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j . M. l'Pu>-i/-HyUnXC_. 



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LIFE AND LETTERS 



James Henley Thornweix, d.d., ll.d„ 



-I'EESIBENT OF THE SOUTH CAKOLINA COLLEGE, 



LATli PfiOFESSOU, OP THEOLOOT IH THE THEOtOfllGAL SEMIKARY 
AT COLtJittBIA, SOUIH CAEOLIHA. 



. M. PALMEE, D.D., LL.D,, 



RICHMOND; 
WHITTET & SHEPPERSON. 



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Entered accoixling to Act of CoDgmaa, in tlie year 1 

WHITTET Si SHEPPEESON, 
In the Office of the Librorinn of Congress, tit Waehingfoii 



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CONTENTS. 



CHAPTER I. 

PiEEMIiOE AND BiBTH. 

Introduction. — Birtli, — His father's occupation, otaracter, and early 
death. — His mother's lineage. — Early settlement of South. Caro- 
lina. —Immigration of a Welsh colony. — His mother's chatae- 
teristlos 



CHAPTER n. 

ESELS BOIHOOD. 

Orphanage.— Early poverty. — An old-field school — Hia first teaoh- 
era.— Aceovmt of Mr. Molnfcyre.— Attachment to his pupil — 
Habits of study.— ^Eady ambition ^Fust mipreesions of his 
genius, — Inti-odiiction to his fiiturn Pptrona ■ — ^IndifFeience to 
play, — Moral and Keligions traits. ] 

CHAPTER in. 
His PiTEONa. 
Biief sketch of the Generals GiUcspie.— Their ailcetion for their 
ward.- — Sketch of Mr. Eobbins.-^His marked influence in de- 
veloping the genius intrnsted to his care : 

OHAPTEE IV. 

PEEPAEiTION FOB GoLLEGE. 

Eemoval to Gheraw. — Abode with Mr. Bobbins. — Gonfidential rela- 
tions "Kith him. — First appearance as a debater.— Entrance into 
the Oheraw Academy, — Love for the Classics. — Early fondness 
for Metaphysics.— Correspondence with his Patron.— Singular 

letter.— Tendency to moral speculations ■ 

iii 



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IV CONTENTS. 

CHAPTEE T. 
CoiA.sf>E, Life. 
Firet . ppearanee in College. — Personal description. — Rejected on 
first appiieation. — Received on tlie eecond. — His own aoconnt 
of it.— Early impreeaion of liis genius npou his feEow-strudeuts. 
—Faculty of tte South Carolina College. — Intense appiieation. — 
Bange of Ms atudiea, — Self -discipline. — Seclusion. — Eai'ly repu- 
tation as a debater. — Powers of juTectiTe. — Correspondence 53 

CHAPTEE YI. 

COLLEOE LlEE COMIINttBD. 

Correspondence with hie Patrons. — Admirable letters of Mr. Eob- 
bins in reply. — ConacientioiiBnees in the use of money. — Cen- 
sured for pareimony, by Mr. Bobbins. — His defence. — Moral 
character in College. — Testimonies of Ms olaes-mateB. — Eeligi- 
ons inTSstigatioas.— Example of integrity. — Graduation and 
distinctions 67 

CHAPTER Vn. 
His Conteesiob. 
Inability to choose a profession. -Kemains as resident graduate. — 
Correspondence.- Teaches at Sumterville. — Literaiy projects. 
—Unites with the Presbyteiian Church. — His own acconnt, 
gi-sen at a later period, of his reUgiows exercises. — Review of 
his religious history. — His own analysis of religion. — Letter 83 

CHAPTEE YIII. 

His TEiCHiBft at Cheraw. 
Ecmoves to Cheraw. — Becomes principal of file Academy.— -Charac- 
ter as a teacher.— Physical development. — H^ibits of life. — 
Eeligiona gloom. — Account of this stage of his history, by an 
associate. — Explanation of his gloom.— Defective religious ex- 
perience. — Applies to Presbytery. — Taken under its cnre as a 
candidate for the ministiy 103 

CHAPTEE IX. 
Ebsidbncb at Oambbidob. 
Sudden removal to Andover, Mass. ^Thence to Cambridge,— Rea- 
sons for the change. — Letter from Mr. Eobbins.— Correspon- 
dence. — Amusing story of a visit to Boston.- — Hears Mr. 
Everett's eulogy upon Lafayette. — Contrast between different 
stages in the same life. — Lettei's. — Return home 115 



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COBTENTS. V 

CHAPTER X. 

FiKST Pastokatb. 
Lioecsui-e. — Settlement in Ltmcaatei'. — Spifitual U)u2ict.' — Eaily 
pteaeMiig. — Ascendenoj ovei liis fmdieiiee -—Power of illumi 
nating the whole gospel.— His bearing as a pastor — Marriage 
—Death of his first child. —-Complete formation of cjiaractei — 
Development of piety.- — Estraots fi-ora hit pin ate journal — 
OonCeEsiou and prayer 137 

OHAPTEE XI. 

PlEST PkOFESSOESHJP 

Ee-orgaiiiaatiou of the College.— Enters it as Piufe-.sra —Intimate 
friendship with members of the Faculty. — Appointed to chair 
of Metaphysics.— Enthusiasm and sucee^ m this study — Native 
aptitude for it. — Not wautiag ia Esthetics ^bocuples of cou- 
scienoe, — Kesigna the Professorship.— -lastalled pastor of the 
Columbia Church. — Author's first impression of hira — Eecalled 
to aie College 145 

CHAPTEE Xn. 

Voyage to ETjHOi>Ti. 
Ill heaMi.— Ordered to Europe. — Letters on the way. — Sails for 
Liyerpool.— Journal. — Keflactions upoa the ocean; upon the 
Talue of time ; upon the sea as a school for the Christian graces. 
— DesoriptioD of a Mewfoundland fog. — Dangers. — Stonn at 
sea. — Arrives in Europe 167 

( H vrTER xin, 

Lettbbi fosm; Edbope. 
Desenptiou of LiTerpool — English politics.— Pesoriptioc of OheB- 
tei —Its antig^uities -Nobleman's estate. ^ — London.— Its ia- 
tciestm^ associations —Its striking contrasts. — Scotliwd.— 
Description of lilasgow — Intercourse with the Seoaders. — 
Places Tiaited on his lonrney — Kenilworth. — Warwick.— S trat- 
foidupon K.von — Mehose Abbey. — Dryburgh.— Impreasions 
of Palis — Its Liong — L»tuj.n home. — Patiiotism 187 



CHAPTER XIV. 

Ol,n AHD NlW SCHOOI: COKTBOyESaY, 

This chapter a digression.— Keasons for it.— Strict adherence to t 
Standards in the early Church. — Cumulative proof of this. 
Early sympathy with Congregationalists. — Causes of it. — PI 



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V] CONTENTS. 

of Union. — Its leading features.— Presbyterian order undei^ 
mined. — Tiieoiogical speoulations in New Bngknd- — Dissemi- 
nated m file Presbyteriaji Churoh. — SpeoiflcationB of doctrinal 
error. ^ — Substance of doctrine defined, — Organizatiojj of Na- 
tionid Societies. ^Confliot with eaeli of tliese.^Tlie results. — 
EleetiYe-afEnity Presbyterians. — Mr. Barnes' trial.— =^Measures 
of reform.— Act and Testimony,— Asseinbiy of 1837. — I'lan of 
Union, abolished. — Final disruption. 181 

CHAPTER XV. 
Polemic GiEEEE Begun'. 
Provideatial training for his future work. — Member of Assembly in 
1837. — Inside Tiew of tliat Council, — Gradual sifting of tie 
Oturch. — Testimony before the Synod. — Tract publioations. — 
Letter of condolence. — Called back te Hie College. — His deci- 
sion.^ — Pastoral relation dissolved. — Assumes the chaplaincy in 



OHAPTEB XVL 

The Boaed Qheshom. 
DiBCUsaioQa about the Boards of tha Church, — Rise out of the pre- 
vioaa controrerey. — Debate in Synod. — Incident in tlie samo,^ — 
First written attack on, the Boards. — Article on the Apocrypha. 
— Second artide on the Boards. — Letters on the same subject. 221 

CHAPTER XVn. 

GENEBiL CoKKESPONDENCE, 

Views upon the French character. — Gelations nith Dr. R. J. Breck- 
inridge. — Letters of Chi-istian sympathy. —Proposed work on 
the Atonement, — Controversy with Romanists, — Death of Mr. 
Kobhins, — Letter to his widow 23* 



CHAPTER SVin, 
The Eldek Qdestion. 
Assembly's decision upon the c[uorum of a Presbytery. — Upon the 
imposition of hands by elders in the ordination of ministers.— 
Letters on these topics, — Article published, — Argument of Dr. 
Breckinridge before Synod of Philadelphia reviewed. — Further 
correspondence on the eldership.- — Letters of sym.pBthj. — In- 
timations of God's will in the leadings of His proridecce 2 



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CONTENTS. V 

CHAPTER XIX. 

CaTjL to Bi-IiTlMOEE. 

DJssatisfactioa wjtii the College.— Call to Chviroh in Baltiniorc.— 
Accepted bv Mm. — Dismisaioc to Preebytory of Baltimore,^ 
Dootoiate oonfercecl. — Action of Trustees o£ the CoUege. — 
Detained for a yera.— Correspondence growing out of this. — 
Baltimi re Church waits. — Pvesbytety reoousiders its former 
jction —He lemains in the College 3' 

CHAPTER XS. 

QoEsnon OF EoMisH Baftjsh. 
Assembly of 1846.— Debate on Eomisb Baptism.— Im^resKions of 
the West. — Views on Abolitionisro. — Patriotic feeling. — Biblical 
Repattotj onEomiBh Baptism. — Artioles in reply. — Oorrespon- 
denoe on the same. — Letter to Hon. W. 0. Preston, also to his 
children.— Plane in relation to the Columbia Seminary. — ■ 
SouihernFresi^terianBeoiev^-projscted. — Its objects e; 



CHAPTER XXI. 
Absemeli^ or 1847 akd 1848. 
Asaembly of 184T.—-Eleoted Moderator. —Salutatory address. — Des- 
criptive letters. — Sermon on Popery. — Its subject, the Mass. — ■ 
Outline of it, views of his usefulness in the College. — Assem- 
bly of 1848. — Bight of Church, members to withdraw.- Kelation 
of the Oburch to moral reform societies. — Curious scene in the 
AsBembly.— Visit to Washington city.— First aoqnainfanee with 
Mr. Calhoun. — Impressions of his genius.. — Letters of friend- 



CHAPTEE XSII. 

PBaSONAIi FalENDSHIPS. 

Oases of young man wbore he brougbt into the ministry. — Ijotter tc 
one of these. — Appeal to a young friend on personal religion. — 
His liberality in assisting others to an eduoatioiL— Death oi 
a young friend. — Letter to a licentiate 



CHAPTER XXin. 

State Education. 
Tie State's obligation to control education.— -Denominational educa- 
tion.— Inquiries into the subject. ^Hia book on Romanism,^ 
Edinbv/rgk Beoiew upon it. — -Browneon's attack. — Letters on 
the province of the Cburch in education.- — Letter to Governor 



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Till CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER XXrV. 

Call to CHiELESTON. 

Oecaeioiiiil dissatiefactioii with Aeaaemio life. — Oaiiaes of it. — Kural 
pursuits in Tacatdoa. — His farm.^Care of bJ8 slaves. — Private 
correspondence. — Oftll to Churcli in Chacloston. — Resignation 
of his ProfessorsMp. — Eelease from flie College. — HemOTal to 
Cbarleston. — Brief labours tkere. — Correapondence. — Eleoted 
to Presidency of the College. — Ment^ conflict. — Aotion of the 
Chuioh „ SS 

CHAPTER XXV. 

Pebsidbhqy op the Oolleqe. 
Enters upon Presidency of the College. — Pitness for that position. — 
HiH idea of the Mgher education. — i compulsory etirricaliim 
preferred to electiTe courses. — Tiews developed in liiB Letter to 
Govemot Manning.— Visit to older instituiions. — At 0am- 
hridge. — Letters written there.— At Yale. — Letters. — Speech at 
the Yale dinner 36 

CHAPTER XXVI. 

PkESIDBNCY CONTrNUED. 

Oorcespondenee. — Criticism upon A^embly of 1852. — Temperanoe 
address. — Letters to Dr. Peck and others. — Discourses on Truth. 3C 

CHAPTER XXVIL 

MoTeraent to transfer him to the Theological Seminary.— Eeasons 
for it. — Action of ilie Synod. ^ — Relative unportanoe of the two 
positions. — Correspondence in relation to this, — Resignation of 
the Presidency. — Arrested for a year.— Letters. — Assembly of 
1855. — Debate oil the Board question.-— Termination of con-^ 
neition with the College. ^ — Review of his influence over the 
stadents. — Elements of character that explain it. — Illnstratlons 
of it 8; 

CHAPTER XXVm. 
EDrroHSBip ol Soothben Qtiaiitebi.y Kjivraw. 
Leaves the College.— Becomes Professor in the Theological Semi- 
nary. — Editor of the SouStern Quarterlf/ Benkvi. — Correspon- 
dence in relation to it.— Ariicle on Miracles. — Friendly critioism 
of it. — His rejoinder. — Death of his mother and son.— Opinion 
of Hamilton's Logic. — Distinction of the Absolute and Infinite. 
— Defence of Dugald Stewart, and the Scotch Philosophy. — 
Estimate of Sir William Hamilton. — Decline of the Review 3 



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CONTENTS. iX 

CHAP-CER XXIX. 

SEMINiKr LllTE. 

Death of his mother and of lis son.— Views of fche family uoTauaot. 
— Assembly of I8B6. — Sermon on I'oreign Misfiions. — Letter to 
his daughfec. — Pastor of the Oolanibia Clmi'cli. — View of Afri- 
can slave trade. — Tour through the Weet. — Letters to his chil- 
dren and wife. — Aesembly of 1857. — Chairman of Committee 
on EevisioH of the Discipline. — Iiatter in relation to it, from 
liie Moderator, — His inauguration as Prof essor in the Seminary. 115 



CHAPTEE XXX. 

Seminaby Life Contisubd. 
Visits the South West. — Impressions of New Orleans. —Effect of his 
preaching. ^ — Death of the Eev. P. E. Bishop. — Letter to his 
widow. — Assembly of 18 ii9.— Report on Revision. — Eemarlinble 
speech in the Assembly. — -Lettere from Indianapolis. ^Ketum 
home.^ — Death of his oldest danghter.— Affeoiang droumEtanoes 
attending it.^ — His afBicfJon and reragnataou. — Letter detailing 
her siokneBS and death.— Anxiety for the conversion of his chil- 
dren. — Letter of sympathy. — Assetnbly of 1860. — Debate with 
Dr. Hodge on the question of Boards 4 



CHAPTEB XXXI. 

Second Trip to Edboee. 
Failure of health, — Second voyage to Europe. — Agreeable party. — 
Isle of "Wighf^— Stay in London. — Letters hom e. ^Ireland. — 
Irish Assembly. — Sootland. — Edinburgh. — Its clergy. — Eetums 
to London. — Its historic associations. ^Ifs ministers. ^Visits 
,the ContiuenL — Basle.— Geneva. — The Alps.— Mountain seen- 
CTy.— Zurich. — Its associations,— Returns to America. 449 



CHAPTER XXXn. 
The Lfl.TE 'War. 
Eetum from Europ — Th ntT p th f evolution. — 
Rapid sucoes'n of ts — H aponaal f th Confederate 
cause.— Origi al tt 1 m nt to tl U n —Hi letters.— His 
course in N 11 fi t n -His tt t d 18 —Letters then 
npon Secess n — P ut na. toth InwNthng Party.— 
History of th sf [ fh t led { tl f 1 —His contrary 
position in 18 — B aso f th h a — H se typical of 
the Sonth generally 467 



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Z CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER XXXm. 

Hl3 COKBSB IN THE WiE. 

Endorsement of SeccEsion.— I^ttei«.— PreTaleoM of order ia the 
State. — Object of attack on Fort Stimtor. — Article on tte State 
of the country. — Analjsia of it,- — OompromisB impossible. — ■ 
Desire for a psflceftil separation. — Impaired health. — Summer 
oxciusioa.^ — Letters. — A convention of the Pteabyteriea. — 
NeccBBity of ecolesiastioBl separation from the North. — Episto- 
lary jeu d'esprii. — KeeuineB his labours aa Professor,— Eesigna- 
tion of pastoral charge. — Anxiety about the ooimtry. — Its in- 



CHAPTEE XXXIV. 

ObQANIEATION 01! TBB SoOTHBRH ASSEMBLY. 

Washington city in the interest of peace. — Du- 
plicity towards them. — Attempted reiEforcement of Fort Sum- 
ter.— Its bombardment. — The Horth inflamed. — War ensues. — 
Assembly in 1861. — The "Spring Ee8olntioiis."^Their poUti- 
oal character. — Action of the Southern Presbyteries. — Conven- 
tion of these held. — Organization of Southern Assembly. ^Char- 
acter of the body. — Its Address to the Chnrohes throughout the 
Earbh. — Scene at its subscription. — Also, at adoption of a char- 
ter.— Equipment of the Chnrch for her work. — Overtnre to 
Congress upon the reoognition of Christianity, presented and 
withdrawn. —Debate on sending a letter to the Northern Assem- 
bly. — Draft of Eiich a letter ; not presented.- — Action of a con- 
vention in. South Oaxolina.— Its civil character-^Care of South, 
em Churoh to abstain from poUtics,— Proof of this in the pub. 
lio prayers of the period.-— Example in a prayer of Dr. Thom- 
well : *99 

CHAPTER XXXV. 

His Deith. 
Continued interest in the war. — Writes for the seonlar press.— His 
son wounded. — Visit to Hiohmond,— Eetum. — Vacation. — 
Travel for health. — Letters home. — Son's return to Virginia. — 
Meeting in Charlotte.— Sketch of son's career.— Last sickness. 
—His malady. — Lethargy. —Last sayings. — Daath. — Funeral 
sersioes.— His tomb 613 

CHAPTER XXXVI. 

Genegal Eeview. 
His death lamented. — Esviewof his public relations. — AsflnEoocA- 
TOE; Hiequaliflcations; bis methods ; mastery over his know- 



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XI 

i of lartguago ; Professor of Theology ; test- 
books ; leotares; exuminationE. — As Phimsophkr and Tbbo- 
LOQiAN : Extent sad accuracy of Ms leaming ; caution and 
independence in speculation; his place in PMlosophj ; valuable 
paper on thie point. —As a Pebachek ; His power in argument 
and appeal ; Eipoalfion ; LorIo and feeling combined ; liia 
diction ; preaching on special oco^ons ; estemporaneoua ; 
views on the whole subject, presented in a oonversafdon ; his 
criticism of his own productions. — As a Pkbsdttbk; pi-actioal 
wisdom ; Iniuenoe in Gturcli courts ; reasons for it ; princi- 
ples fixed ; his caution ; penetration ; PositiTeness of mind ; 
toaesty ; knowledge of ChurcJi Principles and History. — Ab a 
CHHisTiiH and a Man; Type of his religious experience; 
Growth in piety ; testimony to his worth ; bis persouol appear- 
ance; his social and moral qualities; tie general bearing; 
playfulneRS and love of badinage; warmtli of liis affectiouE; 
attachment of his friends 6S7 



APPENDIX. 



Notices of Bonnons, 

" Our Danger aiid our Duty," 
"The State of tlie Country," 



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KOTE. 

The delay in tlio preparation of this voliim© is pTinoipaUy due to tha 
fact that, after the papers of Dr. Thomwell were placed in the "writer's 
hands, two years ago, it was still neoeasary to collaot the materials for 
the early portions of the Memoirs, by estensiye correapotidonea. Vala- 
able memoranda were fhuB obtained from Gon. James Gillespie, Col. W. 
L. T. Prince, and the family of Mr. Bobbins, of Cheraw, 8. O. ; Hon. 
J. A. IngliB, of Baltimore, Md. ; Eev. John Donglaa, of Charlotte, N. C. ; 
Rev. D. McQueen, ■!). D., of Smnterrille, S, C. ; Mr. W. M. Hiitsoii, of 
Orangeburgh, 8. C. ; Ool. F. "W. McMaster, of Columbia, S. O. ; Rev. 
A. A. Morse, of Gainesville, Ala. ; Mr. T. E. B. Pegnes, of Oxford, Miss. ; 
Dr. Thoe. L. Dunlop and Key. J. N. Craig, of Holly Springs, Miea. ; Rev. 
W. E. Boggs, D. D. of Memphis, Tenn. ; Rev. J. M. P. Otts, D. D., 
of Wilmington, Del. ; and Bav. A. J. 'Withei'spoon, of New Orleans, 
La. ; to all of whom a pubUo aoknowledgement ia lierewith most grate- 
fully made by 

The Avtboe. 



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THE LIFE AND LETTERS 



James Hehley Thokswell, 

D. D., LL. U. 



CHAPTER I. 

PAEENTAGE AND BIRTH. 

Ibieoduciiob.— BiBTH,— His Fathbb's Occdp4tiob, Characiek, and 
Eaely Death. — Hia Moteeb'e Lineage.^ — Early Settlement op 

SODTH CaEOLINA. — IlIMIGEATION OF i WlilSa GtJLONY. — HiB MoTEEB'S 
C H ARiOTBRISTlCS. 

HISTORY loves to trace the lineage of thoae whose 
lives have been heroic. It seeiue to add ^race to 
virtue when it descends from sire to son, 

" And is snocesBiyely, from blood to blood. 
The r^ht of birth." 

Even the pride which it hegeta is ehoni of its offence 
when it becomes the spur to honour, and the legacy of 
a spotless name is bequeathed, mth increasing splendour, 
to succeeding heirs. The claim of birth is buffeted with 
scorn only -when it stands .upon the merit of the past, 
■which it is powerless to reproduce. The rugged sense of 
mankind discriminates, with sufficient sagacity, betwixt 
the counterfeit aiietocracy and the true. The veneration 
which is natural to us resents the fraud of an empty 
name, without the solid worth it was supposed to repre- 
sent. But if the blood that courses through the veins 
bears upon its tide the virtues by which it was ffi'st dis- 



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a LIFE OF JAMES HENLEV" THOENWELL. 

tmguislicd, and the scinna of an ancient honse give pre- 
sage of the honour which made their fathers renowned, 
it bows to sneli with a deference that seals the legitimacy 
of their eway. It turns, with a lofty disdain, from those 
who gild their vices or their weakness witli the lustre of 
a name which is prostituted in the use;, but it accepts 
the blessing coming from ambition itself, when the pres- 
tige of birth prompts generations, in their turn, 

" To 6i:s,v/ fortt a noble auoeetry 
From the corruption of abasing tirae, 
tJiito a, lineal, ti-ue-derived comae." 

But the longest pedigree must have a beginning; and 
the whole force of these suggestions goes to show that 
the chief glory belongs to the founder of a family. It 
is the impress of his character which honourable descend- 
ants are careful to preserve ; and though the original dig- 
nity may be enlarged, it is by the stimulus derived from 
his example. The gloiy of embellishing a name can never 
be superior to that of first drawing it from obscurity. As, 
too, a wise government recruits its nobiUty by timely and 
gradual acceesiona from the commons beneath it, so 
God, in His adorable providence, is continually bringing 
out the unknown to be princes in the power of their 
influence over the church and the world. This pre- 
eminence is challenged on behalf of the subject of these 
Memoirs, If his name was never borne with " chant of 
heraldry " along the aisles of the drowsy past, be has the 
superiorglory,inthisrespcct, of being born only of himself. 

" For being not propped by ancestry, wliose grace 
Ohalts snooesBore tbeir way ; neither allied 
To eminent assistants ; but spider-like 
Out of his self-drawing web, he gives us note, 
The foicfl of his own merit makes his way ; 
A gift that beaveu gives for him, which bnys 
A place nest to the king." 

James Henley Thoknwell was born on the 9th of De- 
cember, A. D. 1813, on the plantation of Mr. Christopher 



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PiVKENTAGK A 



B. Pegues, in Marlborough District, South Uarolina. His 
grandfather, William Thoniwell, was an Englishman, who 
lived in Marlborough District. The family was pei-petna^ 
ted through only one son, James Thornwell, from whose 
loins sprang the subject of our present story. This son was 
married on the 25th of June, 1809, to Martha Terrell, 
daughter of Samuel Terrell and Elizabeth Pearce, being 
hereelf born on the 8th of December, 1794, The issue 
of this latter marriage was as follows: Elisabeth,' bom 
May, 1810, now living, the widow of William Anderson, 
in Mai'lborough District; James Henley, and his twin 
hrother, born December 9tli, 1812, the latter of whom died 
a few weeks after his birth; Caroline Jane, born Septem- 
ber, 1815, now living in South Carolina, as the widow of 
JohnW. Graham; ^.Jifth child, & daughter, who died at 
two years of age, and Charles Alexander, the youngest, 
born October, 1820, who, after graduating in the South 
Carolina College, pursued the profession of the Law with 
■considerable distinction, and died in 18S5, Of these six 
■children, two sons and two daughters survived the father ; 
who died in the prime of life, on the 30th of December, 
1820. 

It is unfortunate that ao little can be traced of Dr. 
Thornwell's parentage on the paternal side. Of his 
grandfather nothing is known but what has been men- 
tioned above. Of his father little can be gathered beyond 
the fact that he belonged to that important and useful 
class, so necessary under the partially feudal system whicli 
has passed away, who managed the estates of others; 
serving as middle men between the proprietors, who were 
often absentees, and the baronial estates, which they man- 
aged as their representatives. He is described as gen- 
erous in disposition, free-handed and hospitable, living 
always up to his means, and accumulating nothing. Pirm 
in the execution of hia purposes, he acquired the reputa- 
tion of being a good planter and an excellent manager; 
and to the period of his death held positions of respousi- 



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bility aocl trust. When this event ocoiirred he was in 
chai'ge of the business of a widow lady, Mrs. Bedgewood, 
afterwards Mrs. Billingslej. 

The Bcene of death is thna described by an eye wit- 
ness; and it is interesting as bringing, for the firat time, 
distinctly before ns the subject of this book. It may lend 
additional zest to the naiTati^e to say that it is told by 
one from whom he was separated in birth by oidy the 
interval of an hour, in homeB which were in sight of each 
other, upon the same plantation. This surviving fnend, ■ 
Buetaining almost the relation of a foster-brother, thus 
depicts the sensibility and grief of the youthful orphan: 

"At that time I lived a great deal with my aunt, Mis. Bedgewood, and 
wae thei-G when Mr. Ttornwell died. Thongli only some seven oT eight 
years old, I reioembec the day perfectly. The house waa not more &aa 
a quarter of a mile from my aunt's ; and both she I were there when he 
breathed hia lait. It was fJifl first time I had ever aeen death faoe to- 
face. I remember the looks of Mr. Thornwell to thia day. After he 
was laid oat, Jamea and myself looked wondericgly on Mb remaina, and 
then went to the spring, talking^ as boys might, of the strangeness of 
death. I recollect his saying, in elmoat heart-broken accents, ' W/uit 
u>iU mother do f What will become of us ?' We remained aome time at 
the spring ; he often weeping bitterly, and I consoling him as well as- 
I could. No day of my life is more vividly impressed upon my memory." 

It is an artless story like this which most quickly suf- 
fuses the eye with tears. It is graphic in its very 
simplicity. Every line in the picture is sharply cut. 
Two young hoys, just eight years of age, stand to- 
gether by the side of a, corpse, with that strange awe 
which all remember to have felt when first gazing upon 
the great mystery of death; then sitting down by the 
cool spring to appreciate what it imports to the living;, 
then the sudden rush of grief upon the orphan's heart, 
and the affectionate sensibility which stretches into the 
desolate future, breaking into the wail, " What will my 
mother do ?" It is the first sign given of the broad and 
noble nature, which it will be the business of these pages 
to portray; of that deep affectionateness, which flowed 



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like a majestic stream tbrougli a generoi;^ life, fertilizing 
friendsMps as tender and as lasting as ever gathered 
around the memoTj of the dead. It shall he told in due 
time " what that mother shall do," when we come to see 
the fihal love which bursts forth in the passionate cry of 
the boy, folding at last her venerable form in his manly 
embrace, smootliing the pillow under her dying head, 
and writing her praise in lasting marble over her grave. 
These references form an easy transition to the fuller 
record of his maternal ancestors. It will not be unin- 
teresting here to incorporate a brief chapter of Carolina's 
early history, upon which a degree of romance is im- 
pressed by the dissimilai' elements which were fused into 
her original population. Through a period of sixty years 
after the first settlement, from A. D. 1670 to 1730, the 
population of the province increased very slowly. First 
came a small colony from Barbadoes, and with it the 
iirst importation of slaves, in 1671. Then another col- 
euy from Nova-Belgia, afterwards called New York, upon 
its conquest, in 1674-, by the English, A considerable 
emigration of French Protestants flowed in after the re- 
vocation of the Edict of Nantz, in 1694; which gave a 
mai'ked ehai'acter to the colony, furnishing many of tlie 
most honourable names upon the proud roll of this gal- 
lant State, even to the present time. In 1696 a further 
accession was gained by the arrival of a Congregational 
Church from Massachusetts, which settled in a, body at 
Dorchester, near the head of Ashley river, about twenty 
miles from the city of Charleston. Dr. Eameay, from 
whose history these facts are compiled, proceeds to say, 
"From 1696 to 1730 no considerable groups of settlers 
are knovpn to have emigi-ated to Carolina, though the pro- 
vince continued to advance in population from the arrival 
of individuals," 

It will be remembered that in 1719 the government of 
the infant province was transferred from the lords pro- 
prietors "to tlie crown, a ciiange rendered necessary by 



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6 LlffK OF JAMKa HENLEY 

the mal-adminietration of the former, involving them in 
fatal complications with the occupants of the soil. Under 
the fostering protection of I'oyalty, a steady impulse was 
given to the prosperity of the colony, which continued 
with little abatement to the final disruption of a.11 bonds 
with the mother eonntry, in 1776. At the period, how- 
ever, when this change of administration occurred, it Was 
in a condition of infantile weakness, and surrounded witli 
perils on every side. The coast was infested with pirates, 
who made their captures at the very bar of Charleston, 
A narrow margin along the sea was all that was settled, 
not extending fifty miles into the interior. The middle 
country was held by the aborigines, "tribes of the rov- 
ing fo'ot," whose incursions penetrated almost within 
sight of the sea, and who were only less formidable by 
reason of the desti-uctive wars waged amongst themselves. 
The accession of the first royal governor was signaJized 
by a more liberal policy towards these. Negotiations were 
instituted and treaties formed, by which large tracts of land 
were ceded to the colony, and these tronblesome neigh- 
bours were removed to a safer distance.- The next step, 
.of coui'se, was to fill np tliis new domain with hardy set- 
tlers, whose growing power would prove a surer defence 
I than the rudeforts at Dor Chester ,'Wiltown, and other places 
ec[uaUy near the coast. Among the salutary measures 
to stimulate immigration into the new territory, "the go- 
vernor wa* instructed to mark out eleven townships, in 
square plats, on the sides of rivers, consisting each ot 
twenty thousand acres; and to divide the land within 
them into shares of fifty acres for each man, woman and 
child that should come to' occupy and improve them. 
-Each township was to form a parish, and all the inhabi- 
tants were to have an equal right to the river. • • * 
Each settlor was to pay four shillings a year for every 
hundred acres of land, except the first ten years, during 
which term they were to be rent free. Accordingly, 
ten townships were macked out: two on river Altamaba, 



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PAKENTAGE AND BJliTM. 7 

two on Savaniiiili, two on Santee, one on Pcdee, one on 
Wacamaw, one on Wateree, and one on Black river."* 

The offer of such privileges soon attracted the poor 
and oppreeeed in other lands, who poured in from Ire- 
land, Holland, Germany, and Switzerland; as well as 
some from the more Northern American colonies, in 
search of a more genial clime: so that to Carolina he- 
longs the glory of affording an asylum to the persecnted 
and distressed of every land, up to the period when a 
large and fixed population of her own dispensed with the 
necessity of recruiting her strength by tliese accessions. 
And it would be a curious theme for speculation how far 
the generous character, for wliich her citizens have al- 
ways been distinguished, is due to the composition of so 
many elements in her original society; as well as to trace 
the oj>eration of those superior influences which melted 
down their obvious contradictions, and fused them into a 
consistent and harmonious whole. 

The geueral history intersects just here with our own 
narrative. The township of Queensborongh, located in 
1731-2, upon the Great Pedee, a little above the junc- 
tion of the Little Pedee, was first explored and afterwai'ds 
settled by a party of Welsh from Pennsylvania. It ap- 
pears that, as far baeii as 1701, some "Welsh Baptists 
emigrated from their native country to America, bring- 
ing with them their minister, and being constituted regu- 
larly into a Church. They first settled in Peuepee, 
Pennsylvania, where they remained a year and six 
months. In 1703 they removed, and took up lands in 
Newcastle county, which, by change of bounjiaries, was 
afterwards thrown into the State of Delaware; which ex- 
plains how the branch that fomid its way to Carolina is 
differently represented as coming from Pennsylvania and 
from Delaware. This colony came to the Pedee in 1736, 
and desiring a larger tract of land, with the privilege of 
exclusive occupancy, petitioned the Council to that end. 
* Eamsay'8 History of South Carolina, chaptev fourtb. 



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8 LIFE OF JAMES HENLEl' THOKNWELL. 

Tlie result was a grant of one hundred and eeventy-threo 
thousand eight hundred and forty acres of land, part of 
which lay in the township of Queciisboronghj the remain- 
der extending up the I'iver a sliort distance above Mar's 
Bluff. A second petition, setting forth that the land was 
not in all respects adapted to their wants, especially in 
the growth of flax and hemp, was favourably answered in 
173T by running the lines still farther \ip the Pedoo, to 
the forli of the Yadkin and Rocky rivers, beyond the 
boundary which now separates the two Oarolinas. The 
"Welsh seem, however, to have fixed finally upon that rich 
and compact body of land embraced in the bend of the 
river opposite the present village of Society Hill, which, 
stretching over a distance of six miles, was from an early 
period known ss the "Welsh Keck." The actual settle- 
ment began in 1736, and by the end of the following 
year most of tlie families had arrived from Pennsylvania, 
and the colony began to assume an organized and per- 
manent character. lu 1738 they formed themselves into 
a church of tlie BaptM faith, and erected a house of wor- 
sliip, in which they continued to serve God after the 
manner of their fathers. Kev. Dr. Alexander Gregg, 
now Bkhop of the Protestant Episcopal Church in Texas, 
in his recently published " History of the Old Olieraws,"* 
and from which all the above statements have been bodily 
taken, thus sums up the character of this virtuous, but 
exceedingly clanmsh, community : 

" Snoh was the scene presented by tMs infant band of brothers in 
ihe early days of their hietory, with no court of jnatioe in their roidat to 
whicli conflicting claims and angry disputes might be referred, and no 
frowning gaol for the reception of tlie oriminal. Nor were tliey needed, 
Few contentions probablj k and tli ft 

thongh newly formed in tli th h i t t gh t 

silence the yoioe of the 11 i h m and in k th vil m id man 

• This -work affords a nobl 11 t fhttq arh 

cm aooomplish in worki [thlaltdti til 



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PARENTAGE AND BIRTH. 9 

paaae in his ways. Simplicity of character appears to have been one of 
ibe Kost marked tvaita of the people ; a virtue which, liaa been trans- 
mitted through anooeeding times to their deseeudants. They were open 
and sincere, maliiiig no profesnion of feeling whicli did not esist. 

"For aobriety and moderation, also, with what ■was more eaeenfjal, as 
tlie foundation of all virtue, a deep religious feeling, they were distin- 
guished. These virtues were strongly impresaed upon the community 
they est&hlished, presenting in subsequent times a striking contrast to 
some other neighhonrboods on the Pedee, where dissipation and irreli- 
gion so much prevailed. 

" The ■Welsh brought with them to a new country those marked fea- 
tures for which their ancestors had been noted long before. The Welsh 
are said t« have been more jealous of their liberties than even the Eng- 
lish, and far more irascible, though their jealousy soon abated." 

lu the first list of these early settlers occur names 
■wbicli South Carolina has ever delighted to put upon its 
roll of lionour, AlhiBion need only be made to those of 
James, Wild, and Evans, conspicuous amongst those she 
has clothed with the ermine, both in former and in recent 
days ; whilst others are as household words to those who 
have traced tbe fortunes of the State through her che- 
quered history. In the bosom of tliese names is found 
that of William Terrell, (originally Tarell), who appears 
in 1738 taking out titles to land, ebowing bim a man of 
substance, according to tbe distribution of property in his 
day. His son, bearing also tbe name of William, seems 
to have been eng^ed in the publit! service prior to the 
Eevolution ; while the grandson, Captain Jolm Terrell, of 
Marlborough District, is tersely described as " a wortliy 
descendant of tbe old Welsh stock, and one of the best 
men of his day and generation." Prom this family sprung 
the mother of Dr. Thornwell, she being tbe granddaugh- 
ter of William Terrell, whose name is mentioned above, 
amongst tlie first settlers ou tbe Pedee. 

She was endowed by nature with an intellect of tbe 
highest order, though imimproved by education ; possess- 
ing great strength of will, and a boundless ambition for 
the advancement of her sons, in whom she discovered 
early proofs of mental power. The investigations of sci- 



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10 LIFE OF JAMES HEMLET THORNWELL. 

ence will, perhaps, never interpret to us the law of tranft- 
miesion, by which characteristic traits are derived from 
parent to child, through which a distinct type is impressed 
upon families and tribes, and by which, more myste- 
riously still, the intellectual average is preserved in the 
race at large. This case might, perhaps, be added to hun- 
dreds of others, which seem to confirm the theory that 
the intellectual qualities come predominantly from the 
mother, while, perhaps, the moral descend more conspio- 
uonsly from the father. 

This is not the place, nor are we the parties, to discnsa 
a physiological theory like this. But the pages of history 
will probably be searched in vain for a truly great man 
who had a fool for his mother. However this may be, 
tlie Christian will be delighted to see, in this biography, 
the fulfilment of those rich promises which the God of 
grace has made to the widow and the orphan. In how 
many broken households a feeble and desolate woman 
lifts her heart to God for strength to bear, not only the 
burdens of her own sex, but those which should have 
been borne by her stricken partner! How often does 
she toil in poverty and sorrow, to support her fatherless 
children, whom she is permitted to see emerging at length 
from obscui'ity and want, to tiie highest distinctions of 
society!. It was given to this widowed mother to have 
her proud ambition fulfilled; as this son, clothed with 
academic honours,- sat among the senators and nobles of 
tbeland, the noblest patrician of them all, the pride of his 
native State, the joy and ornament of the Churcli, and 
with a fame spread over two continents, the peerless man 
of his time, . It only remains to be added, that Mrs. Thorn- 
well was, throughout Ufe, an earnest Christian, warmly 
attached to the doctrine and order of the Baptist Church, 
in whose communion she remained through seven and 
thirty years, to the moment of her death. That she im- 
pressed her own convictions of trutli upon those depend- 
ent upon her care, might be inferred from the massive 



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PAKEHTAGE AND BIRTH. 11 

force of her character. There is, besides, the affection- 
ate testimony of her son, who, iu his Inaugural Dis- 
coui'se, upon assuming the Chair of Divinity in the Theo- 
logical School at Columbia, South Carolina, openly ac- 
knowledged his " thanks to a noble mother, who had 
taught him from the cradle those eternal principles of 
grace, which that book (the Confession of Faith) con- 
tains." 



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CHAPTER II. 

EARLY BOYHOOD. 

OEPHiNiGE. — EiELT POTEETY. — Au OlD-FiELD ScHOOL. — HiS FiBST 

Tea CHESS. ^ — Aooodnt of Mr. MoIn'tvkb. — Attachment to Hia 
Pupil. — Habits o? Stddt. — Eakly Ambition. — Fibst iMPBESsioNa 
OE His GBNins. — Intbodoctios to His Futobe Patbons. — Indif- 

FEEENOE TO PtAT. — MoEAI: AND ReLIOIOOS TbAITS. 

¥E mnst retura now to the chamber of death, -where 
the head of a dependent household lies dressed for 
the tomb. Alas for the poor 1 It is one of the hardships 
of their lot that tliey have not leisure even for grief. 
The stern nece^ities of life press at once upon the aching 
heart, and they may not indulge the secret luxm-y of woe. 
It is not for them to driw t\ie curtains over the window, 
and in tlie darkened solitude to feed upon the precious 
memories of the past. Ye favoured children of fortune, 
who find it so hard to break away from sweet communion 
with the dead, — bo liard, witli thoughts flying upward to 
their strange world, to take up again the commonplaces 
of this poor earth, — think with pity of such as must choke 
down their great sorrow even wliiie the parting kiss rests 
upon the marble brow, and turn at once to the life-long 
struggle for bread ! 

It was too old a thought for our little orphan weeping 
at the spring, "What will become of us?" Yet even he 
must pierce the gloom of the future in the sad anti- 
cipation of suffering and want. How much darker tlie 
shadow that lay upon tlie heart of the mother and widow, 
was revealed by no passionate cry from her lips. There 
was only the " stony grief," the firat sickness of a heart 
that finds itself alone witli its own desolateness. Her 



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li LIFE OF JA>IES HENLEY THOENWELL. 

strong nature, too, had been already compacted by life's 
hard diseipline, and could better look upon the elond that 
blackened the future before her. Yet soon the question 
muBt be hers, as well as that of her boy, "What shall we 
do ? " Hath not God other ravens besides those which 
fed Elijah ? Perhaps a voice spoke out of the boaoiii of 
that cloud, saying, "Leave thy fatherless children; I will 
preserve them alive ; and let youi* widows trust in Me." 
Perhaps a deep but quiet faith responded to the gracious 
.assurance; and the burden was Hghter when it had been 
" cast upon the Lord, who will never suffer the righteous 
to be moved." It is not for the historian to penetrate these 
experiences of God's hidden ones; only this we know, 
" The secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him, and 
He will show them His covenant." 

Some time after the death of her husband, a home was 
provided for her and her children by Captain John Ter- 
rell, her. first cousin, an excellent and pious member of 
the Baptist Church, who removed them near to himself, 
in a portion of Marlborough district known as Level 
Green. With only a little money in hand, and the pos- 
session of one slave, slie was henceforth dependent upon 
her own industry, and the assistance of this worthy kins- 
man, for support. A positive and self-reliant character 
such as hers, would not, however, be likely to tax too 
heavily the generosity which was so freely extended by 
him. In the beautiful Unguage of Eudolph Stier, "Man 
lifts his imploring, empty hand to heaven, and God lays 
work upon it; thus hast thou thy bread." By weaving, 
sewing, aad auch forms of labour as were suited to her 
sex, she was enabled, not only to "give meat to her 
household," but to secure to tliem such elementary edu- 
cation as the neighbourhood afibrded. In later days, 
when a modest refineraent graced his own abode, we have 
heard Dr. ThornweU contrast it with the poverty of those 
early days. But it was always with that playful badinage 
so characteristic of his social moods ; and no one could 



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EAKLY BOYHOOD. 15 

.tell how far the picture he drew viaa intended to repre- 
sent the actual tacts, or how far he craved the license of 
heightening by exaggeration the colours on the canvass. 
The Bubjeet was too delicate to inquire about; and he was 
never egotistic enough to touch, except by incidental 
reference, upon details that were simply personal. The 
difficulty of bridg'ing with scant material the chasm of 
this early period, has led the writer deeply t,o regret that 
he never availed himself of the privilege of fi'iendship in 
bursting through this reserve, and learning all that lie 
would have freely told of the trials and triumphs of his 
boyhood. But the opportunity was lost, thi'Ough mutual 
delicacy, restraining, on the one side, what might- seem a 
prurient curiosity, prying into the sanctities of life, and 
on the other, what might he deemed ostentatious vanity in 
disclosing the disadvantages which had been splendidly 
surmounted. From the nature of the case, it could 
not have been a home of plenty in which his youth 
was nurtured; and it is doubtful if even his unaided 
strength could have thrown off the oppression which 
80 often stifles the aspirations, as it extinguishes the op- 
portunities, of genius. The worst evil of poverty is not 
found in the privations it inflicts ; for these are, to a large 
degree, matters of convention and of habit. It is rather 
the complete engrossment of the mind upon petty and 
consuming cares, where the exactions of toil yield only 
to the weariness which buries all in sleep. It is the con- 
stant repression of the affections, which liave no time for 
play, and the consequent blunting of the sensibilities, 
whicli inflict a wound upon the nature itself, as sad as it 
is incurable. But perhaps the saddest feature of urgent 
poverty is, that it allows no childhood. It is but a step 
from the nursery into the workshop, and heavy care sits 
upon a heart that has kno^^n no mirth. What little 
of childhood may iiave been enjoyed in the brief passage 
goes, too, without a record. No traditions are handed 
down, when all are too busy to note the changes in the 



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16 LIFE OF JAMES HENLEY THORNWBLL, 

formation of character. Even our illustrious friend ia no 
exception. We look for his boyhood, and there is none. 
Much of this unquestionahly is due to the naajesty of his 
genius, which gave him the strength and thoughtfulnesa 
of the man, whilst in stature and in age he was still a 
child. But in gathering the fragmentary reminiscences 
from which these pages are compiled, one can scarcely 
help weeping over that hard necessity of fortune which 
has left his earliest years without a record. 

It must have been during the first portion of the year 
A. D. 1821 that this widowed mother found herself at 
Level Green, in the new home provided by her generous 
kinsman; and here it was that young ThornweU received 
the iiidiments of an English education. He has himself 
given somewhere an amusing description of an old field 
school, such as were once common in retired sections of 
the country, and which may not yet be entirely super- 
seded. The picture waa evidently drawn from the life, 
though we can but faintly sketch the outline from me- 
mory. Let the reader then figure to himself a rude 
building of logs, the interstices being filled with clay or 
covered by clap-boards, a huge chimney at one end, 
small windows innocent of glass, and wide doors, which 
let in the wind together with the light ; a slanting shelf, 
stretching the whole length of the room, answering as a 
desk, at which the pupils stood to write; benches of a 
piimitive pattern, mere slabs with pins driven in tlie 
round side for legs, and the flat side turned upward for 
the seat, and wholly unsuspicious of any support for the 
back; and he has before him the usual appointments of 
an old field school. It would not be safe to say too 
much as to the gentleman of the birch and ferrule, seated 
before a deal table between the opposite doors. The 
slender emoluments derived from the State's thin bounty, 
and the small fees exacted of such as could pay, would 
-scarcely entice men of much culture into these precincts. 
They were, however, generally equal to the necessities of 



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EA.ELY BOYHOOD. 17 

the region. They could engineer a hoy throxigh Webster's 
Spelling-Book and Pike's Arithmetie, rising sometimes 
to tlie dignity of itorse's Geography and Murray's Gram- 
mar, and tcaehing elocution from the Columbian Orator. 
Occasionally there appeared teachers of real merit, ae we 
shall presently see. Yet in these unpretending seminaries 
was laid the foundation of seholarehip with some of the 
beat thinkers, who have filled the highest judicial and 
legislative positions in the land. It is ascertained that, 
between the years 18^1 and 1823, young Thornwell was 
successively under the disciphne of three teachers, whose 
names are all tliat is handed down to us. They were 
Eugene Kinnon, au Irish Eoman Catholic; Daniel Smith, 
who came from Robeson county, Kortli Carolina; and 
Levi Lagget, of unknown origin. It is impossible to say 
what was his precise indebtedness to these first teachers. 
But if the astounding statement is to be received on a 
single authority, that he was ignorant of his letters at 
nine years of age, we have only to measure backward 
from his knowledge at fourteen to be convinced that the 
whole intervening period must have been marked by an 
astonishing progi'ess. 

In 1823 Mr, Mclntyre appears as the teacher at Level 
Green, a name which deserves to be linked in grateful 
remembrance with that of his distinguished pupil, aa the 
earliest of his benefactors. The debt which the world at 
large owes to this gentleman, as being the first to pluck 
from obscurity our " mute inglorious Milton," we will seek 
in part to discharge by placing his record, so far as it may 
be gathered, by the side of the protege whose merit he 
was the first to disclose. Mr, Peter Mclntyre came from 
a Scotch settlement on Drowning creek, in !Noi'th Caro- 
lina, upon the old stage road from Cheraw to Fayetteville. 
The Scotch had a large settlement on this creek, and 
persons are still living who remember the annual fair 
accustomed to be held among them, at or near a place 
called Laurel Hill. Here, too, was an excellent school, 



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18 ilFE OF JAMES HENLEY THOENWELL. 

in which were educated such men as the Grahams, the 
Gilehriste, and others who have made themselves famous 
ia that State. Mr. Mclntyre was a member of the Me- 
thodist Church, and a local preaoher, though he devoted 
his life to teaching. He married Miss Anna Seals, sister 
of the Rev, David Seals, long known as a minister in the 
South Cai"olina Conference. After finishiDg his cai'eer 
ae a teacher in Marlborough District, Mr, Mclntyre re- 
moved to Macon, Georgia, where he presided over an 
academy for some time; and subsequently went to Ala- 
bama, where all trace of him has been lost. If still alive, ' 
it might prove a eolaoe of his declining age to know how 
many blees his memory who have profited under the 
instructiouB, or have rejoiced in the friendship, of the 
pupil of his early years. He is represented on every 
side as a moat excellent man, a thorough scholar, with a 
peculiar tact in imparting knowledge, and a certain mag- 
netic power in drawing persons to him, and of impressing 
his stauip upon them. These qualities could not fail to 
make him a successful teacher; whilst a mild and gentle 
dieposition united him in warm friendship, not only with 
his pupils, hut mth those whose association was f>ir less 
intimate. 

Young ThoiTiwell'a connection with Mr. Mclntyre was 
fortunately continued tlu-ough a period of at least three 
years. The dates cannot be fixed with absolute preci- 
sion. But the year 1823 is generally assigned as the 
beginning of his teaching at Level Green; and in 1826 
Thornwcll is still with him, though in a different neigh- 
bourhood. His proficiency was so rapid, his habits so 
studious, and the evidence of his genius so conspicuous, 
as to enlist the entire professional and personal sympathy 
of the preceptor. The proof of this is furnished in what 
occurred when the happy relation between the two was 
threatened with sudden dissolution. Mr. Mclntyi'e ac- 
cepted an invitation from the Messrs. Pegues, James and 
Malaehi, and their immediate neighbours, to estabhsh 



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EARLY BOYHOOD. 19 

amongst them a select school, composed of their children. 
Upon removing, however, to his new aharge, he said to 
Mr. Malaohi Pegues, that there was a boy of very re- 
markable talents in the neighbourhood where he had 
been teaching, with whom he was reluctant to part. He 
proposed, therefore, to continue his edneation gratui- 
tously, if Mr, Pegues would afford him a home in his own 
fanaily. Upon learning that the lad was a son of the 
Thornwell whom he had familiarly imown in former 
years, he readily consented. The arrangement was dvlj 
carried out; and, as the inmate of his house, our little 
student continued to enjoy thg instructions of his old 
preceptor. 

The same diligence and ardour marlied his career now 
as before. In these early years were formed those habits 
of intense application, which never deserted him to the 
close of his life. During the long watches of the night, 
whilst other boys slept, he was poring over the loaaonb 
of the succeeding day, digging into the intricacies of ob- 
solete languages, analyzing their structure, and mastering 
their idioms. The real enthusiasm of tlie scholar bore 
ium on to understand tiieir genius, and to absorb their 
spirit. So, too, the hours of recreation, which other 
boys surrendered to active and healthful sport, were 
spent by him in threading the maaes of history, or in 
dallying with the pleasures of literature. It is wonderful 
that a physical frame, slender from the beginning, did 
not give way under these severe exactions, at a time 
wlien the constitution needs to be consolidated. It is 
more wonderful still, that the mind itself was not smoth- 
ered beneath its accumulated load, at a period when the 
most delicate problem in education is to measure know- 
ledge to the capacity for receiving it. In his case there 
was a marvellous physical endurance underlying that 
feeble body, and a mental digestion which assimilated 
these huge stores, without which the gift of genius would 
have proved the signature for the tomb. Already he has 



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so LIFE OF JAMES HENLEY TEOENWELL. 

ceased to Tdo a boy. The attitude and habits of a mao 
ha?e displaced those of the child. He has no relish for 
the rude sports in which his companions engage; not, as 
some allege, from the consciousness of his physical infe- 
riority to them, but from that consuming love of study 
which always made the acquisition of knowledge his 
supreme delight. His ambition, too, was equal to his- 
powers ; and it was exceedingly well defined, even at this 
early age. Being aaked, in later life, what first excited 
his ambition to be a man of learning, his reply was, that 
"from his carhcst knowledge of himself, he had felt it 
working as a passion within him." 

This will be illustrated by a story, which falls in here as- 
a necessary link in hie fortunes. A physician. Dr. Graves, 
a native of Virginia, and graduate of the Piiiladelphia 
School of Medicine, at that time lived in Oheraw, and 
practised in the surrounding country. In paying a pro- 
fessional visit to the family of Mr. Pegues, his attention 
was attracted to a pale and diminutive boy, who, in utter 
indifierence to the sports of his companions, was absorbed 
in the perusal of a book. It tm-ned out, lipon inquiry, to 
be Hume's History of England, In playful banter, the 
visitor advised the lad to " read something he could un- 
derstand." Instantly the book was in his hands, with a 
challenge for examination upon itB contents. There was 
a piquancy in this, which was, to say the least, exciting. 
The examination was begun and protracted, with a grow- 
ing wonder at the student's thoughtful familiarity with 
the volume. The interview was prolonged, and conver- 
sation wi^ shifted from subject to subject ; 

"And still the wondet graw 
That one small tead could carry ell he knew." 

The profound conviction was riveted upon the mind of 
Dr. Graves, that he was confronted by one of those intel- 
lectual prodigies sonietimes thrown up in life, who are 
to be judged by no ordinary standard. The impression 
was not transient. "Wherever he went he carried the 



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EARLY BOYHOOD. 



Btory of this remarkable genius, gi'o-wing up under the 
shade of the Peguea settlement. Amongst others, it was 
told to General James Gillespie, a wealthy planter, who 
lived about four miles distant, and to William H. Robbins, 
Esq., a rising lawyer in the town of Oheraw, with the addi- 
tional remark that " it wonld not be Burprising if this pale- 
faced yonth should one day be the President of the United 
. States." Of course this American hyperbole was simply 
a compendiouB expression that, in the spealcer'e judgment, 
this obscure lad possessed abilities to achieve the highest 
statesmanship, and that his present attainments were an 
augiu'y of brilliant success in any du-eetion. These state- 
ments were corroborated by the enthusiastic testimony of 
Mr. Mclntyre himself. General GUlespie, by occasional 
attendance upon the examinations of the school, had also 
the opportunity of forming his individual opinion as to 
the merits of young Thomwell. The combined effect of 
testimony and observation was such as to lead this gen- 
tleman to undertake his entire future education, as soon 
as he should be discharged from the tutelage of Mr. 
Mclntyre. Stating this purpose aftei'wards to Mr. Bob- 
bins, he came forwai-d with an offer to divide the ex- 
penses which should accrue; and the two became hence- 
forth the joint patrons of our young fi-ipud 

The institution of these new relations must, however, 
be reserved for another chapter. "What lemams of this 
will best be occupied with a general view of his dispo- 
sition and character, so far as yet developed The truth 
of the old adage will hardly be questioned, " The boy is 
father to the man." Certainly the moral traits which 
distinguished childhood, if aecirrately noted, will be found 
to be carried over, in a modified form, to mature years. 
The student life of young Thornwell has, perhaps, been 
sufficiently depicted. Its special features might doubtless 
be more fully expanded; such, for instance, as the steady 
impulse of his ambition, his power of concentration, the 
thoroughness with which he penetrated beneath the sur- 



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W JAJtES HENLEY THOENWELL. 



face of things to tlieir essence, and the royal delight he 
felt in knowledge, which spurned all lower joy. But 
they are all comprehended in the description which has 
already been given. One little incident may, however, 
he narrated, as Ulostrating how early he had formed that 
almost personal attachment which a true scholar feels for 
his hooks, aa though they were living friends, witJi whom 
a living communion is maintained. Whilst with Mr. 
Mdntyre, all his books were consumed one night by Are, 
with the school house, except those he was at the moment 
studying. His distress was overwhelming; nor could he 
refer to the loss without tears, for weeks afterwards. 
One can scarcely repress a smile at eueh grief over the 
destruction of a library, which was certainly not of Alex- 
andrian proportions. But beneath it there will lurk a true 
sympathy with that scholarly feeling which made him thus 
early anticipate the immortal sentiment of Milton, which 
he had not yet read: "Books are not absolutely dead 
things, but do preserve, as in a vial, the purest efBcacy 
and exti'action of that hving intellect that bred them." 
Those who recall the look of affection with which, in his 
prime, Dr. Thornwell would gaze upon the volumes in 
his library, and the pride with which he would exhibit 
the best editions, will recognize in these boyish tears one 
of his marked chai-acteristics. 

His indifference to play whilst a boy must not be con- 
strued as a sign of a morose and cynical temper. He is 
described, on the contrary, at this time as eminently 
genial and social, warm in his affections, and fond of 
talking with others about the books he read and the 
studies which he pursued. He was not simply popular, 
but exceedingly beloved by his companions; the best 
evidence of which is, that the schoolmates of those early 
days clung, with rare devotion, to him throughout life ; 
and such as still survive cherish his memory with a ten- 
derness which is the best tribute that love can pay to 
merit. Indeed, it could scarcely be otherwise, unless 



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EAELY BOYHOOD. 



tliere had been sometliing in hie natural disposition to 
repel fnendship. He came into no rivalry with his com- 
panione on the play-ground, and they offered no com- 
petition with him in the school-room. Perhaps, through 
hie whole life, no one was ever pierced less hy the shafts 
of envy. His intellectaal superiority was so universally 
and so cordially conceded, that he was lifted above the 
jealousy which competition engenders ; whilst the esprit 
du corps which belongs to every class, begat in his com- 
peers that feeling of pride, which, unless repeUed, easily 
glides into personal affection. It was his grand fortime 
through life to be sun-ounded by friends, whose love was 
never tainted with envy ; who rejoiced in Ms fame, without 
the desire to plnck one leaf from the lam'ele with which 
he was crowned. It must have been a generons nature 
which always commanded homage like this. 

His habit of late study at night necessitated late rising 
in the morning. Indeed, whilst a bo^, his morning sleep 
was so profound that he bad literally to be pulled out of 
bed. Doubtless nature was thus at pains to repair the 
heavy drafts which were made upon her resoxireea. This 
peculiarity, however, marked bis whole career. His stndiee 
were prosecuted chiefly at night, and he was habitually a 
late sleeper. He claimed this, indeed, as an idiosyncrasy ; 
and many were the ingenious arguments he would invent, 
in playful banter, to prove that the day was intended for 
rest, and the 'night for work; and that man, in his per- 
verseness, had wrongfully changed the original and proper 
arrangement of Providence. 

At this .early ago, no proclivity to any form of vice 
would be expected. Only once he is represented to have 
tasted liquor to intoxication ; for whicJi, as he richly de- 
served, he received the severest wliipping of his life. He 
became, however, early addicted to the use of tobacco ; 
commencing to chew at eleven years of age, and a little 
later, to smoke ; both of which habits he indnlgod freely 
\mtil his death. Dr. Thomwell was wont to speak of 



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24 LIFE OF JAMES HENLEY THORNWELL. 

himself as hayiiig been a bad boy, which the surviTing 
members of his family most affectionately deny. It is a 
general expression, used by the two in very different 
senses. Upon Ms lips, it is just the confession which 
would fall from any good man, calling to mind " the sins 
of his youth." But from the positive traits which belonged 
to him, and which we only knew as modified by Divine 
grace, it is easy to understand how his boyhood may have 
been distinguished by a certain wilfidness and contrar 
diction of authority, which called for the correction of the 
rod. Happily for him, the mother was a woman of 
vigorous understanding and strong will, which knew how 
to put a curb upon such a temper. The writer has more 
than once heard him refer to these early contests between 
insubordination and authority. He would rub his hands, 
and tell, with a heai-tyreliah of hmnour, how some childish 
misdemeanour would induce him to take refuge in the 
woods, from anticipated chastisement, until the solid 
night had shrouded the house in darkness ; then, creeping 
softly to his bed, he would lose in grateful sleep all appre- 
hension of the future. But, alas ! the sure retribution 
would come in the morning, when he found a thin sheet 
but a poor defence from the long, wiry switch tliat rained 
its cutting rebulies upon the naked limbs. This is what 
he meant by the badness of his youth : that " foolishness 
bound up in the heart of a child," which Solomon said, 
and his mother believed, "tlie rod of coiTcotion must 
drive out." 

Beneath aU this, there was an outcropping of religious 
convictions, rather unusual in a boy of thirteen, and which 
we notice here from a still more singular exhibition of 
them, which we will meet a little later. He had evidently 
imbibed from his mother's teachings and influence a de- 
cided predilection for the Calvinistic view of Divine 
truth. Always outspoken in his opinions, and ever ready 
to sustain them with reasons, he was somewhat of a thorn 
in the good Methodist family where he resided. Mrs. 



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EAKLY BOYHOOD. ZO 

Pegues, especially, "who was warmly attached to the doo 
ti-ines of her church, was often annoyed by the young 
polemic. Doubtlesa he was often more irritating than 
convincing. We can easily fancy how, at unseasonable 
moments, and in a way more dogmatic than courteous, a 
disputations boy might push "the five points" into other 
people's eyes. It is no small proof of this lady's bene- 
volence, that she could bear the intrusion from this source 
at all. Though she continued to treat him with a kindness 
which made no discrimination between him and her own 
sons, there was always a little soreness in her heart from 
these disputes. It is of value to us only as the earliest 
indication of religious thought, throwing light upon an 
•obscure experience by and by. 



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C'HAPTKK III. 

777S PATEONf^. 

Bbtep Sketch of the GENERAia Guji.EePiE.^THKLB Aiteotion job 
THBiB Wmib. — Sketch of Mb. EosBiNs, — His Mahked Inpltjenoe ' 
m Detelopihq the Genidb intbtisted to his Care. 

THE Buccessive steps by ■which the eubjeut of these 
Momoira was led up from obscurity, exhibits a mar- 
vellous adaptation in the agencies employed, to the ex- 
igencies of each particular stage. When left an orphan, 
and the question was one simply of bread, this was pro- 
vided through the care of a considerate kinsman. After 
he had stumbled through the rudimeflts of an English 
education, and had reached t\ie critical moment for layiiig 
the foundation of accurate scholarship, a teacher is fur- 
nished exactly suited to this work of driU; under whose 
instruction he remains, without disastrous change, until 
this is accomplished. Then, in a way seemingly fortui- 
tous, he attracts the notice of a stranger, who sounds his- 
praise throughouttheregion;until at length the friends are 
ra^d up, who secure to him a complete education, never 
relaxing their benevolence unti! he is afloat in life, and 
able to return to othera the benefits received from them. 
The two gentlemen who now assiune the guardianship 
over him were benefactors, not simply with the purse, 
but in the distinct impression of their character upon hie. 
A kind Providence has brought him into just such per- 
sonal relations as were suited to his development. The 
orphan finds in them more than the father whom, six 
years ago, he had lost. 

To enbalm in this narrative the names of Gillespie and 
ofEobbinSjisalegaey silently bequeathed to the biographer 



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iiS LIFE OF JAMES HENLEY THOKNWELL. 

of thoir iUustiious proteg^ ; a sort of remainder in trust, to 
be exeeutod on his behalf, to the memory of those to whom 
he waa so largely indebted. Coidd his own pen haye 
made the acknowledgment, the throbbing gratitude would 
only have been equalled by the delicacy of its expression. 
We can but rudely sketch the portraits, upon which the 
reader will not be unwilling to look. 

We are again indebted to BiBhop Gregg's " History of 
the Old Cheraws," for the first trace of the Gillespie 
family. The name (originally spelt Galespy) first occurs 
on the public registry', in A. D, 17i3, when James Galespy 
petitioned the Council, " that, having six persons in his 
family, a warrant of survey for three hundred acres be 
granted him in the ' Welsh Tract.'" Hewa8not,however, 
a Welshman, but came from tho north of Ireland. " He 
was a man of energy and enterprise; and was engaged 
with General Christopher Gadaden, of Charleston, in 
boating on the Pedee, many years before the Eevolution, 
He settled at length higher up the river, near to the pre- 
sent site of Cheraw, and entered on a successful career 
as a trader," Two sons inherittd his name, Francis and 
James. The former died prior to the American Bevoln- 
tion; the latter. Major James Galespy, having at that 
time reached his . majority, took an active part in the 
struggle, and after the war was over amassed a handsome 
estate. He left a considerable family, moat of whom, 
before or soon after maturity, died from consumption. 
Two sons, however, survived to rear families of their own : 
G-eneral Samuel WQds Gillespie, and General James 
■Gillespie. 

The last mentioned is he of whom we are speaking, as 
the patron with whom young Thornwell waa particularly 
identified ; though it is proper to add just here, that after 
the lad was prepared for College, both brothers were asso- 
ciated with !Mr. Eobbins in defraying the expenses of Ms 
University course. They were both planters, men of 
large views, generous impulses, and great publi(; spirit. 



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HIS PATBONB. 29 

After the death of the former, which occurred in mid-life, 
General James G-illespie was left the sole survivor of his 
fiither's family ; and no one was ever more respected in hia 
native District of Marlborough. He still lives, at a venera- 
ble age, a pious member of the Episcopal Church, quietly 
awaiting the summons to the rest above, upon which his 
hope and faith have long been fastened. 

It is impossible to estimate the influence, upon the plas- 
tic mind of a noble-spirited boy, of intimate intercourse 
with two such men as the Generals GiUespie^ They were 
both eminent types of the Old School Southern gentleman. 
Quiet and self-contained, with an easy dignity engendered 
of self-respect, and just a touch of reserve, which sat like 
a porter in his lodge, to open and shut the gates of inter- 
com'se as miglit be desired; observing with scrupulous 
exactness all the amenities of life ; vnth a polished educa- 
tion, and that fine sense of honour which shrunk from the 
very thought of meanness as from the touch of a leper : 
such were the men in whose cultivated homes and refined 
society our youthful friend finds himself adopted. The 
influence upon him may have been as gentle as the 
light ; but like the Kght, it was absorbed, and tinged his 
life as plants draw their colour from the sun. 

No form of charity, probably, yields as quick and large 
returns as the education of a promising youth ; and some 
of the brightest gems with which society is adorned were 
thus rescued from tlie rubbish, where they would have I'e^ 
mained buried for ever. The affection, too, which springs 
up betwixt the benefieiai'y and his patron, is often one of 
the purest that is known on earth. The bonds of kind- 
ness on the one hand, and gratitude on the other, bring 
the two into relations only less endeared than betwixt 
parent and child. The correspondence shortly to be in- 
trodneed, will show such to have been the afi^ection between 
Dr. Thomwell and the friends of his early dependence. 
It will serve to illustrate that entertained by General 
Gillespie, to relate an incident which occurred with the 



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30 LITE or JAMKS HENLE'V THOKNWELL. 

writer of these pages. At one of the commencements ot 
the South Carolina College, during the presidency of Dr. 
Thomwell, the pressure of the crowd thrust the -writer 
into an uneasy posture, directly behind the chair occupied 
by General Gillespie, as a trustee, upon the rostrum. In 
one of the pauses between the speeches, when the music 
gave the signal for relaxation, and the hum of conver- 
sation pervaded the house, he leant forward and whispered 
in the ear of his neighbour : " General, I would give a 
good deal to drop down into the middle of your heart, and 
Bee exactly how you feel, as you sit there and see and hear 
that man, now clothed with the highest dignities of the 
State, whom jou helped to occupy that poet of honour." 
Turning round, with eyes brimming with tears, and a 
voice tremulous with emotion, he replied : " Mr. Palmer, 
you would have to go down into this heart to find it out ; 
for I have no words in which to express the gratitude and 
joy which the recollection gives me." Truly there are 
cases in which " it is more blessed to give than to receive ;" 
and with a generous nature, a gi'atitude for the privilege 
of doing good may rise as high as the gratitude which ac- 
knowledges an obligation. Whatever losses may baye 
accrued from the ravages of war, this venerable benefa«tor 
has an investment in the usefulness of his ward, stretching 
along the ages yet to come, of which neither time nor 
eternity will ever deprive him. 

With his other pati'on, Mr. Kobbins, young Thomwell 
w^ thrown into associations more intimate and constant; 
the intellectual and moral impression mjide upon him was, 
therefore, more distinct. We are glad, for this reason, 
that the fuller details furnished will enable us to render 
this sketch more complete than the preceding, 

William Hbnby Robbins was born in October, A. D. 
1795, in Hallowell ; at that time in a district of Massa- 
chusetts, but now in the State of Maine. Prior to his 
birth, his pai-ents resided in Plymouth, Massachusetts, 
where his grandfather, the Kev. Dr. Robbins, was the 



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E£ia PATRONS. 31 

pastor of the First Orthodox Congregation. He appears 
to hare been religiously trained ; his journal, which he 
kept from 1810, being lai-gely oecupied with the abstracts 
of sermons to which he listened in his youth. Most un- 
fortunately for the purposes of this biography, the journal 
flf Mr. Eobbins, which he continued, almost to the time of 
hie decease, was destroyed in a recent fire. ■ It would have 
enabled us to fix with precision some dates which are now 
uncertain, and would have contributed valuable facts 
known to no other party. His education, begun at HaUo- 
well, was completed at Eowdoin College, Brunswick, 
Maine, under the presidency of Dr. Appleton. After his 
graduation, he studied law, under Judge "Wilde, subse- 
tLuently upon the Supreme Bench in the State of Massa- 
chusetts; and was admitted to practice in the city of 
Boston. Finding, however, a Northern clime too severe 
for his delicate constitution, he resolved to move South ; . 
a purpose which was delayed two years, in deference to the 
opposition of parents and friends. ' The necessity of change 
became only too apparent at the end of this time ; and on 
January the 2nd, 1830, he sailed from Boston to "Wil- 
mington, North Carolina. He studied the laws of this 
State, at FayetteviUe, taking a few pupils to defray his 
current expenses ; and in the spring of the same year ap- 
plied for admission to practice. Most unaccountably, he 
was rejected by the Court, as he himself believed, thi'ongh 
the influence of a strong prejudice against men of Northern 
birth. It was a crushing bldw ; not only disappointing 
his expectations of providing a comfortable home, but in- 
fiicting a severe wound upon sensibilities which were 
peculiarly alive to that form of suffering. To all this was 
added the mortification of being seemingly compelled to 
return homo, to meet the irritating sympathy of those who 
had predicted his failure. 

This necessity was averted by one of those trivial inci- 
dents, which men term fortuitous, hut are so often the 
hinge upon whicli our whole destiny tarns. The Hon- 



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32 JLiFE OF JAMES HENLEY THOENWELL. 

onrable William Lowndes, of South Carolina, happened 
just then to be passing through Fajetteville, on his way to 
"Washington City, to attend the sessions of Congi'ess. To 
him Mr. Robhins related Ms discomfitnre, and his pm-pose 
of returning Korth. " ^o," responded Mr. Lowndes, " do 
not go Korth, but to South Carolina, where no such pre- 
judice exists." This counsel led to a correspondence witli 
Mr, Dnttkin, of Charleston, also a Massachusetts man, 
■who subsequently sat upon the Chancery Bench in his 
adopted State. 

Through the encouragement received from this gen- 
tleman, Mr. Eobbina removed to South Carolina in the 
autumn of 1821, and settled at Society Hill, in Dar- 
lington District. After making himself familiar with the 
local statutes, he was, in the spring of 1822, admitted 
without difficulty to the practice of his profession. His 
means were by this time exhausted, while tlie trials of a 
novitiate were still to be encountered. With an inde- 
pendence truly heroic, he accepted the fact of his poverty. 
Being unable to purchase a horse, he was accustomed to 
walk the whole distance from Society Hill to the county 
seats of Darlington, Chesterfield, and Marlborough, — each 
being iifteen miles distant, — ^in his attendance upon com-f. 
As an illustration, not only of his independence, but of 
his strict integrity, it may be mentioned that, after one of 
these pedestrian tours, a friend tapped at his office window, 
and said, "Mr. Bobbins, I fear you have not much busi- 
ness, and may be in want of money ; I will lend it to you 
on your own time." Touched by this unexpected kind- 
ness, he could only reply by the pressure of the hand; 
but subsequently wrote a note acknowledging the offer, 
and saying that, "though his means were indeed small, 
he was not willing to take the risk of involving another 
in loss, when his success was so uncertain," These self- 
reliant qualities seldom fail in the end ; and he soon built 
np a practice which at least relieved him from the urgency 
of pressure. After his removal to Cheraw, his practice 



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HIS PATK0N8. 33 

i-emuneratwe ; so that, in the course of twenty 
years, he acquired a handsome competence, and left Ills 
family in circumstances of ease at his death. His business 
was chiefly that of a counsellor in the collection of ac- 
counts and the settlement of estates. _ He was distin- 
guished for system and precision in the duties of his office, 
and for punctuality and fidelity to his clients. Such was 
his reputation for legal knowledge and accuracy, that, by 
the testimony of one of the judges before whom he was 
accustomed to appear, it was only necessary to Imow that 
the papers were drawn by Ms hand to he assured of their 
invulnerabUity ; and such were his judgment and skill, 
that he was never known to lose a case where he himself 
brought the action. 

These facts, together with what remains from his own 
pen, reveal a mind intensely practical and earnest. He 
took life aa it was, and dealt with it on the principles of 
vigorous common sense. His determinations were almost 
judicial in their east; and a just moderation mai'ked his 
whole career, both in the opinions he formed, and the policy 
he pursued. "FTih equipoise was almost perfect. Cautious 
in the committal of himself, he was inflexible in the deci- 
sion: one upon whom others could lean, and never disap- 
pointing the expectations which he had raised. Such men 
are rarely demon sti-ative ; but their affections ai'e usually 
deep and constant. Hr. Robbins had broad sympathies, 
and unceasing charity; but both were under the control 
of principle. He felt it a conviction of duty to aid helpless 
merit ; sharpened, doubtless, into a sentiment, by the recol- 
lection of his own struggle to gain foothold upon life. He 
early practised economy and self-denial, in order to fulfil 
this obligation; for he was only upon the. first flood of 
professional success, when his generous hand was stretched 
for the relief of our young friend, and whilst he was bur- 
dened with the secJ-et support of some of his own kindred 
at a distance. 

The impression has almost univei'sally obtained, that in 



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34 LIFE OF JAMES IlENLET THOENWELL. 

his religious views Mr. Hobbine was a Unitarian. The 
charge is warmly repelled by his surviving family, who 
allege that no trace of this is to be found in the jouraal 
where his private thoughts were recorded, nor can their 
memory recall any admission of it from hie own lips. On 
the other hand, the fact is affirmed by others, without a 
suspicion of its aeeuraey ; and, what is the most staggering 
of all, it ia stated by those whose spiritual relations to hitn 
would afford the beet opportunity of knowing his views 
%vith certainty. The discrepancy can be explained only 
in one way. He was educated, as we have seen, in the 
orthodox faith, and to the period of his removal South sat 
constantly under an orthodox ministry. But the ortho- 
doxy of New England delighted at this time to be known 
as a "modified orthodoxy." The term is not ours; and 
we will allow the distinction to be stated by a clergyman 
of that region, a near relative, who was consulted on this 
very point. In a letter, bearing date January 22d, 1873, 
he writes : 

" It is weU known (hat, about the beginning of the present century, 
there was a very general depacttiie among the clrareliee of MaSBaoliusettH 
from the old oi-thodoi ground. Noacly all the oldest ohnrohes along the 
shores of the Bay, from. Cape Cod to Cape Ann, inelnding the ehurohes 
in Boston, paitook of the movement. The objection, as then urged, 
to the old orthodoxy, was rather to its esolnaivaness, and to certain 
stereotyped dogmatic statements and metaphysical diBtinotions, which, 
aa Avas tlren thought, had been aubsHtnted in tbe place of simple and 
hearty belief in Jesns Christ as the only ground of salvation, tban to 
any evangelioal dootrine stated in Soriptiire terms. This was very dif- 
ferent from what has since appeared, under the name of Unitarians. 
Its spirit was thoronghly loya! to Christ and the Bible." 

It is not difficult, then, to understand how a mind, con- 
stitutionally averse to all extreme views, and letting go 
the sharp distinctions and technical nomenclature, vrith- 
out which neither divine nor any other truth can be sci- 
entifically stated, should be involved in perfect confusion 
and mist upon the subject of the Holy Trinity. If pKed, 
too, with Unitarian books and tracts, as be was by some 
of his family connexions in New England, he would soon 



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36 

waver in the acceptance of the facts themselves, which 
■could no longer he represented to his own mind in any 
definite propositions. The truth is apt to slip away from 
■oui- grasp, as .soon as we disallow the necessary tei-ms by 
which alone it can be defined, and witlioat which it can 
no longer be reflectively considered. Thus, probably, he 
became tainted with the Socinian heresy, without fonn- 
ally adopting it as a creed, or abandoning entirely the 
traditional faith of his youth. These diiBcultiea would 
naturally be mentioned in confidential intercourse, and, 
with his religious guides, might well assume the form 
of polendc discussion, in the effort to escape from the 
mist of speculation, and to give a palpable shape and 
body to what flitted before him only as aii-y abstractions. 

We have been thus minute, from a profound respect %o 
the memory of one who has snch a just claim upon Pres- 
byterian gratitude. His religious opinions should either 
not be given to history at all, or the evidence should be 
produced upon which they are supposed to rest. 

But in whatever form this error may have existed, 
whether floating in the mind as a vague doubt, or crya- 
taUized into a fixed opinion, it was squarely abandoned 
some ten or twelve years before his death, when, under 
the preaching of the celebrated revivalist, Dr. Daniel Ba- 
ker, he became the subject of renewing grace. Attaching 
himself to the Episcopal Church, he remained a consistent 
and devoted Christian to the end. " His piety," wi'ites 
the pastor who was with him in his last moments, "was 
a pervading, steady principle, which imbued his ■■whole 
life; and he passed calmly and peaceably to his rest, 
in the full possession of hie faculties, and of the testimony 
of a good conscience; in the communion of the Catholic 
Church; in the confidence of a certnin faith; in the com- 
fort of a reasonable, religious and holy hope ; in favour, I 
doubt not, with God ; and in charity with the world. His 
end was like a peaceful, gradual transfiguration of the 
mortal into the immortal; like a melting out of our 



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iltl LIFE OF JAME8 UENLBY 

earthly sight into the invieible world of spirit." The 
diseaae, consumption, which had threatened his eai'ly 
manhood, returned upon him, after a long suspeneion. 
Through five yeara the battle was maintained, during 
■which he was often obliged to leave home ; once to take 
a sea voyage, as well as to involie the skill of an eminent 
physician in Paris. At lengtli the desti'oyer triumphed; 
and he fell asleep on the" 26th of March, 1843, in the 
forty-eighth year of his age. His rare modesty, his con- 
tempt for the artificial distinctions of life, and tlie sense 
of the littleness of earth, aE foimd characteristic expres- 
sion in the inscription traced, by his own direction, upon, 
his tomb : 

' ' My name, my oouctry, what is tihat to ttee ; 
What, whether high or low, my pedigree ? 
Perhaps I far surpassed all oQier men ; 
Perhaps I fell helow them ; what then ? 
Suffice it, stranger, that thou see'st a tomb ; 
Thou Itnow'st its use ; it hides, ^-no mattei- whom." 

"Without name or date, liow solemnly this rebuke of 
human vanity peals forth in the silent graveyard of 8t, 
David's Church 1 

Such was the man with whom James Thornwell was 
thrown into what may be termed a closet intercourse, 
during the most forming period of a boy's life, between 
the ages of fourteen and eighteen. There is no calculus 
by which to measure the benefit which accrued. But,, 
, surveying the wliole of his after career, and knowing all 
that Providence designed him to be, it is clear no influ- 
ence conld have better shaped him for the end in view. 
Mv. Kobbins wae an accomplished man; imbued with 
the spirit, as well as with tlie letter, of the ancient 
classics, having comprehensive and philosophic views, 
thoroughly acquainted with history in its entire range, 
and not insensible to wliat was beautiful in literature and 
art. A vigorous and clear intellect like his was nothing 
less than a.Voltaic battery, waking up the young mind be- 



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HIS PATRONS. 37 

fore it, that was only too capable of absorbing the living 
energy which thrilled along every nerve, and charged 
every power with its secret virtue. Here is a lad pos- 
sessing the ambition to become all that is possible, with 
a lofty ideal ever beckoning him forward, with a thirst for 
knowledge which no acquiaitione can quench ; and here, 
at his side, is a full fountain, pouring fortJi its magnetic 
waters, stimulating the appetite which they seem to fill. 
The influence of Hr. Bobbins was not less happy in its 
modifying power. The conapicnons attribute of his mind 
was its practicalness, which made him an admirable 
trainer for a genius. It dealt alone wiCh facts and prin- 
ciples; and these were applied with a rigonr and precision 
that estopped aU extravagances, and brought one down 
to sedate and earnest thinking. Truth, in her unadorned 
majesty, was the touchstone by which every thing was to 
he tested. The wise cautions, and sometimes the trench- 
ant criticisms, which are to be found in his letters, reveal 
him as the Mentor of Telemaehus to his young ward. 
And if the genius which he snccessfully trained did not 
prove that fatal gift which so often blasts its possessor — 
if it proved a genius disciplined by culture, and harness- 
ing itself to the practical duties of life, until it wronglit 
a work full of blessing to the world — much of it is due 
to the moulding influence of this clear, strong, and prac- 
tical mind, which gave direction to its aspirations, and 
shaped its development. It is not always given us to 
trace the agencies and methods by which we have been 
se&retly educated for our work; but the most remarkable 
feature in this history is, the happy training by which 
the subject of it was disciplined from the opening of his 



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,db, Google 



ClIAPTEE IV. 
PilBFARATION (i-OR COLLEOE. 
Kemoyai to Chera-W. — Abode with Ms. KoBBraa. — Cokji 

L4TIONS WITH HlU. — FlEST ApPPiAEASCE AS A DBBiTEK, — EKTKAKOB 
IBTO THE CbBBAW AcADEMY, — LoVE POB THE CLiBaiOS. — EaBLY FOBD- 
NESS EOB MbTAPHSSIOS. — COaBEEPOBDEtlOB "WITH Hja PaTEOS. — SlN- 
QTJLAB LeTIEB.— TeNDENOY TO MOBAl SPECULATIONS. 

AS nearly as oan he ascertained, Mr. Melntyre ceased 
to teaeh in the Pegnes settlement some time in the 
yeai' 1836. In accordance with an arrangement previonsly 
made, James Thornwell, then between thirteen and four- 
teen yeai^ of age, went to General Grilleapie. The design 
to educate him fully does not appear to have been at that 
time definitely fonned. The new friends were only pledged 
at first to advance him in his studies ; and they were gi'ad- 
ually led forward, by the exhibition of his superior merits, 
to complete what had been so auspiciously begun. He 
was accordingly sent to Cheraw, and became a private 
pupil cf Mr, Eobbios, and an inmate of his house. Mr. 
Robbms was at that period a bachelor, and remained so 
during the whole of young Thomwell's dependence upon 
.him. The solitude of his life was not, therefore, un- 
pleasantly broken by the companionship of his pupil, 
whilst freedom from domestic care afforded the leisure 
for his instruction. 

The personal appearance of the youth was almost a 
burlesque upon the extraordiuai'y reputation which had 
preceded him. Smaller in size than most boys of ten 
yeai-8, sallow in complexion, and with a general sickliness 
of hue, his bodily presence was anything but attractive. 
Mr. Eobbins, who, with characteristic caution, received 



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40 LIFE OF JAMES HEMLET TnOKUWELL. 

him tentatively at first, declares that, upon his introduc- 
.tion, he mentally exclaimed, "Surely, Gillespie must be 
deceived in taking this boy to be a genius." A few hours' 
conversation perfectly satisfied him on this point ; and in 
a short time the relations between the two became hko 
those of an elder and a younger brother. Mr. Robbins tes- 
tifies that, " as a boy he never delighted in the sports of 
boys, and he was from the beginning a companion to me." 
Indeed, so much satisfaction did he find in the society of 
his ward, and so sweetly grew upon him the office of in- 
struction, that the little bed that had been provided for 
him in another apartment was soon removed to his own 
chamber, that they might converse to the last moment 
before falling asleep. Touching friendship between the 
man of one and thirty years and the stripling of fourteen ! 
It is not the cold guardian, holding himself in stately re- 
serve towards his ward j nor the formal preceptor, con- 
tenting himself with a mechanical drill; but an elder 
brother, taking into his bosom the little one of the house- 
hold, whom a sad orphanage has placed there, to be nour- 
ished with something of a parent's care. It is difficult to 
say upon which of the two the greater honour la reflected. 
If it be a proof of the boy's precocity, it was not less an 
evidence of the patron's generosity. A true benevolence 
is seen as m.uch in the grace of the conveyance as in the 
benefit conferred; and it is a kingly heart that knows 
how to let its charities fall gently as the flakes of snow. 

Wliilst thus secluded under private tutelage, James was 
not wholly withdrawn from association with those of his 
own age. One, who became afterwards his classmate and 
bosom friend, thus writes : " My first distinct and never- 
to-be-forgotten impression of this glorious man was in a 
boys' debating society, connected with the Oheraw Acad- 
emy, of wliich he was a member, though not at that time 
a pupU of the school. The question to be discussed was 
this ; whether, in a particular ease, the circumstanties of 
whicli were specified, it would be right for tlie Governor 



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FOR COLLEGE. 



the pardoning power ? Yoimg Thoi'nwell 
made a powerful speech upon the negative side, and 
carried the vote of the society. He impressed all of us 
as we never before had been, by his eloquence and the 
force of his arguments. Pale, swarthy, and sickly in ap- 
pearance, his voice was strong, and the words flowed from 
him lilte a rushing torrent. He quoted Greek and Homan 
history, and even then showed the logician in a most re- 
markable manner." This incident is worthy of record, 
not only in proof of the early possession of those natural 
gifts by which he was afterwai-ds diatingnished, bnt as 
illustrating the moidd into which he began morally to 
crystalize. However we may abstractly admit the in- 
fluence of disposition and temperament upon the opinions 
"we form, few of us appreciate the extent to which this - 
gives complexion to our convictions. The truth which is 
accepted by one claes of men without an effort, can scarcely 
make its impresBion npon another class ; and this diffe- 
rence results, not so much from a variation in their mental 
■structure, aa from the bias of some idiosyncracy of nature. 
John Foster, for example, wavered upon the doctrine of 
the eternity of future punishment, not from any weight of 
evidenpe which controlled his judgment, but from an ex- 
cess of sensibihty which shrank from ite contemplation. 
The dreadfulness of the thought overwhelmed and crushed 
him. His reason was put under arrest, and his judgment 
w^ snspended. He could not pronounce either way, his 
faith forbidding its clear rejection, and his morbid sensi- 
bility shrinking from its acceptance. It was a eleai' case 
of tortured feeling as against reason and faith. " Jfon ex 
.guovis ligno Mercyirhis Jit" 

Men like Calvin and Knox are not made of softly 
material like IVlalancthon and Erasmus, and probably no 
■amount of mere intellectual pursuaaion could ever convert 
the one into the other. But our young debater has those 
robust qualities, whicli enable him to see a glory in jus- 
tice as weU as in mercy ; that if the one be the pillar of 



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42 LIFE OF JAMEB HEULEY THOKS'\VELL. 

', the other is the pillar of strengtli, tliat stands be- 
e it, in the temple of God. How fai' this early prede- 
liction to viiidieate the majesty of law may be due to tlie 
Calvinistic teaebiags of " a noble mother," it is not need- 
ful to inquire ; but the shaping hand of an unseen power 
can be traced all through, prepaiing the future champion of 
the truth, who should assert the integrity of the Divine 
government against the mawkish sentiment' that would 
rob it of ite necessary sanction. 

James was naturally taken into the ofBce, as well ae 
into the house and chamber, of his patron. Here he 
studied, and at intervals recited. If business accnmnlated 
with unwonted pressure, the boy's leisure might well he 
employed in copying such legal forme as requu'ed nothing 
beyond attention and care. He wrote at this time a bold, 
round hand, which was afterwari^ greatly contracted; 
always, indeed, neat and clean, presenting to the eye a 
pleasing regularity, and perfectly legible, but also singu- 
larly compact. "We have never seen but one person who 
had the power of putting an equal number of words 
upon a page; and, strangely enough, he was an eminent 
lawyer and judge. By gradual practice, James became 
sldlful in drawing up legal papers, such, at least, as the 
simpler processes required, and soon rose into the position 
of a useful assistant. He acquired a general knowledge of 
the ofEice business, and could be safely trusted with its rou- 
tine, in the absence of Mi-. Kobbins; sometimes collecting 
accounts and making the necessary entries and deposits, 
and sometimes answering the inquiries and letters of 
clients. The following story illustrates the ardoui" with 
which he threw himself into all subjects that attracted 
Ms attention, and the ingenious methods of self-discipline 
to which he resorted: A gentleman passing one day by 
Mr. Eobbins's ofEice, heard voices that seemed to be en- 
gaged in ioud and earnest discussion. He drew near 
enough to learn that a flagrant case of hog stealing was 
upon its trial. Upon looking through the window there 



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4S 

■was "little Jimmie" going through the reheai'sal alone, 
changing his voice as he personated severally the judge, 
the jury, the proaecuting attorney, and the coimsel for the 
defence, not omitting, in his strict impartiality, the crimi- 
nal himself, ' In this connection the following anecdote 
may he related, not so much for disclosing his capat;ity, as 
illustrating the positivenesa of his character and the tone 
of his principles: On one occasion, in the absence of 
Mr. Robbins, a client entered the office, and made some 
inqTuries which rendered it necessary to refer to Mr. iiob- 
bins's account-book. Having informed himself of what 
he desired to know, James left the book open on the desk. 
Presently the visitor approached, and was about to make 
a personal inspection of its contents, when James promptly 
arose, and closed the book in his face, saying that he 
would allow no stranger to inspect Mr. Robbins'e private 
entries. It was, doubtless, inconsiderateness in the party, 
for he took no offence, and spoke of it to others with 
hearty approval of the boy's spirit. It is through this 
instinctive outworking of secret principles, without the 
aid of reflection, that character is really disclosed. 

It is impossible to determine how long he remained 
under the exclnsive preceptorship of Mr. Eobbins; nor 
when he was transferred to the more systematic discipline 
of the Cheraw Academy, The reasons for the change 
are sufficiently obvious. The growing demands of an 
exacting profession must, of course, introduce uTegolarity 
on the part of the teacher, whilst the ripening intellect 
and more advanced studies of the pupil would render 
important the drill of a regular school. He probably 
enjoyed its larger advantages during the better portion 
of two year's prior to his admission into college; that is 
to say, during the years of 1828 and 1829. The Academy 
was then under the care of Mr, Jolm G. Bowman and 
Dr. Thomas Graham, the latter being from Drowning 
Creek, Korth Carolina, which seems to have been the 
nursery of teachers for a large district of country. Both 



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44 LIFE OP JAMES HENLET THOBNWELL. 

were excellent instructors, and Mr. Bowman enjoyed the 
reputation of being a superior Greek scholar.' The tra- 
dition is still rife in Oheraw, how James Thornwell wore 
out the tedious night in severe application to study. Hia 
proficiency was in proportion to his diligence and enthu- 
siasm combined; and his examination at the final term 
was so brilliant as to dotoi-mine his benefactors not to 
arrest his progress at this stage, but to give him the ben- 
efit of a university course. Some idea may be formed, 
from the following story, of his power of abstraction and 
concentration in study: A gentleman in Mr, Eobbins's 
office commenced a conversation upon some private and 
confidential matter, but suddenly paused upon observing 
the lad sitting there and reading a book. "Oh!" repfied 
Mr. Robbins, "you need not mind him; I will soon con- 
vince you that he does not hear a word of what we are 
saying." Wliereupon he began with a loud voice, abusing 
James in terms well calculated to excite his anger. The 
■unconseions subject of tliis tirade sat witli hstless eai's, in 
happy ignorance of the practical joke played off at his 
expense ; and the visitor reeumed, and. finished the inter- 
view with a perfect assurance of its privacy. 

