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its plain teachings a delusion, though his skeptical tendencies were leading him to this. Nor, on the other hand, would these tendencies allow him to trust implicitly in the Book and its doctrines as infallible and divine. At times he was inclined to resolve all religion into hypocrisy, or the result of education and circumstances. But the examples of parental piety which were ever before him, and his sober second thoughts, held this in check.

The workings of an honest, earnest mind, while thus abiding in “Doubting Castle,” are impressively given in some passages from the struggles of Jacobi, in his gradual egress from the bogs of German Rationalism.

“With your complaints,” he says, in a letter to a friend, “about the unsatisfactory nature of our speculations, I most heartily, though sorrowfully, agree. I know, however, no other counsel than to speculate and philosophize right on.” At a more advanced stage, he writes: "My mind now stands thus. I am fully satisfied that he who wants the piety of the fathers must want their belief also. But how I am to want that sound, solid, plain piety in such a manner as really to obtain it, I do not know. You see that I am still the same, a thorough heathen in my understanding, but with my whole heart a Christian. I am swimming between two oceans of heterogeneous elements. They will not unite to support me. As the one raises me up, the other carries me down again into the deep.” In the issue of his speculations, the faithprinciple triumphed, and through

" the belief of the fathers, which before he lacked, in the judgment of charity he obtained their “sound, solid piety," which he had also lacked. “Having,” says one,“ brought philosophy and

" religion nearer together than any other metaphysician of his time,” he departed, humbly blessing God for the privilege of prayer as a solvent of the dark problems of philosophy, and declaring grace to be his refuge and his hope.

There are perils in such speculative processes, the carnal bias inclining men without the moral balance, to harmonize their creed and their conduct by adjusting the former to the exigencies of the latter. The danger is, that caviling will

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become chronic, that minor difficulties, for want of patient study, will generate major doubts, and that these doubts, so accordant with man's native repugnance to the evangelic doctrines, will darken into positive and permanent disbelief. The process, much less frequent in our educational institutions now than at the beginning of the century, when Mr. Tyler was in college, always cramps the intellect. It presses out the most generous and genial scholarship. It dries up the lymph, and wastes the gastric juices of the soul, and stiffens it into a stubborn credulity of whatsoever is most incredible. Some, in every generation, by such an illogical process, gradually discredit to themselves, one after another, the ground truths of a living and triumphing Christianity, as the only relief which their moral status allows, from the doubts and doctrines which disturb them. Then they mistake this relief for solid peace, and the process, for the emancipation of the reason from the thralls of superstition, the transition from a blind and stultifying faith, to a high spir. itual and universal truth—evincing philosophy. This was the claim of the English deists of the last century, who held themselves as the only representatives of a pure and spiritual Christianity, although they resolved its prophecy and miracles into myths, and much of its history into allegory. The Pantheists and Theosophists of the present day present the same exclusive claim, and seek to sustain it by a similar antagonism to the evangelical doctrine. Thus radical and destructive has ever been the criticism upon the Word of God, which attempts to mediate between that Word and man's degenerate, speculative and baleful bias.

Young Tyler's skeptical tendencies were checked and turned just where he found difficulties would fade away before patient study and prayer, or where it was evident that they remained only from human ignorance and the limits of the understanding. At this juncture in his religious history his doubts led to greater diligence upon the legitimate sources of information, and by God's guidance they ended, as did Jacobi's, in a living, working faith, whose central object is Christ, and the chief element love. What he may



have received in childhood from Christian nurture, after all these doubts and questionings, is retained by the adhesive force of the soul's most rational convictions. The foundations, which were for a time shaken, being carefully examined, are readjusted and settled with a deliberation and a consent of all the mental and moral faculties, which made them ever after, the mind's place of perfect rest, and the point of its loftiest, heaven-aspiring activities.

It was in the second year of his college course that this change occurred—a year marked by what is known as the great revival of 1802, in which about seventy of the students became subjects of the regenerating work. The disclosures of his own heart, and of his need of divine help, fully verified the representations of the Word of God, and shut out forever all doubt on these points. “I think I was brought to see that the carnal mind is enmity against God, and that nothing short of the almighty energy of the Holy Spirit is sufficient to subdue it."

“I can recollect that a calmness came over my mind such as I never felt before, and that my views of divine things were different from what they had been. I saw that God's requirements were reasonable, and that I was without excuse. Everything, indeed, appeared right, but myself.” p. 19.

