Daniel Whedon (1808-1885)

Daniel Whedon (1808-1885)

Daniel Denison Whedon was a pivotal figure in the struggle between Calvinism and Arminianism in nineteenth-century America. As a result of his efforts, some historians have concluded that he was responsible for a new doctrine of man that was more dependent upon philosophical principles than Scripture.

Early Life

I. Birth (1808)

Daniel Whedon was born March 20, 1808 in Onondaga, New York.

II. Education

He graduated from Hamilton College in 1828 and took up the study of law at Rochester, New York, but soon abandoned this profession to become a teacher.

III. Early Professorial Efforts (1830-32)

From 1830 to 1831, he taught in the Oneida Conference Seminary at Cazenovia, New York, and became a tutor at Hamilton College in 1832.

IV. Professor of Languages and Literature (1833-43)

In 1833, he was elected Professor of Ancient Languages and Literature at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut.

V. Methodist Minister (1843-45)

In 1843, he became a minister in the Methodist Episcopal Church, serving churches in Pittsfield, Massachuset and Jamaica Long, Island New York.

VI. Professor of Logic, Rhetoric, and History (1845-52)

Whedon became Professor of Logic, Rhetoric, and History at Michigan University where he served from 1845 to 1852.

VII. Methodist Pastor (1853-56)

After leaving Michigan University in 1852, he returned, in 1853, to pastoral ministry at Jamaica, New York. Here he served until 1856.

VIII. Editor of Methodist Quarterly Review (1856-84)

In 1856, the Methodist Episcopal general conference elected him to the editor of the Methodist Quarterly Review, one of the most influential periodicals of the church. Here he served for the next twenty-eight years of his life.

His Death (1885)

After ill health forced him to retire as editor of the Methodist Quarterly Review, he resided at Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey. On June 8, 1885 he died.

Contributions to Methodism

Daniel Whedon’s most significant contributions to Methodist theology is probably in the area of developing an indigenous Methodist theology. His book on the Freedom of the Will and his article in Bibliotheca Sacra (1862) “Doctrines of Methodist” are his best-known contributions in this area.

Daniel Whedon: A Bibliography

I. Primary Works

Whedon, Daniel. Homer. An Address Delivered Before the Belles Lettres and Union Philosophical Societies of Dickinson College, July 11th, 1855. Carlisle: Printed at the Herald Office, 1855.

________. Sermons and Expository Lectures. 6th ed. New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1855.

________. The Methodist Review. New York: the Methodist Book Concern,1856-84.

________. Public Addresses, Collegiate and Popular. New York: Carlton & Porter, 1856.

________. Commentary on the New Testament. 5 Vols. New York: Eaton & Mains, 1860-75.

________. The Freedom of the Will as a Basis of Human Responsibility and a Divine Government. New York: Carlton & Porter, 1864.

________. The Antislavery Struggle and Triumph in the Methodist Episcopal Church. New York: Phillips & Hunt, 1881.

________. Commentary on the Old Testament. 7 Vols. New York: [n.p.], 1880-86.

II. Secondary Works

E. S. Bucke, History of American Methodism (1964)

Simpson, Cyclopedia (1878)

Harmon, ed., Encyclopedia of World Methodism

Written by Dr. Stephen FlickNumber of posts: 217
Stephen Flick heads Christian Heritage Fellowship, a national organization dedicated to reclaiming America’s Christian Heritage and celebrating the life-changing influence of the Gospel around the world. Concerned with the cultural decay of America, Dr. Flick has sought to provide answers to fellow Christians (and unbelievers) concerning the questions and objections to Christianity often posed by secularists and the irreligious. Dr. Flick is a writer and speaker and has authored numerous articles and books on America’s Christian heritage. He earned his Ph.D. from Drew University in history and Christian theology and has taught at the graduate level as full professor. He has been a licensed minster for nearly forty years and resides in East Tennessee with his wife, Beth. They have two grown, married children and five grandchildren.

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