He had no love for the study of mathematics, though 
he pursued it as a duty; but he revelled in the classics, in 
which he so perfected himself as to become a wonder in 
the eyes of seliolars Hke himself. He displayed, also, at 
this period, a fondness for metaphysical studies, in which 
he afterwards pre-eminently excelled. The writer received 
from his own fips the following fact, which bears internal 
evidence of having occurred during the earlier portion of 
his connection with Mr. Eobhina, whilst he was still ai\ 
undeveloped youth. This gentleman found him poring 
over Locke's "Essay on the Human Understanding," and 
badgered liim upon the hardihood of attacking a work so 
abstruse, and so clearl}' beyond his years. Piqued, as he 
himself relates, at this implied dispai'agement of liis 
powers, lie i-esolved at once, to master the book; and 



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PKEPAKATION FOR COLLEGE. 



45 



master if; he did, and for all coming time. Shortly after, 
lie happened to light, among the volumes in General 
Gillespie's library, on Dngald Stewart's "Elements of the 
Philosophy of the Human Mind." To use his own lan- 
guage, he "felt that his fortune was now made;" and 
devoured it with the same avaricious delight that he had 
experienced in the other. Upon what slender contm- 
gencies does our destiny often turn ! And who can trace 
up to its source the influence which bears us on to what 
we afterward become ! Dr. Thornwell was accustomed 
to refer to this incident as having given him the first 
conscious bias to philosophy. It was doubtless the pivot 
upon which his whole intellectual history subseciuently 
hinged. The right book, read at the right time, roused 
a dormant capacity, just when it needed to awake and 
determine the character of a brilliant and useful career. 
Thus does Providence watch over its chosen instiTimente, 
and a hidden hand touches the secret springs of activity 
and life. 

In the summer of 1828, Mr. Kobbins left homo upon a 
visit to Ifew England, while James remained in charge 
of the ofBeo. We give here a portion of a letter, as 
showing the trust reposed in his business capacity, and 
also the gentle faithfulness of the guardian in pruning 
the faults of his ward : 

" Boston, June 30, 1823. 
"Dbae James : Your letter of tte ISth instant reached me at a time 
■wlieii I was beooroing ansious leet the fever, with its sequel of evils, 
had overtaken you. And should this at any time 1)6 the oase, you will 
proBure ray friend, James Gillespie, to write, giving me timely notice 
of the fact. 

"Yonr letter affords me subjeot of two-fold remaik. Fiirst: Its 
matter. I was glad to hear so good report of the corn and cotton crop. 
Trom the appearance of the weather I had anticipated the news about 
the mills'; but you do not aay how the mill hands are employed. * • • 

I have written M tJiat if I have the mortgage he called for, you 

■will get it ; and I thinln you will find it in the Chesterfleld drawer, per- 
haps enveloped in oilier papers. I could not have given it him at the 
time I gave him the other release, beoanse I gave him that in Marl- 
borough, where I had not the mortgage. I do not linow that my ledger 



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46 LIFE OF JAMES HKU'LBY THOKNWELL. 

exiibita all the proper chaigea against 1 , He owes toe, &c. If 

he writes again, state these facta, and my other ohargea. I hope Jip 
■will be improved by my return, Xou can. use Mm. oooasionally ; it will 

assist rather than injure him. « * * Your aooonut ol the 

hueiness was Tery satisfactory. It put H.'s friend in tta nnenviable 
point of Yiew, It shows, too, how cautions we should be in indulging 
too gi^at freedom in our remarks, even when we think ouraelves safe 
from exposure or misiuterpi'etation. * * « I was happy to learn that 
you were content in jour present situation ; but as soon as you are 
otherwise, you can change it. I should have no objection to your at- 
tending the festival on the 4th ; but this letter will meet yon too late to 
be governed by what I have to say. There has no production appeared 
from Webster oi' Everett. I aenti you regularly the IfotioTml GaeetU, 
which you will keep on file for me. I was well pleased with your plan 
of a register or diary, and I hope you will keep it regularly. I went to 
Cambridge to-day, and saw a young cousin, who holds a pre-eminent 
rank in his class, and could not help thinking, at the time, how much 
pleased you would have been to be in hia company. I was much sur- 
prised to find, or rather, not to find, a copy of the Soutltern RitvieiB in 
Boston ; and but one or two gentlemen have received it at all. The book 
in greatest demand, just now, appears to be Irviag's ' luf e of Oolum- 
bus ' ; and I meap to bring it out with me. 

" I have neither time nor space to notice particularly the seeond ground 
of remark suggested by your letter. But were I called on to point out 
the chief fault in the writing, I should say, it is the same I have so often 
mentioned to you ; a propensity to invest common and occasional re- 
marks in too grave and sober a dress. An idea of s 
portanoe is not to be enveloped in the grave and solema n 
great moral asiom. It is to assign it a dignity which ia not its own ; and 
not only so, but it affords occasion for the common taunt, "Monies par- 
Variant," &o. Though, on the whole, this perhaps is an error which 
time, and inoreBsed observation and experience, will correct. 

" 'Taie caro of yourself,' referred to your own health, of which you 
cannot be too careful. Moat sincerely yours, 

W. H. E. 

The snceeseion of dates brings us now to ' a relation, 
wliieli may came the reader to lay down the book and 
think awhile before he proceeds furtlier. The education 
of Thomwell, we have said, was undertaken at first with 
no definite purpose. The plan seemed to have been to 
give him all the knowledge that could be acquired in the 
academy, and then to pat him to tlie study of the Law, in 
the ofiiee of Mr. Eobbins. James happened to overhear 
a conversation in which this purpose was stated- The 



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PKEPASflTION FOB COLLEGE. 4T 

next evening he was miaaing at tea; but his absence waa 
explained in the following letter, which Mr. Robbios 
found under his plate : 

"OHTiEiw, Jamnary, 1829. 

"Mr Dbab Sib : I have adopted this method of discharging a duty, 
which I consider due to you in common mtti my other patrons ; as I 
am inoapa'ble of speaking to you on the delieata subject without taara. 

' ' The relation which has hitJierto subsisted between us is now to be 
dissolved. I would to God that this trying scene conld have beea 
averted. I would to God that this bitter cup could have passed fTOm 
ma. But TTiH will be done. Though your regard for me should vanish 
like smoke, and though you should hereafter treat me with the utmost 
■contempt and disdain, yet wiU. I ever love even the very earth on which 






ia no trivial oause that could induce me to part from one so dear 
■to me. Nothing abort of a deep sense of duty eould ever lave led me 
to tliis, especially as you have been at so much trouble and eipease on 
my account. I ha^FS laboured hard, but in vain, to reconcile my eon- 
science to tbe practice of the Law. In seleotiug a profession, it is cer- 
tainly the duty of every person to act upon other than selfish motives. 
He should ever have in view the glory of (Sod and the good of men. 
How, the only metbod, it m,ust be admitted, for him to determine the 
sphere of action in which he will most contribute to these ends is by 
scrutiny int« the iuclination of his particular genius. Now, the greatest 
difficulty consists in discovering the peculiar turn of his mind. What 
criterion will you fls for this purpose ? Though consultation with hie 
friends may be of considerable service, yet you will not surely contend 
tbttt he must make their advioe the rale of his conduct. I apprehend 
that the only correct standard is his own feelings. He must not, how- 
ever, forget to look up to that Being for direction, to whom he must 
finally recdei: an account for his conduct here. 

' ' In conformity to these ■views, which appear to me correct, I have ■ 
determined to adopt theology as my profession. The prospect for an 
education is as brilliant, I believe, as though I were the son of a gen- 
n of millions. There is none, howeyer, for wealiii, 
'6 Qod end mammon at the same time. It is 
mj hard destiuy to be placed iu a situation where I must determine for 
life at a very early age, I cannot dogmatically assert that these views will 
follow me to the grave. But I feel it a duty to act in accordance with 
them now. It is cationfd. however, to believe that tbey will continue by 
me. I entertained them once before, discarded them, and have resumed 
them. I cannot well Say discarded tiiem ; for I smothered them, or rather 
the conclusion ffl which tbey led me, with the hope that farther mental 
improvement would reconcile me to the Law. As they have come upon me 
again with increaKcd power, I feel it a duty to reveal them to you. If 
you th:nk they are erroneous, iUnstrate their error. If this is not done. 



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^8 ilFE OJT JAMES HENLEY THOBNWELL. 

I am compelled to bid farewell, with great haa-vineia of ieai't, to a be- 
loved pation, witi tindly clothed me when naked, fed me when hungry, 
and, above all, has much laboured to dispel ignorance from my mind ; 
a beloved patron, whoee name is moeio io my ear, one whom I can 
never forget, and of whom I will ever think with the Eveliest emotions, 
of gratitude; and I humbly hope he will never forget the unworthy 
object of his kindness. I do humbly hope his attachment will not 
abate, if 1 have acted in conformity to Sound rational prinoiples; and, 
if nnder the impulse of enthusiasm, I hope he will pity my weakness. 
On the word, farewell, my heart lingers, with relnctance to leave you ; 
and, oh! to think of parting pricks it to the core. But it must be ; 
ao farewell, my dear friend and respected patron. 

J. H. Thobnwbli.." 

This remarkable epiatle wae read with deep amazement. 
Eising inetantly from the tatle, Mr, Kobbins foimd his 
ward on the piazza, in the darii, half hidden in the angle 
of tTi6 chimney, weeping as though his heart would break. 
Taking his hand, he led him gently hack to the supper 
table, and there assured him that he Was labouring under 
a total miaapprehension of his views. It had indeed been 
taken for granted that the profeeeion of the Law would be 
hi& ehoice, both because it gave full scope to his talents, 
and promised promotion in the future. At the same time, 
nothing was further from the, hearts of those who had be- 
friended him, than to force his inclination in any degree. 
He should be perfectly free hereafter to choose any pro- 
tession which taste, or prudence, or conscience might sug- 
gest ; and that he would enter upon its pursuits witli theiv 
good will and blessing ; but that, for the present, he must 
lay aside aU morbid feelings, and continue to live witli 
him as his joiuiger brother. The old relations were ac- 
cordingly resumed, with a better understanding between 
the two, and with increased respect and affection. 

The delicate sense of honour, which would no longer 
accept support from those whose wishes he expected to 
thwart, Kes so obtrimively upon the face of the narrative, 
that there is no necessity for emphasizing it. But under- 
neath it lies a mystery which is not easy of solution. 
Here is a youth just beyond his sixteenth birth-day, who 



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PEEPAKATION FOE COLLEGE. i9 

has passed through a protracted mental conflict, and set- 
tled down into the conviction that he must preach the 
gospel. All the Inflnencea which bore upon him were 
iidverse to such a conclusion. Both his patrons were, at 
this period, men of the world. The profession of the Law, 
which he deelines, pressed itself upon hie acceptance by 
every motive to which an honom-able ambition coold 
respond. And what seals the mystery, tins decision is 
pronounced by one who, as yet, makes no pretensions to 
personal piety, has given hitherto no evidence of a change 
of heart, and who did not profess, till several years later, 
to have become the subject of gi'aee. Upon what principle, 
then, did this decision turn? Did he regard the sacred 
ministry as a profession to be chosen, like any other, 
because it was adapted to one's tastes or mental apti- 
tudes ? Men do not ordinarily make costly and painful 
sacrifices, except upon the altar of duty. Scarcely for any- 
thing less than this would he have surrendered advantages, 
and severed ties which ■were as dear to him almost m life. 
His letter, too, is pervaded with just sneh a conviction of 
duty lying'hard upon the conscience ; and though it does 
not express the high and spiritual views of the ministerial 
of&ce which he subsequently embraced, there is a general 
religious tone, which it is hard to explain from one not in 
a state of grace. The case is fruitful of speculation, which 
it might not be perfectly safe to indulge. This much 
seems to be clear. He was from the beginning " a chosen 
vessel of the Lord, to bear His name before the Gentiles 
and kin^, and the cMldi'en of Israel ;" and to this end, 
rehgious truth was made to possess for him a singular 
fascination. Its earliest indication was that polemic zeal 
which led him with boyish disputatioasness to 

"AEsect eternal Pi-oTidenoa, 
And justify tie ways of God to men." 

How it assumes the form of a conviction of duty, which 
throws over him the power of a spell. It is true, this 
interest in Christianity appears to be thus far rather intel- 



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50 USE OF JAMES HENLEY THORN WELL. 



lectual than experimental; but it lias enlisted the con- 
science, and it holds him to what we know to have been 
the ultimate purpose of God, amidst temptations that 
threatened to swerve him from it. "We shall iind more of 
this hereafter, making his religious history something of 
a puzzle up to a certain date, when the mist is cleared 
away, and the Gospel is as fully embraced by the heart as 
by the understanding. 

During the summer of 1829, Mr. liobbine again visited 
New England. We give extracts from several of James's 
letters, written then, in order that the reader may form 
his own judgment ae to the development of his mind, as 
well as see the affectionate relations he sustained with hie 
patron. In the first, of date June 30th, 1829, after dis- 
patching certain topics of business, lie speaks of a duel 
which had well-nigh taken place, in the following terms : 

" Is it not to be lamented that a HC[UBainish. sense of false honour ia 
so pKTaleat? It is oontraij to liuman. dignity, wMeli it ahonld be our 
pride to support. Every oharaoter lias tuotiTes of the strongaec obli- 
gation to support it. Tho parent should consider the inteteet of his 
cMW ; the patriot, the welfare of his conntrj ; and the philanthropiBt, 
the good of mankind." 

He then proceeds: 

" You ask where I betook myself on the morning of your departure. 
I attended yon to the poat-office, and stood by you until yon were about 
to enter the stage. My feelings were such that it was impossible for 
me to shake hands with yon ; and aB I should have been an object of 
derision, had I broken forth there into childish lamentatioris, I 
thought it more prudent io vent my feelings in private retirement. I 
wish that I conld obtain b, proper control of myself on such oooasions. 
If I giieve at a temporary parting, what would be roy feelings at a last- 
ing separation? 

"I have heard of no sickness since your departure. For myself, 
during the last week, I was on the very brink of the fever. As soon as 
I felt the symptoms of disease, I submitted myself to the direction 
of prudence. With salts for my spear, and moderation of diet for my 
buckler, I have rushed to the combat, and driven the fever from the field. 
But 60 far from being led into hopes of vain security by my victory, I 
guard myspif with more care against his wily attacks. 

J. H. T." 



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: cOLLBas. 51 

The letter 'wHeli follows discovers his early tendency 
to moi'al speculations, though the generalization marks 
the first awkward effort of an immature mind to use its 
powers. It is given just as it was written : 

" Cbbbaw, August ISffl, 1829. 
"Discontent, how roucli soever it may be denonncad by monlts and 
priesta, is not criminaL To poBsesB a mind wliieli stomis of fortune 
or ihe darkest clouds of destiny cannot rafBe, is indeed desirable. Tran- 
quillity and calmneBS are qualitiee, however, whioi. few do or can poasesa 
in aeaaons of adveraity. The phUoaopher and the moralist may prescribe 
rales for the attainment of these vii-tuea ; but the uninstcuoted pasBant, 
and wren they themsely^ will forget them in the hour of temptation. 
It is beyond the power of loanliind in general to subject their feelings 
to the control of their understandings. These turbulent demagogues, 
like the ancient barons of England, will not submit to the authority of 
their sovereign. AD men repine at what affectfl their interest. It is a 
principle of their nature which they cannot subdue, and which must, 
therefore, have been planted in them by the Deity. These leaeons 
induce me to believe that discontent is not criminaL But there are 
bounds within which it should be eonfineti, and to exceed which ia 
not justifiable. In these remarks I would by ao means depreciate con- 
tentment. It is a aource, and unfailing source, of happiness, which is 
worthy of our highest efforts. It is a precious jewel, which too often 
aUures men, as the waters Tantalne, io disappoint; and no man can say 
that he poaaeaeea it until he has passed safely through the furnace of 
temptation. 

" These reflections were suggested to me by the marks of disappoint- 
ment, which are imprinted on every countenanoe, in consequence of 
the late inundation of their crops. Hone appear to be content ; and 
McN. has converted bis blythe boasting into sighs. He has lost, ho 
says, about thirty bales of cotton and half of his com. He will still 
make as good a crop as he did laat year. I am glad that you wfll sus- 
tain such little damage. Though it ia enough to give McN. a rueful 



" I am dive ti tthi mmntbya warm discussion of a question 
in political e m b tw Mr. P. and Major L. The cuestion ia, 
Can the value i, 1 1 d 'P. maintains the afBrmative, and L. 

the negative d I m t think that, though Mr. L. is shrewd and 
subtle, Mr, P p to h m. Mr. L. deals too much in general 

end indefinit t n M P is more proeiae and eiplieit. In the 
course of ihe d L £, anted that an abundance of money de- 

preciated property P co te ded tiiat the money was depreciated, and 
ofcouraehad nly I ti 1 e. The general consent of the world has 
estabKahed it aa a coin, however, not on account of any superiority to 
other metala, bnt on account of its beauty and scarcity. ' The value of 



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52 LIFE OF JAMES HENLEY THOBNWELL. 

gold, then, it is clear, can be reduced in three ways : 1. The general 
oouseat of mantind may be changed, and another metal substituted ;. 
2, As the tastes of men sometimeB fluctuate, the beauty of gold may 
cease to fascinate ; 3. A great abundance certainly diminishes ita ralue. 
Some such arguments as these might have been employed against Mr. 
L., though Mr. P. pursued a different conrse. I was sui-priaed to hear 
Mr. Ij. argue that gold had an inherent raliia. He evinced as much 
ignorance of the proper meaning of words as the persons who, after a 
■warm debate on transubstantiaMon, referred the qaestioii. to the decision 
of an nmpire. Being asked what they meant by that long word, ono 
replied, 'Kissing the saints;' the other, 'Kneshng at the holy altar.' 

" The colour of Jip has uadergone a great change ; he is a chestnut 
now, a colour of -which, jou know, Virgil Bpeats very favourably. I 
should be delighted with an aoooant of the Cambridge Commencement. 

James." 

In another letter, written in the earae month, he says: 

"General Gillaspielias given me a new proof of his kindness. He has 
Tesolved to send me lt> ooilege this year, if he can possibly raise the 
money. I do sincerely hope that he may be able to accomplish his de- 
sign. I am preparing to go to Cohunbia in October or December." 

Tliis hint will appropriately close this chapter, leaving^ 
it to the pages ■which are to follow to introduce liim intO' 
that new and interesting scene. 



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CHAPTER V. 

COLLEGE LIFE. 

FlKBT ApPEiBiNQB IN ''OLLBOE — PEESOVAIi DESCHIPHOt — KeJUOTED 
ON FlBST ApELIOAtKN — EeCEHED OH THE SECOND — Hl^ OWN Ac- 
OOTJNT OP IT. — EiltLY ImTBESOI N OF HIS (lENIITt. IIPijN EIB FeLLOW- 

SiODENTs.— FaciiLit or the S i ih Caeoliwa t-oLLE E — Intense 

ApPLIOiTION, — BiM B F HIS TUDIEB — SeLP DISCIPLINE — SECLU- 
SION OP las Stodeni — Hia Ein^r PEpuiiTioH as a Debitbe.— 
PowEHS OF Inteotive —L, ehebpondenoe 

EARLY in December, 1829, within a few daya of his 
seventeentli birthday, James Thorowell made liis first 
appearance in the campus of the South Carolina College, at 
Columbia, the capital of the State. Stunted in liis growth, 
and with the ealiow complexion which haa been already 
described, his figure was just the kind to excite college 
witticism and mirth. The following description, from the 
pen of a elase-mate, after the lapse of forty years, may 
have a slight colouring from the humour with which it is 
conveyed ; but undoubtedly, in the main, correct : " In 
personal appearance he was, perhaps, the most unpromis- 
ing specimen of humanity that ever entered such an in- 
stitution, Tery short in stature, shorter by a head than 
he became later in life, very lean in flesh, with a sHn the 
colour of old parchment, bis bands and face as thickly 
studded with black freckles as the Milky Way with stars, 
and an eye rendered duM in repose by a drooping lid, he 
looked, tcJ use an Irishism, as be if he was twenty years 
old when he was born. His manners were nnpolisbed, 
but bis air was self-reUant; and though free from boast- 
ing, lie was evidently conscious of the mental power within 
him, which would make him more than a match for moat 
men, and «-oiild tln-ow into the shade bis physical defects." 



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Oi LIFE OF JAMES HENLEY THOKNWELL. 

Snch is the yonth when fii'st seen striding over the eam- 
pu8, arm in arm with a friend six feet high, as if bur- 
lesquing his own littleness hy the contrast ; with a long 
coat dangling at his heels, rolHng a huge quid of tohaceo 
in his mouth, and declaring that he would enter the Junior 
class or none ; sportively adding that, if rejected, he 
would go up into the town, and apply for admission to 
the practice of the law. But 

' ' The best laid schemes of mice and men 
Gang aft agley ;" 

and this sell-appreciation, half serious, half playful, was 
doomed to experience a sudden but salutaiy check. 

The class which he desired to enter, was the class just 
rising Junior. Applications were not frequent for ad- 
nussionto this high grade, and the examinations were 
correspondingly rigorous. Our young friend was pro- 
nounced deficient in certain studies, particularly mathe- 
matics, and was rejected, with the privilege, however, of 
another trial at the opening of the new year. The defi- 
ciency was more apparent than real ; and the unexpected 
failure was anxiously explained hy those who knew his 
attainments. One says, "the examination in geometry 
was conducted in a manner unusual to him. In those de- 
monstrations which did not require a good deal of figur- 
ing, it was the practice to use no letters, but merely to 
indicate the side or angle by touching it; and being un- 
accustomed to this method, he became confused," In his 
own statement we have no such apology, as "itill appear 
from the following letters to liis friend, Mr. Robbins : 

"'Colombia, December S, 1829. 
"Mr Dbab Bis: I applied for admission into the Junior Claes this 
morning, and was rejected. .On Grseca Minora, Xenophon, the Odes of 
Horace, and Cicero, I was admitted, andon part of Mathematics. Homer, 
and the Art of Poetry, I was rejected on. They say, however, that if I 
will stand another examination on these, abont the first of January, 
they will adroit me. I think it advisable to do so, in preference to join- 
ing Sophomore. If I feel myself prepared, I may stand earlier. The 



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COLLEGE LIFE. 55 

difficulty with me, on tieae books, was not ignorance, bnt confusion. I 
was partic-strnci »a soon as I entered tlie librarj'-room. The Facitliy 
pereeived it. Wiih my esaminatioa in Geography, English grammar, 
and Minora, Dr. Cooper appeared to be well pleased ; and had he con- 
tinaed by me, I ahonld have been sncoessful throughout. 'WheneTar he 
found that I was embarrassed,^ he would relieve me. The rest were not 
go accommodating. They are extremely rigid in their pTOnunoiation ; 
on (hat, however, they did not find fault with me. The trul4i is simply 
this, that when tbey placed Hoioer in my hands, I was in suoh perturba- 
tion that I could scarcely see the letters. As soon as I recovered myself, 
I read with ease, I reoolleot to have missed only two words. On Alge- 
bra, as far as they examined me, I stood very well. They raqnired one 
more rule than I had studied ; that I must learn. In Mathematics, or 
at least in Geometry, where I thought myself safe, 1 failed. At Mr, Gra- 
ham's esaminatioD, General Gillespie oaa testify that I was not defioient 
in it. How it happened that I proved so before the Faculty. 1 cannot 
account. I cannot describe my feelings to you. I am overwhelmed with 
confusion, and ashamed to show my face. I shall keep myself bs much 
secluded as possible, until I redeem my reputation. The three weeks 
which I must wait will roE heavily on. I shail apply myself with sfl.'rid- 
uify and attention. 

" The students tell me that it has beoome a custom for the Faculty to 
reject on the first examination, and grant a seoond. They tell me there 
is not the least disgrace in it. It is alroost a matter of chance whether 
they admit or not, — Yours most gratefully, 

J. H, TaoBNWEnt.." 

Fourteen days later, another letter was written to the 
same party, on the same subject. 

"OoLTJMEiA, December 19, 182il, 
" Mr DsAB Fbtend : I have 'revised my studies under Mr. McAllily, 
who was recommended to me by Professor Hott. I stall not apply for 
admission, however, untU the first of January, The Faculty will more 
willingly receive me then, as ihey will be apt to judge of my quahfica- 
ijons from the time I hare studied, I can keep on studying until that 
time, and it will not hurt me. * * * There is no being on earth 
more happy than the student. With all the means of knowledge at his 
command, what (an give him more pleasure than to improve his mind ? 
Hemay enjoy, if he wishes, a continual feast of nectar ; and his satisfao- 
iion is considerably enhanced when he is esteemed by all his acquaint- 
ances. I was never more cordially received by any persons than by my 
Pedee friends here. They all appeared very glad to see me. I found in 
College more who knew me than I had any idea of. Some Pedee men, 
who had heard of me, took the Very ex<Tisable liberty of introducing 
themselves, and tendering their friendly services. My rejection they 
viewed as a ^natter of chance, since an admission depends bo much on 



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66 LIFE OF JAMES HENLEY TUOKNWELL. 

luck. The result, they think, might haye heen more favorable, had I 
been examined in company, and not alone, as was tiie ease. 

" Do write me everything about home. I am anxious to hear fi'om 
you again, and from General Gillespie, who has not written me since I 
cama hCTe. I fear he is displeased. — Yours traly and gratef ally, 

J, H. Thohnwell. 

" P. S.— You can send by Mr, Mc — my other vest, my shoes ; 

and, if you think it more advisable to purchase there than here, you can 
send Locke's ' Essay.' S. 6. has the work ; if "you see him, it will cost 



There is a tone of manliness pervading both these let- 
ters, TOth which the reader cannot fail to sympathize. 
Mortifying as the diecomfiture was to a proud spirit like 
hia — a spirit too untamed lay even successfnl competition 
in the narrower sphere hi which he has hitherto moved — 
tliere is not a word of whining complaint, nor toyish re 
seiittnent against fchoee who inflicted tlie disappointment. 
He accepts it just as it is, with a clear consciousness that 
his failure was due to an excessive timidity, which had, 
for the moment, thrown him from his equipoise; and with 
a steady purpose to retrieve the damage which his repu- 
tation may have received. This prepares tlie way for the 
more buoyant style of the letter which follows, addressed 
also to Mr. Bobbins: 

" CoLUMBii, January 4, 1830. 
' ' My Deae Patron : I have now taken my stand in the Junior Class ; 

and bo flattering was my examination, that I cannot refrain from giving 
you a short account of it. I was rec[uired to stand first in Homer, in 
whioh I was not found wanting. I was then taken on Horace, Be Arte 
Poetiea. The sentenoe which was given me Professor Henry thought 
the most dif&cult in the book, and said that I read it admirably well. I 
waa then taken in Button's MaHiematios, in which I demonstrated, 
■without ilie least diffioulty, about twenty theorems ; and lastly, I p 
with success through logarithms. There wore three applici 
class besides myself ; two of whom were admitted ; the other w 
for the third time. 

" An unlucky circumstance has oecasioneii i 
Charges greatly derogatory to the character of Mr. — 
nioated to me here, of which I immediately apprised S . What I 

■ wrote, Mr. has by some means learned ; and he wrote me, re- 
questing the author of that report. I immediately and unhesitatingly 




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COLLEGE LIFE. 57 

complied ; as I was bound by no ties of honoui' not to (livulge its author. 
I should regret to See my name introdnced under sndi ciroumstaiices. 
Mr. G- — knows the whole affair. 

All the Pedee stndentB loot tome to give her a dignified seat in College. 
While Buoh hopes are indulged of me, how oun I be Ihi in myesertiona? 

" College duties not having oommenoed until to-day, I bave attended 
■o»ly two lectures. Professor Henry does Uononr to Metaphysics and 
Moral Philoaopby, Dr. "Wallace is perhaps unequalled in Mathematios ; 
and Professor Nott is not inferior in his department. We have a splendid 
library, consisting of eight or ten thousand voliunes. Indeed, Columbia 
affords every faoility of improvement. 

"I found great difficulty in obtaining a room; and my tavern ei- 
pensea, and the cost of furnishing my room, have reduced my purse to 
a,low ebb. Seventy-flve dollars will defray all necessary expenses till 
June, when I should return. Calculating at this rate, whioh I think 
just, two hundred and fifty dollars a year will carry me through College. 
Should it be inconvenient to send me anything, there is no pressing 
need. I am not out of money, hut have not enough to settle all my 
College bills. 

" Hereafter I shall write to you every other weak, and to the General 
«fi often. Next Sunday I shall bs at leifiure to write you a decent letter. 
It is now almost ten o'clock P. M., and I must retire to bed, es I must 
rise by day-break in the moroing, and hie me to the lecture room. 

yonrs truly, J. H. THoBNWBtiii." 

This letter drew forth a i-eplj so just in ita views, and 
«o wise in its counsels, that we shall offer ho apology for 
its introduction. Indeed, all the communications of this 
noble man deserve to be incorporated in this record of his 
ward, whose character they contributed so materially to 
form, as well as for the dignity and weight of the senti- 
ments with which they abound, 

" Cbbbaw. January 9, 1830. 

" Deab Jambs : On my return from Marlborough I received your wel- 
come letter of last Monday, bringing the glad tidings of your admission 
to the standing in College which your perseyerance and good cijn- 
duot have merited ; and I lose no time in ofieriug you my cordial 
■congratulations. If your disappointment shall be attended with no 
other good, you should feel amply reoompensed in the good things it 
has called from your instructors. But let it teach you that disap- 
pointment and mortification attend you at every turn in the path of 
life ; that to be prepared for them is the part of wisdom ; and to ecdnre 
them with manly fortitude, is the way to overcome them. And let it 
teach you, too, that, when so encountered, they never fail to bring pro- 
iportionate good in their train. I cannot permit myself to doubt but 



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58 LIFE OF JAMES HENLEY TMOKNWELL. 

yoTir fatura exertioiiB will be commeuauvate with the eipeotationia of 
your friends. Yoor aasidnitj in the cause of leacning gives me aasuranoe 
that every advantage you now eujoy will be eagerly, and of course suo- 
oeasfully, improved. Bnt let me eantion yon not to suffer your am- 
bition to be bounded by the narrow circle of College honours. To have 
aoh 1 11 th t th officers of College can bestow, is distinction dearly 
b gilt f th p rsait, you have.lost one ioti of tbat purity of chir- 

te 1 ^1 as of purpose with which you oomnieDoe it ; if you 
sh 11 uffl ous superiority to render you unconrteous to an 

mf n 1 Ig lie envious reflection at the superiority of a rival. 

Th ii 1 1 f tal exertion is wide enough for aU who enter it ; there 
IB no need of jostling for a place there. The rewards it holds ont are 
liberal and noble. In their aoMeyemeiit by othera we should see the 
glory of the strnggle ; and if fairly and honourably won, the head that 
wears will not disgrace them. To foster these sentiments^to think, 
to feel, and act, in accordance with them— is to gain a conquest more 
important and more valuable than ail the little distinctions which men 
can confer upon us. Don't think that I mate these remarks beeanse 
I think you mora liable to err in this way than other jonng men. 1 
know yon are not more so ; I hope not so much so. I give them that 
you may fli them as a pole-star in your maroh through life, and aqnare 
all your conduct by them. 

" I was very sorry to h ir h u h aid have been implicated in an 
affair like that you m n T did right in surrendering the 

author; but 8 did g a » ng n suffering the affair to escape 

him. But did you n firs all, in communicating .the affair at 

all ? 'Tis beat to leav h anders to the peculiar keeping of 

tliose who have no oth bu mes amusement but to search for and 
propagate them. Th a n by the notice of a wise man. We 
should regard them in so g n mpt ; and deem ourselves some- 

what tainted in suffering think on them, much more so to- 

speak of them ; but to lo h m the more imprudent, indiscreet. 

I have heard it pubholy said in the streets here, that yim had written 
iiiis story from Oolnmbia. I was sorry to hear it; but as yon had 
written it, you could hare done no less thau what you did. But, for the 
future, I hope you will /ee! that to decant on such subjects is to dabble 
in muddy water. You have nobler objects to achieve in life than the 
investigation of petty tales, be they tme or false. • * * 

" Enclosed I send you twenty-five dollars ; in my next letter I will send 
more. I don't hke to increase the bulk of letters ; and you say you are 
not out. Your calculation is too small, I think. Recollect what we have 
told you, and write as often as you can, eonsistentiy with other duties ; 
and write fully of your views, and successes too. — Your friend, 

W, H. KOBBDJS." 

This hitch at liife entrance into college ■would not have 
prejudiced his echolarehip in the estimation of his fellow- 



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GOIJ-MGli LIFE. 59 

8tadent8, who looked upon it very much as a question of 
luck. Probably it would not have been noticed at all, but 
for the extraordinary accounts which had been poured 
into their ears, and the confident predictions which had 
been uttered on his behalf. It had been announced by those 
who knew his earlier history, that " a little, pale hoy would 
come on soon, and hear off the honours of his class." The 
mortification of these admirers at his rejection was, if 
possible, greater tlianliis own; for they were obliged to 
bear the penalty in the laughter which this apparent 
iailure of their champion brought upon their heads. It 
wt« not, however, of long duration. We quote again 
from the same witness who has famished the preceding 
description of his pereon: "The class which he entered 
was a remarkably ambitious one, and contained among 
the forty-three young men who composed it many aspirants 
for the highest honom-s of the college ; but such was the 
intellectual power displayed by Thornwell, that he had 
not made more than half a dozen recitations before it was 
conceded on all hands that the first honour must be his 
beyond all question. This mental pro-eminence was ap- 
parent, not only in the class-room, but in debates in the 
College Society to which he belonged, in social intercourse, 
and, indeed, wherever there was mental contact with otliers. 
There was about his mind, however, nothing of the erratic 
or impulsive character attributed to genius. His powerful 
intellect worked with the steadiness of machinery ; and 
its superiority was displayed in the higher reach and wider 
grasp of thought, with which it advanced, without check, 
to the attainment of its end, scarcely pausing at obstacles 
which would have halted others." 

In the faculty of the South Carolina College, as at 
that time constituted, there were at least four gentlemen 
who could not fail to impress themselves upon such a 
mind as here described. 

Professor James Wallace had a rare genius for the 
Mathematical chair, which he filled; and always im- 



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€0 LIFE or JAMaS HENLEI THORSWJGLL, 

pressed his pupils with a conviction of the importance 
and value of his favom-ite atadies, as well as the vast 
treasures of knowledge which remained for them to ex- 
plore. It is to be regretted that Ms unusual attainments 
should be represented only in one work, " On the Globes," 
which, with a few fragmentary disquisitions, is all that 
lie has left behind him. 

Profeasoi- Henry Junius No'rr, to -whom was assigned 
the department of English Literature, was, beyond dis- 
pute, one of the finest Belles Lettres scholars the State 
has ever produced, worthy to be the friend and peer of 
the gifted Legare. "With a mind enriched by study, and 
■enlarged by foreign travel ; with a memory capable of 
reproducing all that he had ever observed or read ; with 
"a ricli humour and a ready wit, which few could turn 
to better account;" with a style tliat is "presented as a 
model of easy elegance, and of simple, classic beauty ;" 
it was impossible to escape the fascination which the bril- 
Kant lecturer threw around the beautiful studies in his 
department. The chivalry of his character was mourn- 
fully illustrated in his death, upon the wreck of the ill- 
fated steamer "Home," in 1 837, preferring to sink in 
the waters of the Atlantic, by the side of a wife whom 
he was too generous to abandon. 

Dr. Thomas Ooopek, tlie President, was, however, at 
this time, the Coryphceus of the institution. His varied 
erudition, his trenchant style, hie enthusiasm in whatever 
he espoused, the boldness and courage with whicli he 
maintained opinions at variance witli the popular senti- 
ment, even the restlessness of spirit which had made him 
an agitator through the whole of an eventful career, 
were qualities exceedingly captivating to the youtli under 
his charge. He possessed just the cleveriiess and the 
courage, the d^h and the dogmatism, wliicli seem to 
the inexperienced the elements of the heroic, and whose 
knowledge was not sufficient to estimate the shallowness 
of his philosophy, and even of his learning. That young 



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COLLEGE LIFE. 61 

Thornwell fell at first under the chann of his influence, 
appears from an incidental reference in one of Mr. Eob- 
bins's letters, where he spealis of Dr. Cooper aa "yonr 
idol." It is equally certain that this spell was at length 
broken. It could not be otherwise. The antagonism he- 
tween the two was complete in the structure of their minds, 
andin the direction of their favourite studies. The historian 
of the college records of the President, that " his genius was 
eminently practical — utilitarian. He looked upon man 
very much as an animal, and believed that the framework 
of society was designed to provide for his physical wants 
and necessities. As in man he saw nothing but the animal, 
so in the ohjects of nature he saw nothing hut external na- 
ture. Of man in his higher nature, as a being of immortal 
powers, witi aspirations reaching into a never ending 
futurity, he had no just conception." !From such gross 
materialism, a mind of such a structure as that of young 
Thornwell was compelled to diverge, as soon as it should 
address itself to the solution of these queetions at all; 
and he who was ravished with the charms of philosophy 
could have no permanent sympathy with one who "held 
metapliysical and ethical investigations in perfect con- 
tempt." Of his fierce opposition to revealed religion we 
shall have a better occasion to speak hereafter. 

But the foremost of them all, in the breadth and perma- 
nence of his influence over our friend, was Dr. Eoberi 
Henry, who filled, with singular ability, the chair of Phil- 
osophy. He was a profound scholar, critically acquaiiited 
with the ancient classics, and perfectly familiar with th'i Ger- 
man, Dutch, Spanish, and French languages. In the studies 
of his peculiar department he was not less accomplished, 
having " explored the entire circle of knowledge and specu- 
lation, and made the rich fruit of the master minds who had. 
laboured in this field his own." Dr. Thornwell, in later 
years, always acknowledged his great -indebtedness to the 
classical taste and attainments of Dr. Henry, by whom he 
was both stimulated and directed in the acquisition of 



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LIFE OF JAMBS 



classic and of philosophic lore. After his death, the 
pupil paid a beautiful tribute to the memory of his pre- 
ceptor, in the pages of the Southern Quarterly Beview. 
Snch were the men, under the hifluence of whose genius 
he found himself placed, upon his enti'ance into College. 
The possession of these advantages stimulated his zea,l 
to the last degree. Coapling the assiduity of the Ger- 
man with the fervour of the American, he devoted four- 
teen hours a day to severe study. Either his good sense 
pierced the fallacy which supposes that genius can win 
permanent success without learning as the material upon 
which, or the instrument by which, it must work; or else 
he was led blindly on by an avaricious love of knowledge, 
rendering the toil with which it is gathered itself a delight ; 
but certain it is, he turned away with the severity of an 
anchorite from the blandishments of society; and, like 
an athlete of old, with continuous and cruel rigor trained 
eveiy muscle and every limb for the Olympic race and 
the Olympic prize before him in life. During his College 
cai-eer, he omitted no opportunity of discipline, neg- 
lected no part of the prescribed curriculum, wasted no 
hour in dissipation or indolence ; but with elaborate cai-e 
prepared himself for every exercise. In the Literary 
Society of which he was a member, tlio same assidruty 
availed itself of every privilege. Despising the baldness 
of mere extemporaneous harangues, he armed himself for 
the conflict of debate. This example, with its attendant 
and grand results, stands up in scorching rebuke of the 
egotism and folly which would exalt the triumphs of 
genius by disparaging the discipHne through which its 
energies are directed. 

His investigations were pushed beyond the text books 
of the class room. They were almost eucyclopsedic in 
their range. He used the library as no student before 
him had ever done' aud knocked tlie dust from ancient 
tomes never disturbed but by the brush of the librarian. 
He studied subjects as subjects, especially in the depart- 



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COLLEGE LIFE. 63 

ments to which he had a natui'al prochvity; and never 
paused till he had sounded to the bottom. Evidence of 
this is furnislied in tlie correspondence of this period, and 
8till more in the facts of his religions history, yet to he 
disclosed. As an illnstration of the Herculean labours he 
would undergo to accomplieh some important end, the 
following achievement may be related; which falls, par- 
tially at least, within this period : Being asked by one of 
his Divinity students what was the best method of im- 
proving one's style, he replied : " Language was my great 
difficulty in early life. I had no natural command of 
words. I undertooli to remedy the defect by committing 
to memory large portions of the Kew Testament, the 
Psalms, and much of the Prophets; also whole dramas of 
Shakspeare, and a great part of Milton's 'Paradise 
Lost'; so that you might start me at any line in any 
drama or book, and I would go through to the end. I 
regard' the above named as exhausting the powers of the 
English language; and he who masters them, knows his 
native tongue. It is also the best method of training the 
memory," In confirmation of this, the writer has fre- 
quently heard him, when in a recitative mood, repeat 
whole pages of Milton without the slightest hesitation j 
sometimes an entire ode of Horace, or long extracts from 
Virgil; to say nothing of brilhant passages from Robert 
Hall and Edmund Burke: all the fruits of this early 
memorizing. One of his first associates testifies that, 
before going to College, he could recite entire pages of 
Dugald Stewart; showing this discipline to Iiave been 
begun at an early date. This explains, too, what always 
seemed so wonderful to the writer : that Dr. Thornwell 
was ahle, in conversation, to repeat long passages from 
such rugged writers as Jonathan Edwards and John 
Owen, without the' necessity of recurring to the works 
themselves for authority. His mind had acquired, through 
tlie severe training of his youth, a facility in taking up 
and retaining the words as well as the thouglits of an 



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64 LIFE OS JAMES HENLEY THOBNWELL. 

author whom he attentively read, Notwithstanding his 
constant depreciation of his own memory, it always ap- 
peared to us the most marvellous in its power of retention 
and reproduction that we ever met. 

As the readei' may sm-mise, such diligence in study did 
not comport with free companionship. He was not, in- 
deed, averse from it; for he was constitutionally genial 
and sympathetic; and whenever he chose to indulge in its 
relaxation, his manner was cheei-ful, and even buoyant. 
Among his young associates he indulged freely in playful 
raillery and sarcasm; in which there was not a trace of 
bitterness, for he was incapable of malignity. But satire 
is a dangerous weapon with which to sport; and to one 
■who possesses the fatal gift, the temptation to its indis- 
creet use is often too strong to he resisted. In later 
years, Dr. ThornweU was accustomed to acknowledge 
that nothing had given him greater trouble than this 
propensity to sarcasm. It gleams forth occasionally 
through all the passages of his history; and if he had 
chosen to indulge it, few could have excelled him in the 
power of invective. How sweetly it was controlled, and 
finally, by a mellow piety, subdued, can be appreciated 
only by those who knew the gentleness of his last years, 
when ripening for his translation. But at the period of 
which we are now treating, there was little to check the 
indulgence of a talent whieh, however unamiable, is 
always an instrument of commanding power. It was 
especially in debate that this fearful talent was displayed. 
In the language of one of his elass-mates, " His words 
bnrned hke fire ; his sarcasm was absolutely withering." 
From tliis cause, in part, he was not what is called a 
popular student in College. "He was admired for his 
transcendent abilities, but not loved." This was, how- 
ever, still more due to his habits of seclusion. He had 
something more important to achieve than to court either 
the society or the favour of those about him. Indeed,, 
throughout life, he was a man rather to be sought, than 



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COLLEGE LLFE, 65 

to be himself a seeker. What he was in later life, he was 
to some extent in College; and hence he never conx- 
maiided that shallow popularity which is acquired only 
by rubbing one's self good naturedly against every man's 
shoulder. 

The polemic character of lua mind fitted him to shine 
in the debating society, which always foiins a feature of 
College discipline. He revelled in the gladiatorial com- 
bats that took place. Saye one of his class-mates : " He 
took the most prominent pai-t in the Literai-y Society of 
which he was a member, and received all the honours in 
its gift. His eloquence was unequalled, and his argu- 
mentative powers tlje most amazing. He could detect 
and expose a fallacy with more dispatch and completeness 
than I ever witnessed in any other man. The honoraiy 
members of the Society, living in Columbia and vicinity,, 
■would attend these discussions in large numbers, to hear 
this wonderfid. man pour forth torrents of eloquence, and 
deal, right and left, death-blows to sophistry." Another, 
in the cl^s below him, thus writes : " On the night I 
joined the Society,- Thorn-well rose to malte a speech. 
When he stood up, he was not a great deal higher than 
tlie tables. He stepped into the passage between them ; 
and I remember distinctly my reflection, ' Well, you can- 
not say much till you will have to sit down.' But, to 
my surprise, without any trepidation or diffidence, he 
spoke, for twenty or thirty minutes, in a strain of elo- 
quence, and with a flow of language, ftdl of thought. His 
peculiai' gesture was with both arms opened, and raised 
above his head. He was a ready speaker, and the best 
debater in the Society. He would sometimes indulge in 
sarcasm, and was severe in retort," We are careful to 
quote exactly from these memoranda of eye and ear wit- 
nesses, to escape the suspicion of writing a eulogy under 
the disguise of history. The criticism will be disarmed 
by remembering that, in a moat important sense, the 
orator, as well as the poet, is born,, not made. Onltnre 
may be necessary to train the peculiar faculties of both ; 



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66 LIFE OF JAMES HEKLEY TIIOKNWELL. 

but the original creative power, which is their common 
characteristic, is the immediate gift of God. Gei-main to 
this is the following letter, addressed to his patron. Gen- 
eral Gillespie : 

" CoLfMEiA, jarmary 24, 1830. 
"Deab Sib ; There is scarcely anytMug going on here which is worth 
cononiimcating. A stort account of the Society may not be uninter- 
eeting. The two last meatiiigs were tliB best we have had siace I be- 
came a member. I made my first attempt, oonoerning ' The juslace of 
pmiishing the Irish rebels of 1797 ;' and I jnstifi-ed that measure of the 
English cabinet with aU the arguments that 1 could muster. Last night 
I made a seooud effort, ou the question, ' Whether it ia probable that 
the nations of Europe will advaaee furthai in i-efinement than they havs 
done.' I contended that they would not. My argmnent was this; 1 
first proved, by induotion, that it was a law of nature that eyerythiug, 
after having reached a certain point of elevation, must decline. I neit 
showed the method by which we could determine when anythiag had 
reached that point ; and then made application to the question. The 
election for monthly orator came o£E last night, and I was glad to find 
that I was elected by an almost unanimous vote. There is one diffloulty 
attending the delivery of this oration. The constitution requires that 
it should be delivered ia a gown. Now, the Society's gown is large 
enough for a man of six feet, and I would be a ridieuloua figure in it, 
Some method must be contrived to obviate this difficulty 

"I lira now reading Swift's Works and Hume's Essays. I have finished 
By. Swift's ' Tale of a Tub' ia a masterly specimen of sarcastic 
, will distort the gravest muscles. Hume's Essays, which are a 
m of his treatise on Human Nature, I read immediately after 
Berkeley ■■, because I wish to follow out the train of reasoning by which 
matter and spilit are proved to be nonentities. And it is ingenious 
enough, although it depends entirely on a hypotheaia. which philos- 
ophers have assumed without the slightest evidence, viz , that the mind 
■ does not perceive anything but its own ideas. From this assumption 
the moat absured consequences have been rigorously deduced Mattei 
and spirit are shown to be deluaions. Nothing, says Hume exists but 
Ideas and inipreasiona. There is no mind on which they jaay be jm 
pressed. It is remarkable that men of such sagacity and penetrati m 
aa Berkeley and Hume should have taken for granted a prinuple from 
which Huch jidioulouS consequences flowed. The absurdity of the con- 
clusion should have led them to suspect their premises. Indeed, Uerke 
ley Tmdertakes to prove that his whimsical notion, concerning the non 
esiatence of matter, coincides with the general sentiments of mankind : 
and that the belief of the esiatence of matter was the oddest of the two 
Hume, however, has the frankness to confess that his opinions contra- 
dict the common sense of men. It is amusing to observe into what a 
labyrinth of perpleiitiea men may involve fhemseivea. 
Yours, affectionately , 

.J, H. Tuoehwi.:li,." 



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CHAPTER YI. 

COLLEGE LIFE CONTINUED. 

OOBBESPONEENOE WITH HlS PlTBONS. — AdMIKABLT: JjBTTEHB OP Mk, 
EOBBINB IN KePLI. — GoBSOlBNTIOUSNESS IN THE USE OF MoBEY. — 
OeNBTJBED rOE PiRSIMONK BY Me. E0BBiN3.— HIS DEFENCE.— HiS 

MoBil. CHlBiCTEE IN CoLLEOE. TESTIMOKIEa OP HIS CLASS-MiTES. — 

— EliMTLH or INTEOBITY.— GBiDUillON 



IK tl i 11 wiug correspondence the letters explain 
tl n 1 s f om the eloae relation in which tliey 
stanl 

"Deab James; Enclosed is eighty dollatB, wMcli I wish yon to ac- 
knowledge tlie receipt of immediately. Our Court of Equity sits on 
Monday, and I am.- too mneli occupied to write more at present. Use 
no delicacy, James, in asking (or money. If this shall not be enough 
for you, temembor there ia more where it oame from. 

Your friend ever, W. H. Bobbibh," 

"CoLmtBii, February 12, 1830. 

"Ms Deab Sib: I have just received your letter covering eighty 
dollars, for wMc]i joa baie my wannest gratitnde. The alacrity and 
oheerfnlcBHS with whioli yon grant my reciuests render it extremely nn- 
plesaant for me to ask anything from you. And it is more unpleasant, 
since the only recompense which I am capable of rendering you is to be 
seTDkeable to wtyaelf. Common gratitude, did no other motive enter, would 
require me to prove not unwortiiy of the conSdence which you have re- 
posed in mo. Dignified deportment and close application, combined 
with a proper selection of associates, are the least things you can require. 
Indeed, bo fai as regards associates, I am perhaps too fastidiona. There 
are seven in one hundred and twenty with whom I sometimes assooiate ; 
but only orie who is in any wise an intimate. ♦ * * 

" The last number of &iB Southern Review is, in my opinion, a failure. 
The review of Stoatt'a Hebrew Grammar is written by Mr. Mioballo- 
witz, the Professor of Oriental Langnages in this College. If that work 
is intended to be read, it should surely lay aside its pompons parade of 
learning. This number, or at least the article on tiie Hebrew Grammar, 
and that on Higgins's Celtic Braids, are fit for nothing bnfc show. A few 
6T 



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68 LIFE OF JAMKS HTDNl 

pvivileged otiu'aoteva may be let into their mjstei'iea ; bnt of what beiie- 
fit are Uley to the mauB of the people? 

" Tlie leviaw of Hoffmfai's Legal Oiiliiiies, in the lash number of tlie 
Ncrrfll Atrtei'lc'iin,, is oalculatecl to add to the merited celebrity which 
that journal has obtained. I (hint it aaperioc to ibe article which ap- 
peared in the Bouthern. By this journal it was termed a misnomer ; 
Ihe North AmeHean has shown it to he ofhenrise. The article in the 
Souifterm Benieio, headed 'LoniBOonrier,' is written by Professor Nott. 
I have not read it yet. 

"A letter, giTing me a fall aooouct of thingH at home, ifonld be lilie 
oold water to a thirsty soul ; for I am homesict. It is some consolation 
that I shall see yon in May. Yours affectionately, 

J, H. Tso'sswELt.." 
" Colombia, March 5, 1880. 
"My DEiB Patbom; The metaphysical distinolion drawn, by Lord 
Shaftesbury between what is good and what is virtuous, Beems unneoes- 
aary. The former, according to him, implies whatsosTer promotes tlie 
interests of the general system ; the latter, an affection for what pro- 
motes that interest. Virtue, therefoi'e, is a quality of tlie agent ; good, 
of the action. A notion of good m.uBt be obtained before we can be- 
come TJrtaous. Fox how can we have an affection for what we do not 
comprehend? Nothing, says this author, can be denominated eiflier 
good or ill, unless it promotes or counteracts the. interest of the system 
of which it is a pact. No animal can be called ill unless it is hurtful 
to the animal system. No man can be called iU, unless he is hurtful 
to the htiman speeia*. Bui what sagacity can trace the result of hmnan. 
actions ? Few men inquire whether their actions promote the weal of 
Booiety or not, and yet know whether they are good or bad. How is 
thia? Natm.'e has given them a sense of right artd wrong. "Whatever 
pleases this intellectual sense is right ; the contrary, wrong. It is the 
character of good actions, however, to promote the interest of the gene- 
ral system. 

" This is a summary of Lord Shaftesbury's sentiments, aa far as I have 
read. To find his ineaning-.in a mountain of useless verbosity is no 
qrdinary task. I chain myself down to it, however. To give yon soma 
inaight into his style, if style it may be called, he espresses in twenty 
lines no otiier sentim^t than this : ' That a man, by vice, does himself 
as much hann aa if ha were to wound himself.'. Gtnasa from this of hia 
verbosity. Still bis periods are very harmonious. They are delightful 
to the ear, but rough to the understanding. His style has the good 
effect of concentrating the attention. He never espresses clearly and 
distinctly; but he envelopes everything in a cloud of words. Self- 
examination is a clear idea of itself; but Lord 8. mates it a mys- 
tery. It is to be ft Belf-dia!ogist ; to form the dual number with one's 
self i to enter into self-partnership ; to divide one's self into two par- 
ties ; and all such nonsense as thia. But let us leave this worthy deist, 
Yours, gratefully and affectionately, 3- H. Tq( 



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COLLEaE l.WE. f)9 

" Chehaw, AjirS 10, 1S30. 
"DHABJiMES: Yoa judged Tiglitly ; it bns been the presiiire of pro- 
fessional busineas that preTented my wilting yovi before ; «nd I tntst 
you will axcuKe me, tnowing tis you do, tbat it is but TBielj, and tVea. 
only wiHi a good raason, that I Euffer oien the impiitjent obUb of pro- 
fessional basinees to inteiiupt my perfoi-manee of the dtitiea of Mend-, 
ship. I know you will nut aoeuao me of negliict or inilitFerence to yonr 
interest 

" So yon think that if you pay ' some attention ' to a book, in the read- 
ing, you will find little to do in the re-view! This axpreesion of yours 
amuued me not a little ; and, to Bay the least, it furuished no evidence 
of your Belf^distnist. Bat I suppose yoa (hink it tha privilege of great 
minds to posseas, and sometimes to exhibit, a oousnioasnesa of supeiior 
power. It is bo -, and it is probably the surest test of a superior judg- 
ment, to deteimine wisely the subject and oooasion when to put it forth. 
To be oohlident in our opinions and SBsertions in trivial matters, or too 
often so in any matters ; or even rarely, when the occasion does not re- 
quire and justify it, is neither more nor leas than downright dogniatiain. 
And besides, it is iinpoiitio in another view ; 'by being habitually posi- 
tive, we multiply the ohanoes of being someiimes in error ; and the 
most fortunate man cannot promisa himself that he will never be de- 
tected ; and whenever caught tripping in this way, in a matter of opin- 
ion, distrust in his judgment — in a matter of fact, doubt in his vera- 
city, is sure to follow. Hor will the conseqaenoes be restricted in its 
operations to the narrow oirole of those who were personal witnesses of 
the cause ; good report travels at snail's pace, whilst detraction outrides 
the wind. Suoh a practice, too, begafa suspicion in the minds of intelli- 
gent men, that what we lack in reason, we seek to make up in aesu- 
lanoe ; and this inference is generally a just one. 

' ' But on the contrary, a truly great mind, flinging aside all fuiventitions 
props, rising buoyant of its own native energies, and poising itself 
proudly on the conseiousnees of its own moral power, is, at the same 
time, the rarest and most magnificent spectacle in the moral universe. 
It impresses us with admiration, with wonder and feai. It is a noble 
daiing, which fills us with solemn awe, the highest effort of moral cour- 
age ; because it is done under the deepest sense of personal responsi- 
bility ; because it is done at the hazard of everything which suoh a man 
holds valuable in life : present mortificaldon, influence, and prida of char- 
acter. And when we analyze this sentiment, we iind that it derives all 
ita anblimtty from its rare eieroise by such a mind, the importance of 
l^e oooasion , and the noble reason which prompts and sustains it ; take 
away either, and, instead of sublimity, we shall have a precious speei- 
men of the ridiculous ; deprive it of all, and you.leave us the antj^o- 
nist character, in which vanity, rant, and dogmatism are the essential 



" Now, I would not have you think that these reflections have a pe 
Bonal bearing; They have not, nor were (hay so intended. They ai 



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70 LIFE OF JAMES HENLEY THOKNWELL. 

general remaits, which have suggested themBelveB to my mind ; and I 
have thrown them ont as food for your reflection, and for snimadTersion 
and correction, if yon are so inclined, in a future letter. I should pre- 
fer Bome original speculaUons of your own, to the general remarks on 
authors which yon introdnce into your lettera : and let them be snit- 
ably intersperBed with any incident of peraonal interest which may 
transpire. I mention this, not in the tone of censure ; hut that yon. 
may know that incidenta of a personal interest to you will always hate 
an interest for me. I never thought you extravagant, but suspect that 
you deny yourself too mnoh. Have enclosed twenty dollars. 

W. S. EOBBINS. . 

"CoLrMBii, April 14, 1830. 

" My Dbab PiTBON ; I reeeiTed yesterday your letter oovering twenty 
dollEirs ; which, although not adequate to my present exigencies, was, I 
assure you, a very acceptable boon. Thirty doUara raore would bo 
amply adequate to pay demands until June, when I should need Uie 
same amount again. 

"lam 'strangely oblivious,' as the Dominie would say, if I did not 
give you or General Gillespie an account of the late escitement in 
College." 

(Here follows a long recital of a riot, with tlie details - 
of which the reader would not be interested. We pass, 
tlierefore, to the closing paragraph of this letter.) 

"The sentenoe in my letter which gave rise to the philosophical re- 
flection in youia, was intended as a modest way of fcelliog yon (hat I 
stiidml my lessons the first time, and therefore found little new fh the 
review. 1 did not mean to say that, whilst othei's were compelled to 
labour and toil over their lessons, I could learn them with barely ' some 
attention.' This was not my idea. If I have not the self-distrust, I 
have the discretion, at least, to restrain such bursts of vanity. Tfour 
remaris, however, could not have been personal ; for you woold have 
been disgusted, and not 'amused.' 

Yours gratefully and affectionately, 

J, H. Thobnwell." 

"CoLUTHBiA, Maj/ 1, 1830. 
" Mt Deab Paihon ! Tout letter coTering thirty dollars has been re- 
ceived, which filled me with emotions of the liveliest character. Indeed, 
how could it have been otherwise, unless I bad been made of stone, 
Yonr closing sentence in. particular aroused the teuderest sentiments of 
my heart ; and, my dear sir, as long as I have a heart, as long as I am 
myself, the warmest feehngs of my nature shall ever be indulged to- 
wards you. I entertain a deep, and I hope a noble, sentiment towards 
the kindest benefactors that ever relieved the wants of suffering human- 



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.;. Tl 

ity. When I conmdec my former situation, th* IgDoranoe and poveiiy 
that seemed my inevitable doom, and oontrast it with my present state, 
my boBom glows with the most ardent gratitude and affection towards 
tiioB6 generons souls who stretched out Hie haad of relief, and still hold 
it out. When old age shall have oome upon you, with its attendant mis- 
eries, should all othersdesert you, I will still cling tie oloeer to yon, and 
deem it my greatest satisfaction to look the oi'adle of your declining 
years, and to smooth your bed of death. The evening of your life shall 
not disappear in clouds, but sliaU pass off as calmly and as tranquilly as 
a samtner's day ; and when the grave shall have olosed upon you, I wUi 
pay llie tribute of afteotion lo your memory. These are the feelings of 
my bosom. Accept them, I pray you, as all tliat I can now return for 
your kindness to me ; bnt remember the day is not far distant, perhaps, 
when you wUl find some satisfaction in 

J. H. THOENWEnL." 

The three letters which follow are such as are seldom 
foiuid in a College correspondence. The instances are I'are 
in which, on the one hand, a parent or guai-dian has need 
to urge the cliUd or ward to spend more freely the money 
which is mnniiicently supplied; whilst the pupil, on the 
other hand, finds hiauBeU driven to philosophy to justify 
his parsimony. It is eqnally honourable to both the par- 
ties. It is the more remarkable, since Dr. Thornwell was 
naturally extravagant in aU his, tastes; and his expendi- 
tures were bounded only by his means. The disclosure in 
these letters fully justifies the testimony of Mr. Robbins, 
given in later years,, when his wai'd had won his own in- 
dependent position in the world: "James is lavish with 
his own meansj but careful and honest with that of an- 
other." Bvit to the letters: 

" Ceehaw, N'oDember 10, 1830. 

' ' DsiK Jambs : I received last eveaing your listtm of the fourth cur- 
rent ; also that of last month, enclosing Dr. Green's receipt for the 
money, * * « 1 like and approve a wise eoonora.y ; hut carried too 
far, as I fear you have done, it ceases to be a virtue ; and neither the 
Generals nor myself desire it, nor can we approve. We wish you to be 
liberal, not profase, in your expenditure ; and anything short of this 
we canuot sanotioo. Xour impatiancn to be earning for yourself is 
premature. This will do nell by and by Let all your present aims 
be directed to the laying a sohd foundation The superstiuctare must 
await this; and without it, future exertion wdl be imavMihng. Not 
only endeavour to supply jour mmd -nith kno^A ledge, but cultivate a 



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I -A LIFE OF JAMES HENLEY THOKNWELL. 

cool aud diBpafisionate jndgmeat ia all things, whether appertaimng to 
j'oar ooaduot now, or to your opinions. It ia by tliis, rest assured, tlmt 
all bniiuui things are to be weighed ; and to this, as a test, must and 
■will all be snbmitted in the realities of life. Enthusiasm, whioh uo- 
tiu'allj' reoommends itself to youth, is regarded in its proper light by 
dge and Biperience. It is a pleaaant attendant to solid sense and cor- 
rect Tiews; butwithont them, 'tis unsure to stand upon. In all yoTir 
reflections, wiere conduct is the aim, regard human nature as it is, not 
as it should be. Man. baa sought out many InTentiona, says the gooil 
Book; and if we would inflaenoe man, or goyein him, we must not 
only know, but reckon on, these inyontions. The seaman, who would 
determine by course and distance only, will find himself at fault when 
he makes land ; the winds and currents must enter into bis estimate, too, 
if he would fis his b-ue place. When yon have gotten your education, 
the qnalitj of which depends more on youself thap on your instruotors, 
tliere will be ample time to devise and pursue the business of life. Be- 
fore then, we wish you to employ all your thoughts on the cultivatiou 
of mind. Let them not be bounded by the narrow horizon of College 
and its honours ; these are trivial afEaii*, and not worth a thought, iE 
comparison with that general knowledge aud epltivation of judgment \ 
that broad and comprehensive view of men, subjects, and things, which 
alone go to constitute the oharacfer of a great mind. 'Tia a good rule, 
never to hazard an opinion on a subject unti! it is wholly before you : 
for, by beiug frequently defeoted in error, men lose confidence in our 
ability and judgment ; wliile, on the other hand, to be positive seldom, 
and always to be found right, fixes a character which will ensure, be- 
cause it will roei-it, the confidence of others. These are a few hasty hints 
for your consideration. You said you would send a copy of my last 
summer's letters. Do so in your nest. 

W. H. Bobbins." 

" CoiiUMBii, NoneTThlier 13, 1830. 
"Mt Deab PiTROH; " I have just received your letter, which afEocds a 
striking illustration of the power of the associating principle. The train 
of thought which su^ested jour philosophical I'eflections can be easily 
traced out. You are particularly anxious to guard me against a dogmatical 
spirit. In other words, you think that I had passed an opinion on your 
letter, which I had positively asserted to be true, but which tnrns out to be 
false. Taking this for granted, you are desirous of preventing me from 
committjng future errors of the same kmd. Your reflections are just, 
and are calculated to be serviceable. It is not to their tendency, or the 
spirit which dictated them, that I object. These are noble, and receive 
my hearty thanks. But the assumption on which they rest, I cannot 
grants That you may judge for Jourself, however, I copy your letter : 
' I have time only io enclose you thirty dollara, and to exhort you to 
make good use of it. You had better go with others, and deny yourself 



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COT.LKGE LIFE. 73 

HO indnlgence' wMoh does not exceed the limits of a gentlemanly deoo- 
ram.' It is dated 24ai April, ISBO. Does this differ fiom what I stated 
to be its import ? Can I, bj any means, gather the meaniag of tlie 
. pbrase, ' Tou had better go with, others ?' It oaimot allude to the rebel- 
lion, lor that took place early in March. Yvui refleotioas shall guide 
rne in other oases, although liey do not apply to this. In speaMng of 
f ragaUty or economy, may 1 presume to suggest diat you had overlooked 
a njaterial circumstanoe ? What is economy in one man is paininiony 
in another ; and nice ■Bffrsa. It depends on the oiicumstances of men. 
A man in my oironmstanoes cannot be well charged with meanness or 
stinginess ; bnt a rich man can, "We ninst acotmiulBia before we can 
spend, and not spend before we accnmulate. If these remai'ks are 
wrong, you will please correct me; if right, jou can confirm them by 
your EBnction. I shall endeavour to profit by your remarks on the true 
objects of a Coile^ate education They are confirmed hy eiery writer 
on that subjeit and deserve the attention ot all men who are ansious 
to imprjie their minds 

'.' The esamination will take place in about three week'i and then I 
hope to 1 e a Senioj Will you I e here then If y ju come, do not 
forget to biTDg m^ Ficnch tinmmar I stand gieaOy m need of it. 
In January I connnence German. I am veiy anxiuua fo understand 
that language It it. a common aoqnihitioa at the Nuith I am read- 
ing ClcMO Je Legibus m the oi%inal and find little difB nlty; also 
Btewai-ts PhiloB phy Satuda"^sl amusa myself withhistory. 
"ioiirs, gratefully and affectionately, 

J. H. TnOBNWELL." 

' Chebaw, Na<oem1>sr 30, 1830. 
" Dejik James : 1 have received your last letter ; and as I have sur- 
mised, you fell into error in tiie eonstiuotion you gave my old letter, 
by taking too narrow a view of it. I admit that the words ' go with 
withers,' unqualified by any other expression, do bear the construction 
which you gave' them. But how it was possible, taking the whole sen- 
tence together, for you to have fallen into the error you did, I cannot 
imagine. After saying that I enclosed money, and exhorting you to 
make a good use of it, I remarked further, that ' Yon had better go with 
others, and deny yourself no indulgence,' etc. Now, it seems to me 
tliat the latterclause confines and explains the pi'eoediug, that it would 
be impossible to misinterpret it. The meaning was ; if you were so- 
licited to go to a supper, regard not the cost, but go ; if to a ride, regard 
not the cost, but go. I meant that you must not deny yourself little indul- 
gences, though Ihey might require money ; not seclude yourself from 
jour companions and their amusements, when any demands wouJd be 
laid upon your purse ; but ' go with them. ' And I must think, on a 
Beooad view of the sentence, you will wonder how you should have so 
mai'velloasly erred. In haste, your friend, 

W. H, Bobbins." 



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74 LIFE OF JAMES BEKLEY THOENWELL. 

According to his expectatioDs, Thomwell Tose Senior 
at the opening of the next session, in January, 1831 . It is 
to be regretted that there are no remains of the correspon- 
dence, which was yet vigorously maintained, as wo learn 
from tlie only relic in our possession. The stndiea of this 
year, so much in unison with the genius and taste of our 
young friend, tlie increased maturity of his own mind, and 
the freedom of discussion so generously solicited hy his 
pati'on, woidd doubtless have enriched these pages with 
epistles of sui-passing interest. It is singular that the 
chances of time should have spared nothing npon either 
side, witli the exception of a sohtary communication from 
Mr. Kobbins. This is characterized by the same vigour 
of thought, the same justness of discrimination, the same 
moderation of tone, and the same elevation of moral 
principle, which the reader has perceived in the letters 
ali'eady given. His attachment to his ward rendered 
him, by no means, blind to the faults from which he was 
only effectively deHvered by Divine grace, at a later 
period. He perceives them with a perfectly clear eye, 
and addresses himself to their correction with a direct- 
ness and precision that could not be evaded. At the 
same time, we are filled with wonder at the skill with 
which the invidious task is accomplished; and know not 
which most to admire, the delicacy which escapee wound- 
ing the sensibilities and arousing the resistance of his 
protege ; or the wisdom which, under the form of philo- 
sophical disqaisition, insinuates his ci'iticisms into a mind 
that was ravished vrith the charms of metaphysics. No 
mind could have been better fitted to discharge the office 
of a Mentor to such a temperament as that he had under- 
taken to mould. And those who recall the prudence of 
Dr. Thomwell, in after life, in forming his opinions, and 
the caution with which he surveyed a question on every 
side, before committing himself, will perhaps trace the 
influence of these reiterated suggestions, in framing one 
of the wisest counsellors that ever sat in the courts of the 



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COLLEGE LIFE. 75 

dmrch. It is thus he deals with certain tendencies in 
his joung -ward to dogmatism and intellectual pride : 

" Ohbbiw, May 33, 1831. 
"Mr Dbab James; Tour laat Tory ample letter gave me much plea- 
sure. It went more largely into your own yiews of future employment 
than I BuppoBed you had hitherto suffered your mind to stretch itaell. 
There is opened to me auot a boundless field of remark, in fiie different 
subjects embraoed in your letter, tliat it will not be expeoted that I shall 
notice all of ihem ; indeed, I shall say anything only on one or two. I 
was glad to find that yon appreciated in their proper light, .the value of 
College distinctions ; and the reflections yon maie oH coincide with my 
own TJews ; and, my boy, if report speaks not falsely, you will bear off 
some honour in this way. I was glad to heal it ; bnt I was far more So to 
hear, from your own pen, the just estimate you attauhed to all Collegia] 
honours. Your aspirations are fiKed on higher, nobler objects ; but be 
cautious that your attachment to thMS, and to those employed in achiev- 
ing them, be not coupled with any Bentiment at contempt or detesta- 
tion for them, oooupied in. the pursuit of those of humbler sphere. All 
men are not endued with the faculties of a Newton, Baoon, Locke ; nor 
even with those of Gibbon, Paley, or Stewart, Nature never designed, 
therefore, that they should act the same parts. And the dispensation ia 
a wise one ; for if all were scholars, where is to be done the vest and 
important busine^ of the world ? Who is to hid the forest to disappear 7 
■Who to construot edifices for hnman convenience ; to till the earth for 
human sustenanoe ; to teach the child, the youth, the man? Who to 
administer cures for hnman iUs ; the laws, for hnman safety ? In short, 
what is to become of the whole machine of civil government, if we are 
all to wrap ourHelves np in ourselves, and write philosophical, moral, 
and metaphyaioa! disquisitions ? Mark me ! I do not urge these consid- 
erations for the purpose of deterring you from the pursuit of a favourite 
employment; only that they may qualify and eheok a something of 
contempt, which 1 think I disoovered in your letter, for every man not 
employed in similar studies, and not endowed by nature with extra- 
ordinary capacities. EecoUect, both taste and talent are mainly the 
gift of nature to man. He ia aooountable to the Giver only for the pro- 
per use of what he has, not for the highest possible endowments. And 
it ill becomes us, because we have been more Uherally dealt with by a. 
kind Providence, to look with scorn or contempt on those to whom less 
has been given, and of whom less wiU bo required, who perform equally 
well wilh ourselves their several ofB.oes in life, and those offices, perhaps, 
no leas important and necessary than those which fall to our lot, for the 
nse, comfort, and well-being of society. 

" But besides all this, methinks you oarry yonr notions on this sub- 
ject by far too far. An accompEahad and elegant scholar, and a pro- 
found one too, if you please, is a vjldU swan in our laud, I admit ; but 



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76 LIFE OF JAMES liKNLEY THOliJ^WELL. 

hia fame is eonfload, after all, to a Terj limited spliei'e ; and thuugli ha 
may wort out for himself a name of oelebiiiy, jet he is of little real 
practical une in life. Not that I would have you lietake joureelf to 
politics ; 'tis the carse of oar land ; but I would have you a well-read 
and sound lawyer, an elegant and able advocate. We cannot devote all 
onr time to abstract studies of pleasure. Some must be given to the 
baBiness of life ; for by this we earn our support. And in. the Law is a 
soniee, not only of gain and fame, but, to one of yonr metaphysical 
propensities, of real pleasure ; and I donbt not but you ifiB be as much 
talien with its nice diatiaotions and metaphysical subtleties as you ever 
were with Eeid, Stewart, or Brown. But the attainment of the highest 
oelebrily in this does not preclude the enjoyment of any literary pen- 
chant which the lawyer may poaseas. And more, this very philosophi- 
cal taste you may have will enable you to read law as a scienoe. Tour 
own enlarged views will prompt you to practice it as a science, not as a 
trade ; and so t« read and practice it is the infalhble road to eminence. 

"What I acid of your idolatry was aaid ifonice. Have you not yet 
learned to disticgniall between irony and taunt? And don't you know, 
too, Ihat when I reliute -ym, it is without any ill feeling, but with a 
Binoece desire for your amendm,ent ? Vitie et sognoics J 

"I leave this for the Hoith on the 17th of June. I am aniious to 

see you before I go. I am glad that you have written regularly. You 

must alao write me once a fortnight, and at length, when I am North. 

Direct.to Boston. Let me know when I shall see you. 

Yours affectiouately, 

W. H. EOBEIHS." 

On the back of this letter ia endorsed this criticism : 
"A general diffasion of science and knowledge would not 
have the effect ascribed to it in this letter, J. H. T." 

From youth to manhood, the moral character of Thorn- 
well was almost irreproachable. In his boyhood, Mr. 
Bobbins writes of him : " He was pure and chaste, I. never 
discovered any want of, or deviation from, integrity and 
truthfTdness, and never was called on to correct any lack 
of principle." The testimony of his classmates gives 
almost as clear a record, during his College life. One 
says : " I have heard it said that Thornwell was dissipated 
in College. It is a mistake. He was one of the most 
steady students among as all. He had no bad habits, 
according to the standard of College morality, I do not 
remember to have ever heard him use an oath. He never 
gambled, nor do I think he played at cards, or indulged 



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COLLEGE LIFE, 77 

in any other game for annisement, Ee but rai'ely used 
wines or ai'dent spirits. I saw him, once heated witli 
hquor, and I w^ much surprised, it being ep entirely con- 
traiy to liis habits." From another, we have the following 
amueing specifications : " Thornwell was not a professor 
of rehgion while at College ; but, so far a« I know, and I 
had opportiinities for such knowledge, from rooming neai' 
liim, he indulged in none of the vices common among 
young men at such institutions ; certainly not habitually. 
I can recall but three instances of deviation from the com'se 
of strict morahty. One was on the occ^ion of a College 
treat on the election of an Anniversary orator, when few, 
even of the abstemious, left such scenes mthout having 
' got oufeide,' as the phi'ase was, of a quantity of wine 
and cordials ; and our friend was not in the minority. 
Another was on the occui'rence of a snow storm in Co- 
himbia ; when history and tradition informed us it had 
ever been the practice to disregard all College regulations, 
suspend all College exei-cises, and take to hot puncii 
and honey. Considering the weather quite too inclement 
to permit the classes to reach the recitation ■ rooms, they 
marched ' up town' for the materials for the punch ; and 
returning, indulged in a \vild jollification, our friend acting 
a prominent part. The thhd was a noctimial visit to the 
strawberry beds in the garden of one of the citizens of the 
town, without the formality of asking leave. At that 
time, such depredations by the students were sustained by 
College public opinion, as not only not disreputable, but 
as good practical jokes, of the success of which one might 
boast. But the strawberry expedition was the only in- 
stance within my knowledge of "his ever yielding to the 
spirit of fun, in that dhection." 

The simple fact is, that, independent of the moral prin- 
ciple which he vrnquestionably possessed, his scholarly 
tastes and overweening ambition would serve to restrain 
anything short of an invincible projiensity to vice. It is 
the prerogative of a master passion to root out whatever 



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78 LIFE OF JAMES HENLEY THOBNWELL, 

contradicts its own supremacy. And the form which de- 
pravity would te most litely to assiime in such a nature 
as his, would be predominantly intellectual, tiie adoption 
of sltcptical and infidel views, whicii would trample upon 
the Immility of graee, and defy the authority of God. 
How ncai- be came to this, leads to the consideration of 
his religions histoiy at this period. 

Whatever the traditional bias of his mind upon this 
suhject, one of liis speculative tiu'u could not be brought 
in contact with opposing views, without subjecting the 
whole matter to re-examination. The form of infidelity 
whicli pervaded the College in his day has already been 
indicated, and tliia forced the subject anew upon his atten- 
tion. He was in little danger of being caught in the toils 
of materialism. Eveiy operation of mind, and every con- 
scious emotion of the heart, are an insuri'ection against 
this base usui-pation. His metapliyeical tendencies offered 
protection in tliis direction, and tlie vei-y instinct of thought 
would be to him an assertion of the spiritual in man. The 
writer ]iad from his own lips the substance of the follow- 
ing pai'agraplis. 

The c|ne8tion that first engaged luB attention involved 
tlie claim of Deism, Admitting the existence of a Su- 
premo Being, can reason alone gather, from the oracles 
of nature, witliin and without itself, a competent know- 
ledge of his cliaractor and will, to enable man to meet the 
responsibilities of Ins condition. He examined with care 
tho -wiitings of the ablest advocates on both sides, and 
rose from the perusal Tivith a clear and unshaken conviction 
of the necessity of a Dli-ine revelation. 

He next turned to the systems whi<;h profess to found 
upon the teacliings of tlie Bible. Socinianism had spe- 
cial attractions, in its exaltation of human reason, and its 
promise of unbridled liberty of thought. "With the know- 
ledge of his after life in our possession, it would be inter- 
esting to trace the mental conflict through wliich he must 
now have passed ; and did we not know tlio result, we 



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COLLEGE LIFE. 79 

might tremble for the -decision which is to be rendered. 
Its destructive critioism strips Olu-istianity of all that is 
supernatural, and drags its sublimest mysteriea before tlie 
bar of human reason. It converts "the signs and won- 
dere" of the Bible into the legends of a fabnlous age; or 
into myth and allegory, the mere symbols of philosophy 
masking its teachings under the guise of fancy; or into 
the jugglery of nature, beneath which we are to detect 
only the working of her secret and invariable laws. Shall 
onr student be dazzled with the boldness of a system, 
which 

" Boara Tiatrodden heights, and seems at home 
Where angels bashful look ;" 

which professes to subdue things divine under the domin- 
ion of reason, and offers up all truth as a sacrifice at 
last upon the altar of human vanity? Or, on the other 
hand, shall his earnest soul, longing for the positive and 
the real, turn away from its endless negations, from the 
destructive criticism which it offers in lieu of a construc- 
tive faith, and which substitutes the abstractions of reason 
in place of a substantive testimony? Before the fervour 
of his gaze will not these airy speculations, woven of the 
mist and sunlight, melt away, like the deceitful mirage 
upon the distant horizon. Shall not his warm and loving 
heart find itself chilled, in an atmosphere which oifers 
nothing to the embrace of the affections? Can such a 
nature as his be content to dwell in the beautiful snow- 
houses of this polar latitude, shining indeed, with crys- 
taliue splendour, but beneath a sun which neither cheers 
nor warms ? The decision trembles not long upon the 
balance; he turns away from Sociniamsm, with the indig- 
nant sarcasm of Mr. Kandolph, " "Wliat a Christless Chris- 
tianity is this!" "I found it," said he to the writer, "a 
system that would not hold water;" and even reason 
could not mend the leaks through which its virtue oozed 
out. 

Thus far a purely intellectual examination had con- 



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80 LIFE OF JAMJilS HENI.KY' TKf>EN\\"RI.L. 

ducted him to a recognitioii of tlie Scriptures as the reve- 
lation of Gtod, and of Christianity aa tlie scheme it 
unfolds. Upon the interpretation of this hook, he has, 
as yet, framed no hypothesis. But tlie time haa come for 
easting his traditional helief into an articulated creed. 
And here again, an unseen hand interposes for his guid- 
ance, and a seeming accident forms the hinge of his future 
career. Daring an evening sti'oil, he stumbles into tlie 
book store of the town, and finds lying upon the counter 
a small volume, entitled, " Confession of Faith." He had 
never before heard of its esietence; he only saw that it 
' contained a systematic exposition of Christian docti-ine. 
It is needless to apprise the reader that it was the West- 
minster Confession. He bonght it for twenty-five cents, 
carried it home, and, as he himself testifies, read it en- 
tirely through that night. "For the first time," he adds, 
" I felt that I had met with a system which held together 
with the strictest logical connection ; granting its premises, 
the conclusions were bound to follow." He could not 
immediately pronounce it true, without a cai'eful compar- 
ison of the text with the scriptural proofs at the bottom 
of each page. But he was ai'rested by the consistency and 
rigour of its logic. This book determiued him as a Oal- 
vinist and a Presbyterian; although he had never been 
thrown into contact with this branch of the Church of 
Christ, and had never been, hut once, within any of its 
sanctuaries of worship. The circumstance, however, of 
most interest in tlie whole series, is the faet that the chap- 
ter which most impressed him iu this " Confession," was 
the chapter on Justification — the doctrine which is the 
key to the whole Gospel, and weE styled by Luther, " ar- 
ticulus stantis aut cadentis ecclesim.'" How parallel with 
the history of Luther himself, and of the great Be- 
formers of the sixteenth century! who, by this clue, ex- 
tricated themselves from the toils of Popery, and built 
Protestant Christianity upon it as the keystone of the 
ai'cli, by which the whole superstructure was supported. 



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COLLEGE LIFE. 81 

Those who recall the fierce conflict whicli raged in the 
Presbyterian Cliurch, at the time our friend waa intro 
duced into its ministiy, and who remeijiher the dietin- 
giiished part he was called to bear in defence of tlio 
doctrines of the Refonnation, which are only tliU doc- 
trines of grace, cannot fs^l to recognize here tlie wonder- 
ful method by which he was unconsciously ti'ained for a 
similar work of refoj-m. Kone can fail to see, that tliose. 
who are raised up to be the champions of truth, in an age 
of defection and strife, and tliose who are destined to 
shape the theology of their age, must drink the truth 
from no secondary stream, but fresh from the oracles of 
God, and from those symbolical books, in which the faith 
of the universal Church ie sacredly enshrined. 

But if these researches led him within the temple of 
Chi-istian truth, it was only to wonder, and not to wor- 
ship. He stood beneath its majestic dome, and mused 
along its. cathedral aisles, as before he had wandered 
through the groves of the Academy, or paused beneath 
the porch of the Stoic, The gospel was nothing more 
than a sublime philosophy ; and if it secured the homage 
of his intellect, it failed, as yet, to control the affections 
of his heart. If he seemed to sit with reverence at the 
feet of the Great Teacher, it was only as a teacher 
something greater than Socrates, and more divine than 
Plato. The seed must lie dead for a time. How soon 
it was to germinate, and what fruit to bear, we shall 
shortly trace. There is- a statement that he had, in 
College, moJtiente of deep conviction for sin; and would 
then resort to the room of a pious student, soliciting his 
prayers. But most certainly, tliese convictions did not 
then ripen to any permanent issue, however they may 
have served to keep alive the fire of religious feeling, 
until the moment of God's merciful visitation. 

An incident deserves to be recorded, in this connection, 
not as bearing upon religious experience, but as illus- 
trating the honesty of his character, and the tone of his 



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83 LIFE OF JAMES HENLEY THOKNWELL. 

moral principles. Dnriug Ms Senior year, the report waa 
rife tlu-oughoat the State, that Dr. Cooper was abusing 
Ilia position by teaching infidelity in his lectures. A 
meeting of the class was called, by certain indiscreet 
friends of tliis distinguished man, and resolntions were 
introduced repelling the charge, strong appeals being 
made to secure a unanimous vote in their favour. It was 
a moment of severe trial to young Thomwell, who was a 
candidate for the honours of his class, to be awarded by 
the very party whom his conscience compelled him,' to 
offend. He resolved to do what he felt to be right, be 
the consequences as they may. He opposed the reso- 
lutions with such vigour that they were withdrawn; and 
the effort to influence public opinion in this way waa 



It is pleasant to add, that this exercise of moral courage 
did not wort the forfeiture which he had risked. In fact, 
his position had been too cordially and too universally 
conceded in his class, to remain unrewarded at last. In 
December, 1831, at nineteen years of age, he graduated 
with the highest distinction the College could confer, and 
pronounced, as usual, the Latin salutatory, on Commence- 
ment day. He left his Alma Water, followed by uni- 
versal predictions of his future greatness ; and by the path 
of these same predictions he returned, six years later, to 
be as distinguished amongst its teachers, aa before he had 
been amongst its pupils. 



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OHAPTER VII. 

mS CONVEHSION. 

Inability to ohoose a Phofbssiob. — Eemains ah Besjdhnt Gkaduatb 

IN THE CoLtROK — 'jOBamSPONDENOE.-^TEAQaES AT SoMTCESTILIjE.— 
LiTEKilllr PfiO-tBOTe. — DnITEB with THE PnESByTEBIAN ChUKOH. — HiS 
own ACOOUHT, GIVEN AT A LiTHE PeEIOC, OF HIS RbUGIODS EsEB- 

QiHEB. — Ebtiew of hib Reliqiods Histoby. — Hi3 OWN Aklaysis of 
EaLioloK. — Lettbii. 

AFTEE obtaining his degree, onr friend did not immedi- 
ately plunge into tlie great world. Desiring to lay 
broader and deeper the foundations of scholarsiiip, he 
proposed to remain withia tihe College halls, as a resident 
graduate, for the term of one year. Another reason for 
this conr&e -was, his inability to settle down upon the 
choice of a profession. His repugnance to the Law re- 
mains inTincible, and he finds himself destitute of the 
spiritual qualifications necessary to the pulpit. It is evi- 
dent that he will, if poeaible, steer clear of both, and live, 
if the way should open before him, the life simply of a 
eeholar. The difficulty was in the way of support. His 
independence — ^we might add, his sense of justice — ^would 
not allow him to remain a pensioner upon the bounty 
which had sustained him thus far. He attempts, there- 
fore, to eke out a subsistence as a private tutor, to such m 
desired to enter College, But this system of " coaching," 
as it is termed in English UniversitieSj not being a feature 
grafted upon our American Colleges, his scheme failed, as 
might have been anticipated; and ho was soon driven 
from the classic shades he still desired to haunt. His de- 
signs, and methods of accomplishing them, will, however, 
be best unfolded by himself, in the extracts which follow, 
from a letter addressed to his class-mate, Mr. W. M. 
Hutson : 



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84 LITE OF JAME9 HENLEY THORNWELL. 

"Coi.tJMBXA, February IS, 1883. 

' ' Deaii Hutson : I am going to give thee an epistle truly originid in its 
character, and I will iaj tliee a ^pJager tliat, ■when it is concluded, thou 
wilt not he ahle to make head or tail of it, Impiimis : I am hard en- 
gaged in the Htndy of Oreek, Latin, and German ; I read, all sorts of 
Greet commBnta,tors, aa Yigeriua, Middleton. Mathiie, and others. I 
have oommeneed regularij «ith Xenophoa's woiife, and intend to read 
them. cBiefuIly. I shall then talce up Thneydides, Heiodotus, and then 
Demosthenes. After mastering these, I sliall pasH on to the philono- 
phera and poets. In Latin, I am going regnlailj thiongh Cicero's ■writ- 
ings, I read tiiera by double translations ; that is, 1 first translate, 
them into English, and then re-translate tiem info Latin. By pursuing 
this course, I observe the idioms, phrases, and constrnetion of latin 
sentences much more aconrately than I otherwise would. In German, I 
am pursuing Goethe's works, in company with Gladney. My life, jou 
can plainly see, is not a life of idleness. There is only one lazy trait 
in my ohacaoter, however, of which I cannot divest myself ; and that 
is, sleepang in the morning. I can no more rise before the sun riRcs, 
lian I can go to hed before the sun sefB. * * • I take private sohol- 
Bi^s, and thereby ttooomulate a little ' gear,' If yon know of any young 
men who wish to prepare for College, and oan find it in your oonBOienee 
to recommend me, I would be gla^ if jou would do so, I cannot 
bring myself to study la^w. It is a good profession to contract the 
mind and freeze the heart. Nothing but necessity shall ever induce me 
to study it. I find myself most sadly puzzled about selecting a pro- 
fession ; and if I can get along without one, Iwill never study one. If 
I had anything of an ordinary haman shape and size, I might marrj 
into wealth enough to support me ; hut as it is, if I should happen to 
bare a Eon, it would be a hard matter to distinguish the sire from his 
issue, Fancy to yourself what a figure I would cut with a wife, espe- 
cially if she were fat and portly. 

"Bum this scrawl, and believe me your friend, 

J. H. THOfiNWBLIi.'' 



Wliilst lie is in the enjoyment of this Academic repose, 
it may be as well to introduce a letter, written at an 
earlier date, while etill an undergraduate, to one who had 
been the first companion of his childhood, and who re- 
mained hia steadfast friend till death. It not only illus- 
trates tlie early and constant tendency of his mind to run 
everything which he observed in life back into the prin- 
ciple on which it rests ; but it will serve as the precursor 
of other letters addressed to the same party : 



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HIS conve: 



85 



"CoLVMBii, October 7, 1E31. 
"Mr, Albsibdeb H. Pbouks. 

' ' My Deas rnrENli ; I now Bit down, not so much to Todeem my pTO- 
mise, as to gratify my own faeliugS. Though, not a votary of EpionruiS, 
I lore pleasure ; and where eon it be found so pure and refined as in 
tte tempie of friendship? But I am not Bboat to declaim on this sah- 
jeot in the sickly strains of a school boy, or of a girl jiist caught in the 
trap of Cupid. I intend iiiat my letter shall contain, on tlio contrary, 
sundry specnlalions connected wifh pMsing evSnta, The first thing 
tiint EuggeafB ifaelf is tbe esoitement about the negroes. We have con- 
veined considerably on this subject ; but one topic groii^ out of it,upoa 
■whioh we have never touched. 1 allude to the singular ptjenomenon, 
that frightened men trust to their imagination for their facte, instead 
of their memories. Our good old metaphysical vooabnlary teaches us 
that tiie memory is the record of facts; the new Tocabulary of fear 
teaches us that the imagination is. How has this change happened? 
How comes it to pass that these faculties of the mind have exchanged 
plaaea, or rather, functions ? Haa the memory become full, and turned 
over its sui-pliB to the sister power? I confess that I have thought 
much on this subject, but I oni not satisfied yet. My reflections, sueb 
as they are, you sre heartily welcome to know. 

"'Do- you remember that hoautiful passage in Shakespeare's 'Tem- 
pest,' where Piospero compares his brother to one. 



ig al it, 



To credit HI 



His brother had told it so often that he was Duke, that, although it was 
a lie, ha came at length to beheve it. Heie the lie had been bo often 
in his mind as to fonn a neoessajy link in the chain of his ideas. It 
had intermingled itself with all his thoughts. Precisely analogous is 
the CBse of those 'sons of terror,' who circulate the most outrageous 
iTimours for serious truiii. They have no design to deceive, nor is 
theii' false information owing to debility of memory. Where the mind 
is cool and dispassionate, they remembei! facts with as much accuracy 
as other men. But the truth seems to be, that they are aliirmed ; they 
naturally torn their attention to tiie coming danger, and make conjec- 
tures about it. These conjectures, however estiavagant or erroneous, 
form, after a while, a necessary part in their trains of ttought, and 
conaec[uently they attach the same credit to their correctness and accu- 
X any facts are afterwards related to them, they, too, 
0, their own minds, in the same order with their eonjec- 
tmes ; and eventually the latter are ascribed to the same author- These 
remarks will account for the incredible reporter so industriously circu- 
lated, about Africa's sooty children. It evidently follows, if this account 
of the case be correct, that no moral reproach should be fastened on 
those who give currency to these reports. They believe firmly what 



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86 LIFE OF JAMES HENLEY THOKNWELL. 

they aay. They have ' onto tmth made suoh sinnerB of th^iv memory 
as to credit their own lie,' I know that many cansave liein as the pro- 
pagators of malicious falsehoods ; bnt they shoiil^ he pitied as the dupes 
of their fears. But enough of this blaek subject. 

