George Herbert Dryer.

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delivered the address at his grave. His great speeches
in New York in November, 1864, in Philadelphia at
the opening of the Fair of the Sanitary Commission
in the spring of that year, and in the House of Repre-
sentatives in January, 1866, were upon great occasions
for his patriotic eloquence, and occasions nobly met.

In 1852 he had opposed lay representation; he
came out for it strongly in 1863, the only one of the
Episcopal Board, and against a powerful opposition.
In 1868 the minority became a majority, and in 1872
lay representation became an accomplished fact. In
1870, by visiting the bishops of the Methodist Epis-
copal Church, South, in company with Bishop Janes,
the way was prepared for the sending of the first fra-
ternal delegates to their General Conference at Nash-
ville in 1874, and the return of the courtesy by that
Church to the General Conference of the Methodist
Episcopal Church at Baltimore in 1876. This made
way for the Cape May Commission of August, 1876,
which removed all obstacles to fraternal union.

In 1874, Bishop Simpson made an Episcopal visit
to Mexico, and the year following to Italy, Germany,
and Scandinavia. In the winter of 1 878-1 879 he de-
livered the Yale '* Lectures on Preaching." It is sug-
gestive that Plorace Bushnell, with a splendid phy-
sique, by reading his sermons preached himself into
the consumption, which made the last twenty years of
his life one long disease, while Matthew Simpson,
never vigorous, hollow-chested, and with weak lungs,
preached himself by extempore speaking into health
and the vigor of large performance until past seventy
years of age.

596 History of the Christian Church,

He was a fraternal delegate again to the Wesleyan
Conference in 1870, at Burslem, and seldom surpassed
the effect of his address on that occasion. He was
greatly interested in the First Ecumenical Conference
in London in 188 1. In the address on the death of
President Garfield in Exeter Hall, he swayed the
audience and brought it to its feet with all the ease of
his younger years. In great feebleness, he attended
the sessions of the General Conference of 1884, and
gave the parting address. Humbly and devotedly he
had lived the Christian life, and on the i8th of June
1884, the great preacher and bishop passed to his

Bishop Simpson was the rare combination of a
poetic imagination, practical judgment, and admirable
administrative capacity. His oratory was persuasive
rather than instructive, but it was overwhelming. A
thorough Christian gentleman, at his death he left
nothing that could wound those who loved and trusted
him while living. Few men more loved their kind
than this man, whose words moved multitudes as the
tempest moves the forest.

Bishop John H. Vincent is the originator of the
Chautauqua Assembly, the Chautauqua Literary and
Scientific Circle, the Chautauqua Univer-
vincent. ^^^^ ^ ^"^ perhaps, more than any one man,
has influenced the interdenominational de-
velopment of the Sunday-school work of the Evangel-
ical Churches, and indeed in no slight degree of all
Churches in all lands. In this latter work he has had
able co-workers, notably in Rev. Henry Clay Trum-
bull, editor of the Sunday-school Times. Hence, no
man in the Methodist Episcopal Church is so widely

Christian Church in United States. 597

known and loved in all the American Churches and in
foreign lands as the founder of the Chautauqua Move-
ment. No man has done more to raise the standards
and ideals of Sunday-school teaching, or has more
widely reached the children of the Methodist Churches
in the nineteenth century, than John H. Vincent.

John Heyl Vincent was born in Tuscaloosa, Ala.^
in 1832. Six years later, with his parents, he
came to Northumberland County, Pa. He studied in
Milton and Lewisburg Academies, in the Preparatory
School of Lewisburg University, and the Wesleyan
Institute at Newark, N. J. He was licensed as a local
preacher in 1850, and joined the Conference in 1853.
From 1853 to 1857 he served Churches in New Jersey,
and in the latter year was transferred to the Rock
River Conference, where he was pastor at Joliet, Ga-
lena, Rockford, and Chicago. At Galena he was pas-
tor of the family of General Grant. His interest,
enthusiasm, intelligence, and success in Sunday-school
work caused him to be called to New York in 1865,
to take charge of that work in the Methodist Episcopal
Church. This position he occupied until his election
as bishop in 1888. Before this election he had visited
Europe six times, and Egypt and Palestine twice.

