ABBOTT, LYMAN, American divine and author, was born at Roxbury, Massachusetts, on the 18th of December 1835, the son of Jacob Abbott. He graduated at the University of New York in 1853, studied law, and was admitted to the bar in 1856; but soon abandoned the legal profession, and, after studying theology with his uncle, J. S. C. Abbott, was ordained a minister of the Congregational Church in 1860. He was pastor of a church in Terre Haute, Indiana, in 1860-1865, and of the New England Church in New York City in 1865--1869. From 1865 to 1868 he was secretary of the American Union (Freedman’s) Commission. In 1869 he resigned his pastorate to devote himself to literature. He was an associate editor of Harper’s Magazine, was editor of the Illustrated Christian Weekly, and was co-editor (1876-1881) of The Christian Union with Henry Ward Beecher, whom he succeeded in 1888 as pastor of Plymouth Church, Brooklyn. From this pastorate he resigned ten years later. From 1881 he was editor-in-chief of The Christian Union, renamed The Outlook in 1893; this periodical reflected his efforts toward social reform, and, in theology, a liberality, humanitarian and nearly unitarian. The latter characteristics marked his published works also.
His works include Jesus of Nazareth (1869); Illustrated Commentary on the New Testament (4 vols., 1875); A Study in Human Nature (1885); Life of Christ (1894); Evolution of Christianity (Lowell Lectures, 1896); The Theology of an Evolutionist (1897); Christianity and Social Problems (1897); Life and Letters of Paul, (1898); The Life that Really is (1899); Problems of Life (1900); The Rights of Man (1901); Henry Ward Beecher (1903); The Christian Ministry (1905); The Personality of God (1905); Industrial Problems (1905); and Christ’s Secret of Happiness (1907). He edited Sermons of Henry Ward Beecher (2 vols., 1868).
Source: 1911 encyclopedia.
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