Smith, Robert (2), Dd

Smith, Robert (2), D.D., an eminent Presbyterian divine, and father of the Revs. John Blair Smith, D.D., and Samuel Stanhope Smith, D.D., was born in Londonderry, Ireland, in 1723. His family came to America when he was seven years old, and settled at the headwaters of the Brandywine River, about forty miles from Philadelphia. At the age of fifteen his mind became deeply impressed with the subject of religion under the preaching of Whitefield, during his first visit to America, and he soon felt a strong desire to devote himself to the ministry. He accordingly placed himself under the instruction of the Rev. Samuel Blair, who was then conducting an institution for the education of young men for the ministry at Fagg's Manor, Chester Co., Pa. There he made very rapid improvement in both classical and theological knowledge; was licensed by the New Side Presbytery of Newcastle Dec. 27, 1749, and ordained and installed pastor of the churches in Pequea and Leacock, Pa., March 25, 1751. Shortly after his settlement he founded a school, designed chiefly for the instruction of youth in the Latin, Greek, and Hebrew languages, which was afterwards resorted to by many who were subsequently greatly distinguished in the different professions. In 1759 he resigned the care of the congregation of Leacock; in 1760 he received the degree of D.D. from the College of New Jersey, and in 1772 he was appointed one of its overseers, and held the office during the rest of his life. He was the second moderator of the General Assembly, and the last public act of his life was to attend a meeting of the board of trustees of the College of New Jersey. He died April 15, 1793. Dr. Smith was distinguished for his activity, being in labors most abundant. "Few men in the holy ministry have been more useful or more esteemed." He published a sermon preached on the union of the Old and New Side Presbyteries of Newcastle, entitled A Wheel in the Middle of a Wheel, or the Harmony and Connection of the Various Acts of Divine Providence: — Two Sermons on Sin and Holiness (1767): — A Sermon (1774): — Three Sermons on Saving Faith, in the Amer. Preacher, vol. 4 (1791). See Sprague, Annals of the Amer. Pulpit, 3, 172; Allibone, Dict. of Brit. and Amer. Authors, s.v.; Genesis Assembly Miss. Mag. vol. 2; Timlow, Hist. Serm. (J.L.S.)

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