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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

McIlvaine (or Macllvaine), Charles Petit, D.D.

Mcilvaine (Or Macllvaine), Charles Petit, D.D.,

an eminent divine of the Protestant Episcopal Church, was born in Burlington, New Jersey, June 18, 1799. His father, Joseph McIlvaine, was a leading lawyer and United States senator from New Jersey at the time of his death, in 1826. Charles graduated in 1816 at Princeton; was admitted to deacon's orders July 4, 1820, by bishop White, and, having labored in Christ Church, Georgetown, Md., he received two years later priest's orders from bishop Kemp, of Maryland. In 1825 he became professor of ethics and chaplain in the United States Military Academy at West Point. In 1827 he became rector of St. Ann's Church, Brooklyn, N.Y., where he remained until 1832, when he was consecrated bishop of Ohio. While rector at Brooklyn, he also held the professorship of evidences of revealed religion and sacred antiquities in the University of the City of New York. In the episcopacy, Dr. McIlvaine quickly made a name for himself as a man of learning, and of unusual kindliness of disposition, not only in his own Church, but among all Christians, both in this country and in Europe. For the last ten years or more he was looked upon as the representative of the Low Churchmen of the Protestant Episcopal Church. In his death (which occurred at Florence, Italy, while on a journey for recreation, March 14, 1873), irenical theology has lost one of its ablest advocates, and the Evangelical Association one of its most active promoters.

Bishop McIllvaine was a large contributor to theological literature. His Lectures on the Evidences of Christianity (9th ed. 1857, 12mo, reprinted in England and Scotland), delivered in New York University in 1831, were published by request of the Council, and have gone through many editions. During the early part of the controversy arising out of the Oxford tracts, appeared his Oxford Divinity compared with that of the Romnish and Anglican Churches (Phila. 1841, 8vo; Lond. 1841, 8vo), which the Edinburgh Review recommended as one of the best "confutations of the Oxford school." In 1854 he published a volume of sermons entitled The Truth and the Life. He also compiled two volumes of Select Family and Parish Sermons (Columbus, Ohio, 1839, 2 vols. 8vo). His other works of a minor character are, The Sinner's Justification before God (N.Y. 18mo; Lond. 1851, sq.): The Holy Catholic Church (Phila. 18mo; Lond. 1844, 16mo): No Priest, no Altar, no Sacrifice, but Christ (N. Y. 12mo; Lond. 12mo): Valedictory Offering; Five Sermons (1853, 12mo): A Word in Season to Candidates for Confirnation: The Doctrines of the Prot. Epis. Church as to Confirmation: Chief Danger of the Church: The Truth and the Life; a Series of Twenty-two Discourses (N. Y. 1865, 8vo; Lond. 1855, 8vo; this volume was published at the request of the Convention of the Diocese of Ohio, together with A Memoir of the Rev. Chas. Simeon, both published in New York); and contributed articles to the N. Y. (quarterly) Review, the Episcopal (monthly) Observer, the London (monthly) Christian Observer, the Protestant Churchman (New York), the Episcopal Recorder (Phila.), and the Western Episcopalian (Gambier, Ohio). In 1853 the degree of D.C.L. was conferred upon him by the University of Oxford, and in 1858 that of LL.D. by the University of Cambridge. He was distinguished for the soundness and clearness of his evangelical views, and for the expository character of his preaching. "That for which as a preacher he is most eminent is his power of illustrating Scripture by Scripture; and his mode of doing this shows at once the fullness and the accuracy of his knowledge of Scripture and the transparent simplicity of his conception... . in all his preaching he aims to lay broad and deep the foundations of the Christian character, in strong, clear views of man's sinfulness and need, and Christ's fullness and freeness as a Savior." See Fish, Pulpit Eloquence of the Nineteenth Century (N.Y. 1857, 442, q.v.) for a notice of this excellent prelate, and a sermon of his on the resurrection of Christ. See, also, Western Memorabilia; Knickerbocker, 35:42; Darling, Cyclop. Bibl. 1:1911; Allibone, Dict. Brit. and Amer. Authors, vol. ii, s.v. (J. H. W.)

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'McIlvaine (or Macllvaine), Charles Petit, D.D.'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/tce/m/mcilvaine-or-macllvaine-charles-petit-dd.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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