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INTRODUCTION TO VOL. III.
A SUPPLEMENTARY BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH
OF THE AUTHOR.
BY THE EDITOR.
No full and connected biography of Dr. Lindsley has been attempted in these volumes. The life of a student and man of letters is, for the most part, an uneventful one-at least uneventful as to single outward acts of public and general interest. In the present instance it has been thought that the best memoir, as well as the most lasting monument of the author, is to be found in his writings--not in what others may say of him, now that he is gone, but in what his own living pen had left on record. The words of such a man are his deeds, and when these are fully laid before the reader, but little remains to the biographer. Under this impression, all that has been aimed at in these introductory notices has been to present a fair estimate of his labours and influence in those fields to which his energies were devoted, and to furnish only so much, in the way of fact and incident, as might be needful to a right appreciation both of his writings and his character.
There is indeed no lack of materials for a full and even minute account of his life and labours. He seems, from a very early period, to have studied with pen in hand, and to the close of life to have kept a record of all his most important movements. Though there are frequent indications in his private journals that he had, from time to time, destroyed many manuscripts, still enough remains to furnish the amplest materials for a full and circumstantial biography, even aside from the accumulated and carefully preserved letters of his correspondents, during a period of forty-five years. But as it has been our
purpose, in connection with his Educational Discourses, to give some account of his work as an educator, and also some estimate of his character as a preacher, in connection with his Religious Discourses, so now, answering to the miscellaneous nature of this third volume, we shall aim simply to bring forward some other points in his history, which seem necessary to complete the picture, and to give the reader as distinct a view as possible of his whole life, labour, and influence. Even here, however, the story will be told, as far as possible, in his own words, derived from records which, while penned with much care and deliberation, were evidently never intended for the eye of the public, but simply for the satisfaction and instruction of his children. The life and character of every good man, especially of every eminently useful man, ought to be regarded, not as a private, but a public heritage. So far as the public may be interested in it and benefited by it, it may be properly made known, even where the individual had no such intention himself. It is with this view that the present supplementary memoir of Dr. Lindsley is now offered to the readers of his works.
I. HIS EARLY STUDIES.
It is always interesting to trace back to their earliest beginnings the influences which have resulted in a life of eminent usefulness. It affords a pleasure akin to that which a traveller feels in standing at the well-spring, high up in the mountains, of some beautiful and mighty river, whose banks he had been long and slowly ascending across half a continent. We have already given, in another place, a brief running narrative of the prominent events of Dr. Lindsley's life from its opening to its close. And the reader of these volumes, like the traveller, will perhaps readily respond to the feeling just suggested, on finding here, under his own hand, a record of the recollections and associations of that beginning. It is in the following words:
"I was born at the home of my maternal grandmother, about three and a half miles southwest of Morristown, New Jersey. My parents removed to their new dwelling while I was an infant. Of course all