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of thanks, written in less dubious English, and stating that the loan he made had saved the writer from despair ; had given him heart and means to offer himself as a teacher of drawing, the profits of which now enabled him to return the sum lent, with a thousand thanks and a hearty blessing.
Such a youth deserved success, and it is agreeable to think that he attained it. An honorable and successful course followed upon this right beginning, and he now looks back with gratitude to the memory of one, who, amid his own wants, could yet compassionate and trust a friendless and helpless stranger.
The following, among some chance notes preserved, though without date, and probably some years later, shows his own delicacy in receiving favors.
TO DR. J. C. OSBORN.
'July 23. Dear Sir,
Your attentions to my family, marked not only by professional skill, but by tenderness and affection, have laid me under a debt of gratitude not to be cancelled by any pecuniary compensation. This, however, is an act of justice, and should the enclosed be less than
your customary demands, I beg that you will lay me under additional obligations to you by informing me. Permit me to take this opportunity of expressing to you how much solicitude I feel for the preservation of a life so valuable to your friends and to society, and at the same time to subscribe myself, not in the cold forms of civility, but with the utmost sincerity, Your much obliged and affectionate friend,
J. H. HOBART.'
The affectionate prayer for a life so valuable to others, it is painful to learn, was without avail.
The physician and friend here addressed, himself soon fell under the hand of disease : he died at the island of St. Thomas, whither he had gone for the benefit of his health. In the pages of the Christian Journal' we find his death recorded, and his worth more publicly acknowledged, both probably from the same pen as the foregoing.
Among the fleeting recollections which bear upon his habits of ready kindness, the following, however trifling, may yet serve to mark his character.
On one occasion being interrupted while very busily engaged, by a petition for alms, he refused to be disturbed, and the petitioner was dismissed. On coming down to the parlor he was observed to walk up and down the room very hastily two or three times with his hands behind him, as his inanner was, until at length hastily saying, 'I have done wrong - I have done wrong!' he seized his hat, followed the applicant, whose name and residence his quick
memory had retained, and relieved at once his own conscience and the poor man's necessities.
On another occasion, having given in haste an obscure direction to some distant part of the city to an elderly country clergyman, who was his guest ; as soon as he became aware of it, he snatched up his hat, and in his slippers as he was, ran after him to correct it. These no doubt are trifling incidents for a great man's life, but they speak forth the heart, and show how it was that he won love as well as admiration from all who approached him. But these things were hardly virtues in him : they were rather nature.
His pity gave ere charity began.'
To these already absorbing engagements of Mr. Hobart was soon added another, a load of public duties from which, through life, he never was afterward free. Through the friendship of Bishop White he had been appointed Secretary to the House of Bishops, during their triennial meeting in Philadelphia, in June, 1799, shortly after his own ordination. Upon the meeting of the Diocesan Convention of NewYork, in 1801, he was chosen to the same office in it, and elected one of the Deputies to represent the Diocese in the General Convention,
which met at Trenton the same year.
So well satisfied was the Diocese with their choice, that we find him successively elected to the two following General Conventions, in 1804 and 1808, the only ones which preceded his own elevation to the episcopate, and in both unanimously chosen by the House of Clerical and Lay Deputies as their Secretary.
In the State Convention, from the day of his appearance, he became what may be termed its business man. He was annually chosen its Secretary from 1801 to 1811, when elected to be its Bishop, during the whole of which period its official business rested on him. annually also elected upon the Standing Committee of the Diocese, thus becoming one of the Bishop's canonical advisers in all his official acts. He was regularly chosen, as already said, a Delegate to represent the Diocese in the General Convention. In 1804 he was the originator of the Committee for Propagating the Gospel in the State of New York, and from that period was annually chosen upon that Committee-serving as its Secretary-corresponding with its missionaries, and making its reports to the Convention; and, in 1808, introduced the plan of annual parish collections for funds for their support. In 1803 we find him preaching the Annual Convention Sermon, and on all occasions which called for labor, zeal, or talent, standing prominent. It is a coincidence to be noted, that the very first entry of his name on the minutes of the Convention, the first year he sat in it, is in connection with the principle that marked all his subsequent course – Ecclesia est in episcopo.' On motion of the Rev. Mr. Hobart, resolved, That this Convention cannot with propriety act upon the memorial while this Church is destitute of a bishop.' This entry follows in the Journal of 1801, immediately after the resignation of Bishop Provoost.
For the duties involved in these honorable offices Mr. Hobart was peculiarly well qualified, He was a fluent speaker and a ready writer, while the confidence reposed in his judgment and practical talent, placed him, even at that early age, among the sagest counsellors of the Church, Having thus introduced him into a higher sphere of labor, we turn over, as it were, a new page in his history.