Charles Dutton Mallary

Charles Dutton Mallary

Mallary, Charles Dutton, D.D., was born in West Poultney, Vt., Jan. 23, 1801, and died July 31, 1864. He graduated with the first honor at Middlebury College, Vt., in August, 1817; was baptized and joined the church in 1822; and the same year moved to South Carolina, where he was ordained in 1824, at Columbia. There he married Miss Susan Mary Evans, granddaughter of Rev. Edmund Botsford. In 1830 he removed to Augusta, Ga., and took charge of the Augusta Baptist church. Four years afterwards he became pastor of the church at Milledgeville, but resigned to become the agent for Mercer University, in 1837, laboring as such for three years, when he began a life of evangelistic and pastoral labors for various churches in Middle and AVestern Georgia, which continued until 1852, when he retired to his farm, near Albany, where he resided, in feeble health, until his death, in 1864. In 1840 he married his second wife, Mrs. Mary E. Welch, a lady of superior worth and talents, who preceded him to the skies by two years.

Dr. Mallary was a man of most uncommon piety, and exerted a more wholesome influence than any other man of the denomination in the State. No other stood higher in the esteem of the brethren; nor did any other of his day, in the truest sense, do more for the cause of God and the denomination in the State. Dawson was a more brilliant orator, and Crawford was more learned and scholarly, but neither surpassed him in the highest and best characteristics, as a preacher. He had clear views of divine truth, and a deep experience of its sanctifying power in the heart. His voice was commanding; his elocution distinct and forcible; his imagination splendid; his language chaste, and his address affectionate and persuasive. While eminently pure and clear, his style was often ornate, and sometimes arose to sublimity. He loved to preach Christ crucified as the only foundation of a sinner’s hope, and to exhibit a sovereign God, working all things after the counsel of his own will. These high themes he discussed with a clear head and a warm heart, and rendered them eminently practical by the manner in which he pressed them on the consciences of his hearers. Thoroughly instructed in the Scriptures, profoundly conversant with the workings of experimental religion, and knowing well “the windings and doublings” of man’s deceitful heart, he was exactly fitted to take it captive with the sweet influences of revealed truth.

He had the happy talent of introducing religious subjects in his conversation with others, and of directing their attention to the great interests of eternity. To those who knew him intimately his conversation was simply delightful, for a spirit of piety pervaded almost every sentence of his discourse; and the power of a well-cultivated mind added interest and instruction to the other charms of his conversation. In all that he did and said his profound spirituality shone conspicuously as the distinguishing feature of his character. If any man ever had the full assurance of hope it was he, for his faith in God seemed to know no misgiving. His chief joy was in the worship of God, and scarcely any possible contingency was permitted to interrupt his family and private devotions. At the domestic altar and in the closet he held sweet communion with the Father of spirits, and came forth to his public ministrations and religious efforts richly imbued with the spirit of his divine Master. Everywhere he exhibited a beautiful consistency of Christian character. He maintained always a close walk with God. His aim in life was to promote the glory of God and the good of mankind. Every personal interest was subordinated to this sublime purpose. No narrow-mindedness checked his expansive charity, for his benevolence embraced the whole human race, the needy at his own door, and the heathen at the ends of the earth.

His private life was as pure as his sentiments were exalted, and in all his relations with his brethren he was a model of gentleness and unselfish Christian courtesy. He was distinguished for his controlling and peaceful influence in our denominational councils. He was most skillful and prompt to adopt measures in promotion of harmony and efficiency, and, by word and deed, led his brethren onward in the way of truth and righteousness, and in extending the Redeemer’s kingdom throughout the world. When money was needed for the interests of the churches and for the spread of the gospel, he was a liberal contributor and a most successful agent in procuring the gifts of others. His example and influence survive in the memory of thousands; the seeds of truth which he has sown are still growing and bringing forth fruit in the lives and hearts of many who heard his voice. Besides these he has left written memorials which will be read with interest and profit for many years to come, among which are his memoirs of Mercer and Botsford, and that most excellent book entitled “Soul Prosperity.”‘ While a man of strong convictions and determined purposes, he was as meek and gentle as a lamb. With a will as determined as ever moved a despot, it was so tempered and subdued by grace that it would bear all things, believe all things, hope all things, endure all things. His self control seemed to be complete; no unkind word or hasty speech, or anything to stain a most consistent and holy life, ever escaped his lips or characterized his actions. He never entered the arena of strife, but would pour oil on the troubled waters, and turn away anger by soft words, and with melting tenderness reprove the erring. So profound was his piety that nothing ever seemed to disturb it. The expression of his countenance when in the pulpit was tender and heavenly. While replete with doctrinal truth, his sermons were full of tenderness and pathos, his greatest strength consisting in what rhetoricians have denominated unction; for, as he stood in the pulpit, his audience felt that they were in the presence of a man of God. It was this united to his native good sense, which gave him such influence in religious deliberative assemblies, and secured for him the most profound attention, and rendered his suggestions most likely to meet the approval of his brethren; and it was this, imbuing all his words and actions, which gave him such spiritual power among his brethren, and made him a pillar in the denomination, and which yet gives his memory a fragrance among Georgia Baptists.

Dr. Mallary was a warm advocate of temperance, missionary societies and Sunday-schools, and to the very end of life continued to preach whenever physically able. Though so energetic and laborious during his whole ministry, his services to God and his generation were performed with a feeble body, especially in the last years of his life, when he was subject to frequent attacks of nervous disease, attended with violent pain in the head. His death was peaceful and happy, and his last expression, uttered while gently clapping his hands, was, ” Sweet, sweet home!’

* The Baptist Encyclopedia: Edited by William Cathcart. (1883) pp 741-3.

See C. D. Mallary’s Sermon on the Doctrine of Election in the Christian Index 1843.

3 Comments

I found your link on James Spurgeons web site, and thought that I would check you out. I want to thank you for that biography. I love to read about the faith and love for Christ, that men of ole possessed. I am also ignorant of Church History, and am always interested in learning. Reading about men, like him make me desire to have the same love and desire in my life for Christ as these men in history had. Thanks.

Don, I’m doing a Powerpoint presentation for our church on martyrs and christians who made a significant impact on contemporary theological understanding. This will be very helpful.