Manning, James

Manning, James D.D., a Baptist minister, was born at Elizabethtown, N.J., Oct. 22, 1738, and was educated at Princeton College (class of 1762). Soon after the completion of his collegiate course he was ordained pastor of a Baptist Church in Morristown, N. J., but he remained only a year, and then became pastor of the Baptist Church in Warren, R. I. During his ministry there he instituted a Latin school, which seems to have been the germ of the great Baptist College, now the Brown University, he having been chiefly instrumental in the procuring of the charter in 1764. He was appointed its first president and professor of languages in 1765, when the college went into operation at Warren, whence it was removed to Providence in 1770, and was given the name it now bears. President Manning remained connected with the college until his death, July 29, 1791. During his residence at Providence, however, he was also pastor of a church for twenty years, absenting himself only for some six months in 1786, when he was chosen member of Congress for Rhode Island. "Dr. Manning was equally known in the religious, political. and literary world. Nature had given him distinguished abilities. The resources of his genius seemed adequate to all duties and occasions. He was of a kind and benevolent disposition, social and communicative in habit, and enchanting in manners. His life was a scene of labor for the benefit of others. His piety, and his fervent zeal in preaching the Gospel, evinced his love to God and man. With a most graceful form, a dignified and majestic appearance, his address was manly, familiar, and engaging, his voice harmonious, and his eloquence irresistible. In the government of the college he was mild, yet energetic. He lived beloved and died lamented, beyond the lot of ordinary men. The good order, learning, and respectability of the Baptist churches in the Eastern States, under God, are much owing to his personal influence, and assiduous attention to their welfare" (Benedict, 2:346). See Guild (R. H.), Life, Times, and Correspondence of Dr. James Manning (1864, 8vo); Sprague, Annals, 6:89.

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