Here, as the result of all my inquiries and diverse experiences, I find myself, on this my eighty-second birthday, in the full and blissful assurance of the Divine origin and authority of the Holy Scriptures of both Testaments, of the doctrine of the Sacred Trinity, of atonement by the blood of Christ, of regeneration, of justification and sanctification by faith, of the baptism of the Holy Ghost, of immortality, and "eternal judgment;" and holding all these and kindred truths in "the full assurance of faith," "full assurance of hope," and "full assurance of understanding," I have been urged by individuals in whose judgment I place great confidence, and who have had an intimate acquaintance with my habits of self-reflection, to write out, for the benefit of the Church and the world, my own intellectual, moral, and spiritual autobiography. After prayerful consideration I yielded to such advice. Hence the following treatise.
ASA MAHAN (1799-1889) was America's foremost Christian educator, reformer, philosopher, and pastor. He was founding president of two colleges and one university, where he was able to inspire numerous reforms, publish authoritative philosophical texts, and promote powerful revivals like his close associate Charles Finney. He led the way on all important fronts while being severely persecuted. He introduced the new curriculum later adopted by Harvard, was the first to instruct and grant liberal college degrees to white and colored women, advised Lincoln during the Civil War, and among many other remarkable achievements, was a father to the early evangelical and holiness movements.