C. A. (Caleb A.) Malmsbury.

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vv








J o/i \ V/ o

OF THE NEW JERSEY CONFERENCE.



THE



LIFE, LABORS AND SERMONS



OF



REV. CHARLES PITMAN, D.D.,



OF THE



I b BY

C? A. MALMSBURY.

//

WITH AN INTRODUCTION

BY REV. CHARLES H. WHITECAR, D.D.



PHILADELPHIA :

METHODIST EPISCOPAL BOOK ROOMS,
1018 ARCH STREET.



COPYRIGHT, 1887.
BY C. A. MALMSBTJRY.



TO

THE PREACHERS

OF THE

PHILADELPHIA, NEW JERSEY, NEWARK

AND

WILMINGTON CONFERENCES,
f)t0 foolume

IS MOST RESPECTFULLY DEDICATED.



PREFACE.



To RESCUE the names and memories of great and good men, from that
oblivion which the surges of this world's activities, and the sweeping
marches of time, seem, as if by destiny, determined to cover forever in
the shadows of an eternal night, is the work of men in each generation
of a passing century. And thus it becomes our duty to hand down from
one generation to another an account of their lives, and a record of their
acts and usefulness, and to keep in a chain of successive and unbroken
links, the biographies of eminent Christian men of the past, and the
present.

The subject of our biography was one of the most extraordinary men
of his age, or that the church has ever produced. His life, character,
and attainments, which we trust, cannot fail to make a profound
impression upon the young and old in this day and generation,
marked our hero as a champion of the cross, and as a bold and power-
ful defender of " the faith once delivered to the saints." We hope his
lofty ambition, and noble, self-sacrificing life of toil, will not only serve
the cause of truth and righteousness, in elevating its standard in the
minds of men, but that his example may stimulate others in their toils
and efforts for a noble and useful life-service in the cause of Christ, and
lead them justly to appreciate the sacrifices he made, and diligently
strive to imitate his excellencies and self-denying example of godliness,
and religious zeal.

We have been anxiously waiting for years, for some one to write this
biography, and give us an account of this great and good man ; and
at last, becoming "weary of waiting," and in this period of partial
cessation of our ministerial life, as a temporary relief from the pressure
of its more arduous duties, and as a recuperative of exhausted nervous
force and energy, and amid a pressure of correspondence for several
of our religious journals, and other literary matter, we have ventured
to take pen in hand and do what we could from the material left by
Mr. Pitman to write his biography.

Biography is one of the greatest needs of the Church. " Biography is

v



VI PREFACE.

the history of man." " If impartial, it shows us ourselves. The biogra-
phy of Christian men, not only illustrates, or sets forth, the character-
istics of human nature, but also exhibits the grace of God, and shows
the energy with which it works in transforming fallen man into the im-
age of God." The history of faithful ministers of Christ unfolds also the
progress of the Redeemer's kingdom among men, and thus in the biog-
raphy of one man is included many.

The Church wants biography. Our people need it. It is essential to
spiritual life. Our people have need to know how our fathers have lived
and how they died. There is a great dearth in our modern litera-
ture respecting biography. Old Methodist literature abounded with it,
and the devout and earnest perusal of it and its application to heart
and life of professed Christians has wafted on the wings of faith many a
soul to glory. It will do the same under God now that it has done in
the past.

How far our attempt to write this biographical sketch may be success-
ful we must leave our readers to determine. To extensive literary at-
tainments or to elaborate and finished production we make no claim.
Apologies we have none to make, but for the aim or purpose we have
disclosed in this work, we think we are entitled to the favorable consid-
eration of the reading public. The material has been gathered and
added to the chapters by the author at odd times, and as occasion offered,
" in season and out of season," and under the pressure of various min-
isterial engagements, which none can understand but those who follow
a nomadic or itinerant life.

