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William Preston Johnston

William Preston Johnston

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Excerpt from William Preston Johnston: A Character Sketch

If intense love for the subject unfits one to draw a character sketch, then William Preston Johnston could have no biographer. For no writer could describe a life without acquaintance with it, and no one could know our friend without such love for him as would bethought to warp the judgment in portraying his character. But possibly the consciousness of such feeling might keep the writer on his guard, and let fairness draw the picture without exaggeration.

There is another and still greater difficulty. Only the like can appreciate the like at its proper value, or describe in adequate terms; and so, if this principle be adhered to rigorously, our friend could have no biography. For he stands out unique in the estimation of those who have been near him in his youth, in the maturity of his strength, and when he bravely struggled, as he did during all his later years, with harassing weakness. At every period of his life, in every field of work, and under most changing conditions, there was no variation in the unselfish pursuit of what is true, beautiful, and good. The noble aims with which he was always actuated were sanctified by a faith in the Divine Presence which never doubted the final outcome, and which made him as courageous when all seemed to oppose as when his road lay through the clear sunlight of God's favor.

President Johnston had every advantage of birth.

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