In 1874, with Mr. Lewis Miller, of Akron, Ohio, he
organized, on Chautauqua Lake, the Chautauqua As-
sembly, a radical modification of the Methodist Camp-
meeting. The gates were not open on Sunday, the
main interest was in the study and teaching of the
Bible, and the time was extended to a month instead
of a week. This became the parent of many scores of
like Assemblies, which are known from the Atlantic
to the Pacific, including those among the Roman

598 History of the Christian Church.

Catholics and the Jews, and have come to be a very
considerable factor in the summer life of the American
people. Four years later the Chautauqua Literary
and Scientific Circle was founded, and brought more
intellectual culture in a religious spirit into the Amer-
ican home than any other single means used in the
last fifty years. Its work and influence is felt in all
lands. Bishop Vincent has been assiduous, faithful,
and successful in the duties of his office. Since his
election as Bishop he has been repeatedly chosen uni-
versity preacher at Harvard and Cornell. Long may
he remain with the Church, and long after may his
work flourish !

Another Methodist preacher of national influence

and world-wide reputation was William H. Milburn

(\%2'\-\ Professor Smith was delicate in

Smith. / / ^ _

physique and refined in expression, but a
tireless worker. Early in his college and theological
course his health was on the point of giving way.
Having finished his college course with distinction at
Bowdoin, and studied theology at Andover and Ban-
gor, and taught awhile at Bowdoin, in 1837, at the age
of twenty-two, he was sent to Europe to check, and if
possible cure, incipient consumption. Few letters of
an American student in Germany have the value of
Professor Smith's letters, 1 837-1 840. He became a
lifelong and intimate friend of Tholuck and his wife.
He heard, besides Tholuck, Erdmann, Ulrici, and
Kahnis, at Halle, and at Berlin Neander, Hengsten-
berg, and Twesten. He not only heard, but he assimi-
lated. Probably no American of the century better
understood German theological thought or more inde-
pendently judged it.

For two years after his return there seemed to be
no opening for him in a college or in the settled pas-
torate. Finally, after years of discouragement, in

6o2 History of the Christian Church.

which he came to know all that was worth knowing
in Boston through his addresses on German philoso-
phy, he accepted a call to West Amesbury, Mass.,
and became a townsman of John G. Whittier, 1843-
1847. He was ordained and married soon after on a
salary of $500 a year, the parsonage, and the wood
lot from which to procure his fuel. In 1847 he be-
came Professor of Moral and Mental Philosophy at
Amherst College, where he remained until 1850. In
that year he accepted a call to the Presbyterian Union
Theological Seminary in New York at $2,000 a year.
This, in view of the increased expense, was less than he
received at Amherst. The sad thing about it was, that
these narrow circumstances necessitated a large amount
of literary work, which both prevented his giving his
best to the world, but also finally broke his health.
Elected Professor of Church History in 1850, and
three years later of Systematic Theology, this work
was but a fraction of his toil. His health weakened
in the strain, and in 1859 he had a second time to seek
rest across the Atlantic. This year he gave his atten-
tion to Ireland and Great Britain, France and Switz-
erland, going on to Italy, and returning by the Rhine.
In 1866 he revisited the familiar scenes and the old
friends of his student life more than twenty-five years
before. In 1 869-1 870, in great weakness, he set out
for a tour of the Mediterranean countries, on the way
passing through England and German}^ both in going
and returning, including especially Egypt, Palestine,
Constantinople, and Athens. There came a partial
relief, but in January, 1874, ^^ felt compelled by his
health to resign his professorship. For three years he

Christian Church in United States. 603

held the post of librarian, and then, on February 7,
1877, went home to God.

Professor Henry B. Smith, though of frail physical
constitution, had work born in him as a constituent of
his blood. To his tireless energy we owe his " Chron-
ological Tables of Church History," 1853-1859; his
translation and editing of Hagenbach's " History of
Doctrines;" his translation of Gieseler's "History of
the Christian Church," 1 857-1 877 ; and his revision of
the translation of Stier's " Words of the Lord Jesus."
His "System of Christian Theology" was published
after his death. No work was more important than
his "Faith and Philosophy."

Besides all this, beginning with his Andover ad-
dress on " The Relation Between Faith and Philoso-
phy," he gave addresses of great value each year at
college commencements and on other special occa«
sions. As if this were not enough, he was a constant
contributor to the best theological periodicals and to
encyclopedias. In 1859 he began The Ajnerican Theo-
logical Review, which four years later was merged in
The Presbyterian Quarterly.

