Jacobus, Melanchthon Williams, Dd, Lld
Jacobus, Melanchthon Williams, D.D., LL.D.
a Presbyterian minister, was born at Newark, N.J., September 19, 1816. He entered the sophomore class at Princeton College in his fifteenth year, and graduated in 1834 with the highest honors. In 1835 he entered Princeton Theological Seminary, where he not only regularly graduated, but spent a fourth year in study, at the same time assisting professor J. Addison Alexander in the department of Hebrew. In 1839 he was received by the Presbytery of New York, and in September was ordained pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Brooklyn, N.Y. At the close of his twelve years pastorate here the Church was one of the most flourishing in the city. In the fall of 1850 he made a tour through Europe, Egypt, and Palestine, and returned with greatly improved health. During his absence the General Assembly, in May 1851, had elected him professor of Oriental and Biblical literature in the theological seminary at Allegheny, which position he accepted on his return, and was released from his pastoral charge, October 21, 1851. In January 1858, in addition to his work in the seminary, he accepted a call to the Central Church of Pittsburgh, which he served for twelve years with marked success. In 1866 he made a second tour of Europe. He was moderator of the last General Assembly of the Old School Church in 1869, and conjointly with Reverend P.H. Fowler, D.D., presided at the opening of the first reunited assembly in 1870. He presented the able report on sustentation, which was adopted by the General Assembly of 1871, and was secretary of that scheme for three years, until it was merged into the Board of Home Missions in 1874. In 1876 he was elected secretary of the Board of Education, but declined the position that he might continue in the ministry. He died October 28, 1876. He had just attended a meeting of the Synod of Pittsburgh, and taken an active part in its proceedings. On the day preceding he had taught his seminary classes as usual. In 1848 Dr. Jacobus, while in Brooklyn, published the first volume of his Notes on the New Testament. Other volumes followed at intervals, the two volumes on Genesis appearing in 1864. These commentaries have had an immense sale, and are found among all denominations of Christians. Besides these he was the author of many other and smaller works. Dr. Jacobus stood in the front rank of the Biblical scholars of his age. As a preacher he maintained all through his ministry a high position, while on the platform his addresses were always happy and effective. He was a most energetic and persistent worker, and his industry was untiring. See Necrol. Report of Princeton Theol. Sem. 1877, page 36.