Wyckoff, Isaac Newton, Dd
Wyckoff, Isaac Newton, D.D.
a (Dutch) Reformed minister, was born near Millstone, N. J., in 1792. He graduated at Queen's College in 1813, and at New Brunswick Seminary in 1817. He was settled as pastor of the Reformed Church, Catskill, N.Y., from 1817 to 1836, and of the Second Reformed Church, Albany, from 1836 to 1866. He retired from active duty after forty-nine years of arduous clerical labor, about three years before his death, which occurred in 1869. Four new churches were organized by him in his first field of labor. At Albany more than one thousand persons were added to the communion of his Church during his ministry of thirty years. He was fond of books and study, and of literary and theological culture. But he was pre-eminently a pastor. He seemed to know everybody in his flock, and almost in the whole city. Young men found him a genial, sympathizing, and loving helper, for he never lost his youthful buoyancy. He was gifted with a wonderful flow of animal spirits. His presence was sunshine. His conversation overflowed with wit and humor, with irresistible drollery, and yet with a pious fervor which sanctified the whole man. To the emigrant Hollanders, who always stopped at Albany on their way to the Michigan Colony, he was for years a father and a priest. He conversed, read, and could preach in the Dutch language with great fluency. In every benevolent institution, in the boards of the Church, in all kinds of public assemblies where his influence could be well used, he was a representative speaker and actor. Among the sick, the anxious, the unconverted, the young and the aged alike, his personal and pastoral tact and power were universally admitted. His home was a Bethel, his hospitality unbounded, and his social intercourse entertaining and profitable. He was full of music, an art which he cultivated delightfully and skillfully, with voice and instrument. His piety was a flowing stream, sparkling, clear, unceasing, joyous, and refreshing to himself and to his people and friends. The spontaneity of his faith precluded the indulgence of mere cant. The light of the cross was on his brow; the breath of Olivet animated his speech. To hear him pray in his family circle was to be borne up to the Mount of Vision." His religion was a life, never a burden, never a mere robe, but a principle in active operation — "a well of water in him springing up to everlasting life." His charity was wonderful, in thoughts, feelings, speech, gifts and deeds of love for Christ's sake. In ecclesiastical assemblies he was a peace-maker. His olive branch never withered in the heat of controversy. With nearly all the great movements of his Church for half-a century he was prominently identified. He was a frequent speaker at the great May anniversaries in New York, and a number of his sermons are printed in the National Preacher, etc. His person was of medium size, slender, wiry, agile, and tough. His face was radiant with cheerfulness and goodness. His voice was large, fill, sonorous, and he used it often with great oratorical effect. His mental ingenuity and: freshness of thought and expression proclaimed him an original character. He was perfectly unique, always himself, and never much like other-folks. He thought and talked, and preached and prayed, in his own peculiar way. He used many big words; he often made words and combinations of words that gave great point' and pith to his sentences. His aim was direct; his sermons Biblical and expository; his style picturesque, homely, imaginative, instructive, tender, and evangelical. In mortuary discourses he excelled. Some of his memorial and funeral sermons, published in pamphlet form, and especially his many contributions to Dr. Sprague's Annals of the American Pulpit, are choice specimens of his descriptive and analytical sketches of character. Down to his old age he retained his youthful appearance and manner, with fresh complexion, and hair curling and unchanged in color. "His eye was not dim nor his natural strength abated" until his last illness laid its wasting hand upon him. See Porter [Dr. E. S.], Memorial Sermon. (W. J. R. T.)