The committee on the state of religion and statistics of the church submit the following as the result of their investigations the efforts to promote religion during the past year have been crowned with success to an extent that calls for joy and thankfulness yet there are circumstances that call for lamentation mourning and unfeigned sorrow again we are called to mourn the loss of another minister Br. Abner McDowell has gone to his rest in heaven his bold fervent and eloquent appeals to both saint and sinner will be heard no more his overtures for peace forbearance and love shall be witnessed no more on earth this should remind us that our time is short and that soon a successor will fill each of our places or they shall go unfilled the calls for preaching especially from Iowa are more pressing than at any former period the field is large and white to harvest.
On motion Brs. Neill
Hutchison and Joel Hargrove were appointed a committee
to prepare a preamble and resolution expressive of the deep affliction
and great loss sustained by this synod in the death of our beloved
Bro. McDowell. Who presented the following which was received
and adopted. The committee appointed to prepare a preamble and
resolution expressive of the deep affliction they feel in the
death of our beloved Brother Abner McDowell report as follows.
Whereas God in his insertable providence has removed from time to eternity since your last meeting Brother A. McDowell. Resolved that in the death of Bro. McDowell this synod has lost one of her most talented counsellors and faithful members and the church one of her most pious zealous and useful ministers. Resolved that this synod will cherish a lively and pleasing recollection of his peaceful spirit and Godly demeanor. Resolved that in this deep affliction the church in general and especially this synod should with due submission to the divine will inquire earnestly and prayerfully why the Great head of the church seems thus to contend with us and should fervently pray that his mantle may fall on one possessed of a double portion of his spirit. Resolved that we deeply sympathize with his afflicted widow but while we mourn there is joy mingled with our cup of sorrow for although the Almighty has taken our beloved brother in the prime of life we feel grateful that he made his bed in his sickness and soothed and literally extinguished the pains of death and that though he had a short stay on earth he will have the longer stay in heaven where he will no doubt have many stars in his crown of rejoicing.
[Source: Minutes of Sangamon Synod of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, October 1845, pages 64-65 & 66]
Abner McDowell seems to have been one of their [Rushville
Presbytery] best preachers and most pious men. He died
in 1845. He seems to have lived at Rushville from about the time
of the organization till his death. In relation to his death the
Presbytery resolved, that they had been bereaved of one of their
most worthy, active, and much beloved members, one of their wisest
counsellors, and one who had endeared himself to them 'by his
uniform, upright and consistent conduct, as well as by his burning
zeal, his heavenly mindedness, and deep-toned piety. All of these
he exhibited not only by his fervent prayers, his pointed and
glowing exhortations, his instructive, powerful, and eloquent
sermons, but also in his daily walk and common deportment.' This
is the view that is almost universal among the older people as
to this worthy though somewhat obscure minister.
[Source: Logan, J. B. History of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Illinois, Containing Sketches of the First Ministers, Churches, Presbyteries and Synods; also a History of Missions, Publication and Education. Alton, Ill.: Perrin & Smith, 1878, pages 81-82]
The Gift of the Holy Ghost: A Sermon by Rev. Abner M'Dowel.
[Rev. Abner McDowell]
The Cumberland Presbyterian Pulpit, Vol. I, No. 10 [October, 1833], pages 149-159.
Necessity of Prayer: A Sermon by the Rev. Abner M'Dowell
[Rev. Abner McDowell]
The Cumberland Presbyterian Pulpit, Vol. II, pages 123-132