conversation was 
entered into with a number of the persons who had signed Mr. Bry- 
son's certificate, and also with Mr. B. on the same subject, and the 
following action was had, and record made : " The Presbytery found 
upon conversing with some of the i:)rincipal persons who had signed 
the certificate, that their object in signing was only to have Mr. 
Bryson restored to the privilege of a private church member. It 
appeared to Presbj^tery that no evidence had been given of any real 
change in the conduct of Mr. B., but on the contrary, that his walk 
and conversation since his suspension, have been wholly inconsistent 
with the character of a minister of the gospel, or even a private 
christian. It was therefore, unanimously determined, upon the most 
mature deliberation, that the Rev. Samuel Bryson ought to be 
deposed from the office of the gospel ministry ; and he is hereby 
deposed." 

The history of Mr. Samuel Bryson's entire connection with the 
Presbytery, and the various steps taken in his case, till it issued in 
his deposition from the ministry are here given, so as to present the 
case in one view ; as his name does not afterwards appear on the 
minutes. 

In closing the statement of it two or three obvious reflections will 
occur to the intelligent reader. In the management of the case by 
the Presbytery there is no record of the charge, or charges, brought 
against him by Common Fame. Nor is there any record of a copy of 
the charges being given to Mr. B., with the names of the witnesses. 
This may have been deemed unnecessary, as he was present at the 
time when the case was initiated, and it is recorded that he substan- 
tially denied the charges ; though the charges are not named, and 
took no exception on account of informality. The minutes were 
afterwards reviewed by the Synod, and no exception taken to the 
record. Yet it is evident that the Presbytery acted with much cau- 
tion and deliberation, and with a desire to spare as much as possible 



24 HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 

the feelings of the accused and his friends. But there is one thing 
in which we think they erred on the score of kindness, namely : in 
not spreading on the records the offence or offences with which he 
was charged. They have left the readers of the records in the future 
to infer that the charges might have been more aggravated than they 
were. They were bad enough, it is true, but not so bad as could be 
imagined. Justice to the Presbytery itself in regard to the main 
charge preferred against him by common fame, as it has come down 
to us by tradition, would seem to have required its being spread upon 
the minutes, as a vindication against a slander perpetuated against 
the ministers of that generation. The main charge as it has come 
down to us by tradition, was intemperance, or drunkenness. Of 
course a drunken man will be a fool, both in actions and in wordm If 
there were vulgar, or even profane words charged, they are to be laid 
at the door of the original offense ; not to excuse the one, or the 
other, but to aggravate both. The man that will take that into his 
mouth, which he- knows "will steal away his senses," is responsible 
for all the consequences. But it has been charged that the ministers 
and elders of those times looked with an indulgent eye upon the 
drinking habits of that day, even when they themselves were strictly 
temperate, but not abstinent. The truth is, that with all our supposed 
advance in temperance principles, we do not, as ministers, deserve 
half the credit for our abstinence that ought to be accorded to the 
fathers of that day ; or rather, to the grace of Grod in the Fathers. 
When it is remembered that the bottle was among the family gods of 
every house ; was set out on every occasion, and it was considered an 
act of discourtesy to decline it ; and that the minister might enter 
a half dozen different families on the same day ; it is something of a 
miracle of divine grace that they were not drunkards ; or, at least, 
deceived into a degree of fondness for strong drink, leading to the ship- 
wreck of the ministerial character ? We may pass a very harsh judg- 
ment upon the men who fell before the Destroyer in that day, and see 
no grounds for the exercise of the "charity that thinketh no evil;" 
but it might be more becoming to thank God that we are not tried 
with their temptations. It is only necessary to add, that an entire 
reformation took place in regard to the habits of Mr. Bryson. 
He lived to a good old age, was restored to the communion of the 
church of Spruce Creek, in the bounds of which he continued to live ; 
though properly never restored to the ministry. There is a caution 
which, perhaps, ought to be given here : let not the name of Samuel 



HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTEKY OF HUNTINGDON. 25 

Bryson be confounded with that of the Rev. John Bryson. They 
were brothers, indeed, but men of very different characters and 
attainments. The Rev. John Bryson was permitted to fulfil a very 
long life of ministerial service, and died embalmed in the memory of 
three generations to whom he ministered. Until the division of the 
Presbytery, and the formation of the Presbytery of Northumberland, 
he more frequently represented the Presbytery in the General Assem- 
bly than any other minister. More will be written of him before the 
end of this history. 

For some years after the organization of the Presbytery, it constitu- 
ted an important part of the business to receive "supplications," as 
they were termed, for supplies for vacant congregations, and meeting 
these applications so far as in their power. The extent of the desti- 
tutions may be inferred from the number of the applications for suj)- 
ply. And yet the number of jjlaces desiring ministerial services was 
greatly beyond what appears from the formal applications to the 
Presbytery. It is supposed that none but formally organized con- 
gregations made application for supplies, but there were numerous 
preaching stations within the various pastoral charges, but miles away 
from the regularly appointed place of Sabbath services, that were 
making constant demands upon the time and labors of the settled 
pastors. It has been already noticed, that pastoral charges then em- 
braced a large scope of country. In view of these things, the supplies 
granted by^ Presbytery to vacant congregations were very liberal, and 
congregations having pastors had to consent to the frequent absences 
of their pastors. It is to be hoped that they submitted to this 
without murmuring, for thej^ knew not how soon their necessity 
might come. 

At every regular, or stated meeting of the Presbytery, a committee 
on congregational affairs was appointed, whose report was entered in 
a book kept for this purpose. As the appointment of such a commit- 
tee has been long since discontinued, the book containing these reports 
has never been seen by the writer, and he can only conjecture what 
were the subjects of the reports of the annually or semi-annually 
appointed committee. But we may infer that the payment of pastors' 
salaries was one of the subjects embraced in these reports, as on one 
occasion, immediately after hearing the committee's report, the fol- 
lowing Standing Rule was adopted by the Presbytery: ''That every 
congregation undgji- our care, having a settled pastor, give an account 
by a commissioner, or commissioners, to this Presbytery of the state 



26 HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 

of the salary in the respective congregations, at every Spring meeting. 
Min. V. 1, p. 42. 

For some time after the organization of the Presbytery, we find fre- 
quent references of difficult or delicate questions arising in congrega- 
tions referred to the Presbytery for advice or decision. It is only 
necessary here to instance in one case, not- because of its importance, 
but because it may serve as an example of causes sometimes producing 
much discontent and alienation among members of the congregation. 
It was brought to the notice of Presbytery by Rev. Isaac Grier, " that 
a considerable dispute existed in the congregation of Pine Creek, of 
which he was pastor, respecting the place where their meeting house 
should be erected — that there was no probability it would be decided 
by the parties themselves, and requested, in behalf of said congrega- 
tion, the interference of Presbytery in the premises." 

In accordance with the above request, the Presbytery appointed a 
committee to meet at Pine Creek on a day designated, hear both 
parties, and endeavor to terminate the unhappy dispute. Min. Vol. 
1, p. 48. There is no record of any report being made by the commit- 
tee ; but it may be inferred that they were successful in their mission, 
as the matter is not mentioned afterwards. 



# 



CHAPTER in. 



FKOM 1797 TILL THE DIVISION OF THE PRESBYTERY IN 1811. 

Mr. Stephens Called to Shaver's Creek and Installed — Mr. Wiley Resigns Sinking Creek — Rev. 
Asa Dunham Received — Mr. Alexander Mcllvaine from Ireland — Mr. Thomas Hogg applies 
to be Received — Reports Unfavorable to his Character — Committee Appointed to Investigate 
— Report — Attendance of Ministers and Elders on Synod — Rev. Hugh McGill — Disorderly 
Conduct of Mr. McGill — The matter finally disposed ot— The Scotch Irish — Mr. Mcllvaine 
Called, Ordained, and Installed — The Rev. John Johnston appointed Stated Clerk — Mr. John 
B. Patterson Called, Ordained, and Installed — Overture from the General Assembly — Rev. 
David Bard Resigns his Charge — Agreement between Mr. Grier and his Congregations — 
Representation in the General Assembly in 180U — Rev. James Simpson — Rev. Mr. Morrison 
Messrs. William Stuart and John Coulter — Mr. William Jackson — The Congregation of 
Lycoming — Rev. Hugh Morrison and a majority of the Buffalo Congregation in Controver- 
sy — Death of Mr. Morrison — Rev. Matthew Brown, D. D. — Rev. Thos. L. Birch — Rev. Henry 
R, Wilson — The Rev. Isaac Grier Resigns Gx-eat Island — Rev. John Hutchison Received and 
Licensed — Missions — Missionary Treasurer — Charges preferred against Rev. Matthew Ste- 
phens — Rev. Thomas Hood Called — Mr. Hutchison Called — Education for the Ministry — The 
Division of the Presbytery Proposed — Committee of Education make their first Report — 
Complaints in regards to Arrearages — Charges against Rev. M. Stephens not Sustained — 
The General Assembly Refuse to Divide the Presbytery — The Effects of Emigration — Pasto- 
ral Relations Dissolved — References from the Synods of Virginia and Kentucky on the 
Subject of the Relation of Baptized Children to the Discipline of the Church — Rev. James 
Linn Called to Bellefonte and Lick Run — Mr. W. Kennedy Called to Lewistown and West 
Kishacoquillas — Petition for the Orgauization of a Church at Milton — Mr. Thomas Caldwell 
a Beneficiary Candidate for the Ministry — The Establishment of a Theological Seminary — 
The Presbytery Divided. 

At the time of the constitution of the Presbytery there were only 
eleven ordained ministers, no licentiates, and no candidates for the 
ministry. Of the ordained ministers, two were without pastoral 
charges. Rev. John Hoge and Rev. Matthew Stephens. There is 
reason to believe that Mr. Hoge never sustained a pastoral relation. 
But Mr. Stephens was soon invited to become the pastor of Shaver's 
Creek congregation, of which he had been stated supply for some time 
previous. The call was presented to Presbytery October 4, 1797, and 
put into the hands of Mr. Stephens, with the subscription paper 
attached, amounting to upwards of £130. In those times it was com- 
monly understood that the minister took the subscription paper as 
the pledge of his salary ; and whatever may have been the under- 
standing of Presbytery, each subscriber was to be looked to as alone 



28 HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 

responsible for his individual subscription, and payment was a matter 
of settlement between the pastor and the subscriber. It is probable 
that in many, if not in most cases, collectors were appointed in the 
congregation ; but too often they met with very indifferent success, 
either from negligence, or the absence of a feeling of responsibility on 
the part of the congregation as a whole. Hence there is scarcely the 
record of a pastoral relation dissolved by death, or otherwise, for a 
number of years, after which there were not difficulties about arrear- 
ages of salary, for which the Presbytery was applied to, to enforce a 
settlement. Sometimes there was a failure in a congregation in meet- 
ing their engagement with the pastor through real inability to pay, 
induced by death, or emigration from the congregation. Cases are 
recorded in which, in these circumstances, a pastor who served two, 
three, or more congregations, by mutual agreement, and with the 
sanction of Presbytery, relinquished a portion of his salary ; and that 
part of his charge concerned, relinquished a portion of the time of 
the pastor. But this by the way. On the next day after the call 
from Shaver's Creek had been put into his hands, Mr. S. announced 
his acceptance of it, but requested that his installation be deferred 
till after the next meeting of the Presbytery. At the next meeting, 
April 11, 1798, the Rev. Messrs. Wiley and John Johnston were 
appointed a committee to install Mr. Stephens on the 3d Tuesday of 
June following, which was accordingly done. 

At the same meeting (that Mr. Stephens was called to Shaver's 
Creek,) Mr. Wiley requested leave to resign his connection with 
Sinking Creek, one branch of his pastoral charge, and represented to 
Presbytery that said congregation had appointed a committee to 
inform Presbytery that they considered themselves, in duty to Mr. 
Wiley, in the present state of the congregation, bound to concur with 
him in his request, and agree that it be granted. The pastoral rela- 
tion was accordingly dissolved, and the congregation declared vacant. 

At the next stated meeting of Presbytery, April 10, 1798, held at 
Spring Creek, the Rev. Asa Dunham was received, an ordained minis- 
ter from the Presbytery of New-Brunswick. At the sariie time and 
meeting, Mr. Alexander McIlwaine, a probationer from under the 
care of the Presbytery of Letterkenny, north of Ireland, having pro- 
duced testimonials of his regular licensure by said Presbytery, and of 
his good standing in the Church, requested to be taken under the 
care of Presbytery. But not having with him such collateral testi- 
mony as the Synod required — the applicant not knowing that such 



HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 29 

testimony was required — Presbytery directed him to procure such 
testimony to be presented at the next meeting. 

It will occur at once to the reader that the main reason of the 
Synod's requiring collateral testimony, besides the ordinary testimo- 
nials, signed by the clerk of the Presbytery from which the candidate 
purported to coniQ, was the readiness with which formal certificates 
could be forged ; and the distance of the country from which he came, 
so that it might be some considerable time before the forgery could be 
exposed. Instances of such imposition upon Presbyteries made such 
a rule necessary. And it implied no particular hardship on the part 
of real ministers of character, and honest probationers ; as the appli- 
cant for admission to the Presbytery was permitted to preach within 
their bounds till he had time to procure the required testimony. 
This, like our modern rule to examine all ministers coming from other 
Presbyteries, so as to be satisfied in regard to their soundness in faith, 
13 no hardship to really sound men ; and those who are not, are the 
very persons it is designed to meet. After they are in, and prove 
unsound in the faith, there is no relief but what may prove a tedious 
and wasting prosecution. 

It ought to have been noticed before that at the Fall meeting of 
Presbytery of 1797, a certain Mr. Thomas Hogg, a probationer from 
the Presbytery of Tyrone, Ireland, having produced, in the opinion of 
the Presbytery, sufficient testimonials from said Presbytery of licen- 
sure and good standing, requested to be taken under the care of 
Presbytery. It was agreed that his request be granted, "provided 
that the Synod coincide with the Presbytery in judgment." The 
Synod did not concur, and remitted Mr. H. back to the Presbytery to 
lay collateral testimony before them, in order to his reception. For 
although it does not appear that the General Assembly did adojjt any 
general regulations in regard to the reception of foreign ministers and 
licentiates, till in the year 1800, yet the Synods of Philadelphia and 
New York, so early as the year 176U, and again in 1774, adopted 
standing rules upon the subject, which were substantially re-enacted 
by the General Assembly of 1800, with the addition, that no foreign 
minister, or licentiate, should be received into full membership by the 
Presbytery, till he had been held in jirobation at least one full year. 
What is intended by "collateral testimony" is clearly defined in the 
Assembly's act of 1800, as is seen in the following extract: "The 
Presbytery to which such minister or licentiate may apply, shall 
carefully examine his credentials, and not sustain a mere certificate of 



30 HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 

good standing, unless corroborated by such private letters or other 
collateral testimony as shall fully satisfy them as to the authenticity 
and sufficiency of his testimonials." 

Mr. Hogg being remitted back to the Presbytery did produce, in 
the opinion of the Presbytery, ample collateral testimony ; but cer- 
tain reports injurious to his character prevailing in the country, it 
was determined to defer his reception into ministerial communion 
until many means have been used to investigate the subject. At the 
request of Mr. Hogg, who declared there were no just causes for such 
reports, Messrs. Hugh Morrison and David Wiley, ministers, and 
Hugh McCormick and John Eaisner, elders, were appointed a com- 
mittee to investigate the matter, and report to Presbyterj^ at its next 
meeting. This comnaittee reported at the time appointed, laid the 
miniites of their proceedings before the Presbytery, and the Presby- 
tery were unanimously of the opinion that the reports were ground- 
less, and ought not to operate against Mr. Hogg's character. 

M.V. Hogg, after continuing under the care of the Presbytery for a 
little over two years, and receiving appointments regularly, which he 
generally fulfilled, sent a letter to Presbytery, stating that he had 
"given up his profession, resigned his ministerial office," and request- 
ing "any minutes respecting him to be expunged from the Presby- 
tery's Records." After mature deliberation the Presbytery resolved, 
"That they no longer consider Mr. Hogg as under their care." This 
is the last time his name appears upon the minutes, and probably 
there is no person now living who could tell what became of him 
afterwards. 

About this time a committee of Presbytery was appointed to pre- 
pare a letter addressed to the non-attending members of the Presby- 
tery, urging their attendance at the next meeting of Synod. Whether 
there were any special reasons connected with the coming meeting of 
Synod, why they should be urged to attend, or whether there had 
been heretofore customary neglect on the part of some members to 
attend the meetings of Synod, there is nothing in the records to 
show. However, so late as the year 1805, the Synod of Philadelphia 
thought it necessary to send a letter to Presbytery, enjoining all the 
ministers of this Presbytery who have charges, to inform their Ses- 
sions, at least one month previous to the meeting of Synod, that it is 
their duty and privilege to send a representative to the Synod annu- 
ally ; and to apprize vacant congregations of their duty and privilege 
in this respect. Min. Vol. I, p. 202. From this it would appear that 



HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 31 

there had been a neglect in this matter on the part of Sessions ; and, 
as Synod supposed, on account of ignorance of their duty and their 
privilege. But it is more than probable, that the neglect arose more 
from the inconvenience and expense than from ignorance. 

In the comparatively early days of the Presbytery and the churches, 
it occasionally occurred that differences arose between ministers and 
their congregations, requiring the interference of Presbyteries ; but 
perhaps not more frequently than in more modern times. It will be 
recollected that Rev. Hugh Magill applied to Presbytery at its 
second meeting after organization, to have his pastoral relation to 
Tuscarora congregation dissolved. He still remained pastor of Cedar 
Spring, the other part of his charge. At the meeting of the Presby- 
tery at Pine Creek, October 3, 1798, a petition from the Session and 
others, members of Mr. Magill's congregation, was handed in and 
read, which informed Presbytery that an unhappy difference existed 
between Mr. M. and a number of his congregation, and asked Presby- 
tery to apjDoint a committee of the Presbytery to meet at Cedar 
Spring Church (now Mifflintown) to assist them in effecting an accom- 
modation. In accordance with this request, Messrs. Wiley, Bryson 
(John) and Morrison, ministers, with the elders Thomas Ferguson, 
William Bell, Esq., and John Cooper, were appointed the commit- 
tee to meet at Cedar Spring Church, on the last Saturday of 
month. At the adjourned meeting held on the 20th of the succeed- 
ing month, this committee reported that they had met at the time 
and place appointed, but had been unable to effect an accommodation. 
The Presbytery then, after consideration, resolved to appoint an 
adjourned meeting at Cedar Spring, on the 2d Tuesday of January, at 
which still farther endeavors may be used t6 effect an accommodation, 
or do whatever shall appear to be expedient in the premises. At this 
meeting of the Presbytery, Mr. Magill informed Presbytery, that in 
consequence of advanced age and many infirmities, he conceived 
himself no longer capable of discharging the duties of a pastor, and 
therefore requested that the pastoral relation between hirh and the 
congregation of Cedar Spring be dissolved. The members of the 
Session, in behalf of themselves and the congregation, united with Mr. 
Magill in his request, and stated, that in consideration of his past 
labors, they would pay to him annually the sum of thirty dollars, and 
continue to him the use of the glebe during his natural life — provided 
he did not permit the timber to be wasted, or unnecessarily destroy- 
ed, nor the premises to be otherwise injured. Upon this the Presby- 



j? 



32 HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 

tery dissolved the pastoral relations, and declared the congregation 
vacant. 

No doubt the Presbytery considered all matters of dispute between 
Mr. Magill and Cedar Sjjring congregation happily and finally settled, 
and at the next meeting in April, 1799, proceeded to appoint supplies 
for the congregation, as usual in the case of vacant congregations. 
Mr. Magill was appointed the first supply for the first Sabbath of 
May, and the first Sabbath of Jupe; the rest of his time at discretion. 
Mr. Wiley to administer the Lord's Supper there on the third Sab- 
bath of August, and Mr. S. Bryson to assist on that occasion. 

The following extract from the Minutes of the Session of Presby- 
tery, held October 2, 1 799, will tell the whole story — p. 104, Vol. I : 

" A paper was handed to Presbytery signed by Mr. Magill, in which he 
declares that he declines all connection with the Presbytery, and that he 
will not submit to our authority. Also a letter from Mr. McG. to Samuel 
Bryson, in which he desires Mr. B. not to assist in the administering the 
Lord's Supper at Cedar Spring, on the third Sabbath of August last, 
although Mr. B. had been appointed to that service by Presbytery. It 
was, moreover, represented to Presbytery, that Mr. M. had procured the 
doors of the meeting house, at Cedar Spring, to be nailed up, so that Mr. 
MorrIkSON was prevented from preaching there on tlie second Sabbath of 
August ; that the people have thus been prevented from the use of the 
house ever since ; and that his conduct has been in other respects irregular 
and disorderly, contrary to the peace and welfare of the society, and inju- 
rious to the interests of religion in general." 

In consequence of these representations the Presbytery cited Mr. 
Magill to appear before them at their meeting at Upper Tuscarora, 
on the first Tuesday of November following, and forbid his preaching 
within the bounds of the congregation of Cedar Spring, unless by 
permission of Presbytery hereafter. They also warned the people 
from giving countenance to Mr. Magill in any disorderly conduct. 
It would seem as if some of the people of the congregation had coun- 
tenanced Mr. Magill, and therefore a committee of Presbytery was 
appointed to prepare a letter to be addressed to them on the subject. 
Mr. Bard and Mr. John Bryson were the committee. 

Mr, Magill not appearing at the meeting of the Presbytery, in 
November, was again cited to appear at the next meeting to b^ held 
at Derry in Northumberland county, on the first Tuesday in Decem- 
ber next, to answer to the charges exhibited against him. Mr. M. 
was again absent, but it appearing that the citation ordered at the 
former meeting had not been transmitted to him, it was agreed that 



HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 33 

the Presbytery meet again in the town of Northumberland on the 
4th Tuesday of January, and Mr. M. be cited to appear there to 
answer to such charges as have been alleged against him. Mr. 
Magill, not appearing in answer to the renewed citation, it was 
ordered that he be again cited to appear at the regular stated meet- 
ing to be held in Mifflintown on the first Tuesday of April, 1800. At 
this meeting Mr. M. appeared, acknowledged that most of the particu- 
lars alleged against him were true, and that he would cheerfully 
submit the matter to the determination of Presbytery. 

In consideration of his age and infirmities, the Presbytery dealt 
very leniently with him, only censuring his conduct as very reprehen- 
sible, admonishing to be more careful and circumspect in his conduct 
for the future, and immediately to restore to the congregation all the 
church property which he held, and no longer to consider himself as 
having any claims to the meeting house. Further, they ordered that 
he should not interfere in any manner with the affairs of the congre- 
gation, nor preach within its bounds, but by the invitation of the 
Session or the order of the Presbytery, And in regard to his annuity 
promised at his resignation of the congregation, payment of which 
had been suspended because of his troubles with the church, it was 
ordered that it should commence immediately upon his compliance 
with the orders of the Presbytery, and not till then. 

It would be injustice to the congregation of Cedar Spring to close 
the account of this case without an expression of admiration for the 
prudence and forbearance which they manifested throughout the 
conduct of this whole case, and the consideration and kindness which 
they manifested to their aged ex-pastor up to the very last. The 
grace of God must have ruled in that congregation, or the promise of 
the use of the Glebe, and the annuity of thirty dollars, had been 
recalled at the close of this vexatious case. It is true, that two years 
afterwards, Mr. Magill complained to Presbytery that the congrega- 
tion of Mifflin and Lost Creek refused to pay him the annuity prom- 
ised at the time the pastoral relation was dissolved. But it was 
provoked by repeated acts on the part of Mr. M. and his family 
tending to the injury of the congregation. If the Presbytery did not 
expressly justify thewithholding of the annuity, they permitted the 
congregation to do as they thought proper in regard to the payment, 
and considered it no bar to the settlement of another pastor. 

Though the aged ministers were dropping out of active service one 
after another, in the good providence of God others were coming to 

5 



34 HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 

fill the vacant places, and to carry on the work ; yet not so fast as the 
necessities of the numerous vacancies seemed to require. But the 
Lord of the harvest knew best the appropriate times in which, and 
the places to which to appoint his ministers. Though some from 
among the churches of the Presbytery were looking towards and 
preparing for service in the ministry, the larger portion of acces- 
sions to the ranks of the ministry in the early years of the Church 
were foreigners, who came to this country either as licentiates or 
ordained ministers. Indeed, of those who constituted the Presbytery 
of Huntingdon at its organization, they were almost all of Scotland or 
Ireland by birth, or of the Scotch-Irish by descent. And this was 
mainly true of the private members of the congregations. There 
were some in every congregation, doubtless, of other origin and 
descent, but they were comparatively few. If it were not for the 
descendants of Scotch-Irish, our church would even yet make a sorry' 
appearance as to members, after the lapse of one hundred and sixty- 
seven years since the constitution of the first Presbytery in this 
country. For many years there was a constant emigration from 
Scotland and Ireland, but especially from Ireland to this country ; and 
the assertion may be ventured, that nineteen-twentieth's of the mem- 
bers of the Presbyterian churches in the bounds of this Presbytery 
are the immediate descendents of Scotch-Irish parents, or of foreign 
birth themselves. 

In the Spring of 1798 Mr. Alexander McIlwaine, a licentiate who 
had lately come to this country, made application to be received 
under the care of the Presbytery, as has already been referred to ; but 
according to the rules adopted by the Synod and General Assembly, 
he could not be received till after a year's probation. During that 
year he passed through almost the same parts of trial as a candidate for 
licensure among ourselves, and his christian character was tested, also 
his ability to labor, and his acceptableness as a preacher among the 
people. On the 17th of April, 1799, the Presbytery made the follow- 
ing minute in respect to Mr. McIlwaine: ''Having now resided and 
preached within! the bounds of this Presbytery for upwards of one 
year, his case was reviewed. He was examined as to his knowledge 
and approbation of our standards of doctrine, discipline, and govern- 
ment ; whereupon. Presbytery unanimously determined to receive 
him under their care, and make report to the next General Assembly 
of his reception, as a cjiffididate of prudence, gravity, and godly con- 
versation, and highly acceptable to our churches." The Assembly 



HISTORV OF THE PRESBYTERY OP HUNTINGDON, 35 

apijroved of the proceeding of PresbyterJ^ in relation to Mr. McIl- 
WAiNE. On the 2nd of October following, a call from the united con- 
gregation of Upper Tuscarora and Little Aughwick for the pastoral 
services of Mr.* McIlwaine, promising him a salary of £151. Mr. 
McIlwaine declared his accej^tance of the call ; and on the 6th day 
of November of same year he was ordained by the Presbytery, and 
installed pastor of said congregations. 4 -i ^^04:<O 

On the 4th of October, 1797, as has been stated before, Kev. D. 
Wiley had been released at his own request, ahd with concurrence of 
the congregation from the charge of Sinking Creek congregation, and 
on the 12th of June, 1799, at a meeting of the Presbytery, called for 
the purpose, he was released from the congregation of Spring Creek, 
the other part of his original charge. This also was at his own 
request, and with the consent of the congregation, though given with 
apparent reluctance. No doubt the cause was insufficient support, 
after the separation from Sinking Spring Church. It was a rare thing 
in those days for a single congregation to undertake the support of a 
pastor. Towns in which there are now two or three Presbyterian 
congregations, were then connected sometimes with two or three 
other congregations in the support of the same pastor. Mr. Wiley 
about this time resigned his office of stated clerk, and the Rev. John 
Johnston seems to have been appointed stated clerk. Mr. Wiley con- 
tinued within the bounds of the Presbytery about a year after the 
resignation of his pastoral charges, and was dismissed April 22, 1801, 
to connect with the Presbytery of Baltimore. 

In October, 1799, Mr. John B. Patterson, a licentiate of the Pres- 
bytery of New Castle, was received under the care of Presbytery, and 
calls were immediately presented for him from the congregations of 
Mahoning (now Danville) and Derry, of which he declared his accep- 
tance, and the Presbytery made arrangements for his ordination and 
installation. An adjourned meeting was appointed to be held at 
Derry, Northumberland county, on the first Tuesday of December ; 
parts of trial for ordination were assigned to Mr. Patterson, and Rev. 
Isaac G-rier was appointed to preach the ordination sermon, and the 
Rev. David Wiley to preside and give the charge, should the way 
then be clear. At the time]appointed, Mr. P. having passed through 
the usual examinations before ordination to the satisfaction of Pres- 
bytery, was ordained to the full work of the Gospel ministry, and 
installed pastor of the united congregations of Mahoning and Derry. 
Mr. Patterson continued to be a useful and highly esteemed member 



36 HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERT OF HUNTINGDON. 

of the Presbytery of Huntingdon till the division of the Presbytery 
in 1811, when he, with his congregations, fell into the bounds of the 
new Presbytery of Northumberland. He continued to sustain the 
pastoral relation in which he was ordained and installed till 1831, 
when his pastoral relation to the congregation of Mahoning was, at his 
request, dissolved, from which time his ministerial labors were chiefly 
confined to the congregations of Derry and Washingtonville, a village 
in the vicinity of which he resided and where a church had been 
formed. 

In the year 1798, the General Assembly adopted certain "regula- 
tions intended to embi-ace and extend the existing rules, respecting 
the reception of foreign ministers and licentiates." The next year 
the Presbytery of New Yoi'k, requested the Assembly to reconsider 
and rescind these regulations, presenting several reasons for said re- 
quest. Among others, that these regulations were contrary to the 
constitution of the church till they had been sent down to the Presby- 
teries, and a majority of them had given their approval in writing. In 
proof of this, they cited a section from the Form of Government, 
Chapter XII, which reads as follows: " Before any overtures or regula- 
tions proposed by the Assembly to be established as constitutional 
rules, shall be obligatory on the churches, it shall be necessary tt) 
transmit them to all the Presbyteries, and to receive the returns of at 
least a majority of them in writing approving thereof." The commit- 
tee of the Assembly appointed to consider and report on this matter, 
although reporting to the Assembly that the request on^ the part of 
the Presbytery of New York was founded upon the misinterpretation 
of an ambiguous expression in the constitution, yet recommend a 
reference of this article of the constitution to the respective Presby- 
teries for their interpretation ; at the same time recommending to 
them to advise and empower the next Assembly to substitute the 
phrase Constitutional Hules, in this article, in the room of Standing Rules. 
The report of the committee was adopted, and the overture was sent 
down to the Presbyteries. 

At the meeting of the Presbytery held in October, 1799, the Presby- 
tery acted on this reference, and the following minute was adopted : 
"To remove all appearance of ambiguity in the 6th Section of the 
Xllth Chapter in the Form of Government, it was agreed to advise and 
empower the General Assembly at their next meeting to alter it, so 
that Constitutional Rules be read therein, instead of Standing Rules, 
though-this Presbytery do not conceive that, even as the section now 



HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON, 37 

stands, it contravenes the rule of the General Assembly respecting the 
admission of foreigners to ministerial communion. The rule is highly 
approved by this Presbytery." 

At this meeting of the Presbytery the Rev. David Bard requested 
leave to resign his pastoral charge. In accordance with the Book of 
Discipline, the congregation of Frankstown (Hollidaysburg) was cited 
to appear by commissioners at the next meeting of Presbytery, and 
oppose or consent to the dissolution of the pastoral relation, as the 
case might be. The next meeting of Presbytery, which was interme- 
diate, held at Upper Tuscarora Church, November 5 and 6, the congre- 
gation of Fi'ankstown appear by their commissioners, consenting to 
the dissolution of the pastor relation, " in view of Mr. Bard's circum- 
stances, as well as their own," (although with great reluctance) and 
the pastoral relation was dissolved. 

What were the peculiar circumstances of Mr. Bard and the congre- 
gation, which required the former to ask and the latter to consent to 
the dissolution of the .pastoral relation, are now not known, for there 
is no record on the subject, but we know that Mr. Bard represent- 
ed the Congressional District in the House of Representatives for 
several terms, and of course there were several months in each year 
when the congregation must be without regular ministerial services so 
far as he was concerned, and this might be a very potent reason why 
the pastoral relation should be dissolved on his part, or he resign his 
political position. And as to what would have been duty in Mr. 
Bard's circumstances, between his civil and ecclesiastical relations, at 
this distance of time, we may be unable to determine with any degree 
of certainty. We know that persons qualified to represent the peo- 
ple in Congress were not so numerous as in the present times, neither 
were qualified ministers then so numerous as they now are. One 
thing we are sure of, that aspirants to political positions were neither 
so numerous nor so presumptuous as now ; but as a general rule, as it 
regards ministers and civil or political positions, the opinion may be 
ventured, that they had better leave these positions to those who can- 
not preach the gospel, but may be abundantly qualified for the other. 
To one who is really called to be a minister of the gospel, we think 
the Saviour's reply to one who proposed to become his disciple, but 
would first go and buryhis father, would be worthy of his considera- 
tion, "iei the dead bury their dead f any body else could do that as well 
as he could. The circumstances of the congregation also, cannot now 
be stated, but we suppose it to be the old story, the most common oc- 



38 HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON, 

casion of the dissolution of the pastoral relation, the inability on their 
part to pay the amount of salary required or promised. Since those 
early times, the circumstances of this congregation, as well as of 
others, have greatly changed, and now, perhaps, there is no more able 
or liberal congregation in the bounds of the Presbytery. 

The last item of business that is on record, as engaging the atten- 
tion of Presbytery for the year 1799, is a mutual agreement between 
Mr. Grier and the congregations which he served, in regard to a 
re-arrangement of his labors amongst them, in proportion to their 
ability to paj'' the salary. Originally, Mr. Grier gave his time in equal 
proportions to Lycoming, Pine Creek, and Great Island. But it 
becoming evident that Great Island was not able to pay its proportion 
of the salary, it was mutually agreed among them that Mr. Grier 
should preach but one-fifth part of his time at Great Island, and that 
Great Island should be obliged to pay him but one-fifth part of his 
salary. The rest of his time to be divided between Pine Creek and 
Lycoming ; and that they jjay their salary in proportion ; and that 
this agreement be binding for only one year from the jireceeding 
October. . 

Since those times Presbyterianism has made great progress. In 
each of the places, large and strong congregations now exist, and in 
one case three or four. Lycoming (Williamsport) including New- 
berry, which was embraced originally in the one congregation of 
Lycoming ; Pine Creek, now the large and wealthy congregation of 
Jersey Shore; and Great Island, now Lock Haven. 

The year 1800 begins with an effort to square up accounts between 
pastors and congregations. A standing rule had been adopted three 
years before to this effect — " That every congregation under the care 
of Presbytery having a settled pastor give an account, by a commis- 
sioner or commissioners to the Presbytery, of the state of salary at 
every Spring meeting." It seems that this rule, if not entirely neg- 
lected, had in some instances been overlooked, therefore at the 
Spring meeting of this year the order was renewed, with a special 
injunction to the trustees of each congregation to send such report to 
the next Spring meeting. Vol. I, p. 117. And to show that they 
were in earnest in this matter, a committee was appointed to prepare 
a circular letter to be addressed to the trusttees of each congregation 
under the care of the Presbytery. 

At this meeting of the Presbytery there were but three important 
items of business that engaged the attention of the members : the 



HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OP HUNTINGDON. 39 

one mentioned above — the election of commissioners to the approach- 
ing meeting of the General Assembly — and the issuing of the case of 
the Rev. Hugh Magill, which has already been noticed. It appears 
that the Presbytery was then entitled to be represented in the 
Assembly by six commissioners — three ministers and three elders. 
The fact already noticed, the appointment of alternates to the minis- 
ters, but none for the elders, occurs again on this occasion. As 
attendance at the General Assembly was accompanied with so much 
physical toil and expense, the Presbytery might with equal advantage 
have been represented by half the number, and the attendance made 
more certain. Another important item of business was the appoint- 
ment of supplies to vacant congregations; but this was always a 
principal item of business at every stated meeting. And when the 
long and multifarious lists are examined, and we consider the dis- 
tances of many of the vacancies from the ordinary residences of the 
persons appointed to supply them, together with the modes of con- 
veyance, and the state of the roads, the fathers must have endured 
an immense deal of exposure to cold and heat, and bodily toil, of 
which their successors now have little or no experience. 

And yet another interesting item of business, as belonging to the 
same meeting of the Presbytery (January 7, 1800) may be mentioned 
here. It is important mostly in regard to its issue, namely : the recep- 
tion of the Rev. James Simpson, who presented all the usual and satis- 
factory credentials and collateral testimony of good standing as an 
ordained minister, from the Presbytery in the " Kingdom of Ireland ;" 
and was received under probation by the Presbytery in accordance 
with the standing rule in regard to foreign ministers. It may be 
interesting to record here, once for all, the process through which 
Mr. Simpson was made to pass, as a specimen of the pains taken by 
the fathers of the Presbytery to secure a competent and orthodox 
ministry for the churches. This minute is made, 

First — "Presbytery having received satisfactory evidence of Mr. Simp- 
son's literary attainments, agreed to dispense with a special examination 
on the languages, arts and sciences. 

Second — Presbytery then entered into a free conversation with Mr. S., 
and received full satisfaction of his soundness in the faith, and of his 
experimental acquaintance with religion. He was also examined on Theol- 
ogy, Church History and Government. 

Third — Mr. S., having adopted our standards of doctrine and discipline, 
and promised subjection to the Presbytery in the Lord, it was agreed to 
receive him as a minister of the Gospel on probation." 



40 HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 

An application was immediately made by Lewistown and "Wayne 
(McVeytown) congregations to have Mr. S. appointed their supply for 
one year. This request was substantially granted by the Presbytery 
giving Mr. Simpson only two other appointments, and allowing him -to 
supply Lewistown and Wayne at discretion. 

At a meeting of the Presbytery, held October 6, 1801, Mr. S. was 
admitted a member of the Presbytery, his papers having passed the 
review of the General Assembly previously, and the period of his 
probation being thus ended, and nothing appearing injurious to his 
character up'^to that time. But the next day, at the same meeting of 
the Presbytery, a "supplication" was presented from the united con- 
gregations of Lewistown, Wayne and Derry, on the Juniata, for Mr. S. 
for stated supply for one year, in which they promise to pay him a 
salary of £160; and at the same time a remonstrance signed by a num- 
ber of the inhabitants of Lewistown, opposing the settlement of Mr. 
S. among them for any term of time whatever ; also a remonstrance 
from Derry and Wayne against his settlement among them. The fol- 
lowing action was taken by Presbytery in view of these remon- 
strances : " Whereas, insinuations have been made by remonstrances 
handed into Presbytery by a commissioner from the congregations of 
Derry and Wayne, injurious to Mr. Simpson's moral character, the 
Eev. Messrs. John Johnston, John Coulter and William Stuart, 
with Messrs, David Rii jle and David Caldwell, elders, were ap- 
pointed a committee to meet at the house of Mr. Casper Dull in 
Waynesburg (McVeytown), on the 15th day of this month (October), 
and inquire into the foundation of these insinuations and the truth of 
the reports said to be in circulation, and to send for those persons 
who have either in writing or otherwise circulated them. And if, 
after inquiry being made, it appears that they are without foundation 
or cannot be supported, the stated clerk is ordered to furnish Mr. 
Simpson with proper credentials, he being about to travel out of our 
bounds." Min. p.p. 142, 143. 

At an adjourned meeting of the Presbytery, held in November fol- 
lowing, the committee reported, " That having examined witnesses on 
oath, brought before them by Mr. Simpson's accusers, they found 
nothing sufficient to condemn him, or depi'ive him of his credentials." 
The minutes of the committee were submitted to the Presbytery, 
read, and their proceedings approved. However, at the stated meet- 
ing of the Presbytery, April 2, 1802, a paper was presented to Presby- 
tery, signed by three respectable church members, pledging them- 



HISTORY OF THE PKESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON". 41 

selves to prove some aggravated charges, as to moral delinquency, 
against Mr. Simpson. Upon which Presbytery appointed an adjourned 
meeting, to be held at Lewistown, the 3d Tuesday in June following, 
and cited Mr. S. to appear and answer to the charges exhibited 
against him by these persons. 

At the time appointed the Presbytery met to try the charges 
brought against Mr. Simpson; heard the witnesses on the part of his 
accusers and on the part of Mr. Simpson, (it appears that there was no 
church building then in Lewistown, so they met in the Court House.) 
The Presbytery considered that the charges were fully substantiated, 
and suspended him from the ministry. 

As this may appear inconsistent with the report of the committee 
sent to inquire into the reports injurious to Mr. Simpson's character a 
short time before, and the approval of their proceedings in the case, 
the following action was immediately had by the Presbytery at the 
conclusion of Mr. Simpson's case, viz : " Whereas, it has been intimated 
to Presbytery at our last Spring meeting, and there now appears some 
reason to suspect that the committee appointed to meet at Waynes- 
burg in October last, to inquire into the truth and grounds of the 
insinuations that had been made injurious to the character of Mr. S., 
did not transact that businesss altogether consistently with the in- 
structions of Presbytery. Resolved, that ciiiitions be issued to those 
persons who were members of that cor. mittee, and also to Judge 
Oliver and Gren. John Bratton, to attend at our next fall meeting at 
East Kishacoquillas." At the fall meeting, as cited, the committee 
being present, and being heard in explanation of their proceedings, 
the following minute was made : " Upon hearing the committee ap- 
pointed on Mr. Simpson's case, the Presbytery are of opinion that any 
impropriety that took place in that transaction proceeded from inad- 
vertency and not from design." 

At the same meeting Mr. Simpson applied to Presbytery to be 
restored to his former ministerial standing, professing sorrow for the 
crime of intemperance and other irregularities, but denying the most 
aggravated charge brought against him, and asking Presbytery to be 
permitted to bring forward some evidence which had been obtained 
since the last meeting, which he supposed would invalidate the testi- 
mony then given as to that part of the charge. Presbytery consented 
to hear said witnesses, but after hearing, did not see cause to modify 
their verdict or restore Mr. Simpson. 



42 HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 

At the meeting of the Presbytery in April, 1803, Mr. S. applied 
again to be restored, professing the deepest penitence and humiliation 
for his past conduct, particularly for those irregularities which were 
the cause of his suspension, at the same time expressing his acquies- 
cence in the proceedings of Presbytery in his case, and acknowledging 
the justice of the sentence passed on him, which he admitted to be 
unavoidable from the evidence which appeared, although his con- 
science (he said) would not permit him to acknowledge real guilt in 
regard to the more aggravated charge. He also expressed deep sorrow 
for his disorderly conduct since, particularly for continuing to preach 
in open contempt of the authority of Presbytery, and on these pro- 
fessions asked to be restored to the exercise of his ministry. Presby- 
tery approved of Mr. Simpson's professions of penitence, but could not 
see the way clear to restore him until a correspondent reformation 
evinced the sincerity of that rej)entanee, which he himself acknowledg- 
ed to be very recent. On the refusal of the Presbytery to remove his 
suspension, Mr. S. "snatched" the paper containing his confession 
from the clerk's desk, treated the authority of Presbyteiy with 
marked contempt, and gave to every member present ocular evidence 
that the whole of his solemn professions were fallacious and hypocriti- 
cal. Whereupon it was resolved, (in view of the whole case — his 
conduct in times past, and what occurred immediately before the 
Presbytery,) that Mr. Simpson be deposed from the ministry, and he 
was accordingly deposed. 

Mr. Simpson gave notice of appeal from the judgment of the Pres- 
bytery, and the clerk was ordered to furnish him with a copy of the 
proceedings in his case. Whether this appeal Avas ever prosecuted 
before the higher courts the writer has no present means of ascer- 
taining. One thing is certain, the sentence of disposition was never 
reversed, the minutes of that year being reviewed by the Synod, and 
no exception taken but to a few verbal inaccuracies. Of Mr. S. no 
future mention is made in the proceedings of the Presbytery. What 
became of Mr. Simpson afterwards there may be those living wlio 
could give some account, but it is not important. From all that is 
recorded of him, it may be reasonably inferred, that he was a man of 
good education, classical and otherwise, possessing considerable popular 
talent as a preacher, and plausible address, for as soon as he had any 
. connection with the Presbytery applications were made from impor- 
tant congregations for his services, and the Presbytery at his reception 



HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 43 

as a probationer from a foreign land, expressed entire satisfaction witli 
his examinations. That which lay at the foundation of the destruc- 
tion of his moral, and religious and ministerial character, was the 
accursed drinking habits of the country from which he came ; habits 
by no means suitably discouraged in the country to which he came. 
Many persons were tainted with this vicious habit, who nevertheless 
were capable of putting such a restraint upon their appetite, that by 
no public and overt act, did they expose themselves to ecclesiastical 
discipline. But now we return and give an account of other mtatters 
which occurred during the year eighteen hundred, beyond which we 
have been carried, with the design of giving a connected history of 
Mr. Simpson's connection with the Presbytery. At the Fall meeting 
of this year a committee was apj^ointed to inspect the credentials of 
itinerating and foreign ministers, who might come into the bounds of 
the Presbytery during the recess, and if the way be clear, make them 
apijointments and give them written recommendations to vacancies, 
at least two members of the committee being necessary to certify the 
credentials of a foreign minister. Rev. Messrs. James Johnston, 
Matthew Stephens, John Johnston, Hugh Morrison, John Bryson, 
and David Wiley were a^jpointed said committee. 

A petition was at this meeting presented to the Presbytery by some 
of the members of Buffalo congregation, stating that the congrega- 
tion had signed an obligation to Mr. Morrison, the pastor, on his first 
coming to settle among them as their minister, binding themselves to 
the payment of £75 annually to him during his incumbency. That 
from death, removal and other causes, a few only of the persons 
bound for the payment of the money now remained in the congre- 
gation, they therefore prayed the Presbytery for direction and relief. 

In accordance with this petition, a committee of three ministers 
and three elders was appointed to meet at Bufialo Church, on the 2d 
Tuesday of November following, to assist in devising and carrying 
into effect such measures as may be thought best calculated to relieve 
the petitioners, and promote the best interests of the congregation; 
and the congregation was "enjoined to have their papers and accounts 
so arranged by the time the committee meet, that a full settlement of 
all arrearages may be made with Mr. Morrison." At the next meeting 
of Presbytery, April 21, 1802, Mr. Patterson in behalf of the commit- 
tee reported "That the commissioners on the part of the congrega- 
tion, not being prepared to exhibit their accounts, they were unable 



44 HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 

to act in the premises." This matter will come up in another shape 
at a future meeting of the Presbytery. 

This meeting of the Presbytery, and this year, are distinguished by 
the prospect of a large accession to the ministry of the Presbytery. 
Messrs. William Stuart and John Coulter, licentiates of the Presby- 
tery of Kew Castle, presented certificates of their standing and 
licensure, and were received under the care of the Presbytery. 
These brethren lived to be Patriarchs in the Presbytery — living and 
dying pastors of the congregations in which they were ordained and 
installed, after pastorates of thirty-three years each. Though they 
were taken under the care of Presbytery at the same meeting, and 
both received the calls which they accepted, and served their congre- 
gations the same length of time, yet it could not be said that they 
were joined in their deaths. Mr. Coulter died in 1834, but Mr. 
Stuart was much the older man, for he was in the 76th year of his 
age when he resigned his charge in the fall of 1834, but lived fourteen 
years afterwards. Calls were presented for each of these brethren to 
the Presbytery at the same meeting at which they were received. Mr. 
Stuart was called to Spring Creek, Sinking Creek, and East Penns 
Valley ; and Mr. Coulter to Middle and Lower Tuscarora. Mr. Coul- 
ter was ordained and installed pastor of the united congregations of 
Middle and Lower Tuscarora, August 11, 1801 ; and Mr. Stuart of the 
united congregations of Spring Creek, Sinking Creek and East Penns 
Valley, on the 7th of October, the same year. As calls were presented 
for Messrs. Stuart and Coulter at the same meeting of Presbytery by 
which they were received from New Castle Presbytery, of course they 
had preached as candidates in the congregations which afterwards 
called them, by the authority of committee appointed to inspect and 
examine licentiates and ministers coming within the bounds of the 
Presbyteiy, as to the validity of their credentials. 

At the same meeting of Presbytery (April 22, 1801 ) at which 
Messrs. Stuart and Coulter were received as licentiates under the 
care of Presbytery, Mr. William Jackson, a licentiate formerly under 
the care of the Presbytery of Derry, in the ''Kingdom of Ireland," 
presented his credentials from said Presbytery, and other collateral 
testimony of his licensure and good moral character ; and was receiv- 
ed under the care of Presbytery, and taken on trial. In October, 
1802, Mr. Jackson was recognized as a licentiate of the Presbytery, 
with the approval of the General Assembly. He received "and gener- 



HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 45 

ally fulfilled appointments to supply vacancies, and in April, 1803, 
received a call from the congregation of Greenwood, with the promise 
of a salary of £50 to be paid semi-annually. This call Mr. Jackson 
held for some time under consideration, then accepted it, and before 
the time at which his ordination and installation were to take place, 
asked leave to return the call. Before consenting to the retvirn of the 
call. Presbytery took occasion to consult the congregation of Green- 
wood (as it is called in the minutes) but really of Buffalo township on 
the Juniata. The congregation consenting, the call was returned. Mr. 
Jackson had studied medicine, and was engaged pretty extensively in 
the practice of it, and finding it impracticable to fulfil the appoint- 
ments given him from time to time, finally came to the conclusion to 
resign his license to preach the gospel, and give himself wholly to the 
practice of medicine ; which he did in 1807, with the full consent of 
the Presbytery. 

At the Spring meeting of the Presbytery at Spruce Creek, April, 
1801, the Rev. Isaac Grier made request that his pastoral relation to 
the congregation of Lycoming be dissolved, on account of neglect on 
their part to pay the amount of salary which they had promised. 
They received only one-third of Mr. Grier's time. The congregation 
was cited to appear at the next meeting of the Presbytery to show 
cause, if any they had, why Mr. Grier's request should not be 
granted. The congregation did not appear by commissioners, as 
cited ; and Mr. G. renewing his request, it was granted, and the con- 
gregation declared vacant. But as the congregation were in arrears 
to Mr. Grier, a committee was appointed to visit the congregation to 
inquire into its state, and use means to induce them to discharge the 
arrears due to their late pastor. This committee failed to visit the 
congregation according to the appointment of Presbytery, for which 
they gave their reasons at a following meeting, which were approved 
by the Presbytery ; but Mr. John Bry'son and Mr. Patterson were at 
the same time appointed to prepare a letter to the congregation of 
Lycoming respecting their peculiar situation, and the necessity of 
their compliance with the injunctions of Presbytery. This contro- 
versy between the Presbytery and the congregation continued for a 
number of years, the Presbyteiy repeatedly enjoining on the cojigre- 
gation a final settlement and the payment of the arrears due to Mr. 
Grier ; and the congregation obstinately refusing or neglecting, till 
the Pr&sbytery passed the following minute : " Presbytery finding 
that the congregation of Lycoming have not complied, in any degree, 



46 HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OP HUNTINGDON. 

with their repeated injunctions with respect to Mr. Grier, their 
former pastor, are of the opinion that no supplies should at this time 
be granted to said congregation." It would seem that, after all, no 
final settlement was obtained till the civil court appointed a certain 
John Kidd, Esq., to settle with the trustees of the congregation, 
when the principal and the interest of seven or eight years were ^jaid. 
How long it took the congregation to recover character, after so long 
a controversy carried on in regard to the payment of a just debt to so 
good a man, and so able a pastor, and against the unanimous judg- 
ment of the Presbytery, it might be worth something to know. 

At the same meeting of Presbytery, in which the above affair about 
the payment of arrearages due to Mr. Grier by Lycoming congrega- 
tion was first under consideration, (June 17, 1801,) two commissioners 
from the congregation of Buffalo presented a petition to have the 
pastoral relation between them and Eev. Hugh Morrison dissolved. 
The Presbytery cited Mr. M. to appear at an adjourned meeting to be 
held in Tuscarora Valley, on the 11th of August, to show cause, if any 
he had, why the petition should not be granted. At the adjourned 
meeting the petition was renewed, the same commissioners being 
present, and at the same time a counter petition was i^resented by the 
friends of Mr. Morrison, praying that he might be continued as their 
pastor. After hearing both parties by their commissioners'. Presby- 
tery appointed a committee consisting of Revs. John Bryson and 
John B. Patterson, and Messrs. William Montgomery and David 
Ireland, elders, to visit and inquire into the state of the congrega- 
tion, and report to Presbytery at its next meeting. 

This committee reported at the time appointed, that they had 
visited the congregation, taken a vote of the congregation after public 
notice, and it appeared that there were forty-three members of the 
congregation who were ^n favor of a separation from Mr. M. and 
twenty-nine who were for continuing him as their pastor. At the 
same time another petition was presented by two commissioners on 
the part of the majority, urging a separation, and a remonstrance on 
the part of the minority, charging that improper means had been 
used at the time of the vote, by the opponents of Mr. M. to obtain a 
maJM-ity against him. Another petition was likewise laid before 
Presbytery, signed by the elders of the united congregations of Sun- 
bury and Northumberland, containing a representation of the griev- 
ances under which they would labor, in case Mr. M. should be 
dismissed from the congregation of Buffalo. 



HISTORY FO THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 47 

Presbytery heard both parties at very considerable length, and it 
seems that in the course of the proceedings in this case, charges of a 
character serious enough to demand the investigation of Presbytery 
were made, either verbally or in writing ; whereupon Presbytery re- 
solved to hold an adjourned meeting in Buffalo Church, on the 2d 
Tuesday of November, and that Mr. M. be cited to appear to answer 
to the charges exhibited against him by the commissioners of Buffalo 
congregation. 

The Presbytery met according to adjournment at Buffalo Church to 
investigate the charge or charges (for there is no record of any formal 
charge) made against Mr. Morrison. They spent the greater part of 
two days in hearing the witnesses of both parties, and came to the 
following conclusion : " The Presbytery having heard all the witnesses 
brought forward by both parties, and after seriously weighing and 
comparing the witnesses for and against Mr. Morrison, with respect 
to his drinking liquors to excess, agreed, that although they could 
not, on the testimony given, convict him of drunkenness, yet they 
were of opinion that he has on certain occasions transgressed the 
bounds of Christian prudence in that respect, and he is hereby cau- 
tioned to be more watchful and circumspect in future." To us at this 
distant period, the justice of this rendering of the Presbytery, would 
seem evident. We are not to bring our modern views and habits in 
regard to temperance, especiallj'^ of total abstinence, to bear upon our 
minds in reviewing the decision in this case. It was then considered 
no impropriety in a minister of the gospel to drink spirituous liquors, 
and if his accusers had been put to the test to which Christ put the 
accusers of the woman taken in adultery, it is doubtful whether they 
would not, one by one, have left the house. They had, perhaps, many 
times held the bottle to his mouth, and, had he refused it, would have 
considered him sour and unsociable. They tempted him to that 
excess of which they accused him, and for which he was censured. 
If they had been put on self-defence, perhaps they might have said 
that they had put a greater restraint upon themselves, but they were 
not so frequently tempted as he was. jSTo absolute drunkenness after 
all was proven. But in the divided state of the congregation, and 
the little prospect of his usefulness by continuance, the Presbytery 
sundered the pastoral relation at this time. 

There was a party in the church always adhering to Mr. Morrison, 
and as supposed, at their solicitation, he continued to preach to them. 
This of course was irregular, ill-judged, and a source of annoyance 



48 HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 

and distraction to the congregation. The Presbytery forbade his 
preaching within the bounds of the congregation without the invita- 
tion of the Session, or the appointment of Presbytery. He was cited 
to appear before Presbytery and give an account of his irregularities, 
particularly for preaching in the bounds of Buffalo congregation con- 
trary to the will of the Session and the orders of Presbytery. Not 
obeying the first citation he was cited again and again. Before the 
issuing of the last citation the Rev. John Bryson gave reasons in his 
behalf why he had not obeyed the former citation^ which were per- 
fectly satisfactory to the brethren of the Presbytery. These reasons 
may be presumed to be the infirmities of old age, or the pressure of 
disease, as before the time for his appearance designated in the last 
citation arrived, he had passed beyond the supervision of all earthly 
tribunals. He died on the 15th of September, 1804. 

On the 10th of November, 1801, a name appears for the first time 
in the minutes of the Presbytery, which afterwards became greatly 
distinguished, not in the Presbytery, but in the Presbyterian Church, 
and among the educators of the land, the Rev. Matthew Brown, D. 
D. On the day above named he was received as a licentiate of the 
Presbytery of Carlisle, by which a call had been put into his hands 
from Mifflintown and Lost Creek. Arrangements were made during 
this meeting for his ordination and installation at the regular Spring 
meeting of the Presbytery, to be held for this purpose at Miflflintown, 
on the 3d Tuesday of April, 1802, and Matthew 5:17-26 was assigned 
to Mr. Brown as a subject for a lecture ; and Heb. 3 : 12, as the sub- 
ject for a sermon, in view of his ordination. The Rev. John B. 
Patterson was appointed to preach the ordination sermon, and the 
Rev. John Bry'son to preside and give the charge. Accordingly, on 
the 25th of April, 1802, Mr. Brown was ordained and installed pastor 
of the churches of Mifflintown and Lost Creek. 

At the adjourned meeting of Presbytery held at Lewistown, June 
16, 1802, the Rev. Thomas L. Birch, an ordained minister from Ire- 
land, applied to be taken under the care of Presbytery agreeably to 
the rules prescribed by the General Assembly relative to foreign min- 
isters; but not being able at present to lay before Presbytery his 
credentials and other collateral testimony, and Presbytery being also 
informed that certain reports were in circulation in the bounds of the 
Presbytery of Ohio very injurious to his moral character, his request 
was refused. 




PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, BELLEFONTE, PA. 



HISTORY OF THE PKESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 49 

At a subsequent meeting Mr. Birch appeared, and requested to be 
taken under the care of Presbytery as a foreign minister. He appears 
then to have had the usual credentials, and the necessary collateral 
testimony ; but because of those reports still in circulation against 
him in the West, and the fact that the Presbytery of Ohio would 
have nothing more to do with him because of these reports, and not 
having received satisfaction as to his acquaintance with experimental 
religion, the Presbytery &.gain refused to receive him to membership). 

Six months afterwards, while the Presbytery was holding its Spring 
meeting at Bellefonte, Mr. Birch appeared, and gave notice of his 
intention to complain to the General Assembly against the proceed- 
ings of the Presbytery in his case. There is no evidence that this 
complaint was ever carried to the General Assembly. What became 
of Mr. Birch afterwards there is nothing on record to show ; but the 
writer remembers to have seen Mr. Birch at his father's house when 
he was a boy, as late as the year 1818, or about that time; it could 
not have been much later. In personal appearance, if not mistaken 
in the person, he was a large, fleshy man, and then must have been 
considerably beyond the meridian of life, apparently near the age of 
his host, who was then sixty or sixty-five years of age. It is confi- 
dently believed that he never was recognized as a regularly authorized 
minister in any evangelical church after he came to this country ; and 
it is not certain that he ever did preach much anywhere' after he 
failed to get a recognition in the Presbyterian church. 

It is refreshing, after the record of such cases as the above, to 
record the accession of a name to the roll of the Presbytery, who 
lived long to be an honored and useful servant of the Master and his 
Church, Mr. Henry R. Wilson, a licentiate of the Presbytery of Car- 
lisle, applied to be received under the care of the Presbytery, October 
G, 1802. Having presented the required certificate of character, 
licensure, and dismission from Carlisle Presbytery, he. was taken 
under the care of the Presbytery. At the same time a call was pre- 
sented for Mr. Wilson from the united congregations of Bellefonte 
and Lick Run. Mr. Wilson accejjted the call; was ordained and 
installed on the 20th day of April, 1803, and continued to serve these 
two congregations, with great success, till the fall of 1809, when he 
returned to the Presbytery of Carlisle, from whence he came, to take 
charge of one and another congregations within their bounds. 

The Rev. Isaac Grier made application at the meeting of Presby- 
tery in October, 1803, to have his pastoral relation to the congrega- 



50 HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 

tion of Great Island (Lock Haven) dissolved, because of their 
inability to pay the salary which they originally promised, on account 
of removals from the congregation; with this understanding, " ihat 
he continue to preach and perform other ministerial duties among 
them as heretofore." The object of this proviso on Mr. Grier's part 
was, that the congregation might enjoy the ordinances of religion till 
they could make arrangements to be permanently supplied ; and at 
the same time Mr. G. might arrange to otherwise dispose of that por- 
tion of his time formerly given to Great Island. His request in this 
matter was granted. 

The year previous to the dissolution of Mr. Grier's relation to Great 
Island congregation, he took charge of a classical school in Jersey 
Shore, near to which he resided. This became necessary on account 
of the smallness of his salary, even before Great Island became 
unable to pay their portion of his salary. 

At the same naeeting of the Presbytery the name of Mr. John 
HuTCHESON first appears upon the minutes, being introduced to Pres- 
bytery as a student preparing for the ministry, to be taken under the 
care of the Presbytery. He was so received, and several parts of 
trial were assigned to him with a view to his licensure at the proper 
time. On the 3d day of October, 1804, he was licensed to preach the 
gospel as a probationer. 

From time to time we find references made in the proceedings of 
Presbytery to the missionarj'^ fund, and to missionary contributions. 
At almost every stated meeting of the Presbytery inquiry was made 
of the members as to their diligence in this matter, and delinquents 
were enjoined to attend to the making of contributions by their par- 
ticular churches, before the time to report to the committee, or Board 
of Missions of the General Assembly. The Standing Committee of 
Missions of the Assembly was not appointed till 1802, and a Board of 
Missions not till 1816. The money contributed for missionary pur- 
poses hjiiBl reference chiefly to domestic missions ; indeed altogether, 
for the Church had not yet engaged as a Church in the work of 
Foreign Missions. Together with the destitute white population in 
our land, the Indians upon the borders of civilization, and the colored 
s].aves, were the utmost objects of missionary labor and contributions. 
Domestic missions, as at first conducted, oftentimes consisted in the 
pastors of the churches spending a month or two at a time in visiting 
and preaching in portions of the country where there were entire 
destitutions of the means of grace. The members of Huntingdon 



HISTOKV OP THE PEESBYTEKY OF HUNTINGDON. 51 

Presbytery could do little of this missionary service, so numerous were 
the vacancies among tliemselves. Yet we find on two occasions the 
Presbytery by a formal vote recommending two of their members to 
the standing committee of the Assembly, as suitable persons to be 
employed in missionary service. It is probable that the main reason 
whicli induced tlie Presbytery to recommend the particular persons 
whom they did, was the fact that they were then without any pastoral 
charge. 

At first the contributions made within the bounds of the Presby- 
tery for missionary purposes were sent to the common treasury, but 
such was the happy enlargement in the contributions for this object, 
that the Presbytery deemed it advisable to appoint a special Treasurer 
of missionary funds about this time. The Eev. William Stuart, then 
pastor of Spring Creek and Sinking Creek, was appointed the treasu- 
rer, October 3, 1804. And now we turn back a little in the record, to 
refer to one of those unhappy events, which, alas ! were only too 
common in those primitive times. Charges were laid before the Presby- 
tery, in the name of a responsible accuser, greatly compromising the 
moral character of the Rev. Matthew Stephens, pastor of Shaver's 
Creek Church. With the consent of parties the case was tried at the 
same meeting of the Presbytery, at which the charges were tabled. 
The Presbytery were in session in Shaver's Creek Church at the time 
within the bounds. of which the offense, or offenses had been com- 
mitted, and the witnesses and parties lived. The case was taken up 
the next day after the charge was tabled. On that day all the wit- 
nesses on both sides and the parties were heard, but the final judg- 
ment of the Presbytery deferred until the next day. The following- 
day the decision of the Presbytery is thus recorded: "After the most 
mature deliberation, and seriously weighing the testimony on both 
sides. Presbytery were of the opinion, that although his conduct did 
not evince any criminal intention with respect to Miss Polly' Camp- 
bell, yet the charges are fully substantiated. Whereupon, it was 
unanimously agreed, that the Rev. Matthew Stephens be suspended 
from the exercise of the Gospel ministry, and he is hereby suspend- 
ed." It is added, "Mr. Stephens submitted to the decision of Pres- 
bytery." Mr. Stephens was too shrewd a man to show any spirit ^f 
insubordination at the time. The favorable result of his uncomplain- 
ing submission to the decision of Presbytery, ajjpeared in a short time 
afterwards. Yet when the hasty and impetuous character of the 
man is considered, it is wonderful. It is perhaps the most gracious like. 



52 HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTEEY OF HUNTINGDON. 

act of his whole life, but we know not whether it were the effect of 
grace or of human wisdom ; for Mr. Stephens was a man of mind with 
many rough points of character. However, at the adjourned meeting 
of Presbytery, held at Warrior Eun in June following his suspension, 
a petition was laid before Presbytery, signed by sixty -four members of 
Shaver's. Creek congregation, asking for the removal of his suspension, 
and the Presbytery, after investigation and due consideration, restored 
him to his former standing. That they acted in this matter con- 
scientiously, and in view all the circumstances of the case as represent- 
ed to them may not be doubted, in view of the names recorded as 
present and acting in the case. Anything which afterwards occurred, 
and could not have been foreseen by the members of Presbytery, 
should not be considered as demonstrating the impropriety of this act 
of restoration at the time. 

The number of ministers composing the Presbytery was small com- 
pared with extent of the tei'ritory to be cultivated, although additions 
of ministers were being made from time to time. But unhappily (for 
the fields to be cultivated) all could not be retained who came into 
the Presbytery. For the church at large these changes, we have no 
doubt did result in greater good. Those who removed were provi- 
dentially directed doubtless, yet we know that God often overrules 
an unadvised, even a wrong act for greater good. There is no doubt 
that the change which we are now about to record, if it resulted 
in making Mr. Brown President of Washington College, and after- 
wards the distinguished, honored, and successful President of Jeffer- 
son College, was according to the will of God, as indicated by his 
providence. 

A pro re nata meeting of Presbytery was held at Mifflintown, on the 
20th of March, 1805, to consider Rev. M. Brown's request for the 
dissolution of his pastoral relation to Mifflintown and Lost Creek. 
There was no dissatisfaction existing between Mr. B. and these con- 
gregations, but a strong desire on their part to retain him, while they 
yielded to his wishes. His reasons, as assigned to Presbytery for 
believing it to be his duty to make a change were, "that he could 
not find that comfort, or expect that usefulness which was desirable, 
aiid which he had reason to expect in another place, while he had no 
complaint to make against his congregations." The Presbytery dis- 
. solved his pastoral relation according to his request. At the same 
time a call for Mr. Brown, from Washington, Pa., was put into his 
hands, of which he announced his acceptance, and he was dismissed 



HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINODON, 53 

with the usual testimonials, to connect himself with the Presbytery 
of Ohio, within the bounds of which the congregation was situated. 

With the departure of one good man, and just upon his retreating 
steps comes another, as if for compensation of" the loss sustained, 
Mr. Thomas Hood, a licentiate of the Presbytery of New Castle, pro- 
duced certificates of his dismission from said Presbytery, and of his 
acceptance of calls from the united congregations of Buffalo and 
Washington, (Northumberland county,) within the bounds of this 
Presbytery, and requested to be taken under the card of Presbytery. 
The usual pieces of trial were assigned to Mr. Hood, and examina- 
tions had which are required by the Book ; all being satisfactory to 
Presbytery, on the 2d day of October, 1805, he was ordained and in- 
stalled pastor of Buffalo and Washington congregations, in which 
service Mr. Stuart preached the ordination sermon, (in the absence 
of Mr. Wilson, who had been appointed to that duty,) from 1 Cor. 
9: 16, and Mr. John Bryson delivered the charge according to previ-. 
ous appointment. 

A protest by the administrators of the estate of the Rev. Hugh 
Morrison against the installation of Mr. Hood, or any other person in 
the congregation of Buffalo, till all arrearages of salary were paid, 
due to the estate of Mr. Morrison, the former pastor, was laid before 
Presbytery before the service of installation had taken place, but the 
Presbytery esteemed this no bar in the case, as Mr. Morrison, in his 
life time had instituted suit for these arrearages in a civil court, the 
administrators had prosecuted it to an issue after his death, and had 
acquiesced in the judgment which was obtained against the congre- 
gation. 

At this meeting of the Presbytery several calls were presented for 
Mr. HuTCHEsoN. Lewistown asked for the appointment of some 
member to moderate a meeting of the congregation with a view to 
ascertain the sense of the congregation with reference to making out 
a call for Mr. H. Calls also from the congregations of Derry and 
Paxton, of the Carlisle Presbytery, and a call from the united congre- 
gations of Mifilintown and Lost Creek, were laid before Presbytery. 
These calls were put into Mr. Hutcheson's hands, and he declared 
his acceptance of the call from Mifiiintown and Lost Creek. The 
only thing specially to be noticed in this call is the precision with 
which the amount of salary promised . is stated. Four hundred and 
eighty-six dollars and sixty-six cents. 



54 HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 

In 1804 certain amendments in the form of the Grovernment Directo- 
ry for worship, and Book of Discipline, were proposed by the General 
Assembly, and sent down to the Presbyteries for their concurrence, or 
rejection. At the meeting of the Presbytery in the Spring of 1805, 
these amendments were considered and unanimously adopted, and the 
action of the Presbytery ordered to be sent to Rev. Philip Mille- 
DOLLAR, Stated Clerk to the General Assembly. 

Presbytery met in the church of Lost Creek, April 15, 1806. At 
this meeting Mr. Hutcheson was ordained and installed pastor of 
Mifflintown and Lost Creek. Before these services took place the 
commissioner of tlie congregations, together., witli Mr. Hutcheson, 
stated to Presbytery that a mistake had been made in the amount of 
salary stated in the call from said congregations ; that instead of one 
hundred and eighty-two pounds ten shillings, it should have been only 07ie 
hundred and seventy-Jive pounds. Mr. Hutcheson stated to Presbytery 
that the commissioner informed liim of liis mistake before he accepted 
the call. The Presbytery permitted the mistake to be rectified. 

At this time the Rev. Isaac Grier was transferred from the pastoral 
charge of Pine Creek congregation to the united congregations of 
Sunbury, Northumberland and Shamokin. 

It will be recollected that the Rev. Matthew Stephens was tried at 
the meeting of Presbytery in April, 1804, on charges presented 
against liim by Miss Polly Cajupbell, and he suspended from the min- 
istry, but restored again at the meeting of the Presbytery following. 
It seems that upon a review of the minutes by the Synod exception 
was taken, not to the final action of the Presbytery, but to the 
apparent inconsistency between the record and the final act of sus- 
pension. The act of suspension is recorded as follows: "Presbyteiy 
were of opinion that his conduct did not evince any criminal inten- 
tion with respect to Miss Polly Campbell, yet the charges are fully sub- 
stantiated!'''' TSTow criminal intention was the very gist of her main 
charge. There seems to have been an omission by the clerk in 
recording the action of the Presbytery in this case; therefore the 
delegates to the Assembly of 1806 are instructed to inform the Synod 
that the incorrectness of which the Synod complained in the case of 
Mr. Stephens "was in the minutes, not in the proceedings of Presby- 
tery." It must have been an oversight in making the record, for 
surely the members of the Presbytery could not have so stultified 
themselves, as to have exonerated him of all criminal intention, and 



HISTORY ,F0 THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 55 

at the same time voted that all the charges were substantiated. The 
idea intended to be conveyed, no doubt, was that while the conduct 
or actions of Mr. Stephens on the occasion were proven, his intention 
was misinterpreted. 

But on the 17th of April, 1806, new charges were laid before Pres- 
bytery, by a Mr. David Riddle, of habitual intoxication, and abusive 
language to all who offended him. But the charges not being so 
specific as the Presbytery judged to be necessaiy, Mr. Riddle was per- 
mitted to withdraw his paper that it might be presented in due form 
at the next meeting of Presbytery. At the meeting of the Presbytery 
in October, the above charges were renewed by Mr. Riddle, with the 
additional charge of "total neglect of family visitation." This paper 
was entertained by the Presbytery, and ordered that a copy of the 
charges and witnesses be furnished to Mr. Stephens, and that citations 
be issued by the clerk to the witnesses to appear at the next Spring 
meeting of the Presbytery. 

The Assembly of 1805 had sent down to the Presbyteries an over- 
ture on the subject of educating pious youth for the gospel ministry. 
The Assembly finding that there was a general coincidence of senti- 
ment on this subject, appointed a committee to take this subject into 
consideration, to draught and lay before the house a minute proper 
to be adopted and published by the Assembly, and calculated to carry 
the design into comjilete effect. This committee reported, stating the 
pressing necessity of an increase of candidates for the gospel minis- 
try, earnestly recommending to every Presbytery under the care of 
the Assembly, to use their utmost endeavors to increase, by all suita- 
ble means in their power, the number of promising candidates for the 
holy ministry — to pr'ess it upon the j)arents of pious youth to educate 
them for the church, and on the youth themselves, to devote their 
talents and their lives to this sacred calling — to make vigorous exer- 
tions to raise funds to assist all the youth who may need assistance, 
to be careful that the youth whom they may take on their funds give 
such evidence as the nature of the case admits, that they possess both 
talents and piety, to inspect the education of those youth during the 
course both of their academical and theological studies ; choosing for 
them such schools, seminaries, and teachers, as each Presbytery may 
judge most proper and advantageous, so as eventually to bring them 
into the ministry well furnished for their work, &c. 

The Presbytery of Huntingdon took the following action on these 
recommendations of the General Assembly, by report of a committee : 



56 HISTORY OF THE PKESBYTEKY OF HUNTINGDON. 

" The committee appointed to consider the injunctions of the General 
Assembly respecting the selection and education of poor and pious youth 
for the gospel ministry, are of opinion that the present circumstances of 
the church are such as render this measure highly necessary, and that no 
means should be left untried which will have the smallest tendency to carry 
it into execution. After duly considering the subject, they doubt not of 
the practicability of it, and for this purpose beg leave to present the follow- 
ing resolutions ; 

1. Resolved, That a committee be appointed, to be called the Committee 
of Education, consisting of seven members, any three of whom shall be a 
quorum, whose business it shall be to receive information concerning, and 
recommendations in favor of such young men as come under the description 
contained in the Assembly's injunction, to determine whether the persons 
recommended be received or not, to superintend the education of those who 
may be received, and to apply the funds that may be raised for that purpose. 

2. Resolved, That a Treasurer be appointed whose duty it«hall be to re- 
ceive the moneys which may be raised, to hold them subject to the order of 
the above committee, to keep a regular account of the receipts and expen- 
ditures, to report annually the state of the funds, as well as the sums re- 
ceived during the last year, and from whom received. 

3. Resolved, That the pastor and session of every congregation, or the 
session, where the congregation is vacant, within our bounds, be requested 
to make diligent search for young men of capacity and piety, whose 
parents, who although desirous, are not in such circumstances as to give 
them a liberal education, and to communicate the result of their search to 
the committee, accompanied with a recommendation of the person, if they 
find any such, who in their opinion ought to be taken under the care of the 
committee. 

4. Resolved, That the congregations under our care J^e most earnestly 
solicited, yearly or half yearly, to take up liberal collections, or to raise 
money in any way, which in their opinion shall be most desirable, and to 
transmit it to the treasurer, or to the chairman of the committee, in the 
absence of the treasurer. 

One other resolution was appended providing for the I'eturn of 
money to the society from which it was received, after a specified 
time, in case no persons were found upon whom to expend it. ^ 

And as it appears that division of the Presbytery was contemplated, 
it was resolved that should there be then any money in the treasury, 
in that event it should be divided equally between the two Presbyte- 
ries, provided each Presbytery had an equal number of young men for 
education under their care ; if not, then in proportion to the number 
each may have. 

The following persons were chosen as the Committee on Education : 
Rev. Messrs. James Johnston, John Bryson, William Stuart, John 



HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 57 

B. Patterson and John Coulter; with Messrs. James Hepburn and 
John Watson, elders. 

The Eev. John Hutcheson was chosen treasurer. 

At the Spring meeting of the Presbytery, April 21, 1807, the case of 
Rev. Mattheay Stephens was taken up by consent of parties, though 
several important witnesses were absent, and Presbytery agreed to 
hear the testimony of those witnesses that were present, and appoint 
a committee to take the testimony of those who were absent, and 
reserve their decision until their next meeting. The following mem- 
bers were appointed this committee, to meet at Shaver's Creek Church 
on the 1st Tuesday of June next, viz : Rev. Messrs. David Bard, John 
Johnston, William Stuart and Henry R. Wilson, and Messrs. David 
Stuart and Gteorge McCormick, elders. The Rev. Henry R. Wilson 
to preach a sermon on the occasion. At the fall meeting of the Pres- 
bytery at Warrior Run, the following action, in the case of the Rev. 
Matthew Stephens, was taken : 

"The prosecutor of the Eev. M. Stephens appeared in Presbytery, but 
on account of the absence of Mr. S. and all the members of the committee 
appointed to take the testimony in that case. Presbytery deferred their de- 
cision till the next Spring meeting." 

At this time the question of the division of the Presbytery was 
taken into consideration, and the following minute adopted : 

" The Presbytery of Huntingdon taking into consideration the difficulties 
under which many of their members labor on account of their local situa- 
tion; rendering a general attendance on the meetings of Presbytery for the 
most' part impracticable, were of opinion that application should be made to 
the next General Assembly for a division of the Presbytery into two Pres- 
byteries ; and the following lines of division are proposed to the General 
Assembly : Beginning at the mouth of the Juniata, and along said river to 
Lewistown, thence by the State road to Bellefonte, so as to include to the 
eastward the charges of the Piev. Messrs. Hutcheson, John Bry'son, 
Hood, Patterson, Grier and Wilson, to be called by the name o.f the 
Presbytery of Northumberland." 

At this meeting of the Presbytery John Buyers, Esq., was aiDpointed 
treasurer of the Committee of Education, in the place of Rev. John 
Hutcheson, because his place of residence was more central. The 
Spring meeting of the Presbytery of 1808 was held in the church of 
Bellefonte. At this meeting the Committee of Education made report 
of the first young man taken under their care with a view to the min- 
istry, Thomas Caldwell, a young man of good natural abilities, and 
wdio. had since the time he was taken under their care (September 10. 



58 HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 

1807) made considerable progi'ess in the Latin language. This gave 
occasion to inquire of the different members of the Presbytery what 
had been done in their several congregations respecting the fund for 
the education of poor and pious youth for the gospel ministry ; when 
it appeared that considerable attention had been paid to the matter 
by some of the members, and considerable sums of money raised; 
those who had neglected this cause were enjoined to give it more 
•attention in the future. 

At this meeting of the Presbytery it was moved and carried that the 
line of division proposed at the last meeting of Presbytery (October 6, 
1807) be reconsidered, and the following line of division was proposed- 
and adopted, viz : Beginning at the mouth of the Mahantango Creek, 
and proceeding a northwesterly course to the mouth of Clearfield 
Creek, so as to leave to the eastward the congregation of Great Island, 
including to the eastward the charges of the Rev. Messrs. Dunham, 
John Bryson, Grier, Patterson and Hood ; to be called the Presby- 
tery of Northumberland. 

There is a record made at this meeting of the Presbytery of a com- 
plaint to Presbytery by Mr. Hutcheson of negligence on the part of 
his congregation in paying the salary due him, and on account of 
which he was suffering embarrassment ; and also by Mr. Jabies John- 
ston in regard to arrearages due him. by West Kishacoquillas for his 
labors among them while he was their pastor. In both cases Presby- 
tery interposed their authority kindly but decidedly, enjoining ujoon 
the congregations a speedy settlement of their dvies to these brethren. 
Had Mr. Hutcheson been a pastor in these more modern times, the 
first notice they would have had of any neglect of payment on the 
part of the congregation, would have been an application on his part 
for a dissolution of the pastoral relation. Mr. H. continued to be the 
pastor of this congregation for more than thirty-five years after <his 
time. He did not want to leave the congregation, neither did the 
congregation want him to leave tliem ; but their neglect in regard to 
the salary, no doubt, proceeded from thoughtlessness, which probably 
never afterwards occurred. Which is the better course to pursue, the 
ancient or the modern example, depends altogether on circumstances. 
No congregation ought to impose such a necessity on their pastor. 
And it is time these annual and semi-annual payments should cease. 
The landlord looks for his rent to be paid, at least, quarterly. The 
minister ought to be able to embrace the advantage in dealing which 
arises from being known to be a prompt payer of his debts. 



HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTIKGDON. 59 

At this meeting the Presbytery came to a decision in regard to the 
charges brought against Mr. Stephens. Tlie testimony taken at a 
former meeting of the Presbytery was read, the committee appointed 
to take further testimony reported, the whole testimony being now 
before the members and the parties fully heard, the Presbytery 
unanimously decided that none of the charges were substantiated, 
and Mr. Riddle was admonished to be more careful in future in taking 
up or publishing a false,report against a gospel minister. 

The Presbytery met in Buffalo Valley in the Spring of 1809. As 
usual there were manj' applications from the vacant congregations 
and destitute places for supplies. The Presbytery, moved by the con- 
sideration of the destitute condition of a great body of people within 
their bounds, and not having it in their power to grant much assist- 
ance, having no licentiates under their care, instructed their commis- 
sioners to the next General Assembly to make earnest application to 
the General Assembly's Committee of Missions to send missionaries to 
their assistance. 

At this meeting it was ascertained that the General Assembly had 
refused the application for a division of the Presbytery, because of its 
not being the proper court to which to apply in the first instance, and 
they were directed to make their request for a division to the Synod. 
It was therefore now resolved to make application to the Synod for a 
division, with substantially the same line as before suggested. 

