Yates, John Austin, Dd
Yates, John Austin, D.D.
a (Dutch) Reformed minister, son of the preceding, was born at East Hartford, Conn., May 31, 1801. He graduated at Union College in 1821, and studied theology at the Seminary of the Reformed Church' at New Brunswick, N. J., for two years, when he accepted a tutorship in his alma mater at Schenectady, N.Y. He was licensed to preach in 1824; continued as tutor until 1827, and was then made professor of Oriental literature in the same institution. To complete his preparations for this chair, he went to Europe, studied at the University of Berlin, visited Italy and other countries, and returned at the end of two years to his post (in 1829). He was never settled as a pastor, but supplied various churches in Schenectady, Albany, and elsewhere during his collegiate life of twenty years. He had, however, accepted a call to the First Reformed Church of Jersey City, and had informally begun his labors with enthusiasm and great popularity. He died very suddenly of Asiatic cholera, Aug. 26, 1849, while on a visit to Schenectady, and his funeral sermon was preached in his church in Jersey City on the evening that had been set apart for his installation. Dr. Yates was a highly accomplished man, attractive in manners, of genial spirit, and possessed of that magnetic power which is so irresistible in social and public life. He was a man of genius, literary and polished to a high degree, and an enchanting public speaker. His sermons, being prepared during his professional life, were written with great care, and often were the fruits of long previous study and repeated revision. His delivery was animated and graceful, with a subdued earnestness, and free from all stage effects or merely popular sins. He was as simple as a child, and singularly free from duplicity or suspicion. He passed through many trials, to some of which his natural temperament added new pangs and complications. His students and friends loved him unto death with the most ardent affection, while those who opposed him in some of his difficulties were equally decided in their feelings. His sudden death found him at peace with God and ready for his change. He left no printed remains. (W. J. R.T.)