Johnson, Herman Merrill, Std, Lld

Johnson, Herman Merrill, S.T.D., LL.D., a prominent minister and educator of the Methodist Episcopal Church, was born in Oswego County, N.Y., Nov. 25, 1815. After preparation at Cazenovia Seminar, he entered, in 1837, the junior class of Wesleyan University, graduating with distinction in 1839. The same year he was elected professor of ancient languages in St. Charles's College, Missouri, where he remained for three years. Thence he was called to occupy the chair of ancient languages in Augusta College, Kentucky, which he held for two years, when he was elected professor of ancient languages and literature in the Ohio Wesleyan University at Delaware, Ohio. Here he performed for a while the duties of acting president of the institution organizing its curriculum, and was especially interested in introducing therein a Biblical course of study as a method of ministerial education. In 1850 he was elected professor of philosophy and English literature in Dickinson College, a position which he filled for ten years, when he was called to the presidency of this institution, together with the chair of moral science, in 1860. Dr. Johnson died April 5, 1868, just after the memorials in behalf of the Methodist centenary had secured to Dickinson College a fair endowment. He contributed largely to the Church periodicals, especially the New York Christian Advocate and the Methodist Quarterly Review. Indeed, he was decidedly able both as a writer and an instructor, and his contributions were always read with uncommon interest; for, as a thinker, he was clear, concise, original, and his writings were often eminently distinguished for their simplicity and grace of expression. He had an especial liking for all questions of historical and philological inquiry, and published a learned edition of the Clio of Herodotus (N.Y. 1842, and often). He left. unfinished another large and valuable philological contribution, the translation and revision of Eberhard's great Synonymical Dictionary of German, French, Italian, Spanish, and English. It is especially to be regretted that he did not live to complete his Commentary on the historical Books of the Old Test. "Personally, Dr. Johnson was a man of many and rare excellencies. He was pre-eminently a scholar, extensively learned, and yet distinguished for culture rather than for mere learning. He was especially eminent as a teacher, and as an administrator and disciplinarian he had few superiors. In private he was a model Christian gentleman, affable, refined, and unassuming; able and entertaining in conversation, and as a companion genial, without descending to any thing out of harmony with his elevated character and position. As a preacher he was both forcible and instructive, though too rigidly correct in his tastes to allow him to become extensively popular. In his relations to the Church he belonged to an important but very small class. His Christian character, his learning, and his confessed abilities fitted him for almost any one of the highest and most responsible offices in the Church. Such was the place he occupied, while others of equal dignity and importance were ready to be offered to him" (Christian Advocate, N.Y., April 16, 1868). (J.H.W.)

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