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A VOLUME of the Professional Life of Bishop Hobart, as promised in his Early Years,' is now put forth, though with unfeigned diffidence, - for many and obvious reasons. The subject and its events are too well known for the interest of biography, and too recent for the freedom of history. It is a story too which can hardly, now at least, be told, without compromitting both names and questions, in a way not easy to avoid reviving old offence or giving new-and, perhaps, too, some may think, of awakening controversies in the Church which are now at rest, and had better be left in silence. Still, however, the narrative is put forth, and, as a lover of peace, the author feels himself bound to state, in few words, his justification.
It is, then, in the hope that the good result. ing will not merely overbalance, but, in great measure, neutralize the evil that is dreadedthat the history of theological controversy, if rightly given, will be found to teach the lesson, not of division but of unity; of kindness, not of contest. It may be, too, that by viewing dis
puted questions from the higher and more peaceful ground on which we now stand, the very memory of offences may be rooted up, by showing that they originated in mistake or misconception. It may be, too, that such a narrative, instead of reviving doctrinal disputes, concerning the nature and ministry of the Church, will exhibit these questions as lying, necessarily, at the basis of a Church rising, as ours did into notice, in the midst of much ignorance and many prejudices; thus showing that the time for such discussions is comparatively passed, and that, leaving these, its foundations, we are now called upon to devote ourselves, in a purer air, it may be said, and with less encumbered hands, to raising higher the superstructure of Christian faith and practice; and, finally, it may be that the opinions of many, both in the Church and out of it, will undergo, in the perusal of this narrative, a change in relation to Bishop Hobart's course and policy, when they come to review the questions then agitated by the light which subsequent experience has thrown upon them; and, to enable the reader to do this for himself, the language of Bishop Hobart is generally laid before him, and a comparison with well known results, occasionally, either drawn out or suggested.
But the narrative is also intended to be a domestic one.
It has, therefore, been the aim of his biographer to exhibit Bishop Hobart, not only as the ruler, but, as the man and the Christian ; and to interweave, with the loftier features of the one the lovelier traits of the other. He has, therefore, painted him as in life he knew him, full of benevolence as well as zeal, and as condescending as he was fearless ; uniting the warm heart and the open hand, and the kind manners of the humble, cheerful Christian companion with the dauntless spirit and uncompromising love of truth that should distinguish him who is called to govern or to teach.
With a view to unite these two pictures, the one personal, the other official, it has been the author's aim to make the former serve as it were, as a frame-work to the latter; or, rather, as the canvass and ground on which his policy and sentiments were to be wrought and woven, in order that incident might give interest to doctrine, and doctrine give importance to incident, and the whole become, to the rising generation of the clergy of our Church, a pleasing and instructive manual of the ministerial character.
This, however, the author is prompt to acknowledge, was but the idea that occasionally flitted before his mind of what might be effected, with the materials he held, by talents and knowledge suited to the task, and the command of competent leisure. For himself, he was well aware, not only that the ability to realize it, under any circumstances, lay beyond him, but, also, that he was further disqualified for such an undertaking, by being enabled to devote to it only such hasty snatches of leisure as were afforded by a busy as well as an academic life. But still, with all its imperfections, he puts it forth, confident that he aims at good—trusting, under a higher guidance, in some degree to attain it and deeply anxious to pay, in such manner as he may, to the Church of which he is a minister, or, rather, (with reverence be it spoken,) to its great spiritual Head, some small portion of that debt of consecrated powers which academic duties have hitherto, perhaps, loo much withdrawn from their rightful destination.
From date of Ordination, 3d June, 1798, in the 23d year of
his age, until removal to New York, December, 1800.
Pastoral Charge of the Churches at Oxford and Perkiomen-Affecting
Incident—Letters from College Friends-Removal to BrunswickResignation---Marriage with Miss Chandler_Rev. Dr. ChandlerLife-Services-Death-Mr. Hobart's Removal to Hempstead-Call to New York, September 8th, 1800—Letter to Mercer-Traits of Character.
On the Sunday immediately following his ordination, which took place 3d June, 1798, Mr. Hobart entered upon his ministerial duties: they consisted in the charge of two small country churches, viz. Trinity, Oxford, and All Saints, Perkioinen, distant, the one about ten, the other thirteen miles from the city of Philadelphia. The object of Bishop White in thus stationing him, as given in his own words, conveys a high compliment to his young friend : ' It was very near to my heart,' says he, 'that he should be settled so close to me as to be easily transferred to any vacancy that might happen in the ministry of the churches of which I am