March 17, 1828, Cum­ber­land Coun­ty, Penn­syl­van­ia.

Jan­u­a­ry 26, 1915, at home in Co­lum­bus, Ohio.

Green Lawn Ce­me­te­ry, Co­lum­bus, Ohio.


Mat­thi­as was the son of Matthias Loy and Chris­ti­na Rea­ver.

After a bleak, po­ver­ty pinched boy­hood, he was ap­pren­ticed in 1847 to the print­ing firm of Baab and Hum­mel at Har­ris­burg, was treat­ed well by his mas­ters, read se­ver­al of the Eng­lish class­ics, learned the ru­di­ments of La­tin and Greek at the Har­ris­burg Acad­e­my, was con­firmed by Charles W. Schaef­fer, and be­gan to think of a min­is­ter­i­al ca­reer.

In 1847, Loy went west for his health, and at Cir­cle­ville, Ohio, was per­suad­ed by Rev­er­end J. Roof to be­come a ben­e­fi­ci­a­ry stu­dent in the sem­in­a­ry (la­ter part of Ca­pi­tal Un­i­ver­si­ty) of the Joint Sy­nod of Ohio, at Co­lum­bus, where he had Chris­tian Spiel­mann and Wilhelm Lehmann as his teach­ers. He was strong­ly in­flu­enced by the writ­ings of C. F. W. Wal­ther and by se­ver­al friends among the cler­gy of the Mis­sou­ri Sy­nod. His on­ly pas­tor­ate was at Del­a­ware, Ohio (1849–65).

On December 25, 1853, he mar­ried Ma­ry Wil­ley of Del­a­ware, who, with five of their se­ven child­ren, sur­vived him. Frail of body and oft­en ill, Loy had a strong mind and a great ca­pa­ci­ty for work. As pre­si­dent of the Joint Sy­nod (1860–78 and 1880–94), ed­i­tor of the Lu­ther­an Stand­ard (1864–91), pro­fes­sor of the­ol­o­gy at Ca­pi­tal Un­i­ver­si­ty (1865–1902), and pre­si­dent of the un­i­ver­si­ty (1881–90), he dom­in­at­ed the Sy­nod, which grew dur­ing his life­time in­to an or­gan­i­za­tion of na­tional scope. He was a zeal­ous stu­dent of the Lu­ther­an con­fes­sions but had lit­tle know­ledge of Bib­li­cal cri­ti­cism or ap­pre­ci­a­tion of its im­pli­ca­tions. He was a tru­cu­lent con­tro­ver­si­al­ist, ne­ver for­get­ting that the Church Vi­si­ble is al­so the Church Mili­t­ant, and ne­ver gi­ving his op­po­nents time to for­get it. In 1867 he re­fused to let the Joint Sy­nod become a mem­ber of the Gen­er­al Coun­cil of the Evan­gel­i­cal Lu­ther­an Church in North Am­er­i­ca, and framed the ques­tions about the four points: chil­i­asm, al­tar fel­low­ship, pul­pit fel­low­ship, and sec­ret so­ci­e­ties—that af­flict­ed so sore­ly the spokes­man of the Gen­er­al Coun­cil.

In 1871, Loy car­ried the Joint Sy­nod in­to the Sy­nod­i­cal Con­fer­ence. Ten years lat­er, he re­ject­ed Wal­ther’s doc­trine of pre­des­tin­a­tion, found­ed and ed­it­ed the Co­lum­bus The­o­lo­gi­cal Ma­ga­zine (1881–88) to com­bat it, and with­drew the Joint Sy­nod from the Sy­nod­i­cal Con­fer­ence.

He wrote twen­ty pub­lished hymns. His oth­er works in­clude:

In 1902, an­gi­na pec­tor­is forced Loy to re­tire, but for eight years more he con­tin­ued to write and take plea­sure in his gar­den, before sof­ten­ing of the brain set in.

  1. Awe-full Mys­te­ry Is Here, An
  2. At Je­sus’ Feet Our In­fant Sweet
  3. Come, Hum­ble Soul, Re­ceive the Food
  4. Give Me, O Lord, a Spir­it Low­ly
  5. God Gave His Word to Ho­ly Men
  6. God of Grace, Whose Word Is Sure
  7. Gospel Shows the Fa­ther’s Grace, The
  8. How Match­less Is Our Sav­ior’s Grace
  9. I Thank Thee, Sav­ior, for the Grief
  10. Jesus Took the Lambs and Blest Them
  11. Jesus, Thou Art Mine For­ev­er
  12. Launch Out in­to the Deep
  13. Listen to Those Hap­py Voic­es
  14. O Great High Priest, For­get Not Me
  15. O Lord, Who Hast My Place As­signed
  16. Our Shep­herd of His Ran­somed Flock
  17. Though An­gels Bright Es­cape Our Sight
  18. When Rome Had Shroud­ed Earth in Night
  19. When Souls Draw Near the Ho­ly Wave
  1. All Man­kind Fell in Ad­am’s Fall
  2. Bridegroom Soon Will Call Us, The
  3. Jesus, Sav­ior, Come to Me
  4. Law of God Is Good and Wise, The
  5. Let Me Be Thine For­ev­er
  6. Lightly Bound My Bo­som, Ring­ing
  7. Lord, Help Us Ev­er to Re­tain
  8. Lord, Op­en Thou My Heart
  9. Thine Hon­or Save, O Christ, Our Lord
  10. Thy Ta­ble I Ap­proach
  11. We Thank Thee, Je­sus, Dear­est Friend
  12. Yea, as I Live, Je­ho­vah Saith