I have talked ahoat a subject suggested at home ; let me now tali of 
one suggested on the road. I eamo to Colombia in company with four 
jolly fellows, whose minds were never strapped with deep thinking. They 
were eonstantlj wMsHing, singiiig, humming tunes, or telling odd sto- 
ries, which they took to be mighty witty. This eiroumatance led me to 
reflect on the iiariouB methods which men of empty brains devise in order 
to kill time. The first I shall notice is music. This seems to remove 
the languor that hangs over those whose minds are vacancy ; and it is 
used, either for this purpose, or as the natural eipiession of a pleasing 
serenity. Have you never observed the negroes at their daily task? 
They sing ; and I can only account for it by supposing that the hours are 
dull and heavy, and they wish to make them Hghter ; or they feel very 
pleasant, and wish to give vent to their agreeable sensations through the 
channel of music, which is peculiarly fitted for that purpose. You will 
perceive that I am not speaking of music as an art ; but only of those in- 
voluntary strains which break forth unobserved. Stoiy-leUing is a pas- 
time much akin lo music ; and roethjnks, should be asciibed to the same 
cause. Works of fiction are read by most men for the same purpose. 
It may be laid down as a general rule, that a vacant mind is always at 
hard work. In the works of nature there is noUiing to amuse him who 
cannot think. Art has no charms for him. Where, then, shall be look for 
pleasure, for something to dispel the stupefying languor that hangs over 
liim like a cloud ? Shall he tarn to his own internal treasureB ? Alas ! 
all ia emptiness within ! Poor wretoh ! what shall he do ? Whither 
shall he turn f In the bitterness of despair, he picks up a novel ; but 
gathers not one solitary idea. He tries poetry, but his brain is empty 
still. He sings, he whistles ; but time flies slowly. He rejoices when 
dinner comes, and is still gladder to see the approach of night. Em- 
ployment of some kind, either bodily or mental, is the only cure for 
that languor of which I have already spoken ; and happy is the man 
who has been inured early to the holy esercise of meditation and 
thought! Of that man it may be said, 'His mind is his kingdom.' 
He alone can hold pleasant communion with his on'ii thoughts in soli- 
tude and retirement. He possesseE an ineshausfible source of enter- 
tainment within, when ever jthing without has lost its power to please. 
When the period shall have passed away in which vivid sensations of 
pleasure are the sole objects of thought worthy of pursuit ; when every- 
thing around us shall have lost its charms and fascinations ; when we 
shall have become unable to mingle in business any longer, but must 
forsake (he haunts of men ; bitterly will we regret it if we have wasted 
the morning of life without laying up a rich fund of useful knowledge. 
I am sorry that an opinion has gone abroad that the acquisition of 
knowledge is not a moral obligatitm. To me it appears a matter of 



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HIS CONVERSION". 87 

incumbent duty. If the loye of learning be natiirsJ to man ; if he 
has faonlties Hviited to acquire it ; if there is eenaibla pleasure in the 
disooTery of truth, and proportionate pain in mental Taonity ; why, 
flien, to improye our minda is surely the voice of nature and of divinity 
BpBftking within U8. To cultivate Oiose qnalidea by which any epeciea 
is dwtinguished from everj other, constitutes, says Aristotle, the pecu- 
liar daties of every individnal belonging to that Bpeeiea ; and man is 
evidently disHnguifihed from every other animal, no less by his mind 
than bis heart. His intellectnal powers form as striking charaoteristios 
as his emotions or afiections. But the opinion of the world is quite at 
variance with these proposiHons. Provided a man is moral, it matters 
not how uncultivated may be his mind. Ignorance is not followed by 
disgrace, though vice is attended with opprobrium. Fbr my part, I 
Ihinh it as great a oiime to be a fool as to be a knave, provided a man 
has ihe means of improving himself in his power ; and I think it, too, a 
very unfortunate circumatonce that a different opinion prevails. It is 
a chief reason that we have so few scholars. Once make it a disgrace 
to be ignorant, and ignorance will take her flight for ever. But the . 
subject would branch out to infinity, if I atop not now. 

" I shall offer for the Libi'arian'a office, but have only a faint hope of 
success. I came out entirely too late. Under more favoui'able circnm- 
atanoes the opposition would have been quite sturdy. If I succeed, I 
shall try to become a respectable scholar. 

" Now for the Smthern, Bemmo, No. 14. But, alas, I have no space 
to say anything of it, esoept that there is an able artiole on Bentham 
and the Utilitarians, written by Legate. I hope to see the downfall of 
that frigid system of philosophy, which, though not originated by Ben- 
tham, it has been the warmest wish of his heart to sustain against truth 
and reason. BenOiam is an atheist, and his philosophy is no better 
than atheism. It cramps the genius, freezes the vivid and glowing as- 
pirations of a young mind, and clipR, with unsparing hand, the lofty 
flights of intellect. The ai-ticle on Codification was likewise written by 
Legare. Professor Nott wrote the article on French Novels. Professor 
Henry wrote that on Watechouse'a Junius, 

"Write to me copiously and openly, as soon as you receive this; and 
believe me, 

Your friend as ever, 

J. H. Technweli,."' 
To the eamo: 

"Columbia, Fsbruary 2, 1833. 
" My Dbaeest Feiend ; When I reflect upon my dreary and unpro- 
tected situation in this world of cares, melancholy and gloom impercep- 
tibly steal upon my mind, and shroud it in its own sable livery. The 
ship of my fortunes is now launched on the ocean of life ; her sails 
flutter freely in the breeze ; but the haven of my hopes is far distant, 
and I may perish in the storm, before I can reach it in safety, I am 
now entering on life with all the ardour of youth; but I may soon re- 



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tire from it, ^otened witli the treaohery of friends, or disgusted with 
ihe malignity of enemies. On the otlier hand, I may succeed in reach- 
ing that point of honouiftble distinction after which my soul pantetii, 
even aa tie stiioken deer paoteth for the water-brooks. I may die in 
the gloomy vale of obBourity, or ascend ' the steep where fame's prond 
temple shinea afar.' I am not foolish enough to dieam of pacing 
tijroagh a world where good and eyil hold a divided empire, without 
toting occasionallj the bitter, loathsome inixtuie of 'vinegar and gall 
Sorrows, deep, blighting, withering Borrows, I expect to undergo, and 
shall, I hope, be prepared to meet them No matter what form they 
may assume, I am ready to say. Let thera come If I oannot leain 
from philosophy how to enffer, I can laarn at the toot of fte cross. A. 
. lamp of consolation bnms brightly on Moant CalTary, which, has power 
to cheer and illumine tlie darkness of woe. To suffer is the lot of all ; 
to suffer witii dignity, is the characteristic of the philosopher; and it 
would seem to require something of more than human power to meet 
death or ^re affliction with calmness and tranquillity. But too many 
. iustanoes of philosophical oompoanre, under torturing severity, are on 
record, to admit of a doubt ee to what man can do when he ' screws his 
courage tothe sticMngphice.' We should tUaw a distinction, however, 
between mere obstinacy and iuorat firmness. The Indian encounters 
' the king of terrors' without a flinch or a, groan ; but it is only the man 
of conscious integrity who can meet him witli Srmness. The diffei'ence 
is this : the one possesses strong nerves and the physical ability to endure 
pain ; the other is guided by cool, reflection and a sound philosophy. 
The brightest example of unyielding fortitude which ever attracted the 
wonder of the world, is certainly to be found in the bloody record of its 
Bedeemer's death. He, in trufii, died like a God. Guided by His 
brilliant example, I shall endesTour to bear with dignity all the sorrows 
■ with which it may please God to afflict me. Like the oak rent by the 
lightning from heaven, I may be scathed indeed, but 1 hope not bent. 
Let the winds how! and the thunders roar, I shall endeavour to willi- 
stand the pelting of the 'pitileaa storm,' if not with the grandeur of a 
philosopher, 'at least with the firmness of a man,' 

' ' Bat more men are able to endure sorrow with f ottitnde than bear 
prosperity with moderation and dignity. Wheie foitnne smiles upon 
their efforts, men are apt to become maddened by their own success. 
They manifest their gratitude to a kind Providence, by a dismissal of their 
understandings. Seat them quietly in the lap of prosperity, and there 
are some men who will not fail t« put on the cap of fools. Intosioated 
with unexpected happiness, they sacrifice their reason at the altar of 
folly. Look upon the world, and see how few can bear to be prosperous ; 
how tew can retain their undei'standings, when the gale of good fortune 
blows favourably upon them. It is my wish, therefore, to temper my 
mind with such discretion, that' all shall go well, whether I am rocked 
in tie cradle of prosperity, or chilled witii the winter blasts of adveraity, 
I wish to train myself in such a manner, that I can rest undisturbed on 



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HIS CONVEKSION. oa 

■«, lied of down or a pillow of tborcs. . I may fail, however, in my efforts ; 
if eo, it will be tho weakncaB of liuinflmtj. All my hopes, soaring as 
ihej are, may eventually prove to be baseless as a vision's fabric ; if so, 
it will be because I eatmot use proper means to aoootcpiish my ends. 
Happiness is my aim ; it is the object of all men ; they ptusue it with 
avidity, bnt most at them catch only a few crnmbs as they fall from her 
table. I am philosopher enongh to know that happiness, like gold, can- 
never be obtained, if regarded as the primary object of pursuit. We 
arast seek it through the interventioD. of some medium, as we seek 
money through the medinm of labour. None but an alchemist ever 
dreamed of getting the precious ore without ' hard toil and spare 
meals ;' and none but a downright casfle-bnilder ever thought for a 
moment of becoming happy, without placing happiness in some par- 
ticular object. It does not exist of itself ; it isamode, aqualiiyof other 
Uiings, as heat is a quahty of fire, or odoar of roses. It eiists in them, 
Slid it is to be extracted from them, lijie oil from a vegetable. ■ It is 
pl^n, therefoie, that a preliminary step in our inquiry after happiness, 
is to ascertain in what- particnlar things happiness exists ; nest, how we 
are to obtain these things ; and a third step, of equal importance, is, 
after we have obtained the tilings, how are we to mate them subse^vient 
to our happiness. These three preliminary inquiries should be made a 
matter of serious, deliberate refieotdon, by every young man about to 
enter on the busy aeenes of life. They are all-important, and he who 
neglects them is a traitor to his own interests. He cannot be said to 
act in life, who proceeds upon no regular, digested system of conduct ; 
he does not act, he is drcoen along by the force of cironmstanoes ; and is 
entitled to no credit for his actions, how meritorious soever they may 
be. 

"Some men place happiness in wealth, and consequently strain every 
nerve, muscle, and fibre in order to become rich. Others place it in po- 
liljoal power; and some make an awful shipwieolc of their fortunes on 
the rook of ambition. Some seek it in haunts of dissipation and 'un- 
godly glee,' and vei, with their impious mirth, ' the drowsy ear of 
night.' The truth is, there are almost as many different opinions on 
■ this subject as there are men in the world. It is plain that there are 
three distinct sources of eajojineai— sense, (he mind, the heart. There 
are, consequently, sensual, intellectnal, moral, and religious pleas- 
ures. It Is in a skilful selection, and a just combinalion of these, that 
the great secret of tiTie felicity consists. Some sensual pictures are to 
be avoided ; some intellectual pleasures are to be enjoyed with care. 
Here, judgment and philosophy must come to our assistance ; and he 
who trusts to anything but these, builds his house upon a sandy founda- 
Hou. As to what particular objects are best calcnlatad to afford these 
pleasurea, every man must be his own judge, and must suit his own par- 
tieolar desires, provided that they be not criminal. Rules may be laid 
down ; they may be gathered from experience and reflection. All hap- 
■piness, then, may be summed up ; 1. A sound body ; 3. Asoundmind; 



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90 LIFE OF JAMES HENLEY THOENWEI.L. 

3. A sound heart, Muoli sa I esteem and venerate tlia awful majesty of 
Yirtue, I haye not declaimed SO pomponsly, aa some moralisffl would 
have done, on tlie 'mens dbi eonsaia reeU,' the approving smiles of the 
B are other pleasures equally indispcnaable to 
it that a wicked roan cannot be happy ; neither oau a 
man tortured with a fit of the gout. Say what you will, happiness is 
pleasnre. It eonsifits in the possession of agreeable objects ; and twist , 
it as you will, you can make' nothing more of it. By arbitrary defini- 
tions, you can make it consist in anything ; but I speak of it as it is 
usually understood ; ajid I think the reraarks I have made on it aie just. ■ 
Yon can easily conceive, therefore, by what compass I shall direct my 
course. Such sensual pleasures as my comfoi-t requires, I shall not 
heEitafa to enjoy. My intellectual pleasures shall be as extensive and as 
elevated as I can make ihem. My moral pleasures shall consist in un- 
wavering integrity and an ardent love of virtue ; and my reUgions pleas- 
ures, in an humble love of God, a fervent adoration of Him, and a 
firm reliance on His goodness, and the benevolence of my Redeemer, 
together with a penitent sorrow for my errors and infirmity. Thna I 
hope to be as happy as human weakness will permit ; and thus, too, I 
have nnfolded to you the general principles by which my life shall be 
guided. 

" At present, I am somewhat cramped for want of money, but hope to 
■ struggle through my difficulties. My prospects are not very bright. 
The season was too far advanced to do muoh ; ueit fall will he the time 
for me to do well. I am halting between two opinions, whether to write 
or not, for the li^iew. If I succeed, it would be a source of emolu- 
ment ; if I failed, of deep and thrilling mortification, I am so little 
satisfied with my own eornpositiou, that I can hardly persuade myself 
others wonld derive from it either instruotion or amusement,' But 
whatever I conclude to do, I shall let you know. As to the prize lale, I 
am. by no means enamoured of the idea of being called a taie-teller ; 
yet the money, if I conld get it, wonld be acceptable. I have ft notion 
of writing an article on eccentricity, for the Norfk American Senie^, 
and on Hersohel's philosophy, for the Sout/ierii ; but like many other 
projeefB, may fail to eieoute them. Have given out all idea of estab- 
lishing a Literary. In these days of political excitement such an attempt 
would be hopeless. 

" Your friend, as ever, 

J. H. Thobnwell." 

The experience of three months was sufficient to de- 
monetrate the impossibility of remaining longer a resident 
graduate in the College, upon the scanty and contingent 
support upon which he must there rely. In the month of 
April, accordingly, we find him removed to the town of 
Sumteryille. It is better, however, that the story should 



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HIS CONVEESIOH. 91 

te told in liis own words, in the progi-eaa of Me eorros- 
pondence with his friend, Mr. A. H. Pegues. In fact, 
we have preferred not to curtail the letters written at this 
period, in order that the reader may trace the process by 
which both his mind and character crystallized into final 
sliape. Interesting as these letters are, and clearly abov^e 
the level of the correspondence usual at his age, they still 
bear evident marks of immaturity ; in the crudeness some- 
times of his generalizations ; in the cast, of some of the 
opinions, which were largely remoulded in after years, and 
a certain ambitiousness and egotism of tone, from which 
he became siibseqnently most remai'kably free. The 
tmth is, extraordinary as his powers were from the be- 
ginning, Dr. Thornwell in every respect matured slowly. 
He was not, at this time, even physically grown ; and 
there is, perhaps, a closer connexion than we ordinarily 
suppose between the complete expansion of the body and 
the perfect development of the mind. "We shall roach a 
period, about thi'ee years later, when the whole man wn- 
dergoes a stupendous transformation, and comes out the 
perfect crystal, which he afterwards remained, without any 
change beyond the deepening of the channel of his 
thoughts, ahd the constant mellowing of his character. 
His present letters are to be read, as exhibiting his period 
of growth, of which the change referred to above was the 
completing touch. Eut to the correspondence. 

" ScMTEETiLLE, April 19, 1332. 
" Mr Dhab Fbiend : About two hours ago, I reoeJTed youv generous 
letter ; and now am about, not so much to reply to it, aa to giye a loose 
to the current of my own thoughts. Yoxt will peroeive that I have re- 
moved to Stunterville, and will, no douht, be anxious to know the why 
and wherefore. I found that, in Columbia, my prospects waned wiiii 
the waning year. So I began to feel tolerably uneasy. " Two weeks ago 
I was inTited here to take charge of a school, but the inducement was 
Bot BufSciently strong. I found, however, that I could get a private 
class, yislffing me between four and six hundred dollars a year ; and Mr, 
Bichardson, a friend of mine, waa aniious for me to stay. He has a 
splendid library, and I myself have a very good one. So upon the 
whole, I concluded to become a resident of Sumterville. I have not 



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1)2 LIFE OF JAMES HENLEY THOKNWELL. 

lost the main, becefit which I enjoyed in College, to wit, tlie ci 
{ion of Professor Henry ; for I now oorreepond with him. 

" When. I first arrived here, I was seised wiBi a fit o( dejection and 
Toelanokoly, ■which neither the precepts of philosophy nor the injunctions 
of religion were able to mibdae. I felt myself a solitary hermit amid 
tiie humming multitude around me. Poor, desolate and friendieea, 
what oonld I find to cheer my drooping kooI, to rouse my flagging 
spirits ? I felt my aitnation with a sensitive aouteness that had almost 
completely prostrated the faoulties of my mind. Poverty, disappoint- 
ment, and misfortane, like the blighting influence of a mildew blast, 
had withered all my energies and smothered all my hopes. The olear, 
bine sky was indeed aboYe me, the boo. was moving in its majesty, and 
the day shining forth in its splendour ; but the .brilliant piospecia of fu- 
ture bliss, which in by-gone days could play before my fauoy, had van- 
ished for ever, and, ' like ibe baseless fabric of a vision, left not a trace 
"behind.' My sonl was wi'apped in the darkness of midnight, and 
brooded over its fallen felicity, as the ' vindielive malice of a monk ' 
would- dwell upon its schemes of anticipated vengeance. The future 
seemed enveloped in dark and lowering clouds, those sable preoursors 
of a coaling storm ; and from every scathed oak I could hear, in fancy, 
-the ominons croakings of the raven. But there is a balm in Gileail 
to soothe the agonies of a wounded spirit. There is a holy iniQuence in 
Time to cm* the sternest malady of the soul. When philosophy, wiBi 
all her wisdom, proves of no avail ; when religion herself fails, with all 
her promises of future retiibution, to heal our sorrows ; the mercy of 
heaven has provided a cure in the lapse of (ira<. It is the great physi- 
cian of all our woes. Many a tear has it wiped from the widow's cheek, 
many a sorrow from the orphan's heart. To its healing influence, the 
melancholy feelings whioh have stifled my enjoyment, have at length 
given way, and 'Richard is himself again.' Time, too, will efface from 
your bosom ihe gloomy emotions in which you indulge. Harrowing 
■scenes have recently disturbed the serenity of your mind ; but when 
their recolleotion. shall have ceased to be so vivid, you will tben return 
to yonr former tranquillity. This now seems to be beyond the pale of 
probability ; but consult the experience of yonr race, and yon will no 
longer be a skeptic. It is an awfal thing to part for ever from those 
whom we love ; and in reading yonr letter, I felt myself the gloom which 
overshadowed you, when you bade an eternal farewell to a beloved sister. 

"Since I wrote to you before, I have read Sir James Mackintosh's 
■view of the progress of .Ethical Philosophy. It is a work in which a 
great deal of learning is exhibited ; but still it is esceedingly defeolive. 
As a history of Ethical Philosophy, it is quite incomplete, as some very 
distinguished writers on that subject have been entirely overlooked. 
On tbfi writers that he does notice, his remarks are sometimes inge- 
nious, but always confused. It is plain that he had no settled and clear 
ideas ot his subject. He wrote in great haste ; and sometimes, it would 



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HIB CONVERSION. 93 

seem, actually laboured only to fill a oertain quantity of papet with a 
certain, quantity of words. Hie idea tlat conKoienoeisnotasimple, ulti- 
mata principle of our nature, but seoondary and. derivatiye, is very fee- 
bly supported. When he eateia on that point he talks in mystioifmia. 
If I hfid time, I would give you a copious analysis of the boob ; but 
must reserve that for anoilier ooofision. 

" I am a harder student than ever. Day and night I toil at iny books, 
or indulge in my own speculations. I write, too, a great deal in the 
papers, I hare written on vaiiona subjects. I wrote a satirical review 
of the artiole in tlie Sauthent, Seviem on American Literature, for the 
Golvmbia Bive. I wrote one piece on Duelling, and another on Utility, 
for the 8outkem Whia; and I have now in the press a pamphlet, which 
will consist of about thirty pages, on NnUifioation. It will be published 
in May. Part of it has ah-eady appeared in tha GolttmUa Hive, m a 
series of numbers, signed ' Cho. ' I shall send you a copy as soon an it 
is published ; but of oonrse you will keep my name, as the author, a 
secret. I think it contains some strong arguments against MullifiofttioD. 
I do not know the causes that brought about the failure of the Bouthem 
Seoiew. Write soon. 

"Your sincere friend aa ever, 

J. H. Thoenwell." 

To the same: 

" ScMTEKViLLE, April 29, 1833. 

" My Deab Fhzend ; In. my last letter, I promised yon that my next 
should contain a general and cursory review of Sir James Mackintosh's 
'View of the Progress of Ethical Philosophy.' That promise I shall 
not now fulfil, iuaamnch as I am preparing an article on the subject, 
which yon may have the pain of perusing, in print. Richardson and 
myself design establishing a literary paper in this place, if we can pro- 
cure a BufEoient number of subscribers to warrant the undertaking. If 
we succeed, the first number will appear m June. It is to be published 
every fortnif^t, and eaoh number- will contain twenty pages, and all 
will be original matter, prepared either by oureelves or by our corres- 
pondents. Politics, and everything but literature, wil! be religiously 
excluded. It will consist chiefly of reviews, essays, moral and philo- 
aophical, and original poetry. We propose to call it 'The ti/mt/iern 
Essayist.' IE will be printed in octavo form, and on fine paper. The 
price will be three dollars a year in advance. EJchardson , owns the 
press, and of course will be the avowed editor. We will give a grave 
and dignified tone to our paper, and it will be supported by able corres- 
pondents. I think that, if South Carolina could not support the Boutk- 
ern Revieui, she can uphold our literary journal. Literature flows in 
fountaihs at the North, and here we have not even a refreshing rivulet. 
It is a blot on our eharaeler, a stain on the fair escutcheon of the South. 
I have engaged to furnish for each number at least five pages. Some- 
times, of course, I will write more. I suppose that I will aveiage two 



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94 LIFE OF JAMES 

hundred pages a year. This will ha a pretty decent Yolnme. My first 
article will be a review of Sir James Mackiatosh, which I shall lahotir 
with a great deal of oare. The main point to which I shall confine my 
attention, is the simplicity of the moral eenae. Sir James contends that 
it is a compound faculty. I shall attempt to show that his arguments 
are inooQcluaiTe ; and that it is a simple, original ultimate law of the 
human oonfltitntion. If our papej shonld not succeed, I will eitend the 
article into a more detailed review of the whole book, and settd it to the 
Nortk American. 

You will plainly perceive that I have as little relish as ever for a quiet 
obsourity. My dreams of hope, and visions of fame, ara ea airy as they 
used to be in hy-gone days ; and many an aspiration have I poured forth 
in the lonely forest, or at the dead and solemn ho.ir of midnight. To 
die unknown, tinhonoured, and unsnng, like the wild beast of the field, 
I hope in God may never be my gloomy fate. When we walk into our 
church-yards, among the numherlesB tombs with which we meet, how 
few bear any other memorial of their dead than that they Kved and 
died. They have left us no ti'acea of profound thought, or illustrious 
achievements, to attract our attention, or inspire our ambition. They 
have lived and died ; they have done merely what every brute must do ; 
and that, l«o, without their own consent. If no other monument could 
have been erected to their memories ; if they have, indeed, derogated 
from the dignity of their nature, and been silent to the clarion of fame, 
better, far better, that no stone shonld point the traveller to the spot of 
their entombment, than that this worst of satires, which records only 
the time of their birth and the period of. their death, should ever have 
been imposed on fbem. For my own part, I can tiuly say, that 

Biiorbaa's might, Braganza'a tieaaors. 
So can faney's dream raloice. 
So conciliate reaaoa^s choice, 
As on« appravLi^ word of fatae'a impartial voice.* 

"But by fame I mean the esteem of (be wise and good, not iiepufl of 
a dunce, or the noisy acclamation of a crowd. Fama, or rather love of 
fame, baooines dangerous, when we make it, instead of a regard to duty, 
the ruling principle of action. It should be always kept in proper sub- 
jection to more exalted sentiments. Let it spur us to generous achieve- 
ments, but never to a departure from the straight road of moral recti- 
tude. A permanent reputation must be based on a permanent founda- 
tion i and what is so enduring as real excellence, whether of mind or 
heart ? But I am drawing to the bottom of my paper. I have a dollar 
which is burning in my pocket ; and which is extremely anxious to be 
spent for a letter from you, consisting of four or five sheets. I hope 
my lonely dollar may not be disappointed. 

' ' Your warm and sincere friend, 

J, H, Thomiwelii." 



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HIS CONVEESION. 95 

The literary projects detailed iii this letter, doubtless 
fell through for want of sufficient patronage, as no refer- 
ence is made to them in subsequent correspondence. But 
whilst hie mind was occupied with these studies and 
BcliemeB, the most important event of his life occurred, 
which changed the whole complexion of his cai-eer. On 
the 13th of May, he united with the Concord Presbytenan 
Church, a few miles below Sumterville, at that time under 
the pastoral charge of the Kev. John McEwen. This 
date is accurately determined by the following brief, but 
touching prayer, which has floated down to ns upon, a 
single leaf, when other and larger productions of his pen 
have perished through the ravages of time. The prayer 
is as follows : 

"O God I I have to-day made a public profession of 
my faith in the blessed Redeemer, and taken upon me the 
solemn covenant of the Church. ' I would not impute to 
myself any merit on this account, as I have only done, and 
that, too, after a long delay, what was expressly enjoined 
on me in Thy Holy Word. But, Godl I feel myself 
a weak, fallen, depraved, and helpless creature, and utterly 
unable to do one righteous deed without Thy gracious as- 
sistance. Wilt Thou, therefore, send upon me Thy 
cheering Spirit, to illume for me the path of duty ; and to 
uphold me, when I grow weary ; to refresh me, when I 
faint ; to support me against the violence of temptation 
and the blandishments of vice. Let me, I beseech Thee, 
please Thee in thought, word and deed. Enable me to 
go on to perfection, support me, in death, and finally save 
me in Thy kingdom ; and to the glorious Three-in-one be 
ascribed all the praise. Amen. 
" SuMTBEviLO), May 13,1832." 

Not a line more, delineating the spiritual exercises 
through which he waa led to this eventful decision, which 
involved, as will presently appear, an immediate and un- 
II consecration of himself to the work of the ministry. 



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96 LIFE OF JAMES HENLEY THOKNWELL. 

Happily, liowever, a r&j of light is cast hatik upon tliis 
portion.of his religious history, from wor(3a littered in after 
years; ■which will greatly assist in comprehending what 
wonld otherwise be obscure. One of his divinity students 
relates tliis conversation, which he -was at pains to jot down 
within a few hom's after it was held. " Ought we to be 
able to point ont the exact time of conversion T' "Not 
nei^ssarily ; the substantive change of heart, that is, the 
ctctual change, is probably momentary. There is a time 
in wluch the man is passive ; that is, when the Spirit is 
implanting the new nature. But ih& phenomenal change, 
or the development, the manifestation of that new natnre, 
is very different in different persons,, and in some it is 
very slow, and not perceived by the man himself for some 
time." "What, Dr. Thornwell, was your own expe- 
rience?" "My own experience," he" replied, "was the 
most mysterious thing I know of. From a hoy, I was 
80 constituted that I could rest in no opinion, unless I saw 
the first principles on which it hung, and into which it 
could be resolved. I was religiously brought up ; but, 
even wlien ten years old, was always trying to reconcile 
the difficulties of religion, such as free-agency and the 
like. "When at school, this left me to some extent. "When 
I went to College, I was under Dr. Cooper ; hut read tlie 
Bible through, and became convinced as to the natm-e of 
God's plan of salvation. In the Senior yiiar, I became 
strongly convinced of sin. But God never ha4 a more 
rebellious subject. Feeling guilty, condemned, and mis- 
erable, I was determined to fight it ont to the last, that it 
was not rriy fault, and that I was honi witliont any agency 
or consent of my own, &c. Then I thought I had com- 
mitted the unpardonable sin ; and for tliree months scarcely 
slept, and wonld sometimes drink liquor for the pm'pose 
of drowning these convictions. In my childhood, no one 
ever suspected that I had such feelings. At last, light 
began gradually to break in upon me; and by degrees I 
came out, as I believe, a Christian. Now I stand firmly 



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Hia COHVKPSIOH. 97 

on the Bible; and when bewildered hj skepticiBni, I can 
still say that I believe God is righteous, and Christ is a 
Savioiu'; whether for me or not, I sometimes doubt; but 
never doubt the truth of His word, that ' God is in Christ, 
reconciling the world unto Himself.'" Kecurring again 
to this subject of hia mental conflict, he adds: "I can 
take you to the very spot, where I stood and gnashed my 
teoth, and raised mj hand, and said, 'Well, I shall be 
damned, but I will demonstrate to the assembled universe 
that I am not to blame. God made ine as I am, and I 
can't help my wickedness.' The next tiling I knew, when 
I fdt myself a Christian, was that to go to Christ was so 
simple and easy, that I thought I could show anybody 
how to do it, and be saved," 

The series of facte, thus far developed, seems to be : 
that he was originally endowed with strong religious sus- 
ceptibilities ; that these were deeply impressed by the in- 
fluence and teachings of a pious mother ; so tliat, at the 
age of ten years, he discussed the high problems of "fate 
and free will," and became the partisan of views against 
which hia heart rebels. This religious interest continues 
to ebb and flow, nntU, at sixteen, we And him prepared to 
surrender advantages and friendships deai-ly prized, rather 
than commit himself to a life work other than advocating 
the claims of Christianity. At College he is brought 
suddenly in contact with opinions antagonistic to those 
he had hithei-to cherished. Curiosity is aroused. "With 
almost the love of romantic adventure, be rushes into the 
battle, where a keen and subtle dialectic must supply the 
weapons of a^ault and defence. He delivers himself 
forthwith from the web of materialism, in which he was 
first in danger of being ensnared by. his "idol," Dr. 
Cooper. He pushes the investigation forward, under an 
impulse which appears to be, and, doubtless, predomi- 
nantly was, a purely speculative interest, until his mind 
is settled- upon the truth of Christianity. With an in- 
tellectual conviction which was never afterwards seriously 



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98 LIFE OF JAMES HENLEY THOKNWELL. 

disturbed, be accepts the doctrines of the fall of man, 
aud of recovery by grace alone. "We quote again his own 
language, used of bis experience at this period : " Whether 
man looks within or without himself, the evidences of ' a 
fall' are overwhelming. But where did he fall? In 
Adam, as a federal head; for Paul makes death and sin 
co-extensive, on which theory alone the death of infants 
can be accounted for. If you take tliis doctrine from me, 
I would hold the super-mundane theory, tliat at some 
former time, in some former state, now forgotten by us, 
we each had a trial and fall for himself. Certain it is, 
tliat man is a darkened picture of what he once was." 

The reader will perceive that, in the terrific conflict 
which subsequently took place, he does not waver for an 
instant upon any of these points. "When brought under 
a sense of guilt, both in College and afterwards, lie does 
not dispute the fact of "the fall," nor of the estate of sin 
and misery, into which the descendants of Adam are in- 
troduced. His spiritual conflict tui-ned upon the admis- 
sion of all this, and his proud will resists the rigliteous- 
nesB of the procedure. The precise moment, therefore, of 
the great change, when, to use his own language, "the 
new nature was implanted," we suppose to be the moment 
when, by the gracious work of the Holy Spirit upon his 
heart, this conflict ceased; and he wm enabled to see and 
appreciate the completeness of redemption by Jesus 
■ Christ, and of salvation by faith in His blood. It is of 
no consequence to determine when, nor how, tliis was 
manifested to his own consciousness, or was reflectively 
placed before .him as an object of knowledge. That 
"phenomenal change" was, doubtless, in liis case, very 
gradually wrought ; the truth dawned upon him by degrees. 
This explains how, at least, be passes quietly and unex- 
pectedly into the Church, without record of any special 
exercises of soul. The great battle had ah-eady been 
fought, the victory had previously been won by Divine 
grace, and nothing remained, at this stage, but the dis- 



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HIS CONVERSION, 99 

coviii-y of the fact to himself, and the ripening of all into 
the iinal decision. It ie the key also to much of his re- 
inaining hietorj ; for even now, altliough in the commu- 
nion of the Churcli, his religions experience is but par- 
tially developed, and he matures very slowly into the full 
proportion of a Christian. His reHgious impressions, at 
this time, were not regarded by others as deep; and his 
various addresses delivered now are represented as having 
more of the flavour of philosophy than of the gospel.' In 
his letters, too, of which the reader will presently have a 
specimen, there is more of the sentiment of religion than 
of its spiritual power over the heart. In fact, the free 
Spirit of God chooses His own avenue of approach to 
every human sold; and the way by which we are severally 
led to Christ forms sometimes an important part of pre- 
paration for our future life work. This man was clearly 
raised up to be, in his day, an eminent champion for the 
truth ; and the sovereign Spirit chose to approach his 
heart chieily tlirough the door of the understanding. 
Before any experimental acquaintance was had with the 
gospel, it was lodged firmly in his judgment as a glorious 
system of truth. This gave to his experience, especially 
at the outset, a predominantly intellectual cast. His 
convictions as to the truths of Christianity, if they did not 
overbear, at least, obscured from view the movements of 
the affections. There was not, at first, a proportional 
development of the mind and heart. This remained to 
be accomplished by and by. The reader will not, of 
com'se, construe these statements into a divorce between 
the understanding and the affections, in the act of con- 
version; only, that in aU stages of Christian experience 
the two are not always fully co-ordinated, which is the 
great business to be achieved in our progress in sanctifi- 
oation. 

On this point, there is nothing better than Dr. Thorn- 
well's own analysis of religion, when, in conversation, he 
described it as "a state of heart which. holds hnossledgo 



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100 LUTE OF James henlby thoenwbll. 

and affection in soh;tion, not eueceasiyely, but in unity. 
If you take away tlie affection, you have only dogmatism ,' 
if yon take' away knowledge, yoa have a mere spiritual- 
ism; a mere fancy, an idolatry. If yon preach doctrine 
to a Christian, the affection springs spontaneously on the 
apprehension of the doctrine ; if you preach the affection 
to him, he will immediately, and, perhaps unconsciously,, 
hitch it on the doctrine; and this endorses the maxim that 
we ought to preach our doctrine practically, and our 
practice doctrinally." Ai more formal exposition of the 
same idea is given by him elsewhere, in these clear and 
beautiful terms : " The form of Christian knowledge is love ;: 
it is a higher energy than bare speculation ; it blends- 
■into indissoluble unity, intelligence, and emotion; knows- 
by loving, and lovea hj knowing. The mind sees not 
only the reahty of truth, but its beauty and glory ; it so- 
sees as to make it feel ; the perceptions are analogous to- 
those of the right and beautiftil, in which feeling exactly 
expresses the intellectual energy." 

But we pass from this to his correspondence, in which 
he reveals the change which has taken place to his friend,, 
Mr. A. H. Pegues. 

" SuMTBBTrrJiE, June 36, 1B32. 
"My Dbab Fbieki): * • * Since you heaid ft'om me, a great, 
yen, an important change has taken place in my condition, I liave at- 
taohed myself ko the Presbyterian Chureh, and shall oommenoe neit 
year the study of Dmnity, Two yenra ago, who wonld have thought 
ttiat I wonld ever have become a Presbyterian olei^yman. Beligion is 
but the poetry of the heart, the fair and sublime of the moral world. 
It is an unfailing fountain of elysiim enjoyment, from whose streams I 
hoaitdly wish that all eould driii>. It ia more refreshing than the Kecfar 
poured out by the fair hands of Hebe. Who -would not wish to culti- 
vate ' that chastity of moral feeling which has never sinned, even in. 
thonght ; that pious fear to ba^e offended, though but in a dream ; 
that pu^r which is the proper guardian of every kind of virtue, and a 
sure preservative against vice and corruption ?' The love of God is a 
aubliine and solemn eothusiasm, counteracting the downward tenden- 
cies of self-love \ the evidence of a regenerated nature, purified from 
the contaminations of the world and the body ; acting under the inQu- 
enee of ^^poder views,.and re-asserting its original glory and perfection. 



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HIS C0NVEK8I0N, 101 

" Testarday I delivered an. address before the Bible Society, wbieb, 
I beUeve, was very wejl received. Some ■weeks ago, I gave an exhorta^ 
tion from the pulpit, whicli had. a fine effect ; but I am awfully afraid 
that the orator is too conspioaous in everything I say. My periods are 
too nioely roun^ea, and Oie whole composition too laboured for a mis- 
cellaneous orowd. They admire Oie speaJier, but are not made any bet- 
ter ; they are delighted as they would be with a Fourth of July oration ; 
but are not persnaded to turn from the error of ttieir ways. They 
compliment me here very highly, aad I am afraid that I sometimes am 
pleased with tiieir admiration, ; but I pray fervently to God, to guard 
me againet vanity, and to direct my footsteps by His wisdom. I am 
BtJU as warmly as ever devoted to liie Classics and Metaphysics. I look 
upon them both as absolutely essential in the education of a clergyman. 
I Lave parobased a compleffi set of Cicero's works, whioh I have read 
very attentively. 

' ' Your sincere friend, as evei-, 

J. H. Thoknwell." 



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CHAPTER Till. 

HIS TEACHING AT GHERAW. 

ItBMOTBS TO CHEBiw.— Becomes Pbinoipai. of the Acadekt. — Chab- 

ACTEE All A TEACHBa. — PHYSIOAI. DETELOPMEKT.^IlABITa OP lilFB. — 

Period av Ehmchotis Gioou. — Account or this Staoe of his Hib- 

TOBT, ET ah AeaOQIATE. — ElPLANiTIOfl OF THE GtOOM AKD IBKITA- 

BiLiTi.— DEFKCirya Rklioiotjb Expebiehoe. — Aiplies to Pbeset- 

TEKY, AUDffiTiKSNtlNBEBI'JSOAHB, AB A CANDIDATE yOBTQE MiNIS'JBS. 

AT what time, or under what circumstances, his en- 
gagement at Sumterville was terminated, we are not 
informed; but in Koveraber, 1832, he is amongst his old 
friends in the town of Cheraw. The following letter, 
gloomy as it is, cannot be withheld, as it reveals a phase 
of character which was temporary ; confined, indeed, almost 
wholly to this period of his life, and of which hardly a 
trace could be detected by the fi-iends of his later years. 
It is written to J. Johnston Knox, Esq. 

" Cheeaw, NovsmMr22, 1832. 
" Mt Deae Feiend ; Giro tuna tancee, which it is quite useless to men- 
tion, have prevented me foom writing to jon aa eaxiy as I should other- 
■wise have done. To a mind constitnted like my own, the condition in 
which I find myself placed abounds in suhjecte of disc[Tuetn.de tmd sor- 
row. Naturally of a gloomy temperament, even the brightest objects 
around me I am prone to clothe in a sombre hue. How dark and for- 
bidding, therefore, must tboee appear which are really tinged with, the 
darkness of calamity ! My momiirg dreajn of hope, my early visions of 
future bliss, have been sadly obscured by the cloud of disappointment. 
The friends of by-gone days, the sportive companions of my childhood, 
are many of them mouldering in the silent grave ; and one whom I love 
as a father, who has done more for me than millions can repay, is now 
standing on the bimi of the tomb. An incurable disease has, I fear, 
seized upon his vitals, and I know not how soon I may be called to at- 
tend his bod\ to the narrow honse appointed for all liviog. It may be 
years, or it may be months , for nothing is so subtle and deceptive as 
pulmonary c msuiuption Another of my patrons is just reoovciiog 
103 



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104 LIFE OF JAMES HENLEY TIIOBNWELL. 

from a severe attack of biJioas fever, and I myself liave been fiied to 
the sod. Briog my aituation home to yourself, and conoeive, if yon 
oan, tbe wilderness of soul to which it has reduced ma. I look upon 
the world with new eyes. I know its yanitiea, and feel its emptiness. 
There was a period (and I can hardly revert to it witliout a, tear) -when 
my hoaoru glowed witli the rapture of hope ; when the future appeared 
to me arrayed in the garlands of joy | when mj nightly dreams were of 
bliss, ai^d my waking thoughts of approaching felicity. But the delu- 
sion has disappeared, and ali the phantoms of, beatitude, which ouce 
allured me, have faded away, 'Delirium is our beat deceiver.' 'Our 
luoid intervals of thought' only expose to ua onr real condition. They 
unveil before i til k d k 1 ion. f mistry d t t ur minds 

with woeful fo bodmgs 1 ha ppo tm t ani w 

" But I have Ipt todwilp th dpi E human 
suffering, whi^h iwllq ffyiol pict. Our 

calamities are 11 tddf urgd Thy m ly chastise- 
ments from thhdf kd 11 ItFth and we should 
regard them i th 1 ght f nstt t t f w th Those whom 
He loveth. He haste th say th 4.p fl and t w id b ■v^ell for 
as to keep ihi mp tant t th io p t ns from 
murmurs, and to ir imp m i I th g d f life there 
is indeed plaoe 1 pnl li bit plceith f b nefit. In 
walking among th and lU tisgif tot mble oooa- 
sionally on th d m um i f bnma 1 T m t we could 
draw inatruoti les ru g th t b lity f 11 Ihly enjoy- 
ment, ilie delusive nature of all earthly hopes, and the final consummatioa 
of all earthly aipectations. It would teach ns to contemplate out latter 
end, and to prepare in earnest for appearing before the dread tribunal of 
our K«deamer and Judge. Skeletons and bones, tlie coffin and the shroud, 
the winding sheet and sepalohre, are the most instructive Tolumcs we can 
pO!,sibly peruse. Their lessons are written in dark characters, but they are 
only the ruore legible on that account. I love to take a solitary ramble 
in a church -yard A sort of gloomy mtlvncholj pleasure is diffused 
over my mmd as I read the tale that is told by the little mounds which 
conceal what once was life and health and animation The mournful 
tribute of affeciijn to departed woiih, the biief histoiy on the grave- 
stone of the duRt that lies beneath li, all speak to me m thrilling ac- 
cents, which hnd a pensive response fi im my own bosom. ' Man is 
like a thing of nought, and his days as a shadow thatflaeth away.' But 
brighter visions open up isby Ithgi IthkbtGd 
who giveth us the viotc th ki g f te J Ohnst has 
disarmed death of his t d h U f t mail L t ns 1 g to 
Him, and aU wiU be well th Chr t ty is th I t g ft f God 
to man The Bible is ti wh 1 t b al ulated 
On the darkest midnight fth Itprsthbam fday Th 
poihoned arrows ofaffltilmnidtsfl th f 
virtue and even proap ty t If g w b ghf h 11 ra d by 



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HIS TEACHING AT CHEKAW. 105 

-the 'San of Eighieousneas.' Let us, then, hold fast to tbia religion. 
It is precisely adapted to our ciienmstanoes ; and if we give it Up, W6 
plunge into an awful ohaos. It is indeed a blessed thing to he a 
Christian ; and I would not surrender the hope that is in me for worlds 
■upon worlds, or systems upon systems. Were it not for the consola- 
tions of Christianity, wlio oonld bear to drag out a miserable eiistenoe 
on UiiB earthly baU ! A wounded spirit would be intolerable without 
tie aUeyiations of the gtapel. Those, therefore, should tmly be an- 
athema who would rob as of this blessing. But I mnst lesTs thia 
finbjeot. 

"My prospeots are flattering for the Principal's place in the Aoademy 
oeit year. The salary is $700, payable quarterly. 
" Your sincere friend, 

J. H. Thorn-well." 

This hope was soon realized. In Jamiary, 1833, having 
just passed his twentieth birtli-day, he was associated . 
with Mr, Donald {now the Rev. Dr.) McQueen, in teaching 
the Ohuraw Academy, where he had been himself pre- 
pared for College. Mr. McQueen resigning in October, 
he continned, in conjunction with Mr. Thomas E. B. 
Peguea,in the same important position, until June, 1834; 
:at whiclt time we shall follow him to a different sphere. 
During these eighteen months he gave unmistakeable 
proof of those qualities which afterwards distinguished 
him as a teacher. The same enthusiasm was displayed 
in imparting knowledge which he had always exl\ibited 
in acquiring it. His patience and zeal were unbounded. 
He would bribe the brightest scholars to spend their 
Saturdays with him ia. the school-room, and would often 
protract the exercises of the day, until the gathering 
•larkness drove him, with the cla^, to the open door for 
ihe remains of lightleft by the setting sun. Laborious 
and patient with the more docile pupils, in whom he could 
.arouse an' interest similar to his own, his temper would 
break forth sometimes against the indolent. So intense 
was his own passion for learning, that he failed in sym- 
pathy with such as were indifferent to thek opportunities. 
It was something he could not understand ; and a feeling 
of contempt mingled with his anger against the methods 



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106 LIfii OE' JAMES HENLEY THOKiS^WELL. 

of evasion to which the thoughtless would resort. At the 
same time, he was so companionable with his pupils, so 
devoted to their welfare, and so much intcreBtcd in their 
sports as well as theii- studies, as to win their respect and 
love, notwithstanding occaaonal severity in his discipline. 
One of these pupils famiBhes this sketch : " I went to 
school to Mr. Thornwell after his graduation. He was 
vei-j thorough as a teacher, took gi'eat interest in all the 
recitations, neglected nothing, and would complete the 
exercises, even if the approaching twilight drove him to 
the door to get light enough to read hy. On such oeca^ 
sions, the boys would increase the darkness by closing the 
■window shutters, while he was so absorbed with the class 
as to be utterly unconscious of it. They would also make 
all kinds of noises, by scraping their feet on the floor^ 
dropping slates, coughing, clearing their throats, &c. 
^or a time he would seemi unconscious of all this ; but 
would occasionally be aroused, and then what a storm 
would come! The most cutting sai'casms and withering 
reproofs, making the guilty shrink away in shame and 
confusion. These were really, at times, tirades of per- 
sonal abuse, and exhibited the utmost contempt for the 
meanness and baseness he was reproving," When it is- 
remembered that he had not yet learned to put a check 
upon his powers of invective, before which his eq^uals in 
age and his peers in knowledge always quailed, it is not 
sti'aiige that these hoys should cower beneath the flash of 
his eye, and the overwhelming sneer which he could throw 
into his tones. But the monotony of the school-room 
furnishes few incidents for a narrative. Let it give way 
to his correspondence, which opens again the experience 
of his inner life. The following, addressed to his friend,. 
Mr. Knox, is tmged with the same melancholy as the 
preceding ; but it throws light upon iiis religious history. 

"CsEiEiw, J-wree 27, 1833. 
" Mt IlEiB Fbiekd ; I received your kind and cheering letter some 
time ago, and would have replied to it immediatfilj', but my attention 



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AT CHBEAW. 107 

was so much taken up with the necessary preparations for my eiKmina- 
lioD that I ooTild find no leisure for the calls of friendship. Dream not 
for a moment that it was from want of dispos tion my feelings yet 
flow generoualj and freely n the r old ohaunels It was purely tlie 
want of time. I havB now a vacat n a rest of two veeks ; and I pro- 
pose to visit my 'old stand. There are manv hallowed aaaociations 
in my mind connected with Snmterville Many a, day of agony I in- 
deed spent there ; many a 1> tter disappointment I esperienoed there ; 
but my darker horns aie non bo blended ith hoi b recoUeotions, that 
the sting is extracted from anguish and the normwood from sorrow. 
I loTB to think on by-gone dnys There are mani things presented by 
a retrospeet of {he past, over which I would wilhnglv draw the veil of 
oblivion. Ordinary misfortunes can 1 e irel >y tmie ; common sor- 

are remembered with a melancholT pleasure But there is a disease of 
the heart which preys upon the v tals an 1 mocks at remedy. It is a 
canker-worm consuming its finest energies an 1 lestroying its fairest 
hopes. Wherever it touches it spreads a mo al ies lafion, and con- 
Terts the f raitful field into a waste an 1 vacant vildemess It is despair. 
The sirocce and aimoon, the tempest and flie ivhirlwrnd, are fearful 
tilings ; but they can and do pass away. But despair is an eternal mid- 
night of the mind. Days, months, and years may roll on ; it still re- 
mains, a fierce destroyer of all joy, all comfort, all peace. * * i * 
"In Gheraw we have something of a revival of religion. Onr good 
pastor, Mr. Powers, has been labouring hard for the last week amongst 
us. Many are serious, and others profess to he converted. I confess, 
for my own part, that I have been mightily revived. The Spirit of the 
Lord is among as ; tie hand of the Most High is with us. Men in aU. 
quarters are awakening to the importance of the subiect, and the mil- 
leninm is in its morning dawn. I rejoice to see it eoriie. 'Come, 
Lord JesQS, come quickly. ' This is the prayer of every genuine Chris- 
tian. Would to God that I conld be delivered entirely from sin, that I 
could live entirely and unreservedly to the Lord Jesus Christ. Let us 
be awalie to the importance of the subject ; Jet us remember that the 
blood of sinners is required at one hands. To be a follower of tha 
Lamb involves a fearful responsibility. Let us all shake off onr be- 
setting sina. I know what mine is; it is the blues; and would to God 
that I could get entirely rid of them. They give me much uneasinosB. 
tfhey are partly hereditary, and partly the result of dyspepsia ; but they 
are yet sinful. I have, by the grace of God, almcat succeeded in shak- 
ing them off ; they have lost much of their bitterness. Believe me, 
" Tour sincere friend, 

J, H. Thoenweli.." 

The^ree years following his graduation from College, 
from 1832 to 1834 inclusive, form a clear parenthesis in 
the life of Dr, Thornwell; during which hie character 



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108 LIFE OF JAMES HiiNLEY THOENWELL. 

8 to differ from what it was both before and after 
It was, as we have seen, the period of a great religiouB 
was also the se^on of a great physical trans- 
formation. He grew at least a head taller, and reached to 
the ordinary height of men. His complexion became 
clear, throwing off its sallow hue; and though never 
ruddy, it was not imduly pale, but wore the appearance 
ofhealth. Hia hair, which rivalled tHe raven in its black- 
ness, lay smooth and soft upon a head, which was never 
large, but exceedingly well developed. The expansion 
was complete, from the diminutive stature -which had 
marked him from childhood, to the full proportioned 
man ; with the spare habit, and carriage of body rather 
distinguislied by easy negligence than grace, which is ao 
well remembered by all who knew him in public life-, 
'This change, too, was wi'ought by the simple force of 
nature lierself, without tlie adventitious aids which might 
have been s\tppiied. On the contrary, his habits were 
precisely auch as should have thwarted this favourable 
development. Sitting up, in severe study, to a late hour 
at night, frequently ao absorbed aa to be arrested by the 
morning's dawn still at his desk, indifferent aa to food, 
negligent of recreation and exercise, thoroughly inattentive 
to the demands of natm'e in all respects, it is not strange 
that he became tlie victim of dyspepsia, which threw its 
oppreeive gloom over a spirit eonatitutionally elastic and 
buoyant. The only wonder is, that his frame should 
have matured at all, or that it should have possessed any 
of the vigour and endiu'ance that marked his future years. 
The prevailing sadness breatlied into the correspondence 
■of this period, had also a moral source, to which we recur 
with all the delicacy possible. Hia affections had become 
seriously entangled ; which, like the educational " first- 
love" of most men, was destined to issue in disappoint- 
ment. Tlie two yoimg Jiearts would indeed have disposed 
of the case differently. But the stem prudence of older 
heads could see little that was promising in the poverty 



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AT CHERAW. 109 

of the ai'dent wooer, nor in his unaettled plans, liis soaring 
visions, and bis somewhat fitful temper. The attacbinent, 
nevertheless, wa.s strong, and runs through the whole of 
this period. As it came to nought, we have not chosen 
to bring it into prominence; and would gladly have 
witliheld even this alhision, if it were not the dark thread 
in the web of bis present experience, needed to explain 
the gloom with which it is distempered. "Whether tb^ae 
combined causes ai'e snfficient to explain it or not, a due 
consideration of all the facts compels us to regard him as 
being, durrag this transitional period, in a morbid and 
abnormal condition. This gloom, for example, was not 
constitutional; for if he had one characteristic more 
prominent tlian any other in his after life, it was the play- 
fulness into which he would relax when unbending his 
mind from severe study. It was this wonderful elasticity, 
springing from a native gaiety and joyousness of spirit, 
that kept him alive amid tlie exactions of laborious toil. 
Then, too, the original and deep afieetionateness of his 
nature rendered it impossible for him to be unamiable; 
he was capable of quick I'esentmente, but never of sour 
misanthropy. It would, therefore, be severely unjust to 
take occasional and external exhibitions of fretfulness as 
the criterion of habitual cbai'acter. It would be wise to 
consider whether the natural disposition might not be 
■warped by constraining influences from without, throwing 
it out of its normal slate, and producing the iri'egularities 
which are observed. 

The friend most intimate with him at this period, and 
whose heart was knit to him as that of Jonathan to David, 
writes : " I think he had, at times, the most perverse dis- 
position I ever met with. His prejudices were easily ex- 
cited ; and he could neitlier see a flaw in those wln.m ]ie 
loved, nor a vntue in those whom he disliked. Avai'i^ious 
of praise, yet too proud to solicit attention, he writhed 
under any appeai'ance of neglect. Impatient of contra- 
diction, he liad a feeling altiii to scorn and contempt for 



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110 LIFE OF JAMES HENLEY THOBBWELL, 

those whose opinionfi differed from his own. His morbid 
feehnga rendered him snspicionB of shghts which were 
never intended, whilst liis invectives were reckless of those 
who chanced to displease him. His sensitiveness kept 
every company mieasy in which he was thrown, lest 
some unguarded remark should cause an explosion. His 
eye, which was a little dreamy in repose, glared like 
'jlightning when he was arouBed; and tlie sneer which 
'curled his lip will never be forgotten by such as have 
withered beneath its sarcasm. His later triends can form 
no adequate idea of the terror of that countenance, when 
inflamed by anger. The fli«h of the eye always remained ; 
but its inexpressible fierceness was quenched by Divine 
grace." The witness, whose language is here given, pro- 
ceeds to furnish an illustration of this untamed spirit. "I 
remember that he drove from the Academy a gentleman 
who had been a former teacher, but was now placed over 
an institution for females in the town, yet retaining a 
general supervision of the Academy. He was a reputable 
scholar, but a complete pedant; in fact, a fair specimen of 
a Boston public-school teacher. He had notions about 
discipline, order, and other thipgs, which Thomw^l des- 
pised. On one mifortnnate day, he undertook to examine 
Thornwell's class in Greek; who sat with an ominous 
curl of the h'p, and an eye darting fire from beneath those 
drooping Isi^lies. At length, a boy was corrected in his 
translatiou. Never did a panther leap upon his prey 
with more ferocity, than did ThornweU upon his unhappy 
victim. He fairly shouted, ' the boy is right,' and pro- 
ceeded to prove it beyond aU dispute. The old teacher 
was perfectly overwhelmed ; and feeling himself degraded 
in the eyes of the pupils, could never be induced again to 
cross the threshold of the Academy." 

There is, perhaps, a psychological explanation of much 
of this. We incline to think that moat youth of large 
promise encoimter a trying middle passage, just as they 
enter upon manhood. Conscious of mental power, they 



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AT CHEEAW. Ill 

are not able yet to take its exact measure. The auc- 
ceB8es of their novitiate have sharpened ambition, without 
giving the precise gauge of tlieir capacity. Visions of 
ho^e float ill-defined in the aii', while life spreads out 
before them a vast and unexplored Boa, As they stand 
upon its sliores, and looli across its tempestuous billows, a 
vague dread seizes upon the spirit, lest it should prove 
unequal to the cfangerous voyage. Its perils are magniiied 
by the fear through which they are viewed ; and a sick- 
ening conflict ensues betwixt the ambition which would 
court the trial, and the self-esteem that cannot brook the 
anticipation of possible defeat A feverish irritability is 
the result; which, if indulged, becomes excessive and 
tormenting. The mind t I'lts round for some presage of 
the future, and seeks m the adulation of partial friends a 
prophecy of ultinidte success It is challenged, if with- 
held; and there is a jealous assertion of prerogatives 
which are far from being established.' The whole condi- 
tion is, one of restlessness and of morbid eensibility, which 
renders the party unhappy, and, therefore, unamiable ; 
but which generally disappears, as soon as tlie duties of 
life are fairly assumed, and tlie pressure of responsibility 
is really felt.,. More or less of this mai'ks every boy at 
"the disagreeable age," when the down first begins to 
appear on thepeach;andwhichpartlyjaBtiiies the raillery 
of the lady who said, "it is a pity there is not an asylum 
where they could all be put till they have passed the 
disagreeable ago." But it is immeasurably more intense 
with youth of real intellect, tortured by ambition, but un- 
cei-tain of their real strength. If to this. we add the other 
causes which have been previously named, it wiH be easy 
to account for all that has called fof criticism in Mr. 
Thornwell's character, at this period ; and we can better 
understand the completeness of the revolution, as soon aa 
he took hold upon life, and entered upon its earnest work. 
Beneath all these faults, however, there was much that 
was truly heroic. He was ardent and generous in his 



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lla LIFE OF JAMES HENLEY THOKHWELL. 

affections, trustful and confiding in Ma friendships, artless 
and simple in bis conduct, high-minded and honourable in 
all his purpoaes and acts. He was honest in his search 
after truth, to whose authority he always bowed with' ab- 
solute docihty ; and was incapable of disguise or evasion 
in any form. There was no infaeion of malignity, even 
in his sarcasm, and his explosions of anger were followed 
by humiliation and acknowledgment. Even in the affairs 
of the heart, where the temptation is so strong to over- 
reach opposition, he was the soul of honour, and came 
out of these delicate complications, without a stain upon 
hia integrity. He just needed to be turned upside down, 
and to bring the better qualities to their legitimate su- 
premacy. 

His religious- experience was, of course, alike defective ; 
the leaven had not yet leavened -the entire lump. He 
adhered still to the hope he had expressed, and was ac- 
tive in prayer meetings and the like. But his addresses 
were lacking in spirituality. They were effective in 
demolishing infidelity, and establishing tie truth of 
Christianity : sometimes directed sharply against the 
inconsistencies of professors of religion, whom he woidd 
deacribe as " needing bells on their necks to distinguish 
them from the world." But the sweet savour of the 
gospel did not impart unction to Ids words. The friend 
above cited writes of him : " He lacked hiilHility, and did 
not feel sufficiently his lost condition- as a sinner. All 
lids was too much a matter of the intellect. He had not 
studied God's "Word as he studied other books. He got 
at his doctrines rather as they were discussed by other 
men, and was not pervaded by their spirit." A painful 
impression of this' sort was made upon the Presbytery of 
Harmony, upon his application, in the autumn of 1833,* 
to be taken under its care, as a candidate for the ministry, 

* The Presbytery met nt WimiBborough, FairfiBld District, November 



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AT CHEEAW. 113 

His examination was so unsatisfactory upon his personal 
experience, and his views for seeking the sacred office, 
that the Presbytery hrnig in doubt what decision to 
render. The scales were turned at last by the wise 
counsel of the Kev. Robert "W. James, a man eminent for 
his practical judgment, whose name is still as " ointment 
ponred forthj," in all tlie region where he lived. Said 
this judicious counsellor: "Notwithstanding the diffi- 
culties in the way, I think I descry the root of the matter 
in this young man. Eemeraber that, in taking him under 
our care, we are not licensing him to preach. If, here- 
after, we shaU find him still labouring under these un- 
satisfactory views, we can then drop him. There is 
sometliing, however, about him, which impresses me with 
the idea that he will yet be a man of great i 
It is pleasing to know that Mr, James lived long e 
to have his rare penetration justified, and to see his 
hopeful prophecy fulfilled. 

An event occurred now which affected considerably the 
movements of our friend. The Eev, Dr. Ebenezer Porter, 
of the Theological Seminary at Andover, Massachusetts, 
spent the winter of 1833—4 in the South, to which he was 
driven in feeble health. A considerable portion of it was 
spent in Columbia, South Carolina, whither he was at- 
tracted hy the society of his friend, the Rev. George 
Howe, D. D, In the school of the prophets over which 
Dr. Howe presided. Dr. Porter delivered the Lectures on 
Homileticsj subsequently published, and extensively used 
as a text-book in that department. Upon his return 
homeward, in the spring of 183i, he took Oheraw in his 
route, for the purpose of visiting one of Ids former pupils, 
the Kev. Urias Powers, the pastor of the chiu-ch in that 
town. Mr, Thomwell was here introduced to him, as 
one having the gospel ministry in view ; to whom Dr. 
Porter tendered the privileges of the Andover Seminary, 
■without cost, if he chose to avail himself of them. This 



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114 LIFE OF JA.ME8 HENLEY THORNWELL. 

invitation w^ accepted, under tlie urgent persuasion of 
Mr. Powers, and in the hope of enjoying superior advan- 
tages in acq^uiriiig the Oriental languages. To this place 
we shall then follow him, in the next chapter. 



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CHAPTER IX. 

BESIDENGE AT CAMBRIDGE. 

SurHJBN Kemotal to Ant»otbb, MissicHTieETTs. — Thbboe to Cambmuob. 

— EeAHONB for the LiTTEB GhABOK. — LBTTKB PROM MK. HoBBINB.— 
COKREBPOBDEBOE.— AmOSINO STOHI' OF 1 VlSlT TO BoSTON.^HbABS 

Mr. Eterbtt's Euloqt dpob Lafayeitb. — Ookteabtb bktwebn Diff- 
raatBNT Stao-es in the Same Ljse.— LuTTBBa. — Eia Retubb Home. 

A BOUT the middle of the year 1834, Mr. Thomweli, 
J\. being released by the trustees from his engagement 
as Principal of the Academy at Cheraw, finds himaelf at 
Andover, MasBachnaetts. He arrived during the vacation 
of the Divinity School; and not being pleased with the 
place, or with the advantages it offered, transferred hi& 
residence at once to Cambridge. The impression made 
upon him, and the incidents of his brief sojourn in Hassa- 
chusetts, will be best exhibited through hia own letters ; 
with which this chapter will be exclusively occupied. The 
first is addressed to his former patron, General JamBS 
Gillespie : 

"HiRTARD TjNryEKEm, Aufftut 18, 183i, 
' ' Mr Dbab GsNEEit r Ton liave above an exact repi'Ssentetion of the 
Theological Seminary at Andover. The buildimg which I iave marked 
(A) is Phillip's Hall ; (B) is the Chapel ; (C) ia Bartlett Hall ; and (D) is 
Phillip's Academy. The-y are all fonr sioriea, and made of hriok. The 
ti-ees are large elms. The eollage-yard is cat into walks, and each walk 
is lined with trees. The test of the area is coveted with a tich atass, 
ooeasioniJly shaded by a branohiiig elm. Such ia the external appeai- 
ance of Andovei'. I have left the institution for good, and eh^ll state 
to jou my I'eaaona for this sudden -movemeat. 1. The advantages were 
not such as I espected. Dr. Eobinson has left tha matitution, and 
thete is neither German, Syriao, Chaldee, not Arabic teacher Hothine, 
3b short, as taught there which ia not taught equally well at Columbia, 
Professor Stuart is the only able man in the insfifution. 3. The 
Theology taught there ia such as I nanoot counfjsnanoe ; it is awfully 

nr> 



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116 LIFE OF JAMES UENLEY THOKNWELL. 

New School. 3. The hahits of the people ace disagreeable to me. 4. I 
Imve no idea of settling in thia .oountry. No monsj could induce me- 
to do it. •• * 

" I came to Cambridge to-day, and shall spend the remainder of the 
year here as a resident graduate. I shall demote myself chiefly. to He- 
hrew and German ; wiU take a room in Diyinitj HaU, and attend regu- 
larly the leotnres of Harvard. I intend to prepare myself for the Senior 
Glass in Columbia* next January, being deficient only in Hebrew. 

.J. H. Thobhwell." 

In the following, addressed to him, the reader would 
detect, ■without the signature, the tone and style of Ins- 
old Mentor, Mr. Robhins : 

" Oheiuw, August 23, 1834. 
"Dear Jimes; It gave me great pleasure to receive your letter of 
the 6th, about a week since, and to find that yoa had Battled down on 
your plan of occupation for the year. 1 doubt not tbat the employment 
of your mind on subjects of higher importance, will direct it from the 
sickly sensibility about those you have left behind you, which ever en- 
hances the absent, and minishes the comforts of our present situation. 
This, James, is cofhiug more or less than home-aioknesa. You may- 
never have felt it before, but rest assured it is a very common disease. 
There is nothing of an alarming character in either its symptoms or re- 
snlta. ' Men have died, and worms have eat them, but not for Tiome-^icJi: 
love ;' and, tor your oonsolafiou, I can Bssiire you, (for I have travelled 
OYer every moh of ground you are now treading,) that the first serions 
oocnpaliou of your mind on any other subject of interest or importance 
will infallibly dispel the dark clouds which may now be gathered over 
. your horizon. You will find skies as fair, hills as green, and breezes aa. 
soft in ttie latitude of Massabhuaetta, as those you leave behind you. I 
was glad to see that you were becoming more at ease than when you 
penned your first letter from Baltimore, which A. G. showed me. In- 
deed, I could wish you had not written at all, when in that frame of 
mind. It always gives occasion to our enemies to predict evil results, 
when they find us early and easily daunted in our projects ; and I con- 
fess that pride, more than anything else, contributed to reconcile me to- 
the absence from my home. I knew that there were those who would 
chuckle at my disappointment and return ; and I resolved, at all hazards, 
to disappoint their malice ; and by perseverance I did it. And you may 
be sure it is just so iu your case. I have no earthly doubt but your 
perseverance will so disappoint your enemies, and achieve for yourself 

* His reference here is to the Tbeologioal 
oaie of the Synod of South Carolina and Geo: 
bia, South Carolina. 



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KESIDENCE AT OAMBRIDGE, 117 



a reputation, and staniiing, and eitimtion in liie, which will be in every 
respect enviable. But let me cautioa jou against too great e:spartation 
at first. Here you have a degree of r^mtation for acholarsMp and at- 
tainmeats, which has nob followed you in your new residence. You 
have got to oreate Buoh a character Wfre, and time ia required to do 
tlda. No intelligent people, espeoially tliose ahont you now, are capti- 
vated at first dash ; but they are sure to give credit to talent and learn- 
ing. And when they find it testified by a sufficient number of mani- 
festations, fliey will be e£ pioud fo foster you, as jou will be pleased to 
reoeiye their patronage. 

" My wife often says, ' How much we shall miss Tamea this winter ;' 
aud when she heard you were going to return in September, she said, 
' For our sakes she should admire to have you ; but on your own ao- 
<!ount, she would have you remain whore you are,' lo fine, mj dear 
James,. talte courage. I hare only room to say, go to Boston, call on 
Kiy brother, aak him for letters to Mr. Folaom, Ware, Palfrey, Hedge; 
call on them occasionally, sit half an hour with them, and give them 
opportunity to know you, I do not fear for your principles in reli- 
gion ; they withstood the insidious approaches of Dr. Cooper, and they 
cannot now give way to error, in a lesa daugei'ous f-orm. My dear boy, I 
will pray for you ; and I feel strongly confident that (be wise and mer- 
ciful Being, who overrules all things for our good and His own glory, 
will give yon His power to triamph ovec every difficulty, and set you 
at laat at Hie own right hand for ever, 

"Yours afiectionotely, 

W. H. Bobbins." 

Ia the letter which follows, addresi^ed to bis friend, Sir. 
A. H. Peguee, the first portion ie ouuupied by a recapitu- 
latioQ of hia reasons for leaving Andover, which have 
been clearly stated. It is, therefore, omitted. The letter 
IB dated, 

HiitviED XjNivBBSi'rT, AugHst 14, 1834. 
My Deab Feihnb ; * * * * I am now comfortably settied in this 
venerable abode of science, literature, and learning. The Library con- 
tains thirty-nine thousand volumes, and the Athensum Library of Bos- 
ton; siity thousand ; to both of which I have access, besides the privi- 
lege of attending all the Lectures of the College. You see, tterefore, 
that the advantages I enjoy, and the faciliiies for study, are liberal and 
encouraging. I room in Divinity Hall, aiuoug Hie Unitarian students of 
Theology ; for there are no others here. I shall expect to meet and give 
blows in defence of my own pecuUar doctrines ; and God forbid liiat I 
should falter in maintaining the fMth once delivered to the saints. I 
look upon the tenets of modern Unitarianism as little better than down, 
right infidelity. Their system, as they osll it, is a crude componnd of 



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118 LIFE OF JAMES HENLEY THORNWELL. 

negative ertioles, admirably fitted to land the aoul in eternal miseiy. 
The peouliaritj of their belief conBistB in not bsUeoino. Bead over 
tlieii tracts and pamphleta, and you will £nd tiiat they all conaiEt, not in 
eetabliahing a better system, but simply in not heUerring the system of 
the OtUioaox. Aak them to tell you what ihey do believe, and they will 
begin to reoonnt certain doctrines of the Orthodox, and tell yon very 
politely that they do mot believe these. The truth is, they have nothing 
pofdtive ; their faith is all negative ; and I do not know that the Bible 
holds out a solitary promise to a man for not belieotng. And yet these 
wit-beUecert talk about Ohriatian chaiity with a great deal of pompous- 
nws, and take it hugely amiss that they are not regarded by pious men 
as disciples of Jesus. Have you seen " Norton's statement of reasons 
for not b^ie/eing the doctrine of Trinitarians ?" It is a queer hook, and 
should be read JTist for the cnriosity of seeing its absurdity a 



. When a difGcnlt paaaage stai 
nicely, by saying that Paul 
stand the real nature of Chiistiani 



le face, he turns it off very 
; that he did not under- 
nity, and therefore blundered. Home- 
times he makes even Jesus Christ go wrong ; beeause he happened to be 
busy abont something else, and did not have time to correct Himself. 
How, a man who can swallow such stuff as this, can swallow anything. 
It is an open defiance of all the established laws of exegesis ; and the 
doctrines, which need suoh miserable sahterfnges to support them, can- 
not come from God. No, my friend, we are never safe in. departing 
from the simple declarations of the Bible. Let me entreat you to read 
Shuttle-worth on the oongistenoy of Eevelation with reason. It is the 
ablest work which has issued from the British press since Butler's An- 
alogy. Bead it carefully, and jon will find philosophy bowing at the 
altar of religion ; read it prayerfully, and you mnst become a Christian. 
"The Unitarian will tell you that esperimental religion is all an idle 
dream ; but, my friend, believe not the tale. It is no such thing. The 
truly piona man walks with God ; he is under the influence of the Holy 
Spirit ; the consolations of the Gospel support him in affiiction, and 
cheer him in distress. There is suoh a thing aa holy communion with 
the blessed Trinity ; as a peace of mind which passeth all understanding ; 
as joy in the Holy Ghost, and consolation in believing. There is no 
fanaticism, no enthusiasm here ; it is all sober buth ; and those who 
laugh at these things now, will weep bitterly in a ooraing day. May 
God be with us both ! May He take ua under the shadow of His wing, 
and save us in the hour of final retribution ! 

J. H, Tm 



To General Jamea Grillospie: 

" HABTiKD UNivBBSrrr, August 37, 1834. 
" Mr DsAB Gbkbhal : As you have always manifested a Evely intet- 
st in the oanse of edncation, I have taken the liberty of sending you a 



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RESIDENCE AT OAMBKIDGE. 119 

little Tolnme on the subject, containing many valuable remarks ; bnt in- 
terlarded, I tMnk. witli a great deal of error. In regaid to the olassios, 
and Hie prinoiple may be eitended to eyery other stn^y, the question 
fihould be, not what is the speedieet method of aoqairing them, but 
what is the beat. By the best method, I mean that -which most power- 
fully deveiopea, employs, and strengthens the facalties of the mind. 
Chadtood and youth are tlie foremnaerB of manhood, and are periods 
of life evidenfly designed for Ihe attainment of those haWU of thought 
and reflection which will be needed in more advanced years. The great 
principle which should be kept steadily in view, in every system of eda- 
oation, is that of intellectual dise^Une, You intend your son for a law- 
yer ; but you certainly would not think of tetwibing him. Law uutJl he 
became a man. Yoa would give him, however, the habit of mind which 
a lawyer ought to possess. Let knowledge eome afterwards. A man's 
mind is a hundle of auseepiSnlUies lying dormant. The aim of educa- 
tion is to call forlh and exercise these susceptibilities, and to develope 
them all tnUy and harmoniously. You mast, therefore, present to the 
inactive mind some fit suhjeot. Any subject will not do. A man poa- 
sessea Hie suaeeptibility of pity ; bnt sorrow and suffering are the ocly 
oooasion of its development. So a man possesses the susceptibility o( 
imagination, bnt only certain subjects will develope it. Who would 
think of exciting the fanoy by a theorem of Euclid ; or of training tbs 
discursive faculty by Robinson Crusoe ? It is not enough to develops 
the powers of the mind ; they must be developed in harmonions and 
just proportions. Give no one power the preponderance, bnt train the 
whole of fhem fully. 

"Taking it for granted, then, that the aim of edneation is to develope 
and train all the powers of the mind in just proportions, and bearing 
in memory that the powers of the miud are a mere bundle of sttscepti- 
bilitiea which require fit subjects to call them forth, the only practical 
question seems to be, What are these fit subjeota, and what is the 
best manner of presenting them to the dormant faculties? These 
questions embrace the whole ground of education ; and on a pioper 
solution of them depends a proper system of intellectual discipline. In 
so far as boys are coneerned, I maintain that the classics are the fit sub- 
jects but I iiffer widely fiom iiie book ■which I h>va aoni you nth 
respect to the best method of tea hing them I keep my eye fixed 
steadily on the end disciplme and I do maintain that the mind ia 
moie eserc sed and more fully devolupei by th rough grammat oal 
analysis than 1 y any other metho 1 To teach Iiatin and Greek as 
tpcken languages is no doubt the speediest [Ian of oommumoating a 
knowledge of them Bat then it trains the mtmory m disproportion 
with the other ficulties it lestroys the harmony and equilibrium of 
the mmd By the other course this harmony is sustaintd You t am 
the memory m getting the giammar bj heart you tiam the judgment 
by an application of the rules ; you tram the power of analysis by the 
difficulties of etymology, in the reading of the classics with a dicfjon- 



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120 LIFE OF JAMES JIENLEY THOKNWELL. 

ary, I do not know of a single faculty wliich Ik not employed, and em- 
plojed, too, to its full extent. It is the teacher's duty to see that Ihe 
instcaetion is thorough. In our present sjatema of teaching, the plan 
SHggested by oar author is altogether irapraoticabla. We muBt haye a 
laige nximber of scholai's to sapport the school. Mr. Locke STiggested 
Hie same rneihod long ago. It did not take then, and I hope it will not 
take now. These are my views, expressed as briefly as I am able to do 
it. One hint more in, regard to yoni own Academy, and I am clone 
with the subject. Would it not be well to divide that institntion into 
two parts, English and Classical? You could then arrange the parts 
into classes. This would render the course of instruction more thqiough 
and acourate. Should you publish your plan, it would give your school 
a character, and ensure a liberal patronage. I have thought much on 
Hiis subject, for I am warmly interested in the prosperity of the CBeraw 
. Academy. 

' ' Harvard Commencement took place to-day, and was traly a poor 
eshihition of talent and learning. Oonld old Johnson or Walker have 
risen from the tomb, they would have shuddered at the mongrel dialect 
of the Harvard scholars ; for it was, in truth, neither Latin, Greek, nor 
English. The pronunciation of English is most shamefully neglected 
here, both by teachers and students ; and whenever occasion requites, 
they coin words withont any compunction. There were, however, four 
excellent speeches ; the rest were flat enongh. The Phi-Beta -Kappa 
wOl be delivered to-morrow ; and I shall send you a copy, as soon as it is 
pablished. 

" I met Professor Nott here to-day. He told me that he was publish, 
ing fiotitions tales, having regularly embarked on the sea of novel-writ- 
ing. He has relinquished the task of writing Sumter's life. Fiction, 
he says, is better suited to his taste than biography. I shaU call on him 
in a day or two, and spend, for once again, a few happy hours, 

' ' I am myself writing an article on the study of the Greek, or rather 
of the classioa. It will probably appear in the January number of the 
North American fleww. I have written about ten pages, but shall not 
be able to finish it before the middle of September. I am also collect- 
ing materials for an elaborate work, on which I hope to found a reputa- 
iSon. It is a treatise on the philosophy of the Greek language. This 
will not appear under a year or two, and Professor Henry must see it, be- 
fore it ooines to light. I wish to establish a Uterary character in my na- 
tive State ; for I have an eye on a Professorship in the Theological 
Seminary at Columbia. That institution is destined to take ihe lead in 
this country. 

' ' Yours, affectionately and gratefully, 

J. H, Thobnwell," 

From the sound views here expreeaed, of the object 
and methods of academic training, he never receded; and 
he based upon tliem all his later eifbrts to adviuKte the 



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KK8rDEis:ui!; at oambridge, 121 

educational interests of his native State. He discovers, 
too, his predilection for a echolastic life, little dreaming 
of the sphere in whiuh it would he indulged; but it is a 
singular coincidence that his last labours should have 
been devoted to that institution, to which his early aspi- 
rations liad been dnected, and that he should there have 
wrought out the work upon which his permanent repu- 
tation will chiefly rest : a work which, though arrested in 
its progress by the hand of death, attests, even in its ia- 
■completeness, the power of his genius and the wealth of 
his knowledge. 

But to his coiTespondenee again. 

To General James Gilleepie : 

" Oambeidob, September 6, 1834. 

" Mt Deab Genebsl ; It is now nearly twelve o'clock at night, and 1 
liave determinod., with, u, miserable pen, to give you a ehott aooouut of 
the ineidentB of the day. Early ic the forenoon I went into Boston, for 
. ihB purpose of hearing Edward Everett's eulogy on Lafeyette ; and a 
splendid production it was. There were some passages in it nnsncpaased 
by the finest flights of Cliatham or of Bmke ; and throughont, it was a 
chaste, olassioal, and elegant composition. I had taken up the impress- 
ion that Everett w!i£ a cold, ditll, heaitiess, and formal speaker, who 
aimed only to please, and not to aroase the feeUnga of his auditory ; but 
I was g^uite in the wrong. He is impassioned and Tehement, and exer- 
cisea sa strong a control over the passions of his hearers as Preston him- 
self ; and I presume that the secret of his failure in Congress, is an in- 
ability to extemporize. He drew tears to-day from the stoutest heart ; 
and was repeatedly interi'upted by deafening shouts of applause, which 
made old Faneuil Hall ring, but which were hardly suitable to the bac^eS 
of monrning that shrouded the wails. His oration, was nearly three 
'hours long, and I was eitremely sorry when he got to the close. It wUl, 
in bU. probability, be published ; and if it should be, I will send you a 

"Mr. Everett is a very small man, about five feet seven iuches high, 
and witdal very thin ; but his countenance is stropgly marked. The 
moat remarkable feature of his face is his mouth ; it would attract at- 
tention the moment yon should lay your eyes npon him ; it is exactly 
like that of Dr. Watts, as exhibited in his portraits. Everett's eyes are 
a dark blue, and have the oast of thought and study. His forehead is 
fuC and fliiely arched, and the general espression. of his countenance 
is that of calm meditation. I have been thus minute in my description, 
because I was absolutely charmed with the man, and am determined, by 
some means or other, to obtain an introduction to him. 



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123 LIFE OF JAMBS HENLEY THOSi 



" Ttera was an immense conoouree of people assembled on the Com- 
mon ; and the prooesaion, I shonld think, was a mile and a half long, 
and Biveraged five persona in width. There Tcere probably four or live 
thousand ci'owded into I'aneuil Hall. I was about the head of tiio pro- 
cession, and oonsequentlj obtained a good seat near the orator. As 
BOOH as I got into Boston I found out the order of arrangements. Dis- 
tingnished strangers were invited to head the procession ; and as this 
oirouiuBtaQoe gave them the choice of seats, Evans and myself took it 
into our heads to introduce ourselves to the marshal as belonging to fhia 
olasB. We did the thing with sueli grace that the claim was admitted, 
and we joined the Une with John Quincy Adams, Daniel Webster, and 
that whole tiibe, ohuokling all the while over our new bought dignity. 
I breathed the atmosphere of greataess, and oould hardly persuade my- 
self that I was simply James S. Thomwell, onee pedagogue in the Che- 
raw Academy. 1 was certainly a great man, but had not been fortunate 
enough to find it out^, until I found myself ranted with distinguished 
sti'angers, A little impudence is a great help in this world ; and I have 
cailed in its aid on several occasions to great advantage, since I have 
been at the North. 

"I am quite oheerfnl and contented in Cambridge, and have estab- 
lished something of a oharacter. So far as I can learn, they give me 
credit for a virtue which I was never suapa^ted of possessing by my 
friends at home, and that is modestj/, Evans has joined the Law-school, 
and adds considerably to my enjoyment. I have, besides, a pretty ex- 
tensive circle of aoquaiatanoes in members of College from South Caro- 
lina, and am winding my way into the. affections of the natives them- 
selves. I am an intense student, and am making rapid progress in. 
Hebrew and Biblical Literature. I average, this week, fifteen hours 
per day ; but I cannot continue to apply myself at that rate, for I begin, 
to eiperience already the inconvenience of it, manifested by indigestioiL 
and a sUght pain in my chest, 1 shall hereafter study about thirteen 
hours a day, and eieroise freely ; and I have no doubt that I shall hS' 
able to escape all ill consequences. I attend the reoitatious of the Di- 
vinity School, and derive the same advantages as if I were & regular 
member, without being subject to any resttietiona. 

" I have nearly finished my article for the North American Reeieii}, 
and shall probably hand it in about the first of October. It is now quar- 
ter past one o'clock, and I most bid you good-night. 
"Sincerely and gratefully, 

J. H. Thobswei.1,," 

The associating priiieiple, wiiioh touelies the springs of 
memory everywhere, and binds together otir knowledge 
and experience — did it bring hack the incidents, so plea- 
santly related in the above letter, at a later day, when, 
seated by the side of the man here so greatly wondered 



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123 

at, lie Biu'prised Mr, Everett by a remarkable citation in 
the original, from Thueydides, and became in his turn the 
object of as much admiration and delight ? If ao, be must 
have mused apou those strange ooiii<;idents, which some- 
times bring the different stages of onr life into sneli 
Tividuess of contrast, as almost to overbear the conviction 
of our identity, and make us feel as though two different 
beings are represented in them. The story is thus told 
by one who participated in the interview : " In the year 
185T, Mr. Everett was in Columbia, to deliver his cele- 
brated oration on Washington ; and was the guest of that 
accomplished gentleman, the Hon, W. F, I>esaussure. 
Dr. Thornwell proposed to me that we should go together 
to pay our respects to the distinguished stranger. After 
being introduced, a good many inquiries wei'e made about 
Cambridge, and the literary men of Boston; when the 
conversation turned upon tlie recurrence of certain ideas 
in different eras of the world, Mr. Everett illustrated it 
by reference to a passage in Thueydides, which he ren- 
dered into Eoglish. Dr. Thornwell replied by quoting, 
in the original Greek, a few lines from the same author, 
Mr. Everett rejoined once more in English, when Dr. 
Thornwell made a far more extended quotation from 
Thueydides, in the Greek. All were surprised and de- 
lighted at the exhibition of learning, so spontaneous as to 
be free from the suspicion of pedantry. The following 
day Mr. Desaussure expatiated, in my oiiico, in praise of 
' our Southern giant.' " We relate the incident in tliis 
connection, that it may enjoy all the light of contrast. 
But to resume the correspondence of this period : 

" To Mb. Alexawdee H. Peouks ; 

"CiMBRiDQE, Septemlier 11, 18S4. 
" Mr DniB Fmend ; Midnight has drawn hec sable cnrtain over half 
the world ; and I seize upon, this hour of solemn. stilliiGea to renew my 
interoonrse with a ciheriehed frieud. There are a thouasnd.tiBS which 
lint the race in harmony ; but the affeotionR of the heart oannot be sat- 
isfiBd with- espansive action. I/ke the rays of light centred in a. 



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124 LIFE OF JAMES IIENI.KY THOENWEIJ.. 

barniiig focua, their energiea nmat all be directed to a single point, to 
piodaoe the masimum of happiness, and prodnoe the fullest doyelop- 
ment of which thoy are snsceptiWe. It is not enough to loye the 
fipeciea; there mnat be indiyiduids of the speoieB, whom ws cherish 
with peculiar fondness. A oandle can give light to a single room, but 
it cannot illumiiiate the world. I am charmed with the notion of nni- 
versal philanthropy, and am as anyone as most men to difEuse the 
means of knowledge and happiness among my brethren of the earth ; 
hut then 1 find more real enjoyment and unmingled felicity in the nar- 
rower circle of domestic affection and of private friendships. 1 am 
■willing to grant that love to the species should be the main-spring of 
&11 onr actions : but then I maintain that love to the species accom- 
plishes ite end only through the medinm of circamscrihed. action ; that 
the greatest happiness is ultimately produced hy discharging properly 
the humble duties of onr social relatione. It is a sad misnomer to call 
dn unfaithful friend or a crnel husband a genuine philanthropist. The 
man who is oareless of his own household is hardly able to take cme of 
the world ; and the man who loves not his own family can hardly be 
expected to love the race. Ha is the best philanthropist who is the 
truest fiiend, the most faithful husband, the most tender parent, and 
affectionate neighbour. 

"S^tember 18, 18S4. 
" Some few evenings since, as you observe, I commenced an epistle to 
you, but have forgotten entiMly the train of thought which was then in 
my mind. You will excuse me, therefore, for beginning de novo. And 
1 must be in a pretty considerable hurry ; for in a few minntes I have 
to attend a party, to which I have been invited, and wTiere I shall see 
the intelligence and beauty of Cambridge. I had gotten thus far, and 
was interrupted for three houre by company. Meanwhile, the music 
of the party has struck up, and I am rather afraid there will be dancing. 
If there should be, I most assuredly shall not go. You remember the 
eloquent declajnation of Oicero upon the subject, when a Roman Sena- 
tor was publicly impeached for the heinous offence of using his legs too 
lightly. There is neither rhyme nor reason in ' capering nimbly ovei- a 
lady's chamber, to the lascivious pleasing of a lute.' I am an open and 
avowed enemy to lie sport, because I believe that it is an enemy to the 
best and most eubstautiai inteiests of mac Justthiniof it soberly, and 
at the least, it cannot bnt appear lidionlous. • And yet, like moat other 
follies, it is fatally oontogiouB; and men freely indulge in it without 
being aware of its enormity. It is an insult to God, who has made ns 
beings of intellectual dignity ; it is an abnse of onr own pei'sons, and a 
prostration of our own powers. It is all nonsense to call it an amuse- 
ment : it has no claim nor title to the appellation. That only is properly 
junusement which I'elaxeB the mind after laborious 4jjil ; which refreshes 
ilfl exhausted energies, and pr^erves it from the hstlessnesa incident to 
fatigue. 6ot is this a characteristic of dancing ? Is it not a mere inven- 
tion to kill time ? Yours sincerely, as ever, 

,1. H. Thoe 



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RESIDENCE AT CA.MBKID«K. 125 

To the same : 

" OiWEKiDGE, October 1, 1834. 

" My Dhab Fbeesd : I reoeivad your letter thia afternoon, and was 
glad to find that you had not entirely forgotten me ; though I had he- 
gun to suspect that the probabilities oE hearing directly from you were 
eioeedingly faint. Yuu have miBappcehended Dr. Whatel/s object, in 
in his ' Historic Doubts concerning Napoleon,' His design was to show 
lliat the very same arguments wbioh are directed against the miracles of 
Christianity, can be applied wiHi equal force agdnet the existence of 
Buonaparte; fhat the one cannot be admitted or rejected with oonsis- 
tenoy, without admitting or rejecting tlie otlier. The stand which Mr, 
Hume and his followers haye taken in regai'd to our Saviour's miraolea 
is, that an event, in itself improbable, is incapable of being proved by 
testimony ; that its inherent improbability is a standing and unanswer- 
able argument against it. On the same grounds, such men must have 
rejected the esistence of Napoleon, as an event in itself impi'obable ; 
but all men have admitted this fact ; and therefore, the conclusion is 
irresistible, that adeg^uate testimony is sufficient to establish any fact, 
however improbable it may appear. It was, consequently. Dr. Whate- 
ley'a object to show that Hume's reasoning proved too much, and conse- 
quently proved nolliing; that it proved not ouly that Jesua Christ 
wrought no miracles, but that Hapoleon Buonaparte never lived or died. 
I look upon the pamphlet as one of the happiest effusions of well-sus- 
tained irony that I have ever read. I was delighted with it, and there- 
fore sent it to you. 

"The more I examine Hume's celebrated argument against miracles, 
the more I am satisfied that it is utterly untenable and faUacious. A law 
of nature is only a compendious espresaioa for uuif ormity in the appear- 
ances of natare. To say, therefore, that anything violates a law of na. 
ture, is only to say that it does not eonfoim with the general appear- 
ances. Our knowledge of nature's laws depends upon ihe testimony 
of our senses ; our knowledge of a miracle depends p th t t ny 
of the senses of other men. There is, therefore, th m g und for 
believing in a miracle, ae for believing in the law ft C is, 

the usual appearance of nature ; (he other, au unu al j i -in We 
know both from the evidence of sense. A man, t f h d es 

a miracle, ought, in eonaistenoy, to disbelieve the 1 w f t they 

both rest on the same grounds ; there is no diSe b tw ib n, 

esoept that one is uniform ; the other is not. This uniformity can make 
no difference, because we know U only from the evidence of sense. 

"This is a meagre skeleton of the dir^t argument with which I would 
meet infidelity ; the indirect would be drawn from the nature and attri- 
butes of God; btit it is quite unnecessaiy to touch upon it here, I 
should pay bnt a poor compliment to your understandiog, if I thought 
you were in danger of being ensnared by the sophisms of Hume, which 
are now universally abandoned, even by Free-thinkers -themselves. The 



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1 26 LIFE OF JAMES HENLEY THOKNWELL. 

recorded experience of the world is a lining teBtiiaony against his doo- 
trinea; and 20 laiax wto mingles in the ■world can act npoa his prin- 

" Tou do not overrate the advantagee of Cambridge, bat you cettaiDly 
tmderrate those of Sooth Carolina. There are no more f aeilitiea here for 
acquiring an education, than there aie among us ; and I had jnst 9S soon 
send a son to Colnmbia ae to Cambridge. - A large library is far from 
being an advantage to uuder-gcadnates. They are indiscreet and impru- 
dent ju their selection of books ; and where there are so many Tolumra, 
they leave the hall very often ■without knowing what to choose. A large 
library is a help to scholars, in the ■way of reference and oousuJtatioa ; 
but to no other men, and in no other way. 

" On the morning of the 4th of October, I shall set sail for Charles- 
tan, and shall tie in Cheraw about the 30tli or 31st. I regret very much 
taleave Hai'vard ; but I am wimpelled to do so. I am delightfully situ- 
ated here ; and should be exceedingly happy, under other ciroumstan- 
eea, to spend two or three years. A. physician of Boston hae assnced 
me that it would be certain death for me to try a Northei'n winter ; and 
I have already suffered nearly as much from the cold, as I ever did in 
South. Carolina. The climate, foe the last two weeks, has been very 
Tariable ; somotimoB veiy piercing, and sometdraes pleasant. I have 
consequently determined not to risk my heallii, but to return as early as 
I safely oan. I sfai't rather earlier than I espectad, on account of the 
uncertainties of a sea voyage. I am anxious, too, to be present at your 
siBtei''s nuptials, and shall bend all my efforts to reach Cheraw in time. 



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CHAPTER X. 

FIRST PASTORATE. 
LioEvsuna, — Sbttlembnt rN LttiossTF.K. — Spihituil CoNrLioT,— OHis- 

iOTES OB HI3 ElBLY PEEACHINO. — BSTBAOBDINiBr AaCENDlHOY OTEB 

K13 ArniBMoa. — His Sinowiiab Poweb of Iij.nMin4TiNQ the whole 
QoaPEL.^Hia Beabing as i Pastoe, — Mabriaok. — Dsirpa OS his 

FlSST OBIUI. — OOMELETE FoEMAIION OF ChABAOTEE. — DeTBUJPMENT 
OP PlBTY, — EsTBACtrS FBOM HIS PBIVATB JonaNAL. — OoBPBSSlOK ANB 

Pbaibb. 

MR. THORNWELL was licensed to preach the gospel, 
by the Presbytery of Harmony, met at Tolerant 
Chui'ch, in the bouiids of Beaver Creek congregation, on 
the 28th of November, 1834: exactly one year irom the 
time he was taken nnder the Presbytery's care. His 
examination was eminently satisfactory ; and very unusual 
encomiuiriB were pronounced upon his ability and pro- 
ficiency, by the members of the court, m rendering their 
decision upon the parts of trial. The Rev. Dr. Goulding, 
then Professor in the Theological Seminary at Columbia, 
is reported as saying, "Brethren, I feel like sitting at this 
young man's i'eet, ae a learner:" a very sweet expression 
of humility, on the part of one whom the Church was 
honouring with an ofSce of the highest responsibility and 
trust; but also a wonderful testimony to the attainments 
of the young theologian which drew it forth. 

