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Pierson, of Woodbridge, N.J., and granddaughter of the first President of Yale College. He (the son) was born at Hanover, on the 6th of July, 1762. At a very early age, under the influence of his father's loyalty, he enlisted in defence of his country's liberties; and in one instance at least, at the attack on Elizabethtown Point, his life was in imminent jeopardy. In consequence of the associations into which he was brought, during the period of the Revolution, he became doubtful in respect to the Divine authority of the Scriptures; but he determined not to surrender his faith without a diligent and impartial examination. The result of such an examination was a full conviction that the Bible is the word of God; and that conviction he followed out, shortly after, by entering, with great strength of purpose, upon the religious life.
His aspirations for a collegiate education were early manifested, and his preparation for college was begun and completed under the instruction of his father. He entered the junior class in the College of New Jersey, in the spring of 1782, and graduated the next year, the Valedictory Orator of his class, General Washington being present at the Commencement.
He was appointed to a tutorship in the college, immediately after his graduation; and, having held that office for two years, was advanced to the chair of Professor of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy, in which he continued till 1787. In connection with his collegiate duties, he prosecuted the study of Theology under the direction of Dr. Witherspoon, then President of the college, and was licensed to preach by the Presbytery of New Brunswick, in February, 1786. Shortly
after his licensure, he was invited to become the pastor of the Independent Church in Charleston, S.C., and at a little later period received a similar invitation from the Second Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia. The latter invitation he accepted, and was installed in May, 1787, as colleague pastor with the Rev. Dr. Sproat. The same year he was elected a member of the American Philosophical Society.
In 1791, Mr. Green, for the benefit of his health, journeyed into New England as far as Portsmouth, N. H., mingling in many interesting scenes, and forming many valuable acquaintances. In 1792, he was honored with the degree of Doctor of Divinity, from the University of Pennsylvania, when he had been but six years a licensed preacher; and the same year he was elected Chaplain to Congress, an office which he held during eight successive years. In 1793, during the prevalence of the yellow fever in Philadelphia, he left the city, with a view to visit his son in Princeton, who, he had heard, was seriously ill; and, while he was absent, his venerable colleague fell a victim to the raging malady.
In the course of the next winter, the Second and Third Presbyterian churches, of Philadelphia, united in securing the services of the Rev. (afterwards Dr.) John N. Abeel, with the understanding that the two churches should jointly share his labors. He was, accordingly, installed as colleague pastor with Dr. Green; but, though there was perfect harmony between the two pastors, the union did not result favorably, and was dissolved in 1795, when Dr. Abeel removed to New York.
In 1799, the Rev. (afterwards Dr.) Jacob J. Jane way, became associated with Dr. Green in the pastoral office, and the relation continued, a source of mutual comfort and blessing, until the removal of the latter to another field. In 1799, he suffered a severe chronic rheumatism, the effect of which was great mental depression, unfitting him, in a measure, for his public duties. In the hope of obtaining the desired relief, he visited the Warm and Sweet Springs of Virginia, and in the course of his journey, made the acquaintance of some of the most distinguished men in that part of the country. Though the journey proved physically salutary, it did not avail to the restoration of his spirits; and it was nearly two years before his faculties were all in their full operation.
After the burning of the edifice of the College of New Jersey, in March 1802, Dr. Smith, the President of the college, was requested, by the trustees, to visit South Carolina, to solicit aid in repairing the loss which had been sustained. This he actually did; and the oversight of the college, meanwhile, was committed to Dr. Green, who discharged the various duties, thus devolved upon him, with great fidelity and dignity.
In 1809 was formed in Philadelphia the first Bible Society in the United States. An Address to the public, setting forth the design and importance of the institution, was written by Dr. Green, and did much to prepare the way for other institutions of a similar nature. Dr. Green succeeded Bishop White, as the presi dent of that society, and held the office till the close of his life.
In 1810, a resolution to establish a Theological Semi
nary was adopted by the General Assembly, and Dr. Green was appointed chairman of the committee to draft a constitution; and, in the discharge of this duty, he produced a document that has had an immensely important bearing on the interests of the Church. When the Board of Birectors for the seminary was appointed, in 1812, they elected Dr. Green as their president, and this office also he retained as long as he lived, rendering it a channel of rich blessing to the institution.
In August, 1812, he was chosen President of the College of New Jersey; and, having accepted the appointment, was released from his pastoral charge, and was introduced to his new field of labor in October fol lowing. The same year the degree of Doctor of Laws was conferred upon him, by the University of North Carolina. In 1815, an extensive revival of religion prevailed in the college, which resulted in the hopeful conversion of a large number of the students. Dr. Green labored vigorously and earnestly, in carrying for ward this work; and, after the excitement had ceased, he made a long and able report of what had been passing, to the trustees, which was afterwards published, and had a wide circulation.
Dr. Green continued to occupy the presidential chair till September, 1822, when he thought proper to resign his office. Though it was chiefly with a view to being relieved from the burden of care which had so long oppressed him, that he was induced to take this step, yet he passed immediately into another field of labor, where his faculties were scarcely less tasked than they had been in the preceding one. He immediately returned. to Philadelphia, and became the editor of the Christian
Advocate, a monthly periodical, and continued it till 1834. In this work first appeared his Lectures on the Assembly's Catechism, delivered at Philadelphia, both before he went to Princeton and after his return; and they were subsequently published in two duodecimo volumes. For about two years and a half he preached to the African congregation, and was always on the alert to promote the best interests of the Church by every means in his power. During several of his last years his faculties were perceptibly waning, and most of his time was spent in private devotion. While the General Assembly was in session in Philadelphia, in 1846, he unexpectedly appeared for a few minutes among them, and was met with the highest testimonies of respect and reverence. He died in the midst of a large circle of friends, to whom he was greatly endeared, on the 19th of May, 1848, aged nearly eightysix years. His remains were removed to Princeton, where his monument is now to be seen, amidst a cluster of illustrious names, such as is hardly to be found elsewhere.
In November, 1785, about the time that he entered on his professorship, he was married to the eldest daughter of Robert Stockton, of Princeton. She died in 1807, leaving three children,—all of them sons. In October, 1809, he was married to Christiana Anderson, the eldest daughter of Colonel Alexander Anderson. She died in 1814, after a connection of a little less than four years and a half. In October, 1815, he was married (for the third time) to a daughter of Major John McCulloch, of Philadelphia. She died, after a somewhat lingering illness, in November, 1817. His