Simpson, Matthew, Dd, Lld
Simpson, Matthew, D.D., LL.D.
a bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church, was born at Cadiz, Harrison County, Ohio, June 10, 1810. He graduated from Madison College (afterwards merged into Allegheny University) in 1832. In 1833 he took the degree of doctor of medicine, but before the year was ended had decided to enter the Pittsburgh Conference. The second year thereafter he became pastor of the Liberty Street Church, Pittsburgh, where he soon gave evidence of the eloquence which eventually placed him among the greatest pulpit orators of the age. In 1837 he was called as professor of natural sciences to Allegheny University, and two years afterwards was appointed president of Indiana Asbury University, at Greencastle, Ind. Under his management the college grew in strength and usefulness. In 1848 Dr. Simpson was elected to the editorship of The Western Christian Advocate, of Cincinnati. In 1852 he was elected a bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church. He adorned the episcopal office with gentleness, humility, and devotion. He was indefatigable in the discharge of his duties, and though careful in the maintenance, doctrine, and discipline of his Church, he did so without exciting enmity from those of his own or other sects. He died in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, June 18, 1884. Bishop Simpson will be best remembered by his patriotic labors in aid of the government during the civil war, which gave him a national reputation. He was the trusted friend and adviser of president Lincoln, and it was at his request that bishop Simpson made a series of powerful addresses on the Union in many of the cities of the North. He was the stanch supporter of the colored race, and was urged by the secretary of war to undertake the organization of the freedmen at the establishment of the bureau, and was afterwards invited by president Grant to go as commissioner to San Domingo, both of which offers he declined. Besides the public addresses which the bishop delivered he was employed by the government on many missions of a confidential nature, which aided largely in strengthening the Union cause. In view of these services rendered during the war and under the direction of president Lincoln, it was fitting that he should have been chosen to deliver the nation's eulogy upon her martyred president. In 1870, on the death of bishop Kingsley, bishop Simpson visited Europe to complete the work which had been assigned to him on the Continent, and also as a delegate to the English Conference. In 1874 he visited Mexico, and in 1875 again went to Europe to attend the conferences held in Germany and Switzerland, and also to meet the missionaries on the Continent. In 1881 he attended the OEcumenical Council of the Methodist Church, which was held in London, and while there was the recipient of many kind attentions from the members of his denomination in England. He is the author of A Hundred: Years of Methodism, a volume of Yale Lectures on Preaching, and was the editor of the Cyclopcedia of Methodism, which contains information on almost every subject of interest to the denomination; Some of his Sermons have been edited by Dr. G.R. Crooks (N.Y. 1885); also his Life (ibid. 1890).