PRIME, SAMUEL IRENÆUS: Presbyterian; b. at Ballston, N. Y., Nov. 4, 1812; d. at Manchester, Vt., July 15, 1885. He was graduated from Williams College (1829), and studied theology at Princeton Theological Seminary (1832-33). He took charge of the academy at Weston and was pastor at Ballston Spa (1833-35), and at Matteawan, N. J. (1837-40). He became editor of The New York Observer in 1840, and continued to occupy this position till his death, making it one of the most influential religious and family papers in the United States. He was for some time a director of the American Bible Society, corresponding secretary of the Evangelical Alliance, president of Wells College, and a trustee of Williams College. He took a leading part in the affairs of the Presbyterian Church, and in the Christian and philanthropic enterprises of the age. He wrote a number of books which had a large circulation abroad. Among them were the Irenæus Letters which appeared in the columns of The New York Observer, and show a rare faculty of clothing everyday topics and experiences with a fresh interest, and extracting from them lessons of practical wisdom.
With the Evangelical Alliance of America, founded in 1867 (see EVANGELICAL ALLIANCE, § 2), he was closely identified. He attended the fifth general conference at Amsterdam in 1867, and read the report on religion in America, prepared by Prof. Henry B. Smith. He served as one of the corresponding secretaries of the American Alliance till 1884, and had a prominent share in the preparations for the great New York Conference of 1873. Dr. Prime was a conservative in his theology, a man of sound judgment, quick wit, rich humor, and a ready incisive pen. He was one of the leaders of public opinion, and one of the most untiring and useful writers of his age and country. A memorial service in his honor was held by the Evangelical Alliance Jan. 5, 1886.
The following works issued from his pen: The Old White Meeting-house, or Reminiscences of a Country Congregation (New York, 1845); Life in New York (1845); Annals of the English Bible, Abridged from Anderson, and Continued to the Present Time (1849); Thoughts on the Death of Little Children (1850); Travels in Europe and the East (1855); Power of Prayer (history of the Fulton Street prayer-meeting, New York City; 1859); The Bible in the Levant; or, the Life and Letters of the Rev. C. N. Righter, Agent of the American Bible Society in the Levant (1859); Letters from Switzerland (1860); Memoirs of the Rev. Nicholas Murray, D.D. (Boston, 1862); Five Years of Prayer (in the Fulton Street prayer-meeting) with the Answers (New York, 1864); Walking with God, Life hid with Christ (1872); Songs of the Soul, gathered out of many Lands and Ages (1873); Alhambra and the Kremlin, Journey from Madrid to Moscow (1873); Fifteen Years of Prayer in the Fulton-street Prayer-meeting (1873); Under the Trees (1874); Life of Samuel F. B. Morse (1875); Prayer and its Answer illustrated in the first Twenty-five Years of the Fulton-street Prayer-meeting (1882); Irenus Letters (3 series, 1882; with portrait, 1885; with sketch of Dr.Prime' s life, 1886, containing his auto- biography in the form of letters).
P. and D. S. SCHAFF.