Rodgers, John, Dd

Rodgers, John, D.D., a Presbyterian minister, was born in Boston, Aug. 5, 1727. After studying theology, he was licensed by the Presbytery of Newcastle in October, 1747. After this he went to Virginia, but not being permitted to preach there, he went to Maryland, and early in 1748 returned to Pennsylvania, where on March 16, 1749, he was installed pastor of the congregation of St. George, where his ministrations proved very acceptable. In 1754 he spent some months in Virginia as substitute of Rev. Samuel Davies during the latter's absence in England. In 1762 he was himself appointed by the Synod of New York and Philadelphia to visit England to solicit subscriptions to a fund for the benefit of the Presbyterian ministry, but family reasons obliged him to decline. In 1765 he was elected one of the trustees of the College of New Jersey, which office he resigned in 1807. In 1765 he dissolved his relation with the Church of St. George, and became pastor of a congregation in New York. In 1768 he was made doctor of divinity by the University of Edinburgh. During the Revolutionary war he showed himself devoted to the cause of his country, and was several times consulted by Washington. In May, 1776, he removed with his family to Greenfield, Conn., but being appointed chaplain to general Heath's brigade on York Island, he at once entered upon his duties. He was obliged to resign in November of the same year, however, business calling him to Georgia. On his return, in April, 1777, he was appointed chaplain of the New York State Convention in session at Esopus, and afterwards served the Council of Safety in the same capacity, as well as the first Legislature of the State under the new constitution. In 1780 he removed to Danbury, Conn., and in 1782 accepted a call from the church of Lamington, N.J., when, in 1783, the close of the war permitted him to return to New York, where he resumed his former connection, with the aid of an assistant after April, 1785. Shortly after, he was appointed vice-chancellor of the Board of Regents of the University of New York, and in 1789 he was chosen moderator of the General Assembly at Philadelphia. In 1809 his health became greatly impaired, and he died May 7, 1811. Besides some miscellaneous articles in connection with the Episcopal controversy, and several Sermons in the American Preacher, Dr. Rodgers published A Sermon before a Masonic Lodge, at Stockbridge, Mass. (1779): — A National Thanksgiving Sermon (1783): — A Sermon on the Death of Dr. Witherspoon (1794): — and A Sermon at the Opening of the Cedar Street Church (1808). See Sprague, Annals of the Amer. Pulpit, 3, -154.

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