Penn, Abram

Penn, Abram M.D., a minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church, was born in the county of Patrick, Va., in the year 1803. In early life he studied medicine, but while he was absent at Philadelphia, attending lectures, his wife died, which was the cause of his awakening. He at once began to seek Christ, gave up the study of medicine, and returned home. Two years after he offered himself to the Virginia Conference, and was received on trial in 1825. He rose rapidly as a minister, and from his reception until broken down by disease he exhibited constancy, zeal, and a uniformity and depth of piety seldom manifested. He was eminently successful as a preacher, and enjoyed a popularity almost unbounded. His talents were not of the highest order, yet he possessed a clear, vigorous, and comprehensive mind, well stored with valuable information. With a graceful diction, rich imagination, and great zeal and earnestness of manner, he took a high position among the ministers of the Church. He was a devoted son of Methodism, an unflinching advocate of her doctrines and rights, of her polity and discipline. The leading feature of his character was a dauntless, straightforward honesty that needed no disguise for itself, and was impatient of dissimulation and disguise in other men. Yet there was in Dr. Penn a fountain of geniality that made his society peculiarly agreeable, and secured him the ardent attachment of many warm and admiring friends. He suffered much in the later years of his life with a most distressing affection of the heart. Many times it brought him to the very gates of death, but he would rally again, and go on in the path of duty and toil. At length disease gained the mastery, and peacefully, joyfully, he resigned his soul into the hands of his Creator. A life pious, devoted, and useful was crowned by a death calm, peaceful, triumphant. See Bennett, Methodism in Virginia (Richmond, 1871, 12mo), p. 731 sq.

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