As to our statements, we have both good and reliable authority for
them ; they have been gathered from those who were contemporary and
conversant with the hero of our history, and were, in many instances,
connected with him in the great evangelism of his time, and we now
send forth this volume with an earnest prayer that it may do good, and
inspire greater love to Christ in the souls of its readers, and be the
means of leading men and women to Christ; and especially do we pray
that it may awaken and move by impulses and convictions, im-
pressions and activities, the Christian ministry of this age and genera-
tion to a still greater earnestness and devout effort in securing a gracious
ingathering of souls, and to do this let them imitate our grand, glorious
gospel hero, and preach the doctrines of religion.

THE AUTHOR.



CONTENTS.



CHAPTER I.

MR. PITMAN'S PARENTAGE, BIRTH-PLACE AND EARLY LIFE.

PAGE

Loss of Father Incident Conversion Occupation as a School Teacher Letter from
his cousin, Kev. Joseph Bennett Commences to Exercise his Gifts in Public-
Revival Meeting at Three Tuns (now called Hedding) A Junior Preacher on
Trenton Circuit Joins the Philadelphia Conference First Circuit Colleague . . 1-15

CHAPTER II.

MR. PITMAN'S SUBSEQUENT FIELDS OF LABOR.

Bergen Circuit New Brunswick Station Sent to Supply Rev. J. Moore's Place Or-
dination and Ordination Parchments Letter containing an account of work of
God in New Brunswick Mr. Pitman an active and successful Book Agent
"Bridgetown" Station, Southern New Jersey Great Revival Converts - Letter
containing an account of the work of God in " Bridgetown," N. J. Mr. Pitman,
Senior Preacher on the City Circuit, Philadelphia, 1825 Rev. William Barnes
and Rev. Joseph Holdich, Colleagues What it embraced Rev. Geo. G. Cookman's
arrival in Philadelphia Joins St. George's Church Incident Mr. Pitman con-
tinues but one year on the Circuit Appointed Presiding Elder of West Jersey
District, Philadelphia Conference, 1826 1&-34

CHAPTER III.

MR. PITMAN AS PRESIDING ELDER OF THE WEST JERSEY DISTRICT.

What it embraced at that time Mode of Travel Quarterly Meetings Book Sales
" Old Burlington " Circuit Plan of Appointments Burlington Camden Officiary
of the District Trenton Station Officiary -Freehold Circuit " Screaming Hill"
Ezekiel Cooper Incident Officiary of Freehold Circuit New Mills Circuit-
Incident Officiary of New Mills Circuit Mr. Pitman felt at home at New Mills,
and was warmly welcomed by that people Sketch of Methodism in Burlington,
New Mills and Trenton 35-17

vii



Vlll CONTENTS.

CHAPTER IV.

PAGE

WEST JEESEY DISTRICT CONTINUED.

Old Gloucester Circuit Officiary- Benjamin B. Doughty (Sketch of) Pleasant Mills
Mother Richards Quarterly Meetings at Pleasant Mills, Cumberland and Cape
May Circuits Pitman's powerful Sermons against Formalism Thrilling Incident
A wealthy man converted, builds a Church, donates it to the M. E. Church
Incident related by Dr. Bartine " Sheep Sermon " Officiary of both Circuits
Changes that hare taken place 48-60

CHAPTER V.

WEST JERSEY DISTRICT CONTINUED.

"Bridgetown" Station Officiary Salem Station Officiary Salem Circuit Officiary
Quarterly Meetings Preaching Salary of the Presiding Elder Moving and
Traveling Expenses Books for the Societies, Character of Preachers who pur-
chased Books and who labored with Mr. Pitman on his District State and con-
dition of Methodist interest when Mr. Pitman entered upon the District as Pre-
siding Elder and at the present time Appointments then and now 61-79

CHAPTER VI.

MR. PITMAN APPOINTED PRESIDING ELDER OF THE EAST JERSEY DISTRICT.

What it embraced Appointments New Brunswick Station Officiary Freehold Circuit
Additions made to the Officiary Trenton Circuit Officiary Crosswicks Circuit
Officiary Essex Circuit Officiary Morristown Officiary Bloomfield Officiary-
Bell ville Officiary Newark Officiary " Elizabeths >wn "Officiary Bah way-
Officiary Staten Island Circuit Officiary New Providence Officiary Somerset
Mission Bergen Neck Mission Supplied by Local Preachers Mr. Pitman elec-
ted a Delegate to the General Conference, 1832 Active work Exhorters on Mr.
Pitman's District Useful adjuncts Character and Office almost obsolete now
Preachers Appointments Camp-meeting near Newton, Sussex Co., N. J. Mr.
Pitman preached Intense interest awakened Camp-meeting near New Bruns-
wick Wonderful results Methodism in the Ascendency Charles Pitman, under
God, the grand instrument 80-95

CHAPTER VII.

