Marlay, Michael, Dd

Marlay, Michael, D.D., a noted Methodist minister, was born, of Roman Catholic parentage, in Berkeley County, Va., June 21, 1797. In the year 1818 he migrated to the State of Ohio, and settled near Dayton. In 1821 he united it the Methodist Episcopal Church, and was soon after appointed a class-leader. The Church, recognizing his gifts and graces, speedily licensed him as an exhorter, and afterwards as a local preacher. In the fall of 1831 he was received on trial as a traveling preacher by the Ohio Conference. He quickly rose to a commanding position in the ministry, and was widely known as a sound theologian, an able preacher, and a skillful administrator of discipline. So great was his reputation as an executive officer, that more than half of his ministry of thirty-five years was spent in the office of presiding elder. He was twice an active and influential member of the General Conference, by which body he was appointed, in 1852, one of the commissioners of the Methodist Episcopal Church to manage the suit in the then pending trial for the property of the Western Book Concern. In 1860 he received the degree of D.D. from the Indiana State University. He died of cholera, while in attendance upon the session of the Cincinnati Conference, at Ripley, Ohio, Sept. 2, 1866. The late bishop Thomson thus spoke of Dr. Marlay shortly after his decease (Christian Advocate, N. Y., vol. 41, No. 43): "His strong frame of medium size, fine proportion, and high health, admirably fitted him for itinerant labors; his benignant countenance, amiable spirit, and gentle manners rendered him a welcome guest wherever he went. His fine head indicated great intellectual power; his habits of study seemed to render certain his constant improvement, while his clear call to the ministry insured his unwavering devotion to its duties.... In Biblical science, as well as in theoretical, practical, and experimental divinity, he was a master... He was a great man in private as well as in public life; and one of the strongest proofs of his high moral worth is the fact that, of a large family which he leaves behind him, every one is an ornament to society.... He expired in the arms of his brethren, and they buried him, feeling that they could lay in the tomb no man to whom the Methodist Church in Ohio has been more indebted." See also Ladies' Repository, 1866, Jan.; Conf. Minutes, 1866, p. 262. (J. F. M.)

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