Riley, Isaac

Riley, Isaac, a minister of the Presbyterian Church, son of H.A. Riley, was born in the city of New York Feb. 2, 1835. After receiving a preparatory education he entered Yale College, and was graduated, having written the class poem. He next entered the Union Theological Seminary, and, after graduation, was admitted to the ministry. His first pastorate was at Middletown, Del., where he labored three years. He then accepted a call to Pottsville, Pa., and from there went to Newark, where he spent some time as associate pastor with his father-in-law, the Rev. Joel Parker. His next pastoral duties were in New York, where for seven years he occupied the pulpit of the Thirty- fourth Street Church, filling the position with signal ability and success. In 1875 he was called to the pastorate of the Westminster Church, Buffalo, preaching his first sermon Oct. 20. His work was remarkably fruitful, and during his pastorate the Church enjoyed an uninterrupted prosperity. He was a man of very decided ability, and in him were united qualities very rarely combined in the same individual. His reasoning faculty was strong, and so also was his imagination. He was exact and mathematical, and at the same time poetical and rhetorical. All the varied powers of a disciplined intellect, and also of a strong emotional nature, were imbued with divine love, so that the whole man was consecrated to the work of the ministry.

He wrote carefully and spoke fluently, and the best work was what he gave to his people and the public. He was one of the most useful men in Buffalo. In his last illness he suffered much, but bore it uncomplainingly, and sank into the peaceful slumber of death. He died at Buffalo Oct. 23, 1878. (W.P.S.)

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