Abbildungen der Seite
[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

No. Berr REMEMBERED, That on the fifth day of January, i.1 the

Jo so forty-second year of the Independence of the United States of Amer

Soo ica, Timothy Dwight, and William T. Dwight, both of said District;

- §§ 'S Administrators of the Rev. Timothy Dwight, now deceased, and late

- of the said District, have deposited in this office the title of a book,

the right whereof they claim as Administrators as aforesaid, and Proprietors, in the words following, to wit :

* Theology; erplained and defended, in a Series of Sermons; by Timothy Dwight, S. T. D. L.L. D. late President of Yale College. With a Memoir of the Life of the Author. In fire Volumes. Vol. I.”

In conformity to the Act of the Congress of the United States, entitled, “An Act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of Maps, Charts, and Books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies, during the times therein mentioned.”


[merged small][merged small][merged small][graphic]
[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

MEN of letters pass their lives in a course so tranquil and uniform, it is generally supposed, as to furnish but few incidents for the labours of the biographer or the entertainment of his readers. Mankind are attracted rather by what is brilliant in character and daring in action, than by the less splendid achievements of learning and piety. . The exploits of the hero are recounted with applause while he is living, and after his death are enrolled with admiration on the records of nations, but the Minister of CHRIST must usuall wait to receive his honours in eternity, and expect the due estimate of his labours only as they are written on the tablet of the skies. There arc, however, exceptions to this remark. Sometimes the good man, by the uncommon powers of his mind, by peculiar incidents in his life, by having exerted a commanding influence on the interests of the public, or by having acquired an unusual share in their affections; presents the most attractive subject of biograhy. Contemporaries indulge a strong desire to view more minutely the life and character of the man, whose living excellence they have often felt and acknowledged; and posterity receive with admiration the history of one who so widely blessed a preceding generation. The Author of the following Discourses claims a high rank among men of this class. The testimonies, far and wide, given by the public to his excellence, the heart-felt sorrow so extensively occasioned by his death, and the honours so profusely poured upon his memory; persuade us that we shall be |. to with live interest, while we attempt, in the following Memoir, to o the most important incidents of his life, and to delineate the most striking traits of his character. Timothy Dwight was born at Northampton, in the county of Hampshire, state of Massachusetts, on the 14th day of May, A. D. 1752. His parents were Timothy and Mary Dwight. The first ancestor of his father's family in this country, John Dwight, came from Dedham in England, and settled at Dedham in Massachusetts, in 1637. From him, the subject of this Memoir was descended in the oldest male line; and he was able to look back on each individual in that line, including five generations, and reflect that he was a member of the Church of Christ, and had a fair reputation for piety. His father received his education at Yale {. where he entered on his bachelor's degree in 1744. He was §y profession a merchant, and owned a handsome landed estate in the town in which he lived. He was a man of sound understanding, of fervent piety, and of great purity of life. His mother was the third daughter of Jonathan Edwards, for many years the minister of Northampton, and afterwards president of Nassau-Hall— well known in this country and in Europe as one of the ablest divines of the last century. She possessed uncommon powers of mind, and for the extent and variety of her knowledge, }. rarely been exceeded by any of her sex in this country. Though married at an early age, and a mother at eighteen, she found time, without neglecting the ordinary cares of her family, to devote herself with the most assiduous attention to the instruction of this son, and her numerous family of children, as they successively claimed her regard. Perhaps few instances can be found, in which this eat duty has been performed with more scrupulous fidelity, than in the case now under consideration. With a mind originally vigorous and discriminating, she had been accustomed from infancy to the conversation of men of literature, who resorted in great numbers to her father's house; and thus was forcibly taught the importance of that learning, the effects of which she had so often had opportunity to witness. It was a maxim with her, the soundness of which her own observation through life fully confirmed, that children generally lose several years, in consequence of being considered by their friends as too young to be taught. She pursued a different course with her son. She began to instruct him almost as soon as he was able to speak; and such was his eagerness as well as his capacity for improvement, that he learned the alphabet at a single lesson ; and, before he was four years old, was able to read the Bible with ease and correctness. His father was so extensively engaged in mercantile and agricultural pursuits, that he was necessitated to confide the care of his family, and particularly the superintendence of the early education of his children, chiefly to their mother. With the benefit of his father's example constantly before him, enforced and recommended by the precepts of his mother, he was sedulously instructed in the doctrines .# religion, as well as the whole circle of moral duties. She taught him, from the very dawn of his reason, to fear God and to keep his commandments; to be conscientiously just, kind, affectionate, charitable, and forgiving; to preserve, on all occasions and under all circumstances, the most sacred regard to truth; and to relieve the distresses and supply the wants of the poor and unfortunate. She aimed, at a very early period, to enlighten his conscience, to make him afraid to sin, and to teach him to hope for pardon only through the righteousness of Christ. The impressions thus made upon his mind in infancy were never effaced.

« ZurückWeiter »