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David Swing.

Sixty-four years ago, in Cincinnati, David Swing was born. His father died soon after, and when David was five years old, his mother having married again, the family settled on a farm near Williamsburg, on the Ohio River. Until he was eighteen years of age he lived upon the farm and did the ordinary work of a farmer's boy, attending the village school and academy during the winter months. In the academy Greek and Latin were taught, and when he was eighteen years old, by his work at the academy and at home, he was fitted for college and entered the Miami University at Oxford, Ohio, from which he was graduated in 1852. In most departments of college work he was a student of simply average ability, but was at the very front in literary work and the classical languages. After his graduation he studied law for a year in the office of an uncle in Cincinnati, but becoming satisfied that the work of a clergyman was his proper vocation, he exchanged the study of law for that of theology, and in due time was graduated from the Lane Theological Seminary. He then returned to Oxford, and for the next twelve years taught the Greek and Latin languages, and preached every second Sunday in a small country church near Oxford, and frequently in the village churches. In this early day his sermons had

many of the characteristics of the work of his maturer years—the breadth of view, the profound scholarship, the exquisite mastery of language, the literary touch, the dainty wit and sarcasm, and the sovereign poetic fancy, which irradiated all. Four years before he came to Chicago he received and accepted a call to a Chicago church, but two or three weeks later he withdrew his acceptance, stating that he felt himself unqualified to permanently interest a city audience. He received three or four subsequent calls to Chicago, which were declined from the same distrust in his own abilities, but in 1866 came his final acceptance from the insistence of some of his early friends, who more correctly gauged his powers. His first church was presently consolidated with another, forming the Fourth Presbyterian, for which he preached with constantly growing success until 1875. Meantime the church had been burned in the great fire, and until it was rebuilt services were held in Standard Hall and McVicker's Theater. Charges of heresy were preferred against him, upon which he was tried and acquitted by the local Presbytery, but when an appeal was taken to the General Assembly he severed his connection with the denomination rather than to be embroiled in a controversy, which, to him seemed infinitely distasteful and profitless. Central Music Hall was built by those sympathizing with his views, and from its

platform he preached to great and appreciative audiences until the end of his labors.

Such, in brief, is the outline of the life and work of the man who is to-day so widely and profoundly mourned. From boyhood he seemed to have a special facility in the acquisition of languages, and mastered the Italian tongue for the purpose of reading the poems of Dante. His knowledge of the classical languages was phenomenal; his study and teaching of these languages made them seemingly as familiar to him as his mother tongue. His library contained the works of nearly all the Greek and Latin authors, and he usually read several pages daily in each of these languages. This familiarity with the classical authors gave him an inexhaustible fund of anecdote and illustration for the work of his life.

His first national recognition came with his trial for heresy. As we look at this incident, after the lapse of twenty years

when the smoke of the conflict is cleared away, we can see clearly and without prejudice the merits of the issue between Prof. Swing and his principal prosecutor. The Church had a confession of faith, formulated more than two hundred years before, which was supposed at its date to embody the teachings of the New Testament, points in which, however, many of the church members had come to question or to quietly ignore.

Prof. Swing formulated his dissent from these certain points upon the ground that they did not truly represent the teachings of Christ. Dr. Patton's position, in substance, was that the Presbyterian Church was organized upon this confession of faith; that the question was not whether Prof. Swing was right or wrong in his interpretation of the New Testament teachings, but whether he could remain the pastor of a Church founded upon formulæ, which he in part disbelieved. From a purely technical standpoint, we may concede that Dr.

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