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Fernandez C. Holliday.

Indiana Methodism : being an account of the introduction, progress, and present position of Methodism in the State; and also a history of the literary institutions under the care of the church, with s online

. (page 27 of 27)
Online LibraryFernandez C. HollidayIndiana Methodism : being an account of the introduction, progress, and present position of Methodism in the State; and also a history of the literary institutions under the care of the church, with s → online text (page 27 of 27)
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Divinity.

Bishop' Bowman's scholarship is thorough, and his
career as an educator has been a brilliant one. But.
after all, he has been distinguished through life as a
preacher. His sermons give proof of having been care-
fully thought through; but they are never written. The
bishop uses no notes in the pulpit. His style is per-
s[)icuous, his ideas are never involved, and his hearers
are never in doubt about his meaning. His manner is
easy and natural, and at the same time earnest and often
impassioned. Ripe in Christian experience, and rejoic-
ing in the assurance of faith, he leads his hearers to
contemplate, and often to experience, the freeness and
fullness of a present salvation. The power of faith and
the joy of salvation are exhibited in his own experience,
and glow in all his sermons.

While Bishop Bowman's life has been largely devoted
to literary pursuits, and much of it spent in literary so-
ciety, there is no ostentatious display of learning, either
in his conversation or his sermons. Few men have as
many elements of personal popularity as Bishop Bowman.
He is eminently social, and his conversational powers are
of the first order. He is so genial and full of sunshine,
so hopeful and brave, that his personal presence is felt
to be a blessing. His personal popularity, combined with
his superior ability as a platform and pulpit orator, cause
him to be called on frequently in the dedication of
churches, and on occasions where large siims of money
are to be raised'; and on such occasions the expectations
of his friends are never disappointed. Few men, in any
part of the connection, were called on as frequently, or
invited to go as far, to dedicate churches, as was Dr.
Bowman, during the ten years immediately preceding



INDIANA METHODISM. 359

his election to the episcopacy ; and few, if any, raised
as much money for Church enterprises during that time
as he did. Among his first efforts of this kind, after his
election to the episcopac}^, was in Roberts Park Church,
Indianapolis, where he made an appeal to the congrega-
tion for a subscription to complete their new church, and
the response Avas a subscription of about thirty-eight
thousand dollars. The pastor, Rev. J. H. Bayliss, had
prepared the way by a sermon on the preceding Sab-
bath, and co-operated efficiently in securing the contri-
bution, which, taken all together, was one of unprece-
dented liberality.

As President of the University, Bishop Bowman was
eminently successful. His influence over the young
men was almost unbounded. He governed without
seeming to do it. There was no display of authority,
and yet obedience was promptly secured. The students
loved him as a father, and confided in him as a friend.
Many a poor young man has l^een encouraged by him to
secure a good education, who, but for his counsel and
the inspiration of his hopefulness, would have given up
in despair.

The Church has much to hope from Bishop Bowman
as one of her chief pastors. And the Methodists of
Indiana have only to regret that his residence is removed
from among us, and the position that he has so efficiently
filled, as President of our chief institution of learning,
will have to be filled by another.

Bishop Bowman has hitherto led too active a life to
allow him much leisure for the use of his pen. It is to
be hoped that, in his present position he will be able to
give to the Church, in a permanent form, much that has
fallen from his lips in eloquent appeals and in per-
spicuous and convincing argument. With our present



360 INDIANA METHODISM.

episcopal force, the Church has a right to expect the
literary labors, as well as the preaching and executive
functions, of her bishops, and that our literature shall
be enriched by the contributions of their pens, as well
as guided to greater efficiency by the wisdom of their
counsels and the inspiration of their zeal.



THE END.



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Online LibraryFernandez C. HollidayIndiana Methodism : being an account of the introduction, progress, and present position of Methodism in the State; and also a history of the literary institutions under the care of the church, with s → online text (page 27 of 27)