Taylor - Robert Francis - Montgomery InGenWeb Project

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Taylor - Robert Francis

Source: Wilson, Joseph M. Presbyterian Historical Almanac, vol.9. Princeton, NJ: 1866-67, page 206? (thanks so much to Pat Taylor Jennings for this piece) -- see also his father's biography, Samuel C. Taylor
Taylor, Robert Francis. The son of Rev. Samuel and Elizabeth (White) Taylor was born in Bourbon County, Ky Dec 29, 1830. He was converted in infancy and was early impressed with a strong desire to become a minister. His education was conducted principally by his father until he entered Hanover College, Ind where he was graduated in 1851. He studied theology at the New Albany and Princeton Seminaries and was licensed to preach by the Presbytery of Vincennes, Ind in June 1853. Though preaching regularly, he had no charge until the spring of 1854, when he settled at Batesville, Ark. Here he labored so earnestly that in the autumn he was gladdened by a precious harvest of souls. But the unwearied spirit made greater demands upon the body than it could endure, and rupture of the lungs with severe hemorrhages followed and he was compelled to resign his charge. Seeking restoration by change of climate, he went with his father and brother-in-law, Rev. William Rice to Texas For 18 months he was wholly unable to preach. In the fall of 1855 he was ordained by the Presbytery of Eastern Texas convened at Rush. In the spring of 1856 he accepted an invitation to supply for one year the church of Dallas, Texas. He also organized and supplied one in Sabbath in each month the church at Lancaster, Dallas Co Tx. In 1857 he went as commissioner from the Presbytery of Eastern Texas to the General Assembly held that year at Lexington, Ky. In July following he went to Constantine, Mich where he preached until Nov 1857, when, finding it impossible to endure the rigors and dampness of the climate and being upon the verge of another failure of health he accepted an invitation to take charge of the churches of Vernon and Scipion in Indiana where he labored with good success until May 1860 leaving because the salary was inadequate to his support. He next went to Macomb, Ill where he preached until the first of October when he was again stricken by hemorrhage. Hoping that the climate of Minnesota might benefit him, he went thither and after being in a measure restored, he entered upon his work again, preaching at Rochester, Minn where he remained until August 1862 when he entered the 78th Regt Illinois Vols as chaplain. He continued in the service until July 1863, when exposure and overwork resulted in several violent hemorrhages and from which he never entirely rallied. In November 1864 he organized a church at Colfax, Ind where he was most useful and to which, without compensation he preached until Jan 1866. Here his active life ended and months of patient endurance of physical suffering following until his life was terminated by consumption on the 19th of Dec 1866 in Vernon, Ind. As he walked in this, so did he enter the eternal world, learning trustingly upon his Savior. His last words were, "Jesus is near, Jesus is precious." Heaven was his home, his Father's house and he longed to enter it. Though his life had been full of sorrowful disappointments, he felt that it had also been full of mercies and that it was not unmeet that this cup should contain some of the gall and wormwood which his Saviour drank to the very dregs and which as a cup of discipline, he was willing freely to take. He was remarkable for that simplicity of character which is as beautiful as it is rare. He prayed and talked to God with the same confidence and familiarity that a loving child uses toward an earthly father. He took no step in life without laying his plans before God and asking for his approval and in matters which to most persons would have seemed unimportant. Prayer was his habit - the atmosphere in which he lived. He possessed great rigor of intellect and much originality, which he devoted almost wholly to his ministerial labors. He was a clear and profound thinker and an indefatigable student. His sermons, which were always carefully prepared and spiritual in an eminent degree, were rich in thought. As a pastor, his graces shone most brightly; his gentle, cheerful manner and his rare gift of sympathy made him ever welcome to the afflicted and sorrowing. The poor and friendless of his flock always received from him the most attentive and delicate consideration. It has been said of him that he was benevolent to a fault, giving away often that which was necessary to his comfort. He exported his fortune before him into heaven and he has gone thither to enjoy it. He was the last of his family. He married Mary L. Babb of Cincinnati, who survives him.

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