Maclay, Archibald, Dd

Maclay, Archibald, D.D.

or, as he was familiarly known by Christians of all denominations, "Father Maclay," a noted Baptist minister, was born in Killearn, Scotland, May 14, 1778, and in 1802 entered the ministry at Kirkaldy, in Fifeshire. In 1804 he was appointed a missionary to the East Indies, but the government objected, and he was obliged to stay at home. By advice of his friends he quitted his native land, and in 1805 emigrated to this country. Immediately after his arrival he commenced to preach, and built up a Church in Rose Street, New York. Hitherto his connection was with the Established Church of Scotland, but in 1808 he united with the Baptists, and, most of his congregation following his example, a new Church was organized, known as the "Mulberry Street Church" (now the Tabernacle, Second Avenue Church), where he remained until 1837. He then resigned to become agent of the "American and Foreign Bible Society" just organized, and served this body to great advantage until 1850, when he was called within the domain of his own denomination to succeed the late Dr. Cone as the second president of the "American Bible Union." In this capacity he made an official tour of England, presenting the claims of the Bible Union and collecting funds for the revision of the Bible, in which work that society is now engaged. In this mission he was very successful, owing, no doubt, to his fame as an eminent Baptist divine. One of the addresses made while abroad was translated into several languages, and circulated in more than 100,000 copies. On his return to this country he made a similar tour South, and with his usual success. In 1856 he resigned his presidency of the Bible Union on account of dissatisfaction with the manner in which the internal affairs of the Bible Union were conducted. He continued to preach, and labored for his Master till within a few months of his death, May 2, 1860. Dr. Maclay enjoyed the respect of his brethren in the ministry, and the affection of all Christian people who knew him. "He was surpassed by no man in zeal, friendliness, and good sense. He was a safe counselor, a cheery, hearty, healthy soul, as incapable of cant as of frivolity. It was evident to all who approached him that he was a man as well as a clergyman. He retained to the last that strong, homely, Scottish common- sense which renders the sons of old Scotia indomitable and victorious all over the world. A man of more absolute and immovable honesty never breathed." (J. H. W.)

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