The hard financial conditions which made these ex-
pedients necessary, in later years gave way. Through
George Bancroft, who could appreciate the needs of
a sensitive scholar better than his colleagues, and
was better able to head a subscription, in 1864 over
$5,000 was raised to pay off a mortgage on his home.
In later years the salary was made adequate. Per-
haps the best contribution which he made to the life
of the American Churches was his forwarding, as no
other man, the reunion of the Old School and New

6o4 History of the Christian Church.

School Presbyterian Churches in 1869. His character,
his learning, and his disposition, alike, contributed to
that end.

Trained a Congregationalist, educated in the best
teaching of Germany, and doing his life work as a
Presbyterian, he belonged to Evangelical Christen-
dom. In the goodly company of thinkers and schol-
ars who have adorned the teaching and the life of the
Christian Church, Henry B. Smith has his sure re-

John Henry Barrows (1847-1902) was the son of a
professor in Olivet College, a Congregational institu-
tion in Michigan. He studied at Yale Col-
lege and at Union and Andover Theolog-
ical Seminaries. He was ordained in the Congrega-
tional Church, but in 1881 he became pastor of the
First Presbyterian Church of Chicago, which position
he held until 1895. ^^ ^893 he was the moving spirit
and the president of the World's Parliament of Re-
ligions. In 1896 he went to India to lecture on the
Haskell Foundation. These lectures were published
on his return. In November, 1898, he became presi-
dent of Oberlin College. He had begun a great work
for that famous school of learning, when, in the midst
of his years, the days of toil ended, and he hastened
whither are gathered God's elect.

Phillips Brooks (i 835-1 893) was the son of a well-
to-do merchant, and born in Boston, and was graduated
from Harvard College in 1855. He studied
Brook*, theology and read largely the best English
literature, making copious notes, at Alex-
andria, Va., 1 856-1 859, and was ordained the latter
year. From 1859 to 1862 he was pastor in Philadel-

Christian Church in United States. 605

phia of the Church of the Advent. From the first he
made his mark as a preacher. lu 1 862-1 869 he was
rector of Holy Trinity, Boston. This was the throne
of his power. Here the finest church, architecturally
speaking, in that great city was erected for the use of
his congregation. Here he remained until he was
elected Bishop of Massachusetts, 1891. This honor
he did not long survive, dying January 23, 1893.

Phillips Brooks was one of the great preachers of
the century. He instructed and built up as well as
enchained the congregation. It was not logic or
emotion, but the whole man, that preached in Phillips
Brooks's pulpit, and its appeal was to the whole man.
Few men have so exalted Christian manhood. His
are the rare sermons enjoyed in book- form by both
preachers and people.

Henry W. Bellows (1814-1882) w^as of Massachu.
setts birth and educated at Harvard, where he was
graduated in 1832, and from the Cambridge ^^ seiiows.
Divinity School in 1837. In 1837 he was
called to the pastorate of the first Unitarian Church in
New York City, which became the scene of his labors
until the end of his life. In 1857 he delivered the
Lowell lectures on '* The Treatment of Social Dis-
eases;" the same year he publicly defended the
theater. In 1868 he published a volume of sermons,
and in this year visited Europe. His great and never-
to-be-forgotten service was as president of the United
States Sanitary Commission, 1861-1878. In the years
of the Civil War the Commission raised and dis-
tributed $15,000,000 in supplies and $5,000,000 in
money. In his church there is a memorial tablet to
his memory by St. Gaudens.

6o6 History of the Christian Church,

What profession has given more exalted and de-
voted pubhc service than that rendered by these men?
Where is there a larger field for the noblest influence
of the greatest gitts than in the Christian ministry ?

As in England, so in the United States, the middle

of the century saw a divided Methodism. In 1852 the

membership of the Methodist Episcopal

The Methodist ^, , ^ ti ^ ^i r r i-i.

Churches. Church was 728,700. But the force of the
The Methodist expanding life was in this as in the other

Episcopal Churches. The University of the Pacific^
at San Jose, Cal., was founded in 1851, and
the same year came into being that great educational
center for Methodism in the Northwest, the North-
western University, at Evanston, 111. Iowa Wesleyan
University was founded in 1854, and Garrett Biblical
Institute at Evanston, in 1855 ; while, farther east,
Genesee College, later Syracuse University, began its
career in 1850,

There was a similar expansion in the Church press.
The Northwestern Christian Advocate, Chicago, was
established in 1852 ; the California Christian Advo-
cate y San Francisco, in 1854; the Pacific Christian
Advocate, Portland, Ore., in 1856; and in the same
year the Central Christian Advocate, at St. Louis ; and
the Northern Independent, 1 857-1 868, at Auburn,
N. Y., in 1857.

