Mccombs (or Mccoombs), Lawrence

Mccombs (Or Mccoombs), Lawrence an early Methodist Episcopal minister, was born in Kent Coulty, in the State of Delaware, on the 11th of March, 1769. Little is known of his early education, but it is to be presumed, from the easy circumstances of his father, who was a man of wealth, and the high character of the schools and academies of the district in which he lived, that he early attained to a good degree of intellectual culture. In 1792 he was admitted to the Philadelphia Conference on probation, and his first appointment was to the Newburg Circuit, in the State of New York; two years later he was appointed to Long Island; in 1795, to New London; in 1796, to Middletown; in 1797 and 1798, to Polland; in 1799, to New London; in 1800, to Philadelphia; in 1801, to Baltimore City; in 1802, to Baltimore City and Fell's Point; in 1804, to the Baltimore Circuit. In 1806 he asked and obtained a location, and selected a residence on the eastern shore of Maryland, near the head of the Chesapeake Bay. In this location he is said to have labored with unabated industry and devotion. In 1815 he re-entered the itinerancy, and took his place in the Philadelphia Conference; in that and in the following year he was appointed to Smyrna; in 1817, to Queen Anne's; and in 1818, to Kent. From 1819 to 1822 he was presiding elder of the Jersey District; in 1823 he was appointed to Essex and Staten Island; in 1824 and 1825, to St. John's Church, Philadelphia; and in 1826, to Wilmington. In 1827 and 1828 he was presiding elder of the East Jersey District; from 1829 to 1832, of the Chesapeake Bay; and in 1833, of the South Philadelphia District. In 1834 he was appointed to St. Paul's Church, Philadelphia; in this year, however, he was constrained, by his rapidly-failing health, to relinquish his active position and become a super-numerary. In 1835 he took his place among the retired and infirm, after having performed an unprecedented amount of labor, and left the impress of his energetic character wherever he went. He closed his useful and eventful life June 11, 1836. An intimate friend, also a minister, the Rev. J. Kennaday, has left this beautiful tribute to his memory: "In his religious character Mr. McCombs blended great zeal and fidelity with a very unusual kindliness of spirit. No hostility could intimidate him in the course of duty, nor could any provocation betray him into petulance or resentment. Meek in spirit, intrepid in purpose, gentle and social in manner, he was greatly respected in the pulpit, and ever welcome to the hospitalities of the numerous circles which he adorned as the man of God. He was strong in faith, much in prayer, and a great reader of the Bible. His intellectual character was developed more in the uniform strength of his faculties than in the marked prominence of any one or more of them. His perceptions were quick and clear, and his judgment sober and impartial. He had a fine imagination, which, being restrained and regulated by his admirable taste, gave beauty and warmth, as the artists say, to all his pictures. In unison with these traits, there were some physical qualities that contributed largely to his power and success. His personal appearance was very imposing. In stature he was full six feet in height, with a finely- developed form; though not corpulent, the breadth of his chest indicated the prodigious strength which enabled him to perform his almost gigantic labors. The general expression of his countenance betokened intelligence, gentleness, and energy, while his full, frank face was illumined by his ever- lindling eye. His voice was full, clear, and of great flexibility, sweeping from the lowest to the highest tone, and modulated in the most delicate manner, in beautiful harmony with his subject. In preaching in the field, which was his favorite arena, I used to think he was quite an approach to Whitefield. Such was his known power at camp-meetings that the announcement that he was to be present on such an occasion would draw a multitude of people from great distances.... I have thought that in some respects there was a striking resemblance between him and the late distinguished Dr. John M. Mason, of New York, whom I often heard in my boyhood." See Sprague, Annals Amer. Pulpit, 7:210 sq.; Conf. Min. 2:492.

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