The following is but an attempt in a small way to express some measure of appreciation of a great intellectual leader of the Church and a splendid citizen of our republic. Of masterly intellect, great ability, and a wise counselor, possessing a wide charity, this nobel Christian knight combined so many splendid qualities in his personality that we might well "look up to all the world and say, 'This is a man.'"
That it must ever remain surpassingly strange the noblest and best are taken will find echo in many sad hearts that are grieving over the passing of Dr. McKim from the scene of his eartly labors. Serving in the Confederate army while yet a lad, his manly character at once won him a commission, and his soldierly qualities were more than once evidenced on the field of battle. But he felt called to a yet higher service, and, leaving the line of action for a brief period, he returned to the army as a disciple of the Master, the King of kings, whose devoted follower he continued through more than fifty years of faithful service in the Christian ministry.
Courtly in manner, possessed of a winning personality, he was a commanding figure in any assembly. Like Lee, his "Christian hero." duty and fidelity were has armor, and braver spirit never bore a nobler standard. Truly may it be said of Dr. McKim in the words of King David: "Know ye not that a Prince and a great man has fallen this day in Israel." His inspiring presence will be sadly missed, and his place cannot be filled in the councils of the Church or in the arena of public affairs. But the Master has called him unto himself, called him to yet higher honors than earth's pilgrimage can ever bestow.
"Not all men ore of equal value, * * * not many royal hearts, but happy the nation blessed with a few great minds and a few great hearts." Such a man was Dr. McKim-faithful steward and keeper of the Master's fold, a beloved commander and Christ's chosen leader. "I will set up a shepherd who shall feed my flock; * * * he shall be their shepherd and a Prince among tem," He has lifted up a standard to the people, he has been as a watchman at the gates; courageous and unafraid, he was a tower of strength in the house of the Lord. Both ardent and direct in all his ways, he was intense in his loyalty to truth and justice, and no more gallant soldier or inspiring leader ever rendered worthier service to God and country.
In peace, as in war, he did not hesitate to sound the bugle note when he foresaw coming ill to Church or State. And his warm-hearted human sympathies and loving kindness won many hearts and enabled him to lift many burdens. He was in very truth God's gift to his people, and the glory of the Lord was upon him, for
Our hearts are deeply troubled; the Church and the nation have suffered an irreparable loss. No one may tak his place, but all will have as an example the beacon light, the fires he has kindled on the high hills, to shine through the pages of history. Yes, a particular star has lent new beauty to the world and passed onward below the horizon, but the radiance of its setting paints the pathway it blazoned and the glory remains. A life, such as Dr. McKim lived, for the glory of God and in untiring service to humanity will be an inspiration to future generations. And his courtly manner, noble intellect, and fine spiritual nature will be a living memory in the hearts that were priveleged to know him or to come within the influence of his teachings.
Nobly he has wrought many years of unswerving fealty to great principles and with unfailing courage in their defense. To a man of his measure the quick transition from the Church militant to the Church triumphant must indeed have been "a glad surprise." Long and earnestly has this sainted warrior-priest labored, loyally has he served the King, pointing the way of truth and righteousness. "Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be always acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer."
And now God has given his servant "his heart's desire." He has been brought into the courts of the Great Shepherd, the King of heaven and earth, and is in his nearer presence. "Honor and majesty hath he laid upon * * * and made him exceeding glad," for "to depart is to be with Christ." "And I heard a voice from heaven saying, Write" Blessed are the dead that die in the Lord." I. McC. E.
Widespread sorrow was occassioned by the death of Rev. Randolph H. McKim, of Washington, D. C., who died very suddenly on July 15 while on vacation at Bedford Springs, Pa. He had been pastor of the Church of the Epiphany in Washington for thirty-two years and after funeral rites at that church his body was taken to Baltimore and laid to rest in Greenmount Cemetery.
Dr. McKim was born in Baltimore on April 16, 1842, the son of John S. and Catherine Harrison McKim. Shortly after his graduation from the University of Virginia in 1861 he enlisted in the Southern army, serving first as a private in the corps commanded by Gen. Joseph E. Johnston and later by Stonewall Jackson. He was afterwards commissioned first lieutenant and assigned as aide-de-camp on the staff of Gen. George H. Steuart. Near the close of the war he served as chaplain of the 2d Virginia Cavalry.
In 1866 Dr. McKim was ordained a minister of the Episcopal Church and held pastorates in Virginia, New York, New Orleans, and then in Washington since 1888. He was active in all work connected with his Church and became a prominent figure in the ecclesiastical world. He was the author of a number of books of Church interest and also contributed several volumes to the history of the Southern cause, among which were "A Soldier's Recollections," "Numerical Strength of the Confederate Armies,"" "The Soul of Lee."
As a member of Camp No. 171, U. C. V., of the District of Columbia, Dr. McKim was prominent among the veterans of Washington and active in their interst. He was also a member of the Sons of the American Revolution and Society of Colonial Wars.
SOURCE: Confederate Veteran Magazine, September, 1920.
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