Twilight Tidbit Six
For our sixth Twilight Tidbit, we take a look at an excerpt from the description of a rare book by James E. Arsenault & Company. The authors examine a journal from one of Alexander Lucius Twilight’s students. Stay tuned next week for our next Tidbit from the life and times of Mr. Twilight.
The present journal was kept by an unidentified student who boarded and studied with Twilight at Brownington Academy, and also received counseling from him. The journal-keeper notes in the opening entry on 14 Nov. 1828 that he is sixteen years old and is currently boarding with Twilight. (Twilight himself enrolled at Brownington in 1815 at the age of twenty. From 1815–1821, he finished the institution’s secondary school courses in addition to the first two years of a college-level curriculum.) Of primary interest are the writer’s interactions with Twilight and his account of the schoolmaster’s activities—Twilight being mentioned quite frequently throughout the journal.
The following passages—dated 8 June 1829 and 11 June ‘29—offer a taste of the author’s interactions with Twilight:
“Mr. Twilight came in, he asked me if I thought of changing medical study into the Gospel. I told him I thought some about it. He told me the necessity of immediate decision, if that was my wish preparations would be made for my preceding in that study, at noon he told me that if I wished help, I could have it. He told me of their belief and wished to have me join a society where I should feel the most at home.
“Mr. Twilight read to me the articles of faith in his church. I expressed my desire to him of preaching to the heathen. He told me the field was open for me.”
A few other representative passages:
26 May ‘28 “Planted potatoes for Mr. A.L. Twilight worked very hard. Also Friday little past noon.”
5 June ‘28 “In my class, one absent, at four o’clock went to the east school house and led the class there Mr. A.L. Twilight came to preach a lecture, there being so few in on account of another meeting and rain, changed to a conference.”
19 June ‘28 “Bible class met at nine o’clock 1st class, Sunday school met at noon, PM, Mr. Twilight’s discourse was to show the convents the importance separating themselves from the world and uniting with the church of Christ.”
23 Nov. ‘31 “Here I am forming a character for eternity, O how important it is, that I should make…so depraved a being as I am, so prone to wander from my God is it possible that I can be saved, the influence which my life may have in the world, and that it may not end when I leave the shores of time; but may be the means of saving some precious soul; or be a stumbling block for some one to stumble over into misery.”