A record of action taken at this time would seem to indicate that 
there were congregations, even in those times, that instead of becom- 
ing stronger and more able to support the gospel, were becoming 
weaker. Washington congregation, (Northumberland county,) to 
which Mr. Hood preached half his time, made request to Presbytery, 
(in which request Mr. H. acquiesced,) that he should be allowed to 
give them only the fourth part of his time, for which they would give 
him just half the salary promised in their call at the time of his ordi- 
nation and installation. Presbytery permitted them to make any 
arrangement which suited themselves, provided Mr. H. acquiesced, 
which he did on this occasion. In this case it is altogether probable 
that the strength of the congregation was diminished by death, or 
removal from its bounds — most likely by removal. Circumstances 
over which they have no control, compel families sometimes to remove 
from one part of the county to another ; but it may be questioned 
whether in a majority of instances, such removals have not only tend- 
ed to the injury of the church, but to the injury of the families 



60 HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 

themselves. There are rich valleys in the bounds of the Presbytery 
of Huntingdon, where were once laid the foundations of large and 
flourishing churches, that are now extinct, or so reduced in members 
as to be scarcely able to support the gospel amongst themselves for 
only a portion of the time. Christians of other denominations have 
come in to occupy the rich and fertile fields once possessed by Presby- 
terian families, and have large and flourishing congregations. Con- 
gregations have become utterly extinct, which were regularly sup- 
plied for years after the formation of the Presbytery, by members 
of the Presbytery, either as pastors or stated supplies, or by persons 
appointed from time to time at the stated meetings of the Presby- 
tery. The writer once preached in a place where had been once an 
organized congregation, to which the Rev. Mr. Martin, one of the 
original meinbers of the Presbytery, gave a portion of his time, when 
that evening sermon was the first Presbyterian service that liad been 
held in the place for twenty-five years previously ; and there was 
then but one family in the place inclined to the Presbyterian Church. 
Where were all the other? Dead or emigrated, or swallowed up. 
And when we think of East Penns Valley, Brush Valley, and Nit- 
tany Valley, we scarcely know what suitable comment to make on 
the folly, not to say the sin of Presbyterian families in allowing them- 
selves to be crowded out of the naost productive valleys in the centre 
of the State, and go themselves on a wild hnnt of easier cultiva-ted 
lands in the West. And often Limes there was not only the breaking 
up, at least, the crippling of the churches at home, but for years 
they deprived themselves and their fainilies of the stated means of 
grace in the places whither they had removed, just long enough for 
their growing up children to learn to care for none of these things, 
and lose all the Presbyterian inclinations they ever had instilled into 
them. And not one out of ten of those who owned lands in Cen- 
tral Pennsylvania, improved their circumstances by emigrating to 
the West. 

At the stated meeting of the Presbytery, October 3, 1809, the Rev. 
H. R. Wilson requested that the pastoral relation between him and 
the congregations of Bellefonte and Lick Run, might be dissolved. 
The congregations being present, by their commissioners, expressed 
their consent to the request, and his pastoral relation was dissolved 
accordingly, and he dismissed with the usual testimonials to the Pres- 
bytery of Carlisle. At the same time the Rev. Matthew Stephens 
asked leave, on account of grievances under which he labored, to re- 



HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 61 

sign the charge of the congregation of Shaver's Creek. The congrega- 
tion was cited to appear at the next meeting of Presbytery and give 
reasons, if any they had, why Mr. Stephens' request should not be 
granted. 

In 1798 a reference was sent from the Synod of Virginia through the 
Committee of Bills and Overtures, in these words, " How far and in 
what sense are persons who have been regularly baptized in infancy 
and have not partaken of the sacrament of the Lord's Supper, subject 
to the discipline of the church?" In 1799 the General Assembly an- 
swered this question, by referring to the standards of the church as 
containing a sufficient answer to the reference. The following over- 
ture had been presented to the Assembly of 1811, by the Synod of 
Kentucky : " What step should the church take with baptized youth, 
not in communion, but arrived at the age of maturity, should such 
youth prove disorderly and contumacious?" The Assembly appointed 
the Kev. Drs. Miller and Romeyn, and the Rev. Jas. Richards, a com- 
mitttee to prepare and report to the next Assembly a full and com- 
plete answer to the above overture. This committee reported to the 
Assembly as required, and after the report had been read, it was re- 
committed to the same committee for revision and publication, and 
commended to the attention of the Presbyteries and ministers, while 
the Assembly refused to express any opinion on the principles it con- 
tained. The object of sending down to the Presbyteries and minis- 
ters was, that in due time a decision might be had on the important 
subject discussed in the report. At the Assembly of 1814 a commit- 
tee was apjDointed to consider and report what should be done with 
the above report. The Rev. Drs. Greek, Woodhull, Wilson, and 
Messrs. Caldwell and Connelly, were appointed this committee, who 
reported, recommending that the committee be discharged, and they 
were accordingly discharged and the subject was indefinitely postponed. 

These historical facts are recalled for the purpose of explaining the 
action of the Presbytery of Huntingdon in 1809. The subject had 
been agitated in the church from 1798, and come before the Assem- 
bly from time to time till 1814. The following is the action of the 
Presbytery at the time above specified : 

"The Presbytery having taken into serious consideration the .subject of 
disciplining baptized persons who are not in full comnmnion in the church, 
do hereby recommend to the several congregations under their care, that 
they pay particular attention to this subject, and that they be careful to 
teach them the principles of religion, and the necessity of walking in new- 



62 HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 

ness of life "before G-od, in compliance with a resolution of the General As- 
sembly on that subject." In regard to this, there is only one suggestion to 
be made, that when the term '■'■disciplining^' is used in a technical sense, in 
most cases in these later times, instead of calling the children to account, 
justice would be answered by calling the professing parents to account for 
the neglect of the religious training of their children. According to the 
covenant and promise of God, the conscientious discharge of the duty of 
parental training according to their vows made at their baptism, will be 
ordinarily followed with the covenant blessing. The unfaithfulness is not 
in God. It is his way of perpetuating his church in the earth. "Train 
up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart 
from it. ' ' 

The congregations of Bellefonte and Lick Run were not long with- 
out a pastor. At the same meeting of the Presbytery in which Mr. 
Wilson resigned the charge, and was dismissed to the Presbytery of 
Carlisle, Mr. James Linn, a licentiate of the Presbytery of Carlisle, 
was received under the care of Presbytery, and calls from the united 
churches of Bellefonte and Lick Run put into his hands. In the 
seven years of Mr. Wilson's ministry in these churches they had ad- 
vanced a little in the amount of salary promised. Mr. Wilson was 
called on a salary of four hundred dollars. The calls were accepted, 
and Rom. 5: 10 assigned Mr. Linn as the subject of a sermon for ordi- 
nation, and it was resolved to hold the next stated meeting at Belle- 
fonte, with a view to his ordination and installation, if the way be 
clear. The Rev. John B. Patterson was appointed to preach on the 
occasion, and the Rev. Isaac Gtrier to preside and give the charge. 

It seems that it was customary in those early times to apply to the 
G-eneral Assembly for missionary labor, or liberty to employ or per- 
form missionary service, to be paid out of the funds of the General 
Assembly collected for this jjurpose. Therefore the following record 
is found among the minutes of the Presbytery at this time : 

" The General Assembly at their last meeting, empowered the Presbj^tery 
of Huntingdon to employ a missionary for two months within their bounds. 
Mr. James Johnston and Mr. Coulter were appointed each to spend two 
weeks in missionary labors in the western end of the Presbj^tery, the time 
at discretion, and Mr. Dunham and Mr. Patterson to spend two weeks 
each in the eastern end of the Presbytery, the time also at discretion, but 
to be performed before the next meeting of the Presbytery." 

At the following meeting of Presbytery, Messrs. Johnston and 
Coulter reported that they had not performed the two weeks of 
missionary service to which they were appointed. And it is believed 



HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 63 

that Messrs. Dunham and Patterson had not been able to fulfil their 
appointments in the eastern end. 

Presbytery met at Bellefonte on 17th of April, 1810, with a view to 
the ordination and installation of Mr. Linn, who had accepted calls to 
the congregations of Bellefonte and Lick Run. The Presbytery was 
opened with a sermon by Mr. Linn, from the text assigned him for 
trial at a former meeting. The discourse was unanimously sustained 
as part of trial for ordination. He was examined on the Languages, 
Theology, Natural and Moral Philosophy, all of which examinations 
were sustained; and Presbytery proceeded to his ordination and 
installation, in which service (Mr. Patterson who had been appointed 
being absent) Mr. Coulter preached the ordination sermon, from 1 
Cor. 1:2], and Mr. Grier, according to i^revious appointment, gave 
the charge. 

At this stated meeting also, Mr. William Kennedy, a licentiate of 
the Presbytery of New Castle, presented his testimonials and dismis- 
sion, and was taken under the care of Presbytery. Calls were pre- 
sented for Mr. Kennedy from Lewistowji and West Kishacoquillas ; 
two-thirds f>i his time to be given to the congregation of Lewistown, 
and one- third to West Kishacoquillas; for which he was to receive a 
salary of four hundred and eighty dollars between them, in proportion 
to the services rendered to each. These calls, upon being put into 
Mr. Kennedy's hands, were accepted; and, in view of his ordination 
and installation, the next stated meeting was appointed to be held at 
Lewistown. 

At this time petitions were presented to Presbytery, signed by a 
number of the inhabitants of the town of Milton, on the Susque- 
hanna, and of White Deer township, requesting permission to apply 
for one-fourth of Mr. Hood's labors in the town of Milton. To this 
request the Presbytery gave their consent, providing it met with the 
approbation of the Eev. John Bryson, within the bounds of whose 
charge some of the petitioners resided. This was the origin of the 
congregation of Milton, now among the largest and most influential 
of the congregations in the Presbytery of Northumberland. It would 
appear that some opposition was made by Mr. Bryson and his sessions, 
for at a subsequent meeting of the Presbytery, when a call was made 
by the residents of Milton and vicinity, for Mr. Hood, and presented 
to Presbytery, on account of some informality in the call, and because 
of the town of Milton being within the bounds of Mr. Bryson's con- 
gregation, it was not put into Mr. Hood's hands at the time; but Mr. 



64 HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 

Bryson and the congregations of Chillisquaque and "Warrior Eun were 
required to appear at the next meeting of Presbytery, and show cause, 
if they had any, why Milton may not be erected into a separate con- 
gregation. Before the next meeting the division of Presbytery had 
taken effect, and the matter was left in the charge of the brethren 
who composed the Northumberland Presbytery. It is probable that 
the church at Milton was organized soon afterwards, and Mr. Hood 
installed its pastor. 

It will be recollected that Mr. Stephens applied to the Presbytery 
in October, 1809, for leave to resign his pastoral charge, and the con- 
gregation were cited to appear and show caus'e, if any they had, why 
Mr. Stephens' request should not be granted. The congregation not 
appearing by their commissioners at the meeting held in April, 1810, 
and Mr. Stephens still expressing his desire that the pastoral relation 
should be dissolved, it was granted, and the congregation declared 
vacant. 

In the Spring of 1808, the connnittee appointed to superintend the 
education of poor and pious youth, with a view to the ministry, 
reported that they had taken under their care Thomas Caldwell, and 
spoke favorably of his progress under the tuition of the Rev. Isaac 
Grier, who was then employed in teaching a classical school, in con- 
nection with pastoral labors. Salaries were then so inadequate that 
pastors had often to connect other employments with the preaching 
of the gospel, as a means of support. Some had farms on which 
they labored ; but the most common refuge was teaching, as most con- 
genial to their Sabbath employments. In the fall of 1809 the com- 
mittee report considerable arrearages due to Mr. Grier for the board- 
ing and education of Thomas Caldwell, and Presbytery enjoined it 
upon the members to read this report to their several congregations, 
and "if possible to excite them to assist, and enable the Presbytery 
to carry their laudable designs into effect." We know not how faith- 
ful the brethren were to their own resolution ; but it ended like many 
resolutions, in being passed and recorded in the minutes. For, at a 
subsequent meeting of the Presbytery, when the members were 
called upon to give an account of their collections for this object, it 
appeared that the sum raised was not sufficient to defray the arrear- 
ages due to Mr. Grier. In view of this state of the funds. Presbytery 
resolved that it was not advisable to continue the young man any 
longer on a fund which was inadequate to his expenses. When it is 
remembered that Presbytery had but one young man on their educa- 



HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 65 

tion fund, and that the Presbytery covered the whole territory now 
embraced in the two Presbyteries of Huntingdon and Northumber- 
land, it ought not to have been a burden on the churches to support 
one young man during the course of his education. Some other 
reason must be found for abandoning the scheme; and it probably 
was the prejudice of the people against the plan, and against any one 
who Avould consent to obtain an education in this beneficiary way. 
The prejudice is not even yet altogether extinct. It prevails very 
strongly in a Scotch-Irish congregation, and the nearer a people come 
to the original stock, the stronger the prejudice. There is no nation- 
ality to which the adage applies more thoroughly — "poor and proud'''' — 
than the Scotch- Irish. 

But another action of the Presbytery immediately following this is 
much more unaccountable. The General Assembly at this time (1810) 
was seriously agitating the matter of establishing a Theological Sem- 
inary. The Presbytery took the subject under serious consideration, 
and made the following deliverance unanimously : " That such school or 
schools would not be calculated to promote the interests of religion, 
and were therefore decidedly opposed to any such establishment.'' 
The reasons by which they came to this conclusion can only be a mat- 
ter of conjecture now ; moit of the ministers then composing the 
Presbytery had studied theology privately, under the direction of the 
pastors of the churches to which thej'^ severally belonged ; but there 
were others who had gone from Ireland to Scotland to obtain their 
theological education in the Scottish seminaries. How they could 
consistently come to such a conclusion, is not to be comprehended. 
But experience has vindicated our theological seminaries. Of all 
churches in the land, the Presbyterian Church is under most necessity 
of good theological seminaries, to vindicate her consistency in 
demanding an able and learned ministry. 

At the Fall meeting of the Presbytery the Rev. James Linn pre- 
sented a copy of the minute of Synod respecting the division of the 
Presbytery, and expressed his desire that the line of division proposed 
to Synod be altered, and that the congregations of Bellefonte and 
Lick Run be annexed to the western division. It was agreed that the 
line be altered, and that Synod divide the Presbytery by the following 
line, viz : Beginning at the mouth of the Mahantango Creeki and pro- 
ceeding in a northwesterly course so as to strike the West Branch of 
the Susquehanna river at the line which divides Lycoming and Centre 
counties, so as to leave to the eastward the following members : the 



66 HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 

Rev. Messrs. Asa Dunham, John Bryson, Isaac Grier, John B. Pat- 
terson, and Thomas Hood, with their respective charges ; together 
with the vacant congregations of Great Island, Lycoming and Pine 
Creek, to be called the Presbytery of Northumberland." 

The Eev. William Kennedy was ordained and installed pastor of 
tlie congregations of Lewistown and West Kishacoquillas on the 3d 
day of October, 1810, the Rev. John B. Patterson preaching the 
sermon, and Rev. William Stuart presiding and delivering the 
charge, according to previous apiaointments. 

The last meeting of the Presbytery before the actual division was 
lield in Buffalo church. At the previous meeting the congregations 
of Upper Tuscarora and Aughwick requested the consent of Presby- 
tery to be annexed to the Presbytery of Carlisle; the consideration of 
their request was deferred till this meeting, when the consent of Pres- 
bytery was refused. It was ordered that a copy of the minute re- 
specting the division of the Presbytery, and of that concerning the 
congregations of Upper Tuscarora and Aughwick be forwarded to 
Synod at its next meeting. 



CHAPTER IV. 



FROM THE DIVISION OF THE PRESBYTERY IN 1811 TILL THE BEGINNING OF THE 

YEAR 1825. 

The Rule in regard to the Oi'dination of Candidates sine titulo — Difficulties in the Harts Log 
Congregation — Death of Rev. David Bard — Sabbath Mails — Petition from Alexandria Con- 
gregation, and Remonstrance of Harts Log — Rev. James Galbraith and Mr. William A.Boyd 
Received — Mr. James Thompson Called to Shaver's Creek — Rev. Nathaniel R. Snowden Call- 
ed to Millerstown and Liverpool — Mr. Joseph Adams a Candidate for the Ministry — Mr. 
John P. Thompson, a Licentiate of the Baptist Association of Philadelphia, opens the Pres- 
bytery with a Sermon — Mr. James S. Woods, a Licentiate, Received — Death of Rev. James 
Johnston — Rev. S. Hill Received — Rev. William A. Boyd's Resignation and Death — Mr. John 
Mcllheiiey — Charge against Rev. William Kennedy — Death of Rev. John Johnston — Minute 
adopted in reference to Lotteries, Balls, <fec. — Second Trial of Rev. Matthew Stephens on 
Charges by Common Fame— Death of Mr, Stephens^Mr. John Peebles, a Licentiate of the 
Presbytery of Carlisle, Received — Rev. S. Hill Dismissed to the Associate Reformed Presby- 
tery of Monongahela. 

THE first meeting of the Presbytery of Huntingdon, after the di- 
vision, was held in the church of Spruce Creek, and was opened 
with a sermon by the Rev. David Bard, from 2 Cor. 4:4, " The glorious 
gospel.'''' After being constituted with prayer an abstract from the 
minutes of Synod was read, by which it appeared that Synod had 
divided the Presbytery according to their request. 

Tlie Presbytery now consisted of the following ministerial mem- 
bers : 

Rev. David Bard, without a particular charge. 
Rev. Matthew Stephens, without charge. 
Rev. James Johnston, Harts Log and Huntingdon. 
Rev. William Stuart, Spring Creek and Sinking Creek. 
Rev. John Coulter, Lower and Middle Tuscarora. 
Rev. John Hutcheson, Mifflintown and Lost Creek. 
Rev. James Linn, Bellefonte and Lick Run*. 
Rev. William»Kennbdy, Lewistown and West Kishacoquillas. 
The Rev. William Stuart was chosen moderator. 
It will be observed that the Presbytery consisted of three ministers 
less than at its original constitution. But the territory had been 
much curtailed, still the bounds of the Presbytery were large, and 



68 HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 

there were many congregations without pastors, and many 23i'eaching 
points to be supplied. Every pastor had much to do in a kind of 
missionary work within and without their pastoral charges. 

At this meeting of the Presbytery the members were called upon 
to state what had been done towards the collection of money for the 
theological seminary, as ordered by the General Assembly, when it 
was ascertained that no moneys had been collected for that object 
within the bounds of the Presbytery, as might have been expected 
from the previous action of the members disapproving of theological 
seminaries. The General Assembly of 1811 sent down to the Presby- 
teries a rule with regard to ordinations sine tiiulo, for their opinion or 
approbation. The rule was as follows: ''That it shall be the duty of 
Presbyteries, when they think it necessary to ordain a candidate with- 
out a particular call to a congregation or congregations, to take the 
advice of their respective Synods, or of the General Assembly, before 
they proceed to this ordination." The Presbytery is recorded in the 
minutes as giving their unanimous consent to this rule in the Spring 
meeting of 1812. But it seems that this consent was not reported to 
the General Assembly. In 1813, the same rule was sent down a 
second time to the Presbyteries to be voted upon, and in 1814 the 
Presbytery of Huntingdon is reported to the Assembly as voting in 
the negative. It is to be presumed that in the meantime the mem- 
bers of the Presbytery had given the subject more mature considera- 
tion. Indeed the reason of their change of views in this matter is so 
recorded by themselves : 

" Although the Presbytery two years ago gave a vote in the affirmative, 
yet having paid a more particular attention to the subject they give their 
unanimous negative on the above rule." 

In the Fall of 1814 the Presbytery met in the church of Bellefonte. 
An abstract from the minutes of Synod, respecting the distribution of 
religious tracts was read, and committed to Messrs. Hutcheson and 
Linn to report thereon. 

The next day the committee made the following report, which was 
adopted: ''Your committee are of the oj^inion that this is a subject 
worthy of serious attention. But at the same time they are aware, 
that from various circumstances, little can be done at present ; they 
however recommend a compliance with the Synod^s request, and for 
the purpose of making a small annual fund: Eesolved, that each min- 
ister in this Presbytery contribute annually one dollar, and procure 
what he can from any individuals who may be friendly to the cause." 



HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTIXGDON. 69 

A paper was at this meeting of the Presbytery handed in, signed by 
a number of persons belonging to the Hart's Log congregation, in 
which they stated that thej^ had deemed it their duty to withdraw 
from the ministrations of the Rev. John Johnston, and in which they 
ask to be separated from the congregation. The Presbytery consider- 
ed the paper informal, as containing no specific charges against Mr. 
Johnston, and presenting requests which they had ho power to grant. 
For these reasons the paj^er was returned to those who presented it. 
The difficulties which existed between these parties and Mr. John- 
ston was of a political character, as the facts have come down to us 
by tradition. It was, as will be perceived, about the close of the war 
of 1812. A sermon preached by Mr. J. on a Thanksgiving or Fast 
day, (we do not know which,) gave offense to a j^art of his congrega- 
tion. Mr. J. was supposed to be opposed to the war, and consequently 
the opposite party was very ready to take offense. In a time of great 
political excitement men are not in a condition to form a calm judg- 
ment, or to conclude impartially. Moreover it has been proven by 
actual experience, that in such times ministers are very liable to be 
misunderstood, and their motives misjudged. There is no intention 
of apologizing for what may be properly called political preaching, as 
between the policy of political parties, but there has been a great 
deal of senseless clamor about political preaching, which has had no 
foundation but in the imaginations of heated partisans. Morals are 
just as applicable to political action as to any other matters that can 
engage the attention of men. Ministers are under obligation to make 
application of the moral law to all the relations of life. But in the 
instance under consideration, had all the facts been known at the 
time, as connected with that sermon, it might not have been thought 
important to make such an uproar about it. A London minister, on 
one occasion, happened on a sermon which had been prepared during 
the prevalence of the Great Plague. Of course there were in it many 
allusions to the plague then prevailing. At length one of his hearers 
could stand it no longer, ^nd in great excitement arose in his seat and 
exclaimed, " sir, where is it?"' The preacher very cooly reiilied, "I 
don't know, .but it is in my sermon !" Mr. Johnston, however, was a 
man of mind and of erudition, and a very substantial preacher, 
which all would be willing to confess, could they have the jjrivilege 
of pursuing some of the sermons in manuscript, which the writer has 
for the present time in his possession. 



70 HISTORY OP THE PRESBYTERY OP HUNTINGDON'. 

The ecclesiastical year of 1815, commences with the record of the 
death of the Eev. David Bard, one of the original members of the 
Presbytery. He died on the 12th day of the preceeding March. 
Five of the old original members are now dead, the Rev. James Mar- 
tin in 1795, the Eev. Hugh Morrison in 1804, the Rev. Hugh Magill 
in 1805, the Rev. John Hoge in 1807, and Mr. Bard in 1815. The Rev. 
Alexander McIlwaine died the same year with Mr. Hoge, a month 
later, but he was not one of the original members. 

There was a renewed application at this time on the part of those 
of Hart's Log congregation who were dissatisfied with Mr. John John- 
ston, to obtain a sei^aration from his charge, charging him with 
neglecting his ministerial duties in several instances. The next day, 
when the case was taken up, the conamissioners on the part of the 
dissatisfied portion of the congregation, stated that all they desired 
was, that they should be no longer considered members of the Hart's 
Log congregation, and they were willing to pay up all their arrearages 
till the time of their withdrawing. The commissioners on the part 
of the congregation acceded to this, and the Presbytery agreed to 
the adjustment which the commissioners from both parties had made. 
They also considered the answer given by Mr. J. to the charges alleged 
against him, as in a great measure excusing him for the neglect of 
those ministerial duties specified, and it was agreed by the parties 
that no further notice should be taken of them. 

Those who withdrew from Hart's Log congregation were afterwards, 
at their own request, recognized as a congregation under the care of 
the Presbytery, and supplies were granted them. There is no record 
of a formal organization, other than the above. It is altogether prob- 
able that a portion of the old session of Hart's Log went out with the 
seceding members, and the mere recognizing them as a congregation, 
duly officered, was all that was deemed necessary in this case. But 
the Synod did not concur in this opinion, and therefore this was made 
an exception in the approval of the minutes. 

The only further item of business occurring in this year, which is 
out of the usual routine, was the action of the Presbytery in reference 
to the transportation and opening of the mails on the Sabbath. The 
General Assembly had taken action on the subject, and enjoined it on 
the Presbyteries to take measures for circulating petitions to Congress 
against this violation of the Lord's Day. The Presbytery ordered, 
that the members use their influence to procure signatures to the 



HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTIIJGDON. 71 

iiforesaicl petitions, and send them to Congress before the first of the 
next January. Upon this historical fact, the following statement may 
be made : that in a true record of passing events, it will be found that 
Presbyterians have either been among the first originators of all moral 
reform, or the most steady and reliable friends of such reformations. 
Presbyterians may be slow to adopt new measures, but when once a 
cause commends itself to th6ir approbation, there are none more fear- 
less and unwavering in its support. In the case above referred to, it 
is believed those of the Presbyterian order were first movers ; and 
though unsuccessful for a long time, yet public sentiment came at last 
to the same conclusion. It is not supposed that all have come to the 
same conclusion out of I'espect to the authority of God; but if not, 
out of respect to their own interests. The Calvinistic system, so 
much misunderstood and misrepresented, is the only solid foundation 
of a practical morality. The Arminian systems, accordingly as they 
are nnore or less logically embraced, always lead to a loose and pliant 
morality. In the Roman Catholic church, where Arminianism appears 
in its full proportions, the morality of the Sabbath, and all other pre- 
cepts, are not only wonderfully obscured, but wonderfully disregarded. 
Such was the contrast between Paul and the Pharisees. 

The Presbytery met April 2d, 1816, in the Presbyterian church of 
East Kishacoquillas. At this meeting commissioners from the congre- 
gation of Hart's Log, presented a memorial and remonstrance of the 
trustees of said congregation against the action of the Presbytery at 
its last meeting, in recognizing the congregation of Alexandria. The 
commissioners were heard in support of their remonstrance, and Pres- 
bytery refused to rescind their former action in reference to the people 
of the congregation of Alexandria. The commissioners gave notice 
that, in behalf of the congregation of Hart's Log, they would appeal 
to the Synod. 

At the stated meeting of the Presbytery in October following, the 
business in reference to Alexandria congregation was again brought 
before Presbytery, by commissioners from both the parties concerned ; 
the commissioners representing the people of Alexandria, praying 
that they might be again recognized as a congregation, and the com- 
missioners on the part of Hart's Log remonstrating against such recog- 
nition. On motion, the consideration of this matter was postponed 
till the next meeting of Presbytery. But a motion was made and 
carried, that the Rev. James Johnston be appointed to preach in the 
church of Hart's Log on the 2d Sabbath of November ; and that he 



72 HISTOET OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 

and Mr. Sinclair, a ruling elder of the church of Sinking Valley con- 
gregation, be a committee to advise with the people of Alexandria 
and Hart's Log for the purpose of effecting a reconciliation, and 
report to Presbytery at its next meeting. 

The next stated meeting wa*s held on the 19th of November follow- 
ing, at which time the committee appointed for reconciliation report- 
ed that they had failed to effect a reunion under Mr. John Johnston, 
as the pastor of Hart's Log congregation. 

The next day another petition was. presented from the dissatisfied 
portion, asking to be recognized as a separate congregation •, and a 
remonstrance by the trustees of Hart's Log congregation against such 
recognition by the Presbytei'y. Presbytery postponed definite action 
till the next meeting of the Presbytery. Thus the business passed 
over till the next year. 

During this year, additions were made to the roll of the Presbytery 
by the reception of the Rev. James Galbraith, an ordained minister 
from the Presbytery of Redstone. Calls from the congregations of 
Frankstown and Williamsburg were presented to Presbytery for Mr. 
Gtalbraith, which he accepted ; and arrangements were made for his 
installation at a meeting to be held a Williamsburg, on the 3d Tuesday 
of November. 

Mr. William A. Boyd, a licentiate of the Presbytery of New Castle, 
applied to be received under care of Presbytery, having the usual 
testimonials of character and licensure, and dismission to the Hun- 
tingdon Presbytery ; and calls were put in his hands from the united 
congregations of Spruce Creek and Sinking Valley, each for half his 
time. Arrangements were made for the ordination and installation 
of Mr. Boyd at the next stated meeting of Presbytery, if the way.be 
clear. At the meeting of Presbytery, April 2d, 1817, Mr. Boyd was 
ordained and installed, in which service Mr. Hutcheson preached the 
sermon, and Mr. Coulter presided, and gave the charges to pastor 
and people. 

The persons who had withdrawn from the congregation of Hart's 
Log, and the ministry of the Rev. John Johnston, renewed their ap- 
plication to be erected into a separate congregation, which the Presby- 
tery declined to do, assigning their reasons in a series of resolutions, 
the third and the last of which were to this effect : 

" That as the party which have withdrawn persist in declaring that the 
ministrations of the Eev. John Johnston are not for their spiritual advan- 
tage, supplies be sent to them to preach and administer ordinances. And 



HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OP HUNTINGDON. 73 

that it be considered prudent for the people who have separated from Hart's 
Log congregation not to connect themselves with any neighboring congre- 
gation in calling a minister, thus leaving the way open for a reunion when 
circumstances render it practicable." 

At the meeting of the Presbytery in the Fall of 1817, the subject of 
raising money for the education of poor and. pious young men having 
in view, the ministry, was taken up in obedience to an injunction of 
the General Assembly, and it was recommended to the members to 
take such measures as may be considered prudent and practicable, 
respecting the selecting and supporting such candidates for the minis- 
try. Order was also taken in regard to the contribution by each 
pastoral charge to the commissioners fund, raising it from four to six 
dollars . 

A letter from the Board of Missions, accompanied with an address 
to the churches, requesting the Presbytery to aid them by missionary 
associations, was received and read. The consideration was deferred 
till the next stated meeting in October. At that time the Eev. 
Messi's. Stuart and Coulter were appointed a committee to make 
report on the subject. This committee reported the next day, the 
substance of which report is as follows : 

"We would willingly lend a helping hand in this important work, hut 
from the particular circumstances of the churches under our care, we be- 
lieve that at present the formation of a missionary society within our 
bounds would be impracticable. The vacancies under our care are numer- 
ous, our members (with the exception of one, whose age and infirmities 
render him unable to attend to the duties either of a missionary or stated 
pastor) have each of them two pastoral charges, and we have no licentiate 
under our care. We believe, therefore, that although there is much mission- 
ary ground within the bounds of this Presbytery, no missionary could be 
obtained. Your committee, however, are of opinion that missionary asso- 
ciations on the congregational plan might be generally formed, and that 
much good might result from them. Your committee, therefore, beg leave 
te submit the following resolution : 

Resolved, That it be recommended to every congregation under the care 
of this Presbytery, to form a missionary association within its bounds, as 
soon as practicable, and that the money raised by these associations be 
forwarded to the Board of Missions, acting under the authority of the 
General Assembly." 

In October, 1818, the Presbytery met at Mifflintown. The congre- 
gation of Alexandria requested leave to prosecute a call for Mr. James 
Thompson, a licentiate of the Presbytery of Northumberland. At the 
same t\n\^& written application from the congregation of Shaver's 

10 



74 HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 

Creek, was laid before Presbytery for the same purpose. A letter 
from Rev. Matthew Stephens, who was absent by reason of age and 
infirmities, was presented, requesting Presbytery not to give the con. 
gregation of Shaver's Creek leave to prosecute a call for Mr. Thomp- 
son, or any other person, until they had paid the arrearages of salary 
due to him. 

It was moved and seconded that the resokition adopted by Presby- 
tery in April, 1817, prohibiting the congregation of Alexandria from 
uniting with any other congregation in calling a pastor, be rescinded. 
After some discussion, the consideration of the resolution was deferred 
till the next meeting of Presbytery. But by resolution of Presby- 
tery, the call from Shaver's Creek congregation for Mr. Thompson, was 
allowed to be prosecuted, noiwithstanding the objection of Mr. 
Stephens, the former pastor. Because Mr. Stephens had already 
taken the matter of his claim into the civil court, against the advice 
of different members of the Presbytery ; and the congregation of 
Shaver's Creek was willing to do what the Presbytery would say was 
just and reasonable in the premises. 

The Rev. Nathaniel R. Snowden, a minister in good standing in the 
Presbytery of Carlisle, was at this meeting received by Presbytery ; 
and calls from the congregations of Millerstown and Liverpool were 
put into his hands. Mr. S. announced his acceptance of these calls : 
and Messrs. Hutcheson and Kennedy were appointed a committee to 
install him, to met at Millerstown, on the first Wednesday of Novem- 
ber next. At a subsequent meeting the committee reported that in 
accordance with the appointment of Presbytery, they had installed 
Mr. Snowden at the time designated as pastor of the united congrega- 
tions of Millerstown and Liverpool. 

At an intermediate meeting of Presbytery, held at Alexandria, 
February 2, 1819, the matter in regard to the Alexandria congregation 
was taken up. The following substitute was offered for the resolution 
presented at the last stated meeting, viz : 

" Whereas, Presbytery at their stated meeting in April, 1817, adopted 
certain resolutions erecting the people of Alexandria, who had separated 
from the congregation of Hart's Log, into a distinct congregation, but con- 
sidered it at that time- prudent for them to remain vacant, without connect- 
ing with any other congregation in calling a minister, thus leaving the way 
open for a reunion with Hart's Log congregation when circumstances may 
render it practicable ; And whereas, nearly two years have elapsed, without 
any prospect of such a change of cii cumstances ; And whereas, Presbytery 
no longer considers it prudent, expedient, or conducive to the interests of 



HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 75 

religion, that the congregation of Alexandria remain in a state of suspense 
and vacancy ; therefore, 

Resolved, That the said congregation be no longer considered under any 
restriction with respect to the calling of a minister in connection with 
another congregation." 

The trustees of the congregation of Hart's Log were called upon to 
state, objections, if any they had, to the above substitute. The trus- 
tees, the next day, laid before Presbytery, in writing, objections to 
the proposed action of Presbytery. The Presbytery, after mature 
consideration of the objections presented by the trustees of Hart's 
Log congregation, deemed them insufficient to arrest the action of 
Presbytery, and adopted the substitute. 

Mr. Jambs Thompson, a licentiate of the Presbytery of Northumber- 
land, being now present, requested to be taken under the care of 
Presbytery ; and his testimonials of good standing, and regular dis- 
mission being satisfactory, he was received according to his request. 
Calls from the congregations of Shaver's Creek and Alexandria for 
Mr. Thompson were presented, and being found in order, were put 
into his hands and accepted by him. On the 19th day of April, 1819, 
Mr. Thompson was ordained and installed pastor of the congregations 
of Shaver's Creek and Alexandria, on which occasion Mr. G^albraith 
preached the sermon from Isaiah 52 : 7, and Mr. Linn presided, and 
gave the charges to the minister and people. 

Notwithstanding the failure of the Presbytery in 1810 to collect 
' sufficient funds to defray the expenses of the education of one young 
man for the ministry ; yet the matter of the education of poor and 
pious young men foi' the ministry was not wholly, overlooked, or 
altogether a'bandoned. The attention of the Presbytery was called to 
the subject by the General Assembly from time to time. 

In 1817 the following recommendation appears among the minutes 
of the Presbytery, viz: "That the members of Presbytery take such 
measures as may be considered prudent and practicable, to comply 
with the injunction of the General Assembly respecting the selecting 
and supporting of poor and pious young men for the gospel ministry." 
It will be recollected that reference has before been made to the pre- 
.judice prevailing among many members of the congregations to this 
mode of education. Hence the terms of the above recommendation — • 
^^ prudent and practicable measures " to be taken in endeavoring to raise 
funds for this object. The congregations had not yet been educated 
in the duty of giving, and the prejudices against this particular object 



\ 



76 HISTORY OP THE PEESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 

had not yet been broken down. In the effort to obtain additional 
pastors for the churches, those who were ah'eady pastors might be 
driven out, or their usefulness and influence greatly ijiipaired. It was, 
therefore, necessary to be prudent and cautious in urging this matter 
upon the people. For the same reason the Presbytery always, in their 
recommendations and resolutions, refer to the authority and injunc- 
tions of the General Assembly, as their authority for enjoining it upon 
their churches. 

In 1819, the Presbytery appointed a committee of its members in 
conformity with the 9th Article of the Constitution of the Education 
Society of the Presbyterian Church under the care of the General 
Assembly, and to be auxiliary to said society, to consist of five mem- 
bers, three ministers and two elders. Messrs. John Hutcheson, James 
Linn and James Thompson, ministers, and James Knox and John G. 
LowRY, elders, were appointed said committee. At the same time the 
Presbytery enjoined it upon their members to lay this matter before 
the people of their charges, (and in the same terms as the recommen- 
dation of 1817,) and by such means as they may deem most prudent 
■And practicable endeavor to procure funds for said society. 

The above committee were appointed to draught a constitution of a 
society auxiliary to the Board of Education of the General Assembly, 
which committee reported at the following meeting in November. 
Their report was accepted^ and, with some alterations, adopted. The 
same subject was called ujd at the meeting of the Presbytery in April, 
1820, by an inquiry addressed to the members in regard to what pro- 
gress had been made in obtaining subscribers for the Education Socie- 
ty contemplated to be organized at this meeting. It appeared that 
but few subscribers had been obtained, and the further consideration 
of the subject was deferred till the next meeting of the Presbytery. 
At that time a new committee was appointed, and the members of 
Presbytery enjoined to use exertions in their respective congregations 
either by forming auxiliary societies, or otherwise to raise money for 
the object contemplated. 

At the stated meeting of the Presbytery in October, 1819, Mr. 
Joseph Adams was introduced and recommended to Presbytery by 
Rev. James Linn, as a young man of promising talents, and hopeful 
piety, and who had already received a classical education and was re- 
cieved under the care of Presbytery, and recommended to the Board 
of Education for assistance. Mr. Adams was taken under the care of 
Presbytery at this time solely with a view to recommend him to the 



HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 77 

Board of Education for assistance, but was again, in 1823, formally 
taken under their care, and assigned parts of trial with a view to 
licensure. On the 12th day of October, 1826, Mr. Adams was licensed, 
and employed for a time as a missionary within the bounds of the 
Presbytery, 

The adjourned meeting of the Presbytery, which was held at Lewis- 
town, November 24, 1819j was opened by a Mr. John P, Thompson, a 
licentiate of the Baptist Association of Philadelphia, with a sermon 
from Matthew 10:7, first clause, '■'And as ye go preach,'''' The Synod, 
on the review of the minutes of Presbytery, took exception to this, 
and Mr, Coulter, a member of the Presbytery, happening to be the 
moderator of Synod at the time, was under the necessity of signing 
the exception as moderator. We do not know whether it was in 
accordance with his personal views of propriety or not, but he would 
not of course, choose as a matter of taste, to put his signature to an 
implied censure of his own Presbytery. Perhai3s there may be diver- 
sity of opinion with regard to the propriety of this exception, but one 
thing we are sure will meet with univei'sal approval, namely, the 
appropriateness of the text chosen by the young gentleman, ^'■And as 
ye go preachy No more suitable text could have been chosen for the 
opening service of a Presbytery, In inviting a Baptist brother to such 
a service as this, we do not know whether the Presbytery or the 
Baptist made the greater sacrifice of principle. The Baptist seemed 
to recognize the validity of the Presbytery as a court of Jesus Christ 
composed of a company of unbaptized men, and the Presbytery to 
ignore infant bajjtism, and sprinkling, as a valid mode of adminis- 
tering the ordinance ; at least, to hold the denial of the ordinance, 
the sign and seal of the covenant, to the children of believers, was 
an unimportant omission. Upon this subject it may not be out of 
place to express an opinion in general, having reference not to this 
case alone, but all invitations given to ministers of other denomina- 
tions, not of the Presbyterian order, to sit as corresponding mem- 
bers in our Synods and Presbyteries, The General Assembly cannot 
do it, from the nature of its organization. When an invitation is 
thus given to a brother, what is the privilege conferred as under- 
stood by us? That he may speak on any subject that comes before 
the body, but he may not vote. It is regarded as merely compli- 
mentary, and it would be considered an unusual manifestation of 
forwardness for a corresponding member of another denomination, 
especially to speak on any question before the Presbytery or Synod, 



78 HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTIXGDOK. 

unless invited so to do. But suppose he should be inclined to speak^ 
might not our Presbyteries and Synods be converted into mere de- 
bating societies? And would it be the duty of any man to sit still 
and see what he conscientiously believes to be the truth of Grod, 
overrun in an assembly of which he is part and parcel, to all intents 
and purposes, if our invitation means anything? But the most 
available objection to this thing of corresponding members of other 
denominations, is the absolute inconsistency of the practice. We in- 
vite men to sit and deliberate in our Presbyteries, when, if one of bur 
young men candidates for licenstire, were to hold but one of their 
principal errors, we would not permit him to enter the ininistiy of 
the Presbyterian Clxurch. We probably would not pronounce on 
his piety, but we would tell him that his sentiments would be better 
suited to some other denomination. 

At the meeting of Presbytery thus opened, Mr. James S. Woods, a 
licentiate of the Presbytery of New Brunswick, appeared with proper 
testimonials of his good standing and dismission to this Presbytery, 
and was received under the care of the Presbytery. A call from the 
congregation of Waynesburg (McVeytown) was laid before Presbytery 
for Mr. Woods, for one-half of his time. The call being accepted the 
Presbytery appointed his ordination to take place at the meeting of 
Presbytery, if the way be clear ; Mr. Coulter to preach the sermon on 
the occasion, and Mr. Hutcheson to preside and give the charge. 

The stated meeting of the Presbytery, in the Spring of 1820, com- 
menced with the record of the death of the Rev. James Johnston, 
pastor of East Kishacoquillas congregation, one of the original mem- 
bers of the Presbytery. He died on the 4th of January preceding. 

Mr. Woods, at this meeting, preached his trial sermon for ordina- 
tion, as the opening service of the Presbytery, which was sustained; 
and afterwards he was examined on the languages, the sciences, phi- 
losophy and theology, which examinations being approved. Presbytery 
proceeded to ordain and install him pastor of the congregation of 
Waynesburg (McVeytown) for one- half of his time. 

The Rev. Nathaniel R. Snowden at this meeting resigned his pas- 
toral charges, Millerstown and Liverpool, with the consent of the con- 
gregations, and was dismissed, at his request, with suitable credentials, 
to the Presbytery of Northumberland. 

At the' regular meeting of the Presbytery in October of this year, 
the Rev. Samuel Hill, a licentiate of the Presbytery of Route, Ire- 
land, applied to be taken under the care of Presbytery. All his 



HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 79 

papers being found in order, with the collateral testimony required of 
a foreign minister, he was taken under the care of Presbytery. The 
congregations of East Kishacoquillas and Dry Valley requested to 
have Mr, H. appointed their supply till the next meeting of the 
Presbytery. And at the expiration of the time these congregations 
requested that he might be continued their supply for the ensuing 
six months, till, as a foreign minister, Mr. H. could receive and 
accept a regular call. These requests were granted. 

At this meeting is, for the first time, a record made of the members 
of the Presbytery entering into a free conversation on the subject of 
the state of religion in the various congregations; a practice which 
has never been omitted from that time to the present, at every stated 
meeting of the Presbytery. The practice may have existed in the 
Presbytery from the beginning, but no record had been made of it 
till now. Also a committee to prepare a narrative for the General 
Assembly of the state of religion within the bounds of Presbytery", is 
not distinctly mentioned till now ; though it may have been intended 
when it is recorded that committees were appointed to prepare a 
report for the General Assembly. 

Mr. Hill having nearly completed his term of probation as a 
foreign minister, and the congregat^^ons of East Kishacoquillas and 
Dry Valley being anxious for his permanent settlement among them, 
Presbytery made arrangements for his ordination and installation, 
though his papers had not yet passed in review before the'Synod. The 
Synod, however, took exception to this, in approving the minutes. It 
seems, however, , before the minutes of the Presbytery came to be 
reviewed by the Synod, the Presbytery did proceed to ordain and 
install Mr. Hill pastor of East Kishacoquillas and Dry Valley 
churches, on the 3d of October, 1821. 

The pastoral relation of Rev. William A. Boyd to the congregations 
of Spruce Creek and Sinking Valley, was at the same time dissolved 
on account of his continued ill health, rendering him unable to dis- 
charge pastoral duties. It was with much regret the congregations 
consented to the dissolution, but the state of his health demanded his 
release. Mr. Boyd died of pulmonary complaint a little more than a 
year after he resigned his charge. 

The raising of funds for the missionary, educational, and other ben- 
evolent objects of the church, frequently engaged the attention of 
the Presbytery, At almost every regular meeting, at least once a 
year, these subjects canfie up for discussion and consideration. Mis- 



80 HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTKRY OF HUNTINGDON". 

sionary and education societies were formed, constitutions framed, 
rules adopted, and committees appointed. At this time, October 3, 
1821, Messrs. Counter and Linn, ministers, and Rankin, elder, were 
appointed a committee to repoi-t some plan for raising money in all 
the churches of the Presbyteiy, for missionary and other purposes. 
This committee no doubt reported some plan, but the fruits were 
very meagre, as all former resolutions and plans were comparatively 
unproductive. It is more than probable the chief cause of failure 
was the scarcity of money in those times, as much as indisposition on 
the part of the people. The truth is, the churches had as much as 
they thought they could do in sustaining the gospel among them- 
selves. Farms may have been large, but they were comparatively 
unimproved ; and there were but few markets for their surplus pro- 
duce, which was rather exchanged than sold. Money could with diffi- 
culty be obtained on any conditions. Presbytery, on one occasion, 
was under the necessity of reducing the assessment on full pastoral 
charges for the commissioners and contingent fund of the General 
Assembly, from six to four dollars ,- the former sum being considered 
excessive from some cause. The farmer who paid ten dollars towards 
the salary of his pastor then, paid that which cost him more time, and 
labor and anxiety to procure, than five times that amount now would 
demand Before the present highly iavored generation look with 
contempt upon the liberality of the fath ers, let them, at least, come 
up to the meagure of the comparative obligation of their times. 

At the first stated meeting of the Presbytery in the year 1822, a 
Mr. John McIlhenney" presented himself before the Presbytery as a 
licentiate of the Presbytery of Litterkenny, Ireland, and requested to 
be taken under the care of Presbytery. He presented a regular cer- 
tificate of his licensure, and such collateral testimony as was consider- 
ed sufficient. This man was afterwards a source of great trouble and 
annoyance to the Presbytery. After personal conversation with him, 
and various examinations, he was received under their care as a 
foreign probationer. He seems to have been a man of some popular 
talent, and was engaged as stated supply to two of the most respecta- 
ble congregation within the bounds of the Presbytery, till the close 
of his year of probation, when calls from said congregations were pre- 
pared to be presented to him. But about the time these calls were to 
be laid before the Presbytery, unfavorable reports in regard to his 
character began to be circulated, and were brought to the notice of 
the Presbytery. A female followed him to this country from Ireland, 



HISTOKY OF THK PKKSBYTEllY OF HUNTINGDON. 81 

who claimed to be his wife, but whom he disowned, and he was 
charged with acts of grossly immoral character, since he came within 
the bounds of the Presbytery. After several meetings upon the sub- 
.Ject and the examination of witnesses, and letters from Ireland in 
regard to Mr. McIlhenney's character, the Presbytery revoked his 
license. This was the end of his connection with the Presbytery, 
though it is believed that Mr. MoIlhennet continued to preach in 
the southwestern part of the Presbytery, to those who would hear 
him as long as he lived, or as long as he was able to preach. The 
letters and other testimonials on which he was received under the 
care of Presbytery, and which were at the time deemed satisfactory, 
were afterwards found to liave been surreptitiously obtained. 

About the close of the year 1821, reports injurious to the character 
and usefulness of the Rev. William Kennedy, pastor of the church 
of Lewistown, were brouglit to the notice of the Presbytery. In 
j^articular and s})ecially he was charged with the intemperate use of 
ardent spirits. Temperance liad not in that day attained the point 
or status of total abstinence. A committee was appointed to meet at 
Lewistown on a designated day, to investigate the grounds for these 
reports and to take testimony. At the stated meeting of Presbytery, 
April, ] 822, the committee reported. An adjourned meeting was held 
in May following, with a view to tlie formal issuing of this case. At 
that meeting, after hearing all the witnesses that could be made to 
appear. Presbytery passed unanimously the following minute, viz : 

" Although the testimony received against the Eev. William Kennedy 
is not of such a clear and specific nature as to subject him to the high cen- 
sure of suspension, yet, in the opinion of Presbytery, his conduct has not 
V always been so circumspect in the case in which he is charged, as it ought 

to have been, and he is hereby warned to be more watchful in future, so as 
to prevent any ground of suspicion, and that he guard against every ap- 
pearance of evil." 

In the meantime Mr. KENNEnr had resigned the pastoral charge of 
the congregation of Lewistown, and at the conclusion of his trial, 
requested leave to travel out of the bounds of Presbytery till the 
next meeting. 

Mr. Kennedy's troubles, as well as those of some other of his 

brethren, resulted from the common and universal use of intoxicating 

liquors in that day. The wonder is that they were not all overtaken, 

one time or another, in absolute intoxication ! And so common was 

the use among the members of the churches, and so many occasions 
11 



82 HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 

tempting to, the excessive use, that testimony against a minister as to 
being intoxicated on a particular occasion was liable to grave sus- 
picion. A drunk man thinks the whole globe is turning topsy-turvy, 
while he is as steady as the pillars of Hercules. These suggestions 
are thrown out because of the extreme doubt which subsequent facts 
cast upon this case, as to the main charge being well founded. At 
the time of the investigation Mr. Kennedy denied the charge in 
mild and humble terms, " I am not conscious of having acted impro- 
perly." His contemporaries believed him to be a good and godly 
man, and his subsequent lengthened ministry in a neighboring Pres- 
bytery, was without reproach or suspicion. 

October 1st, 1822, Mr. Kennedy was, at his own request, dismissed 
to the Presbytery of Erie ; but ultimately settled in the bounds of the 
Presbytery of Clarion, where he continued to labor till his death. 

At the stated meeting of the Presbytery in April, 1823, Mr. Wil- 
liam Ramsey was introduced to Presbytery by the Rev. John Hutche- 
soN, and taken under their care as a candidate for the gospel ministry. 
At the same time Mr. Joseph Adams, whose case was before men- 
tioned, was formally taken under the care of Presbytery. Both of 
these young gentlemen were then ;n attendance at the Theological 
Seminary at Princeton, in a course of preparation for the ministry. 

The Rev. John Johnston, pastor of Hart's Log and Huntingdon 
congregations, requested by letter to Presbytery at this meeting, on 
account of old age and infirmities, the dissolution of his pastoral rela- 
tion to the former of said congregations. The consent of the congre- 
gation being ascertained through their commissioner, the request was 
granted, and the pastoral relation dissolved. At the meeting in the 
fall, Mr. Johnston requested that his pastoral relation to the congre- 
gation of Huntingdon be also dissolved. The congregation consent- 
ing, the relation was accordingly dissolved. 

Mr. Samuel Swan, a licentiate of the Presbytery of Philadelphia, 
applied to be received under the care of Presbytery. .Having 
produced a regular certificate of his licensure and dismission, with a 
view to put himself under the care of this Presbytery ; he was 
received as a licentiate in good standing. At the same time a call for 
the pastoral services of Mr. Swan, for one-half of his time, from Sink- 
ing Valley congregation, was laid before Presbytery. It was laid on 
the table for future consideration. During this year two of the mem- 
bers of the Presbytery were removed by death. The Rev. William 
A. Boyd died on the 11th day of May, and the Rev. John Johnston, 



HISTORY OP THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 83 

one of the oi'iginal members of the Pi'esbytery, on the^ 16th day of 
December, 1823. At the Spring meeting of the Presbytery, April 6, 
1824, Mr. HuTCHESON presented a letter from the Rev. Nathaniel R. 
Snowden, addressed to him, from which it appeared that he was 
requested to lay before Presbytery the dismission of Mr. Snowden 
from the Presbytery of Northumberland, with a view to his becoming 
a member of this Presbytery ; upon which the following action was 
had : 

"Presbytery taking into consideration that Mr. S. has been within their 
bounds more than sixteen months, during which time three meetings of 
Presbytery have been held, besides the present one ; and that Mr. Snow- 
den, although in usual health, has not attended any of them ; considering 
also that nearly one year has elapsed since he received his dismission from 
the Presbytery of Northumberland ; and that it was received upon his ap- 
plication by letter ; and, moreover, being of opinion that every minister of 
our connection should, when in his power, attend the^ judicatories of the 
church, and give an account to his brethren how his time has been 
employed. 

Resolved, That the application thus made in behalf of Mr. Snowden, is 
irregular, and that his request cannot be granted." — Min. Vol. I, p. 
377-378. 

At this time a regular call was laid before Presbytery by the con- 
gregation of Lewistown for Rev. James S. Woods, for one-half of his 
pastoral services. In the Spring of 1820 Mr. Woods had been 
ordained and installed pastor of the congregation of Waynesburg 
(McVeytown) for one-half of his time; and from April, 1823, to April, 
1824, had been the stated supply of Lewistown. The call from Lewis- 
town being accepted by Mr. Woods, the Rev. Messrs. Hutcheson and 
Hill were appointed a committee to install him on the 28th of the 
present month, (April, 1824,) which service was performed at the ap- 
pointed time. 

The call from Sinking Valley, for the pastoral services of Mr. 
Samuel Swan, was then taken up and disposed of by Mr. S. asking a 
dismission from the Presbytery, to put himself under the care of the 
Presbytery of Redstone. The congregations of Sinking Valley and 
Spruce Creek having been heretofore united in the support of a pas- 
tor, and the congregation of Spruce Creek not concurring in the call 
to Mr. Swan, he could not be supported on the salary promised, and 
of course retired from the field. 

At this meeting of the Presbytery the following minute was passed 
in reference to lotteries, balls, and other fashionable and pernicious 
amusements and immoralities : 



84 HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 

" It having appeared from the report of some of the members of Presby- 
tery, that the fashionable, though pernicious vices of gambling, making 
lotteries, buying lottery tickets, and attending public balls, etc., have pre- 
vailed in some parts of our bounds, and as the General Assembly of the 
Presbyterian Church have expressed their decided disapprobation of such 
practices, the Presbytery deem it proper to bear their decided testimony 
against them, on the ground that they are injurious to the interests of vital 
religion, and that to admit persons who are in the practice of them to the 
sealing ordinances of the church, would be to break down the separatino- 
wall between the church and the world, and to place the seals of the cove- 
nant of grace, where divine revelation does not authorize us to place them ; 
therefore, 

Resolved, That it be recommended to the ministers and sessions within 
our bounds, to call to an account any of their communicants whom they 
know to be in the habit of practising any of. the above vices, and to censure 
them according to the malignitj^ of the offense." — Min. Vol. 1, p. 381. 

As already stated, Rev. N. R. Snowden applied, through Mr. 
HuTCHESON, to be received as a member of the Presbytery, which 
request was refused for the reasons before given. At the following 
meeting, October 5, 1824, Mr. S. appeared in Presbytery, and renewed 
his request, and it was again refused. The entire history of Mr. 
Snowden's connection with the Presbytery of Huntingdon, is as 
follows : . 

In 1818, Mr. S. was received as a minister in good standing from the 
Presbytery of Carlisle. Calls were at the same time presented to him 
from the congregations of Millerstown and Liverpool. These calls 
were accepted, and he was installed in November following. 1 n the 
Spring of 1820, Mr. Snowden resigned these charges, and he was dis- 
missed to the Presbytery of Northumberland. Near the close of the 
year 1822, he came again within the bounds of the Presbytery of 
Huntingdon, and after laboring for some time as a supply in two con- 
gregations within the bounds of the Presbytery, applied in the Spring 
of 1824 to be received into the Presbytery, first by letter, and then 
personally at the next meeting, which requests were refused as 
already stated. Sonde reports unfavorable to his character being in 
circulation, the Presbytery of Northumberland requested this Presby- 
terj' to investigate them. After which Mr. S. was sent back to the 
Presbytery of Northumberland, the charges against him, with the 
evidence taken, being at the same time transmitted, and this ended 
his connection with this Presbytery. It is due, however, to the 
memory of Mr. S. to say, that the charges exhibited against him were 



HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 85 

by no means of a serious character, and may be summed up by say- 
ing, that they were simple indiscretions. Mr. S. was a man of many ex- 
centricities of character, perhaps not sinful, but very inconvenient. 

At the Fall meeting of the Presbytery of 1824, a certain young man 
of the name of Samuel Bryson was introduced to the Presbytery by 
Mr. Linn, as a candidate for the ministry. He was received as a can- 
didate, and parts of trial assigned him. In the Spring of 1827, having 
finished a regular course of theological studies at the Seminaiy of 
Princeton, he was licensed to preach the gospel. His trial sermon 
was the first and last which he delivered. His health failed, and he 
died of consumption, in Prince Edward's county, Virginia, on the 
30th of April, 1828. 

In the Spring of 1804, the Rev. Matthew Stephens was suspendett 
from the ministry on charges presented against him; but restored at 
the adjourned meeting in June following, on a petition signed by a 
large number of the members of his congregation, as before related. 
At the meeting of the Presbytery in the Fall of 1824, common fame 
charged him with being guilty of various gross immoralities, inconsis- 
tent not only with ministerial, but christian character; therefore 
Presbytery resolved to hold an adjourned meeting at Shaver's Creek 
church, on the 1st Tuesday of December, to investigate these charges ; 
and Mr. Stephens was cited to appear and answer, and the witnesses 
were also cited. In the meantime, before the case was brought to 
trial; and even before the charges were tabled against him by Presby- 
tery as is believed, the session of Shaver's Creek church did refuse 
him the privilege of coming to the Lord's Table. Of this Mr. S. com- 
plained to the Presbytery, alleging that Presbytery alone could take 
cognizance of his character as a minister, or member of the church. 
After some discussion, the Presbytery agreed to refeis the question td 
the Synod for their opinion: ''whether a church session has, in any 
case, a right ta prevent a minister of the gospel from coming to the 
Lord's Table, on account of alleged immoralities, before process is had 
against him in Presbytery?" On this reference, the opinion of Synod. 
when obtained, was in favor of the action of the session in the prem- 
ises. After due form of trial, Mr. S. was adjudged guilty of all the 
charges, and suspended from the exercise of the gospel ministry. Mr. 
Stephens gave notice of his intention to appeal to Synod from the 
action of the Presbytery in his case. But before the meeting of Synod 
he was removed by death. Mr. S. was suspended at the adjourned 
meeting of the Presbytery, in December, 1824, and died May, 1825. 



86 HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 

At an adjourned meeting, held June 21, 1825, Mr. John Peebles, a 
licentiate of the Presbytery of Carlisle, presented a certificate of dis- 
mission, to put himself under the care of Presbytery ; and was accord- 
ingly received. Calls from Huntingdon and Hart's Log congregations 
were presented for Mr, Peebles, which were put into his hands, and 
accepted by him. And the usual examinations having been sustained 
by him, preparatory to ordination, to the satisfaction of the Presby- 
tery, it was resolved to proceed the next day to his ordination. Mr. 
Linn was appointed to preach the ordination sermon, and Mr. Htjtch- 
ESON to preside and deliver the charge ; and Mr. Peebles was accord- 
ingly ordained and installed pastor of the united congregations of 
Huntingdon and Hart's Log. 

At a special meeting of the Presbytery, held at East Kishacoquillas, 
February 8, 1825, the Rev. Samuel Hill requested leave to resign his 
charge of the congregations of East Kishacoquillas and Dry Valley, 
and to be dismissed with a view to connect himself with the Associate 
Reformed Presbytery of Monongahela. Commissioners appeared on 
the part of the congregation of East Kishacoquillas, and a letter from 
persons belonging to Dry Valley congregation, by which it appeared 
that the congregations gave their consent, but reluctantly ; and Mr. 
Hill's request was granted, his pastoral relation dissolved, and he 
dismissed with the usual testimonials to the A. R. Presbytery of Mon- 
ongahela. Mr. Hill had received a call to the 1st Associate Reformed 
church in the city of Pittsburgh. 



CHAPTER V. 



FROM 1825 TO 1832. 

Several Organized Congregations to be Supplied, and Missionary Points to be Occupied — Rev. S. 
Hill Returns to the Presbytery — Ministers Received, and Candidates Licensed — Mr. Jos. B. 
Adams appointed Presbyterial Missionary — Philadelphia Bible Society — Question in Regard 
to Marriage — Question of Courtesy in Regard to Baptism — Mr. James Fergus Irvine — Death 
of Rev. Jas. H. Stuart — Temperance Resolution — Candidates for the Ministry — Action of 
Presbytery in Respect to Mr. Robert Thompson, a Domestic Missionary — Mr. B. E. Collins — 
Lotteries — Rev. David McKinney and Rev. W. Annan — Mr. Jos. B. Adams Ordained as an 
Evangelist — Death of Rev. Jas. Thompson — Alexandria and Hart's Log Congregations Re- 
united — Rev. James Nourse Received — Resolution in Regard to the Attendance of Elders 
In Presbytery and Synod — Dancing. 

THE Presbytery of Huntingdon, being now iit^ existence over a 
quarter of a century, there were yet several vacant organized 
congregations to be supplied, and many points of missionary labors to 
be occupied. By reason of the division of the Presbytery in 1811, 
and by death and removal, the Presbytery was reduced to one 
ordained minister less than it numbered at its organization. At vari- 
ous times efforts had been made to procure missionaries to labor 
within their bounds. At the Spring meeting of the Presbytery in 
this year (1825) Messrs. Coulter and Woods were appointed a com- 
mittee to report some plan for supplying more regularly the vacancies 
within the bounds of the Presbytery. This committee reported, 
" recoinmending vacant congregations to open subscription papers to 
obtain money to pay missionaries who maj^ come to labor among 
them ; and that application be made to the Board of Missions to send 
one or more missionaries to labor in their bounds, who may expect 
to be paid in a great measure, if not altogether, for their services, by 
the people among whom they may be employed." 

Mr. Hill resigned the charge 'of East Kishacoquillas and Dry 
Valley, February, 1825, to take charge of the First Associate Eeform- 
ed Church of Pittsburgh. But for certain reasons, after he had re- 
moved to Pittsburgh, and been received by the A. R. Presbytery of 
Monongahela, he refused to be installed, and within a few months 
returned within the bounds of the Presbytery. His former charge of 



88 HISTOKV OF THE PKESBYTEKY OF HUNTINGDOIV. 

East Kishacoquillas being yet vacant, immediately moved to recall 
him. While the majority of the congregation was anxious to recall 
liim, a small minority, offended because of his leaving them to accept 
of the call from Pittsburgh, ojiposed his re-settlement. It seems that 
a call was actually prepared to be presented to Presbj^tery, and in 
view of this the minority presented a remonstrance against the call 
being put into his hands. There were several jjetitions presented to 
Presbytery at different times, asking for his re-settlement and as many 
i-enaonstrances against it, by the minority. Presbytery appointed a 
committee to endeavor to reconcile the parties. This committee, 
after having had an interview with the parties, reported that they had 
not succeeded in effecting a reconciliation, upon which the Presbytery 
l.>assed the following resolution : ^ 

'^Resolved, That it be considered inexpedient, and not conducive to the 
interests of religion, that Mr. Hill be invited to be the pastor or stated 
■iapply in the congregation of East Kishacoquillas, in its present distract- 
ed condition." 

The Associate Ri*fbrmed Presbytery of Monongahela refused to give 
Mr. Hill a certificate of dismission on account of his abrupt depar- 
ture from the congregation which had called him, and consequently 
the Presbytery of Huntingdon, did not see their way clear to receive 
him consistentlj"^ with order, and for nearly two years Mr. Hill was 
lield in suspense. After various attempts on the part of Mr. Hill to 
-.atisfy the Associate Reformed Presbytery, and procure a regular dis- 
mission, he laid before Presbytery a letter signed by Rev. Joseph 
K.EKK, moderator, and Rev. John Riddle, clerk of the Presbytery of 
Monongahela, stating that Mr. Hill's conduct while in their bounds 
was exemplary and becoming a minister of the gospel, so far as known 
lo them, and the Presbytery had nothing against him, except the 
inanner of his return to his former charge. Upon the report of « 
committee appointed to consider the whole case, and prepare a minute 
to be adopted by the Presbytery, Mr. Hill was received to his original 
standing in the Presbytery, April 4, 1827. Calls were presented for 
him from Sinking Valley and Spruce Creek, which were accepted, 
and Mr. H. was installed on the 11th of October following. 

At an adjourned meeting in June, 1825, Mr. John Vandekvier was 
received as a licentiate from the Philadelphia Classes of the Reformed 
Dutch Church. At his request, the Presbytery resolved to ordain 
him as an Evangelist, in view of the destitute region in which he re- 
sided and ])roposed to labor, and after passing the usual examinations 




TMOt HUNTxm. UTN, ^t^U-f 






PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH. 

CLEARFIELD, P^ 



HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 89 

and parts of trial to the satisfaction of Presbytery, he was ordained 
by the lajang on of the hands of the Presbytery, October 5, 1825. 
Mr. Vandervier, after laboring about three years within the bounds 
of the Presbytery, was dismissed to the Presbytery of Newton. 

During the years 1825, '26 and '27, more ministers were received by 
the Presbytery and more candidates licensed than in any three pre- 
vious years in the history of the Presbytery. The Rev. George Gray, 
was received from the Presbytery of Northumberland, and installed 
pastor of the congregations of Upper Tuscarora and Aughwick in 
1825. Mr. Garry Bishop received as a licentiate of the Presbytery of 
Philadelphia, ordained and installed pastor of the congregations of 
Pike (Curwinsville) and Clearfield, in 1826, and Messrs. Joseph B. 
Adams and William Rajisey licensed the same year, and Mr. Ramsey 
ordained as an Evangelist in 1827. Mr. William P. Cochran was 
licensed, but immediately dismissed to the Presbytery of Missouri. 
The same year Mr. Samuel Bryson was licensed, and the Rev. James 
H. Stuart was received as an ordained minister from the Presbytery 
of Philadelphia, and installed pastor of the united congregations of 
East and West Kishacoquillas. 

In the Spring of 1826 the Presbytery made an effort towards pro- 
curing a missionary to visit the vacant congregations, preach to them, 
and ascertain how much each vacancy would raise towards the support 
of a missionary. Also to this end, the Presbytery resolved itself into 
a missionary society, auxiliary to the Pennsylvania Missionarj^ 
Society ; and appointed a committee to superintend the missionary 
work within the bounds of Presbytery, and correspond with the 
Pennsylvania Society ; and procvire from said society any surplus 
funds that may be necessary to assist Presbytery in building up and 
strengthening the feeble congregations within their bounds. 

Mr. Joseph B. Adams was appointed the first missionary, in accord- 
ance with the above arrangement, under the direction of the 
committee of superintendence. And a person better suited to mis- 
sionary service could not have been found within the bounds of the 
Presbytery, if within the limits of the whole church. 

At the Fall meeting of 1827, a Mr. McCreary, an agent of the Phil- 
adelphia Bible Society, was introduced to Presbytery, made an address, 
and stated the purpose of the society to endeavor to furnish every 
destitute family in the State with a copy of the Holy Scriptures, 
within three years, or sooner, if practicable. After which address, 
the following resolution was unanimously adopted : 

12 



90 HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 

" That this Presbytery heartily approves of the proceedings of the Phila- 
delphia Bible Society in this case, and will endeavor by all means in their 
power to assist them." 

The Rev. William Ramsey was at this time, at his own request, 
dismissed to connect himself with the Presbytery of Philadelphia. 

In 1826 the ratio of representation in the General Assembly was 
changed, making twelve instead of nine the ratio in future, with the 
unanimous approbation of the Presbytery. The General Assembly 
sent down an overture to the Presbyteries, with regard to a proposed 
alteration of the 4th Section of the 24th Chapter of the Confession of 
Faith. The section is as follows (that part of it which it was proposed 
to alter, if the Presbyteries consented) : " The man may not marry any 
of his wife's kindred nearer in blood than he may of his own, nor the 
woman of her husband's kindred nearer in blood than of her own." 
At the Spring meeting of the Presbytery in 1827, the Presbytery 
decided against any alteration of the section in question. As a Pres- 
bytery they were of the opinion that the marriage of a man with his 
deceased wife's sister was scripturally unlawful, and therefore 
incestuous. There is no record of the state of the vote in the Presby- 
tery, whether unanimous, or otherwise. We suppose that if the same 
vote were taken in 1872, the result would probably be the same, 
though there might be some division of views on the subject. The 
arguments in favor of such marriages are generally based more on 
expediency than on the Scriptures. At present. Sessions, Presbyte- 
ries, Synods, and the General Assembly, are very willing to evade the 
question, if possible. Some men of very distinguished character for 
talents and piety, having entered into this relation, have done more 
to embarrass this question than all arguments that were ever pre- 
sented on the subject. If the General Assembly has never given any 
direct decision as to the unlawfulness of such marriages, it has never 
ventured to reverse any censure inflicted by the inferior courts on 
persons sustaining such relation. It is not proper in this connection 
to argue the question, only to record facts. 

Another question, pertaining to church order and discipline, was 
answered by the Presbytery in the Fall of 1827, namely : "Is it not 
out of order, and prejudicial to the interests of the church, for one 
clergyman to baptize children belonging to the charge of another, 
without his consent?" whereupon the following answer was returned, 
viz: "That Presbytery consider it contrary to Presbyterial order for 
one minister to baptize the children of parents belonging to the 



HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HtTNTINGDON. 91 

congregation of another minister, without the consent of the minis- 
ter or session." 

There is not much to record in regard to the proceedings of the 
Presbytery during the year 1828, except ordinary business. Calls fi'om 
Liverpool and Buffalo congregations were presented for Mr. James 
Fergus Irvine, each for one-half of his time at the Spring meeting, 
and he was ordained and installed at the adjourned meeting in 
November following. Mr. Irvine was a licentiate of the Presbytery 
of Philadelphia. The next year the congregations of Liverpool and 
Buffalo requested leave to petition Synod to be attached to the Pres- 
bvtery of Carlisle, with their pastor, which request was granted. Mr. 
Joel Stoneroad, a student of theology, applied for testimonials to be 
presented to the Presbytery of Philadelphia, that he might be received 
as a candidate on trials for the gospel ministry. His request was 
granted, but at the same time Presbytery advised him to put himself 
under the care of this Presbytery, to which he naturally belongs. 

Presbytery enjoined on its members and the congregations, to ob- 
served the 4th Thursday of January, 1829, as a day of fasting, humilia- 
tion and prayer, as enjoined by the Greneral Assembly. Also to preach 
on the subject of the sanctification of the Sabbath, at least one Sab- 
bath before the next stated meeting of the Presbytery. 

The year 1829 opens with the record of the death of Rev. James H. 
Stuart, on the 27th of February preceding the meeting of the Pres- 
bytery. 

An appeal from a decision of the session of the church of Sinking 
Valley, was laid before Presbytery by Mr. Angus Sinclair, who was 
convicted and suspended from the communion of the church on the 
charges of intoxication and profane swearing. The decision of the 
session was affirmed by a unanimous vote. The Rev. William Stuart 
at this time resigned the office of Treasurer of the Presbytery, and 
Mr. Woods was appointed in his place. At the same meeting at 
which the judgment of the session of Sinking Valley Church was 
affirmed in the case of Mr. Sinclair, Presbytery passed the following 
resolution in regard to temperance : 

'■'■Resolved, That this Presbytery approve of the exertions of the Ameri- 
can and Pennsylvania Temperance Societies, to discourage the common use 
of ardent spirits." 

And this was not all, but the Presbytery formed themselves sub- 
stantially into a temperance society, by passing or adopting the addi- 
tional resolution : 



92 HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON, 

" Resolved, That tlie members of this Presbytery pledge themselves to 
promote the cause of temperance, by a total abstinence from the use of 
ardent spirits, except when necessary for medicinal purposes." 

This resolution was not adopted by the Presbytery any too soon. 
The lamentable instances brought to the direct attention of the Pres- 
bytery, requiring the exercise of solemn acts of discipline, demanded 
such a resolution of total abstinence from the common use of ardent 
spirits. It will be observed that it is not a pledge of total abstinence 
from all that will intoxicate ; but it is believed to be as extensive a 
pledge as any one adopted in that day. No temperance organization, 
so far as known, had gone further in a pledge of total abstinence. 
Further, we believe it to have been the first example of a purely 
ecclesiastical temperance organization. As, perhaps, no ecclesiastical 
organization had more reason to adopt such a pledge, none had gone 
to the same extent in reformation, or struck more directly at the root 
of the evil. Notwithstanding the sad falls of some of the ministers 
that had belonged to the Presbytery, there was, from the organization 
of the Presbytery a noble band of men and ministers, who by precept 
and example testified against intemperance, and finally excluded the 
bottle from the entertainments provided for the members, at the 
meetings of the Presbytery. If it were necessary, a long list of the 
venerable fathers, now gone to their rest and their reward, might be 
given, who were irreproachable as to the use of intoxicating liquors ; 
and at times when they were in common use among the members of 
the churches, and it was considered no reproach to use intoxicating 
drinks, if not used to great excess. We, who live at this day, deserve 
no credit for our strictly temperate habits, compared with those men 
who finally drove it from the private tables of church members and 
ecclesiastical assemblies. 

The years 1828 and '29, although we have no data from which to 
tell of extensive revivals within the bounds of the Presbytery, were 
prolific of candidates for the gospel ministry, especially the last named 
year. In April, Mr. George D. Porter was taken under the care of 
Presbytery as a candidate; and in October, Messrs. Samuel Wilson, 
John Fleming, and William Reed. All these lived to enter the min- 
istry, and a part of them are performing good service till this day. 
Mr. Wilson, now. the Rev. Dr. Wilson, after serving a congregation 
within the Presbytery for some years resigned the charge on account 
of failing health, and removed to a field of labor in the West. 



HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 93 

John Fleming is also still living at Earlville, Illinois, a member of 
the Presbytery of Ottawa. William Reed devoted himself to the 
work of foreign missions in Northern India, under the direction of 
the Western Foreign Missionary Society, of which Rev. Dr. Elisha 
Swift was then the corresponding secretary. Presbytery pledged 
itself for his support in the foreign field ; but he had scarcely entered 
upon his work, if he had entered at all, till he was cut short by death, 
much lamented by the Presbytery and all the friends of missions. 

Rev. GrEORGE D. Porter died a few years ago the pastor of a church 
in Iowa. 

The last record of the doings of the Presbytery this ecclesiastical 
year, is somewhat remarkable. We give the record as found in the 
Minutes, Vol. II, p. 51 : '^ The clerk was directed to write to the 
Board of Missions respecting Mr. Robert Thompson, who had been 
laboring within our bounds, requesting that he be not reappointed to 
our bounds, as he has advanced very erroneous sentiments in a con- 
versation with one of our members." 

The erroneous sentiments advanced are not stated, or the member 
of Presbytery to whom they were disclosed, but it is reasonable to 
suppose that they were of the most serious character, and that the 
Presbytery had full confidence in the correctness of the report, but it 
may be doubted whether this was altogether a fair course to pursue 
towards the brother. Somehow or other he ought to have had an op- 
portunity to explain his views before the Presbytery openly. He was 
not connected with the Presbytery otherwise than laboring as a 
missionary within their bounds, they could not cite him to appear, 
and to answer to formal charges of heresy presented against him, but 
no doubt he would on the statement of charge or charges made to 
Presbytery, have voluntarily appeared and admitted the facts, or en- 
deavored to exj^lain. Perhaps he was invited to meet with Presby- 
tery for this purpose, and declined to appear, but if so the fact ought 
to have been recorded, so as to justify the action of Presbytery in his 
case. "Doth our law condemn any one unheard f Perhaps there 
may have been some misunderstanding. To be charged with teaching 
'erroneous sentiments by such men as then composed the Presbytery 
of Huntingdon, was sufficient to fix the man's character as to ortho- 
doxy in the church forever ! If indeed he had embraced and uttered 
erroneous sentiments, by a friendly Christian conference, they might 
have been the means of recovering him out of the snare of the devil. 



94 HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 

and have "taught him the way of Grod more perfectly." Yet then' 
fidelity in endeavoring to protect their churches from the propagators 
of heresy is to be commended. But what an irreparable injury done 
to the young man (for we suppose him to have been young) if there 
was any misapprehension, or mistake in regard to his true sentiments. 
We think a better, at least, a safer course might have been pursued, 
and we think so because of our great veneration for the members of 
Presbytery then acting. 

At the meeting of the Presbytery at Little Valley, April 7, 1830, 
Mr. Britton E. Collins, a licentiate of the Presbytery of Philadelphia, 
was received, and at the adjourned meeting in June following, was 
ordained an Evangelist, having for a time labored and being expected 
to continue his labors in a destitute portion of the Presbytery. In 
the fi"ee conversation on the state of religion, it appeared that the 
purchase and sale of lottery tickets was countenanced, and perhaps 
practised by members of the church, the following resolution was 
adopted by the Presbytery : 

^^ Resolved, That Presbytery consider the disposition to speculate in the 
sale and purchase of lottery tickets, a species of gambling much to be de- 
pricated, and they do earnestly warn all their church members against 
encouraging it directly or indirectly, and they further urge all their Ses- 
sions to be watchful in the exercise of discipline in the case." — Vol. II, p. 
52, Minutes. 

At the fall meeting of the Presbytery in this year, the Eev. David 
McKiNNEY of the Presbytery of Erie, was received as a member of the 
Presbytery. Calls were presented by the congregations of Little 
Valley and West Kishacoquillas, for the pastoral services of the Rev. 
William Annan. Mr. Annan had been supplying these congrega- 
tions for some time previously, but not having obtained his dismis- 
sion from the Presbytery of Baltimore, of which he was a member, 
they could not then be put into his hand. At a subsequent meet- 
ing, he having received his certificate of dismission from the Pres- 
bytery of Baltimore, was received and installed pastor of the above 
congregations. 

Mr. Joseph B. Adams, a licentiate, being employed as an agent of 
the American Sunday School Union, requested ordination as an Evan- 
gelist, that he might be more useful and eflficient in his work; the 
Presbytery concurring with him in this view of the matter, after the 
usual examinations and parts of trial, proceeded to ordain him as an 
Evangelist. In which service Dr. McKinney preached the ordination 



HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 95 

sermon from Ezek. 33 : 7, 8, 9, and Dr. Woods presided and proposed 
the constitutional questions, and gave the charge to the Evangelist. 

This ecclesiastical year closed with the announcement of the death 
of the Rev. James Thompson, pastor of the Alexandria congregation, 
on the 8th of October ; and steps were immediately taken to reunite 
the separate parts of old Hart's Log congregation. In a former part 
of this history some account has been given of the separation, and 
the causes leading thereto. God in his providence removed by death 
the Rev. James Thompson, a man greatly respected by his brethren of 
the Presbytery, and beloved by his congregatson ; and thus the way 
was opened for the reunion of the people of Hart's Log and Alexan- 
dria congregations. The Rev. John Peebles was then pastor of Hun- 
tingdon and Hart's Log. To the former he gave two-thirds of his 
time, and to the latter the other third. He was one of the most 
amiable, excellent and godly of ministers, beloved by all who knew 
him. At once, upon the death of Mr. Thompson, with a magnanimity 
and self-abnegation, which has few parallels, even among ministers, in 
this selfish world, he proposed to his congregation to unite again the 
severed parts of old Hart's Log ; and to this end announced his pur- 
pose to resign his charge of Hart's Log, and confine his labors 
altogether to Huntingdon, at the sacrifice of one-third of his salary. 
And, further, he informed the congregation, that in case they refused 
to unite, he would serve them no longer as their pastor. The people 
of the congregation joined with him in the application for the dissolu- 
tion of his pastoral relation ; and the people of the two congregations 
were immediately reunited under the style and title of Alexandria 
and Hart's Log congregation. 

At the meeting of the Presbytery, April 5th, 1831, a call was pre- 
sented from the congregation of East Kishacoquillas for Rev. James 
NouRSE, a member of the Presbytery of Philadelphia. Mr. N. was 
present, by invitation sitting as a corresponding member ; but not 
having received his dismission from the Presbytery, the call could not 
be put into his hands at that meeting, therefore an adjourned meeting 
was appointed to be held at East Kishacoquillas, on the 2d Wednes- 
day of June, for the purpose of receiving Mr. Nourse, and installing 
him, if the way should be clear. At the adjourned meeting, Mr. N. 
presented to Presbytery a certificate of dismission, and of good stand- 
ing, from the Presbytery of Philadelphia, to connect himself with this 
Presbytery ; and he was received without objection ft'om any member 



96 HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 

of the Presbytery, so fiar as appears from the records. But upon the 
motion to put the call into his hands, considerable discussion arose, 
from a suspicion that Mr. Nourse endorsed the objectionable doctrinal 
statements of Rev. Albert Barnes, in a published sermon of his 
entitled '■'■The Way of Salvation.'''' The whole case is stated very plainly, 
but suscinctly, in the minvites of the Presbytery, which we copy ver- 
batim, as follows : 

' ' The Presbytery then proceeded to the main design of their meeting, 
namely, the call to Mr. Noukse and his installation. The question being 
under consideration whether the call should be put into his hands, a copy 
of the sermon on the way of salvation, by the Rev. Albert Barnes, was 
laid before Presbytery by a member of the congregation. This sermon Mr. 
Nourse had sent to a member of the Session some time previously, with a 
note written on it with his own hand respecting the contents of the sermon. 
Some of the congregation inferred from it that he had embraced all the 
sentiments expressed in the sermon, and in this case they object to receiving 
him as their minister. The note was in the following words : 

' This is the celebrated discourse, which has caused so great discussion in 
the Philadelphia Presbytery and elsewhere. There are some things in it 
exceptionable, but the main statement of facts is correct, the mode of illvis- 
tration incorrect. It can do yqu no harm. — J. N.' " 

The Presbytery proposed to put some questions to him on the sub- 
jects noticed in the sermon. To this, he said he acceded, as a matter 
of courtesy, not that he considered Presbytery as having a right to 
pvirsue such a course. Reference was then had to what Presbytery 
considered the most objectionably parts of the sermon, such as "the 
doctrine of imputation, and the nature and extent of the atonement, and he 
gave such answers as were satisfactory to Presbytery. The vote was 
then taken on the question of putting the call into his hands, and was 
decided in the affirmative. The congregation offering no objections, 
after the explanations given by Mr. Nourse ; the call was put into his 
hands, and he declared his acce^jtance of it. Presbytery then pro- 
ceeded to his installation. Mr. Hill preached a sermon from Rev. 3, 
1 verse. Dr. Linn presided, proposed the constitutional questions, 
and gave the chai'ge to pastor and people." — Min. Vol. II, p.p. 68, 
69 and 70. 

