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The Sovereignty of God

The Sovereignty of God

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TIMOTHY DWIGHT was born at Northamp-
ton, Massachusetts, in 1752.
TIMOTHY DWIGHT was born at Northamp-
ton, Massachusetts, in 1752.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Aug 24, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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DWIGHTTHE SOVEREIGTY OF GODBIOGRAPHICAL OTETIMOTHY DWIGHT was born at orthamp-ton, Massachusetts, in 1752. He grad-uated from Yale in 1769, served aschaplain in the army during the Revo-lutionary War and was chosen presidentof his university in 1795. He died, afterholding that office for twelve years, in 1817.Lyman Beecher, who attributed his con-version to him, says: "He was of nobleform, with a noble head and body, andhad one of the sweetest smiles that everyou saw. When I heard him preach on'the harvest is passed, the summer isended, and we are not saved/ a wholeavalanche rolled down on my mind. Iwent home weeping every step."DWIGHT17521817THE SOVEREIGTY OF GODO Lord, I know that the way of man is not in him-self: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps,Jeremiah x., 23.FEW of this audience will probably denythe truth of a direct Scriptural declara-tion. With as little reason can it bedenied that most of them apparently live inthe very manner in which they would liveif the doctrine were false : or that they rely,
chiefly at least, on their own sagacity, con-trivance and efforts for success in this lifeand that which is to come. As little can it bequestioned that such self-confidence is a guideeminently dangerous and deceitful. Safe aswe may feel under its direction, our safety isimaginary. The folly of others in trustingto themselves we discern irresistibly. Thesame folly they perceive, with equal evidence,in us. Our true wisdom lies in willingly feel-ing, and cheerfully acknowledging, our de-pendence on God; and in committing our-selves with humble reliance to His care anddirection..With these observations I will now proceed137THE WORLD'S GREAT SERMOSto illustrate the truth of the doctrine. Themode which I shall pursue will, probably, bethought singular. I hope it will be useful.Metaphysical arguments, which are custom-arily employed for the purpose of establishingthis and several other doctrines of theology,are, if I mistake not, less satisfactory to theminds of men at large than the authors of them appear to believe. Facts, wherever theycan be fairly adduced for this end, are at-tended with a superior power of conviction;and commonly leave little doubt behind them.On these, therefore, I shall at the presenttime rely for the accomplishment of my de-sign. In the first place, the doctrine of thetext is evident from the great fact that thebirth and education of all men depend not onthemselves.The succeeding events of life are derived,
in a great measure at least, from our birth.By this event, it is in a prime degree deter-mined whether men shall be princes or peas-ants, opulent or poor, learned or ignorant,honorable or despised; whether they shall becivilized or savage, freemen or slaves, Chris-tians or heathens, Mohammedans or Jews.A child is born of Indian parents in thewestern wilderness. By his birth he is, of course, a savage. His friends, his mode of life,his habits, his knowledge, his opinions, hisconduct, all grow out of this single event.His first thoughts, his first instructions, and138DWIGHTall the first objects with which he is conver-sant, the persons whom he loves, the life towhich he assumes are all savage. He is anIndian from the cradle; he is an Indian tothe grave. To say that he could not beotherwise, we are not warranted ; but that heis not is certain.Another child is born of a Bedouin Arab.From this moment he begins to be an Arabian.His hand is against every man; and everyman's hand is against him. Before he canwalk, or speak, he is carried through pathlesswastes in search of food; and roams in thearms of his mother, and on the back of a camel,from spring to spring, and from pasture topasture. Even then he begins his conflict withhunger and thirst; is scorched by a verticalsun; shriveled by the burning sand beneath;and poisoned by the breath of the simoom.Hardened thus through his infancy and child-

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