This man of God breathed his last breath in the city of New York on the 23rd of August. He had reached his three score years and ten, and had been for about forty years a minister of the gospel. He was during his ministry Pastor of three churches. The Baptist Church of Alexandra, D. C., enjoyed his early labors - thence he went to Oliver street, New York, and after many years faithful service he became Pastor of the First Baptist Church in that city. He was probably a man of more extensive influence than any other in the Baptist denomination. His executive talent was very remarkable. He accomplished much. It was a rare thing for an enterprise in which he engaged to prove a failure. He considered well before he acted, and then displayed great energy and perseverance. He was a devoted friend of Foreign Missions - a zealous advocate of Indian Missions - and one of the originators of the American Baptist Home Missionary Society. There was no man more anxious to see the gospel preached to every creature. The cause of Bible distribution ever lay near Dr. Cone's heart. For many years he was one of the Corresponding Secretaries of the American Bible Society. In the controversy in the Board of that Society which grew out of the application of Messrs. Yates and Pearce for assistance to publish their Bengelee version, in which baptize was rendered immerse, Dr. C. acted a prominent part. He laid the entire Baptist denomination under obligation to him by his able advocacy of the truth. In the formation of the American and Foreign Bible Society all eyes were turned to Dr. C. as the man to act as its President. This position he occupied till 1850, when the American Bible Union was formed, to the Presidency of which he was elected without opposition. Being the advocate of pure versions of the word of God at home and abroad he felt a very deep interest in a Revised English Version of the Scriptures. He did not live to see this object accomplished, but he saw the necessary plans for its accomplishment devised and partially executed. His advocacy of a Revision of the English Scriptures drew down upon him bitter persecution. How many unkind things were said of him only a few months ago in the Home Mission Board! Had it been known then that he was so near the grave, how many remarks that were then made would not have been made at all, and how many others would have been materially modified! His death should teach his survivors a lesson, viz: to avoid as much as possible the asperities of controversy and aim alone at the establishment of the truth as it is in Jesus. Who that spoke or wrote unkindly of the venerable Cone does not now regret it? To have been the persecutor of a man now in Heaven, how fearful the thought! The past cannot be changed but future may be made to differ from the past.
If I may be allowed to refer to myself I will say that the privilege of being with Dr. Cone for a few days in October last, and hearing him express his views on various matters I regard as among the most pleasant reminiscences of my life. The text I then heard him preach from was this, "Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me," &c. When such men as Dr. C. dies earth becomes much poorer and Heaven much richer.
J. M. P.
[From The Tennessee Baptist, September 22, 1855, p. 2. Scanned and formatted by Jim Duvall.]
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