At the stated meeting of the Presbytery in October of this year, 
three elders only being present and one of these being of the church 
in which the meeting was held, the following resolution was passed : 



HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUXTIXGDOX. 9i 

" The Presbytery having observed with deep regret that so few members 
of Session attend the meetings of the judicatories of the church, and being- 
desirous of securing, if possible, a more full representation ; 

Resolved, That it be recommended to the congregations under our care 
to bear the necessary expenses of the elders regularlj- appointed to attend 
the meetings of Presbytery and Synod." 

At the same meeting Presbytery adopted the following resolution 
in regard to the observance of the Sabbath : 

^'Resolved, That from a consideration of the manner in which the Lord's 
Day is violated by the community generally, Presbytery recommended to 
all their members to preach on the subject of the Sabbath, on the last 
Lord's Day of the present year." 



V.i 



CHAPTEE VI. 



FROM 1832 TO 1838. 

Controversy between the New and Old Schools Beginning — Paper Introduced by Mr. Hutcheson 
— Pastoral Letter to the Churches — Paper Adopted on the Subject of Temperance — Mis- 
sionary Affairs — Mr. William Reed Ordained — Synodical Representation in the Assembly — 
Can Members Voluntarily Renounce their Church Membership — Constitutional Rule — Mr. 
Nourse and the Session of East Kishacoquillas — The Origin of the Board of Publication — 
Standing Rule in Regard to a Presbyterial Missionary Sermon — Yellow Creek — Mr. G. D. 
Porter Ordained an Evangelist — M. B. Hope and J. W. Coulter Licensed — The Death of Mr. 
Coulter — Rev. David' Sterritt— Rev. VV. Stuart and Rev. G. Bishop Resign their Charges — 
Death of Rev. John Coulter — Resolutions on the Board of Education — Rev. John Hutche- 
son, S. C. — The Act and Testimony in the Presbytery — Pine Grove Church Organized — Com- 
mittee on Catechetical Instruction and Family Religion — Rev. James Galbraith's Pastoral 
Relation Dissolved — Rev. D. McKinney and Rev. J. Nourse Receive Calls — Rev. Jas. M. 01m- 
stead — Death of Rev. William Reed — Rev. Joshua Moore Called and Installed — The Rev. 
McK. Williamson Called — Pittsburgh Convention — Report of Committee on the Minutes of 
the General Assembly — Unusual Case — 1837, the year before the Great Division — Variety 
and Importance of the Business Transacted — Committee on Traveling Ministers and Licen- 
tiates — Committee on the Minutes of the General Assembly of 1837 Report — Order in Re- 
gard to Private Members Removing without Certificates. 

PRESBYTERY met in the Spring of 1832 at Waynesburg, (Mc- 
Vey town. ) Mr. Annan laid before Presbytery a resolution of the 
Session of West Kishacoquillas congregation, as follows : 

^^ Resolved, That the Presbytery of Huntingdon be, and they hereby are 
respectfully requested, to express their opinion respecting the proceedings 
of Session in the above case of discipline, against church members attend- 
ing dancing assemblies." 

" The minutes of the proceedings of Session were then read, and Presby- 
tery having coiisidered the case did express their decided opinion, that they 
highly approve the determination of said Session to exercise the discipline 
of the church on their members who are disposed to indulge in attending 
on fashionable amusements." — Min. Vol. II, p. 77. 

In regard to the case of discipline referred to in the above reference 
from the Session of West Kisliacoquillas church, a complaint was pre- 
sented from the Session of Waynesburg church against the Session of 
West Keshacoquillas church, not calling in question the propriety or 
Justice of tlieir act of discipline in the case, but their authority to 
<>xercise discipline in regard to the subject of it. The Session of 



HISTORY OF THE PRESBVTERY OF HUXTIN'GDOX. ' 90 

Waynesburg, claimed the subject of the discipline as being a membei- 
of their church, under their care and subject alone to their authority. 
The facts were as follows. Mr. A. Oliver had three years before re- 
moved within the bounds of the congregation of West Kishacoquilhis. 
but had never received, or asked for a certificate of membership or 
dismission from the Session of Waynesburg church, but had taken a 
pew, communed with and exercised an office of some sort (not stated) 
in the West Kishacoquillas congregation. But the Session of Waynes- 
burg still retained his name upon the roll of their members, and had 
actually dealt with him for a similar offense, one year previously, 
to the case coming before Presbytery. At first a motion was made 
not to sustain the complaint. This motion was negatived by a vote of 
five in the affirmative, and eight in the negative. Afterwards, the 
case was committed to a special committee of two, (one of whom had 
voted to dismiss the complaint, and the other to sustain it,) to bring 
in a minute expressive of the views of Presbytery in the case. As 
the matter involved is of constant practical importance, the report of 
the special committee is copied in full, as follows : 

"Isi Resolved^ That in view of this Presbytery the Session of the church 
of West Kishacoquillas had strong reasons for supposing that Mr. A. W. 
Oliver was under their watch and care from these facts : Mr. Oliver 
had resided three years in their bounds, held a pew and exercised an oiBce 
in the congregation, had regularly communed with the church, and when 
admonished and finally brought to trial, did not plead his connection witli 
another church. But still the Session of the church of Waynesburg, hav- 
ing never dismissed Mr. Oliver, and having still exercised a watchful cart- 
over him, Presbyterj' still consider him as belonging to the church of 
Waynesburg. 

Resolved further, That in view of the above case, Presbytery consider it 
a matter of great importance that church Sessions be careful always tn 
give and demand written certificates of regular dismission of church mem- 
bers leaving their bounds, or removing (coming) within their bounds, 
respectively, and that in neighboring congregations, where change of resi- 
dence and intercommunion are very common, church Sessions should be 
careful to let each other know whom they claim as under their watch and 
care, and especially to communicate any information which nuiy tend to 
the harmony and purity of the church." 

We have now come to that point in the history of the Presbytery, 
when the troubles and the conflicts between the New and the Old 
School began to effect the Presbyteries in Central Pennsylvania. The 
storm had been gathering for some years previous, and the first break- 
ing forth of it had fallen upon the Presbytery of Philadelj^hia. The 



100 HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OP HtlNTINGDON. 

publication of the sermon of Mr. Barnes, on " The Way of Salvation," 
and his call to the First Presbyterian Church of the City of Philadelphia, 
which necessitated his application to be received as a member of that 
Presbytery, was the occasion of drawing the line of demarkation 
between the friends and the opposers of the New Theology, and their 
sympathizers. There was not in the Presbytery of Huntingdon one 
minister who embraced the views, or what were believed to be the 
views, of the leaders of the New School, or even sympathized with 
them, on the supposition that they held the errors that were attrib- 
uted to them. But there were some who were slow to believe that 
any considerable number of the ministers or members of the Presby- 
terian church embraced views radically in conflict with the standards 
of the church. But suspicions were abroad, and for the purpose of 
sustaining and encouraging the decided friends of the standards, as 
well as showing their own sentiments, and as a protection against 
future contingencies, the following paper was brought before Presby- 
tery by the Rev. John Hutcheson of Mifflintown. 

"Whereas, The present perturbed state 6f the Presbyterian Churcli 
renders it necessary that great care and watchfulness be exercised by the 
i)fficers of the church, and by all who desire the peace and prosperity of 
Zion ; Whereas, this Presbytery deem it important in the present alarming- 
crisis of our ecclesiastic affairs, to adopt every precautionary measure to 
prevent the introduction and spread of erroneous doctrines in this section 
of the Presbyterian Church ; Jtid v^hereas, the great end and design of 
church government is to promote the purity, peace, and prosperity of the 
church ; therefore, 

Resolved, 1st. That thi« Presbytery consider it an imperious duty to em- 
]>loy ecclesiastic government for the purpose of preserving the purity, 
peace, and prosperity of the Presbyterian Church, while they fervently 
supplicate the blessings of Zion's King to render their efforts successful. 

Resolved, 2d. That this Presbytery claim the right, and consider them- 
^-;elves invested with authority by the constitution of the church, to examine 
ordained ministers, coming from another Presbytery to settle within their 
l)ounds. , 

Resolved, 3d. That this Presbytery cordially approve the government of 
tVie Presbyterian Church, and the Confession of Faith, and the Larger and 
Shorter Catechisms, which in their view contain the doctrines of the 
Bible." 

Immediately after the adoption of the above, Mr. Coulter, from a 
(!ommittee appointed for that purpose, read a pastoral letter to the 
(churches, which was approved and committed to Mr. Hutcheson to be 
published, and sent to the ministers, and to the sessions of tlie 



HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. lOl 

vacant congregations within the bounds of the Presbytery. The pas- 
toral letter may be supposed to have relation principally to troubles 
and controversies by which the church was now agitated. There were 
present at the Presbytery by which the above resolutions were adopt- 
ed, eleven ministers and nine elders; one minister and one elder had 
left before the resolutions were presented. They appear to have 
been adopted by a unanimous vote, at least no negative is recorded. 
Four ministers belonging to the Presbytery were absent, but had they 
been present it would only have strengthened the vote. 

Thus early the Presbytery deemed it necessary to show on which 
side they would be found in the fierce doctrinal controversies that 
were then raging in other jsarts of the church, and finally resulted in 
the division. There was no ordained minister in the Presbytery that 
went with the New School division, and no organized congregation 
within the bounds of the Presbytery, till after the division had actual- 
ly taken place, and then only two very small congregations were 
gathered out of two large congregations in Centre county, which were 
never able to support a pastor without help from abroad after their 
organization. 

At the meeting of Presbytery in the Fall of this year, (1832,) the 
Rev. Alexander McKeehan was received from the Presbytery of 
Carlisle, Mr. Samuel Wilson, a licentiate of the Presbytery, received 
a call from Alexandria and Hart's Log congregation, and was ordained 
and installed pastor on the second Wednesday of November. Rev. 
B. E. Collins was called to Millerstown, and Messrs. Woods and 
NouRSE were appointed a committee to install him. 

Messrs. James W. Coulter and Matthew B. Hope, were received 
under the care of Presbytery as candidates for the ministry, and 
Messrs. J. Fleming, G. I). Porter and William Reed, were licensed 
to preach the gospel. Mr. Fleming having offered himself to the 
American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, to go as a 
missionary among the Creek Indians, west of the Mississippi, and be- 
ing accepted, Presbytery ordained him in view of his mission at an 
adjourned meeting held at Lewistown, on the 24th of October. 

At the stated meeting of the Presbytery, October 3, Mr. Nourse 
offered the following resolution, which was unanimously adopted : 

" Whereas, intemperance is a great and deplorable evil, and efforts have 
already been extensively made by good men to correct it ; And lohereas, the 
practice of distilling is the prime cause of this grievous curse, and the Gen- 



102 HISTORV OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUXTINGDOX. 

eral Assembly of the Presbyterian Church has already expressed its decided 
disapprobation of such a practice ; therefore* it is by this Presbytery 

Resolved, That we will hereafter consider it an act of immorality in any 
elder or member of the church, under our care, to continue in this practice, 
or to distribute distilled spirits for a drink." 

A special meeting of the Presbytery was held at Lewistown, 
Januay 9, 1833, at the call of the moderator. The object was to 
consult about missionary affairs, particularly foreign missions. A very 
considerable missionary zeal had been aroused throughout the Presby- 
tery, by the fact that three young men, licensed by the Presbytery 
and reared within its bounds, were about to go forth as foreign 
missionaries, viz : Messrs. Eeed, Fleming and Hope. After consulta- 
tion, and much deliberation, the following paper was introduced and 
adopted : 

" Whereas, from the spirit manifested by the different congregations 
that have been consulted on the subject, it appears that there is a willing- 
ness to engage in this labor of love, this Presbytery considers itself 
warranted to assume the responsibilitj^ of supporting one missionary in a 
foreign land ; therefore. 

Resolved, That in reliance on divine aid, and on the liberality of the 
churches under our care, we do now assume the expense of supporting Mr. 
William Reed as a missionary in a foreign land, under the direction of 
the Western Foreign Missionary Society." 

At the stated meeting of the Presbytery, held in April following, 
the Presbytery made arrangements for the ordination of Mr. Reed ; 
which took place at an adjourned meeting, held in the church of East 
Kishacoquillas, on the 1st of May following. In which service Mr. 
Coulter preached from 2 Cor. 5:20; Mr. Linn presided and gave the 
chai'ge; and the Rev. Dr. E. P. Swift, corresponding secretary of the 
Western Foreign Missionary Society, being present, addressed the 
congregation on the importance of the missionary cause, and the duty 
of christians in relation to it. 

In this year an overture was sent down to the Presbyteries with 
regard to the mode and ratio of rei^resentation in the Assembly. It 
seems that so early the change from 2>i"esbyterial representation to 
synodical was agitated. The Presbytery were then unanimous in 
opposition to synodical representation. Tlie change then proposed, 
continued to be agitated from time to time uj) to the present time, and 
was proposed in the report of a committee to the late General Assem- 
bly. It has never met with any general favor from the Presbyteries. 



HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDOX. 103 

But at the time above referred to the ratio of represention by Presby- 
teries was adopted, which has continued up to the present time. 

At this session of the Presbytery, (April, 1833,) Mr. Annan, in 
behalf of the session of West Kishacoquillas, desired to have the 
explicit views of the Presbytery on the question : " Whether persons 
are to be considered members of the church, and subject to her watcli- 
ful care and discipline, notwithstanding their neglect of gospel ordi- 
dances, and their declarations that they have withdrawn?" 

Presbytery were unanimously of the opinion, that the connection 
of church members is not dissolved merely by absenting themselves 
from public worship, and saying that they had withdrawn ; nor can it 
in* ordinary cases be dissolved, without the consent of the session ; 
and Presbytery further give it as their opinion, that habitual neglect 
to attend upon the ordinances of the gospel without good reason, 
subjects such persons to the special cognizance and discipline of the 
church. 

The following constitutional rule sent down by the General Assem- 
bly to the Presbytery for their consideration, was at this time taken 
up and unanimously adopted by the Presbytery, viz : 

" When any emergency shall require a meeting of Synod sooner than the 
time to which it stands adjourned, the moderator, or in case of his absence 
or inability to act, the stated clerk shall, with the concurrence or at the 
request of three ministers and three elders, — the ministers and elders being 
at least of two ditlerent Presbyteries, — call a special meeting. For this 
purpose he shall send a circular letter, specifying the particular business of 
the intended meeting to every minister belonging to the Synod, and to the 
session (if practicable) of every vacant congregation, and between the time 
of issuing the letters of convocation and the time of meeting shall elapse 
at least twenty days, and nothing shall be transacted at such special meet- 
ing besides the particular business for which the judicatory has been con- 
vened. 'It shall be the duty of the moderator to cause notice to be given 
in the public prints, of the time and place of such intended meeting." 

. In this year commenced troubles in the Presbyterian Church of 
East Kishacoquillas, at least so far as the Presbytery had to deal witli 
them. The troubles in that congregation came first before Presby- 
tery by a complaint made to Presbytery against a decision of a ma- 
j'ority of the session, by the Rev. James Nourse, the pastor of the 
church. The controversy between Mr. Nourse and the majority of 
the congregation was long continued, and occasioned several meetings 
of the Presbytery and committees of the Presbj'^tery, before it was 
finally quieted by the resignation of Mr. Nourse and the division of 



104 HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTIXGDOX. 

the congregation, and the organization of the friends of Mr. N. into a 
congregation to be called the church of Perryville, (now Milroy,) by 
which Mr. N. was called to be pastor, over which he was installed and 
which he served many years afterwards. A more jjarticular account 
of this unhappy controversy would neither be for the honor of religion 
or the glory of God. Suffice it to say, that Mr. Nourse's advanced 
ideas on the subject of temperance are believed to have been at the 
bottom of this quarrel. Not that Mr. Nourse's views were more ad- 
vanced on the subject of temperance than the majority of his brethren 
of the Presbytery, but he was a much more impulsive man than his 
brethren, and he was unfortunate in coming more immediately in 
contact with manufacturers and dealers in intoxicating liquors, than 
most of his brethren. Kishacoquillas is a very productive valley, rich 
then as now, in corn, rye, wheat, and barley. Temperance had not 
taken such a hold of the consciences of christians then as in later 
days. There is much to be said by way of apology, both for Mr. 
NouRSE and the people. Mr. Nourse, though believed by his brethren 
to be sufficiently orthodox, according to the Confession of Faith, yet 
seems not to have been always careful and definite in the statement 
of his doctrinal views from the pulpit, and therefore incurred the 
suspicion of sympathy with errors that were then believed to be 
spreading throughout the church. This diminished his power to con- 
tend against a real and great practical evil, admitted to be so by all his 
brethren, and for his opposition to which they all sympathized with 
him. Though Mr. Nourse always denied that he held any sentiments 
contrary to the Confession of Faith, yet it was often necessary for him 
to explain, and his brethren always accepted his explanations ; his 
opi^onents in his congregation were not so willing to be satisfied. He 
unfortunately came into the Presbytery and into charge of the con- 
gregation under suspicion of heresy, for his honest but uncalled for 
commendation in part, of Mr. Barnes sermon on '"The Way of Sal- 
vation." 

This ecclesiastical year of 1833 was filled up with many important 
items of business by the Presbytery, some not very agreeable, others 
very pleasant. The first item of business, that is of any importance 
to note as occurring at the stated meeting in the Fall, is the api^oint- 
ment of a committee to prepare a memorial to the Synod on the sub- 
ject of the formation of a Presbyterian Tract Society. This is the 
origin of the present Board of Publication, which has accomplished so 
much good to the church, and is still working so efficiently in spread- 



HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 105 

ing abroad a sacred literature, which is always to be relied on as teach- 
ing the unadulterated doctrines and preoepts of the gospel. The 
subject had been discussed in the religious press of the church, and 
by individual writers no doubt before this time, but this is believed to 
be the first ecclesiastical action on the subject, and so ought not to be 
overlooked to the honor of the Presbytery of Huntingdon. It is 
certain that the old Synod of Philadelphia had taken no formal 
action on the subject up to this time, and if not, then no other Synod 
had moved in the matter. The old Pi'esbytery of Philadelphia, the 
Mother of Presbyteries and Synods, did then indeed, lead the way in 
the great controversies that then agitated the church, but we are not 
aware that they had then taken any formal action on the subject of 
forming a Presbyterian Tract Society. We claim the honor for the 
Presbytery of Huntingdon till otherwise informed. 

At the same meeting of the Presbytery the following standing rule 
was adopted, which has been observed ever since, viz : 

^'Resolved, That it be a standing rule of Presbytery to have a missionary 
sermon preached at every stated meeting." 

A collection is always taken up after the sermon, and divided 
equally between the Boards of Home and Foreign Missions. The 
appointment of a preacher is made at the previous meeting, and the 
Rev. William Annan, pastor of West Kishacoquillas church, was the 
first appointment to preach the sermon after the establishment of the 
rule. 

The authority was given at this ineeting of the Presbytery for the 
organization of the church at Yellow Creek, Bedford county, and Mr. 
Geo. D. Porter, a licentiate of the Presbytery, who had been mission- 
ating in that region, and who intended to continue for some time, was 
ordained as an Evangelist. Messrs. James W. Coulter and Matthew 
B. Hope were licensed. The death of the former, after a short illness, 
Is noticed on the minutes of the Presbytery, a little less than two 
months after his licensure, and approjjriate resolutions passed to his 
memory. 

1834, stated spring meeting. 

The Rev. David Sterrett's name first ajjpears on the minutes of 
Presbytery by the presentation of a certificate of dismission from the 
Presbytery of New Castle, and request to be received into this Presby- 
tery. At the same time a call for his pastoral services, by Shaver's 
Creek congregation, was laid before Presbytery, and being found in 

14 



106 HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 

order, put into his hands, accepted, and a committee appointed to 
install him pastor, on the 3f)th day of May following, 
- The pastoral relation of Rev. William Stuart to Spring Creek and 
Sinking Creek congregations was dissolved at his own request, on 
account of age and infirmities. Mr. Stuart was the oldest member in 
the Presbytery. At the same session of the Presbytery the pastoral 
relation of Rev. Garry Bishop to the congregations of Pike (Curwens- 
ville) and Clearfield was, at his own request, dissolved, and he 
obtained permission to travel during the Summer without the bounds 
of Presbytery. 

Mr. Thomas J. Keating, a member of Shaver's Creek or Alexandria 
church, a convert from the Roman Catholic faith, having expressed a 
strong desire heretofore to preach the gospel, and for this end re- 
quested to be taken under the care of Presbytery, at this time renewed 
his request, and was taken under the care of Presbytery as a candi- 
date for the ministry. 

At the stated meeting of the Presbytery, in the Fall of 1834, the 
first matter of record was the death of the Rev. John Coulter, as 
follows : 

" The Presbytery record with unfeigned sensibility, though with humble 
acquiescence, the recent afflictive dispensation of Divine Providence in the 
removal by death of the Rev. John Coulter, one of the oldest and most 
efficient of our members. His death occurred on the 22d of June, 1834. 
While we mourn his removal from his earthly sphere of most exemplary 
activity and usefulness, we would faithfully cherish in our memory his 
many virtues ; especially his uncommon punctuality, and his prudence as a 
member of ecclesiastical judicatories, and entertain the pleasing hope that 
he now rests from his labors, and that his works do follow him to the Sanc- 
tuary above." 

On November 26, 1833, the Presbytery was called upon to record 
the death of James W. Coulter, a licentiate ; and on October 7, 1834, 
the death of his venerable father, as above. 

The Rev. Joseph Mahon, an agent of the Board of Education, being 
present, addressed the Presbytery ; after which the following resolu- 
tions were adopted, viz : 

"Resolved, That the Presbytery, cordially approving of the design and 
plan of operations of the Assembly's Board of Education, rejoicing in the 
number of pious, but poor young men of talents, who offer themselves to 
the service of the Church ; and believing it to be the duty of the Church to 
educate her own youth, and to prepare and send forth her ambassadors, do 
hereby earnestly recommend to the churches under their care, to make a 



HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 107 

vigorous and persevering effort to aid in relieving the Board from its pecu- 
niary embarrassments. 

Resolved, That it be and hereby is enjoined on all the members of Pres- 
bytery, to aid in the cause by every prudent means in their power consis- 
tent with incumbent duties." 

The Rev. John Hutcheson was at this time elected stated clerk, in 
place of Mr. -Coulter, deceased. 

Action of the Presbytery in regard to the Act and Testimony, 
adopted and issued by a minority of the members, and others of the 
General Assembly of 1834. 

In the Assembly of 1834, that portion of the church which was 
afterwards called "The New School," were in a majority. Such was 
their action in all the matters of controversy in regard to doctrines 
and measures as greatly to alarm the minority, and those who agreed 
with them as to the integrity of the fundamental doctrines and order 
of the church. Immediately after the close of the General Assembly, 
a meeting of the minority, and other ministers and elders who hap- 
pened be present, was called for the purpose of consultation, as to the 
present condition of the church. The result of the impromptu conven- 
tion, was the adoption of a certain paper, called " The Act and Testi- 
monyy The purport of this paper was a testimony against errors, 
enumerated contrary to the doctrines of the Confession, Faith, and 
Catechisms, then believed to be rapidly spreading throughout the 
limits of the church, and also to testify in behalf of the truths to 
which these errors stood opposed, with a pledge to maintain the doc- 
trines of the Confession, and oppose by all proper and appropriate 
means the errors enumerated. This paper was sent or carried down 
to the Presbyteries for their action. In the Presbytery of Hunting- 
don there was some diversity of opinion in regard to the adoption of 
the Act and Testimony, but none affecting the soundness in the faith 
of the brethren on the one side or the other. The paper was adopted 
by a large majority, and when the division occurred four years after- 
wards, not one of the minority went with the New School. We have 
reason to know that before the division took place the minority were 
fully prepared to adopt the Act and Testimony. It was not because 
they symiDathized with the errors enumerated in the document, but 
they could not believe that they were so extensively spread among 
the ministers of the church, as the Act and Testimony implied. The 
substitute which the minority of the Presbytery proposed for the 
original resolutions adoj^ted by the majority, is itself a sufficient vin- 



108 HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 

dication of the orthodoxy of the excellent brethren of the minority. 
And if any more proof be wanted to show that these brethren found 
cause to alter their mind before the actual division came, the fact 
that the only two living ministers of the minority at the time of the 
re-union voted in Presbytery against it. With these remarks we 
submit the complete record of the action of Presbytery, as found in 
the minutes. 

On October 8, 1834, the consideration of the Act and Testimony 
was made the order of the day for the afternoon. At that time, the 
following resolutions were offered for consideration and adoption, viz : 

^'■Resolved, 1. That Presbytery renewedly express their attachment to the 
Articles and Constitution of the Presbyterian Church, in their plain and 
common sense meaning, both in their own ministrations and in the admis- 
sion of candidates for licensure and ordination. 

Resolved, 2. That Presbytery express their adherence to the Act and 
Testimony, sent down from certain members of the minority of the last 
Assembly, purporting to be a statement of errors that are received (by 
some) in the Presbyterian Church." 

After discussing the foregoing resolutions at some length, adjourned 
till the next morning at 9 o'clock, at which time the discussion was 
resumed, when the postponement of the resolutions was moved, for 
the purpose of adopting the following substitute, viz : 

"The Presbytery ot Huntingdon during its session at Sinking Ci-eek, 
took into consideration the Act and Testimony signed by several ministers 
and elders, in the minority of the last General Assembly of the Presby- 
terian Church, and, after much deliberation, adopted the following pream- 
ble and resolutions, as expressive of their views on the subject: 

" Whereas, This Presbytery firmly believe that the Confession of Faith 
of the Presbyterian Church contains the system of doctrine taught in the 
Word of God ; and being cordially attached to this system, cannot view 
with indifterence the rise and progress of errors calculated, when carried 
out by just inference, seriously to atFect the foundations of our common 
faith ; and being convinced that strict adherence to the truth, as contained 
in the Sacred Scriptures and our standards, is, under God, the best security 
for the peace, purity, and prosperitj^ of our beloved Zion ; and it being our 
firm determination, with meekness, to contend earnestly for the faith once 
delivered to the saints ; therefore. 

Resolved, 1. That the Presbytery concur in the testimony, borne against 
the doctrinal errors specified in the document alluded to, whether they be 
found in or out of the Presbyterian Church, as being in our view, contrary 
to the standards of the Church. 

2. Without undertaking to determine to what extent error obtains among 
the ministers of our connection. Presbytery do declare it to be their decided 



HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON, 109 

opinion that no individual holding and publishing the opinions denounced 
in said Act and Testimony, ought to be a member of the Presbyterian 
Church. Holding them he could not consistently enter it, and continuing 
to hold them he ought not to remain there, but shovild immediately 
withdraw. 

3. That the opinions in question are entirely subversive of the " system 
of doctrine" contained in our Confession of Faith, and taught in the Word 
of God. They amount to " another gospel," which however plausible or 
agreeable to the carnal heart, is adapted to exert a most baleful influence iu 
regard to genuine revivals of religion, and the best interests of the Church 
of God. 

4. That according to the essential principles of our Church government, 
none can consistently be admitted into our connexion but such as we have 
every reason to believe are sincere friends, 

■5. That the formation of Presbyteries and Synods on the principle of 
" elective affinity," is unconstitutional ; and being fraught with danger to 
the Church, ought not to be countenanced by our Supreme Judicatory. 

6. That whilst Presbyterj- declare their determination to adhere strictly 
to our doctrinal standards, they would protest against any construction 
being put on their views, as though they implied a regard to mere ortho- 
doxy, to the exclusion of the spirit an-d power of vital godliness; but would 
aifectionately urge upon their ministers, elders and private members, that in 
reliance on the aid of the Holy Spirit, they would diligently use all scrip- 
tural means to have religion revived in their own hearts, and the hearts of 
the people throughout our churches." 

A very protracted discussion was had on these resolutions; and 
when the vote was about to be taken the yeas and nays were called 
for, and the question was decided in the negative by the follow- 
ing vote : 

Yeas — Messrs. Woods, Peebles, Collins and Sterrett, ministers ; and 
Messrs. Nathaniel Wilson, G. Eothrock and Samuel McClay, elders. 

Nays — Messrs. Stuart, Hutcheson, Linn, Hill, Galbraith, McKinnCy, 
Wilson and Porter, ministers; and Messrs, Kyle, Long, Kerr, Lowry, 
Rankin, Tussey, Wason and Gilliland, elders. 

The vote was then taken on the original resolutions, and decided iu 
the affirmative by the following vote : 

Yeas — Messrs, Stuart, Hutcheson, Linn, Galbraith, Hill, McKinney and 
Porter, ministers; and Messrs. Kyle, Long, Kerr, Lowry, Rankin, Tussey, 
Wafeon and Gilliland, elders. 

Mr, Annan, being moderator, asked, and was granted leave, to 
record his name among the ayes, 

iVai/.s— Messrs, Woods, Peebles, Sterrett and Collins, ministers; and 
Messrs, N. Wilson, Rothrock and McClay, elders. 



110 HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDOJf. 

Rev. Samuel Wilson, (Dr. Wilson, of El Paso,) obtained leave to 
have the following paper inserted in the minutes, as expressive of his 
views in relation to the Act and Testimony ; 

"The subscriber would, in connection with the Presbytery of Hunting- 
don, hereby declare his approbation of the Act and Testimony, with the 
following explanation of his views and convictions in relation to it : 

1. He thinks, from the strength of the language in some parts, and some 
of the general features of the document, it is calculated to convey an idea 
that the errors specified exist in a greater extent then he believes they do 
really exist. He does believe, however, that some or all the errors, both in 
regard to doctrine and order, specified in the instrument, do exist in our 
Church to such an extent as to call for the prompt and decided action of 
the friends of truth for the maintenance of the orthodox faith, as exhibited 
in our venerable standards ; but he believes that many orthodox and pious 
brethren are ranked among the friends of error, only because they have not 
felt at liberty in conscience to go with the adherents of orthodoxy in all 
their measures ; and that there is still a majority of the ministers in our 
Church sound in the faith, and lovers of the Presbyterian form of church 
government. 

2. He cordially agrees with the signers of the Act and Testimony in the 
opinion that the formation of Presbyteries and Synods on the principle of 
"elective affinity," is unconstitutional, and fraught with dangerous ten- 
dency. But as one or more judicatories have been formed already on this 
obnoxious plan, and recognized by our General Assembly as a constituent 
part of it, he would not be willing to treat all their actions and doings as 
null and void, merely on account of the acknowledged unconstitutionality 
of their formation. He would be willing to treat theirs as the acts and 
doings of other churches, not in connection with the General Assembly. 

"SAMUEL WILSON." 

This important matter being disposed of, Presbytery proceeded to 
the transaction of the ordinary, but not unimportant business. A 
petition from the inhabitants of the village of Pine Grove and vicin- 
ity, to be organized into a congregation, was granted ; and Mr. Linn 
was appointed to this service, and at the following meeting reported 
its performance. 

A committee previously appointed on the subjects of catechetical 
instruction and family religion, presented a report which was unani- 
mously adopted, and is as follows : 

"The committee appointed to prepare a minute for the adoption of the 
Presbytery, in reference to catechetical instruction of youth and family 
religion, report the following : 

1. Resolved, That Presbytery views with much regret the rapidly declin- 
ing attention of parents, and others concerned in the education of youth, in 



HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDOX. Ill 

regard to the use of that most excellent and effectual method of imparting 
knowledge, catechetical instruction. 

2. Resolved, That we do earnestly recommend and exhort all our minis- 
ters to attend punctually and faithfully to the catechetical instruction of 
the youth of their respective charges, and that all parents, heads of families, 
and others intrusted with the education of the j'oung, to use their utmost 
diligence to have them instructed in the doctrines exhibited in our Confes- 
sion of Faith and Catechisms, especially that they endeavor to have them 
commit to memory that most valuable compeiid of Christian theology — the 
Shorter Catechism. 

3. Resolved, That we cordially recommend for their assistance in this 
important duty, that excellent little work entitled, " A Key to the Slforter 
Catechism." 

4. Resolved, That the use of the Shorter Catechism in Sabbath-Schools, 
as far as practicable, be earnestly recommended. 

5. Resolved further , That Presbytery views with feelings of the deepest 
regret, the great neglect of family prayer, which prevails to some extent 
within our bounds. Heads of families who are professors of religion, who 
have taken on them the most solemn vows to keep up family religion, to 
pray with and for their children, and even elders in some instances, wholly 
neglect the performance of this duty, to the great detriment of vital godli- 
ness, and the serious hindrance of the cause of Christ." 

These resolutions were passed unanimously in the Fall of ] 834, and 
they are just as appropriate now, after nearly forty years have elapsed, 
and even more so, than they were at the time they were adopted. 
And not only within the bounds of the Presbytery of Huntingdon, 
but throughout the whole church. It is to be feared that catecheti- 
cal instruction and family religion, are much neglected in many of 
the churches. 

At this time the Rev. James Galbraith requested that the pastoral 
relation between him and the Frankstown congregation be dissolved, 
and it appearing that the congregation concurred, his request was 
granted. At an adjourned ineeting held during the session of the 
Synod at Gettysburg, October 30, his relation to the congregation 
of Williamsburg, was, at his request also dissolved. At the previous ■ 
stated meeting a call was presented from the congregation of Sinking 
Creek for the one-half of the pastoral labors of Rev. David McKinney, 
■and from the congregation of Spring Creek for the other half of his 
time, of which calls Mr. McKinney having declared his acceptance, 
and Messrs, Linn and Wilson were appointed a committee to install 
him at a time to be fixed on between them and the congregations. 



112 HISTORY OF THE PEESBYTEEY OF HtJJfTINGDOS", 

The Rev. James Nourse was called to Perrysville, the new congre- 
gation forn>ed out of his former charge of East Kishacoquillas ; the 
call was laid before Presbytery at the stated meeting in the beginning 
of October, and at the adjourned meeting, at Gettysburg, he an- 
nounced his acceptance, and Messrs. Woods and Sterkett were ap- 
pointed a committee to install him on the 1st Wednesday of Decem- 
ber following. 

At this meeting also, a call was presented fi^om Middle Tuscarora 
congregation for the pastoral labors of the "Rev. James M. Olmstead, 
for three-fourths of his time. Mr. O. presented a certificate of dis- 
mission from the Presbytery of Carlisle, of which he was a member, 
and was received and took his seat as a member of the Presbytery , 
the call was put into his hands, and having announced his acceptance 
of it, Messrs. Hutcheson and Woods were appointed to install him on 
the fourth Wednesday of November. 

At the stated meeting of the Presbytery, April 7, 1835, the Rev. 
John Hutcheson called the attention of the members to the decease 
of the Rev. William Reed, which occurred on the 12th of August 
preceding. Mr. Reed was appointed a missionary to Northern India, 
from this Presbytery, under the care of the Western Board for 
Foreign Missions. The Presbyteiy had pledged itself for his support. 
On the 5th of April, 1833, Presbytery ordained him with a view to his 
missionary work, and on the 7th of April, 1835, his death was an- 
nounced to the Presbytery, and the following minute was recorded : 

" The attention of Presbytery being called to the decease of our lamented 
brother and missionary to Northern India, the Rev. William Reed, Pres- 
bytery take occasion to express their deep sense of this affliction of Divine 
Providence, and would humble themselves in submission to the Divine 
Will, and record their affectionate sympathy with the bereaved widow, and 
numerous connections and relatives of their departed friend and brother." 

The writer well remembers the grief and despondency excited 
throughout the Old School portion of tlie Presbyterian Church on 
account of the removal by death of Mr. Reed and his missionary com- 
panion, the Rev. Matthew Laird, the first missionaries of the 
Western Foreign Missionary Society, within the first year of their 
entering upon their missionary field. The providence seemed to be 
mysterious and discouraging ; but the issue has proved that God only 
intended to prove the faith of his people ; and instead of discour- 
aging, served to increase the missionary zeal of the churches. Soon 



HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 113 

others came forward to take their places, and no inissions since that 
time have been more successful than the missions of the Presbyterian 
Church. 

At this meeting a call was presented from East Kishacoquillas con- 
gregation for the pastoral services of the Rev. Joshua Moore, a mem- 
ber of the Presbytery of PhiladeljDhia. Mr. M. was present as a 
corresponding member, but not having his certificate of dismission 
from his Presbytery it could not be put into his hands at the time. 
At a subsequent meeting, held June 16, Mr. M. was received as a 
member of the Presbytery, and the next clay installed pastor of East 
Kishacoquillas congregation. 

The Rev. McKnight Williamson was also received from the Pres- 
bytery of Carlisle; a call from the congregation of Lower Tuscarora 
for two-thirds of his time put into his hands, accei^ted, and a commit- 
tee appointed to install him on the following Tuesday. 

A convention of ministers and elders was called on the part of 
those who were afterwards called "The Old School," to be held in the 
City of Pittsburgh the week before the meeting of the General Assem- 
bly in the same city, for the purpose of consultation on the state of 
the Church. The Presbytery resolved to send delegates to said con- 
vention, a small minority dissenting. The Rev. John Hutcheson and 
Mr. Jonathan McWilliams, ruling elder of the congregation of 
Spruce Creek, were appointed the delegates; with Rev. Samuel Wil- 
son* and Mr. Henry Long, alternates. 

A committee appointed to examine the minutes of the General 
Assembly of 1834, and report such items as may require the action of 
Presbytery, reported that resolutions 2, 7 and 8, on the 26th page of 
the printed minutes, require the particular consideration of the Pres- 
bytery ; whereupon Rev. Messrs. Linn and Wilson were appointed a 
committte to draft a memorial to the General Assembly on the subject 
of those resolutions. Subsequently the committee reported the fol- 
lowing paper, which was accepted and adopted : 

"The Presbytery of Huntingdon, being met at Alexandria on the 9th of 
April, 1835, would very respectfully present to the General Assembly the 
toUowing memorial ; 

While the Presbytery are disposed to regard the General Assembly as 
the highest judicatory of the Presbyterian Church, and to respect it as exer- 
cising a jurisdiction over the whole body, they feel it their privilege, 
according to the Confession of Faith, to present their views on any subject 
which may come before the General Assembly. 

15 



114 HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY Of HUNTINGDON. 

1st. Presbytery request very respectfully that the General Assembly 
would dissolve the union which has subsisted between the Presbyterian 
Church and the Congregational Churches,, adopted in 1801 for new settle- 
ments ; and that the members of those bodies be considered and treated in 
the same way as foreign ministers are to be treated according to the resolu- 
tion of the Assembly. We apprehend that evil rather than good has been 
the result of the union which has existed ; provided that the friendly cor- 
respondence be kept up by an exchange of commissioners to the respective 
judicatories as heretofore. 

2d. We request further, that the General Assembly rescind the 7th reso- 
lution on the 26th page of printed minutes of the last year, as we think 
Presbyteries have the right to judge of the qualifications of their own 
members, and to deprive Presbytery of this is an infringement of their con- 
stitutional right. We think that while no evil can result from the prudent 
exercise of the right of examing persons coming from other Presbyteries, 
much evil may result from the contrary course. 

3d. We also request that the Assembly would so qualify and alter the 
8th resolution on the same page, that the Presbytery may not be prevented 
from deciding in their judicial capacity on books teaching heresies, where 
the authors are not subject to their control, or so far removed from their 
local situation, that they cannot be reached without very great diificulty. 
While we would acknowledge that the most correct mode of procedure in 
the case of those who publish heresy, is to arraign and try the authors 
themselves, according to the evidence which their books present, we think 
there are many cases which may be supposed, in which it is not practicable 
for an ecclesiastical judicatory to lay their hands on the authors. We think 
it a right which should be allowed to the inferior judicatories to express 
their opinion on them, that the people may be put on their guard against 
the errors published in such books." 

The Rev. S. Wilson was appointed to organize a church at Martins- 
burg, Bedford county, at the request of the people in that place and 
vicinity, and Mr. Hill to organize a church at Birmingham, Hunting- 
don county, by request of the people. Mr. Hill requested that his 
pastoral relation to the congregation of Sinking Valley be dissolved, 
and at the adjourned meeting in June following, his request was 
granted, the congregation consenting. Mr. Thomas J. Keating, a 
candidate under the care of the Presbytery was licensed to preach 
the gospel, April 9, 1835. 

The following resolution was adopted, th.e last item of business 
transacted at this regular Spring meeting of the Presbytery : 

^'■Resolved, That whereas the Rev. William Reed, our missionary to 
Northern India, has been removed by death. Presbytery would renew their 
purpose in reliance on Divine aid, and the Christian liberality of our 



HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 115 

churches to support another missionary in the foreign field, under the direc- 
tion of the W. F. Missionary Society." 

The most important items' in the proceedings of the Presbytery 
during the latter part of the ecclesiastical year of 1835, were the re- 
leasing of so many of the pastors from their charges, and their dis- 
mission to other Presbyteries. The Rev. James Galbraith was dis- 
missed to the Presbytery of Nashville, the Eev. G-arry Bishop to the 
Presbytery of Allegheny, the Rev. William Annan to the Presbytery 
of Redstone, and the Rev. Gteorge D. Porter to the Presbytery of 
Ohio. Thus six churches were left vacant, and one missionary district 
to be supplied. 

The Revs. D. McKinney and S. Wilson having expressed their 
willingness to perform a month or six weeks missionary labor within 
the bounds of Presbytery, were appointed to this service, provision 
being made by Presbytery for the supply of their pulpits dviring their 
absence. They spent the time principally in Clearfield county. Upon 
their report of their missionary tour, and no doubt at their sugges- 
tion, the Presbytery divided the churches in the county into two 
missionary districts. Mount Pleasant, Fruit Hill, Cherry-tree, and 
the neighboring places, to be considered a missionary district. And 
Clearfieldtown, Pike, Brady, and adjoining places, be considered 
another district, and that application be made to the Board of Mis- 
sions for aid for these missionary districts. 

At an adjourned meeting of the Presbytery, held October 30th, at 
York, Pa., during the sessions of the Synod, Mr. Robert C. Galbraith, 
eldest son of Rev. James Galbraith, was taken under the care of 
Presbyterjr as a candidate for the ministry. 

The ecclesiastical year 1836 is barren of any particular incident in 
the history of the Presbytery of Huntingdon. The Rev. Matthew B. 
Hope was ordained to the gospel ministry, with a view to laboring as 
a missionary in foreign lands, which he afterwards did for several 
years, till failing health compelled him to return home. After his 
return he regained in a measure his. health, lived for several years, 
and occupied some important stations in the church. 

At the stated meeting of the Presbytery in October of this year, 
(1836,) an unusual case was brought to the notice of Presbytery, 
namely, that of an elder, who had left his own church in which he 
had been installed, without a dismission, and was elected and installed 
an elder in another church, and then returned and olficiated in the 
cliurch with Avhich he was first connected. The Presbyterj^ by a 



116 HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 

formal resolution, pronounced the procedure on the part of the elder, 
irregular and contrary to a decision of the General Assembly. 

At this meeting of the Presbytery, Mr. Egbert C. Galbraith, a 
student of theology under the care of Presbytery, was licensed' to 
preach the gospel. 

At a pro re nata meeting of the Presbytery, held at East Kishaco- 
quillas, on the 27th of January, 1837, the Eev. James M. Olmstead 
was released from the charge of Middle Tuscarora congregation, and 
dismissed to the Presbytery of Newton. 

At the stated Sj^ring meeting, April 4, 1837, the Eev. James S. 
Woods was called by the congregation of Lewistown for the whole of 
his time. Heretofore he had served as pastor both Lewistown and 
Waynesburg, dividing his time equally between them, 

Mr. Moses Floy^d, a licentiate, of the Presbytery of Philadelphia, 
was received at this meeting of the Presbytery, and calls were pre- 
sented for his pastoral services from the congregations of West Kisha- 
coquillas and Little Valley. These calls were accepted by him, and 
he was ordained and installed at an adjourned meeting of the Presby- 
tery, held at Little Valley in June following. At this meeting, also, 
the Eev. S. Wilson requested, on account of impaired health, that the 
pastoral relation between him and Alexandria and Hart's Log be dis- 
solved. It appearing that the congregation concurred, but with much 
regret at the necessity, his request was granted, and the congregation 
declared vacant. About this time the congregation of Logan's Valley 
was organized by Eev. S. Hill. 

The meetings of the Presbytery this j^ear were exceedingly impor- 
tant and interesting, because of the variety and importance of the 
business transacted, especially at the Fall meeting. The Presbytery of 
Huntingdon had always, by a large and increasing majority, sustained 
the General Assembly in all its measures tending to maintain the 
orthodoxy of the Cliurch, and the integrity of the standards. This 
was the year immediately preceding the actual and formal division of 
the Church. At the Assembly of 1837, those measures were inagu- 
rated, whicli resulted the next year in the retirement of the New^ 
School portion of the General Assembly, and their organization into a 
separate Assembly. By this time the small division of sentiment that 
appeared in Presbytery in regard to the necessity of measures adopted 
in the earlier stages of the controversy, had almost entirely disppeared. 
There was not a minister in the Presbytery who really sympathized 
with the new Assembly in what was believed to be their doctrinal 



HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 117 

views, so far as they varied from the doctrines of the Confession of 
Faith. The only difference in Presbytery was, that a few of the mem- 
bers were slow to believe that the causes of difference were so impor- 
tant, or so widely extended, as to call for the decisive measures that 
were afterwards adopted. But their views gradually changed, as the 
views and plans of the leaders of the defection began as gradually to 
be developed ; and at the time of the actual division, there was not a 
member of the Presbytery that took sides with the new party, nor a 
whole congregation within the bounds of the Presbytery. But did 
not the coming together of the separated parts of the Church, a little 
over a quarter of a century after the division, prove that those were 
right who deprecated division in the first instance, supposing that 
there were no such radical causes existing at the time to justify it ? 
By no means. Within the thirty years succeeding the division great 
changes had taken place in the character and policy of the New 
School. Their whole policy as to irresponsible voluntary associations 
for the carrying on of Church work was entirely changed ; they had 
proven, by experience, the evils resulting to Presbyterianism from 
such voluntary associations ; the downward tendency to fundamental 
error was arrested by the division ; and there was a gradual return- 
ing to the landmarks of the Church — the old wine was proven to be 
better than the new — and the parties were prepared to come together 
on the simple, honest and common sense interpretation of the doc- 
trines of the Confession of Faith. If this be not so our reunion is a 
deception and a cheat. Our decided opinion is, that the original divi- 
sion was as good for the Kew Side as for the Old School. 

But to proceed with the narration of the doings of the Presbytery 
in order as they occurred during the last half of the year 1837. The 
first item of business, after the organization of Presbytery, was the 
reception of Mr. John Dunlap, a licentiate of the Presbytery of New 
Castle, who had been supplying the congregation of Frankstown (Hol- 
lidaysburg) for some months previously, A call had been prepared 
for him and presented to Presbytery at this meeting, but was declined 
because it was not unanimous, a minority being in opposition. Mr. 
Dunlap asked and obtained leave to travel without the bounds of the 
Presbytery, and was called and settled in a congregation in the Pres- 
bytery of Marion, Ohio. 

Messrs. Moore, McKinney and Banks, elder, were appointed to ex- 
amine the Minutes of the Assembly, and report such items as may 



118 HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OK HONTINGDON. 

require the action of Presbytery. Also, Messrs. McKinney, Linn and 
Banks were appointed to report relative to ministers and licentiates 
coming to preach within the bounds of Presbytery. This committee 
reported the next day, as follows : 

" The committee relative to traveling ministers and licentiates made 
report, which was amended and adopted, and is as follows : 

1. Resolved, That Messrs. "Woods, Linn, Mooke, Hutcheson and Banks 
be a committee to examine the credentials of ministers and licentiates from 
other Presbyteries, between the stated meetings of Presbytery. 

2. Resolved, That it be the duty of this committee, or any three of them, 
on being satisfied of the authority to preach, of the soundness in the faith, 
and of the attachment to the order of the Presbyterian Church, of any 
minister or licentiate, to give him an introductory letter to our churches, 
authorizing them to receive him until the next stated meeting of the Pres- 
bytery. , 

3. Resolved, That in case of any doubts existing in the mind of any 
member of the committee, it shall be his duty to inform the chairman, 
whose duty it shall be to call a meeting of the committee to decide on the 
case. 

4. Resolved, That it shall be the duty of this committee to report its 
doings to Presbytery at each stated nieeting, and also to inform Presbytery 
of any minister or licentiate who may preach within their bounds without 
the approbation of the committee ; and also to inform Presbytery of any 
church or churches which may employ a man to preach to them statedly, 
without the approbation of Presbytery, or during the recess of Presbytery, 
without the approbation of the committee. 

5. Resolved, That a due regard to Presbyterial order makes it incumbent 
on the churches, not to employ any one to preach to them statedly, without 
having first consulted the Presbytery. 

6. Resolved, That Presbyterial order in like manner requires that everj' 
minister and licentiate coming within the bounds of a Presbytery, report to 
them and obtain permission to preach in vacant churches ; or during the 
recess of Presbytery, to obtain permission of the Presbytery's committee. 

7. Resolved, That it be enjoined on the members of Presbytery, and on 
the Sessions of vacant churches, to have this minute read in their respective 
congregations." 

The following order was passed, which has never been repealed, and 
the observance of which in all cases might be of great benefit : 

^^ Resolved, That it shall be the duty of the Session of any of our churches 
from which any member may remove without obtaining a certificate of 
their church-membership, to ascertain, if possible, the residence of such 
member, and write to the Session of the Church into whose bounds he or 
she may have removed, apprising them of the fact." 



HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 119 

The committee on the minutes of the last General Assembly made 
a report, which was accepted and adopted, and is as follows : 

" The Presbytery of Huntingdon in considering the doings of the late 
General Assembly, express their satisfaction that by their decisive action 
an end has at last been put to the great and growing evils which, for a 
series of years, had been sapping the root of our church's prosperity. We 
had long witnessed with pain the progress of error in doctiune, extravagance 
in measures, and looseness of discipline, by which the cause of Christ within 
the bounds of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the 
United States of Ainerica had been so mournfully dishonored and reproach- 
ed, and were sensible that a crisis had .at last been reached to decide for 
future generations the fate of our beloved Zion, and we desire gratefully to 
acknowledge the manifest interposition of our covenant God in averting, by 
a summary process, the alarming inroads of the adversary. And as no alter- 
native remained to the Assembly in the circumstances of the case, because 
'formal discipline, and amicable division were unattainable, it was incum- 
bent on the Assembly to have recourse to the measures finally adopted by 
them. Therefore, in view of the whole case, as now issued, be it resolved as 
the sense of this Presbytery : That the General Assembly be fully sustain- 
ed in all its measures of reform connected with the abrogation of the plan 
of union formed by it with the Congregational Association of Connecticut 
in 1801, because that plan was wholly unconstitutional, should therefore 
never have been formed, and ought long since to have been abrogated, as 
each successive Assembly w-as fully empowered to annul it, and., as the late 
General Assembly did, and therefore no more than what preceding Assem- 
blies left undone, to the manifest disadvantage of the Presbyterian Church. 

Be it therefore further resolved : That the plan of union formed in New 
York, A. D. 1808, being essentially the same with the aforesaid plan of 
1801, the abrogation of the latter is an abrogation of the former, for stand- 
ing on the same foundation, they fall together. Again, 

Resolved, That the declaration of the General Assembly, that the Synods 
of the Western Reserve, Utica, Geneva, and Genesee, are no part of the 
Presbyterian Church, was a declaration founded in truth, the churches of 
which those Synods are composed being organized generally on congrega- 
tional principles, and without adopting our Confession of Faith. 

Resolved, That as the churches composing those Synods have been the 
receptacles, or the originators of much error, disorder, and fanaticism, it 
was wise and proper in the late General Assembly to pass the declarative 
act referred to, and thus prevent those Synods from exerting their influence 
to spread corruption through the church, to the paralyzing our discipline, 
the wasting of our energies and the destruction of our peace. 

Resolved, That the American Home Missionary Societ}', and the A'meri- 
can Education Society are not Presbyterian institutions ; that they have 
placed themselves in the attitude of hostility to the institutions of our 
Church ; that their action within our bounds has been found to be produc- 



120 HISTORY OF THE PKESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 

tive of much evil ; and tliat therefore the General Assembly was bound to 
recall its recommendation of these societies, and to advise a withdrawal of 
their operations from within our bounds. 

Resolved^ That the General Assembly has no power either to create or 
dissolve a Presbytery ; but having unconstitutionally formed one, it was 
bound to dissolve it. The dissolution of the Third Presbytery of Philadel- 
phia was therefore incumbent on the Assembly. And as there was suiR- 
cient reason to believe that that Presbytery was formed to shield and propa- 
gate error, and as it had shown itself, in at least some cases, the patron of 
error and disorder ; thei-efore its members should not be received into anoth- 
er Presbytery without examination ; and therefore the General Assembly 
did right in not attaching its members by enactment to other Presbyteries. 
It was proper to direct its members to make application to the Presbyteries 
that they might be received on examination ; this being a door of entrance 
to which no sound Presbyterian ought to object. 

Resolved, That the Presbytery will endeavor to carry out the measures 
ot the late General Assembly by all constitutional means ; and that we 
humbly and devoutedly look to the Great Head of the Church for his bless- 
ing upon the labors of the friends of truth. 

Resolved, That we greatly regret, that any should resist the lawful au- 
thorities of the Church in their regular action, and do all in their power to 
perpetuate strife ; but that it is our part meekly to endure reproach, and 
firmly to resist aggression, and while we " earnestly contend for the faith 
once delivered to the saints," not to use carnal weapons, but to use those 
which are spiritual and mightv to the pulling down of strong holds. 

Signed, JOSHUA MOORE, 

October 4, 1837. Chairman of the Committee. 

An adjourned meeting of Presbytery was held at Alexandria on the 
7th and 8th of November, at which the Rev. Alexander Porter wa>s 
received from the Presbytery of Wilmington ; and at the request of 
the congregation of Waynesburg (McVeytown), was permitted to sup- 
ply them till the next stated meeting. And Mr. Thom.is J. Keating. 
a licentiate of the Presbytery, was ordained sine titulo. 



CHAPTER VII. 



^ FEOM 1838 TO 1845. 

Death of Mr. Keating — Overture from the General Assembly on the Issuing of Appeals— Con- 
gregation of Newton Hamilton Organized — Rev. John McKinney Called to Alexandria and 
Rev. W. J. Gibson to Hollidaysburg — Report of the Committee on the State of the Church — 
Mr. Benjamin Carrell Called to McVeytown aud Newton Hamilton — Mr. S. Bryson Restored 
to the Communion ■ of the Church — April, 1839, Rev. John Hutcheson Resigned as Stated 
Clerk, and the Rev. Joshua Moore Appointed — Missionary Paper Offered and Passed — Re- 
port in Reference to Family Religion — Sabbath Desecration on our Public Highways — 
Messrs. Cooper and Betts Licensed April, 1840 — Order in Regard to Settlement of Pastors 
Salaries — Fast-Day Recommended — Deacons — Books of the Board of Publication — Rev. Thos. 
P. Hunt Invited to Visit and Lecture on Temperance — Intermediate Meetings of Presbj'- 
tery — Mission Boards under Control of the Church Preferred — Rev. William Adam — Rev. 
A. McKeehan's Affliction — The Marriage of a Divorced Woman — Marriage Celebrated by a 
Licentiate — Question of the Division of the Synod — Temperance Resolution — Ministers Re- 
ceived and others Dismissed — Resolution on Popery — Additions to the Churches — Rev. Dr. 
M. Brown — Systematic Benevolence — Rev. Joshua Moore Resigns as Stated Cleck — Mr. John 
Lloyd Ordained May 7, 1844 — Mr. Thos. C. Porter Licensed — Committee on Temperance — 
Board of Publication. 

THE stated Spring meeting of the Presbytery was held at Spring 
Creek, April 10, 1838. After the making up of the roll, the 
death of the Rev. Thomas J. Keating was announced, who had been 
ordained to the gospel ministry only at their last meeting. Mr. Keat- 
ing died on the 15th of February preceding. 

An overture sent down by the General Assembly on the issuing of 
appeals in Synod, in certain cases, was at this meeting considered and 
negatived. 

A petition from a part of the congregation of McVeytown, living in 
and around the village of Newton Hamilton, asking to be organized 
into a separate congregation, was presented, and the request granted ; 
and Messrs. Peebles and Woods were appointed a committee to organ- 
ize the Church. 

The Rev. John McKinney was received from the Presbytery of 
Richland ; and calls being presented for him from the congregations 
of Alexandria and Sinking Valley, and being accepted, Messrs. David 
McKinney and D. Stekrett were appointed a committee to install in 
the early part of May following. 

16 



122 HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 

A call from the congregation of Hollidaysburg for the Eev. Wil- 
liam J. Gibson, was presehted and read ; and leave was granted to the 
congregation to prosecute the call before the second Presbytery of 
Philadelphia, of which he was then a member. 

Presbytery recommended to congregations to have several days 
preaching in connection with communion seasons, when practicable. 

The Fall meeting of the Presbytery this year, was the first meeting 
held after the division of the Church by the secession of the minority 
from the General Assembly, which met in the Seveftth Presbyterian 
Church, Philadelphia, on the 17th day of May, A. D. 1838. 

A committee was appointed early in the sessions of the Presbytery, 
to consider and report upon the state of th6 Church. Rev, Messi's. D, 
McKiNNEY, David Sterrett and -John Owen, Esq.,- were appointed 
that committee. Before the close of the sessions of the Presbytery, 
they brought in the following report, which was accepted and adopt- 
ed, viz : 

" The committee on the state of the church report, for the adoption of • 
Presbytery, the following resolutions, viz : 

1st. Resolved, That the Assembly which met and constituted in the 7th 
Presbyterian Church, in Philadelphia, in May last, was the true and only 
General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of 
America. 

2d. Resolved, That the body of ministers and elders which met in the 
1st Presbyterian Church, in Philadelphia, was a schismatical body, and is 
to be considered as a secession from the General Assembly. 

3d. Resolved, That all Presbyteries, parts of Presbyteries, ministers and 
churches, who have connected, or who may connect themselves with the 
above mentioned schismatical body, should be held as seceeders from the 
General Assembly, and as no longer composing a part of the Presbyterian 
Church in the United States of America. , 

4th. Resolved, That this Presbytery will adhere to the General Assembly, 
and insist on the continued exclusion of tlie above mentioned schismatical 
body, whatever may be the result of suits now pending in the civil courts 
respecting the property of the Church, or respecting the rights of claimants 
to seats in the Assemblj'. 

5th. Resolved, That we consider the late secession of a number of persons 
calling themselves Presbyterians, but who were really not Presbyterians, 
either in doctrine or in order, as a happy deliverance of our church from 
both dangerous error and distracting strife, and that this deliverance ef- 
fected in the Providence of God, calls for gratitude and praise to the Father 
of mercies. 

6th. Resolved, That our late experience teaches us the importance of a 
more close adherence to our standards, and greater strictness in receiving 



HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. "• 123 

members into our Presbyteries, and a more zealous effort to provide our 
churches abundantly with a learned, pious, and orthodox ministry. 

7th. Resolved, That this Presbytery approve of the three acts ordained 
and established by the General Assembly of A. D. 1838, and recorded on 
p. p. 33-37 of the Minutes." 

The acts referred to in the above resolution have relation to the 
pacification of the church, the minorities of Presbyteries adhering to 
the General Assembly, to continue the succession v?here they are suf- 
ficiently numerous to perform Presbyterial acts, and when otherwise 
to await the action of their respective Synods, etc., etc. These acts 
will be found at large in the Minutes of the General Assembly of 
1838. The remaining business attended to at this meeting of the 
Presbytery was of the most ordinary kind. 

Mr. Benjamin Carrell, a licentiate of the Presbytery of Philadel- 
phia, was received under care of Presbytery, and calls being presented 
for him from Waynesburg and Newton Hamilton churches; Presby- 
tery appointed an adjourned meeting to be held at Waynesburg on 
the last Thursday of the present month, for his ordination and in- 
stallation, if the way should be clear. He was ordained and installed 
at the time appointed. 

A Presbyterian Church, on application of the people, was ordered 
to be organized at Fruit Hill, Clearfield county, and Mr. Hill ap- 
pointed to do it. 

The Eev. Alexander Porter, at his request, was dismissed to con- 
nect himself with the 2d Presbytery of Philadelphia. And the Eev. 
Samuel Wilson, to connect himself with the Presbytery of Eedstone. 

The Eev. Wm. J. Gibson having declined the call given him from 
the congregation of Frankstown, at this meeting of the Presbytery a 
call was presented from said congregation for the Eev. Algernon S. 
McMasters, and leave was granted to prosecute it before the Presby- 
tery of Albany. 

A petition was presented from Mr. Samuel Bryson, who many years 
before had been deposed from the ministry, to have the censure re- 
moved, whereupon it was 

Resolved, That the censure be so far removed, that he be permitted to ap- 
plj' to the Session of Spruce Creek Church for private membership, and ac- 
ceptance by them, if they approve of him. 

As an historical fact we record it, that he was so received by the 
Session, and died in the communion of the church many years after- 



124 HISTORY OP THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 

wards, giving no occasion for the renewal of the censures of the 
church. 

Messrs. David McCay, Samuel M. Cooper and Frederick G. Betts, 
were taken under the care of Presbytery as candidates for licensure, 
and the several parts of trial were assigned them. 

In closing up the history of the Presbytery to the end of the year 
of the division of the General Assembly, it is of great satisfaction to 
add, that the Presbytery of Huntingdon was but slightly affected by 
the division as to the number of its ministers and congregations ; in- 
deed, not at all as to its ministers, all adhering to the Old School 
General Assembly, and as before noted only a few private members 
separated from two of our largest congregations, and formed two 
small congregations, which were connected afterwards with the New 
School Presbytery of Harrisburg, and these were never enlarged by 
accessions from neighboring Old School Churches. 

On the 9th of April, 1839, the Presbytery met at Hollidaysburg. 
The Eev. John Hutcheson at this time resigned the office of stated 
clerk, the duties of which he had discharged since the death of Mr. 
Coulter in 1834, and Rev. Joshua Moore was appointed his successor. 
Mr. Collins' pastoral relation to the church at Millerstown was dis- 
solved at his request and with consent of the congregation. Rev. 
Wm. J. Gibson was received from the Presbytery of Beaver, and a call 
from the congregation of Frankstown (Hollidaysburg) presented for 
his pastoral labors, put into his hands, accepted by him, and arrange- 
ments made for his installation during the present sessions of the 
Presbytery. 

A committee was appointed on the state of the church, consisting 
of Messrs. Linn, Hope, Sterrett, ministers, and Boal, elder. This 
committee reported at some length, but it is deemed not important to 
re-produce it in full. The decision in the civil court of the suit as to 
the property of the church, in the first instance, and at this time, 
under the presidency of Judge Rodgers, had been decided against the 
Old School. The substance of the report was expression of regret at 
this result, hope in regard to the future, trust in God and determina- 
tion to adhere to the General Assembly of the Old School, should all 
the propertj'^ of the charch be lost. Apj^lication had been made at 
this time for a new trial. 

A paper was presented by the Rev. D. McKiNNE-t, on missionary 
operations within the bounds of the Presbytery, which was adopted, 
and is as follows, viz : 







fcSs'rf^^-i^ ^ j^-S'rfiav" }•■=«»«' 



Wfl* HUMTS/i, lITft. FHILf 



FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH. 

HALLIDAYSBURG. 



HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 125 

"Whereas, There are extensive destitutions within the bounds of Hun- 
tingdon Presbytery ; therefore, 

Resolved, That while Presbytery feel themselves obliged not to diminish 
aught from their zeal and beneficence in the cause of .Foreign Missions, 
they feel themselves imperiously called upon to make greater efforts to sup- 
ply their own vacancies. And whereas, our churches are likely to act more 
etficiently when they have a definite object in view ; therefore. 

Resolved, That it be specially recommended to the ministers and churches 
in Mifflin and Centre counties to supply the destitutions in the Bald Eagle 
ridges, and to raise funds for the aid of the feeble churches in Clearfield 
county, and that the ministers and churches in Juniata and Huntingdon 
counties make similar efforts in behalf of feeble churches and destitute 
places in said counties, and in the part of Bedford county within our 
bounds. And whereas, it is highly important that the churches in Clear- 
field beimmediately supplied ; therefore. 

Resolved, That to any brother who may settle in those churches with the 
approbation of this Presbytery, we promise, either through the Board of 
Missions, or by special contributions from our churches, or by appropria- 
tions from funds raised for domestic missions, or by all these means uni- 
ted, the sum of two hundred dollars, annually, for the three years, if 
needed so long, in addition to what the churches there may contribute to 
his support." 

The only matters of any importance ibo record as occurring during 
the latter half of this year (1839) are the resignation by Mr. Linn of 
his pastoral relation to the congregation of Lick Eun, and giving all 
of his time to Bellefonte, (up to this time, these two congregations 
had been united ,in one pastoral charge,) and the report of Mr. Hill 
oil the subject of family worship, to which service he had been ap- 
pointed at a previous meeting. The report was committed to a com- 
mittee, of which Mr. D. McKinxeit was chairman, to prepare a pas- 
toral letter to the churches on the subject of family religion. At the 
next stated meeting of the Presbytery the committee reported a 
letter, which was approved by the Presbytery, and it was ordered to 
be published in " The Presbyterian'^ of Philadelphia, and the ''■ Presbye- 
rian Advocate'''' of Pittsburgh, and two thousand copies as a tract lor 
the use of Presbytery. 

During these years the principal route of travel through Central 
Pennsylvania, and also for the transportation of goods, was by the 
great Pennsylvania Canal. There were many lines of transportation, 
besides a regular passenger line, running all days of the week 5 on the 
Sabbath, as well as the other days of the week. A great number of 
men were employed in the transportation business, and consequently 



126 HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTIXGDOJf. 

deprived voluntarily, or by necessity of the privilege of the Sabbath. 
The Presbytery, out of concern for the condition of these men, and 
from a regard to the sacredness of the Sabbath, desired to do some- 
thing towards arresting travel and transportation on the Sabbath. 
Therefore the following resolution was passed at the Spring meeting 
of the Presbytery of 1839, viz : 

^'Resoliied, That the ministers along the line of the canal endeavor to 
ascertain whether any, and what additional effort can be made to reach the 
boatmen with the G-ospel, and induce them to regard the Sabbath as a day 
of rest and of worship, and report at the next meeting of Presbytery." 

At the time designated above the ministers living, along the line of 
the canal, reported verbally their views of the means of usefulness 
among boatmen ; when it was 

" Resolved, That they be directed to continue their inquiries and efforts, 
especially to influence the owners and captains of boats to regard the obli- 
gations of the Fourth Commandment, and the forwarding merchants to en- 
courage the boats, and lines of boats which rest on the Sabbath. And 
further, 

Resolved, That Messrs. Woods and Gibson be a committee to correspond 
with the members of the Presbyteries along the line of the canal on this 
subject." 

. At the next meeting of the Presbytery, April 15, 1840, the following 
minute was made: "The committee of correspondence on the line of 
the canal reported. Their report was accepted, and the committee 
continued." This is believed to be the origin of the appointment of 
a missionary for boatmen on the line of the canal, which was contin- 
ued as long as the public works were retained in the hands of the 
State ; or as long as the canal continued to be the chief thoroughfare 
for transportation and travel. 

At this time Messrs. Samuel M. Cooper and Frederick G. Betts, 
having passed through all their trials to the satisfaction of Presby- 
tery, were licensed to preach the Gospel, and Mr. Betts was appointed 
to supi^ly the churches in Clearfield county till the next stated meet- 
ing of Presbytery. 

The following resolution, in regard to the payment of pastors' 
salary, was passed : 

^^ Resolved, That the congregations are bound on Scriptural principles, 
punctual^ to discharge their pecuniary obligations to their pastors ; and 
that the Church Sessions are hereby directed to urge upon the Trustees of 
their congregations a due attendance to this subject, and endeavor to have 
their account with their pastor settled according -to the terms of the call ; 



HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 127 

and that Presbytery will inquire of minisiters, and of the representatives of 
the congregations at the stated meeting in April, annually, whether settle- 
ments have been duly made." 

The Presbytery closed its sessions at this time, ''recommending to 
the churches to observe the Friday before their next communion as 
a day of fasting, humiliation and prayer, in view of the low state of 
religion in our bounds, and with desires for a revival." 

At the opening of the next meeting of the Presbytery, October 6, 
1840, calls were presented for Mr. Cooper from Lick Run, and for Mr. 
Betts from Clearfield town, and Pike (or Curwensville), and arrange- 
ments were made for their ordination and installation respectively. 
An adjourned meeting of the Presbytery was held at Lick Run on the 
15th of the current month, at which time Mr. Cooper was ordained 
and installed pastor of said Church ; and at a meeting held at Clear- 
field, the 2d Wednesday of November following, Mr. Betts was or- 
dained and installed pastor of Clearfield church. 

At the previous stated meeting Mr. John E. Alexander was taken 
under the care of Presbytery as a candidate for the ministry. A pas- 
toral letter, as before noted, had been prepared and sent forth to the 
churches of the Presbytery, on the subject of family religion, and at 
this time the following minute was recorded, viz : 

" Resolved, More effectually to carry out resolutious No. 1 and 3, of the 
pastoral letter, and for the promotion of godliness within our churches, the 
Sessions be required to report to Presbytery, at its next regular meeting, 
how far the members of sessions and of the churches are deficient "in attend- 
ing to the duty of family worship." 

The General Assembly having recommended the observance of the 
first Sabbath of January following, as a day of special prayer for the 
conversion of the world, the churches of the Presbytery were directed 
to attend to the recommendation. The attention of the chvirches was 
further directed to the resolution of the General Assembly requiring 
the election of deacons, as far as practicable. And it was, by resolu- 
tion, enjoined upon the Sessions of the Churches, to use their influ- 
ence for the circulation of the books of the Presbyterian Board of 
Publication within their respective congregations. 

The Presbytery having learned that the Rev. Thomas P. Hunt was 
willing, if encourageU, to visit this region of country, and lecture on 
the subject of temperance ; therefore, it was 

'^^ Resolved, That he be and hereby is cordially welcomed into our bounds, 
and that the members of Presbytery will aid him in the furtherance of the 
cause of temperance." 



128 HISTORY OP THE PRESBYTERY OP HUNTINGDON. 

Messrs. Gibson, Woods and J*eebles, were appointed a committee 
to communicate this resolution of the Presbytery to Mr. Hunt. 

For the first time we find this year the report of the committee on 
the narrative of the state of religion within the bounds of the Presby- 
tery recorded upon the minutes. Such a committee had regularly 
been raised each year, and reported a narrative to be presented to the 
Synod, but the report itself had not been entered on the minutes. 

But this year, for the first time, the whole report is spread upon the 
minutes. It might be interesting, if it were not too long, to copy the 
whole narrative, as showing the estimate of the state of religion in 
the churches of the Presbytery upwards of thirty years ago. Let it 
suffice to present a synopsis of the narrative. 

" 1. The committee offer it as a matter of ' rejoicing and thanksgiving,' 
that a goodly number of additions have been made to the churches during 
the past season, and also consider, as an indication for good, the usually 
good attendance on the public means of grace. 2. Yet there are some 
things that present a melancholy aspect. 

' There is a deplorable want of vital, active piety among professing 
christians.' With a few exceptions in some portions of the churches, they 
are, it is to be feared, too generally immersed in the cares and pursuits of 
time, to the neglect of those higher and holier objects that should first and 
chiefly engage their attention. Thence come a train of evils painful to 
behold. And first among these is the great neglect of family religion. 
That .there should be found families, bearing the christian name, who live 
in the neglect of family worship, is a matter of deep regret, and it presents 
what in other circumstances would be considered an absurdity. With 
what propriety could the priests around the Temple of old have been called 
such, without an altar and without sacrifices to offer upon that altar. But 
christians are in the 'Word of Grod stjded priests,' and yet here is a priest 
without an altar, without a sacrifice ! The prevalence of intemperance, not 
in the church, but the seeming indifference in the church to the evil, and 
the want of success to the temperance cause, want of spirited and energetic 
support of the benevolent institutions of the church, Sabbath desecration, 
etc. In view of these things there is much reason for humiliation, con- 
fession and earnest prayer for the reviving influences of the Holy Spirit 
upon our hearts, and for his gracious interposition for the salvation of sin- 
ners in our midst." 

This narrative seems to have been prepared by our late brother 
Sterrett, chairman of the committee. 

April 13, 1841, the stated meeting of the Presbytery was held at the 
church of East Kishacoquillas. During the first half of this ecclesias- 
tical year several changes occurred in the positions of the members of 
the Presbj''tery and the supply of the churches. The Eev. William 



HISTORY OP THE PKESBTTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 129 

J. Gibson was called to the Union Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia, 
and on his acceptance of the call, with the permission of the Presby- 
tery, the congregation of Hollidaysburg was made vacant. The Rev. 
John Fleming was called to the congregation of Middle Tuscarora, 
over which he was installed by a committee of Presbytery the follow- 
ing month of May. An adjourned meeting of Presbytery was held at 
Lewistown the latter part of May, when Mr. David McCay was licen- 
sed to preach the Gospel. The Rev. David McKinney was transfer- 
red, by the usual process, from Spring Creek and Sinking Creek 
churches to Hollidaysburg. He was installed pastor of Hollidaysburg 
Church on the last Wednesbay of June, 1841. 

There were held two adjourned meetings of Presbytery, or interme- 
diate meetings, between the stated Spring and Fall meeting this year. 
These meetings were very partially attended. The reasons for this 
no doubt ^yere, the distance of many of the members from the place 
of meeting, and the fact that ordinarily there are but one or two 
items of business to be attended to, though at an adjourned meeting 
any Presbyterial business may be transacted. 

Sometimes very important business may be transacted, but when 
this is foreseen it will call forth a very general attendance of the 
members. The last two intermediate meetings had been thinly at- 
tended, and some very important business had been transacted. 
Therefore, at the regular meeting in the Fall, a resolution was passed 
"earnestly enjoining on the ministers and representatives of sessions 
to be punctual in attending to all the meetings of Presbytery, as far 
as practicable." When the members of Presbytery are scattered over 
a large territory, as is and was the case with the Presbytery of 
Huntingdon, adjourned or intermediate meetings should not be held 
without absolute necessity. In reviewing the two intermediate meet- 
ings held between the first of April and the first of October, 1841, no 
disinterested person would decide that they were absolutely necessary, 
or at least that the business of the two meetings might not have been 
compressed into one. It is true, absent members are not called to so 
strict account with regard to these meetings as in case of absence 
fi'om the regular stated meetings of the Presbytery, but this does not 
remove the difficulty. A few members of Presbytery sometimes 
decide very important questions. 

The Presbytery of Huntingdon, from its origin, recognized the 
importance of the missionary operations of the Church, and were 
decidedly in favor of the Boards of the Church from the time of their 



130 HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 

organization. They Avere among the first to perceive the inconve- 
nience of the irresponsible character of voluntary associations for per- 
forming the work of the Church. When there were no Home or 
Foreign Mission Boards under ecclesiastical supervision they did not 
overlook their obligations of duty in regard to these matters, and 
contributed through the American Board of Commissioners for 
Foreign Missions, and the American Home Missionary Society. But 
as soon as the Greneral Assembly had established Home and Foreign 
Missionary Boards, exclusively under its own supervision, the Pres- 
bytery gave hearty support to these Boards. From time to time, 
at the successive meetings of the Presbytery, resolutions were passed 
favorable to the operations of these Boards, and urging ministers and 
congregations under their care, to support them with their prayers 
and contributions. 

The following resolutions in behalf of the Boards were adopted at 
the stated meeting of the Presbytery, at Bellefonte, in the Fall of 
1841, viz : 

'■^Resolved, 1. That in the view of this Presbytery, the Boards of our Gen- 
eral Assembly are very important agencies in advancing the interests of 
Christ's kingdom, and maintaining the faith in its purity as once delivered 
to the saints. 

Resolved^ 2. That the united action and hearty co-operation of the whole 
Church, are indispensably necessary in carrjnng out the benevolent designs 
contemplated by these Boards. 

Resolved, 3. That it be and hereby is enjoined on all the ministers of 
this Presbytery, to instruct their respective congregations fully in the 
nature, objects and operations of the above nientioned Boards. 

Resolved, 4. That it is hereby enjoined on all the pastors and stated sup- 
plies in this Presbytery, at difierent and proper seasons in each ecclesiastical 
year, to press the claims respectivelj'^ of the Boards of Missions and of 
Education upon the minds of their people, so as to secure their efficient and 
continued patronage to the various objects contemplated by them. 

Resolved, 5. That ministers and their sessions shall adopt such measures, 
in the collection of funds as are, in their judgment, best adapted to secure 
the greatest amount of aid from their congregations, and that the funds su 
collected be transmitted to the different Boards, through the Treasurer of 
Presbyterj?-, or otherwise, as may be most convenient. 

Resolved, 6. That it is required of each minister or elder, at each annual 
Spring meeting of Presbytery, to state whether the duties enjoined in thp 
above resolutions have been performed." 

During the year 1842 sevex'al changes took place in the Presbytery ; 
some members were received, some were dismissed, and several cafidi- 



HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDOX. 131 

dates for the ministvy were licensed, and some pastoral relations were 
dissolved, and vacant chvirches supplied with pastors. 

The Eev. William Adam was received from the Presbytery of Car- 
lisle, and installed pastor of Sinking Creek and Spring Creek 
churches; and Rev. William J. Gibson was received from the Presby- 
tery of Philadelphia, and installed pastor of the church of Williams- 
burg. There were some internal troubles in three of the churches of 
the Presbytery, which resulted in the resignation of their pastors. 
The Rev. Moses Floyd resigned the charge of Little Valley, which he 
served one-third of the time; and afterwards West Kishacoquillas 
congregation, which constitu.ted the other part of his charge. The 
Rev. JoHX Fleming resigned the charge of Middle Tuscarora congre- 
gation. Dissatisfactiqn had arisen in a portion of the congregation of 
Aughwick with the pastor, the Rev. George Gray, and a petition 
presented to Presbytery for the dissolution of the pastoral relation, 
which the Presbytery refused to entertain because of its informality. 

Mr. David McCay, a licentiate, was dismissed to put himself under 
the care of the Presbytery of Clarion. Mr. John E. Alexander, a 
candidate for the ministry under the care of Presbytery, was licensed 
to preach the gospel. Mr. Thomas Porter, a member of the church 
at Alexandria, was on application received under the care of Presby- 
tery, as a candidate for the ministry. Rev. Matthew B. Hope was, 
by his own request, dismissed to connect himself with the Presbytery 
of Philadelphia. 

The General Assembly of this year adopted the following preamble 
and resolution, which we record in full, impressed with the excellent 
wisdom of it, had it been practically and fully carried out, viz : 
• " Whereas, It appears from the statistical reports from various parts 
of our church, and it is well known to this Assembly, that there are some 
Presbyteries which have more churches than ministers, and other Presby- 
teries which have unemployed ministers and licentiates under their care ; 
therefore, 

Resolved, That it be enjoined on such Presbyteries to report these facts, 
with the names and locality of their vacant churches and unemployed 
ministers, to the Executive Committee of the Board of Missions, who are 
hereby appointed and authorized to act as a committee of supplies for tbe 
whole church, by and with the concurrence of the Presbyteries." 

The Rev. Joshua Moore, stated clerk of Presbytery, was directed 
to report the vacancies, in accordance with the above resolution. 

The committee which had been appointed at a previous meeting on 
tlie New Hymn Book, which was in process of preparation by a com- 



132 HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDOX. 

mittee of the General Assembly, reported at this time, " that the New 
Book of Hymns be in general approved, but with many exceptions in 
phraseology, and some exceptions in sentiment." The stated clerk 
was directed to forward a copy of this report to the chairman of the 
committee on Psalmody. In a foot note in the book of minutes, 
the stated clerk says, " These were transmitted to the committee on 
Psalmody, but are not here inserted." 

There are no means of ascertaining with any degree of certainty 
the state of religion within the bounds of the Presbytery in the last 
two years, as it was not the custom generally to record the narratives 
on the state of religion prepared by a committee every Spring and 
Fall, We can only judge by the statistical reports published in the 
minutes of the Greneral Assembly of each year. If we thvis judge, 
there were no unusual accessions made to any of the churches of the 
Presbytery during these years ; there was no notable revival in any 
church, or portion of the churches. It is true, some churches had 
larger additions than others, but they had more materials on which to 
oi^erate. Churches in large and growing towns, in which many are 
locating, will naturally show larger accessions, both by certificate and 
on examination or profession of their faith, than in country congrega- 
tions, where the population is more permanent and unchangeable. 
But in all cases, during these years, the statistics show a healthy in- 
crease. 

As a matter of history connected with the doings of the Presbytery 
of Huntingdon during the year 1843, the case of the Rev, Alexander 
McKeehan ought not to be passed over, as showing the care and sym- 
pathy which the Presbytery manifested in the case of an afflicted 
brother. Mr. McKeehan had become insane. What provision had 
been made for his case heretofore is not known ; whether he had been 
left entirely to the charge of his family, or some public ai'rangement 
for his maintenance and safe-keeping. The Church, as a Church, had 
not yet made any general provision for her aged and infirm ministers, 
or those otherwise afflicted. The Presbytery deemed it an imperative 
duty to look after the condition of Mr. McKeehan. Accordingly one 
of the members — Mr. Williamson — was appointed at the stated meet- 
ing in the Fall preceding, to inquire into the circvimstances of Mr. 
McKeehan and his family, and at this Spring meeting he reported. 
The substance of the report is as follows : 

" 1. The recognition of the principle that it is the duty of the Church to 
provide for the comfortable support of her aged and distressed ministers, 



HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 133 

and their widows and orphans, and that she is not justifiable in leaving 
them to the provisions of any other body ; that Presbytery will endeavor 
to carry out this principle. 

2. That collections be taken up in our churches to be applied to the use 
and relief of Mr. McKeehan and family. 

3. That a committee be appointed to inquire into the expedience of 
removing the brother to the Insane Hospital at Philadelphia; or what 
other disposition of his person should be made ; and to correspond with the 
Presbytery of Carlisle in reference to aiding in his support, from which 
Presbytery he came, and within whose bounds he was now residing. 

4. That a committee be appointed to mature a plan for efficient operation 
touching the future attention to and support of any aged ministers and 
distressed, or their widows and orphans who may properly belong to this 
Presbytery." 

