Wright’s “Story Of My Life And Work” -- By: James Edward Todd

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 074:295 (Jul 1917)
Article: Wright’s “Story Of My Life And Work”
Author: James Edward Todd


Wright’s “Story Of My Life And Work”1

James Edward Todd

The Story before us is one of the most recent and one of the most interesting of autobiographies, for Professor Wright is a man of versatile talent, having attained distinction in several fields. He is a ready writer, simple in language, clear in statement, logical and scholarly. He has had unusual facilities for pursuing his chosen studies. Born January 22, 1838, he has nearly finished his eighth decade. He has lived when history has been making rapidly, and with tireless energy he has wrought his share in it.

His first sketches are of frontier life in eastern New York seventy years ago. When ready for college, he was drawn to Oberlin by the interest which some of his relatives had taken in the views for which Oberlin stood, viz., anti-slavery, coeducation, whole-hearted consecration, and New-school theology.

At the beginning of the Civil War he enlisted, but was early stricken with pneumonia, which prevented further service. After his graduation from Oberlin Theological Seminary in 1862, he served as pastor ten years in a little town in northern Vermont, and a second decade at Andover, Massachusetts. The first position gave him time for reading and study, and also for practical work with his parishioners. The second brought him in close acquaintance with leaders of religious thought in Andover Theological Seminary; while

articles in the Bibliotheca Sacra won their admiration and grew into volumes which found wide acceptance with thoughtful laymen and became textbooks in Christian Evidences, as the subject was usually called in those days.

Through the proximity of the Essex Institute (Salem) and the Boston Society of Natural History, he became favorably known to numerous prominent scientific men. This resulted from his original and satisfactory explanation of a puzzling glacial deposit (locally known as Indian Ridge) near Andover.

In 1880 Professor J. P. Lesley, state geologist of Pennsylvania, invited him to join with another of the Survey in tracing the southern limit of the glacial drift across that State. Soon after, having accepted the call to the chair of New Testament Greek in his Alma Mater, he was asked by the Western Reserve Historical Society of Cleveland to trace at their expense the same boundary across Ohio. This led to his engagement by the United States Geological Survey for the same work across Indiana and Illinois. This he did during his summer vacations, the Government publishing his report as Bulletin No. 58 in 1890.

In 1886, at the suggestion and by the assistance of...

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