Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
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ABBOTT, Lyman, clergyman, born in Roxbury, Massachusetts, 18 December, 1835. He is the third son of Jacob Abbott, was graduated at the University of the City of New York in 1853, studied law, was admitted to the bar, and went into partnership with his brothers, Benjamin V. and Austin, in 1856. Becoming convinced that he was better qualified for the pulpit than for the bar, he studied theology with his uncle, the Rev. John South Carolina Abbott, and entered the ministry in 1860. His first pastoral charge was the Congregational church in Terre Haute, Indiana, where he remained until, in 1865, he was chosen secretary of the American Union (Freedmen's) Commission. This office called him to New York City, and occupied him until 1868. During a part of this period he was also pastor of the New England church in New York City, but he resigned in 1869 to devote himself to literature and journalism. He was joint author with his brothers of two novels (see AUSTIN ABBOTT), and for several years he edited the " Literary Record" of "Harper's Magazine," at the same time conducting the "Illustrated Christian Weekly." This last named duty he resigned to take charge of the "Christian Union, an independent weekly journal, in the editorship of which he was for a time associated with Henry Ward Beecher, and of which, since Mr. Beecher's retirement, he has been editor-in-chief. His works include "Jesus of Nazareth: His Life and Teachings" (New York, 1869); "Old Testament Shadows of New Testament Truths" (1870); "A Dictionary of Bible Knowledge" (1872); "A Layman's Story" (1872); an "Illustrated Commentary on the New Testament," in four volumes (1875 el seq.); a Life of Henry Ward Beecher (1883); "For Family Worship," a book of devotions (1883); and "In Aid of Faith" (1886). He is also the author of several pamphlets, the most important being one on " The Results of Emancipation in the United States" (1867). He has edited two volumes of "Sermons by Rev. Henry Ward Beecher," and "Morning and Even ing Exercises," selected from the writings of the same author.
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