The report was accepted and adopted, and the two committees 
recommended were appointed. The death of Mr. McKeehan, soon 
after this time, rendered it unnecessary for the committee in his case 
to act ; and it is not known whether the committee appointed on the 
general subject ever reported. 

The case of a member of the church who had married a woman 
who had been divorced from her former husband on the ground of 
desertion and ill-treatment, was referred to Presbytery for advice. It 
was committed to a committee, of which John McKinney was chair- 
man, which made the following judicious report : 

" That, in the present case, sufficient testimony has not been before Pres- 
bytery, respecting the character of the woman previous to her divorce, and 
her efforts to sustain the conjugal relation, and other collateral circum- 
stances which bear on the case, to enable us to decide the question whether 
the man should be continued a member of the Church, or be suspended. 
We therefore recommend that the case be referred back to the Session of 
the Church, to decide according to the best of their judgment on the 
subject." 

By a communication received from Messrs. John Piper and George 
Long, elders of Yellow Creek congregation, complaint was made of 
irregularity of Mr. John Gt. Howell, a licentiate of the Presbytery of 
New Brunswick, who was supplying said congregation, for marrying a 
couple contrary to the order of the Church. The whole matter of 
complaint was, that Mr. H., being only licentiate, had no authority 
from the Church to officiate on such an occasion. 

This case was committed to Messrs, Williamson, Moore and E. 
Banks, Esq., elder. The following is the record on the minutes of the 
Presbytery of the final disposal of this matter : 



134 HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 

"The committee on the letters of Messrs. Piper, Long and Howell, 
reported. Their report was accepted, and amended and adopted, and is as 
follows, viz : 

That as Mr. J. G-. Howell, a licentiate under the care of New Bruns- 
wick Presbytery, officiated within our bounds at the solemnization of a 
marriage, contrai-y to the usages of the Presbyterian Church, and gave 
considerable dissatisfaction thereby to the people among whom he has been 
laboring, and has sent a very indiscreet letter to Presbytery, as an apology 
for his irregularity, and states that he should attend the meeting of another 
Presbytery, instead of coming up to this Presbytery ; therefore. 

Resolved, That Presbytery cannot approve of said Mr. Howell preach- 
ing within the bounds of this Presbytery any longer, and that this minute 
be forwarded to New Brunswick Presbytery by the stated clerk, and that a 
copy of Mr. Howell's letter be also forwarded." 

It is probable that the action of Presbytery in this case would have 
been somewhat ditferent had Mr. Howell attended the meeting of 
Presbyteiy, or had his letter been of a different spirit and temper ; 
but it was rather defiant of the authority of Presbytery, and even in- 
solent in its bearing. Had Mr. H. been in attendance on his own 
Presbytery, it would not have been a matter of offense to the Presby- 
tery of Huntingdon, but this was not the case. Had circumstances 
connected with the marriage service been of another character, the 
whole case would, in all probability, have ended with an advice to Mr. 
H. to be more prudent in the future, and not run contrary to the 
usages of the Church and the prejudices of the people. At the next 
stated meeting Mr. Howell requested, by letter, that the censure of 
Presbytery for his irregularity be removed, which Presbytery refused 
to do, and he soon after left the bounds of Presbytery. 

About this time the propriety of a division of the Synod was agita- 
ted. The committee appointed to examine the minutes, and report 
any item of business that might require the notice of Presbytery, 
called attention to this subject, when the following resolution was 
passed unanimously, viz : 

^^ Resolved, That this Presbytery are opposed to f\jiy division of Synod, 
except such an one as would include this Presbytery in a Synod with 
Northumberland, Carlisle, and Donegal." 

At the same meeting the following minute was adopted on the sub- 
ject of temperance : 

" The Presbytery of Huntingdon grateful to Almighty God tor the pro- 
gress of the temperance cause within their bounds, and duly impressed with 
the importance of the churches assuming a high standing on this subject, 
do hereby advise, counsel and beseech all persons in the communion of oui- 



HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 135 

churches, to decline either to sign petitions for tavern licenses, or to present 
such petitions to courts." 

The year 1843 was not a year of inactivity to the Presbytery, 
though there was not much business transacted out of the common 
routine. Some ministerial members were added to the roll of Presby- 
tery, and some were dismissed to other Presbyteries, and some candi- 
dates for the ministry taken under care of Presbytery. The Rev. 
Andrew Jaedine was received from the Presbytery of Philadelphia, 
and in due time installed pastor of Middle Tuscarora congregation ; 
Rev. William M. Hall was received from Washington Presbytery, and 
Daniel L. Hughes, a licentiate, from West Jersey Presbytery, was 
called to the pastoral charge of Little Valley congregation. Messrs. 
Calvin McDonald, William B. Barton and David Wilson, were taken 
under care of Presbyteiy as candidates for the ministry. And Rev. 
.John Fleming was dismissed to the Presbytery of Blairsville, and Mr. 
John E. Alexander to the Presbytery of New Lancaster, Ohio. The 
Rev. Messrs. G. Gray and S. Hill were released from their pas- 
toral charges ; the former from Augwick congregation, the latter from 
Spruce Creek, and Mr. Hill obtained liberty to travel without the 
bounds of Presbytery. 

The following resolution was adopted in reference to the progress of 
Popery in this country, viz : 

"Whereas, The progress of Popery in our country gives just cause to 
fear for the permanency of our religious and political institutions ; And 
tvhereas, also the spread of Popery in foreign lands, forms one of the chief 
obstacles to missionary success ; therefore, 

Resolved, That it is our duty as a Presbytery to enlighten our people in 
regard to the idolatrous and wicked doctrines and baleful influence of 
Popery." 

The year 1843 may be termed the revival year of the Presbytery. 
The additions to the churches were more than double those of any 
previous year. 

On the 9th of January, 1844, an adjourned meeting of the Presby- 
tery was held at Little Valley, the principal object of which was to 
ordain and install Mr. D. L. Hughes pastor of Little Valley Church. 
At this meeting a committee was appointed to organize a church at 
Philipsburg, Centre covinty. 

Other items of business were attended to, but not of such general 
interest as to be worthy of permanent record. 

The regvilar stated meeting of the Presbytery in April of this year 
was held in Lewistown. At this meeting Mr. Floyd requested and 



136 HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 

obtained the dissolution of his pastoral relation to West Kishaco- 
quillas Church. The appearance of the venerable Eev. Dr. Matthew 
Brown in the Presbytery on the second day of the sessions, was an 
event too interesting to the members of the Presbytery to be passed 
without particular notice. Dr. Brown had been ordained by this 
Presbytery forty-two years before, for three years had been the pastor 
of. one of its churches, Mifflintown and Lost Creek, his first pastoral 
charge — most of the then present members had been his students, 
graduates of Jefferson College. Only one of his cotemporary mem- 
bers of Presbytery was now living, the Rev. William Stuart of Penns 
Valley, but not present by reason of age and infirmity. Dr. Brown's 
immediate successor in the pastoral charge of Mifflintown and Lost 
Creek, however was present, and still in active and efficient sei^vice in 
the same charge, the Rev. John Hutcheson. It may well be believed 
that his presence was esteemed an event of unusual interest to the 
Presbytery. And what must have been the feelings of the venerable 
man in revisiting the scenes of his youthful labors in the ministry, 
and not very far from the place of his birth? And while he surveyed 
the members of Presbytery, and not one present, and but one living 
of those who laid hands on him at his ordination, or had been his Pres- 
byterial cotemporaries afterwards. Some of us who were comparative- 
ly young men could not then enter into his feelings as we might now 
if the scene were before us. It was the last time that some of us saw 
the venerable President of Jefferson College. 

In accordance with a resolution of the Greneral Assembly of 1844, the 
Presbytery took up the subject of Systematic Benevolence. A com- 
mittee was appointed to consider the subject, and at this meeting 
made a report. The object aimed at was to organize the churches, so 
as to present the various objects of benevolence to every member of 
the Church at least once a year. In the language of the committee : 
"To call out and combine in the best manner the various talents of 
God's professing people, is the problem which has tasked the wisdom 
of our Church judicatories in past time, and that has as yet by no 
means met with a satisfactory solution." Nearly thirty years are past 
since this was written, and yet it is doubtful whether the problem has 
been solved. What mean the annual complaints of the various 
Boards of the Church of the number of churches non-contributing? 
The Presbytery of Huntingdon, from the very beginning of the con- 
troversy on the subject, had given a decided preference of Ecclesiasti- 
cal over Voluntary Associations. Their commissioners to the General 



HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 137 

Assembly had. uniforixily voted for ecclesiastical organization and 
supervision. The committee, in their report, urge this fact upon the 
churches, to stimulate their efforts in behalf of the Boards, as a mat- 
ter of consistency. '' Your committee presume it is needless to argue 
that it is not enough to manifest zeal for the organization merely of 
Ecclesiastical Boards. Calling them into being is but the beginning of 
the work, of love and self-denial that devolves on those who profess to 
yield a well-principled preference to this mode of action. It requires 
no argument to prove that Presbyterianism will not commend and 
extend herself simply by having a full set of Boards ; or that our 
Boards must have funds steadily furnished to render them efficient ; 
and. that these funds, being for the advancement of Presbyterianism, 
must be raised by Presbyterians. It much behooves the Presbytery 
to manifest more zeal and liberality to prove to the world her honesty 
of preference, and the excellence of the plan she has deliberately 
chosen." 

Then follow a series of resolutions which it would occupy too much 
space to copy, and to no purpose. Similar resolutions may be found 
in vast numbers on the minutes of all the Presbyteries, and if funds 
would only pour in annually to the treasuries of the Boards as pro- 
fusely as resolutions in their behalf are offered and adopted, they 
would long ago have been overflowing. 

At this meeting of the Presbytery the Rev. Joshua Moore resigned 
the position of stated clerk, and the Eev. William J. Gibson was 
apj)ointed in his room. 

An adjourned meeting of Presbytery was appointed to be held at 
Alexandria, in the early part of May following. The principal object 
of the meeting was the ordination of Mr. John Lloyd, should the way 
be clear. Mr. Lloyd was just closing his theological studies at Prince- 
ton Seminary, and expected to be licensed to preach the gospel by the 
Presbytery of New York at its sessions in April. His nativity and 
residence were within the bounds of this Presbytery, and as he had 
devoted himself to the work of Foreign Missions in China, he request- 
ed ordination at the hands of Huntingdon Presbytery. He came 
with a letter of dismission from the Presbytery of New York, and 
was licensed as expected. After the usual examinations and trials, 
he was ordained by the laying on of the hands of Presbytery, May 7, 
1844. In which service the sermon was preached by Rev. Joshua 
MooRE, from Mark 16 : 15, and. Rev. James Linn presided and proposed 

18 



138 HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 

the constitutional questions, and gave the charge to the ordained 
minister and evangelist. 

At the same meeting Mr. Thomas C. Porter, a student of theology 
under care of Presbytery, was licensed to preach the gospel as a_can- 
didate for the ministry. 

In another part of this history notice was taken of the early efforts 
of this Presbytery to secure the better observance of the Sabbath 
along the lines of canals and railroads. An association was formed, 
having its head-quarters in Philadelphia, having this object in view, 
and Sabbath missionaries were employed along these lines of public 
improvement. Among these missionaries the Rev. Jeremiah Miller, 
who died lately in Philadelphia, was chief. The Rev. 0. S. Powell, 
an agent of the Sabbath Association, being present at this time with 
the Presbytery, was heard on the subject of the Sanctification of the 
Sabbath, and probably suggested the propriety of calling a convention 
at Harrisburg, (or one had already been called,) in reference to this 
subject, when the following resolution was passed by Presbytery : 

" Resolved, That this Presbytery highly approve of the calling of a Con- 
vention to promote the observance of the Sabbath, to be convened at 
Harrisburg, on the 30th of this month, (May, 1844,) and that it be and 
hereby is recommended to all our churches to send delegates to said con- 
vention." 

Here was a convention of universal interest and importance, affect- 
ing the members of all churches, and all others of every class in the 
various communities. To attend it, and to give every help and 
encouragement to the object at which it aimed, was neither a loss of 
time nor a waste of means, as may be said of many of the conventions 
that are assembled in these later days. 

A committee was appointed to consider and report on the subject . 
of the traffic in, and use of intoxicating drinks. This committee 
reported at the stated meeting in the Fall held at Lick Run, Centre 
county, October 1, 1844. The report was published in the religious 
and secular papers at the time, but was not recorded in the minutes. 
But it fully sustained the highest ground the temperance reformation 
had taken up to that time, or probably has since taken. 

Mr. Wm. J. Murphy, a licentiate of the Presbytery of Philadelphia, 
was received under the care of the Presbytery at this time, on the 
usual testimonials ; and calls were presented for him from the congre- 
gations of Mount Pleasant, Fruit Hill and Philipsburg, and accepted. 
The Rev. David Sterrett requested the dissolution of the pastoral 



« 
HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 139 

relation between him and the congregation of Shaver's Creek. A 
committee appointed by the congregation was heard, agreeing to the 
request ; and also a remonstrance signed by several members of the 
church. Presbytery ordered another meeting of the congregation to 
be held; and appointed an adjourned meeting to be held at Lewistown 
on the 15th instant, (z. e. October 15.) 

The Presbytery taking great interest in the circulation of the books 
of the Board of Publication, and some of the members supposing that 
cheaper editions might be published, and thus the circulation of the 
books greatly facilitated, a resolution to that effect was offered. This 
resolution was committed to Messrs. Nourse, Moore and Hall, to 
report thereon at the next, or adjourned meeting of Presbytery. 

The adjourned meeting was held at the time appointed. The 
request of Mr. Sterrett for the dissolution of his pastoral relation, 
(the congregation being heard from in a regular manner,) Presbytery 
refused to grant. The committee on the Board of Publication report- 
ed ; when both the original resolution and the report of the committee 
were set aside, to adopt a substitute offered by the Rev. Joshua 
Moore, which is as follows : 

" The religious and reading public generally are furnished at present 
with such an amount of publications at very cheap rates by private book 
establishments, as to awaken apprehensions for our book concern ; it is 
deemed of great importance, if not of indispensible necessity, that by some 
efficient plan we may secure our proportion of public patronage, to supply 
a better quality of intelligent and religious literature. And as the intrinsic 
worth of our standard works is decidedly greater in the main than that of 
those referred to, we anxiously desire to see them greatly diffused. No way 
appears so likelj'' to secure this end as to cheapen the rates of the works pub- 
lished by our Board, if deemed practicable and expedient by those who 
have the managenaent. "We respectfully recommend the reduction of their 
cost, provided thereby an increased sale of them may be secured ; as in our 
judgment is, likely to be done. We would also respectfully request the 
Board to publish standard works in cheap forms." 

At this meeting the pastoral relation of the Rev. Mr. Carrell to 
the congregations of McVeytown and Newton Hamilton was dissolved 
at his request and with consent of the congregations. And the Rev. 
Wm. M. Hall was dismissed to the Presbytery of Carlisle, having re- 
ceived and accepted a call to the congregation of Bedford, within the 
bounds of the Presbytery of Carlisle. 



CHAPTER Vin. 



FKOM 1845 TO 1858. 

Death of Rev. John Hutcheson and Kev. F. G. Betts — Changes among the Churches — Mr. John 
G. Howell Again — Obituary Book — Rev. Messrs. Allison and White Received — Mr. S. N. 
Howell Ordained — Judicial Business — Rev. James Y. McGinnis and Rev. John White Called 
— Rev. William Adam Released from Spring Creek and Sinking Creek — Rev. Dr. William 
Chester — Presbytery Opened by Rev. John Bernheim, a Converted Jew — Rev. R. Uamill 
Called, Ordained and Installed — Rev. Samuel H. McDonald — Case of Reference — Case of 
Rev. B. H. Campbell — Rev. H. R. WilsOn, Jr., an Agent — Rev. G. W. Thompson Received, 
Called and Installed — Psalmody — Death of Rev. William Stuart — Pastoral Relation of Mr. 
Sterrett Dissolved — Overture on Demission of the Ministry — Rev. D. L. Hughes Transferred 
— Deaths of Rev. John Lloyd and Rev. B. H. Campbell— Rev. Messrs. Merwin, Curran and 
Ward Added to the Roll — Rev. R. Hamill Appointed Stated Clerk — Cheap Religious Paper 
' — Rev. George Elliott — Rev. P. Hassinger — Posture in Public Prayer — Order on Relief Fund 
—Rev. Joseph Smith, D. D.— Rev. S. Lawrence— Rev. William M. Hall— S. P. Barton— Rev. 
Samuel Miller, D. D. — Railroad Traveling on the Sabbath — National Presbyterian Church — 
Deaths of Rev. Messrs. Hall and McGinnis — Colonization — Altoona — Origin of the Presby- 
terian Banner — Dr. D. X. Junkin Called to Hollidaysburg — Boards of Foreign and Domestic 
Missions — Temperance Action — Rev. 0. 0. McClean Called and Settled at Huntingdon — Set- 
tlement of Boundary Lines — Rev. R. Curran's Pastoral Relation Dissolved — Report by Dr. 
Linn on Education for the Ministry — Action in Reference to a Division of the Synod — Rev. 
A. B. Clark Called to Altoona — Parsonages — Death's Doings — Systematic Benevolence — Itine- 
rant Missionary — Rev. John Elliott First Itinerant Missionary — Rev. David D. Clark — Mr. 
J. H. Mathers — Church at Tyrone — Rev. John Moore Called — Rev. Samuel Lawrence Re- 
signs his Charge — Pastoral Resignations — Rev. John M. Galloway Called — Rev. Joseph Ma- 
hon — Rev. D. L. Hughes' Pastoral Relation Dissolved — Rev. N. Shotwell — Rev. M. S. Cul- 
bertson, a Foreign Missionary — Committee on Relief Fund — The Oath — Temperance Reso- 
lution. 

THE year 1845 begins with a record of the death of two of the 
members of Presbytery, the Eev. John Hutcheson of Mifflintown, 
and the Rev. Frederick G. Betts of Clearfield. The former had been 
pastor of Mifflintown and Lost Creek congregations for forty years, 
the latter of Clearfield town and Pike (Curwinsville), only a little over 
three years. Mr. H, had been long considered a father in the Presby- 
tery. Mr. Betts was one of the youngest of its members, but of great 
promise of future usefulness. 

During this year, especially the first half of it, many changes 
occurred in regard to the churches and their pastors, and additions of 
ministers to the Presbytery, with the loss of some by removal, as well 
as by death. The principal business of the Presbytery during this 



HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 141 

period, consisted in dissolving pastoral relations, constituting others, 
and licensing candidates. 

The pastoral relation of Rev. McK. Williamson to the congregation 
of Lower Tuscarora, was dissolved on the 8th of April. Mr. Samuel 
N. Howell, a licentiate of the Presbytery of New York, was called to 
Clearfield town and Pike congregations ; the Rev. John White of the 
Presbytery of Northumberland, to Yellow Creek and Martinsburg ; 
the Rev. Gteorge D. Porter to Millerstown, and Rev. William J. 
Gibson to Sinking Valley for half his time. Heretofore Mr. G. had 
been supplying Martinsburg, in connection with Williamsburg, his 
pastoral charge. The Rev. Matthew Allison was called to Mifflin- 
town and Lost Creek. Mr. Allison was a member of the 2d Presby- 
tery of New York. The Rev. Peter Hassinger was called to Newton 
Hamilton and McVeytown. 

At this meeting a second application was made by Mr. John G. 
Howell, whose case was before stated, to have the action of Presby- 
tery repealed, prohibiting him from preaching within the bounds of 
the Presbytery. At his earnest request, having made suitable ac- 
knowledgments in regard to the matter which gave offence to the 
Presbytery, the prohibition was repealed, and the stated clerk directed 
to inform him accordingly. The following resolution was offered by 
Rev. Dr. Linn, in view of this case, and adopted, viz : 

"As our Book of Discipline and Form of Government designs that 
marriage shall be solemnized by ministers ; therefore, 

Resolved, That we disapprove of licentiates solemnizing marriages, as 
they thereby assume a power not given to them by Presbytery." 

The name of the Frankstown congregation was, at this time, by re- 
quest, changed to Hollidaysburg. It was ordered that an Obituary 
Book be kept by Presbytery, in which the decease of members shall 
be recorded, with brief sketches of their lives, as prepared by aj^pro- 
priate committees. 

An adjourned meeting of Presbytery was held at Alexandria, on the 
last Tuesday of June following the stated Spring meeting. At this 
meeting the Rev. Messrs. Allison and White were received on the 
customary testimonials from their respective Presbyteries, as members 
of this Presbytery. 

As most of the parties interested in judicial cases which occurred 
at this time are either dead or removed, and as no principle was set- 
tled by them which might be set forth as example worthy of imita- 
tion, it would answer no good purpose to make further reference to 



142 HISTORY. OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 

them. In all of them there was much of human passions, and " the 
wrath of man which worketh not the righteousness of God." But 
there was business of another character. It was very agreeable to 
receive into the Presbytery such ministers as the Eev. James Y. Mc- 
GiNNis and the Rev. John White, the former being called to the 
church of Augwick, and the latter to the church of Spruce Creek for 
half his time. 

The Rev. William Adam, on account of failing health was, at his 
own request and with consent of the congregations, released from his 
pastoral relations to Spring Creek and Sinking Creek congregations, at 
this meeting. By request of the congregation of Millerstown, the 
Presbytery consented that it should be attached to the Presbytery of 
Carlisle. It was not the least agreeable circumstance connected with 
this meeting to have the presence of the Rev. Dr. William Chester, 
the worthy representative of the Board of Education, and to hear 
from him of its objects and necessities. Presbytery adopted unani- 
mously a resolution urging ministers, elders and people, to give im- 
mediate attention to the pressing wants of the Board. 

The stated meeting of the Presbytery in the Spring of 1846 was 
held in the Presbyterian Church in Sinking Valley, and was oj^ened 
with a sermon by the Rev. John Bernheim, a converted Jew, from 
Hosea 6:11. 

The Rev. B. H. Campbell was received as in good standing by cer- 
tificate of dismission from the Presbytery of Salem. Calls were pre- 
sented from Spring Creek and Sinking Creek churches for Mr. Robert 
Hamill, a licentiate of the Presbytery of New York. Mr. H. being 
l^resent, but not having received his letter of dismission, the calls 
were retained by the Presbytery ; and at the adjourned meeting held 
in May following, put into his hands, accepted by him, and at the 
same meeting he was ordained and installed pastor of Spring Creek, 
and a committee ajjpointed to install him over Sinking Creek on the 
2d Tuesday of June. 

The Rev. Samuel H. McDonald was received on certificate from the 
Presbytery of Carlisle. A call which had been presented for him at 
the stated meeting of the Presbytery from West Kishacoquillas, was 
put into his hands, and being accepted, Messrs. Hughes, Peebles and 
Hassinger were appointed a committee to install him at a convenient 
time. 

Mr. David Wilson, a candidate under the care of the Presbytery, 
with a view to the ministry, requested that his name may be with- 



HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 143 

drawn for the present from the list of candidates. His request was 
granted. 

A case of reference from the session of the church of Martinsburg 
was presented, respecting the marriage of a member of that church 
with his deceased wife's sister, and the consideration of it was 
postponed. 

Messrs. A. T. McAlevy and John A. Campbell were, after exami- 
nation, received as candidates for the Gospel ministry, and recom- 
mended to the Board of Education for aid in the pursuit of their 
studies. 

A pro re nata meeting of Presbytery was held in Lewistown, Septem- 
ber 8, for the purpose of investigating charges by common fame 
against the Rev. B. H. Campbell. Themain charge was of intoxica- 
tion. The Presbytery found that there were sufficient gx'ounds for 
investigation ; and as the witnesses were chiefly residents in and about 
Lewistown, and the next stated meeting of Presbytery was to be held 
at a distance from that place, appointed a commmittee of seven to 
take testimony, giving Mr. Campbell notice of the time and place of 
their meeting, and to report to the meeting to be held at Clearfield 
in October. Mr. C. was cited to appear and answer ; and the clerk 
was ordered to cite any witnesses he might desire to appear and 
testify on his behalf before the committee. 

Mr. S. N. Howell, a licentiate of the Presbytery of New York, was 
taken under the care of Presbytery ; Mr. James Smith, a member of 
the congregation of Hollidaysburg, was taken under the care of Pres- 
bytery as a candidate for the ministry ; and Mr. John W. Hazlett was 
licensed to preach the Gospel. Mr. S. N. Howell having accepted 
the calls from Clearfield and Pike, was ordained, and arrangements 
made for his installation as pastor of those churches ; and the Rev. 
Messrs. Allison and Hassinger having also accepted the respective 
calls presented for their pastoral services, committees were appointed 
for their installation. The Rev. Mr. White held the calls from 
Yellow Creek and Martinsburg under advisement, and afterwards de- 
clined them. 

The regular Fall meeting of the Presbytery was held at West Kish- 
acoquillas, October 7, 8 and 9. At this meeting a considerable amount 
of business was transacted ; but most of it pertaining to matters that 
were not of a very agreeable character. There were no less than four 
judicial cases which came before Presbytery by reference or complaint. 
Two from the Session of Hollidaysburg church, one from Pike or Cur- 



144 HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OP HUNTINGDON. 

wensville, and one from West Kishacoquillas, The two from Holli- 
daysl?urg were parts of the same transaction, growing out of the same 
causes ; the other two originating in personal differences between 
members of the church. 

The stated meeting of the Presbytery in the Fall, at Clearfield, was 
opened with a sermon by Mr. James Smith, a candidate for licensure ; 
the popular sermon appointed him at a previous meeting. Mr. Camp- 
bell, who was under charges, and whose case had been commenced 
at the special meeting of Presbytery held in September at Lewistown, 
not being present, sent a request by Rev. Joshua MooRE'for a dissolu- 
tion of the pastoral relation subsisting-between him and the congrega- 
tion of Lower Tuscarora. It appearing that the congregation had 
notice, and concurred in the request, it was granted. Also, by letter, 
Mr. Campbell requested that Mr. Moore might be appointed to con- 
duct the trial in his behalf, in case it should be issued at this time. 
The Presbytery, believing that he expected and wished his case to be 
issued at this time, resolved to proceed, and Mr. Moore was appoint- 
ed, as requested, to act in his behalf. 

Mr. MooRE, the representative of Mr. Campbell, being asked if the 
accused plead guilty or not guilty ? and gave as answer the following, 
viz : " The case being taken up on general rumor, it devolves on the 
Presbytery to prove it." On being further asked whether he was 
prepared to proceed in the case? Answered, "Noti prepared." 

The Presbytery then appointed an adjourned meeting to be held at 
Lewistown on the 10th of November, and ordered a second citation 
to be issued to Mr. C. to aj^pear and answer to the charges ; with 
notice that in case of his non-appearance Presbytery would proceed 
against him as directed in the Book of Discipline. 

At this time (October 8, 1846) Mr. James Smith, a candidate under 
the care of Pregbytery, having passed through all his trials to the 
satisfaction of Presbytery, was licensed to preach the Gospel, and Rev. 
McK. Williamson was dismissed to the Presbytery of Iowa. 

The adjourned meeting was held at Lewistown at the time appoint- 
ed. The principal business was to issue the case of Mr. Campbell. 
He was again absent, but by letter to Mr. Moore gave reasons for his 
absence, which were accepted by the Presbytery. In said letter he 
acknowledged the truth of the allegations against him — that he drank 
ale, and afterwards some brandy to correct the sickness arising from 
the use of the ale, and he was overcome. 

The Presbytery then adopted the following resolution : 



HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 145 

" Resolved, That the letter of Mr. Campbell be considered as an admis- 
sion on his part, of the truth of the charge, and an acknowledgment that 
he was intoxicated in Lewistown on the 14th of last August." 

A committee of five, three ministers and two elders, were appointed 
to prepare a minute expressive of the mind of Presbytery in this case, 
which brought in the following minute, which, after considerable dis- 
cussion, was adopted, viz : 

"Whereas, The Kev. B. H. Campbell has acknowledged the fact of 
his being intoxicated, and has expressed his regret and deep sorrow for his 
offence, which from all that Presbytery can learn, was not a repetition of 
an old offense, nor has been repeated since ; Presbytery sympathizing with 
Mr. C. in his bodily infirmity, and personal trials, would not harshly cen- 
sure him, nor confound his case with that of a common transgressor. 
Aware, however, that the cause of our Divine Redeemer is greatly in- 
terested in the faithful administration of discipline, which cannot allow us 
to exculpate even " a brother who has been overtaken with a fault," while 
we are far from being willing to justify unmerited public censure, we still 
feel constrained for the honor of our Master, and the peace and purity of 
the church, to pass the following judgment in this case, viz : That the Eev. 
B. H. Campbell be and hereby is censured as guilty of a serious misde- 
meanor ; that Mr. C. be informed by the Moderator of the Presbytery of 
this sentence, and that he shall notify Presbytery of his acquiescence in it. 
Presbytery would also affectionately advise Mr. Campbell, and admonish 
him totally to abstain from every portion of drinks which may intoxicate, 
lest having been once overcome he may again be seduced, and in all cases 
to use nothing even as a medicine (though recommended by members of 
the medical faculty) which may have a tendency to unhinge the mind, or 
prevent him from exercising that self-possession which is demanded of 
every minister of Jesus Christ." 

Mr. John C. Barr was received under the care of Presbytery, who 
was pursuing his studies at Tuscarora Academy with a view to the 
ministry, and recommended for aid to the Board of Education. The 
Synod having recommended that missionary meetings be held during 
the winter in the Presbyteries, and that the services of Eev. Henry 
E. Wilson, Jr., be procured at these meetings as far as practicable ; 
the Eev. Mr. Moore was appointed to correspond with Mr. Wilson 
and invite him to our bounds. Mr. Wilson was then an agent of the 
Board of Missions. 

The stated meeting of the Presbytery in April, 1847, was held at the 
East Kishacoquillas Church. Not much business out of ordinary 
routine of Presbyterial business demanded the attention of Presby- 
tery. Some changes only are to be recorded in regard to pastors, 

19 



146 HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 

churches, and licentiates. The Rev. George W. Thompson was re- 
ceived from the Presbytery of Northumberland, and a call was pre- 
sented for him from Lower Tuscarora congregation, put into his hands 
and accepted by him. The Rev. Messrs. Jardine and Allison were 
appointed to install him at a time to be agreed on among tliemselves. 

The pastoral relation between Rev. John White and the congrega- 
tion of Spruce Creek, was dissolved at his request. Upon which, the 
elder from that congregation requested that a committee might be 
appointed to visit that congregation, with a view of reconciling the 
difficulties in reference to church Psalmody. The request was granted, 
and Messrs. Linn and Gibson, ministers, and John Kerr, elder, were 
designated that committee. Mr. George Boal was afterwards sub- 
stituted for Mr. Kerr. In that church for some years there had been 
two parties in reference to Psalmody, and for some time nearly equally 
divided. The one party was for the exclusive use of Rouse's version of 
the Psalms in church services, and the other for the use of Watts' 
version of the Psalms, with hymns. We have no recollection of the 
particular proceedings of this committee at their meeting with the 
congregation, to effect a compromise between the parties, but we 
know that the end designed was not effected, for the same difficulties 
continued to exist till the congregation was divided, a few years after- 
wards into the 1st and 2d congregations of Spruce Creek. As has 
always been the result in similar cases, the congregation using Psalms 
and Hymns continued to increase, and the other to be gradually 
diminished by deaths and removals, till it became extinct. We sup- 
pose that the compromise proposed by the committee was to divide 
the time on the Sabbath between the use of Rouse's version and the 
Hymns. This proposition was rejected by the old side, no doubt from 
principle in the first place, and as among them were some very fore- 
seeing men, they knew that if they permitted the Hymns to be sung 
in the church at all, it would soon be as between Rouse and the 
Hymns, like the house of David and the house of Saul. 

Mr. John W. Hazlett, a licentiate, was dismissed to put himself 
under the care of the Presbytery of Beaver. And Mr. James Smith, 
also a licentiate of this Presbytery, was dismissed to place himself 
under the care of the Presbytery of Clarion. 

At a special or pro re nata meeting of the Presbytery held at Belle- 
fonte, July 7th, Rev. S. N. Howell was released from his pastoral 
relation to the churches of Clearfield .and Pike. The meeting of the 
Presbytery of Huntingdon, in October of this year, has on record but 



HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OP HUNTINGDON. 147 

few things that are of sujBScient general interest to record here. The 
chief business at this session of the Presbytery was of a local charac- 
ter, with the exception of a few items. The most important items of 
business were presented in the report of the committee appointed on 
the minutes of the preceding Greneral Assembly. A committee, as 
suggested by the Assembly, was appointed to have pastoral supervision 
of the candidates for the gospel ministry under the care of Presby- 
tery ; to report annually to the Presbytery. An item in the commit- 
tees report, respecting the demission of the ministerial office, was 
postponed till the next stated meeting. A committee of three was 
appointed on the subject of Parochial Schools, namely, Messrs. Moore, 
Woods and Hughes. 

The following minute was adopted in reference to the interests of 
the Board of Education : 

" Whereas, The Board of Education are unable to send an agent to 
visit the churches of this Presbytery the coming winter; And whereas^ Mr. 
Sterrett agrees to visit as a voluntary agent such of the churches as by 
their pastors shall express such a desire ; therefore, 

Resolved^ That this Presbytery cordially approve of the kind expression 
of Mr. Sterrett, and recommend to the churches the plan suggested." 

The church of Spruce Creek continued to be divided and agitated 
on the subject of Psalmody. The majority of the Session were in 
favor of the exclusive use of the old Psalms in the public worship ; 
and the majority of the private members of the church in favor of the 
use of Psalms and Hymns. Mr. Adam Rankin complained to Presby- 
tery against two resolutions passed by the majority of the Session on 
this subject. When the case came before Presbytery, the complaint 
of Mr. Rankin was sustained ; after which a committee was appoint- 
ed to confer with the parties, and draft a minute expressive of the 
sense of the Presbytery in reference to the whole case. This commit- 
tee reported the next day, as follows : 

" Your committee have had a free conversation with the representatives 
of parties in the congregation of Spruce Creek, and with a number of mem- 
bers of both sides of the question of Psalmody, and would recommend the 
adoption of the following resolutions : 

1st. Resolved, That in sustaining the complaint of Mr. Eankin, Presby- 
tery would cast no blame on the Session. 

2d. Resolved, That it is expedient to divide the congregation. 

3d. Resolved, That the majority at the late vote on the question of 
Psalmody are the congregation of Spruce Creek ; and that they be directed 
to meet on the 4th Saturday of October, and elect additional elders, if such 



148 HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTEKY OF HtlNTINGDON, 

addition shall be deemed necessary ; and that Mr. D. McKinney be ap- 
pointed to meet with them, and moderate the meeting, and ordain the new 
elders. 

4th. Resolved, That the new congregation shall be known as the 2d con- 
gregation of Spruce Creek, and that Mr. Moore be appointed to meet with 
them on the first Saturday in November, and attend to all duties needful to 
the future organization." 

The Rev. John Fleming was received from the Presbytery of Blairs- 
ville, to which Presbytery he had been dismissed with the usual testi- 
monials from this Presbytery, and therefore, on motion, the usual ex- 
amination on receiving new members was omitted. 

1848, APRIL MEETING, 

The stated Spring meeting of the Presbytery was held at Miffiin- 
town the second Tuesday of April. The first matter of record was 
the death of the Rev. William Stuart on the morning of the 30th of 
March proceeding, in the 89th year of his age. He had long been the 
oldest member of Presbytery. The history of the Presbytery duiing 
this year consists principally in the dissolution of pastoral relations, 
forming new ones, the reception of candidates, and records of death 
among the members. The pastoral relation of Rev. D. Sterrett to 
the congregation of Shaver's Creek was dissolved after a continuance 
of fourteen years with great success and acceptance. Messrs. Joseph 
P. Moore and Samuel J. Milliken were taken under care of the Pres- 
bytery as candidates for the ministry. The Rev. J. McKinnet gave 
notice of his desire to resign pastoral charge of the congregation of 
Alexandria. Spruce Creek 1st and Pine Grove congregations pre- 
sented calls for the pastoral services of Rev. Daniel L. Hughes of 
Little Valley. The General Assembly of 1847 sent down an overture 
to the Presbyteries, proposing to add a section to the 15th Chapter of 
the Form of Government, providing for the voluntary demission of 
the ministerial office. The matter being deferred at a previous meet- 
ing till this time, was taken under consideration, and the question 
being, Shall such a section be added ? was answered in the negative. 

An adjourned meeting of the Presbytery was held at Spruce Creek 
church on the 13th of June following. At that meeting the pastoral 
relation of the Rev. D. L. Hughes to Little Valley congregation was 
dissolved, and he permitted to accept the calls from Spruce Creek and 
Pine Grove congregations, over which he was installed. 

The application of Rev. J. McKinney for permission to resign the 
charge of Alexandria was granted, the congregation having made 



HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 149 

known their acquiescence in the case. Mr. James H. Orbison, a mem- 
ber of the church of Huntingdon, was received under the care of the 
Presbytery as a candidate for the gospel ministry. 

At the stated Fall meeting of this year, held at Waynesburg, Mifflin 
county, Mr. Thomas C. Porter, a licentiate of this Presbytery, re- 
quested and obtained a dismission, to put himself under the care of 
the German Reformed Classis of Lebanon. The Rev. John McKin- 
NEY was dismissed to the Presbytery of Maumee; and Rev. JaiMes 
Smith, who had been dismissed to the Presbytery of Clarion the year 
before, returned to Presbytery with suitable testimonials from the 
former Presbytery. The Rev. Alexander Boyd was received from the 
Presbytery of Erie, and calls were put into his hands from Fruit Hill 
and Mt. Pleasant congregations, which were accepted by him, and 
over which he was installed by committees of Presbytery. 

Mr. Richard Morrow, a member of the congregation of Upper Tus- 
carora, was taken under care of Presbytery as a candidate for the 
Gospel Ministry. 

At the first stated meeting of Presbytery in April, 1849, it was the 
mournful duty of the Presbytery to record the deaths of Rev. Messrs. 
John Loyd and B. H. Campbell. The former, a missionary to China, 
died December 6, 1848, and the latter December 31, same year. Suit- 
able notice of these brethren was taken by the Presbytery, which will 
be found in sketches of their lives hereafter to be given. 

The Rev. Messrs. Miles F. Merwin was received from the Pi-esby- 
tery of Erie, Richard Curran from the Presbytery of West Jersey, 
and Israel W. Ward from the Presbytery of New Lisbon. 

Mr. Gibson resigned as stated clerk of the Presbytery, and Rev. 
Robert Hamill was appointed in his place. 

Mr. Curran was called to Shaver's Creek, Mr. Ward to SjDruce 
Creek 2d, and Mr. James Smith to Little Valley ; and Mr. George 
Elliott, a licentiate of the' Presbytery of New Lisbon, was called to 
Alexandria. 

The Rev. Joshua Moore was appointed to prepare an obituary 
notice of Rev. B. H. Campbell ; and Dr. D. McKinnet of Rev. John 
Loyd, to be inserted in the Memoranda Book of Presbytery. At this 
time the first movement was made to have a cheap religious paper, by 
memorializing the General Assembly on the subject. 

Mr. Joseph L. Lower was taken under the care of Presbytery as a 
candidate for the ministry. It was resolved to hold an adjourned 
meeting of the Presbytery at Alexandria on the 4th Tuesday of June. 



150 HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HCJNTINGDON. 

At this meeting Mr. George Elliott, a licentiate of the Presbytery 
of New Lisbon, who had been called to Alexandria, was received, or- 
dained and installed. 

The Rev. P. Hassinger resigned at this meeting his pastoral charges 
of Waynesburg and Newton Hamilton. And Mr. Nourse gave notice 
of his desire to resign the charge of Perryville congregation. Mr. 
Merwin was called to Clearfield for half his time, and arrangements 
made for his installation. Mr. Samuel T. Wilson, a member of the 
congregation of Hollidaysburg, was taken under the care of Presby- 
tery, as a candidate for the ministry. 

Mr. Nourse's pastoral relation to the church of Perryville, was dis- 
solved October 2d, he having given previous notice to the Presbytery 
of his design, and the congregation acquiescing in his desire. 

Mr, Sterrett received a call to the united congregations of Waynes- 
burg and Newton Hamilton, which he accepted, and committees were 
appointed to install him on the 3d Friday of January next, which 
was attended to at the time appointed, at Newton Hamilton; and at 
Waynesburg on the 4th Friday of same month. 

The Rev. George Gray, by letter, asked leave to resign the charge 
of Upper Tuscarora congregation on account of ill health, and the 
congregation was cited to answer. 

Mr. Silas Hazlett, a member of the church of Canonsburg, on 
application, was received under the care of Presbytery, after the 
usual examination, as a candidate for the ministry. 

The committee previously apj^ointed on the minutes of the General 
Assembly reported, directing the attention of the Presbytery to 
several items of important business, viz : The subject of Church 
Music; and in regard to the posture of the congregation in public 
prayer. The following resolution passed by the General Assembly of 
1 849, will be found on the 255 page of their minutes : 

"Therefore, this General Assembly Resolve, that the practice in ques- 
tion (sitting in prayer) be considered greviously improper, whenever the 
infirmities of the worshipper do not render it necessary, and that ministers 
be required to reprove it, with earnest and persevering admonition." 

This action of the General Assembly was in answer to an overture 
from the Presbytery of Philadelphia, asking the Assembly to adopt 
measures for arresting or abating the growing evil of sitting in public 
prayer. 

The committee of the Presbytery Avere specially directed to report 
on the action of the General Assembly in regard to a fund for the 



HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 151 

support of aged and infirm ministers, and the widows and orphans of 
deceased ministers. On this subject the Presbytery passed the fol- 
lowing resolution : 

" That it be enjoined on each of our congregations to make a collection 
annually, according to the resolution of the Assembly, p. 267 of the 
Minutes." 

A treasurer was specially appointed for this fund by the Presbytery, 
to whom all contributions were to be sent, and Dr. McKinney was 
appointed the treasurer. The celebrated Rev. William L. McCalla 
was present, as a corresponding member, at this meeting of the Pres- 
bytery. At this time he was the stated supply of the church of 
Bedford. A man of some eccentricities, but uncommon genius, 
power, and piety. Those who knew him best, loved and admired him 
most. A noble champion for the truth. 

The April meeting of the Presbytery of 1850 was held at Hollidays- 
burg. The Rev. Louis W. Williams was received from the Presbytery 
of Erie. The Rev. Joseph Smith, D. D., of the Presbytery of Balti- 
more, was present as an agent of the Board of Missions, and at an 
appointed time addressed the Presbytery on the subject, and as he 
proposed personally to visit the churches in reference to his object, a 
committee wa's raised to designate a plan of visitation among the 
churches. The Rev. Dr. Smith died only two or three years ago at 
Greensburg, Westmoreland county. Pa., the place of his last pastoral 
charge. He wrote several histories of portions of the Presbyterian 
Church — particularly of "Old Redstone." He was an eloquent 
preacher, a man of sterling worth and of much popularity. He was a 
son of one of the first Presbyterian ministers who settled west of the 
Allegheny mountains. Just at this time there were several ministers 
in the Presbytery without charges, but who were travelling without 
the bounds of Presbytery in view of settlements. Notice is taken in 
the minutes of letters received from each of these brethren, giving 
an account of themselves and their labors. This fact is noted with a 
design to show how careful these brethren were to observe Presbyterial 
order in recognizing their subjection to their brethren in the Lord, 
and as an example to those who may come after. These brethren 
were Rev. Messrs. Nourse, White and Hassinger. Mr. White was 
at the same time dismissed, at his request, to the Presbytery of 
Baltimore, within the bounds of which he expected to be settled. 

Rev. William Adam, a minister of the Presbytery, and who through 
bodily infirmity was unable to perform pastoral duties, and was known 



152 HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OP HUNTINGDON. 

to be permanently settled as a bookseller within the bounds of the 
Presbytery of Baltimore, was advised to take a dismission and con- 
nect himself with said Presbytery, according to order of the Greneral 
Assembly that ministers should connect themselves to the Presby- 
teries within the bounds of which they permanently resided. 

Mr. Silas Hazlett requested Presbytery to assign him pieces of 
trial, and then dismiss him to the care of the Presbytery of Beaver as 
a candidate for the gospel ministry. Which requests were granted. 

The Rev. John Peebles, pastor of the church of Huntingdon, re- 
quested that his pastoral relation should be dissolved. The represen- 
tative of the church in Presbytery having stated that the congregation 
were duly notified of Mr. Peebles' purpose, and consented to his 
request ; the pastoral relation was dissolved. 

A call was at the this time presented to Presbytery from the con- 
gregation of Perryville, Mifllin county, for the pastoral services of the 
Rev. Samuel Lawrence, of the Presbytery of "West Jersey, which 
being found in order, was retained in the hands of Presbytery till Mr. 
L. should obtain his dismission from said Presbytery, to connect him- 
self with this Presbytery. 

The Rev. Wm. M. Hall forwarded to tlie Presbytery a certificate of 
his standing and dismission from the Presbytery of Carlisle, accom- 
panied with a letter, which he requested might be spread upon the 
minutes. After some consideration on the part of the Presbytery, 
the Rev. James S. Woods and Dr. Sajiuel McClay were appointed a 
committee to draft a minute on the application of Mr. Hall. The 
committee in due time made the following report, which was accept- 
ed and adopted, viz : 

" The Rev. Mr. Hall being unable, from a recent injury, to be personal- 
ly present with us, and having applied by letter to be received into this 
Presbytery, and having forwarded to this body the certificate of his dis- 
mission from the Presbytery of Carlisle ; therefore, 

Resolved, 1st. That the Rev. W. M. Hall be received as a member of 
this Presbytery without the usual examination, he having formerly been a 
member of this body, and that his letter, together with the notice accom- 
panying it, be spread upon our minutes. 

Resolved, 2d. That Presbytery tender to brother H. their deepest and 
cordial sympathy in the afflictive dispensations of divine providence which 
have obliged him to retire from the active duties of the ministry ; and they 
entirely approve of his course in pursuing that path of usefulness to which 
he has been directed in the providence of God, and their sincere desire for 



HISTORY OF THE PKESBYTEEY OF HUNTINGDON. 153 

his speedy restoration to that state of health and vigor to which he has so 
long been a stranger." 

At the meeting of the Presbytery in April, 1845, a young man, S. E. 
Barton, was taken under the care of the Presbytery, and recommend- 
ed for aid to the Board of Education. In October, 1845, the treasurer 
of Presbytery was directed to pay $18.75 from the moneys in his hands 
for the Board of Education. At the meeting of the Presbytery in 
April, 1850, the following record was made : " Mr. Barton, a candidate 
under our care, having intimated it as his wish, his name was with- 
drawn from the list of beneficiaries held by the committee of pastoral 
supervision." If henceforth Mr. B. intended to depend upon his own 
means for the finishing his preparation for the ministry, his example 
is commended to the imitation of others in like circumstances, that is, 
who can fall back on their private resources. 

The following resolutions were adopted in reference to the death of 
the Rev. Samuel Miller, D, D., late Professor of Ecclesiastical History 
and Church Government in the Theological Seminary at Princeton : 

" "Whereas, it has pleased Divine Providfence to remove from his post of 
eminent usefulness the Eev. Samuel Miller, D. D., we, in common with 
the Presbyterian Church at large, experience a great, perhaps an irrepara- 
ble loss ; and in this event we deem it proper to take the opportunity to 
express our sincere and deep regard for the memory of that venerable ser- 
vant of God and of the Church of Christ, who for so many years occupied 
the eminent station of a teacher in our oldest school of the prophets. 

It was the privilege of the most of us to sit for years at the feet of this 
distinguished father in the Church, and from him to receive our first lessons 
in Church History, and Church Government, and his counsels, discourses 
and care. His example and influence, and eminent usefulness, embalm his 
name in our hearts." 

An adjourned meeting of the Presbytery was held at Huntingdon 
on the 2d Tuesday of June following the stated Spring meeting in 
April. The principal object of the meeting was to license and ordain, 
as an Evangelist, Mr. James H. Orbison, if the way should be clear, in 
view of his going as a missionary to a foreign field. Mr. Orbison was 
accordingly licensed and ordained, having passed through all parts 
of trial to the satisfaction of Presbytery. In those services the Rev. 
Daniel L. Hughes preached the sermon; Rev. James Linn, D. D., 
presided, proposed the constitutional questions, and made the ordain- 
ing prayer ; and Dr. McKinney gave the charge to the newly ordain- 
ed Evangelist. 

20 



154 HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 

The following question was submitted to Presbytery for their decis- 
ion, viz : " Can a church member, consistently with his or her profes- 
sion, travel in the cars of the Pennsylvania Railroad (or any railroad), 
to and from the house of God on the Sabbath day?" After some dis- 
cussion Messrs. Gibson, Thompson, ministers, and Mr. John Porter, 
elder, were appointed a committee to draft an answer to the question ; 
and they were required to report the following morning. 

The committee reported the next morning, and their report was 
accepted and adopted, and is as follows : 

" No member of the Chlirch can consistently travel on the Pennsylvania 
Eailroad on the Sabbath day for any purposes but those of necessity and 
mercy. He protests against the ordinary use of the road as a desecration of 
the day, and he cannot employ it even as a means of conveyance to and 
from the house of God without nullifying his testimony, and giving coun- 
tenance to the whole system of Sabbath desecration, as determined upon by 
a majority of its stockholders. The fact that it is a great convenience, and 
that otherwise a church member would be put to much inconvenience in 
going to and returning from the place of public worship, is no sufficient 
justification, unless the commLiindments of God are only to be observed 
when it suits our convenience, and we are under no obligation to practice 
self-denial in keeping God's commandments. The goodness of the object 
aimed at will not justify the means employed to arrive at it. This is a 
popish doctrine long since exploded among protestants. The end does not 
justify the m^ans. Neither will the plea of its being otherwise impractica- 
ble for a Church member to get to the place of public worship be a suffi- 
cient justification. If the performance of a duty becomes a natural impos- 
sibility, without being guilty of a moral evil, then it is no longer a duty, 
and God will accept the will for the deed. It is recommended to the 
pastors of churches, especially those along the line of the railroad, to warn 
their church members against the temptation to violate the Sabbath day, by 
travelling on the road on that day, for any distances or purposes, but those 
already excepted." 

It was ordered that this report should be published in The Presby- 
terian and Preshyterian Advocate. 

The latter half of the Ecclesiastical year of 1850 affords little mat- 
ter for record beyond the ordinary and usual Presbyterial business. 
Some names were added to the roll of Presbytery, and some members 
were dismissed. The Rev. Lowman P. Hawes was received from the 
Presbytery of Ohio, and installed j^astor of the church at Hunting- 
don. The church of Pike, Clearfield county, requested and obtained 
leave to change its name to Curwinsville. The Rev. James H. Orbison, 
by request, was dismissed to one of the Presbyteries in Northern 



HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 155 

India. Mr. Isaac Stine, a member of the church of Little Augwick, 
was received under the care of Presbytery as a candidate for the min- 
istry, and reoommended to the Board of Education for aid in pursuing 
his studies. The case of a portion of the Session of a church shutting 
the door of the church against their stated supply, was reported to 
Presbytery, of which act the Presbytery highly disapproved, and ex- 
jDressed their disapprobation in a formal resolution. 

An adjourned meeting was held during the sessions of the Synod at 
Cai'lisle, October the 21st. At this meeting the Rev. Peter Hassinger 
was dismissed to the Presbytery of Redstone, and the Rev. James J. 
Hamilton received from the Presbytery of Northumberland, and a 
call which had been at a previous meeting presented for him from the 
congregation of Curwinsville, put into his hands, accepted by him, 
and arrangements made for his installation. So closes the history of 
the Presbytery for the year 1850. 

The stated Spring meeting of the Presbytery of the year 1851 was 
held at Bellefonte. There were some changes made as to the mem- 
bers of the Presbytery at this time. The Rev. John Fleming was 
dismissed to the Presbytery of Peoria, and the Rev. William Adam to 
the Presbytery of Baltimore. 

Mr. Thomas Ward, a licentiate of the Presbytery of New Lisbon, 
having been permitted to labor within the bounds of Presbytery, in 
view of much unoccupied missionary ground within our limits. Pres- 
bytery resolved to petition the Board of Missions to appoint him a 
missionary and Colporteur to labor for six months under the direction 
of Presbytery, and appropriate towards his support $75 for said period. 
And in case of his declining this service, then that the Board appoint 
some-suitable person for the field. About this time was much agitated 
the building of a National Presbyterian Church at the City of Wash- 
ington. The Presbytery favored the project, and recommended the 
object to the liberality of the congregations. 

An adjourned meeting of the Presbytery was held at Lewistown, on 
the 4th Tuesday of June following the stated meeting, when Mr. J. 
Patterson Deyor was taken under the care of Presbytery as a candi- 
date for the ministry, and recommended to the Board of Education 
for aid. The Rev. William M. Hall was dismissed to the Presby- 
tery of Carlisle, and Mr. Samuel T. Wilson, a candidate under the 
care of Presbytery, licensed to preach the gospel. 

At the stated meeting of the Presbytery in October it became the 
painful duty of the Presbytery to record the deaths of the Rev. 



156 HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 

Messrs. William M. Hall and James Y. McGinnis. The former died 
on the 28th, and the latter on the 31st of August preceding. Suitable 
resolutions were passed by the Presbytery, expressive of the sense of 
Presbytery of the loss they had sustained, and the Church's loss in 
the death of those excellent brethren, and the Eev. Messrs. Moore 
and Sterrett were appointed to prepare obituary notices of these 
brethren. 

The Rev. L. W. Williams was dismissed to the Presbytery of 
Carlisle, being called to the pastoral charge of two or three united 
churches within the bounds of said Presbytery. The Rev. John Mc- 
KiNNEY, formerly a member of this Presbytery, and former pastor of 
the church of Alexandria, was received from the Presbytery of 
Sydney. So strictly was the rule of Presbytery observed, namely : 
to examine all ministers coming from other Presbyteries, before re- 
ceiving them, that it was not dispensed with even in the case of Mr. 
McKinney, who was so well known, having been the pastor of one of 
our churches for several years, and about whose soundness in the faith 
no one entertained a doubt. 

Mr. Hamilton reported at this time the organization of a church at 
Philipsburg, Centre county, according to an appointment of Presby- 
tery ; and Mr. Merwin reported the organization of a church at 
Cooper's settlement, Morris township, Clearfield county. By petition 
of several members of a brancli of the Huntingdon congregation, re- 
siding in the vicinity of Union School House, a church was organized, 
called the Church of Unity. 

During the year 1852 a few changes occured in regard to the mem- 
bers of Presbytery, but scarcely any business was transacted but such 
as was customary at every "meeting. The organization of a church at 
Snow Shoe, Centre county, was authorized, and Mr. Linn was appoint- 
ed to this service. The Rev. Samuel M. Cooper resigned the charge 
of the congregation of Lick Run ; and a call was presented from said 
congregation for the pastoral services of Rev. Wm. J. Gibson of Wil- 
liamsburg and Sinking Valley. The *Rev. John Peebles, late pastor 
of the church of Huntingdon, was dismissed to the Presbytery of 
Washington. The Rev. Wm. L. Garthwait was received from the 
Presbytery of Elizabethtown. 

The Rev. Anderson B. Quay, an agent of the Pennsylvania Coloni- 
zation Society, being present, addressed the Presbytery on the sub- 
ject of colonization, when the following paper was offered by Dr. 
McKinney, and passed, viz : 



HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 157 

" The colonization of the free blacks on the western coast of Africa has 
been proved, by experience, to be a wise and benificent scheme. Of its wis- 
dom and excellence, the flourishing Republic of Liberia presents the most 
incontestable evidence. The young Eepublic is fast assuming the propor- 
tions and vigor of maturitj'^, and has become an object of the deepest 
interest to the statesman and the Christian. The question of the capacity 
of the black race, and their capability for self-government, is being satis- 
factorily solved. The emigration from the United States flows on in one 
continual stream ; yet there are hundreds, yea thousands who, from want of 
means, are forced to an unwilling residence among us, as a contemned and 
despised race. There it is the object of the American Colonization Society 
to remove, yet their present funds are wholly inadequate to the work ; 
therefore, 

Resolved, 1st. That it be earnestly recommended to each of the Sessions 
under the care of this Presbytery to take up a contribution for the Pennsyl- 
vania Colonization Society on the 4th of July, or whenever during the year 
it may be deemed most expedient. 

Resolved, 2d. That the Rev. A. B. Quay, agent, be recommended to the 
confidence and co-operation of the churches." 

The last half of this year presents as few facts in' the proceedings of 
Presbytery for public record as the former part of the year. With 
scarcely any matters beyond the usual items of presbyterial business, 
the ordinary time was occupied by Presbytery. The whole year 
might have been passed over without any notice, only for recording 
the names added to the roll of Presbytery, and noticing the fact of 
the time and circumstances of the changes and dismission of others, 
to which it may be desirable hereafter to make reference. 

At the stated meeting in October the Rev. James Campbell was re- 
ceived from the Presbyterv of Hocking, and the Rev. Joseph B. 
Adams from the Presbytery of Tuscaloosa, who was orignally a licen- 
tiate of this Presbytery. 

Mr. A. Miller Woods, the fourth son of the Rev. Dr. James S. 
Woods of Lewistown, was received under the care of Presbytery, as a 
candidate for the ministry, and assigned pieces of trial. At the 
request of a number of the members of the church of Hollidaysburg 
living in Altoona and its vicinity, a committee of Presbytery was ap- 
pointed to organize a Presbyterian church in that place. Such has 
been the rapid growth of that town, that it has risen to the propor- 
tions of a city, and actually obtained the chartered name, and is now 
known as the City of Altoona. There are at this time two flourishing 
Presbyterian churches there. 



158 HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 

Kev. David McKinneit, D. D., requested and obtained a dissolution 
of his pastoral relation to the church of Hollidaysburg, he having 
become editor and proprietor of the Presbyterian Banner, a paper latelj' 
established in Philadelphia, chiefly through his influence. The follow- 
ing resolution was offered by Rev. James Linn of Bellefonte, in refer- 
ence to this enterprise : 

" As our brother, David McKinney', D. D., has embarked in the weekly 
publication of a Presbyterian newspaper, at a very cheap rate ; 

Resolved, Therefore, that Presbytery approve of Dr. McKinney''s enter- 
prise, and recommend to our ministers, and elders and members of the 
church to sustain him as far as they may think practicable." 

The Rev. John Elliott, a licentiate' of the Presbytery of New 
Lisbon, was called to the pastoral charge of the Presbyterian church 
at Williamsburg, and at the adjourned meeting, held at Williamsburg 
in November following, he was received under care of Presbytery, or- 
dained and installed pastor of said church. 

Mr. William Alexander, a member of the church of Shirleysburg, 
was after usual exa«nination, received under the care of Presbytery as 
a student for the ministry, and recommended to the Board of Educa- 
tion. At the adjourned meeting held at Williamsburg, November 1, 
Dr. McKinney was, at his own request, dismissed to the Presbytery of 
Philadelphia. 

At the stated meeting in April, 1853, a call was laid before Presby- 
tery by the church of Hollidaysburg, for the Rev. D. X. Junkin of the 
Presbytery of Baltimore, and liberty granted to the congregation to 
prosecute it before said Presbytery. At tha same meeting calls were 
presented from the congregations of Little Augwick and LTpper Tus- 
carora for the pastoral services of the Rev. William S. Morrison of 
the Presbytery of Northumberland. At the adjourned meeting in 
June following, these calls were accepted by him, and in due time he 
was installed over said congregations, giving half of his time to each. 

The following minute is found upon the records of the Presbytery 
in relation to Mr. Foote, a candidate for the ministry received under 
the care of Presbytery, and recommended to the Board of Education 
some years previously ; it is copied here as an honorable example, 
worthy of being followed in similar circumstances, and if more gene- 
rally imitated, would relieve the Board from much of the secret pre- 
judice against it : 

"Mr. FooTE, a candidate for the gospel ministry, asked leave to with- 
draw from under the care of the Presbytery, on account of the failure of 



HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 159 

his health. His request was granted, and he was allowed to refund the 
moneys advanced by the Board of Education to him through the treasurer 
of this Presbytery, which he accordingly did.'" 

We do not say that this is an exception to the general rule, but it is 
the only instance of moneys returned upon giving up studies in pre- 
paration for the ministry, which we have so far met with. We do not 
know what became of Mr. F. after this time, or whether living or not, 
but if deceased, we would engrave upon his tombstone these words, 
'^^ Which he accordingly did,^^ in honorable memorial of him. 

The pastoral relation of the Rev. Miles T. Merwin to the congrega- 
tion of Clearfield was dissolved at this time, at his request, and with 
consent of the congregation. A call was presented from Altoona con- 
gregation for Eev. Daniel L. Hughes for two thirds of his time. This 
call was afterwards declined by Mr. Hughes. 

Mr. Robert F. Wilson, a member of the church of West Kishaco- 
quillas, and a student of theology in the Seminary at Allegheny, was 
taken under care of the Presbytery, and pieces of trial were assigned 
him in view of licensure in due time. • 

At the adjourned meeting in June, the call which had been laid be- 
fore Presbytery from the church of Hollidaysburg for Rev. D. X. 
JuNKiN, D. D., having been declined by him, the congregation now 
laid before Presbytery a call for the Rev. Robert .J«hnston, of the 
Presbytery of Carlisle, asking liberty to prosecute it. Rev. Israel 
Ward resigned the charge of Spruce Creek 2d church, with consent 
of the congregation, Rev. James Nourse was dismissed to the Presby- 
tery of Baltimore, and Rev. John Peebles returned the certificate of 
dismission, obtained at a former meeting, with a view to connect him- 
self with the Presbytery of Washington, and was dismissed to the 
Presbj'tery of Green Briar. 

The churches of Pine Grove and Sinking Valley, each presented a 
call for Rev. D. L. Hughes for one-half of his time as pastor of Spruce 
Creek 1st church, in connection with Pine Grove for one-third of his 
time. The call to Sinking Valley for the one-half of his time induced 
the congregation of Pine Grove to endeavor to take the one-half in- 
stead of the one-third. At the stated meeting in the Fall the matter 
between these several parties was decided by Mr. H. accepting the 
call for half his time from Sinking Valley, and to enable him to do so 
Presbytery dissolved his relation to Pine Grove congregation. 

The call which had been presented by the congregation of Holli- 
daysburg, for the Rev. John Johnston of Carlisle Presbytery, was 



160 HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 

declined by him, and at the stated meeting in the Fall the call to Dr. 
JuNKiN was renewed, and accepted by him at an adjourned meeting 
held during the meeting of the Synod in Philadelphia in the latter 
part of October, and he was installed in due time as pastor of the 
church by a committee of Presbytery. 

The Eev. John McKinney laboring without the bounds of Presby- 
tery since the time of his resignation of the congregation of Alexan- 
dria, requested, by letter, a certificate of dismission to the Presbytery 
of Chicago, and was accordingly dismissed at this time to said Pres- 
bytery. 

The Rev. Samuel M. Cooper was called to the congregation of Clear- 
field for three-fourths of his time ; this call was accepted by him after 
consideration, and arrangements made for the employment of the 
remaining part of his time. 

The Rev. Alexander Boyd resigned charge of the congregation of 
Mt. Pleasant, and was dismissed to the Presbytery of Cedar, Iowa. 

Thus far we have noticed the several changes which took place in 
the Presbytery during the year 1853. It only remains to note two 
other matters of business of some importance. A communication 
was received from the Board of Foreign Missions, the purport of 
which will be ^understood by the following action of Presbytery in 
reference to it, viz : 

" The Rev. Messrs. Hamill, Sterrett, Hamilton and Hughes were 
appointed a committee to visit the churches, and exchange pulpits with any 
of the pastors who might desire the subject of Foreign Missions to be spe- 
cially presented to their people. It was further resolved, in view of the 
great need of increased effort for the conversion of the world, and the in- 
creased liabilities of our Boards of Foreign and Domestic Missions from 
year to year ; and in view of the fact that our vacant congregations are not 
in the habit generally of making any contributions to either one of them, 
that the committee on supplies be directed to appoint one supply to present 
the cause of Domestic Missions, and one to present the cause of Foreign 
Missions to the vacant churches within our bounds, once each year, and to 
take all proper measures to encourage subscriptions and collections among 
them." 

The Presbytery has always been among the foremost in the advo- 
cacy of temperance, since the beginning of the "reformation on that 
subject. Perhaps no Presbytery had suffered more from the common 
and habitual use of intoxicating drinks — especially in the early his- 
tory of the Presbytery — and none less for the last thirty years. The 



HISTORY OP THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 161 

following action was had on the subject at the stated meeting in 
October, 1853 : 

"Whereas, the evils of intemperance, arising from the manufacture, sale 
and use of ardent spirits as a drink, in the effects which are consequent on 
families and individuals, are most disastrous in a moral and religious point 
of view ; and whereas, efforts have been made with success in some places, 
to have the traffic prevented by State legislation ; and whereas, there are 
now strenuous efforts made in this State to have such a law passed as will be 
similar in its operation to that which is known as the 'Maine Liquor Law / 
therefore, 

Resolved, That in the mind of this Presbytery, such an effort is well de- 
signed, and deserves the hearty concurrence and warm support of all the 
friends of humanity and religion in our bounds." 

As the years advance the business of the Presbytery multiplies with 
the increase of the churches, and the number of ministers and licen- 
tiates, and candidates for the ministry. The annual enlargement of 
the churches generally under the supervision of the General Assem- 
bly, multiplies the business of the several Presbyteries at their semi- 
annual and intermediate meetings. During the year 1854 more 
business was transacted, or occupied the time and attention of the 
Presbytery of Huntingdon, than any former year, and yet mostljr of 
the ordinary kind. 

Ordinarily the stated meetings of the Presbytery continued only 
two days, seldom reaching into the third day, but this year three full 
days, at the Spring and Fall meetings each, were occupied with the 
business of Presbytery, leaving an unusual amount of business to be 
transacted at the adjourned meeting in June. The business of the 
Presbytery commenced with the commencement of the year. A pro 
re nata meeting was held in January for the purpose of releasing the 
Eev. LowMAN P. Ha WES from the charge of the Presbyterian Church 
of Huntingdon, who, on account of declining health, purposed travel- 
ing for a time in foreign lands. At the stated meeting in April, the 
Rev. O. 0. McClean of the Presbytery of Carlisle, was called to the 
pastoral charge of the church just vacated by Mr, Hawes, and at the 
adjourned meeting in June he was received on certificate from said 
Presbytery, and installed pastor of the church of Huntingdon. Some 
difficulties with regard to the boundary line between the churches of 
Alexandria and Shaver's Creek having arisen, the subject was referred 
to Presbytery. The question was settled for the time being, by the 
Presbytery ordering that the pastor of Shaver's Creek should not 
preach nearer to Alexandria church than five miles, unless by invita- 

21 



162 HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 

tion of the pastor or session of said church ; and the pastor of Alexan- 
dria should not preach nearer to Shaver's Creek church at Manor 
Hill, than seven miles, unless invited by the pastor or session of the 
aboved named church. Tliis action led in part to the resignation of 
Kev. Richard Curran of the pastoral charge of the congregation of 
Shaver's Creek ; at least this was one of the reasons assigned by Mr. 
Curran for asking leave to resign the charge, at the next stated meet- 
fhg. In granting his request the Presbytery passed the following 
resolution : . ' 

" Ist. That they cannot approve the principal reason assigned by Mr. 
Curran, viz : that he felt aggrieved by the action of Presbytery at its last 
meeting, and that said action limited his sphere of usefulness. For the 
Presbytery are of the opinion that the said action was lawful, and adopted 
with a view to the best interests of the cause of Christ in that region. 

2d. Presbytery cannot approve of the custom of ministers and congrega- 
tions making all their arrangements for a separation and dissolution of the 
pastoral relation, and entering into other engagements which create a 
necessity for such a dissolution, previous to bringing the case before Presby- 
tery. Our Form of Government confers upon Presbytery the power of 
constituting and dissolving the pastoral relation, and we deem it improper 
that cases of this kind should be decided and settled in advance of the 
judgment of Presbytery. 

3d. We recommend to pastors and churches in connection with this Pres- 
bytery, to observe the process prescribed in Chapter XVII of the Form of 
Government." 

The Rev. William Chester, D. D., secretai*y of the Board of Educa- 
tion, being present, addressed the Presbytery on the subject of the 
education of young men for the ministry, and the wants of the Board. 
After which, the Rev. Mr. Linn was appointed to bring in a minute 
expressive of the views of the Presbytery upon the subject. Dr. Linn 
reported the next day in a series of resolutions to the following im- 
port : 

" 1st. Recognizing the moral and spiritual destitutions of the world; 

2d. The lack of young men oifering themselves for the gospel ministry ; 

3d. The increasing population of the country calling loudly on the 
churches for more liberal contributions in aid of the Board ; 

4th. The duty of professing parents to give prayerful attention to the 
religious instruction of their children, that their minds may be impressed 
with a sense of the duties that devolve upon them from their baptism." 

In this connection Messrs. Junkin and Peebles, ministers, and J. 
B. Riddle, elder, were appointed a committee to memorialize the 
General Assembly to authorize the Board of Education to increase the 



HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 163 

yearly allowance for the support of candidates for the ministry. This 
committee reported a memorial, setting forth several good and suffi- 
cient reasons why there should be an increased amount appropriated 
for the support of the beneficiaries, such as " the insufficiency of the 
amount then given to students in colleges and academies, being only 
$75. Other discouragements to try the zeal and constancy of young 
men, without the spirit, wearing struggle with pecuniary difficulties ; 
a liberal system would not only call forth more men, but secure the 
blessing of the Master, and call forth more means from the churches." 

A communication from the Presbytery of Baltimore, proposing a 
definite plan for a division of the Synod, was considered by the Pres- 
bytery at its meeting in the Spring of this year, and the plan decided- 
ly disapproved of; and further, the Commissioners to the General 
Assembly instructed to oppose any division of the Synod. However, 
the General Assembly did divide the Synod, against which division 
the Presbytery entered their dissent or protest, giving reasons there- 
for in a series of resolutions prepared by a committee. Nevertheless 
the division took effect, and the two Synods continued as divided till 
the reunion of the Old and New School. 

The following accessions to the roll of Presbytery and other changes 
took place during this year. The Rev. Thomas Stevenson was receiv- 
ed from the Presbytery of Ohio, and installed pastor of the churches 
of Spruce Creek 2d and Pine Grove. The Rev. John Peebles return- 
ed the certificate of dismission which he had received to the Presby- 
tery of Green Briar the previous year, and was again enrolled as a 
member of Presbytery. The Rev. A. B. Clark was received from the 
Presbytery of Blairsville, and installed pastor of the Presbyterian 
Church in Altoona. The Rev. S. H. McDonald resigned the pastoral 
charge of the church of West Kishacoquillas. A church was organi- 
zed out of parts of the church of Alexandria and Shaver's Creek, 
called the Cottage Church. 

The following candidates for the ministry were received under the 
care of Presbytery, namely, Messrs. Samuel T. Thompson, a member 
of the Perryville church, (the name of said church having at this time 
been changed to Milroy to distinguish it from another place of the 
same name,) Joseph H. Barnard, D. J. Beale, John D. Brown and 
George Fife. 

Mr. Thomas Ward was received as a licentiate from the Presbytery 
of New Lisbon, and Messrs. Richard H. Morrow, Robert T. Wilson 
and Joseph H. Mathers were licensed to preach the gospel, at the ad- 



164 HISTORY OP THE PEESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 

journed meeting in June. At the stated meeting in October, Mr. 
Samuel T. Thompson was licensed to preach. 

The first public movement was made in Presbytery near the close of 
this ecclesiastical year, to secure parsonages in the churches for their 
pastors. Eev. Dr. D. X. Junkin, and Joseph Smith, elder of Holli- 
daysburg Church, were appointed a committee to report on the sub- 
ject to the next stated meeting. 

This year is marked by the lamented death of two of the most 
amiable and excellent members of the Presbytery, the Rev. Joshua 
Moore, pastor of the church of East Kishacoquillas, and Rev. John 
Peebles, late pastor of the church of Huntingdon. Mr. Moore died 
on the 15th of April, and Mr. Peebles on the 11th of August fol- 
lowing. 

The Rev. Messrs. Junkin and Linn were appointed a committee to 
prepare a minute on the death of Mr. Moore, who reported the fol- 
lowing, which was unanimously adopted, viz : 

"The Presbytery having learned with profound regret of the death of 
our beloved brother in the ministry, the Rev. Joshua Moore, late pastor 
of the congregation of East Kishacoquillas, it was ordered that this minute 
be adopted in reference to his lamented departure. Our brother was pre- 
sented from attending the last stated meeting by the illness which resulted 
in his death, but at that time we little apprehended that our Presbytery 
and his congregation would be so suddenly bereaved, yet after an illness of 
less than a week he tell asleep in Jesus on the 15th day of April, 1854. In 
recording the death of this excellent brother, this Presbytery bear testi- 
mony to his worth as a man of God, and a learned, faithful, and devoted 
minister of Christ. His lovely and beloved memory shall long live 
amongst us. His meekness, his urbanity, his brotherly kindness, his con- 
sistent piety, his love for souls and his zeal for the glory of the Master, 
were such as to endear him to this Presbytery, and to the people of God; 
and whilst these assure us of the peace and triumph of his death, they en- 
hance our sense of the bereavement we have sustained. His family and his 
congergation are assured of the tenderest condolence of this Presbytery, 
and whilst we mourn his departure, we ought to be admonished by it to be 
also ready. 'With us his name shall live through long succeeding years, 
embalmed with all our hearts can give, fond memories and tears.' " 

The Rev. Oliver 0. McClean was ai3pointed to prepare an obituary 
notice, and bring in a minute on the death of Rev. John Peebles. 
Mr. McClean presented the following, which was also heartily adopted 
by Presbytery, viz : 

" In recording the death of this excellent brother. Presbytery would ex- 
press its sense of great loss. The departure of a minister is always a sad 



HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTEEY OF HUNTINGDON. 165 

bereavement, but the decease of such a man as he was, whose loss we now 
mourn, is indeed a special calamity. We miss his wisdom and discretion in 
our counsels, and his agreeable intercourse in private. But the church of 
Christ particularly feels the stroke of the affliction. For nearly a quarter 
of a century he labored for her prosperity. And the fact of his long settle- 
ment in an important iield, attests the fidelity with which he discharged 
his duties, whilst the reluctance with which his people agreed to a separa- 
tion, indicates their high satisfaction with his ministry. Thankful that God 
permitted us to enjoy his presence so long, and recollecting with great 
pleasure the Christian graces that adorned his character, (especially those 
of humility, meekness and fraternal kindness,) and how well in every walk 
in life he illustrated by holy living, the gospel he preached, the Presbytery 
rejoice in the confident hope that he has gone by the door of Christ's blood 
to the rest of the people of God." 

The brethren who prepared the above obituary notices of the be- 
loved Moore and Peebles, were warm hearted men, capable of appre- 
ciating the Christian and ministerial excellencies of the beloved dead, 
yet not one word in all that they have expressed, but is literally true 
without the slightest exaggeration. 

At the stated meeting of the Presbytery, April 10, 1855, the Eev. 
Miles T. Merwin was dismissed to the Presbytery of New Brunswick, 
and Rev. Messrs. F. A. Pratt was received from the Presbytery of 
Dane, and George W. Shaeffer from the Presbytery of Allegheny. 
The latter was called to the congregation of Shirleysburg for one-half 
of his time, and the call being accepted, Messrs, Elliott, Morrison 
and Sterrett were appointed a committee of installation at a time to 
be agreed on among themselves. 

Mr. Thomas Spears, a licentiate fi'om the Presbytery of Redstone, 
was called by the congregation of Little Valley, but being a foreign 
licentiate, and not having completed the time of probation, the call 
was retained in the hands of Presbytery till his papers had passed 
the review of Synod. At an adjourned meeting of Presbytery, held 
at Little Valley, November 13, 1855, Mr. Spears was oi'dained and in- 
stalled pastor of said church. 

On the 10th of April, Rev. Lowman P. Hawes was dismissed to the 
Presbytery of Iowa. Rev. B. E. Collins at this time received calls 
from the churches of Morris and Moshannon, and Messrs. Linn, 
Cooper and Gibson were appointed a committee to install him at a 
time agreed on by themselves. Rev. James J. Hamilton gave notice 
of his purpose to resign the charge of the congregation of Curwins- 
ville. At the adjourned meeting held in June following, the congre- 



166 HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OP HUNTINGDON. 

gation having signified their consent, the pastoral relation was dis- 
solved. The Rev. Nathan Shotwell w^as received in April from the 
Presbytery of Washington, Pa. A call from the congregation of East 
Kishacoquillas for his pastoral services was laid before Presbytery, 
and accepted by him; Drs. Junkin, Woods and Thompson were ap- 
pointed the committee of installation. 

Mr. William R. Boyer, after the usual examination, was received 
under the care of Presbytery as a candidate for the ministry, and 
recommended for aid to the Board of Education. 

The Rev. S. H. McDonald having offered his resignation of the pas- 
toral charge of the congregation of West Kishacoquillas, at the 
previous Fall meeting of the Presbytery, and the congregation con- 
senting, the pastoral relation was at this time dissolved. 

At the adjourned meeting in June the Rev.- D. Sterrett requested 
liberty to resign the charge of McVeytown and Newton Hamilton 
congregations, and at the stated meeting in October his request was 
granted. At a special meeting held at HoUidaysburg, August 14, Rev. 
James Smith was dismissed to the Presbytery of Allegheny. 

The stated Fall meeting of the Presbytery was held at Bellefonte, 
at which calls were laid before Prespytery from the churches of 
McVeytown and Newton Hamilton for Mr. Richard H. Morrow, a 
licentiate of this Presbytery ; but as Mr. Morrow had requested a 
dismission to the Presbj^tery of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, the following 
action was had by Presbytery, viz : 

" Resolved, That the request of Mr. Morrow be granted. 

Resolved, That while Presbytery grant the request, they would not 
hereby be considered as intimating what may be his duty as to remaining 
in the West, or returning at the calls of the churches of McVeytown and 
Newton Hamilton." 

Mr. Morrow was then in Iowa. 

Mr. Robert F. Wilson, a licentiate, was at the same time dismissed 
to the Presbytery of Carlisle. Calls from the congregations of Fruit 
Hill and Mt. Pleasant were laid before Presbytery for the Rev. J. J. 
Hamilton. 

Letters were received from the Board of Education and from the 
Committee of Church Extension located at St. Louis. The usual 
series of resolutions were passed, commending these objects to the 
prayers and liberality of the churches. The Presbytery never failed, 
upon their attention being called to these objects, to abound in 
strongly worded resolutions ; as was undoubtedly the practical expe- 



HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 167 

I'ience of all the Presbyteries. But the subject of Systematic Benevo- 
lence seriovisly engaged the attention of the Presbytery at this time. 
A committee had been appointed a year before to prepare a report on 
this subject, and at this time reported the following paper, viz : 

'■^Resolved, 1st. That love to the Church cause is an essential element of 
christian piety, and regular communication of our worldly substance ac- 
cording as God has prospered us, an ordinary important part of practical 
religion. 

Resolved, 2d. That accordingly it is as much the duty of the pastors and 
officers of the Church to make arrangements for the cultivation of the grace 
of benevolence for the performance of this part of practical religion as for 
any other of the offices of religion ; therefore, 

Resolved, 3d. That it be affectionately enjoined upon the pastors and other 
appropriate officers of the churches to adopt and put into efficient operation 
some plan for making regular collections for the four Boards of the Church, 
and the Assembly's Committee of Church Extension, so that a contribution 
for each shall be made at least once every year. And it is further enjoined, 
that one or other of the following plans be adopted by each church, pro- 
vided there is not one equallj^ efficient already in operation: 

Plcm 1st. A card, or book with the names of all the members of the con- 
gregation upon it, with the columns for weekly, or monthly, or quarterly 
sums, such as they may voluntarily offer to pay. The sums to be paid 
either to the elders, the deacons, or to persons specially appointed in each 
district of the congregation. 

. 2d. Monthly collections in the Church to be divided amongst the Boards 
at the discretion of the deaco'ns or elders. 

3d. A quarterly sermon in behalf of the Boards, assigning a quarter to 
each, to be followed by a collection or subscription for the Board whose 
cause was advocated in the sermon." 

Another committee, which had been appointed also at a previous 
meeting, to take into consideration the desirableness and expediency 
of appointing one or more itinerant missionaries to labor in the desti- 
tute fields and feeble congregations in our bounds, also, at this 
meeting, reported favorably to the object, with an indication of plans 
for the carrying it into effect. The report was adopted, and arrange- 
ments made for putting it into immediate operation. It proved to 
be an entire success, and this very year (1872) the Presbytery had the 
satisfaction of ordaining and installing a young man as permanent 
pastor over the principal points of the missionary field ; contemplated 
self-supporting, or almost so; perhaps entirely at this time. 

At the stated meeting of the Presbyteiy in October, 1854, a church 
was organized out of parts of the congregations of Alexandria and 



168 HISTORY OF THE PKESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 

Shaver's Creek, the ecclesiastical centre of which was to be at Shaver's 
Creek bridge, called the Cottage Church. At an adjourned meeting 
held on the 18th day of October, 1855, this church presented a call for 
the pastoral services of the Eev. Richard Curran, late pastor of 
Shaver's Creek congregation. 

Mr. Curran had been previously dismissed by letter to connect him- 
self with the 2d Presbytery of Philadelphia, but having returned the 
certificate of dismission, his name was restored to the roll of Presby 
tery, and the call from the Cottage Church being put into his hands 
and accepted by him, Messrs. George Elliott, 0. 0. McClean and 
Thomas Stevenson were appointed a committee to install him over 
the said church. 

At the adjourned meeting, held January 8, 1856, Mr. R. F. Wil- 
son had his certificate of dissmission changed from the Presbytery 
of Carlisle to Cedar Presbytery, Iowa. And the Rev. John Elliott 
was elected presbyterial missionary ; and his pastoral relation to the 
congregation of Williamsburg was dissolved at the stated meeting 
in April following, to enable him to accept of the missionary ap- 
pointment. This was much displeasing to the congregation, and in 
consequence they refused to contribute to the fund for the support of 
the missionary. It is believed that they never contributed any thing 
to the missionary fund, even under several changes of missionaries, so 
permanent was their displeasure. 

