Smith, Asa D, Dd, Lld

Smith, Asa D., D.D., LL.D., a Presbyterian minister, was born in Amherst, Mass., Sept. 21, 1804. At the age of seventeen, while living at Windsor, Vt., he was called by divine grace to a new life, and there he consecrated himself with all his characteristic earnestness to the service of Christ. The vows he then took he most sacredly kept, nor ever turned aside from the one great purpose God had wrought in his soul. He very soon commenced a preparatory study for the work of the ministry, and entered Dartmouth College in 1826. Here the traits of character which distinguished him in after life industry, energy, fidelity, and singleness of purpose to the one great object of his early consecration were made conspicuous. His remarkable power of extemporaneous speech drew to him the marked and admiring attention of the students. He ranked very high as a scholar, and was among the very. first in his class; in some respects he had no superior. He was a decided Christian, and knew the secret, which so many fail to learn, of living a decidedly godly life at college. He never was more active, or accomplished more for the salvation of souls in his after life, than during his college course of four years. After leaving college he taught an academy one year in Maine. During that year the school was blessed with a revival of religion. From Maine he went to the Theological Seminary at Andover. After completing the course he was ordained to the ministry, and settled as pastor over a church in New York city, in which charge he continued for thirty years. While in that city he was associated with its leading men in all the public, benevolent, and religious movements of the time. His prominent position in the literary and religious world brought many applications for him to leave the pulpit for services in colleges and seminaries for which he was. regarded as so eminently fitted. From the retirement of Dr. Lord from the presidency of Dartmouth College, attention was directed to him as his successor. He received a unanimous call from the trustees of the college, which, after prayerful deliberation, he accepted. Dr. Smith entered upon his work in the full maturity of life with all the fire and energy of youth. Endowed with every quality which the highest mental culture could give, and freighted with an experience rich in every department of literary, social, and religious life. he resolved to carry out the design of the founders of the college to impart a sanctified learning to all who should gain access to its halls. So thoroughly was he devoted to his great work that every moment was consecrated to the interests of the institution. He knew but one work, and every interest in which he took a part was made to contribute to the welfare of the college. His life as a pastor was, as it were, acted over again, for, while his care extended to the temporal welfare of his flock, he was, if possible, more anxious about their salvation. He improved occasions to converse with them on the subject of religion, and prayed much for them, while he asked for them an interest in the prayers of others. Dr. Smith not only took an interest in the affairs of the college, but in all things that pertained to the welfare of the community. As a citizen he was public-spirited, always earnest for improvements, quite up to the means of securing them, always willing to bear his full share of labor or expense. No one in the community was more free, more generous in aid of every good cause, or more ready to contribute of his substance to those in need. By over-exertion his health became somewhat impaired and it was necessary for him to remain abroad during the winter and spring of 1870. With that exception he was rarely laid aside from labor during the thirteen years of his connection with the college. In November of the last year, near the close of the fall term, he was suddenly stricken down by acute disease, and from that blow he never fully recovered, nor had sufficient strength to attend to his official duties. Following the advice of his physician and his own judgment, he tendered, early in the winter, his resignation of the presidency. It was accepted with reluctance on the part of the trustees, but only when they saw there was no hope of his final recovery. He was grateful to God for having permitted him to render so long a service, and, though he could have wished it protracted, yet he was resigned to the divine will. During the last few days he was extremely weak, and at the close, without pain, he gently fell asleep in Jesus to enjoy the "rest that remains for the people of God," Aug. 17, 1877. Dr. Asa D. Smith was author of the following: Letters to a Young Student: — A Memoir of Mrs. L. A. Leavitt: — Importance of a Scriptural Ministry: — A Discourse on the Life and Character of Charles Hall, D.D.: — The Puritan Church's Stewardship: — Beneficence our Life Work: — Two Baccalaureate Discourses: — Obedience to Heaven's Law: — Death Abolisled: — Introduction to Pioneer American Missions in China: — with numerous articles in the American Theological Review and Biblical Repository. See Allibone, Dict. of Brit. and Amer. Author's, s.v. (W.P.S.)

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