Reed, Alexander

Reed, Alexander D.D., a Presbyterian minister, was born at Washington, Pa., Sept. 28, 1832. He was the son of the Hon. Robert R. Reed, a child of the covenant dedicated to God in baptism, and early instructed both by precept and example in the ways of religion. His preparatory education was received in the English department of Washington College, and he graduated at that institute in 1851. After his graduation he went to Georgia and engaged in teaching, and while there joined the Church on a profession of religion under the ministry of the Rev. Dr. Baker, an eminent evangelist. In 1853 he entered the Western Theological Seminary at Pittsburgh, Pa., and was graduated in 1856. The following year he was ordained and installed pastor of the Presbyterian Church of Octorara, Pa. Here his labors were greatly blessed, and the bonds of affection between him and his people greatly strengthened, until the year 1864, when they were dissolved to enable him to accept the pastorate of the Central Church, Philadelphia. This call removed him to a wider sphere, and brought him to a more responsible position in a great city at one of the most critical periods of our national history. His sympathetic nature, ready and effective oratory, very soon attracted attention, and other duties than those merely of the pastorate were soon laid upon him. He was active and influential in the organization of the "Christian Commission," the spirit and object of which appealed to his sympathies and patriotic impulses, and some of his most stirring and powerful addresses were made in behalf of this great interest. He was not only alive to all the duties connected with his pastorate, but to all the general social and moral interests of the community. He gave to' all the boards of the Church his zealous and faithful support, and at one time his personal attention as president of the Board of Ministerial Relief and also the Board of Publication. In the year 1873 Dr. Reed was called to the Westminster Presbyterian Church, Brooklyn, N.Y., and in accepting this call he threw himself with all his accustomted ardor into the labors of his new field. At the end of two years he was obliged, from declining health, to resign his charge. With the hope of regaining his health, he spent a year and a half in Europe, but he returned without any perceptible change for the better. Thinking that the dry and bracing air of Colorado might prove beneficial, he accepted the pastorate of the church in Denver City. Though in feeble health, he labored among that people, and greatly endeared himself to them by his affectionate nature and eminent pulpit ability. But his work was evidently done, and he was obliged to relinquish the active duties of the pastoral office. He was one of the most genial and companionable of men; a smile of heavenly sunshine played around his features and kindled in his eye, and no amount of sickness could cloud the sunshine or stop the exuberant flow of his feelings. Hie seemed to have caught the light and lived in the glory of the better world. Dr. Reed was a godly man, a man of faith and prayer. He devoted himself wholly to the work of the ministry because he loved it. All his faculties were alive and active in the great cause in which he was enl gaged. By his strong power of will he seemed to hold the forces which were moving upon life's citadel in check until his brother, Dr. T. B. Reed, who was on his way to visit him in his distant home, might reach him. When he arrived, and he had committed to him the charge of his beloved wife and children, in perfect peace he laid himself down to die. He died at Denver, Col., Nov. 18, 1878. (W.P.S.)

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