Ruthven, James

Ruthven, James, a noted ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church, was born in Glasgow, Scotland, Dec. 15, 1783. His father removed to the United States and settled in the city of New York, and attended the ministry of the Rev. John Mason, D.D., of the Scotch Church. In the sixth year of his age James witnessed the inauguration of Washington with indescribable emotions. In 1812 he was ordained a deacon and subsequently an elder in Dr. Mason's church, which was then in Murray Street. He removed in 1842 to Bridgeport, Conn., where his influence was of great value, and returned to New York after an absence of eight years. With him religion was an all- pervading spirit, giving warmth and glow and purity and hope in every experience. A distinguished minister of another Church said of him: "Few persons whom I have ever known have more deeply impressed me with their absolute excellence, their entire, thorough, and beautifully consistent character." And this character he maintained unblemished for more than half a century. The ripeness and richness of his Biblical piety shone conspicuously in the social meetings, in the community, at the bed of sickness, everywhere. He loved the Church, honored the ministry, consecrated all his wealth to God, and as an almoner of the divine bounty scattered blessings far and wide. For him, "to live was Christ," and for him, "to die was eternal gain." The last words he uttered were, "Dying, and, behold, we live!" He died Nov. 25, 1855. (W.P.S.)

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