Thompson, William J
Thompson, William J.
a clergyman of the Reformed Church, and a classical teacher of high reputation, was born at Readington, N. J., March 8, 1812. He was the grandson of John Thompson, a Scotch immigrant who was killed by the Indians near Williamsport, Pa. After graduating at Rutgers College in 1834, he taught successfully at Millston, N. J., until 1838, when he began to pursue the usual course of instruction in the Theological Seminary of the Reformed Church. He entered the ministry in 1841, and was settled over the churches of Ponds and Wyckoff, N. J., for three years (1842-45), when he accepted the position of rector of the Grammar-school of Rutgers College. He held this important place eighteen years (1845-63), when he resigned and became principal of the Somerville Classical Institute. He died in 1867. He was a thorough student, scholar, and teacher. His standard of education was high; his drill incessant, exacting, and minute. He was never satisfied until his pupils had been made familiar with their subjects. He was also tutor in the classics in Rutgers College (1838-41), during his seminary course. Hundreds of his students have passed successfully into the learned professions and other honorable callings. A paralysis of the right side, which afflicted him at four years of age, and during his whole life, interfered materially with his pulpit efficiency, but did not affect his voice or mental powers. He was an enthusiastic teacher, sometimes stern and severe in discipline, but always conscientious, capable, and successful in dealing with intelligent scholars who wished to learn. His mind was clear and logically exact; his knowledge was always at command. His character was distinguished for unyielding uprightness and an honorable spirit; his attainments in the sacred languages and theology were large and accurate. As a preacher, he was plain, without any ornamentation of style or force of delivery, but evangelical in doctrine and practical in his aims. See. Corwin, Manual of the Ref: Ch. p. 492. (W. J. R. T.)