The new era in the development of the Methodist
Episcopal Church opened with the election, in 1852,
of Levi Scott, Matthew Simpson, Osmon C. Baker,
and Edward R. Ames to the Episcopacy. Two of
these men. Bishops Simpson and Ames, were admin-
istrators of unusual ability; Bishop Scott came from
the Book Concern, and Bishop Baker, more than any

Christian Church in United States. 607

other bishop, was the father of theological education
in the Methodist Churches. Bishop Waugh died
February 9, 1858.

In i860 came the legislation against slavery, of
which mention has been made. In the same year, out
of an excitement and concerted effort to restore the
earlier usages of Methodism, in which the teaching of
entire sanctification and opposition to secret societies
came to the front, in what was known as the "Naza-
rite" movement in the Genesee Conference, arose the
Free Methodist Church. Not a little fanaticism and
bitterness accompanied the movement. Notwith-
standing it carried away some of the most conscien-
tious of the membership of the mother Church, it has
never made large growth in the territory of its origin.
Its school, Chesborough Seminary, is doing good work.
In 1 86 1 and 1862 a vote of the membership of the
Methodist Episcopal Church was taken on lay repre-
sentation, and the majority was against it.

The war caused at its opening a loss in the border
Conferences; 66 preachers and 16,756 members with-
drew in the Baltimore Conference alone. The General
Conference of 1864 prohibited slaveholding altogether
in the membership. All the Churches Id the North
rallied to the defense of the Union, but none more
than the Methodist Episcopal. In some cases the
able-bodied men of the Church, with the pastor at
their head, enlisted for the war. This fact was recog-
nized by President Lincoln when the Committee of
the General Conference waited on him, May 18, 1864,
when General Grant was fighting his way with great
loss to Richmond. In reply to them, he said :

*' Gentlemen,— In response to your address, allow

6o8 History of the Christian Church.

me to attest the accuracy of its historical statements,
indorse the sentiment it expresses, and thank you, in
the nation's name, for the sure promise it gives.
Nobly sustained as the government has been by all
the Churches, I would alter nothing which might in
the least appear invidious against any. Yet, without
this, it may fairly be said that the Methodist Episco-
pal Church, not less devoted than the best, is by its
greater numbers, the most important of all. It is no
fault in others that the Methodist Church sends more
soldiers to the field, more nurses to the hospitals, and
more prayers to Heaven than any. God bless the
Methodist Church — bless all the Churches — and
blessed be God, who, in this our great trial, giveth us
the Churches."

The drain of the war was shown in the statistics
for 1864 which reported a decrease of 50,951 members.
After the close of the war, this Church extended the
sphere of her operations in the South. The Missis-
sippi Conference was organized in September, 1865;
the South Carolina and Tennessee Conferences in
1866; the Texas and Georgia Conferences in 1867.
These were Conferences of colored Churches. In
June, 1868, the Holston Conference of white member-
ship was organized. In 1868 there was reported a
gain of 1 17,000 members from the South. The Gen-
eral Conference of 1864 extended the term of the
Methodist Episcopal pastorate from two to three
years, and attendance upon class-meeting was made
voluntary. At this session, Davis W. Clark, Edward
Thomson, and Calvin Kingsley were elected bishops.
Bishop Clark came from the editorship of the Ladies*
Repository, Bishop Thomson from the editorship of the

Christian Church in United States. 609

New York Christian Advocate, and Bishop Kingsley
from that of the Western Christian Advocate, At this
time the Church Extension Society was authorized, but
did not begin its work until three years later. In this
decade, in 1866, fell the Centennial of the first Meth-
odist preaching and society in America. The gifts of
the people at this commemoration amounted to 18,709,-
498. This started the Church- in a career of large use-
fulness. The Drew Theological Seminary, the Hack-
ettstown Centenary Institute, the Central Tennessee
College at Nashville, one of the first and largest of the
schools for the colored people, and the Children's
Fund to help students in the schools of the Methodist
Episcopal Church, owed their origin to this move-
ment, as did countless new churches, and churches
thoroughly repaired or freed from debt.

Online LibraryGeorge Herbert DryerHistory of the Christian church (Volume 5) → online text (page 41 of 50)