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Dwight's intention to have doubled his original subscription; but the investment which he had made with this end in view, proved unfortunate, and the embarrassment consequent on this reverse, prevented him from contributing afterwards to benevolent objects on so large a scale as he had at first projected.
Of the various donations which Mr. Dwight made at different periods, to assist feeble churches, to sustain' missionary laborers in our own land, and to distribute the word of God, -objects in which he felt a peculiar interest, it is not necessary here to speak. The plan of appropriating the avails of a particular
instructed in them. Yet there is no provision made for lectures upon these topics in the Theological Seminary connected with Yale College. All the instruction which the students receive in them, aside from their own private reading, is in the form of an occasional lecture from the Professors in other departments, or of a brief course of lectures delivered gratuitously by one of the clergymen of the city. Hence it is not unusual for students to desert this institution in their Senior year for some other which has greater advantages in this respect. If this department could be filled, the New Haven Seminary would, to say the least, be inferior to none in the land, in the facilities for obtaining a tho. rough Theological education.
May not some individual or company of individuals be found who will contribute the sum required to establish this professorship? I hesitate not to say, that Mr. Dwight could not have made a better appropriation of the money which he gave to found a professorship in a Theological Seminary. While that Seminary stands, his influence will live and diffuse itself through a thousand channels over this and other lands.
branch of business to benevolent purposes, might well be imitated by Christians generally, and especially by those who are just entering into mercantile pursuits.
It ought not to be omitted, that Mr. Dwight was a faithful student of the word of God. Of all books, the one in which he took the greatest and most uniform interest was the Bible. He never seemed to become tired of it, but sat down to read it with Clarke's Commentary, with as much pleasure, apparently, as others would take in history or fiction. Nor did he simply read the Bible ; he studied it. He wrote out with care a course of lectures on the historical books of the Old Testament, which were listened to with great interest by a large and intelligent Bible-class. He could always quote Scripture promptly and correctly, and elucidate its meaning. His familiarity with the doctrines of the Bible, and his clear discrimination of the evidences of conversion, made his services particularly valuable in the examination of candidates for admission to the church.
Mr. Dwight was accustomed to commit to paper his thoughts on important subjects, and often contributed useful articles to both religious and secular journals. His style was clear and forcible, clothing the thought in plain language, and aiming at conviction.
In middle life, he was an active and prominent citizen, taking an interest in town meetings, and often speaking in them. But of late years he avoided political meetings altogether, and he always refused to be a candidate for any public office.
I have thus sketched, though with an imperfect hand, the prominent features in the character of Mr. Dwight. Those who knew him can easily fill up the outline from their own pleasing recollections; those who did not know him must be denied,—what I confess myself incompetent to furnish,—a finished portrait. May all, however, find this bare outline of service in forming their own characters !
But “there is one event to the righteous and to the wicked.” Death marks them both for his prey, though he comes to them under far different aspects, and introduces them into far different scenes. Our Savior said in his last prayer for his disciples, “ Father, I will that they also whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me; for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.” It is in answer to this prayer that death comes to the Christian. It is a token of the Savior's continued regard for his disciples; the fulfilment of his promise to “come again and receive them to himself.” When he sees that they have had enough discipline upon earth ; when he would deliver them from coming evil; when he has need of them in some higher department of his kingdom; he offers up that same petition, “Father, I will that they also whom thou hast given me, be with me, where I am; that they may behold my glory."
Mr. Dwight, though approaching the limit of three score years and ten,” was yet in robust health, and apparently destined to a good old age. But that allwise Providence which appoints to every man “his bounds that he cannot pass,” had otherwise determined. In the winter, he suffered somewhat from an attack of influenza, which did not however materially interrupt his business, or abate his religious zeal. But as spring advanced, instead of gaining strength, he became more and more debilitated, till, in the month of May, he was obliged to confine himself entirely to the house. On the 5th of May, being communion Sabbath, he visited the house of God for the last time. An inflamed tone of the stomach, refusing almost every kind of nutriment, with a consequent diminution of strength from day to day, now gave alarm to his physicians and friends. Still it was hoped that his vigorous constitution would resist the encroachments of disease. For a while the prospect of his recovery was encouraging; but about the first of June he began to be confined entirely to his chamber and bed, and the inevitable result of his sickness could be clearly foreseen. He was not in the least agitated by the announcement of his danger. Having arranged his temporal concerns, he cheerfully resigned himself to the will of his heavenly Father. His views of the plan of salvation, the completeness of the atonement, and the preciousness of Christ, were remarkably clear. He said little, indeed, of his own
state and prospects; but his confidence in the Redeemer was strong and unwavering. He always spoke with modesty of his own title to eternal life. Gradually, however, the Lord shed light upon him here; and as I visited him from time to time, I found him more and more confirmed in his hopes, till, on the day of his death, he expressed himself to me, as he had done to others before, as being fully persuaded of his acceptance with God through the Lord Jesus Christ. It was delightful to visit him in his sickness; to witness his composure; to see him calmly awaiting the “time of his departure.". sta
to play! “Is this a death-bed, where the Christian lies?
imistes Yes! but not his ;-'tis death himself here dies." Mr. Dwight expired on Thursday, June 13th, 1844, at about eleven o'clock, P. M., being a little more than 66 years of age. He died apparently with little suffering, and like the patriarch of old, while invoking with lifted hands and feeble utterance, the blessing of heaven upon those whom he held most dear. His loss is more and more deeply felt by a wide circle of relatives and friends, by the church of Christ, and by the community at large.
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