Hie first settlement was, however, within the bounds of 
a different Presbytery. Certain gentlemen from the vil- 
lage of Lancaster were present at this examination, and 
bore away with them such impressions as determined 
eventually his location. On the 8th of April, 1835, a 
church was organized in this village, by the Presbytery of 
Bethel, which immediately made overtures to Mr. Thorn- 
127 



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128 LIFE OF JAMES lIENr,BY THORNWELL. 

well to beuome its pastor. Accordingly, on tho llth of 
June, he was transferred as a licentiate from the Presby- 
tery of Hai-niony to that of Bethel; and on the following 
day he was ordained and installed pastor over the infant 
church. His labours were not, however, restricted withni 
this narrow sphere. The old mother church of Waxhaw, 
iHid the church of Six-Mile creek, in the same District of 
Lancaster, enjoyed his occasional, if not his constant, 
ministrations ; and in April, 1836, having made out sepa- 
rate calls, they were united with the church at Lancas- 
terVille in a joint pastoral chai'ge; and the installation 
services were performed by Eev. Messrs. J. B. Davies and 
Pierpont E. Bishop, as a Committee of the Presbytery. 

The reader has observed the spiritual conflict through 
■which ouf friend passed in his earlier years, and the gra- 
dual ascendency which the gospel gained over his chai-- 
aeter and life. He will not, therefore, be sui'prised to 
find these culminating in one last struggle, which would 
seem to terminate the discipline of this preparatory pe- 
riod. The letters, too, which have been given, reveal his 
towering ambition, which had been, fed by constant and 
brilliant success in academic competitions. What more 
likely than that this tremendous passion should gather up 
all its force, to deter him from a calling in which it may 
not lawfully be indulged? "Wliat more probable than 
that conscience should itself shrink back in alarm, from 
the responsibility of the sacred office, not measured in its 
awful magnitude until it is about to be assumed ? What 
more in keeping with the artifice and malignity of Satan, 
than that, at such a crisis, he should seize upon all that 
is good, as well as all that is evil, within us, and array 
them against a decision by which he is discomfited for- 
ever ? It is a fearful struggle when, once for all, a noble 
spiritbrings its longing after fame, and lays it down a 
perpetual sacrifice to conscience and to God. For though 
the pulpit has its honours and rewards, woe 1 woe ! to 
the man who enters it under this temptation : 



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FIRST PASTORATE. 129 

' ' To gaze at hie own splendour, and exalt. 
Absurdly, not his office, but himself," 

The shadow of a fearful curse falls upon him who " does 
this woi'k of the Lord deceitfuEy :" upon him who cannot 
ivith a purged eje look beyond the meed of human ap- 
plause, to the benediction of the great Master, as his final 
crown. 

Dr. Thornwell relates, that such was the apprehension 
of his soul in what he was about to do, that he appeared 
before the Presbytery with a half-cherished Jiope tliey 
wonld reject him; and thus the Church would assume the 
responsibility of releasing him'from the pressure of the 
Apostle's woe. In this .apprehension he has, however, 
only entered within the shadow of the doud which was 
yet to darken upon him. The authority of the Chiircb 
has B^it him forth to preach the "Word, and a hungry 
chai'ge beckons from the distance to come and give it the 
bread of life. In hie solitary way, ae he journeys along^ 
in the beautiful spring, terrible thoughts settle upon his 
mind, which he cannot conjure away. What if, after all, 
he should not be a converted man ! "What, if it sho,nld 
be a .profane touch that he was to give to the ai'k of God ! 
What, if he was going up to the place and people of the 
Lord, and His presence. was not with him ! What, if the 
ministry should prove to Iiim an iron bondage, and, 
having preached t-o others, be should be himself a cast- 
away ! And po he j^iifheyed on, like Saul to Damascus, 
with the deep midnight upon his soul. At the end of a 
day's travel he rested under the hospitable roof of a pious 
elder, to whom he opened all the sorrow.. Biit no com- 
fort came from all the comfort that was spoken. The 
good elder conld succeed only in exacting a promise, at 
parting, that he would go on to his appointment; and if 
the Lord, in answer to prayer, did not make his duty 
plain, why, then, he need not preach. The place is 
reached ; he enters the pulpit, with " the great horror of 
darkness" resting upon him still. It is the garden of 



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130 LIFE OF JAMES HENLEY 'IHORNWELL. 

Getlistiinsme to this joxiiig but chosen servant of the Lord, 
who mudt here learn to drink of the Saviour's cup, and be 
baptized with Ilia baptism. He rises to preach; and now 
the time has come for the revelation of the Saviour's 
love. Through a rift in the gloom, tliere rushes down 
upon him such a sense of his aeceptanee witli God as was 
overpowering. The assm'ance ^and the Joy overflowed 
into the discourse, which poured the sacred oil over the 
assembly; until some gathered unconsciously near tiie 
pulpit, in breathless suspense upon the young prophet's 
lips. He was from that moment anointed to a life-work, 
which is precious in its record here, and-— above.* 

His early preaching was not dry and scholastic, as 
many predicted it would be. On the contrary, one of 
his habitual hearers describes it s£, "intensely practical 
and plain; nothing abstract. The impression in my mind, 
now, is that of earnest exposfcnlation with sinners. Now, 
to-day, is the day of salvation. He was very earnest; his 
eye kindled with intense excitement; his wliole frame 
quivered. His sermons created great enthusiasm among 
tiie people of all denominations, who crowded into the 
little chui'ch until it overflowed." Another vn-ites : "Mr. 
Thornweli's sermons, from tlie commencement of his 
preaching, were profound, logical, and eloquent. He 
gestured more with botA arms than he did in after life, 
and there was more vehemence of action." Indeed, it is 
the opinion of many who knew him intimately thi'Ough 
his whole career, that, for popular effect, those early dis- 
courses were never surpassed by the riper productions of 
his later years. Though his learning became more va- 
rious and his discussions more profound, yet the flrst 
hnpressions of his oratory were never transcended. "We 
suspect, however, that it was largely clianged in its char- 

* The inddent is giTen precisely as it was flret I'elated to us. Another 
authority places it a little later in his early ministi'y, and aubsfitutea a 
minister for the eider as his adyiser and friend. This slight discrepanoy 
rather confirms, than weakens, the oooui'reiloe of the fact. 



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FIKST PAeTOKATB. 181 

acter. It was eloquence of a higher order that he after- 
wards obtained, though leas attractive to the multitude. 
A severer taste, and a deeper religiouB experience, led 
him to disregard the graces of rlietoric, with wliich at iirst 
he had charmed a popular assemhly. His eloquence dug 
for itself a deeper channel than in his earlier years, and 
poured itself in a much broader flood ; rather overwhelm- 
ing by its majesty, than attracting by its grace. 

In proof of the ascendency he always gained over the 
minds of bia hearers, the following incident may be re- 
lated, in the very words given to us : " Soon after he came 
among us, the time arrived for the regular semi-annual 
communion at the Waxhaw Church, It had always been 
customary for neighbouring paatora to assist each other 
at these meetings. Our young pastor commenced on 
Friday morning, the usual time, withoiit any assistance. 
One of our venerable elders, who did not arrive till Sat- 
tnrday morning, was displeased with this course, thinking 
it presumptuous in him to suppose the people would be 
content without the usual variety, to which, on such occa- 
sions, they were accustomed. But after listening to the 
morning diacoiirse, the old gentleman approached those 
to whom he had expressed his dissatisfaction, and said : 
' I am very glad now, that no other minister is here.' The 
sermon waa from the text, 'A man that hath friends must 
show himself friendly; and there is a friend that sticketh 
closer than a brother.'" A aermonfrom this text, doubt- 
less the same, was one of the earliest that the writer him- 
self heard from the lips of hia friend; and portions of it 
are distinctly remembered at this day, across the interval 
of three and tliirty years. 

His sermons at this period seldom exceeded thirty 
minutes in length, though they afterwards stretched to 
the orthodox aixty. Biit he was sometimes borne beyond 
himself, as in the ease now to be recited, and which affords 
a better illustration than the preceding of his immenae 
power over an audience. We draw upon the same testi- 



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132 LIFE OF JAMES HENI,J5Y THOENWELI.. 

mony as befiire : " On Sabbath morning bis text was, ' It 
is a faitbful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that 
Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners.' It was. 
one of his finest eiforts. When he had been preaching 
for an hoar and a half, he took out liis watch, stopped 
si^ddenly, and apologized to the congregation, saying he 
had no idea he had been speaking so long. The cry 
rose at once, from all parts of the house, ' Go on ! go on !' 
And he did go on for neaidy an hour more." Remem- 
bering how staid a Presbyterian congi-egatioa nsually is, 
and restrained by the sanctities of the sanctuary, this ont- 
bnrst of enthusiasm, breaking over all conventional pro- 
prieties, was no slight tribute to the power of the orator. 
But the chai'm of the story remains yet to be unfolded. 
" My father," adds the witness, " a very old gentleman, 
was present. A few days afterwards he sent for me,, 
saying, 'I want to talk to you about that sermon. My 
son, if you ever had a doubt about the truth and perfec- 
tion of the plan of salvation, you surely can have none 
now. I have been studying tliat subject all my life, but 
I never saw it before as I do now. !Now I am ready to 
die, that I may enter upon its full enjoyment.' He never 
was able to attend chm-ch again; and eternity alone will 
reveal the comfort and instruction which that one sermon 
gave to this aged servant of God; how it smoothed hia 
pathway to the tomb, and lighted up his future with hope. 
Scores and hundreds of others have been similarly pro- 
fited, as they hung upon the truth from his lips." 

This affecting narrative brings to view one feature of 
Dr. Thornwell's preaching, which may as well be signal- 
ized here as elsewhere. It was the power he possessed 
of sometimes illuminating the whole gospel in a single 
discourse. "We enter, for example, a chamber at twihght; 
and, with a dim, uncertain vision, recognize the furniture 
and appointments. Each object is disclosed, but in faint 
outline; and the relation of the parts to each other can be 
but imperfectly traced. Suddenly a taper is applied to a 



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FIRST TASTOKATE. 133 

siuglo l>umei', and one jet of flame is eitflieient to light up 
the whole, Evra-y ai-ticle in the room presents its clear 
profile to the eye ; all is brought out from the shadow into 
"bold relief; and the total effect is taken in at a glance 
from the grouping, which discloses the taste and dispo- 
sition of the occupant. Just so, the triithe to which we 
have been listening all our lives are disposed in a certain 
catechetical order in otu' mind, yet fragmentary and 6is- 
iointed. How often will a single paragraph in a book, or 
a single utterance of the living voice, light them up with 
a new cleai'nees, and show them in the beauty and power 
of an organic unity, as parts of a comprehensive and har- 
monious system. This faculty Dr. Thorawell possessed, 
in a degree which marked no other man whom it has 
been our privilege to know or hear. His power of 
analysis sti'ipped every subject of all that was adveii- 
titioiis or collateral. He removed skilfully every sucker 
shooting out from the stem of his doctrine, and exposed 
at once the living germ from which all growth and 
development sprung. With this ultimate principle in 
the grasp, the hearer had the key to unlock the entire 
subject; with the thread of Ariadne in his fingers, he was 
guided safely through all the intricacies of the longest 
discussion into which it might afterwards expand. As 
eveiy system, too, however complex,' must hang upon a 
few cardinal postulates, it was his delight to seize upon 
those which were fundamental in Christianity, and, with 
amazing constructive skill, build up the grand temple 
before the eyes of his audience, laying beam upon beam, 
and stone upon stone, and "bringing forth the head- 
stone thereof, with shoutings of, Grace, grace unto it." A 
good illustration of tliis tendency of mind is furnished in 
his Inaugural Discourse, when inducted into the Theo- 
logical chab' in the Seminary at Coliunbia, in which he 
attempts to denote "the central principle of theology," 
which brings its diversified matter into such "unity of 
relation as constitutes it propei'ly a science." This was 



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1S4 LlffE OF JAMES HENLEY THOENWELL. 

a constant attribute of his preacliing; which had a value 
beyond the demonstration of single truths, in supplying 
the nexus which hound them together in unity and com- 
pleteness. From this cause it happened that, in Ma 
vai-ioue travels, wherever he would tarry for a Sabbath, a 
single sermon proved to so many a life-event, from whicli 
a new Christian experience was developed. Hundreds 
of siich are to be found through this broad land ; and not 
until they shall sit down with him upon the Mount of 
God, can he know in how many blessed experiences his 
earthly ministry was blent. There is power in genius; 
and where it is eanetifted by grace, and wielded as an in- 
strument of the Holy Spirit, there is uotliing beneath the 
skies that is half so grand — nothing before which the 
human soul bows with bo much of deference and love. 

" Tea ; to tty tongue aliall Betaph words be given, 
And power on. earth to plead the cause of Heaven j 
The proud, the eold untroubled heart of stone, 
That never mused on sori'ow but its own, 
TJnloois a generous store at thj command, 
Like Hareb's look beneath the prophet's band." 

Mr. Thornwell, during his pastorate, resided iu the 
village of Lancaster, where a neat church buUding was 
soon erected under his auspices. The Waxhaw Church 
■was distant about eight miles ; and the Six-Mile charge, 
about eighteen miles. These distances, however, were 
easily covered by a fleet horse, which rejoiced in the 
soubriquet of " Bed Rover," and was habitually driven 
at the speed of ten and twelve miles an hour. *' Tliis 
was, however, no cruelty to the horse," writes the ehi-o- 
nicler of this period; "it was only in keeping with the 
spirit and mettle of the animal ;" but adds he, somewhat 
quaintly, " it gave our pastor the appearance of being 
a little fast." Poor Bed Bover was before long of- 
fered a sacrifice upon the altar of love; for upon the 
master's mai-riage, the friends of the lady could by no 
means consent for her to ride at such break-neck speed. 



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FIRST PAETORATS. 135 

and beliind a liorse of which all but the owner were 
afraid. Character is most displayed in little tilings. It 
is an illnstration of Mr. Thornwell's conseieiitio\isness, 
that, when compelled to part reluctantly with his fa- 
vourite eteed, though offered fifty per cent, more, he 
would take only one hundred doUars, which he consi- 
dered his money value. 

Whilst indulging this gossip, it may not he amiss , to 
state, that Dr. Thornwell exhibited through life one mark 
of extravagance, in always having the host of everything 
in ite kind. Indeed, it was his doctrine that the hest was 
always the cheapest. He always concurred with Car- 
lyie in his denunciation of "the cheap and nasty;" 
■which, like Oarlyle, he pushed in many directions, and 
made it the measure of men and principles, as well as of 
things. Still, it was with him very much a matter of 
taste. He always, hought the best editions of books j 
wore clothing of the finest texture; was fond of fine 
horses; and smoked always the best brands. To illus- 
trate his epieurianism as to the last named, the vfriter 
once offered him a cigar, such as he was himself smoking 
at the time, and as good in quality as he felt he could 
afford. After drawing two or three whiffs, it was pitclied 
impatiently through the window, with the exclamation, 
"Any man who will smoke such cigars will steal!" The 
anecdote wiU be excused its want of dignity, if it shows 
the freedom and dash of his raillery towards those whom 
he loved. 

He was scarcely less dear as a pastor to the people of 
his charge, than admired as a preacher. The morbid 
sensibility, and recoil upon himself, of past years, have 
entirely disappeared. The liubicon is passed; he has 
grappled with lite, and deals with its realities rather than 
with its di-eams. The preliminai-y fear of the battle has 
subsided with the first shock of arms, and he feels the 
stem joy of the encounter. His initiation into hfo was, 
too, of the nature of a triumph. Eveiyw)iere sought, 



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136 LIFE OF JAMES HENLEY THOBNWKLL. 

admired, caressed; all things conspired to draw out the 
original simplicity and guilelessness of his nature. His 
constitutional buoyancy of spirits bore him on its flood, 
and the native gaiety of hie disposition sparkled through 
his whole demean ovu'. Wherever his social visits were 
dispensed, he romped with the children, and bantered the 
middle-aged with sportive wit; whilst those who needed 
comfort and advice were met with genisil sympathy, and 
with instruction which could not be exceeded in its rich- 
ness. Men stopped to wonder at him as he passed along 
the streets, striving to put together the solemnity of his 
pulpit utterances and the exuberant pleasantly of the 
private companion. Many, perhaps, had to unlearn some 
of the old, stereotyped lessons of cant, and make tlie dis- 
tinction between a genuine zeal and the sanctimonious 
Pharisaism that hides in the folds of a white cravat, and 
in the stiff precision of an artificial saintliness. But 
the result was tlie combined respect and love of all; wlio 
were as miicii won by the artless demeanour of the week, 
as by the stormy eloquence of the Sabbath. In pi'oof, 
however, that all this playfulness was but the unbending 
of a serious mind, a single question or word was sufficient 
to call it back to the earnestness and gravity which were 
habitual. Says the friend who has fiu'nished most of 
these sketches : " He was an inmate of my family, and I 
then knew him intimately. Only those who have enjoyed 
a similar privilege can appreciate the delight his society 
afforded. My rule was to ask him a question, and, as he 
undertook to answer it, his mind would turn fully to the 
subject, and his discouree would be intensely fascinating 
as well as instrnetive." The rapidity with which he 
could pass fi'ora the gay to the severe, and exchange the 
play of wit for the most abstract and elaborate reasoning, 
all can testify who were ever admitted into his confldence. 
The writer has a thousand times admired the self-mastery 
thus displayed in the perfect control of his own modes oi 
feeling and of thought. 



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FIKST PASTOEATE. 137 

On the 8d December, 1835, Mr. Tliornweil was united 
in marriage with Miss Nancy White Witherspoon, second 
daughter of Colonel James H. Witherspoon, of Lancaster 
District. Colonel Witlierspoon wae one of the leading 
men in the District, and not without distinction in tlie 
State; having served as Lieutenaiit-Govemor, and was a 
candidate for Congress, with eveiy prospect of being 
elected, when he was stricten by pai-alysis, which termi- 
nated in death. He was a man of large yiewa, of gi'eat 
energy and enthusiasm, and possessed an almost un- 
bounded popularity. Mr. Thomwell gained easy admis- 
sion into his houseliold, not only by his official relations 
as a pastor, but through an intimacy with two of his sons 
in college, one of whom was his class-mate. Though 
Colonel Witherspoon, with the worldly prudence that 
guides most men ' in disposing their daughters in mar- 
ria^, saw what looked little better than starvation in a 
salary of six hundred a year, still, he could not refuse 
domestic alliance to ,a young man whom he openly pro- 
claimed intellectually the equal of Mi: McDuffie or Mr. 
Calhoun. From the time of marriage the happy couple 
took np their abode in the family mansion, till their re- 
■ moval to a different home. By this union, a true help- 
meet was provided for one whose gifts and whose calling 
required tliat he should not be entangled in the things of 
this life. Mrs. Thornwell's sound judgment and practical 
wisdom were a valuable check upon the ardent tem- 
perament and too confiding generosity of her husband. 
Her prudence and skilful management released him Jrom 
■domestic cares, to meet the exactions of his pubhc sta- 
tion; while her womanly grace and cheerful disposition 
tlirew a serene chann about his home, in which hia spirits 
found always a perfect repose. No man had better reason 
to know the trutli of Solomon's assertion, that " a pi'udent 
wife is from the Lord," The happiness of these early 
yeare was darkened only by a single sorrow, the death of 
then- first-bora, at tlie age of three months. This visi- 



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138 LIFE OF JAME8 HBNLKY THOKKWEIX, 

tation drew from his Meud and pati'on, Mr. Ro'bbina, the 
following expression of sympathy and affection : 

"My DsiR Jamee: I have just reoeived your letter, oonveying the 
afflictiye mteUigenoe of tlie loss of your dear babe. We are both mueh. 
afflicted by this uneipected calamity, and deaii-e to join oar syrapatliies 
in the soriowa of the patents. We can do so most deeply and affeo- 
fionately We know -what it is to watoh the gradnal unfolding of the 
physical and intelleotaal facttltiea of a tfectr child, a first ohiid, au only 
child ; and la the full flood-lade of our eDjoyment, to have the dear ob- 
ject of our love snatched from ovii' presence and our care. Such a loss 
is heart-rending indeed ; and the mourner is disposed to attach little 
value to other blessings of life, for a season, since the greatest has beea 
withdrawn. But a stort time and a little reflection wili. dispel the blMk- 
ness of the cloud, and show us a clear and serene sky beyond it. We 
do know, James, that our heavenly Parent, whose love to us sarpfteses 
that of a woman to the child of her bosom, is the immediate Author ot 
ibese bereavements. We do hruyw that He never afflicts willingly, or 
grieves the children of men ; always for some cause— great, good, ade- 
quate cause. What this cause is, it is our privilege and our duty to- 
inquire. Sometimes it is wisely withheld from onr search ; but fre- 
quently, very freqaently, it is within the reach of our refleotion. It 
may be in mercy to the ehild, to resone it from a mora dreadful calamity 
which would have attended it in life; it may be in mercy to Hiepa/ren,, 
to spare the more acute suffering at beholding an unworthy life, or 
an unworthy oormeotion m hfe * * « Tho&e were some of my own 
reflections when called on to mourn, as yon now do ; but, my dear 
James, I believe most men can find — I think I found — some unfaith- 
fulness in myself, for which the visitation befell me; and, witb the 
blessing of Qod, I have endeavcnred to reform it. Should this be jour 
case, I pray most devoutly that He, whose grace is sufQcient for ub, 
may enable yon to discovei and east it out. Best assured of the sincere 
personal and Ohristian sympathy of yours, 

W. H. 1 



From the moment of his settlement in the ministry, 
the crystallization of Mr. Thornwell's character appears 
to be complete. All mawkishness of sentiment and moo- 
diness of temper have vanished for ever. He has become, 
in the fullest sense, a man, and has pnt away these childieh 
things. His style of writing is more robust, like that of 
one who has ascertained his real strength ; and it is hence- 
forth discharged of the ambitionsness which perhaps is, 
but the natural blemish of youthful self-assertion. His 



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FIEST PASTOKATE. ] 39 

religious experience ia amazingly deepened, by more fa- 
miliar study of the Scriptures and nearer acquaintance 
■with God. The docti-ine of salvation through gi'ace be- 
came more precious to himself, as he pressed it upon the 
acceptance of others. In this, too, he was greatly pro- 
fited by his intimacy with the Bev, Pierpont E. Bishop, 
one of his co-presbyters : a man not comparable with liim- 
self either in learning or genius, but of excellent mind 
and of profound piety. He was one of the few, in any 
generation, of whom it eau be aaid with emphasia, that 
they " walk with God." His holiness was rooted in. prin- 
ciple; it pervaded his character, and was of that earnest 
and controlling type which the Calvinistie view of Divine 
ti'uth imparts, when fully received into the heart. This 
was precisely the bond which linked Mr.Thornwell to him; 
and the affection subsisting between tlie two, throughout 
life, was formed in Christ, their common Lord. "As iron 
sharpeneth iron, bo a man aharpenetli the countenance of 
his friend;" and the sweet aavour of Mr. Bishop's piety 
penetrated into the life and history of his brother in the 
gospel. 

A few extracts from his private journal, kept at this 
time, but discontinued after a few months, and apparently 
nevej' resumed, are given, to show the severity with which 
he probed his own heart, and liis watchful jealousy of all 
tendencies to earthly pride and vainglory. 

" AprU 2nd^ 1836.— I have this day commenced to keep a journal of 
my personal history, with a view chiefly to my growth in graoe. Neaily 
a jeitr has elapsed since I was ordained and installed Uie paskir of tiie 
little ohnioh in Lanoaeter ; and what have I done for the glory of God, 
the edification of His people, or the conversion of sinners f Unf eith- 
f nlnesa ! nnf aithEalness ! must be written upon my very best efforts. 
Great God, give me more largely of the spirit of grace ! My mind this 
day has been much concerned for the welffire of my little flock. 
Some of them manifest the spirit of the gospel ; but others are oold 
and lifeless, and seem to take no sort of interest in eternal things. O 
Lord, revive Thy work ! In reviewing my labours, I am quite satisfied, 
and I trust am humbled, that my Bible class has been conducted too 
jjiuoh wiUi a view to the head, and too little with a view to the heart, ; it 



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140 LIFK OF JAMES HEWLEY THOKNWELL. 

iias too much oiitjcism, and too little personal application. By the gvaca 
of God I am determined to remedy tiiis defect. 

" May ink. — I retni'ned tome to-day, after having been absent for 
more than three weeks. During my visit to Xork, I esperieneed a dia- 
tresGing viBitatiou in the suddeu illuess of my wife. I feared Chat she 
was on the lirink of the grave ; and was deeply hiunblecl nnder a heavy 
Bense of my ingratitnde to God for bo sweet a gift. Her society had 
aot been sufaeiently improved for spiritnal pmposes. I felt that I most 
richly deserved some decided manifestation of God's displeasure ; and 
in reliance on Hie grace, I trust I formed the resolution of living 
more faithfully for the glory of God, and of regarding my wife as a 
help-mate in spiritnal and eternal matters. God has spaced her, and re- 
stored her to me ^ain. Oh ! may the Lord give me grace to fulfil my 
purposes of renewed obedienoe. 

" During my absence, I attended an adjoumedmeeting of Presbytery, 
held at Purity church, in Chester, for the purpose of ordaining Bnjther 
Douglas, I was appointed to preach the ordination sermon, and did so 
from Kom. i. 5. I felt much of the solemnity which Uie occasion was 
fitted to insp' b t t half m haethgrt't fcs involved 
ought to hav p d m ea tant pain and 

grief to me, h h ea ti rm ngUle effieot 

upon my mi d i^nn m h h power, and 

depth, which m mip rta q n see very 

■clearly how I gh afi d m affected. O 

Lord, give m m la p ffi g ce 1" 

"Jwne 2nA. — Betumed home, aft«r an absence of nearly a week. 
Attended a sacramental meeting of Brother Bishop's, at Unity. That 
is a precious and a godly man. I felt much of the evils of my heart, but 
<jould not be humbled. I see iu my own heart Bo mneh selfishness, and 
pride, and vanity ; so much hardness and insensibility; Bo hiile affec- 
tion for the Saviour, or devotedness to the glory of God, that I am often 
seriouBly led to doubt whether I am a ohild of God. It is my Bincere 
and constant desire to make the Lord my portion, to live to Him, and for 
Him, and on Him, Oh! for a single eye and a simple heart! I erjoy 
the eomfotta of religion by fits and starts. They coma in oooasioaal 
flashes ; they are not my constant and habitual atmosphere. I have one 
consolation, the Lord reigneth. I am aniions to serve Him, and to be 
just in that field of labour which shall most promote His glory. 

"J-MJM 4 (7t.— Finished to-day my sermon on 'The Refugee of Lies,' f ram 
la. viu F mbmtifidb Imfd thmlld-infel- 
mg an and com h w h mp te he 

comp I k d h Spir nfl mm d the 



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FIKST PASTOliATB. 141 

h ! that I ma; ever make the same advanoes in the 
o God, and in mortification of ain ! 
"Jul^ 19i7i. — Thia morning has been set apart for secret fasting and 
prater. I h&ve lately bees, terdbly beset with the dark and horrible 
suggestiona of the great adversary of aouls. Blasphemous and awful 
words would be shot through roy mind "with the rapidity of iightnijig, 
when I would engage in secret prayer at night,- or undertook to medi- 
tate on tiie Scriptures, or to read them. This day, thus far, has been a 
day of teiTible gloom to me. My soul has been in thiok darkness. I 
hftve had no enjoyment of God. My heait has been cold and oheerleas, 
and seems utterly incapable of realizing eternal things. I haye been 
reyiewing my past life, and am almost driyen to despair at the recollec- 
tion, of my sins. My heart seems to be nothing but a sink of corrup- 
tion, a Gahenna of iniquity. AH my serrices haye been aelflsh. My 
frames, which used to be pleasant, were, I fear, utterly destitute of 
Bpirituaiity. I am exceedingly desirous to love holiness and hate sin ; but 
I fear that it is a mere selfish desiie. I sometimes suspect that my de- 
sires for holiness are more for its results than for itself, Lord, lead 
me in the paths of truth and purity. Bemoye from me every darling 
lust, and enable me to live wholly for Thy glory ! 

' 'July SOth. — For the last two or three days I have been much engaged 
in reading close works on experimental religion. Boston on the ' Cove- 
nant of Grace' is a luminous exposition of that wonderful transaotiou. 
I feel my mind eatabUshed in. that great truth of the gospel ; but my 
heart does not take that deep and abiding interest in them which I 
earnestly desire, and which their importance demands. I have gloomy 
and distracting doubts of my own personal acceptance. To-day I set 
apart for private fasting, humiliation and prayer, with reference to a 
protracted meeting, to be holdan at Sis-Mile, and my brother's conver- 
sion. But my teart has been eold and stupid. I have had no clear 
views of any spiritual objeot. My understanding assents, but my feel- 
ings are dead. My religion seems to be all in the head. Would to God 
it were otherwise ! 

"September 5th.— I have been much hurt this evening, having heard 
that I had offended some of the Methodists of the village by some rough 
and unchristian expreasions about shouting. I was wrong in saying 
what I did. I sinned, and sinned gcievoualy ; and shall, by the per- 
mission of God, make an acknowledgment to-morrow. My tongue is 
an unruly member, and I often say, under the influenoe of eicitement, 
what I am sorry for, immediately afterwards. May the Lord give me 
prudence. My feelings, I am afraid, are too strongly set against tha 
peculiarities of Aiminians. There is more of the flesh than the spirit 
in them. The truth is. I see nothing about myself that is right ; I am 
altogether a sinner. But blessed be God for free grace ! That is my 
only hope. 

"■ September atk. — Formed the design this morning of writing a short 
treatise on tiie peculiar doctrines of the gospel. May the Lord grant 



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142 LIFE ilV JAMES llINLIi.r lUUKNWELL. 

that I may be guided by His Hol^ Spirit, that I may contend for noth- 
ing but the trath, and that in the fcpiiit of Ihe gospel ; and may the 
■whole work eonduce to His glorj ' Lord, giant that there may be no 
eelf-seelting, piide, vanity, nor ambition , but may there be a single 
eye to TJiy glory, and the prosperity ol the Church, Aid me, O Thou 
Father of lights, by Thy grace ; and enlighten me in a aavijig know, 
ledge of the fauih !" 

Tliese extracts from his journal will be appropriately 
closed by the following confeBsion, evidently drawn np at 
this period. Its strong expressions will be understood, 
when it is remembered that tlie instrument is intended to 
cover his former unconverted state, as well as his present 
penitence and sorrow: 

Confession op Sin. 
"I. 'Thon Shalt have no other gods before Me.' 
' ' I have broken this commandment, and do coatinually break it, by 
not knowing and acknowledging God to be the only true God, and mff 
God. I have been guilty of atJidimi, in ascribing to chance, or lack, or 
fortune, what has been brought about by the diapenaations of His pro- 
Tidenee, I have been guilty of idolatry in several respects. 1. In 
worshipping self. I have hved for self ; I have toiled and laboured and 
agonized for self ; and, what is worst of all, I have preached self. 2, 
In worshipping Jome, I have sought this as my chief good. While I 
was in College, I counted all things but loss for the sake of literary dis- 
tinction ; and since I left College, I have repeatedly worshipped, with 
an eastern devotion, at this very altar. 3, My love of self and of fame 
has given rise, in my heart, to a third idol, which has robbed God of 
His glory- — ambition —and that of the most exclusive kind. I have been 
anxious, burniagly anxious, to be regarded as the greaUit scholar and 
most taXented aian that ever lived. Think, my soul, upon thine 
atheism and idolatryl Thon hast not only denied God, but, even when 
compelled to acknowledge His existence, thou hast robbed FTi-n-i of the 
glorj w}iich is justly due to His name. 

'' But I have broken this commandment in a more covert way, by 
ignorance, forgetf ulness, misapprehensions, false opinions, unworthy and 
wicked thoughts of Him. I have looked upon Him as a hard master. 
I have taxed Him with injustice, and have dai'ed to plead my cause as a 
just one before Him. It is of His tender mercies that I am not con- 
sumed. There is still another way in which I have broken this com- 
mandment; and that is, by vain credulity, unbelief, heresy, distrust, 
insensibility under judgments, trusting in lawful means, oainal delights 
and joys, lukewarmuess and deadnesB in the things of God, estrangement 
and apostasy from God. I have also consulted the silly practice of 



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FIRST PASTOKATK. lili 

foHuna-telling. I have teaiated God's Spirit, been impatient eiid re- 
bellious under the diapensationa of His prayidenoe, and have aaei'ibert 
to myself, ov creatnres, the good that I have reoeiTed. Again, I have 
not esteemed, adored, honoured, loved, trusted, and delighted ia God 
with all my heait, as this Uw requiiea. 

"n. 'Thou Shalt not make unto thyself any graven image, or any 
libeneea of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth be- 
neath, or that IB in the water under the eai-th ; thon shalfc not bow down 
thyself to them, nor serve Ihem ; for I, tlie Lord thy God, am a jealous 
God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the dbUdren, unto the 
tiiird and fourth generation of them that hate Me, and showing mercy 
tmto thousands of them that love Mo and keep My eommandmenta.' 

' " This commandment i-eq^uires the pnre and holy and spiritual wor- 
ship of God, I have made images of God in nay mind, and have broken 
it, I have forgotten that He is a Spirit, and have broken it. I have 
not had that zeal for the house of the Lord and the ordinances of the 
sanctuary which this oomraandment requii'ea. I have freq^uently been 
unwilling to go to Fi° temple, and have often made light of the solem- 
nities of worship. This law requires a spiritual worshipper. Ah ! Lord, 
what am I bnt flash and blood ! These two commandments present me 
in the awful and hell-deserving light of an atheist, an idolater, a sen- 

" III. ' Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain ; 
for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh His name in vain.'- 

" The Lord's name is upon all His works ; it is recorded in His woid 
and ordinances of His house, and is written upon all His providences. 
I haye broken this oommandment by sweaiing ; by malting light of 
God's word ; by not seeing his hand in His works, and by abusing His 
gifts. I have oast lots, which n an abuse of the lot of the Lord. 

"This commandment requiie"! u consistent profession of religion. 
Mine has not been so. I have been light, and giddy, and vain, and 
have thus taken the Lord's name in vam I have, for purposes of argu- 
ment, and showing my own wit Tnisapphed in 1 perverted the word, or 
passages of the word of God I have taken His name in vain in the 
solemn act of prayer ; and too often, at table, my I'eqnest for a blessing 
ia a mere mockery. 

" IV. ' Remember Hie Sabbath day to keep it holy. Sii days shalt 
thon labour and do ail thy work, but the seventh day ia the Sabbath 
of the Lord thy God ; in it thou shalt not do any work ; t3iou, nor thy 
son, nor thy daughter, thy man-servant, nor thy maid-servant, nor thy 
cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates. For in. e/a days the 
Lord made heaven and eartli, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested 
the seventh day ; wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hal- 
lowed it,' 

"Every Sabbath finds me in the violation of this law. My thoughts are 
prone to be away from God ; and it is a fearful proof of depravity, tbat 
we eannot devote one day in seven entirely to Him, The aum of the 



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four commantoenfs aJieftdy noted, is to lore the Lord onr God with bJI 
oui' hearffi, and with all our sonl, and with all our strengtb, and witb all 
our mindti. 

Peayeb. 

'■ O most tioij and rigiteons God, i: 
from infancy until the present time, I 
that ahame and confusion of face belong nnto me. 

" I have broken Tby holy law ; I stEind convinced of rebellion, in its 
worst forme ; I have been an atheist, an idolater, a sensual worhippei, 
and a Sabbath-breaker, The fear of God has not been before my eyes ; 
I have worshipped self, fame and ambition ; I have taken Thy holy Sab- 
bath, and profaned it to my unholy uses ; and I have dared to mate an 
image of Thine iaeonceiYable majesty, in my own mind ; I have been 
distmstful of thy promises ; I have taten Thy name in vain ; I have 
sported with Thy word, Thy gifts, and Thy providences ; and altogether, 
haye been an abuser of God's goodness. Lord, I have sinned 
against light, and knowledge, and reproofs, and warnings ; there is no 
excuse for me ; I deserve ielL O God, my heai-t is rotten ; it is the 
seat of all my iniquity. O Lord, give me a new heart ; a heart to haia 
sin and self, to love Thy glory in the face of Jesus Christ, and to serve 
Thee continually. Ob ! enable me to love Thee with all my heart, witb 
all my mind, and with all my strength. All I ask is in the name, and 
for the sake of Jesus Christ. Amen." 

Mr. Thornwell's ministry in Lancaster was not of long 
doration, extending from the middle of 1835 to the close 
of 183T. A man of his abilities and general reputation 
could not be retained in a retired country charge ; and 
shortly before hia twenty-fifth birth-day, he received in- 
formation of his election to the Professorship of Logic 
and Belles Lettres in the South Carolina College, ren- 
dered vacant by the recent death of the lamented Nott. 



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OHAPTEH XI. 

FIEST PBOFESSOESHIP. 

Eeobqanizatiob op the Oolleoe. — Enii^s it A3 Pboi'eshob, — Inti- 
mate Fkibnoship with Othebs op the I'aoclty.— Is Appointed to 
Teaoh Mentil Soienob. — Entbdsiasm and SoccEKa m thie Dbpakt- 
MENT, — HiH Native Aptituiie fob these Studies.— Vindicatei) feom 

THE ChAHSE that HB WAS WABirNO IN THE M&TB.WHO Rl.EMENT. — 
SOEOPLEa OP COKSCIENCB. — BeSIQNS HiS PbOFESSOHSHIP. — IsSTALLED 
PiBTOa OP THB COLDMBIA OHOHCS. — AITTHOE'S PiKST ImPBESSIONS OF 

Him. — He is Eeoaulbd to tee College. 

rriHE College had been completely reorganized eiiice 
X Ml'. Thomwell left it as a graduate, six years before. 
Under the infidel influence of Dr. Cooper, it had steadily 
languished, until the force of public sentiment compelled a 
change of administration. In the language of the College 
historian, Dr. Cooper "had drunk deep at the fountain of 
infidehty; he had sympathized with the sneering savana 
of Paris, and sat at the feet of the most skeptical philo- 
sophers of England. If there was any feeling of his 
natui'e stronger than all the rest, it .was the feeling of 
opposition to the Christian religion. He beheved it to be 
a fraud and imposture; an artful contrivance to cheat fools, 
and scare httle children and old women."* It was not 
wonderful that the Christian people of the State rose np 
to defend " the altars which he proposed to subvert," and 
to "protect their sons against the influence of a false and 
Boul-deetroying philosophy, a species of Pyrrhonism, a 
refined and subtle dialectics, which removed all tlie foun- 
dations of belief, and spread over the mind the dark and 
chilling cloud of doubt and uncertainty." The issue was 
slowly but stubbornly joined between the rehgious faith of 

*Dr. La Borde's History of tlie SouWi Carolina College, pp. 175-T. 
145 



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146 LIFE OF JAMES HENLEY THOKNWELL. 

the masses, on the one hand, and a cold, bloodless Deism 
on the other, which had enthroned itself upon the high 
pluees of intelligence and power, and was poisoning the 
very fountains of knowledge in the State. 

Let the reader pause here, and adore the mystery of 
that Providence which worketh not after tlie pattern of 
human expectation. "Who could have dreamed, when 
this ribald infidelity was in the zenith of its power, that 
it was even then nourishing in its bosom a champion for 
the truth, who would soon enter the lists, and take up the 
gage of battle, and beaa- it off upon its triumphant lance ! 
Who that, eight yeai's before, saw a half-grown youth 
sitting at the feet of the great apostle of Deism, and 
drinking in hia coimsels as the inspiration of an oracle, 
could foresee the advocate for Christianity, standing for 
its defence upon the platform of its evidences, and un- 
doing the work of his own oracle and guide ! Who could 
then have foretold that an infidel philosophy was whet- 
ting the dialecties which should unravel its own sophisms, 
and feathering the arrow by which its own life should be 
pierced; that Deism itself should be made to train the 
giant strength by which its own castle slionld be demol- 
ished, and the spell of its foul enchantment be dissolved I 
Who can understand the ways of God ? It was the young 
Saxon monk, climbing Pilate's staircase upon his knees, 
who shook the gates of Papal Kome. It wi^ the young 
man bearing the garments of those who stoned the first 
martyr, who filled the world with the faith which once he 
destroyed. 

In December, 1835, the personnel of the Faculty was 
entirely changed. The Hon. Robert W. Barnwell was 
elected to the Presidency, and the Eev. Dr. Stephen El- 
liott was appointed to the Professorship of the Evidences 
of Christianity and Sacred Literature, and the Chaplaincy 
of the College — a chair for the first time created, in obe- 
dience to the exactions of public opinion, and of which 
Dr. Elliott was the first incumbent. And now, two years 



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1±7 

Liter, in November, 1837, the Clii'istian influence is 
etroLgthened in tlie College, by the addition of Mr. 
Tliorjiwell to its stafl' of teacbere. Never did three men 
■work together with greater hamiony and efficiency. The 
ties which bomid them in the most intimate fellowship 
were tho purest aud the most endui'ing that can exist on 
earth: tlie love of sound learning, and perfect coincidence 
in their views of evangehcal religion. Messrs. Bai'nwell 
aud Khiott were splendid types of the accomplished gen- 
tleman ; with those high and honourable iuetinets, and 
with that dignity and suavity of address, which are cov- 
ered by this suggestive temi. They were hoth distin- 
guished for what we are axjcustomed to express by the 
word character; and withal were men of generous schol- 
arship, broad and public-spirited ui their views, accus- 
tomed to sustain high trusts, and fully commanding the 
respect and homage of the citizens of the Commonwealth. 
"With them Mr. Thornwell was soon brought into the 
fullest sympathy ; and a personal &iendahip was formed 
which even death has not interrupted, but which, as be- 
tween two ont of the three, is now perpetuated and con- 
smnmated in the light and glory of heaven. Thus happily 
were the fears disappointed, entertained by some who 
were friends of hoth, that two ministers of different 
branches of the Chnreh could not be brought together in 
the Faculty without developing rival and sectarian inte- 
rests in the College. 

The chair which Mr, Thornwell was invited to fill w^ 
not, in part at least, the one which he was moat fitted to 
adoiii. -By a change soon after made, the department of 
Metaphysics, as more congenial to his tastes, was com- 
mitted to him. No better opportunity than this will offer 
itself, to repel a criticism which has been urged against 
the character of his mind, that it was wholly deficient in 
the jesthetic element. This wUl certainly appear to be a 
superficial judgment, if one will but consider the rythm 
and flow of his magnificent diction. The allegation will 



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148 LIFE OF JAMKS HENLEY 

be stranger etil! to those who know what a purist he was in 
the selection of words, and the fastidious taste wliic-h 
traTmnelled him as a writer, and limitod the extent of hm 
authorship. His ear was offended with everything not 
drawn from "the pure well of English undefiled;" and 
the slightest inaccuracy in the etymological application of . 
words jarred his nerves like the harsh filing of a saw. 
His acquaintance ranged over the literature of his native 
tongue, and over much of that to be found in foreign 
dialects, both ancient and modern; and when in the vein, 
' for it, he conld adorn his style with the choicest gems- 
gathered from their stores. 

It is freely admitted that the reason, rather than the 
imagination, was the dominant faculty. He sought for 
Truth herself; was never content unless he eould em- 
brace her own fair form. He was a reasoner, and not a 
dreamer; and his taste led him out of the ideal world 
into the actual and true. He did not linger in "the 
chamber of imagery," upon whose walls were traced the 
pictures of things; but he went forth into the broad 
fields of knowledge, to find the originals of which these 
pictures were but the shadows. There could not be as- 
cribed to him, as to his polished predecessor, " Tantus 
amorflorum et generandi ghria mellis." Hia etyle was 
never festooned with tropes and figures, serving only to 
embellish; but he was more than a logician, fatally en- 
tangled in the formulas of that rugged science; or the 
subtle dialectician, 



He was an orator who could soar to the copeatone of 
heaven in his matchless eloquence, the spell of which was 
never broken but with the cessation of the tones of hia 
voice ; and the orator is always a poet, and a fervid im- 
agination ia as necessary to the creations of the one as of 
the other. The shallow criticism, which denies to him 



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FIRST PE0FE8S0KBH1P. 149 

all Beneibility to tha beantiM, is suffleietitly refuted by 
tlie brilliant eloquence whicli enchained every audi- 
ence he addresBed; for the sympathies and emotions of 
men are never (ionti-oUed, except where a living fancy 
works as an organizing force, creating and actuating the 
forms in which truth is painted before the mind. 

A couple of incidents, happening, indeed, at a later 
period, during his second visit to Europe, are singularly 
appropriate just here, as a part of the vindication we are 
attempting. The first was related by himself to a friend, 
who gives this account of it: "We sat in his study, 
and had been laughing over the Doctor's sad want of 
musical capacity, when he suddenly. broke in with tliis 
account of his seeing Raphael's Madonna: 'I had about 
given it up as a bad case, and accepted tlie verdict of my 
friends, that I had no appreciation of the sesthetic, until 
my visit to the Dresden gallery undeceived me. I Tiad 
grown weary of the guide's ceaseless prosing about this 
painting and that, and determined to turn aside to await 
the return of my friends, after they had made the tour of 
the gallery. I suppose that a considerable time had 
elapsed, when I was aroused by their expression of amuse- 
ment at my deafness. I had been tot^ly absorbed in the 
admiration of a painting, which proved to be the Sistine 
Madonna. I had happened upon the right place to show 
- that I had some sense of the beautitul in my composi- 
tion.' " 

A second incident is given by the same friend, upon 
the authority of one who was a companion of the Doc- 
tor's travels, a favourite nephew, who unhappily fell in- 
the second battle of Manassas: "The tourists had been 
climbing, witii much fatigue, oiie of the Alps, cheered by 
the confident assurance of their guide that they woidd 
soon be rewarded for their toil by a splendid prospect, 
when the wind should scatter the mist which completely 
shut them in. At length, the promised relief came. The 
impenetrable walls of fog began to quiver as the breeze 



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150 ilFK 01'' JAMKB HENLKY THOENWm.L. 

gathered power ; and then the vapouiy masses were drifted 
up the mountain's side, like a great white curtain rolled 
up by the deft hands of invisible spirite. The transi- 
tion was sudden, as the effect was overpowering. Fright- 
ful gorges, sraihng valleys, snow-capped summits, frown- 
hig cliffs, cascades, and glaciers shimmering in the sun- 
Kght, stood revealed, where , all was a blank but a mo- 
ment before. My young friend told me that his atten- 
tion was withdrawn from the magnificent scenery to 
the grotesque attitude and movements of liis unde. 
Every feature of his countenance bespoke the most ec- 
static rapture, as he bent forward upon his mule, the 
past toil forgotten,, his hat crushed upon the back of his 
head, his eye dilating, the under jaw relaxed, while inco- 
herent words burst from his lips. No doubt they ex- 
pressed adoring worship of the great Creator." 

The accession of Mr. Thorn well to the corps of instruc- 
tors in the South Oaroliaa CoUege, was hailed with plea- 
sure by all who were familiar with his previous career. 
The peculiar bent of his genius, his scholarly tastes, his 
rare learning at so early an age, his insatiable thirst for 
knowledge, and above all, his peculiar facility in impart- 
ing these spoils to others — all pointed to academic life as 
the sphere in which he would acquire most repute, and 
be also the most extensively useful. These anticipations, 
both of success and renown, were not shaded by dis- 
appointment in the least degree. Within two years from 
his induction into office, he became so rooted into the 
very life of the College that, during a period of eighteen 
years, each successive effort to separate himself from its 
venerable halls was defeated; until at length, the Church, 
that had so long lent him to the State, rose in her ma- 
jesty, and reclaimed the last few years of his invaluable 
life to her immediate serriee, 

The industry with which he ploughed the field of phil- 
osophy is proved by the existence amongst his manu- 
scripts of a course of lectures covering the entire field; 



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FIEffJ' PEOFESSOilSHIP, 151 

all prepared within the two years in which only he taught 
in this department. The ralne set upon these lectui'es at 
the time of their delivery, is attested by the melanuholy 
gape in the series, as they were borrowed by the students 
and never returned. These breaks it is now impossible 
to supply ; and they so mar the completeness as probably 
to prevent their publication. Perhaps, too, it would 
scai'cely be just to surrender to pubUc criticism lectures 
written five and thirty years ago; and therefore, not 
abreast -with the later literature of a science, which has 
been ennched by the contributions of such scholars and 
thinkers as Sir William Hamilton and others, who would 
be the pride and ornament of philosophy in any age of 
the world. The editors of liis works, who hold his pos- 
thumous reputation as a sacred trust, cannot fail to re- 
member that these lectures were prepared in haste, at a 
a very early age, and were but the tentative cfPortB of one 
who had just entered upon that branch of study, and 
were never afterwards subjected to revision. 

In contemplating the labours of truly great men, ohe 
can scarcely repress the foolish wish that it were possible 
to "split the one man iuto many, and yet to carry over the 
whole of him into each severed part. Human life is so 
shoi't, and the limit of physical endurance is so soon 
reached, that the subdivision becomes almost painfully 
minute. The . comprehensive genius, which shows an 
equal facility for every branch of knowledge, we regret 
to see shut up within any bounds at all. It always Seemed 
■ to the writer that there was stuff in bis friend to make a 
dozen men ; and, in writing these lines, the fruitless sigh 
will breathe itself out anew, that he could not have occu- 
pied all the provinces of human thought at once. His 
studies were doirbtle^ remanded by Providence to sub- 
jects of greater utility than that of speculative philosophy. 
Yet, if his life could have been spent in this department, 
his biographer would have been allowed to apply to him 
tlie splendid eiilogium he has pronounced upon Sir Wil- 



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li>3 IJFE OF JAMKS HKNLEY TIIO JIN WELL. 

liam Hamitton : " In depth and acuteneas of mind, a rival 
of AriBtotle; in immensity of learning, a mateli for Leib- 
nitz ; in eompreliensiyeneas of thought, an ecLiial of Bacon." 
Even aa it ia, aince the days of Edwards, no one has ap- 
peared on this continent so natively competent to realize 
this grand combination, than the impaseioned panegyrist 
himself by whom it waa iramed. It is imfortnnate that, 
aside from the aroma which breatliee tlirough all his 
writinga, the evidence of his large acqvusitione can be 
gathered only from monographs ; and theee upon topics 
which lather imphcate philosophy than lie wholly within 
its domain. He waa unquestionably master of its history, 
from its dawn amidst the schools of Greece, through the 
mid-day slimaber in which it dozed with the schoolmen, 
to the frenzied and ftuitastie di'eame of our modern tran- 
scendentalist, Acqnainted with every shade of opinion, 
his own criticism winnowed the chaff from the wheat; 
and every valuable contribution, made by any school or 
age, was safely gathered into the chambers of his memory. 
Tilese stores of knowledge were of course only gradually 
acquired in the copious reading of after years ; bnt a solid 
foundation was laid, during the brief period of his fii'st 
professorship, upon which were accumulated the results 
of later study. 

On the 1st of January, 1838, he found himself tranf;- 
fei'red from the quiet duties of a eountiy pastorate to the 
still greater seclusion, of academic life. He entered at 
once, with characteristic ardour, upon the oifice of in- 
struction, in stndiea so peculiarly adapted to his taste. 
Metaphysical science he speedHy vindicated from the 
charge of inutility, showing the application of its prin- 
ciples to the practical pursuits of men, and as implicitly 
involved in the whole current of human intercourse. His 
lucid exposition dispelled the haze of uncertainty hanging 
aroimd themes so abstract and difficult of research. The 
warmth of his enthusiasm quickened into life, and clothed 
with flesh, the maiTowless bones of what was regarded 



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FIEST PEOFBSSOKSHIF, 153 

■only as a dead pliiloaopliy. The reanimated form, instinct 
with tiie beaatj wliieli hie glowing fancy diffused, invested 
with tlie drapery which his vaiied learning sapplied, and 
speaking with the elevated tone which his eloquence in- 
spired, no longer repelled the emhrace of ardent scholai's, 
as when it lay a ghastly eiieleton covered with the dust of 
centuries of baiTen speculation. Such was the impulse 
given to this study, and so paramount the influence he 
continued to wield in its behalf, during his long connection 
with tlie College, that, enthroned among the sciences, its 
ascendency has never since been disputed. 

But congenial as were these pursuits to the young pro- 
fessor, his conscience began to be disturbed with scruples 
whieli marred his repose. It has already been shown with 
what unusual solemnity and depth of conviction he ae- 
fiuraed the office of the holy ministry. His ordination vow 
presses hai-d upon him. He had covenanted to make the 
proclamation of God's grace to sinners the bnsiness of his 
life. Did this comport with a life spent in teaching oth- 
ers only the endless see-saw of the syllogism, or even the 
sublime mysteries of the human mind ? The opportunities 
afforded for the occasional ministration of the Word, how 
frequent so ever, did not seem to fill up the measure of 
obligation he had contracted, by the "laying on of the hands 
of the presbytery;" He must preach with constancy and 
system, as a man plying his vocation, " The word of the 
Lord was in liis heart, as a burning fire shut up in his 
bones, and he was weaiy with forbeai'ing." The charms 
of scholastic retirement liad not palled upon his enjoy- 
ment; but, witli a stronger passion for the salvation of 
men, he longed for the cure of souls. Under this pressure 
of conscience, he proffered his resignation to the Board of 
Trustees, in May, 1839, to take effect at the close of the 
year ; with a view to accept the pastorship of the Presby- 
terian Church in Columbia, South Carolina, made vacant 
by the retirement of the Rev. John Witherspoon, D. D., 
LL. D. Accordingly, on the 1st day of January, 1840, 



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loi LIFE OF JAMES HKNLEY THORNWELL. 

he was installed bj the Presbytery of Charleston in this 
new relation, and finds himself onee more the pastor of a 
Christian iloek. 

Dr. Thornwell' was, however, no stranger to the Co- 
lumbia pulpit, as he often, dtiring the prewediiig year, for 
consecutive Sabbaths, occupied the place of the pastor,. 
Dr. Witherspoon, when disabled by chronic sickness. It 
was at this period the writer's acquaintance with his friend 
began; though his own position as a Divinity stndent did 
not warrant the intimacy which was enjoyed a little later, 
when brought into' the rela.tion of a co-presbyter. The 
'impression will never be erased of the first ■ diseoiu-se to- 
which he listened, in the year 1839. A thin, spare form, 
with a slight stoop in the shoulders, stood in the desk, 
with soft black hair falling obliqnely over the forehead, 
and a small eye, with a wonderful gleam when it was 
lighted by the inspiration of his thefiie. The devotional 
services offered nothing peculiar, beyond a quiet simplicity 
and reverence. The reading was, perhaps, a trifle mono- 
tonous, and the prayer was marked rather by correctness 
and method, than by fervour or ftilness. But from the 
opening of the discourse, there was a strange fascination, 
such as had never been exercised by any other speaker. 
The subject was doctrinal, and Dr. Thornwell, who was- 
bom into the ministry at the height of a great contro- 
versy, had on, then, the wiry edge of his youth. The first 
impression made was that of being stunned by a peculiar 
dogmatism in the statement of what seemed weighty pro- 
positions; this was followed by a conscious resistance of 
the authority which was felt to be a little brow-b 
with its positiveness ; and then, as hnk after link i 
added to the chain of a consistent argument, e 
with that agonistic fervour which belongs to the forum, 
the effect at the close was to overwhelm and subdue. 
"WIio is this preacher?" was asked of a neighbour, in 
one of the pauses of the discourse, "That is Mr. Thorn- 
well; don't you know him?" was the reply. ThornweU, 



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FIKST FEO-FESSOESHIP. 155 

Thomwell ! the sound came back like an echo from the 
distant past, or like a Jialf-remembered dream, wliich one 
strives to recover; when suddenly it flashed u]>on the 
niemory that, eight years before, when a lad of thirteen, 
he had heard a young collegian say, " There is a little 
fellow jiist graduated in my class, of whom the World will 
hear something, by and by ; his name is Thornwell." This 
and that were put together ; the propheej and the fulfil- 
ment already begun. How little did the writer dream, 
in the wondei-ing of that day, that nearly twenty years of 
bosom friendship would bind him to that stranger, aa 
Jonathan was knit to David; or that, after' five and thirty 
years, he would be penning these reminiscences in this 
biography. Let him be forgiven for floating thus a mo- 
ment upon the flood of these memories. 

Dr. Thornwel^ remained in this, his sec;ond pastoral 
charge, but a single twelve-month. His brief term of 
service in the College had proved his value as an educator 
too much to indnce a general acquiescence in his with- 
drawal. An opportunity was soon presented for his recall. 
The election of the Rev. Dr. Elliott as Bishop of the 
diocese of Georgia, left the College pulpit without an 
occupant. The vacant chaplaincy was at once tendered 
him, in connection with the Professorship of Sacred Lit- 
erature and the Evidences of Christianity. The consci- 
entious scruples which had withdrawn him from the chair 
of Philosophy, did not embarrass his acceptance of a new 
position, where he would be intrusted with the care of 
aouls, and those of a most important class in society. At 
the opening of th'e year 1841, he entered upon his duties 
in the College, amid the lamentation and tears of his de- 
serted charge. Never before or since was the gospel 
preached to them with the eloquence and power with 
which it fell from his lips; and in the agony of their great 
loss, the question was upon every tongue, " What shall 
the dian do that cometh after the king ? " The bereave- 
ment was only mitigated by the fa(;t that he still re- 



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156 LtFE OF JAMES IIENLBY" THOBNWELL, 

mained a resident of the town, and the opportunity would 
be frequently enjoyed of listening to the miiBic of his 
voice. In bis renowed connection with the College, he 
remained, with only slight interruptions, through a period 
of fifteen years, which it will be our pleasure to trace in 
the chapters that follow. 



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OHAPTEK XIl. 
VOYAGE TO EUROPE. 

SyMPIOMS of iN AliBMING DiSBiSB. — OhDEKED TO EnSOPB. — LeTTER3 

BY THE WiY, — Sails yob Livkbpool. — Jouknal. — EEFLBOttOKa upon 
THE Ocean ; Upon tee Value of Time ; Upon the Ska as a Sqeooi. 
SOB THE (Jheistiah Gbaces. — ^DaacEiPTioij OF A Newfoundland Foa. 
— Danoebs. — Stobm at Sea. — AaBivEa in Eubope. 

THE College seaaion of January, 1841, ibuiid Dr. Thorn- 
well, as we have seen, restored to its halls. But his 
labours were soon arrested by symptoms of an alarmmg 
disease. Great prostration and several liemorrhages gave 
tokens of that wasting consumption, whiei. so often falls 
as an early blight upon the most promising and useful 
lives. A sea voyage was prescribed as necessary to his 
restoration, including, as a motive for it, a visit to Eu- 
rope. The needful ai'rangemente were completed by the 
month of May, which finds him upon the journey. 

It was evidently !iis pui'poee to keep a minute journal 
of his travels, for the gratification of his family, and as a 
memorial for himself. The distraction of sight-seeing, 
however, prevented its execution, with the exception of 
the record kept whilst he Was at sea. Besides 'this, there 
are no memoranda to be found among his papers; and we 
are left to glean his impressions of the Old "World from 
the letters addi'essed to his wife. With copious extracts 
from these, the reader will have to be content, affording, 
as they do, glimpses into his home lite. The firat was 
written from Charleston, the iirst stage of his journey : 
" Ohablesion, S. C, Maj 1, 1841. 

' ' Mi Deaeest Wife : I reoeivad your very, itery welcome letter this 
evening, by Mrs. MoFie ; for I was waiting for her at the depot, ansious 
to heav from lionie. I have now seated myself to give you a, long lettei' ; 

t57 



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158 LIFE OF JAMEB HENLEY THOKNWELL. 

not so raueh beoause you have requested, aa .because it is a source of 
pleasure to ma to write to you, whan I am away. How much we owe io 
letters, and what a glorious invention is the art of writing ! In tiie ftrst 
place, I send a bias to your own aweet lips, then one t» Nannie, and 
then another Jo Jenny, and my best wishes for all the rest of the fam- 
ily, I aiiived in Charleston yesterday afternoon, much wearied hy the 
uncomfortable ride in the stage-ooach. The wind blew severely on 
Thursday night ; the doors of the coach had neither glass nor curtains, 
and we had to take the wind as it came. My seat was just hy the door, 
and so 1 had the full benefit of aU the breezes. There were nine pas- 
sengers, none of whom I knew ; and I ,waa much amused with some of 
their discussions. Among other Hiings, they took up the subject o£ 
I'oreign Missions, and oame to the couduaion that it did more harm tbin 
good to send the Gospel to the heathen. They contended that the hea- 
then were happy in their ignorance ; and that to give them the Gospel 
was only to give them l^e arts, and consequently the wants and desires 
of civilized life, and thus to make them wretched. I oould not but thini; 
of the deplorable stupidilry of the cam^ heart. These men never onoe 
adverted to the state of the soul, and the prospeots of the heathen for 
eternity. Poor creatures ! they were consistent. They never thought 
of their own salvation ; and hot could they be eipected to think of the 
salvation of otheifl ? Their desires for themselves extended only to the 
comfort of their bodies and the lusts of their flesh, and it was in this 
aspect of the matter that they viewed the probable influence of the Gos- 
pel upon the dark places of the earth. « « « « 

' ' I went down wiUi Hall McGree, to see the different ships soon to sail 
for Liverpool. I went all over the vessel in which Mrs. MclTie eipeots 
to sail. I think it a poor ship. It is very laige, but its accommoda- 
tions are not good. * ■« • There is another ship, which sails for 
Liverpool on Thursday, that it charms the eye to look at. She is called 
the ' Colombo.' I am almost tempted to go out in her. My preseut 
ari'angement is to go to Boston ; hat if Mrs, M. will go in the ' Colombo,' 
I am cot sure but I will go with her ; but I could not be tempted to 
go in the 'Thetis.' 

" I feel, my dearest, that we are in the hands of God, He baa won- 
derfully sustained me in the bitterness of separation. I feel oonfident 
that all is for good, and that I shall be restored to you in health and 
strength. leasee His hand in the whole matter. Let ns endeavour to 
love Him more and serve Him better. And now, dearest, good night. 
1 feel quite well. May God bless and keep yon and the children. 
" Your affectionate husbaiid, 

J. H, Teobnwell." 
To the same : 

"Baltimoke, Md., May 11, 1841. 
" Mv Dbabest Wtfb ; Although I did not promise to write you until 
I reached New York, yet having a few hours of leisuro in this place, I 
find my thoughl« recurring with fond affection to ray dear wife and 



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VOYAGE TO EUROJ^E. 159 

cWldren, and the beloved frieiiils I have left behind me. It is a great 
tatisEaotion to thiuli of yon all, and to oommend you to that God, whose 
I am and whom I endeavour to serte. I cannot say that I am distressed 
with aniiouB thoughts about your health and comfort. The Lord has 
meroifully preserved me from painful and harrasaing appiehensions in 
regard to jou ; bnt I often throw myself into jour company, carry on 
an imaginary converaaUon with you about what I see and hear, aad 
fancy how you would feel and tbint, and what you would probably say, 
if you were along by my side. * ■« « if QroA should preserve me 
and keep me, and restore me to yon all again, my heart leaps within me 
at the rapture of onr meeting. The prospect of that joy reconciles mo, 
in some meaanre, to the privations and discomforts of onr temporary 
separation. Let us often pray for each other, and for the dear children, 
pur sweet, precious little babes. 

"Agreeably to your own request, I shall now attempt to give you 
some aooount of what has befallen me since I left Charleskm. We had 
a fine passage to Wilraiagtou ; but the nest day were detained on the 
road by the cars breaking down. We were left at the house of a good 
old Presbyterian family, in which there were some excellent religious 
books ; such as the 'Confession of Faith,' 'Erskine and Fisher's Cate- 
chism,' 'Watts on Prayer,' and Ho on, I was quite edified and inter- 
ested in reading these memorials of the piety aad faithfulness of a for- 
mer generation, and consequently did not feel disposed to murmur 
at the Providence which detained us. There were two subjects which 
boro much upon my mind, while at this house ; upon both of which I 
intend putting my thoughts to paper when I get outto sea. They were 
suggested to me by reading ' Watts on Prayer,' One was ilie true spirit 
and grace of prayer ; in what they consisted ; how they might be ap- 
, proved ; and why they were so little found among the great body of pro- 
fessors of religion, I am satisfied that there is much more formality in 
our ordinary prayers than we, ourselves, are generally conscious of ; 
that in a multitude of instances we do nothing more than mock God, and 
deceive ourselves. The other subject which pressed upon my mind, was 
the defective spirit in which preaching is listened to, by those who call 
themselves the children of God. Hearers are not sufficiently aware of 
the true intent and end of the OhrisHau ministry, and, therefore, do not 
receive from the ministratjons of the sanctuary that comfort and in- 
struction which, under the blessing of the Spirit, they ai'e oaioulated to 
^ord. These meditations, coupled with many thoughts of home, and 
many prayers for my precious wife and family, occupied my lime dur- 
ing my delay upon my journey. 

"The neil day, we came safely on, and on last Saturday, at about 
ten o'clock at night, we reached the city of Baltimore, where I now am. 
On Sunday morning I went to Brother Breckinridge's* church, and 
heard an excellent sermon. I went home with him, and have been stay- 
ing with him ever since. The more I see of him, the more I love him. 

* Rev." Robert J. Breckinridge, D. D., LL. D. 



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160 LIFE 0¥ JA?.1E3 nENI,f;Y THORNWKLI,, 

There is no man in the Chtirch. more mierepreRsnted and mora mis- 
nndeistood. He is exoeetlingly affectionate, kind, and affable in Ma 
family, ancl among his people. He bes some habits like my own. He 
loves to sleep in. the moraiog, to smoke cigars, to sit np at night, and to 
tell fnnny stoides. He is a very induatrious and Inborioua man. Tea- 
terday he made ma write another article + in reply to the Oatholic priests, 
■which will he published in the neit Visitor. He has fnmiahed me with 
some -very flattering letteis to ministera in Eui'ope, for whioh I am very 
much indebted to Mm. 

" To-morrow morning I leave for New Yoik, and then shall immedi- 
ately set sail for Europe. After mnoh reflection and consultation, I 
have determined not to go in a steam packet, but in a saiUng ship. The 
steam packets are too crowded, and are said to be much more nnoom- 
fortable and nnsafe than the ships ; wHeh, at tMs season of the year, 
are as expeditious as iha steamboata. In a few days mote I shall be 
upon (he broad ocean. It is the very best season of the year for a voy- 
age. Everythiag seems favourable, and I hope to be in Liverpool eailj 
in Jnne. When I reach Europe, I shall keep the journal which you de- 
sired, and send it to you regnlarly. My health seems to be the same as 
UBua!. I have had no return of spitting blood ; the weakness iu my 
chest seems to have disappeared ; anil it it were not for pmdential and 
prospective ooosideratiouB, I had as lief preach ae not. The sea, iiius 
far, hsB agreed finely with me. And now, dearest, let me esJiort you to 
be cheerful and happy unljl we meet again. Go aniong your friends and 
kindred ; visit much, and take frequent eiercfee, and be as hearty, as 
strong, and as lovely, as care on your part caji make you, when your 
dear husband returns to you from abroad. He commits you and the 
babea with confidence to God. A Mss for yourself, for Nannie and 
Jenny, and loTe to all. 

" Tour devoted husband, 

J. H. Teoejjwell." 

At sea there waa no opportunity for correspoudeiiuc, 
and we are thrown upon his journal for the (mrrent of his 
thoughts. We will cite only such passages ae reflect his 
character and experience, through which the reader will 
come into more personal and intimate acquaintance witli 
him: 

" Wednesday, Ma^\^tli, ISW.— About one and a half o'clock, P. M., 
we left the wharf at New York, in the packet-ship ' Columbus,' and were 
towed over the bar at Sandy Hook by the steamboat ' Hercules. ' At 

+ The first article here referred to, waa the famous Essay on the 
Claims of the Apocrypha, which gave rise to the discussion with Dr. 
Lynch, and to his own book, entitled, ' Eomnnist Arguments Eefuted,' 
all of which may be fonnd in Vol. 3 of his ' Collected WritiiigB.' 



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VOYAGE -ro EUEOPE. 161 

ibree o'clock ihe last tie which boimd me to my naiiTe land was seyered, 
and we were faiily afloat upon tte mighty ocean. The weather was so 
calm that we did not lose sight of the lights upon the shore until flirae 
o'clock the aest morning. The change in fhe atmosphere waa remark- 
able ; it became so cold after nrossing tie bai that I was compelled to 
pull my overcoat closely around me, and would have been deligiited at 
ibe prospect of eueb comfortable 6xes as I left in Oolnmbia. While 
passing the bar we sat down to dinner. Our captain, a fine, jovial, 
good natured mac, did the honours of the table ; and his fare would 
haye done credit to a New York hotel." 

Here follows a sketch of the personB who were his 
companionB during the vojage, and the journal continues : 

" We were indeed an ill-asEorted collection, bound together by no 
affinities at all; and consequently each pursned, without any especial 
xegard to the comfort and convenience of others, the ' even tenor of 
Ms way.' 

"J'kursdaff, May 30!S. — When I arose (which, by the way, I did not 
do until nine o'clock) there was nothing to be seen but sky and water. 
It was a beautiful morning ; the sun shone out in brightness and beauEy ; 
not a cloud fringed the sky ; the wind was bo gentle that we moved at 
the rate of only two or three miles an hour, and the whole prospect waa 
one of surpassing loveliness. I thought of Byron's beautiful apostrophe 
to the ocean ; but I confess that I cannot enter fnlly int« the spirit of 
it. One labours under a sense of confinement in gazing upon the sea, 
when smooth and unruffled. The horizon is too limited ; you f eel.that the 
waters stretch beyond it, and hence you are conscious of a constant effort 
to enlarge the sphere of your vision, and to make your view co-ei{«nsive 
with the vast expanse, which you know is spread out before you. The 
ocean at rest is heavMjiil, but not suMane; lovely, bat not inajmtioj it 
soothes and charms the mind, but does not elate and e 
storm at sea is doubtless a sublime spectacle ; but the mere 
ness of the waters conduces nothing to the impression. It is 
and dashing and heaving of the waves, the tremendous roar 
lows, the tossing of the vessel, the threatening aspect of th 
the dismal' howling of the winds, and the appalling prospect of t^ 
which storm and tempest spread before them. It is not the Tastness of 
the ocean, but the impressions of the moment, the associations of terror, 
and danger, and awful power ; the sense of the Godhead riding forth in 
vengeance and majesty ; these are the things which render a storm so 
transoendrajtly sublime. But the mere eitent of the ocean makes a 
very vague and indistinct impression. You cannot feel as you think 
you ought to feel. You are disappoiated in yonr own sensations ; the 
prospect is more circumscribed than you had been led to anticipate, 
and you exhaust yonrself in vain attempts to stretch the volume of 
waters beyond the capacity of your vision. Such, at least, was the 




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162 LIFE OF JAMffib HE^ILEY THOKNWKLL. 

ease with myself. After gazing to the full upon the loveline^ of a oolm 
and immffled. eea, reieotiug, as a mirroi', Ihe bright rajs of the ano, I 
tamed my thoEghtE, or rathei' they turned themselves with something 
like magnetic attraction, to my own beloved home. Thoughts of home, 
under anch eircnmstiuioas, ave xmutterably sweet. But it were vain to 
attempt a description of the imaginary iateiviews which I held witi her 
whom I early led to the altar, and to whom I have plighted my faith, 
and the precious little babes, tlie fair fruits of our early love. Though 
far away, I oan commend them with confidence to the care and protec- 
tion of the Shepherd of Israel, who never slumbei's nor sleeps. 

" In ■walking t<i and fro upon the deok of the ship, my attention was 
aiTested by the moiij charaeter of the steerage puBsengers. Some ap- 
p ai d to h d t and p t bl peopl th y tly and tidily 

diBSd dw qtepp ing th ca g d demeHnour. 

P t h d doomed tl m to th t i aite f th h p Others were 
th ry p t f filth, m esa d TOmm t wretchedness, 

D t ani gg d th jp 1 q Id th ir uteuances, low 
anl Igaj mth bhvi th jf and ff oonring of the 
e th I as 11 gl 1 th t th y w g mg y f m. our shores. 
Out ship, in its oahin and steerage passengers, its ofBeers and erew, pre- 
Bellte no mean picture of the world, in its various divisions and claasea 
of society. 

' ' 1 was muoh struck with the various efforts of mj fellow-passengers 
to while away the time. Though they would have shuddered at the 
thought of death, they evidently had more time than they knew what to 
do with.' They tried cards, and dice, aiid chess ; they would walk, and 
yawn, and smoke, and loU ; and, after all, sigh out in awful moans under 
the iotolerable burden of too much time. Ah me! on a dying bed 
these wasted hours will he like fiends from helf, to torture and harass the 
burdened soul. How important is the caution of the Apostle, 'Be- 
deamiug the time !' Mark tiiat word, redeeming. It implies soai'oiiy ; 
it teaches that time must be parcltased ; but who, until a djing hour, 
now finds time soaroe, or feels constrained to buy it P 

"SaUtrday, May 22d. — It is now Saturday night, and I must prepare 
for the holy Sabbath. My Bible and Confession of Faith ajre my tra- 
velling companions, and precious friends have tliey been to me. I 
bless God for that glorious summary of Christian doctrine contained in 
our noble standards. It has cheered m 
sustained me in many a desponding moment, 
ponder coi'ef uUy each proof-test as I pass along. 

"Monday, Mcey^ith. — I begin to feel very a 
and monotony of a sea voyage. When your curiosity is gratified, and 
the freshness of novelty subsides, you become very much wearied with the 
oontinnal recurrence of the same pTOspeots and the same events. Sky 
and water, sky and water, morning, noon, and night, are the constant 
objects of contemplation presented to the eye. The only variety in the 
scene is made by the changes in the wind, the sporting of the fish, the 



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VOYAGE TO EHKOl'E. 163 

flying of the eea-guUs, aad tta cnrions moTemonts of Mothesr Oarej's 
chickens; and eTon those partaie, in a few days, of the aame general 
monotony, Cairas ace tte school of patience ; storms, of faith ; and a, 
voyage, as a whole, a fine school for every Christian grace. And yet tiia 
very circimistanoea by which it is adapted to discipline the graoes of 
the spirit, okU out into poweriol action, the oontrsiy Tiees of the carnal 
heart ; and hence eailora are proverbially the moat wicked and aban- 
doned men on earth. Those who, of all others, have the most to re- 
mind tbam of their dependence upon God, who teqpire His breezes to 
waft them on their way, and His protection in the perils of the storm, 
are, of all others, the most forgetful of Hia claims, and most thoroughly 
nnmindful of His being. What a proof of Hia goodness when so many 
ships are spared, maimed by blasphemers, and mingling the voice of 
onrsing and impreoaiion with every mnrmnr of the wind 1 Snrely His 
tender mereiea are over all His works. 

" It is now ten o'clock at night. I was forcibly atruck to-day with 
the propensity of my heart to trust in the creature rather than lie Al- 
mighty. Abont twelve o'clock we were threatened with a squall the 
wind was high, the heavens were gathering blscknC!!. and some of the 
pasaengera began to be alarmed. I at once, though I trust I was not 
wholly forgetful of God, turned my attention to the strength of the 
ahip and the akill of our Bailors ; and found, I am afiuid, tuU as muth 
quietude of mind, from contemplating the calmness and self po^tcatjon 
of the captain, as from the gracious promises of Him who says tu the 
ocean, ' Thus far shalt thou come, and here shall thy proud waves be 
stayed.' I pray that God may deliver me from the sm of unbelief. I 
know its wickedness, but I feel its power. I strive and fight against 
it, and sometimes am ready to congratulate myself that the victory is 
won ( but in an evil hour I have fresh and mortifying evidence that I 
am sinful dust and ashes. 

"T'oesday, Mofgibtk, — We have been nearly becalmed aU day, and what 
little progress we have made has been out of our course. The effects 
of a calm in crashing the spirits of the passengers were very observable 
at dinner. We all sat for a long time as mute as mice, until the captain, 
with his nstial good humour and pleaaantiy, broke the dismal silence with 
some of hia lively jokea. Such is his exhaustlesa etore of anecdotes 
and bou-mota, that the most austere ascetic would find it difficult tffl 
preserve his gravity, or maintain the rigid contraction of hia features. 
He fills up my idea of what a sea-captain ahould be, in every respect bnl 
■one, and that is piety. Polite, without afteotatiou ; decided, without se- 
verity; gay, without levity; and humorous, without ijuiloonei'y, he is 
always pleasant himself, and renders every one pleasant around Mm. 
He is a fair specimen of the moral effects which a religious education 
will produce, even under the moat unfavourable cireumatances. He was 
trained among the genuine old Puritans of New England ; and though 
he went to sea very early in life, the iiabits and impressions of his child- 
hood adhere to him ; and he has been preserved, by bis early instrao- 



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164 LIFE OF JAMES HENLEY THOKNWELL. 

tion, from the ooactless temptations aod abaadoned dissipationa of a 
sailor's life. His extecnal deporianent is not only blameless and irra- 
proaohable, but to a oerteiii extent, esemplaij ; and apparently, all tliati 
be wants is a new heart. Ai ! what a want is fiiat. 

" Wednesday, May 26(fl. — At this moroent, ten o'clook at night, we 
baye a most eonvinoing illuBtTafion of the vanity and folly of trnstittg 
in the flesh. "We ace now on. the edeta of Hie baitkB of Newfoundland, 
enveloped in a mist so tbiik and daik that we can hardly see twice the 
length of the shiji ahead , m the veiy regions of monntains of ioe, 
without the probability of diaeeimng ^hen we approach them, and com- 
pelled to Bound a oonstaut alarm of bells, to prevent oarselTee from 
coining in collision with other vesBBls In snch eircumstanoea what can 
the skill of man accomplish ? What oan human pcndenoe or sagacity 
aoMeve? When we consider Uie multitude of Yessels that pass these 
banks, shrouded in almost midnight darkness at noonday, and yet pre- 
served from the desolation of the icebergs, how clear is the proof of a 
guiding band upon us, and of a superintending Providence above us ! 
Those who have not seen it, can form no conception of the impenetra- 
ble tiiiokness of the mists that here ovei'bang the sea. It is like an im- 
mense body of smoke lying upon the bos 
out every prospect, either of sky or oceaa 
It is, mdeod, awful to witness ! 

" Thursday., May 37*ft.— We sail to-day amid unseen dangers on 
every hand. The water is very near the freezing pomt an unpenetia- 
ble fog hangs around the ship, and we know not at what moment we 
may be dashed agamsfe a mountain of ioe, and eonbigned to a watery 
grave. Already this morning have we met the shattered fragments of 
some vessel that has recently met her fate in these dreary regions. How 
awful is a wiDck ! How solemn and how prayerful should we be, when 
we pass among the melancholy memorials of those who have been lost — 
suddenly, unexpectedly, awfully lost — upon the yawning deep ! Oh 1 it is 
fearful ; in the full career of manhood, in health and strength, wiUi all 
our energies about us, buoyant with tope, away from friends that we 
love, and a family that we fondly cherish, to meet death riding in terror 
upon the foaming billows; to die in the full consciousness of dealii; 
to die when we feel that we are full of life. Great (Jodl preserve me, 
preserve us alt from this dreadful end ! 

"About sunset it became so frightfully dark that tbe captain could 
not venture to proceed, and accordingly, iu sailor dialect, ^lay to,' 
In about two hours afterwards the wind shifted to the northwest, and 
dissipated the fog so that we were able to go -on. And here we are 
now under full sail, with a fine breeze and a clear sky, and the moon 
reflecting her silver light upon the bosom of the waters. I here record 
my solemn conviction, (hat Sod has favoured us in answer to prayer. 
My own heart has been going out in humble supplication, and I am 
snre that othens oa board have an interest at the throne of grace. Ob ! 
it is a delightful view of tbe Divine character, which the pi 
■OS in these words ; 'Thon that hearest prayer.' 



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VOYAGE TO EUKOPE. 163 

"I shudder to think ot ilie dangers througi which we have passed 
to-diy. Every preeantion whioh human skill or prudence could Baggest 
was adopted ; hut still our limited vision rendered our eitiiafion appall- 
ing, and our eafety must be ascrilied to HJm who holds the bob in the 
hoUow of His hand. By Ihe grace of God, which marvelloasly enabled 
me to trust in Hie proteotion, I was calm and composed ; and neyer in 
my life enjoyed so riohly the portion of the Larger Cafechisin extending 
ftom question 178 to the oltae. The auBwere there set down, and the 
Tarious proof-tesfs, precious jewels from Uie exhauaOess mine of God's 
holy Word, contain a sununary of Christian instruction, and a model of 
Christian spirit, whioh cannot be too faithfully studied, I have read 
the creeds of most Christian hodies ; I have been rejoiced at the general 
harmony of Protestant Christendom in the great doctrine of the gos- 
pel ; bnt I know of no uninspired production, in any language, or of any 
denomination, that, for richness of matter, clearness of statement, 
soundness of doctrine, scriptural espression, and edifying tendency, 
can for a moment enter int^) competition with the Westminster Confes- 
sion and Catechisms. It was a noble body of diyiaes, called by a noble 
body of statesmen, that oomposed them ; and there they stand, and will 
stand for ever, the mannmenta alike of religious truth snd civil freedom. 
"■Monday, May 31s(.— To-day we haTe a rough sea; our vessel is 
tossing upon the waters like an egg-shell, and moat of the passengers 
are sick. About five o'clock in the afternoon we had a most terrific 
squall. The waves were rolling like mountains, and every moment it 
seemed that our gallant ship miist be engulpbed. She was dashed now 
ivpon one side, now npon the other, now plunging her bow under huge 
billows whioh broke over her, and seemed as if ihey would mak her; 
and then riding the waves as if in defiance of their fury ; the sea mean- 
while foaming, and dashing, and ivaiing like constant thunder, and the 
wind howling through the rigging with deafening violence, while the 
heavens were soowHng in blackness. The whole scene was one of ter- 
ror and sublimity, which baffles all description. One could hardly re- 
Mst the impression that the vessel was conscious of her danger. She 
appeared to prepare herself to meet every wave, and to withstand every 
gust of wind. Sometimes we would appear to he several feet beneath 
the general level of the whole body of the sea ahead, which seemed 
rolling on to meet and erusb ns ; bnt the vessel, as if instinot with life, 
would raise her bow and dash forward, as if driven by ten thousand 
furies, and fleeing for her safety. 

" Thursday, June Sd.^Wind against us all day. Sii weeks this 
night have rolled around, since I bid farewell to my beloved family. I 
can see my wife now in the posture of patient resignation and holy sor- 
row, in which she sat when, with a throbbing heart, I hid her a mourn- 
fol farewell. I can see my cherub babes, all unconscious as they were 
that evening of what was taking place ; I can see them now smiling be- 
fore me in the loveliness of infancy, and all the fond endearments ol 
home are crowding around my heart. Well might Cowper say, 



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LIFE OF JAMES HE K LEY 



ThOQ aniho nurss of yii'Ene; in thine arms 
She smiles, appearing, as In trulli she Is, 

'' Monda/y, June 7th. — -I preached yesterday. The oabia 
passengers, with tie crew, made a very good congregation, and ttey lia- 
tened very attanSyely. Wind against ns yesterday and to-day." 

"Monday, Jwne liiS.— After aaucoeeEion of head- winds we at length 
liave a faTourable breeze, wliioh has diffused joy and gladness tJirough- 
ont the ship. We have been sailing lo-day along tlie coast of Ireland, 
haying passed Kenaale, Cork, and Waterford. 

" Tuesday^ June ISiS. — Sailing to-day along the coast of Wales, and 
a picturesque coast it is. We took a pilot on board about two o'oiodk 
P. M, 

" Wednesday/, June 16!A.— We entered the docta at Liverpool early 
this morning ; and I took my breakfast in the Grecian Hotel, devoutly 
tbankfnl for my safe passage. The Lord's name be praised for all His 
mercies, and may He continue his loTing kindness tlivough all my wan- 
derings, and through all my life." 



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CHAPTER XIII. 

LETTERS FROM EUROPE. 

Desomtmon or Livespooij.— Watimth ov Ebqlibh Politics.— De- 

SOJUITIOB OF GhTIBTEK AND IIS ANTiqOITIBS. — A NoBLEMiS'S BSTATH. 
— DeBCHITTIDH Off LOMIIOH. — Its iMIEKBaTINO ASaOCLlTIONB AND 

Steikinq Contbastb. — QoEB TO Scotland. — Desckiption or Glas- 
gow.— Intebootjbse WITH the SeCBDEKS. — AcOOTJMT OF PlACBB ViB- 
ITBD ON Hia JOTTENET. — KeBILWOBTH.— WiEWICE. — StKATFOED-UPON- 

Aton. — Meibobe Abbes. — DaiBCBaa. — Imfeessionb oe Pabis.— Irs 
LiOKS.— Kbtubn Home.— Pateiotibu. 

IT is tantaliziBg that Dr. Thornwell should have made 
two visits to Europe, leaving behind no detailed ac- 
count of what lie aaw, and of the impressions made upon 
his own mind. In both instances, however, he was in 
feeble health, and hie stay exceedingly brief. Little more 
could be accomplished by liim than to maintain a regular 
correspondence with hie family, upon which we are thrown, 
in this cliapter, for all that is known of his first trip: 

"IiivHBPooi., J'une 16, 18*1. 
"My Deaeest, most Peeciotjb Wipe: Twenty-eight days bave 
elapsed since I loft New York, in tha fine paoket-sMp, ' OolnmbaB,' 
iindei: the command of my old friand, Captain Barstowe ; and here I 
am now in 'many old Englaod,' safe, sound, and hearty. ♦ * " As 
I know that you must he very aniious in regacd to my health, I shall 
state at once that the yoyaga haa heen of immeose service to me. I 
look fifty per cent, better than I did when I left New York, and a han- 
dred tim.oa better than when I left Charleston and Columbia. I am 
sorry that you weTe distressed with the false report of my haTiug had a 
hemorrhage on tha mad, I haye had none sinoe I left home, I had e 
eoU in Charleston, from riding at night, but that passed off before I 
left the city. At this time my appetite is ■anumtaUy Jine ; and, in jus- 
tice to England, I must say that there is eyerything to gratify it. My 
oomplesion ia clear and healthful, my digestion uncommonly good, and 
in every reapeot I haye abundant reasons for ttiankfulnees to the Giver 
of all good. I firmly believe that the crossing of the ocean has been 
16T 



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168 LIFE OF JAMES HENLEY THOKNWELL. 

the vary making of me ; fliid I now rejoioa tlmt the passage was long, 
because the sea-air has been so eminently aervicoable. Yon cannot 
imagine how it has sWertgtli.»n,ed me. 

' ' TTou may wish to know something abont Liyerpool. As a matter 
of oourae, one day's Boquaintaiice is too short for forming a yerj correct 
opinion. The docks, which mo about the greatest onriosity here, are 
immensely large ; bmlt of stone, and crowded with vessels from all 
parts of the world. They eitend something like two miles, and for all 
that space are literally crammed with ships, their masts pointing to the 
skies like huge forests, and their colonrs gracefully floating to the 
breeze. There is nothing in all America like these spaoioua docks. 
The tides in our conntrj do not rise high enough to admit of them ; 
and here they rise too high lo admit of what we have in all our cities — 
wharves. At high tide here the water rises nineteen feet. The public 
buildings in Liverpool are on a magnificent scale, much larger and finer 
than buildings of the same sort in America ; but iiey are deplorably 
smoky and dingy from the immense quantities of ooal oonsumed here. 
The stores and private buildings are not so handsome as they are iu 
Sew York or Philadelphia. The streets are narrow and crowded, and, 
in some parts of the town, disgustingly filthy. The police is stationed, 
a man for about every fifty yards, along every street, so as to be within 
a moment's caU for the purpose of suppressing mobs, riots, and all dis- 
order. You see an immense poor population here, all ragged and dirty, 
and begging for alms at almost every corner you turn. Sometimes 
you meet a wretched, squalid woman in ragged clothes, barefooted, 
with a sheet, or something like it, tied around her, and two or three 
little children fastened in it, begging for bread, or alms of some sort, 
and eiciting your compassion by pointing to the helplf ss condition of 
her babes. I am told that these children are frequently borrowed, and 
carried about fraudulently, for the purpose of touching the feelings of 
spectators. I was walking along in a street to-day, in a very dirty part 
of tlie town, and found the cellars, damp, dark, and filthy, occupied by 
families poorer than the poorest that I ever saw in America. Some- 
times two or three families, amounting to about twenty persons, live in 
a single room, several feet under ground, in a hole not larger than our 
pantry, with not a single window in it, and pay nearly all that they can 
earn by hard labour for their rent. This is wretchedness^ this is pimerty 
indeed. Those who can get enough to eat have a very healthful, ruddy 
appearance. Their faces looked so red and rosy that my first impres- 
sion was that they painted. But I am told it is the natural complexion 
of the people. 

" I like the plan of the English hotels very much. A man is as private 
in them as in his own house, You order whatevei' you wish for yonr 
meals; are charged for what you get, and eat it in your own dining 
room. There is no such thing as a public table. Every man or family, 
eats when and what he pleases. The cooking is superb ; everything is 
clean and tidy ; nothing out of place ; and the servante are prompt, and 



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LEITEES FliOM EUKOFE. 169 

Bctive, and as polite as Freaoh danoing-maBterH. I have amved here at 
the ficest seaaoa of the year. Strawberries and cherries aie just ripe, 
and Liverpool abounds with ihem. The strawbeYriea are about four 
times as large aa ours. We haye also gooeeberriea in abundimee, but 
they are dreadfully sour. The beef is dehoions ; and such coffee as I 
have drnnli here I hare not tasted in many a day before. In short, so 
far BB my onter matt is coneamed, I aboimd Id comforts. * * * I 
"have no difEonlty in getting along here. I feel perfectly at home. I 
hear my own language, see many of the casiflims with which I am famil- 
iar, and cannot realize that I am among strangers. 

" I have been amused hare with the warmtii with wliicli the people 
■discuss polities. They are just as violent las they are in America. Yon 
see handbills stuck up aloag the sfieeta, by the different parties, just as 
there was in Columbia, dnring the contest between Van Buren and Har- 
risoc. The toiies and whigs are equally violent, and eq^ually abOKive, 
They have public meetioga, make furious speeches, abuse the Oovem- 
ment, enrse one another, generally close by raising a mob, and these are 
scattered by the police. Another wonder to me, was the prodigious size 
■of the dray horses. They are nearly as large as elephants, very muscular, 
and two of them draw the weight of sii: or eight with us. They are too 
large, however, to be active ; and hence I have never seen them move 
faster than a wsli. I believe, now, deai'eal, I bave told you all that I 
have seen dnring my first day in Europe. There is but one thing which 
prevents me from being perfectly happy, so far as this world is ooooerned ; 
and (bat is, you are not with me. I seldom see anything new, strange, 
■or interesting, without thinking of you, and wishing that you could see 
it U>o. May God bless you, and keep you. Have no fears about me ; 
the Lord will preserve me ; and I faeievery confidence that in His own 
good Umewe shall meet again. His hand is visible in my leaving home. 
Jast thint of the very little matter upon which all my subsequent 

movements bave turned. Prof. failed to flU an appointment, 

and that sent me to Europe. Two monlhs ago, and who dreamed that 
I should be in Liverpool to-day ? It is the Lord's doing, and it is msr- 
■vellous in my eyes. I feel that I am a child of a wonderful and myste- 
rious Providence ; and I am satisfied that good is to arise out of this 
matter, I have never enjoyed the Bible and communion with God so 
much in all my life, as I did upon the ocean. I lived upon the Scrip- 
ture, and can truly say, that, in a spiritual point of view, my voyage 
baa been of as much service to my soul, as, in a physical respect, it has 
been to my body. It has been, too, a great comfort to me to think that 
many of God's people are praying for my prosperity. I wept freely 
when I read Cmt's letter. Such a friend is a treasure beyond all price. 