The subjective evidence by which this experience was assured to his consciousness as genuinely Christian, is no less solid for the characteristic simplicity, almost timidity, with which it was recorded. “I think I do delight in the character of God as it is revealed in the Scriptures. I think I do rejoice in the government of God. I think the law of God appears to me excellent. I think I see a loveliness in Christ, and that he is precious to my soul. I think sin appears to me odious, and that I do sincerely long to be free from it, and to be made perfectly holy. I think I feel a peculiar affection for the people of God. I think I feel a deep interest in the cause of Christ, and a sincere desire to see it promoted.”

pp. 20, 21.

These fruits of the Spirit made the nature of the tree that produced them as evident to others as to himself. The relation of speculation and faith, and their comparative value in solving the great practical problems of spiritual life, as disclosed in this part of Dr. Tyler's history, are forcibly presented by a passage or two from Lessing's Letters. “When the paralytic experiences the beneficial effect of the electric spark, what does he care whether Nollet is right, or Franklin, or neither of the two? The Christian is the bold conqueror who leaves the frontier fortresses behind him, and takes possession of the country. The speculative theologian is the timid hireling who dashes his head against their walls and never sees the land. Man is made for action, and not for empty speculations. But on that very account, he is fond of the latter and neglects the former. His wickedness will always prompt him to do what he ought not to do, and his daring lead him to that which he cannot. Infatuated mortals! That which is above your comprehension may exist, but not for you.”

Mr. Tyler united with the College Church in April, 1803. The following year he completed his collegiate course, “ with the comfort,” says his biographer, “enjoyed by too few students, of being free from debt.” There are advantages, undoubtedly in exemption from pecuniary embarrassments at the close of the academical curriculum, and, so far as “rigid economy” can procure them, they are more than an equivalent for the sacrifice. But when “teaching school and other labors” trench on the regular course, which is none too long, and divert time and energies from the major purposes of solid acquirements and a high mental culture, as often occurs, to the minor one of avoiding a debt, the end is sacrificed to the means,-the greater good to the less. A loss is incurred, and a mental deficit created at the outset of one's career, for which the slight, pecuniary advantage, which occasions them, is but poor amends. Few students make a better use of every hour than did Bennet Tyler. And when we recall the clear, effective, right working of his mind on the material it possessed, as it is disclosed in his lectures and other productions of his pen, and in connection, these abridgments of his preparatory train. ing, we are led to say, “what would be not have done-what


length and breadth of mental furniture, and what hight and depth of intellectual culture, would he not have acquired, had his preparatory study been curtailed or disturbed by no such necessity for devising ways and means ?” As it is, he was a peer among the good and great men of his time; and, of fields which he had explored, and treasures which he had laid up, he was a perfect master.

After studying theology some nine months under the instrnction of the Rev. Asahel Hooker, of Goshen, with Drs. Woodbridge and Humphrey, and Rev. Frederick Marsh, Mr. Tyler was licensed by the North Association of Litchfield County, in 1806, and ordained in 1808, as pastor of the church in South Britain, a parish of Southbury, Conn. The church was small, divided, and disorderly All the young pastor's time, patience, and skill, were at once brought into requisition in a thoroughly re-constructive work. Under his formative hand, by a favoring Providence, the chaotic elements, gradually becoming homogeneous, assumed organic relations, and fruitfulness and beauty soon smiled where before were barrenness and desolation.

In 1822, Mr. Tyler was elected to the office of President of Dartmouth College. This raised a question of duty, which for a time perplexed him. He loved the pastoral office. His mind, in a ministry of fourteen years, had become adjusted to its cares, and worked freely under its burdens. Success had given him ease, and a measure of confidence in his fitness for his work. The change proposed would introduce an experiment, in which success was far from certain, and the want of it would be unfortunate for himself, and the College. He felt that his disposition and mental habits fitted him rather for pastoral duty than the presidency of a literary institution. His tastes and mental furniture were more theologic than classical. But he waited on the Lord till his way was made plain, and then entered it with a singleness of purpose, and a decision which virtually settled the question of his success.

In his new field of labor, he was greatly admired as a preacher, and the inquiry was made, “why was he not heard of before?" To which his associate, the now venerable Prof.

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