MR. PITMAN STATIONED IN PHILADELPHIA, AT UNION CHURCH.

Building of the Church Great popularity Keyser's Church Crowded Congregations
at Keyser's Dedication of Union Congregation crowd Union as they did Key-
eer's Personnel of Mr. Pitman Manner of address Effect produced in reading



CONTENTS. IX

PAGE

hymna Preaching Unremitted attention to his Pastoral work Success Closing
of his term of Ministerial Service at Union Church Old Union, a grand moral
battle-field Should forever be monumental to Methodism Appointed Agent, with
Rev. E. S. Janes, for Dickinson College Success Camp-meeting Incident in Dela-
wareMr. Pitman preached A portentous thunder-storm cloud, held back dur-
ing the service Wonderful out-pouring of the Spirit of God Five hundred con-
verted on that afternoon and evening 96-107

CHAPTEE VJII.

ME. PITMAN RELINQUISHES THE AGENCY OF DICKINSON COLLEGE AND
RETURNS TO THE PASTORATE.

Stationed at St. George's, Philadelphia Repair and remodeling of the Church
William P. Corbit Means that led to his conversion Great revival of religion
at St. George's Hundreds converted Mrs. Craft's conversion Eminent revival
preachers assist Rev. John Street, Revs. C. A. Lippincott, Walters, McCaskey,
Tasker and others Second year at St. George's Conference years, 1836 and 1837
Notable years in the History of Methodism in Philadelphia and New Jersey
Closing of the term of service Mr. Pitman appointed to Eighth St. Church,
a new organization in consequence of the great ingathering at St. George's
Its history Success Remains but one year Transferred the next year to the
New Jersey Conference 108-123

CHAPTER IX.

MR. PITMAN A MEMBER OF THE NEW JERSEY CONFERENCE.
Stationed at Green Street M. E. Church, Trenton His labors Crowded Congrega-
tions Incident, by which a Church was subsequently organized Rev. Wm. P.
Corblt Mr. Pitman earnest and indefatigable in his work Success in revival
effort Numerous calls for Dedication Services and the laying of Corner-stones
for Churches Close of Ministerial term Appointed Presiding Elder of Trenton
District Continues in office nearly two months Transferred to the New York
Conference Elected to fill a vacancy made by the resignation of Dr. Bangs in
the Missionary Secretaryship of the M. E. Church Duties Travels Addresses
Sermons Editorship of the "Missionary Advocate" Honored with the Title of
D.D. Sketches of Missionary work 124-132

CHAPTER X.

FURTHER ACCOUNT OF DR. PITMAN'S MISSIONARY LABOR.

Letter concerning a missionary effort in Rahway, N. J. Travels Addresses Collec-
tions Trip to Connecticut Appeal to the Conferences and Churches to aid in
extinguishing the debt of the Missionary Society Travels up the Hudson Visits



X CONTENTS.

PAGE

Peekskill, Shrub-oaks, Camden (N. J.), Philadelphia and St. Paul's Missionary
Addresses Goes Westward with Bishop Waugh Addresses the Western Confer-
ences in the interest of the Missionary Society Returns after an extensive Tour
Addresses A Missionary letter to the Liberia Conference Resume of the Of-
ficial work of the Secretary Missionary Hymn composed by Dr. Pitman . . . 133-150

CHAPTER XL

DR. PITMAN AS A CHURCH DEDICATOE. SOME ACCOUNT OF THESE DEDICATIONS.

West Bloomfield, Trenton (N. J.), Milford (Del.), Connecticut, Cold Spring (L. I.),
Broadway (N. J.), Bordentown (N. J.), Porchtown (N. J.), and others Sermons-
Great success that followed Much of this kind of work performed during the
last twelve or fifteen years of his active life An account of the great West
Port Camp-meeting 151-167

CHAPTER XII.

