« AnteriorContinuar »
New HAVEN, June 28th, 1844.
The undersigned have been appointed a Committee of the Church under your pastoral charge, to request for publication a copy of your discourse delivered on the occasion of the death of our much esteemed and beloved brother, the late Timothy Dwight, Esq.
With much respect and affection,
New HAVEN, June 29th, 1844. DEAR BRETHREN :
I take pleasure in complying with your request for the publication of the Sermon which I preached on the death of Mr. Dwight. Not that I think the discourse itself deserving of this notice, but that I wish to do what I can to keep alive in our remembrance the virtues of our respected brother, and to induce others to cultivate the same. Hoping that the Lord will sanctify to us all the removal of one with whom we were so happily associated, and long continue our fraternal intercourse,
JOS. P. THOMPSON.
Nathaniel Olmsted, )
This little Memoir makes no pretensions in respect to its subject or its execution. Its aim is simply to exhibit a Christian in the ordinary walks of life, whose example seems worthy of record and of imitation. The contemplation of such an example may contribute more to the full development of Christian character, than the study of a whole system of Christian ethics. It is the remark of an enthusiastic German writer, that “one might well consent to be branded and broken on the wheel, merely for the idea of such a character as Christ's.” But while, on the one hand, the Evangelists could never have conceived of such a character, had they not seen it exhibited in life,—for how could such illiterate men have originated a character, of which Plato and Xenophon, with Socrates, the purest of heathen moralists, before their eyes, had never conceived ?—so on the other hand, the bare idea of Christ's perfect moral excellence, would have done little to incite us to attain to that excellence, in comparison with the em
bodiment of that perfection in our own nature, the realization of the idea in actual life. In like manner, the inculcation of the duty of holy living from the pulpit, is often less effective than the exhibition of practical godli. ness which we see around us. Hence the utility of delineating the character of a good man, when he is gone; especially if he was a man in private life, whose means of self-improvement and of usefulness are within the reach of others. One such character forms the mold in which many may be cast. Such considerations have led to the preparation of this volume. If it shall lead any who read it, to adopt a higher standard of piety, and to labor more efficiently for the salvation of souls, the main design of the writer will be accomplished.
It may seem strange to some, that so much space is appropriated to narratives of revivals of religion, and the discussion of topics arising out of them. But the subject of the Memoir was so completely identified with these scenes and topics, that the exhibition of them was necessary to a just view of his character. The relation which a man sustains to certain great public movements, civil or religious, is often pre-eminently his history. It is hoped that this part of the book will be received as a small, yet not unimportant contribution to the religious history of Connecticut. That history, if fully written, would form
one of the most interesting and valuable productions of the age.
As to the imperfections, both of the Memoir and the Sermon, the reader will discover them without the least assistance from
THE AUTHOR. New HAVEN, Oct., 1844.