" In a day ot two, I shall leave Liverpool for Ireland, where I shall 
visit Dublin, Belfast, ie. ; and from Ireland proceed to Scotland, and 
make a tour of two or three weeks there ; and then proceed to London ; 
BO tjiat I shall not be in London nntdl the last of July. After finishing 



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170 LIFE OF JAMES HENLEY TnOKNWKIJ.. 

tlie tour of Iceland, SooHand, and England, I eh^ll proceed to Paris ; 
thenoe to 'Switzerland; theoca to Germany; anfl, if I have tima, to 
Kome. If not, I akall return, to Liverpool, and probably take a sMp 
diraetly tor Oliarlestoi!. Bnt it is useless to calculate bo far aiiaad; I may 
ohange my mind a hundred times. And now, dearest, I must bring this 
long, haaty scrawl to a olosa. Kiss tho dear little babes for me, remera- 
bor me to all onr friends, and be perfectly at eaaa abont my tealth, com.- 
mitting me to the oare of our Lord add SsTionr, Jasns Clirist. God 
bless you with all spiritual blessings in haavenly places in Christ Jesus. 
" Youi" derotad husband, 

J. H. TaoBBWBUi." 



" LoNBos, June 2S(S, 1341. 
" Mt own most Peeoious NiHOY : Yon will probably be greatly sur- 
prised to find that I am in London so soon, having written ia jou that 
I purposed visitiug Lreland and Scotland first. But two circamstances 
indneed me to oheiige my route. One was tJlG badness of the weather. 
The day that I tad fixed on for going to Dablin was a windy, gusty 
day, and 1 did not feel lite going to sea in a strong gale. Another in- 
ducement for coming to London at onoe, was my aniiety to witness tho 
oeremony of proroguing Pathament, which was done last Tuesday. 
After all, however, I did not see it, as I was misinformed aboat the 
time, and got tliere too late. I must now attempt to give an account 
of myself since I last wrote yon. 

"From Liverpool I went to Okeater, about sixteen miles oil, one of 
tha oldest towus in England. It is situated upon the river Daa, has a 
large thick wall built enfii'ely around it, which affords a splendid walk 
of a summer afternoon, the wall having a balustraded walk on the top, 
large enough for two persons to go abreast. This wall waa buiit when 
England was in possession of the Bomans. It has several towers, in- 
tended originally as stations for watchmen npon the wall, and which now 
afford very fine views of the country around. Upon one of these towers 
Charles the First beheld the rout of liis army at Marston moor. There is 
an inscription upon it commemorative of the fact. Most of the house.s in 
Cheater are constmoted upon a very peculiar plan. ' They are excavated 
from the rock (Chester being situated on a rocky eminence) to Hie depth 
of one story beneath the level of the ground oQ each side, and have a 
portico running along their front, level with the gtound at tlieir back, 
but one story above the street. These porticoes, which are called Hie 
Bows, afford a covered walk to pedestrians ; and beneath them are 
shops and warehonsea on a level with the street.' While yon are walk- 
ing along these Kows, you are walking between shops and stalls. Among 
the lions of Chester, which, after all, is distiuguiehed for nothiug but 
its aniiquities, is the Castle, part of which was built during the fame 
of William the Conqueror, and pai-t in modern tim.es. It is a very 
magnificent bnilding, comprising an armoury' containing nearly thirty 



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LETTERS FKOM EUEOPE. 171 

thoueand stand of arnie, taetefullj disposBA, a gunpowder magazine, the 
Bhire hall, with a noble portioo, the county gaol. etc. 

" Nest comes the Cathedral, a huge Gothic pile, pavts of which were 
built nearly tnelre hundred yeais ago. Like all buildings of its iJaas, 
It is in form of a oioes. It cont^ns some cnrious monuments, the 
inBoriptions upon which have been effaced by the hand of time. Among 
the iUustiioas dead deposited within its walls lie tiie remains of Travis 
and Smith. The eloisteis of Hie priests and monks, when it was an. 
abbey, in the possession of the Eomac Catholics, prior to the Reforma- 
tion, are very much worn by age. Though the edilioe is constructed of 
sohd stone, its huge colossal pillars look as if there had been floods of 
wafer constantly but slowly washing them away. The bishop's throne, 
upon which I had the impudence to seat myself, feeling myself to be as 
much of a bishop as any body, was formerly Saint Worburgh's shrine, 
I felt, in traversing its huge nave, and walking under its lofty ceiling, 
that I was conversing with men of a by-gone age. I eould almost hear 
the monks counting their beads and muttering Iheir idle prayers, as 
they did in days of yore in this prodigious pUe. There is nothing spe- 
cially to recowmend this building, but its hugeness and antiquity. I 
noticed within it the monument of the venerable Bishop Hall. I at- 
tended worship at Chester, in the morning at an Independent chapel, 
and in the afternoon at Saint Peter's church, where I heard Eev. B. 
Biekersteth, whose works, you know, I own. Both preachers were 
evangehcal, but their delivery was shocking, a real school-boy whine. 
Their gowns seemed too much in their way ; they were constantly 
shrugging their shoulders to keep these worthless appendages from 
tumbling off. Saint Peter's church, like the Cathedral, tells of other 
days. The hand of time is visibly maiked in the wasting of its pillare; 
its shape and structure also indicate a high antiquity. I was glad to 
hear the pure gospel preached, however' badly preached, where, three 
centuries ago, the absurd fooleries of Home held undisputed sway. 
God grant that every papist chapel on earth may witness the same 
change. In Trinity church, another ancient edifice in Chester, lie the 
mortal remains of Matthew Henry, the commentator, and the poet, 
Farnell. The style of architeetui'e, if bricks apparently thrown to- 
gether in headless confusion can be called a style, is evidently ancient. 
The houses are low, dreadfully smoked, thrown up without taste or ele- 
gance, and shockingly crowded together. Motbingbut their age redeems 
them from contempt ; and yet the situation of the town is fine. Almost 
around it flows the river Dee. On one side you have a beautiful view 
of the mountains of Wales, on the other a commanding prospect of the 
hills of Cheshire, while all around the country is lovely from its striking 
undulations. In this city is.the famous cheese mart of England. It is 
a large area enclosed on all sides, where fairs are held of cheese brought 
from all parts of the country. 

" There are still to be seen here the remains of an old Eoman hot and 
cold bath ; and some houses with grotesque devices, that might have 



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172 LIFK OF JAMES HENLEY TnOKNWELL. 

been areotad in the earlier stages of British hiatory ; e-sideuily put np 
as early es tlie Bomaa invaaion. This iflwn, seyen hnndred years ago, 
■was the Hceae of the interview batween Henry the Second and Maloolm 
tta Fourth ; and here, more than five hundred years ago, Edward re- 
ceived the BnbmiEsion of the Welsh. It stood out for the King during 
the civil wars, but was finally taken by the Parliament, in 1645. Its pop- 
ulation is about twenty-two thousand. There are as many buildings now 
without aa within the walls. The old town is on a rooky eminence ; 
many of the new buildings are in a valley ; and as you walk upon the 
old wall, you have these buildings beneath your feet ; and the whole de- 
clivity, down to their level, is in a rich state of eulfivation. About 
three miles from OheHter ia Eaton Hall, the magnificent seat of the Mar- 
quis of Westminster, one of the richest noblemen in England. His in- 
come is about five tbonsand dollars a day. Hie yard, as we n-oald call it, 
embrace about thirty square miles, beautifally laid out in forests, gar. 
dens, and parks. He has been at immense expense to import every variety 
of trees, and flowers, and fruits, from all parts of the world. His hot- 
houses cover several acres of ground ; aod include a fine peach orchard, a 
rict grape arbour, thousands of pine-appte trees, oranges, lemons, and 
evejy fruit of every cUmate ; and that, too, in full perfection. In the midst 
of his gardens, and just before Ma door, winds the river Dee ; from the 
porlico of his mansion, on one side, you have a beautiful view of the 
mountains of Nortii Wales, and on the other, of the hills of Oheshira. 
His park is stocked with deer, grazing about as tame as sheep. I went 
all over bis building, which has recently been fitted up ; but its rich and 
gorgeons saloons, its plated furniture, its spacious balls, I am utterly 
unable to describe. His stables ai'e fine, rich buildings, ivith heavy 
Gothic arches and windows. They would be a palace fov men, much 
less for horses. In the gardens is an old Boman altar, with nymphs 
and fountains, which tbe Marquis has preserved. 

" I have now gone through my description of Chester ; from which I 
came on to London, without stopping at any of the intermediate towns. 
I reached Iiondon tbe day that Parliament was prorogued by Her Maj- 
esty, the Qneen, but I did not witness the ceremony. I was in the 
Houses of Lords and Commons, however, immediately after ; and guess 
my surprise to see what little, narrow, contracted halls they were ; and 
Hie benches were, for all the world, like school benches, except that they 
were cushioned. On expressing my astonishment that the British Legis- 
lature should meet in such quarters, I was reminded of what I knew 
before, that these were only temporary accommodations, the old ones 
having been burnt ; and that they were now putting up magnificent 
buildings for the purpose. From these halls I went to Whitehall, where 
Charles the First was esecuted ; then to Wesfminster Abbey, where our 
noble Confession of Faith was dmwn up, and where lie crowded to- 
gether Hie mighty dead of many centuries. Thence I went to West- 
minster Hall, a spacious area, originally built for a banqueting-house ; 
thence to the Parks— Hyde Park. Saint James', the Palace, and Eegent's 



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LETTEKS FKOM EUKOFE. 173 

Patk ; hot as I have been here a week, and have seea jet only a comer of 
London, I nmet reserve a description of this vast metropolis for an- 
otiier of my short epistles. One of my firat aeMevemeiits was to irant 
out the book range, tiie famous Pater Nostev Kow; and imagine my 
siirpriee to find it a little, naxrow, dirty lace, where a cairiage could 
hardly pass. The whole I'egion smelt of Popery ; Pater Hostai:, Ata 
Maria, Amen, Ac., being the streets of the square. And now, dearest, 
I njast draw to a close. In about ten days mote I JeavB foe Scotland. 
" Your most devoted husband, 

J, II, ThORNWEI/L." 



His third letter, dated London, July 2d, 1841, is largely 
occupied with personal and domestic allusions, which would 
have little interest for the general reader; after which he 
s to say 



"I have not yet fliited »ith the Queen neither Lave I seen Her 
Majesty; and as I am nit disposed to pay one or two hunlied lolKrs 
for the prmlege if paying obeiaajica to royalty I skill not seek the 
honour of an introluction Yon can only be mtradneed m a court 
dress ; which consists of knee bieetkes silk stockings silver tmckleB 
and I know mt wlmt trumpery bcsiles I have been all aiound and 
about, tkougk not in thu PlIulc I ha*e seen must tf the noblemen s 
houses, and almost all the lions of London. Mr. Trezevant'E family, 
who have shown ine great kindness, and Mr. Stevenson, are the only ac- 
quaintances I have made. My object has been to see ; and hence I have 
not been anxious t« get into society, I have traced out all the leading 
places in London, rendered illustrious by literary association. I have 
been in the very cell in the famous tower, where Sir Walter Raleigh was 
confined, and where he wrote his history of the world. I have stood 
upon the spot whei'e Anne Boleyn was executed, and have lifted the axe 
which took off her head. I have seen the armours of kings and 
knigkts. from eight hundred years ago to the present time. I have sat 
in the great chair in which all the Kings of England have been crowned 
for eight hundred years. I have seen the monuments of the mighty 
dead, extending ten centuries baok ; I have stood upon the place where 
Charles the Firat was gloriously executed, and have been entranced in 
the ohapel where our noble standards were compiled. 1 have gazed 
upon the ediSoe in which Watts and Owen preached, though it is now 
sadly dilapidated, and has ceased to be a ohurch. I have bean in the 
range where Johnson lived, and where the literary men of his day met 
their dubs. The inn is still standing where the poet Obaucer and 
twenty-nine pilgrims, were accommodated on their pumey to Canter- 
hury. London is full of Uterarj associations. It has been the scene of 
great and glorious erents, as well as others of a eonb'ary character. I 



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174 LIFE OF JAMES HENLKY TIIOKNWELL. 

have been in all the yiUageB for ten miles ftround London, TJeiting soma 
by land, and othera by boats upon the rjver Thames, It is impossible, 
ja the compass of a single letter, to give anything like a dasivription 
of this vast metropolis, and of the eiqnisite loTeliness and beauty of the 
country and villages around. But I often think of Bjron'o description 
of it in 'Don Juan;' 

" ' A mighty mass of btiolt, and Blone, and shipping. 
Dirty and dueliy, bnt as wide HB eye 
Can leaeh ; with liere and tliore a sail juat skipping 
In Bight, th«n lost amid the forestry 
Of musts ; a wilderness of eleeples peeping 
On tip-toe, tlirongh llieir sea-aoal canopy ; 

On a fool's head-^nd there is Iiondon town.' 

"The west end of London, always bating the smoke, Hurpasaes the 
most extravagant conception which a stranger caa form of it. Its parks 
and squares, itg crescents and public buildings, are almost like enchanted 
ground ; and then, the great variety, the astonishiag oontiaBts, which a 
short walk will present yon with, fconi the PaJace to Billingsgate. It is, 
in fact, a faithful picture of the world. Greenwich Hospital, and 
Greenwich Pai'k, are themselves worth a trip across the Atlantic to see. 
They are about three miles from what is called London, diougb it is 
built up nearly all the way. I walk, on aa ayeiage, about ten miles 
every day, gazing, wondeiing, and cogitating. J have seen much of the 
common people, having arrived here at the time of the general elections. 
I have attended some of thoir meetings, worming mysehf through the vafit 
crowds with raj hands on my watch and my purse, for there are some 
prodigiously light-fingered gentry here ; and. I have witnessed something 
of bribery, fraud, and intimidation, which are practised by the rich and 
great. It is now a time of intense political eioitement,' I must say, 
that in all that makes life precious, and esalts, refines, and elevates the 
mass of the people, America is immeasurably stiperioi ~ 
Give me my own country forever. I see what is eicellen 
' bnt I see so much of an opposite chai-acter, that I must still sigh for 
my native land. The fories here have a prodigious prejudice against us, 
and abolitionism is, if possible, more fanatical here than in America. 

" Next week I shall leave London for Scotland. I shall travel feia- 
urely, visiting all the principal places. My health is quite good. I feel 
as strong as I ever did ; much more el.istic, and have not the slightest 
sensation of weakness in the chest. I feel confident that, by the bless- 
ing of God, my health will be qui te restored, so that I can return to my 
duties by the first of Deoemt>er. In regard to journalising, I cannot 
write anything of interest, from want of time. I could only give a 
meagre skeleton of names and places, with some general description, that 
would amount to nothing. My letters, I hope, will be as interesting as 
a journal, such as I should be compelled to write. And now dearest, 



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LETIEKS FROM EUROPE. 

precious Naacy, I counDead you. to God, and the word 
aud believe me as ever, 

' ' Your devoted husband, 

J. H. Ti 

The next letter is dated, 

" GiASaOW, SOOTLANO, Jllty IS, 184:1. 

" Mt Dhibest Wife ; It is with heartfelt pleasure that I sit down to 
hold communiQation with her whom my soul loves, in the only wo.j' 
wWoh is now left me. I feel that, in your affeotions, I possess a prize 
ot iuestimable value ; and I look forward, witU interest and deEght, to 
Oie renewed joys whioh we shall experience in the society of each other, 
when God shall bring us together again, after our long and painful sepa- 
ration. I have thought raucli of the best methods of sanetitying our 
love, and of being fellow-helpers to eaoh other in oar heavenly pil- 
grimage. I feel a renewed obligation, from God's great goodness to 
tne since I left home, f<) devote myself wholly, unreservedly, to His 
service and glory. He has protected me from danger, and has, 1 trust, 
entirely restored my health. What can I render to Him but that life 
which He has preserved, that health which He has restored, and that 
strength which He baa increased? ■ Let us both endeavour to be more 
holy, watchful and devoted ; let us endeavour to build each other np in 
the most holy faith. I am afraid thit, in past times, our interconrso 
has not been aufficiently of a religious character. We have both been 
a little shy in communicating our spiritual states our joys or sorrows, 
our hopes and fears. If there has been an error of this sort, let us try 
to correct it hereafter and delight more m bemg heirs together of the 
grace of life. It is my earnest praj er that & i may give us grace to 
glorify His name in all things 

"I have beau in Glasgow five lays anl have made the acquaintance 
of several clergymen, who have treated me with the utmost cordiality, 
■md insisted upon my piotractmg my stay in order to preach for them. 
I had the opportunity also of attending the meeting of the Presbytery 
of Glasgow. The leaven of New Schoolisnt; I am sorry to say, is be- 
ginnmg t j work its way, even here. The Presbytery of Kilmarnock, at 
its last meeting, deposed a man from the mimstiy for holding senti- 
ments somewhat similar to those of Albert Earpes. Error, however, 
has yet made little progress ; and the prompt steps of the Presbytery, 
which were nonfirtned and applauded by the Synod, I sincerely hope 
may arrest it. The Scotch are indeed a nohle race ; a little too much 
inclined to bigotry ; bat if the spirit of speculation on theological sub- 
jects should once become propagated among them, there is no telling 
where the evil would stop. Some of the fathers of the Church here say 
that I am exactly right on the subject of Boards and Agencies,, and urge 
me to cry aloud and spare not. They have strong sympathy with the 
orthodox among us. I am glad to see that they are taking a decided 



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176 LITE OF JAMES HENI.BY TH' 



WTLL 



interest in missionary operations ; and have really adopted the very 
plan, so far as I have yat been able to learn their system which I re- 
commended in my article. These Presbyterians of n bom I am speak- 
ing are all Saoaders. I haYS made no acquaintances yet among tbe 
ministers of the Establishment, though I have heaid one of their most 
distiuguisbed men, Dr. Buohanan, preach; and a very fine preacher 
be is. 

"It is really a ti^eat, after coming out of England, to see how tie 
Sabbath is observed in Scotland. Everything on the streets is as still 
as death ; no travelling is allowed, and their ohnrches are all full of al> 
tentive listeners. The style of preaching among the Seoeders is emi- 
nently instructive and edifying. They do not allow the minister to 
rea^. In flie Established Ohnroh, however, they generally read their 
sermons. I have been much interested in the old Cathedral here, where 
the famous Assembly of 1638 was hold, which deposed the bishops, de- 
fied the government, and broke up Episoopaoy in Scotland. It was a 
glorious body, with Henderson at ite head ; and I could not but pray that 
the land which had been rendered illustriouB by such a body, might always 
maintain and defend the noble and precious doctrines, for which that As- 
sembly testified and suffered. It is now vacation in the University of 
Glasgow ; all lie Professors are out of town, so that I have had no op- 
portunity of becoming acquainted with them. Glasgow is a muoh 
larger city than I eipected to find it, and muoh more elegantly bniit ; 
it is about the size of Philadelphia. I came to Glasgow with the inten- 
tion of visiting the Highlands of Scotland ; but tha constant rains and 
the severe cold, for the season, have led me to abandon the project. It 
has rained every day since I left London, and there is not the least like- 
lihood of its clearing up soon. I could not go to the Highlands, wltliout 
being oold and wet all the time, and. I shall not suffer my curiosity to 
lead me into such folly. To-morrow I leave for England again, intend- 
ing to stop a few days at Edinburgh ; and from London shall set out 
immediately for the Continent. I am estremely ansious to get some- 
where where I can see and feel the sun. 

" In coming to Scotland I made an eitensive and interesting tour 
through the country. I visited Kenilworth, where are the ruins of the 
ancient and magnificent castle, where Elizabeth was sumptnously enter- 
tained by Leicester for seventeen days. The gorgeous structure is now a 
mere waste, and part of its former enclosure is now a graaing ground 
for sheep. From Kenilworth I went to Warwick, where there still ex- 
ists, in all its original grandeur, one of the finest baronial castles in 
England. There, among a thousand memorials of ancient times, I saw 
the bed and bed-room furniture of Queen Anne, which had been presented 
to the Earl of Warwick by George the Fourih. From Warwick I went 
to Stratford-upon-Avon, and saw the room in which Shakespeare was 
born, and trod upon the grave where his aahes repose. The walls of 
the room are covered with the names of those who have visited the spot, 
as also are several large albums. Two Americans, in their folly and 



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LETTERS FROM EUROP33. 177 

enthusiasm, tud beds made for them in the room, and slept there all 
night. Probably tiiej tbought that they might catch something of 
Shakespeare's genius.- From Stratford I went to Honley, on account 
of ifs name, and found it a miserable, dirty little Tillage. Pi'om there 
I went to Birmingham ; tbertce to Tamworth, Derby, Chesterfleld, ¥ork 
(the chief city of the North of EnglaDd, with the finest Oathedcal in the 
country), Darlington, Durham (another fine Cathedral), and Newoaatle- 
upon-Tyne ; thence I had a dreary ride over the bleat, steiile, and 
desolate Cheviot hills to Melrose, in Scotland. Here I Tisited the in- 
terpfiting ruins of Melrose Abbey, the eoene of Soott's Monastery. Aboat 
four miles off, I yiaitfid the rains of Dtyburgh Abbey, and saw the grave 
of Sir Walter Soott, and the monnmenta of Balph and Ebenezer Ersk- 
ine, the Seoeder diTines. This Abbey is really enchanted ground. It 
Js embowered in a lovely grova of trees, some of which are aa old aa the 
Abbey itself (seven hundred years), while the Tweed gently murmurs 
dose by it. After musing at Dryburgh, I returned to Melrose, and 
then visited Abbolsford, the late residence of Soott. But I found no- 
fiiing specially remarkable there. The name of Scott gives it all its 
charm. I then proceeded to Edinbatgh, passing through GalBshiels and 
Dalkeith, and passing by Graigmuller oastle, in which Mary, Queen 
of Soots, was oonfined. Prom Edinbnrgh I came to Glasgow, passing 
the aaioient palace of Linlithgow, in which the same unfortunate Mary 

was born. 

" Such is the rapid outline of my travels since I last wrote, I have 

been much charmed with the beautjful, undulating surface of England, 

and the variegated scenery of Scotland. . 

"And now, dearest, I must draw to a close. Kiss the children again 

and again ; and may God be with you and keep jou, and restore us 

BpeedHy to tiie beloved sooiety of each other. 

' ' Xour devoted husband, 

J". H. Thoskwell." 

The laet letter from Europe contains little of general 
interest to the reader. It is dated, 

"Pabis, July til, ie4t. 
"Here I am again writing to my beloved Kanoy, ten thousand times 
dearer to me than ail the world besides. You see that I am in France, 
sa the French say, 'La belle France.' I had a rough passive across the 
English channel. The boat did not strike me as being the beat in the 
world ; it was old and small, and we had one hundred and twenty pas- 
sengers on board. There blew up a severe gale, and we had to pnt into 
the most Bonvenient port until the gale was over. I do not think I ever 
saw so much alarm and sea-sickness. We were about the most weather- 
beaten set yon ever saw when we reached Boulogne, the French port at 
which we were landed. We were marched up in files to an office, under 



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178 r.IFE OF JAMES OESLEY TIIOESWELL. 

an escort of a few soldiers, where our paespoits were esai 

Ingg^e was aU sent to the cnstotn-lioiise, nhei'd it 

if all proyed stvsiglit, as it did with me, we were permitted to travel on. 

withont iutermption to Paris. 

"The ride from Boulogne to Paris was not pai'tioularly interesting 
The oouatry was in a high state ot onltivatiou ■, some of the towns, such 
as Montreuil and AbheTille, powerfully and strongly fortifled. On yes- 
terday morning, abont S o'olock, I reached Paris ; and I must i^onf ess 
that I was prodigiously disappointed in the general appearance of the 
city. The streets are narrow and dirly ; the bnildings tall, dingy, and 
irregular, and I did think utterly destitute of taste in their arrangements 
and external appearance ; and then, again, the extent and magnitude of 
ihe city wei* far short of what I had been led to anticipate C omDaie 1 
with London, Paris is a mere child in size, richness, and gran leur But 
is disappointed in the French metropolis as a chule when 
fl the eiaminatioa of its particnlM^ pcirts my most san 
gnine expectations were more than realized. The public buil bags the 
Tnileries, with its spacious gardens ; the Champs d'Elysees the cathe 
drals, Qie libraries, tiie galleries of painting and statuary, exceed any des 
oription which I conld be able to give. Tou have heard a great deal of 
t/ie. Boulevards. What do yoa suppose they are ? Why, nothing in the 
world but a long street with trees planted along the sidewalks for shade. 
It extends about four miles; it is pleasant and beautiful, and that is 
about nil you can say of it. The gardens of the Tuileries are splendid, 
and all through the walks are scattered various specimens of statuary. 
The French have a perfect passion for paintings and statues, and in this 
respect Paris excels LondonL The Elysian Fields are lovely beyond 
all comparison. The Chamber of Deputies is a line Grecian building, 
and the Madeline is the most magnificent edifice I ever beheld. The 
Royal Library, which I ti'aversed through and through, contains eight 
hundred thousand volumes. The French hotels are far inferior to the 
English or American in neatn^s, elegance, and comfort ; but their ser- 
vants are much more interesting. The French, from the lowest to the 
highest, are naturally polite, and are free from the stifine^ and formality 



" Of course there is no such thing as Sunday here. A tradesman will 
engage to hare your boots or your coat done on Sunday as readily as on 
Saturday. Such is the blessed result of Popery. It is religion enough 
to have splendid churches, and burn candles all day before doll-baby 
images. Nothing more is required to get to heaven. Alas, for the 
superstition, the wreiflted superstition, which in this enlightened age 
covers so fair a portion of the globe 1 But the Protestants are bestirring 
themselves in Prance. God grant them lich and glorious success. ■» » * 

" Neit week I intend setting out for Geneva, the scene of Calvin's 
labours. I think it doubtful if I shall be able to get to Home, If the 
snows are very heavy in the Alps, I shall not attempt it; but shall go 
probably into Belgium and Prussia, and then return to England. If I 



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LETTERS FKOM EUROPE. 179 

find, howevev, that I can go to Rome ■witkoTit any difEnalty, and make 
up mj roiad to do so, I shall not go into Belginni or Germany at nil. 
It will be too cold by the time of my return from Italy, When I shall 
direct my steps homeward I cannot positively say nov). If I were to 
ooneult my own feelings insteail of my interest, I ehoald set ont at 
once. « • * • My health now is as good as it ever has been in my 
life ; and I have no doubt that it would have been better still, if I hid 
not staid so long in the trying, cold, and rainy climate of England. I 
have no cough, no blood-spitting ; a fine appetite, a good digestion. I 
do not know that I am arty fatter than I always was, 1 belong to the 
lean tribe, and am afraid there is no prospect of my ever getting much 
meat npon my bones. • * • 

"The General Assembly of Scotland was over before I reached 
Europe, It was held in May, about the same time with onr own. I 
taTe seen the proceedings of our own, which really amounted to noth- 
ing. Some very important matters were completely slurred over. But 
etiU, I tJiink the prospect of a return to tiie oid paths is encouraging, 
and I thani God for what He has already done for us, I have gath- 
ered some important tacts abont the state of religion in England and 
America, which I shall be able to nae to advantage when 1 get home. 
Ton will he delighted to hoai that the religious' condition of America is 
far superior to that of Europe. 

"And now, dearest Nancy, I am at the end of my paper. A fJiousand 
liissea for yon and the children. May heaven's richest blessings rest 
npon you. Pray constantly for me, love, as I do for you. The Lord 
has preserved me hitherto, and I shall need His protection to the end. 
As soon as I can return, I will. Beside iiie charms of my own family, 
my own country has a thousand attractions for me. I candidly believe 
that America is the flrat nation on the globe ; and aU through the conti- 
nent of Europe, the American flag is honoured and xespeoted. I am 
proud of my nation, and prouder still, aftel' having seen others. May 
God bless you and keep you. 

Believe me, as ever, jour devoted husband, 

J. H. TaOBNWELI.." 



The chart of travel here laid down does not appear to 
liave heen pursued; for, on tlie 3d of September, we find 
a letter, written in New York, announcing his arrival in 
his native land, and that a few days of railroad speed will 
place him once more in the bosom of his family. The 
patriotic fervuur which glows in the closing sentence of 
the preceding letter was one of the deepest sentiments in 
Dr. Thornwell's heai't; of which there will be occaeion to 
speak more fully hereafter. Perhaps the most amusing, 



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180 LIFE OF JAMES HENLEY THOENWELL. 

as well as enthusiastic, exliibition of it, was given in con- 
nexion -with this return. In his land journey from Char- 
lotte, North Oarohna, to Lancaster, where his family then 
was, it is related of Mm that, upon crossing the line 
which separates the two Oarolinas, he eprimg suddenly 
out of the carriage, prostrated himself iipon the soil of his 
native State, and kissed it reverently with his lips. It 
was hnt the sign of a devotion more conepicuoualy illus- 
trated at a later date. In truly earnest natures, what is 
merely sentiment with others becomes a deep and con- 
suming passion ; and there was a depth in this man's soul, 
which it took a miglity civil I'evolution to disclose. 



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CHAPTER XIV. 
OLD AND NEW SCHOOL OONTBOVBEST. 



EaELY SsMPiTH ONALISTS, — CinSES OF IT.— PLAN 

Off Union Foemj i'EiTDBES.— Pheseyteeian Obdek 

UNDEKMINED. — T NATIONS IN NeW ENaLAND.— DiS" 

SEHINATaU IN 'n HUBOH.— SPEOIFIOATIONS OF UOQ- 

THINAL ErROB.— WKIKB DePTNED.— OnOANlZATIOM 

OF Nauonai. Soi wito Eaoh of Thebe. — The Rb- 

aoLTS. — Eleotiv TERlAWfl. — ^Mn. Baenes' Teial,^ 

JlBAailBES OP BkFOKM. — AOT AND TESTIMONY.- — ASSEMBLY OF 1837.— 

Plan or Uniok Abomsbbd. — Final DiSKijpTloN. 

f [IHE current of the narrative has borne us to a point at 
X whioh we must pause and retrace our course, in order 
to place the subject of our story in the councils of the 
Church, and to sketch the active part he bore in the reli- 
gious controversies of his day. No part of his public 
work was more important than that which he performed 
as a polemic; and no man in the Southern ProBbyterian 
Church wielded so vast and so acknowledged an iniluence, 
in moulding the legislation of the body to which he be- 
longed. He was introduced into the ministry just as the 
great controversy was culminating in the schism, which 
rent the Presbyterian Church into two large rival com- 
mnnions ; and the first General Assembly in which he sat 
as a member was that of 1837, famous in our annals as 
the Assembly in which the Reform measures were carried 
through, which precipitated and effected the rupture. To 
many readers of this book the story is familiar as a thrice- 
told tale, for the actors in those stin-ing scenes have not 
all passed away; and many who began their ministry 
shortly after, were compelled to be conversant with all the 
181 



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183 LIFE OF JAMEW HENLEY TFIORKWELL, 

details of that painful sti'uggle to maiataiii the ascen- 
dency of truth. But after the lapse of more than a gene- 
ration, there must be large niimbera to whom the story is 
known only in its general resolts; whilst readers outside 
the pale of the Presbyterian Church, into whose hands 
this book may fall, know nothing of the principles that 
were involved, nor of the agony of effort by whioh they 
were at length preserved. 

The disenssions, in which Dr. ThoVnwell took so lively 
an interest, were left over as a residuary bequest of this 
fierce controversy, and cannot be adequately compre- 
hended without some acquaintance with that out of which 
they were born. It seems indispensable, therefore, to 
arrest the continuity of this biogi-aphy, by a preliminary 
sketch of the original controversy, and of the schism in 
which it terminated; to which, accordingly, tlie present 
chapter will be devoted. 

The cardinal issue, in the whole dispute, was that of a 
■trict or a lax conatrnction of the acknowledged standards ; 
since all the deviation from sound doctrine claimed to be 
salva fide, and therefore within the limits of the Con- 
fession of Faith; and the authority of the Form of 
Government was held not to be infringed in the practical 
administration of Church afFairs. The evidence, however, 
is cumulative, that, up to the beginning of the present 
century, through a period of n^rly one hundred years, no ■ 
subscription of the Westminster Confession was tolerated 
which did not acicept it in its entirety. The ingenious 
artifice of receiving it only for "substance of doctrine," 
was the invention of a later and more degenerate age. 

The first proof of this is found in the language of the 
Adopting Act, passed in 1T28-29 ; showing a formal and 
judicial promulgation of these Standards to be necessary 
as a te.s.t of orthodoxy, and a barrier against erroneous 
opinions setting in from various quarters, especially from 
England and ttio north of Ireland. The pioneei-s, who 
first planted Presbyterianiam upon this continent, had aU 



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(ILD AND NEW SCUOO!. CONTROVERSY. 183 

Btibscribed these Standards at tlie time oi their ordination ; 
and tliough now living in a foreign country, they natu- 
rally regarded themselves as members of the mother 
Church at home. It was not until the Church of itheir 
own planting had expanded into fair proportions, that 
they recognized her distinct and independent existence, 
The omission, so natural at first, of not having adopted, 
" as a body politic, and by the conjunct act of their own 
representatives," a public Confession, was corrected just 
so soon as the necessity became apparent that doctrinal 
tests were needed to guard against the iniiux of error. 

The second proof is, that, after the agitation produced 
by this proposed measure was calmed, and the opposing 
parties came, through discussion, to fuller aeqaaintanee 
with each other's views, the Westminster Confession was 
adopted with entire unanimity, after excepting certain 
clauses in the twentieth and twenty-third chapters, which 
related to the jurisdietion of the civil magistrate in eccle- 
siastical matters; which could have no application in tliis 
country, and for resistance to which interference these 
men had been driven as martyrs from, country and home. 
"Sow, excltisio unius est ecepressio alterius; the exception 
of these specified clauses was tlie adoption of all that re- 
mained ; so that, aa the historian remarks,- " as these claoses 
are no longer in the Confession, there is not an article or 
expression in that formula to wliich these men did not 
assent. Such was the latitudinarianism of those days " ! * 

If doubt can linger upon any mind as to the strictness 
of this subscription, it wUl be removed by a subsequent 
declaration of the same body, when, in 1Y36, they explain 
certain ambiguities of expression in the original instru- 
ment, which had alarmed the jealousy of some: "The 
Synod doth declare that the Synod have adopted, and 
stiU do adhere to, the Westminister Confession, Cate- 
chisms, and Directory, without the least variation or 
alteration, and without any regai'd to said distinc- 
♦Dr. Hodge's History of the Pragbyteiian Church, vol. I, p. J83. 



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Wt LIFE OF JAMKS HENLBY THOKNWELL. 

tioas,"* alluding to certain expreesiona in the Adopting Act 
by whioh these persons were Btumblod. Earlier than this 
in 1730, the Presbytery of New Oastle, anticipating this 
explanatory act of the Synod, "solemnly declared and 
testified that they own and acknowledge the Westiuinster 
Confession and Catechisms to be the confession of our 
faith, being in all things agreeable to the Word of God, 
so far as we are able to judge and discern, taking them 
in the true, genuine, and obvious sense of the words." 
The Presbytery of Donegal uses similai- language, in the 
formula of subscription which they drew up : " In all 
things agreeable to the Word of God, taking them in the 
plain and obvious meaning of the words."! The whole 
body of the Church, and the several parts thereof, speak, 
therefore, with the same explicitness on this point. 

A third link in this ehainof evidence is, the enforcement 
of the same strict subscription upon all intrants into the 
ministry, in the following Act, passed by the Synod in 
1730 : " Whereas, some persons have been dissatisfied at 
the manner of woi'ding oui- last year's agreement about 
the Confession, etc., supposing some expressions not sut'-. 
ficiently obligatory upon mtrants, the Synod do now de- 
clare that they understood these clauses, that respect tlie 
admission of intr^ts or candidates, in such a sense as to 
oblige them to receive and adopt the Confession and 
Catechisms, at their admission, in the same manner, and 
as fully, as the members of the Synod did that were then 
pi-esent,"t To render this ac.t operative, inquisition was 
made each year of the Presbyteries, as to their compliance 
with it; eo that "there is not the slightest evidence that 
any of the Presbyteries ever admitted, during the period 
under review, any minister who dissented from any of the 
doctrinal articles of the Confession of Faith. "§ 

* Beoords of the Presbjteriaii Churcli, p. 125. 

t Dc. Hodge's History of the Presbyterian Cliuroli, vol. I, pp. 190, 19i. 

i Records of the PreRbyterian Cliutoli, p. 06. 

§ Dr. Hodge's History of the Presbyterian Church, yol. I, p. 1»7. 



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OLD AND NEW eCHOOI, CONTKOVEKST. 185 

Fourthly, the mai-ked contrast in the terms used in 
■adopting the Form of Government, fixes tlie sense in 
■wliich tlie piirely doctrinal symbols were received. As 
to t!ie former, we have the following Deliverance in 1729 : 
" The Synod do unanimously acknowledge and declare, 
that they judge the Directory for "Worship, Discipline, 
and Grovernment of the Chitrch, commonly annexed to 
the Westminster Confession, to be agreeable in substance 
to the Word of God, and founded thereupon; and there- 
fore do earnestly recommend the same to all their mem- 
bers, to be by them observed as near as circumstances 
will allow, and Christian prudence direct."* Fitty-seven 
years later — that is to say, in 1786 — we have the reason 
given for this precise language : " The Synod also receives 
the Directory for PubUo Worship and tho Form of 
Church Government, recommended by the Westminster 
Assembly, as in substance agreeable to the institutions of 
the New Testament. This mode of adoption we use, be- 
cause we believe the general platform of our Government 
to be agreeable to the Sacred Scriptures; but we do not 
believe that God has been pleased so to reveal and enjoin 
every minute eirciunstance of ecclesiastic government and 
■discipline, as not to leave room for orthodox churches of 
■Christ, in these minutJEe, to differ with charity from one 
another, "t Here, then, for the first time in our eccle- 
fiiastical annals, we meet with the relaxed phrase, '■^agree- 
able for substance;^'' which a later period sought to carry 
over into the Confession of Faith, but which is employed 
by these fathers expressly to discriminate betwJxt the 
two. In regai'd to the Confession, tlie subscription is 
■explicit and particular. It is not received for substance, 
but in all its articles, with a single specified exception ; 
whereas a latitude is allowed in the adoption of the Form 
■of Government, it being comprehensively embraced only 
in its general principles; and even in these a clear dis- 

• Keooi'da of tlie Preebyteriac Churcli, p. 93. t IhiA. p. 619. 



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Ibb I.IFP; OF JAMES HENLEY TOORNWELL. 

tinction is recognized as to their relative importance, whon 
compared with the doctrines of grace. 

The fact -is, the principles of Preshyterian Chiu'ch 
government have never been as articulately wrought out,, 
nor as fuliy expounded, as the doctrines of its faith. Un- 
friendly influences have warped them from the period of 
the Keforination, giving them a set which it has beeu 
impossible, even to the present day, wholly to overcome. 
It is well known, that the famous "Westminster Assembly 
itself was not exclusively a Presbyterian comicil. As at 
first constituted, it embraced Episcopalians and Inde- 
pendents as well ; and though the former soon withdrew, 
the Independents remained through its entire sessions — 
few in number, perliaps, but powerful in iniiuence. Sound 
Calvinists as they were, they harmonized perfectly with 
Presbyterians in the statement of Christian doctrine; but 
differences emerged as soon as the Constitution and Polity 
of the Church were touched. The Form of Government 
bears thus npon its face the traces of a compromise, espe- 
cially in the exposition of the Eldership.* It was not 
such an iuetrument as strict Presbyterians would have 
prepared, as a fnll statement of their principles. "We 
signalize this difference of terms in the adoption of the 
Form of Government, as showing that the fathers of the 
Church in this country were not bo rigid in their views of 
order as of doctrine ; and because, as we shall presently 
see, it was precisely through this breach in thfe walls the 
Trojan hos-se, with its belly full of armed Greeks, was 
introdneed within the citadel of the Presbyterian Church. 
It gives the key to the Plan of Union in 1801, to many 
of the questions which occasioned the disruption in 1837, 

• The Weatminafet Assembly, after a tciaugular conflict between the 
PreBbvteriacs, Independeute, a^d ErastianH, did afBrm the Diyina Bight 
of Presbytery. This, however, was disallowed by the Parliament ; who 
softened its.langiiage into the following declaration : "That it ia lawful, 
and agreeable to the Word of God, that the Church be goTecned by 
Congregational, Claesioal, and Synodioal ABsembliea." See Heal's Hia- 
tory of the Puritans, Part 3d, Chap. C. 



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OLD AND NEW SCHOOL CONTEOVEKeY. IsY 

and to all the discussions in which the snbject of these 
Memoii-s, and others of like mind, were afterwards en- 
gaged. 

Fifthly, if there had been a disposition to abate the 
authority of the Confession, it would most naturally have 
revealed itself during the memorable schism, in 1741, be- 
tween what was then designated as "the Old and New 
Side." But so fai- from this, both sections, immediately 
upon their sepai'ation, renewed their subscription of the 
Standards, in identical terms as at first;* and upon their 
reunion, in 1758, the first article in the baeis was a joint 
declaration of their adherence to the aanie.t This chain 
of proof runs down to the formation of the General Ab- 
Benibly in 1788 ; which, having purged the Confession of 
the objectionable clauses relative to the civil magistrate, 
declared it to be a part of the Constitution of the Church. 
This is certainly emphatic; for, "whoever heard," says 
Dr. Hodge, "of adopting a Constitution for substaneel 
Is the Constitution of the United States thus adopted or 
interpreted ? It is, on the contrary, the supreme law of 
the land; and all who take office under it are bomid to 
observe it, in all its parts. "J 

Sixthly, in addition to this documentary evidence, we 
have also the testimony of contemporary writers to the 
same fact; and a series of judicial decisions, extending 
from 1763 to 1810, in which the Confession is rigidly 
applied in the repression of error. A simple allusion to 
this is sufficient; as the cases in detail may be found, by 
those who desire it, in the records of those times. 

This summary — necessarily imperfect, because so con- 
densed — establishes the historic sense in which these 
Standards were received by the Church, from the be- 
ginning. It is important, as justifying the measures by 
which, after a temporary departure, she was reformed 
back to her original orthodoxy; and because the attempt 

• Records of the Pceshytsrian Cliurah, pp. 1S7, 232. t Ibid. p. 286. 
I HiBtory of the PtealJyteriaii Chiiruh, yol, 1, p. 218. 



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188 LIFE OF JAMES HENLEY THOKNWELL. 

will be renewed from age to ago to escape from the obli- 
gation of an extended creed, by an anibigtiou3 subscription 
of its articles. 

In an evil day the Presbyterian Oliurcb paused in tlio 
development of her distinctive principles, and formed an 
alliance with !H"ew England Congregationalism; ■which, 
in a third of one century, brought her to the brink of ruin. 
The controversies of this period liave so revealed the es- 
sential difi'erenecs of the two systems, that we now look 
back with wonder at the attempt to amalgamate them. 
But we should do great injustice to both the parties, if 
we fail to notice the influences which drew them to- 
gether in relations that could not be established now. The 
first settlers in New England were largely Presbyterian 
in sentiment; carrying with them their symbols of faith, 
which were used for household instruction almost as fa- 
miliai'lyj in that province, as in the districts where Prea- 
byterianism gained the ascendency. It does not concern 
us now to consider the causes which in New England put 
the Congregational system in the advance, and repressed 
the development of pure Presbyterian ism. It is sufficient 
to notice the general historical fact, that two systems, 
identical in doctrinal belief, and separated only by dif- 
ferences of external administration, are never found to 
prosper equally upon the same soil. The one almost of 
necessity absorbs the other; because the distinction ap- 
pears too immaterial, to resist the tendency to union in 
points that are essential. Thus Presbytery has never 
been able to push its way in New England, pre-occupiod, 
as it is, by a system so nearly co-ordinate with it ; and In- 
dependency has never struck its roots into the soil already 
covered by Presbytery. The process of absorption, how- 
ever, rarely leaves either system unatfected by the foreign 
ingredients that are incorporated. Thus it liappened, that 
the early Congregationalism of New England was largely 
moulded in its form bythe Presbyterian influence with 
which it was impregnated. Especially was this true in 



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C0NTK0VEK8Y. 189 

Connecticut, where, at the close of the Seventeenth Cen- 
tury, the Presbyterians formed nearly half of the entire 
population. Thus, the Cambridge Platform, adopted in 
1648, acknowledged the Westminster Confession "to be 
very holy, orthodox, and judicious, in all matters of faith ; 
and we do, therefore, fully and freely, consent tlierennto, 
for the substance thereof; only in those things which have 
respect to Church government and discipline, we refer 
ourselves to the platform of Church discipline agreed 
upon by this present Assembly."* It is astonishing how 
nearly, even in government, this platform approximates 
the two systems. It recognizes the Eldership, and dis- 
tinguishes between the two classes of those who teach 
and those who only rule. It defines exactly the office of 
the deacon. It affirms that "Church government, or rule, 
is placed by Christ in the ofEicors of the Church." It 
recognizes "Synods, orderly assembled, according to the 
pattern. Acts xv., as the ordinance of Christ;" whose de- 
cisions are binding, so far as consonant to the Word uf 
Gfid, not only because of that agreement, but " also for 
the power whereby they are made, as being an ordinance 
of God." In like manner, the Saybrook Platform, foiined 
in Connecticut, in 1708, "provided that the elders of a 
particular church, with the consent of the brethren, liave 
power, and ought to exercise discipline, in all cases within 
that church. The churdies in each county form a Con- 
sociation. The council of this body consists of all the 
teaching and niHng elders of the churches; which are 
also at liberty to delegate lay messengers, who are enti- 
tled to dehberate and vote as members; provided, how- 

* See Hie original aiittorities qnoted in. Dr. Samuel J. Baird's History 
of the New School, p. 143, We take this opportnnity to ooknowledge 
our indebtedness to this work, pnbliBhed by the author in 1868, for the 
remaining faota in this ohapter, wliicli are simply ooadenaed from its 
pages. It is a book of great value, from the still with which its materials 
are compiled, and from the doonmentary evidence with whieli its state- 
ments are substantiated. It hrings the history of this great struggle 



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190 LIFE OF JAMES HENLEY THOltNWELL. 

ever, that no matter shall be determined without a ma- 
jority of the elders."* 

Still later, in 1799, we liave the following etatement from 
the old Hartford North Association, as to the constitution 
of the Connecticut churohes: "This Association gives in- 
formation to all whom it may concern, that the consti- 
tution of the clmrehes in the State of Oonneeticut, founded 
on, etc., is not Congregational, bnt contains the essentials 
of the government of the Church of Scotland, or Presby- 
terian Church in America, particularly as it gives a 
decisive power to Ecclesiastical Councils; and a Conso- 
ciation, consisting of ministers and messengers, or lay 
representatives from the churches, is possessed substan- 
tially of the same authority as a Presbytery, The judg- 
ments, decisions, and censures, in our churches, and in 
the Presbyterian, are mutually deemed valid. The 
churches, therefore, in Connecticut at large, and in our 
district in particular, are not now, and never were, from 
the earliest period of our settlement, Congregational 
churches, according to the ideas and forms of Church 
order contained in the book of discipline called the Cam- 
bridge Platform. There are, however, scattered over the 
State, perhaps ten or twelve churches (unconso dated), 
who are properly called Congregational, agreeably to the 
rules of Church discipline in the book above mentioned. 
Sometimes, indeed, the associated churches of Connecticut 
ai-e loosely and vaguely, tliough improperly, termed Con- 
gregational. While our churches, in the State at large, 
are, in the most essential and important respects, the 
same as the Presbyterian ; still, in minute and unimportant 
points of Church order and discipline, both we and the 
Presbyterian Church in America acknowledge a differ- 

It is not strange that the Presbyterian fathers — who, 
as we have seen, never took the highest ground as to tlie 
Divine authority of their system — should feel a cordial 

• Baird's Historj of the New School, pp. 145-'e. t Ibid. pp. HB-7. 



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OLII ANn N"BW SCHOOL CDNTKOVEEST. 191 

eympathy with Oongregationalidm of this modified type ; 
nor that tlie pressure of mutual interests should bring the 
two into coniidential relations. And it is a notable fact, 
that the intercourse always began witli the ehurches of 
Oonnectient, the most predisposed to Presbyterian views, 
and afterwards extended to those of the other eastern 
States. As early as 1733, hopes were entertained of union 
between the General Synod and the ehurches of Con- 
necticut; which, however, was not then consummated. 
Again, in 1766, they drew together in prolonged con- 
ference, in joint resistance to the introduction of an 
American Episcopate; the objection being, not to the 
cffifie itself, bat to the authority of Parliament iu ap- 
pointing it; which, it was feared, would draw after it a 
Church Establishment, with its attendant dangers, of 
which they had had such sensible expeiience in Europe, 
The correspondence thus begun was suspended by the 
Amei'ican Revolution, and was not resumed till 1791. 
The two pai'ties each appointed d&legates to attend the 
sessions of the other, with the right only to deliberate; 
wiiieh right was enlai'ged, in 1794, so as to include the 
privilege of a vote. 

The way was tlius gradually opened for what is known 
as "the Flan of Union," formed in 1801 : a more en- 
larged and methodized convention between the two 
bodies, which, during the six and thirty years of its con- 
tinuance, brought upon the Presbyterian Church an 
" Illiad of woes." History does not afford a better illus- 
tration of the evil wrought by good men, whenever, from 
motives of pohcy, they swerve from principle. Their 
virtue lends a sanction to iheir schemes, while it does not 
estop the fatal results. This agreement was not only 
established by good men, but it origiaated in the sweetest 
and most godly intentions. The tide of population setting 
in from the Atlantic coast into the interior of the country, 
bore upon its bosom a mixed mateiial for the formation 
of churches. In the western portions of New York, and 



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192 LIFE OF JAMES HENLKY THOBNWEI,!,. 

in Ohio J Presbyterians and Congregation alists found 
themselves side by side, both being too weak to enforce 
the Church organization whiuh eaeh prefeiTed^ What 
more Christian object could be proposed than to facilitate 
a union between these discordant elements ? Unfortu- 
nately, this was not attenapted bj a process of natural 
fusion, each giving way and conforming to the other as 
ciroumstancea might dictate; but by an artificial conven- 
tion, making a composite of both. This Plan of Union, 
as it was termed, contained the following provisions: 
That Congregational and Presbyterian churches might 
select tlieir pastor, each from the communion of the 
other, tlie church in each case conducting its discipline 
according to the principles of the body to which it be- 
longed; that difficulties arising between the minister and 
his people should be referred to the Presbytery, or to the 
Association, just as he might happen to be a Presbyterian 
or Congregationalist ; or, if both parties preferred, to a 
Council equally composed of both sides; that if the 
church was made up of both Presbyterians and Congre- 
gationalists, it miglit settle a minister of either persuasion, 
in which case the government should be m the hands of 
a Standing Committee, chosen by the church, from whose 
decisions an appeal might be taken by a Presbyterian to 
the Presbytery, or by a Congregationalist to the body of 
the communicants; and the members of these Standing 
Committees, if deputed, should have the same right to ait 
and act in Presbytery as ruling elders of the Presbyterian 
Church."* 

It is scarcely necessary to point out the anomalies in 
this hybrid system, which was really less conformed to 
Presbyterianiem than the very platforms which Congre- 
gationalists had constructed for their own government. 
Under these, indeed, a sufficient diversity had been ex- 
hibited in churches associated and churches dissociated; 
in churches governed by the brotherhood, governed by 
s Dieeat, Ed. 185G, p. 555. 



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OLD AND NEW eCHOOL CONTEOTHKeT. 193 

elders, and governed by a mixture of both; in Con- 
Bociatione to which laymen were admitted, and Asbo- 
ciationa from which they were exeladed ; but under this 
arrangement, with its committee-men, who had given no 
pledge of adherence to any symbols of faith, admitted tO' 
all the functions of the eldership; with its complex ad- 
justmentB between two distinct systems of discipline, and 
with the constant overlapping of the two jurisdictions on 
either side; we are presented with a conglomerate the 
sti'angest that was ever conceived. Oliurclies, Presby- 
teries, and finally Synods, were born of it; which, like 
Jacob's cattle, were " ringstreaked, speckled, and gi-izaled" 
— a motley assemblage, with every hue and colour of the 
ecclesiastical prism. The new districts, in which the pro- 
visional scheme was intended to operate, soon iilled up 
with a teeming popnlation. Under this altered condition 
of things, the sclieme itself should have been superseded 
by an orderly separation of the two elements; which, as 
distinct communions, might have lived aide by side in 
friendly relations. It was, however, continued in force, 
after the necessity for its existence had ceased. We 
condense the following facts to illustrate its practical oper- 
ation: In 1808, the Middle Association was received into 
the Synod of Albany, with its twenty-one chiu'ches, all 
Congregational, and which "retained its own name and 
nst^es in the administration of government." The year 
after, it was snb-divided into two Presbyteries, " both of 
which, in written constitutions, planted themselves on the 
Plan of Union, and were Presbyterian only in name." In 
1812, these, with the Presbytery of Geneva, were erected 
into the Synod of Geneva; which was soon enlarged by 
the addition of the Congregational Association of Onon- 
daga. In 1 821, the Synod of Genesee wi^ erected out of 
fonr Presbyteries detached from the Synod of Geneva; 
in which, also, "the Plan of Union was recognized as par- 
amount to the Constitution of the Presbyterian Church." 
In 1836, the Presbytery of Chenango was organized, with 



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lyi UFK OF JAMES HliNLEY TIIOKNWBI.L. 

five iiiiaiBters, and without a single cliuroli; but, placing 
itself upon "the Plan," drew into it the Union Congre- 
gational Association. In 1839, the Synod of Utica was 
erected, largely composed of Congregational material,, 
having swallowed up the Oneida Association, besides the 
accession of other churches. Thus, withiii tlie apace of 
twenty-eight years, in the State of Kew York alone, tlfree 
Synods were constituted, to a large extent of elements ab- 
eorbed from Congregational churches, and resting upon- 
the Plan of Union for a basis. In Ohio, the Synod oi' 
Western Keserve was formed, in 1835, in precisely the 
same manner, and chiefly of the same materials. It was 
composed of the Presbytery of Grand Kiver, organized in 
1814, of Portage, in 1819, and of Huron, in 1824; which, 
by written constitutions, recognized the Plan of Union as 
their charter.* Fonr great Synods were tlius created, 
which never assimilated with the Presbyterian body, of 
which tliey professed to be a part. This bnef recapitu- 
hvtion will enable the reader better to understand the 
character of the Reform measures of 183Y. 

This gradual undermining of Presbyterian government 
was of itself suiScient to condemn this wild scheme of 
comprehension; but it w^ far from being its worst result. 
In the history of the Chiu'ch, laxity in doctrine is always 
sure to accompany contempt of discipline and order. It 
is notorious that, daring this period, !New England was 
rife with dangerous theological 'speculations. The meta- 
physical writings of the elder Edwards had stimulated 
the naturally subtle New England mind to very bold in- 
vasions of the orthodox faith. The limits of this digressive 
chapter will not allow a detailed statement of these va- 
rious aherrations from the sound doctrine of earlier times; 
nor of the swift progress from the ambiguities of the 
Hopkinsian School, to the scarcely disguised Pelagianism 
of the New Haven divines. Indeed, any private expo- 



e all condensed from Dr. Baird'a Hiatorj of the 
New Sohoul, pp. 159 to 166. 



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OLD AND NKW SCHOOL CONTKOVEESy, 195 

fiition of these issues would be open to the suspicion of 
prejudice, unless substantiated by large quotations, upon 
which the reader might rest an independent judgment. 
We prefer, therefore, to leap at onee to an official docu- 
ment, the Testimony 'and Memorial adopted by the As- 
sembly of 1837, in whicla there is a specification of errors 
widely disseminated in the Presbyterian Chureh, viz. : 

" 1. That God would have pteveiifed tlie existence of sin, in onr world, 
but was not able, witlioTit destroying tlie moral agency of man ; or that, 
for aught that appears in the Bible to the contrary, sin is incidental to 
any wise moral system. 

"a. That election to eternal hfe is founded on a foresiglit of faith 
and obedience. 

" 8, That we have no mora to do with the flist sin of Adam tlian ■with 
the eia of any othei: parent. 

" 4. That infanta come into the world as free from moral defilement, 
as was Adam, whan he was created. 

"6. That infants snatain the same relation to (he moral government 
of God, in this world, as brute animals ; and that their sufferings and 
death are to be aeconnted for on the same principles as those of brutes, 
and not, by any means, to be oonaidered as penal. 

" 6. That tliere is no other originfJ sin than the faot, that all the pos- 
terity of Adam, though by nature innocent, or poseesaed of no moral 
chaiaeter, will always begin to sin when they begin to esercise moral 
agency ; that original sin does not include a sinful bias of the human 
mind, and a just exposure to penal suffering ; and that there' is no evi- 
dence in Scripture that infants, in order to salration, do need redemp- 
tion by the blood of Christ, and j-egenerafion by the Holy Spirit. 

"7, That the dootiine of imputation, whether of the guilt of Adam's 
sin, or of the righteousness of Ghrisfi has no foundation in the Word of 
God, and is both unjust and absurd. 

" 8. That the sufferings and death of Ohrist were not truly Tiearious 
and penal, but symboUeal, gOYernmental, and inatraotiTe only. 

"y. That the impenitent sinner is, by nature, and independently of 
the renewing influence oi' almighty energy of the Holy Spirit, in full 
possession of all the ability necrasary to a full compliance with all the 
commands of God. 

"10. That Christ does not intercede for the elect until after regeneration. 

*' II. That saving faith is not an effect of the special operation of the 
Holy Spirit, but a mere rational belief of the truth, or assent to the 
Word of God. 

" 12. That regeneration is the act of the sinner himself, and that it 
consists in a change of Ms governing purpose, which he himself must 
produce, and which is the result, not of any direct influence of the 



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190 LIFfi OF JAMES HENLEY THOKNWELL. 

Holy Spirit on the heart, but chiefly of a persnasiTe eshibition of the 
truth, analogous to the influence ■which one man exerts over the mind of 
another ; or that regeneration is not an inataataneous act, but a pro- 
gresaiTe work. 

" 18. That Sod has done all tliat He can do for the salvation of all 
men, and that laim himself must do the rest. 

" 14. That God cannot eiert such influence on the minds of men,, 
as shall make it certain that they will choose and act in a particular 
manner, wifliout impairing their moral agenoy. 

" 15. That the righteoasneaa of Ohrigt is not the sole ground of the 
sinner's acceptance with God ; and that in no eenee does the righteous- 
ness of Christ become ours. 

" 16. That the reason why some differ from others in regard ta fhair 
reception of the Gospel, is that they mate themselves to differ."* 

The close affiliation witli Oongregationalista, under the 
Plan of Union, opened wide the door to the influx of 
these errors ; and they were especially prevalent in those 
districts which this Plan covered with its inilaence. Yet 
the men who, in the Presbyterian Church, embraced and 
taught these views, had subscribed the Confession of 
Paith, from which they deviated so widely. This course 
was reconciled with lionesty only on the plea, that no 
aubscription to any extended creed could be exacted, con- 
sistently with ireedom of thought and the right of con- 
science, except it be restricted to the general system 
inculcated, and for " substance of doctrine " merely. This 
elastic and slippery phrase is scarcely susceptible of deii- 

* Assembly's Digest, Edition of 18BG, pp. 728-9. A protest against 
this paper, signed by fifteen members of the Assembly, disclaiming 
tiiese errors, and giving their exposition of the points involved, vrs 
presented and admitted to record. (See Assembly's Digest, Edition of 
1866, pp T30-'S ) This esposition, even if satisfactory, conld do no- 
thing moie than purge the individual signers of suspicion in tiie premi- 
ses. It did not touch the design of the paper ifaelf ; which was to tes- 
tify against errors widely diffused, and ta show the necessity of a strict 
subscription of the standards, in order to proteot the Church from 
being infected with the same. The Assembly made an unusual disposi- 
tion o( this protest, in sending it down to the Presbyteries of the sign- 
ers, "calling attention to the developments of theological views con- 
tained in it," and ordering an "inquiry into fhs soundness of Iha faith 
of those mho have venture-i to make so strange avowals as some of these 
are." Digest, p. 73i. 



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OLD AHD NEW SCHOOL CONTEOVEESY. 19T 

nition or limitation. By far tlie moat exact Gxpreaeion of 
its meaning, is that put forth by the New Haven Profes- 
sors, in the attempt to reconcile their speculations with 
tlie pledges they had given when inducted into of&ce. It 
is worthy of being preserved, as the nearest to a suc- 
cessful effort to imprison in words what is inconstant and 
shifting as caprice itself. It is in these terms : 

' ' It will he geasraily agveed, that the cardinal dootriDea of the Refor- 
mation "were tlie following: The entire depravity and luin of roan by 
nature, as the result of tue sin of Adam ; justification by faith, through 
the atonement of Christ, to the exclusion of all merit in the recipient; 
the necessity of regeneration, by the apaeial or distingniehing influences 
of the Holy Spirit ; the eternal and personal election of a part of our 
race to holiness and solyation ; the final parsevemnoe of all wlio aie 
thus ohoseu unto eternal life. These, taken in connesion with ihe doc- 
trine of the Trinity, of the eternal puniBbmect of the finally impeni- 
tent, and of the divine decrees, which is partly involved m that of elec- 
tion, confititute what may be called the Primary Doctrines of the Refor- 
tion. In addition to these, we find, in the writings of aome of the 
Keforicers and of the Puritan divines, another class of statements, 
whose object was to reconcile the doctrines above enumerated wiUi the 
principles of right reason, and to reduce them to a harmonions system 
of faith. These may be oalled the Secondary or Esplanatory Doctrines. 
As examples of these, we may mention, ihe imputation of Adam's sin 
to all his descendants, in such a sense as to make them guilty, and pun- 
ished, in the operation of strict justice, on account of his act ; tlie im- 
putation of Christ's righteousness to the believer, as the ground of his 
participating, on the same principle of strict justice, in the benefits of 
His death ; the doctrine of particular redemption, or the limitation of 
the atonement to the elect ; the doctrine of man's entire want of power 
to any but sinful actions, as aocounting for bis dapandenoa on God for 
a change of heart, etc, 

"Many of the old divines attached high importance to tliis latter class 
of doctrines, though differently stated by different writers ; but they did 
so only because they considered them essentdat to a defence of the pri- 
niary dootrines enumerated above. In the progress of mental and moral 
science, however, a great change of sentiment has taken plaOe in this 
respect. One after another of these secondary or explanatory doctrines 
has been laid aside. Other modes have been adopted of harmonising 
the orthodox system of faith, and raoonoiling it to the principles of 
right reason, more conformable, it is believed, to the simplicity of the 
gospel i without diminishing, but rather increasing, the attachment felt 
tax the primary doctrines of the Keformation."'" 

*Dr. Bairds History of the New School, pp. 209, 210. 



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198 LIFE OF JAMES nENLET THOENWELL. 

To receive a creed, then, "for substance of doctrine," 
means simply to get all the substance out of the doctrine, 
and to liold the shell, which is harmless from its empti- 
ness. No one acquainted with 'the Calvinietic system 
woiild care to contend long for the primary doctrines, 
after the secondary were all of-them eliminated; and the 
Confession of Faith may innocently be subscribed, when 
it has been eviscerated of all .that renders its testimony of 
any value. Such is a brief account of the doctrinal issues 
that were involved in the schism of 183T-'8. 

There is another branch of the controversy, which con- 
tributed an almost equal share in effecting the breach: 
it was the question whether the Church should do her 
own evangelistic work, or remit it to irresponsible agen- 
cies outside of her pale. In her early history, the duty 
was plainly recognized of doing, in her organic form, the 
work for which she was instituted. Itinerant missionariea 
were sent out to explore the waste places; and settled 
pastora were detached, for weeks and months, from their 
respective chai'gcs, to supply the destitute with the gospel. 
Tlie Church courts were occupied, at every session, in 
devising means to spread the knowledge of Christianity 
into " the regions beyond." The work of training min- 
isters was undertaken at the very outset ; and in 1771, 
the Genera] Synod, before the organization of the Assem- 
bly, entered upon a systematic plan for the support and 
education of her candidates. As early as 1751, a collec- 
tion was ordered to be taken each year, in every church, 
to propagate the gospel among the heathen; and upon 
this fluid Mr, Bralnard was sustained among the Indians, 
until his death, in 1781. In 1802, the Synod of Pitts- 
burgh resolved itself into a missionary society, with a regu- 
lar constitution and oiHcers. In the same year, the Synod 
of the Carolinas sent two , missionaries to the Hatches 
Indians, and one to the Catawbas ; conducting the work 
through a commission, regularly appointed. At the same 
period, 1802, the General Assembly appointed a Standing 



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OLD AND NEW BOHOOL CONTKOVEKSY, 199 



Committee of Miesione, whose powers were gradaally in- 
creased, until, at length, in 1816, it wae erected into a 
Board.* Had the Church heen allowed to pursue her 
course untranimelled, with her own expansion there would 
Lave been a corresponding enhirgement of her efforts; 
and her history would have been, what the history of the 
Church ought ever to be, that oi a great evangelistic so- 
ciety. Bat the fatal complication with Congregationalism, 
which so nearly cotrnpted her faith, almost brought her in 
bondage to the great national societies, which boldly at- 
tempted to usurp her functions. 

Independency, from the incompleteness of its organi- 
zation, is compelled to work through agencies outside of 
itself. Hence originated, in New England, tiu'ee large 
corporations, known as the American Education and the 
American Home Mission Societies, and the American 
Board of Commissioners for Foreign Kissions. Tlie pre- 
fix, American, to each of these, sufficiently indicates the 
ambition of their aim. It was nothing less than to be- 
come, to tlie largest possible extent, national in. their 
scope; by uniting the Congregationalists, the Presby- 
terians, the Dutch Keformed, and the Associate Ke- 
formed, in one phalanx, to carry out these several enter- 
prises conjointly. Of course, this involved, on the part 
of the three last named, the abdication of their trust as 
distinct and separate churches, who must all become tj-i- 
butary to the first, as auxiliaries to the only agency which 
they could possibly constract. It was a splendid scheme 
of unification, similar to that which is dazzling the minds 
of so many at this day; and perhaps the careful reader 
will be struck with the parallel, in more than one par- 
ticular, between the history of the Church in the first and 
last third of the present century. It is necoBsary to trace 
the conflict witli each of these three associations. ■ 

The American Education Society was organized in 
1815, in the city of Boston, "with admirable skill for 
*For these facte, see Baitd's Eietovy, pp. 371-282, 



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200 LIFE OF JAMES HIiN'I.KY THOUNWELL. 

acquiring complete control over ministerial education 
throughout the country." Witli its close corporation, 
and independence of all enperviaion ; with its large 
receipts, and honorary memberships purchased with 
money; and with its branch societies distributed over the 
country; it was ai-med with power to heat down any 
feeble competitors that might enter the field. But the 
instinct of danger, M'hieh never wholly deserts a Kving 
Church, took in at once the fatal consequences of yielding 
to the supremacy of so ambitions an agency. In 1818, 
measures were concerted which resulted in the organi- 
zation of a Presbyterian Education Society, in Phila- 
delphia, "which should be tinder the inspection of the 
General Assembly, and a faithful representative of the 
whole denomination." But the Church could not be a 
unit. The foreign influences, which had been imported 
into the body, set themselves at once to counteract the 
policy thus indicated. A rival organization was instantly 
created, under a similar name, which refused to aclinow- 
ledge Assembly control, and soon went over bodily to the 
American Education Society, and became its active in- 
strument in promoting its ascendency within the entire 
limits of the Presbyterian Church. Meanwhile, the Chui'ch 
Board languished for years, by reason of this opposition, 
its own restricted powers, and general inefficiency in its 
management, until, in 1831, it wi^ re-organized under the 
auspices of the Rev. John Breckiui-idge, D. D., as its 
Secretary ; when it sprung into vigour, and held its own 
against all rivalry, until the hour of complete deliverance 
from all this thraldom was chimed in 183Y.* So far, then, 
the Church, though crippled and harassed, has refused to 
subordinate herself to a foreign power. 

The triumph, however, of the American' Board of Com- 
missioners for Foreign Missions was complete. We liave 
i the early eiforts of PrcsbytenanS to extend tlie 
1 among the heathen. Besides the organization of 

*Dr. Baird'B History, pp. 2S5-'2»'i, 



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OLD AND NEW SCHOOL C0NTE0VEE8Y. Wl 

the Synods of Pittsburgh and of the Carolinas to that 
end, various local societiee had sprung up,' all subject to 
the Chui'ch, But, in 1817, this great subject was brought 
before the Assetnbly ; and the result was the organization 
■of "the United Foreign Missionary Society," so called 
because it was composed of members of the Presbyterian, 
Eeformed Dutch, and Associate Eeformed Churches, and 
received the sanction of these bodies respectively. It was, 
however, from the natui'c of the case, a voluntary society, 
and in its management independent of ecclesiastical con- 
trol. It prosecuted its work with vigour, gradually ab- 
sorbing the different local societies, and was able, within 
eight years from its establishment, to make a favourable 
comparative exhibit of its snceess with that of the Amer- 
ican, or Congregational, Board, d^iring its first eight years. 
In 1824, the Synod of Pittsburgh transferred their mis- 
sions to its care, under the irapreseion that it was, and 
would remain, distinctly Presbyterian in its character. At 
the very moment, however, of this ti'ansfer, negotiations 
■were pending with the A. B. C. P. M,,* by which it was 
soon absorbed. The only remaining missions of the Pres- 
byterian Church were those conducted by the Synod of 
the Carohuas, dating back to 1802. In 1818, these were 
in turn transferred by treaty to the American Board, 
which was thus sole master of the field. 

This termination filled many with profound grief, and 
measures were soon- concerted for rallying the Church to 
her appointed work. The proposal was to organize an 
Assembly Board of Foreign Missions, which should not 
be antagonistic, but co-operative with the American 
Board. ^The lamented Dr. John H. Rice penned, from 
his death-bed, the overture to the General Assembly of 
1831, which appointed a committee of conference on the 
subject; but, "to the proposition for a co-ordinate Board, 
the reply was, without alternative, the American Board, 



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202 LIFK Of JAl 

and that only," Renewed defeat served "but to ai'onse the 
Ohurch the more. The next nie^isure was to revive "the 
"Western Foreign Missionary Society," at Pittsburgh,, 
which had been sold out in 1824. It was accordingly 
organized, and presented itseK- for recognition before the 
Assembly of 1832, with its iirst mieeionaries chosen, and 
Africa as its field of operations. It was so prospered in 
its work, that, within three yeare, it represented twenty 
missionaries under its care, labouring in western Africa, 
noi'thern India, and among several Indian tribes at home. 
In the Assembly of 1835, a committee was appointed to- 
confer with the Synod of Pittsburgh, relative to the 
transfer of this Society to the General Assembly. In the 
following year, however, the Assembly, under the foreign 
influences which controlled it, receded from the proposals 
of its predecessor, and the Western Society was rejected 
as a recognized institution for the whole Church.* The 
consternation and alarm created by this decision contri- 
buted not a little to the revolution which, one year later, 
swept Moderatism, as it did heresy, out of the bosom of 
the Church. 

The great battle, however, for the liberties of the 
Church, was fought upon the Home Mission field; where^ 
hy God's grace, a full victory was achieved. We have 
seen the Assembly Committee of 1802 expanding, in 
1816, into a Board, with enlarged powers. Its efficiency 
■was nevertheless crippled by the opposition of the " lib- 

*Dr. Baiid'a History, pp. 268-308, 447-461, 49<)-t9(). Tlie line of 
argument pursued, in the Assembly of 1836, against the Ctmrch'a en- 
gaging in ihe work of Foreign Mieaions, iUustratea the natui'e of the 
struggle, ajid fill" the readev with equal astonishment and Horrow. It 
■was denied that the Assembly had any authority to undertake this work ; 
ihat it had received no authorization from the Pceahjteiiea ; that the 
command to evangelize the world was given to the Church universal, 
which is an unorganized body ; that the Aasembly cannot delegate th* 
power of creating missions to any Board ; that, if it does, this is to per- 
petuate itself after iis own dissolution ; that the gospel is not sectarian, 
^d should not be so exhibited to tbe heathen, etc. See Baird's Eisktry, 



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OLD AND NEW SOHOOI. CONTE0YEK8Y. 203 



eral" party in the Church; who set to work organizing 
local Bocieties, in which some indulgence would be ex- 
tended to theological aberrations. These were, in 1832, 
consolidated into what was termed " The United Domestic 
Missionary Society;" which, in 1826, resolved itself into 
" The American Home Missionary Socdety," " planned in 
a meeting of delegates from the New England ehurehea, 
held in Boston early in the same year." Dr, Absalom 
Peters, the determined head of this institution, addi'essed 
himseK to the task, which he nnflinchingly pursued, of 
absorbing the Aesembly Board, or at least of making it 
wholly tributary, -He accordingly, in 1 828, commimieated 
his views to the General Assembly. The result, however, 
was the adopting, by that body, of a paper reeogiiizing 
prerogatives in its own agent that had never been con- 
ferred before. A correspondence was then begun between 
the two Boards, in which an elaborate argument was at- 
tempted to show that they could notco-exist in harmony, 
if independent. Dr. Peters next visited Philadelphia, and 
succeeded in gaining over to his views Dr. Ely, the Sec- 
retary of the Assembly Board. The two laboured to- 
gether for the amalgamation of the agencies which' they 
represented, upon the basis that fifty directors should be 
chosen from the different bodies that should embark in 
the scheme, distributed to each in proportion to the num- 
ber of ministers upon its roll. This bold proposition was 
promptly rejected by the Assembly Board, on the ground 
that it had no authority to entertain it, and also fi'om a 
deep conviction that "the interests of the Presbyterian 
Ohnrch, and the sacred cause of missions, require that the 
character and powers of the Board should remain as they 
are." In consequence of this resistance, the matter was 
not brought before the Assembly at all, and a new system 
of tactics was compelled. This was to plant a branch of 
the American Society in the "West, at Cincinnati, and to 
invite the Assembly to transact its operations in the West 
through this branch, as a common agency. This project. 



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304- LIFE OF JAMES HKNLEY THORNWELL. 

however, failed to secure the approval of the Assembly. 
The design evidently was, either to drive the Preshy- 
terian Church out of the West, as a field of operations, 
or so to contfol her movements that they should be 
■wholly subordinate to the interests of Congi-egationalism. 
In the Assembly of 1831, a long discussion ensued 
upon certain overtures relating to missions in the West; 
whicii resulted in a recommendation to all the Western 
Synods to correspond with each other, and to agree upon 
some plan which should be satisfactory to themselves, and 
report the same to the next Assembly. In pursuance of 
this advice, a general Convention of these Synods was 
held, in November of that yeai', at Cincinnati. After a 
week's session, in which various measures were discussed, 
the question at issue was definitely settled, in the following 
resolution, to the entire and final defeat of all the schemes 
of the American Society: "Eesolved, that, under these 
circumBtances, tliey deem it inexpedient to propose any 
change in the General Assembly's mode of conducting 
missions, as they fully approve of 'tliat now in such suc- 
cessful operation; and that the purity, peace, and pros- 
perity of the Presbyterian Cimrch materially depend on 
the active and efficient aid the Sessions and Presbyteries 
under it^ care may afford to the Assembly's Boai'd."* 

The vigour of the assault upon this particular arm of 
the Church will be understood at a glance. It was the 
precise spot in which a breach was to be effected in the 
Presbyterian Church, and the defences here were to be 
carried by storm. With the American Education Society 
to train a ministry in the lax theology, and with the 
American Home Missionary Society to distribute and 
support them in their field of labour, it was simply a 
question of time to trample the Confession of Faith in the 
dust, to lay prostrate the whole constitution and order of 
the Church, and to render the entire Presbyterian Church 
the bound vassal under New England theology and New 

* Dr. Baird's History, pp. 3U>-32(i, 370-388. 



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OLD AND NEW SCHOOL CONTROTERBT, 205 

England control. The instinct of life alone preserved her 
from surrendering, just where defeat would have been 
fatal. 

Such were the issues, both in doctriue and poHty, by 
which the Presbyterian Church was agitated; widening 
with the diBcuseion of every pt^sing year, and finding no 
solution but in open disruption. The doctrinal contro- 
versy w^ brought to a head, in the trial of Rev. Albert 
Barnes; which waa accepted on both sides as a test eaae, 
and to which, therefore, an extraordinary' interest was at- 
tached. Certain views announced by him as early as 
1828, in a sermon, entitled, "The "Way of Salvation," led 
to resistance, in the Presbytery of Philadelphia, to hia 
settlement as a pastor within its bonnds. The case went 
up through the Synod, and came, by reference, before the 
Assembly of 1831. It waa disposed of by a minute, cen- 
suring the sermon of Mr. Barnes as " containing a num- 
ber of nngiiarded and objectionable passages;" but ac- 
cepting his own explanation of the same, and deciding 
that the Presbytery ought to suspend all further proceed- 
ings. Thus ended Mr, Barnes's first trial. In 1835, 
however, he was a second time prosecuted, by the Kev. 
Dr. George Junkin, upon charges based upon alleged 
en'Ors in his " Commentary on Romans," recently issued 
from the press. By reason of various delays, it did not 
reach the Assembly till 1836, when Mr. Barnes appealed 
from the condemnatory sentence of the Synod, and waa 
sustained in it by the decision of the Assembly. This 
decision, in a confessedly .test c^e, was regarded as fixing 
the doctrinal complexion of the Church, and determined 
the orthodox upon vigorous measm-es of reform. 

The utter disi'egard of constitutional principles which 
now exhibited itself in the highest court of the Church, 
led to another flagrant outrage; which was the creation 
of what was appropriately designated an " Elective Affin- 
ity Presbytery," in the Synod of Philadelphia, and against 
its remonstrances; which consisted of certain enumerated 



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206 LIFE OF JAMES HENLEY THOStlJWELL. 



8 and «lmrches thrown together because of their 
docti'inal sympathies, and irrespective of geographical 
boundaries. Still worse, in order to place this Presbytery 
beyond the reach of Synodical .aotion, it was erected, 
witli two others of like sentiments, into the Synod of'Del- 
aware. Thus was not only a secure asylum provided for 
tliose who were unsound in the faith, but a fit instrument 
was created for licensing candidates who would elsewhere 
be rejected, and sending them fqrth with clean papers to 
demand admission iato every otlier Presbyteryin the land. 
Clearly, it was high time to act, for each year saw the 
sound and evangelical portion of the Church drifting 
under the power of a majority becoming larger and lai-- 
ger by means the most uneerupulons. 

The natiire of the steps necessary to recover the Ohm-ch 
from her deep declension had been foreshadowed as early 
as 1831, in an overture from the Synod of Pittsburgh, to 
tlie effect "that every Chm'ch Session and Presbytery be 
required to keep a book, in which the following formula 
shall be recorded, viz. : I, A. B., do sincerely receive and 
adopt the Confession of Faith and Catechisms of tlie 
Presbyterian Church, according to the plain and obvious 
meaning of the words in which they are expressed," etc.; 
and " that any Synod, Presbytery, minister, or elder, 3-e- 
fnsing to comply with the above conditions, shall be con- 
sidered as renouncing the jurisdiction of the Presbyterian 
Church, and consequently no longer to be considered in 
connexion with that body." In July, 1833, a conference 
was held of certain gentlemen in Ohio, which addressed 
to the General Assembly of tlie following year, what is 
known as "Tlie "Western Memorial," testifying against 
nine apeciiied doctrinal en-ors, and urging the repeal of 
the Plan of Union, and of any special arrangement with 
the Congregational clinr'ches. During the session of the 
Assembly, in 1834, a conference was held, at which the 
famous "Act and Testimony" was drawn np, of which 
the Pev. Dr. R. J. Breckinridge was the author, who, as 



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OLD AND NEW SCHOOL CONTK0VER8Y. 207 

an elder from Kentucky, had three years before signalized . 
himself as a champion of sound doctrine and constita- 
tional order. This paper, after the enumeration of doc- 
trinal errors, and suggesting measures for their rcpreeaiou, 
■closed with the recom.mendation of a convention, to be 
held the next year, to "deliberate and consult on the 
present state of the Church, and to adopt &ivih meafiures 
as may be best suited to restore her prostrated standai-ds." 
At this convention a careful memorial was prepared, iden- 
tical with the "Act and Testimony," which received a 
measure of consideration from the Assembly, and raised, 
in some, the hope of ultimate reform. It was a hope ex- 
cited only to be blasted. The Assembly of 1836 was the 
most radical of all that had preceded; and, as we have 
seen, the acquittal of Mr, Barnes dashed the expeeta;tion8 
of the most sanguine to the ground. In 1837, for the 
&st time in several consecutive years, the orthodox party 
found itself in a small majoi-ity. The memorials and tes- 
timonies of preceding years had not been without effect 
in arousing the supine, and in convincing those who had 
heretofore been sceptical as to the extent of the danger 
in which the Church stood. The business of reform was 
brought before this body in an able " Testimony and 
Memorial," from the pen of Dr. Breckini-idge, mating 
sixteen specifications as to false doctrine, which have been 
already transcribed in this chapter, and proposing the 
immediate abrogation of the Flan of Union, the discoun- 
tenancing of tlie American Education and Home Mis- 
sionary Societies, and other measures lilcely to promote 
discipline and sound government. Fending the discussion 
upon this paper, committees were appointed from both 
sides, to agree, if possible, upon an amicable separation; 
which, having failed, the vote wae taken upon the abro- 
gation of the Flan of Union, which passed by a majority 
of thirty-three. It was then carried, that, by this abro- 
gation, the four Synods of Utica, Geneva, Genessee, and 
"Western Iteaerve, which were founded upon this platform, 



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208 ilFE OF JAME3 HENLEY THOKNWELL. 

"are, and are hereby declared to be, no longer a part of the 
PreBbyterian Ohuvch in the United States of America," 
This actionhas been assailed asnnconatitntional and severe, 
and ae reacHng, by one sweeping le^lative decree, an evil 
that should have been redressed by judicial process. But 
if anything wae dearly demonstrated, it was the utter fu- 
tility, in the existing state of the Church, of brmging any 
party to public trial on charge of heresy. The cases of 
Barnes, Beecher, Dtiffield,.Sturdevant, and Kirby, were 
all on record as warnings of this fact. Besides, the error 
to be reached was so diffused- as almost to defy prosecu- 
tion by its universality; and in the districts which were 
covered by the operation of the Plan of Union, the guilty 
were safe in the mutual protection of each other, and 
process could not be begun in the courts having imme- 
diate jurisdiction. If, too, the Plan of Union was estab- 
lished by a legislative act, it could ex cequali be 1 
tively declared null and void, as unconstitutionally c 
in the first instance.* Of course, as soon ae the platform 
was sti-iclien away upon whicli tliey rested, the Presby- 
teries and Synods that were erected upon it as a basis 
naturally and necessarily fell through. 

The last struggle, however, remained which was to 
test the Assembly's power to enforce its own decree. In 
the following year, 1838, the commissioners from these 
" exscinded" Synods presented themselves with their cre- 
dentials. No sooner had the opening prayer been offered 
than Dr. Patton arose, with certain resolutions in his 
hand. The Moderator, adhering closely to the rules, 
pronounced him out of order, since, until the roll was 
reported of those with regular commissions, there was 
no house to deliberate. Dr. Patton appealed from the 
chair to the house. The Moderator replied, there was 
no house to appeal to. The scheme was to intrude these 
excluded commissioners upon the house before the organ- 
'b Pastoral Letter, from the pen of Dr. Alexander ; Di- 



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(ILD AND NEW BCHOOL CONTEOTEESY. 209 

ization; and failing in this, to organize the minority as 
the Assembly, and to supersede it. Being defeated by 
the tact and firmness of the Moderator, the only resource 
was to organize in a tumultuous way, in the midst of tho 
business of the Assembly, by a loud call from Mr. Oleaue- 
land, in the body of the house, upon Dr. Beman to take 
the ehair. This gentleman stepped into the aisle, where, 
in the utmost confusion, the throng about him responded 
to several questions, and the .whole party retired to or- 
ganize in another building. The disruption was effected. 
The. Old and the New Schools were now distinctly apart ; 
and those who stood by the Constitution of the Church, 
in a strict intei-pretation of her symbols of doctrine and 
principles of goyernment, rejoiced in a great deliverance. 



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CHAPTER XT. 
POLEMIC CABEER BEGUN. 

PeOVIDBNTIAI. TRilNING FOR HI3 FoIURG WoKK. — MeMBEB OF Af«EKBI.Y 

IN 1837. — INSIBK View op thit CoTTNcit..— GBinuii, Swtino o? the 
Chdgoh. — Tebtimony bbfobe the Synod. — Tbiot Publication.^ 
Lbttes op Gondoi,ence. — CiiiUiii Back to tbh Coltj30e. — His De- 
cision Anhoiinoed. — Pastoral IIelation Dissolted. — Assumes thb 
Chaplainqy in ibe'Colleob. 

DR. THORNWELL was licensed in the fall of 1834, 
and was ordained the following spring. His ministry 
opened, therefore, joet as the two parties in the Church 
were marshalling their forces for the iinal struggle. His 
was not the temperament to remain a hstlese spectator of 
these movements. Endowed with all the nataral charac- 
teristics of a leader, his place could not he other than in 
the front. His intense love of truth, simply as truth, 
made him regardless of considerations merely prndential. 
As we have seen, too, his first religious impresaions were 
derived from a motiier whose teachings were strongly 
Calvinistic; apd his determination to the Presbyterian 
Church was through a casual introduction to the West- 
minster Confession, at the time his first serious investi- 
gations in religion were set on foot. His future work 
was to ho that of a reformer, in an age of groat spiritual 
declension; and Divine Providence chose to cast him, at 
the outset, into the mould of those venerable symbols 
■which most accurately defined the faith of tlie universal 
Church. 

The distant South was fortunately too far removed 
from New England to be easily manipulated ; and the 
Presbyterian] em which existed there was of that stm'dy 
Scotch tjpL, whifh had pro^'cd itself so competent around 



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212 LIFK OF JAMES HENLEY THOKNWELL. 

Pittsburgh to enter the lists with error. His first ap- 
pearance in tliis conflict was as a member of the famona 
Assembly of 1837, in whose proceedings, however, he 
took no conspicuous part. He did not appear in the 
body until the ninth day of its sessions, and therefore had 
no hand in the Convention which preceded it, nor in pre- 
paring the Hemorial and Testimony that shaped its de- 
liberations. The modesty of youth kept him in the 
background; especially since, as he afterwards expressed 
it to his friend Br. Breckinridge, there were others in the 
lead who were doing the work bravely and well. Tlie 
following extracts from letters, written at the tinae, reveal 
the deep interest he felt in the proceedings, and give also 
an inside view of the same: 

" PaiLADELPEii, May 36, 1S37. 
"Mr Vers Deas Witb: After momy delays and unforeeeen. hm- 
dranoes, I reaohed tJiis dty about four o'dook this afternoon. « • * 

* * I just reaohed here at the point of time for tbe agitating ciuestions 
that will oome up before ue. Mr. Robert J. Breckinridge gaTe notice 
this evening, that he ironid introduce a motion to-morrow for the ap- 
pointment of a committee, to consist of eijual members of both parties, 
for the purpose of devising the most peaceable mode of dividing tie 
Presbyl*rian Ohuroh. I have no doabt but that this Asserably ^iU 
settle all the difflcultiea of the Church. We shall, in all probability, 
get rid of the New School men, and be enabled hereafter to preach and 
propagate the gospel without moleatation or controversy. Men, who 
heretofore have been moderate, are now taking high ground. The im- 
portance of the qnestiona at issue begins to be ganerfilly felt. • « « 

• « f "[i^g results of this Assembly may and will be felt to the end 
of time. The future hiatory of the Presbyterian Church will depend, 
under God, upon the measures adopted now, by the highest of her judi- 
oatories. there should be much prayer, much study of the Scriptures, 
and much watohfulnesa over our words and thongtts. May the Lord 
preside in all our deliberations, and order all things so as to promote 
His glory, in the up-building of Zion and the spread of the tmth. • ♦ • 

" Your affeotionate husband, 

J. H. THOBHwam.." 

In another letter, of date June 5th, he writes : 

"The vote was taken to-day on esoluding the Synods of Utica, Geneva, 
and Genessee, whioh, with the Synod of Western Reserve, will make 
four Synods that have been excluded from the Church. They never. 



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POLEMIC CAREER BEGUN. 313 

n al y ami regularly, formed a part of the Chucoh, and therefore 

was n ha dsb p fo aay so. We shall probably dissolve the Third 
P esb of Philadelphia aad the Presbytery of Wilmington, whioh 

w f xm d up n the Elective Affinity principle ; and then cite to the 
ba h nei A serably such other ecclesiastical bodies as are reported 
to be ansouud. The work of reform seems to go on prosperously ; tlie 
iMid has opened up an unexpected door of deliverance to His people. 
I know that yon feel anxious abont me, that jou entertain fears about 
my temper and spirit, Yott may make yoniaelf easy on these points.' I 
have not opened ray mouth in the AsBembly or Conyention, except to 
give a vote, and I do not expect to do so. I have sought constantly guid- 
ance and direction from the Lord ; and though I am conscious of much 
sin and imperfeotion, yet I have endeavoured, in the sti'engUi of Divine 
grace, to discharge my duties faithfully. I have been deeply grieved 
and hnmbled at the spirit which has been too frequently manifested in 
this body ; and in the midst of the exoitement, and the mutual leorimi- 
nation and personality, which have heen too freely indulged, I haye 
often wished myself at home, where I oould enjcy the peace and comfort 
,of my own family. The Lord has shown me, in the proceedings of thie 
Geileral Assembly, that there is no confidence to be placed in mac ; that 
the best of us are weak and erring mortals, who cannot see afar oS. I 
l^joice, however, that the agitating subjects, on which we have hereto- 
fore been employed, are drawing to a close. We will soon be engaged 
in more peaceful and quiet business, unless the members who have been 
excluded should undertake to disturb oar deliberations. The spectators 
wjio have attended our deliberations have behaved, in several instances, 
very anoourteously. We h 1 / .ssad f m th galleries three or 
four times to-day. Our NwShlbthn to many instances, 
have made their speeches ly t th g 11 m ther words, then- 

object seems to have been to p d Pi' unp ession against the 

orthodox. They have treat d th q t n hi h oame up before us 
■with a great deal of unfair ail n bur petin the General 

Assembly would convince y mind th t th t p ies ought never 
to meet again in the same b d Ih y h nfidenee in one an- 

other ; they ai'e wide apart pxit p j 1 d d trines ; and no- 
thing but confusion and diso d an Itf mthub ngunited." " " 

Such a eehiam, aa described in the preceding chapter, 
could not but shake the Church, from its centre to its (lir- 
CHmfereoce. In all parts of the land, were to be fonnd 
many who were disaffected to those meaeures by which 
the rupture had been produced; some, perhaps, because 
themselves tainted with the prevalent unsoundness in 
doctrine, but many more influenced by mere sympathy 
with the excluded Synods, and who regarded the abr<i- 



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214 LIFE OF JAMEB HENLKl- THOKNWELL, 

gation of the Plan of Union as the violation of a covenant, 
and as having been accomplished in an extra-constitu- 
tional, if not unconstitutional, way. The sifting of the 
two parties, throughout the whole country, could only be 
gradually secured. In some places, after the disruption 
and formation of two rival Assemblies, there was a dis- 
position in Presbyteries and parts of Presbyteries to hang 
undecided between the two. It became necessai'y, there-' 
fore, to push the question, until the position of every one 
in the Church should be definitely ascertained. Accord- 
ingly, the Afisembly of 1838 passed an Act, enjoining upon 
all Presbyteries in its connection to take order in tlie 
premises for the general reform and pacification of the 
Church, and to do so between the dissolution of that As- 
sembly and the fall meetings of the Synods, 

It so happened that, witliin the bounds of the Synods 
of South Carolina and Georgia, some dissatisfaction with 
these Reform measures did exist, though confined to but 
one locality in either State. "When this Synod met, in 
the autumn, Mr. Thornwell presented the following papor, 
which was adopted by that body by a vote of forty-nine 
to eight : 

" Wheraaa, disipntaa and eontentiona, wiicli have euiBtad among the 
members of the Preabj tarian Chai'ob, have reaultei in a diyision of out 
uommuuion into two denominaiiona, differing from each other, be we 
suppose, oa topics of f^th, involving eaaential elemeats of the Goapel 
plan ; and whereas, it is the duty of all the courts of tho Church to con- 
tend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints ; we, as a Synod, 
(eel Galled upon, in the present crisis of onr eeelesiastical affairs, to 
bear this, our solemn testimony, for the truth as it is in Jesus, in oppo- 
^tiou to the errors and heresias which are now abroad in tha land- 

" 1. It is a fundamental article of the Christian faith, that the gnilt 
of Adam's flrat sin is imputed to all his posterity, desoeaded from him 
by ordinary generation, so that they are born in a state of condamaa- 
tjoa and depcavitj ; that this impufiition is immediate aad direct, having 
no reference to their subsequent oonourrence in his sin by voluntary 
transgresBion, but founded solely upon the fact, that he was constituted, 
by the sovereign appointment ot God, their federal head and reprasen- 

"2. It is a fundamental doctrine of the Gospel, that Jesus Christ 



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iUN. 215 

■was actually the substitute of a ahdaen seed ; that He aesuined their le- 
gal reaponEibilities, and rendered a trne and proper satisfaction to Divine 
jnBtiee on their behalf, by enduring tbe peualty of the law in their uame 
and al«ad ; that the obedience and death of Christ constitute the aloce 
ground of a aioner's acceptance before God, and that ' to all those for 
whom Obrist patohased redemption, He doth, certainly and effectnally 
apply and oommunioate the same.' 