DR. PITMAN AS A PREACHER.

Diffident at first Manner Solemn Incident at New York Conference Incident at
a Camp-meeting Pitman's tears more powerful than his exhortation Sermon on
Spiritual Pathology Dr. Pitman preached the doctrines of Religion " Billy Hib-
bard" incident at Conference Dr. Pitman preached the doctrine of Christian
Perfection or Entire Sanctification Extracts from Sermons Dr. Pitman "set for
the defence of the Gospel " Great moral achievement Culmination of history . . 168-185

CHAPTER XIII.

DR. PITMAN, AS A POET, POSSESSED A FINE POETICAL TALENT.

Wrote considerable Poetry between the years 1840 and 1848 Specimens : A Mission-
ary Hymn, Israel in Bondage, The Preservation of Moses, The Education of Moses,
The Choice of Moses Character of Dr. Pitman's Poetry ..." 186-199

CHAPTER XIV.

DR. PITMAN AS A PULPIT ORATOR.

Oratory, and in what does it consist? Oratory defined Eloquence defined Sermons
Reading Hymns Scriptural Lessons Manner of reading Baptismal, Sacramental
and Burial Services from the Ritual Dedications Missionary Addresses Extracts
Dr. Pitman's description of Dr. Newton 200-212



CONTENTS. XI

CHAPTER XV.

DR. PITMAN AND HIS CONTEMPORAEIE8.

PAGE

Rev. Edward Page Rev. George Bangbart Rev. John Potts Rev. Ezekiel Cooper
Rev. Solomon Sharp Rev. Manning Force Rev. Richard W. Petherbridge
Rev. Edmund S. Janes, D.D. Rev. Joseph Holdich, D.D. Rev. George G. Cook-
man Rev. Joseph G. Chattle Rev. Daniel Parrish Rev. Waters Burroughs
Rev. Thomas McCarroll Rev. Isaac Winner, D.D. Rev. Sedgwick Rusling Rev.
Thomas G. Steward Rev. Caleb A. Lippincott Rev. Joseph Lybrand Rev. Thomas
Sovereign Rev. Jefferson Lewis, D.D. Rev. Charles H. Whitecar, D.D 213-239

CHAPTER XVI.

EXPIRATION OF THE TERM 0-F DR. PITMAN'S MISSIONARY SECRETARYSHIP.
HEALTH GIVING WAY NECESSITATES HIS RETIREMENT.

Removes from New York to his former home in Trenton, N. J. Letter to the Con-
ference asking for a superannuated relation How the last four years of his life
were passed Paralysis Sickness Death Funeral Sermon by Bishop Janes In-
terment in Mercer Cemetery Final Resting-place An account of the Funeral
Services, as published in the "Daily True American," Trenton, N. J. Sermon
by Rev W. P. Corbit on the Death of Dr. Pitman A Tribute to Dr. Pitman's
Memory, by Rev. E. C. Jones, entitled " The Unbroken Rest "The surviving
members of the Pitman family 240-258

CHAPTER XVII.

REMINISCENCES OF REV. CHARLES PITMAN, D.D.

Rev. D. W. Bartine, D.D. Rev. J. L. Gilder, D.D. Memoir, New Jersey Conference
Minutes, 1854 Rev. James Ayars Rev. John Kennaday, D.D. Rev. G. D. Car-
row, D.D. Rev. R. W. Allen, D.D. Rev. William Roberts, D.D. Rev. Charles
H. Wbitecar, D.D. Rev. Hebron Vincent 259-288

CHAPTER XVIII.

SKETCHES OF SERMONS.

Dedication Sermons: Psalm 48: 12-14, 2d Chron. 6: 40, 41, Iga. 60: 7, Act* 14: 7
Ministerial Commission : Col. 1 : 28, 29, Psalm 126 : 6, Isa. 61 : 2 Missionary Ser-
mons : Matt. 13 : 38, Acts 16 : 9 Evangelical Christianity : Isa. 44 : 3-5, Rom. 4:16,
Bom. 12: 1, Eph. 2: 8, 9, Rom. 6: 1 Formal Professions: 2 Tim. 3: 6 Sanctifl-
cation : John 17 : 19 Spiritual Pathology : 1 Cor. 11 : 30 289-352



INTRODUCTION.



