Gurley, Phineas Densmore, Dd

Gurley, Phineas Densmore, D.D., an eminent Presbyterian minister, was born Nov. 19,1816, at Hamilton, Madison County, N.Y., and died Sept. 30, 1868, in Washington, D.C. During his infancy his parents removed to Parishville, St. Lawrence County, N.Y., where, at the age of fifteen, he joined the Presbyterian Church, and soon after entered Union College, where he graduated in 1837 with the highest honors of his class. The same year he entered the Theological Seminary at Princeton, N.J., and graduated there in Sept. 1840, having been licensed to preach the April preceding at Cold Spring, N.Y. He accepted straightway a call to the First Presbyterian Church of Indianapolis, Ind., from which a strong minority had separated and organized a second church (New School), with the Roy. Henry Ward Beecher as pastor. In this place he labored for nine years with great success, the church being blessed with revivals and largely increased numbers; but in 1850, for the benefit of the health of his family, he removed to Dayton, Ohio, where for four years a like success attended his ministry as pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in that city. In 1854, yielding to the wishes of his brethren, he accepted the pastorate of the F- street Presbyterian Church in Washington, D. C., with which, in 1859, the Second Presbyterian Church of that city united, and Dr. Gurley remained until his death pastor of the united body, worshipping in a new edifice, and called the New York Avenue Church. He was elected chaplain to the United States Senate in 1859, and was the pastor of several presidents of the United States, among them of Mr. Lincoln, during the sad but exciting scenes of whose dying moments he was present. The following incident which then occurred illustrates forcibly the spirit and power of his Gospel ministrations. When the patriot president had ceased to breathe, Mr. Stan-

ton, secretary of war, turning to Dr. Gurley, said, "Doctor, will you say something?" After a brief pause, Dr. Gurley, addressing the weeping relatives and sympathizing friends, replied, "Let us talk with God ;" and, kneeling, offered "a most touching and impressive prayer, which even in that dark hour of gloom lighted up with sunshine every sorrowing heart." Dr. Gurley was a member of the General Assembly (Old School) in 1866, and chairman of its judicial committee; was made moderator of the General Assembly held in 1867, was chosen a member of the committee of fifteen appointed to confer with a like committee of the New-School Assembly on the subject of a reunion of the two Presbyterian bodies in the United States, and "was the author of the amendments to the basis of union adopted by the joint committee in Philadelphia, and subsequently adopted by both assemblies." His health failed in 1867, and, after vainly seeking its restoration in rest and change of scene, he returned to die among his people. Great earnestness and singleness of purpose, with an ever-active zeal for the glory of God and the salvation of souls, characterized his life. See Memorial Sermon on Dr. Gurley by W. E. Schenck, D.D. (Washington, D. C., 1869), and New York Observer, Oct. 8, 1868. (J. W. M.)

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