"3. The inability of the sinner to comply with the demands of the 
Divine law, to believe tbe Gospel, or to eseroise any holy affection, is 
absolute and entire ; so that regeneration is eSected alone by the direct 
and immediate agency and power of God the Spirit ; the subject of 
this work of grace being passive, in respect lo the vital operation of re- 
newing the heart. We tjelieve, moreover, that the saving grace of God 
is always e£B.cacious and invincible, and it« final trimnph sure. 

" 4, We believe that the form of doctrine usually called Hopkinsian- 
ism, though a milder fona of erroi flian Taylorism, or Pelagianism, is 
inconsistent with the Presbyterian standards ; and if fully carried out 
in ite conseqnenoes and results, is utterly destructive of the fundamen- 
tal principles of the Gospel. 

" H. This ia our solemn testimony of the truths of the Gospel, And 
for tbe satisfaction of those brethren who have been perplexed with 
anxiety and doubt inr«gard to the theological instruction which is given 
in our Seminary, we, the members of this Synod, including tbe Profes- 
sors of the Theological Seminary, do plei^e ourselves, that no contrary 
doctrine shall be taught in the aeminary, or ia oar pulpits ; and that, as 
profeaaora and ministers, we will endeavour to guard our pupils and 
hearers against all tbe heresies oonde.iiuod in tbis testimony." 

He was at this time not qiiite twenty-six years of age, 
and had been but a few months a Professor in the South 
Carolina Oollege, wlien his influence began to he felt thus 
in tbe councils of the Church. In 1840, when, it will he 
remembered, he was settled as a pastor in the town of 
Columbia, his zeal for the spread of orthodox views was 
displayed in another direction. He conceived the project 
of publishing a series of tracts, chiefly the reproduction of 
the wi'itings of the old divines, relying upon their sale to 
meet the expenses of publication. Such a scheme, how- 
ever, requires an energetic agency for the purpose of dis- 
tribution, for want of which this particular enterprise fell 
through, after issuing two of the series. The first was aij 
extract from the writings of Traill ; the other was a bro- 
chure from his own pen, on Election and Reprobation, 



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2X0 LIFK OF JAMES HENLEY THOKNWF.LL. 

which will be found in the second volume of his works. 
This sclieoie is brought to view in the following letter to 
hia friend and brother-in-law, Dr. J. J, Wardbiw, of Abbe- 
vnie, S. 0. : 

" CowiMBii, Felrriiary li, 18+0. 
" Mt Dbab Sib : I write yoix at present for the purpose of enlisting 
yonr interest in belialf of sn enterprise in which I am warmly engaged, 
and for which I feel a lively oonoarn. After muoh deliberation, I have 
deternjined to pnblist a series of theological tracts on ihe fundamental 
doctrines of the Gospel, selected from the writings of standard orliodox 
divines, if the sale will cover the expenses. The first of the series, 
which is a letter of the Kev. Bobert Traill, vindieating the doctrine of Jns. 
tiflcation from the nnjust charge of Antinomianism, ia now in the press, 
and will be ready for delivery in a few days. . It is printed in ootavo 
form, and will consist of upwards of thirty pages, and will be sold at 
twenly-five cents per copy. If it should fail to pay for itself, the whole 
project will be abandoned. Now, I am ansious that you should see Dr. 
Barr, and get him to interest himself in ihe matter. He can do much, 
if he can only be brought to take an active part in the matter. He 
knows that Buoh things are desperately needed. "We have had a national 
religion long enough. We want something or. the peculiar and distin- 
guishing doctrines of the Gospel. Xon can teli him that the tracts are 
intended to be after the ' most straitest sect' of ancient Preshyterianism ; 
for they will be selected from the writings of the divines of the seven- 
teenth and eighteenth centuries. I wish all yonr ministers and people 
in Abbeville District eould be waked up, and made to take a lively in- 
terest in the spread of unadulterated truth. I do not ask for contribu- 
tions ; I barely ask that they would buy the tracts and read them. 

" We were very sorry to hear that your dear little son has had to fare so 
■uncomfortably. You begin to know now something of the ailxieties of 
a father. I pray that the Ijord may give you grace to discharge faithfully 
and acceptably the solemn and interesting duties of that relationship. 
At such times, when such serioub obligations are crowding upon us, we 
should seek the special favour and assistance of God. He only can 
make us a bleesiog to our children, and them a blessing to us, and to 
Uie world, Sotis -eeTbum sapienli « « • lours sincerely, 

J. H, T'hobbweli,. " 

The following letter is addressed to hia friend and for- 
mer patron, General James Gillespie, and reveals him as 
a "son of eonsolation :" 

"Columbia, October Srei?, 1840, 
" Mr Vekz Deab QBKBKii. ; The mournful event which has recently 
ocduired jn your sister's family,* has produced a deep impression upon 
* Death of the eldest son. 



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POLEMIC CAKEEE BEGUN. 217 

my mind. It is one of those riddles in the diapanaatioTi of Divine Provi- 
dence which baffles the wisdom of the wisest, and brings the most care- 
less to reflection. My Jieart has hied, as I thonght of the blasted hopes 
and disappointed expectations of a fond mother. I know that she hsii 
looked npon him as, in. some measure, the head of the family, and was 
preparing to lean upon him as the prop of her declining years ; bnt in 
a moment, the bright anticipations of a parent's heart are shrouded in 
the darkness of cheerless despair. I could well conceive the agony of 
that dreadful moment, wheii all the hopes of his recovery were found to 
be delusive, and the awfal certainty of death was irresistibly felt. It 
was, indeed, a moment of fiery trial ; and I am. serionsly apprehensive 
that the shook has been too great for your sister's frame. But I rejoice 
that she is in the hands of a merciful God, and most sincerely pray that 
Ha may preserve her from all temptation to distrust His goodness, or 
murmur at His ways. Though ' clouds and darkness are ronnd about 
Him, righteousness and truth are still the habitation of His throne.' It 
should always be a sufficient argument to reooncile our minds to any 
proceeding, however mysterious, that it is the Lord's doing ; and since He 
is as merciful as He is wise, we may rest assured that He doth not -will- 
ingly afflict, nor grieve the ohildren of men. Onr times of trial are 
limes of temptation ; and ptecious is that faith whioh loses nothing hut 
its dross in the heat of the farnaoe. 

" I know that your own feelings have been deep and strong, I sym- 
pathize most heartily and unfeignedly with you ; and should mnch re- 
joice to see you, that I might walk with you through these deep waters 
of affliction. Oh ! how it endears the Saviour, when the cords which 
"bind ns to life are successively snapping asunder, and leaving nothing in 
time bnt a dreary prospect of desolation ! Every day I am becoming 
more and more convinced of the utter vanity of the creature. I feel 
that God is the only adequate portion of the soul ; and I endeavour to 
sit loose to all the things of earth. Every death reminds us that the 
distance between time and eternity is very short, and that the Judge 
stands ovei' at the door. Our highest wisdom is to be always ready, 

' ' My church is growing ; the congregation has been almost doubled, 
and the Lord has accompanied the truth in several instances with re- 
markable ontpourings of the Spirit. My people are devoted to me. To 
a man they will bitterly protest against the eiforts of the Board to carry 
me back to the College. In regard to that matter, I am in a perpleiing 
strait. I know not what to do ; but I have no doubt of being directed 
by Him who has promised to give wisdom to those who ask. When first 
solicited, I positively and unconditionally declined ; but when urgent 
entreaties came from different individuals in different parts of the State, 
I felt bonnd to pause and consider ; and there the matter rests. 

" Yours as ever, J, H. TnoEHwEtj.." 

His restoration to the College, aUnded to above, was 
the great turning-point in his career. Having occupied 



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218 LIFE OF JAMBS HBNLKT THOKNWELL. 

the chair of Metaphysics, with great acceptance, during 
the year 1838 and 1839, he had been pressed in conscience 
to resign, in order that, as a minister of the gospel, he 
might preach the Word. For one year (1840) he filled 
the pastorate of the Columbia ohurcli, with the results 
detailed in the preceding letter. The election, however, 
of the Rev. Dr. Elliott, to the Episcopal Diocese of Geor- 
gia, left vacant the chaplaincy of the College, together 
with the professorship of Sacred Literature, to which it. 
was united. All eyea, not only in the Board, but also in 
the State, were turned to Mr, Thomwell, as a most suit- 
able siiccesBor, Amongst the loose papers which he left- 
behind, is a carefully prepared " Statement of Reasons," 
for and against the proposed transfer; showing how anx- 
iously he surveyed the whole ground, and with what con- 
scientiousness a decision was finally reached. This deci- 
sion was formally announced in a commnnication to tho 
congregation, from which a single extract will suf&ce; 
which we give simply because it covers a principle which 
he had occasion to apply at other critical periods of his 
life, and upon which he always laid a peculiar emphasis : 
" The general principle upon which I acted — and I think 
that the principle will commend itself to your judgment — ■ 
was this: that the dispensations of Providence are in- 
tended for our guidance and direction, whenever they do 
not come into collision with the express and implied pre- 
cepts of the Word of God. In all other cases they are 
designed to try us, hut in these to lead us, being unam- 
biguous intimations of the Divine will. In the present 
instance you are familiar with the facts, and can apply 
the principle. • • « * Guided by this principle, 
and from a spirit, as X trust, of obedience to God, I con- 
sented, after a long and painful struggle, and after much 
earnest prayer, to accept the appointment which was 
unanimously tendered to me. I can truly say, with Paul, 
that ' I go bound in the Spirit,' " etc. 

In January, 1841, the pastoral relation was accordingly 



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ivs. 219 

dissolved, and he entered upon hia duties immediately as 
chaplain in the OoUege, and a seoond timo iilling a Pro- 
fessor's chair witliin the same. It is a little cnrioua, how 
often the station we are called to fill in life differs from that 
we would ourselves have chosen. A series of providential 
events, through a succession of years, shuts up a man to 
academic life, who, three years before, could writo, upon 
the occasion of his &"8t appointment, " I confess that it is 
not the situation of my choice. I had rather he the pastor 
of a church than to be the most distinguished Professor 
of whom the world could boast." The position, however, 
wliich he now filled, gave to him the cure of souls, in 
which the scruples of his conscience and the longings of 
his lieart were ahlie satisfied. The interruption of his 
labours in his new calling, and the voyage to Europe for 
the recovery of health, have already been recited. 



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CHAPTER XVT. 
THE BOARD QUESTION. 

DiHOOSBIONB ABOtn THB BOABDS OF THE CsUKOH. — ElSBS 
PSEYIOHB OOBTBOTEHai. — DEBiTB IN SiSOD.— INCIDENT IN 

■ — FiEST Wbtttbn Attace'on teie BoASDe. — Aetiole O] 

Second AbIiclb on thk Boakds. — Letcers on the Siiua Stjbjeot. 

IT has been stated, in a preceding chapter, that most of 
tho discnssiona in which Dr. Thornwell was engaged, 
wore a 8ort of remainder from the original controversy by 
which the Church was rent, in 183T-'8. The lir&t that 
emerged into view was the discussion about Boards. 
During the period wlien the Church was brought under 
a species of vassalage to Congregationalism, the great 
National Societies, which usui'ped her functions, con- 
ducted their operations by the agencty of Boards. The 
Chnrch had become familiar with that mode of action ; 
and when the effectual blow was sti-uck for her emanci- 
pation, this was supposed to be fully accomplished, when 
these national organizations were disowned. The great 
principle upon which the argument turned, that tho 
ChiU'ch, in her organized form, must do her own work, 
was supposed to bo satisfied, when Boards exactly anala- 
gous were established by the Church herself, as the agents 
by whom her will was to be carried out. It could not be 
long, however, before it was perceived that the above- 
named cai'dinal principle nmat be extendi^d further : tliat 
a Boai'd, consisting of many members, distributed over a 
large territory, to wliom her evangelistic functions were 
remitted, did not satisfy tlio idea of the Church acting in 
lie]' own capacity, and under tlie rules which the Consti- 
221 



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232 LIFE OF JAMES 

tution prescribed for her guidance. Df, Tliornwell was 
one of those who planted themselves firmly against their 
continnance in the Chnrch. It is not the business of the 
biographer to discnsa liis views, but only to afford bim 
the opportunity of presenting them. It may be remarked, 
however, that he wae not opposed to combined or united 
action on the part of the Church, but only insisted that 
the central agency should be simply executive: the mere 
instrument by which the A&serably acts, and not an agent 
standing in the place of the Assembly, and acting for it. 
The first occasion on which he publicly developed bis 
Tiews was at the meeting of the Synod of South Carobna 
and Georgia ; where a stitf debate was held upon the prin- 
ciples involved, and in which the Rev. Thomas Smyth, 
D. D., of Charleston, S. 0., was his chief antagonist. An 
incident is related of this debate, so characteristic of the 
man, that it deserves to be recorded. In the heat of the 
disc\ission, he auifered himself to be borne beyond tlie 
bounds of strict propriety. The old spirit of invective 
and sarcasm, which later years bo perfectly subdued, 
manifested itself in expressions a little too scornful of his 
opponent, and the impression was not pleasant upon tlie 
house. It so happened that his speech closed exactly at 
the hour of recess at noon, and there wae no opportunity 
for rejoinder. Immediately upon re-assembhng, he arose 
and apologised in handsome terms for the discoui'tesy into 
which he had been betrayed, and deelai-ed his profound 
esteem for the learning, ability, and piety of his adversary. 
It was done so spontaneously, and with such evident sin- 
, cerity,that criticism was completely disarmed; and there 
was a universal feeling of admiration for the magnanimity 
and eovu'age wliich could so fully redeem & fault. 

This discussion i^ thus referred to in the first of many 
letters it will be our pleasure to transcribe, addressed to 
Dr. R. J. Breckinridge, vrith whom he was thoroughly 
associated in the discussion of all these Church ques- 
tions : 



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THE BOARD QUESTION. 223 

" GotnMBiA, Decemier 17, 1840. 

"Ebt. and Dear Sik: Above you have a draft on theCommei'cialBank 
of Penoaylvauia for seventy dollars. I endeavouted to procure one on 
soma of the banks of Baltimore, but could not suooeed. You will pleaae 
apply Uie money to the Evangolioal ohuroh at Lyons, and tie Theolo- 
gical Seminary at Geneva. I read to my people the correBpoudenoe he- 
tween your ohuroh and that of Lyons, and between yourself and 3. H. 
Merle d'Aubigne; and without any other solicitation than what is oon- 
tained in your Magazine, they made up among themselves the amouub 
forwarded- It is but a pittance, but still it is a free-will offering. You 
may give half to the ohuroh and half to the Seminary. 

Yon will probably he&r esaggerated aooounta of the diaoussion in onr 
Synod on the subject of Boards and Agencies. Jor your February 
number, I intend to send you a dooumeut which I have carefully pre- 
pared upon this Bubjeot, aud which has received the sanction of a very 
respectable minority among us. I would have sent it to you before; 
but affliction in jay family, combined with other circumstances which 
it is useless lo mention, prevented me from complying with the promise 
which I made in Philadolphia 

" Your ainoere friend and Cbriutian brother, 

J. H. Tbobnwell. " 



This was followed, a montb later, with a fuller expo- 
Eition of hia views on the same euhjeet, in a letter ad- 
1 also to Dr. Breckinridge : 



L, Ja-mmry 27, 1841. 
" Rev. and Deab Sib r I have detained my manuscript in my hands 
much longer than. I had any idea of doing, when I wrote to you before. 
My object in the delay haa been to copy it; but day after day has 
passed over, and I have been Bo constantly occupied that I have had 
no time for the drudgery of re-writing it. I send it to you, therefore, 
■with all the imperfections of a. flrat draft. It was written before the 
meeting of our Synod, with the view of presenting it to that body, and 
in their name sending it as a memorial to the AsEembly. Tliis, how- 
ever, was not done. I submitted the manuaoript to a few members of 
Synod, who cordially concurred in its leading statements. My ob- 
ject in publislking it is not to gain a point, but fo elicit discussion. I 
believe that the Boards will eventually prove our masters, unleiss they 
are crushed in their infancy. They are founded upon a radical mis- 
conception of the true nature and extent of eoclesiastioal power ; and 
they can only be defended, by running into the principle against which 
the Beformers protested, and for which the Oxford divines are now 
zealously contending. This view of the subject ought to have been 
enlarged on more fully than has been done in the article, because the 



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22i LIFE OF JAMES HENLKY THORNWELL. 



principle involved in, it is of vital iniportanoe ; but I thougM it better 
to reserve a full disouBsioa of it for Bome aubsequent article. 

"There is a fact connacted with the inflaeiioe of tte Boards that 
speaks volumes against Qiem, A few men in the Church have prestimed 
to question the wisdom of their organization. These men are met with 
a nniveraal cry of denunoiation from all parts of the land. If, in thoiv 
infancy, they (the Boards) oan thus brow-beat discuBsion, what may we 
not expect from them in the maturity of manhood ? 

" It is not to be diHgTiised, that our Church is becoming deplorably 
secular. She has degenerated from a spiritual body into a mere petty 
corporation. 'When we meet in our ecclesiastical courts, instead of at- 
tending to the spiritual interests of God's kingdom, we soaxcelj do any- 
thing mote than e^ramine and audit acconnts, and devise ways and means 
for raising money. We are for doing God's work by human wisdom and 
hnman poUcy ; and what renders the evil still more alarming, is that so 
few are awake to the real state of the ease. Your MagSiaine is the only 
paper in the Church that oan be called a faififul witness for the truth. 
I do sincerely and heartily thank God for the large meflsure of grace . 
■which He has bestowed upon jiom. I regard the prinoiples which yon. 
advocate of so much importacoe, ihat I could make any saerifloe of com- 
fort or of means, consistent with other obligations, to aid and support 
you, 

"I rejoice that you remember me and my poor labours in your 
prayers. My field of labour in the College is arduous and trying ; but 
God has given me the oscendenoy among the students. I have an in- 
teresting prayer-meeting and a Bible-olass, My sermons on Sunday are 
very seriously bstened to , and I have socceeded m awaking a strong 
interest in the evidences of our lehgion 

"I have formed the plan of pubhshing an edition of 'Butler's An 
alc^,' with an analjsis of eaoh chapter, a general view of the whole 
argument, and a speoial consideration of the glaiiiig defects in the 
statement of Christian doctime, with which the book abounds. It is a 
subject on whioh I have spent much patient thought, and on which I 
feel somewhat prepared to wiit*. What think you of the soheme ? If 
you shotild favour it, any suggestions from you would be gratefully re- 
ceived. At some future day— I shall not venture to fli the time— you 
may expect an artiole from me on Natural Theology. I have been care- 
fully collecting materials on the subject, and shall embody them, in a re- 
view of ' PBley"s Theology, ' Bell and Brougham's edition. 

" In regard to the article on Boards,* I give you leave to abridge, 
amend, correot, wherever yon deem it necessary. If you can conve- 
niently do BO, I would be glad to have you return the raanusoript, as I 
have no copy of it. 

" Sincerely yours, J. H. Thobnweli,. " 

* This article appeared in the Baltimore IMerary and Religious Maga- 
mie, in 1841. It will be found in the fourtii volume of his oolleoted 
■writings. 



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THE BOAED QUESTION. 225 

A little earlier than this, his opinions on this and kin- 
dred topics are given in a letter addressed to the Kev. 
John Douglas, one of his bosom &iends thi'ougli life: 

" CoLTJMBii, AugvM i, 1840. 
" My Dbib Brother ; I received jout letter ot inquiry, -warning, and 
rebuke, a few days ago ; and was not a little amused at the apprehen- 
eions whioh you eipreesed in relatioQ to tlie reetitu^ (I use the word in 
its priinitiTa aoeeptatioo) of my course. If I were diepoeed at this 
time, I might break a lanoa witk you on. the great principle which jou 
have asBUnied, as axiomatio in relation to the use of reason in matters of 
reiigions worship. I ehaU just refer you. to the second question in th» 
"Shorter Catechism," with ita answer, for the only rale of pracUae as 
■well ae faith i aad the anewere to the one hundred and eighth and the one 
hundred and ninth qnesttons of the " Lvger Oateuhism," for the trae 
ground on which all the inventions of man, no matter how reasonable, 
are l» be disapproved, detested, and opposed. And if I am singular, at 
the present day, in maintaining that the Bible is our only rule, and that 
where it is silent we have no right to speak, I have the conBolafii,D of 
knowing, that I stand on the same ground which was oconpied by Calvin, 
ChiUingworth, Owen, and the venerable Assenibly of Divines at West- 
minster. I w^nld particularly direct your attention fo ' Calvin's Inati- 
tutes,' Book IV, chapters 8th, 9th, 10th, and ilth. 

" I am satisfied that there is a dangerous departure, in the present 
age of bustle, activity, and vain-glorious enterprise, from the simplicity 
of the institutions which Christ haa established for the legitimate action 
of the Chareh. He has appointed one set of instrumentalities, and or- 
dained one kind of agency in His kingdom ; bnt we have made void His 
commandments, in order to establish our own inventions. I believe 
that the entire aystem of vohmtary Societies and ecclesiastical Boards, 
for religious purposes, is fundamentally wrong. The Churoh, as organ- 
ized by her Head, is competent to do all that He requires of her. He 
has furnished her with the necessary apparatus of means, officers, and 
institutions, in Sessions, Pr^byteriea, Elders, Pastors, and EvangeKsts. 
Let us take Presbyterianiam as we have it described in our Form of 
Government, and let us carry it out in its true spirit, and we shall have 
no use for the sore evil of incorporated BoM'ds, vested funds, and travel- 
ling agencies. If- it is wrong to hold these principles, it was certainly 
wrong to lay down such a form for the goverment of the Ohureh ; and- 
if we do cot intend to eseonte the form, let us cease requiring our 
ministera to assent to it. Suohisaskeletonof my views. I should like to 
go into a full investigation of the subject with you, but a single letter- 
would hardly give room for ftn introduction. 

" In relation to Temperance Societies, I am accustomed to draw a dis- 
tinction. I regard them as secular enterprises, for temporal good, having 
<n whatever with the kingdom of Christ ; a mere embalming 



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226 LIFE OF .TAJVIES HENLEY THOENWBLL. 



of the corpse to arrest the progress of putrefaction. In this light, I think 
it well that the potsherds of the ewth shoiild engage in them. They are 
of great serrioe to society. Others regard them as really helps to the cause 
of Christy instrumenta of huilding np His kingdom ; that is, as a meana 
of graee, tor the tingdom of Christ on earth oonsists ic graoe. In this 
sense, I oppose them, baoanse they are not appointed by Christ. Their 
true position is among the institutions of oivil society. There I oordially 
recommend and encourage them. 

" Remember us kindly to Mrs. D., Bad let us have a full chat before 
you set me down aa an Antinomian, 

" Your friend and brother, 

J, H. Thoenweli.." 

The nest contribution of his pen was destined to bring 
him more conspicuously before the public as a contro- 
versialist, and involved him in labours whieh he never 
anticipated. It was an article on the Apocrj'pha, vrritten 
at Dr. Breekinridge's request, and published in his Maga- 
zine in 1841. Being subsequently reprinted in a local 
paper in South Carolina, it drew forth a I'eply from Dr. 
Lynch, subsequently a Bishop of the Koman Catholic 
church in Charleston. Dr. ThornweU's rejoinder ex- 
panded into. a book, which was published in 1845, and 
enfcitlet! " Homanist Arguments Kefnted." They may all 
be found in the third volume of Dr. ThornweU's " Col- 
lected Writings." With this preliminaay statement, the 
reader will readily imderstand the allusions in the corre- 
spondence which follows, opening with a letter to the 
Bev. Dr. Breckim'idge : 

" TH C B March 3, ISil. 

"Mi DsiB BnoTHEB: A Igty qfl send a short 

article on the Canonical A th ih Ap 7ph As I write a 

free and open hand, and tJiht mUId t suppose that it 

will fill more than two ooJum f h p p th Visitor. I have 

■written under some disadva tg Ip mthtt your desire that 
I should keep my eye upon the artiole of the Priests, in one of the pa- 
pers sent me. This I endeavoured to do, but I had to rely exclusively 
upon my recollection of its ooutente, as one of my aerranta destroyed 
the paper soon after I received it. Whether my artiole notices all Uiat 
was important in their's, I cannot say, I have noticed all tJiat made 
sufficient impression npon my mind to be remembered. If what I have 
written meets your approbation, and will be of any sort of service Ui 



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THE BOAKD tJDESTION. 227 

you in Has oontroyeraj, ii is at your disposal. I sincerely hope that God 
may bring great good out of this uneipected moTement in Baltimore. 

" The destruction of tie paper is my esoiise tor not Yerifying iiie 
quotationa of the Priests for you. If yon are at any expense in sending 
the numbers of the fifsiScr, containing this controversy, I would thank 
you to pnt down my name as a sabsoriber for the year. By the first op- 
portunity, I wish to send for yonr ' Papism in the Nineteenth Century 
in Ihe United States.' 

" Praying that God may guide you and bless you in all yonr ways, I 



TJpoii his return from Europe, and resumption of his 
duties in the College, the diecnesion on the subject of the 
Boards was revived. This was occasioned by a reply to 
his first article, from the pen of Dr. Smyth. The history 
will he developed in the correspondence that follows : 

" South Cabolina. Oollbob, Oetober 14, 1841. 
' ' My Deak Bbothek : Having recently returned home, I have been 
able to accomplish nothing yet. In fact, I have been threatened witti 
fever every day since my return. I sent you Paston's tract, ' Beading 
no Preftohing,' which 1 have bad copied ; how correctly, I cannot say. 
If you think it worth publishing, it is at yonr service. I presume that 
Smytk is the reviewer of my article on Boards. I shall soon notice his 
lucnbrationB. I have many things to say to you, bnt have not time 
aow. May grace, mercy and peace be muJfiplied upon you. 
" Your sincere friend, 

J. H. T." 

To this Dr. Breckinridge replies : 

"BaijTimoke, Jfoeember 13, 1841, 
"Deae Teohnwei,!. r After a long and painful absence, I roturned to 
this city the last of October ; and found here your favour of October 
14, with the ti'act inclosed. I will print it in our January number. If 
you can, let us have something about your European trip. We and the 
public will be glad ; when, and bs you please. Your reply ou the Boards, 
{which should cover the whole ground, nearly all which is ginert up in 
the long review of yonr article,) should be in time for our spring Pres- 
byteries. By the way, there is a deep and wide feeling growing up in 
our Oburoh ; and there must be, and will be, a change in our mode of 
conducting benevolent operations. The review rather confii'ms me 
in my former opinions. The writer seems to consider the hr^f a/nd 
tmnual tneetmgt of (he Assembly conolnsive against its doing its work 



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228 LIFE OF JAMES HENLEY THOKNWELL, 

peiBonally. Bnl beaii3es the clear distinction batween a small, stoiid- 
ing, and respoEHible Committee, and a large, permanent, ill-oocBtitnted, 
and virtually irrespoDHible Board, what should forbid the Assembly it- 
Beli, or a commission of it, to meet as often, by adjournment, as our 
Boards do? none of whioli meet oftener than moatlily ; one, at least 
(the Foreign one,) only yearly ; and as fourteen commiasionera, by om 
constitntion, mate an Assembly, (and, in point of fact, cot so many as 
fourteen persons regularly attend our Boards,) the argument is for ua, 
and not for tie ceyiewer. Excuse this. God bless you, 

"In much haste and much esteem, yours ever, 

K. J. Bbbchineibok." 

Three' letters from Dr. Thornwell follow in quick suc- 
cession, on the same subject, and addressed to Dr. Breck- 
inridge : 

' ' Sooth Caeouha Collegb, Janvary 17, 1842. 

"My Deak Bkotheb: I am sorry that my reply to Smyth's review 
■will not ha ready for the neit number of your Magazine. I shall oom- 
menoe writing it to-morrow, and shall easily finish it in a week ; so that 
yon will receive it early next month. You may think me very slow in 
my motions ; but I have bean waiting for some boots which I purchased 
in Europe, and which I have been expecting every day. They have not 
yet arrived ; and wind and tide are so uncertain, that I do not know 
when Hiey will arrive. Some passages in the review have filled me 
with grief and amazement, and show but too plainly that tbe first prin- 
riples of eeoleBiastioai polity are not dearly understood among us. The 
fundamental fallacy of the whole production, and of the system which 
it is designed to uphold, is that the Ohuroh, instead of being the Mn^- 
dom, of (he Lord Jasns Ohrist, is really one of Hia counsellors and Hia 
covfidenUal agent. This rotten principle is the basis of the whole fabric 
of discretionary power, and the multitude of inventions which have 
sprung from human prudence. But I have no idea of troubling you 
with an argument here, of which you wiU have enough in due time. 
I am satisfied that what of aU things we need most, is a revival of pure 
religion in all our .churches. The cause of Missions lags, and all our 
interests decay, because the Spirit of Life, to a mournful extent, is with- 
drawn from our congregations. The Ohureh has almost dwindled down 
info a secular corpoi'ation ; and the principles of this world, a mere car- 
nal policy, which we have nick-named pi'udenae, presides in our councils. 
Until she becomes a spiritual body, and aims at spiritual ends by ap- 
pointed means, and mates faith in G!od the impulsive cause of her 
efforts, our Zion can never arise and shine, and become a joy and a 
praise in the whole earth. It is my fervent prayer that God would bless 
ns, and tliat right early. I am satisfied that our Ohureh has a noble des- 
tiny to accomplish. With all her defects, I beheve her to be the purest 
Church on eartli ; and as I am fully persuaded that our beloved country 



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THE BOARD QUESTION. 229 

must t&ke tlie lead, and that at oo distant period, in the civilization of 
tte world, I would fain hope, that the purest Church in our land mil be 
particularly prominent in sending forth the ■waters of salTation, to glad- 
den and fertilize the earth. Hence, I am earnestly desirous that she 
should be furnished for the enterprise to which I beKeve her to be 
called. ****** 

" You ask me to give some aceoimt of my excursion abroad. Ton will 
laugh when I tell you, that the notes which 1 took have nover been writ- 
ten out, nor reduced to any kind of order. These are mere memm-atida, 
made for my own saijs/acison., and not wortb publiehing. Still, I ■would 
cheerfully comply witb your request, if I had the leisure to write them 
out ; but in addition to two sermons every Sunday, I am preparing leetnreB 
on Natural Theology, and certain branches of Christian Evidences, and 
a series of disoovuses on the Inspiration of the Scriptures. These la- 
bours are as much as a feeble body can sustmn. Your kind letters were 
of great service to me, partioularly ia Glasgow. I loft there your reply 
to Wardlaw, and would have had it pubhshed, if Dr. Mitchel had not 
di^uaded me from it. In the hope, and with the earnest prayer, that 
God may be with you, and abvmd»ntly bless you, I am 
" Your sincere friend, 

J. H. TEOENWta.1.. " 

"SoTJTa GinouNA CouiBOB, Febrtiary 7, 1842, 
" Mi Deab Bbotheb ; I send you my reply to Smyth. I am sorry 
tiiat I have been obliged to conflne myself to a mere reply to hia argu- 
ment. I should have liked to enter into a full and positive vindication 
of my own principles, but my article would have been too oufecageouely 
protracted. I hope I have said nothing offensive or unchristian. If I 
have, please strike it out. I have been obliged to write in mere scraps of 
time, and therefore have indulged in repetition, which would be corrected 
if I had time to copy. I wish you would take up Boards on the ground of 
experience, and show how little they have really aoeompliBhed. I .havo 
not the details which are necessary for an ai^ument of this sort. The 
thought has occurred to me, that the next General Assembly ought to ap- 
point a committee, to take the whole question of Boards into considera- 
tion, and report to the succeeding Assembly, Let the committee con- 
sist of men on both sides, and let two reports go up, bringing the whole 
matter fully before the body. Something must be done. I trust my nr- 
ticle may be in time for the Ma^eh number. 

"In great haste, I am your sincere friend and brother, 

J. H. Thobbweu.." 

" Sooth Carotjua Colleqb, Februairy 28, 1843. 
"Mt Deab Bbotheb: I received your letter ■this morning, acknow- 



ledging the receipt of my manuscript, and of the letter which si 

it. In regard to a central agency, I have expressed no opinion, beeause 

my object has chiefly been to awaken our Presbyteries to a proper sense 



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330 LIFE OF JAMES HECrLES THOENWELL. 

of tbeir own responsibilities. WheuBTer tliey ehall imdertate, in good 
eamoBt, the wort of the Lord, in eonformilj with the spirit of our sjb- 
tern, the details of their plans will not be found, I apprehend, verj hard 
to settle. On the present plan, our ohnreiies are not reached ; the whole 
body is not, and cannot fae engaged as one man ; Ihe principles of our 
polity, by which we are bound together and united into one body, are set 
aside ; and we are eridently proceeding ia a method suited only to Uie 
lame and orippled oonstitution of the Independents, This clumsy me- 
thod I wish to see abandoned ; I want our distinctive principles clearly 
brought ont ; and I am. very indilf erent as to the datails by which this 
may be done, so that it is effectually done. If a central agency can be 
suggested, which shall give us a proper security against error and abuse, 
and interfere with the regular operations of no part of our system, I 
shall have not a word to say against it 

" I deplore bitterly that our eeclesiaBticol courts to such a rooumfnl 
extent, have ceased to be spirituil bodies, and dngenerat^d into hewera 
of wood and drawers of water. Oui buEiness is, for the most part, 
purely secular ; and when we have nothing of this sort to engage our at- 
tention, we are apt to complain that we have no business ; are impatient 
to adjourn and return home ; though a world is lying in wickedness, and 
millions are perishing daily for lack of knowledge. Our courts must be 
roused up to a just sense of their true relation to our dying race ; they must 
be brought to fsel the spiritual nature of their vocation, and to appre- 
ciate Uie work which they are rec[uired to do in (lie vineyard of the 
Lord, This deplorable state of things the Boards have a tendency to 
engender and perpetuate. And on this account, apart from bU other 
considerations, I must regard them as an incubus upon the body. But 
When you combine ■with their dangerous resulte their unsoundness of 
principle, I oannot see how any true hearted Presbyterian can give them 
his sanction. I mnst again urge you to expose, more fully than you 
have done, their inefficiency. Do join issue with their advocates, upon 
the plain matter of fact, and show that they have not accomplished what 
they were established to do ; that,insob9r truth, they are an utter failnre, 
as agents of the Church, This you can do, and I cannot. I have not the 
facts ; and a method of reasoning Uke this would be ton-fold more effective 
than all the abstract arguments that conld be produced from now till 
dooms-day. It would absolutely demolish them; for they stand only by 
creating the impression that the Church can, by no manner of means, 
get along without them: 

"Yonr Magazine will soon become the favourite peuodn^l of this 
part of the Church, You have only to be as diligent faithful a] d un- 
compromising as heretofore, and the Lord will richlv and abundantly 
bless you and your labours, I cannot better express t) \ou my .sense 
of the value and intportanco of your labours, than by mentioning to you 
a fact, which I do simply to encourage you. During u y absenop frcm 
home, when tossed upon the ocean, and wanderinf, jn a fore gn land I 
do not know that I ever bowed my knees to the God an^ Father of oui 



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THE BOARD .QTIESTIOS. 231 

Lord Jaaua Chr at w tbout sj ee ally emembermg j o I sometmies 
had MfiEon to th nk that I was very near tl e ete nal w rid and ee I 
Bionght myself approaobmg the Chtit h above I feli a leeper interest 
in ihe Church below ani loved 1u po vr ou.t my heart befo e God m 
regard to its fa thful and br el b rvunte The eh 11 en of God h w 
widely fioeve Beparatcl form I nt one fam ly the heat, and svroia 
liiea are one their aima are one an 1 the r h me shall finally be tiia 

"lam ^ery bne 1 engagel n prei s n„ mj course of Isctarea on 
Natnral Theul gy I emembe that ha 1 a conver at u on Foley a 
argument, in Baltimo e ! at I ara ot me that I am maste of the 
prooeas ot leasonmg by whi h >oa male li m pi ve an inlefin te num 
her of goda I ahoild be gl d that yo slioull state n yoiu nest 
letter. By the fi-st private hand I 11 send jou an rtole -wh oh 
comprisea the aubstun e of d y first sen on here Bf. chaplain I th nk t 
anited to the design of your paper, and I hope it J3 calculated to do good. 
You need not be afraid that I intend to flood yon with my lucubrations ; 
I ahall probably not trouble yon in this way very often. I am very 
busily engaged, jnst now, upon my lectures. * « * * 
"Your sincere friend and brother, 

5. H. Thoknwbll." 



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CHAPTEE XVII. 
GENERAL CORRESPONDENCE. 

TiEWa UPON FtENCH CHiEiCTEH. — EeLITIONS WITH Db. BbEOKINSIDOE. — 
LbTTEHS OE ChKISTIAN SlTHPATHY. — PkoPOBED WOBC OK THE ATOMS' 
MBNT. — CONTHOYEEST WITH EOMJNISTa, — DEATH OP Mb. RoBEINS. — 

Lettee to his Widow. 

HIS own experience of the benefit of a sea trip induced 
him, after his return from Europe, to urge the ex- 
periment upon Mr. Robbhis, whose failing health gave 
tokens of the fatal di&ease which finally terminated his 
life. In terms of strong affection, begotten of the old 
relations when Mi'. Robbins stood to him as a second 
father, lie pleads with tins gentleman to "flee for his hfe, 
not to the plains, but to the sea." The voyage was 
eventually undertaken; and in a letter addressed to him 
m Paris, dated the 27th August, 1842, this paragraph 
occurs, in which his views are expressed as to the political 
prospects of Erance : 

' ' Your itamB of PrBQCli news were quite intwestaug. There are evi- 
dently three parties in that beautiful but unsettled country, whieli God 
seems to luive made e, striking example of the weakness, ignorance, and 
folly of man ; and whioh of these parties niU ultimately prevail, it is 
hard to determine. The old Bourbon dynasty EtdU has strong friends, 
the present royal family has its own aHianeea, and repubhoanism is still 
.a golden vision to the minds of multitudos of the French people. Liberty 
and trotestantism are the only tbings, in my poor judgment, wbiob can 
give dignity and stability to the Francli eharaoter." 

It is curious to read tlieee lines, written two and thirty 
years ago, and to record their exact application to the 
same terms which enter into the Erench problem after 
the lapse of- an entire generation. ■ 



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23i LIFE OP JAMES HENLEY TMOKNWELL. 

(;)n the same day in which these words are mailed to 
Paris, a similar expression is directed to hia correspondent 
at Baltimoro : 

" SoTJia OAROLlSi. CoiJ:.EaE, August 27, 18i2. 
"My Dear BaoTaBB ; I liiifl hoped to see jou this fiuimner, but have 
been prevented from going nortltward bj the ciromnBtanees of. my 
family. Mrs. Thomwell hss recently lost her fatlier, and she could nob 
bear the thonglit of being left alone ; neither could I reconcile it with my 
own feelingB to be separated from her, when her spirit was bowed down, 
with afSiction, 

' ' The two letters which you were kind enough to enclose to me, I read 
with great interest, sad .shall return them by tte flret safe opportunity. 
The condition of France at this time is particularly interesting. Liberty 
and Protestantism are the only things which can give dignity, stability, 
imd red glory to the French people. As long as they continue to be 
cursed with Popery, their efforts to establish free institutions mijst be 
abortive. Protestantism wonld redeem them from their national in- 
firmities, and make them truly great. They hare the elements of a noble 
eharaoteri but their atheism, idolatry, and philosophy, prevent them 
from being developed. I know of no event more devoutly to be hoped 
for than the thorough evangeliaation of that beautiful portion of Uie 
globe. D'Aubigne's work, the 'History of the Eeformation,' I do not 
possess in the originid, but have seat for it. I have read it in the trans- 
lation with great interest. It may be taken as a specimen of what the 
French mind is capable of achieving when properly directed. * * 

"I wish you would, at your leisure, suggest to me such thoaghts aa- 
have occurred to your mind on the question of the " esistenoe of God." 
I would like particularly to have your view of Clarke's Bi^um.ent. I call 
it Clarke's, not because it was original with him, (I have fomid it in the 
schoolmen,) but because he has most elaborately unfolded it, I know 
that you have reflected maturely upon it, and can suggest some valuable 
hints. This winter I shall write my Leoturw (at least some of them) out, 
haying collected most of my materials. Xouare right in supposing that 
a good book on the 'Being; etc., of God,' is needed; but one which ia 
much more needed is a judicious and learned treatise on the Holy Spirit. 
The only works, in English, upon the subject, of any value, are those of 
Owen, Ridley, and Heber. Owen's style is bad, and his plan was cot 
BufSoiently extensive. ■ The history of theological opinion upon the sub- 
ject ot^ht to have been given, together with the doctrine of Divine 
influences as held among the heathens. Heber's wo^k I regard as mis- 
taking the meaning of our Saviour's promise, and as entirely too low in 
its view of spiritual religion, Bidley's book I have not yet read. Thero 
ought to be a masterly work on the Spirit. 

"Yours, etc., J. H. T," 



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23 r> 

The reader will demand no apology from us for putting 
side by Bide the letters of two such men as Drs. Breckin- 
ridge and Thornwell. Apai't from the fact that they 
belong together, and that either would be incompleto 
without the other, it is rare that Providence throws two 
minde so richly gifted into. close companionship. It is 
beautiful to see how they laboured together in the propa- 
gation of similar Yiews, and that no spark of rivalry or 
jealousy was ever struck out by their contact with each 
other. They were hotli of them too pre-eminently great,, 
in their respective spheres, to be affected by this infirmity 
of smaJler minds. The two letters now to be given have 
an inexpressible tenderness and pathos in their tone, 
which will amply repay perusal. The first is from Dr. 
Breckinridge : 

"Baltimoee, OaohPT 17, 1842. 
Mr Dbab BaoTBEii ; I find, on my returu to this city, af tar an absenoe 
of sis weeks, your letter of 27th Augiist, which mnst have arrived 
soon after my dtiparture. I have been io Kentuclcy, ftnd rapidly through, 
other porliona of tlie West, and retiim to my post to take the harness- 
and the cliain again. My appropriate work, my diitiea aa a minister of 
the gospel, are full of sweetness to my soul ; but this eyarlasting 
wrangle, and correction of proof-sheets, and devouring trash, this is mur- 
derous to me. My life is hastening away without fruit. An Ineipressible 
restlesanesa of mind and heart often ts^es posseSEion of me ; and I feel 
lite one condemned, for having not only done nothing, but attempted 
nothing, worthy of my Master or my age. I am sura I am capable of 
bettor things | -would to Giod I had the space and opportunity of trying. 
This mnoh I can do ; I can beeeeoh those who are able to guide the mind 
of this age and the next, to nerve up themselves to the work. Our 
spirits are often gifted with intuitive knowledge of what other men 
are, and oan do. My dear brother, you must do great 'things, or you 
must give a great account ; and you must do it soon, for the blade is too 
■ sharp for the sc-bbard ; and men like you rarely live to ba old. Con- 
centrate your powers, then, and produce a great work, a monument of 
our principles, our hopes, our struggles, our Church, our age, Yonr 
mind has been directed to a channel which few are able to explore : a 
work on the Godhead, the God of the Bible, that Jehovah who is Father, 
Son, and Holy Ghost Write such a book; you alone are capable, of 
bU the men I have known, of doing this, by God's help, as it should 
be done. I say this in profound conviction, and to make you feel how 
much it is your duty to do this thing ; and I feel as if I should promote 



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236 LIFE o 



' JAMES HENLEY THOKNWBLL. 



the cttiiBO of God, and human nature, more effectually, by urging you 
forward to Buoh an undsrtating, ttaii by hymg slmost a double lite-time, 
"If jou ofln. devote two or tliree days, to tta labour of throwing to- 
gether tte results of your thougtts and laading on geology for our 
pages, it will be a very great Bervioe done to the public, and a, favour 
to me. You will find in one of my nuiabcrH, about three years ago, a 
very able pMlologieal article, by Horwitz, ite Jew, on the questions 
arising upon the Mosaic cosmogony. My knowledge of the subject (of 
geology) is general, and by no means accurate ; but my decided conyio- 
. lion is, that the whole matter ia in an exceedingly crude state, and is 
leoeiying a decidedly wrong impression. * » » * 

" It is of the last moment that the regular action of our system should 
be restored, and all the temporary contrivances into mhich. we have 
fallen be laid aside ; and with them ell those irregular and dangerous 
influences which have grown up with them, and for the sate of which 
they are so stiffly defended. God is bringing all this about, steadily 
sad surely. Let us take courage, and be patient. 'Ounctando restituit,' 
-was the motto of the Maasini family, that haa lived the longest and done 
the most of all the private families amongst men. God eounta not slack- 
cess as some men count slackness; human wisdom and divine faith 
agree lor once. Let Ine hear from you soon ; and let me have an in- 
terest in jour prajei-s. 
"Withti 



The reply to this letter is dated: 

" SotJTH 0ABOI.1NA OoLLEQE, Oi^tober 25, 1842. 
' ' Msr IlEiE Bkotefb : I am sorry to learn that you suffer yourself to 
be dejected by occasional reflections, founded on what I conceive to be 
a great mistake. Your observation has taught you that, among the lights 
of our world, there are two classes of men, each eminently useful, and 
each largely entitled to the gratitude and benedictions of the race. One 
class embraces those whose lives are spent in retirement ; who are un- 
Inown to tieir contemporaries ; who eiert no influence upon eiisting 
generations; but who are enabled, by God's blessing, to leave behind 
-them a valuable legacy for those who come after them. These men live 
in the future ; they are as dead, in their otra day ; and enjoy only Hat 
' life be-vond life which is embalmed and treasured up in a good book.' 
Th b U U f th m 1 ih t tb w Id kn w f 1 th t 
p 111 nkinl nly thr gh th p la p t t Th is 

tl la f th wh infl it f It th wn d y wh 

h p th d tiny fth g h tthihth 1 and 





h hght th giaidian 


d man t 




ik th g wh t t and 


t th gh th 




1 b thn t 


IE tl y h 



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237 

neTer pen s, line to reach, distant generations, their image is impressed 
upon histoiy ; and the mamory of their actions and living speeches, their 
personal efforta and noble saerifioes, will always live, and secure them the 
loTB, admiration, and gratitude of the truly great and good. They are 
the most illustrious benefactors of their race ; eminent instruments, in 
the hand of God, of bestowing blessings on manMnd. How, I speai in 
Ihe deepest sincerity when I assert that, if every production of your pen 
should perish, the infiuenoe which you have been able to exert upon 
your age would still be written in such characters, that it could not fail to 
be read and appreciated in coming generaiions. You have not pro- 
duced, it may be, a standard work on divinity or morals ; but you have 
done something better and more glorious ; you have moulded the char- 
acter of the present times. Tour name is identified with the progress 
and prosperity of the cause of religion, humanity, and liberty. Your 
noblest monument is the imprrasion you have made upon your own 
times. "Why, then, should you despond ? God has eminently blessed 
you. He has enabled you to do what no man lining has done, or cau do. 
The result of your laboors will be felt and rejoiced in, when you are 
slumbering in the tomb. The ball, which you have set in motion, will 
continue to roll, long after the hand which first touohed it shall be 
withered in death. I am afraid, however, that I belong to neither of the 
classes to which alluBion has been made. 1 have done but little for the 
present times, and there is but little prospect that I shall ever be known 
to other generations. I have an aversion from writing, which makes it 
an intolerable burden. I have formed many a fine scheme, but find it 
almost impossible to overcome my mortal dislike to the pea. I can 
hardly bear to read anything that I have written. It fills me with loath- 
ing and dieguat, I faU so immeasurably short of my own coneaptiona of 
excellenoe, that I become dishearteied and chagrined. It is an infirmity 
which I lament, and from which I would be gladly delivered ; but it 
binds me in fetters of brass, and paralyzes all my efforts. I am afraid, 
therefore, that I shall never produce anyihing beyond such occasional 
lucubrations as involve no responsibility eioept to truth; which can be 
thrown off at a dash, and abandoned, like the eggs of the ostrich, by the 
parent that brought them forth. You may jui^e how deeply this feeling 
has possesion of my mind, when I assure you that I have not a single 
copy of a single article I ever wrote, with one exception. I sometimes 
feel that I might produae something that should Hva. But when I under- 
take to oarry out any plan, I become sickened at my efforts. Still, I feel 
bound to endeavour to mortify this sickly sensibility. 

' ' I had many other things to say, but my paper is esbauated. Let me 
hear from, yon soon. 

"Your sincere friend and brother, 

J. H, Thobhwuli.. " 

The reader wlio is acquainted with the after history of 
these two remarkable men, will donbtlesB smile at tlie sj'iii- 



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238 LIFE OF JAMES HENLKY THOBSWELL. 

pathy expressed in this letter to the one, and the confes- 
sion which is made by the other. It pleased God, in His 
adorable providence, to place them in similar positions, 
as teachers of divinity to the rising ministry in the Church; 
and both; under the pressm-e of that position, were stimu- 
lated to produce "Standard Works on Divinity," which, 
with that wrought out in the Princeton school, and re- 
cently given to the world, are grand representatives of 
the theology of this age ; and are, perhaps, as noble con- 
tributions to the science of theology as any age has been 
permitted to malie. 

We do not regret the necessity of interrupting this 
correspondence upon the ChiircK questions of the day, by 
interposing a few letters of Christian condolence addressed 
to the children of sorrow. The iirst is written to Mrs. 
Aim B, Crawford, a "mother in Israel," of the Lancaster 
church, to whom he was warmly attached. It is not only 
full of tenderness, but ricli in suggestions of scriptural 
truth : 

" South CiBOiJKi Colleqh, September 19, 1842. 
" Mt Dear Atjni Ann : I need not aay that Hie sore and bitter be- 
reavement, which, you hsT6 teoently snstained, has filled me with the 
pi-ofoundest sympathy. Ah I know tiiat you are not a stranger to the 
throne of grace, nor to the pleasures which flow from oommanion with 
God, I cannot but hope, that this solemn visitation will be improved to 
increase your intimacy wiHi iSiat 'Friend who staoketh closer than a 
brother,' who alono can dry up the tears of sorrow, and give ua ' beaul.y 
for iiahes, the oil of joy for mourning, and the gai-ment of praise for the 
spirit of heaviness.' The gospel of God is particularly designed for the 
broken-heartad and afOioted.; and if you mark the footsteps of the flock, 
you will find that they aU lead through muoh tribulation to the Mngdom 
of heaven. The house of mourning has been the famiUar resort of all 
the saiiitfi. The great Redeemer Himself was a''man of sorrows, and 
aoftuainted with grief,' and bedewed His path to glory with tears, and 
sweat, and blood, Thini nofr, therefore, that some strange thing has 
happened to yon ; the like sutferings have been accomplished in all youc 
brethren before you, and must be aceomplished in all who would reiga 
witJi Christ for ever. Jacob wept for his beloved Eachel, and David 
monrnad a rebellious son. How does your calamity compare with that 
of Aaron, who beheld bis sons eousmned with fire from the Lord, in the 
very act of avidaoioua iniquity ; ajid yet was forbidden to uncover hia 



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COJiKESl'ONDENCE. 239 

hefid, to tend his oloHies, or give any yiKihle sign ot gvief ? ' Son of 
man,' eays JehoTali to Ezekiel, ' behold, I take away from thee the desire 
of thine ejes with a atioke ; jet neittier shalt thovi mourn nor weep, 
neither shall thy tears run down;' and at even hie wife died, end he. 
forebore to cry, and made no monming for the dead. You are not 
alone, my sister, in the chamber of aiHiction. You are where Jesna 
was, where all His saints haTe been, where prophets, marlyrs, and apos- 
tles have stood, and where, ia the issue, you will find it a priTilege to 
be. It is God that deals with you ; stand still, and acknowledge His 
hand. He is your Father ; and what He Soeth, though you know not 
now, you shall know hereafter. Though clouiia and darkness are around 
Him, His footsteps in the sea, and His paths in the great waters, right- 
■eousness and ti th ar th hal tat f Hii, th d H will fi ally 

speak peai, tHhill Hh p Ik-sfth sakes 

will assur dly H m If 1 th m h rm F th f the 

flame shall pfybtthtJ m th mak p all 

your earthl 1 Huatthm m d,th fore, 

though the iig t hall t bl m th h II f t b th Tine, 
yef^ like th p ph f, j th L d, d j y th G d f your 

salvation. Only believe ; and as He said to the weeping sisters of 
Lazarus, so He says to you, ' Thou shalt see the ^ory of the Lord.' 

"Perhaps, my sister, your greatest distress arises from uncertainty oon- 
osming the salvation of your beloved son. Yon feel that you could he 
comforted, if you knew that he was safe ; but that you can never know. 
The destinies of men are in the hajids of God ; and it is enough for us 
to know, that He is righteous in all His ways, and holy in all His works. 
When your mind shall be more enlarged, and your heart expanded in 
love, you would not choose to altei' a single arrangement of the Lord. 
If you eonld see the end from the beginning, you would say all is right 
Oh I then, tnist God in the dark. All opposition to His government Is 
sin, and ' every wish to alter the appointmenta of His wisdom ia folly,' 
Your business, therefore, in ibis and every oiher dispensation, is to put 
yonr hand upon your month, and keep silenoe before Him. ' Be stall,' 
is His language, ' and know that I am God. ' Others have encountered 
more trying afflictions than yours. You are only uncertain ; but Eli had 
no ground to hope that his sons were saved, but every ground to believe 
that they were lost ; and yet the "ood man submitted ■ 'It is the Lord- 
let Him do what seemeth H m g 1 Absal m w 1 th ry 

act of atrocioas reb^lion ;adNdl dAlhw mdby 

the immediate vengeance of d Wh t mg h. t f b tt n 

your calamity can be found bltth ?Ani,jtElD 

vid, and Aaron were the spe 1 fn nds- f Gfld T k co raj, th n, 
and be not like Bachel, we pmg f y nr h 1 1 1 f us ug to 

be comforted, because they a t T k ura^ 1 il J duty 

to the living, and prepare to f U th d 1 Tnm lamp 

gird up your loins, and stan 1 ly to weloo n th m d ght y Be- 
hold, the bridegroom eometh Let tl nvi t f y w m tal ty 



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240 LIFE OF JAMES HENLEY THOENWELL. 

aettlB upon your Eiind ; look away from earth ; look up to HeaTeii ; de- 
pofdt yonr treaeuren tvliere neither moth nor rust can corrupt, uor 
thieves break through and steal. Here we have no oontinuing city. ' AH 
. ranks and oondilioca o£ men are but so many troops of pilgrims, iu dif- 
ferent garbs, toiUng throngh the aame Tale of tefwa, distinguished only by 
diftersnt degrees of wretchedness.' The patriarchs and prophets all 
confessed tiiat they were strangers on earth ; here they had no home ; 
but they sought a better country ; they looked by faith to that building 
of God, that house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens, and 
there they espeoted to rest. Let us follow their faith and patience, and 
we shall receive the same glorious reward. ' Bnt this, I say, hrethren, 
the time is short; it remaineth that both they that have wives, be as 
though they had none ; and they that weep, aa though fhey wept not ; 
and they that rejoioe, as though they rejoiced not ; and tkey that bay, 
as though they possessed not ; and they that use.this world, as not abus- 
ing it; for the fashion of this world passeth away.' ' I am,' says David, 
'a stranger with thee, and a sojourner, as all my fathers ware.' Then, 
what our hands find to do, let us do it with our might ; we shall soon 
go hence, never to return. A Christian is one who looks for the second 
oomiug of his Lord. He waits for it, and desires it, beoause then his 
sorrows shah he over, his days of mourning ended, and his soul at rest 
for ever. Then, my sister, be heavenly-minded ; live for God, for im- 
mortality, for eternity ; and your light afBietions, which are but for a 
moment, shall work out for you a far more exceeding and eternal weight 
of glory. 

" I would earnestly impress upon your mind, that the bitterest of all 
cfdamitdes is an unsancUfied aiBiotion. In His providences, God is teach- 
ing us ; and it hardens (he heart, and darkens the underetanding, when 
His solemn instructions are unheeded. "When, therefore. He lifts the 
rod, and takes away, with a stroke, the desire of our eyes, instead of 
dwelhng upon the oircumstanoes of our bereavemeat, and tearing open 
our wounds afresh, hy calling to mind the endearing associations eon- 
UBoted with the departed, we should at once look to the hand that 
smites, and inquire what lessons a merciful Father designs to convey. 
Our great an:siety should be improvement. God is speaking ; and our 
chief business should be, to open our eai's, and hear. You will find 
yourself greatly tempted to thiiife of your son, aa you have seen him in 
infancy, in boyhood, iu youth ; to call to mind his proofs of aSection, 
his interesting sayings, his promising actions, and. all the endearments 
which silently, secretly, irresistibly bind a mother to her child; and 
every reeoUeotion will send a pang to your heart. These reminiscences, 
which we are so prone to cherish, are the oniel devices of a self-tortur- 
ing heart. Turn away from them to God, and humbly ask your Father 
why He has smitten, and bow your head and worship. Eeceive His in- 
structions with an humble spitifc, and He will soon bind up your wounds, 
and send you away, though 'sorrowful, yet rejoicing.' 

"If you have been conscious of any neglect of duty towards the de- 



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GENEEAL CORKESPONDBNGB. 241 

parted, repent ; but with that Godly sorrow wMeh flowB from a full 
con"viotion that God will freely pardon. ' Kepair tie mistake hy greater 
diligence to the Uving ; but let nothing keep you from the pure oonso- 
Itttions of tlie gospel of Jesus. In your present situation, religion pro- 
poses to you her sweetOEtt cordials. You can understand the gospel 
now. Affliction has revealed to you the Tanitj of man, the deceitful- 
ness of life, the certain tj of death, the instability of aU sublunary good ; 
and' in. striking contrast presents the imohanging peipetuity of an un- 
changing etate, and the glories which await the child of faith. You can 
now almost advance hy strides towards the heavenly Mngdom. And if 
earth is rendered less pleasant, Jesus more oharming, and heaven more 
desirable, by the dark providence which has called jou to mourning, 
jou will bless God through aU eternity for His ehastisiag rod. 

" This melancholy event, let it be remembered, speaks not only to 
yon, hut to idl your household. It says to each and every one of your 
family, whether bond or free, You, too, must die ; prepare to meet your 
God 1 When you least eipeot it, when you are dreaming of many days, 
and pleasing your fancies with brilliant prospects, your hopes may at 
once be crushed, your sun go down at noon, and your golden visions 
wrapped in the funeral paU and shroud. Oh I that the warning may 
reach the hearts of the living. OhI that they may be wise, understand 
this, and consider their latter end. 

"I have thus, my much valued friend, endeavoured to direct your 
mind, now softened bj grief, and capable of receiving permanent im- 
pressions, to such meditations as I thought would be most condneivo to 
your good. It will be my greatest joy, if God should give you grace to 
adorn the gospel, as yon walk in deep waters of soitow. It is only in 
afSiotJon that the reai greatness of Christianity is seen. It imparts then 
a moral grandeur to the character, which philosophy cannot compass, 
and which the world never can understand. It sustains, elevates, ennobles 
the soul. It teaches it ' the heavenly science of gaining by losses, and 
rising by depressions.' The saints are a wonder in the eaith, a wonder 
(o angels, and a wonder to themselves. They are God's ohosen portion, 
the lot of His inheritance ; and this is enough to make them hold" up 
their Leads, though all fheir earthly comforts should be stripped from 
them. Their main portion — fheir Father in heaven, their glorious Re- 
deemer—must remain for ever. Let this, my sister, be your consolation. 
Death has robbed you of nothing you shall want in eternity. Your real 
inheritance is safe. And now, that the God of all grace may sanctify 
you wholly, and do eiceedingly abundantiy for you above all that you 
are able to ask or think, is the sincere, fervent, and heartfelt prayer of 
"Your friend and fellow Christian, 

j. H. TaOKNWELL." 



A similar bereavement, the loss of a son, called forth 
s like sympathy in a letter to Mr. Itobbins: 



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242 LIFE OF JAMES HENLEY 'IHOKNWKLL. 

" South Carolina Oollege, November 17, 1843. 
"My Deab Sik ; I need not expreES to ypvi my profoundeet ejmpatliiGS 
in the aconmulated aEHiotiouB whieh you have heea caliad upon to en- 
dure. God is evidently showing that he sets a high value on the trial of 
your faith ; and His grace will no donbt enable yon to pass through the 
fncnace, not only without harm, but with vast acoeasdona to yonc spicitaal 
atoies. That your ti'uat in God remained unshaken amid your severest 
tiibulatioEs, and that, in these dark hours, when na,tur6 was ready to 
faint, and to say ' all is Icffit,' you were able to cliug to the meroy-seat, 
is to me a matter of most devont tlianksgiving, and an evident token of 
the presence, power, and love of God's Holy Spirit. I should only mar 
ttie instructions of the bleat Comforter within you, by suggesting con- 
solatory thoughts. He knows your frame, and He will lead you to such 
trolhs as it is most important for you to ponder. Our great High Priest 
sympathizes i*ith us in aU our sufferings. He knows when and how to 
console us; and the methods of His grace will always be found to be 
methods of wisdom. Xou maybe well assured that in all your afHictiona 
I am afflicted ; and my dear wife, particularly, feels the deepest interest 
in everything that concerns you and yours. It is a great comfort to me 
that she is so much delighted, as she is, with my two dearest earthly 
friends, yourself and the General. She loves y&u both, as much as if you 
were members of her own father's family. « » « * * 
" Yours most sincerely, 

J, H. Thorn WELL." 

Other labours than those purely controversial, engaged 
Mr. Thornwell's thoughts. In a letter to Mr. Robtins, of 
date February 14, 1843, he thus writes : 

" I am preparing a course of sermonB, with a view to publication, on 
that great Mid glorious theme, the Aionerasnt. I have already preached 
three of them. The theme is rich and extensive. Many points, which 
other wiiters have slurred over, I propoae to bring out prominently ; and 
difEj3ulties, which have been rather evaded than removed, I propose to 
discuss throughly ; at least, I shall -attempt it. The age requires a good 
book on this subject ; and if God shaU enable me to produce one, I shall 
regard myself as singularly favoured. My heart is much set upon this 
enterprise. My greatest perplexity is that ray own glory should form so 
large a part of the motives which induce mc to engage in. the under- 
taiing, as I am often afraid that it does. Humility I find to be the 
hardest lesson in the Christian life. I experience no difflculty in de- 
spisiog riches, pomp, and splendour ; but the love of fame is an instinct 
which was born with me, and which I cherished so long, that it gives me 
many a bitter pang, now that I perceive its folly and wickedness, linish 
to live only for the glory of God ; but self is a powerful idol. 

" I am somewhat at a loss as to the form in which it would he best to 



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GENERAL COKKESPONDENCE, 243 

publish my work ; wtather to retain the lorm of aecmons, or to arrange 
my materials in atiapters and seddonB, There are BdyantHges and dis- 
adyantfigea in both plans, A didaotio treatise can preserve a more un- 
broken continuity of thought ; but sermons can haYe more fire and more 
pongenoj of practical application. The otarauterisiioa of style in the 
form of sermons would be better adapted to the mass of readers ; the 
prospect of permanent suocees would be greater in an unbroken treatise. 
So that I am in a strait." 

In a later epistle, March 7th, 1843, to the Bame corre- 
spondent, he thus sketches the plan of hia book : 

"In regard to my contemplated work on the Atomement, I shall fake 
your advice, and write it in the most enduring form. My plan will em- 
brace, first, the JHfature of Atonement ; which will lead to an exami- 
nation of Socinian, Pelagian, and Hopkinsiaji views. In tile explanation 
of its nature, its necessity will be sufficiently exhibited without devoting 
a Epeoial head to that department of the subject. Under this head, the 
nature of God's moral government will be fully declared, so far forth as 
I shall be enabled to do it,' and of course the ori^n and purpose of 
sacrifices. The next point will be the Efkaey of the Atonement. Here 
win be set forth the Person of Christy the Eternal Covenant between the 
Father and the Son, the Incarnation, the Federal Headship, the Mystical 
Union, etc. The third general division will embrace the Extent of &te 
Atori,e>aent ; the last, its Qrand ResaUi. This is only a vague outline ; a 
mere blazing of the trees, so that you may see the road. God grant that I 
may make the way of salvation plain to many a wanderer. " 

Had this work been executed, it would have gone far 
towards supplying a sequel to his " Lectures in Theology," 
which death arrested just at the point when he should 
have entered distinctively upon the doctrines of gra^e in 
the scheme of redemption. "We shall discover presently 
how he was diverted ft-om the execution of his pui'pose. 

The next letter discloses his watclifulness of opportu- 
nities to hring the gospel personally to the unconverted. 
It is addressed to his kinsman hy marriage, Dr. J. J. 
Wardlaw, at the time not a professor of religion: 

" 800TH Oaboumi C01.LEQB, F'tbi'vary li, 1848. 

"Mz Dbak Doctob; I have been threatening to write to you for some 

time back, but procrastination has again and again nipped my good reso- 

hltiona. I am truly sorry to leam that yonr venerable paator is no more. 

He was a man wbom I was anxious to know ; and had promised to myself 



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24i LIFE OF JAMEB BEHLBY THOBHWELL. 



great satiaf action in Ma company nest anmmer. But we kno'w not what 
a day or on hoxic may bring forth. I aincarely trast that, ttough dead, 
he will long continue to speak to you all in the BavoTir of his influence 
and example. It is a solemn thought, that jou must meet him at the 
judgment bar, and give an aeconnt of the effect whioh his sermons, 
prayers, warnings, and espostulatdons have had upon you. May God 
grant that joe and yonr dear wife may be prepared to giye it with joy, 
and not with sorrow. Nothing would afford me a richer or purer satis- 
faction, than your conversion to God ; and nothing, be assured, ought 
to be more eam^tly Bought, or eagerly desired by yon, than those true 
riches which neither moth nor rust can corrupt, nor thieves break 
through and steaL ***** 

"Your sincere friend, 

J. H. Tm 



The correspondence with Dr. Breckinridge, of course, 
reopens Church questions; those which immediately fol- 
low, however, not so directly : 

" Bii/ciMOEE, Miwch 18, 1843. 
" Dbab Bhoihek Teobhwelii i Many cares, and sdcknesKeH, and duties, 
have made me let slip the pleasant duty of writing to you, for a long 
time. Indeed, you .are partly in fault; for I have been hoping all along 
to hear from you about that article on Geology, which, as you did not 
lefuse, I allowed myself to hope you would prepare. If you can have 
it ready to send on by some of your Commissioners to the approaching 
Assembly, I shaJIbe nnder a new ohUgation to you. Unless, indeed, 
you will be a member of that body yourself, and so bring it, instead of 
sending it ; which I should rejoice at doubly ; for, besides the pleasure 
of seeing your face once more, there are many and important questions 
which will come before the Assembly, in the decision of which I could 
heartily wish you had a voice. I believe our Church is by far the jiur^t 
that exists ; but alas 1 we are far from what we ought to be ; and a very 
large portion of our leading men seem far from believing this. Unless 
I see you here, I know not that I shall see you more, till we meet to- 
gether a( Iwme ; for which my wasting strength admonishes me to he ever 
ready. If I were called away, it would be a joy to me to reflect that I 
left you behind io testify for the true truth at God. ***** 

"I have been for along time much exercised in mind in regard to the 
distinctive points which oharacteiize the Millenarian controversy; and 
have come pretty fully to the belief, that the common opinion held of 
late years, and, indeed, since the publication of Whitby's views, are not 
sustained by the word of God ; and although I cannot call myself a 
Millenarian, either of the ancient or modern school, yet I suppose the 
bulfe of men, who distinguish little, would call me so. Upon several 
points my convictions are clear ; as, for example, that the millenium we 



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■ OOllRESPONDENCE. 245 

eipeet ■will not bo produced by the work of the DiTine Spirit, as now 
operating ; but by some new difiponeatioii or manifestalion of the ' Son 
df Man,' which is the distinctive titJe aad appropriated name of the Lord 
JeeuB, the Word jncaraate, and now glorifled ; ■which is the key to all oon. 
sdetect expoadtions of those soriptures which, touch Hie subject, and is the 
queelioii which draws after it ail the rest ; thongh this fact seems act ha 
peroeiTed, and therefore the contradiction and perplexity which, men ex- 
hibit on the whole subject. I should be gieatly gratified to know your 
mind on these matters. 

"Farewell, dear brother. Eemember me at out Father's throne of 
grace/aud be assured of the sincerity with which 

" I am evei; and faithfully yours, 

Ba. J. Bbeckinkidob." 

"SoTJia Caiio!JH4 CoUiEge, March, 28, 1843. 
"Mr Dbab Bbother : I leceived your truly welcome and affectionate 
letter last night, and shall give you the best demonakution of my eataem 
by proceeding to answer it at once. I am sorry that I did not know you 
were eipeoting from me an article on Geology. I should eitiher have 
undeceived yon, or gratified your wish. Por reasons which I am about 
to name, it will be impracticable for me to do so now. I have more on 
my bands than, I am afraid, I shall be able to aecompliah, I have got 
into a war with the Eomanieta. The article on the Apocrypha, which, 
jou may remember, I wrote at your request, baa been recently re- 
published by Mr. Weir, in his newspaper here. Without informing me 
of his intention, tmlil the proof-sheets had passed through the press, he 
appended my name to the piece. The consequence is, fiat a writer in 
the United BtaUs C'at/iolie Miscellany, of Charleston, has commeneed a 
series of articles, directed personally to me, which I feel bound to notice. 
He is a weak scribbler ; and unless he has strong friends, concealed be- 
hind the ourtains, he will not be difficult of conquest. There was mnoh 
craft, however, in their seizing upon me as their object of assault. They, 
no doubt, supposed that my public poaition, as an officer of the State, 
would, an some measure, muzzle me ; they presumed that I would feel a 
delicacy in exposing freely the enormities of any portion of the citizens, 
whose taxes go to my support ; or that, if I did not act from these selfish 
considerations, they would raise a clamour against me in the community, 
which would compel me to retire from the College. These are my sus- 
picions of their motives. I know their craft so wen, that I do not con- 
sider it ungenerous to suspect them of any meanness. Why else the 
personal address ? Was it not as easy simply to review the article, as a 
production of mine. My mind is made up, I shall accept the challenge. 
If a clamour is raised, I shall distinctly make the issue whether this is a. 
Protestant institution or not ? If there should be any disapprobation of 
my course among the Board of Trustees, I shall promptly resign. The 
war must go on. We need a controversy hoi'e. The Papists have almost 
taken poi«eKsion of Charleston ; and among the leading men in the State, 



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246 LIFK OF JAMES HEJMl.KY THOBNWELI,. 

tte droadful apathy on the subject of reiigiou, which they tflo much 
manifest, turns all their sympathies in favour of the Papists. Coctvo- 
verey oannot make tilings worse, and may maie tliem better. Trusting 
iu God, and the power of His trutli, I shall endeayour to vindicate Chris- 
iaanity, and expose the abominations of Popery to the light of day. 
StJil, my brotJiar, I am not ashanied to confess to you that I feel weak. 
I am badly prepared for tliis contest. lu tlie first place, all Colnmbia 
does not furnish a library adequate to the exigencies of a full and com. 
plete oontroyersy with Rome. In the second place, I have not studied 
tiia matter as accurately as I should have done. My attention has been 
turned more to dootdne, logical exposition of truth, to philosophy, and 
studies of an abstract nature, than to minuteness of historical details. 
Still, if I had the books, which I tare not, I oould say with Milton, in his 
apology for Sineotymnuus, that, ' if they provoke me, I will in three 
months be an erpert councilist,' (sec. 12.) I shall endeavour, however, 
BO to conduct the discussion as to make it turn on principiea. Now, you 
must help me. You can give me hints, diieot me to important souroes 
of information which I might overlook and occasionally give me an 
article, -which you can re-publish in your Magftzme and thus malce it a 
part of your editorial labonr. 

"To the Millenarian cintroversy, I have never minutelv turned my 
attention. I have been so struck with the confusion contradiGtioii, and 
perplexity which have characterized Hie most of the expi-tititne that I 
have consulted, as to be deterred from forming any opinion with my 
present degree of light. When I can giieyou an ofiiuoa woith record- 
ing, I will cheerfully do so. Uutil tteu my uude fc^ uculations would 
bo a waste of ink and paper, « * * * « 

"Ever your sincere friend ani br thei 

J H Th liNWELL " 

The reaponae to this is mai-ked by that exhilaration 
wliich the war-worn veteran always feels at the sonnd of 
the bugle: 

" Balwmoke, April'S, 1843, 
"My Deab Bkothbb and Fhiehd ; How many reasons have we to 
know that God's ways are not like ours ? "Who would have supposed my 
great confidence in your leai-ning and abilities, and the pride and 
affection of Mr. Weir, were to be the means of obliging you to win hon- 
our ; and what is so mrtch better, greatly promote the truth, by becom- 
ing in the South the champion of the Ksformation, and of the Bible F 
The Papists are surely mad. Not one of those who have done, or will 
do them most harm, would have been induced, probably, to give them, 
selves serionsly to this great and widespread controversy, if they had 
been let alone. The hand of God is in this thing. I need not, there- 
fore, say. Arise, and in His might, do the wort to which He calls you, for 



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GENERAL COKKESPONDENCK. 247 

wMoh He will surely reward you, and by whiGh here oc hereafter He will 
Hurely honour you. But so mnoli I may say : no event eonld have made 
me feel more assuredly that God is on our side, tliaa that He obligee 
yoa to take up arms in tbia quarrel. Anything it is possible for me to 
do, I will gladly do, both for the cause's sake and for yours ; bo thst yon 
have only (« command me, and to point out the particular service as oo- 
caeion requires it. 

" Ob one point, I will venture to caution yon. Let not your high 
Southern blood drive you to any such step as you intimate. Don't think 
of resigning your Professorship. The old Huguenot and Scotch blood 
of Carolina only sleeps ; it is not dead. Only give it a fair ohanoe to 
manifest itself. If tiie worst comes, let the Tmatees, or the Legislature, 
take the responsibility ; and in that ease, the worse the better. To 
make the community what it should be, it ia just needful to know ex- 
actly what it is. This, I know, wiU be, if it arises, the worst part of the 
trial to yov, ; that is, to your feelings { but it is all-important to meet it ; 
for it may be the reason, of the higher and more evident success of the 
truth ; and let it fall out as it may, it will surely be for your own perso- 
nal honour. I know how you fe6l, and how you will argue. But have 
I not been indicted like a felon ? Would I not rather have been burned 
at tie stake ? Bnt did not God turn all this to the confusion of His ene- 
mies and mine? You are in many ways precisely the man, and precisely 
situated as you should be, to make a noble and imperishable defence, by 
deed and by word, tor the glorious inheritance which ia ready to be 
snatched from the world- May God, our Saviour, stand ever at your 
right hand. 

"With great affection, ever your brother and friend, 

Bo. J. BHECKiMBinan. " 

In the sketch of Mr. Kobbhie, given in the third chap- 
ter of thifi book, his death ia mentioned as oecurring on 
the 26th of Mai'ch, 1843. It was the snapping of a very 
tender tie, and no tears were shed upon his grave more 
sincere than those of his former pupil and ward. Tlie 
letter which follows, addressed to the widow, will better 
tell the story of his grief. 

To Mrs. H. K. Robbing, Cheraw, S. C. : 

" South Caboliha Colleoe, April 1, 1843. 
' My Dear Frteud ; I had heard, the day before I received your let- 
ter, that the Lord had ' taken away your head.' My mind was prepared 
for this solemn event. Through the Hndness of Brother Coit, I was 
kept informed of the precise condition of Mr. Eobbine's health, and, 
therefore, was not surprised when, at length, it was aimounced that the 



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248 LIFE OF JAMES HKNLJSY THORNWELL, 

last confliot was over, ajid the last eceioy subdned. I wss eitremely 
aciious to be witt you, and to mingla my teitts with youre, at tho grave 
of one wtose memory I shall never cease to veiiBrate, and whose worts 
of faith and labonc of love have followed him to his rich and blessed 
acoount. Nothing but the very sariouB sicloieas of my dear eompauion 
prevented ma from hastening, at once, to the ohambar of my dying 
friend. For a whole week I was kept in awf nl sufipense, as to the prob- 
able result of g, violent inilEmmation, which had eeiaed apon Mrs. Tbom- 
well'a head. By the mercy of Glod, ephe has completely recovered. How 
often have I uttered Balaam's wish : ' Let me die the death of the right- 
eous, and let my last end be like his,' siaoe I heard of the triumpbatit 
departure of your sainted hnsbana. Horses of fire, and ohariota of fire, 
were round about him, to conduct him in safety and peace to the 
court of the King of kings. Death to him was not a calamity ; his soal 
maiched in triumphal prooBMion, in invisible, bat glorious state, to its 
chosen home, the scene of its abiding rest. 

"No, my sister, let us not weep for Mm, but weep for owrwltiea. "We 
are the sufferers, we the losers. But his gain may also become our joy, 
if we follow the esample of his faith and patlenoe. The departure of 
our friends should be employed as a means to wean our affeotions from 
ihe vanities of earth, and to fix our regard upon ihat city which hath 
foundations, whose maker and builder is God. Under no oiroumslaaiceB, 
to the believer, is Heaven a laud of strangers. He has walked with God 
upon earth, and has oouuted it his highest glory to know Him, and to be 
known of Him ; ho has found Christ to be an affectionate Brother, and 
the Holy Spirit a precious Comforter. Whenbrought into mote intimate 
and endearing alliance with these august and blessed Persons, he will 
not feel lost ; he will be at Jtome. Is it presumption to add, that his 
familiarity with the place will be somewhat increased, by finding, among 
his companions, those with whom he had taken sweet counsel on earth ? 
Is not Heaven sometimes presented in a more attractive garb — is it not 
made more tangible, mote capable of being embodied as a reality^ when 
we reflect that it contains those whom we had loved here below ? They 
have gone before us ; and are we not greatly stimulated in our Christian 
course, by the prospect of meeting them at tho end of our journey, aoid 
of being once more united, and that in tie presence of the Lord ? Be 
this as it may, every opening grave, and every funeral bell, should forci- 
bly remind us that here we have no continuing eity ; that the time of our 
Bojoumingis short; and that our grand and pai'amount duty is to he 
found ready, witii our loins girded, our lamps trimmed, and our lights 
burning, whenever the midnight ory shall be heaid, ' Behold, the Bride- 
groom Cometh ! ' Eternity is just at iiand ; for tliat we should prepare. 
Our tears can hardly dry up for the departed, before it Bhsll be said, we 
too are gone. For myself, I expect soon to be with ^our husband and 
m^ friend. My wixetinj strength daily reminds me that my sands are 
winning out, and that what I intend to do for God and for my race I 
must do quick^. 



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GENERAL COSEESPONDENCE. 249 

" You haya many great and preoious promises to sustain Bud snppoct 
yoii in tbie affliction. Tour dear little babes are the heritage of the 
Lord ; and not a hair shall fall from thoir heads, without His epecial and 
contcolling care. They wiU be loved for their fathec's sake. Feat not, 
therefore ; the Lord, the Shepherd of Israel, -who neither elumbers nor 
Bleeps, will match oyer them, and euffer no enemies to do ttiem harm. 
I need not say that I shall be happy to be employed be an instrument, in 
Grod's hand, of lendering any service to yon and your little ones. For 
yourself, I OEin only say, make the Lori your husband. He is never 
deaf to the cry of the -widow. Follow that track of light which irra- 
diates the xtath of yonr beloved husband ; it will lead to glory and im- 
mortality. There are many mourners around his grave. It was a sore 
^bereavement to my dear wife, for she loved the departed tenderly. Oh ! 
how many of us, that now mourn together, shall hereafter, rejoice to- 
gether with him around the throne of God ! My dear sister, I hope you 
enjoy that peace which flows from the sprinkling of the blood of Jesna. 
If not, give no rest to your eyes, nor slumber to your eyelids, until the 
Lord has revealed His Son to you, and in you, as the hope of glory: That 
God may be merciful unto you, and bless you, and cause His face to 
shine upon you, is the sincere and fervent prayer of one who shall 
alwa^ rejoice to be considered, and to be esteemed by you, as well for 
your own as for your husband's sake, what he now Bubseribes himself, 
" Your true and faithful friend, 

J. H. Thobnweij,." 



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CHAPTER XVIII. 
TEE ELDER QUESTION. 



Imposition OF Hands Bi Ei;ders rs tse OaDiNiTroN cm Minibtees.— 
Lai'TEna OS THESE Topics. — Article Published. — Akgoment of Dh. 
Beecsinbidob, BEKntai Synod op PEiLiUBLPHTi, EjiyiE'sraD. — Fobthbb 
Oorbespondenoe on the EriDEnaaip. — Lettees of Sympathy. — The 

INTIMITIONS op God'b WITJ. PEOM the LEABlNOa OP Pbovjuehoi!. 

THE General Assembly of 1843 is memorable for the 
decision it rendered upon what is teclinically known 
as "the Elder Question;" which divi(i6S itself on the two 
points of jurisdiction and prerogative. This subject had 
been brought before the preceding Assembly, and was 
passed over as unfinished business to the next. It could, 
therefore, be anticipated, and is accordingly hinted at, in 
the lettera we have already given. The decision finally 
reached was embodied in two resolutions : Fu'st, " that any 
three ministers of a Presbytery, being regularly convened, 
are a quorum competent to the transaction of all business, 
agreeably to , fJie provision contained in the Form of 
Government, chapter 10, section 7." Second, " that it is 
the judgment of tliis General Assembly, that neither the 
Constitution nor the practice of our Church authorizes 
ruhng elders to impose hands in the ordination of m.in- 
isters."* 

The year following, the whole subject was again raised 
by overtures from different parts of the Churcli, and the 
above decision was confirmed by explanatory action of the 
Assembly, to. wit: that in respect to the quorum of a 
Presbytery, "the decision is based upon the fact, that 
mhiisters are not only preachers of the gospel, and admin- 
• Digest, Ed. 18.i6, p. 43. 

251 



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a 5 2 LIFE OF JAMES 

istratore of sealing ordinances, but also ruling elders, in 
tlie very nature of their office ; " and in respect to the right 
of ruling elders to impose bands in ordination, that, " as 
the rite of ordination is simply a declaratory ministerial 
act, the laying on of han^s, as a part thereof, belongs 
properly to ordained ministera ; while to ruling elders is 
left unimpaired, and unquestioned, the full and rightful 
power of ordering the work of ordination, and of judging 
in the discipline of ministers, in common with those pres- 
byters who labour in word and doctrine, as in all other 
cases."* 

Under this adjudication, the question has remained from 
that day to this, although large numbers in the Church 
have never acquiesced in it, as either sound or true. A 
moment's reflection will show that the principles involved 
go down to the very core of our Presbyterian system ; 
and the discussion upon them was far more earnest and 
long continued than that previously maintained on the 
subject of Boards. That branch of the question whieli 
relates to the quorum of a Presbytery, evidently touches 
the whole relation which the ruling elder, as a distinct 
officer, sustains to the courts, the constitution, and the 
government of the Church; while the other branch of it 
involves, besides this, the natural import of ordination: 
whether in any degree sacramental in its character, the 
sign and seal of an invisible grace, or merely an act of 
government, setting apart to certain duties and functions, 
and therefore one of joint, and not several, power. It is 
not to be supposed that a decision, which so materially 
involved the essence of Presbyterian ism, would escape tlio 
criticism of two such champions as Drs. Breckinridge and 
Thornwell. "We will, therefore, gather into this chapter 
the entire correspondence relating to this matter, which 
will reveal the extent and method of their opposition to 
the Assembly's decree. 

•.Digest, Ed, ISaC, p. 44. 



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THE EL1>KK QUESTION. 253 

Dr. Thornwell thus writes: 

"Abbeville 0. H., July 8, 1843, 

" Ml DeIE BliOTHEB ; «*"*« ***« 

* * * * The point, however, about wMet I eat down to 

write to you, oonoema your coiitroveTsy, not rains, except so far as it is 
a matter wliioli intereets tte wtole Church. I have been chagrined and 
mortjfled beyond measure, at the proceedings of the last Assembly, in 
reference to questions which inyolyed the distinotiye principles of our 
Bjstem of eoolesiastioal poUtj. TJnl^a light is thrown upon the peculiar 
and characteristic features of Presbjterianiam, the points in wMoh it 
differs from Congregationaiism, on the one hand, and Prelaoy, on the 
other, we shall soon lose all that is discriminating, and be reduced to 
an incoherent mass of discordajit elements. I cannot understand how 
our ministera and elders, who profesa to have studied our system, should 
give utterance to suoh sentimentB as were avowed, more than once, in 
the discussion upon a question, which never ought to have arisen in a 
Presbyterian Awiembly, touching the membership of ministers in the 
Ghurch. The decision, too, of the right of ruling elders to participate 
in ordination, took me by surprise. This matter muBt be discussed be- 
fore the churches. And if you do not diidam suoh feeble assistance aa 
mine, I propose to give you an article, showmg that, in the PrirmttiifB 
Ohurch, the right was not only e^netded, hut freely B\ere]jied, and that 
Frelaay was aotually introduced by its gradual deniaL I have looked 
with some attention into this matter, and am pursuaded that there is 
something more in it than a mere question of usage It mvolvea a 
principle which lies at the very foundation of our system The truth 
is, my dear brother, we have been so long accu'itomed to mstitutions 
and organizations foreign to our pohty, that we are lapidly losing sight 
of our glorious constitution. Scores of our ministers, and thousands of 
our people, do not understand the real strength, and consequently, do 
not feel the beauty of our Church. Her walls, and towers, and magniS- 
oent bulwarks, have been fenced out of view ; and we are content to 
stand in an outer court, where we cannot behold the glories of the Tem- 
ple. We must pull down these earthly contrivances, and reveal onr Zion 
in her true proportions, as the chosen heritage of God. In my tour 
Ihrough the country, I have kept my eye steadily upon the prospect and 
condition of our churches, and am completely satisfied that our ooldnesB 
and declension may be ultimately traced to ignorance or forgetf ulness of 
the tme vocation of the Church. Onr brethren are treating symptoms aa 
they are developed, one by one, without going to the root of the disease. 
Their labour, consequently, fails of its pnrpose. ***** 
" Your faithful friend, and fellow-servant in the Gospel, 

J. H. Thoenwelti." 



To which this is a rejoinder; 



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254 LITE OF JAMES HKNLEY THOKNWULL. 

■' Baltimoke, Jidy 13, 1843. 
" My Deae Brother : *«*«»«**» 
* * ♦ * Ton ■will easily suppoee that I was much dieljrcsseil 
and mortified at the rasnit of tie matter about ruling elders, in the laet 
Assembly. I Imeiv the Ghuroli ■was not ready foe the qnestion ; but I 
had uo conoeptioa of the estent of its ignoranoe and false principles. 
I had no hand in bunging on the question there, none intringing it 
up ; and desired its discussion put off. Last year, when. I was in tbe 
Assembly, they pat it off, rather than hear me on it; this year (ilBy 
would not hear of delay. The Me^-tory, the Presb^/te/rian, the Watc^i- 
wm of Vie South, and a paper at Pittsburgh, and one in Ohio, by agree- 
ment, and perhaps concerted move, cairied the matter by a coup de main. 
I intend, if the Lord permits, to bring up the question in our Synod 
this fall ; and carry it to the Assembly, if it is decided against me, as I 
am pretty sure it will be. I will also pretty soon write a notice of the 
arguments on the other side, merely to expose them ; and thus show 
that they do not prove what they were used to prove. Escept this, I will 
write no more abont the matter, till I bring it before the Assembly. 
Wonld it not be well for you to bring up the matter before yonr Synod 
also ? or would it perhaps be better for you fo leave that alone for a 
Vdrd trial, and come up in the Assembly of 1845, if we are beat in that 
of 1844, as we perhaps shall be ? I thank God He has induced yon to 
examine this matter fully ; and I beg Uiat you will carry ont your idea, 
both of writing on it, and of being in the next Assembly. ♦ * * « 
" I would be really obliged by your thoughts on the other question, 
about whioh you express yourself, so as i« show that your opinion is de- 
cided, but not so as to enable me to determine what it is ; I m6a,n about 
the membership of ministei's in churches. My mind is not clear on the 
matter. I oonoede, of course, that if ministers be members of pai- 
ticnlar churches, it is only in such form aa to give them the rights of 
membership, while the respmidbiUties thereof are to the Presbytery. 
But except we make them members of the Church general, they must 
be members of some particular church ; otherwise they are not in the 
visible Church at all. For, though o^Usera of the Church, they are not 
the Church, which were Popery. But is there any mode of being a 
member of the Presb}/terian Church genial, except by being a member 
of a particjilar church ? If elders may lay on hands, it is beoanse they 
are Presbyters ; but they are members of partaeular chmijhes ; why not 
ministers? Indeed, as you are aware, in the early French Discipline, 
the elders could, on occa^on. discipline and silence their pastors; aad 
BO could the Eirk Session, under the second Book of Scottish Discipline. 
Indeed, for twenty years after the commencement of the Scottish Re- 
formation, there was not, in all Scotland, any other Presbytery than an 
Eldership, which was about what two or three of our Church Sessioi^ 
■would be, if met, I inoline, therefore, to think ministers are members. 
I fear you think otherwise, and so I desire your views ; and will not 



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THE ELDER QUESTION. iJ55 

commit mysell till 1 heav frum you-, ■whioh is what I would not say to 
five men in tie woild. 

" I seriously believe that the germ of High Chucoliism and Popery, is 
to he found in tiia nltimate prinoiplee, which lead onr ministers to the 
oast of opiaion which prevails around ue. Their notions lead them to 
diseeteem the Church Courts, to lower ihe office of elder, to sink the 
hody of the people of God, to question the divine warrant for Church 
Order, to deny it for Presbjteiial Church Order ; and the germ of all 
seems io me to be a notion of their oum inherent eosaltation. A Board is 
as good as a Presbytery, it (ftey are in it ; a Presbytery is complete, if 
tlie;/ are there ; a man is ordained, if the^ pnt hands on him ; member- 
ship is not for those who own the body. How otherwise shall we ex- 
piaia the varying opinions, which seem to agree only on this solitaiy 
point, that ministerial ordination is a mysterious, if not magical, thing, 
and carries with it a kind of opus operatum I May Rod ever bless and 
keep you, is the prayer of 

"Your faithful friend, 

Ro. J. 



From Dr. Thornwell : 

"YOKCVILLE, August 16, 18i3. 

"Mv Desk Bkoihee; Your letter reached Abbeville after I had left, 
and was forwarded to me at Table Eock, in Pickens's District. The 
dilapidated state of your health is to me a matter of the profoimdest 
grief ; and I sincerely pray that God may restore you to your strength, 
prepared by affliction for sUU greater labours in the service of your Mas- 
ter. I know of no event that would fiU my heart with greater heaviness, 
than your prostration from sickness, debUity, or death. I h8:ye long felt 
that your principles were in advance of the age; but 1 am fnlly per- 
suaded that they are destined, in another generation, to a complete and 
glorious triumph. They are the tvae prinmples <rf the Presbyterian 
Church ; and there cannot be a stronger proof of the degeneracy of our 
times, than the slowness with, which they are comprehended, and the 
coldness with which they are greeted. The Lord, however, has not 
wholly deserted us. I have met with men, here and there, in the Church, 
who have given a hearty response to them, and who are prepared to lend 
their aid, in bringing back our beloved Zion to a cordial acknowledgment 
of them. 

