Spencer, Ichabod Smith, Dd
Spencer, Ichabod Smith, D.D.
an eminent divine of the Presbyterian Church, was born in Rupert, Vt., Feb. 23, 1798. His early educational advantages were limited, consisting only of the training of a common school. The death of his father, in 1815, marked a decisive epoch in the history of his life, and the following year he left home, and settled in the town of Granville, Washington Co., N.Y., where he was converted and first felt strongly impressed to devote himself to the ministry. He graduated at Union College in 1822, with a high reputation for both talents and scholarship; studied theology privately under the direction of Andrew Yates, D.D., professor of moral philosophy in Union College; removed to Canandaigua, N.Y., in 1825, and became principal of the academy in that place, which he soon succeeded in raising to a commanding position among the primary educational institutions of the State; was licensed by the presbytery of Geneva in November, 1826;
was ordained as colleague pastor with the Rev. Solomon Williams, of the Congregational Church in Northampton, Mass., Sept. 11, 1828, where he continued laboring with the most remarkable success until March 23, 1832, when he was installed pastor of the Second Presbyterian Church, Brooklyn, L.I., which was his last field of ministerial labor. By his great wisdom and energy, and. almost unexampled industry, he succeeded in raising this church into one of the most prosperous and efficient churches in the Presbyterian denomination. In 1836 he accepted the professorship extraordinary of Biblical history in the Union Theological Seminary in New York city, and retained it for about four years. In 1841 he received the degree of D.D. from Hamilton College. He died Nov. 23, 1854. The high estimate in which Dr. Spencer was held was sufficiently evinced by the efforts that were made to secure his services in various departments of ministerial labor. In 1830 he was called to the presidency of the University of Alabama; in 1832, to the presidency of Hamilton College. In 1853 he was elected to the professorship of pastoral theology in the East Windsor Theological Seminary; and many formal calls were put into his hands from churches in various important cities, but none of these tempted him from his chosen field. He published nine single sermons, 1835-50, and the following well-known works: A Pastor's Sketches, or Conversations with Anxious Inquirers respecting the Way of Salvation (N.Y. 1850; second series, 1853); these sketches have been republished in England, and also in French in France: — Sermons, with a Memoir of his Life by Rev. J.M. Sherwood (N.Y. 1855, 2 vols.). Also since his death have been published: Discourses on Sacramental Occasions, with an Introduction by Gardiner Spring, D.D. (1861, 1862; Lond. 1861): — Evidences of Divine Revelation (Boston, 1865). See Sprague, Annals of the Amer. Pulpit, 4, 710; Allibone. Dict. of Brit. and A mer. Authors, s.v.; Bibl. Repert. July 1861, p. 572. (J.L.S.)