A Letter from Rev. Nathaniel W. Taylor, on the Subject of His Late Dis


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TAYLOR, NATHANIEL W. A Letter from Rev. Nathaniel W. Taylor, on the Subject of His Late Discussion with Rev. Dr. Tyler. First published in the Quarterly Christian Spectator. For September, 1833. New=Haven: Published by Stephen Cooke. Printed by Baldwin & Ellis. [1833] Octavo, 15.2 x 24.2cm.[ Nathaniel W. Taylor (1786-1858) theologian and educator. Taylor entered Yale in 1800, later studied under Timothy Dwight and was ordained minister of the First Church of Christ, New Haven, 1812. In 1822 upon the formation of the Yale Divinity School, he became Dwight Professor of Didactic Theology, a position he held to within a few weeks of his death. "In order to guard against the idea that man is saved by any merit of his own, Calvinism seemed to exclude any real freedom of choice. Edwards in his treatise on the will in grappling with this difficulty had declared that man has a natural ability to repent but is inhibited by his moral disinclinations; his only freedom is liberty to obey the strongest motive. [Taylor] Being of a bold and original mind, endowed with speculative talents of a high order.he broke through the narrow confines of the accepted theology. Moreover, he was a revival preacher deeply concerned with relating religious truth to the facts of human consciousness. His point of divergence was the reality of the freedom of choice. He denied that our consciousness of freedom is an illusion and asserted that the will is not another name for the strongest motive, but is a power to chose between motives. Man, he affirmed, is not born totally depraved, but with certain sinful inclinations, and his 'sin consists in sinning.' To induce men to turn from their evil ways and choose the highest good, appeal must be made to man's natural desire for happiness, which Taylor unfortunately called 'self love.' This self-love will finally become, in a regenerated mind, identical with an unselfish love for God. Such an interpretation of the freedom of the will and the modifications of Calvinism attendant upon it aroused a storm of controversy and divided the churches of New England into 'Taylorites and Tyler. Bookseller Inventory # 17730

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