Name: Samuel Marcus DILL
Given Name: Samuel Marcus
Surname: Dill 1
Death: 11 May 1870
Change Date: 21 Jun 2015 at 14:32|
Father: Samuel DILL b: 2 Aug 1772
Mother: Unnamed FOSTER
- Change Date:
22 Mar 2016
- Samuel DILL
- Robert DILL
- Alexander Harrison DILL b: 27 Jun 1863
- Abbrev: The Twelve Dills
Title: The Twelve Dills
Text: Samuel Marcus, son of Rev. Samuel Dill, Donoughmore, was bo rn in 1811,and
received the rudiments of his classical education in the Ro yal School,Raphoe, where Issac Butt was one of his school f ellows. Havinggraduated in Glasgow University and studied t heology in Belfast, hewas licensed to preach on the 6th o f November, 1833, by the Presbyteryof Letterkenny, after h e had subscribed the Westminster Confessionwith "certain qu alifications" in regard to the eternal Sonship of ourSavior.
After a year and five months of labor as a licentiate, He w as ordained(on the 7th of April, 1835) as assistant and suc cessor to Rev.Alexander Patterson, of Magherally. From Magh erally he moved toHillsborough, where he was installed on t he 3rd of October, 1837, assuccessor to the Rev. Henry Jack son Dobbin, who had accepted a call toFirst Ballymena. Whil e minister of Hillsborough Mr. Dill held a publicdiscussio n (on the 17th and 18th of October, 1849), with the Rev.Har tley Hudson, an Episcopal minister, then in Lisburn, and af terwardsrector of Derrykeighan, near Dervock. The propositi on affirmed by Mr.Hudson, and denied by Mr. Dill was that e very Protestant patron of aNational school makes a compromi se of Protestant and Scripturalprinciple by accepting aid f rom the National Board of Education. Afull report of this d iscussion was afterwards published.
In April, 1853, First Ballymena became vacant by the deat h of Dr.Dobbin, and on the 27th of next September Mr. Dil l was installed hissuccessor in this ongregation just as h e had succeeded him inHillsborough.
In 1859 Mr. Dill, with Dr. Wilson, of Limerick, and Dr. Edg ar, went toAmerica to
collect funds for the Home Mission. (In this enterprise the y weresuccessful, as they brought home more than six thousa nd pounds. Soonafterwards Mr. Dill received the degree of " D.D." from an Americancollege, and in 1860 he was elected t o Moderator of the GeneralAssembly.
Assembly appointed Dr. Dill Professor of Theology, and he r emained inthis position till
his death, five years afterwards. Soon after Mr. Gladston e proposed toDisestablish the
Irish Episcopal Church there was a meeting of the General A ssembly inJune 1868. A
resolution was moved by Dr. Dill, and seconded by Dr. Cooke ,protesting against the
proposed Disendowment of the Presbyterian Church. An amendm ent,brought forward
by Dr. Kirkpatrick and Mr. MacNaughten, to the effect tha t thedisendowment of all
religious denominations in Ireland would be preferable to t heendowment of error, was
lost by a majority of 30 votes. Then another amendment slig htlymodifying the original
motion was carried. Dr. Dill's resolution was supported no t only byTories such as
Cooke, Hanna, and Henderson, but also by Liberals such as W itherow,Smith, and
Brown, of Limavady. I remember hearing Dr. Dill's speech i n thisdebate. He spoke
slowly, but without hesitation, and he impressed me as a po werfulreasoner rather than an
eloquent orator, although at times he seemed animated by st rongfeeling.
As a professor Dr. Dill was laborious and conscientious, wo rking forthe moral
welfare of his students and the prosperity of the college . He hadplanned several works,
among which was a history of the Presbyterian Church of Ire land duringthe previous
hundred years, but he never got beyond the stage of collect ingmaterials. For some time
before his death he was engaged in preparing a volume expla natory ofthe Gospel
according to Mark, for Van Doren's "Suggestive Commentary o n theScriptures," but he
had not made much progress with this undertaking. His onl y separatepublications are
pamphlets - one a sermon, "The Old Paths," delivered when h e wasModerator of the
Assembly in 1861, and another a lecture on "The American Co nflict."
Dr. Dill died on the 11th of May, 1870, leaving a family o f five sonsand five
daughters. One of his sons - the Rev. Alexander H. Dill - i s ministerof First