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 The minister's Wooing.1 His philanthropic opposition to the slave trade, said to be the first open opposition by an American clergyman, rendered him so unpopular among the prosperous traders of Newport that he was left to die in poverty with the feeling that his work was unaccomplished. Futile, he must have felt, was his letter of remonstrance and admonition (1802) to his revered master's grandson, Aaron Burr, upon the latter's dangerous courses; and his Farewell to the world is a pathetic review of the state of man as he then beheld it in all portions of the globe, particularly in Newport among his congregation. It is not a hopeful view. Hopkins could not foresee the success of his opposition to slavery; and he could scarcely have believed, even if told, that his doctrine of disinterested benevolence had so impressed young Channing with the boundlessness of human generosity and the infinite worth of man that it became with him one of the points of departure for a new hopefulness. Timothy Dwight (1752-1817) could have had no such doubts of his present success. After a varied experience as student (graduated 1769) and tutor at Yale, as an army chaplain during the Revolution, as a farmer, as a member of the Connecticut legislature, and as preacher, schoolmaster, and writer of verse2 at Greenfield, Connecticut, he became, at the age of forty-three, Dr. Stiles's successor in the presidency of Yale. He seems to have been the prototype of the modern college president,appreciative of scholarship, but primarily a practical administrator. He raised the college to financial prosperity; he broadened the curriculum, especially by introducing courses in science; and to the infidels then numerous among the student body he brought religious conviction. His divinity (Theology Explained and Defended, 1818-19), though schematic, is also controversial, aiming perhaps less to systematize than to convince, and establishing orthodoxy by refuting heresy. It consists of the sermons—essentially Hopkinsian—which he delivered from the college pulpit week after week and year after year, repeating the full set every four years so that each student generation might have the benefit of the whole course.
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