Mathews, James M, Dd

Mathews, James M., D.D., minister of the (Dutch) Reformed Church, was born in Salem, N. Y., in 1785; graduated at Union College in 1803; at the Seminary of the Associate Reformed Church in 1807; was licensed to preach the Gospel by the Associate Reformed Presbytery in New York in 1807; became assistant professor in the theological seminary of his great preceptor, Rev. Dr. John M. Mason, in 1809, and continued there until 1818. After supplying the South Dutch Church in Garden Street, New York, for one year, he became its pastor in 1812, and retained that relation until 1840. Thereafter he never again took a pastoral charge. He was the principal founder of the University of the City of New York, and was its first chancellor — 1831 to 1819. The elegant marble edifice of the university and the adjoining Reformed church on Washington Square are monuments of his architectural taste and liberal projects. Dr. Mathews published, in addition to various occasional pamphlets, a book of Autobiographical Recollections, a volume of lectures On the Relations of Science to Christianity, and another on The Bible and Men of Learning (1855). He was a man of noble presence and courtly manners, scholarly in his tastes and habits, a powerful preacher, and fertile in large plans of Christian usefulness. His last labors were given for many months before his decease to preparations for an evangelical council, held in New York, composed of representatives from most of the American churches, and over which he presided, in October, 1869. He was a zealous advocate of the Evangelical Alliance, and of other forms of Christian union; and it is believed that his latest efforts in this cause exhausted his strength and hastened his end. Dr. Mathews was naturally a leader of men. His learning was extensive, his tact and skill were great, and his zeal was ardent. Associated with prominent men and events for more than threescore years, he bore an active part in nearly all of the great religious and philanthropic movements of our country during this period. He died January, 1870, after a brief illness, in the city of New York, where his life was spent. (W. J. R. T.)

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