Calls from the churches of McVeytown and Newton Hamilton for 
Rev. David D. Clarke were laid before Presbytery, and liberty was 
granted to prosecute them before the Presbytery of Carlisle, of which 
he was a member. At an adjourned meeting held at Newton Hamilton, 
June 3, 1856, Mr. Clarke was received from the Presbytery of Carlisle 
and installed pastor of the above named churches. At the stated 
meeting in April preceding, the Rev. Dr. Junkin was called to the 
1st Presbyterian Church of Ft. Wayne ; which call he afterwards de- 
clined. The Sessions of the Presbytery at this time closed with the 
adoption of the narrative of the state of religion within its bounds. 
The character of the narrative may be inferred from the few first sen- 
tences, as follows: "The Presbytery would report on the state of reli- 
gion in their bounds, that nothing has occurred during the past year 
that claims special attention. Our churches generally are in a grow- 
ing condition. A good degree of harmony prevails. The public 
means of grace have been well attended," &c., &c. 



HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 169 

Occasionally cases of discipline came before Presbytery by complaint 
or appeal ; but no case of discipline was for the last thirty years car- 
ried from the Presbytery to a higher court. The decision of the 
Presbytery was accepted as final. At this time notice of appeal to 
Synod from the judgment of the Presbytery in a judicial case was 
given, but the appeal never was prosecuted. 

The Presbytery met in October, 1856, at Sinking Valley. At thif< 
stated meeting Mr. J. H. Mathers, a licentiate of the Presbytery, was 
ordained as an Evangelist, and Mr. Alexander Miller Woods was 
licensed to preach the gospel. 

The first report of the itinerant missionary. Rev. John Elliott, wa^ 
made to the Presbytery at this time, in reference to which the follow- 
ing minute was adopted, viz : 

"Presbytery having heard the report of our Itinerant Missionary, ex- 
press their satisfaction with his diligence, and their gratification at the 
favorable indications for usefulness resulting from this agency, and they 
express the hope that our pastors and people will continue in increased 
measure to favor this work with their prayers and pecuniary aid." 

As the result of Mr. Elliott's missionary labors a church was or- 
ganized at Tyrone city, April 7, 1857, consisting of twelve members, 
and two elders, Adam Lifford and Joseph Hagerty. It has since 
become a strong and floui-ishing church. The Rev. John Moore pre- 
sented a certificate of dismission from the Presbytery of Saltsburg to 
connect himself with this Presbytery, and a call from the congrega- 
tion of Williamsburg was put into his hands, accepted by him, and a 
committee was appointed to install him on the 22d of May, consisting 
of Messrs. Gibson, McClean and John Elliott. Messrs. D. W. Fisher, 
James A. Reed, and James H. Wilson were received under the cai'e of 
Presbytery as candidates for the gospel ministry. The Rev. Samuel 
Lawrence, pastor of the church of Milroy, tendered his resignation of 
the charge, assigning as a reason that a majority of the congregation 
had voted in favor of a union between that church and East Kishaco- 
quillas. A paper was presented and read, in which the congregation 
express assent to the dissolution of the pastoral relation, and in which 
those present engage to pay tlieir usual stipend to him up to the 1st 
of April, 1858, and recommend all the other members of the congre- 
gaiton to do likewise. Dr. Junkin moved, " that the congregation be 
cited according to the Form of Government, Chap. XVII, to show 
cause, and explain the reasons of their assent to the dissolution of 
the relation." After some discussion, Dr. Gibson moved "that Dr. 

22 



170 HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 

Junkin's motion be postponed, in order to take up one which he read, 
proposing the immediate dissolution of the pastoral relation." This 
motion was lost, and Dr. Junkin's motion to cite the congregation, 
was adopted. But the next day Dr. Woods, who had not voted on 
the question, but was reckoned with the majority, naoved a recon- 
sidderation of the motion passed the night before. The motion to 
reconsider was adopted, and the substitute offered by Dr. Gibson was 
taken up, amended and passed, and is as follows : 

"1st. Resolved, That the request of Mr. Lawrence be granted in view 
of the ascertained consent of the congregation to the dissolution of the pas- 
toral relation, and that the church of Milroy be declared vacant from and 
after the 19th of April instant. 

2d. Resolved, That the Presbytery highly approve the purpose of the 
congregation to continue Mr. Lawrence's salary until the 1st of April, 
1858, and hereby commend them for their expressed purpose. • 

3d. Resolved, That Kev. D. Sterrett be appointed to preach to that 
congregation on the 2d Sabbath of May, and to declare the pulpit vacant." 

At this time (April, 1857) the Itinerant Missionary made a report of 
his labors for the last six months, and intimated his desire to retire 
from the field, whereupon the following resolution was unanimously 
passed : 

" Resolved, That the manner in which our missionary has performed his 
arduous duties meets with the hearty approbation of Presbytery ; that we 
rejoice in the results of his labors, and that if compatible with his sense of 
duty, he be requested to continue in our service another year." 

Rev. N. Shotwell at this time gave notice of his desire to resign 
the charge of the congregation of East Kishacoquillas, and the con- 
gregation was cited to appear at the next stated meeting and give 
their reasons for or against granting his request. Also Rev. Wm. J. 
(jriBSON requested leave to resign the pastoral charge of Lick Run con- 
gregation, on account of inadequate support. 

At the adjourned meeting held at Lick Run, Centre county, June 9. 
1857, the Rev. A. B. Pratt was dismissed to the Presbytery of Dane. 
Mr. Pratt had been principally engaged in teaching while a mem- 
ber of our Presbyterj^, and never had any charge of a congregation 
within its bounds. Rev. W. S. Morrison, on account of ill health, was 
eomi^elled to resign the pastoral charge of Upper Tuscarora and Little 
Aughwick churches. A letter was received from Tyrone city in con- 
nection with Warrior's Mark, asking for the one-half of Mr. John El- 
liott's time ; whereupon Presbytery requested him to continue his 



HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 171 

labors as heretofore, accepting the ' invitation of Tyrone city and 
Warrior's Mark, until the next meeting of the Presbytery. The con- 
gregation of Clearfield jjresented a call for the Kev. John M. 
Galloway, of the Presbytery of Steubenville, and obtained liberty to 
prosecute it before said Presbytery. The consideration of request 
of Dr. GriBSON for the dissolution of his pastoral relation to Lick Run 
congregation, made at the stated meeting in April, was, with his con- 
sent, deferred till the next stated meeting. The Rev. D. L. Hughes 
gave notice of his design to resign the pastoral charge of Si^ruce 
Creek 1st and Sinking Valley. 

The Rev. Joseph Mahon, an agent of the Pennsylvania Colonization 
Society, being present, addressed the Presbytery on that subject : 
when the following resolution was offered by Dr. Gibson and adopted : 

"The Presbytery having heard some interesting statements from Rev. 
•Joseph Mahon, agent of the Pennsylvania Colonization Society, in refer- 
ence to the colonization cause, do most heartily recommend said cause tn 
the affections and liberality of our churches." 

At the stated meeting of the Presbytery held at Altoona, October, 
1857, Rev. S. Lawrence, who had been appointed treasurer on the 
decease of Rev. Joshua Moore, resigned the office, and Rev. David D. 
Clarke was appointed in his stead. 

At this time the pastoral relation of Rev. D. L. Hughes to the con- 
gregations of Spruce Creek 1st. and Sinking Valley was dissolved, 
according to his reqviest made at the previous meeting ; and he was 
dismissed from this Presbytery to join the Presbytery of Council 
Bluffs, Iowa. The following resolution was passed in reference to 
this event : 

" Resolved, That in sundering the ties that bind this brother to us presby- 
terially, and us to him, this Presbytery entertain a sentiment of sincere 
regret. His gentle, lovely and laborious life amongst us, and his uniform 
kindness and dignity as a pastor and a presbyter, have endeared him to us ; 
and whilst we assure him of our best wishes and our prayers, we commend 
him to the confidence and affection of all christian people in the distant 
field in which he expects to bestow his future labors." 

Messrs. Alexander McBean, William O. Wilson of Lower Tusca- 
rora congregation, and Edmoxd Kerns of Little Valley, were received 
under the care of Presbytery as candidates for the ministry ; and 
recommended for aid to the Board of Education. 

The pastoral relation of Rev, N. Shotwell to the congregation of 
East Kishacoquillas was at this time dissolved, according to his request 



172 HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OP HUNTINGDON. 

made at a previous meeting ; and he and Mr. Lawrence asked and 
obtained travelling testimonials. 

The Rev. John Elliott received two calls, one to Sinking Valley 
and Spruce Creek 1st, and the other to Tyrone city and Birmingham. 
He asked time to consider ; but ultimately accepted the calls to the 
former churches, and was installed their pastor, December 1, 1857. Al- 
though Mr. Elliott had retired from the missionary field, and become 
a settled pastor, the Presbytery still resolved to cultivate such parts 
of the itinerant field as may be vacant at the close of the present ses- 
sion of Presbytery ; and therefore resolved to continue the committee 
on itinerancy, and directed them to make prompt and earnest efforts 
to introduce some efficient laborer or laborers into the field. 

The Rev. M. S. Culbertson of the Ningpo Mission, being present, 
preached by invitation of Presbytery, and presented some interesting 
statements in regard to China, and the other fields of Foreign Mis- 
sions; and the Rev. Messrs. Hamill, D. D. Clarke, and Thomas 
McAuLEY, elder, were appointed a committee to report a minute ex- 
pressive of the sympathy of this Presbytery with our suffering breth- 
ren in India. This was about the time of the Sepoy rebellion, when 
some of our missionaries were slain by the rebels. 

The following day Mr. Hamill reported the following, viz : 

^^ Resolved, 1st. That the trials, perils, and the sufferings of the missiona- 
ries of our own Board, and other missionary societies, by reason of the 
mutiny of the native troops in India, have awakened our deepest sympa- 
thies and most earnest solicitude, and call for increased interest and prayers 
in their behalf. 

2d. That in the opinion of this Presbytery this rage of the heathen is no 
new thing, but is what the church from Apostolic times to the present has 
been called to encounter and must expect, and that it furnishes no argument 
against the glorious missionary enterprise, and so far from proving a dis- 
couragement ought to stimulate the Church to more confident hope, and 
more zealous and earnest efforts in sustaining the foreign missionary work. 

3d. That the pastors, elders and people, in connection with this Presby- 
tery, be affectionately urged, in view of these and other signs of the times, 
to increased zeal, liberality and prayer in behalf of Foreign Missions." 

Near the close of this session of the Presbytery a committee con- 
sisting of three members was appointed as a standing committee on 
the subject of aged and infirm ministers, who may need aid from the 
General Assembly's fund for that object. 

At the stated meeting in October of this year, the following action 
was had on the oath, and on the subject of temperance, viz : 



HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 173 

'■'■Resolved, That the members of our several congregations be counsel- 
ed, when lawfully called to take the oath before the civil magistrate, to 
adopt that form of the oath prescribed in the laws of the Commonwealth 
which seems to be recognized in the Scriptures, viz ; with the uplifted 
hand. 

2d. That in the opinion of this Presbytery the ordinance of the oath, 
which is recognized in our Confession of Faith as a part of religious wor- 
ship, is not explained from the pulpit with sufficient frequency." 

Presbyterians have always held that it was lawful and a duty for 
christians to come under the solemn obligations of an oath, when pro- 
perly called to it, the occasion being of sufficient importance to justify 
an appeal to Grod for the settling of strife between man and man in 
the interests of justice. But intelligent Presbyterians have always 
objected to swearing by or on The Book as superstitious, and also to 
all extra-judicial oaths, as a profanation of an ordinance of God. The 
unnecessary frequency, and the general irreverence with which oaths 
are administered and taken in our courts of justice, have been a great 
grief to the conscience of all thinking and religious persons. As to 
the substitution of the "solemn affirmation^^'' instead of the usual form of 
the oath, this is objectionable mainly on the supposition that the per- 
son thus affirming does not deem himself under equal obligation to 
tell the whole truth, and equally responsible to the judgment of God 
for a false testimony. If this be not implied, then it may be permit- 
ted as a relief to weak consciences, but is in reality and in substance 
the oath, and is only an evasion, harmless or otherwise, just as the 
person thinks of it. 

We record the action of the Presbytery at this time on the subject 
of temperance, just to show that the opinion of Presbytery has been 
uniformly and unanimously in favor of the temperance reformation 
from the beginning. The following resolution was offered by Kev. O. 
0. McClean (now Dr. McClean) and unanimously adopted, viz : 

"■Resolved, That this Presbytery considers the Temperance Eeformation 
of undiminished importance, and that every minister belonging to the Pres- 
bytery be requested to deliver one or more discourses upon the subject of 
temperance before the close of the present year." 



CHAPTER IX. 



FROM 1858 TO 1866. 

Changes — Beulah Church Organized — Overture on Demission of the Ministry — Rev. G. W. 
Zahnizer Received, and Accepts a Call — Rev. M. Allison asks leave to Resign his Charge — 
The Semi-Centenary of Dr. Linn — Mode of Ordaining Elders — Mr. S. M. Moore Received as a 
Licentiate — Messrs. D. W. Fisher and N. A. McDonald Ordained as Evangelists with a view- 
to Foreign Missions — Changes in the Book of Discipline and the Boards proposed — Deaths of 
Rev. Samuel M. Cooper, Rev. George Gray, and Mr. Nelson, a Licentiate— The Rev. J. B. 
Strain from Presbytery of Carlisle, and Rev. W. G. E. Agnew Received from the M. E. 
Church— The Expenses of Installation Committees to be Paid — Adjourned Meetings — Dr. 
Junkin Released — Mr. R. B. Moore, a Licentiate Received — Rev. J. H. Barnard Called to be 
co-pastor with Dr. Linn — Rev. D. H. Barron— Death of Dr. J. S. Woods— Mr. Oscar A. Hills 
— Relief Fund — Of Isabella C. Robinson — The Ashmun Institute — The Revised. Book of 
Discipline — Licensure of Mr. J. P. Beale, and Reception of Rev. J. H. Holloway — Rev. Jas. C. 
Mahun Received— Death of Rev. A. B. Clarke — Mr. Banks Called the Third Time to Altoona 
— Overture — Distribution Fund of the Board of Publication — Paper on the State of the 
Country — Mr. Wm. E. Ijams — Mr. J. E. Kearns Licensed — Rev. R. M. Wallace Called to 
Altoona— Mr. W. 0. Wright— Death of Rev. G. W. Thompson, D. D.— Rev. John Moore Re- 
signs his Charge — Congregational Supplies — Rev. Dr. Knox and the Board of Domestic 
Missions — Last Appearance of the Venerable Dr. Linn in Presbytery — Rev. N. G. White 
Called to Williamsburg — Committee on Unemployed Ministers — Board of Foreign Missions 
— State of Religion — Suggested Increase of Pastor's Salaries — Resolution in Regard to Sab- 
bath School Libraries — U. S. Christian Commission — Revivals — Roll of Presbytery. 

THE year 1858 is chiefly remarkable for the number of changes 
which took place in the congregations and their pastors. The 
Rev. James Campbell was dismissed to the Presbytery of Highlands, 
Kansas; and the Rev. W. S. Garthwaite to the Presbytery of North 
River. These brethren had never held any pastoral charge within the 
bounds of the Presbytery, but had been engaged in teaching ; the 
former at Jacksonville, Centre county, the latter in Tuscarora Valley, 
Juniata county. 

The Rev. George Elliott's pastoral relation to the church of Alex- 
andria was dissolved on the 13th of April, and, on the same day, Rev. 
B. E. Collins' relation to the congregations of Moshannon and Morris. 
The Rev. Andrew Jardine, having at a previous meeting given notice 
of his desire to resign his pastoral charge, his relation as pastor of 
Middle Tuscarora congregation was dissolved at this time also. And 
yet two more pastoral relations were dissolved at the request of the 



HISTOEV OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 175 

pastors and with the concurrence of the congregations : that of the 
Rev. T. P. Spears to the congregation of Little Valley, and that of 
the Rev. Thomas Stevenson to Pine Grove. 

There were at the same meeting, and at the next following of this 
year, some accesions to the roll of Presbytery and of pastors to the 
churches. The Rev. John M. Galloway was received from the Presby- 
tery of Steuben ville, and installed pastor of the church of Clearfield, 
The Rev. Jno. W. White was received from the Presbytery of Carlisle, 
and installed pastor of the church of Milroy, Kishacoquillas Valley ; 
and the Rev. James Williamson accepted a call tendered him at the 
former meeting, and was installed pastor of the church of West Kisha- 
coquillas. The following young men were received under the care of 
Presbytery as candidates for the ministry, viz : Messrs. Daniel Bos- 
worth, Jos. A. Patterson, Abram D. Hawn and James J. Kerr. Mr. 
James H. Reed, a candidate for the ministry, was licensed to preach 
the Gospel at the adjourned meeting held in June. 

At the stated meeting in the Fall, Mr. Wm. Burchfield was taken 
under the care of Presbytery, and the Rev. M. Allison of Mifflin, his 
pastor, was appointed to superintend his theological studies. The 
Rev. George Elliott received and accepted a call from East Kishaco- 
quillas congregation, and a coramittee was appointed to install him on 
the 2d Wednesday of November following. 

Mr. Samuel T. Lowrie, a licentiate of the Presbytery of Ohio, was 
received ; a call presented for him, through the Presbytery, from the 
church of Alexandria; and being accepted by him, an adjourned 
meeting was appointed to be held at Alexandria on the 7th day of 
December following, at which time he was ordained and installed. At 
the same meeting the Rev. Israel W. Ward, and Thomas Ward, a 
licentiate, were dismissed by certificate to the Presbytery of Chicago; 
and the Rev. T. P. Spears to the Presbytery of New Lisbon. 

At the stated meeting of the Presbytery, in October of this year, an 
afternoon of one day was devoted to a conference on the subject of a 
revival of religion. It will be remembered that this year had been 
noted for somewhat extensive revivals of religion in various parts of 
the land. The following topics were indicated as proper subjects for 
discussion, viz : 

"1st. What reason have we to hope or expect that the present great 
awakening will be extended to the congregations of this Presbytery ? 

2d. Are we called on in the providence of God, as a Presbytery, or as 
ministers and elders, to make any special efforts to such an end ? 



176 HISTORY or THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 

3d. Assuming that a revival is the normal state of the Church, why have 
revivals of religion for years past generally so speedily declined ? 

4th. How are we as God's instruments to excite, extend and perpetuate 
a revival state of feeling within the bounds of this Presbytery and our 
respective congregations?" 

At a special meeting of the Presbytery held at Huntingdon, Decem- 
ber 23, 1858, the pastoral relation of Rev. O. O. McClean to the con- 
gregation of Huntingdon was dissolved at his request, on account of 
his failing health, and a temporary rest from pastoral labors seemed to 
be necessary for its restoration. 

At the stated meeting of the Presbytery, April, 1859, the following 
pastoral relations were dissolved at the request of the pastors and 
with the consent of the congregations, viz : The pastoral relation of 
the Rev. Richard Curran to the Cottage church, and of the Rev. 
Thomas Stevenson to the 2d church of Spruce Creek. At the same 
meeting Messrs. N. A. McDonald, Joseph Patterson, Joseph Barnard 
and Daniel W. Fisher, candidates under the care of Presbytery, were 
licensed to preach the gospel. 

A committee was appointed, at the request of twenty-one persons, 
members of the congregation of Mt. Pleasant, to organize them into a 
separate congregation, to be called Beulah congregation. At a fol- 
lowing meeting the organization was reported and the congregation 
entered upon the list of churches. An overture with respect to the 
demission of the ministerial office was sent down to the Presbyteries 
by the General Assembly of 1858. The overture will be found on 
page 299 of the minutes of the General Assembly of that year. At 
the Spring meeting of the Presbytery in 1859 the overture was con- 
sidered and answered in the negative. 

An adjourned meeting of the Presbytery was held June 14th, at 
which the Rev. 0. 0. McClean was dismissed to the Presbytery of 
Cedar, Iowa, and the Rev. G. W. Zahnizer was received from the 
Presbytery of Erie, and a call put into his hands from the congrega- 
tion of Huntingdon, and being accej^ted the Presbytery proceeded to 
install him. 

At the stated meeting in April the Rev. Matthew Allison having 
requested leave to resign his pastoral charge of the congregations of 
Mifflintown and Lost Creek, the congregations were cited to appear 
and show cause, it any they had, why his request should not be 
granted ; at this adjourned meeting Mr. Allison's request was con- 
sidered, the congregations being represented by their commissioners. 



HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 177 

It appearing that there was a large majority of the people of both 
congregations opposed to granting Mr. Allison's request, and strong- 
ly in favor of retaining him as their pastor; notwithstanding this 
action of the congregations, Mr. Allison renewed his request to be 
permitted to resign, yet the Presbytery refused to dissolve the pas- 
toral relation. This action on the part of Presbytery was eminently 
wise, as proved by future results. The minority became entirely 
reconciled ; no part of his ministry was more universally acceptable 
and successful than that which followed till the end of his ministry, 
and none grieved more than the minority, when death dissolved the 
pastoral relation in 1872. This case is given with some particularity, 
for the purpose of suggesting to members of Presbyteries whether 
they are not apt to be too hasty in dissolving pastoral relations at the 
request of the pastor who makes it under temporarj'- discouragement 
• from some untoward conduct in a few members of his charge? In 
cases where the congregation concurs in the request of the pastor, the 
case is somewhat altered, yet even in such a case it is not always clear 
that the pastoral relation otight to be dissolved. In nine cases out of 
ten the congregations concur, not because they want the separation, 
but because they suppose the pastor wants to leave them, and they 
would not retain an unwilling man. This feeling in congregations 
is altogether natural, if not always just, and the remedy is to be found 
in the Presbytery. Those ministers who are constantly removing for 
the sake of change, and on the suspicious plea of enlarging their 
sphere of usefulness, we would commend to the Methodist Episcopal 
Church, that the desire may be gratified to their heart's content. In 
connection with these suggestions, and the case referred to above, just 
now the Presbyterial records furnish the case of a semi-centenary pas- 
torate, which closed in the undiminished affection of two, if not three 
generations of hearers. At the Spring meeting of the Presbytery of 
this year, the congregation of Bellefonte sent a unanimous request 
that the Presbytery would hold its regular Fall meeting in their 
church, as precisely at that time their venerable pastor, Eev. James 
Linn, D. D., would, if spared, have completed the fiftieth year of his 
pastorate among them ! Of course the request was complied with, 
and the Presbytery rejoiced in commemorating with the people of 
his charge, the close of such an honored and honorable pastorate. At 
this time also order was made at tlie request of thirty-six petitioners, 
for the organization of a Presbyterian Church in Bald Eagle Valley. 

23 



178 HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 

The church was organized August 30th following. And Abram D. 
Hawn and Joseph L. Lower were licensed to preach as probationers 
for the gospel ministry. By special invitation the Presbytery met at 
Bellefonte, October 4, 1859, with a view to celebrate, with some appro- 
priate services, the aniversary of the semi-century of the pastor's (Rev. 
Dr. J. Linn) connection with this church. And as the congregation 
had expressed a desire that the pastor should give a narrative of the 
leading facts pertaining to their history during the last fifty years, and 
as they had invited the Rev. Dr. D. X. Junkin to deliver a sermon 
appropriate to the occasion, Presbytery appointed Wednesday evening, 
October 5th, as a convenient time for these services ; at which time 
the Presbytery assembled, in the presence of a large and deeply in- 
terested and solemn audience. The following was the order of exer- 
cises observed on the occasion : 

1st. Anthem by the choir. 

2d. Prayer by Dr. Woods. 

3d. Psalmody by Dr. Gibson. 

4th. Reading 7th Chapter of 1st Samuel by Rev. R. Hamill, D. D. 

5th. Historical sketch of the last fifty years of this church by the 
pastor, Rev. James Linn, D. D. 

6th. Hymn of Jubilee, composed for the occasion by Rev. Dr. Jun- 
kin, read by Dr. Thompson, and sung by the congregation. 

7th. Sermon on 1st Samuel 7:12, " Ebenezer, hitherto hath the 
Lord helped us," by Dr. Junkin. 

8th. Prayer by the Rev. George Elliott. 

9th. 509 Hymn, read by Rev. David D. Clarke, and sung by the 
congregation. 

10th. Doxology. 

11th. Benediction by Dr. Linn. 

As it was an unusual, so it was a very interesting occasion to all 
present. As all most heartily congratulated the pastor and people on 
the close of a pastorate of fifty years so pleasantly and profitably 
maintained, so honorable to both pastor and people, the Presbytery 
was especially gratified in such an example set before pastors and con- 
gregations of the possibility of a continued pastorate of fifty years, 
and withal so pleasantly maintained to the end. And yet the end 
was not come. Dr. Linn continued to be the sole pastor of this con- 
gregation for several years afterwards. In this age of changing, what 
a monument is here set up ! 



HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 179 

The following resolution was adopted by the Presbytery at its ses- 
sions in Bellefonte, October 8, 1859 : 

^'■Resolved, That in the opinion of this Presbytery it is expedient to 
ordain ruling elders by the imposition of hands." 

As a matter of history the following minute is found on page 131, 
Vol. 5 of the presbyterial records, viz : 

" A resolution to refuse to license or ordain any man that will not abstain 
from all use of tobacco was presented, discussed and laid on the table." 

If, instead of the resolution noticed above, it had been a recommen- 
dation to our young men, candidates for the ministry and others, not 
to contract the habit of using tobacco in any form, none would have 
concurred more heartily in it than those who have had most experi- 
ence in the use of the weed. But a more sweeping resolution could 
not have been offered in regard to the habitual use of intoxicating 
drinks. Therefore, when a man puts the use of tobacco on the same 
level with the use of intoxicating drinks he only hinders the reforma- 
tion he honestly designs to effect. 

At an adjourned meeting, held in Pine Grove in December of this 
year, Mr. S. M. Moore, a licentiate of the 2d Presbytery of Philadel- 
phia, was received, and after the usual examinations ordained, and 
installed pastor of Pine Grove congregation for half his time ; and 
arrangements made for his installation over Bald Eagle congregation 
for the other half. 

Presbytery met at Hollidaysburg on the 10th of April, 1860, at 
which time Messrs, D. W. Fisher and N. A. McDonald, licentiates of 
the Presbytery, were ordained as Evangelists with a view to Foreign 
Missions, and dismissed to the Presbytery of Siam, India. Mr. James 
M. NouRSE, son of the late Rev. James Nourse, was taken under the 
care of Presbytery as a candidate for the ministry ; and Messrs. Miles 
C. Wilson, S. L. Gamble and W. Alexander were licensed to preach 
the Gospel. Changes in the Book of Discipline, and in the Boards, 
were proposed by the General Assembly, and the subjects sent down 
to the Presbyteries. These matters were taken into consideration at 
this meeting, and the Presbytery decided that the proposed changes 
were useless. Occasion was taken at this time to commend Mr. J. M. 
Wilson's Historical Almanac to the patronage of the pastors and 
churches. 

An adjourned meeting of the Presbytery was held in June of this 
year at Tyrone city. A more than usual amount of strictly presbyte- 



180 HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 

rial business was transacted for an adjourned meeting. Mr. Joseph H. 
Barnard, being called to Tyrone, Birmingham and Logan's Valley, 
was ordained and installed pastor of these congregations; and Mr. J. 
A, Patterson was ordained as an Evangelist. The Rev. Gr. W. Van- 
ARTSDALEN was received from the 2d Presbytery of Philadelphia, and 
calls presented for him from Shade Gap (Little Aughwick) and Upper 
Tuscarora, over which congregations he was installed on the 7th and 
8th of August following, by a committee of Presbytery. Messrs. F. 
E. Shearer and A. J. McGinley' were taken under the care of Presby- 
tery as candidates for the ministry. Mr. D. S. Banks was licensed to 
preach the Gospel. 

The Rev. James Williamson having at a previous meeting given 
notice of his desire to resign the pastoral charge of West Kishacoquil- 
las congregation, the pastoral relation was at this time dissolved. 

The regular Fall meeting of the Presbytery this year was held at 
Sinking Creek church, commencing on the second day of October. 
The melancholy announcement was made of the death of two minis- 
terial members of the Presbytery, and one licentiate, since the last 
stated meeting, viz: Rev. Samuel M. Cooper and Rev. George Gray, 
and Mr. Nelson, a licentiate. Mr. Cooper was universally beloved as 
far as known for his amiable character, and was an excellent preacher, 
though of modest and retiring disposition. Mr. Gray was an aged 
minister, probably an octogenarian, much respected and useful as a 
pastor, though for some years previous to his death he had ceased 
because of infirmity, from the active duties of the ministry. Mr. 
Nelson was, of course, a young man, being only a licentiate of a few 
years standing. Committees were ai^pointed to prepare obitviary no- 
tices of these brethren, to be inserted in the book of Presbytery 
kept for this purpose. 

At this time the list of members of the Presbytery was increased by 
the addition of two names. The Rev. J. B. Strain of the Presbytery 
of Carlisle, was called to the church of Little Valley ; and the Rev. 
W. G. E. Agnew was received from the Methodist E. Church. 

The Rev. J. A. Patterson, who had previously been ordained as an 
Evangelist, was at this time dismissed to connect himself with the 
Presbytery of Canton, China. When committees are appointed to 
organize congregations, or to install pastors, they are, in many cases, 
put to considerable expense. In view of this fact the Presbytery con- 
sidered it no more than just that the congregations thus served should 



HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HTJNTINGDON. 181 

pay the expenses of the committee, and therefore passed the follow- 
ing resolution : 

" That it be recommended to churches to pay the ordinary expenses of 
the committees on installation services, and church organizations." 

Three adjourned meetings of the Presbytery were held this Fall, 
besides the regular stated meeting. One at Germantown during the 
sessions of the Synod there, another at Little Valley, December 11, 
the third at "West Kishacoquillas, December 27. At the first adjourned 
meeting Dr. D. X. Junkin gave notice of his desire to resign the pas- 
toral charge of the congregation of Hollidaysburg ; and at the second, 
the relation was dissolved. And Mr. R. B. Moore, a licentiate of the 
Presbytery of Eedstone, was received, a call from West Kishacoquillas 
congregation for his pastoral services was put into his hands, and at 
the meeting held December 27, he was ordained and installed. 

The Rev. J. H. Barnard, pastor of Tyrone, Birmingham and 
Logan's Valley churches, was called to be co-pastor with Rev. Dr. 
Linn of Bellefonte, on the 11th of December; and at the adjourned 
meeting held on the 27th following, his pastoral relation, as above, was 
dissolved by the Presbytery, and he allowed to accept the call from 
Bellefonte ; in which charge he was installed on the 2d of January, 
1861. 

The history of the Presbytery for the year 1861 consi^s mainly in 
the record of the changes which took place in the several congrega- 
tions ; pastoral relations dissolved, and pastoral relations formed : 
with the organization of some new churches. At the stated meeting 
in April, the pastoral relation of Rev. John Elliott to the congrega- 
tions of Spruce Creek and Sinking Valley, was, at his request dis- 
solved, and he dismissed to the Presbytery of Donegal, within the 
bounds of which he had received a call. With considerable reluctance 
the Presbytery granted his request, owing to the reluctance of the 
congregations to consent to his removal. Mr. Jacob Andrews, a mem- 
ber of Spring Creek Church, was taken under the care of Presbytery 
as a candidate for the Gospel ministry ; and Mr. William Burchfield 
was licensed to preach the Gospel. At the adjourned meeting in 
June, Mr. S. L. Gamble, a candidate, was dismissed to the Presbytery 
of Albany. Mr. John P. Clarke, a licentiate of the Presbytery of 
New Castle, was received under the care of Presbytery, and a call 
from the church of Morris for one-half of his time was put into his 
hands and accepted by him. 



182 HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTEET OF HUNTINGDOX. 

The Rev. D. H. Barron was called to Hollidaysburg in June, and at 
the stated meeting of October he was received from the Presbytery of 
Redstone, and installed pastor on the 2d Tuesday of November by a 
committee of the Presbytery. 

Mr. J. L. MiLLiGAN, a member of the Lower Tuscai'ora Church, was 
taken under care of Presbytery as a candidate for the ministry. Mr. 
J. A. McGiNLEY, who had been under the care of Presbytery as a can- 
didate for the ministry for two years past, was licensed to preach the 
Grospel on the 11th of June of this year. 

Calls were presented to Presbytery from the congregations of Sink- 
ing Valley and Logan's Valley, at the stated meeting in October, for 
the pastoral services of Rev. Orr Lawson of the Presbytery of Lex- 
ington. Mr. Lawson was present, but owing to the disturbed state of 
the country had not received a certificate of standing and dismission 
from his Presbytery, so the calls could not, at the time, be put into 
his hands. 

Rev. Wm. J. Gibson gave notice of his desire to resign the charge of 
Lick Run Church with a view to accept a chaplaincy in the army. 
The congregation having given their consent, the pastoral relation was 
dissolved at an adjourned meeting held during the sessions of the 
Synod of Philadelphia at Easton, the latter part of October of this 
year. Mr. John Porter, of Alexandria, who had been treasurer of 
the itinerant fund of Presbytery since the organization of that mis- 
sion, at this time resigned, and Hon. John Scott, of Huntingdon, was 
appointed in his stead. It was the design of Presbytery to continue 
that mission, of which Rev. Samuel Lawrence was the efficient mis- 
sionary for some time past. Mr. W. A. Hooper, a licentiate, was 
received under the care of Presbytery from the Presbytery of Miami, 
and calls from the churches of Birmingham and Tyrone were put 
into his hands, and being accepted ; he, together with Mr. John P. 
Clarke, after satisfactory examinations, were ordained to the full 
work of the Gospel ministry. 

On the report of the committee on the minutes of the General 
Assembly, the attention of the Presbytery, among other items of busi- 
ness, was directed to the recommendation on page 305 of the minutes : 
"That Presbyteries exercise great caution in recommending candidates 
for the high and holy office of the ministry to the care of the Board 
of Education." No doubt there was seen to be much occasion for 
this recommendation at the time ; and not less now, there seeming to 



» 



HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNyTINGDON. 183 

be a great relaxation of strictness in the examination of candidates 
for the ministry, and in view of their application to the Board for as- 
sistance. In an experience of many years there is no recollection of 
any applicant but one. being refused as a proper person to be encour- 
aged to go forward in preparing for the ministry, as a beneficiary of 
the Board. In some cases it has appeared afterwards, that they ought 
not to have been encouraged ; and in others, that the recommenda- 
tion of them for aid to the Board, was of doubtful necessity. But 
perhaps this was . the safest side on which to err. The next year 
following the recommendation of the Assembly and the action of the 
Presbytery on the subject, tlie names of J. H. Wilson, J. J. Kerr, 
Daniel Bosworth and W. 0. Wilson were stricken from the list of 
candidates. There is no record of the reasons inducing this action, 
but it is presumed to have been in accordance with their own request, 
as a resolution was immediately passed expressing the mind of Pres- 
bytery that they were in honor bound to return the moneys they had 
received from the Board of Education as beneficiaries. The Board 
does not require any jiledge on the part of beneficiaries, in case they 
afterwards change their purpose to enter the ministry, that they will 
return the sums they have received. This ought to make the Presby- 
teries more cautious in recommending candidates to the Board for aid. 
This year (1862) is only remarkable in the history of the Presbytery 
for the number of cases brought before Presbytery, by complaint or 
appeal, or petition, arising out of temporary disagreements in several 
congregations. 

The Presbytery of Huntingdon has always been characterized by 
the harmony existing among its members, and the peaceableness of its- 
congregations. But among imperfect men and ministers on earth, the 
unbroken harmony of heaven must not be expected. There were diffi- 
culties this year in the congregation of Middle. Tuscarora between the 
pastor and the people, which issued afterwards in a dissolution of the 
pastoral relation ; though the Presbytery condemned the irregular 
means employed to effect this object, and only dissolved the pastoral 
relation at the request of the pastor. 

A complaint against an action of the Session of Lower Tuscarora 
congregation, was made by Mr. James McLaughlin, an elder of said 
congregation, which complaint was dismissed by Presbytery on ac- 
count of irregularity, and appeal from the action of Presbytery taken 
to Synod, but it is believed it was never prosecuted to an issue. The 
matter of complaint not being recorded, is not now remembered. 



184 HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OP HUNTINGDON. 

A letter of complaint or reference from certain members of the con- 
gregation of Upper Tuscarora, which was then in connection with 
Shade Gap in the support of a pastor, was brought before Presbytery, 
appearing to be a difference between the Session and Trustees in rela- 
tion to certain pecuniary matters, which was only tenipoi*aiy, and was ' 
quietly settled by the Presbytery, or by the parties in the presence of 
the Presbytery. 

Little Valley congregation was also much distracted during the 
latter part of this year. The causes of division had relation to poli- 
tics, or springing of party prejudices. The pastor, the Eev. J. B. 
Strain, was an original abolitionist. It was in the time of the 
Southern rebellion. Though the pastor had been ever so conservative 
in the expression of his views, both parties were exceedingly sensitive 
upon the subjects connected with the war, and he could scarcely have 
avoided giving offence, had he expressed himself at all. Then, even 
praying for the Grovernment was in some places the occasion of offence. 
It is not believed that the pastor was eminently prudent in the ex- 
pression of his views, but the Presbytery adopted the report of a 
committee, which set forth "That some of the members of the con- 
gregation have been too captious and negligent of duty in absenting 
themselves from the worship of God's House, and their duties as of- 
ficers in the Church of Christ, as well as in withdrawing their support, 
upon insufficient grounds, thus crippling the congregation and mak- 
ing it the plea for the dissolution of the pastoral relation, without so 
far as Presbytery can learn, any sufficient grounds." The prayer, 
therefore, for the dissolution of the pastoral relation was not granted. 

Mr. William Alexander, a licentiate of this Presbytery, was trans- 
ferred at the Spring meeting in April to the care of the Presbytery of 
Northumberland. At the stated meeting of the Presbytery in Octo- 
ber, 1861, calls were presented from Sinking Valley and Logan's 
Valley for the Eev. Orr Lawson of Lexington Presbytery, but, as be- 
fore stated, because of the civil war he could not obtain a dismission 
to connect with this Presbytery. In view of this state of things. 
Presbytery memorialized the General Assembly to transfer Mr. Lawson 
to this Presbytery. It was so ordered, and at the adjourned meeting 
in June, 1862, the calls were put into his hands, accepted by him, and 
he was installed over the above named congregations. 

At the April meeting of this year, Mr. D. S. Banks was appointed 
itinerant missionary to Broad Top, Yellow Creek, and Martinsburg. 
Mr. EoBERT A. Clarke was received under the care of Presbytery as a 



HISTORY OP THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 185 

candidate for the ministry, also Mr. Joseph Kelley at the adjourned 
meeting in June. At which time also Mr. J. Milligan was licensed 
to preach the Gospel. 

At a special meeting called for the 11th day of August, 1862, Mr. J. 
A. McGinley made application to be ordained as an Evangelist, in 
view of the fact that being a Chaplain in the Northern army he could 
move authoritatively and usefully discharge the duties of the posi- 
tion. After an examination on all the parts of trial for ordination 
required by the book, his request was granted, and he was ordained 
to the full work of the Gospel ministry. 

At the opening of the stated meeting in October, the death of Rev. 
James S. Woods, D. D., of Lewistown was announced. Dr. Woods 
died on the 29th of June, 1862. 

The Rev. W. G. E. Agnew was dismissed to the Presbytery of Nor- 
thumberland, he having received a call from two congregations within 
the bounds of that Presbytery. 

The Rev. 0. 0. McClean was received by certificate from the Pres- 
bytery of Cedar, Iowa, and a call from the congregation of Lewistown 
put into his hands, accepted, and a committee appointed to install 
him. Mr. Oscar A. Hills, a licentiate of the Presbytery of Craw- 
fordsville, Indiana, was received under the care of Presbytery called 
to the congregation of Spruce Creek, and was ordained and installed 
pastor of said Church at an adjourned meeting held at Spruce Creek, 
November 25, 1862. 

Rev. J. A. Patterson, who had been ordained as an Evangelist in 
view of going on a foreign mission, accepted a call from the congre- 
gation of Lick Run, in which congregation he was installed in due 
time. 

In the course of the free conversation on the subject of religion, in- 
quiries were made with regard to the contributions of the several 
churches to the fund for the support of aged and infirm ministers, 
and the widows and orphans of deceased ministers. Whereupon 
Judge Samuel Linn offered the following resolution, which was unani- 
mously adopted, viz : 

^^ Resolved, That Presbytery heartily approve of the establishment under 
the direction ot the General Assembly of a permanent fund for the support 
of disabled ministers, their widows and children ; and that although the 
present system of annual contributions may be adequate to supply the pre- 
sent need, yet they deem it insufficient to accomplish fully the ultimate 
purpose of this important branch of christian benevolence." 
24 



186 HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 

Dr. D. X, JuNKiN, at his request, was now dismissed to the 2d Pres- 
bytery of New York. 

At an adjourned meeting, held at Spruce Creek Church, November 
25, Rev. S. M. Moore was permitted to resign the pastoral charge of 
Bald Eagle Church, over which he had been installed for half his time, 
and to give to Pine Grove Church, the other part of his charge, the 
whole of his time for one year. 

The Rev. Wm. B. McKee of the Presbytery of St. Paul requested to 
be received as a member of Presbytery, but for some reason not hav- 
ing his dismissal to present, he was examined, and received condition- 
ally ; and on presentation of his dismissal to the stated clerk, his 
membership to be considered full. At an adjourned meeting of the 
Presbytery, held at the church of Fruit Hill, Clearfield county, on the 
21st of January, 1863, Mr. William Burchpield, a licentiate, was ex- 
amined in all the usual parts of trial to the satisfaction of Presbytery, 
and was accordingly ordained and installed pastor. The Rev. S. T. 
Lowrie gave notice of his intention to apply at the next stated meet- 
ing of the Presbytery for the dissolution of his pastoral relation to 
Alexandria congregation. Mr. Lowrie's pastoral relation was accord- 
ingly dissolved at the stated meeting in April following. 

The troubles still continuing in Little Valley congregation, the 
Presbytery appointed a committee to visit that church and inquire 
into its affairs, and endeavor to adjust the same as the interests of re- 
ligion may seem to require. In view of this action, the commissioners 
from the congregation had leave to withdraw a petition presented at a 
previous meeting of the Presbytery for a dissolution of the pastoral 
relation. Mr. Strain at this time requested the Presbytery to dissolve 
his pastoral relation to the church, which was granted. Two candi- 
dates for the ministry were taken under the care of Presbytery, viz : 
R. M. Campbell and Edmund P. Foresman. 

The Rev. A. B. Clarke, pastor of the Altoona Church, having at a 
previous meeting given notice of his purpose to [resign his charge, 
on account of continued ill health, his pastoral relation was dissolved 
April 15, 1863. 

There was a case before the Presbytery at this time to be decided. 
The appeal of Isabella C. Robinson from a decision of the Session of 
Mifflintown and Lost Creek. The nature of the case cannot be gath- 
ered from the minutes, but the vote on the issuing of the case is 
recorded. The vote, when taken, stood thus: To confirm (the decis- 
ion of Session) in part, 26 ; to confirm absolutely, 17 ; to reverse, 1 ; to 



HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 187 

reverse in part, 1. Then a committee was appointed to bring in a 
minvite expressive of the views of Presbyteiy in the whole case. 
What is most remarkable in the report of the committee in this case 
is, (and for this reason only the case is noticed in this history,) that no 
man can gather from it what were really the merits of the case, or 
what was the decision of the Presbytery after all. The presumption 
is, that the case being fresh in the minds of the Presbyterj'^ at the 
time, in recording the action on the case, it was forgotten that these 
minutes were to be read in the future, and to be reviewed by the 
SujDerior Court. Had this case been appealed to the Synod, from all 
that appears on the minutes, the Synod would have had no data on 
which to proceed, and must have depended wholly on the simple state- 
ments of the members of the Presbytery. At all events, the minute 
l^repared by the committee in this case, and the vote of the members 
as recorded, seem to be at variance ; it sustains nothing, and condemns 
nothing. Like many other reports made in similar cases, the latter 
part is made to neutralize the former part. 

During this meeting the Presbytery recommended the Ashmun 
Institute to the confidence of the churches, and enjoined that, on a 
day named, collections should be taken in its behalf. The revised 
Book of Discipline proposed by the General Assembly, and sent down 
to the Presbyteries for their opinion, was taken under consideration 
and the following resolution adopted unanimously : 

^^ Resolved, That although the Book is not what all the members would 
desire, yet upon the whole, Presbytery approve and recomiiiend its adoption 
by the General Assembly." 

Mr. D. S. Banks, Itinerant Presbyterial Missionary, made a report of 
his labors in Broad Top region, which was accepted and approved, and 
he was appointed to that service for the next six months. A call by 
a majority of the congregation of Altoona was presented for the pas- 
toral services of Mr. Banks ; but because it was irregular, the Presby- 
tery refused to put it into his hands. 

The Rev. A. B. Clarke, the former pastor of the church, was con- 
fined to his house by the disease of which he not long afterwards died. 
A committee of Presbytery was appointed to visit him, and express 
the sympathy of the Presbytery with him in his aflfliction. This 
committee consisted of Messrs. McClean, Hamill and Lawrence. A 
committee was appointed to visit Broad Top region, and gather such 
facts as may justify Presbytery, possibly, in organizing a congregation 
and erecting a church there. 



188 HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 

Mr. J. D. Beale, having passed through all his trials to the satisfac- 
tion of Presbytery, was licensed to preach the Gospel. 

At the adjourned meeting, held June 16, 1863, the Rev. A. H. Hal- 
LOWAY was received from the Presbytery of West Lexington ; and he 
continued to labor for a few years in the congregation of Beulah, 
Clearfield county, and is now pastor of the church of Danville, New 
Jersey. 

Dr. D. D. Clarke, chairman of a committee appointed to prepare an 
obituary of Rev. J. S. Woods, D. D., reported at this meeting, and the 
paper was ordered to be inserted in the book kept for this purpose. 
The obituary was never inserted, the probable reason for the omission 
being the fact that the book was mislaid, and lost for a number of 
years. 

Mr. D. S. Banks was again called by a majority of the congregation 
of Altoona. The call was found to be in order, and put into Mr. 
Banks' hands, but declined by him. 

Mr. James Stewart was taken under the care of Presbytery as a 
candidate for the ministry, and recommended for aid to the Board of 
Education. And Rev. James C. Mahon was received from the Presby- 
tery of Bloomington. Mr. Joseph Kelly, a candidate under the care 
of Presbytery, was licensed to preach the Gospel. The committee to 
visit Saxton and the Broad Top region, reported, recommending that 
a congregation be organized at Saxton, and a church built as soon as 
practicable. And the commitee to visit the church of Little Valley, 
in view of the disturbances in that church, reported favorably as to 
the future peace and harmonj' of the church. 

The stated meeting in the Fall of 1863 was held at Pine Grove, Oc- 
tober 6. After the organization of the Presbytery it was announced 
that since the last meeting the Rev. A. B. Clarke of Altoona, had 
departed this life. The following minute, prepared by Dr. Hamill, 
was adopted unanimously, as expressive of the views of Presbytery on 
the death of Mr. Clarke : 

"The Presbytery record, with sadness, their bereavement in the loss, by 
death, of the Eev. A. B. Clarke. Commingling with us, he was a brother 
lovely and beloved in the Lord. Separated from us by the will of God, his 
memory is and shall be fragrant. Thankful for his life, his labors, and his 
influence among us, we yield him submissively to the Head of the Church, 
who has called him to a higher sphere. May we be admonished by his 
early death of the truth that ' the night cometh.' " 

Resolved, That the Rev. D. D. Clarke be appointed to prepare an 
obituary of Mr. Clarke, to be inserted in the book kept for that purpose." 



HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 189 

This, like the former, though prepared, was not inserted in the 
book, and doubtless tor the same reasons. 

The call for Mr. Banks from the Church of Altoona was again re- 
newed, but because of a respectable minority opposing, the Presbytery 
deemed it inexpedient to put the call into Mr. Banks' hands. It is 
due to Mr. Banks to record the fact, that it was not owing to any 
personal dissatisfaction with Mr. B. or his preaching, but wholly to 
the- imprudence of his friends in urging the call in the first instance 
before the actual dissolution of Mr. Clarke's pastoral relation to the 
congregation, and before his death, which was imminent at any time. 
Over this Mr. Banks is believed not to have had any control, but suf- 
fered in consequence of the indecent haste of his friends. Under 
other circumstances the whole congregation would have been glad to 
have united, in the call to so promising a young minister. 

After this, for some time, Mr. Banks still continued in the mission- 
ary field of Broad Top, at the earnest request of the people in that 
region. The Rev. S. M. Moore at this time was called to the congre- 
gation of Alexandria, and at the adjourned meeting following in 
November, his pastoral relation to Pine Grove was dissolved, and he 
transferred to Alexandria. At the same meeting in November, Mr. 
Banks was ordained as an Evangelist, the necessities of his missionary 
field requiring an ordained minister. Rev. William B. McKee was 
called to the church of Bald Eagle, the call retained by hinr for con- 
sideration till the stated meeting in the Spring, when he announced 
its acceptance, and a committee was appointed for his installation. 

The following overture was presented by the Rev. D. H. Barron, 
viz: 

" Is it Presbyterial for a session to hold stated meetings, and is it the 
duty of all the members of that session to attend every meeting, if not pro- 
videntially hindered?" 

It was answered in the affirmative. This overture was probably 
suggested by a reference from the session of Lower Tuscarora Church 
of the case of two elders, who declined attending the monthly stated 
meetings of the session, as recently practised in that congregation. 
The following paper was oftered by Dr. Gibson, and made the order of 
the day for consideration after public worship in the evening of the 
day on which it was offered, and then adopted, viz : 

"Whereas, The Board of Publication of our church having been largely 
engaged in distributing religious books and tracts gratuitously among the 
soldiers and sailors of the Union army and navy, and the funds for this 



190 HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OP HDNTINGDO^f. 

purpose in the hands of the Board being now exhausted : Therefore, the 
Presbytery earnestly recommend to all the congregations within our 
bounds, and especially the wealthy in the congregations, to contribute to 
this fund and thus enable the Board to continue in this good work, and even 
if possible to enlarge their operations." 

In connection with the passing of this paper, inquiry was made as 
to contributions to the various Boards of the Church, when, on mo- 
tion, the following paper was unanimously adopted, viz : 

" The subject of benevolence being under consideration, and upon inquiry 
it appearing that a number of churches have not yet adopted the recom- 
mendation of the Assembly to take up annual contributions for all the 
Boards of the Church ; it was 

Resolved^ That all the ministers be directed to bring this matter before 
their respective charges, and that the vacant churches not represented in 
this meeting be addressed by letter, calling their urgent attention to the 
subject, to report at the next stated meeting of the Presbytery." 

Near the closing of the session of the Presbytery held at Pine 
Grove, October 8, 1863, the following paper was adopted on the state 
of the country : 

"Whereas, This Presbytery has never expressed in any formal manner 
its attachment to the Union, and its sympathy with the country in the con- 
flict of loyalty with an uncaused and wicked rebellion, supposing that the 
action of our General Assembly — the highest court of our church — was 
sufficient evidence of our loyalty, as for all this action our commissioners 
have always voted. But least hereafter it should be supposed from the 
absence of any Presbyterial action on this subject, that we as a Presbytery 
were indifferent to the cause of the country, and of doubtful loyalty, there- 
fore, we deem it proper to adopt the folloAving resolutions : 

1st. Resolved, That we are unalterably attached to the Union, and instead 
of having sympathy with those in rebellion against the Government, we 
unhesitantly condemn and denounce the rebellion as wicked and uncaused. 

2d. Resolved, That we approve of the Government putting down the 
rebellion. 

3d. Resolved, That we nevertheless will hail the return of peace on just 
and honorable terms, securing the unity of all the States, and promising 
permanent security against a similar rebellion in all time to come." 

Mr. Andrew Parker, a member of the clnu'ch of Mifflintown, was 
taken under the care of Presbytery as a candidate for the ministry, 
and recommended to the Board of Education for aid. 

The Presbytery held its Spring sessions in Bellefonte, commencing 
April 12, 1864. 

The liistory of the Presbytery during this year, is only a record of 
the several changes which occurred in pastoral relations, and the 



HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OP HUNTINGDON. 191 

addition of new names to the roll of Presbytery, with other ordinary 
business. Mr. William E. I jams was received under the care of Pres- 
bytery as a candidate for the Gospel ministry, after the usual exami- 
nations. He was introduced to the Presbytery by Rev. 0. 0. McClean, 
under whose superintendence he had studied theology heretofore. 
His literary and scientific education had been received with a view to 
another profession. At the adjourned meeting in June following, he 
was licensed to preach the Grospel ; also at the same time Mr. J. E. 
Kearns was licensed. 

The Rev. S. T. Lowrie was dismissed to the Presbytery of Alle- 
ghany city. The Rev. R. M. Wallace was received from the Presby- 
tery of Redstone, a call put into his hands from the Church of 
Altoona, over which he was installed on the 6th of May following. 

Mr. Washington 0. Wright, a licentiate of the Presbytery of New 
Castle, was after examination taken under the care of Presbytery. 
Mr. W. having been called to the pastoral charge of the congregations 
of Philipsburg and Morris, was ordained and installed pastor of the 
first named Church on the 13th of June, and on the next day of the 
Church of Morris by a committee of Presbytery. 

The death of the Rev. G. W. Thompson, D. T>., late pastor of Lower 
Tuscarora church, being announced, a committee consisting of Rev. 0. 
0. McClean, Rev. J. W. White and Rev. D. Sterrett were appointed 
to prepare an obituary of Dr. Thompson for the Book of Presbytery, 
kept for this purpose ; but for the present the following minute was 
made in reference to this sad event. 

" Inasmuch as it has pleased God, in the exercise of his infinite wisdom 
and goodness, to remove from earth, since the last meeting of Presbytery, 
the Rev. G. W. Thompson, D. D., who was yet in the strength of his man- 
hood, and the midst of his usefulnees ; therefore, 

Resolved, That we, as a Presbytery, mourn his death as the loss of an in- 
strument owned of God in turning many to righteousness — an able and 
faithful preacher of the word — an honored member of our Presbytery, and 
a brother beloved. We recognize the hand of God in this unexpected 
event, and bow in humble submission to his will. While we sorrow that we 
shall see his face no more, we sorrow not as those that have no hope. We 
also feel stimulated by this solemn event to be more zealous and active in 
the Master's service, that we may finish our course with joy, and be ever 
ready to exchange the labors and trials of earth for the rest and enjoy- 
ment of Heaven." 

The Rev. John Moore, pastor of the church of Williamsburg, signi- 
fied his purpose to resign the charge ; and the congregation being noti- 



192 HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OP HUNTINGDON. 

fied and consenting, at the adjourned meeting in June his relation 
was dissolved, and, at his request, he was dismissed to the Contral 
Presbytery of Philadelphia. Mr. Moore, having made arrangements 
to take charge of a female seminary in Mantua Village, West Phila- 
delphia, the following paper offered by Dr. Gibson was adopted : 

'■'■Resolved, That Presbytery have confidence in the ability of the Rev. 
John Moore to teach and conduct such a school as that of which he is 
about to take charge, and commend his female seminary to the patronage 
of those who have daughters to educate." 

The Eev. Wm. A. Hooper's pastoral relation to the churches of Bir- 
mingham and Tyrone city, was also at this time dissolved. As the 
vacant churches of the Presbytery had got into the habit of asking 
leave to supply themselves with preaching, the Presbytery adopted 
the following resolution on the subject : 

'■'Resolved, That the custom of churches asking leave to supply them- 
selves has been abused ; the original design of the privilege being to enable 
the churches to obtain pastors, or with the permission of Presbytery, stated 
supplies ; and that we cannot re^rd it as according to Presbyterian order 
that churches should make their own arrangements independent of Presby- 
teries ; and therefore this Presbytery would earnestly enjoin upon the 
churches under our care to return to the old paths." 

It is not known that this resolution produced any perceptible effect. 
The churches continued to apply for leave, and the Presbytery was 
hardly ever known to refuse the privilege to this day. The Rev. Dr. 
Knox being present as the representative of the Board of Domestic 
Missions, and having addressed the Presbytery on the subject, the fol- 
lowing resolutions were adopted, viz : 

" Resolved, That we hereby express anew our profound sense of the im- 
portance and obligation of this great scheme of benificence, as identified 
not only with the progress and influence of our own church, but also with 
the righteousnesss and glory of our land ; believing that the Gospel is not 
only the salvation of the soul, but also the strength of the State. 

Resolved, That we cordially approve of the plan of extended operations 
of the Board of Domestic Missions as clearly called for in the Providence 
of God, by the extraordinary circumstances of the times. 

Resolved, That we will do what in us lies to increase our contributions to 
this cause for the coming year." 

The Presbytery, at this time, re-affirmed the resolutious adopted 
October 8, 1863, in relation to the state of the country. 

At the close of this stated meeting of the Presbytery, the venerable 
Dr. James Linn, now in the 81st year of his age, after a few solemn 



HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. IQo 

and affecting words, stated that, in all probability, he had met with 
the Presbytery for the last time, and closed the sessions with prayer. 
It proved to be the last time, though Dr. Linn lived till the begin- 
ning of the year 1868, but through infirmities was unable to go from 
home to attend the after meetings of the Presbytery. Indeed it was 
at his special request that this meeting was held in Bellefonte, that he 
might be present. In addition to the items of business already 
noticed, as transacted at the adjourned meeting of this year, held in 
June at Philipsburg, a call was presented to Presbytery for the Rev. 
N. G. White of Carlisle Presbytery, but having been made out before 
Mr. Moore's pastoral relation to that church was dissolved, the call 
was returned to the congregation, with directions to hold another 
meeting of the congregation in accordance with the rules. 

Mr. James C. Boal, a member of Spring Creek chui'ch, was at this 
time taken under the care of the Presbytery, as a candidate, and 
recommended to the Board for aid. 

The Rev. G. W. Vanartsdalen was permitted to resign the charge 
of Upper Tuscarora congregation. Mr. J. D. Beale, a licentiate of 
the Presbytery, was called to Middle Tuscarora, and at an adjourned 
meeting, held on the 11th of August at East Waterford, in the bounds 
of the Middle Tuscarora congregation, he was ordained and installed. 

The stated meeting of the Presbytery in October, 1864, was held in 
the church of vShirleysburg. The business of Presbytery was mostly 
of the ordinary routine. Mr. W. B. Noble, a member of the church of 
Yellow Creek, after due examination, was taken under care of Pres- 
bytery as a candidate for the ministry ; and the Rev. W. A. Fleming' 
was received from the Presbytery of Peoria, and his name entered on 
the roll of members. The Rev. John M. Galloway, by letter, re- 
quested leave to resign the pastoral charge of the church of Clearfield 
town on account of ill health. The congregation concurring in the 
request, it was granted. The Rev. N. G. White presented a certificate 
of dismission from the Presbytery of Carlisle, and was enrolled as a 
member of this Presbytery. The call from Williamsburg having been 
renewed in an orderly way, was jjut into his hands, accepted, and a 
committee appointed to install him on the seventh of November 
following. 

The following standing rules in relation to students for the ministry, 
were adopted : 

" 1st. It shall be the duty of each candidate to report to Presbytery an- 
25 



194 HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 

nualh', in person, for the purpose of undergoing such examination as the 
Preshytery may deem expedient. 

2d. When any candidate may providentially be unable to appear before 
Presbytery, according to the foregoing rule, he shall, in lieu of personal at- 
tendance, transmit to the chairman of the Committee on Education a 
written communication, to satisfy Presbytery of his industry, punctuality, 
and progress as a student, and his good standing as a christian. 

3d. It shall be the duty of the chairman of the Commtitee on Education 
to inform each candidate of the existence and nature of these rules. 

4th. No candidate shall afterwards be recommended to the Board of Edu- 
cation for aid, who, after being informed of these rules, shall fail to conform 
to them." 

At this time the Presbytery, recognizing how unseemly it was to 
have a number of ministers unemployed, and yet urging upon parents 
to consecrate their sons, and the youth to consecrate themselves to 
the work of the ministry, in view of wants of the world, appointed 
the '^ Rev. Messrs. Lowrie, McClean and Allison a committee to de- 
vise a plan by which ministers out of charges could be employed in 
preaching the Gospel." 

The blame was not believed to lie at the door of the unemployed 
ministers, except in a very few exceptional cases. It was mainly sup- 
posed to exist from the want of appropriate means of bringing the 
unemployed ministers and vacant congregations together; but not 
only this, but also in the growing disposition in the churches onlj'^ to 
settle a young minister just from the Seminary, or of but a few years 
experience in the ministry. It has become a sad and is still a growing 
■ evil, and if some means be not devised to arrest the tendency, will do 
more ihan anything else in deterring young men of reflection from 
entering the ministry. Young ministers in time grow old, and as the 
fathers are being treated, and have been, so may they expect in their 
turn to be treated. It is a notorious fact, that after a minister has 
reached his forty-fifth, or his fiftieth year in age, in nine cases out 
of ten, he is considered as unsuitable to minister to most congrega- 
tions, though his eye be not dim, or his natural force abated. Con- 
trary to universal experience in all other professions, a novice is 
preferred to one of enlarged experience and attainments. Men and 
women will not trust the health of their bodies to the young and 
inexperienced physician, if they can help it, but souls seem to be less 
(X)nsidered in the choice of a pastor. If it were not so serious a mat- 
ter, it would be a subject of ridicule, to hear old grey headed men and 



HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 195 

elders just tottering upon the brink of the grave, saying of a minister 
only just past middle age, "he is too old to preach to our congrega- 
tion!" The good elders, however, are just now having the tables 
turned upon themselves. What means this growing taste for rota- 
tion in the eldership? The elders are getting too old to serve their 
respective congregations. The Head of the Church did not think that 
age was an objection when he instituted the office, and called its 
occupants Presbuieroi. The very name implies that the elders shall be 
of experienced, established age. And every congregation in selecting 
their elders, will find it for the interests of peace and purity, to select 
that class of men. Brother ministers are also often to blame in hin- 
dering the settlement of unoccupied ministers. We do not know 
that many ministers are as inconsiderate as was one, who meeting 
an elder of a vacant congregation, asked " who supplied your pulpit 
hxst Sabbath?" and when he was told, replied "why he is an old 
man! You don't want an old man.^^ At the same time the speaker 
was at least ten years older than the brother of whom he spoke, and 
the congregation thus advised has had at least two of the class of 
young ministers since, and that old minister has been serving another 
congregation with acceptance, and as vigorously as in his younger 
days, and far more wisely. Other reasons, no doubt, operate to this 
end; it is unnecessary to mention them, as they may occur to the 
reader's mind. In view of a circular issued by the Board of Foreign 
Missions about this time, the following resolutions were offered by Dr. 
Clarke, and unanimously adopted, viz : 

" Whereas, our Board of Foreign Missions in a recent circular to our 
churches, has given us the mournful intimation, that in consequence of the 
great difference in exchange the missionary operations are threatened with 
serious embarrassment, if not disaster, to the extent of recalling some of 
our missionaries, and abandoning important and promising fields, unless 
relieved by immediate and enlarged contributions ; therefore, 

Resolved, 1st. That we earnestly invite our people to increase their gifts 
to this precious cause, that the eminent peril to its interests may with the 
Divine favor be averted, and the good work carried successfully forward. 

2d. Belying on the guidance and blessing of the Master, we pledge 
ourselves to prompt and earnest efforts to give such a response to the urgent 
call of our excellent Board as will attest our sympathies in its trials, and 
afford as far as we can do it the required succor." 

We have no means now of ascertaining the result of this appeal, 
but by referring to the minutes of the Ceneral Assembly of the sue- 



196 HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 

ceeding year. By doing so it will be seen, that while some congrega- 
tions always were forward in this cause, this year the contributions 
were doubled, and in some congregations more than doubled, when 
compared with previous years. And this was during the years of the 
rebellion, when private resources were taxed continually in behalf of 
the soldiers in the field. 

In connection with the subject of contributions to the Boards of the 
Church, and particularly the Board of Foreign Missions, it may be 
appropriate to give the report of the Committee on the state of reli- 
gion during these years of distraction. After a free conversation on 
the state of religion, the Committee on the narrative, compressed the 
whole into the following report, viz : 

" The Committee on the state of religion in our bounds report, that 
while there are no indications of the special presence of the Spirit in the 
churches, refreshing God's people and gathering in sinners largely from the 
world, yet in general the state of religion in our congregations is gratify- 
ing and enc'-uraging. 

The ordinances have been regularly administered, the attendance on the 
means of grace is good ; Sabbath-Schools are flourishing, and a general 
prosperity visible. One gratifying feature is, that amid the political excite- 
ment of the day, the Churches have been preserved from distraction and are 
in peace. We gather also from the statements of the brethren, that in 
many of the churches, the contributions to religious objects has been con- 
siderably increased, and in a number of the charges, the pastor's salary has 
been increased." 

After the adoption of the above report, a motion was made and 
carried unanimouslv, " that the elders and trustees of the churches 
connected with this Presbytery, which have not recently made any 
additions to their pastor's salary, be requested to have a meeting and 
inquire whether duty to the Church's Head, and to his ministers, 
does not require that there should be an addition to the salaries of 
their pastors, and that said elders and trustees report to Presbytery at 
the next stated meeting the result of their deliberations and action 
on this subject." 

The expenses of living had greatly increased during and since the 
war. A salary which before might have been competent, was now 
insutficient, while the truth is, the larger number of salaries never 
were sufficient at any time. The necessity of a suggestion on the 
part of Presbytery arose from inconsicleration on the part of congre- 
gations. Farmers, tradesmen, and merchants, could live as comforta- 



HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 197 

bly as before, for the price of labor, and all kinds of merchandise, had 
been greatly enhanced. 

A committee appointed on Systematic Benevolence reported in 
substance, that all the churches be enjoined to take up annual collec- 
tions for all the Boards and the disabled minister's fund, that it be 
enjoined on the Sessions of all the churches to record on their 
minutes a resolution to this effect, and that the moderator request a 
pledge of each member of the Presbytery now present that he will 
see to it that this matter be attended to without delay. The Presby- 
tery had previously adopted the following resolution : 

"That no church be recommended to the Board of Domestic Missions 
for aid, unless it take up collections annually for all the Boards." 

Dr. 0. 0. McClean offered the following resolution, which was 

adopted : 

" Resolved, That those who have charge of Sabbath Schools be more 
careful in the selection of books, and that, as far as possible, the books be 
selected from those published by our own Board. ' ' 

At a meeting of the Presbytery during the sessions of the Synod at 
Lewistown, October 21, 1864, Rev. Messrs. William Prideaux and John 
H. Clarke were received from the Presbytery of Carlisle. Mr. Pri- 
deaux was called to Little Valley, and Mr. Clarke to Tyrone and 
Birmingham. 

Suggestion having been made in Synod in regard to furnishing del- 
egates to the United States Christian Commission, a committee was 
appointed to report on the subject, and so to arrange matters that 
pastors who may feel free to volunteer in this service temporally, as 
well as elders or other christian laymen, might do so with the least 
possible inconvenience and sacrifice on the part of the congregations. 
This committee reported at considerable length, offering a number of 
judicious suggestions for carrying out the objects of the Presbytery. 
This report was adopted by the Presbytery ; but it is only necessary 
now to record the first two resolutions, viz : 

" 1. That the work of the United States Christian Commission is a very 
important and necessary part of the Church's duty to the suffering. 

2. That the Presbytery hereby gives its earnest and cordial sanction to 
such of its ministers and ruling elders as may engage personally in this 
work of faith and love, under the direction of a committee to be appointed 
by the Presbytery for this purpose." 

It is believed that several did, both before and after this, engage in 
the service of the Christian Commission. 



198 , HISTORY or THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 

With some statements in regard to revivals of religion during the 
time embraced in the history of the Presbytery, it is deemed proper 
with this ecclesiastical year to close this historj'. 

As it was not generally the custom to make any permanent record 
of the report of the committee appointed at each stated meeting on 
the state of religion, there are no means of arriving at any probable 
knowledge in reference to special times of revival, except by cmisulting 
the statistics in the minutes of the General Assembly of the reported 
additions from year to year. And yet these presbyterial reports are 
known to be very inadequate and inaccurate ; not because of any neg 
lect on the part of the stated clerks, but because of insuflBcient or no 
reports on the part of the congregations. We know that there were 
extensive revivals throughout the churches of the Presbytery, which 
would scarcely be suspected by consulting the statistical tables. 

However, consulting these tables from 1831 to 1864, it will be found 
that the years 1832-3, 1842-3, 1854-5, 1858-9, must have been years of 
the special outpouring of Spirit, compared with some former years. 
In the presbyterial report made to the General Assembly in 1843, 
there were noted the following unusual additions to the churches 
named, on examination. To the church of Lewistown, 52; to Franks- 
town, (HoUidaysburg,) 153; to Alexandria and Harts Log, 79; to 
Lower Tuscarora, 106; to Perryville, (Milroy,) 113; to McVeytown 
and Newton Hamilton, 125; to Williamsburg and Mar tinsburg, 75; to 
Middle Tuscarora, 52. In summing up the admissions on examination 
of that year, they will be seen to be nearly double those of any other 
year since the organization of the Presbytery. And yet other years 
were not without their ft-uits, and special indications of the presence 
of the Spirit of God in the churches. Churches, like individual 
christians, have their times of declension ; and no doubt from much 
the same causes. But in the years wherein there were not so many 
additions to the churches from the world, perhaps believers were 
growing in grace, and becoming more established in the faith. The 
solid prosperity of the chuich is not always to be measured by the 
numbers added from the world. If the members of the churches be 
walking in all the ordinances and commandments of the Lord blame- 
lessly, the saving work of the' Gospel upon those that are without, 
will not long be wanting. But a true revival of religion begins first 
among the members of the church. Indeed the very term properly 
implies this. A real and extensive revival of religion may be con- 
ceived of, where there is not one addition made to the church from 



HISTORY OF THE PRESByTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 199 

the world ; though this is not a common experience. Yet indeed 
there has been a marked and thorough revival of religion, where there 
has not been much material around to gather in. 

But what it is desired to record is, that the Presbytery of Hunting- 
don has had its revivals, not apparently so extensive as in some other 
parts ; but quite extensively as to the materials to be operated upon. 
Twenty to be added at one time to a church in the country, or in a 
small country village, is quite as extensive as hundreds in large cities, 
when the materials are compared. But it is not becoming for those 
to make any boast of the gracious work of the Holy Spirit, who do 
not deserve the least recognition by way of approval of very imper- 
fect service. To Him be the glory who works sovereignly, and by the 
feeblest instrumentality. 



200 



HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON". 



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HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 



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HISTORY OF THE PRESBYTERY OF HUNTINGDON. 



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PART 11. 



BIOGMPHIGAL SKETCHES OE DECEASED 
MEMBERS OE THE PHESBYTERY. 



■'■'■■■ .':>;:■ 



REV. JOHN HOGE. 



TTERY little is known, at the present time, concerning this excel- 
' lent domestic missionary ; for such he appears to have been all 
his ministerial life, at least so far as it was connected with the Presby- 
tery of Huntingdon. He was one of the original members of the 
Presbytery, and appointed to preside at its organization, and was after- 
wards the first moderator by choice of the members. The place and 
time of his birth are to us unknown. It is probable he was of foreign 
birth. At the time of the organization of the Presbytery he must 
have been of considerable age, and possibly may have been the oldest 
member of Presbytery, as he was appointed to preside at the organiza- 
tion, and only lived twelve years afterwards. If he were not the old- 
est member, then he must have been the one at the time best known 
to the Greneral Assembly. He may, however, have been the only min- 
ister present from that part of the Presbytery of Carlisle which was to 
be constituted into the new Presbytery, and therefore appointed to 
preside at the organization. The first authentic information we have 
been able to obtain of Mr. Hoge, is the record of his being attached 
to the old Presbytery of Donegal, along with Messrs. Roan, Rob't Smith 
and Sampson Smith, by order of Synod, June 5, 1759. Two years be- 
fore the formation of the Presbytery of Huntingdon he was appointed 
to supply in Northumberland county. One year previous to the or- 
ganization he was appointed to supply at discretion. He was doubt- 
less so employed, and in that part of the Presbytery of Carlisle when 
the Presbytery was set off. The balance of his ministerial life was 
spent in the same region ; though no one can be found who can give 
any definite information concerning him. He had a family, of whom 



212 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF DECEASED MEMBERS. 

nothing is known, except that there were one or two grandsons of his 
living near Watsontown, Northumberland county, a few years ago. It 
appears from the records of three Presbyteries, that he was always 
highly esteemed as a minister and a presbyter, and bore an unques- 
tioned character for piety ; and we would infer that he was held 
in consideration as a preacher. He appears never to have been a 
settled pastor. It is probable he had peculiar talents for hunting 
up and gathering together the scattered members of the church. 
He died on the 11th day of February, 1807. His age at the time 
of his death is not known, but he must have been an old man, as 
he was an ordained minister in 1759, forty-eight years before the time 
of his death. 



REV. JAMES MARTIN. 



M 



R. MARTIN was a native of the County Down, Ireland. He 
came to this country in the year 1774 or '75. He was then a 
licensed and ordained minister of the Associate Secession church, and 
for a time labored in that connexion in the State of South Carolina. 
In the year 1776 he joined the Synod of Philadelphia; and the next 
year was annexed to the old Presbytery of Donegal, or the same year ; 
and was enrolled a member of the Presbytery, Jvme 18, 1777. Mr. 
Martin was first settled at Piney Creek, being installed November 9, 
1780. He continued in this relation until April 15, 1789, when the 
pastoral relation was dissolved ; and at the same time he received and 
accepted a call from East and West Penn's Valley, Warrior Mark and 
Half Moon. This was a very extensive charge, as those at all ac- 
quainted with the region of country will at once perceive. In this 
charge he continued till the time of his death, which occurred on the 
20th of June, 1795. 

Mr. Martin was one of the original members of the Presbytery, and 
it was in his church in East Penn's Valley, that the Presbytery was 
organized. We have no means now of certainly knowing, but have 
every reason to believe that this was the largest charge, as it respects 
the number of church members, within the bounds of the Presbytery 
at that time. 

From the reports that have come down to us by tradition, we have 
no hesitation in believing that he was an able, orthodox and popular 
preacher. And we judge not alone by the reports that have come 
down from his times, but have had the opportunity of examining for 
ourselves some skeleton sermons of his, with which we were favored 
by his grandson. He is said to have been a very earnest, animated 
speaker, and we know that such notes of sermons, filled up by such a 
speaker, must have commanded the attention of any avidience. Like 
all the preachers of that day, and those especially of the denomina- 
tion from which he originally came, his sermons were long, perhaps 



214 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF DECEASED MEMBERS. 

seldom less than an hour and a half, and sometimes considerably 
longer. In a warm summer day, it was not unusual for him to take 
off his coat, and preach in his shirt sleeves. In the pulpit he was very 
forgetful of himself and his personal appearance, so intently was he 
taken up in his subject. A daughter-in-law, then an aged lady, many 
years ago, told the writer that he would first take off his coat, then 
begin to loosen his cravat, and conclude by taking off his wig, holding 
it in his hand, and shaking it in the face of the congregation. 
Another relative says, that during the course of his sermon his wig 
would become all awry, the back part turned to the front, and he all 
unconscious of the metamorphosis. Surely a man of such earnestness 
was above and beyond the ridicule of the profane. Mr. Martin did 
not live long after the organization of the Presbytery. Indeed he 
only met with with the Presbytery that one time, as he died before 
another meeting. The Presbytery was constituted on the 14th of 
April, 1795, and Mr. Martin died on the 20th of June the same year. 

He resided in Penn's Valley, near to Spring Mills, and is buried in 
the old grave yard near by ; where there is yet standing an old log 
church, or was a few years ago, then occupied by a Lutheran congre- 
gation. If not the same houi^e in which Mr. Martin used to preach, 
it stands upon the same spot of ground. The writer once stood at his 
grave and read the inscrijjtion on his grave stone, still legible, though 
he was then dead sixty years. Mr. Martin was twice married. His 
first wife was Annie McCouiiLOUGH, who died when Samuel, her young- 
est son, was some two hours old. His second wife was Ellen David- 
son of York county. After his death she returned to York county. 
She had no children. A grand-daughter thinks he was about sixty 
years of age when he died. Mr. Martin had four sons, James, Sam- 
uel, John and Robert, and three daughters. James, the eldest, was 
educated for the ministry, but never became a minister ; and spent his 
life in teaching. He never married. John married, and we have 
some of his children among us at this day. Of the history of Samuel 
we know nothing. Robert removed to Kentucky, and some of his 
descendants are living there at this time. 

One of his daughters married Edward Bell, Esq. of Tuckahoe Val- 
ley. She was the mother of a numerous family, one of whom is a 
minister in the regular Baptist denomination ; and but for him the 
ministerial profession would have become extinct in the Martin line. 
Another married Judge John Stewart of Canoe Valley, Huntingdon 
county, who also left sons and daughters of respectability and influ- 



BIOGKAPHICAL SKETCHES OF DECEASED MEMBERS. 315 

ence in their day. A third daughter married a gentleman also of the 
name of Bell, but no relative of the former. Without being able to 
state the precise age of Mr. Martin at the time of his death, there are 
reasons inducing the belief that he could not have been much less 
than sixty-seven. We know that he was preaching in Ireland in 1758, 
and he may have been 30 years of age at that time, which would make 
him 67 at the time of his death. 

The notes of a single sermon, or rather part of a sermon, by Mr. 
Martin, are subjoined as a specimen of his mode of sermonizing, and 
of his theology, showing it to be of the good old Pauline type. And 
it may be added, that he seldom, if ever, wrote out a sermon in full, 
which was not fashionable in those times. But if any suppose that 
their sermons were not duly studied and prepared, they are greatly 
mistaken. They had not time to waste on the mechanical part, or for 
ornamentation, but the substantial part was genuine food for hungry 
souls. 

The text is taken from the Epistle to the Ephesians, 2cl chapter, 3, 
4, 5 verses ; particularly the last part of the 3d verse — " and were by 
nature the children of wrath, even as others.'''' 

From this text the following doctrine was raised : Doctrine — Though 
the state of all mankind by nature, and actvial transgression, is a state 
of misery — a state wherein they are liable to wrath — yet it is not a 
desperate state, for as such they are objects of mercy and redeeming 
love. Or shortly — though man's state by nature is deplorable yet it is 
not desperate. 

I. I will shew what is presupposed or imported in being children of 
wrath by nature. 

II. Treat of and confirm the point, viz : that we are children of 
wrath by nature. 

III. Shew that this makes not our case desperate, because we have 
to do with a God that is rich in mercy, who will not, for his great love 
wherewith he hath loved mankind sinners, fail to save all that make 
application to him as in Christ. 

15. Deduce some inferences. 

I. what is presupposed, &c. 

1. That they are sinners — are guilty of sin. (1.) Tmputatively. 
(2.) Inherently. 

2. Their being guilty and polluted further presupposes their rela- 
tion to Adam as their natural and moral, or federal head ; that a cove- 
nant was entered — Gen. 2 : 16, 17 ; 3 : 2, 3 ; Hosea 6:7; Eom. 5 : 12 to 
the end. 



316 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF DECEASED MEMBERS. 

3. His breach of the covenant — Rom. 5: 12, &c., &c., &c. 

4 His losing the image of Grod as a punishment, and our losing it 
in him — so by nature we are children of wrath, i. e. we are under the 
curse of the broken covenant, have forfeited the image of God, or are 
spiritually dead, liable to all temporal miseries, " to death itself, and 
the pains of hell forever," (Shorter Catechism.) 

But this is the point to be proved, 2d Head. 

We might illustrate and confirm by many arguments. The Scrip- 
tures abound with direct and positive statements, all which might be 
insisted upon to prove that we are both guilty and filthy by nature, 
and liable to all miseries. 

1. All mankind by nature are under the curse of the law, and guilty 
before Grod. Eom. 3 : 19. Not a few, or some only, for the apostle has 
both .Jews and Grentiles, whether young or old, to be under sin and 
wrath ; the reason is, because all have sinned, verse 23, and none need 
justification by grace but such. If there are any not guilty, they 
have no need of a Redeemer ; but all have sinned in their federal 
head. Rom. 5 : 19. 

2. If all are liable to death, spiritual, temporal and eternal, then all, 
young and old, must be by nature children of wi-ath ; for if children 
are subject to death, though but natural death, they must be guilty of 
some sin, either committed by themselves or some other, for death is 
the wages of sin. Rom. 6 : 23 and 5 : 14. 

3. Children stand in need of being blessed by Christ, because they 
are guilty and unclean. "Suffer little children," &c. Circumcision 
under the law, and baptism under the Gospel, prove their guilt and 
defilement. They need to be baptized with the Holy Ghost. John 
1 : 33. If children are pure, then the Disciples were right in forbid - 
ding them to be brought to Christ. 

4. The above competent Judge has declared that every imagination 
of man's heart is only evil continually — and from his infancy. Gen. 
6: 5 and 8:21. 

5. The Spirit of God has declared it a thing impossible to bring a 
clean thing out of an unclean. Job 14 : 4. Psalms 51 : 5. According 
to the laws of natural propagation this cannot be done ; hence Jesus 
must be born after an extraordinary manner. This serves to prove 
our natural defilement. 

6. If none can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born 
again, then in their natural state they must be utterly wrecked and 
ruined. John 3:3, 5, 6. The contrary notion renders regeneration 
an empty thing. 

7. Unless all, young and old, are children of wrath by nature, they 
are not objects of mercy in their natural state. 



REV. HUGH MAGILL. 



