Dr. Taylor's Reply to Dr. Tyler's Examination


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N.W. Taylor's Reply to Dr. Tyler in the Hawes/Taylor/Tyler Controversy re Native Depravity & Regeneration, Boston, 1832

TAYLOR, NATHANIEL W. Dr. Taylor's Reply to Dr. Tyler's Examination. Boston: Printed by Peirce and Parker, No. 9, Cornhill. 1832. Octavo, 15.8 x 24.8cm. $55.00

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 Tylerites' the adherents of Taylor and of his principal opponent, Bennet Tyler. The debate , passing beyond the borders of New England, became the chief theological reason for the disruption of the Presbyterian Church in 1838."--Charles A. Dinsmore in Dictionary of American Biography, XVIII:338-339. Taylor's "idea of the certainty but not the necessity of man's sin was not outside orthodoxy, and was essential, because his audience no longer knew the Reformation theology, and did not accept the idea of man's 'total depravity.' Taylor exerted a strong influence upon the revivalists, especially Charles G. Finney, whose theological system at Oberlin College, Ohio, 'bore clear marks of Taylorism.'"--Nelson R. Burr: Critical Bibliography of Religion in American, II:994-995. Henry Martyn Dexter: "Collections Toward a Bibliography of Congregationalism" #5227. This controversy, centered around sin/native depravity/regeneration, was started when Taylor reviewed Joel Hawes paper, then Tyler replied to Taylor's review, to which Taylor replies with our pamphlet. Taylor is defending the "orthodoxy" of his positions.

Pamphlet in original printed paper wrapper with title printed on front wrap, side stitched, fore-edge & bottom edge not trimmed, untrimmed page edges tattered a bit, wrapper soiled a bit, large damp stain in upper right hand corner of pages, light foxing. Pagination: [title printed on wrapper, pagination starts with first page of text] [1]-24pp. Small errata slip pasted to bottom of p.24. American Imprints#32-14935.

Title: Dr. Taylor's Reply to Dr. Tyler's Examination


Illustrator: Boston


Publisher: 1832

Binding: Pamphlet in original printed paper wrapper with t

Book Condition: Good

Size: Octavo, 15.8 x 24.8cm.

Book Number: 17731

Keywords: 19th Century Books, Arminianism, Calvinism, Native Depravity, Original Sin, Pamphlets--American, Regeneration, Salvation, Sin, Congregationalism, Bennet Tyler,