Wainwright, Jonathan Mayhew, Dd

Wainwright, Jonathan Mayhew, D.D.

a bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church, was born in Liverpool, England, Feb. 24, 1792. His parents were on a visit to England when he was born, and they remained there until he was eleven years old. During this period he spent several years at a school at Ruthin, in North Wales. When his parents returned to the United States, he was placed in Sandwich Academy, Mass., and in due time entered Harvard College, from which he graduated in 1812. For some time after his graduation he was proctor and teacher of rhetoric there, and meanwhile had resolved to enter upon the ministry. In 1816 he became a deacon, and not long after assumed charge of Christ Church, Hartford, Conn., where he was admitted to priest's orders; May 29, 1819, he was made rector of the parish; Nov. 25 he was called to be an assistant minister of Trinity Church, New York city, where he continued to serve until he was elected rector of Grace Church, in the same city, early in 1821. With this Church he spent thirteen years of his ministry. In 1834 he accepted the rectorship of Trinity Church, Boston, but remained only three years, when he returned to New York as assistant minister of Trinity Church, the congregation of St. John's Chapel becoming his more immediate charge, and in this relation he continued until the close of his life. He became involved in a controversy with the Rev. Dr. Potts, of New York, in 1844, which grew out of an assertion which he had made, that "there is no Church without a bishop." It was conducted in the form of letters in the Ned York Commercial Advertiser, and was afterwards published in pamphlet form. His health having become impaired, he traveled extensively in Europe and the East in 1848-49 for recreation; and after his return he published two large volumes on Egypt and the Holy Land. June 15, 1852 he was a representative of the Episcopal Church in America at the celebration in Westminster Abbey, at the close of the third jubilee year of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts. On this occasion Oxford bestowed upon him the degree of D.C.L. Oct. 1, 1852, he was chosen provisional bishop of the diocese of New York, and was consecrated Nov. 9 following. Among the various offices which he had previously filled, it may be mentioned that he was a deputy from the diocese of New York to the General Convention of 1832; was a member of the Diocesan Standing Committee from 1829 to 1833; was replaced on that committee in 1844, and was continued there by four successive conventions; from 1828 to 1834 was secretary of the Board of Trustees of the General Theological Seminary; for many years a trustee of Trinity School; a trustee of the Society for the Promotion of Religion and Learning in the State of New York; a vice-president of the New York Bible and Prayer-book Society; a trustee of the Tract Society; and, from the beginning, one of the executive committee and a member of the Board of the General Sunday-school Union. Dr. Wainwright died in New York city, Sept. 21, 1854. Among his literary productions are numerous published discourses and several books, viz.: Pathways and Abiding Places of Our Saviour (1850): Two Orders of Family Prayer (1845, 1850): — The Land of Bondage (1851). He also edited two volumes of Memoirs, one of bishop Ravenscroft, of North Carolina, and one of bishop Heber. Dr. Wainwright was a lover of the fine arts, and his taste in these matters was excellent. His sermonic style was perspicuous, but there was little ornament and apparently little elaboration. His elocution evinced careful culture. He had a strong relish for social life, and attracted the refined by his urbane manners. See Sprague, Annals of the Amer. Pulpit, 5, 610.

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