MR. MAGILL was one of the original members of the Presbytery. 
He was a native of Ireland, licensed and ordained before coni- 
hig to this country. He was received by the 2d Presbytery of Phila- 
delphia in 1776 ; and was dismissed to the Presbytery of Donegal, Oc- 
tober 15, 1777, and installed pastor of Lower Tuscarora and Cedar 
Spring, November, 1789. (Cedar Sj^ring congregation is now known as 
Mifflin and Lost Creek.) This was sixteen years before the organiza- 
tion of the Presbytery of Huntingdon. At the next meeting of thf- 
Presbj^tery after the organization, Mr. Magill's pastoral relation to 
Lower Tuscarora was dissolved at his own request, and with the con- 
sent of the congregation. The reasons assigned were, his age, infirm- 
ities, and other circumstances. He continued to be the pastor of 
Cedar Spring till the beginning of the year 1799, at whicli time, by 
mutual consent, this pastoral relation was dissolved. Towards him, at 
this time, the congregation of Cedar Spring manifested a commenda- 
ble spirit of generosity. In consideration of his infirmities, and past 
labors, they agreed to pay him an annuity of thirty dollars, and con- 
tinue to him the use of the Grlebe during his natural life ; with certain 
provisos which were eminently reasonable. Difficulties afterwards 
arose between Mr. Magii.l and the congregation, which required the. 
intei'position of Presbytery. The truth of history requires us to state 
that the fault does not appear to liave been on the part of the congre- 
gation, but Mr. Magill herein manifested not only bodily infirmities, 
but great infirmities of mind. At one time during the progress of 
these difficulties he renounced the authority of Presbytery, but after- 
wards submitted himself to their judgment, which was very lenient in 
view of his age and infirmities. He was removed by deatli on the 14t]i 
of September, 1805. 



2S 



KEY. JOHN JOHNSTON. 



THE Rev. John Johnston was born in, or near to the city of Belfast, 
Ireland, in the year 1750. He came to this country in 1784-5, 
and was received by the 1st Presbytery of Philadelphia from the Pres- 
bytery of Belfast, as an ordained minister the same year. Was receiv- 
ed by the Presbytery of Carlisle from the Presbytery of Philadelphia. 
May 26, 1787, and installed pastor of Harts Log and Shaver's Creek, 
November following. His pastoral relation with Shaver's Creek was 
dissolved, October 7, 1789 ; and he accepted a call from Huntingdon 
and neighborhood for one-half of his time, April 13, 1790. He was 
probably married about the year 1788 to Jane McBeth of Cumberland 
county, Pa. Her father then owned what was called the Big Spring 
farm in said county. 

At the time when Mr. Johnston commenced his pastoral labors in 
the town of Huntingdon the congregation had no house of worship of 
their own, for the deed of the lot on which the first church was built 
is dated 14th November, 1795 ; and Mr. Johnston's name appears as 
one of the board of trustees to whom the deed was made, together 
with Andrew Henderson, John Patton, Matthew Simpson and Wil- 
liam Nesbit. But the congregation was recognized as an organized 
congregation in 1790. They probably worshipped in the Court House, 
or some other public building, till this time. Mr. Johnston continued 
to be the pastor of the united congregations of Harts Log and Hunt- 
ingdon till near the close of his life. He resigned the charge of the 
former congregation June 13, 1823, and died December 16, of the same 
year. 

During the progress of the war with England, beginning in 1812, 
some dissatisfaction with Mr. Johnston's ministerial services appeared 
in the congregation of Harts Log, which finally resulted in a division 
of the congregation, of which we have given an account in the course 
of this historj'^, and which appears to have been mainly political. It 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF DECEASED MEMBERS. 219 

was not a personal opposition to him, only as he happened to diflFer 
from a part of the congregation in his views of public events then 
transpiring. He held the larger part of the congregation of Harts 
Log till near the time of his death ; and then the relation was dis- 
solved at his own request, and because of the infirmities of old age. 
Mr. Johnston died, as already stated, in the middle of the last month 
of the year 1823, in the 73d yt'ar of his age He left a family of siN 
children — four sons, Alexander, Thomas, Andrew and John ; and two 
daughters, Margaret and Anna. His sons are still living, the daugh- 
ters are dead. Alexander, the eldest, is a phj'^sician of eminent skill. 
will) practised long in the town and vicinity of Hollidaysburg, but has 
now retired, and is living in the town of Armagh, Indiana county. 
Andrew is still residing in Huntingdon, the place of his birth, and has 
held several county offices. Of the other sons we can give no account, 
except that they are still living.* They are a long lived family. The 
doctor, Alexander, is now between eighty and ninety years of age. 
and is still very active upon his feet. 

Mr. Johnston appears to have been the first regularly installed 
pastor of the congregation of Huntingdon. The naines of the origi- 
nal members of the session cannot now be ascertained, as the first 
records of the congregation were burned up, with the court house, 
before 1795. But it is probable that those who with Mr. Johnsto.x 
were recognized as trustees, to whom the deed was given for the lot 
on which the church was afterwards built, were also elders. Mr. -1. 
for many years taught a classical school in Huntingdon, in connection 
with the pastoral charge. He was the second stated clerk of the 
Presbytery after it was constituted, and never were the minutes more 
neatly kept, or distinctly written by any stated clerk. He appears to 
have been a superior pensman. Without having had the opportunit\ 
of inquiring of any who may be supposed to know what his reputa- 
tion was in his day as a preacher, we conclude from personal examina- 
tion of a number of his manuscripts that he was a very instructivt^ 
preacher. Nor do we know^ what was his mode of delivering his 
sermons, whether by reading or memoriter, but we know that he 
wrote out carefully and probably dei:)ended on his memory, without 
having recourse to his manuscript. If his manner in the pulpit was 
animated, his preparations were such as must have commanded the 



*Since wi-itiiig the foregoing, it has tjeen ascertained tliat Thomas, the second son of Mi 
.Johnston, is also a ptiysician and still living. 



220 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OP DECEASED MEMBERS. 



attention and edified his hearers. It was the original intention to 
have given a specimen sermon of the okl men of the original members 
of the Presbytery, by which their ordinary Sabbath performances 
might be judged, but for want of space we are compelled to abandon 
the idea. We have in our possession two sermons of Mr. Johnston on 
the Resurrection ; the one on the general subject, the other in answer 
to the question, " Whether the same body of that identical person, 
which the soul animated here, shall be raised, and that these united 
shall live throughout eternity?" These ai»e very learned and inter- 
esting discourses of which we attempted a synopsis, but found that it 
could not be done without marring the beauty and excellency of the 
sermons, and confusing the subject. However, the man and minister 
who sustained the pastoral relation to the same congregations — to one 
36 years, and to the other 33 — must have been a very respectable and 
acceptable preacher, and we know that the leading men of tliese 
congregations were always of the most intelligent character. 



REV. JAMES JOHNSTON. 



HE was a native of Franklin county, Pennsylvania. He studied 
Theology with Rev. Dr. Cooper, pastor of the congregation of 
Middle Spring, who kept a Divinity Hall, in which a number of min- 
isters of high standing in their day went through their course oi' 
study preparatoiy to licensure. He was licensed by the Presbytery of 
Donegal, October 11, 1783, and ordained by the same Presbytery 
August 19, 1784, and installed pastor of East Kishacoquillas con- 
gregation ; West Kishacoquillas was comprehended in his charge, 
though it does not appear that he was installed over the latter as a 
separate congregation. However, he was released from the charge of 
the West end by the Presbytery of Huntingdon, October 5, 1796, but 
remained pastor of the East Church, in connection with Little Valley, 
till the time of his death. The people of the West end were very 
unwilling to give him up at the time of his resignation, and proposed 
to the Presbytery that they would be satisfied with such part of his 
time as his health would permit him to give them. As he continued 
to serve East Kishacoquillas congregation for twenty -four years after 
this time, and with unabated acceptance, it is probable that in one of 
his depressed moods he resigned the charge of West Kishacoquillas, 
for he had a strong tincture of melancholy in his constitution. 

He was much respected by his co-presbyters as a minister and as a 
friend. His counsels on the floor of Presbytery were always accepta- 
ble and influential. As a preacher he was popular, and as a pastor 
much beloved by his congregation till the end of his ministry. He 
appears to have been a very scriptural preacher, i. e. dealing more with 
the Scriptures by way of proof and illustration of the doctrines which 
he advanced, than with imagination, rhetoric, or logic ; satisfied him- 
self and satisfying his people with a "Thus saith the Lord.^'' He was at- 
the same time a very affecting preacher. His own sympathies were 
very readily aroused in the pulpit by his subject, and consequently 
had much power over the sympathies of others. We have been told 



222 BIOGKAPHICAL SKETCHES 01' DECEASED MEMBERS. 

that it was not an uncommon thing to see his sermons watered by his 
tears. He was not much of a Boanergas, but he was a Barnabas, "a 
son of consolation." He seems to have had special adaptation to the 
settlement of difficulties among contending parties in the church. 
At least he was generally appointed by the Presbytery on committees 
in business of this kind, and usually the chairman. This may have 
been out of respect to his age, and sound judgment as well as his 
conciliatory disposition. In illustration of his judicious selection of a 
subject suited to such an occasion, as well as to give a specimen of his 
character as a preacher, we subjoin the notes of a sermon which he 
preached as chairman of a committee sent to endeavor to heal the 
divisions in the Church of Hart's Log in 1816. 

Rom. 14:19. " Let us therefore follow after the things which make for 
peace, and things wherewith one may edify another." 

After a comparatively long introduction, but iiot inappropriate, he 
pro230ses to discuss the text in the following order. 

1. To mention a few of those things which make for peace, and will 
have a tendency to restore and maintain peace among contending 
christians. 

IL To enforce the duty (enjoined by the Apostle in the text) by a 
few motives and arguments. 

I. MENTION A FEW THINGS WHICH MAKE FOR PEACE, &C. 

L The first thing then that I shall mention is meekness, or a tem 
per of mind that is not easily provoked, that suffers injuries without 
a disposition or desire of revenge, and quietly submits to the will of 
Grod in whatever he in the course of his providence may think fit to 
bring our way. 

2. The second is humility, which is a most excellent grace of tin- 
spirit, evidencing the subject of it to be a child of God, and is accom- 
panied with contentment, peace, and submission to the will of heaven. 

3. The third is self-denial. To deny ourselves is the fundamental 
iaw of admission into the school of Christ. It is the strait gate and 
aarrow way that leads to life and peace. 

4. A forgiving temper or disposition of mind will have a mighty 
influence in restoring and maintaining peace among contending 
christians. 

5. Another thing which restores and maintains peace among 
christians, is love, which is a gracious habit wrought in the soul by 
the operations of the Holy Spirit of Grod, whereby we are inclined to 
delight in, esteem and earnestly desire to enjoy an interest in God's 
fa^'or and communion with him as our chief good, portion and happi- 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF DECEASED MEMBERS. 223 

ness, and which disposeth us to do good to all, especially to such as 
resemble God in holiness and bear his image. Without this love to 
God and to our fellow men, agreeably to the express declaration of 
the Apostle Paul, we can have no real pretensions to religion at all. 
1 Cor. 13:1-8. 

6. I shall mention one other thing, and that is an abatement of our 
warmth about tilings indifferent, or things not essential to salvation, 
and on the contrarj- manifesting a tender zeal for the great things of 
our holy religion wherein we are all agreed. 

II. ENFORCE THE DUTY. 

And first of all I shall endeavor to enforce the duty by an argument 
which is of such a nature, that supposing I had no other, I presume 
it would be deemed sufficient by every real christian, namely, that it 
is the express command of the Great Jehovah, the Creator and 
Governor of the world. Ps. 34:14. Rom. 12:18, etc. 

2. I would urge and enforce the duty by the example of the 
Saviour. 

3. From the example of those eminent saints who have gone before 
us, and who were highly exemplary in following after the things 
which make for peace, e. g. Moses, the Apostle Paul. 

4. I would enforce the duty from the consideration that we are 
always under the immediate inspection of that adorable Being who 
looks immediately into the heart, and requires truth in the inward 
parts, and at whose tremendous bar we must all sooner or later stand 
to give an account. 

5. I would urge the duty from the consideration of the profession 
we make, and the name we wear. 

INFERENCES. 

1. Let us learn from this subject that it is our duty, and will event- 
ually turn to our interest, to be engaged in fervent prayer to God foj- 
more meekness, humility, self-denial, love, and more of a forgiving 
temper, which will have a happy influence in restoring and maintain- 
ing peace among christians. 

2. Let us learn not to be rash in impugning and condemning those 
of our fellow men who may differ from us in opinion, considering that 
they do not see with the same eyes, hear with the same ears, or under- 
stand and reason with the same brain that we do. Consider also our 
fallability, and the numerous instances in which we have been entirely 
mistaken when confident that we were in the right. 

3. Let us from this subject be led to lament the depravity of human 
nature, and to mourn over the remainders of corruption in the best 
of men while in this life, which occasion strifes and contention^' 
among real christians. 



224 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF DECEASED MEMBERS. 

4. As Jesus Christ suffered, bled and died to procure peace between 
'jrod and man, and between man and man, let us frequently take a 
view of that spotless victim, the Lamb of God ; and then may we hear 
his i:)eace speaking blood, as it were addressing us, and saying, "0 my 
follower, be at peace with God and live in peace among yourselves." 

5. Let us, my brethren, with joy anticipate the time when we hope 
to be all admitted into those mansions of rest, which the Redeemer 
has gone to prepare for his followers, when we will be fully and forever 
freed from all sin, as well as all temptations to sin, and consequently 
from all strifes and contentions, either among ourselves or with 
others. 

Mr. Johnston died at his home in East Kishacoquillas, near tlie 
town of Reedsville, on the 3d of January, 1820. The following obitu- 
ary notice was published in the Juniata Gazette (now the Lewistown Ga- 
zette) on the 20th of Januaiy following: 

"At his residence, on Monday night the 3d instant, (January, 1820,) after 
a short, but most severe illness, the Rev. James Johnston. The deceased 
was an eminent and zealous preacher of the word of God. He had, for 
many years, been stationed among and preached to two large congregations 
in Kishacoquillas and Dry Valley. His talents as a preacher were superem- 
inent. and were exerted to the utmost in the advancement of the cause of 
the Redeemer, and happiness of his people. He was tender and affectionate, 
and often have we seen him, while speaking from the jjulpit in the sincerity 
of his heart, become so nuich aifected, that utterance would be for a moment 
stopped, and his cheek suflused with a flood of tears. In conversation he 
was cheerful and animated, and his own fireside, as well as that of his 
neighbors, has lost, one of its most cheerful companions. Those who know 
him best can testify to his worth. His family has lost one of the kindest 
and best of parents, and his congregation a faithful and pious pastor. He 
has now left his earthly abode to join that heavenly throng on high, of 
which we have so often heard him speak in almost inspired strains. He 
has been a good and faithful servant of his Lord, and will, no doubt, re- 
ceive the cheering plaudit—' Well done, good and faithful servant, enter 
thou into the joy of thy Lord.' However bitter may be the anguish of his 
family and friends at their bereavement, they have the consolaticm that his 
exemplary life justifies the belief that he has only been removed from this 
world of trouble to join the heavenly hosts in the world above where pleas- 
ares never cease, and troubles come no more." 

Mr. Johnston married a daughter of ^udge Brown of Kishacoquillas 
Valley, by whom he had a family of several sons and daughters. The 
daughters, we believe, are all dead. Only one of the sons is now living. 
Though the obitiuiry notice, which is copied from the Lewistown Ga- 
zette, may be somewliat exaggerated, yet it sliows the general estima- 
tion in which lie was lield as a man and a minister while livin". 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF DECEASED MEMBERS. 225 

The following is a copy of the call presented to Mr. Johnston from 
the congregation of East Kishacoquillas. Though not exactly in ac- 
cordance with the form prescribed in the book, yet all will say it is in 
a very good form, and in some respects superior. It is said to have 
been in the hand writing of Master Arnold, a famous teacher and 
pensman of that day. 

" M?\ James Johnston, PreaeJter of the Gospel: 

Sir : — We, the subscribers, members of the united congregations of East 
and West Kishacoquillas, having never in this phxce had the stated admin- 
istration of Gospel ordinances, yet highlj^ prizing the same, and having a 
view to the advancement of the kingdom of Christ, and the spiritual edifi- 
cation of ourselves and families, have set ourselves to obtain that blessing 
amongst us ; and therefore as we have had the opportunity of some of your 
labors in this place, and are satisfied with your soundness, piety, and minis- 
terial ability to break unto us the bread of life, we do most heartily and 
sincerely, in the name of great Shepherd of the flock, Jesus Christ, call and 
invite you to come and take the pastoral charge and oversight of us in the 
Lord. And for your encouragement, we do promise, if God do dispose your 
heart to embrace this call, that we will pay a dutiful attention to the word 
and ordinances of God, by you administered, that we will be subject to your 
admonitions and reproofs, should our falls and miscarriages expose us 
thereto, and will submit to the discipline of the Church, exercised by you 
agreeably to the word of God ; and also that we will treat your person with 
friendship and respect, and behave in all things towards you as becomes 
christians towards their pastor, who labors among them in word and 
doctrine. 

And further, as we are persuaded that those who serve at the altar should 
live by the altar, we do promise, in order that you may be, as much as pos- 
sible, freed from worldly incumberances, to provide for your comfortable 
and honorable maintenance in the manner set forth in our subscription 
papers accompanjdng this our call during your continuance with us as our 
regular pastor. And in witness of our hearty desire to have you settle 
among us, we have hereunto set our names this fifteenth of March, Anno 
Domini, 1783." 

To this call is appended a list of sixty-nine names, yet familiar in 
the valley in the loersons of their descendants. 

Mr. Johnston was in the 66th year of his age at the time of his 
death. 

Since the preceding sketch was prepared I have been favored with 
the perusal of a letter addressed by Mr. Wm. E. Johnston, only sur- 
viving son of Eev. James Johnston, to Col. John Taylor of East Kish- 
acoquillas Valley, from which the following ^ historical extracts are 
taken. 

29 " - 



226 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF DECEASED MEMBERS. 

" My father was born on September 25, 1754, on a farm situated about 
four miles south of Shippensburg, Cumberland county, Pa. After complet- 
ing an academical course at a classical school in Chambersburg, he and a 
brother entered the army of the Kevolution. He was at the battles of 
Brandywine, Germantown, Monmouth, Trenton and Valley Forge. 
Whilst at Monmouth he was religiously impressed with the conduct of that 
good man Washington, and how he was protected by an all-wise Provi- 
dence. My father was in a small frame house into which the wounded were 
brought, was assisting in the care of the wounded, (as he intended to be a 
physician in the first place,) Gen. Washingron was in the saddle in front 
of the house, the British concentrated a part of their fire on the house. The 
first ball tore up the ground within a few feet of Washington, throwing the 
earth all over him. He never moved an inch, either to change his position, 
or to brush the dirt from his clothes. The next ball took the top from the 
chimney. The next went through the upper story. All this time the Gen- 
eral was stationary. 

After returning home, my father resumed his studies, and graduated at 
the college at Princeton, New Jersey, was licensed to preach in 1781 by 
the Presbytery of Cumberland (Carlisle). In 1783 the famous call from 
Kishacoquillas Valley was made out for him, which he accepted, and where 
he labored all his life. January 4, 1785, he was married to Elizabeth 
Brown. His family consisted of seven children, three sons, and four 
daughters. In a conversation with Judge Kyle, he said that one time in 
particular he remembered, whilst a boy, he came a straight course through 
the fields, on snow over the tops of the fences, to attend church in the old 
log meeting house, which stood at the west end of the late stone church, 
and not a spark of fire, much less fire-place or stove in the house. My siy-e 
stood up manfully to the work, with stirtout buttoned to the chin, preaching 
to a full house, and not a shiver or a shake among the entire congregation, 
though the mercury was near zero at the time. Now, not all the language 
or eloquence in the world could say more, or half as much in favor of a 
christian people, as that single meeting of those sturdy, gospel-loving de- 
scendants of Scotch-Irish blood. 

My father's brother John, who accompanied him to the army, was pois- 
oned by eating bread prepared by some Jersey tories ; and it was a mere act 
of providence that saved him from the same fate. After arriving at the 
wharf in Philadelphia to take the boat for Jersey, he discovered that he 
had forgotten something, ran back to get it, and when he returned the boat 
had left, and so escaped the poisoned bread by which his brother died." 



REV. MATTHEW STEPHENS. 



HE was a native of Ireland, and came to this country an ordained 
minister. He appeared first in Synod, and was received at their 
sessions in 1785. He became a member of the Presbytery of Donegal. 
He was one of the original members of the Presbytery of Huntingdon 
at the time of its organization in 1795, being among those set off from 
the Presbytery of Carlisle. Before this time he had received a call, 
through the Presbytery of Carlisle, to the united congregations of 
Derry and Wayne on the Juniata, but not being installed, returned 
this call at the second meeting of the Presbytery of Huntingdon after 
it was constituted. At the same time he was appointed stated supply 
of the congregation of Shaver's Creek at the request of the people. 

At the meeting of the Presbytery, October 4, 1797, he was called to 
become the pastor of Shaver's Creek, with the promise of a salary of 
upwards of £130, Pennsylvania currency. This call was accej^ted by 
him, and Messrs. Wiley and John Johnston, were appointed a com- 
mittee of installation, and he was accordingly installed on the 3d 
Wednesday of June, 1798. In April, 1804, Mr. S. was suspended from 
the exercise of the ministry on charges which are detailed in the his- 
torical part of this work. At the adjourned meeting in June follow- 
ing, his suspension was removed at the request of many members of 
Shaver's Creek congregation. 

In 1810 his pastoral relation at Shaver's Creek was, at his own 
request, dissolved. On the last month of the year 1824, Mr. S. was 
again suspended from the exercise of his ministry. He died under 
suspension the following year. If Mr. Stephens' conduct as a minister 
had been equal to his talents as a preacher he would have been held 
in honor and his influence for good would have been very great. He 
was undoubtedly a man of mind and of learning. He was a man of 
great and ready wit, very happy in repartee, but oftentimes very 
I'ough. If he had not had more than common power in the puli^it, 
he never would have been restored to the ministry after his first 



228 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF DECEASED MEMBERS. 

suspension, by the request of his congregation. No minister of ordi- 
nary talents could have sustained himself for a year, under the many 
just grounds of complaint against him as a man. Mr. Stephens, 
among some others, fell a victim to the accursed drinking habits of 
those times. Naturally very impulsive and passionate, he seemed to 
lose all control of himself under the influence of liquor. His wit 
was keen, but not always very refined. On one occasion a young 
man, and perhaps a minister, being particularly concerned that all 
the brethren should be orthodox according to the Confession of Faith 
and the catechisms, Avas advised by some of the brethren that it 
might be well for him to test Mr. Stephens' orthodoxy. Accordingly 
he approached Mr. S. with this question, " Do you believe that we are 
all by nature children of wrath and heirs of hell?" Mr. S. instantly 
replied, " man, do you believe it?" "Certainly I do."' "Well then," 
said Mr. S. " / wish you much joy of your inheritance .'" 

On another occasion, he was sitting with a friend, perhaps the Eev. 
John Johnston, at his front door. A gentleman with whom Mr. S. 
was acquainted passed by, after which he seemed to fall into a brown 
study. All at once he exclaimed aloud, "Ji wori't do, It tvonH cloy 
What won't do ? inquired his friend. " Did you notice the gentleman 
that passed here a little while ago? Well, he is one of the homeliest 
of men, but God has given him an unusual degree of mind, and I was 
Just reasoning out the compensations of Divine providence, in giving 
to one man personal beauty, but not much intellect ; and to another 
a great intellect but no personal attractions, rather the contrary. 
But it won't do. There comes Sam. B. the homeliest man Grod ever 
made, and he has not an ounce of brains." 



REV. DAVID BARD. 



MR. BARD was born in Leesburg, Virginia. He was licensed by 
the Presbytery of Donegal, probably in the Spring of the year 
1777, as he was in the fall of that year reported by the Presbytery to 
Synod as a licentiate. At the meeting of the Presbytery, held April 
17, 1778, he announced his intention of taking a chaplaincy in the 
army, but in June following declared his change of mind. In October 
of 1778, he received, through the Presbytery, a call to the Great Cove 
in Virginia, and was ordained June 16, 1779, with a view to this field, 
as we suppose. He supplied this congregation for one year, when he 
received and accepted a call to the united congregations of Kittock- 
ton and Grum Spring, also in Virginia. The salary promised was to be 
paid, at least in part, in wheat, rye and corn. In 1782 he applied to 
be released from this charge. From the Spring of 1782 till the Spring 
of 1786, it is not known how he was employed, but at the time last 
mentioned he was called to Bedford, Pa., in which charge he probably 
continued till 1789, as in that year we find hiin making application to 
the Presbytery of Carlisle to be dismissed to the Presbytery of Tran- 
sylvania, Kentucky. However in June of the next year he returned 
the certificate of dismission, and at the same time accepted a call to 
Frankstown congregation, and was stated supply at the same time of 
Sinking Valley, where he resided at the time of his death, and where 
he is buried. In 1799, after serving the congregation of Frankstown 
for ten years, the relation was dissolved at his own request, and with 
the reluctant consent of the congregation, on account of his age, and 
other circumstances. The other circumstances referred to by the con- 
gregation in giving their consent, were, probably, his serving in Con- 
gress as a representative of the district in which he resided. This re- 
quired his presence in the Capitol for a part of the year, and of course 
the congregation was left vacant during that time, or had to be other- 
wise supplied. 



230 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF DECEASED MEMBERS. 

It is probable his congressional career commenced about the time of 
his resignation of the pastoral charge of Frankstown congregation. 
For several years — Dr. Linn, in an obituary notice of him, says — " for 
many years he was a Kepresentative of the district in which he 
resided in Congress." He died at Alexandria, Huntingdon county. 
Pa., on his return home from Congress, March 12, 1815, at the house 
of his daughter, Mrs. Doctor Buchanan. Dr. D. X. Junkin says, in 
an historical sermon of the congregation of Frankstown, that " he was 
elected to Congress the next year after taking charge of the congrega- 
tion, and that he was elected continuously for twenty-two years." 

Mr. Bard was an anti-federalist, opposed to the administration of 
the elder Adams ; and in this opposed in politics to his Huntingdon 
ministerial brother, the Eev. John Johnston. The anti-federalists 
were then called Republicans, and now claim the name of Democrats. 
How times and parties change ! The only two sons of Mr. Johnston 
now living in this vicinity are decided Democrats, while his father was 
nearly ousted from his cangregation by those now claiming the name 
of democrat, because he was a Federalist. The corollary which we 
draw from all this is, that clergymen had better not allow themselves 
to become warm partizan politicians. 

No doubt Mr. Bard mingled much in politics, and on the popular 
side, and was better qualified for the position than many others — per- 
haps than any other of his party then available. We confess to an 
enduring prejudice against ministers of the Gospel forsaking their 
high calling for civil office, except on extraordinary occasions. The 
result in most cases is, to subordinate the minister to the politician. 
Mr. Bard was a very respectable gentleman, and a very acceptable 
minister ; but we agree with the concluding sentence of the Rev. Dr. 
Linn's obituary memorial — "He embarked with considerable zeal in 
politics, and it is to be apprehended, that being divided between the 
Church and the State, preaching the Gospel had not that prominence 
in his affection which it should have had." One thing appears from 
the Presbytery's Records, that no member of Presbytery of those 
times was so frequently absent from the meetings of Church Courts. 
Indeed, at one time, he and another brother were cited before the 
Presbytery to answer for frequent and continued absences. He satis- 
fied Presbytery by the reasons which he gave, and no doubt, among 
these reasons was the necessity of attending the Sessions of Congress. 
Mr. Bard was possessed of popular talents both as a preacher and a 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF DECEASED MEMBERS. 231 

politician, and he did not at any time forsake the pulpit because of 
his unacceptableness as a preacher. Nor ought it to be insinuated 
that he had no heart to the ministry, for during the recess of Congress 
he was constantly engaged in the appropriate woi'k of his nainistry. 
At the time of his death he was the stated supply of Sinking Valley 
church. He left a family of sons and daughters. Some of them 
lived to a very great age. Mrs. Stewart, a daughter of Mr. Bard, 
was living in Ohio in 1869 in the 90th year of her age. And we have 
of his descendants, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren among us 
to this day; and all of them who have come to maturity are zeal- 
ous members of the Presbyterian Church. Mr. Bard was one of the 
original members of the Presbytery, though not present at the first 
meeting to organize. 



REV. HUGH MORRISON. 



MR. MOERISON was one of the original menabers of the Presby- 
tery of Huntingdon. He was received as a licentiate of the 
Presbytery of Rente, Ireland, by the Presbytery of Donegal, April 11, 
1786. May 15, 1788, he was installed pastor of Buffalo, Sunbury and 
Northumberland, now within the bound of the Presbytery of Nor- 
thumberland. During the continuance of his pastorate, in the year 
1801, difficulties arose between Mr. Morrison and a majority of the 
congregation of Buffalo, which resulted in his pastoral relation being 
dissolved by the Presbytery November 12, the same year. Of these 
difficulties a sufficiently particular account has been given elsewhere 
in this history. Mr. Morrison was removed by death on the 15th of 
September, 1804. 

Very little is known of his character and the estimation in which 
he was held as a preacher, even by tradition. The following commu- 
nication was received from the Rev. Dr. Isaac Grier of Mifflinburg : 

Mifflinburg, March 18, 1872. 

Dear Brother : — Yours came to hand a few days ago, and I delayed 
answering till I could see Mr. Clingan, now the oldest member in my 
church. His father moved up here from Lancaster county in 1800, one 
year before Mr. Morrison gave up his charge here. He thinks he was not 
considered a very good preacher, but he cannot speak very definitely on 
tlial subject. He says his father would not present his certificate to unite 
with the church here till after he gave up the charge. I had not heard of 
his getting intoxicated except at v/eddings, when it was difficult for him to 
keep in bounds. But Mr. Clingan says he had a set of old cronies with 
whom he would meet and drink. He had two daughters who lived in this 
section for some time after his deatli ; one died here, and the other was 
weak-minded and unfortunate, and is not. 

In a history I wrote of the Buflalo churcli I find the following : The first 
regular pastor of Buffalo church was Mr. Morrison, who came to this coun- 
try from Ireland in the Fall of 1785, or early in the year 1786, a licentiate 



BIOGRAPHICAI. SKETCHES OF DECEASED MEMBERS. 233 

under the care of the Presbytery of Eonte. The first mention of his name 
we find on the Records of the Synod of May 18, 1786, where it is stated — 
"The Presbytery of Donegal reported that they had, since our last meeting, 
admitted Mr. Hugh Morrison, a licensed candidate from the Presbytery 
of Ronte in Ireland, to preach in their bounds, but his testimonials are not 
here to lay before the Synod." As that was the meeting of the Synod that 
divided the Presbytery of Donegal into the two Presbyteries of Baltimore 
and Carlisle, the next year the Presbytery of Carlisle presented to Synod 
the testimonials of Mr. Morrison, of which the following is the record : 
" The testimonials of Mr. Hugh Morrison, a probationer from the Pres- 
bytery of Ronte, in the kingdom of Ireland, were presented by Carlisle 
Presbytery, and were sustained by Synod." 

In May, 1787, a call was given to Mr. Morrison by the Buftalo congre- 
gation, in connection with the congregations of NorthumberUmd and 
Sunbury." And in the records of Synod, 1788, May 22, is the following 
record : " Carlisle Presbytery reported that they had since out last, 
ordained to the work of the Gospel ministry, Mr. S. Wilson, in the pasto- 
ral charge of Big Spring ; and Mr. H. Morrison in the pastoral charge of 
Sunbury, Northumberland town and Buffalo Valley." The call to Mr. 
Morrison is dated May 31, 1787, and signed by 17 from Northumberland, 
8 from Sunbury, and 48 from Buftalo. The call does not state the amount 
of salary except in this language: "Further, we are persuaded that those 
who serve at the altar should live by the altar, we do promise, in order that 
you may as much as possible be freed from incumbrances, to provide for 
your comfortable maintenance in the manner set forth in our subscription 
papers attending this call." The subscription of Buftalo was £75. 

Mr. Morrison continued the pastor of these three churches upwards of 
fourteen years. The pastoral relation was dissolved November, 1801. Mr. 
Morrison lived nearly three years after this, and died at Sunbury, Septem- 
ber 15, 1804, where I suppose he was buried. I never heard of any charge 
against him, but that of drunkenness. 



30 



KEY. DAYID WILEY. 



DAVID WILEY was a licentiate of the Presbytery of New Castle, 
so it may be inferred that he was of American birth. He was 
licensed April 10, 1793, and ordained April 9, 1794, and installed pas- 
tor of Cedar Creek and Spring Creek at the same time. These con- 
gregations were in Centre county, the first named about three miles 
south of the present town of Boalsburg, and the other as far north of 
the town. The name of Cedar Creek has become extinct, the congre- 
gation being merged in that of Spring Creek. After the organization 
of the Presbytery of Huntingdon, he appears on the minutes as the 
pastor of Sinking Creek in connection with Spring Creek, as the im- 
mediate successor of Rev. James Martin, though there is no record 
on the minutes of his call to, or installation in that congregation, but 
there is a record of his asking and obtaining a release from that part 
of his charge October 4, 1797. 

Mr. Wiley continued to be the pastor of Sinking Creek till June 
12, 1799, at which time the relation was dissolved, much to the regret 
of the congregation, as appears from the minutes, though they concur- 
red in his request, recognizing the necessity, because (as is supposed) 

of their inability to support him after his separation from the other 
part of his charge. 

Mr. Wiley could only have been the pastor of Sinking Creek for 
about one year. Mr. Wiley continued a member of the Presbytery, 
receiving appointments and supplying vacancies till April, 1801, when 
he requested and obtained a dismission to the Presbytery of Balti- 
more. He had removed to Georgetown where he engaged in teaching. 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF DECEASED MEMBERS. 235 

in which employment he continued till the time of his death, so far 
as is now known, or so long as he was capable of active employment. 
The time of his death is unknown. He was one of the original mem- 
bers of the Presbytery, and is believed to have been the first stated 
clerk of Presbytery. Though all are dead who could have given any 
information as to his character, acceptability, and success as a minis- 
ter, yet we infer, from all the references to him in the miinutes of 
Presbytery, that he was a very efficient member of the Presbytery, 
and a useful and generally acceptable preacher. One thing is certain, 
that he was a man of unblemished reputation, and much esteemed as 
a member of the Presbytery. 



REV. ISAAC GRIER. 



APPLYING to the Rev. Isaac Grier, D. D., of Mifflinburg, for 
some facts concerning the life of his father, the Rev. Isaac 
Grier, Sr., the following letter was received, containing a sketch of 
the life of liis father. It is dated January 10, 1872 : 

Dear Friexd : — Your letter came to me just about the time I received 
a letter to go to Wilkesbarre to the funeral of my sister, and being absent 
from home all last week is my excuse for not answering your letter sooner. 
Some years since our Presbytery got an obituary book, and I was appointed 
to write my father's obituary. It was recorded in that book in the posses- 
sion of Mr. SiMONTON, S. C, and the original sent to the Presbyterian His- 
torical Society, but I can give you all that you may need. 

The Rev. Isaac Grier was one of the eleven members that constituted 
the Presbytery of Huntingdon, April, 1795, and one of the live who consti- 
tuted the Presbytery of Northumberland at its organization in October, 
1811 ; and was the first member of the Presbytery that departed this life, 
having died August 23, 1814. His parents' names were Thomas and Mar- 
tha, Scotch-Irish emigrants. Three brothers had emigrated to this country ; 
two settled in the Carolinas, and Thomas in Franklin county. Pa. His son 
Isaac was born in 1763. He passed his preparatory course in the classical 
school of James Ross, who was then a celebrated teacher m Chambersburg. 
He was graduated in Dickinson College, Carlisle, in 1788 ; received under 
the care of the Presbytery, Carlisle, April 15, 1790, having studied divinity 
for the greater part of two years previously under the directi-n of the Rev. 
Dr. Charles Nesbit. He was one of those who formed the Belles-lettres 
Society in Dickinson College, and one of the first class of theological stu- 
dents under Dr. Kesbit, which was composed of four members ; the others 
were Dr. Spear, Mr. Snowden and Mr. John Bryson. 

He was licensed December 21, 1791, and appointed a missionary to sup- 
ply, during the Winter and Spring, the churches of Harrisburg, Paxton, 
Upper and Middle Tuscarora, Bedford, Great Cove, &c., and was as far 
west as Pittsburg, preaching several times in that place. 

In the Spring of 1792 he was appointed to missionate on the West and 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF DECEASED MEMBERS. 237. 

North East branches of the Susquehanna, and on through the State of New 
York. He commenced at Sunbury and Northumberland, June, 1772, and 
passed on to Milton, Warrior Kun, Derry, Muncy, Williamsport, Pine 
Creek, Great Island, and up the Bald Eagle as far as where Jacksonville 
now stands. Thence he returned to the North Branch, passing along it 
up to New York State to Cooperstown, and from that to Albany and to 
Lake Champlain, visiting several places on the lake. 

June 19, 1793, a call was put into his hands from the united congrega- 
tions of Lycoming, Pine Creek, and Great Island, which he held under con- 
sideration, and on the 2d of October of the same year a call was put into his 
hands from the united congregations of Pitt Township and Ebenezer ; on 
the same day he declared his acceptance of the former. He was ordained 
on the 9th of April, 1794, at Carlisle ; Mr. Paxton preached the sermon, 
Mr. Craighead presided and gave the charge ; and at the same time he 
was installed pastor of the congregations of Lycoming, Pine Creek, and 
Great Island, commissioners from the congregations being present. 

He was married June, 1793, to Elizabeth, second daughter of Kev. Dr. 
Egbert Cooper, pastor of Middle Spring, Cumberland county. Pa. He 
removed to Lycoming county, near to Jersey Shore, in the Spring of 1794 ; 
and in 1802, owing to his small salary, took charge also of a classical 
school. He received a call to the united churches of Sunbury and Nor- 
thumberland, and removed to Northumberland in the Spring of 1806, and 
in addition to his pastoral charge, and supplying Shamokin church once 
a month, he took charge of the academy, or college as it was then called, 
in Northumberland. Under the unceasing labors of pastor and teacher, 
his health in a few years gave way, and he died of dyspepsia, August 23, 
1814. 

In a brief sketch of his life by Dr. Sprague, he says : " As a teacher of 
the Latin and Greek languages, he is said to have had no superior in Penn- 
sylvania." He had seven sons and five daughters; three sons and two 
daughters are dead. Yours, in the Gospel, 

ISAAC GRIEPv. 

To this sketch we will only add, that the late Hon. Robert C. Grier, 
one of the Judges of the Supreme Court of the United States, was a 
son of the Eev. Isaac Grier, Sr., and probably the oldest of his sons. 
Dr. Isaac Grier, the writer of the above sketch, is the beloved pastor 
of the Buffalo church, Union county, Pa. There is another son liv- 
ing in Danville, Pennsylvania, a lawyer of eminence, and an elder of 
the Presbyterian church of that place. 



REV. JOHN BRYSON. 



THE following sketch of the life of the Rev. John Bryson was 
received from the Rev. John P. Hudson, a son-in-law of Mr. 
Bryson. There is nothing to be detracted from it, and nothing to be 
added to it. There need be no allowance made for the relationship of 
the writer to his subject : 

WiLLiAMSPORT, January 29, 1872. 

Dear Brother Gibson : — In reply to yours of the 18th instant I shall 
endeavor to state such facts concerning the life and labors of the Rev. John 
Bryson as have come to my knowledge. 

The Rev. John Bryson was one of the five members that constituted the 
Presbytery of Northumberland at its organization in October, 1811. 

His parents were Robert Bryson from the North of Ireland, and Hes- 
ter QtTiGLEY of Cumberland county, Pennsylvania. Their sons were 
James, John, William and Samuel. His father died when the eldest son, 
James, was only eight years of age. His mother, a woman of ardent piety 
and indomitable energy, was thus left in charge of a helpless family, and a 
rearing a pious family and amply providing for their temporal wants, 
farm of 500 acres, but partially improved, and was eminently successful in 
John the second son, the subject of the present sketch, a child of many 
prayers, was born in Cumberland county, Pennsylvania, in the month of 
January, 1758. From a pious and widowed mother, under God, he 
received his earliest religious instructions and impressions, and that mother 
lived to see her son a devoted minister of the Gospel. 

At the age of eighteen years he was draughted as a militia man in the 
Revolutionary service, under General Potter. His term of service was 
about six months. After this he applied himself diligentlj' to a course of 
studj' in preparation for the Gospel ministry. From childhood he had been 
of a thoughtful turn of mind ; but the precise time when he first indulged a 
hope in Christ, whether just before, or immediately after his tour of mili- 
tary service, is not known by surviving friends. He informed me that one 
of the strongest impressions on his mind after his conversion was " Woe is 
unto me, if I preach not the Gospel." Mr. Bryson's classical studies were 
pursued, for the most part, in Orange county, Virginia, under the tuition of 
Dr. Waddell, known as the " blind preacher," so highly extolled by Mr. 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OP DECEASED MEMBERS. 239 

Wirt in his British Spy, and who was father-in-law to the late Dr. 
Archbald Alexander of Princeton Seminary. After finishing the 
course taught in Dr. Waddell's school he took charge of the school and 
taught it successfully for two years, at the expiration of which he entered 
Dickinson College, Carlisle, then recently organized under the presidency 
of Dr. Nesbit. He was a member of the first class formed, and graduated 
in that venerable institution, and was one of the founders of the Belles- 
lettres Society in that college. His diploma is dated September 26, 1787. 

Perhaps the following account of the first commencement in Dickinson 
College may be interesting to you. I take it from Kline's ^'■Carlisle Ga- 
zette and Western Repositoi'y of Knowledge," the first newspaper published 
in Cumberland county, and the furthest west in the States. The number 
from which I take the extract is dated October 3, 1787: 

" On Wednesday, the 26th ultimo, was held the first commencement for 
degrees in Dickinson College. The trustees having obtained leave to use 
the Presbyterian church on this occasion, the exercises with which a 
crowded assembly of ladies and gentlemen were very agreeably entertained, 
were exhibited in that large and elegant building. At 10 o'clock in the 
morning the trustees, professors, and several classes of the students, pro- 
ceeded in order from the college to the church. When all had taken the 
places assigned them, the president introduced the business of the day with 
prayer. 

The following orations were then pronounced : 

' A salutatory in Latin, on the advantages of learning, particularly by a 
public education, by Mr. John Bryson.' 

' An oration on the excellency of Moral Science, by Mr. John Boyse.' 

' An oration on the importance and advantages of Concord, especially at 
the present crisis of the United States of America, by Mr. David 
McKeehan.' 

' An oration on Taste, by Mr. Isaiah Blair.' 

' An oration on the advantages of an accurate acquaintance with the 
Latin and Greek classics, by Mr. Jonathan Walker. ' 

After an intermission of two hours the following exercises took place : 

' An oration on the nature of Civil Liberty, and the Evil of Slavery and 
Despotic power, by Mr. Steele Semple.' 

' An oration on the Pleasure and Advantages of the study of History, by 
Mr. David Watts." 

' An oration on the various and wonderful powers and faculties of the 
human mind, by Mr. James Gettings.' 

'Valedictory, by Egbert Duncan.' 

The degree of Bachelor of Arts was then conferred, by the principal, on 
the following young gentlemen, viz : John Bryson, John Boyse, David 
McKeehan, Isaiah Blair, Jonathan Walker, Steele Semple, 
David Watts, James Gettings and Egbert Duncan." 



240 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF DECEASED MEMBERS. 

After giving a synopsis of the Baccalaurate address, by Dr. Nesbit, the 
newspaper account closes as follows : 

" The young gentlemen performed all these exercises with a probity and 
spirit which did them great honor, reflected much credit on their teachers, 
and gave ground to hope that the sons of Dickinson College will at least 
equal in useful learning and shining talents those of any other seminary. 

Under whose direction the theological studies of Mr. Bryson were con- 
duxjted, we are uncertain. My impression- is, from conversations with 
Father Bryson during his life time, that he pursued his theological course 
under the direction of Dr. King, of Mercersburg, Franklin county, and 
Dr. Cooper, of Middle Spring, Cumberland county. But it is stated in a 
memoir of the Eev. Isaac Grier, written by his son, the Kev. Isaac 
Grier, D. D., that he studied with Dr. Nesbit, in a theological class com- 
posed of four members, viz: Messrs. John Bryson, Isaac Grier, Snow- 
den and Dr. Spear. 

He was licensed to preach the Gospel b^^ the Presbytery of Carlisle in the 
year 1789, the same year in which our General Assembly was organized. 
After he had been employed as a missionary by appointment of Presbytery 
for a fcAv months, during which he labored in Martinsburg, Virginia, and 
in the region round about, he visited, by invitation, the congregations of 
Warrior Kun and Chillisquaque. From them he received a unanimous 
call, signed by one hundred heads of families, dated November 3, 1790, and 
was soon after ordained and installed as their pastor. He was ordained 
and installed June, 1791. 

September 7, 1790, he was married to Miss Jane Montgomery, daughter 
of Mr. John Montgomery, Sr., of Paradise, Northumberland county, and 
settled on and improved the farm known as the Long Square, one mile 
from Warrior Run church. This charge he did not fully resign until the 
Autumn of 1841, after a ministry of fifty-two years. Soon after his settle- 
ment, on the application of the Presbyterian population of the town of 
Danville, a'iid with the approbation of the people of his charge, he 
preached every third or fourth Sabbath in that town without pecuniary 
compensation. But his congregations becoming dissatisfied, after a few 
months, he withdrew and gave the whole of his time to his two churches. 
The kindness of Mr. Bryson 's congregations in granting the people of 
Danville, for a time, a part of their pastor's services, was followed with 
happy results. They were strengthened and prepared for settling a minis- 
ter, and through the influence and exertions of Mr. Bryson, the amiable 
and venerable John B. Paterson was called by them, and long and suc- 
cessfully served as pastor of the Mahoning church in Danville. 

As the boundaries of the congregations of Warrior Run and Chillisqua- 
que met or overlapped each other at Milton, Mr. Bryson as soon or soon 
after he ceased preaching at Danville, made Milton one of the outposts 
where he statedly preached on the afternoon or evening, at first of every 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF DECEASED MEMBERS. 241 

fourth Sabbath, and afterwards of each alternate Sabbath. After preach- 
ing twice at Chillisquaque, his custom was to go to Milton and hold a third 
service, thus accommodating those members of his congregations who were 
not able to go to their respective places of worship in the morning. Mr. 
Brtson continued to preach statedly at Milton to December, 1811, when, 
from the increase of the population of the place, it became n-ecessary to 
organize a congregation there, he retired and was succeeded by the Rev. 
Mr. Hood, who afterwards became pastor of the congregation of Milton. 

Through the grace of our Lord, Father Bryson was a laborious and 
zealous minister of the glorious Gospel of the blessed God. Being the only 
minister of our Church, during many years, in the forks of the Susque- 
hanna, he preached often, on week days, on Fishing Creek and at different 
points in what is now Columbia county, also at Pennsboro' (now Muncy), 
and different places on the West Branch. Under his long and faithful 
ministry of the Word, his regular annual family visitations, catechising 
the children and youth, attending prayer meeting, &c., his charge was favor- 
ed repeatedly with times of refreshing from the presence of the Lord, and 
grew and prospered. He was eminently a man of prayer, serving the Lord 
with all humility of mind. He was a mighty textuary. His sermons are 
replete with opposite quotations from the sacred scriptures, and he was 
habitually ready to quote largely and accurately from the Divine Word. 
One might almost have supposed that he had the whole Bible committed 
to memory. (Within the territorial boundaries of the original charge of 
Father Bryson are now the churches of Muncy, Warrior Eun, McEwens- 
ville, Milton, Chillisquaque and Mooresburg.) 

With a spirit chastened by manifold afflictions, Mr. Bryson was pecu- 
liarly fitted to pour the oil of consolation into the wounded and contrite 
heart. In private life, the graces of the christian character shown with de- 
lightful lustre. An affectionate husband, a tender parent, a kind and 
benevolent neighbor, his ear was ever open to the cry of distress, and his 
hand ready to relieve the wants of the necessitous, with exemplary liberal- 
ity. At length, as the gracious Master was leading his aged disciple to the 
last experience on earth, the venerable minister essayed to gird up the loins 
of his mind, and gave, among others, the following testimony written down 
by me immediately after its utterance : 

" In closing my earthly pilgrimage, I leave the world under a firm con- 
viction that the doctrines of grace, as set forth in the standards of our 
church, and which as God has given me grace, I have endeavored to 
preach, are the pure doctrines of the Gospel ; and in full and steadfast 
belief of their truth, especially of that great and cheering truth thej- 
prominently set forth of the imputation of a Saviour's righteousness receiv- 
ed by faith alone, I enter the world of spirits and confidently commit my 
spirit to my merciful Kedeemer and Judge, trusting that his righteousness 
is mine through faith, which is by the operation of his Spirit." 

Early on the morning of the third day of August, 1855, at his residence 
in Northumberland county, the spirit of Father Bryson returned unto 

.31 



242 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF DECEASED MEMBERS. 



God who gave it. In the month of the previous January he had entered 
on the ninety-eighth year of his life, at the time of his death, the oldest 
minister of the Presbyterian church in the United States. During some 
days previous to his decease his sufferings were considerable ; but as his 
dissolution drew near, those sufferings ceased, he passed away without a 
struggle and without a groan. 

It was on the morning of the holy Sabbath, that most of the families of 
Warrior Kun, Chillisquaque, McEwensville, and other congregations, filled 
the house and gathered around the home in which the beloved old minister 
had so long sojourned. And then in long rnd quiet procession, they went 
to the church in McEwensville, there to hear a funeral discourse delivered 
by Kev. James Clarke, D. D., (then pastor of Lewisburg,) from Psalms 
16 : 15: " Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints." The 
body was laid in the congregational cemetery near the village, and the soul 
of Father Bryson is, we trust, with the Good Shepherd who gave his life 
for the sheep. 

Of the seven children of Father Bryson, four survived him. Two died 
in early childhood. In 1832 his youngest son, Eobert, a graduate of Dick- 
iiison College and Princeton Theological Seminary, died at the early age of 
24 years, after faithfully preaching the Gospel for eighteen months, and 
about two weeks subsequent to his ordination. 

I cannot give the precise dates and places of Father Bryson's licensure 
and ordination and installation, or at the organization of the Presbytery of 
Huntingdon and Northumberland, both of which he was an original mem- 
ber. By writing to the Kev. Andrew D. Mitchell, Harrisburg, who 
has, in his possession all the records of the Carlisle Presbytery, and by ref- 
erence to the early records of Huntingdon Presbytery, you can ascertain 
these facts if you deem it necessary. 

With kindest regards to you and yours. 

Yours in Church bonds, 

JOHN P. HUDSON. 



REV. JOHN BOYD PATTERSON. 



REV. J NO. BOYD PATTERSON was of Scotch-Irish decent. His 
father was a native of the North of Ireland, and his mother was 
a Scotch woman. Immediately after marriage they emigrated to the 
United States of America, some time prior to active hostilities be- 
tween the mother country and the American Colonies. Mr. Patter- 
son took part, as a common soldier, in the Revolutionary struggle, 
and was engaged in some iinportant battles in defence of his adopted 
country. 

He was a stone-mason by trade, which occupation he followed in 
early life until, by the blessing of God on his honest industry and 
economy, he was enabled to procure a farm in Lancaster county, Pa., 
on which he lived to an advanced age, respected as a man of sound 
integrity, a consistent christian and an efficient ruling elder in the 
Middle Octorara church. He died in 1825, aged 82 years. His wife, 
who was a true helpmete, survived his husband only one week. 

Their family consisted of two sons and five daughters, who all lived 
and died in the faith and hope of the glorious Gospel, in which they 
had been trained by the precepts and example of their pious parents. 

John B. Patterson was next to the youngest of the family, and was 
born A. D. 1773. Of his youth and early religious experience there 
is now no means of obtaining accui'ate information. It would seem 
to be a legitimate conclusion, that by the blessing of a covenant- 
keeping God on the instruction, example and prayers of these faithful 
parents, early piety had been secured to their offspring. 

J. B. Patterson pursued his Academical studies under the direction 
of Rev. N. W. Sampel, at Strasburg, Lancaster county. Pa., and was 
employed as assistant teacher in the Strasburg Academy. At this 
time some young men were inducted into the ministry without going 
farther than Strasburg for their literary and theological education. 
But the importance of thorough education in the ministry was so 



244 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF DECEASED MEMBEKS. 

deeply impressed on the mind of Mr. Patterson that he refused to 
join them, and resolved to produce a diploma from some regular col- 
lege or university, as the Constitution of the Church requires. Pecu- 
niary difficulties lay in the way of a collegiate course. But rather 
than fail in this important qualification in the ministry, he proposed 
to earn the necessary means by his own manual labor. But when it 
was seen that his purpose was fixed the means were provided, and he 
entered the University of Philadelphia in 1793, and graduated A. B. 
1795. After graduating he served some time in the capacity of tutor 
in the University. He was an accurate scholar in the Latin and Greek 
languages, and has left evidence of his having paid very considerable 
attention to the various branches of science, composing the college 
curriculum of those days. 

He studied theology under the superintendence of Rev. N. W. Sam- 
pel, at Strasburg, and was licensed to preach by the Presbytery of 
New Castle in 1797. Immediately after license he was employed by 
the General Assembly as a Missionary, and was sent to supply some 
vacancies in the State of Maryland. 

He afterwards went as missionary through the northeastern part of 
Pennsylvania and into the State of New York, and on what was then 
called the Genesee country. On his return he passed through Nor- 
thumberland county. Pa., and lodged at the house of Rev. John Bry- 
SON, in Wari'ior Run. Mr. Bryson informed him of the congregations 
of Derry and Mahoning (or Danville), where churches had been lately 
organized, and advised him to visit them, which he did ; and in the 
Fall of 1798 he received a unanimous call to become the pastor of 
these united congregations. He accepted the above call, and in 1799 
he was ordained and installed pastor of these congregations by the 
Presbytery of Huntingdon. 

In 1802 he was united in mati'imony with Miss Rebecca Boyd, who, 
being a woman of active mind, ardent piety, and great decision of 
character, proved to be a useful helpmete to him in his sacred voca- 
tion. He had four sons and five daughters, who grew up to adult age. 
And although his salary never exceeded $400 per annum, and that 
not promptly paid, yet he managed to give three of his sons a liberal 
or collegiate education, and to assist them in the pursuit of their 
professional studies ; and besides all this, he left property sufficient 
to make comfortable homes for the other children. 

Mr. Patterson labored peacefully, with acceptance and with a good 
degree of success in the congregations of Derry and Mahoning, till 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OP DECEASED MEMBERS. 245 

the year 1831, when the pastoral relation between him and the con- 
gregation of Mahoning was, at his request, dissolved ; that congrega- 
tion having become able and desirous to have the whole of a pastor's 
services. 

From this time his ministerial labors were chiefly confined to the 
congregations of Derry and Washingtonville, a village in the vicinity 
of which he resided, and where a church had been organized. 

He lived in those days when ordination and installation were re- 
garded as sacred Divine institutions, and when the formation of the 
pastoral relation between minister and congregation resembled that 
unicon of which it is written, "What God hath joined together let no 
man put asunder." He was the regularly installed pastor of the 
Derry congregation for forty-four years ; and he resided in the same 
place during his whole ministerial life. 

Mr. Patterson was one of those old-fashioned divines who delivered 
their sermons memoriter. He was in the habit of writing out his dis- 
courses in full and committing them to memory, and although he 
always carried his manuscript to Church in his pocket, he was never 
known to make use of it in the pulpit. His chirography was unfor- 
tunately so nearly hieroglyphical as to render it illegible, so that 
while he left bundles of written sermons, no one has been able to 
i*ead them. It is not known that any of his sermons have been 
printed. 

He was, from conviction, an Old School Presbyterian. He adopted 
the Westminster Confession of Faith, Form of Government, and Book 
of Discipline, without any mental reservation. In receiving the pub- 
lic symbols of our church he made no exception to any article in 
them. He was once invited to marry a couple, and when he arrived 
at the house and ascertained that the bride was sister to the groom's 
former wife he left straightway, refusing to solemnize the contract, 
which, according to his creed, was unlawful. 

He was conscientiously observant of punctuality in the fulfilment 
of all his engagements. Neither heat or cold, wet or dry, was made an 
apology for non-attendance when he had made an appointment or 
had a ministerial duty to discharge. And his place was seldom vacant 
in the Courts of the Church when it was his duty or privilege to 
attend. 

By his assiduous and serious attention to the business of Church 
courts he acquired a character for sobriety, justice and moderation, 
which enabled him to exert a good and salutary influence on the 



246 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OP DECEASED MEMBERS. 

action of those bodies. He was regarded as a pacificator among liis 
brethren in times of excitement and diversity of views or feelings. 
And some times when, for prudential motives he was "slow to speak," 
his views were called for by the members of Presbytery ; and long 
since his voice has ceased to be heard, his sentiments have been 
quoted as authority on variovis subjects. 

As an evidence of the estimation in which lie was held by his 
brethren, he was chosen Moderator of the Synod of Philadelphia at 
its sessions held in Harrisburg in 1817. 

His chosen mode of traveling was on horse-back. He kept a good 
hackney, whose only use was to carry him in the performance of his 
l)astoral duties, and in his longer journeys in attending the meetings 
of Presbytery and the Synod. By the same mode of conveyance he 
went to Philadelphia — 130 miles — to attend meetings of the General 
Assembly, to which he was frequently a delegate in the early part of 
his ministry. 

In his conimon intercourse with society he was free and familiar — 
but always maintained the dignity of a christian minister. While 
fond of innocent mirth and hearty good cheer, he always discounte- 
nanced improper levity and frowned on any thing mean, immoral or 
unchristian, in either word or deed. 

He endeavored, as much as in him lay,' to " live j^eaceably with all 
men," and taught, by both precept and example, that it is better to 
"suffer loss than to go to law." A little incident will illustrate: Mr. 
Patterson resided on a farm and his neighbor W. G. on an adjoining 
farm, was a careless, indolent and vicious man, whose chief protection 
to his crops was a pack of dogs. Mr. P. was careful to keep a good 
fence on the line between their farms. But on a certain occasion Mr. 
P.'s cattle broke over on his neighbor's ground, and the dogs were set 
on them and killed a valuable ox. W. G. expected a visit by a civil 
officer as a matter of course. But Mr. P. overlooked the whole affair, 
showed no signs of displeasure or resentment, and made no demand 
for restitution for his loss. This treatment of the case so operated on 
the mind of his neighbor that he gave orders that the dogs should 
never be set on Mr. Patterson's cattle again. 

The following is an extract from an obituary notice published by 
the Presbytery of Northumberland, shortly after his decease : 

" Though he would have been the last of men either to give or sanction 
flattery of the living or the dead ; yet the Presbytery feel that it is only a 
proper tribute to his memory to say that he was a man of good talents and 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCUES OF DECEASED MEMBERS. 247 

acquirements, a sound and pious preacher, a judicious counsellor, cautious 
in forming intimacies, but firm in his friendship, almost proverbially pru- 
dent, mild in manners, and one who scarcely ever, if at all, had an enemy. 

" Natural diffidence and modesty drew a veil over his talents and caused 
him to shun public notice; and while they brightened his private character, 
seemed rather to have repressed his mental energies and prevented him from 
occupying a more conspicuous place in the church than he ever reached. 

" Few christians lived outwardly niore consistently than he did. Not 
long before his death he said to a brother, that he had been reviewing his 
course as a preacher, and if he had his life to live over he did not see that 
he should alter it in the least. "We can all testify that he preached Christ 
and him crucified fully, plainly, aftectionately and faithfully." 

He was severely afflicted (with gravel) during the last few years of 
his life. Yet he continued to preach regularly till the Sabbath pre- 
vious to his death. His death was somewhat sudden. Being in his 
usual health he was suddenly called to endure extreme pain. Al- 
though by surgical assistance he obtained relief, he was so exhausted 
as to be unable to resuscitate. His last moments were calm and 
peaceful — his body free from pain, and his mind clear and unclouded. 
When the time of his departure wa,s at hand he said, " I have been 
long looking to the event and I am not afraid to die. I am a sinner 
saved by grace." And after giving some directions to his family in 
relation to their future course, he closed his eyes and departed in 
peace. He died May 8, 1843, in the seventy-first year of his age. He 
was buried in the grave-yard at the Mahoning Church, Danville. 

As a token of affectionate remembrance the congregations of Derry 
and Mahoning erected a suitable monument over his grave. 



Note. — This sketch of the life of the venerated John B. Patterson was written by his son, 

the Kev. Matthew B. Patterson, of Freeport, 111., and forwarded to me, accompanied with the 

following note : 

Freeport, February 8, 1872. 

Dehr Bro. — I have endeavored to comply with your request in furnishing you a sketch of my 
father's life and death. I hope it will serve the purpose you have in view. You are at liberty 
to make what use of my notice that you may think proper. 

Yours, truly, M. B. PATTERSON. 



REV. ASA DUKHAM. 



I AM indebted to the courtesy of the Rev. W. Simonton-, S. C. of the 
Presbytery of Northumberland, for the following sketch of the 
life of Mr. Dcjnham, transcribed from the Obituary Book of the Pres- 
bytery of Northumberland : 

" The Kev. Asa Dunham was the son of Nehemiah Dunham, who 
was descended from the Puritans, and was a man of ardent piety, sterling 
integrity, and great independence of character. Asa was born in Piscat- 
taway, Middlesex county. New Jersey, and at an early age removed, with 
his father, to Kingwood, Hunterdon county, N. J. At what time he 
became hopefully pious is not now known. His preparatory studies for the 
ministry were commenced late in life. 

" He pursued his classical and theological course in New Brunswick, New 
Jersey, and was licensed and ordained by the Presbytery of New Bruns- 
wick. His first pastoral charge was the united churches of Oxford, N. J., 
and Upper Mt. Bethel, Pa. At what time he settled in these churches, 
and removed from them, cannot now be ascertained. He removed from 
Oxford and Mt. Bethel to Hemlock township, Columbia county. Pa., and 
preached at Briar Creek and Catawissa. For a number of 3'ears prior to 
his death he was without a pastoral charge. 

" He was zealously interested in the Theological Seminary at Princeton, 
and spent several years as an agent in collecting funds for the endowment 
of that institutson. He was also deeply interested in the missionary opera- 
tions of the church. 

" During his settlement over his last pastoral charge his dwelling was 
destroyed by fire, and every member of his family, to wit : his wife, mother 
and two daughters, perished in the flames. He died on his farm in Hem- 
lock township, Columbia county. Pa., in the autumn of 1825, in the 73d 
year of his age. Mr. Dunham had five wives, [sejjaratim et seriatim,) the 
last of whom survived him some years." 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OP DECEASED MEMBERS. 249 

As to his character as a preacher, another writes : " He was not con- 
sidered a good sermonizer, but an excellent exhorter." 

Mr. Dunham was first received by the Presbytery of Huntingdon 
from the Presbytery of New Brunswick, April 10, 1798, and the next 
day was appointed to represent the Presbytery in the General Assem- 
bly, in connection with the Rev. John Johnson. At the division of 
the Presbytery in 1811, he fell within the bounds of the Presbytery of 
Northumberland. 

Attendance upon the meetings of the General Assembly, in those 
times, was no pleasure trip ; as it implied long and fatiguing rides on 
horse-back, over rough roads. 



32 



REV. ALEXANDER M'lLWAINE. 



THE Eev. A. McIlwaine came from Ireland to this country in the 
latter part of the year 1797, or the beginning of the next year. 
He was a licentiate of the Presbytery of Letterkenny, "in the King- 
dom of Ireland." He made application to be received under the care 
of the Presbytery of Huntingdon at its stated Spring meeting in 
1798, but not having the collateral testimony which the Synod 
required, besides the formal and usual testimonials always required, 
he was not at that time received, but permitted to labor within the 
bounds of the Presbytery till the next meeting. At an adjourned 
meeting held in January, 1799, the way being clear, he was received 
as a candidate under the care of the Presbytery. On the 2d of 
October of the same year he received and accepted calls from Upper 
Tuscarora and Little Aughwick congregations. He was ordained and 
installed as pastor of the before named congregations, on the 5th day 
of November following. Mr. McIlwaine appears to have been a man 
of feeble constitution. He only lived to labor for a few years in these 
congregations. He died on the 6th of March, 1807. He died of con- 
sumption. All reports concerning his character as a man, and as a 
minister, are very favorable from those who had opportunity of 



knowing. 



REV. WILLIAM A. BOYD. 



T 



HE Rev. W. A. Boyd was a native of Lancastei" county, Pa. He 
graduated at Dickinson College in the year 1809. Was licensed 
to preach the Grospel by the Presbytery of New Castle. He received 
calls from the united congregations of Spruce Creek and Sinking 
Valley, in the latter part of the year 1816, which he accepted, and 
was ordained and installed pastor of said congregations April 2, 1817. 
In the Fall of 1821, he resigned his charge on account of ill health. 
He died of consumption on the 11th of May, 1823. 

The late venerable Dr. Linn of Bellefonte, who was co-temporary 
with him, but lived long afterwards, thus speaks of him in an obituary 
notice : " He was a young man of good mind, and fine taste. His 
sermons were prepared with much care, and combined in a short 
compass a great deal of good matter. He was highly esteeined in his 
congregations, and was a good member of Presbytery." 



REY. JOHN COULTER 



THE Rev. John Coulter was a native of Ireland. He came to this 
country while young. He studied Theology under the direction 
of the Rev. Nathaniel Sample of New Castle Presbytery, and received 
licensure from that Presbytery. He was dismissed as a licentiate to 
the care of the Presbytery of Huntingdon in 1801, having received 
calls from the united congregations of Lower and Middle Tuscarora, 
over which he was ordained and installed August 11, 1801. 

He continued to be the pastor of those churches till his death, 
which took place June 22, 1834. 

The late Rev. Dr. Linn gives the following summary of his character 
as a minister and a presbyter. 

" He was a good and faithful pastor, industrious in the performance of 
his duty, reproving and exhorting publicly and privately, with all the 
kindness of a true friend, and as one who was to give an account of his 
stewardship. He was very regular and punctual in attending to the 
judicatories of the church. He was very seldom absent from meetings of 
Presbytery, or of Synod, and often represented the Presbytery in the 
General Assembly. He was well acquainted with the business of church 
courts, and was a good and prudent counsellor. In any diflBcult cases he 
was always looked up to for his opinion and advice, which were always 
considered sound and good. In his removal, the Presbytery lost one who 
was deservedly accounted a father amongst them." 

At the first meeting of the Presbytery, after the decease of Mr. 
Coulter, the following minute was adopted ? 

" The Presbytery record with unfeigned sensibility, though with humble 
acquiescence, the recent afflictive dispensation of Divine Providence in the 
removal by death of the Rev. John Coulter, one of the oldest and most 
efficient of our members. While we mourn his removal from his earthly 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OP DECEASED MEMBERS. 253 

sphere of most exemplai-y activity and usefulness, we would faithfully 
cherish in our memory his many virtues, especially his uncommon punctu- 
ality, and his prudence as a member of our ecclesiastical judicatories, and 
entertain the pleasing hope that he now rests from his labors, and his works 
do follow him to the sanctuary above." 

Mr. Coulter was the stated clerk of Presbytery at the time of his 
death, and had held this office from 1811. He left a family of sons 
and daughters. We have no particular knowledge of any of them, 
except one son, who studied for the ministry, graduated at Jefferson 
College, was licensed by the Presbytery October 4, 1833, and died in a 
few weeks after his licensure, and a few months before his father. 



REV. JOHN HUTCHESON. 



OBITUARY published in the Presbyterian of November 23, 1844, 
signed M. written, it is supposed, by a brother who was well 
informed of the facts pertaining to the life and death of the de- 
ceased : 

He was born on the 17th of December, A. D., 1775, in Dauphin 
count}^, Pa., was brought up on a farm with his father, v^ntil of suffi- 
cient strength to attend a grist and saw mill, which lie did until near 
twenty years of age. He then spent three years in learning the 
languages, occasionally teaching school to jirocure necessary means. 
He entered Dickinson College, Carlisle, and graduated at that seat of 
learning in 1802, under the celebrated Charles Nisbet, D. D. He 
was licensed to preach in the Fall of 1804, and received a call from 
th'e congregation of Mifflintown and Lost Creek, in the Summer of 
1805, where he continued to labor until the commencement of his 
last illness, a period, a little exceeding thirty-nine years. He was 
attacked in January, 1837, with an alarming hemorrhage of the lungs, 
which prevented his preaching for six weeks, after which he continued 
till the 8th of October, 1844, when he had a return of the hemorrhage^ 
and after repeated and profuse bleeding from the lungs, his life was 
terminated by the extreme prostration, at half past six o'clock on the 
moi-ning of the 11th of November. 

The life of our excellent friend was checkered with repeated afflic. 
tions, by which he was bereaved of ten children and two companions, 
the latter of whom he survived about twenty months, leaving behind 
but one son to represent the household and the family name. Our 
acquaintance with the venerable pair justifies us in saying, "They 
were lovely in life, and (except in point of time) in death they wei'e 
not divided." But though so often bereaved, oiir friend never sank 
into any gloom. His faith seemed to pass through every cloud of 



1 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF DECEASED MEMBERS. 255 

adversity, to a serene sky, and his hope served him as an anchor in 
every tempest. His expressive countenance however sobered and 
moderately overcast with the becoming emotions of sorrow, anon 
brightened with the play of the sunbeam of satisfaction, and easily 
relaxed into smiles of good-nature, and joy was diffused again over his 
features. He was favored to enjoy a happy temperament, which 
rendered him- an agreeable companion wherever he went. Of his own 
family circle he was the life. His was a cheerful hearth, and "joy and 
gladness with the voice of thanksgiving," were there. His mornings 
and noons, and evenings, were a constant succession of scenes and 
sayings, adapted to inspire contentment and pleasure, good feeling, 
and often mirthful joy, in all who were under his roof. And there 
from time to time were many of all ages who loved his company as he 
did theirs. His Godliness indeed verified the promise, both of this 
life and that which was to come. His was not a gloomy religion. 
There vaere some traits of primitive simplicity in his habits worthy of 
imitation. Very remote from all ostentation, he still knew what was 
due to his station, and he aspired to nothing in outward circum- 
stances bvit what comported with his calling, and is expressed in 
Agur's prayer — and he observed the golden mean. His home, his 
table, his apparel, his person, his household economy, his travelling 
equipage, were all expressive of the neatness, and the order, and 
native sense of propriety, which characterized him, and without any- 
thing antiquated, he was a gentleman of the olden time. His scholar- 
ship was very respectable, and his familiarity with the Greek and 
Latin languages was not allowed to rust. He was well known as a 
Theologian in the Presbytery of Huntingdon, and a firm defender of 
the faith as set forth in the doctrines of the Reformation ; and on his 
death-bed it gave no small satisfaction to remember what he had held 
and preached, as he several times intimated — thus giving his last and 
dying testimony to the Calvinistic sentiments, which he uniformly 
exhibited in the course of his life and labors. He was a very punctual 
attendant on the courts of the chursh, while health permitted, when, 
with a mixture of dignity and pleasantry, he was always ready to bear 
his full part and just responsibility. He was willing to bear reproach 
rather than shrink from duty, and while he could show courtesy to 
his brethren who differed from him, he was firm and unwavering in 
the assertion and maintenance of what he deemed right. His life 
was one of much activity, and he labored till his Master bade him rest 



256 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF DECEASED MEMBERS. 

from his labors, and his closing discourse was remarked as peculiar, 
beyond his usual efforts, and an impressive valedictory. It was on 2d 
Peter, 1st Chapter, 5-7 verses. 

His habits were industrious. His early rising was the secret, per- 
haps of his longevity, for his frame was not athletic. In travelling 
past the town at daylight, or a little after, we have found him with 
his axe at his accustomed exercise. His usefulness to the rising 
generation was considerable, as a classical teacher, for many, per- 
haps twenty years. 

But we draw our notice to a close by a brief sketch of his jjastorial 
labors and of the final scene : His pastoral charge, formerly held by 
the Rev. Dr. Brown, of Canonsburg, was assumed soon after the 
resignation of Dr. Brown, and was never changed for another. On 
a slender support, which, with skillful management, was made to 
suffice, he continued to labor for nearly forty years, honored and 
beloved by his people. He witnessed their gradual growth in num- 
bers and in grace ; and a second or third generation occupies the 
room first filled by the generations by -gone. Instead of the fathers 
are the sons ; instead of the mothers, the daughters ; and, verifying 
the saying of Johnston, our friend was living already as it were, with 
posterity. Two neat and spacious edifices he lived to see erected for 
the accommodation of his flock, and well filled, alternately, with re- 
spectful and attentive hearers of the word, many, if not all of whom 
he has left well instructed, rooted and grounded in the faith, and 
doers as well as hearers of the same ; whom with fervent prayer, in 
his last hours, he commended to the great and Chief Shepherd, that 
they might be kept united, and might meet him in glory, to the 
praise of the Redeemer. And now that we are arrived at the place 
described by Young, so beautifully, as the "chamber where the good 
man meets his fate :" 

"Privileged beyond the common walks of life, 
Quite on the verge of Heaven" — 

we shall let him speak for himself. While blood was spouting at in- 
tervals from his lungs, he betrayed no alarm ; and when an interval 
occurred to speak, he said he felt happy. For his kind and unwea- 
ried attendants he prayed, and manifested great satisfaction in their 
services ; was patient, but desirous of an early and easy departure. 
On inquiring the hour on Sabbath last, and being told it, he said, 
"Why am I kept here so long?" and he prayed, "Come Lord Jesus, 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF DECEASED MEMBERS. 257 

come quickly," — and then said, "perhaps I am impatient," and 
prayed to be forgiven. At some time, he remarked that he was clear 
and peaceful, had no doubts or fears, was established on the Rock of 
Ages, had no raptures as some had, but he expected God would give 
him a foretaste of the joys of Heaven before his departure ; and after- 
wards he did experience some rapturous enjoyment. Finally he fell 
into a slumber and never woke. "Mark the perfect man, and behold 
the upright; for the end of that man is peace." On Wednesday, the 
13th of November, and after the interment, a discourse was delivered 
from 2d Timothy, 4:6-8 verses ; and the religious services of the occa- 
sion were shared by ministers of our own and of the Associate Ee- 
formed and Lutheran denominations — not without much tenderness 
and emotions which almost impeded utterance. 



REV. WILLIAM STUART. 



HE was a native of Ireland, born in a small village near London- 
derry, in the county of Donegal, on the 18th of July, 1759. 
He emigrated to America early in life, and first settled in the State 
i^f Delaware, where he acted for some j^ears in the capacity of a 
teacher. 

Having his attention turned to the gospel ministry he passed 
through a preparatory course of study at the Newark Academy, and 
entered Dickinson College, Carlisle, then under the presidency of Dr. 
NisBiT. Here he was graduated in the year 1795. 

Leaving college he prosecuted his theological course, privately, 
under the direction of Rev. John McCrery, and was licensed by the 
Presbytery of New Castle, A. D., 1797. For several years he acted as 
an itinerant in the bounds of his Presbytery — when he came into 
the bounds of the Presbytery of Huntingdon, preaching as a can- 
didate. 

Visiting the congregation of East Penns Vallej^, Sinking Creek and 
Spring Creek, he received a call to become their pastor. Mr. Stuart 
accepted the call, and was ordained to the gospel ministry, and in- 
stalled pastor of these churches by the Presbytery of Huntingdon, 
October 6, 1801. 

In these relations he continued faithfully and punctually to per- 
form his duties until Ajn'il, 1804, when he gave up the charge of East 
Penns Valley congregation, and divided his labors equally between 
the Sinking and Spring Creek churches. These churches he served 
for thirty-three years, until the autumn of 1834, when he was jjrovi- 
dentially laid aside by the fracture of a limb, (caused by the kick of 
a horse,) in returning from preaching on Sabbath. In consequence of 
this he was compelled to resign his charge, having sustained the 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF DECEASED MEMBERS. 259 

relation of pastor until he had entered his seventy-sixth year. He 
continued to reside in the bounds of his former charge during 
the remainder of his life, beloved by those to whom he had 
so long ministered. When able, he participated with them in re- 
ligious ordinances and exercises, but for some years before his death, 
the iniirmaties of age and his want of hearing, placed these privileges 
beyond his reach. Shut out from much satisfactory communion with 
others, he spent much of his time in comnmnion with his God. He 
devoted his leisure hours to reading, meditation and prayer, and in sucli 
exercises found his chief enjoyment. 'He fed upon the precious truth 
of Grod, which he had so long ministered to others, and with which he 
had become so familiar. 

His general health through life was good, though he had by no 
means an iron constitution. He was seldom sick for any length of 
time, and his last sickness was of short duration. Ten days previous 
to his death he was attacked with inflammation of the lungs, which 
rapidly brought him to the close of his earthly career. He was sen- 
sible throughout his illness, and spoke of his departure with compo- 
sure and calm confidence in Christ. " I know," said he to the writer, 
"in whom I have believed. 'The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not 
want.' 'Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, 
I will fear no evil.' " 

His strength declined daily until the morning of March 30, 184S. 
when he calmly "fell asleep," having reached the eighty -ninth year 
of his age. He left an aged partner (who only survived him about 
two months,) and two children, a son and a daughter, to mourn his 
departure. 

Mr. Stuart was an instructive preacher. His discourses were care- 
fully prepared. He wrote and memorized all his public exercises. 
He did nothing extemporaneously. His sermons, his sacramental 
exercises, and his prayers were all committed. He was punctual in 
the discharge of duty. In the whole course of his ministry he never 
failed in fulfilling his Sabbath appointments, save in two instances, 
in which it was not possible to do it. In one instance, he swam his 
horse acr<jss a stream that lay between him and his church, in order 
not to disappoint his flock. 

He was for years the oldest member of the Presbytery of Hunting- 
don, and one of the patriarchs of the Presbyterian church. 



260 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF DECEASED MEMBERS. 

He lived to baptize, to receive into communion, and to marry 
children and children's children among the people of his charge. 

" Having served his own generation by the will of God," "he died 
in a good old age — an old man and full of years." 

Mr. Stuart was buried in the gi\ave yard of the Sinking Creek 
church ; and a sermon adapted to the occasion was preached in the 
church, by the pastor, on Sabbath, April 9, following, from Zacha- 
riah, 1:5 — "Your fathers, where are they ? and the prophets, do they 
live forever ?" 



Note. — The foregoing sketch of the life of Father Stuart was prepared hy Rev. Robert 
IlAjiiL, D. D., a successor of Mr. Stuart, and read before tlie Presbytery, and entered iu the 
• Hiituary Book of the Presbytery. Dr. Ha5iil is still the pastor of Spring and Sinking Creek 
rhnrclies. 



REY. THOMAS HOOD. 



DIED at his residence in Lewisburg, Penn'a, on Friday, the 17th of 
March, 1848, the Eev. Thomas Hood, in the sixty-seventh year of 
his age. 

The deceased was born in Chester county in July, 1781. His 
parents were James and Jane Hood. At the early age of seventeen 
he was graduated with honor to himself in Dickinson College, Avhich 
was then under the care of the venerable Dr. Nisbet. Soon after 
completing his collegiate course, he entered on the study of Theology 
under the supervision of the Eev. Nathan Grier of Brandywine. In 
1 802 he was licensed to preach the Gospel by the Presbytery of New 
Castle, and in 1805 he was installed pastor over the congregations of 
Buffalo and Washington, by the Presbytery of Huntingdon. In 
October, 1812, he was installed pastor over the Milton Church one- 
fourth of his time, by the Presbytery of Northumberland. It was 
not long, however, until this congregation required half of his time. 
In two of these congregations, Buffalo and Milton, he continued to 
preach with fidelity and earnestness until a short time before his 
death, when, in consequence of declining health, he was obliged 
almost entirely to desist from preaching. 

As a preacher he was popular. His personal appearance in the 
puljiit was commanding, and his talents and acquirements were highly 
respectable. 

He was an affectionate husband, an indulgent parent, a kind friend, 
a consistent christian, and a useful minister. 

His discourses were practical and persuasive rather than ai'gumen- 
tative. As a man, as a christian, and as a minister, he was exemplary. 
His modesty and natural diffidence, which were not unfrequently 
construed into haughtiness, prevented him from occupying that 
elevated position in the church and in deliberative assemblies, to 
which his talents and acquirements fairly entitled him. It is true he 



262 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF DECEASED MEMBERS. 

had his faults. These however were but few and scarcely percepti- 
ble, while his virtues were numerous and prominent. Those who 
knew him best valued' him most. When called to give an account of 
his stewardship he was jjrepared for the summons. He said he relied 
entirely on the merits of Christ for salvation, and that he was per- 
fectly resigned to the will of his Heavenly Father. His end was 
peaceful ; it was such as became a christian and a christian minister. 
He died comfortably to himself, honorably to the Saviour, and in such 
a manner as to recommend religion to those. who survive. " Mark the 
perfect man, and behold the upright, for the end of that man is 
peace.'" " Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last 
end be like his." 

Mr. Hood was married twice. His first wife was Miss Mary Haz- 
LETT, to whom he was married April 16, 1803, and by whom he had 
seven children. Mrs. Hood died November 10, 1840, greatly beloved 
for her humble and unobtrusive piety, and many social and domestic 
virtues. He was married a second time to Miss Hannah McClure, a 
lady of sterling worth, on the 4th of March, 1845. This marriage 
contributed greatly to his comfort during his last years. He was 
eminently happy in his marriage relations. Mrs. Hood and two 
daughters, by his first wife, still survive to mourn his loss. His 
remains now repose in the cemetery near Lewisburg, in the midst of 
those who were his hearers, where they will rest in peace until the 
morning of the resurrection." 

(Obituary Book of the Presbyterj^ of Northumberland, p. p. 9-11." 



REV. JAMES THOMPSON. 



THE Rev. James Thompson was a native of Union county, Pa. He 
studied Theologj^ under 'the care of Rev. Thomas Hood of North- 
umberland Presbytery, and was licensed by that Presbytery in 1817 
or 1818. February 3, 1819, he was received as a licentiate by the 
Presbytery of Huntingdon, having been called to the pastoral charge 
of Shaver's Creek and Alexandria. On the 7th of April following 
he was ordained and installed pastor of these congregations. He 
continued to be the pastor of said congregations till the year 1830, in 
which year he was removed by death on the 8th of October. He was 
cut off by a violent disease, and in the midst of his usefulness in his 
congregations. 