MEMORY, tradition and history are component factors in giving to
posterity the knowledge of pre-events and distinguished personalities
related thereto ; unitedly revealing the great past to the present, and
showing its potent influence in laying the firm foundations upon
which is reared the grand superstructure of civil and religious
progress.

The greatest of these factors is history. Memory is lost in the
waning and ending life, while tradition fails in its protracted attenuation
and uncertainties, leaving to exact and impartial history the em-
bodiment and conservation of events, incidents and persons, otherwise
destined to oblivion, and thus lost to the coming generations.

Religious history, like sacred poetry, is an educator of the moral
forces, and thereby constitutes a potent adjunct of the pulpit, and
the religious press, as a reformatory and evangelical power, while
contributing to the instruction and entertainment of intelligent
inquiry. Each age is to perpetuate itself, so that posterity may have
the benefit of its experiences, accomplishments and instructions in
discharging its obligation to the State, to society and to the church,
and thus to be the better qualified to build wisely and safely upon
the old foundations. As what was purest was nearest the Apostolic
Age in Christianity, as what was intensely patriotic and American
was in the men and measures of our Continental fathers, so, also,

we are to look to our Methodistic original, as the truest exhibit of

xiii



XIV INTRODUCTION.

what it was ; as providence instituted and outlined it as the evangel-
ism for the churches, and the masses in the oncoming years.

It is not enough that we have a varied, full and entertaining denom-
inational history, covering the century of our church organization in
this country, but we need to have the special exhibit of distinguished
persons, with their intense and heroic accomplishments in our several
localities, as a denomination, so that the inspiration of their virtues,
and their work may be a living force to their successors for all time.

Our church has had a host of holy, apostolic men, who have deserved a

/
historic monument now too late to build, and well nigh failed, in the

erection of this, in the delay of years to the life, virtues and work of Rev.
Charles Pitman, D.D., and, but for the affectionate and appreciative de-
votion of its author, might so have done.

After years of diligent preparation in collating original notes, memo-
randa and manuscripts, of which he came in possession, together with a
far-reaching correspondence and local inquiry, with an aggregation of
reliable traditional facts, and a careful and extended consultation of
written and published details, thus providing him with incidents, ac-
complishments and data, the author of this history of the life, times and
compeers of Rev. Charles Pitman, D.D., has produced a volume which
supplies a desideratum in modern ministerial biography.

This illustrious personality, with the associates of his times, both
clerical and lay, well deserve the distinction here given to them in their
Christian devotion and Methodistic life service, contributing, as they
did, to our progressive greatness, as a branch of the general Church.

Society is in diversity. Some are in the vales, some are on
the levels, some stand out as the beautiful hills, while others
loom up in the strength and grandeur of the mountains. This
last class has its representatives in founding empires and republics.
In learning and discovery, in the State and in the Church, such was



INTRODUCTION. XV

the subject of this historic portraiture. As the foundation of true great-
ness is in the nature, such was his ; and as the superstructure raised
thereon is by personal devotion and culture, so of his ; and as greatness
has its own inspiration, which, if obeyed, and its mission, which, if
followed, she gives to it a distinction worthy of herself in individual
illustration, exalting, as in the case of Dr. Pitman, to eminence
and honor.

Of the class of the great, the good and the useful, aa will appear in
the reading of this carefully-prepared and interesting volume, was the
universally beloved Charles Pitman, D.D., seen, as he will be, in his
colossal grandeur, as he inspired confidence in gospel work by his native
power and spiritual force.

His leadership was heroic and assuring, and braced the less favored
in endowments for conflict and victory. He moved upon the masses and
agitated them, as is the ocean by strong winds ; as his uplift of unctious
influence was like the roll of the resistless waves, bearing down opposers
and moving seekers and saints heavenward.

