Hamline, Leonidas Lent, Dd Lld
Hamline, Leonidas Lent, D.D. LL.D.
a bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church, was born in Burlington, Conn., May 10,1797. His early education was obtained with some view to the Christian ministry; but, arriving at manhood, he studied law, and was admitted to the bar in Lancaster, Ohio. He married in Zanesville, Ohio, and settled there to practice his profession. The death of a little daughter in 1828 led him to seriously consider his own moral state, and he joined the Methodist Episcopal Church in the autumn of 1828. Soon after he was licensed to exhort, then (1829) to preach. In 1832 he was received on trial in the Ohio Conference, and appointed to Granville Circuit. In 1833 he traveled Athens Circuit, and in 1834 and 1835 he was stationed at Wesley Chapel, Cincinnati. In 1836 he was elected assistant editor of the Western
Christian Advocate, with the Rev. Dr. Charles Elliott. When the Ladies' Repository was established in January 1841, Hamline was assigned to the work of editing that journal. He remained in this position until, in 1844, he was elected one of the bishops of the Methodist Episcopal Church. This office he filled with great usefulness for eight years, when ill health compelled him to resign it to the General Conference of 1852. His name was reattached to the list of members of the Ohio Conference, and he was granted a superannuated relation. In 1857 he removed to Mount Pleasant, Iowa, his former confidential friendship with Dr. Elliott, who resided in that place, leading to this change. In an account of his life which bishop Hamline wrote for his family, he thus refers to the years from 1852 to 1860: "For eight years I have been superannuated, and God has tried me as silver is tried; but he has often sweetened those trials by his presence in a marvelous manner. And now day by day my fellowship is with the Father, and with his son Jesus Christ. Though almost helpless, and dependent on my devoted, affectionate wife for personal attentions, which her exemplary patience never wearies in bestowing on me (thanks be to thy name, O God, for such a gift!), yet I am far more contented and cheerful than in the best days of my youth." He was taken severely ill Jan. 25, 1865. On the 10th of February, having called his family in to pray with them once more, "he uttered remarkable expressions of adoration of the Savior on the throne in special reference to his humiliation, crucifixion, resurrection, ascension on, exaltation, etc. He prayed for his family, the Church, for his own Conference (the Ohio), the missions, the country the world. All the forenoon he expressed much thankfulness for everything. He then had occasion to drink, and his painful thirst reminded him of the exclamation on the cross when the Savior said, 'I thirst.' He then burst into tears, and broke out again in praise. He then spoke of his present state as a fresh baptism into Christ, into his glorious name, and exclaimed, 'O wondrous, wondrous, wondrous love!' When Mrs. Hamline raised the window-shade at sunset he exclaimed, 'O beautiful sky! beautiful heaven!" He- died on the 23rd of March. Of the character and attainments of bishop Hamline, Dr. Elliott says, "My pen is wholly incompetent to draw out in its full extent an adequate portrait of his high and holy character, whether it regards his natural talents or his extensive attainments; but especially the sanctity and purity of his religious life. As a preacher, he was in the first rank in all respects that regard the finished pulpit orator. His style as a writer would compare favorably with the best writers in the English language. He had no superior for logic, argument, or oratory. He was the subject of much bodily affliction, and yet, amid excruciating pains, he retained the full exercise of his intellectual powers to the very last hour of his life. The leading characteristic of him in his sufferings was his complete patience and resignation to the will of God." His principal writings (chiefly sermons) are given in the Works of L. L. Hamline, DD.D edited by the Rev. F. G. Hibbard, D.D. (N. York, 1869, 8vo). — See Minutes of Conferences, 1866; Meth. Quart. Rev. October, 1866; Palmer, Life and Letters of Leonidas L. Hamline, D.D. (N. Y. 1866, 12mo).