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BE IT REMEMBERED; That on the fifth day of January, in the

forty-second year of the independence of the United States of America, L. S. Timothy Dwight, and William T. Dwight, both of said District; Ad

ministrators 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; explained ond 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 five 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 menLioned."


Clerk of the District of Connecticut. A true copy of Record, examined and sealed by me,


Clerk of the District of Connecticut.




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 usually 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 are, 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 biography. 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 listened to with lively interest, while we attempt in the following Memoir to sketch the most important incidents of his life, and to delincate the most striking traits of his character.

Timothy Dwight was born at Northhampton, in the county of Hampshire, and 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 College, where he entered on his bachelor's degree in 1744. He was by 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 possess. ed uncommon powers of mind, and for the extent and variety of her knowledge has 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 great 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

bouse; 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 of 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 carly 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.

A great proportion of the instruction which he received before he arrived at the age of six years, was at home with his mother. Her school-room was the nursery. Here, he had his regular hours for study as in a school ; and twice every day she heard him repeat his lesson. Here, in addition to his stated task, he watched the cradle of his younger brothers. When his lesson was recited, he was permitted to read such books as he chose ; until the limited period was expired. During these intervals he often read over the historical parts of the Bible, and gave an account of them to his mother. So deep and distinct was the impression which these narrations then made upon his mind, that their minutest incidents were indelibly fixed upon


memory. His relish for reading was thus early formed, and was strengthened by the conversation and example of his parents. At the age of six, he was sent to the grammar-school, where he early began to importune his father to permit him to study Latin. This was denied, from an impression that he was too young to profit by studies of that description; and the master was charged not to suffer him to engage in them. It was soon found to be in vain to prohibit him : his zeal was too great to be controlled. Not owning the necessary books, he availed himself of the opportunity when the elder boys were at play to borrow theirs ; and, in this way, without his father's knowledge or the master's consent, studied through Lilly's Latin Grammar twice. When his master discovered the progress he had made, he applied carnestly to his father, and finally obtained a reluctant consent that he might proceed; though every effort short of compulsion was used to discourage him. He pursued the study of the languages with great alacrity, and would have been prepared for admission into College, at eight years of age, had not a discontinuance of the school interrupted his progress, and rendered it necessary for him to be taken home, and placed again under the instruction of his mother. By her, his attention was now directed to the study of Geography and History. With no other help than Sulmon's Grammar, the only work on the subject then to be procured in the country, and a set of valuable maps of the four quarters of the globe ; under the faithful tuition of his mother, he became thoroughly versed in the former science. In the latter, his father's library furnished him with the requisite books, and the wisdom and affection of his mother with the necessary guidance. He was previously familiar with the historical parts of the Bible. She first turned his attention to Josephus and Prideaux, and the more modern history of the Jews. After this he read Rollin, Hooke's History of Rome, Histories of Greece and England, and accounts of the first settlers of New England, and their wars with the Indians. Often has he been heard to say, that almost all his knowledge of Geography and History was aquired at this period; and it is believed, that few persons have possessed a more extensive or accurate acquaintance with either

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