To properly appreciate the man, his history must be read, as his
personal ministry is now beyond recall. As an interesting feature of
this biography, the able and enthusiastic author has brought to view
a large number of ministers and laymen who were his contemporaries,
holding pastoral and official positions within the time of his work in the
West and East Jersey, and in Philadelphia, as also of ministers with
whom he held conference relations.

His poetic effusions, sketches and sermons will be found to be a
compensating feature of the history.

The time, research and ability devoted to this production not only
reflects honor upon the author, but more has redeemed from oblivion
an illustrious son of Methodism, and given to our church and the Chris-
tian public a work reliable, useful and entertaining, and abounding with



XVI INTRODUCTION.

incident and Methodistic history, which will open facts connected with
our church to unborn generations.

This volume will commend itself in its outline of ministerial, and
lay agency during the primitive and heroic years of our Methodism.
A few of the number still remain who participated in the polemic
conflicts public and social, and were active in bearing onward the
standard of Christian conquest, under Dr. Pitman's leadership. These
we are quite sure will hail this accomplishment with great satisfac-
tion, as will many more in whose minds the traditions of the past
years have left their inquisitive impressions. To overlook the field
of many battles, and of glorious triumphs in Gospel work, on the
foreground of the century now passing, will surely be a delight and
joy to all the descendants, of their illustrious predecessors ; now, of the
cities, villages, plains, valleys, and mountain slopes, where " Charles
Pitman," his compeers and lay helpers called the wandering sheep
back to the fold of "the Chief Shepherd;" and the formalist, to the
rich inheritance of a joyous spiritual life. But few biographies of
the men of the formative years of Methodism in New Jersey have
been written, and this one will take an honored place beside that
of the ardent "Abbott," the placid "Ware" and the enthusiastic
"Stewart," whose memorials are set fast as the mountains, and are
cherished, and transmitted by careful hands. I am pleased to add,
that the publication of this volume has the approbation, and has had
the concurrent aid of one of the oldest descendants of this distin-
guished subject.

CHAS. H. WHITECAR.

CAMDEN, N. J.



THE

LIFE, LABORS AND- SERMONS



OF



REV. CHARLES PITMAN, D.D.



CHAPTER I.
MR. PITMAN'S PARENTAGE, BIRTH-PLACE AND EARLY LIFE.

/CHARLES PITMAN, son of Daniel and Hannah Pitman,
v was born near Cookstown, Burlington County, New Jersey,
on the 9th day of January, 1796. Of the parents of Mr. Pit-
man, we have but little or no history, except that they were
godly and pious persons, and were members of the Methodist
Society in the place where they lived, and that the father was a
class-leader for some time in that Society, and the mother a
gifted, devoted and earnest Christian woman, and not infre-
quently did she pray and speak in the meetings of their church,
to great edification and profit.

Daniel Pitman died when Charles was only six years of
age, and he was left to the care of a pious and affectionate
mother, who endeavored to train him up for God, and useful-
ness in the church, and whose influence had much to do with
moulding the future of that heart and life, which was to be
productive of such great good to the church in after years.

The event of his father's death, and of his orphanage is
1



LIFE OF EEV. CHARLES PITMAN, D.D.

described in some verses written by himself upon a birth-day
anniversary, in which he says :

" At six years old an orphan boy ;
Left to a mother's only care,
Her constant sweet and loved employ,
To train his infant heart to prayer.

" 'Twas mine a mother's heart to share,
A mother's heart, affection's home;
'Twas mine to hear the ardent prayer,
And witness the unutter*d groan.

"'God bless my boy!' she meekly cried,
And wiped the anxious tear away ;
'Shepherd Divine,' his footsteps guide,
In paths of peace to endless day."

He would sometimes speak of his father, Daniel Pitman, who
for some time previous to his death, was confined to his bed
from the effects of a fall. Little Charles used to take the
bread and butter to him when he was hungry, and Mr. Pitman



Online LibraryC. A. (Caleb A.) MalmsburyThe life, labors and sermons of Rev. Charles Pitman, D.D., of the New Jersey conference → online text (page 1 of 33)