19:8 Dwight Handles Yale Radicals Wisely

timothy dwight

Dr. Timothy Dwight

He who gets wisdom loves his own soul; He who keeps understanding will find good. Proverbs 19:8.

The United States has produced a number of educators who obtained wisdom as well as learning and saved not only their own souls, but those of their hearers. One of them was Dr. Timothy Dwight. An orthodox thinker, when he became president of Yale College he found the students largely apostate and Deistic in outlook.

These students of his first debate class asked for permission to argue the question “Are the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament the word of God?” Although direct challenges to the Bible were banned by the rules of the college, Dwight acceded to their request. Every student took the case against the Bible, leaving Dwight alone to defend it. He did so with vigor, marshalling facts and logic so persuasively that revival broke out.

(He also had the courage, in keeping with the charter purpose of Yale, to dismiss Deistic and skeptical professors.)

In his attitudes toward wisdom and truth, he was not a faint echo of his master Christ, who is the very incarnation of wisdom (1 Corinthians 1:30).

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