Monroe, Samuel Yorke, Dd
Monroe, Samuel Yorke, D.D.
an eminent minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church, was born at Mount Holly, New Jersey, July 1, 1816. He enjoyed the advantages of a thorough English training, and after his conversion, which occurred in 1833, decided to devote himself to the work of the Christian ministry. He labored for several years as a local preacher; was admitted on trial into the New Jersey Conference in 1843, and quickly rose to distinction among his brethren. His first appointment does not appear in the minutes. In 1844 he travelled the Sweedsborough Circuit. At the Conference held in Mount Holly in 1845 he was admitted into full connection, and stationed at Salem, N.J. He was returned to the same appointment in 1846. In 1847-48 he preached in Paterson; in 1849-50, in Newark; in 1851, at Princeton. He was next successively stationed at Newark, New Brunswick, Camden, Trenton, and Trinity Church, Newark (located in Newark Conference, to which he had been transferred). He served as presiding elder several years, first in the Bridgeton District, after he had preached at Camden; and in the Camden District after he had labored in Trenton. He was a member of the General Conference in 1856,1860, and 1864, at which last time he was prominently named for the episcopacy. He was by this body then elected a member of the General Missionary Committee, and shortly afterwards was appointed by the bishops of the Church as recording secretary of the newly organized society for "Church extension." Upon this work he entered with his usual vigor and zeal, and was meeting with success beyond the highest expectation of the friends of the enterprise. On Sunday, the 27th of January 1867, he had preached in St. Paul's Methodist Episcopal Church in New York City, for the cause of "Church extension," and was on his way from Camden, New Jersey, to New York, with the intention of occupying one of the city pulpits for the same object, when he was lost overboard a train, no one has ever found how, and was killed in the fall, February 9, 1867, as was declared by the verdict of a coroner's jury. Few men labored more earnestly for the Church than did Dr. Monroe. After his appointment to the secretaryship, besides attending to an extensive correspondence, he visited and addressed some fifty Conferences upon the subject of "Church extension;" preached once or twice nearly every Sabbath; organized his work almost over the whole Church; and raised and disbursed about
$60,000 during the first year of the society's existence. During this period his labors were undoubtedly excessive; and, in the opinion of those who had the best opportunity for knowing, were beginning sensibly to impair his health and vigor. "Dr. Monroe," say the Newark Conference Minutes of 1867, "was in many respects a remarkable man. As a Christian, he was conscientious, without being morbidly sensitive; fervent in spirit, without being boisterous or fanatical; faithful, without being severe or censorious; and spiritual and pure in heart, without a profession of extraordinary religious attainments... His success in winning souls to Christ proved that wherever he labored God was with him. As a preacher he was able, evangelical, and edifying; and as a pastor diligent, sympathetic, and faithful. But that which distinguished him more than anything else was his remarkably clear perception of the relations of things, his rapid mental comparisons and inductions, and his consequent seemingly intuitive and almost infallible judgment. In this respect he had probably no superiors, if, indeed, he had many equals, in our Church. Remarkably free from prejudice and selfishness, and ever cool and conscientious, and with a mind that could grasp a question, view it in all its relations, and at once deduce the appropriate conclusion, he was an eminently wise and safe counsellor in everything pertaining to the kingdom of God." The N.Y. Methodist (February 16, 1867), commenting on his death, says: "Dr. Monroe was one of the leading representatives of the American Methodist Church... As secretary of the Church Extension Society, he displayed his characteristic good sense, rare executive ability, laboriousness, and eminent pulpit power. In all these elements of character he excelled." See also Ladies' Repository, March, 1868; Appleton's Annual, 1867; N.Y. Christian Advocate, February 8, 1872 (MS. Sermons of the late Dr. Monroe). (J.H.W.)