Kirkland, John Thornton. A Sermon, preached before the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company, in Boston, June 1, 1795

Kirkland, John Thornton. A Sermon, preached before the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company, in Boston, June 1, 1795

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Kirkland, John Thornton. A Sermon, preached before the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company, in Boston, June 1, 1795. Being the Anniversary of their Election of Officers. Boston: Joseph Belknap, at the Apollo Press, 1795. First Edition.

Evans 28932. Removed, 5 x 8 1/2, 35 (1) pp., last few leaves nearly detached. Signed "L. Woods," most likely Leonard Woods. Good. Paperback.  [3113] 

The text is Psalm 76:10, "Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee..."

The points are I. To show in what respect war is an evil; II. To prove...yet that it is, under the conduct of divine Providence, in known and unknown ways, made productive of good; and III. That the influence of Christianity has mitigated the horrors of war, and that with the growth of Christianity the world will someday experience a "universal and perpetual peace." Includes the praise of the invention of gunpowder, and its use in fighting "war is changed from a matter of strength to a matter of calculation," and "that fewer lives are destroyed in a modern war of years, than fell in former ages in a single battle."

John Thornton Kirkland, D.D., LL.D., (1770-1840), "eminent American Unitarian divine, was born at Herkimer, N.Y. His youthful days were spent at Stockbridge, Mass. At the age of thirteen he went of Phillips Academy, then under the care of Dr. Eliphalet Pearson, and in 1785, with the patronage of the excellent judge Phillips, he entered Harvard University. He passed through college with a high reputation for scholarship, especially excelling in the departments of languages and metaphysics, and graduated in 1789 with distinguished honors. Shortly after he went to Stockbridge, and commenced the study of theology under the direction of Dr. Stephen West. But the strict views of theology to which he was here introduced were little to his taste, and he soon after returned to Cambridge, where he found himself in a much more congenial theological atmosphere.

"In November, 1792, while still prosecuting his theological studies, he was appointed tutor of metaphysics in Harvard University, and held this office until February, 1794, when he was ordained, and installed pastor of the New South Church, Boston. Here he soon drew around him an intelligent and discriminating congregation, among whom were some of the leading men of the times. So high was his professional reputation and so commanding the influence he had acquired, that in 1810 he was elected to the presidency of Harvard University. Dr. Kirkland’s presidency marked a brilliant epoch in the history of the college. Under his administration the course of studies was greatly enlarged; the law school was established; the medical school reorganized; four different professorships in the academical department endowed and filled. Dr. Kirkland was a person of simple, dignified, and winning manners; he had great natural dignity; there was an unstudied grace in his whole bearing and demeanor. His mind was of an ethical turn; he was distinguished as a moralist, and seemed to possess a thorough, intimate, and marvelous knowledge of men." - McClintock, Cyclopaedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature.