Out of the Depths: An Autobiographical Study of Mental Disorder and Religious Experience, by Anton T. Boisen, #4


Our Ordained Chaplains Scripture verse for today is 2 Corinthians 1:4 which reads, “Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.”

Our Ordained Chaplains quote for today is from Mark Galli. He said, “The chaplain’s job is defined by service—service to the institution’s needs and goals, service to the individuals who come for spiritual help. The chaplain prays for people in distress, administers sacraments to those in need, leads worship for those desperate for God. In short, the chaplain is at the beck and call of those who are hurting for God. He’s not his own man. She is not her own woman. There’s no mistaking a chaplain for an entrepreneurial leader, a catalyst for growth. No, the chaplain is unmistakably a servant.”

In this podcast, we will continue discussing the book “Out of the Depths” by Anton T. Boisen. We continue today with “Ancestry and Social Background” (Part 3):

As a boy, Theophilus Wylie attended his father’s classical school. He is said to have read two books of Caesar by the time he was eight years old. Certainly he was almost as much at home in Latin as in English. He was also an able Greek scholar. His college work was done at the University of Pennsylvania. His major interests were in the sciences. He was also interested in painting and had dreams of becoming an artist. His father, however, wanted him to study for the ministry. As a dutiful son he yielded to his father’s wishes. It was a great relief to him when his father finally decided in favor of his becoming a teacher. In 1837 ke went out to the wilds of Indiana to join the faculty of the state university in Bloomington, of which Andrew Wylie, a nephew of his father, was president. He had been given the choice of the chair of ‘pure mathematics” or that of “mixed mathematics.” He had chosen the former and had spent several months brushing up on his algebra and geometry and calculus, when word came that he had been appointed to the chair of mixed mathematics. This, being interpreted, meant physics, chemistry, geology, and natural history. He stayed on at Indiana until his retirement in 1886. With the exception of a period of two and a half years during which he taught at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio (1852-54), he was thus in continuous active service at Indiana University for forty-six and a half years. His special field was natural philosophy, but at one time or another he taught almost every course in the curriculum except moral philosophy. He was a really good teacher and a thorough scholar. In addition to his teaching he served for many years as librarian of the University, and for thirty years he was pastor of the New Side Reformed Presbyterian Church, one of the four psalm-singing Presbyterian churches in Bloomington during the middle of the nineteenth century.

In 1838, after the year’s probation upon which he had insisted, Theophilus Wylie returned to Philadelphia to marry Rebecca Dennis and take her back with him to Bloomington. It required two weeks to make the trip. They traveled part way by rail, part way by stagecoach, part way by canal boat to Pittsburgh, then by boat down the Ohio to Louisville, and thence by stage to Bloomington. My mother, bom in Bloomington in 1839, was their oldest child. My grandfather wanted to name her “Erasmia” after his favorite philosopher, but my grandmother rebelled. They agreed on “Louise.” There were five other children who lived to maturity, one sister and four brothers. One of the brothers lost his life in the Civil War. Another died of tuberculosis.

In 1859 my grandfather bought the large brick house on East Second Street, in Bloomington, built in 1833 by his cousin, President Andrew Wylie. Here the family lived until my grandmother’s death in 1913 at the age of one hundred and one years. This house is now owned by the University and plans are under way to restore it.

My mother, who died in 1930 at the age of ninety-one, got her schooling in Bloomington at the “Female Seminary” which was conducted Mrs. E. J McFerson, a sister of Professor Daniel Read of the University. In 1852, when the family moved to Oxford, Ohio, she enrolled in Professor Scott’s school for girls. About the same time Mrs. McFerson moved her Female Seminary to Glendale, Ohio. My mother joined her there as a student and later taught in that school. It may be of interest to note that at Oxford her music teacher was Dr. Scott’s daughter, Carrie, who married Benjamin Harrison, and that at Glendale her bosom friend was Mrs. McFerson’s daughter, Parke, who married John W. Foster, the man who in later years became Harrison’s secretary of state. My mother was one of the first women to enroll at Indiana University. After her graduation in 1871 she taught at the University of Missouri, of which Daniel Read was at that time president. She left at the end of her first year to be married to her teacher of modern languages at Indiana University. I entered the world in 1876 as their first child.

In our next broadcast, we will continue with Part 4 of “Ancestry and Social Background.”

—PRAYER—

Now, if you have come across this broadcast, and do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour, allow me to show you how.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9-13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Until next time, my friend, please keep in mind these reasons to believe. God bless!

Questions