The following character is given of him by the late Rev. Dr. J. Linn 
of Bellefonte : " He was a vigorous, active young man, much esteem- 
ed by the people of his charge, and accounted a good member of 
Presbytery." He married Miss Eliza Stewart of Alexandria, who 
still survives with the children, one son and two daughters. 



Il 



KEV. JAMES H. STUART. 



M 



R. STUART was a native of Philadelphia. He was the son, and 
the only son of Mr. James Stuart, who was long an elder in 
the 3d Presbyterian Church of that city — Old Pine Street Church, so 
distinguished for the eniinency of its pastors, anaong whom was Rev. 
Dr. Archibald Alexaxder. In the life of Di\ A. Alexander, written 
))y his son, the following mention is made of Mr. Stuart, the father of 
Rev. J. H. Stuart. 

"Among the excellent private christians who were members of this 
Church, Mr. James Stuart deserves honorable mention. He was a native 
of Ireland, and long occupied the place of ruling elder. To a natural 
temperament of great ardency, he added evangelical knowledge and a 
remarkable disposition to be useful. He was gifted in prayer, assiduous 
and affectionate among the jwor and suffering, and a valuable aid to his 
pastor. It is but a few years since he died, full of years, and venerated by 
all who knew him." 

This was written 1855, many years after the death of his son, the 
subject of the jjresent rtotice. Mr. J. H. Stuart was educated at 
Princeton, both as to his literary and theological education. He was 
licensed and ordained by the Presbytery of Philadelphia. 

Having preached in the congregations of East and West Kishaco- 
quillas and Little Valley, he received calls from each of them. 
From East Kishacoquillas for two-thirds of his time, and from the 
twolast mentioned, each for the other third of his time. After some 
deliberation he accepted the united calls from East and West Kish- 
acoquillas, and was installed as their pastor on the 26th day of 
October, 1827. He continued but a short time in this connec- 
tion. It pleased God to afflict him with a lingering disease, by 
which he was disqualified from ministerial labors, and under which 
he finally sunk. He died on the 27th of February, 1829, and was in- 
terred in the grave-yard of East Kishacoquillas church. His inten- 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF DECEASED MEMBERS. 265 

tion was to go to another field of labor in the West, but God in his 
providence directed him to settle in the before named congregations. 
His coming among them was the means of uniting them in feeling, 
and healing some very unhai^py divisions which had existed among 
them. He was a pleasant, promising young man. He was all that 
might have been expected in the son of such a father. His brethren 
of the Presbytery esteemed him very highly, and would have been, 
glad, had it pleased providence, that his life had been prolonged 
among them, that they might have enjoyed his company and coun- 
sels in their meetings. 

He married after his settlement in East Kishacoquillas, Miss Law, 
whose father resided in Miflaintown. She was a lady of great beauty, 
and of superior mental and moral endownments. She afterwards 
married General Foster of Harrisburg, and is still living ; at least we 
have not heard of her death. She had one son by her first husband, 
who is now dead. If we mistake not he was lost at sea. 



REY. WILLIAM REED. 



MR. REED was a native of Mifflin countj', Pa. He was a graduate 
of Jefferson College ; and after a course of Theological studies in 
one of our Seminaries, he was licensed by the Presbytery of Hunting- 
don, in 1832. He oifered himself to the Western Foreign Missionary 
Society as a candidateto labor in the foreign field. His offer was ac- 
cepted, and he was ordained in May, 1833, with a view to entering on 
that service. He received a commission for India, and sailed shortly 
after. He reached Calcutta and continued sometime in study to 
prepare himself for his work. But his health failing him, he was ad- 
vised to return home. He set sail with this view, but died on the 
passage shortly after he had embarked. 

He was a very pious, devoted young man ; but he had a very feeble 
constitution which was not sufficient to bear the hardships which the 
foreign missionary must endure. The disease, which at last proved 
fatal to him, had been long preying on his system. He fell a victim 
to it when he was in sight of his intended field of labor. He died on 
the 12th of August, 1834. 



REV. THOMAS I. KEATING. 



HE was a native of Huntingdon county, Pa. His parents were 
Roman Catholics. He was in early life bound out to a mechanic 
in Bellefonte, to learn a trade. He was thus thrown into the society 
of Protestants ; and there he embraced the Protestant Presbyterian 
faith, more from liLs own judgment than from any direct influence on 
him by others. As he was fond of reading, and being in situations fa- 
vorable to it, he improved his mind very considerably on the leading 
doctrines of the gospel, as well as on other subjects. After some time 
he felt a very strong desire to enter the ministry, if practicable. 
Being encouraged, he then turned his attention more particularly to 
the study of Theology. During a part of the time he was under 
private instructions, and a part he spent at the Western Theological 
Seminary, Alleghany City, Pa. He was taken under the care of Pres- 
bytery as a candidate for the ministry, April, 1834, and was licensed 
to preach the gospel, April 9, 1835. He was ordained sine titulo in 
1837, with a view to perform missionary labor within the bounds of 
the Presbytery. But God cut short his days. He never ijreached 
more than two or three times after his ordination. He died on the 
15th of February, 1838, at the house of John Crawford, Esq., near 
Petersburg, Huntingdon county, after several weeks of severe suffer- 
ing. His remains lie in the yard of the church of Alexandria. 



REY. FREDERICK G. BETTS. 



THIS brother was born in Philadelphia, August 14, 1812. His pa- 
rents were New Englanders. From Philadelphia they removed to 
Pittsburgh, and afterwards to Meadville ; in the Academy of which 
place Frederick received his classical education. In his nineteenth 
year he engaged as clerk at an iron works in Centre county. He con- 
tinued in the Iron business there and in New Jersey, for above 
six years. 

In May, 1838, he commenced the study of Theology in Boalsburg, 
under private instruction. In October following he was received by 
Presbytery as a candidate, and in April, 1840, was licensed to preach 
the gospel. In the autumn of the same year, he was ordained to the 
full work of the ministry, and installed over several small churches 
in Clearfield county. 

The field of his labors was extensive and difficult to cultivate. He 
toiled assiduously at his work, leaving no part of his charge destitute 
of the good seed of the word ; and his success was unusually great. 
In the summer of 1844 his health became so impared that he was 
obliged to cease from preaching. This was a most painful Providence. 
He was anxious to be restored to his delightful employment. Accord- 
ing to medical advice, he set out in the autumn of that year on a 
journey, intending to pass the winter in a milder climate; but de- 
taining awhile in Cincinnati, his disease (pulmonary consumption) 
advanced so rapidly, that he was unable to proceed any farther. 
Though among strangers he soon became known to some valuable 
Christians, from whom he received the kindest attentions. But his 
end was di"awing near. He entered into his rest on the 17th of Jan- 
uary, 1845. 

Mr. Betts was a good scholar, well acquainted with mankind, and 
an excellent preacher. He united mildness and firmness in a pre- 
eminent degree. He was easy of access, pleasant, communicative, and 
in every respect amiable. It was hardly possible to know him and 
not love him. He had married early, and had been the father of 
six children ; three of whom, with their mother, yet survive. 



I 



BEY. JOHN LLOYD. 



JOHN LLOYD was the son of Thomas and Catharine Lloyd. He 
was born at McConnelstown, Huntingdon county, Pa., on the 
1st of October, 1813, and was the eldest of twelve children, six of 
whom were sons. Four of his brothers, and three of his sisters sur- 
vive him. His father was of Presbyterian origin, but not a commu- 
nicating member. He was a highly respectable citizen, and at one 
time sheriff of the county. Some years before his death, he became a 
regular member of the Baptist church. Mrs. Lloyd was of a Sece- 
der family, but united with the Presbyterian church, in which she 
adorned her profession. The boyhood of John, till his 14th year, was 
spent under the parental roof, where he obtained the education 
which our common schools afforded. From that time till his twen- 
tieth year he was engaged in business, mostly as a clerk in a country 
store, or at iron works. He had always been remarked for his so- 
briety, thoughtfulness, and fondness for reading ; and his predilec- 
tion for knowledge was now to be gratified in a more ample and pro- 
ductive field. About this time he entered on a course of study at 
Jefferson College, first in the preparatory school, and afterwards in 
the regular classes, and was graduated in September, 1839, being then 
in the 26th year of his age. He united in the communion of the 
church in 1835. He studied Theology in the Seminary at Princeton, 
was licensed by the Presbytery of New York to preach the Grospel, 
in April, 1844 ; and in May of the same year was ordained by the 
Presbytery of Huntingdon to the full work of the ministry. On the 
22d of June he sailed from New York as a Missionary to China, under 
the care of the Assembly's Board, and on the 6th of December he 
arrived at Amoy. In this place he spent four years most laboriously 
in the service of the church, and on the 6th of December, 1848, en- 
tered into rest. 

Mr, Lloyd had from his earliest youth been exemplary in all his 
conduct. As a son, a brother, a, neighbor, a friend, all rejoiced in him. 



270 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF DECEASED MEMBERS. 

A person in whose family he was most intimate, and for whom he did 
business several years, said with emphasis — " John never did a wrong 
thing." He was faithful to every trust reposed in him; strong in his 
attachments; zealous in the cause of his Master, and anxious to do 
good to men. It was his delight to be useful. 

He was about a medium size, of fair complexion, possessed a good 
constitution, enjoyed excellent health, and appeared capable of long 
service in the missionary field. While at Amoy he suffered much 
from ophthalmia, a disease incident to the locality ; but still he made 
great proficiency in the acquisition of the Chinese language ; and at 
the time of his death, was capable not only of writing and speaking 
it, but also of preaching in that difficult tongue the glad tidings of 
salvation. Just at the time when we would say, he was amply pre- 
pared for usefulness, the Lord said that his work was done, and the 
faithful servant was called home. The "earthly house of this 
tabernacle" was then exchanged for " the building of God — eternal 
in the heavens." Thus far this sketch was prepared by the Rev. Dr. 
McKiNNEY, for the Obituary Book of the Presbytery. 

The Rev. Dr. Happer of the China Mission, in a letter published in 
the Presbyterian Banner during the past year, thus writes of a visit to 
the grave of Rev. John Llovd, referring to a visit to the Mission of 
the Dutch Reformed Church, he says : " It gave me the opportunity 
of visiting the grave of my early friend and associate, the Rev. John 
Lloyd, with whom I went out to China in 1844. He was permitted to 
engage in the labors to which he had consecrated the strength of his 
manhood and ripened intellect for four years. In that time his 
progress in the acquirement of the language and in preaching in this 
strange land, more than reached the highest expectation of his most 
partial friends. His early and lamented death removed one who gave 
the brightest promise of great usefulness in labor among this numer- 
ous people. We can only say, "God moves in a mysterious way," 
when he takes away those who are so well prepared to labor where 
laborers are so greatly needed. It was a melancholy pleasure to 
visit the grave of this dear friend, and there recall the memory of 
many days and years of pleasant intercourse, and think over his 
many excellencies and virtues, and weep afresh, tears of sorrow at 
his early removal from this field of labor. May God raise up and 
send forth many more such into this land." 



EEV. JAMES T. M'GINNIS. 



DIED, August 31, 1851, at Shade Gap, Huntingdon county. Pa., the 
Rev. James Y. McGinnis, in the 35th year of his age. The de- 
ceased was a native of Shipj^ensburg, Pa.; in the Presbyterian church 
of which place his revered father liad long been a ruling elder. His 
college education was obtained at Jefferson College. While at college, 
during an extensive revival of religion, he became a hopeful subject 
of saving grace. His theological training, preparatory to his entering 
the ministry, was received under the direction of the venerable Dr. 
Matthews, of South Hanover, Indiana. In the year 1840 he entered 
the ministry ; was married to Miss Cresswell, of Franklin county. Pa., 
and was settled pastor of the church of Lewistown, Fulton county, 
Illinois. Whilst here his health became so impaired that at the close 
of his third year he resigned his pastoral charge and returned to his 
native State — hoping that its pure mountain air would invigorate 
his system, and thus be the means of prolonging his life and min- 
istry. One year after his return, in October, 1844, his "health still 
feeble, he accepted a call to the church of Little Aughwick, and 
became a member of the Presbytery of Huntingdon. Here God 
greatly prospered him in his efforts to advance the cause of Christ 
and the best interests of men. The church was built up, and the 
place in which he resided has assumed an entirely different aspect. 
Literally, as well as figuratively, the wilderness has become a fruitful 
field under his culture. The amount of labor he performed, and the 
amount of good accomplished, are matter of astonishment to all 
acquainted with the facts. 

In the autumn of 1848 he commenced Milnwood Academy. The 
result showed he was fully adequate to the undertaking. Youth 
flocked to him from all directions, and building after building 
sprang up for their accommodation. At the time of his decease 
there was seventy-four students in the Institution, and an additional 
building was in the way of erection, under the expectation of a large 



272 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF DECEASED MEMBERS. 

increase. Had his valuable life been spared it is highly probable a 
(College would have, ere long, been reared by the side, or assumed 
the place of Milnwood Academy. 

On the 6th of August he addressed the Literary societies of Jeffer- 
son College ; and on his way home was attacked with dysentery. 
With great difficulty and much prostration, he reached his residence. 
Here, under the care of a skillful physician, and an affectionate 
family, his disease was checked : but his wonted strength was never 
regained. On the Sabbath before his decease he preached greatly 
to the delight and edification of hispeople. On Tuesday he travel- 
ed several miles, and visited one of his elders who was in delicate 
health. On Wednesday he heard a lecture in the Academy, by Prof. 
Williams of Jefferson College. Soon after he was seized with bilious 
cholic, the removal of which was beyond the power of medicine. 
Two days before his decease his physician explained to him the 
nature of his disease, and announced to him the impossibility of his 
recovery. The announcment was received without dismay. Imme- 
diately he set his house in order, and prejDared for his departure: 
gave minute directions in reference to his temporal affairs — the 
Academy, the Church ; sent for his aged parents, delivered to some, 
and to others left dying counsels ; made known his wishes in refer- 
ence to the final disposition of his remains — the ministers who should 
deliver a funeral discourse ; one at his residence, the other at Ship- 
pensburg, the place of interment, etc. He would gladly have labored 
longer in the vineyard below, but the latter being clearly intimated 
as the Divine will, he expressed not only a willingness, but a desire 
to be absent from the body that he might be present with the Lord. 
Twice or thrice was the adversary permitted to assail him sore, but 
the result in every instance was increased peace and joy in the Holy 
Ghost. " I have," said he, " read of the valley of the shadow of 
death, but now I know what it is from experience ; but blessed be 
God, He is with me, his rod and staff comfort me." His sufferings 
at times were very great, but his confidence in his covenant God, 
unshaken. He knew in whom he had believed, and was persuaded 
that He was able to keej) that which he had committed to Him until 
that day. The companion of his youth and riper age, with their five 
interesting children survive him to mourn their irreparable loss. 
May his God be theirs, and the everlasting arms be around them. 

Eminently endowed with gifts and grace, the deceased adorned 
every station he filled. 



REV. JAMES GALBRAITH. 



THE REV. J. GALBRAITH was bom in Pittsburg, Pa., in 1783. 
He was a son of Robert Galbraith, Esq., a lawyer of some dis- 
tinction in that city in his day. His name appears in the history 
of the Whisky Insurrection. The place where his son James received 
his literary education is believed to have been Jefferson College, Can- 
onsburg. He was licensed by the Presbytery of Redstone, and or- 
dained and installed pastor of Mahoning church, Indiana county, but 
within the bounds of the Presbytery of Redstone. He was probably 
licensed about the year 1808 ; and Ordained and installed in 1810. In 
this charge he continued till the beginning of the year 1816. The 
congregation of Frankstown, (Hollidaysburg,) being vacant, Mr. 
Galbraith visited it by invitation in February, 1816, and a call was 
presented to him from said congregation, prosecuted before the 
Presbytery of Redstone ; and he was received as a member of the 
Presbytery of Huntingdon, at its full meeting in October ; and was 
installed pastor of the united congregations of Hollidaysburg and 
Williamsburg, (Hollidaysburg taking two-thirds of his time, and 
Williamsburg one-third,) Nov. 19, 1816. He continued the pastor 
of these churches till the fall of 1834, at which time the pastoral 
relation was dissolved. After this time Mr. Galbraith exercised his 
ministry in various places, but we do not know that he became a 
settled pastor in any of them. On removing from Hollidaysburg he 
visited Nashville, Ten., where he supplied for some time; then in 
Clarion county, Pa., and New Lisbon, Ohio. He died at West Fair- 
field, March 28, 1858, in the seventy-fifth year of his age. 

Mr. Galbraith was a man of respectable attainments, and a very 
instructive preacher. He was a great reader, and had a very reten- 
tive memory. He was therefore a good historian, and his accurate 
memory of facts, and dates, and incidents, made him a very agreeable 
and instructive companion. 

He left a family of several sons and daughters all of whom are now 
dead, except the Rev. Robert C. Galbraith, of Flora, Illinois. Mrs. 
Galbraith was the daughter of the Rev. Mr. Henderson, of the 
Associate Reformed Church, Indiana county, Pa. 

35 



REV. JAMES S. WOODS, D. D. 



DR. WOODS was a native of Cumberland county, Pa., where he 
was born on the 18th of April, 1793. He received his literary 
education at Princeton College, then under the presidency of the 
celebrated Dr. Witherspoon ; and his theological education in the 
same place, at the theological seminary, of which Drs. Archibald 
Alexander and Samuel Miller were then sole professors. He was 
licensed to preach the Gospel by the Presbytery of New Brunswick, 
in October, 1818, and received as a licentiate by the Presbytery of 
Huntingdon, November 24, 1819, having accepted a call from the con- 
gregation of Waynesburg (McVeytown) for one-half of his time, at a 
salary of four hundred dollars. On the 5th of April, 1820, he was 
ordained and installed pastor of the before-named congregation. In 
April, 1823, he was appointed stated supply of Lewistown, at the 
request of the congregation, in which capacity he continued to serve 
them for one year, when he received and accepted a call to become 
their permanent pastor in connection with Waynesburg, the congre- 
gation promising a salary of three hundred dollars for one-half of his 
time. He was installed over this part of his charge April 28, 1824, by 
a committee of the Presbytery. Mr. Woods continued to serve these 
congregations acceptably, till in 1837, the congregation of Lewistown 
called him, with the consent of Presbytery, for the whole of his time, 
at a salary of $600 per annum. He continued to serve this congrega- 
tion, with increasing success, till the time of his death, which sad 
event took place suddenly on the 29th of June, 1862. He served the 
congregation of Lewistown, as stated supply and pastor, thirty-nine 
years and three months. As the pastor of Lewistown exclusively, 
thirty years and nine months. In 1850 he was honored with the title 
of Doctor of Divinity by the college of Princeton, his Alma Mater. 
He was married to a daughter of the celebrated Dr. Witherspoon, by 
whom he had live sons and three daughters, all of whom survived 
him, except the eldest, who was a lieutenant in the regular army, and 



1 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF DECEASED MEMBERS. 275 

was killed in one of the battles fought during the Mexican war. The 
next oldest son studied law, and became judge of the judicial district 
in which he resided, and died in the prime of life. Two other sons 
also studied law, and are now in the practice of their profession. The 
youngest son became a minister of the Gospel, and is now the accept- 
able pastor of the church in Mahanoy City, Lehigh county. Pa. 

As a preacher, Dr. Woods may not be reckoned among the eloquent 
men of the day ; but he was plain, substantial and instructive. He 
sought after none of the flowers of rhetoric, or meretricious orna- 
ments, but taught the way of salvation in plain Saxon English, so 
that the plainest hearer might understand. He ventured on no nov- 
elties or speculations in theology ; but the tried and proved doctrines 
of the Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms, were his 
guides and helps in setting forth the doctrines of the Gospel. While 
he was firm and decided in his own views of truth, he was of enlarged 
charity with regard to those who might differ from him in some 
things, provided he saw in them the evidences of sincerity and piety. 
As a pastor he was faithful, and exceedingly pleasant in mingling 
among the people of his charge. And he was successful, as success 
ordinarily attends the labors of a faithful pastor. In looking over the 
statistics of a series of years, it will be seen that there was a gradual 
and healthy increase to the church, and in some years they were 
favored with special times of revival, when unusual numbers were 
added to the Lord and to the church. 

As a man he doubtless had his faults or infirmities, but he had 
numerous and admirable excellencies of character, which overshad- 
owed all his natural defects. He was by nature impulsive, and at the 
same time open and undisguised in manifestations of approbation or 
disapprobation. In the former case, of course, he made no enemies ; 
but in the latter, he may have been sometimes hasty and impru- 
dent, so far as his own interests were concerned. But he was no 
selfish man, and seldom took into consideration how far his own 
interest might be involved in what he conceived to be a matter of 
duty. He hated everything that was hishonorable or mean, and if he 
spoke his disapprobation when cooler temperaments would have been 
silent, who will say that he did not err on the side of virtue ? One 
characteristic of this venerable man was his generous and hospitable 
disposition. With the limited means at his disposal, as may be well 
inferred from the amount of salary promised in his original call, he 
practiced an unusual degree of hospitality. He was liberal and gener- 



276 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF DECEASED MEMBERS. 

ous, perhaps to a fault. Without knowing what additions may have 
been made to his means, from time to time, by the considerate kind- 
ness of his people, or what may have been his private resources, those 
who knew him may have been surprised that he could practice hospi- 
tality to such an extent, and at the same time accomplish the educa- 
tion of so large a family. As much as any modern minister, he filled 
up the character and qualifications of a true Christian bishop — " Not 
given to Jilt hy lucre ; but a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, 
holy, temperate."" 

It only remains to speak of him as a Presbyter, associated with his 
brethren in the courts of the Church. In Presbytery he did not 
occupy much time in formal speeches ; but his judgment in intricate 
and difficult cases was always sought for, and highly respected. One 
thing his brethren were always assured of — he had no secret or con- 
cealed object to accomplish in any case. His purpose, and the means 
to accomplish any object, were as apparent as the noonday sun. 
There was nothing like finesse or trick in all his composition. He 
was eminent for his conciliatory disposition ; and in cases where men's 
passions were likely to be aroused, it was his habit '' to pour oil upon 
the troubled waters." It is not known that he had any enemies— 
certainly not among his brethren, or good men generally. 

As before stated, his death was sudden — no time allowed for death- 
bed experiences, or personal assurances for the satisfaction of friends. 
None were needed. The venerable Abraham Booth once said, when 
conversing on the subject of happy deaths : " I j^ay more attention to 
people's lives than to their deaths." 



% 




REV.MATTHEW ALLISON 



I 



REY. MATTHEW ALLISON. 



REV. MATTHEW ALLISON was the youngest son of John Alli- 
son and Ellen Jane Lawson Allison, of Windy Edge, Strat- 
haven, Lankshire, Scotland. He was born on the 28th daj^ of July, 
A. D., 1794. He had one brother and two sisters, all older than 
himself; one sister now upwards of 87 years, survives him. A son of 
his older brother, George Allison, is his successor at Kilbarchan, and 
was baptized by his uncle in 1819. Matthew Allison was what the 
world understands as a self-made man. He was remarkably free 
from influence of friends or money for his means as a student and a 
minister. He was sent to a country school near the residence of 
his father when he was five years old. Not long after this he was 
^ent to the parish school at Strathaven, where he received instruc- 
tions in both the English and Latin languages. The elder Mr. Simp- 
son, who was famed at that day for his classical attainments and for 
his success in training his pupils, presided over this school. Mr. 
Allison had the very great advantage of thus making a correct 
beginning. Nor were the advantages less as he advanced ; for he 
went from this place to Glasgow in October, 1809, and entered the 
University there when he was 15 years of age. He graduated at 
the age of 19 in 1813. He then entered Divinity Hall, connected 
with the sam. > institution, on which he attended four years more, 
and graduated ii 1817. Thus at the age of 23 he had spent eight 
years at Glasgow University and Divinity Hall, (never missing a 
session or a day at the University,) and ten years at Strathaven ; and 
all the money which he received that he did not honestly earn by 
his own labor, (teaching night schools and gentlemen's sons in a 
private way) was just £50 or $250. 

Mr. Allison was licensed to preach the gospel in the same year 
in which he graduated, 1817, by the Relief Presbytery of Glasgow, 



278 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF DECEASED MEMBERS. 

and in May, 1818, lie received a call to one of the most important 
churches connected with that Presbytery. He was ordained and 
installed pastor of the church of Kilbarchan, (about 12 miles from 
G^lasgow,) on the 4th day of August, 1818. Here he spent a useful 
and happy period of his valuable life, remaining almost 23 years 
without a jar or misunderstanding to interrupt the pleasant har- 
mony which existed between pastor and people. After he had 
labored in the ministry at Kilbarchan for upwards of two years, he 
married Miss Elizabeth Kirkwood, of Beith, October, 1820, at the 
age of 26 years. She died in the spring of 1822. John Allison was 
the only child of the first wife, and he died in Antigua at the age 
of 17. • In October, 1828, Mr. Allison married Miss Agnes Gemmell. 
By her he had three sons and one daughter. He lost his second 
wife in January, 1863. 

His love of civil liberty and his admiration of the government of 
the United States led him in May, 1841, to demit his charge at 
Kilbarchan, and to sever ties that had been cemented so strongly 
for upwards of 22 years, and come to this country. This demit- 
ting his charge at Kilbarchan, was much to the regret of the whole 
coxigregation. In less than three months after assigning his charge, 
he landed in New York, and in five months more was called to 
the Presbyterian church at Paterson, New Jersey. This was on 
the 30th day of December, 1841. His labors in Paterson were 
eminently successful but of short duration. The church was largely 
increased in numbers while he was there. Owing to the ill health 
of his family, and thinking that a return to the native air of old 
Scotland would be beneficial to them, he resigned his charge at 
Paterson on the 1st day of May, 1843, and in June following, landed 
in Glasgow, where he remained nearly a year. Here he preached as 
opportunity was aftbrded, and although offers of settlement were 
made to him he never accepted a charge, longing all the time to 
return to his adopted country. In the spring of the following year, 
1844, he came again to the United States, this time leaving his 
family behind in Scotland. In the fall of that year he came to 
Mifflintown and Lost Creek. He supplied these churches during 
the winter, and in the spring, March 26, 1845, he was unani- 
mously called to be their pastor, and continued pastor upwards of 
27 years. He continued his ministration in the pulpit, showing 
the way to Heaven to his people, as long as God gave him strength 
of body to do it. and then he led the way, entering in before 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF DECEASED MEMBERS. 279 

them on the 8th day of July, 1872, in the 78th year of his age, 
and the 55th year of his ministry, 

Mr. Allison possessed a sound mind in a sound body. He was 
large, well-proportioned, muscular and very strong. When young, 
he could do as much work in the hay field as two or three com- 
mon men. He never by youthful vices, or improper indulgence in 
meats and drinks, injured that healthy and vigorous constitution 
which he inherited from his lathers. Mr. Allison's mental vigor 
was as remarkable as his physical. He had a wonderful tenacity of 
memory. He hardly ever forgot anything which he once knew. 
He was perfectly familiar with English history. He had an inti- 
mate acquaintance with the history of all the old families of England 
and Scotland, their relationship to one another, and everything per- 
taining to their social code ; and he would talk about these things as 
one who knew them from his own everyday life. He was remarkably 
familiar with the Bible, and could tell the exact variation in the 
form of expressions of many parallel texts, and the chapter and verse 
where those texts were to be found. He memorized his sermons, 
which he wrote with a great deal of care, and this he would do by 
once or twice reading them over. He had a wonderful power of 
calling up at any time any event that had transpired, or any train of 
thought he may have had on any former occasion. His memory 
was tenacious with regard to men, names, countenances, events, dates, 
or anything to be remembered. His tenacity of memory did not at 
all interfere with his judgment. He seldom erred in his opinion 
of men and things. He was a safe counsellor, an excellent judge 
of human character, a fast and strong friend and a lenient foe if 
he could be foe to any man. He certainly never was an enemy in 
the common acceptance of that term. 

He was strictly orthodox and particularly evangelical. His ser- 
mons were, therefore, sound and well calculated to comfort and 
edify the saint. They were logical, clear, concise ; every word in 
its right place and not a superfluous word from beginning to end. 
His object seemed to be to give the mind of the Spirit in the text, 
prove the doctrine and enforce it. The Bible was his book. He 
was well acquainted with both the text and the different interpreta- 
tion of the text. He had, we may almost say, no library. Having 
had one and carefully read his books, his memory was such that he 
had little use for them and he sold them ; he purchased new books 
and read them; but was emphatically a thinker. Though he wrote 



280 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF DECEASED MEMBERS. 

his sermons carefully, yet when occasion required, he could speak 
well extemporaneously. 

The spirituality of his mind was decided and unmistakable, 
although in this he did not excell many of his brethren. It was 
not of a demonstrative kind. His piety was by no means of an out- 
side showy nature, manifesting itself on particular occasions, having 
its ebb and flow like the sea ; but was of a permanent kind, showing 
itself the same under all circumstances. What was a sufficient rea- 
son to move him at one time, would under similar circumstances 
move him at all times. His faith in God was the source of his con- 
victions, and by his convictions he was controlled and not by his 
emotions. 

He tried to keep a conscience void of offense towards God and 
towards his fellow men. He might differ from them but would not 
disagree with his own conscience. To the admonitions of this he 
Avould adhere in matters small and great. 

Mr. Allison was remarkable for his fluency, pathos, conciseness 
and comprehensiveness in prayer. His prayers were the utterance 
of the heart's desires and the appeals of a helpless, needy soul, to 
our Heavenlj'^ Father with filial confidence. 

Childlike in his disposition, meek in his behavior, and charitable 
to others infirmities, he was always ready to give every one credit for 
all the good he could see in him. He was noted for punctuality ; 
never known to be late. 

[This sketch of the life of Mr. Allison was prepared by his son, 
William Allison, Esq., of Mifflin, Pa.] 



REV. WILLIAM M. HALL. 



THE subject of this memoir was born at Harrisburg on tlie 16th of 
February, A. D., 1801. He departed this life at Bedford, Pa., on 
the 28th of August, A. D., 1851. His family connections were of the 
most respectable character and standing. Of his early history we are 
not informed, but from his classical and other attainments, we infer 
that his academical training was mature, and his scholarship was 
highly respectable. He was educated for the legal profession, and his 
practice at the bar was pursued with characteristic energy and ardor, 
with great promise, and no small acceptance to the public. He then 
resided at Lewistown, Pa., and there became connected with the Pres- 
byterian church under the pastoral care of Rev. Jas. S. "Woods, D. D. 

Among his first aspirations after his conversion, was a desire for the 
Gospel ministry, and this he resolved to seek and enter at every sacri- 
fice. He accordingly relinquished the practice of law and removed 
from Lewistown to west of the mountains, to prosecute his studies for 
the sacred office at the Allegheny Seminary. These having been com- 
pleted by a two year's course, he was licensed to preach the Gospel ; 
and after undergoing due probation, was ordained to the full preroga- 
tives of the Gospel ministry. 

New trials awaited him, and the partial failure of his health and 
sight, confined him for a season unemployed at Milroy, Mifflin county. 
But he was not inactive there. Entering into the controversy with 
the Papacy, he spent some time and means in the distribution of 
books on that subject, till a wider field of effort opened before him. 
He then became an agent of the American Board of Commissioners 
for Foreign Missions. His residence was then removed to Philadel- 
phia, and he prosecuted his important agency through various parts of 
the State of Pennsylvania for several years, and with the marked 
approbation of the Board. 

At this time Mr. Half's ecclesiastical relations were with the New 

36 



282 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OP DECEASED MEMBERS. 

.School Assembly. He afterwards transferred his relations to the Old 
School, and joined the Presbytery of Carlisle. Afterwards he became 
an agent of the General Assembly's Board of Foreign Missions, and 
remained in that capacity for some time, till satisfied with agency life, 
he received and accepted a call to the pastoral charge of Bedford con- 
gregation, where he continued to labor till declining health compelldd 
the relinquishment of the charge ; not however till he had succeeded 
in rendering the state of affairs there financially more in accordance 
with the standard of accuracy, of which he was observant in all simi- 
lar matters. After this he acted for a short season as agent of the 
Pennsylvania Colonization Society, and secured sucli patronage as he 
could for a cause that lay very near his heart, the liberation and col- 
onization of the people of color on the coast of Africa. 

It became then expedient, in his view, to turn his attention to some 
other pursuit, requiring less physical energy than public speaking, 
though the Grospel ministry was the cherished object of his life. The 
greatest trial of his life was the necessity forced on him to cease from 
the active duties of the ministry, because of the state of his health. 
After trying another expedient, which failed, at last a scheme of use- 
fulness offered, which he was about to try on his return to Bedford, 
where he proposed opening a female seminary ; when his wearied 
mind and waning fi'ame were gently parted by the unexpected sum- 
mons of death, as he lay resting from a morning walk. 

Such are the facts in the eventful history of a man remarkable for 
great activity of mind and body, of unquestionable talent of a supe- 
rior order, of mercurial temperament, of devoted character. He was 
evidently ripening for his great change for many months before it 
came ; and as successive inroads by nervous debility were made upon 
liis frame, he seemed to feel admonished to be always ready ; and 
doubtless when the Master came and called for him, his transit was 
easy from the border where he had often been before, to the actual 
territory of " the rest remaining for the peoj^le of God." 

He left a widow and several sons and daughters to mourn his loss. 
His youngest son has since become greatly distinguished as a lawyer 
and a politician ; another is distinguished as the judge of the judicial 
district of which Bedford is the centre ; and one of his daughters is 
married to the Hon. Francis Jordan, late Secretary of the Common- 
wealth, and prominently spoken of as a suitable candidate for 
Governor. 



REY. JOSHUA MOORE. 



REV. JOSHUA MOORE, a member of this Presbytery, died April 
15, 1854. He was a native of Pennsylvania, born at a small 
town on the Allegheny mountains, called Beulah. His father was an 
Englishman, who, witli a number of others, attemj)ted to settle at the 
place named. The attempt to effect a permanent settlement not suc- 
ceeding according to expectation, his father removed with his family 
to Washington City, D. C, .while the subject of this memoir was yet 
quite a boy. In. what year he was born is not certainly known, but he 
was supposed to have been about 55 years of age at the time of his 
death. At Washington City he received his early education, and 
remained there until he entered iipon his collegiate course in Jeffer- 
son College, Canonsburg, where he graduated about 1820. After leav- 
ing college he pursued the usual course of theological stvidies at 
Princeton. Being licensed to preach the Gospel, he became the pastor 
soon of the Presbyterian church in Detroit, Michigan. How long he 
continued in this charge, is not known. His next settlement was 
over a congregation on the eastern shore of Maryland, perhaps Snow 
Hill, where he married the daughter of a respectable physician and 
elder of the Presbyterian church. His pastoral relation to the con- 
gregation in Maryland was dissolved in 1831-2, and for a time he 
became stated supply of the Presbyterian church of Norristown, Pa. 
His next and last charge was the congregation of East Kishacoquillas, 
of which he was the pastor for nearly twentj^ years, and in connection 
with which he died. 

Mr. Moore was distinguished for eminent piety, not bustling and 
obstrusive, but substantial and enduring; his religion was a living 
principle, a constant habit of soul. No one could pass from commun- 
ion with him, without the conviction being deeply impressed upon his 
mind, that he was eminently a man of God. Next to his eminent 
piety were his mental endowments and literary attainments. The 



284 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF DECEASED MEMBERS. 

qualities of his mind, like his piety, perhaps were not showy, but they 
were most substantial. His literary attainments were more than 
respectable ; in some resj^ects and in some departments they were em- 
inent. He excelled in the knowledge of history, especially ecclesias- 
tical history, and at the same time was a good Latin, Greek and 
Hebrew scholar. There were few wl.o possessed more general infor- 
mation on all scientific subjects. As a theologian his knowledge was 
extensive and accurate. As a preacher he was eminently instrvictive 
and substantial, and sometimes, when the occasion was such as to call 
forth all his powers, truly eloquent. In varied, appi'opriate, and im- 
pressive prayer, he excelled. As a pastor he was affectionate and 
faithful. In seasons of affliction he was among his people the sympa- 
thizing friend and the tender pastor. He excelled as a spiritual 
director and comforter. His affectionate pastoral visits, and glowing 
sympathies, gushing from a sincere and warm heart, will long be 
remembered by the people of his late charge. He was a man of 
refined taste and lively sensibility ; and capable of suffering intensely 
from vmkindness himself, he was scarcely ever known to utter any- 
thing having the appearance of harshness, and was incapable of har- 
boring a vindictive sj^irit. A childlike simplicity characterized him in 
many respects. His disposition was almost altogether free from sus- 
picion. Simple and sincere himself, he was incapable of suspecting 
others. In a word — "he was an Israelite indeed, in whom there was 
no guile." He died sincerely lamented by his brethren of the Pres- 
bytery, and the people of his charge. 




REV.JOHN PEEBLES. 



REV. JOHN PEEBLES. 



THE REV. JOHN PEEBLES was the son of Captain Robert 
Peebles, an officer in the Revolutionary war, who resided near 
Shippensburg, Pa., at the time of the birth of the subject of this 
notice, the 17th of Julj^, 1800. He was a graduate of Jefferson Col- 
lege, studied Theology at the Princeton Seminary and was licensed to 
preach the gospel by the Presbytery of Carlisle, in the Spring of 1824. 
In November, 1824, on the recommendation of the late Rev. Henry R. 
Wilson, D. D., he visited Huntingdon, the Presbyterian church there 
being then vacant. His pulpit exercises gave such general satisfac- 
tion that he was engaged to continue his ministerial labors as stated 
supply during the winter. On the 22d and 23d of April, 1825, he 
was regularly called to the churches of Huntingdon and Hartslog, 
(Alexandria;) the former for two-thirds and the latter for one-third 
of his pastorall abors, and he was ordained and installed in the 
following June. An unhapi^y division had arisen in the Hartslog 
congregation during the pastorate of his predecessor, the Rev. John 
Johnston. The disaffected portion procured a separate organization 
and called the Rev. Mr. Thompson as their pastor. Each of the 
parties built new church edifices. Mr. Peebles continued his labors in 
the other branch until the decease of Mr. Thompson, when, with his 
characteristic disinterestedness and love of peace, he notifiei his 
charge that the auspicious time had arrived to heal the existing 
breach in the congregation, and to effect this he intended to 
resign his pastoral charge. Convinced by the puritj- of his motives 
they yielded to his friendly suggestion and through his mediation 
a union was effected which has hapi^ily continued until the present 
day. After relinquishing his charge at Alexandria he labored succes- 
sively at the villages of Newton Hamilton and Williamsburg, until 
at each place they were prepared to take a regular portion of a 



286 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF DECEASED MEMBERS. 

pastor's time. During the latter part of his ministry the Hunt- 
ingdon church engaged three-forths of his time. He, however, gen- 
erally employed the reserved one-fourth in preaching to a part of the 
congregation in the country or in town. His health, at no time very 
firm, gradually declined. He became impressed with the belief, 
which no expostulation of his friends could remove, that it was his 
duty to resign his pastoral charge. After mnch hesitation and 
frequent remonstrances on the part of the church, a reluctant acci[ui- 
escence was yielded to his wishes, and the pastoral relation which had 
so beneficially and happily existed, was dissolved in the Spring of 1850. 
With regard to his pulpit exercises his sermons were characterized 
rather by correctness of composition, solidity of matter and practical 
application to the every day concerns of life than by brilliancy of 
thought or imaginative flights. He seldom indulged in anecdotes 
or figurative language introduced merely for the sake of ornament. 
His occasional discourses and addresses were always appropriate 
and evinced a cultivated taste and correct scholarship. Diffidence 
of his oratorical powers and an earlj^ acquired habit of reading his 
sermons, prevented all attempts at extemporaneous preaching. His 
evening discourse was usually delivered from short notes and his 
week day lectvires without any. He was highly gifted in prayer. 
The fervency and fluency of his addresses at the Throne of Grace, 
gave evidence that he was entirely "at home" in that part of 
pulpit exercises. But the loveliness of his private character, the prac- 
tical piety and conscientious performance of all the duties of life were 
the winning charms wliich so greatly endeared him to his pastoral 
charge and to all who had an intimate acquaintance with him. His 
whole life was a " living epistle"' illustrating the benign influence of 
the gospel wliich he preached. He left Huntingdon soon after giving 
up his pastoral charge, and in the Spring of 1851 removed with his 
family to the western part of Virginia, a few miles from Parkersburg, 
where he had purchased a farm. While there he was not a " loiterer 
in his Master's vineyard." He usually preached on the Sabbath, 
and succeeded in the face of considerable opposition on the part of 
another denomination, in having a church edifice built and a small 
congregation organized in his neighborhood. He returned with his 
family to Huntingdon in May, 1854. His health was feeble, though he 
preached occasionally until a very short time before his last illness. 
On the 3d of August he was seized with fever of a typhoid or 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OP DECEASED MEMBERS. 287 

bilious character, accompanied by distressing symptoms evincing a 
general lack of physical power. 

His answers to inquiries respecting his state of mind gave satis- 
factory evidence that he had no dread of death, resting his hopes 
entirely on the mediation of the Redeemer. In view of his depar- 
ture and the glories of the upper Sanctuary, he more than once 
exclaimed — " 0, thai will be joyful!" About 9 o'clock on Friday 
evening, the 11th of August, he calmly expired. 

Mr. Peebles was twice married; first to Maria, daughter of Wil- 
liam B. DuFFiELD, M. ])., of Philadeljihia, on the 4th of May, 1824, 
who died on the 26th of February, 1831, leaving one daugiiter ; and 
on the .5th of August, 18.34, to Jane, daughter of Mr. John Lapsley 
of Philadelphia, who, with five children, two sons and three daughters, 
survive to mourn tlie loss of an affectionate husband and father. 



REY. JOHN M'KINNEY. 



THE REV. JOHN McKINNEY died at Hollidaysburg, after a brief- 
illness, on the 25th day of August, 1867. He was born on the 
•26th day of August, 1797, being 71 years of age at the time of his 
death, wanting one day. 

Mr. McKiNNEY spent his early youth near Jacksonsville, Centre 
county, Pa., and was trained under the ministry of that venei'able 
servant of God, Rev. James Linn, D. D., and by him first received 
into the communion of the church. He received his literary educa- 
tion at Jefferson College, studied Theology at Princeton Seminary, and 
was licensed to i^reach the gospel by the Presbytery of Philadelphia, 
on the 22d of April, 1824. Having received a call from the Pres- 
byterian church of Frederiektown, Knox county, Ohio, he was 
ordained Ajjril, 1829, and installed pastor of said church. His pas- 
toral relation to this church was dissolved October, 1837. A call 
from the church of Alexandria having been presented to and 
accepted by Mr. McKixney, he was installed over this charge in May, 
1838. Here he continued to labor faithfully in connection with 
Pine Grrove church, of which he was stated supply till July, 1848, 
when at his own request the pastoral relation was dissolved. Remov- 
ing immediatel}' to the iState of Ohio, he took charge of the congre- 
gation of Oswego. After a few years Mr. McKinney returned 
within the bounds of this Presbytery and lived among his family 
and friends without any particular charge until the time of his 
death. As a preacher he was plain, practical and orthodox. As a 
man he was amiable and always consistent in character; exemplifying 
in his daily walk the practical lessons which he taught from the 
pulpit. Conscientiously punctual in attendance upon the meetings 
of Presbytery and other ecclesiastical courts, though never given 
to much speaking, his judgment was sound and his opinions always 
respected by his brethren. 

In fine, he was a good man, a useful minister, and is now without 
doubt, enjoying the reward of the faithful servant. 



KEY. JAMES WILLI AMSOlNT. 



THE Rev. James Williamson, recently a member of Huntingdon 
Presbytery, was born June 11, 1795, in Mifflin township, Cum- 
berland county, Pa. His parents were of Scotch-Irish descent, and 
were particular in the religious training of their children. His father 
was twice married, and had fourteen children. At one period of his 
life he had the satisfaction of knowing that every one of his children, 
then living, was a member of the Presbyterian church ; that several 
of his sons had graduated at different colleges, and that five of his 
sons were, or had been, ministers of the- Presbyterian Church. James 
received his academical education partly at Cumberland, Maryland, 
and partly at Hopewell Academy, six miles north of Shippensburg. 
H.e received his collegiate education partly at Dickinson, and partly 
at Washington College. At the latter institution he gradviated with 
honor, the delivery of the Latin Salutatory being assigned to him. 
He became the subject of a .saving change, as he hoped, the last year 
he was in college. His theological education was received at Prince- 
ton Seminary. He was licensed by the Presbytery of Carlisle, 
November, 1820. For about a year he had a large circuit assigned 
him as missionary in Northern Pennsylvania, the prominent points of 
which were Wilkesbarre, Montrose, Athens, &c. There was no Pres- 
byterian organization in all this region, at that time. In the Fall of 
1821 he returned to Princeton Seminary, where he remained as a resi- 
dent licentiate until the June following, when he accepted an invita- 
tion to supply the church of Athens, a point in his former missionary 
field. Whilst here God visited his church with a remarkable outpour- 
ing of his Spirit, the result of which was an addition to that church 
of sixty or seventy persons. About this time the Luzerne Congrega- 
tional Association of ministers resolved themselves into a Presbytery, 

37 



290 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF DECEASED MEMBERS. 

designated then, and has been ever since, as the Luzerne Presbytery. 
By this Presbytery Brother Williamson was ordained and set apart to 
the full work of the Gospel ministry. In the year 1823 he accepted a 
call from the Silver Spring congregation, Cumberland county, Pa., 
where he remained for nearly fourteen years. During these years his 
church was visited with several seasons of revival, the most remarka- 
ble of which was in 1832. His pastoral relation here was dissolved 
with a view to his accepting a call from Peoria, Illinois, but which, for 
some reason, he eventually declined. In 1838 he accejjted a call to 
Milton in the Presbytery of Northumberland. During the first years 
of his ministry here his labors were much blest. In 1847 he became 
pastor of the churches of New Berlin, Hartleton, and" Mifflinburg, 
Union county. Pa. In 1849 he accepted a call from East Windsor and 
Fancytown churches, Baltimore Presbytery. During the time he re- 
mained here Thorndale Female Seminary and Glenham Male Acad- 
emy were twice visited with seasons of refreshing from on high. In 
1854 he accepted a call from the church of Athens, where he had 
labored thirty years before, and where his labors had been crowned 
with such remarkable success. In the year 1858 he accepted a call to 
West Kishacoquillas church.. During the short time he remained 
here forty-nine were added to this church. After his resignation of 
this congregation he was elected superintendent of the common 
schools of Mifflin county, which office he accepted, and at the- same 
time supplied the church of Little Valley. It was during a commun- 
ion season in this church that he was stricken with paralysis, from 
which he never recovered. His sufferings were severe and protracted ; 
but his resignation and submission were marked. His death was 
peaceful and triumphant. It took i^lace at his residence in Lewis- 
town, March 10, 1865. 

Brother Williamson was twice married. By his first wife (Miss P. 
M. Hopkins) he had four children, all of whom survive him. By his 
last wife, (Miss C. Geddes,) three, only one of whom still lives. 



KEY. ANDREW JARDESTE. 



THE EEV. ANDEEW JARDINE departed tliis life in the 83d 
year of his age and the 36th of his niinistrj-, on the 15th of 
May, 1868, in East Maine, Broome count j^, New York. Mr. Jardine 
was born on the 25th of February, 1785, in the parish of Southdean, 
Scotland. His parents, Thomas Jardine and Janet Oliver, were 
pious nrembers of the Established church of Scotland. When 
a child he was struck by lightning, which for a time impaired his 
physical constitution and nearly deiDrived him of sight. Early 
in life he formed the desire to become a minister of the gospel, 
but his parents were unable through poverty to afford him an edu- 
cation ; and one-half of his long life was spent in acquiring it for 
himself. To do this, he worked on a farm, tended sheep and 
taught schools in his neighborhood. Having through these means 
acquired funds enough to enable him to attend a Grammar school, he 
entered one at Jedburg. After having obtained there a competent 
knowledge of the English, Latin, and Greek branches, he next became 
a teacher of a parish school in the county of Northumberland, in 
England. He remained in that position four years, after which he 
entered the Edinburgh University. During his attendance here he 
taught a classical school, and was for some years Secretary to the 
Scottish Bible Society. After many years spent in laborious prepa- 
ration, he was licensed to preach the gos^Del in 1832, by the Pres- 
bytery of New Castle, in England, and for six months thereafter 
supplied the church at Felton, England, during the absence of the 
regular minister. In 1834 a gentleman who had acquired a large 
tract of land at Silver Lake in the North Eastern part to Pennsyl- 
vania, raised a colony of emigrants in and around Jedburg, in 
Scotland, for the purpose of settling on that land. He also invited 
Mr. Jardixe to be their pastor and he consented. He was ordained 



292 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF DECEASED MEMBERS. 

for that purpose by the Presbytery of New Castle. With this 
colony Mr. Jardine arrived at New York on the 5th of August, 
1834, and repaired directly to Silver Lake and entered upon the 
duties of his ministry. But the colony did not exist long ; for 
finding affairs very different from what they had been represented 
in England, dissatisfaction ensued and the colony soon disbanded, 
and the members thereof, Mr. Jardine included, sought more con- 
genial situations. 

In April, 1836, after a long and searching examination of his faith 
in those doctrines which then agitated the church, he was cordially 
received as a foreign minister by the Presbytery of Philadelphia. 
Shortly afterwards he became stated supply to a church in Maryland, 
in which situation he remained five years ; then at Derham church 
in Tinicum, Pa., for one j^ear ; and afterwards for eighteen months to 
a church at Port Carbon, Pa. But earnestly desirous of obtaining a 
permanent charge, and learning that a colony of his countrymen in 
Clearfield county, Pa., desired a pastor, he concluded to pay them 
a visit and tender his services. While on his way there he met the 
Rev. John Hutcheson, then pastor of Mifflintown and Lost Creek, 
who called his attention to a vacant church of Middle Tuscarora, 
Juniata county, and advised him to apply for that. Yielding to Mr. 
Hutcheson's persuasions, he accompanied him and was by him intro- 
duced to the congregation. That church heard him gladly ; in due 
time he was called, and he was regularly installed as their pastor by 
the Presbytery of Huntingdon. There he labored abundantly for 
sixteen years, and for a long time with eminent success. The church 
grew rapidly under his ministry until it numbered nearly five 
hundred members. But in course of time, old age with its infirmities 
came upon him, and a long and severe fever impaired his faculties, 
both mental and bodily. The old members gradually died off and 
the young became wearj^ of his old fashioned style of preaching. 
Thinking that he had survived his usefulness, the church asked for 
a dissolution of the pastoral relation. This action on their part 
hurt his feelings exceedingly ; for he tenderly loved all the lambs 
of his flock, and it was always his cherished desire to live and die 
with them. Besides he had labored faithfullj^ during the best years 
of his ministry for the miserable pittance of four hundred dollars 
sa,lary per annum ; and at this time, nearly two thousand dollars of 
that miserable pittance was still due to him. But the Huntingdon 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OP DECEASED .ME.AIBERS. 293 

Presbytery beiieving that it would prove advantageous to all 
parties concerned, having received a guarantee that all the arrears 
of his stipend should be 25a'id> concluded to dissolve the pastoral 
relation. This they did much to his sorrow and regret. After this 
he had no fixed charge. For a few months he supplied the con- 
gregation of Mount Pleasant, in Clearfield countj'^, Pa., after which, 
in 1858, he removed to East Maine, Broome county, New York, to 
the residence of his cousin, William Hogg, Esq., where he remained 
until his death. 



REV. GEORGE W. THOMPSON, D. D. 



GEORGE W. THOMPSON was born in New Providence, Essex 
county, New Jersey, on the lOtli day of October, 1819. Two or 
three years later his family removed to New Brunswick, where the 
greater part of his early life was passed. In 1835, in his 16th year, he 
made a profession of religion in the church, then under the care of 
the Rev. Joseph H. Jones, D. D. After graduating at " Rutger's Col- 
lege," New Brunswick, he entered the Theological Seminarv at 
Princeton, and completed the regular course of studj'. While con- 
nected with this institution he labored for sixmonths in Cazenovia, N. 
Y., under tlie direction of the pastor there. Before leaving the semi- 
nary he was licensed by the Presbytery of New Brunswick, and was 
immediately invited to become the minister of the Presbyterian church 
in Danville, Pa. After remaining there a short time he accepted a call 
to the churches of Mifflinburg and New Berlin, at the latter of which 
places he was married to Miss Mary Anx Stillwell. His ordination 
and installation took place in 1841 or 1842. During this pastorate he 
preached also at Hartleton, where a church was soon organized. Irj 
the Spring of 1847 he was called to the church of Lower Tuscarora, 
which he served for seventeen years. Toward the close of his minis- 
try there the degree of Doctor of Divinity was conferred upon him by 
the trustees of Jefferson College. He died at his home in Aeademia, 
Tuscarora Valley, on the 28th of January, 1864, of congestion of the 
liver, in the fourth month of the 45th year of his age, leaving a wife 
and two children. 

Dr. Thompson was a man of pleasing person and winning address. 
He had a sprightly and most genial spirit. Its innocent and peaceful 
overflowings helped to endear him to Ixis friends, and to enliven and 
cheer every circle in which he moved. He had an acute, ready, and 
practical mind. When he applied it to a subject his thoughts were 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF DECEASED MEMBERS. 295 

clear and discriminating, often exceedingly vigorous and impressive. 
His command of language — his plain Saxon English diction — his mi- 
nute and familiar treatment of his theme — his power of illustration, 
and his easy and graceful manner, made him one of the n:iost popular 
extemporaneous speakers of his day. The leading characteristics of 
his preaching were plainness, pointedness, persuasiveness, and adapt- 
edness — especially this last. He labored to know and present to the 
l^eople the particular truths he thought most suited to the occasion. 
He seemed peculiarly qualified to conduct and aid in services con- 
nected wit?i revivals of religion. In such seasons his labors were 
often remarkably blessed, to his own and other churches. The recov- 
ery of many a backslider, and the awakening and conversion of many 
sinners, throughout this and other Presbyteries, attest how he was a 
chosen instrument of salvation to souls. While in this and other 
lands, many now in the ministry, remember him affectionately as 
their spiritual father and helper. To the Boards of our church he was 
a prompt and useful friend ; while all the causes a good man is 
bound to support, especially those in his own community, received 
his constant and generous attention. A large and flourishing acad- 
emy, and a seminary for young ladies, hard by his home, owe much of 
their prosperity and christian influence to his efforts. In Presbytery 
his animation, earnestness, and diligent attention to business, and 
readiness of counsel, cause his loss to be deeply felt among the breth- 
ren with whom he immediately assolliated. 

His pastoral labors among the people of his late charge were emi- 
nently successful. A church comparatively feeble when he came to it, 
at his death numbered near seven hundred communicants, with 
several flourishing Sabbath Schools and prayev meetings, and a large 
and efficient eldership, comjjosed of men of prayer and work. After 
his death it was divided into two congregations, each sustaining a 
pastor. His influence over his people was marked, and will be long 
remembered and felt. He was a man among men wherever he was, 
and whatever he did. The people, and especially the young with 
whom he conversed on the subject of religion, whom in the hour of 
conviction and distress he sought to lead to the great Consoler, felt 
that he was their fellow, a sinner like themselves, to be "saved by 
grace," and one who knew the weakness of their hearts. He was a 
man of faith and prayer, and simple dependence on Christ. Salvation 
through Christ was the great theme of his preaching, and as he said. 



296 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF DECEASED MEMBERS. 

when dying, "he rested on Christ with a poor sinner's hope." And 
those who knew him best, remember him now as a childhke, unsus- 
pecting, kind-hearted, patient, forbearing, and forgiving christian man 
and minister — loving the brethren, and beloved by them all. And the 
Presbytery of which he was so long an active and usefvxl member, in its 
last official act towards him, orders the record of this brief memorial 
of his life and death, with affecting sense of loss to themselves, and 
to the Church, in his comparatively early removal. 

" The jiains of death are passed, 

Labor and sorrow cease, 
And life's stern warefare, closed at last. 

His soul is found in peace. 
Soldier of Christ ! well done I 
• . Praise be thy new employ : 

And while eternal ages run. 

Rest in the Saviour's joy."" 



REV. SAMUEL M. COOPER. 



SAMUEL M. COOPER was a son of Mr. Robert Cooper, an elder 
of East Kishacoquillas congregation. Of course lie enjoyed the 
advantage of that careful religious training which pious Presby- 
terian parents were then accustomed to give their children. At 
what age he became a member of the church of his fathers, by his 
own voluntary act, we have now no means of knowing, but it 
must have been in his early youth, as he was still quite a young man 
when he commenced his studies with a view to the ministry. He 
was graduated at Jefferson College, Canonsburg, in 1836. He was 
received under the care of the Presbytery of Huntingdon, October, 
1838, as a candidate for the ministry. Having completed his Theo. 
logical studies at Princeton Seminary, he was licensed to preach the 
gospel by the Presbytery, April 16, 1840. Before the next stated 
meeting of the Presbytery he received a call to Lick Run congre- 
gation, Centre county, which had formerly been a jiart of Rev. Dr. 
Linn's charge. Before his settlement he was married to Miss Nancy 
FoRSYTHE, of Lewistown, a lady eminently suited to be a helpmate 
for him. He continued to be the pastor of Lick Run till the 
Spring of 1852, at which time the pastoral relation was dissolved 
at his request and with the consent of the congregation, in view of 
his failing health. Some years previous to this he had established 
hi Jacksonville a Female Seminary, over which he presided with 
eminent success, but this, together with his pastoral labors, in a large 
and widely spread congregation, was too much for a constitution 
never very firm, and his health began to fail. Though he was greatly 
beloved personally, and highly esteemed as a preacher by the con- 
gregation, they saw the necessity of consenting to his release from 
their charge. 

Mr. Cooper continued for a year and a half after the dissolution of 
his pastoral relation to Lick Run, in change of the Female Seminary : 

38 



298 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF DECEASED MEMBERS. 

when he received and accepted a call to Clearfield town, Clearfield 
county. After serving that congregation for about two yeras, his 
health again failed, and on an occasion of exposure to severe cold 
was brought very near to the gates of death. Recovering so far as to 
permit of traveling, he repaired to Florida, with the hope of permanent 
benefit from that milder climate. He was so far temporally relieved, 
that shortly after his return he consented to supply statedly the con- 
gregation of Little Valley. Before this, however, he had returned 
to Jacksonville with his family and resumed charge of the Seminary, 
the buildings of which belonged to him. Shortly after his resumption 
of the Seminary, Mrs. Cooper was taken suddenly ill and died after a 
few hours of sickness. Heretofore she had enjoyed remarkable good 
health and was providentially enabled to relieve her husband of 
much of the burden connected with the external affairs of the Sem- 
inary. On the occurrence of this sad event it became necessary for 
Mr. Cooper to transfer the Seminary to other hands. Upon this he 
accepted the invitation to supply the congregation of Little Valley, 
as already stated. Here he labored for a year and a half or two 
years, when, in July, 1860, he died of pulmonary consumption, the 
disease which had for some years previously been preying upon his 
vitals. 

As to personal appeai'ance, Mr. Cooper was tall and slender, per- 
haps something over six feet in height, of dark hair and florid com- 
plexion ; in natural qualities he was mild, amiable, social, and 
generous. As a preacher, fully and entirely orthodox according to 
the standard of Presbyterianism ; always very acceptable ih the pulpit 
and persuasive. As a pastor he was laborious and faithful ; and to 
his conscientious punctuality in fulfilling his appointments, may be 
attributed the laying the foundation of the disease of which he 
died. He was universally beloved in his congregations, and especially 
by the church he served first and longest, which, of course, knew 
him best. It is believed that in no place and at no time, had he 
a personal enemy. 

Mr. Cooper left a daughter and two sons ; several other children 
liaving died in their infancy. His daughter was married to Dr. 
Hoover, of Lewistown, and died in May, 1870. The two sons survive 
and are usefully employed. Mr. Cooper died in the 44th or 45th 
year of his age. 



REY. DAVID D. CLARKE, D. D, 



REV. DAVID D. CLARKE, D. D., departed this life in McVey- 
town, Mifflin county, Pa., on the 30th of December, 1865, in the 
fifty-fifth year of his age. He was born near Shippensburg, Cumber- 
land county, Pa., completed his academical education at the school of 
Dr. Cooper, not far from his home, and graduated at Jefferson College 
in 1831, from which he received his honorary degree a few years 
before his death. He made a profession of his faith in the church at 
Shippensburg, then under the care of Rev. Dr. Henry R. Wilson, Sr. 
After studying theology at Princeton, N. J., he was licensed in 1837 
by the Presbytery of Carlisle. He commenced to preach in Schells- 
burg, Bedford county, Pa., and after laboring a few months was called 
to the pastoral charge of the church there in 1838. Thence in 1843 
he removed to Fairfield, Adams county. Pa., to succeed the Rev. Dr. 
Paxton, who was infirm, in the pastorate of the Lower Marsh Creek 
congregation. He remained in this field till 1856, when he went to 
McVeytown to take charge of the churches of McVeytown and 
Newton Hamilton ; over which he was installed by the Presbytery oi' 
Huntingdon the same year. He was twice married. A widow and 
one son, of four children by his first marriage, survive him ; two 
daughters and a son having preceded him to the eternal world. 

An illness of two weeks continuance, that terminated his life, com- 
menced but a few days after he had closed a protracted meeting of 
unusual interest. 

. God at that time permitted him to see his work revived in one 
branch of his charge, as he had done a year or two before in another, 
and immediately called him awaJ^ His end was such as might have been 
expected — marked by the same humility, dignity, and trust in Christ 
he had always shown. He has left a character, as far as man knows. 



300 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF DECEASED MEMBERS. 

without a stain, and a memory of unwonted fragrance in every con- 
ojregation he served. The faithfulness and earnestness of his preach- 
ing, the point and tenderness of his pastoral counsels cannot easily be 
forgotten ; while his gentleness, firmness, prudence, and wisdom in 
Presbyterial and ordinary social relations endeared him to all who 
knew him. His ministry of twenty-eight years, that had been blessed 
from the beginning, presents at its close most precious fruits, in the 
growth, order, and spiritual prosperity of the people among whom he 
breathed his last. Thanks be to God for the grace that forms such 
men, and spares them so long to the Church. 



REV. JAMES C. MAHON. 



[Note. — Though not in the exact order intended, a brief memorial of 
the Kev. James C. Mahon is appended, who was a brother-in-law of Dr. 
Clakke, whose second wife was his sister.] 

JAMES C. MAHON was born in the year 1821. In early boyhood, 
having been the subject of a pious mother's prayers and counsels, 
his thoughts were turned to the importance of religion. His first 
noticeable convictions were under the preaching of the Eev. Dr. H. 
R. Wilson, Sr., then pastor of the Presbyterian church in his native 
town. These convictions were pungent, and continued, at intervals, 
for months. A part of his time was spent with his brother, Rev. 
Joseph Mahon, in Lawrenceville, N. J. Sometimes almost phrenzied 
with despair, he would say that his doom was sealed — that it was no 
use for him to try to be a Christian. Again, in deepest anguish, he 
would cry for mercy. More than once he waked his friends at mid- 
night to pray for him. After his return to Shippensburg there was a 
protracted meeting held in the neighborhood. He attended, and 
during its progress found peace in believing. 

Feeling now that his life should be devoted to the honor of God, he 
determined to prosecute the studies which he had already com- 
menced, with the view of preaching the Gosjiel. He put himself 
under the theological instruction of the Rev. Dr. Harper, in connec- 
tion with the Presbytery of Carlisle. In the Fall of 1850 he entered 
the theological seminary at Princeton, spent two sessions, was licensed 
in the Summer of 1852, and after spending a third session at the sem- 
inary he accepted, in the Spring of 1853, an invitation to supply the 
united churches of Washington and Carrolton, in the Presbytery of 
Miami, Ohio, where he was ordained. After some time, having occa- 
sion to visit his friends in the East, he accepted an invitation to 
supply the Church at Hunterstown, and afterwards Millerstown and 
Buffalo, in the Presbytery of Carlisle. Being invited to Lexington, 



302 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF DECEASED MEMBERS. 

Illinois, his labors in this comparatively new field, as well as in the 
adjacent region, have many witnesses to their fidelity and success. 

Suffering from a bronchial ajBfection, which eventually terminated 
Ills life, he relinquished this position, transferring his connection to 
the Presbytery of Huntingdon. He was never able to take a pastoral 
charge, though several times solicited, but spent the remainder of his 
ministerial life in occasional and missionary service, for the most part 
in Blair, Huntingdon and Centre counties. 

Two years before his death he had been confined for several months, 
and ought to have refrained from public speaking ; but it was his mis- 
fortune that he could not answer adversely to aia urgency to preach, 
and therefore was often in the pulpit, when he ought to have been in 
the hands of the physician. The Sabbath before his first hemorrhage 
he preached twice ; immediately after it he went to Shippensburg, and 
seemed to rally ; but three weeks after he had another profuse hem- 
orrhage, which so prostrated him that he never recovered. He in a 
remarkable manner enjoyed in his last sickness what he had so 
earnestly desired, the presence of Christ. A few days before his death 
he said — " I wonder when I shall be delivered from this bondage of 
corruption. I had thought that I was about to be gone. Come, Lord 
Jesus ! come quickly ! I want to go home." He died at Shippensburg, 
the place of his birth, on the 15th of January, 1868, in the forty" 
seventh year of his age. 



REV. THOMAS STEVENSON. 



THIS beloved brother and faithful minister of Christ was a native 
of Ireland, the descendant of a Scotch family, which settled 
almost two hundred years ago on the same farm where Thomas 
was born. He was the second of six sons, four of whom have passed 
to that land from whence there is no returning. In early life 
Thomas manifested a love for books, and while a boy became quite 
familiar with Sacred Scriptures. Taught from his youth to venerate 
the christian ministry and to worship God in the institutions of 
his grace, he became impressed with his need of a saving interest 
in Christ, and regarding himself as lost without a Saviour he prof'jssed 
his faith in Christ, and when eighteen years of age united with the 
church in which he lived and in which he died. Soon after his 
bi other Ross came to this country and entered upon a course of 
study for the ministry, Thomas greatly desirsd to be a co-laborer 
with him, and with this object in view, entered the high school of the 
Rev. C. Aj.i.en, Strabane. Under the instructions of that great 
classical scholar he remained two years, and in the Spring of 
1839 left his father's home for the United States of America. 

A kind proviience brought him safely to this country, and about 
the last of May he reached the village of New Athens and entered 
Franklin College. Here he spent three years and six months in 
which time he obtained considerable distinction as a close student, a 
clear thinker, a fine debater, and an exemplary church member. 
He graduated at Franklin College in 1842, and was regarded by the 
Faculty as a young man of much promise. In the Fall of the same 
year he entered the Western Theological Seminary, where he 
remained until he finisiied his course; after which he was licensed 
by the Presbytery of Ohio, June 11, 1845. 

The remainder of the Summer was spent in preaching to vacant 
congregations, among which was Montours, to which he was called 



304 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF DECEASED MEMBERS. 

and in which he was ordained and installed June 17, 1846. There 
he labored with great acceptance and much success, until January, 
1854, when he was dismissed to accept a call to the 2d Presbyterian 
church, Spruce Creek, Pa. In this and other churches of Hunting- 
don Presbytery, he continued to preach a pure and precious Gos- 
pel until his country's cause induced him to exchange the rural 
parish for the jnilitary camp. The groans of mangled heroes after 
the second disaster of Bull Run, led him to scenes of dreadful 
suffering ; and after weeks spent in soothing the wounded and min- 
istering to the souls of the dying, he was elected Chaplain to the 
Sixth Pennsylvania Reserves, September, 1862. With this regiment 
he performed many wearisome marches, endured incredible hard- 
ships, and confronted the enemy on many a battle field. When 
their term of enlistment expired he was elected Chaplain of the 
49th Volunteers, With this regiment of brave men he marched 
from the Peninsula to the defence of the Capital, through the Shen- 
andoah Valley, in all the victories under the invincible Sheridan ; 
and in December, 1864, came home to spend a little season with 
his family. 

After enjoying for a few weeks the endearments of home, he bade 
farewell to his friends, and in Februarj^, 1865, returned to the seat 
of Avar. When he returned to the Potomac army he found many 
colored regiments without chaplains, and his long cherished sym- 
pathy for that oppressed race and an ardent desire to do good 
amongst them, induced him to accept a chaplaincy in the One 
Hundred and Fourteenth Regiment, United States Colored Infantry. 
This regiment he accompanied through the Wilderness to the storm- 
ing of Petersburg and the taking of Richmond, and was among the 
first to enter the city. After peace had been restored and veterans 
were returning home, Mr. Stevenson still remained in the army, 
and with his regiment was ordered to Texas, June, 1865. After 
many perils by sea and much sickness, they entered the estuary of 
the Rio Gi'ande, and under a sun almost tropical, and in heat 
altogether intolerable, the troops disembarked at Brownsville. There 
the patience and faith, the piety and patriotism of the chaplain 
were subjected to the severest tests. Sick and suffering his faith 
was still firm, and his love for his Master's work unabated. 

The most of the colored troops do not know the alphabet — they 
are ignorant of what are the first principles of the Gospel of Christ — 
and so with the spelling book in one hand and the Bible in the 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF DECEASED MEMBERS. 305 

other, the devoted brother carried on the work of preaching and 
teaching. In the Spring of 1866 his regiment was ordered to Eing- 
gold Barracks, a military post on the Rio Grande. Here his quarters 
were more comfortable, his prospects for usefulness more promising, 
and here his labors were greatly blessed. The Spirit of the Lord 
came down upon the camp with converting power. The chapel is 
crowded with devout worshippers, and more than three hundred 
men are asking what they must do to be saved. 

About this time he writes home : — " This wonderful work of God 
surpasses in depth, in extent, and in power all I have before wit- 
nessed." But these displays of divine power and converting grace 
were jireparing the way for the coming of the Lord in the judg- 
ments which soon followed in the fearful ravages of Asiatic cholera. 
In October this destroyer enters the ranks, and after slaying many, 
attacks the chaplain. After a few hours of terrible svifFering the 
enemy is vanquished, but leaves his victim utterly prostrated. The 
constitution is broken and the physical form robbed of its strength. 
In hopes that a change of location might prove beneficial, he is taken 
to Brownsville, where he meets his Lord and Master, February 10, 
1867, in a death most peaceful and triumphant. The state of his 
mind during these months of sickness and suffering may be learned 
from letters he wrote after a temporary recovery. In one to his 
brother, December 16, he writes : — " I may never see my beloved 
family and friends in Pennsylvania. If so, the will of the Lord be 
done. I am not afraid to die, Ross. I have had delightful times 
in this sick room. I have felt so happy from the presence of Jesus, 
the blessed Saviour, and from the comforts of the Holy Ghost, that 
it required an effort to restrain my excited feelings. I know whom 
[ have believed ; and should I die in this half civilized land, I shall 
go to the believer's home in glory." 

In a letter to his wife, and the last he wrote, January 23 and 
24, he says : — " As to the state of my mind, with regard to which 
you inquire, I can say it was calm, peaceful and happy. I found 
it was a solemn thing to meet God, and have every good and bad 
work brought into judgment; but I knew that Jesus was mj 
friend, that my Redeemer lives in glory, and having taken him as 
my Almighty Saviour, I felt that I was safe, and that death to me 
would be gain. There were several Sabbaths that I expected, and 
indeed, somewhat desired, that on the next Lord's day I might be 

39 



306 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF DECEASED MEMBERS. 

with Jesus, associating with angels and the church of the first born, 
composed as it is of some whom death has ruthlessly but briefly 
separated." 

Death had taken from him th« wife of his youth, Miss S. A, Plumer, 
of West Newton, Westmoreland county. Pa. Also his first born son, 
whose life was terminated by disease contracted in the camp ; and 
now as he views the river, he has a blessed prospect of a re-union 
with them, which is to last forever and ever. In domestic relations. 
Chaplain Stevenson was exceedingly blessed. He has left a devoted 
and interesting family. In the social circle his conversational powers 
shone with a pleasing lustre. In the pulpit he was edifying and 
comforting, his sermons full of the marrow of divinity. In the 
camp he was fearless and brave, tender and kind, true to his adopted 
country and faithful to his God. He fell at his post in the prime 
of his manhood ; he died full of faith and the Holy Ghost, and in 
the grave of a soldier of the cross he sleeps till the resurrection 
morn, when he shall hear the trumpet call of his dearest Lord." 

Thus far the memorial of the Rev. Thomas Stevenson was written 
by his brother according to the flesh, and at the same time a brother 
in the ministry, the Rev. Ross Stevenson, of Corsica, Clarion county. 
Pa. It is only necessary to assure the reader that he need not sus- 
pect any exaggeration on the account of the relationship. Much 
more might have been told of his fidelity, bravery, and popularity as 
a Chaplain. As to his character as a preacher, the brother has been 
too brief and modest. He was one of the most accomplished and 
instructive sermonizers we have ever listened to ; and had it not been 
for an unfortunate habit he had somehow contracted in the delivery, 
of pausing, or hesitating on the last syllable of every word of three 
or more syllables ending a sentence, he would have been as popular 
as he was an able preacher. It required the hearer to be a person 
of intelligence and a lover of the pui*e Gospel, fully to appreciate 
Mr. Stevenson as a preacher. At the same time he was capable of 
making himself fully understood by the plainest hearer. No army 
Chaplain had a fairer record for efficiency and acceptability. 








REV. JAS.S.ORBISON 



REV. JAMES H. ORBISON. 



JAMES H. ORBISON was born ^at Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, 
March 23, 1826. He was the youngest son of William Orbison, 
Sr., Esq. His j^arents both being members of the Presbyterian 
church, he was brought up under the strictest religious influence. 
From his earliest youth he was noted for his sedate and orderly habits. 
Besides the advantage of very godly and intelligent parents, he 
enjoyed the privilege during all his early life of sitting under the 
ministry of that amiable, excellent, and eminently godly minister, the 
Rev. John Peebles. At what age he became a communicating mem- 
ber of the Church is not known, '^but it was early in life. He grad- 
uated in Jefferson College in 1846, and studied theology at Princeton 
Seminary. In June, 1850, he was licensed, and as he had devoted 
himself to the work of Foreign Missions, he was ordained by the Pres- 
bytery of Huntingdon at the same meeting. The Presbytery met on 
tl is occasion in the town of Huntingdon, the place of his birth, and 
the residence of his parents, then living. In August following he 
sailed for India as a missionary under the care of the Board of Mis- 
sions of the Presbyterian Church. At the time he left for India he 
was unmarried, but married in India Miss Agnes Campbell Kay, a 
native of Scotland, who died only a few months after their union. 

In the year 1858 he returned to this country, and was married a 
second time to Miss Nannie Harris of Bellefonte, Pa., and with her 
returned immediately to his field of labor in India. More than ten 
years after this he returned with his wife and four children to this 
country, hoping to resume his labors among the heathen, after 
recruiting his health, and providing for the education of his children. 
He arrived at Huntingdon on the 25th of March. On the 19th of 
April, 1869, he entered into rest at Bellefonte, after an illness of less 
than forty-eight hours. The Presbytery of Huntingdon held its 



308 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF DECEASED MEMBERS. 

stated Spring meeting at Perrysville, Juniata county, on the 2d 
Tuesday of April, at which meeting Mr. Orbison was present, and 
delivered a most interesting and satisfactory address on the subject of 
his mission, and on India in general ; and the intelligence of his death 
reached the members of the Presbytery immediately on their return 
from the meeting. He was a young minister of ver}"^ respectable tal- 
ents, substantial accomplishments, and devoted piety. He was natu- 
rally of a very amiable and quiet disposition, and held the respect 
and love of all his acquaintance. His sudden death was both a sur- 
prise and grief to the members of the Presbytery. Above all, they 
grieved that the foreign field should have been deprived so soon of so 
devoted and competent a laborer. 



\ 



REV. JAMES NOUKSE. 



JAMES NOURSE was born in Washington City, D. C, April 30. 
1805, second son of Michael Nourse and Mary Rittenhouse. 
He received the rudiments of his classical and mathematical educa. 
tion under the instruction of the Rev. Jamas Carnahan, D. D., in 
Georgetown, D. C. He pursued and consummated his college course 
under the paternal care of Dr. M. Brown of Jefferson College, Canons- 
burg, Pa., and shortly afterward, for further instruction, attended 
during one year at Dickinson College, when Dr. John M. Mason wa& 
president of that institution. There he made a profession of religion. 
united with the church under the care of the Rev. Dr. Duffield, and 
determined to devote himself to the service of God in the ministry. 
He pursued his theological studies at Princeton, was licensed by the 
Presbytery of the District of Columbia, and after engaging for a few 
months in the service of the colonization cause in the southern states. 
accepted an invitation to preach as a supply to the Presbyterian 
church in Germantown, Pa. He preached in Germantown for aboui 
eighteen months, and whilst residing there was married to Miss Sarah 
North Harvey, daughter of the Rev. Samuel Harvey of that place. 
After leaving Germantown he preached for a short time at Taney town. 
Maryland, and then accepted a call from the church of East Kishaco- 
quillas, in Huntingdon Presbytery. Of this church he was the effi- 
cient pastor for three years, when, owing to the trouble arising from 
the agitation of the temperance and anti-slavery causes — of both of 
which he was a zealous advocate — he resigned that charge, and 
removed to Williamsport in Western Pennsylvania, from whence, in a 
few months, he was called to the then recently organized church of Per- 
ryville, (now Milroy,) of which he was installed the first pastor in Oc- 
tober, 1834. In that congregation he preached for fifteen years to a 
sympathizing and attached people. His labors were incessant, he was 



310 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF DECEASED MEMBERS. 

especially active in the cause of temperance and of the abolition of 
slavery ; and both in the pulpit and through the press he was the 
earnest and able advocate of both these causes, at a period when such 
advocacy exposed him to much obloquy and reproach. But the great 
theme of his preaching was Christ Jesus, the divine Saviour, and sal- 
vation through him ; and the blessing of God was upon his labors, as 
many precious souls were, througli liis instrumentality, brought to a 
knowledge of the Saviour. In the Autumn and Winter of 1842-3 
especially, the church and congregation were visited with the gracious 
presence of the Holy Spirit in an extensive revival of religion, as the 
result of which about 130 persons were added to the church, doubling 
its membership, and greatly increasing the spirtuality and piety of its 
members ; nor were the benefits of this revival confined to the church 
and congregation, the whole community was elevated and perma- 
nently improved in its moral and religious character. During the 
fifteen years of the ministry of Mr. Nourse at Milroy there were 
added to the church there 330 members, an average of twenty-two for 
each year. His history is that of an accurate and laborious scholar, 
an humble and devoted Christian, and a faithful minister of the Gos- 
pel. Besides performing the duties belonging to his pastoral charge 
he edited the Paragraph Bible with great care and labor, wrote several 
valuable tracts, prepared for the press a critical Commentary upon 
the Epistle to the Galatians, also an abridgement of Lowth's Lectures 
on Hebrew Poetry. In 1849 he relinquished his position as a pastor 
on account of a bronchial affection, under which he had long labored, 
and removed to Washington City, where in 1850 he became the prin- 
cipal of Central Academy, in which capacity he continued to labor 
with great earnestness and fidelity till near the time of his death. 

For several months before this event took place he felt that his 
health was sufficiently restored to justify him in seeking another 
pastoral charge. His heart longed for the work of a pastor, and for 
the privilege of again preaching Christ, and his eyes were turned to 
ihe great Valley of the Mississippi as the field of his future labors in 
the ministry. In the latter part of June, 1854, he left his family and 
friends in Washington to visit the south-eastern part of Iowa, expect- 
ing, if Providence should favor his plans and hopes, to remove there 
in the Fall. But God had not so ordered. He went to Iowa to die. 
He reached Salem on the evening of the 4th of July, and complained 
of feeling very unwell. The next morning a physician was called, 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF DECEASED MEMBERS. 311 

who informed hiin that his disease was cholera. Prompt and appro- 
priate remedies were administered, but to no purpose. He continued 
to sink under this dreadful malady, and at six o'clock in the evening 
life was extinguished, and his spirit passed away. 

•' Servant of God, well done ! 

Rest from thy loved employ, 
The battle o'er the victory won, 

Enter thy Master's joy." 

The congregation of Perryville, which he had served so long and so 
well, as soon as it was possible, sent a committee of its members to 
raise the body and convey it to their own cemeteiy, and rebury it 
among their dead, and his own dead, in shadow of the church build 
ing in which he had so often ministered; there to rest till the resur- 
rection of the just. 



EEV. SAMUEL HILL. 



REV. SAMUEL HILL was a native of Ireland, born near the 
town of Newton^ Limavady, County Derry, in 1791. His educa- 
tion ^preparatory to entering the University of Glasgow, was obtained 
near his father's home. His parents were members of the Presbyterian 
church, faithful and conscientious in training their children in the 
Catechisms and the Westminster Confession of Faith, and more than 
ordinarily intelligent on religious subjects. When Samuel connected 
himself with the church is not now knon^n, but it must have been at 
an early age, as he entered the Universitjr of Glasgow at the age of 
fifteen, as a student, with a view to the ministry. He continued in 
the University for four years, passing through the various classes with 
the decided approbation of all the professors and great credit to 
himself. Each i^rofessor, as he passed from his class, certified to 
his diligence in study and eminent progress; and also to the excel- 
lence of his moral character. These certificates are now to be 
seen in the possession of his family ; and his Diploma is signed by 
not less than fifteen names of eminent professors in the various 
branches of a University education ; men even yet renowned through- 
out the literary and religious world. He graduated in April, 1810. 
Soon after his return from the University he was licensed to preach 
the Gospel by the Presbytery of Route. He studied Theology at 
Glasgow, which was then, and probably is yet, a branch of the reg- 
ular college studies, in the case of those who were designed for 
the ministry. He was licensed at the early age of twenty-one. 
After preaching some time in his native country, supplying vacan- 
cies by the appointment of Presbytery, he resolved to emigrate to 
America. Before this, however, he had married Miss Mary A. Wil- 
son, the daughter of a "well-to-do" farmer in the immediate vicinity 
of his father's residence. 