' ' Touching the matter of ruling elders, the Assembly has shocked 
scores by the second resolution, who would not have been alarmed by the 
first. The decision, that a Presbytery can be constituted (a quorum) 
without ruling elders, has produced in. this State a general dissatisfac- 
tion ; in some oases, severe indignation. This oversight, for I can re- 
gard it in no other light, reveals the real hearing of their principles who 
supported the first resolution, and will arouse the Church to reflection 
and sober, patient investigation. God often overrules evil for good ; 



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256 I.IFB OF JAMES H.EHLISY TIIOEKWELL. 

and men are frequently taught tie truth, by being made sensible of the 
effects of erroc. I am satisfied tiiat every Presbytery in iftis Hate (I can- 
not epeak for Georgia) will solemnly remonstrate sgainat tlie decision in 
question ; and I think, too, that b, large portion of our ministers and 
elders will be found in f stoiu: of the whole truth, upon the subject of the 
eldership. Upon consultation with several of our best men, I have de- 
termined to bring the matter before oiir Synod. Should the brelirBU 
from South Carolina be generally present, we will have a very stirong wte. 
The Georgians, I do not know. Many of the ministers in that State are 
Northern men, and, I am afraid, too much under the influence of Prince- 
ton and the Repertory. 1 think that the Synod should respectfully me- 
morialize the Assembly, and put that body in piMKession of the real state 
ofth^ ^•gwmen.t. I shall prepare saoh a document, move that a commit- 
tee be appointed for the purpose, and thus be able to introdnoe my 
views fully and at large. If the majority be against me, the memorial 
will Btill exist, and be published and oiroulated as an lu^ment. Many 
would unite with me iu presenting it to the Assembly as an individual 
matter, and thus we oould succeed in getting it before them. A similar 
memorial from a portion of your Synod, coupled with the resolution 
of the Synod of Kentucky, would show the Assembly that the queatioa 
would have to he mat upon other grounds than those of authority. The 
diaenssion will be productive of vast good, iu unfolding the real nature, 
as well as the oapabilitieE of our system. There is a profound ignorance 
upon tiiis subject, and an iguoranee which does not liie to be disturbed. 
The treatment of your Bi-centenary Report shows the apathy, in regard 
to our Churoh Order, which has taien possession of the Church, We' 
have so long been walking in the light of our own eyes, and rejoicing in 
our own contrivances, that v. e have quite forgotten that the Church, la 
its outward orgamzalaon, as well as in its eesehtial principles, is a DivinB 
institution The nest step will be to deny any Scriptural authority— 
that IB, any •rpentiC warrant from Scripture, for the office of ruling 
elder^at all It will soon be put npon the ground of expediency, and 
then the nest step wiU be to abolish the of&ce altogether. 

' ' In regard to the ohui'cb-membership of ministers, I apprehend that 
there is no difference of opinion, when the terras are once defined. A 
minister is not so a member of afi/y pttrticular church m to be tabjeet to 
its Session ; this is granted. Again, he is entitled to privileges in any 
pa/riiaular oTiwoh, not by rea.ion of his relations to any such churoh, 
but by virtue of his connection with Presbytery. Now, the Presbytery 
stands in the same relation to ail the cbuvchea within, its bounds, which 
the Session sustains to a particular church. Hence, a member of Presby- 
tery is ipso foBto a member of ei>ery churoh under its care. When a 
minister comas to us from Ireland or Scotland, he is received by the 
Presbytery. He does not apply to any partiffular eJiurcA for admission, 
but to the Presbytery. When received by that body, he is entitled to 
ordinances in all its congregations. Under our constitution, the case ia 
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THE ELDEK QUESTION. 25T 

Btauding member has jiiisdiobon only orei a eingle congregatinru 
Ealing eldeiB are oonsequeotly dismissed from eongregation to eongre 
gation. Mij ister^ would I e m the same eategorj w th them if our 
Presbyteries aa in primitive times embraced only tie feessi n that is 
if the Presbytery of everff partKular church were the body whicJi or- 
dained. I hflTe not tome to write more, especially aa I am writing with 
B detestable pen. I hope, however, you can read it. 

" I am, as ever, your ainoere friend and brother, 

J. H. Thobnwbill." 

In the fall of 1843, Dr. Breckinridge delivered, before 
tlie Synod of PMladelphia, two elaborate arguments upon 
both branches of this double question, on tbe composition 
of the quorum of a Presbytery,, and on the right of ruling 
elders, when members of Presbytery, to impose hands in 
tlie ordination of ministers of the Word. They were 
subsequently published in a pamphlet, bearing the sig- 
niiieant title, "Presbyterian Government not a Hier- 
afcby, but a Commonwealth ; and Presbyterian Ordina- 
tion not a Oharin, but an Act of Government." It is, 
perhaps, as fine a specimen of forensic reasoning and elo- 
quence as the controversies of the Church in these times 
afforded. They were fully and favourably reviewed by 
Dr. Thornwcll, inthe pages of the Southern Presbyterian 
Review, — a quarterly then, and since pubhshed at Co- 
lumbia, South Carolina; — which, together with a prior 
article, on "The Ruling Elder a Presbyter," published in 
The Spirit of the Nineteenth Century, a magaaine con- 
ducted by Dr. Breckinridge, in Baltimore; and a sermon 
preached in 1856, at the ordination of certain elders in 
the church at Columbia, are aU the contributions made 
by him to this discussion. They are all to be found in 
the fourth volume .of his "Collected Writings," to which 
the reader is once for all referred. The letters which 
follow relate to these matters. The tifst is from Dr. 
Ereckiimdge : 

"Baltiuobe, Noiie'mher 37, 1848. 
"MiDaiBBiioiiraETHOimwmji: laminyoordebtaletterortwo, aad 
also for your fine article, which will appear in jdj neit — my last number. 
My farewell address will so fully explain my views, that I will not trouble 



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258 LIFE or JAMES HiDNLEY 

you now, I haTe baen teij busy for the laat two weeks, in all odd timaB, ■ 
■writing out my argument, delirered before out Synod, on the quorum 
of a Presbytery ; and am about to write out that on the question of or- 
dination. They will both appear in the Pre«if/terian, and a very large 
edition in pampblet form. I iiave written them out at the request oC 
the large majority of ihe ruling elders of this city. I confiider the whole 
question of Church order involved in the two propositions, and treat 
them accordingly : for if jurUdiotton or ordination be in the hands of 
preachers, as preachers, there is an end of Pre^jterianiam. I wish 
that you would get your article, that will appear in my nest number, 
copied into the paper at Ohaileston ; it is short, dear, oondnsiTe. And 
now, you may rest assured that no effort will be left untried to defeat us. 
« « * * I ^i\i looh after it in the Pregbyteria/n ; it will be fully at- 
tended to in Kentucky. It remains to take care of it in the South, and 
at Pittsburgh, At this latter point I will do what I can, if nothing 
better occurs. It will devolve upon you, my dear brother, to uphold 
this cause at the, South. « • * This will not reach you, I presume, 
tiU your return from your Synod. My heart and my prayers will be 
with you there. If you can carry it, it puts our canae in the ascendant ; 
for, iakia% the votes of the Synods of Kentucky and Philadelphia, the 
matter is abdut tied. Ton cannot tell how I feel strong, when I reflect 
that you are so deeply interested in this graat question. God has given 
you great abilities. You have also facilities the most of us have not. 
Stir up your strength, then, my dear brother, and we shall see the truth 

' ' Let me bear from you aoon, and let me have an interest in your 
prayers. 

"Paithfully, your friend ard brother, 



Several letters follow from Dr. TKornwell's pen, no 
replies to wliich are in our possession. These, however, 
trace the general progress of the discussion: 

" OOI-UMBIA. MlWlJl 1, 1841. 

"MyDbab Bboteee; You were almost,, though not eeaetly, right as 
to the cause ai my silence on the elder question. My own health has 
been as good as usual, but I have had another protracted case of typhus 
fever in my family. This is the thirty-eighth day since my brother-in- 
law was attacked by this horrible disease, and he is now just able to go 
upon his legs. He was very seriously ill, and at one time his physicians 
manifested considerable anxiety about him. My leisure time was, con. 
sequently, devoted'to him. I hope, however, by God's blessing, to be 
able to furnish something upon the qnestion, nest week. Your speech,* 

* The argument delivered before the Synod of Philadelphia, to which 
ref ereiice is made by us already. 



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THE ELDER QUESTION, 259 

iiowever, has so completely eihaueted tlie subject, Ihst, you have left 
nothing to be gleaned after you; and if you should find that I avail 
myseU latlier fcealy of yoar labours, you muBt attribute it, not fo the 
poverty of the sabjact, but to the riohneBe of your aigament. "Within 
the whole compos of my reading, I haye never met with a dearer and 
abler espoeition of Presbyterial Begitaent than your two speeches afford. 
There are only one or two points wliich I wish you had contrived to inoor- 
jNirate ic them, so as to have made tliem perfect. Tie first is the expmn. 
WW character at Presbytery, enabling it to preserva the unity of every 
possible condition of the Churoli, ill regard to numbers aad extent. A 
single church may be Presbyterian, by being under the government of 
a congregaiional Presbytery, or Session. Two or mora churclies have a 
(jommon Presbytery, in the olassioal Presbytery, and so on. This point 
you have touched upon in your letter to ruling elders. Our courts of 
appellate jurisdiotioji, as an e>:pausion of the Presbytery, to meet the 
growth of the Church, has always struck me as one of the most beautiful 
features of our system. This matter I shall probably develops in my 

" I have written in great haste, and in considerable pain of body. You 
must excuse me, therefore, if I have sent yon but a sorawl. One thing 
yon may depend on; the sincerity of my love, and the earnestness of my 
prayers, for you and yours. 

" Very truly, yoor brother, 

J. H. THOENWELt.." 

" South CiaoLiNA College, Api^ 16, 18+4. 

"Mr Deae Ehothek ; I have sent to Dr. Plumer* a long article on the 
Elder question. I could easily make a book upon it. My essay contains 
only three argumenfa ; the first, drawn from the constitution of the 
Church ; the second, from the nature of ordiiiaUon, as an act of govem- 
Ment ; and the third, from the preiatical tendencies of the opposite doe- 
triae. This, you will perceive, is only a fraction of what might be eaid. 
In developing the ailment from the constitution of the Ciinroh, I have 
laid down principles which, if the article should be thought worthy of 
attention at all, will produce an intense agitation. I have spoken what 
I believe to be the truth. The ultimate triumph of our cause is certain. 
"We avo gaining ground every day. In this State, the leaven is gradually 
working among our ministers and elders, though we have a tremendous 
tide of prejudice to stem. 

"Dr. Miller's sermon I have not seen, but I am satisfied that my main 
positions are true. I have brought them out again, m my second article. 
There is one point which I must shortly dificuss, and that is the distHr 
hiUoJi of power among our Church Courts. This occasions a difficulty 
to many minds, and prevents them from appreciating the sknpUdty of 
the Presbyterial organization, 

*At this time editing the Watehinan of the SouHt, at llichraond, Va. 



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ZbO LIFE OF JAMES HBNr.BY THOBNWELL. 

" Let me hear from jou before you leave Baltiraore, and xaJiUe lit tte 
Assambly. I "wisli we were 50 situated tliat we could oftea meet in the 
fieeh. I know of no man on earth with, whom I ■woTild more dalight to 
bold frscluent commumon. 

' ' Very tritly, your friend and brothor in Christ, 

J. H. Thoenweu,." 

' ' South CABOLiNi Collbob, Ma^ 1, 1844. 
"Mr Tt nin Bbothbk : I have just dispatched another article to the 
Watekman of the Smtih, which will cloaa my present ooatribution to this 
oontroyersy. I wrote tiie thii^ to-day, and was compelled to do it in 
Buch great haate, having but a small portion of tame to allot to it, that it 
presents no other attraotionfi but those of naked truth. My object was 
to show that the charge of Independency, wMoh has been bo freely and 
so confidantly ui^ed against ue, is utterly without fmmdation. I think 
that I have put this charge, the offspring of ignorance, ei^endered by 
malice, completely to rest. I have written calmly and diapssBionately ; 
though the egregious miarepresentatioas of Dr. Miller and McOaUa were 
sufficient to provoke me. I have determined, however, to enter into s, 
controversy with neither of them, unless it shoidd be forced upon me in 
such a way that I could not honourably decline it. Since writing to yon 
before, I have procured a copy of the Doctor's sermon. In the smaJl 
portion devoted to ray article, he falls into two singular mistakes. 1, He 
represents me as saying that Calvin, Owen, and others, endorse my views- 
of the distinction of ministers and elders, as suok ; whereas, I simply re- 
ferred to tiiem as maintaining the ancient and Presbyterian exposition of 
the pass^e to which I appealed in Timothy. 2. He is wrong in saying 
that Owen did not hold, upon this subject, the same opinion »b myself. 
1 did not refer to him, in the article, aa holding them ; but stil! he does 
most stoutly and resolutely maintain them. To say nothing of Ms elab- 
orate account of the difference in gifts which preachers and elders re- 
quire, he ia very particular to state, tha.t the pastor combines both offi.ces ; 
and in consequence of his being an elder, and in. omiseguenee of that faat 
alone, he ia entitled to rtde in the Ohuroli. Take the following passage, 
which you will find in his works, (vot 20, p. 486, London edition, 1826): 
' Unto pastors and teachers, as such, there belongs no rule ; ^though, by 
the institution of Christ, the right of rule he inseparable from their office. 
For all that are rightfully called thereunto are elders also, which gives 
tJiem an interest in rule.' Can anything be more explicit and distinct? 
How, then, could Dr. Miller say that Owen held the doctrine of his 
eermou ? This great man made the eldership o«e, and every elder, whe- 
ther a teacher or not, so far as he was an elder, partook of th,e ^me 
ofBce. Dr. Miller, however, mates two diatmct sorts of elders. The 
eldership of which a minister partakes is, according to him, a different 
kind of eldership from that which is possessed by the ruling elder. I 
cannot understand how the Doctor could misrepresent Owen so egre- 
gious^, when he was professedly taking me to task for the same sin. 



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THE eldf;k ftUEsnoN. Sfil 

"Ministers -without a charge, will think that a regular cwnfipiraey haa 
been formed egainst them ; but I oaanot see any method of evading the 
ooiiclnaon at whioh I arrive, in my flrat article for the Watehman,. The 
same view was held bj other bodies, hesideB the Burgher Synod, to 
which I referred. "See Owen, VoL 20, page 467. 

' ' I have read the article in the BibUeal B^ertory. It hae added no- 
thing to the argument, and I am sorry Princeton is in such a temper. 
There is one fact, however, which I wish to see explaiiied. You and the 
writer both quote the Belgic Confession, and yet neither of your t[uota- 
tions agree with the copy to be found in the Corpiia et Syntagma ftm/es- 
aionum Fidd, which was published at Geneva in 1664. What edition 
did you use ? The various readings are so striking, that I should like to 
know when, where, and how, the changes were made. The discrepan- 
cies between the reviewer's copy and mine, satisfied me that each of 
you might be right in his quotations, having followed different editions, 
"your third, in reply to Itt. McLean, is capital. You have taken 
what I conceive to be the only sensible view of a quorum, and effectually 
put down the ludicrous trifling into which the good Doctor had fallen. I 
feel much solicitude about your success before the nest A^embly. I 
sincerely trust that God may give you grace to maintain yonr position, 
so as to gliaify Hie name, even if you should be defeated in the object 
of your suit. Mftintnin, my brother, the spirit of Ohrist, and its con- 
trast to the temper in which you have been assailed will speak volumes in 
your favour. I hope that the Master wili be with yon, to guide, direct, 
and sustain you. Do not foi^et to give me an occasional line, informing 
me how matters go with you. My interest will be intense, and I shall 
be able to get nothing from the papers, except through the Presbyterian. 
"An organ of some sort we must have. Give us a paper, and we 
ahidi ceitoinly win the day. I attached so much importance to this mat- 
ter, that I had determined to write to you about it. I hope, therefore, 
that you may succeed in setting a paper on foot 

" I have been preparing a series of diBCOurses on the Eternal Sonship 
of Chri'it. I have been so much mterested ra the subject, that, if I 
could overcome my mortal repugnance to the pen, I might be tempted 
to put them in a permanent form 

"May grate, menv Ac 

J. H. TaORNWELL." 



" South OiaoHKA College, July 13, 1844. 
" Mr Deah Bkothes : Having been disappointed in my expected trip . 
to the North, I drop you a hasty line, to let you know that I have deter- 
mined to put my letters on the Apocrypha to the press at once. I have 
sent them to Leavitt, Trow it Co., with instructions to print one Ihou- 
sand copies. I have no hopes of being able to pay the expenses from the 
sale ; but I concluded to try my fortunes with Uie public. I shall depend 
on you to give me a lift in getting them into circulation. 



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a63 LIFE OF JAMES HENLEY THOKNWPLL. 

" I am about to come out in the Charleslon Observer, in reply to ' Qe- 
neTH.' I tMak I shall be able oompletelj to demolisli Mm. I have 
already written most of my reply, and would bo tappy to have you see 
It, How does your pulse beat einoe the adjom'ument of the Assembly ? 
I have been looking for a letter from you. 

" Very fcnily and affeetiouatelj, 

J. H. Thobnwell." 

" Columbia, August 10, 1344. 
" Mt I>EiB Bhothee : ******** It is very 
evident that our brethren of the majority are eonsoliug themKelves 
with tlie delurave hope that the war is ended on the subject of elders. 
1 hare written siiteen manusoript pages of my reply to ' Geneva,' and 
OS soon as I finish, the remainder, I shall send it to brother Q-ilder- 
Bleeve. In the course of my argument I have attempted to show, that 
the words pastor and bishop ai'e both most generally employed, in pro- 
fane and saored aathors, to denote Qiose invested with authority, and not 
merely teachers or instructors. This fact will take them by siirprise ; 
as in all tfaeir dieonssions they hare quietly assumed that a bishnp must 
be a preaeher. They have never thoi^ht of appealing to the Septuagiut 
and to classical writere, for the tisage of the word, which, if they had 
done, they would find that there is not a iingle instance in which it is 
used in anything like the sense to which they would esdusively restrict 
it. I shall present them with some stubborn facts upon this point, that 
they will not find it very easy to digest. Another circumstance has been 
strangely overlooked. In the African Churoh they find Presbyter and 
Senior used, one in reference to ministers, the other to ruUng elders. 
They infer that the words are not synonymous, because they are appjt- 
rently applied to different officers. Why not, say they, oeU both Pres- 
byters, or both Seniors? The question is obvious,. they wanted distinot 
terms, and accordingly went to the Latin, Bible, where they find the 
same Greek word in reference to the awme offteer sometimes rendered 
Presbyter and sometimes Senior. The more I .reflect upon tie subject, 
tbe'more I am satisfied that the truth of the case is with us. 

" I am glad to learn that brother Dunlap is .in Baltimore; as I know 
that he will strengthen your hands, and aid you in every good word and 
work. Please make my kindest remembrances to him. Yon may tell 
him, moreover, that his last letter was duly submitted to a committee of 
clerks and printers ; and after having been deliberately examined, rtmr/c by 
mairk, was pronounced to be wholly illegible. Still, after divers and sun- 
dry efforts, as I had some general knowledge of what I suppose he intended 
to say, I snooeeded in guessing out (for I cannot say that I spelt a word) 
the strange hieroglyphics, which were scrawled before mo, like the tracks 
of snails on Sonthern oeilings. 

" I see that you and Dr. Plumer and Mr. Ejoe have challenged all the 
bishops, archbishops, priests, and deacons in the United States, so they 
come not more than three at a time. They are too cunning to take you 
up. Let me hear from you soon, etc., 

"J. H. Thornwbll," 



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THE ELDER QUESTION, •iri6 

"SoTJiE CiB0i.iN4 CoujiOE, BeeemJi0r 27, 1844. 
My Dear Bbothbe : I have bsen resolving sTerj day, for some weeks 
past, to write you a long letter, but have not been able to commaiid suffi- 
cient time to say al! tkat I wKnted to say. Your sermon* is etmeily the 
tidng ; it is, in every way, seasonable and to the point. All I fear is, that 
you have not given it a sufficiently wide eirculatioc. I wish it were in 
the hands of every minifitft", and every candidate for the ministry, in tho 

" Our Synod has just adjourned. I had no opportunity of bringing 
up the resolutions wMob I had prepared on the alder question. Tlia 
first business on widcli we entered, was that of division ;t BUd the arrang- 
ing of the details connected with the constitution and funds of the 
Seminary, took up out whoia time. I was on the Board of Directors, 
and liad to be a great deal engaged in committee. So that I could not 
have argued the matter, if any one eke had brought it up. I was very 
sorry, as this was our last meeting in a united body, I think that, in the 
new Synod (to bo erected) of South Carohna, we shall liave a very strong 
minority. My impression ia, that the State is almost equally divided ; a 
majority of ministers being against us, a majority of elders in our 
favour. In Georgia, we liave next to no strength at alL The question 
has come ap in two Presbyteries in this State, South CaroUna and Har- 
mony ; and the two parties were considered about equally balanced. I 
have to preach the opening sermon of our Presbytery, in Oharleston, at 
its nest meeting in April ; and shall take ocoamon, in imitation of your 
esample, to lift up my voice like a trumpet. It is my anxious desire to 
be a member of the neit Assembly, and I want you to be one too. "We 
must get the msitter up again, in some shape or other ; and I think I 
have a plan by which it can be done. If you should be a member ot 
tliat body, supposing that my scheme should not succeed, it would be 
proper in ycu to agitate the question, as you were refused a hearing by 
last Assembly. It would be simply an act of justice to yourself, to he^a; 
the grounds on which you maintain your opinions. 

" I am about to come out with another sermon, of which I will fur. 
nisb you a copy as soon as it is published. The subject is, the S'teemiPy 
of the Atonemeid.t The students have reqnested its pubUcation, and I 
did not feel at Uberty to refuse. It was preached on the Sunday before 
commencement ; the day on which I usually preach a valedictory sermon 
to the graduating class. 

* The reference is bo a published sermon of Dr. Breokinridge, entitled, 
" The Christian Pastor one of the Ascension Gifts of Christ ;" preached 
at the installation of the Eev. E. W. Dunlap, in Baltimore. A review 
of it by Dr. Thomwell, in 1847, in the Sovthern Preabyterian Betiew, will 
be found in Vol. IV, of his ' Collected Writii^s.' 

f The Synod of South Carolina and Geoi^a was, at this meeting, divi- 
ded into the two Synods of South Carolina, and of Geoi^ia. 

{Found in Vol. II, of the ' Collected Writings.' 



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264 LIFE OF JAMES HENLEY THOKNWEI.L. 



" Entire nous, I liave serious fears that my oaefalnees in College has 
readied its elimai. * «»****» From 
■what I can leavn, I am the real ceituB that binds the ireligiona cominumty 
to the College. TMb is a poeition of perilous respouaihiUty, which I do 
mot like to hold. I endeavour to preach the Gospel ffuiMully, fitid no 
man dares io interfere with me. I have the esteem and affection of the 
young men; but still, I feel solitary, and I* do not like to -wflfite my 
strength upon so few. If the providence of God should place before 
me apaatoral charge suited to my mind, and offering a reasonable pros- 
pect of usefulness, I should feel strongly tempted to accept it. These 
things are said to you, in the confidence of most unhonnded Christian 
love, with the view of eliciting your opinion, to which 1 always, and on 
every anbject, attach great value. I can assure you that you had my 
■ ■warmest sympathies in your recent .afBietion. I did not tnow how muoh 
I loved you, until I heard you were in deep waters. SiaU, I had no 
doubt but that a covenant-keeping Glod was passing you through the fur- 
nace, for your own good, and for His glory. For myself, I have been 
often desponding, since I saw you. I have bean painfully impressed 
With a sense of worthlessness. I feel that, if I should die, I should sink 
into the grave like a stone into the water, unmissed, unlamented, unre- 
garded. Pray for me, my brother, that God may give me grace suited 
to my day. 

"As ever, yours, J. H. Thobnwbll." 

A heavy affliction in the family of Dr. Breckinridge 
drew forth a brief letter of sympathy ; 

" South Oabolina Coli/eoe, December 28, 18+4. 

"Mi Veby Desk Brotkeh ; I have just this moment heard, from 
Colonrf Preston, of the severe and awful calamity with which you have 
been visited My heart is fuU, and I know not what to say. AH that I 
can do IB to piay that God may be with you, ix> comfort, support, and 
sanctify you My beloved brother, when I think of your desolate fire- 
side, and. still moie desolate affections; your motherless children, and 
the perilous lesponsihihty that is now accumulated upon their only pa- 
rent, my heart bleeds within me. I enter iuto your sorrows ; I share 
your bereavement , I partake of your anxieties. But it is in affliction 
that the real greatness of Christianity is seen. You have a covenant God 
to whom you may flee, unbosom your sorrows, and make known your 
wants , and it is His prerogative to be a ter;/ present help in time of 
trouble He oareth for you ; and can make this calamity, bitter as it is, 
conduce to yom good. You know, you have tasted, His love ; and it is 
His own word, that He dotli not wilUngly aftlict or grieve the children of 

' ■ I cannot but think that your thoughts are now muoh set upon the 
heavenly state. Another charm is now given to the. place, since the 
dearest object of your affections is now gone to be for aver with the Lord. 
The separ.ition betwixt you and her is only teivipnravy. The Master will 



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TUK ELDEK QUESTION. 3b5 

soon oall for ymi also ; and then sorrow and sighing will flee away for 
ever. In tbe meaatime, you? litlila ones may be safely eiitnisted.to the 
Shepherd of Israel ; who has promised to bless the seed of the righteous, 
aad who loyes them for their father's sake, I might, my hrother, writ* 
jou a long letter, suggesti:^ the ordinary tflpios of Christian consolation ; 
Irat I prefer to leave yon in the hands of the hlessed Spirit, wIlo wlU. 
teach joa effeotvially, and, administer comfort as He sees it to be good. 
To TTim I commend you, begging you to accept my aBsaraacea of pro- 
found sympathy and of fervent prayer in your behalf. 
" Very truly, your friend and brother, 

J. H. Teobbwbll." 

The letter which follows forms a link in Dr. Thorn- 
well's personal histoiy ; and is equally appropriate as the 
couchisioii of this chapter, or b.°i the in trod action to the 
next: 

"Sooth Oabolivi C llege Uo ft f IS-t . 

' ' My Deab Beother : Since receivinj{ y ir last km 1 and el oma 
letter, I have haen confined to my ohajnl er for abo t tea days n ith 
catarrhal fever. My whole family have suffered not a 1 ttle w th sore- 
throat. But through the good hand of the Iiord upon u , we are all ow 
restored to onr usual health, 

"The oircnmstances in which you are placed muat be fuU of embav- 
raaament and perplexity. Broken in health, wounded in spirit, with two 
calls before you to difierent and responsible stations, yon mast feel very 
sensibly your need of Divine guidance and direction in guiding your 
steps. I have bat a single suggesHon to make ; and, though it may not 
be new, it deserves none the lees to be seriously pondered, by those who 
would aim singly at God's gloiy. We are too often prone to misinterpret 
what are called the leadings of Providence, and to take those things as 
the intimations of Divine jflJK which are, perhaps, designed to be trials 
of OUT faith. I am quite satisfied that no one can ever reach the wUl of 
God, in Lis own particular case, hy Judging merely from promising ap- 
peaisnees. The measures of human probability — it is a lesson recorded 
on every page of tlie Bible — are not the standard of Divine wisdom. 
Every striking instance of faith commended in the Scriptures was against 
the conjectures of onr narrow philosophy. Had Mosea reasoned ac- 
cording to the prevailing principles of our day, he would not have re- 
fused to be caEed the son of Pharaoh's daughter. The prospect of 
extensive nsefulness was so mnch greater in the court, the sphere of hie 
influence would have been so much wider, he had so singularly been 
raided to that elevated station, and the hand of God was so visible in the 
whole aJfair, that, if he had reasoned, as multitudes do, from the leadings 
of Providence and probable appearances, he would have felt justified in 
accepting the glittering bribe which was offered him. In this, however, 
lie would have followed the impulse of hv^man reason, and been no ex- 
ample of faith. 



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LIFE OF JAXK5 HENLEY THOENWBLL, 



' ' My Mends Bometimes charge me witk a spioe of f aaatioiBin ; bnt it 
is my deliberate conyiction, that the only way of arriving at a itnowledgs 
ot the Divine will, in regard to us, is by amplicity of purpose and earn- 
est prayer. If we really desire, with an honest heart, to know our duty, 
and apply to God to be instructed by Him, pe wiU impress upon the 
eonBcienee a sense of dut/y, just in the direction in whioh He would have 
us to move, and which we shall feel it perilous to resist. This sense of 
duty may be produced by some principle of the word whioli we perceive to 
be appUcable to the exigency, or by an immediate operation upon the mind, 
■which we are unable to esplain. THs is my test ; and I confess thac, untU 
after having sought from God, witli simplicity and honesly, His divine di- 
rection, I feel such a sense of duty upon my conscience, such a ' woe is me' 
npon the heart, I should feel it unsafe to move. That you may have 
the counsels of your heavenly Father, and be guided by a wisdom better 
than yours or mine, is my sincere prayer. I am sure it is your purpose 
to glorify God, and I am equally sure that ' the meek He will guide in ' 
Hie way.' 

" I am sorry to learn that brother Dunlap has been bo seriously af- 
flicted. This is indeed a vale of tears ; eud they whose robes are washed 
and made white in the blood of the Lamb, are they who have come out 
of great tribulation. Oh I how precious the thought, that there is a land 
of rest, where sorrow and tears are unknown for ever 1 and how anriovis 
should we be that, through God's grace, our earthly affliftJons may wean 
our hearts from sublunary things, and fix them on things above, where 
Christ sitteth at the right biind of God. It is in the house of mourning 
that the real greatness of Christianity is seen. As I have stood by the 
grave of departed friends, and looked at the prospect of a glorious re- 
surrection, my foeelings have been almost insupportable. Worlds mul. 
tiphed on worlds could not induce to me give up that precious test, 
'Them that sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him.' No doubt, my 
brother, resurrection and the glory beyond have been much upon your 
thoughts, hince the Lord removed from you the ' delight of your eyes,' 
Oh! how grand is tJie Christian's hopel The time is short; we shall 
soon lay aside the weapons of our warfare, and buckle on the panoply 
of light for ever. Please make known to brother D. my Christian sym- 
pathy, and assure bun of an interest in my humble prayers. 

" I sincerely wish that, in your projected tour for the recovery of 
your strength, you could be induced to visit your friends here. I should 
be delighted to see you, ond hold converss with you, touching the thills 
which pertain to Jesus Christ. I am Bore that you have learned mndi 
ia the tousB of mourning, and I should delight to have you recount tha 
rich and precious consolations of God's grace. My own path is dark 
and uncertain ; but I have endeavoured to commit my way unto the 
Iiord. Tjet me beer from you soon ; and I would like to hear your views 
in relation to my situation hora, as developed in a recent letter to you. 
" With warmest Christian affection, your friend and brother, 

"J. H. Thobnwell." 



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CHAPTER XIX. 
CALL TO BALTIMORE. 

DlSBATier ACTION -m-TB THE CotLEQE. — CaU, TO CH0»CH IN B*I.T1M0RB. — 

Accepted bt Him.— Dismission to Pkebbyteky of Baltimogb. — 
DociosATB CosiEBEED,— Action of Trustees of thb Colleob. — De- 
tained FOB A Year. — CoBHBapoNDENCE Oaowojo OUT OE This.. — Bal- 

TIMOEE ChOBCH WilTa FOB THE YBAB.— PbeBBITEKY KeCONSIDEES AND 

Ebveeses its Fobmer Aciiom.— He Eemains in the College. 

A HINT has already been given, in Dr. Thoniwell'e 
correspondence, of his dissatisfaction in tlie College, 
and of a disposition to enter upon some suitable pastoral 
cliai-ge. At the close of 18il, the Hon. R. W. Barnwell 
had been compelled, by ill health, to resign the presi- 
dency of the institution ; and the present administration 
had not proved to be either populai- or successful. Dr. 
Thornwell did not feel himself to be cordially supported 
by the authorities, in his office as chaplain. He, therefore, 
was meditating a change ; when, by a singulai' coincidence, 
movements were on foot, which resulted iu the transfer of 
the Rev. Dr. R, J. Breckinridge from the pulpit of tlie 
Second Presbyterian Church, in the city of Baltimore, to 
the presidency of Jefferson College, at Cannonsburgh, 
Pennsylvania. Considering the intimate friendship be- 
tween the two men, and the constant con-espondence' 
maintained at this period, it was most natural that the 
attention of the church in Baltimore slionld be turned to 
Dr. ThomweU, as the snceessor of his friend. A call was 
made out in due form, and was laid, by the commissioner 
of that church, before the Presbytery of Ohai-leston, on 
the 6th of October, 1845. After mature deliberation, the 
call was placed, by the Presbyteiy, ii! Dr. Tkoniwell'a 
207 



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yba LIFE OF JAMES HENIEY THOKNWELL. 

hands, and was by him accepted. Tlie proper teatimoniala 
■were also ordered to be given him; and he was directed 
to repair to the Presbytery of Baltimore, by whom the 
proper steps wonld be taken for his regular settlement aa 
the pastor of said church. It was a- decision arrived at, 
with marked reluctance on the part of the Presbytery ; 
one evidence of which was a written cominanication from 
the Second Presbyterian Ohureh, of Charleston, of which 
the Eev. Dr. Thomas Smyth was the pastor, expressing 
*' the hope and desire that Dr. Thornwell may still remain 
in his present ecclesiastical connexions, and may find a 
field of nsefiilness within our bounds." There was, how- 
ever, no option left to the Presbytery, but, to grant the 
petition of the church in Baltimore, since Dr. Thornwell 
was clear as to his duty in leaving the College, and this 
was the only providential opening which, just then pre- 
sented itself. A few days before the matter was matured 
in tliis form, the letter found below was addressed to Dr. 
Breckinridge : 

"South Caeoliba College, October 4, 18i5. 
" My Dear Bkotheh : * * * * * . * 

* * * So far as I am conoeraed, the matter ie settled. 

in relation to the BflltJmore oaU. If the Presfcyttrj puts it into my 
hands, which I have no doubt will be done, it is my fixed purpose to 
accept it. There is strong oppi^ition 1o raj leaving tbe State, as many 
of my friends, and the friends of the College, ate bent npon raising me 
to a higher position than the one whioh I now ooonpy ; but I haye no 
aml^tion, and no desire, for the station to wMch. they would promote 
me. In the present aspect of ecolesiRstioal affairs, I feel that it is my 
duty, not merely to preHct the gospel, which I do here, hut to preach the 
gosjiei under such circumBtanoes as shall bring me closely into contact 
■with the Church ; whioh is not the ease hare. Had it been in my power 
to choose my own field of laboor, I should never have thought of leading 
South Carolina ; but I bow to the wiU of a sovereign God, and acquiesce, 
withont a mormar, in the plain intimations of His providence. I shall 
move to Bsltimore as soon as I can get a release from the College ; which 
in no event can be earlier than December, and maybe as late as January. 
' ' The distinction you have conferred upon me, I ascribe entirely to 
your personal partiality. I presume, when you announced the matter to 
your Board, there was a general look of astonishment, each asking the 
other, whence this man came ; but such, no doubt, was the strength of 



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their faith in you,., that they acceded to yoar request, iu the hope that if 
I iMfi not, I might become eventually, wortliy of the honovir. All that 
1 can promise jon is, that I shall endoavOTir not to disgrace yon. Last 
week I reoeiyed a letter from Brother Sparrow, President of Hampden 
Sidney College, stating that hie Board had alao conferred the same de- 
gree upon me ; so that D. D. , in my ease, may stand for ' Doubly Dubbed,' 
as well as Dootor of Diyinity. 

' ' I cannot express to you my gratification at receiving the engraving 
which yon sent me. I shall have it elegantly framed, and transmit it as 
a legacy to my children. I wish very mnch you had oome with MoEl- 
derry. It would have afforded me great pleasure to have seen you on 
my own dtmg-hill, and interchanged thoughts with you about the pre- 
sent position of affairs in the Church. Bnt I hope to see yon often in 
coming days. 

' ' There is a matter which has weighed much upon my mind, and 
upon which we liave conversed a little together, and that is, the estab- 
lishing of a paper, to represent and defend our views. I have no doubt 
but that we may get anything into the WaUAman- and Obeerv^, But 
we, onrselves, would feel a sense of delicacy in making too many appli- 
cations to it. But how a paper is to be set agoing I do not see. I have 
been in hopes some good man would undertake a quarterly in New York, 
and m^e large promises of contributions from distinguished scholars 
on points of Theology, Biblical Literature, and Church Government; 
which promises might be made in great sincerity, and, perhaps, a sufB- 
cient patronage might he secured to justify the undertaking. Fugitive 
articles are not what we want ; but elaborate discussions, which we can 
leave as a testimony behind us. There are many matters of great inte- 
rest which might be embodied in such a work, and many ways in which 
it might be coniioended to x)opular favour. But the tub is, to get an 
editor, supposing we can get patronage. I have more faith in the ohid- 
vag and ulUm/xte influence of a quarterly, than of a weekly newspaper ; 
though the latter would be more rapid in its effects. I hope you will 
not forget to write a review of D'Anbigne for the Boutliem Quart^fly. 
It will do great good. That periodical has a much more extensive cir- 
culation Ulan I supposed it had when I was in Kentucky ; and you%ill 
reach a class of minds that know very little about the real character of 
the Beformation. 

"The result of the action of Presbytery shall be ooaunanicated to 
yon, as soon as practicable \ but I presnme that Uiere is no doubt of 
what it will be. 

" Very truly, as ever, 

J. H. THOHNWEtti." 



The Doctorate alluded to above, as conferred by the au- 
thorities of Jefferaon College, and duplicated by Hamp- 
den Sidney, in Yirginia, was tiiplieated by Centre College, 



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!i 1 LIFE OB" JAMKB HENLEY THOENWELL. 

at Danville, Kentucky. These distinctions were showereti 
upon his head hy three institutions, witliin a few days of 
each other, in perfect ig-norance, of course, that they were 
combining to do honour to one who was conspicuously 
able to bear the triple burden. 

The transfer to Baltimore, was, Eowever, unexpectedly 
arrested, by the action of the Tnastees of the College, in 
enforcing what had been regarded as an obsolete law, 
which required a twelve months' notice of a resignation. 
It was, of eoiirse, only one of tlioae measures of protec- 
tion, intended to be used when great interests demanded 
its application. None of the parties, therefore, antici- 
pated the embarrassment which its enforcement, in this 
instance, occasioned. In connection witli this interdict, 
wliich, of course, could operate only for a year, a com- 
plete and most satisfactory change was made in the ad- 
ministration of the College. The Hon. W. C. Preston, 
distinguished in the history of South Oai'olina as an ora- 
tor and a statesman, was, hj the acclamation of the State, 
elected to the Presidency ; and the College received a 
vigorous impulse from the change, 

This movement, on the part of the Board of Trustees, 
di'ew forth the strictures from Dr. Breckinridge, which 
ai'e found in the letter that follows; 

■' Jefkeksoh CoLtKoB, Cannonseueoh, December I, 1845. 
" Mt Dbib Thobnwetj. : I never closed my wliole reeponsibility, and ac- 
idye mt.ereet and partioipatiou in any enbjecb, more to m; ovm satisfaction, 
thaii when I ascertained finidly that you would come to Baltimore. Sat- 
isfied, that iho hand of God removed me from that field of labour ; eon- 
yinced, ss far as Toy own short and dim vision can penetrate, that you 
were the man to occupy the poet ; rejoicing in the unanimous and cor- 
dial— -and, I will add, apontsneonB — conviction of the congregation t« the 
Bame effect ; I greatiy rejoiced in God, and felt a great care taken off my 
hands, and a great meroy to be conferred even personaUj on me, when I 
found the matter settled, and your going there fixed. I am save you will 
find a wide field ; in some respecte, not as desirahla aa the situation you 
have left ; but, on the whole, and in its entire bearings and influence, of 
immense importance, and capable of bciitg used with unspeakably more 
power and efficiency than it has yet been. My prayers are for your 



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CALL TO BAT-TIMOBK. 271 



great happiness aud visef ulneas ; and I mow see, with great oieamess, if 
I eyer doubted, that wliatever Qod maj haye designed as to ma, jn re- 
moving me from Baltimore, He designed mercy to that oity, and to the 
people of my old charge. Almost the last thing I said to them, on 
leaviug them, was almost prophetic ; ' Do you think that God will forget 
jour goodness to the pastors He has sent yon heretofore ? Do yon think 
He will send jou a man inferior, in any way, to those yon have rendered 
happy by your vmf fuling kindness, your constant rererenoe and love ?' 
Tiiat is not our Master's way of rewarding Hi a people ; and what I so 
confidently felt, from what I knew of His deaUngs and His revealed will. 
He would do, verily He has done; and heartily do I rejoice, and ttaui 

" December 5. 
' ' So far I had written yesterday, being interrnirted. I have since re- 
ceived information in regard to the action of your Board of Trustees, 
appointing Colonel Preston to the Presidency, and refusing your sppli- 
catiOD for leave to resign ; and, what fills me with sorrow and alarm, 
jour inclination to submit to this refusal. I have weighed the matter 
as fully as I oould; and will now give you, with the freedom of a 
friend, my views of the case as thus presented. Consider: 1. This 
act of the Board of Trustees, if contrary to your wishes, is a fraud upon 
you, considering that tliej had virfcoally acquiesoed ia yonr informal no- 
tice of yonr intention to resign. 3. That, in any aspect of the case, the 
obUgation upon you, under the circumstanoea, as regards that notice, was 
virtually compHed with ; bo that the pretest of holding you bound is 
the merest idle technicality, destitute of ail moi'al obhgation. 3. The 
Trustee supposed they acted in aoootdanoe with yonr wishes, in refusing 
you leave to go ; therefore, their act is no more a rale of duty, or a dis- 
charge of opposite obligations fthsolut^ly inclined, than a veluctanoe on 
yonr part to fulfil those obligations is a discharge from their binding 
force. 4. The mere supposition, much less the painful reality, that the 
Trustees believed it would be very disagreeable to you for them to refuse 
to let you go, even if they were in error in that belief, yet, seeing it to 
be the ground and motive of the act, this places you in a position which 
obliges you to refuse, under the circumstances, to obey their aot. 6. 
This refusal of a civil corporation, acting contrary to the clear coaolu- 
sion of God's Church, lawfully reached, in due coarse, upon full scrip- 
tural process and conclusions, is the idlest thing in the world, as tnatte/r 
of auihorUy. Viewed in any other light than amply as authority, you 
■owe it to yourself to repudiate it absolutely. 6. The people at Baltd- 
more were under the full conviction that you could and lootild leave it, 
if you saw it to be your duty to accept theirs, or any pastoral call. 7. 
They have been to cnnsidarable expense, endured cocsidecable priva- 
tions, done aU that was fair, generous, and right, in the complete reli- 
ance that this new artpeet of the esse was one out of the question, and, in 
fact, disposed of. It is, therefore, morally obligatory that, ae to them, 
and their affairs aud relations to you, it should be considered and 



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QTH LIFE OF JAMES 

treated as out of the question, utterly and absolutely. 8. That otureh 
■will, in all probability, be irreparably injured, divided, and scattered, 
if yon now refuse to go tJieie ; aud as to them, all this injury is gratni- . 
ItiuB, and from a quarter that was contemplated, plainly and clearly, as 
being already disposed of, in every part of the previous arrangements. 
So this matter loots to me. May our God and Saviour give you grace 
to resist this temptation ; for so it seems to me most oiearly to be, 
taking the case in its present aspect. As to the real importance of the 
places, or their claims upon you abstractly, or your fitness for them, all 
these are questions not now to be discussed. They are solemnly, finally, 
religiously adjudicated ; and the whole question is, can anything, much 
less this new act, set aside the result actually reached, unless by the 
complete consent of the other party, the church ? I say. No I as plainly 
and dearly aa ever I saw any question whatever. I again say, May God 
strengthen yon against this temptation. 

" Believe me, my dear Thomwell, I fully enter into your difficulties in 
this case. Excnse me, if I have said too much. Two objects, very dear 
to me, seem at stake : the good of the ohnroh at Baltimore, and your 
good name ; whidi is not a whit leas dear to me. I am, perhaps, mia- 
takeo in my view of what the course of duty and propriety seems to ma 
BO plainly to indicate. If so, eiouse what I have written, in ail love. 
May God ever bless you. 

' ' Your friend and brother, 

Ro. J. Beeckineidge. " 

One can scarcely fail to trace, in tlie matter and style 
of this paper, the hknd of the lawyer, working in a case 
for the interest of his client ; and is a little ciwious to see 
how these specifications will he set aside. We have some 
misgivings lest these details may prove a little too minute 
and tedious. Bnt besides that both letters are eminently 
characteristic of the writers, the case terminated so re- 
markably, that we prefer the reader should be in fidl 
possession of all the facts pertaining to it. The reply to 
these strictures is very long ; blit it is so frank and gene- 
rous in its tone, reveals a sensibility to considerations of 
honour, and discloses principles upon wliich diiticult ques- 
tions of duty may be resolved, that we give it without 
abridgment : 

'■ 8otriH Oaeolina Collbg-e, DeimnMr 13, 1845. 
" My Deab Bbothbr ; I received your letter a few evenings ago ; and, 
in the midst of the deep tribulation in which it found me, the very ap- 
pearance of your handwriting was refreshing to my heM* This is now 



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CAI.L TO BALTIMOKB. 273 

the Eisteenth day Binue m j poor wife took lier lied, haYiag been seriouely 
indisposed for a week before. Ske was, at first, threatoued with ■violent 
iuflommation of the brain, then of the bowels, and finally her difiease 
settled down into a oontinuoue fever of the typhoid type, marked by two 
violent paroxysms in the twenty-font bonrs. My mind has alternated 
between hope and fear. I have bad ansia\iB days and eleeplesB nigbts ; 
and, though I endeavour to enltivate a spirit of entire resignation to tbe 
will of God, it is my constant prayer that He may not afflict me above 
measure. Tie symptoms to-day, I am rejoiced to say, are more favourable 
than they have been ; but I have been so often deceived by flattering ap- 
pearances, I am almost afraid to indulge in hope. 

"In connection with tJiese distresses has been a severe and painful 
conflict, in reference t« the action of tbe Board of Tmsteea of this insti- 
tution ; and as I valne your opinion npon any subject upon which you 
■will venture to pronounce one, more than that of any man living, I have 
been deeply grieved that your oonolusions differ so widely from my own, 
as to the precise light in which that action should be viewed. I am per- 
suaded, however, that your mind labours under some radical misappre- 
hension of the facts of tbe ease, and that your opinions have been formed 
from inadequate data. It is due to you, therefore, to give you a detailed 
account of tbe whole matter, and of the motives and ends which hafe 
governed all parties. 

" There is, as yon are probably aware, an express and positive law of 
tbe Odlege, that no Professor shall resign bis office without giving one 
year's previous notice to the Board of Trustees. This is a part of the 
stipulated condition on which he holds bis place ; and imposes on him a 
moral obligation, from which he cannot be relfeased bat by the consent 
of the Board, When that body met, in November last, I ti'ansmitted 
them a letter, in which I begged leaTe to resign my Professorship, the 
resignation to take effect immediately after Commencement, so that I 
m^(bt reach Baltimore by the middle of December ; agreeing, at the 
same time, to remain untjl the Ist of January, if they thought it abso- 
lutely necessary,- I deprecated, in that letter, tbe severity of holding me 
id the one year's notioe, as altogether unprecedented ; as unneoessaiy, in 
the present case, ae tbe ends of that notice had been abundantly an- 
swered. I had no idea that any other action would be taken, tJian that of 
formally accepting my resignation, and dismissing me, at once, from the 
College. Just about one hour before tbe Board was to meet, the gentle- 
mac to whom I bad entrusted my letter, in a casual interview, ■which did 
not last five minutes, observed to me : 'I have read your letter, and find 
that you will regard it as an act of ungenerous harshness to be held to 
ibe legal notice. I merely wish to say to yon, that I shall use all my in- 
fluence to bold yon to the law ; and I am anxious that you should under- 
stand that I mean no unMndneas to you personally, but am governed, as 
I trust, by the fear of God, and a solemn sense of public duty,' I replied 
to bim, that I knew he was incapable of doing an intentional unkindness 
ta any one, much less to me ; and, in the present case, I could afford to 



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274 LIFE OF JAMES HENLEY THOENWELL. 

be generous, since he woiUd only lose Ms bruatt and tis pains ; and, in 
parting with liim, ridiculed the futility, tlis alter idlenesa, of his project. 
So sanguine, indeed, -waa I, that the Board would at onca dismiss me, 
that I had made moat of my arrangements for leaving. I had sold a oon- 
sidecable part of my fnmitnre, had disposed of my sarvantB for the 
ensuing year, and settled such of my worldly business as required imme- 
diate adjustment. I nsTcr dreamed that any human belag would think 
of detaining me ; and the onl^ intimation which I received was the one 
I have mentioned, given about an hour before the meeting of the Board. 
The argument, in my letter, against such a conrBe, I considered as ample 
and complete. Tou may judge of flie light in which I regarded the pro- 
position, from the fact of my making it a matter of jest in the family, 
after the interview referred to. 

"The Board met; and the nest day 1 received a letter from the Sec- 
retary, stating that my resignation bad been laid on the table. I found, 
npon inquiry, that many of the best men in tlxe Board were disposed to 
bold jne, on the legal technicality by which I was bound. The whole 
matter, then, struck me as a senous affair. I made it a matter of calm 
reflection and earnest prayer. The men who were principally moving in 
this business, were men of God, distinguished equally by generosity and 
piety. They had pi'ajed over this thing, and were evidently governed 
by a solemn sense of public duty. The conclusion to which I came was 
this ; I shall, quietly leave the result to the Providence of God. If He 
permits these men to enforce upon me a legal claim, which creates a 
roHal obligation in me to stay in the State, it is His will that I should 
not go to Baltimore ; for He would never sanction my breach of an ex- 
press stipulation. If, on the other hand, it is His will that I should go, 
He can turn their hearts, as the rivers of water are turned, and induoe 
them to accede to my request. I therefore kept my letter before them 
and until their action was taken, I waa fitUy persuaded that I would be 
released, though, I knew, not without stiong oppfsition. I had no 
agency in the matter. I never esrpressed to them any desire, wish, or 
indiuaUon, io stay ; but just the opposite. I prosecuted the resignation 
in good faith ; and submitted, in the end, to the estraordinaty con- 
clusion which was reached ; because I beheved that it waa the language 
of God's Providence to me, forbidding me to go. In your letter you 
seem to have.reeeived the impression that the Board detained me because 
they thought 1 desired to stay. This is a mistake. No such desire, 
either direcHy or indirectly, was either expressed by me, or authorized 
to be expressed by any one else for me. All the correspondence which 
I had vrith the body was tlie very contrary. I have inquired into the 
representations which were made by the mover of the resolution on the 
subject, and it can be abundantly certified that he disclaimed acting in 
consultatiou with me. He said that he had avoided me, to keep me from 
hampering him in what he believed to be his duty, and whatever he said 
or did in the premises proceeded solely from himself. It was, therefore, 
wholly and eiolusively, t/leir act, and not mine. But, being done, my 



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CALL TO EALTIMOKE. 270 

duty was decided. I was under a fiolemn obligaiaon to remain. I had 
made a contract upon taking my chair, and it was not for me to dissolye 
it. 

"Before proceediog fucliier, I want to remOTe from yom- mind Uie 
convicldon wiiicii you seem to feel, that the Trustees acted towards me 
in bad faith. If this were granted, however, I do not see ttiat it annuM 
my obligation to act towards them in good faith ; but still, I tbiuk a full 
review of all the circumstances will vindicate their hononr from all sns- 
picioa. In tbe spring, I had drawn up a fuil communication, setting 
forth grievanoea under which I iabonred in the Chapel, and snggesting 
various remedies ; stating, at the same that, as I would be absent from 
the State when the Board met, and could not be made acquainted witQl 
ita action until it had adjourned ; and as, moreover, I could not consent 
to retain my connection with the College, if such g 
mitted to coutiaue, I begged them to regard 
notice of my intention to resign, at the end of the year, unless they could 
do somethiug effective in the promises. This communication I handed 
to a friend to give to the Board, he being himself a member. He begged 
me to withhold it, as it would do mischief to have the report circulated 
that I proposed to leave the iustitution ; and asEured me that, as there 
had neTer been any difficulty in past oases, so there would probably be 
none in this ; and so far as his influence went, thei'e should be none in 
giving me leave to rerigu at the end of the year, if my difficulties were 
not removed. Such was the pledge. At that time I had no idea any- 
thing would be done, or eoul4 be done, to amend the law. I expected 
my Buggestions to meet such opposition in the Board, or it adopted 
there, fo be so feebly supported by the President, that I had deliberately 
come to the conclusion, that, under all the circumstances, I ought to 
leave. But the Board have met me here by enacting my suggestions 
into a law, and by giving a President to the College who can enforce the 
law. The Board, therefore, has exonerated itself from the impUed 
pledge of one of its members. It has even gone farther, ajid voted an 
appropriation to render my place of preaching much more elegantly 
comfortable and inviting than it is now. All these things have been 
done mainly on my account I have gone thus into detail, in order that 
you may not do injustice, even in your thoughts, to the best body of 
men in the State. That Board comprises some of our noblest citizens, 
and would iaatinctively shrini from doing an act of meanness. That I 
may have given you, in Baltimore, the idea that I meditated an absolute 
resignation, is very likely ; for at that time such was the fact ; thai I 
may also have led you to believe there would be no difficulty in the way, 
is eqn^y hlely, for such I Uien also beUeved to be the f aot. There never 
had been difflonlty in any previous case ; and the implied pledge to 
which 1 have alluded, showed that the gentleman who made it dreamed 
of no such difficulty. Upon reviewing all the circumstances, two things 
seem perfectly clear ; 1. The Board had a legal right to detain me; 
and, 2, I was under a morai obligation, growing out of my own stipula- 



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2"b LIFE OF JAMUB HENLEY THOESWELI,. 

tions, to stay, uhIgbs they were willing to let me go. Snoli, as it stidies 
my mind, is the aspect of the cose between me and the church at Balti- 

" In the first place, that oongregation tnew of the existence of the law 
in qaeetion ; and if ihey looked upon it as a dead letter, they did it for 
the reasons that have been mentioned : the fact that it nevei had heen 
enforced in any previous osse. This rendered its future enforcement 
improbable, but not impoadble. Previous lenity did not destroy the 
right of the Board. They called me, theiefore, subject to an ohhgation 
which wae not likely to be enforced, but yet which taiglit bn enforced. 
I mentioued the fact, that such a law existed, to every membei of th^t 
congregation who gave me the opportunity ; and in every instance stated 
the other fact, that it had always lain dormant. They knew, therefore, 
just aa mueh as I did, the red posture' of affairs. Thej attached no im- 
portance to the law. Neither did I. The j acted upon the supposition that 
I -would be released on the first of January, So did I. Our conduct 
was predicated on the same premises ; but our f alee eondusions did aot 
destroy the reality of the law, nor the corresponding right of the Board ; 
and, therefore, my obligation to the ohurch was strictly conditionaL 
My acceptance was predicated on its not conflicting with any other duties. 
If the Board had met before the call was prosecuted in Pi'esbytery, I 
should have applied to it tor a release, before answeiiug ; but gs it could 
not meet before the last of November, I answered upon the best light 
I had. That my answer was oonditioutd, ia shown from the fact, that I 
expressly told the church that I could not go wntM released ; that the re- 
lease would not take place until the meeting of the Board ; that it was 
not likely to be granted io take effect before the first of Jaouaiy ; and 
that they must wait until then, when I haA no doubt of the issue. This 
whole process implied a con^tional engagement | and the anfioipated 
condition having failed, the obligaHon, of course, ceases. This is the 
light in whioh the thing strikes me. 

" But put tiie affair in a stronger point of view. Suppose the church had 
known nothing of the law, and that I had merely stated to it my convic- 
tions that I could go at the close of the year, without stating the grounds ; 
even in that case, my obligation would have been conditional. The rea- 
son is, that our Book of Disoiphne supposes that a call is open to reoon- 
aideration and review, at any time from the period of its prosecution, up 
to its consummation in the installation of the pastor. Hence the ques- 
tion is distinctly put, * Are you noiB willing, &e. ' His prmaui states of 
mind do not settle the duty of Presbytery, nor his own ; it is his pre- 
sent state of mind that fixes the thing. He is bound, in other words, 
to do what aeeans to be the will of God ; and if, after the acceptance of 
a call, circumstances should arise to change his impres^ons of the lead- 
ings of Providence, he is bound to withdraw that acceptance. The 
whole matter is open for new light, until the pastoral relation has 
been actually estahhshed. When he accepts, he declare what he feels 
to be his duty Vten; but Uie Book evidently contemplates the possi- 



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VAU. TO JJALTIMOKK. 277 

bility of ohange or mistake, and henoe does not impose an abMute, but 
a, guaUJied, obligation. 

"In confoi'mity with these snggeationa, if I had accepted the Balti- 
more call, ncder the full conviction that there was no let nor hindrance in 
the waj, and afterwards found that there was, my previous acceptance 
would not have bonnci me. It was predioated impUeitly, if not ex- 
pressly, npon a condition, which is afterwards ascertained to be false 
in fact. A church, in calling a pastor, endeayoiira to obey the will of 
God ; a pastor, in accepting, aims at the same rale. Thej both follow 
the indications of Providence, and their mutual aote are fdrmal espves- 
eions of the light in which they regird those indications. How, shoold 
anything transpire which marks this oocclnsion as evidently repugnant 
to the Divine will, the matter is ended ; no obUgation exists on either 
side, except to follow the clearest Ugbt. Appiy these principles here. 
The people of Baltimore, in obedience to the will of God, as they sup- 
pose, call me to be the pajjtor. I believe that I onght to accepE^ and 
acoovdiugly engage to do so. An event takes place, which shows that 
I cannot go to Baltimore without the breach of a inoial obligation. 
This settles it, that it is not the DMne mil that I should go. They then 
cease to he bound by the call, and I by the aooaptence. 

"Now, the light in which I regard the action of the Board, is the 
closing event in the series of Providences, by which my duty was to be 
finally ascertained. God had eonduoled both parties up to this point, 
by A way they knew not ; and here He reveals the Une of duty so plainly, 
that there could be no possibility of mistake. It is His hand that I 
contemplate in the matter, and not the authority of a civil corporation. . 
And this snggests a difScTilty in your mind, which I must endeavour to 
clear up. You insinuate that, in yielding to this action, I yield to <uvil, 
rather than ecclesiastical, authority, in a spiritual matter. The mistaks 
is this ; It is my own ■promise, my own solemn compact, that I respect, 
and not aatkority. I do not stay because the Board says, ' You must 
stay ; ' bnt because I myself had TirtviaUy promised to stay. It is my 
eontrad), and not their power, that I reverence in the matter. Again, 
you af e mistiiken in supposing that this affaix, in any of its piresent aspects, 
was ever adjudicated in any Ohnrdh court. The Presbytery of Chm'les- 
ton deliberated on the call two nights ; the Second Presbyterian church 
of that oity entered a solemn remonstrance upon the minutes of Presby- 
tery against its prosecution ; and the issue which the Presbytery de- 
cided 'was, that I had better go to Baltimore than to Charleston, where 
an effort was then m^ng to get me. But the opinion of the Presby- 
tery, so far as oxpreased, which was informally, and not judioiaily done, 
was, that I had better remain in the College than go to either place. 

" I protested against staying in the College, then ; because, under the 
President we had, and the laws that existed. 1 considered my labours as 
seiionsly hindered. No change in the College was proposed, but that 
of making me President ; and my mind was immovably set against that. 
My purpose, therefore, was absolute, to leave if I could; and under 



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278 LIFE OF ^AMKS HENLEY 

tliat Btate of tte ease, Hie Presbytery said, go to Baltimore. When the 
Board had acted, tliera was a talk here of calling a JM'O n nata maeting 
of Presbytery, to espress its approyal of that couiaa, and urge upon me 
to stay. The church in Carolina is delighted with the result, and clear, 
so far as I have heard, as to my 1 tj Th is the aspect of the case, 

' ' One word more abont th Bo 1 It acted from a solemn sense of 
duty. Under tie existing adm matr t the affaire of the College had 
reached a crisis. Public t m t t ougly against it. That sen- 

timent was largely oaUad t bj my p j cted remoTal. The people 
would, perhaps, have submitted, f th y ild have kept me ; but when 
it was found that I was going, tie tide set in ■v'x'Ca greater fury. A 
clWQge was made ; hut a new esperiment required tje co-opecaiion of 
an expeiienoed friend ; and the Board felt that their high and paramount 
duty, as Ttaatees, required them to use every lawful means of preserving 
my influence, and atti'acting to the College the oonMence which the 
people felt iu me. They deteimined, therefore, if I want, to throw the 
whole responsibility of going upon me; and they were careful to re- 
move all tbe difB.culties whicli had originally excited my dissatisfaction. 
They, no doubt, laigely overrated my importance ; but what they did 
was the offspring of honourable motives, and in the due execution, as 
they believed, of a solemn trust. They had never enforced the law be- 
fore; because ihey had never had such a case. To fill my place this 
year, was out of the question. It required a prudence and circumspec- 
tion, the conditions of which wei'e satisfied in no candidate that offered ; 
and to leave the place vacant for a year was equally ruinous. They had 
only the alternative of enforcing the law, and thus keeping, or doing 
what was in. their power to beep, a man with whom they were satisfied. 
' ' I need not say that I have felt deeply for the condition of the Bal- 
timore people. My heart had been much set upon that field of labour ; 
and I never was more surprised, disappointed, confounded, than by the 
course which things have actually taken. But my oonscience is clear. 
I regret the past, hut I have no remorse. From first to last, I have acted 
in good faiti ; and, if I know my own heart, I have as humbly, patiently, 
and prayerfully endeavoured to asoertwin the will of God, as I ever did 
anything in my life ; and whatever may he the lamentations of my 
friends, or the censures and reproaches of my enemies, I feel that I have 
learned and obeyed the voice of my Heavenly Father in the final result. 
I cannot persuade myself that the church has been injured ,■ it baS been 
kept together by the prospect of my going ; it has been, able to save a 
portion of its income ; and ia, upon the whole, in no worse condition 
than if I had refused the call at first. Whatever divisions may take place 
jiOM, are divisions that would probably have taken place (Afire. It stands, 
as I conceive, about where it stood befirre the oall was proaecuted. What 
I most J^gret, is the possible loss of their personal affections. They may 
be induced to view the matter as you have done, and attach to me a de- 
gree of blame which your charity does not allow you to p 



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C<\LL TO EALTIMOKE. 279 

the righteous smite mo, lioworer, I hope to take it m an esoelleut oil, 
that stall not breai mj head. I had hoped that you would nndarafand 
the matter at once, and would aid me in relieving their minds of any 
nnfavourable misapprehensions ; and had, aooordingly, intended to writo 
to yon upon the subject, as soon as my family afflictions would permit. 
But upon yonr aid, I am afraid, I cannot reeion. Let me beg you to 
review the whole thing, calmly and prayerfully. In fact, I know you 
will do it ; and I know that, whatever you may think of the propriety of 
the course, in itself coosideied, yon wiU do me the justice to believe 
that I have, at least, acted honestly, and hnmhly aimed to disohai^e my 
duty. Xou may condemn my judgment ; but I am oon&dent that yon 
have seen too much of me to question my integrity. Thank God, my 
record in this matter is on high I 

" The deep affliofion of my family, which, under any decision, would 
have rendered a removal, at the projected time, impossible — and 
dangerous in any time of the winter — has struck me with great force. 
The action of the Board has been a mercy to my wife. Her pbysiciaa 
told me, before he heard what was done, that 1 must not think of 
taking her to Baltimore this winter. The condition in which she is, 
coupled with the state in which the fever was likely to leave her, if she 
recovered, rendered the change hazardous in the extreme. 

"I am rejoiced to learn that yom' institution flourishes under your 
auspices, and trust that God may impart rich and abundant consolation 
to your inner man. 

"The Board of Trustees haa informally ceqneated me to prepai'e a 
■work on Moral Philosophy ; and I have a mind to nudertake the task. 
Any suggestions that you may make, either in regard to defects in ei- 
istdng treatises, or as to what o. treatise on the subject should be, will be 
very thankfully received. Let me hear from yon often ; the oft«ner, the 
better. I am always refreshed by a letter from you, even if it condemns; 
for its censures are proofs of love. 

"May God be with yon, and bless you. 

"¥our faithful friend, 

J. H. TUOHNWELL." 

The church in B:iltimore felt no hidination to abandon 
its chiim, and reaolved to wait for lijs coming at the ex- 
pu'ation of the year. The effect of this determination 
upon Dr. Thornwell's mind is, thus stated by Mmself, in a 
letter to Dr. Breckinridge : 

"South OiiioLisA Collegr, Febniairy 17, 18+6. 

" My Deab Bkotheb : I received your very kind letter a few weeks ago ; 

and since that time, tilings have undetgoue a great and unexpected 

change. Tou have probably heard of the acUou of your old charge, in 

refusing to abandon their c^ ; and, after the most prayerful and delibe- 



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SJSU LIFE OF JAMES HENLEY THOUNWELT.. 

rate reflection, I feel myacif shut up to tte neceaGity of going to BiJti- 
jnora. To me, tbe hand of God seems to be couspiouously displayed; 
and though I had supposed that the whole matter was settled, finally 
ajid definitely settled, in another way, and had bepui to shape my ar- 
langementG accordingly, I am now clear, that, let the sacrifices be what 
they may, it is my imperative duty to accept the call of your old flock. 
I eliall not attempt to unfold the reasons ; suffice it to say, that I felt 
my honour implicated when the Providential hindran<5eB, which 1 had 
regarded as an immoTahle bar, wiis not permitted to be a final obstruct 
tion by the church. I shali transfer my family to Baltimore on ilie first 
of July, spend the summer there, snd then, if no other arrangement 
stall be made, return myself in October,, and remain until Commence- 
ment. It will give me great pleasui'e to meet you there, and have you 
join with me in a series of labours to promote the spiritual interests of 
those who, on so maay accounts, must be dear to you ; and it would add 
to the pleasure, if I could get you to accompany me here, and attend 
oar Commencement eienjisas, the last, perhaps, in which / shall ever be 
officially engaged, and the first in which Colonel Preston has been called 
to preside. You may feel some curiosity to know what I think of his 
prospeotH, and I can say with confidence, that I regard them as eminently 
promising. He possesses rare qualifications for the office he holds. Hia 
personal dignity inspires respect ; the elevation of his character gives 
him security, and adds great authority to his counsels or reproofs ; and 
the fire of his genius is coromunioated to his pupHs, kindling a blaze of 
enthusiasm in their minds, and making the business of instruction de- 
hghtful alike to the teacher and the taught. The students are wonder- 
fully attached to him ; and I am sure that, ,under bis auspices, it God 
should spare his health, which, I am sorry to say, is still feeble, our 
institution will soon be attended by a larger cumber of students than its 
most sanguine friends ever dreamed it would possess. There is but one 
drawback, in my view, upon his eminent fitness for the station ; and 
that is, the absence of personfd religion. I do not mean fo say that he 
is not, in a general sense, a religioua man ; but I have no reason to be- 
lieve that he is what you and I would call a converted man.* His influ- 
ence is in favour of teligion, as far as it is possible that he who is not 
wiHi Christ ia heart can be with Him in aot. "What his religious senti- 
ments precisely are, I do not know ; but one thing is certain, his station 
requires him to attend the Chapel, and there I am sure be hears the gos- 
pel. There are many respects in which his conneotion with the College 
is likely to prove a i>ermaneiit blessing to the State. He has a weight 
of character which will enable h'im to effect many salutary reforms, 
which feebler men would be incompetent to exercise ; and he has a prac- 
tical wisdom, from his enlarged acq^uaintanee with the world, which 
saves him from all rash projects, and merely chimerioal speculations. 
My impression is, that he is the onlff man in the State who conld have 
filled the station' just at tiiis jancture ; and I am heartily rejoiced that 

♦At a later period, he became a communicant in the Episcopal Church 



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CALL 'ro BAL-riMOKE. 281 

Ood SBat him to ue, and earnestly pray that he may he hrought, through 
grace, to a saving knowledge Of Jesns Christ. 

" The prospect of flia Preabytarian Chnrch in this State, is to me a 
matter of inteuBe aud painful interest. Our Isige oocgregatious iu the 
country ate . becoming very much enfeebled, by emigration, and their 
relactanoe to support the ministry is still more disoouragiDg, There 
prevails a deplorably lovi tone of personal religion, and the idea of 
mafaiag anything like sacrijices to enetain the iustitations of tlie gospel, 
seems to be foreign from tiieir minds. Unless a radical change should 
teke place, it seems to me that OQi' churches must die out in many »ec- 
tioBS of the country. I contemplate the prospect witli dismiiy. What 
is t<i be done ? What, are the means that we must oonple with prayer, 
to stir up the slumbering piety of those who are God's children, and 
waken a deeper and more absorbing interest in the prospeilty of His 
kingdom ? We present the appearance of a spiritual waste ; and mj" 
heart siekens, as I reflect upon what must he before us, uclass God, in 
great mercy, should revive His work. 

" Your sincere and faithful friend, 

J, H. TaOBNWELI,." 



The removal to Baltimore was destined to be finally 
defeated. A short time before the meeting of the Prea- 
bytery, in the spring of 1846, the President of the Col- 
lege waited upon the writer of these pages; and the in- 
terview deserves to be recorded, as an evidence of the 
estimation in which the subject of this Memoir was held 
by the most gifted men in the State. "We (iannot af- 
ford," said Colonel Preston, "to lose Dr. Thornwell from 
the College. Iu the first place, he is the representative 
there of the Presbyterian Church, which embraces the 
boue and sinew of the State, without whose support the 
institiition cannot exist. In the second place, he has ac- 
quired that moral influence over the students, which is 
superior even to law; and his removal will take away the 
very buttresses on which the administration of the Col- 
lege rests. An arrest has been laid upon his movements, 
as yon are aware ; but at the end of the year, the autho- 
rity of the Board ceases. There is no body that has 
jurisdiction over him, except the Church; and I have 
called to invoke her interposition, if there be any form 
in which her control may properly be exercised." To 



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E OF JAMES HENLEY THORNWELL. 



whicli appeal the writer replied by dramng a paper from 
his desk, Baying, "There, Colonel Preston, is the draft 
of a paper, which I have prepared to suhmit to the Pres- 
bytery, at its approaching meeting. That body will be 
in full sympathy with the object which ia intended to be 
aecompHshed; but I cannot tell whether it will agree 
with me as to the stretch of power which is there claimed. 
Dr. Thornwell expects nothing else than to go to Balti- 
more, to which he evidently feels himself shut up, by a 
sense of honour. I have not consulted him in relation 
to this paper ; and have rather avoided, in my inter- 
course with him, all allusion to his plans, that I might 
not be hampered in the course which 1 propose to pur- 
sue." The paper, above referred to, was submitted to 
the Presbytery on the 11th of April, 1846; and was 
amended, and finally adopted in this form : 



"The Prefihjte>7, learning tbrongli the public prinfB, that the ar- 
rangement proposed by the Second Presbyteriail Ctnuroh of Baliamore, 
and one of its Pi^sbyters, the Bev. Dr. Tbornwell, and which was sus- 
pended by the action of the Trasteee of the South Carolina College, is, 
at the end of the year, ia be ooasnmiuated, think it tJieir right nnd 
daty to inquire whether there has not intervened such a change of cir- 
cnmstances, as to require a reconsideration, of their former action in the 
matter 

■' The question first arises, whether the Presbytery has not lost juria- 
diotion of tie caae, and whether .the papers of dismission given to Dr. 
Thornwell do not bar ail further consideration of his remoyal. In rela- 
tion to this, it must he observed that the Dook of Discipline, chapter 
10, section 2, distinctly affirms the jurisdiction ot Presbytery over dis- 
missed members, nntiJ such moment as they shall become, in act and in 
form, connected with a co-ordinate body. Of coarse, then, notieith- 
Btanding papers of dismission were given in October last, Dr. Thornwell 
still continues a member of this Presbytery ; which bos entire ecclesias- 
tical cognizance of his conduct, and may of right determine the pro- 
priety of hia tranHlation. to another sphere of labour. 

"It may be further observed, that a call is inchoate, unlal consnm- 
mated by the actual coDnectioQ of a church and pastor; and is mani- 
festly subject to the recision of any or all Qih parties, if, in the interim 
between the acceptance of the call and the act of installation, such 
changes occur as shall modify fheir views of duty. Now, there are 
three parties concerned in the settlement of a pastor ; the church mak- 



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OALJ. TO BALTIMOKE. -i^O 

ing the call, the Presbyter called, and the Presbytery of whioh lie is a 
member ; tlie uonaeat of all of whom mnat be obtained in effecting tlie 
installation. If, then, a change in the condition and view of the first two 
parties raaj arrest a oall, while it is in progress, tlie same will hold tvuB ex 
egufUi of the third party ; and if the call should providentially be eus- 
panded, for so long a time as to alloTf an entire change in those oircvim- 
stancee upon which that third party gave his concnrrenoe, it may be 
their moat imperative duty to review the wtole case. 

"It will be distinctly remembered, by those members of Presbytery 
who were present at the pro-re-nata meeting, held in October, that the 
consent of this body to the removal of Dr. Thornwell was predicated solely 
upon his fixed determination to leave the College i the only real question 
being, whether he should remove to Baltimore or elaewhere. As no 
other door of iisefulneaa presented itself sufficiently open, ihe call waa 
received, and placed in his hands. Since that Ume, however, important 
changes have taten place in Dr. Thomwell's personal relations to the 
College ; which, if they had existed at the time, must have exercised a 
strong influence upon his determination ; and his opinion of his own 
efficiency, in his present important position, may be modified by the de- 
velopments of a year. In addition to this, within ihe present year, an 
important enterprise has been set on foot within the bounds of this 
Synod, of vast consequence to the Church ; rmd it is the deliberate con- 
viction of this Presbytery, that the complete establishment and further 
prosperity of the Theological Seminaiy will be greatly promoted by our 
brother's continued residence and labours within our own bounds, where 
he may eiert a direct influenoe in "favour of this institution. 
"Be it, therefore, Ruoioed: 

" 1, That, in view of the changes which have ooonrred since last Oc- 
tober — changes which would have affected materially the decision of this 
body as to his removal, had they taken place at the time — this Presby- 
tery, in duty to themselves, and to the Christian public, are unwilling to 
consent to Dr. Thorn well's transfer to Baltimore. 

"2. That the fields of labour now opening, in the providence of God, 
before our brother, in our own hounds, afford most ample scope for his 
abiUty and learning. And it is the most deliberate judgment of this 
body, in view of tlie necessities of the Church within this State, of the 
movements which are now on foot amongst us, and of the stoiud which 
he has acquired in this portion of the Church, that he should not remove 
without the limits of (his Synod. 

" 3. That a etimmunication be addressed to the church at Baltimore, 
stating these views, and requesting their concurrence in them ; desiring 
them to release Dr. Thornwell from his present obligation ; or, if they 
are unwilling to do so, at least to show cause, either to this body, or io 
the Synod, at its nest meeting, for their desire to continue to urge their 
oalL"* 

• Minutes of the Presbytery of Charleston, pp. 403-406, 



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284 LIFE or JAMES HENLBY THOKNWELL. 



A silent acquiescence in this decision closed the nego- 
tiations with Baltimore; and Dr. ThornweU's eonnection 
with the College was continued. It is tlie strongest illus- 
tration of Presbjterial power of which the writer is aware- 
Many instances occur, in which the Church conrts, have 
exercised a veto, tlierebj disappointing the wishes both 
of ministers and of churches ; but it is usual only in oases 
actually pending. This action, however, cancelled a call 
which had already been accepted, and revoked a dismis- 
sion which had already been gi'anted; and did not pass 
witliout some criticism at the time. The record is of 
value, as showing that Presbyterianism is a government, 
and the Church courts are something more than advisory 
councils. 



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CHAPTER XX. 

QUESTION OF BOMISH BAPTISM. 

IssBMELZ OP 1845, — Debate on Romish BiPTisM. — Impkbssions op thb. 
West. — Viewb on Abolitiokism.— Patbiotio Febtjvo. — "Bibuoal 

EePBETOBY " OK BOMISH BAPTISM.' — ^AETIOtEa IN EePLT. — CoBHBSTOH- 
DBNCE ON THE SiME.' — ^LbTTER TO CoLONEL PsiaTON ; ALSO TO HIS 

CaiLDrBN ^Plans in Eelation to the Colombia Seminabt.— 
3 PKBaBriEBiAN Review " Phojeotbd. — Its Objects Et- 



IR the yeai 1845, Dr. Thornwell was returned a commis- 
sioner to the General Asflemhly, which mot at Cindn- 
nati, whose decision, on at least two important subjects, 
he ^sisted largely to moidd. The tirst was " that of 
slavery; upon which this Assembly made a deliverance so 
temperate and well guarded, that it put to rest, to a con- 
siderable degree, the hurtful agitation of that subject, 
and formed the basis upon which the' CImrch continued 
to stand until the dismption occasioned by the late civil . 
war. Dr. Thornwell, thongh not a member of the Com- 
mittee charged with this matter, was, nevertheless, pri- 
vately consulted; and his views were largely embodied 
in the Report, which was finally presented and adopted.* 
The second snbject related to the validity of Romish 
baptism ; which was ably discussed, and was the leading 
topic that engaged the attentiou of the body. Dr. 
Thornwell's elaborate argument not only enhanced his 
own reputation as one of the first debaters in the Church, 
but was admitted by all partis as having determined tlie 
overwhelming vote of one hundred and seventy-three to 
eight,! against the recognition of such baptism. 

*See Aesembly's Digest, Edition 1856, pp. 812, 813. 
t Assembly's Digest, Edition 1856, pp. 77-79 ; where may be found a 
summary of reasons for the decision. 



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2b6 LIFE OF JAMES HENLKT THORNWF.LL. 

These matters are opejied in a letter, written at the 
time, to ]\Irs, Thornwell : 



" Cincinnati, May 19, 1845. 
Mt Deabsst Wite ; • • * • jiy mind is in a state of eoiisiant 
and intonse excitement eonneetod witli the biiaiaess of tlie Assembly, 
E -ytli ng tiiTjs far has been nobly dooe. The spirit -whicli pervadea 
th Abe mbly seems to be the spirit of Christ and the Gospel ; and I 
B n ly trast that G!od is with us, guiding and direoting us in all our 
d hb t ns For two days and a half, we have been discussing the 
r^ tion wh ther Koman Oailioljo baptism is valid or not? I mada a 
pe h to day, two hours long ; which waa listened to with breathless at- 
t t , nd, from what I oau gather, is likely to settle the qnestion. I 
have a host of apphcations to write out mj speech, and print it, which 
I have no notion of doing. It has made me the subject of a great many 
uudeserred ttttentions, wiucli I would not otherwise, perhaps, have re- 
ceived. 

" The question of slftTery has been before the house, and referred to 
a special committee of seven. Though not a member of tlie committee, 
I have been consulted on the subject, and have drawn up a paper, which 

1 



I th k th m 


tt I t! 4 mbly 11 su! t tially 1 ji 


it th y d b 1 


t mwiHb kUdmth V bt anCh 


least f th p 


t I h d It b t th t th As mb 


a ve y laig m j 


t U 1 1 1 ry t to b ful wiU 


that t IS an t 


dly th w d f God th t t p rely 


tion w th Wh 


ti th Chw h sn b has n ht to terf 



that lit m tllywikd,! g g d rum is I 

feel p rf Uy ti 1 that th th -tand h h th A bly will 

take Th So th m m ml h vit 1 lite and th w 11 

trion 1 h tl g th day It w 11 b g t m tt to p t th t 
tious on slaveij t reat, and to save the Church fraia dismeiabermeiit 
and schism. ; and particulaih t j do it here, in the stronghold of aboli- 

" The marriage questinn will come up to-morrow. The resnltwill be, 
that the Assembly will maintain its former ground, and enjoin upon the 
Church courts to discipline, in every pase, in which a man maxries hia 
wife's sister. Whether the Elder question will come up, in all its bear- 
ipgfl, before us, I cannot say ; but we have so much to do, that I think 
it will not. « * * 

" I have had a delightful time among aU the brethren, from all sections 
of the Church. It would do yon good to see the harmony, courtesy, and 
Christian feeling, which characterize the Assembly. God grant that it 
may not be disturbed during the whole course of our businesfl. May 
God bless you and keep you. Kiss the ohildven for me. 
"As ever, your deyot«d husband, 

-J. H. TEOKNnrELL." 



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QUESTION OF ROMISH BAPTISM. 287 



"P. S. — Since writing tlie above, I reoeived jour Bweet latter from 
AbbBTille, and devoutly tbani God that jou are all getting on bo well. 
The vote on Popish baptism hss passed by a tremeodous majority, only 
gis members, out of one hundced and eighty, voting against it. Tlie 
committee did not adopt my report fully on slavery, but will bring in 
<in8 that takes nearly the same position ; one which vindicates the Sonth, 
and will put the question at rest. • • * My speech has made me the 
objeot of general attention and cariosity. I have had compliroeuts, 
which God grant may not injure my humility. Let me tear from you 
soon, and often." 

The letter given below is iEteresting, not only as con- 
veying his iinpreaaion& of the West, but as disclosing his 
intense love for the whole country, and the ambitious 
dreams he indulged of its expansion and glory. It ia ad- 
dreaaed to hia wife, from Wheeling, Va., and is dated the 
14th June, 1845 : 

" 1 took my deparirara from Cinoiunati, for Baltiinore, on Thucsday, 
at 11 o'clock ; and, as the river is too low for boats, I had to resort to the 
etage coach. I have been travelling now two nights and two days, 
without intermiBBion, except for meala, in crowded coaches, and am now 
fairly lired out. I got to this place this morning, and ahull stay here 
until Monday ; when I shall have to take a stage coach again, for one 
hundred and thirty miles, to Cumberland, across the mountains j there I 
shall take the railroad to Baltimore, where I shall spend the renuiiader 
of the week. ***** 

" Tiresome as it has been, I do not regret that I had to travel from 
Cincinnati to this place by land. It has given me an opportunity for 
seeing the country ; and 1 would not have roissad seeing what I have 
seen, and hearing what I have beard, for a great deal. My impressions 
of the West had been greatly erroneous, in many important respects; 
and my convictions of its importance are greatly increased. The more I 
reflect upon the subject, tiie more I am satisfied that the mission of our 
Bepublic will not be aooomplished, until we embrace in our Union the 
whole of this North Ameiioan continent. If the New England people 
ace disposed to kick up a dust about the annexation of Texas, I am pre- 
pared to take the ground that it would be better for this country, and for 
the interests of the human race, to give up New England, than to 
abandon any new territory which we may be able to acquire. I go for 
TeiBS ; I should Uke also to have California ; we must hold on to Oregon, 
if we have to do it at the point of the bayonet ; and I would be glad even 
to get Mexico itself. You see that I am grasping at territory. There 
must be a grand imperial Republic on this continent, and God will bring 
it about, and accomplish great purposes through it. As to disunion, we 



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'28S LIFK OF JAMES HENLEY THORNWELL. 

have nothing seriouE to apprehend. If the Yankees feet' 
leave ns, let them go ; but the West and the South, can never be eepa- 
rated. There is at work, in this land, a Yankee spirit, and an American 
spirit ; and the latter must triumph. But enough of politics. I will only 
add that abolitioniBm is a humbug. A prudeut course, on tiie part of 
the South, will kill it entirely. Wa have done the North aud West iu- 
jnsiice on this subjeet. Take out the Yaokeea, and the overwhelming 
force of public opinion is with the South. I have kept my eye on this 
.matter, aud know what I eay," 

It eould hardly be expected that the Assembly's deci- 
eion upon the invalidity of Boraieh baptiBin would pass 
without challenge. The Princeton Journal, in it* annnal 
review of the Aseerably, pronounced with great emphasis 
against tlie doctrine of that decree. The guantlet was 
not thrown down in vain. On the 4th of October, Dr. 
Thornwell thus writes to Dr. Breckinridge : 

■' It seems that Princeton has fairly turned out to be an apologist for 
Kome. I read with much interest a series of articles in the Herald of 
Keataeky, reviewiug the Repertory, which I atti-ibuted to you. I would 
have written something myself before this, ; but I have been in an un- 
settled state of life, ifioving about from pillar to post, until last week, 
when I returned home. As soon as I can command leisure enough, I 
shall try my hand. This is one instance in which the fathers and brethren 
have reckoned without their host. The Church, as a body, is dead 
agaisist them. I haYe not seen a single minister who does not condemn 
the strictures of Hodge, and snstain the Assembly. I think it can be 
dearly shown that tiiere is no principle on which Popish baptism can 
be sustained, that will not apply with equal force to <my baptisms, reg- 
ular in form, administered by any body to any body. Just let Tom, 
Dick, and Harry apply water, in the name of the Trinity, to the first 
person either shall meet on the street, and intend it to be Christian bap- 
tism ; and Christian baptism, according to Princeton, it is and must be. 
I have CJ^mined this jvhole subject pretty throughly, and shall soon be- 
gin to writ* in the WaicHmuin and Observer. Perhaps Englas may copy 
the article into the PTeabyteria/n." 

Again, on the iTth of !Febniary, 1846, he writes: 

"I have screwed up ray conraee at lost to begin mv projected reply 
to Princeton, on the subject of Eomish Baptism My article will ap- 
pear in the Oisenw and Watchman under the signature of ' Henley,' 
which is my middle name. I have treated thj 1 rrthren there with the 
respect that is due to age and station Perhips — toi thn heart is deceit- 



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QDESTION OF KOMISH 

ful — tliere may ba sometliiiig of poKcy in it. My object, however, taa 
been to give strong arguments and soft words. My first numlier does 
not enter into the marrow of tlie subjeot ; but the aneceeding ones, un- 
less I am great^ deceived, will not be BO easy to ao^er." 

A series of articles was accordingly begun, in fulfil- 
ment of the atovG promise, on tlie 5tli of March, which 
were afterwards gathered into three articles for the South- 
ern Preshytenan Review, and may be found by the 
reader in the third vohune of Dr. Thornwell's pubhshed 
works. They go down into all the principles which dis- 
criminate the Romish system as an apostasy from the 
truth, and are valuable for the exposition they give of 
the great doctrines of grace. As the reply was directed 
against the gentlemen at Princeton, the discussion was 
chai'acterized with all the courtesy that was due to their 
station and iafluence, which drew from his friend, Dr. 
Breckinridge, a rather splenetic note, to which the letter 
which follows is the rejoinder: 

"South OABoi.i»i College, Mardlt 34, 18+6. 
" Mv Desk Bkothbr : Yon will, perhaps, be aBtOnished at my mode- 
ration, when I tell you that, thongh deeply wounded, I was not offended 
at the bitter, and, as I conceive, unmerited oansure of your last letter. 
The truth ia, it will take something more than momentary espcessions, 
thrown ofE in a fit of spleen or eidt«ment, to alienate my affections from 
one whose life has been distdnguislied by arduous services and painful 
sacrifices, in the cause of our common Master. Xou may grievously 
misunderstand me, and rank my name in a catagory to which it does 
not properly belong. This is the bitterest evil of life, to be misappre- 
hended aud censured by those whose good opinion we most desire, and 
in regard to matters in which we most deserve it. What you call my 
■ Eulogy on Princeton,' is a conciliatory introduction to a series of arti- 
cles, in which Princeton is destined to figure with no enviable distinc- 
tirm The espreasions are, with a single esception, so framed as to 
leier to the personal qualifies of the Fathers there, Drs. Miller and 
Alsionder I thought it advisable ,to let (iiem see that they were held 
lespoiihible, as well as Dr Hodge, for the sentiments of the Jt^niewi; 
ind to ictraiate that the profound veneration whioli was felt foi them 
personally, mstead of oommendmg their apology for Rome to the re- 
rcpfion of the Chnroh, had only inspu^d, and wai. only calculated to 
mspiri pitj for themsebpE The whole tenor of the esoidium exon- 
ititci me tiom the ihiigc nf per^ouiil pypie ■Hhioh I had lea^on to 



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290 LIFE OF JAMES HENLEY THOKMWELL. 

believe would be attributed to me. J speak of the article as Tratten 
with evident aMli^, and an ability not of iearniog, not of eloguecce, not 
of argument, but of eopMstry. The expression is limited to tlie ' iuge- 
miitj and skill,' with which the writer managed his mateiials, the best 
that could be had. That I intended to strengthen tbe inflneaoe of 
Pi-inoekin, is jnst the reTeran of my real object in the whole thing. 
"WJiile I gave its Professors credit for piety, learning, and every Chris, 
tian quality ; while, in other words, I commended them as man, the 
whole tenor of my articles U against the doctriihes they sustain ; and I 
think, JD the result, you will find that they have produced an efieot any- 
thing but favonrable to the Princeton ascendency. My aim is to break 
the charm, which I think as dangerous as you do ; and 1 have bo man- 
aged my attack as to reach the very persons whom we ought to reach, 
the admirers of Princeton. Thaywillsee that thisisnota jjerscnoi mar; 
that we have nothing to say against the Fathers and brethren, as private 
men and Christians ; that, as followers of Jesi:^ we love them ; as in 
error, we pity them ; bnt that, in the influence which they, as a body, 
exert, we sea perils which must be resisted and BTerted. Whether, in 
this respect, I have juiced wisely, the event will prove ; aad if you can 
BO overcome your disgust as to read the artideB to the end of the dis- 
cussion, you will probably change your first opinion, and be fully satis- 
fied that I have transferred, as skilfully as it should be done, the assDoJa- 

It was a little odd that, at the very time you wore charging me with 
bolstering up Princeton, I was pushing ahead an enterprize which I 
was induced to undertake, from a deep conviction that Princeton must 
be checked. The very qualities which my article attributes to the men 
are, in my view, the qualities which make their errors dangerous. And 
as I believed that Princeton had pursued a disastrous course on the Elder 
question, on the Eomish question, and in regard to national Societies, 
and ought to be checked, I could devise, at present, no better plan of 
curtailing her influence than that of strengthening the hands of other 
Seminaries. Hence, I set on foot the scheme of organizing our own 
institution mote perfectly. The thing was first broached to nie, after 
repeated interviews with brethren, who thought as I do upon these 
points. You yourself know that 1 am no great advocate of Theological 
Seminaries ; but as the Church is wedded to them, I am willing, as the 
next beat thing that can be done, to make them checks upon each other. 
But enough of this matter. Your labours, where you are, must be re- 
trenched, or your health wiE be ruined. You do the work of at least 
three men. Could you be induced to come South? The third Profes- 
sorship in our Seminary here will be fully endowed this spring ; and wa 
shaU have to elect a Professor of History and Church Government in the 
fall. My attention has been turned to yourself. The place, in many 
lespeots, will be pleasant; and it will be a fine field for you, until Provi- 
dence shall open a wider. My fixed purpose, in regard to you, is to 
exert what influence I possess— should I be alive at the time, and you 



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QUESl'ION OF KOMI8H BAPTISM. 291 

ja a condition of health— to transfer you to the same department iu 
Prinoeton. I havo looked upon it as unlikely that you would ever 
again become a pastor ; and a position of this sort is the nest most use- 
ful, and is ons emineiLtly adapted to your talents. 

J. H. Thobnweli.. " 



The hint here thrown out, of placing Dr. ] 
in the Theological Seminaiy at Columbia, was doiibtleea 
saggested by the fact that his health was inadequate to 
the labours of his position at Oannonsburgh. It was not, 
perhapa, very aeriously entertained by either party ; though 
it is referred' to a eeeoud time, in a aubaeqnent letter, 
dated July 24, 1846: 

" I haye been, muoh distressed to learn, from various sources, that your 
health la still preoarioua. God grant that you may be long spared to 
labour for the glory of TTtb name and. the prosperity of His Ghuroh. 
This is no Uiae, according to tJie estimate of human probability, in 
■which we can dispense with your services, and those of men like-minded 
with yourself. The discussion in the last Assembly, on the subject of 
inter-communion with the New School party, has filled me with, sadnees. 
I was not prepared to see, so soon, a disposition, so openly manifested, 
to forsaie our former testimony. That there were many who ohorished 
loose sentiments in tiieir hearts, I tad no doubt ; but that the time bad 
come to avow them in the highest court of the Church, I did not believe. 
I am seriously afraid that the foolish liberality of the age will speedily 
plunge us into, the same disasters from whioh we have just escaped. Onr 
■whole system of operations gives an undue inflnence to money. Where 
money is the great toant, niimbera must be sought ; and where an am- 
bition for numbers prevails, doctrinal purity must be sacrificed. The 
root of the evil is in ilie swular spirit of aU our ecclesisstioal institutions. 
What we want is a iipiritual body ; a Church whose power lies in the 
truth, and the presence of the Holy Ghost, To unseaula/riee the Church 
should he the unceasing aim of all who are anxious that the ways of Zion 
should flourish. I need not say that my heart was fully with you in 
your noble testimony in the last Assembly. 

