Abbildungen der Seite

the Presiding Elder, he took charge of the Lexington Circuit, in the place of Aquila Sugg, whose health had failed, until the ensuing Annual Conference. This circuit spread over the present territory of Fayette, Jessamine, Woodford, Franklin, Scott, and Harrison counties, and included portions of Bourbon and Clarke. The appointments were filled every four weeks, and the circuit had within its bounds the following preaching-places : Lexington, Reynolds's, Widow Prior's, Lewis's Chapel, Burns's, Versailles, Frankfort, Snelling's, Griffith's, Widow Waller's, Col. Thomas Morris's—below Cynthiana, Coleman's Chapel, Tucker's, Smith's, Matthews's, Col. Robert Wilmot's, White's, Ewbank's, and Bryant's. A class had been previously formed at each one of these points, and Mr. Scott represents the most of them as in a healthy condition. The one in Lexington, however, he speaks of as being small, though in it were “several excellent members, who were ornaments of society.”* At the close of this year his labors as an itinerant minister ceased.

A short time afterward he was married, and turned his attention to secular pursuits. For a brief period he was a clerk in a dry-goods store in Washington, Mason county. He then turned his attention to the study of law, and while prosecuting his legal studies, in order to support his family, he worked at the tailoring business—some idea of which he had gathered, in early life, from his

* Judge Scott's manuscript.

[ocr errors]

father, who was a tailor. Anxious to render him every assistance, his wife devoted her leisure time in reading to her husband Blackstone's Commentaries and other law-books, while he plied his needle upon his board.

In the fall of 1798, he removed to Lexington, Kentucky, where, under the Hon. James Brown, he prosecuted his preparations for the bar. In 1800, he obtained license to practice law, and settled in Flemingsburg. In 1801, he emigrated to Ohio, and settled in Chillicothe, where he resided until his death.

In the State of Ohio he held various civil offices, and always discharged their functions to the satisfaction of those who had confided them to his trust. In 1809, he was elected by the Legislature of Ohio one of the Judges of the Supreme Court, and the next year was reëlected, and commissioned Chief Judge of that court. In 1815, “finding the salary insufficient for his support, he resigned his seat on the bench, and resumed the practice of law.” He afterward held several offices, and filled positions of high responsibility.*

“On the 13th day of February, 1856, in the bosom of his family, and surrounded by friends, his spirit peacefully departed, without a struggle or groan, to the God that gave it." †

By his brethren of the bar he was held in high esteem. On the second day after his death the members of the bar of Ross county met in Chillicothe, and adopted resolutions expressive of their high veneration for his memory. The Scioto Lodge of Masons also passed similar resolutions, in which they state that “he met death with calmness and manly resignation;" that, “after a long life of usefulness, honorable bearing, and beneficent liberality, he confronted death with an unquailing eye, and passed away from earth, to realize that future which God has promised to the pure in heart.” But it was his Christian character that shone with brightest luster. As a pioneer preacher in Kentucky, he spent two years in the itinerant service of the Church, faithfully prosecuting the great work of the ministry; and then retiring to the local ranks, he still devoted every energy within his power to the welfare and prosperity of the Church he loved so well. To locate-hazardous as is always the stepdid not release his conscience of the obligation to preach the gospel, nor did it weaken his desire for the salvation of the people. As long as he remained in Kentucky, he faithfully prosecuted his ministerial calling; and when he settled in Ohio, he at once became a representative man in the infant cause. Through a long and eventful life he held fast his profession, maintained his ministerial standing, and everywhere avowed himself a follower of the “meek and lowly Jesus.” No wonder, then, that he met death with composure, and felt ready for the summons.

* Finley's Sketches of Western Methodism. † Extract from proceedings of the Ross County (Chillicothe) Bar.

It is always a cause of regret to the Church, when a laborious and useful minister of the gospel retires from the itinerant field, and especially if in the flower of his manhood. There was, perhaps, no one among the early pioneers, who promised greater usefulness to the Church than Mr. Scott; and while it is a pleasing reflection that he never stained the judicial ermine by any act of wrong, nor soiled his Christian character as he mingled with the turmoil and strife of political life, yet our pleasure would be heightened if we could record that his noble life had been exclusively devoted to the work of the ministry.

Of Peter Guthrie we know but little. He entered the Conference this year, and was appointed to the Salt River Circuit, and the following year to the Cumberland; and then we lose sight of him altogether.

The name of Tobias Gibson is also in the list of the Appointments in Kentucky; but we likewise find him, for the same year, appointed to the Union Circuit, in North Carolina. The Minutes read : “ Union-Tobias Gibson, one quarter.We do not find sufficient evidence to justify the belief that he spent any portion of this year in Kentucky. None of his cotemporaries, so far as we are advised, make any allusion to him in this department of the work; and in the brief account of his life and labors published in the General Minutes,* no reference whatever is made to his appointment to Kentucky. The probabilities are that he remained during the whole year in the South; yet it will not be improper to refer to him in this connection. He was a native of South Carolina, and was born November 10, 1771, in Liberty county, on the Great Pedee. He lived only thirteen years after he entered the traveling connection; three of which were spent in South Carolina, four in North Carolina, one on Holston; and the last five years in Mississippi, as missionary to Natchez—where he died on the 5th day of April, 1804.

* Vol. I., p. 125.

Among the early Methodist preachers there was no one more self-sacrificing or more zealous in the prosecution of his labors than Mr. Gibson. His biographer says: “What motive induced him to travel, and labor, and suffer so much and so long? He had a small patrimony of his own, that, improved, might have yielded him support. The promise of sixty-four dollars per annum,* or twothirds, or one-half of that sum-just as the quarterly collections might be made in the circuitscould not be an object with him. His person and manners were soft, affectionate, and agreeable. His life was a life of devotion to God. He was greatly given to reading, meditation, and prayer. He very early began to feel such exertions, exposures, and changes, as the first Methodist missionaries had to go through in spreading the gospel in South Carolina and Georgia—preaching day and night. His feeble body began to fail, and he appeared to be superannuated a few years before he went to the Natchez country. It is reported that, when he

* The salary, at that time, of a traveling preacher.

« ZurückWeiter »