^■^^ 




REV. SAM UEL HILL. 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF DECEASED MEMBERS. 313 

He sailed from Londonderry in April, 1819, and landed at St. 
John's, New Brunswick, one of the British provinces of North 
Amerca, after the usual passage. He preached for eight months 
at Sheffield, a town near to St. John's, and might have been perma- 
nently settled there, but before his arrival the congregation had sent 
to Ireland for a minister whose coming they were awaiting. In May, 
1820, Mr. Hill arrived in Philadelphia, the General Assembly being 
then in session in that city. He made the acquaintance of the venera- 
ble and Rev. Geo. C. Potts, pastor of the 4th Presbyterian church, and 
a countryman of his own, to whom he showed his testimonials ; and 
the church of East Kishacoquillas having just become vacant by the 
death of its pastor — the Eev. James Johnston — by the advice of Mr. 
Potts he visited the congregation. Having preached there with great 
acceptance till the meeting of the Presbytery in October, he applied 
to be received as a licentiate under the care of the Presbytery, and 
although the congregations of East Kishacoquillas and Little Valley 
were prepared to give him a call, it could not be put into his hands, 
he not having completed the term of probation prescribed by the 
General Assembly for foreign ministers ; but he was appointed the 
stated supply of those congregations till the next meeting of the 
Presbytery, at which time arrangements were made for his ordina- 
tion and installation at the following meeting, when the term of his 
probation would have expired. The Presbytery made this arrange- 
ment in view of the urgency of the congregations to have Mr. Hill 
permanently settled amongst them, though the testimonials of Mr. 
Hill had not formally passed the inspection of Synod. The year of 
probation had expired before the Fall meeting of the Presbytery, at 
which time arrangements were made for the ordination and installa^- 
tion ; but the. Synod did not meet till later in the month. For this, 
on a review of the minutes, exceptions was taken by the Synod. But 
the Presbytery knew that the testimonials of Mr. Hill were so full 
and satisfactory that the Synod would and could have no objections 
to his reception, and, therefore, did not wait the formal approval of 
Synod. However Mi*. Hill was not actually ordained and installed 
till after his papers had been approved by the Synod ; they only 
made arrangements to this end, confident that testimonials so satis- 
factory could not fail to be approved by the Synod. 

In view of the fact that, before this time and afterwards, the 
Presbyteries had been often imposed upon by forged and partial testi- 

40 



314 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF DECEASED MEMBERS. 

menials of foreign ministers, who had left their countries under cen- 
sure — either being suspended or deposed fi'om the ministry, or who 
would have been, had they not fled from discipline ; it was exceed- 
ingly refreshing to the members of the Presbytery to find a foreign 
minister so fully and unquestionably recommended, and they were 
disposed to signalize it by showing every readiness to receive the appli- 
cant, and conceding mere formalities. They would show that their 
opposition was not to foreign ministers, but to foreign ministers with- 
out character. 

Mr. Hill was ordained and installed pastor of the congregations of 
East Kishacoquillas and Little Valley, October 3, 1821. 

The following extracts from the testimonials of Mr. Hill will 
satisfy all reasonable persons that the Presbytery was not too hasty 
in its action, or inconsiderate. The first extract is from the formal 
certificate of the Presbytery of Ronte ; the second, from the collateral 
evidence, from individual ministers and members of the Synod of 

Ulster : 

"Since the time he (Mr. Hill) obtained license he has preached 
within the bounds of our Presbytery, in a manner highly acceptable, 
both to us and to the people — that his acquirements in general knowledge 
are very considerable — that his character as a private christian has uni- 
formly stood high, his conduct having been exemplary and becoming the 
Gospel ; and as he has now formed a resolution of emigrating to the 
United States of America, we do hereby recommend him to the attention 
and patronage of any society of christians to which he may think fit to 
annex himself. Signed : 

John Patterson, Mod'r Presbytery of Ronte. 
James Brown, Clerk of Presbytery. 
R. Rentoul, Minister of Ballykelly. 
Richard Dill, Minister of Drumacose. 
J. Whiteside, of Colraine. 
Samuel Butler, Minister of Magilligan." 
This extract includes both Mr. and Mrs. Hill : 

"They leave this country with the fairest characters, and we whose names 
are hereto annexed, have no hesitation in recommending them as persons 
deserving the patronage and attention of those with whom in any depart- 
ment of life they may hereafter be connected." 

William Porter, Presb. Minister, Newton-Limavady. 
Richard Dill, Drumacose. 
Marcus Dill, M. D., Ballykelly. 
John Ross. 
Newton-Limavady, June 3, 1819." 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF DECEASED MEMBERS. 315 

Mr. Hill continued to be the pastor of East Kishacoquillas and 
Little Valley congregations till February 6, 1825, when at his request 
and with reluctant consent of the congregations, the pastoral rela- 
tion was dissolved to enable him to accept of a call from the 1st 
Associate Reformed congregation of Pittsburg. His ministry in East 
Kishacoquillas was very successful while he continued with that 
charge. Large accessions were made to the church. The first year of 
his incumbency he received to the communion of the church upwards 
of one hundred persons, and this as the result of the ordinary ministry 
of the word, no extra services more than those usually had on com- 
munion occasions. The greatest mistake of Mr. Hill's life was made 
when he left this charge to accept of the call to the church in the 
city of Pittsburg. 

Mr. Hill removed to Pittsburg, but did not remain to be installed 
over the congregation which had called him, but returned within 
the bounds of the Presbytery of Huntingdon, and Ave find him in 
the Fall of 1825, present at the meeting of the Presbytery, and 
invited as a member of the Associate Reformed Presbytery of Monon- 
gahela, to sit as a corresponding member. 

We do not know that we are fully "aware of the reasons inducing 
Mr. Hill so suddenly to leave the congregation at Pittsburg, and 
before his installation ; but certainly it was better to leave before 
than soon afterwards, and the mistake may have been in not con- 
sulting the Presbytery. Mr. Hill was always a decided temperance 
advocate. Too many of the congregation were engaged in the liquor 
traffic, members of the church, and that in its most objectionable 
and inconsistent forms. Concerning the iniquity he could not 
consistently or conscientiously hold this peace, and foreseeing the 
uproar that would follow, thought it more prudent for him to retire. 
Such was the state of public sentiment at that time on the subject, 
that no one man could hope to stem the torrent. At this day that 
congregation would be fully in accordance with Mr. Hill on the 
subject of temperance. But it was not so then. 

However, the Associate Reformed Presbytery was offended, and 
refused Mr. Hill a certificate of dismission to rejoin the Presbytery 
of Huntingdon ; and thus the case remained till April, 1827. In 
the meantime he was engaged in supplying the congregations of 
Spruce Creek and Sinking Valley which were very desirous to give 
him a call and have him for their pastor. At the time above 



316 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OP DECEASED iMEMBERS. 

referred to, the Presbytery believing that something ought to be 
done to relieve Mr. Hill fi'om the difficulties under w^hich he labored, 
passed the following minute : 

• "Whereas, this Presbytery has credible evidence from verbal testimony, 
that some of the members of the Monongahela Presbytery have con- 
sidered Mr. Hill for sometime past as not amenable to them; and whereas, 
the Moderator and Clerk of the Monongahela Presbytery have certified 
that his conduct, while within their bounds, was exemplary and orderly, 
except in the manner of his departure from the congregation of Pitts- 
burg, «&c., «&c.; therefore. 

Resolved, That the said Samuel Hill be received as a member of 
this Presbytery. 

At the meeting of the Presbytery succeeding this calls were pre- 
sented from Sinking Valley and Spruce Creek for the pastoral services 
of Mr. Hill; which he accepted, and he was installed over these con- 
gregations, October 11, 1827. 

Mr. Hill continued in these united congregations till June 16, 
1835, when, at his request and with the consent of the congregation, 
he was released from Sinking Valley, but continued for some years 
afterwards to be the pastor of Spruce Creek and the stated supply 
of Birmingham, a congregation which a short time before had been 
organized by Mr. Hill by appointment of Presbytery. In October, 
1843, his pastoral relation to Spruce Creek was, at his request, dis- 
solved, and he removed to the vicinity of Pittsburg. He served the 
congregation of McKeesport as a stated supply for two years ; and 
Saltsburg, Blairsville Presbytery, for a short time, when he returned 
within the bounds of the Presbytery of Huntingdon and became the 
stated supply of East Freedom and Martinsburg, which he served in 
that capacity for nine or ten years ; and afterwards was for four years 
the supply of the congregation of Shavers Creek. This closed the 
active labors of Mr. Hill in the ministry in connection with a congre- 
gation. He continued to live in retirement in the family of his 
youngest son. He died at Hollidaysburg after a short sickness, on 
the 14th of March, 1872, in the 81st year of his age. Three sons and 
one daughter survive him. Mrs. Hill died several years before him, 
while residing with their son, then living in East Kishacoquillas 
Valley. 

Mr. Hill was an able and accomplished minister of tlie New Tes- 
tament. His preparatory education was of the most substantial 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF DECEASED MEMBERS. 317 

chai'acter. He did not enter the ministry till he had passed through 
all the usual parts of a thoi'ough literary and theological education, 
with the eminent approbation of his teachers; and he was a close 
student and an immense reader all his life. A few weeks before 
his death he completed the reading of two volumes of Dr. Hodge's 
Systematic Theology, and could give a verbal statement of their con- 
tents on every subject of which they treat ; and any points of which 
he doubted, or in any respect differed from the author. (For he was 
no blind reader, and yielded to no authority, however eminent, but 
the Word of God.) By continued application to study, and constant 
exercise of his faculties, he retained his mental powers to the very 
last. While his limbs were tremulous with age no man could detect 
the least decay in his mental faculties. We do not recollect that 
he expressed any substantial difference from Dr. Hodge's views on 
any subject save one ; and we know that Dr. Hodge, as a theologian, 
stood as high as any other man in his estimation. 

Mr. Hill was a thoroughly read theologian, and zealously attached 
to the Calvinistic System of Theology, and never failed to preach 
in accordance with it on all occasions. He was at the same time 
a zealous practical preacher. He was by no means a neutral or 
negative character. He stood uj) for the truth in doctrine and in 
practice at all times and at all hazards. Had he lived in persecu- 
ting times, he would have been a martyr. Had it not been for his 
strictness in doctrine and discipline he would have been one of the 
most popular preachers of the part of country in which he served ; 
for he was not only a learned but an eloquent preacher. He was 
accustomed in the land of his birth, and the country of his theo- 
logical education, to hear long sermons ; at least, what the people 
would now consider unreasonably long; and this was the chief fault 
we have ever heard an orthodox man or a christian find with Mr. 
Hill's preaching. To the inquiry — " What was the character of Mr. 
Hill's preaching?" in nine cases out of ten, the reply would be : 
" His sermons were long, but we never became wearied or flagged in 
our attention." He was a very instructive preacher. That Mr. Hill 
had enemies may be inferred from his character — his was no negative 
character; but a consequence of this also was, that he had warm 
friends. The private character of Mr. Hill was often very much 
mistaken. Persons supposed that a man so uncompromising in doc- 
trine and discipline, must be a very sour and morose man in pi'ivate 



318 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OP DECEASED MEMBERS. 

life. On the coiitrarj'^, he was one of the most condescending, cour- 
teous and hospitable of men. He was a most pleasant and cheerful 
companion with young and old, with men and women ; verj^ readily 
approached, and most conciliating in his manners. 

With all his talents and attainments, he was a very modest man. 
In Presbytery or other church courts he was not forward in express- 
ing his views. He seldom spoke, only in regard to important sub- 
jects, and then never long. He seemed to have more humble views 
of himself than friend or enemy ever entertained. Of his last sick- 
ness it is unnecessary to speak, it was short and his end was peaceful ; 
as long as he was able to speak he expressed his confidence in the 
doctrines he had preached, and his unshaken trust in that Saviour he 
liad recommended to others. His afflictions during life had been 
many and at times severe; in frequent personal sickness, the death 
of wife and children, and otherwise ; but now they are all ended, 
and he with his Master in glory. 



REV. GEORGE GRAY, 



IT is to be regretted that so little is now known of the subject of 
this sketch. Of his parentage and early life nothing is now 
known, save that he was a native of the North of Ireland. He was 
licensed and ordained by the Congregational Association of Ireland in 
1810. Where he obtained his literary and theological education, 
whether in Ireland, England, or Scotland, is not known. When he 
came to this country is also unknown. The first certain information 
we have respecting him is derived from the minutes of the Presbytery 
of Huntingdon, under date of October 4, 1825, when he was received 
from the Presbytery of Northumberland. At the same time calls 
were presented to Presbytery for his pastoral services from the united 
congregations of Upper Tuscarora and Aughwick. The same season 
he was installed pastor of the above congregations by a committee of 
Presbytery. 

At the stated meeting of the Presbytery, October 3, 1843, Mr. Grey 
resigned the charge of the congregation of Aughwich ; and in the Fall 
of 1849 his pastoral relation to Ujjper Tuscarora was dissolved at his 
own request, on account of ill health. 

Mr. Gray held the charge of the congregation of Aughwick for 
eighteen years, and it is believed that the cause of his resignation at 
the time was a fall from his horse, which had so seriously crippled 
him as to incapacitate him to serve between two congregations, whose 
houses of worship were twelve miles apart. He served the congrega- 
tion of Upper Tuscarora for twenty-four years, with general accep- 
tance. After the resignation of his charge, Mr. Gray was unable to 
preach much, if any at all, though he lived several years afterwards. 
He died in the Summer of 1857, being more than three scoie and ten 
years old. 



320 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF DECEASED MEMBERS. 

Mr. GrRAY was in person a man of more than ordinary height, and 
became quite corpulent as he advanced in years. In regard to his 
character as a citizen, a christian, and a minister, he died without a 
blemish. As to his qualifications as a preacher, without any definite 
knowledge on the subject, it may be reasonably inferred that they 
were quite respectable, from tlie length of time he served acceptably 
his congregations. Mr. Gray was not married till after his settlement 
in Tuscarora Vallev. His widow and several children survived him. 



REV. ALBERT B. CLARKE, 
REV. JOHN H. CLARKE. 

THE persons whose names head this sketch were brothers. Their 
parents were residents of Schellsburg, Bedford county, Pa. 
where both were born; Albert B., July 14, 1817, and John Henry' 
November 29, 1831. 

Albert spent the first year of his college course at South Hanover 
College, Indiana, but graduated at Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pa. 

John pursued his studies preparatory for college in Legonier Valley, 
and graduated at Jefferson College in 1852. Both pursued and com- 
pleted their theological studies at the Western Theological Seminary, 
Allegheny, Pa. 

Albert B. was licensed by the Presbj^terj^ of Carlisle, April, 1841, 
and ordained by the Presbytery of Blairsville, January, 1842, having 
accepted a call from the congregation of Legonier, within the bounds 
of said Presbytery. 

In the Fall of 1854 he received and accepted a call from the Pres- 
byterian congregation of Altoona, Huntingdon Presbj^terj'. He con- 
tinued the pastor of this church till the time of his death, which 
occurred in 1863. 

•ToHX H. Clarke was licensed by the Presbytery of Ohio in 1857. 
In 1858 he was ordained by the Presbytery of Carlisle, and installed 
pastor of the churches of Landisbu^, Centre, and Upper, Perry 
county. Pa. He continued to be the pastor of these chui"ches for 
about five years, when the pastoral relation was dissolved, as 
believed, on account of failing health; as he spent the year after his 
resignation of the charge mostly in Altoona among his friends witli- 
out any pastoral charge. In 1865 he became the stated supply of the 
congregations of Tyrone and Birmingham, in the Presbytery of Hunt- 
ingdon. Two years after he received a formal call, and was installed 

41 



322 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OP DECEASED MEMBERS. 

pastor of these churches. This charge he continued to serve as his 
health would permit till the latter part of the year 1870, when the 
Lord took him from all his earthly labors and sorrows. He died of 
pulmonary disease on the 23d day of September, 1870, in the 39th 
year of his age. His health had been failing for several years before 
his death. All the usual means had been employed to arrest the 
progress of the disease, the physician's skill, occasional cessation from 
pulpit labors, and change of climate ; but all in vain. He was a good 
preacher, an excellent pastor, a valuable presbyter, and an amiable 
man. Both brothers died of the same disease, and were much 
lamented at their death ; and both died comparatively young, and 
while yet many years of service in the ministry might have been 
expected from them. 



..v;j:vv;.i J'^^sSSsisrt*. 




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P'v- 




■-%.. 



REV. DAVID STERRETT. 



REV. DAYID STERRETT. 



MR. STEEEETT was born near Mt. Joy, Lancaster county, Penn- 
sylvania, in the year 1800. His parents were members of the 
Donegal Presbyterian church. His father was a farmer in com- 
fortable worldly circumstances. His mother was a lady of deyoted 
piety, by whom he was carefully and religiously trained in his 
youth. As the result of careful religious instruction, with the 
blessings of God, he early became a communicating member of the 
church of Donegal, of which the Eev. Mr. Kerr was then Pastor. 
Having turned his attention to the ministry, he pursued his academ- 
ical course at Newburg, Cumberland county, Pa., and from thence 
passed into Jefferson College, where he graduated in 1827, in a class 
numbering thirty-two ; out of which nearly one-half afterwards 
became ministers of the Gospel. In 1832 he completed his theologi- 
cal course at Princeton Seminary, and the same year was licensed by 
the Presbytery of New Castle. In 1834 he received a call from 
Shavers Creek congregation, in the bounds of the Presbytery of 
Huntingdon, to which he was transferred as an ordained minister. 
When ordained, and why ordained sine titulo, we do not know ; but 
Shavers Creek was his first pastoral charge, in which he was installed 
by a committee of Presbytery on the 30th of May, 1834. 

He served this congregation for fourteen years, his pastoral rela- 
tion to it being dissolved at his own request in 1848. This was a 
large congregation, having three places of preaching, Manor Hill 
being the centre, and Shavers Creek Bridge on the south, and Stone 
Valley on the north, each being six miles from the centre. It was 
in some respects a laborious charge ; and not from any serious dis- 
satisfaction on the part of the people, but rather from failing 
health, he was induced to seek a dissolution of the pastoral rela- 
tion ; and with a view to greater advantages for the education of 
his children. If he had anv more difficulties in tliis charge in tlie 



324 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF DECEASED MEMBERS. 

discharge of his laastoral duties, than ordinarily falls to the lot of 
every faithful minister, they arose from his decided advocacy of the 
temperance reformation, and the faithful application of the discipline 
of the church. 

In the Fall of 1849 he received and accepted a call from the 
united churches of Waynesburg (McVeytown) and Newton Ham- 
ilton ; and was installed their pastor in the beginning of the year 
1850. He served these congregations faithfully tmd acceptably for 
six years. Perhaps we may say that these were the most successful 
years of his ministerial life. During these six years one hundred and 
sixty-one were added to the church on examination ; and in one of 
these years seventy-five. 

At the close of this term, his health having materially failed, 
he sought a dissolution of the pastoral relation ; and never after- 
wards sought for, or accepted a pastoral charge. But he did not 
abandon the service of the ministry ; he continued often and stated- 
ly to preach. He allowed himself but few silent Sabbaths, either 
preaching for the brethren or supplying vacant churches when in 
ordinary health. His rest consisted chiefly in being freed from the 
responsibility of a pastoral charge, and the laborious preparations 
from Sabbath to Sabbath. 

During his residence in McVeytown he was called to experience 
the greatest affliction of his life, as personal and family. His only 
son, a boy of eight or ten years of age, was drowned in a shallow 
stream in which he was wading in returning fi'om the pasture field. 
He suddenly plunged into a deep hole which had been washed out by 
previous floods ; and being unable to swim, and no adequate help 
being at hand, the boy perished. 

The closing years of his life and ministry were spent in efforts to 
secure the endowment of Lincoln University, in which he was unu- 
sually successful. The Winter before his death he was in feeble 
health, but as Spring approached he seemed to recuperate, and at a 
meeting of the Presbytery in April, was appointed, according to his 
own desire to represent the Presbytery in the General Assembly 
which met in Chicago, May, 1871. He was able to reach the Assem- 
bly, and was punctual in his attendance every day till the one before 
its final adjournment. On that day he said to the writer — '' I will 
leave for home to-morrow morning, lest I shall not be able to reach 
home at all." Contrary to his expectations, traveling and change 
of scene had not availed to benefit his health, but probably his 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF DECEASED MEMBERS. 325 

close attendance on the sessions of the General Assembly hastened 
the end. By a kind providence he was permitted to reach his 
family in Carlisle, but a few days afterwards was stricken with 
paralysis, and died on the 21st of June, 1871, in the 71st year of 
his age. 

His death bed was marked by calmness and hope, and trust, 
explicitly and firmly declared in the righteovisness of Christ. His 
disease prevented him from communicating with his family and 
friends except by writing. Though the organs of speech were 
entirely paralized, his mind was in an unusual degree unim- 
paired. To the entire satisfaction of his friends, and the ministerial 
brethren who were permitted to visit him in his last sickness, he 
expressed in the way indicated, his entire resignation to the will of 
God in the event, and his unhesitating reliance on the merits of 
Christ for salvation. But to those who had a personal acquaintance 
with Mr. Sterrett, no death-bed declarations were needed to assure 
them of his peaceful, trustful, and triumphant death. " Mark the 
perfect man, behold the upright; for the end of that man is peace." 
Ps. 37:37. 

Mr. Sterrett's christian character from the time that he made 
a profession of religion, was not only unexceptionable, but eminent ; 
no one was ever known to question his personal piety. Out of the 
pulpit, as well as in the pulpit, he was a reprover of evil doers. 
No man could give more expressive indications of disapprobation 
of unbecoming words or actions, without uttering a word of reproof ; 
the expression of his countenance being the certain index of his 
thoughts. As a christian he lived near to God, and was zealous for 
his honor and glory. He would allow of no trifling with sacred 
things on any occasion in his px'esence. 

As a christian minister he was able and faithful. His one aim 
was the salvation of souls ; and he was favored by God to be the 
instrument of the salvation of many. As a preacher he was highly 
esteemed among pious people, and those who loved the pure Gospel. 
He was not a Boanerges, but he was eminently a Barnabas. His 
services were sought for at protracted meetings and in times of revi- 
val, and were then eminently efficient. He was a wise counsellor 
on such occasions to pastors and people, and to inquirers. 

He was no extempore preacher, but required time for preparation ; 
he never read his sermons but delivered them memoriter. He was a 
man of great humility, far more ready to underrate his own perfor- 



326 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF DECEASED MEMBERS. 

mances than to take satisfaction in them. In services which might 
be common, he was always disj^osed to shove his brethren forward 
and stand aside himself. Yet he never declined a service when dutj^ 
required it, or when jiroperly called to it. As a presbyter he was 
wise and judicious, considered a safe counsellor and confided in by 
his brethren. He never occupied much time by set speeches, but 
always spoke directly to the point without circumlocution. Though 
of a very mild and conciliatory disposition, he was always firm and 
fearless in what he believed to be the right. Hardly any one ever 
exhibited more of the suaviter in modo, fortiter in re. 

His manner in the pulpit ordinarily was calm, yet at most times 
eloquent with heart-felt earnestness. His voice was not strong, but 
pleasant and engaging. His delivery was not boisterous, but more 
resembled the smoothly flowing stream. In all his pulpit perform- 
ances there was a g) eater eqvxality than is exhibited or maintained by 
most preachers. He never rose much above or fell much below his 
common pulpit exhibitions. Of course, the state of hh health would 
affect the manner of his delivery ; but not much the material or sub- 
stance of his sermons. 




hi 

A 




'>^. 



REV. JAMES LINN D.D. 



REV. JAMES LINN, D. D. 



REV. JAMES LINN, D. T>., was born in Sherman's Valley, now 
Perry county, Pa., September 4, 1783. He was graduated at 
Dickinson College in 1805, licensed by the Presbytery of Carlisle in 
1808, and ordained in Bellefonte, Pa., April, 1810, by the Presbytery 
of Huntingdon. His pastoral charge embraced the churches of 
Bellefonte and Lick Run. In 1839 he was released from Lick Run 
and retained Bellefonte, where he sustained the relation of pastor 
until his decease, February 23, 1868. 

In 1811 Dr. Linn was married to Miss Jane Harris, daughter of 
James Harris, Esq., one of the earliest and most eminent citizens of 
Centre county. By this marriage he had four sons and two daugh- 
ters, — four of whom, three sons and one daughter, still live. He was 
again married on the 15th of April, 1829, to Miss Isabella Henderson, 
a daughter of another of the early and reputable citizens of Centre. 
This union gave him another daughter, the present Mrs. William 
Wilson, of Bellefonte. The second Mrs. Linn survived her husband 
three years. Our brother was eminently happy in both his marriages ; 
happy also in his children, all of whom have ever been exemplary. 
His family was an illustration of the blissful influence of a well 
ordered home and of the power of that truth which the father pro- 
claimed from the pulpit. He and his house were truly a pattern to 
the people of his charge. 

In social life Dr. Linn was rather more retiring and silent than 
became one in his position, possessed of talents and learning, and 
gifted with fair conversational powers. He needed to be drawn out. 
He waited for others to lead, and when they did so they found him 
both vivacious and instructive. 

As a Presbyter, Dr. Linn was one of the most faithful. The Pres- 
bytery of Huntingdon is large in regard to both ministers and 



328 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF DECEASED MEMBERS. 

churches. Its boundaries are extensive. Ranges of precipitous 
mountains traverse it, which made bad roads a necessity. Travelling 
was hence laborious. The fifty miles of a journey often needful to 
attend presbyterial meetings, and to supply vacant churches, had to 
be accomplished by the minister's own means of conveyance, which 
ordinarily, was a horse and saddle ; and yet appointments were filled 
without failure, up to almost the extreme of old age. Among his 
brethren he was, in Presbytery as elsewhere, the wise and reliable 
counsellor. The aged and the young found in him the ever trust- 
worthy friend. 

As a pastor Dr. Linn was neither a flatterer, nor fussy, but atten- 
tive, kind, and sympathising. None were too rich and powerful to be 
admonished ; and none were so obscure and feeble but that they were 
waited upon with assiduity. As a preacher, our brother was earnest, 
plain and instructive, inclining more to the doctrinal and practical 
than to the experimental and hortatory. In the early ];)art of his 
ministry he spoke, as was the custom of the times, mostly from 
memory. Later in life he sometimes used a manuscript. Always was 
he a student. 

That Dr. Linx possessed a combination of excellencies, and was 
capable of transferring them, is evident in the intelligence, taste, 
refinement, moral excellence, and elevated christian character and 
liberal spirit of the people of Bellefonte — evident also in his con- 
tinuing the pastor of such a people for nearly sixty years — evident 
also from the strong attachment of three generations, the parents, 
the children, and the grandchildren. The third generation, in all 
the vivacity of youth and early manhood regarded tlie aged pastor 
with love, as well as with veneration. 

Dr. Linn is a most instructive example to the younger class of 
our ministers. He cast in his lot with a people poor, few in num- 
bers, with lands yet to clear and houses yet to build. His jn-omised 
salary was hence small, and he had not much extra means. No Mis- 
sion Board behind. No Church Erection Fund whence to draw. 
The court-room was his church in one congregation, and a log 
cabin in the other. But liis was in purpose, a life contract. He 
was the people's and the people were his. That was to be liis home, 
and he would make it what a minister's home should be — a home 
in the happy hearts of a well nurtured flock. He would have an 
■attached family — a people who would love him in response to his 
love for them. He knew that if he would train them a trulv and 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF DECEASED MEMBERS. 32^) 

deei^ly religious people they would be also a people industrious, 
thrifty, liberal, and faithful to their pastor. If he would enrich 
them with spiritual treasures, they would never allow him to be 
destitute of the needed good things which should be the fruits of 
their toil. Such were his faith and purpose. The purpose he exe- 
cuted, and his faith proved to be well founded. He never needed 
to stimulate his people by complainings or threatening. They felt 
that he performed his duty, and a performance of tlieirs was but a 
natural and christian response. And when the infirmities of age 
disqualified him for ministerial labor, the tendered resignation was 
refused. An assistant was provided and the aged pastor's salary 
would have been continued as before had he not absolutely declined, 
under the altered circumstances, to receive more than $200 per an- 
num, which was forced upon his acceptance. Happy pastor, happy 
people. Blessed of the Lord. Rev. D. McKinney, D. D. 



Dr. Lixx's portrait as a clergyman has been drawn by an able hand, 
but there were features of his character as a man and citizen, 
unnoted in this memorial, which those who knew and loved him 
best desire to have perpetuated ; more especially those tender and 
lovable qualities which united with the stronger and sturdier ones, 
to make him what he was. 

The estimation in which he was held by his own people was largely 
shared by the whole community in which he lived. Among the 
immediate neighbors, with whom his friendly relations were unbro- 
ken, were those of various religious opinions; Episcopalians, Qua- 
kers and Jews as well as Presbyterians ; and nearest of all, within 
sight and hearing of much that was done and said in the household, 
lived for twenty-five years, a Eoman Catholic family, and the affec- 
tionate veneration of their feelings was strongly expressed by one 
of them when he died, in the exclamation that " Mr. Lixn would 
certainly go straight to heaven." Among his Jewish friends, was one 
in particular, who evinced his regard by kind personal attentions, 
redoubling them in his last illness by taking to the dying clergy- 
man grapes and other delicacies. And to these tokens of a wide 
spread reverential feeling in the community, may be added the 
general respect shown at his funeral, in the closing of stores and 
dismissal of schools ; the large concourse of people attending tin- 
.■services in the church being composed not only of parishioners 

42 



330 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF DECEASED MEMBERS. 

mourning for their pastor, but also of fellow citizens paying their 
last tribute of respect to an earnest and patriotic man, a faithful and 
generous friend, a patriarch, whose useful and blameless life merited 
all the honor that could thus be paid to' his memory. 

The tablet which fitly commemorates his long connection with the 
Bellefonte church, on the wall of the new edifice, bears this 
inscription : 

•^Faithful, wise; meek, patient; pure, devout.''' 

Of the faithfulness in his ministry much can be said. His field of 
labor for twenty-nine years, embraced the two parishes extending 
from Tyrone to Lock Haven, and from Karthaus, on the West Branch 
of the Susquehanna, to the Seven Mountains, fifty miles each way ; 
and it was his invariable custom to pay pastoral visits to each family 
of his charge, twice a year in the earlier part of his ministry, and later, 
once a year at least. In the moie primitive days these ministrations 
to a flock so scattered involved toilsome service ; all sorts of weather 
braved, and much time spent on the road. I can remember seeing 
Dr. Linn when advanced in life, saddle his horse or else gear him 
for driving, and start out after sunset to preach at some distant 
point ; for his congregation, even at that time, had numerous mem- 
bers living five, six, and seven miles in the country. I have the 
authority of Judge Linn, for recording that in one of the rare 
instances when he induced his father to speak of himself, at a time 
when he had been about thirty-six years in the ministry, he men- 
tioned that he had only once missed keeping an appointment of any 
sort, and this on account of the serious illness of his wife ; punc- 
tuality being one of the marked virtues of his character. He was 
faithful also in another respect, being ready at all times to rebuke 
bad conduct, not " beating about the bush," but speaking outright 
whatever he felt it his duty to say ; and this must have had the 
more weight because of his natural reticence and unwillingness to 
give offence. A lady expressed her sense of the force of his disap- 
probation to Judge Linn, in these words — " Your father's sinile is 
like sunshine, but his frown is terrible." 

Dr. Linn was eminently a modest man, disliking to put himself for- 
ward in any way, "seeking not his own," hiding self in the Saviour 
for whom he lived and labored. When he was made a Doctor of 
Divinity, though realizing the honor, he was exceedingly annoyed 
and distressed. In response to the first salutations connecting the 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF DECEASED MEMBERS. 331 

title with his name, he would say, "there is no doctor here." He 
said that when strangers came to the place and asked on the Sabbath 

who preached there, on being told " Mr. preaches there and Mr. 

there, but Dr. Linn preaches in the church with a tall steeple," 

they would go to the latter place with great expectations, and he 
should feel mortified to disappoint them. In his address at the semi- 
centenary of his pastorate he remarked : " Some one thought it 
would be a proper token of respect for me to have a theological title 
attached to my name. I cannot doubt the goodness of the motive 
which prompted the mover in this case, but he has overestimated my 
qualifications for that degree. I have no scruples of conscience 
respecting the wearing of titles ; but I never thought myself posessed 
of the mental power and theological attainments that would qualify 
me for having such distinction." 

It was his aim to make his sermons plain, and if in writing a flower 
of rhetoric sprang ,up beneath his pen, it was ruthlessly plucked up 
and cast away ; and yet with their unadorned simplicity, he was fre- 
quently asked for these sermons for publication.. And in this connec- 
tion it may be stated, as illustrating his modesty as well as his indus- 
try, that no sermon was ever repeated in the same pulpit. 

It is much to be regretted that he was so unwilling to speak of 
himself. At the time of the semi-centenary there were but three or 
four persons in the entire range of his pastorate who were of mature 
years when he first went to Bellefonte. There are none, therefore, 
now who can give the information that would be so valuable as to his 
early life, the influences that moulded his character and his expe- 
riences as a young clergyman in so interesting a locality. 

He lived during his first married life and for some years afterwards 
on a farm in the immediate neighborhood of Bellefonte, and was 
noted in those days for his great strength, being the best reaper in all 
the country. He was always present at the "frolics," as they were 
called, i. e. gatherings of the farmers for the purpose of helping each 
other at harvestings, and other such occasions ; and always continued 
to have an interest in everything connected with agriculture. He was 
a good horseman and very fond of horses, preferring for his own use 
even in advanced years, those that were spirited. 

He had a thorough acquaintance with music as a science, and a fine 
voice, which he used with admirable effect ; being able to lead the 
singing at any service. 



332 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF DECEASED MEMBERS. 

He was, for many years, President of the Board of Trustees of the 
Academy, and taught a class of young ladies in that institution, in the 
early years of his pastorate. Beside his strong interest in educational 
matters he also felt an interest in the aifairs of the country. During 
the war especially his sympathies were warmly called forth. 

A public meeting on the Sabbath would never, on ordinary occa- 
sions, have had his countenance, but he promptly responded to a 
summons for such a meeting, when the object was to minister to the 
relief of soldiers suffering in defence of the country. 

In a region noted for its hospitality, Dr. Linn was eminently hospi- 
table, and his generosity was spontaneous and unpretending. The 
late H. N. McAllister never wearied of referring in the congrega- 
tional meetings to Dr. Linn's generous dealings with the church. It 
was at one time greatly in debt, $900 for a country church being a 
heavy weight of indebtedness when the people had not been educated 
up to the present state of enlightenment as to church obligations, nor 
attained the present measure of prosperity. Until this pecuniary 
cloud was dispelled Dr. Linn voluntarily remitted every year $100 
from his salary as his contribution towards the payment of the debt. 

S. L. B. 



PART III. 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES 

OF SOME OF THE MORE PROMINENT 

DECEASED ELDERS OP THE PUESBYTEM. 



DECEASED RULING ELDERS. 



THE writer anticipated difficulties in the way of obtaining reliable 
sketches of the lives of the original elders of the Presbytery, but 
has experienced more than he expected. Of the ruling elders who 
served the respective congregations at the time of the organization 
of the Presbytery, and for some years afterwards, but few fragments 
of their history remain to be gathered up. Their cotemporaries 
are all dead ; the second generation have also i^assed away ; and the 
third know but little about them but their names and the places of 
their residence. Indeed, as the time of the organization of most 
of the original churches is bxiried in obscurity, so the elders offici- 
ating in these times, even their names, in many instances, are un- 
known. Take for example the church of Huntingd(jn, one of the 
most prominent in the Presbytery, has no record of the original 
<"ld<n's, and can only be guessed at by the names of those who acted 
in the capacity of trustees to whom the original deed of church 
property was made. Records never were made, or have been lost, or 
as in the case of Huntingdon church, destroyed in the conflagration 
of the buildings in which they were kept. For these reasons we 
have been unable to obtain but little information concerning the first 
class of elders, who lived and served the congregations in conjunc- 
tion with the original pastors ; and are therefore under the neces- 
sity of contenting ourselves with the names and memorials of those 
of later date, mostly of the second generation. The elders present 
at the organization of the Presbytery, were John Watson, Walter 
Clark, Robert Smith, and William Hammond, but the congregations 
they represented are not upon record. The second day of the ses- 
sion Mr. Robert Riddle was enrolled as an elder from Shavers 
Creek congregation. He afterward removed to Scotch Vcilley, 
within the bounds of the Frankstown (Hollidaysburg) congregation ; 
and many descendents are yet living within the same bounds. A 



336 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF DECEASED RULING ELDERS. 

son was an elder in the same congregation for many years, and a 
grandson is now an acting elder of the same church. 

At the second meeting of the Presbytery after the organization, 
there was but one elder present on the first day, Mr. John Cooper. 
He was from East Kishacoquillas. Two of his sons afterwards filled 
the office of elder in different congregations ; Mr. Robert Cooper in 
East Kishacoquillas, the father of the late Rev. Samuel M. Cooper : 
and Mr. Samuel Cooper, an elder in the congregation of Spruce 
Creek. Of the family of Mr. John Cooper, there are descendants 
with us to this day. On the second day of the meeting, other elders 
made their appearance, among which were Messrs. Alexander Mc- 
CoRMiCK of Shavers Creek, William King of Penns Valle.y, and 
William Shaw of Warriors Run. There were two brothers, both 
elders in the congregation of Shavers Creek, Alexander and George 
McCoRMiCK. Alexander, the eldest, was a boy fourteen years old 
at the time of Braddock's defeat, and was with the army, Imt in what 
capacity is not known. But it is quite probable that it was as a 
volunteer soldier, as in those times all the region in which he was 
born was infested with Indians, and even boys were experienced 
Indian hunters. McAllavy's Fort was in the vicinity of his father's 
residence, into which the family, with other families, were often 
compelled to take refuge. It was in Alexander McCormick's house 
the congregation of Shavers Creek was organized ; and in whose 
family the Rev. John Johnston boarded while he was stated supply of 
the congregation. The above named elders are mentioned with the 
main design of perpetuating their names, because they were honored 
and active officers of the church in their day, though very little is 
known of their private character and history. But we come now 
to a name of more modern date, and concerning whom there are 
tliose living who are able to give the imj^ortant facts of his life. 



JOHN G. LOWRET, ESQ. 



MR. LOWREY, at the time the writer became a member of the 
Presbytery of Huntingdon, had either retired from the active 
duties of the eldership, or had removed to St. Louis, so that we 
never met him in Presbytery, of which he had been frequently a 
member. No member of the session of Bellefonte church so fre- 
quently represented it in Presbytery, and no elder was so frequently 
chosen by the Presbytery to represent it in the General Assembly 
along with others. To the Hon. Ex-Judge Samuel Linn, son of Rev. 
James Linn, D. D., application was made in the first instance for facts 
concerning the life of Mr. Lowrey, when the following reply was re- 
ceived : 

" Lkwisburg, February 20, 1872. 
Hev. and Dear Sir : — I knew John G. Lowret very well from 
my earliest childhood — knew him as a valuable member of society— 
as a faithful public officer, and as a prominent and useful member 
of the session of the church. He was one of my father's warmest 
friends and wisest counsellors, and I know of no one connected with 
the ruling eldership who was more worthy of notice amongst the 
memorials of church history. But as he was a man in middle life when 
I was but a child, and left Bellefonte for the "West just about the time 
I began to enter upon the active practice of my profession, there are 
many important parts of the history of his life that I would be unable 
to relate. I would refer you for more accurate information than I can 
give, to Edward C. Humes, Esq., whose family relationship with Mr. 
Lowrey, will enable him to give you many interesting historical facts. 
I have, however, such admiration of the character of that most excel- 
lent old man, that I would be willing, after he has given such statis- 
tical and general information as he can give, to add my knowledge of 
him as far as it goes, and my impressions of his character, public and 
private." 
44 



338 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF DECEASED RULING ELDERS. 

Upon application to Mr. Humes, the following letter was received : 

" Bellefonte, May 2, 1872. 

Rev. W. J. Gibson, D. D. — Dear Sir: — It would aftord me great 
pleasure to aid you in the work you have in hand, in the way you 
suggest, had I the information you desire to procure, or had I the means 
of obtaining it. It is true, that in my younger days, I was well 
acquainted with John G. Lowre^:, the person you refer to, who resided 
in this town, almost from its organization, to the time he left for a resi- 
dence in St. Louis. Yet I fear I could not give you such particulars 
of his private history, in detail, as would be of much service to you in 
preparing a sketch of his life. Yet there are some things I do know 
and remember, which I may refer to as they occur to me. 

The name of John G. Lowrey is familiar to some of the older citizens 
of Bellefonte, as prominent among those earlier settlers of the town, who 
were influential in the formation of the society and church organization 
then existing. 

He was born ot Presbyterian stock, in Donegal, Lancaster county, Pa., 
about the year 1780 — from whence he came to this town, probably not 
later than 1793 or 1794; where he resided more than half a century, in 
the prime of his life. A young man of some culture and education for 
the day, although without advantages other than such as were afforded 
by a countrj' school, and that for a brief period, he at once took and ever 
after maintained a high social position among the people. He was a good 
accountant — hence his principal occupation consisted in the settling up 
of estates, and agencies for owners of unseated lands; vast bodies of which 
were held by non-residents, in this, the central portion of the State. 

He had hiJ peculiarities ; and in some respects was a man of mark. He 
was notoriously self-willed, and those who knew him best and most inti- 
mately in his social and political relations, always gave him credit for a 
firmness and pertinacity in his opinions, which amounted almost to obsti- 
nacy ; and such as rarely yielded to persuasion or argument. Indeed, *it 
was well known and generally admitted by his friends, that if Mr. Lowrey 
had formed an opinion on any subject, it was a waste of time to attempt 
to change it. As an instance of this trait in his character, it was his firm 
and decided opinion that Napoleon Bonaparte was alive, long after 
all the civilized world beside believed the fact as reported, that he died in 
exile on the Island of St. Helena. 

He was an ardent admirer of Gen. Andrew Jackson, and it is well 
remembered by his acquaintances of that day, that next to his Bible, the 
State paper of the hero of New Orleans, was more highly estimated by 
him than any other production of the times. 

As a member of the community in which he resided, he was greatly 
influential in giving tone to public sentiment ; and repeatedly held many, 
if not all the ofiices of honor and trust in the town and county of his 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OP DECEASED RULING ELDERS. 339 

adoption ; but being naturally a modest and unassuming man withal, never 
aspired to higher positions. The records of the Bellefonte Presbyterian 
congregation, with which he connected himself early in its organization, 
under the pastorship of the Kev. Henry K. Wilson, D. D., Sr., show 
him to have been one of its first ruling elders. He continued to act in 
this capacity, under the pastorate of the late Rev. James Linn, D. D.; and 
likewise performed for many years, the duties of collector, treasurer, 
and secretary of the church ; as well as Superintendent of the Sabbath 
school from its organization until his removal to the West. Without 
disparaging the services of others, to whom this church is much indebted 
for its past and present prosperity, it is but just to the memory of Mr. 
LowREY to say, that he was equalled by few and excelled by none of his 
cotemporaries, in an earnest faithful devotion of his time and means to the 
welfare of the church. 

For many years he was prominent in conducting the services of the 
social prayer meeting, in which exercise he was highly gifted ; and by 
his regular and uniform attendance, imjH-essed upon others his attachment 
for this duty. He was a conscientious arid lijaeral contributor to the sup- 
port and spread of the gospel in his day. He was frequently in attendance 
on the courts of the church as a member, and was universally regarded 
as well qualified for the performance of his official duties. As before 
stated, he more frequently represented the Presbytery in the General 
Assembly, than perhaps any other layman. 

He died some years ago iii St. Louis, having survived his third wife." 



HON. GEORGE BOAL. 



M 



R. BOAL was born in the County Antrim, Ireland, July 16, 1796. 
He was but two years old when his father emigrated to the 
United States and settled in Penns Valley. His father, David Boal, 
came to this country in 1798 in the same vessel with the late Rev. 
Dr. Samuel B. Wilie, of Philadelphia, and the Rev. John Black, 
D. D., of Pittsburg, they being then only students of theology ; 
and the father of the writer, the only minister on board the vessel. 
They landed at Philadelphia in the year above named, from whence 
they separated, Mr. Boal making his way to the centre of the State. 
He was a member of the Presbyterian church in Ireland, and on 
coming to Peims Valley connected himself with the church then 
known as Slab Cabin, now called Spring Creek. Of this church he 
was afterwards made an elder, in which office he served the congrega- 
tion with great acceptance till the time of his death, which occurred 
in March, 1837. He gave name to the town of Boalsburg in Centre 
county, as his farm lay just upon the outskirts of the town ; and it 
is probable that the land on which the town was built originally 
belonged to him. Such was the favorable and honorable parentage 
of the subject of our notice. It implied the sti'ictest and most intel- 
ligent education in the doctrines of the Presbyterian church, to which 
Geokge Boal adhered in all his after life. When times of distrac- 
tion and division afterwards came upon the church, Mr. Boal was 
found among the foremost, most trusted, and most intelligent of the 
lay leaders in behalf of the doctrines and discipline of the church. 
Mr. Boal's education was only such as could be obtained in the com- 
mon schools of the county, of which, however, he made the best 
possible improvement, and was therefore well qualified for all the 
ordinary business of a citizen, and for the offices of honor and trust 
to which he was aftervvards appointed or chosen. He was a farmer 




-.It 



HON. GEORGE BOAL. 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF DECEASED RULING ELDERS. 341 

all his life. He was brought up on the farm with his father, and aftei*- 
warcls farmed for himself, having inherited the family homestead. At 
what time of life he connected himself with the church by a personal 
profession, is not known, but it was early, while he was yet a young 
man. Such was the estimate of the church of his intelligence and 
piety, that he was elected, ordained, and installed an elder in it while 
his father was yet living. This event took place in May, 1835 ; his 
father died two years afterwards. For a man to be elected to this 
responsible office while yet a young man, and in the congregation 
in which he was raised, not only implied his special qualifications 
for the office, but the high respect in which his character was held 
by his neighbors and friends, and brethren from his youth up. If 
his life had not been without reproach, he could never have been so 
honored and trusted by those with whom his whole life had been 
familiar. And he continued to adorn the place an honored and 
trusted leader in the session and the church till the time of his death. 
He was equally respected and trusted in civil life. He was elected 
an associate judge of Centre county ; and in. 1840 a member of the 
State Legislature for one term. As to politics, he acted with the 
Democraric party till 1861-62, at which time he became an active 
supporter of the administration then in power, in prosecuting the 
war for the Union. And few men in Centre county, and no man in 
his own immediate neighborhood, exerted a larger influence in pro- 
curing volunteers for the Union army. But he never was a politi- 
cian in the modern application of that term. The civil ^offices 
which he held sought him, not he the offices. His known sound 
judgment, integrity, and personal popularity, recommended him to 
nominating conventions, and to the suffi-ages of the people. Judge 
BoAL was often called upon to attend Presbyteries, Synods, and Gen- 
eral Assemblies, in all of which he was recognized as a judicious 
counsellor. 

Such was his reputation among his neighbors for sound judgment 
and integrity, that he was frequently employed as executor and 
administrator of the estates of deceased persons, knowing that any 
amount of property, or of funds, would be safe in his hands and 
under his management. 

The prominent points of Judge Boal's character were, soundness 
of judgment and eminent discretion ; kindness to the jaoor, and 
liberality in giving to all benevolent objects; a true and practical 



342 BIOGRAPAICAL SKETCHES OF DECEASED RULING ELDERS. 

love of his country, willing to make sacrifices for the public good ; 
social in his habits and the most engaging kindness in all the relations 
of life, he was universally beloved and respected in his immediate 
neighborhood. Scarcely any citizen could have died whose loss 
would have been at the time more generally felt and regretted. 

Mr. BoAL was twice married. His first wife was Miss Nancy Jack, 
who died in 1843. His second wife was Mrs. Elizabeth Johnston 
(formerly Miss E. Williams,) to whom he was married December 31, 
1844. She still survives. By his first wife he had four sons and 
three daughters; by his second wife a daughter and a son. One 
son died in the army ; he was killed in battle or died of camp fever 
during the progress of the civil war. 

It is scarcely necessary to add, that Judge Boal was a man of 
decided piety. For wherein is true piety manifested but by a con- 
scientious and exact fulfilment of duty in all the relations of life. 
He loved the church and was foremost in all things that pertained 
{o its advancement. He was a man of prayer, and very active in 
times when there was any special interest in the congregation on the 
subject of religion. 



HON. JOHN KERR. 



MR. KERR was a native of Huntingdon county, Pennsylvania, 
born near to the town of Huntingdon, April 1, 1796. His 
father was William Kerr; he came from Ireland, and married a 
Miss Woods, who was probably a native of this country. John, their 
son, lived and died upon the farm on which he was born. His edu- 
cation was such as farmer's sons usually obtained in those times, only 
such as was to be obtained in the common schools, not however 
schools that were sustained by the State, but by the families in each 
particular district. If any one made more advancement in educa- 
tion than another, it was not owing to superior advantages in the 
way of a common education, but to superior diligence and aptitude, 
to receive instruction. As to his religious instruction it must 
have been faithfully imparted, if we are to judge from the man- 
hood of the subject. The time when he made a personal pro- 
fession of religion must have been early in life, for he was yet 
a young man when he was elected an elder of the church of 
Huntingdon. And yet, owing to the loss of records, the precise 
year in which he was chosen to that responsible office is not 
certainly known ; but his name appears on the records of the 
Presbytery as the elder representing the congregation of Hunting- 
don, early in the year 1823, when he was only twenty-seven years 
of age ; and almost continuously from that time his name appears 
on the minutes of the Presbytery as the elder representing the 
congregation. The congregation must have been scarce of elders, 
or Judge Kerr must have been the leading member of session, 
which was the fact. In all matters pertaining to the church, whether 
its religious or secular interests, Mr. Kerr always took a leading 
part. He gave his time and his money without stint to the church. 



344 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF DECEASED RULING ELDERS. 

Such men are always honored with the pre-eminence, and deservedly 
so ; and without envy on the part of their brethren. It was so with 
Mr. Kerr, he was accorded a voluntary pre-eminence in the church, 
because he was so devoted to it in all its interest, sparing neither 
time nor expense. As an elder he was an examj^le to all the mem- 
bers of the church in his punctual and unfailing attendance on all 
tlie means of grace, public, social, and private. When appointed 
to attend the courts of the church, as he often was. Presbyteries, 
Sj^nods, and Assemblies, he made no excuse of the urgency of pri- 
vate business to excuse him from attendance. He always gave the 
preference to the business of the church over his own private con- 
cerns. 

As a counsellor he was an invaluable aid to his pastor. The Rev. 
John Peebles, during whose pastorate Mr. Kerr served in the elder- 
ship, told the writer that he was in the habit of consulting Judge 
Kerr in all cases great and small, about which he had doubts, 
ifnd always obtained light and aid from his counsels, whether the 
matters pertained to his own private business, or to the business of 
the church. What a pleasant consideration it is that Grod always 
provides one John Kerr for almost every congregation, on whom the 
pastor can rely on all occasions. Mr. Kerr was appointed one of 
the Associate Judges of the county of Huntingdon, as is believed, 
bv a Governor who was not of the same party in politics with 
himself, but who knew him well, having resided in the same 
vicinity for many years. If so, as we suppose, it was a deserved 
crompliment to Mr. Kerr's integrity and intelligence. 

Judge Kerr was married twice. His first wife was Miss Sarah 
Woods, a sister of the late Rev. Dr. Jas. S. Woods of Lewistown. She 
lived but a short time. He afterwards married Miss Mary C. Wil- 
liams, a davighter of Rev. Dr. Joshua Williams of Cumberland 
county. Pa., by whom he had eight children, all of whom are now 
dead except Cornelia M., wife of the Rev. James A. Reed of Spring- 
field, 111. 

It is remarkable that within the space of three years after the 
father's death, the whole family of children were removed by death, 
except the one above mentioned. Judge Kerr died of typhoid fever, 
August 30, 1855; and Joshua, his second son, died March 24, 1857 — 
Henry, the oldest, June 26, 1857 — and John Peebles Kerr, died 
February 23, 1857. And in 1858 a daughter, named Ei'a. died. _^ 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF DECEASED RULING ELDERS. 345 

Henry and Joshua had just graduated at Lafayette College, and 
John was at school at Mt, Joy. 

Mrs. Kerr died at Wooster, Ohio, at the residence of her son-in- 
law, Rev. James A. Reed, February 17, 1867. The family are all 
vesting in the old grave yard at Huntingdon. The name of Judge 
John Kerr is still savoury in all this region ; and together with the 
name of that man of God, the Rev. John Peebles, will be held in 
lasting remembrance by the congregation and people of Huntingdon. 
They lie together in the same cemetery and will rise together to meet 
their Lord in the air at his coming. That love and friendship which 
was unbroken oft earth is renewed and perfected in heaven. 



45 



HON. JONATHAN M'WILLIAMS. 



MR. McWILLIAMS was born in Spruce Creek Valley, Hunting- 
don county, Pa., in 1797. He was of Scotch descent. His 
parents were members of the Presbyterian church. He sjient his 
youth and part of his mature years in working at a mechanical trade ; 
but latterly lived on a farm of his own, on which he principally raised 
his family. Married in 1819 Miss Esther Boreland, who was a native 
of the same valley, and the same year joined the Pi'esbyterian 
church. In 1827 he was elected a ruling elder of the church of his 
childhood ; in which capacity he served them with fidelity till 
within five years of his death, at which time he removed out of 
the bounds of the congregation. His eldest daughter was ixiarried 
to the late Rev. Thomas Stevenson, who after the death of her hus- 
band resided in McVeytown, Mifflin county, and this was the chief 
inducement to Mr. McWilliams to remove there to spend the last 
years of his life. He was tvi^ice elected to the State Legislature 
from Huntingdon county, and served during the years 1842 and 
1843. He was also elected an associate judge of the county. He 
enjoyed in the highest degree the confidence of the community 
among whom he spent almost the whole of his life. His intelligence, 
piety, and public spirit, commanded the esteem of all who knew him. 
He was a great reader ; collected a large library of standard works, 
and became possessed of a very general information. His face was 
always set against wrong ; and he employed his pen frequently in the 
inculcation of virtue, and in the defence of Christianity. He early 
enlisted in the cause of temperance, and spent both time and money 
in urging forward the reformation, both by speech and by the press. 
His piety was marked by simplicity and humble trust. He was an 
example in all the relations of life. As a Presbyterian, and especially 
as a Presbyterian elder, he was«sincere and intelligent in his adoption 




HON. JONATHAN M9WILLIAMS. 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF DECEASED RULING ELDERS. 347 

of the doctrines of the Confession of Faith, and the catechisms, and 
tolerated no dej^arture from them, in those who professed to adopt 
them. It was always known where Judge McWilliams would be 
found when matters of doctrine were involved. And he was true to 
the State as he was to the Church. He was eminently patriotic. He 
lived through the late civil war in behalf of the Union. He at once 
took the part of the Grovernment, and gave his youngest son to the 
army, who was killed at Antietam. More young men volunteered 
from Judge McWilliams' immediate neighborhood, and more of 
them fell in the service, than from any district of the same amount of 
population in any part of the State. The following extracts are taken 
from a copy of the Huntingdon Globe, published two weeks after his 
death : 

"He had lived his threescore and ten, and they were years of industry 
and usefulness, to himself, to his Maker, and to his fellow-men. Few men 
took as active a part in the temperance reformation, which originated in 
this country in his younger days, and with which he at once became con- 
nected, and fought manfully against great opposition, and when none (few) 
were found to aid him." 

Again, "He was not only a philanthropist, hut a patriot. During the 
rebellion his voice and pen were alike active in diffusing the spirit of patri- 
otism, and his appeals were earnest and soul-inspiring. He had many 
friends, for he had befriended many ; and they, with us, will revere the 
memory of his acts of kindness and devotion." 

Judge McWilliams raised a family of sons and daughters, all of 
whom while living were members of the church, save one ; and one of 
whom became an elder of a Presbyterian church, efficient and 
beloved, but was removed by death shortly after the decease of his 
father. 

Judge McWilliams' death was rather unexpected at the time it 
occurred. The sickness that took him away was only of five days 
duration. But the subject of death was not unfamiliar to him. Long 
before his departure, the prospect of his own leaving was a topic of 
frequent conversation. He always talked calmly of it. Death had 
no terrors for him. He knew in whom he had believed. The sick- 
ness of which he died was the only sickness of his long life. He died 
at McVeytown, Pa., September 2, 1870, in the seventy-third year of 
his age. 



MR. JOSEPH GILLILAND, 



MR. JOSEPH GILLILAND was a native of this country, though of 
Scotch-Irish descent. His father, James Gilliland, came from 
freland, and settled in Chester county, Pennsylvania, before the Rev- 
olutionary war. He served as a soldier under Washington, and died 
before the termination of the war from exposure and fatigue in bat- 
tling for the independence of the country. He was a strictly reli- 
gious and pious man, and said to have been an elder of the Presby- 
terian church. 

Joseph Gilliland, the subject of this sketch, was born within the 
bounds of Fogg's Manor church, Chester county, November 4, 1770. 
He married May 1, 1794, in Chester county. Miss Catharine Cowdon; 
and removed to Penns Valley, Centre county, in 1805, where he imme- 
diately united with the Sinking Creek Presbyterian church, then 
under care of the Rev. William Stuart. He was elected an elder of 
this church in 1815, in which capacity he continued to serve till his 
death with great acceptance. 

Mr. Gilliland was highly esteemed as a citizen, as well as promi- 
nent in the church. In 1823 he was elected a county commissioner, 
in which oflfice he served for the term of three years. He was also 
prominent in the management of township affairs ; and was the coun- 
sellor and friend of the widow and the fatherless. His business, the 
greater part of his life, was farming. A son, writing of his parents, 
says:- 

"My father and my mother both having had Scotch-Irish Presbyterian 
training, adhered to it strictly in the training of their children. The 
child as soon as it could lisp was taught the Mother's Catechism, Apostles' 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF DECEASED RULING ELDERS. 349 

Creed, and talked to about God and the Saviour ; and as soon as he could 
read, was required to commit to memory the Shorter Catechism ; and 
every Sabbath evening, a part of the religious exercises was to answer the 
questions. I do not think that so long as I remained at home, a Sabbath 
ever passed without having this attended to." 

Mrs. GiLLiLAND, the wife of Joseph Gilliland, died, July 18, 1830, 
and in 1840, Mr. Gilliland died on his farm at Egg Hill, Centre 
county, in the seventy-first year of his age. They were the parents 
of eleven children — seven sons and four daughters ; of whom four 
sons are still living, and two of them are elders in the Presbyte- 
rian church. 



HON. WILLIAM M'OAT. 



MR. McCAY was born in Scotland, but while yet a child his 
father removed to Claugher, County Tyrone, Ireland. There 
he spent his youthful days. He came to this country in 1801, 
landing in Philadelphia, where he married in 1803. He came to 
Tuscarora Valley, Juniata county (then Mifflin county,) in 1804, 
where he enjoyed the ministry of that excellent man, the Rev. John 
Coulter, and in 1810 removed to Lewistown, where he connected 
himself with the Presbyterian church, then about settling as its 
pastor the Rev. William Kennedy. He was elected and ordained 
an elder in said congregation in 1811 or 1812. He was a man 
universally respected for his strictly religious character, conscien- 
tiousness, intelligence, and public spirit. He was a leading spirit 
in the church, in the town, and in the community genei'ally. 
Brought up in the strictest principles of the faith and practice of 
the Presbyterian church, he carried them out in his life to an ex- 
tent that would now be considered righteous over much. He 
would permit nothing to be done in his house on the Sabbath day 
that could have been foreseen on the day before, and provided for, 
and which was not absolutely indispensible. He would permit no 
victuals to be cooked, or dishes to be washed on the Sabbath. To 
boil the tea kettle, and make a cup of tea, with the setting on the 
table the cold victuals prepared on Saturday, was the amount of 
work he would j^ermit in his house on the Sabbath day. And his 
life during the week, in his intercourse and business with the world, 
was in accordance with his sanctification of the Sabbath. How 
would these old Presbyterian fathers, could they rise from the grave, 
be surprised at the extreme looseness of their children in regard 
to the sanctification of the Sabbath. Mr. McCay, as a member of the 
church, and especially as an elder, was the unfailing reliance of his 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF DECEASED RULING ELDERS. 351 

pastor. In all matters of doctrine or of discipline, he was as the 
right hand of the pastor. No member of the session had more, or 
even so much influence as Mr. McCay, and it was always exerted to 
sustain the pastor, and the peaqe and purity of the church. As a 
citizen he was no less prominent and efficient. The town of Lewis- 
town, of which he was long its chief burgess, owed most of its 
public improvements to his foresight, prudence, and diligence. He 
was known and honored as a citizen beyond the limits of the town, 
and even the county, in which he lived. He was a patriot, and 
at the time of the war of 1812, raised a company for the service 
of the country, and received a military commission from Grovernor 
Snyder — marched towards the front, but the war ended before he 
was called to any active service as a soldier. He was made a jus- 
tice of the peace by Governor Heister, a notary public by Governor 
Wolf, and associate judge of Mifflin county, by Governor Porter. 
Who will not more appreciate the memory of these excellent Gov- 
ernors, that they were capable of honoring the character of this 
excellent man and citizen? He who was so faithful to his God, 
could not but be conscientious in any trust committed to his hands. 
Judge McCay died at Lewistown, December 13, 1841, in the 63d 
year of his age. His family, so far as known to the writer, con- 
sisted of two sons and one daughter, who lived to maturity. His 
eldest son died before his father ; and the younger became a min- 
ister of the gospel, in connection with the Presbyterian church ; 
settled soon after his licensure in Clarion county, Pa. ; volunteered 
as a chaplain during the war of the rebellion ; and died at Lewis- 
town on his way home from the army, in 1862, of disease contracted 
in the service. The Rev. David McCay, of Clarion county, was a 
son worthy of his parentage. He was buried in the cemetery of 
the church in Clarion county, which he served with unabated acept- 
ance till the last. 

The followmg letter was written by an early friend of the Eev. 
David McCay, sometime after the notice of his death reached him. 
It is dated — BuELL's.army, near Cumberland river, Tennessee : 

"It is with profound sorrow that in this far-oif country, I have read 
the obituary notice of the Eev. David McCay. And I cannot but ask 
the privilege of saying one word in memory of a man, who, perhaps, above 
all others within the circle of my acquaintance, led a spotless and blame- 
less life. Amiable in his disposition, and possessing a mind of high order, 



352 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF DECEASED RULING ELDERS. 

he, earl}' in life was looked up to by his companions as a counsellor, guide 
and friend. The few of his school fellows and playmates of the Juniata, 
that are left, will remember with lively gratification the many kind acts of 
friendship bestowed upon them by thejr departed friend ; and that while 
thej- had sparring and occasionally childish quarrels, yet never with David 
McCay. His gravity of deportment, and equanimity of temper nevQr 
carried him into excitements, or lured him into the paths of mischief. 
Others may have tasted the fruits of their neighbor's garden without the 
owjjier's permission, or the watermelon that could only be had by a viola- 
tion of one of God's commandments, but which too often is looked upon as 
a youthful indiscretion, but none of them by the subject of this article. 
Keligion in early life had taken fast hold upon him. The example 
of a father, who, if he erred at all, it was by his rigid adh^ence to 
the gospel truths, which he did with almost puritanical rigor ; or of a 
mother, who, with christian meekness, lay for long years pi-ostrate on a 
bed of sickness, had its influence in forming the character of this most 
estimable man. 

Forty years since, or more, there was but little church service of any 
kind in Lewistown, other than which was held in the old court house ; 
that quaint old edifice that stood in the centre of the public square. Hete, 
on each Sabbath morning might be seen those venerated fathers of the 
Presbyterian church, Mr. Walters, Mr. McCay, and Mr. Eobison, and 
indeed nearly the whole town, wending their way to hear the Eev. Mr. 
Kennedy preach from the judge's bench ; and here was the rite of baptism 
performed on David McCay. And in long after years, when the Kev- 
erend gentleman, by an appeal to be received into the ministry of the 
church, from which he had been suspended for many years, young McCay, 
then but recently in the ministry, sat as one of his judges. In describing 
the scene to the writer, he spoke of it as one that caused in his breast emo- 
tions singularly pirinful, and yet gratifying, that his first pastor, then a 
penitent man, could, hy his vote, be restored to the ministry, and could 
again go forth to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. That vote was given, 
and that old man lived to call him blessed ; and he once more returned to 
the town, where he had so long ministered, to find many changes, and 
some of them, alas ! how sad. 

That the subject of our sketch took a lively interest in the success of our 
arms, I can readily believe ; and the fact that he followed the army of his 
country to the tented field, that he might minister to his dying country- 
men, spoke of a heart in the right place. 

Few ever passed to the tomb so well prepared to meet a righteous Judge 
at the last great day, and may the influence of his example be felt in long 
after years. Those of his schoolfellows who survive him, will remember 
how excellent he was in his class, how he excelled in his studies, and how 
readily he drank in knowledge. If by his weak voice he failed to attract 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF DECEASED RULING ELDERS. 6Z>d 

the attention of the lover of rhetorical display, yet he never failed to 
attract the interest of the attentive listener, as his discourses were clear and 
methodical, evincing a mind of no common order. His was not that of an 
empty bubble, but a depth of learning that to be appreciated, should be 
heard and studied with deep attention. 

Farewell, friend of my boyhood days. Your spirit has found an eternal 
rest, and if in that unknown world, you are permitted to raise your voice in 
praise, that youthful voice that sweetly sang in the old stone church, was 
but a prelude of your heavenly music." 

Died, in this place, (Lewistown, Pa.,) at the residence of Major M. Bt?oy, 
his brother-in-law, on the 4tli day of June A. D., 1862, Eev. David 
McCay, of Callensburg, Clarion county, lately Chaplain of 103d regiment, 
Pennsylvania Volunteers, (Colonel Lehman,) aged 44 years, 2 months, and 
18 days. 

Mr. McCay contracted the disease of which he died, (typhoid fever,) 
through exposure in camp beyond Williamsburg, Va., soon after the 
battle at that place. His remains were taken to Callensburg for 
interment among his parishoners, where he was greatly beloved as a 
pastor. Callensburg was his first and only charge after he entered 
the ministry, a vocation which he adorned in life. 



46 



HON. EPHRAIM BANKS. 



MR. BANKS was born in Lost Creek Valley, then a part of Mifflin 
county, now Juniata, January 17, 1791. He came to Lewistown 
in 1817, and was appointed prothoriotary by governor Findley in 1818, 
serving three years, and commenced the practice of law at Lewistown 
in 1823. He was elected to the Legislature successively in the years 
1826, 1827 and 1828. Mr. Banks was a member, by election, of the 
Reform Convention which assembled at Harrisburg, May 2, 1837, and 
which framed the present constitution of Pennsylvania; adopting it 
finally at its sessions in Philadelphia, February 22, 1838. He was 
elected auditor general of the State in 1850, and re-elected in 1853, 
serving six years; and finally was elected associate judge of Mifflin 
county in 1866, which office he held at the time of his death, which 
occurred at his residence in Lewistown, January 6, 1871, aged four- 
score years, lacking eleven days. At the time of his death, the fol- 
lowing notice of Judge Banks was written by the editor of the Lewis- 
town True Democrat : ' 

"For more than half a century Judge Banks was one of the leading- 
men of Lewistown ; and no man ever stood higher in public esteem, or 
commanded more generally the respect of his contemporaries. 

Though an ardent democrat, and always firm in his political convictions, 
public confidence in his personal integrity, and qualifications for responsible 
positions, was such that, when before the people as a candidate for oflSce, he 
invariably received a very large support from members of the opposing 
party. His walk and conversation everywhere, and at all times, were be- 
fitting his character as a christian gentleman. In every sphere of life he 
occupied a high position, whether as a citizen, or a member of the Presby- 
terian Church." 

But Judge Bank's life as a christian and a ruling elder in the Pres- 
byterian Church, is most in accordance with our design to record. 




-V * 



HON.EPHRAIM BANKS. 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF DECEASED RULING ELDERS. 355 

He united with the Presbyterian church of MifHintown, then under 
the care of the Rev. John Hutcheson as pastor, in 1814, being then in 
the twenty-third year of his age. As already stated, he removed to 
Lewistown in 1817, whei'e he became connected with the Presbyterian 
church, then under the charge of Rev. William Kennedy. What 
time he was elected to the eldership is not now certainly known, as 
the records of that church previous to 1829 are lost, but he was an 
elder at that time, and the probability is that he was elected and or- 
dained an elder in 1823, or 1824. He often represented the church 
in the meetings of Presbytery, and as often, perhaps, as any other 
elder, represented the Presbytery in the meetings of the General 
Assembly. He represented the Presbytery in the General Assemblies 
of 1832-35-48 and 55 ; and how many times besides, we do not know : 
and he was no inefficient member of church judicatories; his opin- 
ions were always looked for and respected, and he was always ap- 
pointed on the most important committees. In the church at home, 
he was always as the. pastor's right hand. According to his Scotch- 
Irish Presbyterian training, he was firmly settled in the well-known 
doctrines of the Confession of Faith and Catechisms of the Presbyte- 
rian Church. In the times that tried the faith and patience of the 
church. Judge Banks was immovable in adhering to, and defending 
the good old ways in which tlie fathers walked, and the doctrines in 
which lie had been taught. To the eldership of the church in gen- 
eral, and to such as Mr. Banks in particular, the church is greatly in- 
debted for passing safely through the scenes of trouble from 1830 till 
they culminated in division in 1838. He lived, however, to see the 
wide breach healed. 

Judge Banks was not only faithful in his position as an elder of the 
church, bnt refused not the humblest service, by which he could pro- 
mote the cause of the Master. He was a diligent and faithful teacher 
in the Sabbath-School, till the infirmities of age compelled him to 
tlesist, and also shut him out from attendance on the public worship 
of the sanctuary ; which was the greatest grievance of the last year, 
or years of his life. 

" He died as only a christian can die." After a long life of useful- 
ness on earth, reaching even beyond the age generally allotted to 
men, his spirit passed away quietlj^, its departure not even being 
marked by a struggle. 

Immediately upon his death the members of the county court held 



356 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OP DECEASED RULING ELDERS. 

a meeting, and passed appropriate resolutions, of which our limits 
will only allow us to copy two : 

'' JResolved, That Judge Banks possessed social qualities of the highest 
order. He was kind, gentle, and courteous, and a warm and true friend. 
But the crowning glory of his character was, that he was a sincere and 
devoted christian, and an humble j^et earnest follower of the Divine 
Master. 

" Resolved, That the court, with its officers and members of the bar, pro- 
ceed in a body to attend the funeral of the deceased." 

The funeral took place on the Monday following his death. As a 
token of respect for the deceased, the banks, stores, and other public 
business of the town were all closed while the funeral ceremonies 
were being performed. 




•'J'-'>nd. «„ j„f„^ Sarta^ 





CL 




HON. HUGH N. M'ALLISTER 



H 



ON. HUGH N. McAllister was of Scotch-Irlsh descent ; his 
great grandfather having emigrated from Ireland to Lancaster 
county, Pa., about the year 1730. His grandfather, Major Hugh Mc- 
Allister, was born in Little Britain township, Lancaster county, in 
1736. He enlisted as a private in Captain Forbes' company in the 
Indian war of 1763, and served faithfully until the close of hostilities. 
During the darkest hour of the revolutionary struggle, Hugh McAll- 
ister was the first man to volunteer as a private, to form a company 
for the purpose of reinforcing the shattered army of Washington. 
This company was raised in Lost Creek Valley, now Juniata county, 
and was commanded by Captain John Hamilton, the father of 
Hugh Hamilton, Esq., of Harrisburg. The company joined the 
army of Washington the day after the capture of the Hessians at 
Trenton. HufrH McAllister was successively promoted to be lieu- 
tenant, captain and major. Towards the close of the war he was in 
command of the forces stationed at Potter's Fort, Centre county, 
and commanded an expedition sent to punish the Indians for depre- 
dations committed near the Great Island, where the city of Lock 
Haven now stands.- At the close of the war. Major McAllister 
retired to his farm in Lost Creek Valley. He was married to Sarah 
Nelson, and raised a large family. Hon. Willam McAllister, son 
of Major H. McAllister and Sarah Nelson, was borji on the farm 
of his father in Lost Creek Valley, in August, A. D., 1774. He 
served as a soldier in the war of 1812; and was, for a long time, 
one of the associate judges of Juniata county. He was married to 

Sarah Thompson. 

Hugh N. McAllister, eldest son of Hon. William McAllister 
and Sarah Thompson, was born on the farm owned by his father and 
grandfather, in Lost Creek Valley, Juniata county, Pa., June 28, 



358 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF DECEASED RULING ELDERS. 

1809. He lived at home and worked upon his father's farm during his 
minority, receiving such elementary education as the schools of the 
neighborhood alForded. He received his instructions in the rudi- 
ments of the classics from Rev. John Hutcheson, pastor of the church 
of Mifflin and Lost Creek. He entered the freshman class at Jeffer- 
son College, Canonsburg, in 1830, and stood so high before the end 
of the year, as to be chosen bj^ his societj^ as one of its debaters, 
which honor, however, his modesty and timidity induced him to de- 
cline. He graduated in 1833, high in a class in which were many 
more, since distinguished in the church and State. As soon as he 
(Mr. McAllister) graduated, he commenced the study of the law in 
the office of Hon. W. W. Potter, in Bellefonte. After completing the 
ordinary course of studies pursued by students in an office, he 
attended a law school, then conducted at Carlisle, by Hon. John 
Reed, president judge of that district, and author of "Pennsylvania 
PJaciistone."' In 1835 he was admitted to practice in the several 
courts of Centre county ; and was at once taken into full partnership 
witli Mr. Potter, and the election of the latter to Congress soon 
after threw at once the whole labor and responsibilitj' of an extensive 
law practice u2:)on the young partner. The early death of Mr. Potter 
while in Congress, left Mr., McAllister alone in the practice, to com- 
pete with one of tlie ablest bars in the State. Asa counsellor he was 
always discreet, careful, and safe. As an attorney he was faithful, 
honest, and industrious. As an advocate he was earnest, zealous, 
«nd at times, i npressively eloquent. He would embark in no man's 
cause unless thoroughly impx-essed with its justice, and then he battled 
as onlj' a man of his temperament could battle for the righf.. 

During the late war Mr. McAllister was one of the most earnest 
and zealous supporters of the administration. He was ever fore- 
most in contributing means and performing work to secure volun- 
teers, and in supporting the families of those who were in the service. 
Although far beyond the age when men are relieved from militaiy 
duty, he raised a full company by his almost unaided exertions, was 
elected its captain, went into service, and continued till his place 
could be filled by a younger man. 

Mr. McAllister never held many public offices. On several occa- 
.-ions, by different Governors, he was offered president judgeships, but 
always declined. At the Republican convention held for the pur- 
pose of nominating delegates at large to the convention to reform 
the State constitution, Mr. McAllister was one of the fourteen nom- 



BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF DECEASED RULING ELDERS. 009 

• 

inated; and the nomination was equivalent to an election. He 
entered upon his work with the energy and zeal which ever charac- 
terized him. Unfortunately he did not limit his labor to his phys- 
ical capacity to endure it. Towards the close of the Winter, his 
strength gave way under incessant toil, and he was compelled by 
his physicians to return home to rest. 

After remaining at home for a few weeks, and his health being 
in some measure recruited, he returned to the convention at Phila- 
delphia, and at once engaged arduously in its labors. He had 
over estimated his strength, for his intense labor brought on the 
disease, which in a few days terminated his earthly career. He 
died at his boarding house in Philadelphia, May 5, 1873, in the 
sixty-fourth year of his age. Upon the announcement of his death 
by the President, the convention adjourned till the following day ; 
when appropriate resolutions were offered and passed in relation 
to the sad event ; and glowing eulogies on the character of the 
deceased, were pronounced by many members of the convention; 
and a committee of seven appointed to accomi^any the body to its 
home in Bellefonte, and attend the funeral. At a meeting of the 
Bellefonte bar, and members of the bars of Clinton, Clearfield, and 
Huntingdon counties, suitable resolutions were adopted expressive of 
their sense of the great loss which they had sustained, in common 
with the community, the church, and the State. 

As a citizen Mr. McAllister was always enterprising, public 
spirited, and patriotic. He was one of the projectors, the constant 
friends and liberal supporters of the Agricultural College of Penn- 
sylvania, now the Pennsylvania State College. He was a friend of 
the common schools, academies, and seminaries, as well as Sunday 
schools. For many years he was the recognized head of the organi- 
zation in the county for the promotion of temperance. As a neigh- 
bor, he was ever considerate, obliging and liberal. As a man, he was 
just, upright, and inflexibly honest. As a christian, he was sincere, 
faithful and most exemplary. For a long time he was not only a 
member, but an elder in the Presbyterian church of Bellefonte ; and 
took an active part in the labors of the Session, Presbyteries, and 
General Assemblies. If he was not the originator of the scheme of 
ministerial sustentation, he was a very active friend to it. He was 
the chairman of the committee of the Presbytery of Huntingdon on 
sustentation, at the time of his death. The deaih of Mr. McAllister 
was as much a loss to the church as it was to the State. 



360 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF DECEASED RULING ELDERS. 

« 

Mr. McAllister was twice married — first to Henrietta Ashman 
Okbison of Huntingdon, Pa., (sister of James H. Orbison, the Foreign 
missionary,) by wliom he had seven children, four of whom died in 
infancy ; and one, a daughter, died in 1866, at the age of twenty. 
Two daughters, Mary A., the wife of Gen. James A. Beaver, and 
Sarah B., wife of Dr. Thomas E. Hayes, both of Bellefonte, survive 
their fatlier. The first Mrs. McAllister died April 12, 1857 ; and 
on September the 12, 1859, Mr. McAllister married Margaret Ham- 
ilton of Harrisburg, a granddaughter of Captain John Hamilton, 
under whom his grandfather served in the revolution, and daughter 
of Hugh Hamilton. By this second marriage Mr. McAllister had 
no children. 

Mr. McAllister was a remarkable man for his energy, industry, and 
indomitable perseverance. It was well for society that his purposes 
were all guided and controlled by moral virtue, patriotism, and re- 
ligion. He never yielded to difficulties or discouragements in anj^ 
cause which he undertook. His perseverance in regard to the estab- 
lishment of the Agricultural College, is proof of this trait in his char- 
acter. If any cause failed in the hands of Mr. McAllister, it was 
simply because success was absolutely impossible. His conscientious 
devotion, and laborious application to any work which he undertook, 
and esi^ecially to his last great work and trust, hastened the utter 
breaking down of a constitution already enfeebled by former labors. 
The sketch of his life may be closed with the concluding sentence of 
a speech of Ex- Judge Samuel Linn, at the time of his burial — " Now 
may we say of him, in view of his life, in view of his virtues, and in 
view of the manner in Avhich he discharged every duty belonging to 
him, ' Well done, good and faithful servant.' " 



JUDGE JOSEPH KYLE. 



THE father of Judge Kyle was probably of foreign birth. He set- 
tled in Kisliacoquillas Valley in 1767, near to the present site of 
the town of Milroy, Mifflin county, Pa. His family then consisted of 
his wife and one daughter. All his household effects were parried on 
horseback to the cabin which he had built for the temporary accom- 
modation of his family. The subject of the present sketch was born 
there in 1781. His advantages in early life of education were very 
limited, being only a few months in a country school during the 
winter season. His father being a member of the Presbyterian 
Church, he was trained very strictly in its doctrines and discipline. 
His father's name, John Kyle, appears on that famous call presented 
by the East Kishacoquillas church to the Eev. James Johnston in 
1783. At what period of his life Judge Kyle connected himself with 
the church by a public profession is not definitely known, but it was 
early in life. In due time he married, and, in the course of years, 
became the head of a numerous family of sons and daughters. In 
1830 he was chosen an elder of the church in which he was born and 
nurtvired. By his father he was faithfully instructed in Westminster 
Confession, and the Catechisms Larger and Shorter, and intelligently 
received them in mature years, and zealously, in his place, defended 
them. He was very careful in the religious instruction of his own 
family. The Sabbath afternoons and evenings were always thus em- 
ployed, unless providential circumstances prevented. The Shorter 
Catechism had to be repeated by every member of the family, who 
had arrived at years capable of so doing, on each Sabbath evening. 
And he was a very strict observer of the sacred hours of the Lord's 
day, permitting no secular work to be done on that day, but such as 
were of absolute necessity or mercy. It was no doubt his intelligent 
attachment to the doctrines of the Church, and his practical conform- 
47 



362 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES OF DECEASED RULING ELDERS. 

ity to its precepts, that pointed him out to his brethren of the con- 
gregation as a suitable person to bear rule in the house of God. 

But he was not only esteemed and honored in the Church, but also 
in civil life. He was three successive terms chosen to represent the 
county of Mifflin in the State Legislature; and held the honorable 
office of associate judge of the county for a series of years. 

Mr. Kyle will be long remembered in Mifflin county for his kind- 
ness as a citizen, and his irreproachable character as a man of God. 
He was a man of inquiring mind, sound and discriminating judgment. 
Resolute of will, and keen foresight, fitted him to act in all he under- 
took with great decision and energy of character, and with equal 
success. Whether in the private character of a citizen, or as a mem- 
ber of the Church ; or in his public relations as an elder, legislator, or 
judge, his conscientious deportment and judicious counsels begat 
confidence, and commanded respect. He combined worldly industry 
with christian liberality, and was therefore permitted to see his chil- 
dren comfortably settled before his death. He died on the farm, and 
within a few rods of the place in which he was born, February 8, 1861, 
in the 80th year of his age. 

As before intimated. Judge Kyle was familiar with the Scriptures, 
and the system of doctrine and form of government of the Presby- 
terian Church. His piety was humble and unassuming, leading him 
very often to pray in the language of the Publican, "God be merciful 
to me a sinner;" and to feel his chief encouragement to be, that 
''Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners." But the best 
proof of his consistent piety is that he lived to see all his family con- 
sistent professors of religion.