Bowman, Samuel

Bowman, Samuel assistant bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church of the diocese of Pennsylvania, was born at Wilkesbarre, Pennsylvania, on May 21, 1800. He at first studied law, but by the sudden death of his father was led to prepare for the ministry. He was ordained deacon August 25, 1823, and soon afterward took charge of two country churches in Lancaster county. In 1824 he was ordained priest. In 1825 he accepted a call to Easton, but soon returned to his old charge in Lancaster county. In 1827 he accepted a call to the associate rectorship of St. James's Church, Lancaster, a charge which he continued to hold for 94 years, and which was terminated only by his death. Some years afterward he received the honorary degree of doctor of divinity from Geneva College, New York. In 1847 Dr. Bowman was elected bishop of Indiana, but declined the office. He was afterward strongly urged to consent to be a candidate for the office of provisional bishop of New York, but positively refused to allow his name to be used. He was greatly attached to his church in Lancaster, which by untiring energy he made one of the most flourishing parishes in the diocese of Pennsylvania. lie established, in particular, an orphan asylum, parochial schools, a church home, and a free church. In 1858 Dr. Bowman was elected assistant bishop of Pennsylvania. He died suddenly in July, 1861, while on a tour through the western part of the diocese, of a chronic affection of the heart. Bishop Bowman was highly esteemed for purity of life, suavity of manners, and amiability of character. These qualities gave him a great influence in deliberative bodies, and, though he spoke rarely in Conventions, such was the weight of his reputation that his vote was worth more than most men's speeches. In his theological opinions Bishop Bowman was ranked as a moderate High-Churchman. But while in doctrine he never departed from his original position, yet in some points of practice he was disposed of late years to be less rigid than he had been.

This appeared in particular in a sermon preached before the Convention of Pennsylvania in 1855, and published by request. A few weeks before his death Bishop Bowman published an American edition of a short Life of Sargent, the biographer of Henry Martyn, by Bishop Wilberforce, of Oxford. American Church Review, Jan. 1862, p. 499- 521.

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