Robert, Christopher R

Robert, Christopher R., an eminent Presbyterian layman, was born in 1801, near Moriches, L.I. He was engaged for the greater part of his life in mercantile pursuits, but early took a warm and active interest in the religious and philanthropic enterprises which have marked the present century. He contributed largely in organizing and supporting several of the churches in New York city. He founded the German Presbyterian Church in Rivington Street, and sustained its pastoral work for many years at an annual expense of $2000. Taking a deep interest in the education of young men for the ministry, he assumed for many years the entire expense of a number of students at Auburn and other theological seminaries. While on a visit to Illinois in 1829, which at that time was one of the extreme Western states, he became deeply impressed with the importance of home missionary work in those regions, and became a large contributor to the funds of the Home Missionary Society, of which he was treasurer for a number of years, conducting all its financial business without fee or reward. Near the close of our late civil war he visited Tennessee, and with his own funds purchased a tract of land on Lookout Mountain, and established a college for the education of young men for the ministry in the South, having special reference to the wants of the colored race. In 1864 Mr. Robert made an extensive tour in the East, and while at Constantinople was so deeply impressed with the educational wants of the Turkish empire that he resolved on founding a college at that place. To this end he took into his counsel that eminent missionary the Rev. Cyrus Hamlin, D.D., then a resident of Constantinople, whom he appointed president of the college, and to whom he intrusted the great work of laying its foundations. For years the Turkish government, true to its narrow minded and bigoted policy, placed every obstacle in the way of the enterprise, refusing to give its sanction to the purchase of a site for the buildings. Dr. Hamlin, not to be daunted, pressed his way through all the difficulties, finally purchased the ground, erected the buildings, and placed the enterprise on a firm foundation at a cost to Mr. Robert of $200,000. Contrary to his desire and expressed wishes, the college was called after his name. During the recent war in the empire, the revenue of the college having been diminished, Mr. Robert supplied the deficiency, amounting to $25,000 a year, from his own resources. Largely as Mr. Robert's efforts were put forth in building up the cause of Christ, they did not consist merely of munificent contributions of money, but from the time of his conversion he was personally engaged in every good work, actively and earnestly seeking to promote the spirituality of the Church and the conversion of his fellow men., Being deeply affected with the worldliness and want of spirituality witnessed among professors of religion, he prepared with his own hand a letter to Christians on the subject, and had it published in pamphlet form and circulated by the thousand. Early in June, 1878, he left his home to seek the renewal of his health in one of the valleys of Switzerland, whose sanitary climate he had before enjoyed. He was returning much improved, but only lived to reach Paris, where he died Oct. 27 of the same year. The will of Mr. Robert provides that at the death of his wife a large part of his property shall inure to the benefit of the college at Constantinople. (W.P.S.)

Topical Outlines Nave's Bible Topics International Standard Bible Encyclopedia Online King James Bible King James Dictionary

Verse reference tagging and popups powered by VerseClick™.