He was prominent among the founders of Andover Theological Seminary, and was its first professor, occupying the chair of Christian theology from 1808 to 1846, and being professor emeritus until his death in Andover on the 24th of August 1854.
He graduated at Western Reserve College in 1864 and at Andover Theological Seminary in 1869; preached in Edinburg, Ohio, in 1869-1871, and in the Spring Street Congregational Church of Milwaukee in 5875-5879; and was professor of philosophy at Bowdoin College in 58 791881, and Clark professor of metaphysics and moral philosophy at Yale from 1881 till 5905, when he took charge of the graduate department of philosophy and psychology; he became professor emeritus in 1905.
He preached in the Presbyterian church at East Hampton, Long Island (1798-1810, being ordained in 1 799); in the Congregational church at Litchfield, Connecticut (1810-1826), in the Hanover Street church of Boston (1826-1832), and in the Second Presbyterian church of Cincinnati, Ohio (1833-1843); was president of the newly established Lane Theological Seminary at Walnut Hills, Cincinnati, and was professor of didactic and polemic theology there (1832-1850), being professor emeritus until his death.
Under the editorship of a professor emeritus is published the Bibliotheca Sacra, a quarterly founded in 1843, and for many years the organ of the Andover Theological Seminary.
He became professor emeritus in 1872, and died at Groningen on the 5th of December 1886.