"We have completed, the endowment of the third Professorship iu 
this Seminary. Can you not send ue some students ? I think that you 
■would not negret it ; for whatever may be the sentimente of some of the 
Professors on some points, a stronger power is brought to hear upon the 
students out of the Seminary, than is exerted in. it. Most of them leave 
the place much sounder than they came. Should it be so that yonr health 
is inadequate to the discharge of your duties in your present situation, 
will you aome here, for two or three ycms, or as long as you please ? You 



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would ia? e a delightful olimate, eesy laboure, exemption from preaching, 
aud flae eooiety. We must elect a Professor in the fall ; and, if jou will . 
agree to come, mj mind is made up as to the man. Thia field is, of 
course, not to be eoropared with the one you at present oooupy ; but it ia 
better than absolute idleness, and I suggest it to jou only upon the sup- 
position that you are too feeble for any other work." 

It is pleasant to interrupt this con-espondence, generally 
80 polemic in ite cast, ty tz'anscribing a letter as entii'ely 
epiritual. It is addressed to his colleague, the Hon. "W. 
0. Preston, the President of the College. It ie a beau- 
tiful commingling of personal sympathy under sorrow, 
with faithfulness of effort to win the soul tp Christ : 

"SODTB; CaKOCJNA OOLLtGE, A-uffust i, 1846. 

To Hon. William C. Preston ; 

Mt Yesy Deah Sm : I see from the papers, that you have again beeu 
called, in the providence of G-od, to taste the bitterness of grief. Though, 
in ordinary oases, the affliction with which you have been visited is one 
which takes ns less by surprise than any other form of ordinary bereftve- 
ment, yet in your case, the event, I learn, has been wholly uneipeoted ; 
so that tie sereiity of the stroke has been greatly augmented by the 
suddenness of the shock. Yonr feelings under suoh oircumstancea I 
can readily conceive, and notiiing. but profound veneration for the 
EaoredQeBS of your grief has prevented me from disturbing the solitude 
which each sorrows always court, and espreBBing in person what, in the 
freshness of your calamity, it would, perhaps, have been no relief to re- 
ceive, my syinpatiij and condolence. Bo aasnred, my dear sir, that my 
heart has been with you, and my prayers and my tears both freely 
accompanied you, when I saw you descend into the house of mourning. 
Your tenderest associations are dearly linied to the grave, or rather they 
are tied to Heaven. A saintsd sister, a cherished daughter, and now 
she who nursed your infanoy, are there before you. Death is no unfamil. 
iat Bubject, and the hopes of a future life I trust no strange theme. 

" The remMndDr of out Jtesh," is the forcible and beautiful language 
in which the Hebrew writers are accostomod to designate our kindred 
and relatives. It is an espression true to nature. We feel them to be a 
portion of onrselves. Our hearts pursue them in the grave ; the sod 
which conceals their bodies cannot interrupt our communion with their 
spirits ; they live in our memories, they revive in our hopes, I know, 
from your own affectionate nature, and from the tender relations which 
they bore to yon, that those whom God has token from you will be felt 
to be, in a pre-eminent sense, part and parcel of your being ; they were, 
indeed, the 'remainder of yaarfiesh.' And does not this consideration, 
my dear sir, suggest a new incentive for cherishing a strong attachment 
to Heaven, and for giving all diligence to acquire that love to the Saviour 



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QDESTJON OV KOMISH BAmSM. 293 

whioli will seoure reunioii with your friends f If Jeans possess not the 
aame attractions for you tliat He does for His aaints, so that you desire 
to be absent from tie body in order to be present witt the Lord ; if Hia 
preseaoe and glory be not sofflciont to wean your lieart from all snblu- 
miej good, and contmend Me rest to your affections ; yet, as nature yearns 
to be joined agfun. to the departed, you mast feel impelled tfl turn your 
eyes to TF'm as ' the waj, the truth, and the life." Tiie loved ones of 
your soul beokon you fo Him, and throagh Him to their own society, 
and to eTerlasting blessedness. The providence of God is designed fo 
gJTe emphasis to the oaEs of His graPe ; and afflictions fail of their end 
which do not conduct us to Him who bore our eickness and carried our 



" If you will pardon the liberty which I take, for I can assure you 
that what I shall say is dictated by the siiiccrost friendship, and aecom- 
panied by the warmest prayers, I will frankly state wy apprehension, 
that you aie prone, from the yery nature of your mind, and the chaiao-: 
tei' of your past pursuits, to fortify your heart rather with the lessons of 
philosophy than the promises of God. But if it is the purpose of your 
Heavenly Father to lead you to Himself, if He has taken ' tJie remamdev 
of yowr fieah ' as an earnest of the mercy in reserve, is it not as ungrateful 
as it is rebeUious, to seek consolation in bereavement from the topics of 
t>iia world's wisdom, while the exhausfless treasures of Divine love are 
before you ? Who would be content with heathen forlitude, when the 
jewel of Ohristan jiaSJCTice may be won ? The disoipUne of philosophy 
may engender a dogged submission to calamity, but can never give the 
victory that overcomes the world. It is the distinguishii^ glory of the 
gospel to bFace the soul against the pressure of ill, to subdue sorron, to 
conquer death, to rejoice Jn tribulation. He alone whose heart is fixed, 
trusting in the Lord, ' shall not be afraid of evil tidings,' since he knows 
that bU things must wort together for good to them that love God. You 
may rely npon it, dear sir, that there is comfort, pure and sweet, in the 
love of the Father, the grace of the Son, and the communion of the 
blessed Spirit. There are consolations rich and abundant in the pro- 
mises of the new and everlasting Covenant, a joy unspeakable and full of 
glory, even in the midst of fiery trials, to those who believe in the Sa- 
viour. This joy I am anxious for you to feeL In the eye of your 
Ohristjan friends there is but one thing jou lack, and that one thing 
would impart a new grace to your splendid abilities, give new power to 
your eloquence, and shed a Divine lustre upon the commanding station 
which you occupy. The whole dispensation under which we are placed is 
a dispensation of mercy, and the tendency of all its arrangements is to 
conduct to Jesus as the only Saviour of men. Prosperity and adversity, 
blessings and afQictions, all speak the same language : ' belieoe and be 
saved.' In your case, I cannot but feel that this language has been most 
solemn and emphatic. The prejudices which a mind like yours would 
be hkely to entertain against evangelical religion, have been signally 
forestalled by the testimony of those whom you loved most, and all men 



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294 LIFE OF JAMES HEN! 

were bovmd to respect. You have seen its reality, you have w 
ite power. You know that there is euch a thing aa a chimge of teart, 
Bneh a hleBBing as justifioation by free grace ; for you have the personal 
assutsMoe of tlioae whose faith GoA commanded you to follow. I trust 
that you will obey Has voice. He bas called you to prosperity, enabling 
you Ui achieve for yourself ' a name which posterity wiU not wiHingly 
let die ;' all venerate you, multitudes love you, and God commands you 
to give the glory Ui Him. He bas once and again called you by afflic- 
Ijons, and all your affliotions point you directly to Heaven. Ob ! that 
He may now eaU you affectionately by His grace, and mate you partaker 
of His Son! To thisblefised Spirit I oomraendyou, and wherever you go, 
my affections and my prayers shall go with you ; and if it should be the 
will of God that we meet no more on eartii, (for thousands have rim a 
shorter course than ours,) let us endeavour to meet on the great day, at 
tha right band of the Judge, where all tears shall be wiped away, and 
sorrow and sighing ace no more known. 

" With the sincerost Cbrisfian sympathy and love, most trnly yonrs, 
J. H. Teoenwhu.." 

It will form, perhaps, an agreeable contrast, to set over 
■against this letter, addressed to a distinguished and cul- 
tivated man of the world, a brief note, written at the same 
date, to his children, left in Columbia at school, whilst 
he and their mother were enjoying a little recreation with 
relatives at Abbeville. Nothing brings out a man's heart 
so completely as the intercourse he holds with his own 
children. Dr. Thorn well was a most affectionate father; 
aud amongst his loose papers are many short letters to 
them, in which he never fails to impress on their young 
minds the importance of early piety. Let us see how the 
great orator and profound debater will condescend to 
babes : 

"ABBEvim,E, Augvitn, 1846. 

" Mt Deab Childben ; Your mother and myself, witb your little bro- 
thers and sisters, reached your uncle Wardlaw's on Friday evening, in 
health and safety. We desire to thank God for having taken care of us, 
and we want you to thank Him too. He saved us from all accident by 
the road ; He provided us witb every necessary comfort ; and, through 
His goodness, we are now among dear and valued friends. 

' ' Your little cousins have inq^uired a great deal about you, and are very 
Borry that you did not come up with us. Aunt Mary and Uncle Joe also 
expressed great desire to see you. Your father and mother would be 
happy to have you with them, but they know it to be better for you to 



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QDEBl'ION OF liOMISH BAFTIEM. 295 

be at school witli aunt Peok. Father wants you to be good nbOdren, to 
give Mrs. Peek no trouble, and to leam to read good, bo that yon may 
be able to read God's Word for jourselyee. Ton nmst pray to God every 
night whea you go to bed, and every mormng when you get up. You 
muet ask Him, tot Vae saJio of Jesua Christ, to give you His Spirit. Xbe 
Spirit wiU make jou feel that yon are sinuera, that you need a SaTionr ; 
and irill enable yon to belioTs in Jesus Christ. Xon must begin early to 
fear God. Jesus Olirist saTos oMldren, as well as grown people. Yon 
must also pray for fatier and mother, and your little brothers and 
aiaUrs, and for each other. When Aunt Peck takes you to ehuroh, you 
must be good children, behave prettily, and listen to what Mr. Palmer 
says. Tour father and mother think of you every day, and pray for you, 
and send a tkousand kisses to you. 

"Very affectionately, yourfatlier, 

J. H. Thorn WELL. "^ 

Among the reasons assigned by the Presbytery for re- 
taining Dr. Thornwell in South Carolina, allusion was 
made to certain enterprises which had been set on foot, 
which his inlinence was needed to foster and sustain. One 
of these was a more complete endowment and equipment 
of tlie Theological Seminary at Columbia. Tliis was soon 
carried out by adding a third Professorship, and, at a later 
period, a fourth ; to which, eventually, the munificence of 
Judge Perldns, of Mississippi, added a fifth ; so that, prior 
to the late war, it was one of the best endowed and most 
throughly furnished institutions of the kind in the whole 
land. 

A second enterprise was the establishment of a religious 
quarterly, at Columbia; to which, by anticipation, we have 
had occasion already to refer. The measures for this last 
were perfected during the year 1846 ; and in the month 
of June, in the year following, the first number wiis 
issued of the Southern Presbyterian Review, under the 
conduct of " an association of Presbyterian ministers, in 
the town of Columbia;" and which has eontiimed its ex- 
istence to the present hour. In both of these schemes 
Dr. Tliornwell was deeply interested ; and the complete 
success achieved in both, fully justifies the wisdom of the 
Presbytery in retaining the services which so powerfully 
contributed to the same. Many of the most valuable 



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29tt LIFE OF JAMKB HENLEY THOKNWELL. 

articles in the Review were from his pen; wliicli, in all 
probability, would never have been wi-itten, but for the 
editorial responsibility which pressed upon him. To that 
extent, the Ohureh at large is a debtor to this enterprise; 
as will be acknowledged by all who discover how large a 
portion of the four volumes, already published, is made 
np of monographs culled from the pages of tliis Meview. 
A few extracts, from letters relating to this undertaking, 
will conclude the present chapter. To Dr. Breckinridge, 
in a letter bearing date September 25, 1846 ; 

" I have just returned from B long and painfnl visit to a region full of 
Biokaees and auction. My absence aooouuts for my not having sent 
yon. a. prospectus before. I have no idea that wa can get mibscriherB in 
your region, but I hope that we can get artidea. Tou must write. We 
will give yon a fair and full field on the Elder qnestioa. Can you not 
get Drs. Green and McGill to write ?" 

On the 6th of November, he writes to the same, with 
a little more fudnesa : 

"I am rejoiced to loam that you will become a constant contributor 
to our proposed Beviea. Yon must be under no sort of apprehension 
that you will write too often, or too much. We have not yet received 
sufB.cient encouragement, in the way of patronage, to feel that tlie en- 
terprise is safe. At Synod, wbioli meets in Charleston on Thuisday 
next, returns will probably be made to vis, from whioh we can judge 
whether it will be advisable f<i put to press, or not. We ah^ start if 
•wa can get five hundred subscribers. We have four hundred now. 

" The editors of the concern are Dr. Howe, brother Pahner, and my- 
self. We intend to make it a free journal on the subject of Eldership, 
Boards, Agencies, et id omne genus. We shall not, like Prineaton, put 
an estingnisher upon any candle that emits any light. My own impres- 
sion is, that, eseept in eases where a writer tnay particularly desire the 
contrary, the names of the contributors should be given. No man ought 
to write who is not willing to ba responsible for what he says. There 
may be considerations of deUoacy which, in some instances, might ren- 
der it improper to give the author of an ai'ticle ; and in such eases, thi) 
name might be suppressed. But, as a general rule, I do not like strictly 
anonymous publications The Revieio has been coldly received in some 
quarters, having been prejudiced and condemned as likely to be a vio- 
lent and. acrimonious advocate of extreme opinions. 1 hope that it will 
be free from bitterness ; but if God gives (ne health and strength, I am 
determined that it shall contain some things which wU! require some- 
thing moiM than appeal to cusLoiii to refute." 



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CHAPTER XXI. 

ASSEMBLIES OF 1847 AND 1848. 

Abbeuelyof 1847. — Euscted Modebs.tob. — Saj.ut4tokt ADcuEaa. — De- 

SCKIPTIYE LeTTEBB. — SbKHON ON PllPEElI. — ItS SBBraOT, THE MaSS.^ 

Outline or it.' — Vraws op Hia Usefulness in the CdlijEue. — Ah- 
SHMBLY OP 184:8. — Bight of Chdhuh Members to "Wiihdbaw. — Ee- 

LiTIOB OS THE OhUKGH TO filOBAL EbFOEM BoCIETIBS.— CuBlOUS SoENB 

IN THE Assembly. — Visit to Washinstob Citi. — Fiest Acquaintance 
■WITH Mb. Calhodn. — iMtaa^ioss op His Genics.^Dettehs of 



DK. THORNWELL had been a member of three As- 
semblies: those of 1837, of 1840, and of 1845; be- 
coming more conspicuoue in each, until, in that of 1 847, 
which convened in the city of Richmond, Virginia, the 
highest ecclasiastical honour was conferred, in elevating 
him to the Moderator's uhair. He was, we believe, the 
youngest who had ever filled that distinguished position, 
being only in the thirty-fifth yeai' of his age. Upon being 
conducted to his seat, m a neat salutatory, he reminded the 
Assembly of the importance of Parliamentary rules, and 
of a punctilious observance of them, in order to the des- 
patch of business; and of the still greater importance, in 
a spiritual court, of the presence of Christ, in the power 
of His Sph-it, and of singleness of purpose to promote 
- the glory of God. Delivered with the tone of sincere 
conviction which marked all his utterances, it made a 
sweet impression upon the body, and gave a pledge of 
that dignity and courtesy, that impartiality and efjicieiicy 
in the discharge of his official duties, which, at the close 
of the sessions, brought itpon him the encomiums of all 
who witnessed the proceedings of each day. This much 
297 



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298 LIFE OF JAMES HENLEY THOENWELL. 

may be allowed to be said for him, since he coiild not- 
say it for himself. As to all the rest, he shall speaJi di- 
rectlj' to the reader, in the confidential letters addressed 
to her, who shared with him hia innermost thoughts : 

"RioauoBD, May 20, 18*7. 

" The Assemblj lias juat closed Vis momiag sessioii. Dr. Hodge 
preached a very able Bermon, from 1 Gor. ix. 14. The subject was, the 
duty ol the Clmrcli, as a united, collective body, to support the gospel 
miDistry. Soma of his viewa were very stcikiug and impreEsive, though 
in some things there seemed to me to be a confusion of ideas. He read 
it slavishly, aad without any animation ; and the eougregafion, I thought, 
were not much interested. I presume it will be published. After the 
sermon, the Assembly was oonsHtuied ; and, though some Pi-esbyferies 
are not yet represented, the delegation is very large, and the body is 
truly imposing. 

' ' I was elected Moderator, which, I have no doubt, will surprise you 
and my Colnmbia friends very much. The Assembly is to meet every 
morning at nine o'clock, and adjourn at one ; then meet again at four, 
and adjourn at half-past dx. The adoption of this rule, and the election 
of ofBoers, are all that was done this morning. I have no idea what sort 
af a time we shall have ; but I trust that the Lord will be merciful to- 
ns, and grant as Hia Holy Spirit. 1 do wish very much that you were 
here. You could not fail fo ba interested and delighted. You would 
meet with so many old friends, and extend your acquaintance einong s* 
many kind and hospitable people, tiat you would feel it to be a treat, 

"Father Molver, from North Carolina, is here, to prosecute a com- 
plaint against Fayetteville Presbytery and the Synod of Noi-th Oarolinar 
for restoring McQueen to the ministry. The old man is full of the sub- 
ject. Ho seems to think that all will come to desolation, if men are 
allowed to marry their wives' sisters. He is a good man, and his zeal 
and earnestness on this subject are truly amusing, I do not know yet 
in what shape the question will come before us ; but my speech is kiUed 
by being put iu the Moderator's chair." 

To the same, dated May 2Y, 1847: 

"This is the eighth day of the sessions of tJio Assembly. Everything 
has gone on quits smoothly and barmonionsly. We came very near 
having a breeze on the question of reading or not reading the letters 
from the General Assembly of the Church in Ireland, and the General 
Assembly, of the Ih^ee Church in Scotland ; but the letters were finally read, 
and the whole affair passed off very pleasantly. IHieywere very strongly 
against slavery, but produced no ferment. Our Assembly returned a 
very firm, calm, and dignified answer to both. The McQueen case is not 
yet decided ; but I am inclined to Uiink that the decision of the Fayetto- 



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AfiSEMBLIES OF 184t AND 1848, 399 

Tillo Presbytery, ceetoriag him to the ministry, will be sustained. If it 
could come up, on its merits, this would probably not be the case ; but 
it comes up bampDrod with a deoision of the Assembly of 184G, which 
rather shuts ub up, in. the opinion of many, to the adoption of this 

" I preached my sermon on Popery last night, to a yery loj^e oongre- 
galioiL The weather was very bad ; it rained the whole evening, aud I 
espeeted but fow hearers. To my snrprise, the house was crowded to 
overflowing. I had to omit a great deal of it, which 1 was eorry to do. 
This moming the Assembly voted me their thanks for it, and ordered it 
to be published. It aaems to have taken remarkably well. 

" Dr. Hodge preached a aermon to-night on parochial schools. He is 
not an interesting x^raachor, although he is a clear and able writer. He 
wants enimation and fire. As a man, he is escaedingly popular in the 
Assembly, and has great weight. He is very mild and gentle and affoo- 
tionate in his temper, Heit Sunday we are to celebrate, aa an Assembly, 
the Lord's Supper. The action sermon will be preached by Dr. Hoge, 
of Columbus. 

' ' I have been so much occupied with the business of the Assembly, 
that I haye been able to accept only two invitations to dina out. As my 
sermon on Popery is now off my hands, I shall have more Mme at my 
command ; and shall endeavour to accept, in future, some of flie invi- 
tations which have been kindly eitended to me. I have promised Dr. 
Green and Peek to visit them iu Baltimore upon the rising of the Assembly, 
and I have been strongly urged to go to Philadelphia. My movements, 
however, are not yet arranged. You. shah know them in due time. It 
is now twelve o'clock at night. May the Lord be to you a sufli and a 
shield." 

The eermon on Popery wae preached under an appoint- 
ment of the Assembly of 1845; which, from providential 
hindrances, was not fulfilled the following year, and was 
continued till the next. The topic discussed in it was the 
doctrine of the Mass; and was delivered from fall note's, 
without being written in connected • form. It is a little 
singnlar, considering the call for its publication, and the 
deep interest which the speaker felt in ali parts of this 
Koinish controversy, that it was never given to the press. 
It remains in the same crude shape, too incomplete and 
disconnected to be inserted in his "Collected Writings." 
It was declared by one of oiu' most learned divines, who 
listened to it when pronounced, to be a masterly exhibition 
of truth, and showing a thorough acquaintance with the 



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■W{} LIFE OF JA.MES HENLF.Y TIIOENWELL. 

learning of the subject.* Tlie Mass was discussed undei- 
its two forms, as a sacrament and as a sacrifice. It was 
shown to be the central doctrine in- the Komish system; 
and the arguments in its defence were articulately con- 
sidered, whether drawn from tradition, from reiison, or 
from Scripture. One peruses it in the rude outline, with 
profound regret that it was never wrought up in the iin- 
ished style which would have rendered it a valuable and 
permanent contribution to the controversial literature of 
tlie Church. 

The following letter, written about this time, to Dr. 
Breckinridge, (discloses the habitual feelings with which 
he regarded his work in the College. The view presented 
as to the pai'ticular form in which his useftilness was most 
ttonspicuoYis, will be endorsed by all who are farhiliar witii 
those times; though eternity alone will reveal in how 
many souls he planted "the incorruptible seed," which, 
in later years, brought forth fruit unto holiness : 

"SoDTH CaboI/Ika Cbi.i.EQE, M<crsk 12, 18i7. 
' ' My Deab Bboihee ; "With your f eeliogs in reference to your poeitioa 
in Collegfe, I can moet heartily Bympathize ; and if I had yielded to my 
own impulees more, and less \/o the convictionB of others, I shonld not 
have beea hore to-day. From long experience, I am satisfied that the 
posdbilities of usefulness in suoh a situation ace largely overrated. The 
influence whioh a good man can exert is rather negative tlian pofiitive ; 
it conaistB more in preventing evil, than in directly doing good. TMs 
negative sort of usefulneBs has never been enough to fill up my desires. 
Bat Providenee seems to have oast my lot where my labour is drudgery, 
and my reward is disappointment. My time is so frittered away by the 
constant interveation of estemal duties, tiat 1 osn pursue no consecutive 
plans of study ; and what little writing I am able tfl perform, and it is 
little enough, must be done at the expense of sleep or recreation. But 

* In addition la this testimony, we find .the following from. Df. J. W. 
Alexander, in the memorial of him entitled " Forty Years' Familiar Let- 
ters : " " Dr. Thomwell is the great man of the South, and I do not think 
his learning or powers of mind overrated. His speech, on taking the chair, 
was a c/i^iTiBuwe. His sermon was ill delivered, but nevertheless a model 
of what is rare, viz. ; burning hot argument, logic in ignition, and glow- 
ing more and more tj> the end : it was nrnwyriter, and with terrific aon- 
tenMa lateram." 



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ASSKMIiLIEB OF 1847 AND IhiS 301 

here I am, mysteriouely stut up to a poutioii whi:,l! is not the object of 
my choice, discouraged, mortified, distreised at the f i uitleseuess of my 
efforts, toiling day after day without hope ■worn down by a constant pres- 
sure of responsihihty, and unsnBtained, for the most part, by sympathy, 
oo-operation, or approval, on the part of those around me. If there ara 
any who envy me mj chair, they would gladly rehnquish to me all its 
honours after six months' experience of its cares. My conscience testifies 
that I have faithfully preached the goapel here ; I have prearihed it 
through good report, and through evil report ; I have preached it when I 
stood almost absolutely alone ; but what has been the result ? In only ono 
aspect of the case, do I feel that I have done a valuable wort ; and that 
is, in. breaking down the spirit of infidelity, whioh had largclj taken pos 
session of the State. Under God's blciBsing, I have sncoeeded beyond 
what I could hope, in changing the whole current of asBociatioii upon 
the speculative question of the truth of Christianitrf. This is some 
thing, but it is not sahation; and the salvation of souls 15 the object 
of my toil. 

' Very truly, as ever, 

J. H. Thobnwblij." 

In a later epistle to the same, October 20, 1847, he 
■writes : 

"There is another matter whioh I would also commend to your notice. 
It strikes me that D'Aubigne has not done justice to the character of 
Zuicgle. That great and good man ought to be set in a fairer hght. 
How, history is famihar to you as household words ; and I sfiould be 
delighted to receive from you an article on this point. 

"Our Synod has jnst closed its sessions A large committee was 
appointed, of whioh 1 am chairman, to draw up a paper, to be presented 
-to the next Synod, on the subject of slavery, defining Ihe tme position 
of our Church, and soggwting means for rectifying some of the abuses 
and evils incidental to the institution. We shall probably recommend a 
petition to the JLegislatiire, praying that a law may he enacted, to protect 
the family relations of the slave ; and that the disgraceful statute, which 
prohibit them from learaing to read, may be repealed. I shall take 
great pains in the preparation of the document, and would be glad to 
receive any snggestions." 

Ab the retii'ing Moderator, Dr. Thornwell opened the 
Assembly of 1848, with a sermon from Acts xvii. 32, 
"And when they heard of the reeiirrection of the dead, 
some mocked ; and others said, we will heai- thee again 
of this matter." According to iisage, he filled the im- 
portant position of Chairman of the Committee on Bills 



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302 LIFE OF JAMES HENLEY THOENWKLL. 

and Overtures. He had the opportmiity of b]-oaching 
his opinion on two important subjects, foreshadowing 
what, at a later date, in the revision of the Book of Dis- 
cipline, he sought to incorporate into tlie Constitution of 
•the Church. 

An overture was presented, aslcing whether Church 
Sessions have tlie right to aUow members to witlidraw 
from the communion of the Church, who are not guilty 
of any immoral conduct, but feel that they have never 
been made the subjects of renewing grace. This question 
it was proposed to answer in the affu-mative. In the de- 
bate which followed, Dr. Thomwell is reported as saying : 



" The point of the overture is enldralj misappiehended. It is asked 
whether persons may withdraw from the Chuioh who have been received 
unadyisedly, and are now satisfied that they are not converted persons, 
jet are regular in all tiieir private and publio duties. It is the onstom of 
the Chiiroh, when members absent themselves from the communion, to 
viEit them by committee. Suppose a member gives as a reason tor 
staying away, 'I am satisfied ttiafc I am not a member of Christ; and 
when the pastor charged all those to retire who had not knowledge to 
discern the Lord's body, I waa constrained in oonsoienoe to obey the 
command. ' What is to be done ? WiH jou discipline him ? Tor what ? 
!For domg the vary thing which you require Mm to do, and wMoh, if onr 
principles are true, he was solemnly hound to do. What is the object of 
a trial? Is it not to ascertain whether a man is, or is not, a member of 
Christ's body ? But if he confesses that he is not, it is the best evidence 
that can be given, and the Session may declare the fact to the Cbnroh. 
It was the doclrine of Erastus, that the Church was the channel of grace, 
and had no right to excommunicate members for any cause. But this 
isnotthedootrioeof any Christian Chureh, at tlie present day. Now, we 
hbld that union with Christ is the basis of union with the Ghurcli, and a 
credible profession simply declares the fact WUl any Church Session 
nndeitake to affirm that a man is, and shall be, a member of the Church, 
when he tells them that he is not a member of Christ ? Certainly not. 
It is now proposed that, in such a case, the Session shall place him in 
the same poaition with the baptized children of the Church, and not 
make him a heathen find pubUcan. 

' ' Another point ; The Protestant Church knows no man, unless he is 
volnntaiily subject to he( auiiiority ; and the vow of subjection is binding 
no longer than he feels that he has a right to submit to them. The 
Roman Catholic view is, that a man is everywhere bound by his vow to 
the Church ; that once a vii^in, bound by a vow, always a vii^n ; once a 



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AssiiMBLiEs OF 1847 AND 1848, 303 

monk, always a mouk. But, with us, tlie row is not to the Church, but 
to God; and He will be the judge. We propose no innovation, but the 
afiaection of a right that is inherent in our Chvuoh, and ought to be di6. 
tjaotlj set forth. Thus we shall separate the chaff from the wheat, 
purify the Churob, and publish the fact to the world. The Church has 
been spoien of as a voluntary society ; but there was this obTious fea- 
ture ! a voluntary society prcsoribea its own rule, but the Church has its 
laws from its Head ; they are not to be altered or amended."* 



These ai'guments did not, however, carry the Assembly ; 
and the recjommendation was rejected. 

Upon the otlier subject, Dr. Thora*e!l was more buc- 
(lessfni, aecnring the unanimons consent of the body to 
his views. It was tlie relation which thg Church should 
snstain to temperance, and other moral reform societies. 
Without qiioting the minnte f at large which he submitted, 
it is sufficient here to state that it set fovth, with great 
clearness, the nature and functions of the Church as a 
spiritual body, the kingdom of Jeaus Christ, governed by 
Hia laws, and having for its aim the gatliering and per- 
fecting of the saints, to the end of the world. It cannot, 
tlierefore, league itself to any secular institutions for 
moral ends, nor be subsidiary to associations founded upon 
human policy. It is a matter of Christian liberty whether 
connection shall be had with these or not ; a liberty which 
the Church does not infringe, either by enjoining or inter- 
dicting them, as long as false principles are not pro- 
nnilgated, and wrong practices are not indulged. And in 
pressing these distinctions, Dr. Thomwell only urged the 
doctrine which he uniformly taught through life, as to the 
province of the Church, and her immediate and entire 
subjection under the authority of her Lord and Head, 

The only letter extant, written during the sessions of 
this Assembly, is the following to bis wife, from which 
we make one or two extracts. It is dated, 



• See Biblical Kepertory tor 1848, pp. 409-410. 

tltwiU be found in the Assembly's Digest, Ed. 1858, pp, 79T-'8. 



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304- IIFE OF JAME3 HENLEY THOKNWKLL. 

" Baltimore, May 20, 1848. 
"My Deake3t Wife; * » * The Assembly was opeaed on Thurs- 
day, by a Bermon from myself, ■which occupied an hour an J a.half in tha 
delivery. Dr. McGill, of Pittabucgh, was elected Moderator. I have 
been made Ohairmau of the Committee on Bills and Overtures, which is 
the most iaboidons and important committee of the house It is tha 
channel throagh which most of the business enters the house. You 
perceive, therefore, that my hajids are full. We have had. thus far, a 
■very pleasant time. All our Southern members are delighted with the 
hospitality of Baltimore. It is indeed a delightful oiiry. • * * Mr. 
Spreckelson sent me yesterday a Email box of very costly cigars, which, 
I am afraid, will so corrupt. my taste that I will find it hard to come 
down, when I return home. 

"The great Democratic Convention meets here, next Monday. The 
object is to nominate the candidate of the Democratic party for the 
Presidency of the United States. We shall ha^e all the great men of 
the Union here. Confess has adjourned until it is through, bo that all 
the leading members of Congress will be present. I am proposing to 
myself a good deal of interest, in occasionally witnesKing its delibera- 
tions and proceedings. 

"We have some interesting questions to come before the Assem- 
bly nest week. The Marriage question will be up agwu, in severai 
forms; I, As a judicial case; and a. The abstract doctrine. It will, in 
aU probability, be fully discnssed ; and I hope that it will be so settled 
as to put an end to every future agitation of the subject.' The Elder 
question will not oome up ; at leant there is no prospect of it at present. 

" We had yesterday rather a scene in the house, from the conduct of 
a lady, who seems to be partially deranged. She brought a ease before 
the Assembly, oomplaiuing against the Synod of New York. Her papers 
were reported to be iiregular by the Chairman of the Judicial Commit, 
tee ; and a motion was made to dismiss the case. She was in the house 
at the time, and became so esoited, that she rose to make a speech in her 
own defence. We succeeded, however, in getting hev quiet, without 
permitting her to produce much confusion. She was directed to wait 
on the Judicial Committee, and mate her statements to it. She ac- 
cordingly did so. I ■w^ in the adjoining room, presiding o^ver another 
oomniittee, and heard her inflict a terrible belabouring upon the Judicial 
Committee, which afforded me no little amusement. She is said )m be a 
woman of education, of good family, and of good circumstances ; hut 
she is crazy on the subject of prophecy, and thinJiB the time has come 
to cleanse the Sanctuary. Hence, she has impeached aU the ministers 

* The judicial case was the complaint of Bev. Colin Mclver against 
the reSloration of Mr. McQueen, wliich was dismissed, as having been, 
concluded by the preceding Assembly. The preposition to submit tha 
question to the Presbyteries, of striking out the law on this subject, was 
not concurred in. 



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AeSBMBLIES OF 1847 AND 1848. 305 

of New York ; and is grieyouslj offended that the Assembly will not help 
her to purif J the sons of Levi. The nature of her complaiEts I i3o not 
esactly understacd. I believe tliat she charges some of the New Yoi'k 
lainieteTS with making mouths at her ; otJiors, with treaHng her rudely, 
in ordering her out of the house ; and some with turning her oyer to 
the police. The whole affair is equally strange and ridiculous ; bnt the 
poor woman is certainly to be pitied, * ♦ t 
" Your devoted husband, 

J. H. ThobhweU/." 

Upon Ws retiu'n from tlie Aeaembly, he spent a day in 
■Waahington, D. C, from which place he writes, on the 
5th of June : 

' ' I came here this morning, from Baltimore i and being too late for 
the boat, haTB spent the day here, which gave me an opportuuity of see- 
ing Congress in Beesioii. The Assenibly was dissolved on Saturday 
evening, and I preached yesterday in the First Presbyterian Church, of 
Bidtimore. A great many members of the Assembly came over to see 
the great guns at Washii^ton. Mr. Calhoun and Colonel Burt were very 
polite to me; and I have an engagement to spend the evening wilJi 
them, Mra. Burt is here, keeping house for them ; it will give me great 
pleasure to see her, and discuss old times. I have seen neatly ^ the 
South Carolina members. There is very little doing now, as the Whig 
Convention meela to-morrow in Philadelphia, to nominate a Whig can- 
didate tor the Presidency of the United States. " 

This letter is introduced for the purpose of recalling 
the fact, that Dr. Thornwell's acquaintance with Mr. Cal- 
houn did not begin at this date. Daring the summer of 
1843, he called upon Mr. Calhoun at his residence, in 
Pendleton, and spent a morning with him. The conver- 
sation took a wide range over the subjects of education, 
metaphysics,, and politics. Dr. Thornwell possessed rare 
powers of conversation, and rejoiced in letting them out, 
when it took this particular form of a dialogue between 
two. When thrown in contact with men of great abili- 
ties, liis ambition put him upon lais mettle ; his mind was 
roused to as much activity, and he .drew upon his stores 
of learning witli as much fervour, 3& when addressing a 
large a^embly. The writer remembers the account, given 
by himself, of tins particular interview, and the terms of 



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306 LIFE OF JAMKS HB.NLEY THOBNWELL. 

strong Batisfaction in which he dwelt upon the rehearsal 
of ifc. Mr. Calhoun is also represented to have expressed 
his own delight, to the gentleman ivho had brought them 
together ; saying thut Dr. Thornwell was the only di\'ine 
he had ever met, whom, he thought comparable with hia 
old preceptor, Dr. Dwight, the former President of Yale 
College. He further stated, "I expected to find Dr. 
Thornwell perfectly posted upon his own department of 
study ; but when he came over into mine, I was uot pre- 
pared for the thorough acquaintance he exhibited with 
all the topics that are generally familiar only to states- 
men." The mystery is not really so great as it appears; 
for an accomplished theologian is compelled to master 
the gi'eat principles which underlie all government and 
law. Bat Dr. Thornwell, in addition to this, was remark- 
ably conversant with liiatory, and had mastered the sci- 
ence of PoUtieal Economy. He was, therefore, entirely 
competent to range with Mr. Calhoun over all the topics 
which lay in the bounds of that profession which either 
pursued. 

The following letter to Dr. Breckinridge, contains his 
last reference to the Assembly of 1848. Some sentences 
in it will aiFord the reader some idea of the playful 
hnioour in which he so often indulged in personal inter- 
course. 

" South Caeoliba Coheqb, July 18, 1848. 
" Mr Deae BaoTHEB ; I received your last letter some montlis ago, 
and can. hardly frame any decent apology for Imviag neglected to answer 
it 90 long. The truth 13, I have a great aversion to the use of the pen ; 
audi do not kuo-w if I ever should write to my friends, if it were not for 
my anxiety to tear from them. From y<nt, partionlarly, a letter is always 
thrice welcome ; and it is more to draw something from you, than to 
communicate anything of my own, that I now undertake to bring you in 
debt to me. ¥ou have probably heard from Berrjman, and gathered 
from the papers a better account than I could give you of the last As- 
sembly. I am satisfied that a gradual reaction is generally taking place 
in the' Church, which, in a few years, with proper efforts, will put it in 
the position we would like to see it occupy. Something effectual might 
have been done in Baltimore, if the Assembly had not been so completely 
worn out by the mass of judicial buainras to wbicb it w^ called to attend. 



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ASSEMBLIES OF 1847 AND 1 848. 30T 

There was uo posBibility of a full diacusaiou of acy great ([uesfion. But 
strawB etow liow the wind blows ; and I saw euough to make me bless 
God and take courage. The people of Bsitimore manifested a priacelj 
iiospitality, aud they will long be remembei'ed iu the prayers, affection, 
and gratitude of the ministsrs and elders, who never eipeot to see them 
agcia in the flesh. No one left the city without regret. Our good friend 
McEldeiTy kept an inn, ES usual ; and if lie chanced, od any day, to have 
HO more than his table eoiild aoooramodate, he seemed to be afraid that 
he had not done his duty. I charged him with standing at the comer of 
the streets, and pressing every man he met to come and partake of the 

fat things he had prepared. At his house I met with your friend S , 

who occupied, for several nights, the same room with myself. He left 
the city in self -defence, protesting that ft few more nights with me would 
kill him ; and pitying my wife, who, from yeai to year, had to eudure 
the plague of a man who neither slept nor waked, according to the laws 
which govern oiTilized human beings. It was amusing to see Mm, poor 
feilow, denude himself, about ten o'olocfe, of his wearing apparel, slip 
into his long shirt, aud stretch him n aif upon his couch, to woo the em- 
braces of Irind 'nature's sweet restorer, balmy sleep,' and then permit 
himself to become so absorbed in oonversation as to forget his position, 
jump up, fumble about his breeches' pocket for a quid of tobacco, or 
sponge on me for a good ciget; and thus, lying, sitting, walking, all in 
a shirt of prodigious length, f o^et the hoiirs, until signs of day began to 
appear. He is a noble f eUow, and I found his society a treat. I think a 
brief campaign with me would completely cure bim of the infirmily of 
feeUng sleepy at night, I endeavoured to impress upon him that the 
noblest beasts, such as the lion, take the nights for their feats of activity 
and valour. To work in the day, when every one can see you, savours 
too mnch of ostentation for a generous and modest spirit ; and to be 
eating by eight o'clock in the morning, indicates a ravenous propensity 
for the things of earth. • » ■ * * 

"Are you writing anything for us? We shall be more than glad to hear 
from you. How comes on your Commentary on Acts ? Have you seen 
Lord's ' Theological Journal ? ' It promises to be a valuable contribution 
towards the interpretation of the prophetic Scriptures. His review of 
Stuart on the Apocalypse is well done. Have you seen Nevin's reply t<i 
Hodge ? I have been much amused in reading his artiele, and have had 
some curious questions suggested to me concerning the iniuenee of lan- 
guage on thought. Let me hear from* you soon. 
"Very truly, as ever, 

J. H. Thoknwei,!.," 

The two letters which are annexed, are letters of private 
friendsliip, and reveal the aifectionatenesB of his nature. 
The first is addressed to Mr. A. H. Peguea, oae of the 
companions of his ehildhood : 



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60a LIFE OF JAMES HENLEY THORNWELL. 

' ' SouTa CiKotiNi CoLDKOE, Juns 27, ] 
" Mt Deab PuiEMD ; I do not know when I have been n 
than I WES, a few days ago, at the reception of your letter of the 2d iu- 
Btant. It -was like good news from a distant land, or cold water to a 
thiisty fionl. Eeminiscencea, wLioh never oan fade from mj mind, were 
called up with the freshness of the original events ; and for a time I gave 
myself up to the power of the past. I was partieulariy delighted to find 
that the vicissitudes of your Western life had. wrought no change in your 
early affections, and that you stiii turned mtJl pleasure to one whose love 
to you is as strong and fresh as when we pored together over the delicious 

Of swBGtest Shalcespeare. fancy's chilli/ 

Or nerved our minds to higher efforts over the esqnisite pages of 
Locke, Stewait, or Keid. Those (toys are gone, hut their i'n^essions 
remain; and nothing on eartli would afford rae more pleasure than to 
meet you in person, and review faoe to face the numherlcsa events which 
have bound my heart to yours. 

' ' In regard t<i the enb jeot of yoar letter, you will permit me to sey, 
that, while I am fouded with your kindness and partaaUty, I must yet 
decline being presented as a candidate for the place in question. Tho 
position which I occupy here 1 cannot relinquish ; it opens a, ■wide and 
iaoreasing field of usefulness, and is, in many respects, the most desir- 
able in the Southern country. I would ba glad, however, if you could 
esert your good offices in favour of my old friend and classmate, Eev. 
Mr. Gladney. He is an excellent man, of sterling integrity, of much 
more than ordinary talents, and a good scholar. He has the decision 
and firmness which are absolutely essential to the President of a College. 
I would also bespeak your aid in behalf of my young friend, Gaaiewell, 
(a son of our old Methodist preacher,) who will appear as a candidate 
for the chair of Mathematics. He is a prodigy of genius, having, in laj 
opinion, no superior in the State. 

" I hope that your enterprise wiU be eminently successful; but you 
must not be too sanguine. The ereotion of a College is the work of 
years ; and no organization can give it an efficiency beyond the demands 
of the actual condiiion of society. I do not altogether like the distribu- 
tion of your departments of instruction. More prominence should be 
given to the Moral Sciences. It istoomuch to assign them all to one Pro- 
fessor. I think, too, that the combination of Modem and Ancient Lan- 
guages will have the effect of preventing an adequate att<3ntion from being 
paid to either. I am afraid that your course of study has not been suf- 
ficiently digested ; and I am sure that esperience will not only suggest, 
but demand, material alterations in the details of your system. It will 
give me great pleasnre to hear from yon often. Let our old correspon. 
dence be renewed. 

"As ever, most truly yours, 

J. H. Thobnwsm.." 



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ASSEMBLIES OS 18i7 AKn 1848. 300 

A second of these letters ib addressed to Professor 
Matthew J. WilliamB, who had been elected in Decem- 
ber, 1846, to the chair of Mathematics in the South Ca- 
rolina College. The friendship between the two was 
recent, bnt very strong and sincere, and continued 
throughout life. Professor Williams was a member of 
the Methodist Church, a man of liberal and catholic views, 
gentle and loving in disposition; in every respect de- 
serving tlie expressions of esteem lavished upon him in 
this letter: 

"SOETH CABOLDJi COLLEGE, July 17, 1848. 

"Mr Dbab Muok ; I reoeiyed your tiiiii anii intareKting letter iast 
week, and would, be gled to baye a sioiilBr iitflictioii every week of my 
life. We had often spolten of you in the family, and promised ourBCiyea 
mueh gratiflcfltion, in the eipectation, of ieaiing from you; imdwheii 
llie desired doenment aMved, we were far from being disappointed. I 
oount it one of the tappy oivcumBtanoeB of my life, that I liave been 
bronght into such nearness of contact, and such iatimacy of commnni' 
cation, with one who daily grows apoc my esteem, and to whose char- 
actei I often appeal, as illustrating some of the loveliest graoes of the 
gospel I speat with the ut^nost candour, when I assure you that the 
impression which you have made upon me is no stronger than that 
which you haye made upon other membei-s of the Faculty, particularly 
upon the President and Mr. Palham. Tlieee things I say, not to flatter 
you, bnt to shame you out of all thoughts of ever relinquishing youi 
post here. You occupy a field of extended usefulness, a position suited 
to your talents and acquirementfi. Tou are (what, I taie it, was never 
ad^piateiy the case with you before) appreciated; and while this should 
contrihuto to your happineh=, it increases youi obligation to remaitt, and 
devote yourself, in this fidd, to tha glory of God I Lope, therefore, 
that you win Eaten to no perhuaaions from tmy qui rter, either to retire 
to your farm, or to take m office whiih will bring you mora directly 
into the society of your brethisn. God has put you fitre, and you 
should miit tiU He removes yon I will say no more on this point, 
though I have felt very deeply on account of the occasional hints which 
have dropped from you, touching the subject of a removal. 

" The campus is a scene of qniet, amounting to desolation. Nothing 
disturbs the dreary stillness, but the oeoasioiial sound of the hammer, 
from the buildings which are in the process of erection. The President 
andPelham are all that remain of our force, and how long they wiU stay I 
am unable fo tell you. We had a meeting to-day of such members of 
the Faculty as are in town, and such members of the Board of Trustees 



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310 LIFE OF JAMES HENLEY THORWWTSLL. 

aa ooTild be incfuced to attend, and elected a bursar, to go into office on 
the 1st October, and to remain in office aotil the meeting of the Board 
of TiuEteee. Colonel Gladden, who has just returned from Mexico with 
his leurels green upon him, was the tmanimous choice of the meeting. 
I trnst tiiat he will prove an acquisition to the College ; and that airange- 
mentfi may be made, under Ma administration, to relieveithe Profeesora 
of the grievous penance of attending at commons. 

" My mode of life here is all that I could desire, be to physical com- 
fort. I sit up all night, reading, musing, and smoking ; and just before 
the son, with iie orient beams, dispels gliosis, goblins, and infernal 
spirits to their respective jails, I stretch m? limbs upon an ample coneh, 
continue my cogitations till my soul is locked in tne silent embrace of 
slumber sweet; and I abide in the land of dreams until it becomes a 
man lo refresli nature in a more active way. Ham, coffee, and biscuits 
completely restore me to this world again ; and after a proper pause, I 
proceed to commit depredations npon watennelons, which would be 
appalling to one who meaaured the danger by the bulk tiiat was con- 
smned. Sometimes, after these vigorous onsets, T give no dubious 
promise of attaining a jvidge-lifce condition of corpulency ; but soon the 
incieased enlargement disappears, and I am like a dropsioal patient just 
tapped. The truth is, I have no hopes of growing fat ; I am lean, lean, 
hopelessly lean. But it is a comfort^ that ail of my friends cannot langh 
at me. 

" I was very much gratified at yonr commendation of my long article 
on the Elder question. With whatever feebleness they are stated, it is 
certain to my mind that it contains principles of the highest importance, 
in their application both to Church and State. I am afraid that the ten- 
dency of things in this counby, is to corrupt a r^iresent'itii.e iitta a dema- 
oratic government ; and to make the State the mere creature of popular 
caprice. The question of civil liberly is one of the nicest and most 
interesting in the whole circle of political inquiry ; and more mistakes 
exist in regard to it, than upon any other point of political philosophy. 
France is now blundering, and I am afraid will continue to blund:.!-, 
until her redemption becomes hopeless. A ball has been set in motiim 
npon the relations of capital and labour, whose progress it wiU be ex- 
tremely difBcnlt to arrest ; but the Lord reigns. 

' ' The present posture of the nations baffles the speculationa of philo- 
sophers BJid statesmen. I tarn from all carnal calc^ilations to the sure 
word of prophecy; and as I beUeve that the only safe guide is to be 
found in the prophetic Seiiptures, I have begun with increased zeal the 
study of a book, which baa heretofore been to me, as it has been, to the 
great majority of Chriatiaua, a Sealed volume : the Apocalypse of John. 
That sublime dooument contains the history of the world, from Christ 
lo the end of time ; and though its figures are mystic, they are not 
lure. There is a key which can unlock its secrets, and 
e ils hieroglyphics speak the li 



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ASSEMBLIES OF 1847 AND 1848. 311 

upon tho STB of great events ; and watcM nlueas and prajef oro the pos- 
tare in which we should be found- God is riding on the whii'lwind, UJid 
directing Uie storm ; and out of the oliaos and tumult of the natjotis, He 
win. snrely evolve His own grand parpoeea, and make the angry passions 
of men Bubservient to the scheme of His glorions proTideuoe. • * • 
"Very sincerely, youi' friocd and brother, 

J. H. Thoiimweu.," 



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OEAPTEE XXII. 

PERSONAL FEIENDSIUPS. 

■OiBBS or "YOTIN& Men "WHOM he Wia iBSTBTnaENTaLINBraSGINQIBTOTHE 

MiNJSTRY. — Letter to One of These. — Appeal to a "Yoxjho Friesb on 
PbesobalBeliomn.— His Liberality IN AseisTTNGOTHEEa TO Obtain 
AN EnDCAnoH.— Death oe a Youno Fkiukb. — Lettee to a Licentiate, 

WHOM HE HAD GdIDED IN StUDV, 

DTJEING his brief pastoral connoxion with the church 
at Columbia, in 18iO, Dr. TlioniwcU was made the 
instrument, under God, of the conversion of a yoinig man, 
the eon of a widow, " a mother in Israel," who still sur- 
vives, in a green old age, to bless that church with the 
influence and example of her fervent piety. Of coiu'se, 
tins laid the foundation for a friendship of no ordinary 
kind, witli the young disciple, who henceforth sat at liia 
feet, preparing to preach the unsearchable ricliea of that 
grace, whose power was first felt under the exposition that 
fell from his lips. It w^ the old, sweet relation which 
eubsisted between Paul and his son Timothy, whom he 
had "begotten in the gospel." It must have been witli 
emotions of devout gratitude to God that Dr. Thornwell 
watched the career of his young proteg^, from hie early 
and successful ministry in the city of Baltimore, until his 
transfer to tlie Theological Seminary at Prince Edwai'd, 
Virginia, aa a teacher of those who should fill the pitlpits 
of the land; a man whose convictions of trath are not a 
whit less intense than tJtose of tlie master from whom he 
first imbibed them; and whose superior attainments are 
veiled beneath a humility so deep, that it may possibly 
conceal what should be more couspieiiously revealed. The 
singular modesty of the Rev, Dr. Thomas E. Peck will 
313 



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31i LIFE OF JAMBS HENLEY THOiiNWELL. 

recoil, we fear, from this measure of publicity ; yet his 
ardent affection for one to whoia he is so largely indebted, 
will allow his name to be woven thua into the chaplet that 
is thrown around tlie memory of his friend. This personal 
reference ie necessary, as an introduction to some precious 
letters, which were surrendered to us, witSi this statement 
from the recipient: "One of these letters I value very 
highly, not only as a memorial of hie kindness to ine, hut 
as an evidence of his single-hearted devotion to oiu" 
common Lord. It was of intinite sei-vice to me at the 
time it waa received; and, I think, might be of great ser- 
vice to any young minister, diseoiu-aged in his work, and 
weary of the conflict with sin in his own heart, with the 
contradiction of sinners, and with the devil." We suspect 
the letter here referred to, is that wiiich immediately fol- 
lows. 

To the Rev. Tliomas E. Peck : 



" South CiBOLiNa Cojj.ege, August i, 18+8. 
"My Dbae Thomas; I received your Mud aad welcome letter this 
evening; ajid pi'ooeed to give joa the atrongest possible prrof of tba 
YBlne wMeli I attach t* youv eoiTeapotidence, b j aiiaweriug your favour in 
a few hours after ths reoeption of it. You are the frequent theme of eon- 
Tei'sation in my family, and we all feel towai'de you as we would feel if our 
own. Mood coursed through your reins. We rejoice to hear of your pros- 
perity, shBTs with you in your sorrows, and lament the hours of dark- 
ness which so frequently oorae upon you. I am glad to learn that your 
proBpeots are brightemng before you, though I litive never entertained 
a doubt that you were the Lord's instrument, t<i Bcooniplish. the Lord's 
work, in the spiiere of your Itibours. When the first stone of the edifice: 
in which jou minister was laid, there was not a man, of all who engaged. 
in the enterprise, who even knew yon by name. It was Gfod who sent 
yon to Baltimore, when the building was ready for a prencher. He put 
it into the hearts of the people to elect you. He disposed your mind to 
accept the call ; and He will protect, guide, and defend you, until you 
shall have done the huaine^ for which this whole train of providential 
dispensation was ordered and adjusted. Have faith in God ; aim singly 
at His glory ; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough 
places plain. Be not impatient of success ; for the purposes of Him with 
whom the measures of time are unmeaning— one day being as a thou- 
sand years, and a thousand years as one day, — are generally as slow iu 
their development as they are majestic in their nature. "Wait on the 



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FKIENJISHll'S. 315 

Lord; lie of good courage, sad He will stveDgthen thine heart. Wait, 
I say,, on tlie Lord. The discipline of patience is one of those prBcioae 
trials of our faith, which at once attest its renUty, and meaBnre it3 de- 
gree. I Bin preaching t« you the same lessons which, in mj own posi- , 
tiou, I haye constantly to preach to myself ; and no one oan be more 
Eensible than I am, how little mere preaching avails to impress tham 
on the heart. My difficulty lies, (and I presmne it is' also the case ^-ith 
you,) not with tha abstract propositions, but with their praotioal relations 
to myself. If I ooul^ only be assnied that I was iu the way of duty, 
labouring wJtere the Almighty would have me to labour, and its He 
would have me to labour ; if 1 were not eonsciouE that so much is min- 
gled with my services, my purposes and plans, which Ha oniinot ap- 
prove ; it seems fo me that I could easily in patience possess my souL 
But the suggestion often avises, (iiat perhaps I have run where I wos 
not sent; that I am more zealous for my own name than the Lord's 
glory ; and that my want of success is, after all, a righteous judgment 
for my sins. These are the thoughts which oast down my soul, and 
eiuse it to be disquieted within me; these are the difficulties in the way 
of patient waiting on the Lord ; these are things which make me con- 
stantly feel that I have more concern with repentance than witl resig- 
nation ; more to fear than to hope. How precious is the refleoldoD, that 
the blood of Christ cleanses from all em, even from the undeannesa and 
foulness of those who bear the vessels of the Lord ! Of all sins, those 
of a minister would seem to be the most aggravated ; and of all men, 
preachers must cherish the deepest consciousness of the necessity of 
atonement. I bless God for the gift of His Sou. But while we are 
conscious of unworthineae, and deeply bewail our sins and iniquities, 
we should not foi^t to magnify onr office, and implore the assistance 
of the Holy Spirit, that we may address ourselves to its duties with 
faithfulness and zeal. It is a great matter to understand what it is to 
be a preacher, and bow preaching should be done. Effective sermons 
are the offspring of study, of discipline, of prayer, and especially of the 
unction of the Holy Ghost. They ought to combine the characteristic 
excellencies of every other species of composition intended for dehvery ; 
and ought to be pronounced, not merely with the eatnestness of faith, 
but the constraining influence of heaven-born charity. They should be 
seen to come from the heart, and from the heart as filled with the love 
of Christ, and the love of souls. Depend upon it, that there is but Utile 
preaching in the world ; and it is a mystery of grace and of Divine 
power that God's cause is not ruined iu the world, when we consider 
the qnalifications of many of its professed ministers to preach it. My 
own performances in this way fill me with disgust. I never have made, 
mnoh lass preaekeA, a sebmon in my hfe ; and I am beginning to despair 
of ever being able fo do it. May the Lord give you, more knowledge 
and grace, and singleness of purpose I 

" I am glad that you were pleased with my article on the Elder qnes- 
tJOD. Pabner lias sant you, by Morse, a few copies of it for i;^atuitous 
distribution. The sentence which perple"ses you does not seem to me 



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316 LIFE OF JAMEB HENLEY 

to be fairly liable to the interpretation jou pnt npoa it. I do not say 
that all ministers, who hftva been laivfnlly called aad ordained, tave a 
right to sU m Presbytery ; but that they are Presbyteis. At their ordi- 
nation they become so, and, according to oar book, tlie Elder's offioe is 
perpetual. Tliey may cease to act as Presbyters ; but they can never 
cease, save by deposition, to be Presbyters. "Whether all Presbytfrs are 
entitled, without regard to oiroamstances, to deliberate and vote in the 
councils of 13l6 Church, is a very different proposition. I agree ■with 
yon, that the Seeeioa is the i^dioal court in omx Cbm-ch ; but then, it is 
equally true that all oar conrte are essentially the same ; aad I am not 
propped to say that a seat in some existing Session is indispensable fo 
the rightful possession of a seat in a higher judicatory. You concede 
the point in the case of evangelists. To say that they are ext^aordinwry 
officei^s, is only to say that they belong not to the order of a settled and 
organized congregation, and, tberefore, cannot be members of a Session; 
bnt they, can sit and preside in Presbyteries, as we know from the Acts 
of the Apostles and the Epistles of PanL Hence the proposition cannot 
be true, that aU ministers must be members of Presbytery in order to 
act as Presbyters anywhere else. A lawful ordination accomplishes two 
results : it makes s. man a minister and elder, both in relation to the 
particular church which calls him, aad to the viliole Church of Christ at 
lai^e. He cannot he made a minister and elder without a special desig- 
nation ; but as tMs special designation involves a general relation, that 
does not cease because the other may have ceased. He may still act as 
a minister and elder, though not a member of any Session. But when 
a man is absolutely without chaise, when he is neither a paator nor evan- 
gelist, nor filling an office to which he is elected by the .Church, thea he 
refuses to act as a minister or elder, and ought not to be nllowed to sit 
in Presbytery. A man, however, who has never been ordained upon a 
call, or as a true evaogeUst, is not, so far as I can see, a Presbyter at all ; 
find such men can sit ' in no court. But I have not room to enlarge. 
Tell MoElderry that I om looking anxiously for a letter from him. Re- 
member me very .kindly to Mrs. S., and to her esoelleut husband, when 
you write to him ; as also to Boggs and his family. I want you to write 
something for our Seview. It will do ^au good as well as us. Smjth 
completed in the coming number his dissertatdoa upon the cnll to the 
ministry. I was much amused at his confounding my notions with the 
doctrine of the Quakers. Logic is evidently not his forte. Mrs. Thom- 
■weU and James Anderson send their kindest remembrances lo you. As 
you are in the weekly receipt of your mother's newspapers, it would be 
presumption in mo to send you a budg;et of news. I am glad to be ex- 
empt from the responsibility ; for, like the needy knife-giin dec's story, 
I have none to tell, sir. I was disappoiated in going to Athens. I 
regretted it very much ; hut the condition of my family was such that I 
could not leave home. Palmer has the blues ; thinks ha can't preach ; 
but he has no reason to be dissatisfied. Write soon. 

"Very truly, as ever, your friend and brother, 

J. H. Thorbwell." 



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817 

Dr. Thornwell'a warm eympathy with young men 
brought him into easy relations with many of this inte- 
resting class; and he embraced every fitting occasion to 
press upon them the claims of personal religion. The 
following letter affords an illustration of hia method in 
such cafiCB. It is addressed to Mr, Martin P. Crawford, 
of Lancaster District, a yomig relative of Mrs. Thornwell, 
to whom he was greatly attached, and who, while a stu- 
dent in College, was an inmate of his house. This young 
man died in April, 1862, in the hospital at Richmond, a 
victim of the late war ; which event, though occurring but 
a short time before his own death, Dr. Thornwell took to 
heart as a sharp and personal sorrow: 



" South Cabouna College, April 27, 1848. 
" MtDear MsHT : You may be snrprised at receiying a letter from ma ; 
but I can SBSure jon tliat you are often remembered, and are the fraquent 
Bubject of interest and coiiversaiioii in my family circle. The favourable 
impreaeioE wMeli you made upon me, uLile a, member of my houseiiold, 
apart from the oonsiderBtioiiB which ■will readily eu^est themselves to 
you, has caused me to feel the deepest solicitude in reference to your 
welfare. And when I speak of your welfare, I hope yon will not understand 
me as alluding to your temporal prosperity, or the sucoess of your efforts 
in the world. In relation to this, I have never had the least degi-ee of 
coEoem. Your exemption from bad habits, your general manliness and 
independence of character, and the abundant means with which God has 
blessed, you, are sufficient to remove all ansiety from the minds of. your 
friends, in regard to your prospects in the present life. My solioitude 
extends to your future, your eterutd interests ; and I hope you will excuse 
rae for suggesting a few friendly hints on a subject which yonr own good 
sense must aasurc you is of the highest importance. 'Wliat is a man 
profited, if he should gain the whole world, and lose his own soul ? ' I 
know that you cannot be wholly unconcerned about death, judgment, and 
eternity. Your previous education, and the providenoes of God towards 
you, have forced these topics, lo some extent, upon your mind. You 
are not now, for the first time, to leam that you are a sinner against &od, 
and that the eouL that sinneth, it shall die. But, my dear friend, there 
may bo a general, a fonnal, and vague admission of your guilt, without 
any adequate conviction of the nature, the extent, or the malignity of 
your disease. It is not possible that a finite understanding can fully 
comprehend the exceeding sinfulness of sin. It pervades the whole 
mind, darlteoa the understanding, pollutes the aft'ectiona, perverts the 
will, and cnslaTes the sonl to the lusts of the flesh and the dominion of 



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318 



3 UENLEY THOKWW 



the worid. It is torn with ua ; grows with our growth, and BtrBngthens 
T.ith our Etrengti ; and so utterly Bliecates fie heai't from God, that we 
can never be fit for Ms service, without esperieneiag a new and spiritual 
birth. I hope that you will pray to God to itnpai-t to yon His Spirit, in 
order thnt you may be led to see Biid to feel someVliing of the horrors of 
your titie oonditioa as a sinner ng^inst Him. The whole revelation you 
could not bear; but I do not wish you to be satisfied with Y^ue and 
general admissions. I wish you to be persuaded of the real extent and 
loatbeBomenesa of the abominationa tiat fill the chambera of imagery in 
that most hateful objeat, a natural heart. The core of the evil is to be 
found in its ■ungodUnesa. God is not in all its thoughts. The sinner 
lives just as he would, live if tbere were no God at aJI. He feels not Ma 
obligation to serve and to glorify that Being, ii! whom he lives, and 
moves, and has his being. Ttis is enough to mpke all God's creatnres 
conspire agsinst him. Now, my dear Mart, you may be free from viee ; 
you may be moral, and honourable, and consistent in your deportment ; 
you may be an affeotionate son, a faithful friend, and an upright citizen ; 
bnt still, with all these virtues, which none more cheerfully and gladly 
eoneedea to you than I do, yon are, by nature, a sinner against God ; or, 
as the Apostle expresses it, without God, without Christ, wiiiiont hope, 
in the world. This is yonr ease, the ease of every unconverted man; 
and it is a case of unspeakable danger. God will by no means clear the 
guilty. His wiath it repealed from heaven against all ungodliness and 
unrighteousness of men , and no impenitent transgi'essor shall be per- 
mitted to escape 

" Tliese solenm and momentous truths I hope you will seriously and 
prayerfully ponder They will lead you, under the blessing of the 
Holy Ghost, to apprehend your need of a Saviour. They will not /i you 
for the Saviour, but they will oonvinoe you how ui^nt is your case. 
They will not of themselves make yon any better ; they oannot change 
your heart ; bnt they may be the means of conducting you to Him who 
cm abundantly pardon, and cleanse you from all unrighteousness. Jesus 
OhriBt is onr only hope. We must trust in Him, or perish. God re- 
veals and proclaims Him to you, and to all men, as a Saviour ; and He 
has made it your duty to entrust your soul into His hands. The blood 
of Jesus can purge tiie gnUtieat conscience, and the spirit of Jesus can 
change the hardest heart. He is not only able to save ; He is aa wiUing 
as He is able. He is our brother in the flesh. He has a heart to sym- 
pjthize with UR in Onr troubles and distresses. We can go to Him in all 
onr guilt and filtbiness, ^ith our hearts as millatonea, and our minds as 
dark as night ; and Ho will cheerfully receive us, give ns beauty for 
ashes, the oil of joy for sorrow, and the garment of praise for the spirit 
of heaviness. But you may complain that you wowJii, but iwwwdf, believe. 
It is true, faith is not in the power of nature ; but it is your duty to 
pray God to bestow it upon you, to enUghten your mind, so tiiat you may 
see the gloiy of Christ, and to renew your heart, so that you may feel 
His unspeakable pteoiousness. You may complain of the h 



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Pr.;KS<>NAL FKIENDdHIl'S. 319 

yonrheErt, aadlamenttliatyoo cannot repent of sin ; ttat yon eaimot feel 
asyoudesu^ It is true, the natural heart is bard as the nether millstoue; 
bnl Ohrist does not rec[iure yon to come with a soft heart. He ffines yon 
repeatunoe.. You are to go to Him simply as a sintter, and east yomsclf 
upon God'a mercy through Him. That is yonr only plea. You may be 
{■enipted to delay until you have made yourself hetter, but this is a sug- 
gestion of the devil. 

"Ijet me m^e upon you to be much engaged intlie prayerfnl study of 
the Sei-ipturea. Be not ashamed to ask God, and to depend upon God to 
enable you to imderstnnd them. It would be well, too, to read books on 
aiperimental religion, such as 'Boston's Fourfold State,' 'Halybnrton's 
Great Conoem,' jmd ' Doddridge's, Eise and Progress.' Be -very careful 
not to resist any light that you may have. Grieve not the Spirit. Gnard 
against the spirit of proerastinalion End delay. S.eet the Lord with your 
whole heart, and seek Him diligenfly. These few hints I have hastily 
and rapidly thrawn out, from a sincere desire to promote the best and 
the high^t interest of one ithom I have long regHrded as a devoted 
friend I shdl not cease to pray for yonr salvation ; and if, when I see 
you again, you shall have been enabled to make your calling anji election 
sure, it will be a matter of ur.speaiable joy to me. I shall always be 
more than glad to hear from you. 

" As ever, your sinoei-e friend, 

J. H. Thobnwbli.." 

If, forms a liappy sequel to this letter, to mention that 
the subject of so much religious solicitude not only be- 
came a member of the visible Ohwrch, but filled the ofBee 
of a ruler ; adding the graces of the Spirit to natural 'qual- 
ities B& generous and noble as ever formed the character 
of a virtuous man. 

"Whilst recording these insta.nces of private friendship, 
it will be appropriate to state, that Dr. Thornweli amply- 
repaid toothers the benefits which, in his own youth, had 
been lavished upon himself. Throughout his connexion 
■with the College, he was rarely without a beneficiary on 
his hands, whom he graciously assisted in obtaining a 
liberal education. Naturally this charity was extended 
to those of his own blood ; and in the different branches 
of his family circle, there were those, more or lees re- 
lated to him, whose necessities justified this call upon 
liis liberality. We are not disposed to liit the veil over 
tliese. It was not, however, confined to tliem. "We may 



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320 I.IFK OF JAMES HENLEY THORNWELL. 

be pennitted, at least, to record liia kindness to one, the 
yonnger brother of his intimate friend, the Rev. Pierpont 
E. Bishop, whom he partially sustained, whilst. laying in 
College the foundation of tliat seliolarship -which he pur- 
posed to nse to God'e glory, in the ininiBtry of Hie Son. 
It was the Divine pleasure to call him to a higher ser 
vice, in the kingdom which is above. In his senior year, 
within a month of graduation, when the highest honours 
of his class had been already decreed to him, he was re- 
moved by deatli. During a tedious and wasting illness 
from typhus fever, he was tenderly nursed, as though he 
had been a brother, in Dr. Thornwell's house; and after 
death, honourable mention of hia virtues was made, in an 
elegant Latin epitaph upon his tomb, erected by hiS 
fellow students, in the Presbyterian grave-yard, at Co- 
lumbia. 

The letters which follow will introduce to the reader 
another, whose gratefid, heart looks up to Dr. Thornwell 
as a spiritual father; who, under tlie stimulus of his fa- 
vour, broke off from mercantile Me, in order to devote 
himself to the ministry of reconciliation. Many yeai's of 
faithful labour have sepai'ated him from the time, when 
he first entered upon the severe novitiate which was ne- 
cessary, to prepare him for the work he still lives to pur- 
sue; but during all those years of patient study, he was 
aided by the counsel and friendship which bi'eathe them- 
selves into these lines : 

"SotiTH CiEOLiBi Gosjvsas, February 2, I8iT. 

" Mt Deab Mobsb : Thougt you may think thai I oiigM to begin my 
letter ■with apologies and excuses, yet I Bhall just throw myself upon 
your generosity at once, presuming that your knowledge of me will sug- 
gest to yoOr own. mind the true reason of my not haying written, before. 

" We have just had a sad visitation in the death of M , -whom you 

may know to have heen one of the most promising members of the 
Senior Class. He died of typhus feyer. Theevent came unexpectedly 
upon UB. We all thought that he was getting well, when his disease 
took a sudden turn, and oarriad him off in a few hours. I am unable to 
speak with any confidence of his religious condition. His mind had 



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PERSONAL FEIENDSHIPa. 331 

been seriously tnrced to the contemplation of the cue tbing nee<i!ul, 
and there were some tMngs about bis ease that were eacovmiging. It ia 
enough to know that he ia in, the liands of Qod. 

" The tiling which presses upon me, is the coudifion of those he has 
left behind, his class-mates and companions. It ia my earnest and con- 
stant prayer, Qiat God may sanctify this Tisitation. to the spiritual good 
of the College. I hope that you do not cease to pray for us. We need 
the prayers of all God's children. My ansiety in regard to the religiona 
condition of the College has, for some time back, been a heavy burden 
to my spirits. All things externally are going on well. I have nevet 
known such admirable order, quiet, and regularity. Our large Sopho- 
more Class is unusually promising and well-behaved ; but in the midst 
of our numbers, few are professedly pious. The thought that so many 
young mea of promise should be without God in the world is almcffit 
too much for me. Oh ! that God would pour out His Spirit upon us I 
I have had a sort of secret hope that the death of M—— may be da- 
sigaed, ia the good providence of fiud, to prove a spiritual blessing. I 
have been in hopes that Ho meant it for good ; and, though I cannot 
state my reaBons, the impression exists, and has somewhat strengthened 
my hands. I Bhall pieach a, sermon in reference ffl this matter, next 
Sunday. 

' ' Dr. P is alho Ij mg very low There is liitle, if any, hope of his 

recovery. He himself expects to die. I trust that he is prepared. His 
religious exercises have been very strong and marked. My eonversatioas 
with him have been refreshing to my own soul His family is most 
sadly distressed ; and his deai^h, if it should take place, will be seriously 
felt. 

' 'Ah me ! what ia life ? Take away the hopes of a blessed immortahty, 
and what wise man would desire to live ? My dear friend, live for eter- 
nity. It is a matter of very httle consequence whether yon spend your 
time here in rags or a palace. We shall soon be goae ; then comes our 
DESTINY, and for that we should strive to be prepared. May God give 
you grace to be supremely devoted to His cause ; for that is the only 
wisdom. My chief regrets, in looidng upon the past, are occasioned by 
the feebleness, the sinfulness, the slothfulness of my spiritual labours. 
You CEJinot learn too soon, nor too well. Oh I that I knew the lesson 
better, that se^-iiemat, amounting to the erucifision of the flesh, is in- 
dispensable to the enjoyment of religious peace and oomtort! Deny 
thyself, and take thy cros.^ ; this is our vocation. What have we to do 
with worldly ease and carnal indulgences, when heaven is before us, and 
Christ is waiting to reneive us? What signify crosses and privations, 
when we are looking for a far more exceeding and eternal weight of 
glory ? I want you to read McOheyne's Life, published by our Board. 
I cannot tell you how much use that little book has been of to nje. Head 
it, and pray over it ; and may God bless it f*i your soul, as, I hope, He 
has done to mine. Let mo hear from yon soon. 
' ' Very truly, as ever, 

J. H. TaoKNwBnii." 



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daa LIFE OF JAMES HKNLEY THORNWELL. 

To the same : 

" SODTH GiEOIANA COLI.EOE, ApHl S, 1848. 

"MyDeaii Mokse ; If I have not written to you before, it has not 
been from any want of interest in your affairs. But tfie incurable habit 
of procraEtination, and my violent repugnance to the use of the pen, 
compel me to liraw largely on the patience and forbeai'ancs of my friends. 
I have again, and again resolved to write to yen, and again and again 
been divei'ted from my purpose. 

" I do not know that I can give you any material assistaiice in the di- 
rection qf your Rtudies, "Witsins is a standard work. It would be well 
to read, in oonneotion with Mm, Boston on the Covenants ; though the 
two books are not to be compared in point of learning, scholarship, Mid 
general ability. But Boston was eminently imbned with the spirit of 
the gospel. On Chuioh goTemment, there are few valuable works 
defending our views that are aocMsible. On many aoeounta, it would 
be well to read tlie great work of Hooker, on Eoolesjastical Polity ; it 
contains the best defence of Episcopacy that has been written. Owen's 
works on Charch government are also truly valuable. Bnt I oonsidfer 
nothing necessary to licensure, in this department, bat the principles 
embodied in our standards. The extended study of tlie Congregational 
andPrelatieQl schemes wiU be the work of future years. In Church his- 
tory, Milner and Mosheim will be sufficient for the present. But I would 
earnestly inculcate the systsmaiie study of the Bible. Take up book by 
book, and endeavour to master it, to digest its contents into order, and 
to have a general scheme of it in your mind. Study the age of each 
writer, his peculiarities ^ and iu this way you will make satisfactory pro- 
gress in BibliofJ criticism. Gray's Key to the Old Testament will be a 
groat help. Home's Introduction will also assist you. But much de- 
pends upon yourself. 

"You mnet exercise your own judgment, in prayerful dependence 
upon God, in ilie interpretation of the Scripture. I hardly know what 
general commentary to recommend. Alt will aid jon, and lume can be 
fully trusted, 'Poole's Synopsis' has some advantages, as presenting 
the views of a multitude of critics, which Scott, Henry, Whitby, Lowth, 
etc., do not possess ; but you can hardly get access to it in the country. 
Ite^ progress, however, can be made without a multitude of books. 
Compare the Bible wiHi itself ; and you will be surprised to flud how one 
part throws light upon another. I trust that the autbor of the Bible 
may he your great teacher. 

" You will find it interesting, to study the Confessions and Apologies 
of the Reformed Churches. This wiU show you the substantial unity of 
faith that has prevaUed among God's people ; and these Oonf essions are, 
besides, most valuable compends of theology. The ' Corpus et Syntagma,' 
etc., and 'Hiemeyer's Collectio,' will be sufficient for your purpose. But 
I win not trouble you with any further hints. Your studies must depend 
much upon your opportunities. 

" iHy family are as ufiufd. Patty has begun to go to school, and is 



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FRIENDSHIl'S. bSi.-i 

perfectly dei^hted. The General* would like to go, but -we think him 
too Emalt. He has a bright Eotioo of shaving, and getting him a wife. 
JsmeH Henley is flourishing ; thoTigh he aad his mother, just now, are 
on croaa-queBtions touching the matter of his waking up after midnight 
and eating a big supper. She wishes to break him of tb© habit ; but he 
demurs against her pnrpose, as a oruel proceeding. The babj proixusea 
to ba a man, but he continues to be anonymoua. Write to me soon. 
"Veiy tmly, as ever, 

J. H. 'EaoHNWEC*." 
To the same : 

" South CiEOLiNi College, February/ .22, 1849. 
"Ms DTliK lIoHSE : Don't be scared at this small paper; it is very 
nearly as large as yours, and I can put more in it than yon did in youra, 
I bope — indeed, I have no doubt — tbat yon will pass your trials sucoess- 
fully; and then you will feel as you never feit before. Responsibility 
contemplated at a distance, is very different from the sense of it actuaUy 
pressing on the -soul. You will often be compelled to esdaim, Who is 
BufSoient for these things? and in your ignoranee, dulaess, coldness, 
and incompetenoy, you will find no retreat but a throne of grace, and 
the promises of an all-siiffioieot God. That you may be eminently use- 
ful, is my fervent prayer. I can give you no aid in regard to a field of 
labour. The churches mentioned by Brother Bishop are very feeble ; 
and I can say nothing of the extent of the field they will open to you. 
You must go Bud see for yourself. 

" The affairs of the College are getting on as usual. The new Pro- 
fessor has anived, and is giving entire satisfaction. I have seen but 
little of b''" yet, but my impression is favoumble. Preston is in a very 
precarious state. His friends entertain doubts as to the possibility of 
bis entire recovery. He may be restored to such an extent as to perform 
the physical oondildoiie of Ufe ; but it is apprehended that he wU! never 
be himself again. I hope tliat Uiese forebodings may not prove true, 
but I cannot say bow weU or iU-founded they are. I trust tbat his affic- 
tioQ may be truly sanctified ; and that he may be made a partaker of 
■trhat is better than intellect, eloquence, or fame. 

" The next number of the Benimo will contain some of my cogitations, 
which, as usual, do not amoant to much, always excepting the article on 
the Elder question. What do you think? I actually went to hear Wil- 
son sing his Scotch songs. I attended his concerts two nights, and 
would probably have gone the third, if it nad not been Saturday, and 
funds rather low. It was, indeed, a treat ; and I begin to think that, 
after all, I really have some music in my soul. The Major was stUl 
more delighted than myseU. He even ventured out on Saturday night, 
and I am afraid thought about it on Sunday. » « * 

"Yon must come and see us upon your journey to or from Presbytery. 
"Very tmly, as ever, 

J. H. Thoekwell." 
• A little boy of four years of age, named after General GUleepie. 



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CHAPTER XXIII. 

STATE EDUCATION. 

ViBW OP THB State's OBuaATioK to Contsoi, Educition. ^Opposed to 
. DBNOMiNATioNii. Eddoitiob. — CaiiTiooa IkquJhies into the Sdbject. 
Hia Book on RoMasisM. — Estimite of it by the ' ' EniNiJTJBGH IEe- 
TiEW," — Bbownson'b Attack. — Lettebs ok the Pkovince of tub 
Chobch in Edtioahon.— His Opinions DeclareiS in a Lbttek to 

GOVEKNOB MlNNINQ, 

DR. THOKNWELL'S connoetion witli the Soutli Caro- 
lina College almost oompcUed liiin to become the advo- 
cate of State eduuation. We do not mean, of course, that 
Ilia opinions were determined by that fact, for no man ever 
lived whose convictions were founded less upon acciden- 
tal associations of any sort ; but simply that the subject 
had a deeper interest to him in that position, and that a 
degree of necessity was put upon him to stand forth as a 
champion on this side of the controversy, then pending in 
the country. He unquestionabiy took a wide view of the 
prerogatives and responsibility of the Stat« ; and, perliaps, 
fully coincided with his favomnte, Ai-istotle, in tlie aphor- 
ism, JTo^ff ytuhjisufj jisv Toi) Q^u ifsxsu, ohaa Se rou s5 QTjV. 
Among the higliest obligations of the State he reeiionod 
this, of providing for the education of her sons. 

His sentiments, too, in relation to the Church, forbade 
his subscribing to the opposite doctrine, which places 
secular education among the positive duties she is called 
to fulfil. On the contrary, all the controversies in which 
he had been engaged turned upon the assertion, that she 
was a pur'ely ■spiritual body, instituted for exclusively 
spiritual ends, and limited in her authority by the express 
law of her King and Head, which she might not trans- 
cend in a singular particular. According to his strict 
325 



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:l£NLEY THOENWELL. 



constrxiction of her charter, her duty terminates ■with 
tlie religious training of mankind. The sanctuary is her 
class-room ; the pulpit her chair ; and tlie gospel of Jesus, 
Ler discipline. It is not the historian's province to arbi- 
trate in such a controversy; but only to set forth flie 
opinions held by the subject of his story. He found able 
critics upon either hand: those who upheld, in this mat- 
ter, the prerogative of the Church ; and those who as 
stontly denied hi?, postulate touching the duty of the 
State, 

The impression has been created in some quarters that 
upon this, as well as upon some other ecclesiastical ques- 
tions, Dr. Thornwell's opinions were somewhat modified 
in the later years of his life. A highly-esteemed minis- 
ter has expressed a hint of this sort to the writer of these 
pages, adding, with a tone of I'egi-et : " And yet I consider 
his defence of the position, tliat the Churcli is simply and 
nakedly a witness for the trutli of God, as revealed in 
His Word, as the most important service, rendered by 
him to the Chnrch, in the department of ecclesiasticism." 

We more than suspect tliis misapprehension to have 
its origin in two sources. Dr. Thornwell was never fac- 
tious in liis opposition to views prevalent in the Olmceh. 
Intense and dear as his own convictions to the contrary 
might be, this very confidence in the truth he maintained, 
enabled him to bide God's time, and to wait for their 
recognition and acknowledgment in the future. Above 
all men whom it h-as been our privilege to know. Dr. 
Thornwell possessed a sublime faith in the majesty and. 
power of truth ; assured tliat, though buried for a time, 
it will rise again, and assert its own supremacy in the 
world. Hence, after a fair effort to win the Church over 
to the adoption of Ms views, if defeated, he submitted, 
with meelinoss and grace, to what he yet sadly deplored. 
He did not surrender his own convictions; but wisely 
abstained from a hurtful and useless agitation, until tlie 
time should arrive for promulgating tiiem anew. Thus, 



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STATE KDTICATION. 327 

after a full discussion on the eutject of Boards, he was 
«ilent for many years, until it was brought up anew, iu 
the Assembly of 1860, at Rochester, And it is remark- 
able, that the last great deliate in which he participated 
in the old Assembly, sliould have been the first in which 
he fleshed his sword after the disruption in 1§37, The 
reader will have occasion, too, to see that one of the 
closing acts of liis public life, was to ingraft his views on 
this question upon the policy of the Southern Presby- 
terian Church, in her first General Assembly, in 1861. 
This, then, could not have been one of the subjects upon 
which his mind liad changed. In regard to the Elder- 
ship, this question went down so completely into the heart 
and essence of the Presbyterian system, that no one who 
knew the man could believe that he changed his views 
upon it, without a square and open retraction of his pre- 
vious error. 

Another feature of Dr. Thomwell's cliaraeter, out of 
which this suspicion may have sprung, was his passionate 
attachment to his friends; which led him to yield, as far 
as was possible consistently with a good conscience, active, 
opposition to their cherished plans. And this complai- 
sance, which was only the- sign of a gentle and loving 
nature, may have been consti'ued, at times, as an assent 
of his judgment. 

But whatever be the origin of the charge, we have not 
the least evidence of its truth; and upon the topic now 
before ua, the writer is able to set it aside by his personal 
testimony; at least, if Dr. Thornwell's opinions were al- 
tered npon the relation of tlie Church to secidar education, 
tlie change must have occun-ed during the last six months 
of his life. Dr. Tliomwell died in the month of August, 
1862, The writer's last personal intercourse with him 
was in December, 1861, at tlie organization, and during 
the sessions, of the flrat General Assembly of the South- 
ern Presbyterian Church, at Augusta, Georgia- The pro- 
ject of eBtabhsbing a great University, wliidi should bo 



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LIFE OF JAMES HENLEV THOHNWELL. 

to Presbyterians throughout what was then 
known as " tlie Confederate States," had been lying in 
the minds of some. A public meeting was held, entirely 
outeide of and distinct from the Assembly, to discuss the 
desirableness and feasibility of this project. This meeting 
was Etddressed by Dr. Thomwell, amongst others, in ad- 
vocacy of the proposed measure. At this stage, nothing 
was under discussion, but the general idea of an institution 
which should be wortliy of, and should command, Pres- 
byterian patronage throughout the country. Tlie details 
of its management and control had not yet been reached, 
and, through the pressure of the civil war, tlien in p]'0- 
gress, were never reached. In private conversation, when 
solicited by the writer to lend his countenance and assist- 
ance to the scheme. Dr. Thornwell replied, that he would 
do so cordially, provided it were not made a Ohm'ch insti- 
tution, organized and controlled by the Church, through 
her courts. He thought a Dniveraity might he created 
by the Presbyterian people of the land, which should be 
penetrated by their influence and piety, without contra- 
vening tlie principle, for which he had always contended, 
tliat the Church, as sneh, should not embark in the busi- 
ness of general education. At that time he had not re- 
siled from his original position on this subject; but, on the 
contrary, he explicitly re-afdrmed it, not considering the 
principle on which it was based as open to any question. 
Indeed, his opinions, on all public and disputed topit^s, 
t were formed with singular caution, and were never pro- 
nounced without antecedent investigation. They were 
not prejudices, but convictions; and, being slowly ma- 
tured, were not subject to fluctuation and change. The 
reader will discover marks of this caution in the letter 
that follows, written as early as 1846, to his friend. Dr. 
K, .T. Breckinridge: 

"My niinii has lieeu mnct timed of lat^ to tho Bubject of State 
sotoole aud State colleget, Fiom bome riniarks of yoiis, in tlie Gen- 
eral A.SBembly, I peroeiie tint j m h.-ip bpeu r^lU tint; upon tlie anmd 



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STATE EDUCATION. 339 

snbjeot. The difSoulty is, to introduce iuto tliem tho principles of evan- 
gelical religion. There are two qnestions! 1. Whether it ie the busi- 
nees of a school to teach religion ; or whether that duty devolves upon 
the parent, oatecMBt, or pastor. If schools are merely secular institutions, 
intended to communicate seealaT inowledge, the problem about tbe in. 
troduotion of religion is easily solved. 2. Supposing, however, that 
schools have a higher object, the formation of character, as well as the 
discipline and cultivation of mind, reUgion must enter as an element. 
But by what ttuGioHty does the State introduce it? Is not the State an 
institution foijuded essentiaUy upon the relations of justice betwixt man 
aod man ? No doubt, if it has a right to introduce rehgiou at aU it is 
bonnd to introduce the true religion ; but tie opinions of the magis- 
trate are a poor security for the permanent introduction of an evangelical 
faith. My mind, however, labours on the question of right. Eeligion 
may be introduced as a matter of stienee, a thing that ought to be kriovin; 
but as a living power a system of Divine grace what lias the State, as 
btd tht?IlJi tht h fltd muoh od these 

thigs, dlshuldhtth y mtndp nions. The oom- 
pl f th -t b la g ly d t imn d by the part which onr 

Chur h h 11 t t gard t tl q sti ns What we do, should, 

tt f b d vith gi t pn 1 d hb li ud caution. My 

miiid h th I d t tb d f St t ed t but 1 have diffi- 
Bultiefc, Let me hoai tiom you soon , and do not omit to say distinctly, 
whether, in case of the failure of your health, you will consent to become 
a South Carolinian. The Lord bless yon and teep ^oa. 
' ' Your sicoere friend End brother, 

J. H. Thoknweli,." 

A little later, his Btiruples appear to liavo been resolved, 
and Ids opposition to Chnrcli schools becomes more pro- 
nounced ; as wiU be seen from the letter below, also ad- 
dressed to Dr. Breckinridge: 

"SotTTE CisoLiNA OoiiLEaE, February 24, 18+9, 
"Mi Dkae Bbotseb:' One good turn deserves another. ¥onr ar- 
ticle, in the last number of the Southern Presbyterian Reoiev), has done 
us so much credit, that I am couBtrained to apply to you again. There 
is one subject particularly, on which I want you to put out your strength ; 
and now is the time, or never. That subject is, the System of Denomi- 
national Education, which the Assembly is endeavouring to set agoing. 
We sliall have a disputation from Dr. Smyth, on Parochial Schools, in 
our nest issue. I objected to its insertion ; but finally consented, upon 
condition of entering 6, protest against it. But the ceaseless declama- 
tion which is poured upon the Church, from all quarters, wiU have its 
efEect, nnlesa some competent man will take the subject up, and discuss 
it on its merits. How, j(>K are the man to do it. Ac article from you 



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330 LIFE OF JAMES HENLEY THOKNWELL. 

on ttiB.topio, at thia jtmctara, will ba read VFitli profound interest, and 
will do great good. Your stndies and inquiries baTe reoently been es- 
aetly of the oliaraijtec which, fit yoa for the task ; and I think you owe 
it to the Church to give her the matured result of your reflections and 
esperienoe, when so many are dosing her with speculations, eonjeetures, 
and visionary schemes. I sincerely hope, therefore, that yon will not 
Bay ' Nay' to this request. 

"Have you seen the New England Puritan f It eTidently winces 
under your article in our last number. 

"BrownEOD ha£ at last fulfilled his promise, to review my book on 
the Apocrypha. He has devoted three articles to my benefit, in the 
April, July, and October numbers of Ms Quarterly. His pieces I re- 
gard as very feeble ; but am not resolved in my own mind as t« the best 
course to be pursued. My disposition is to answer him ; but if I notice 
every reviewer who may take me in hand, I may make buBiness enough 
for myself to occupy my. whole time. If I do not answer him, the 
Papists may crow, and pretend that they have gained a triumph. It 
would, no doubt, be more seemly for some other person besides myself 
to take up Brownson, But I know of no one who can do it, but you ; 
and it is a task which I could not expect from you, in the midst of more 
important and pressing engagements. Then, again, any reply would. 
be addressed to readers, for the most part, who never saw or read tho 
Retiffib. The only point gained, would be stopping their months, who 
might represent BUence on my part as a confeadon of defeat. What do 
you think I ought to do ? 

"Our College is quite flourishing as to numbers. We have two hun- 
and thirty students. Preston's name has been a word to eonjm'e with. 
The instituMon has risen, as if by magic, under his influence and exer- 
tions. But I am very much afraid the charm is soon, too soon,.to b« 
broken. He has been, for six or eight weeks, in a precarious condition ; 
and his physicians seem to think that, if he ever recovers at all, it 
will be a work of time, and of great care ; and the utmost he can re- 
cover, will be some portion of his physical strength. He oan never, 
under any circumstances, be himself again. I do not know exactly how 
to describe his disease. He was taken first with influenza, which at the 
time was prevailing here as an epidemic. It brought him to a state 
very closely approiimafang partdysis. His brain became affected, his 
mind very much enfeebled, and his speech became thick and indistinct, 
his pulse was as low as thirty beats a minute. His tongue was as black 
as tar, and Ms nervous system seemed to be exhausted. He was kept 
np by strong and oft-repeated stimnlants. As soon as he could ride, he- 
went, by slow stages, to Charleston, where he is at present ; and I leam, 
from a letter received here last night, that the physicians there think, 
very gloomily of his case. It is a mournful visitation of Providence ; it 
has caused me many sad reflections. Learning, genius, and eloquence 
are feeble things to depend on. Without a Saviour, what shadows we 
are, and what shadows we pursue. I trust that be has been bronght to feel 



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331 

and see tiie importance of an interest in Clmst. His mind, I know, ixm 
been very serionsly turned to the sabjeot. If he should be compelled to 
leave the College, I stall have but little indnoemeiit to stay here. I haye 
endnred the bondage long enough already ; and if the sooiety be takeu 
from me, which alone has rendered it tolerablH, I shah be strongly 
tempted to soek a field for the exercise of my miiiietry, leas eihausting, 
and more congenial with my ft 

" Let me hear from' jou bi 
aitide on Faroohial Schools, o; 

"Very sincerely, as e" 



Tlie book on the Apocrapha, to which reference is made 
in this letter, was the re-pnblication, in a more permanent 
form, of the articles written in the controversy with Dr. 
Lynch, of Charleston. The volnme was bronght out in 
18i5, and elicited from the Edinburgh Seview tlie liigh 
eulogium that it was worthy of a comparison with Oliil- 
lingworth. Dr. Breckinriclge's reply gave the promise of 
a review of Brownson's attack upon it, as well as of an 
ai'ticle on Denominational Education. It reads thus : 

"Lbsihgton, Ky., March 16, 1849. 

"My Dbae Thoenweh; Your letter of 24th nit. -was long on the 
way. It has only been received within a few days. I will endeayoar to- 
comply with your request in regard to the arliole on Denominational 
Education. If I am not mistaken, your periodical appears this month. 
If you prefer the matter for the June number, and will let me know the 
fact by immediate reply — I believe I had better promise it at once, lest, 
by delay, my loind pass away from the subject, and other things engross 
me. At any rate, I belieye I will just write out my thoughts, and send 
them to you at once. 

"As to the other matter, the j^view of Brownson's article on your 
work, if you will trust that matter to me, I will undertake it with plea- 
sure. But you must do several things ; 1. Send his articles ; I have 
never seen them. 2. Send me, from your pen, such matter, the more 
the better, as you would like worked into the review of him. 8. Send 
me such eriticisma, or denials of his quotations, and references to 
authority, and such quotations and references to support your own, as. 
may be needful ; for my own library is still in boses. 

' ' I will be estremely obliged, if you will send by some one to the 
General Assembly, a bundle of your artidos on the Elder and Ordi- 
nation questions. I nayer had more reason, to thank any friend than 
you, for those articles, on every account, public and private. 



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332 LIFE OP JAMES HENLEY THOENWELL. 

I have been Tery muct of an invalid fop some monUiK past, end in a 
peculiar and very distressing way. For a long time I have ooossionally 
suffered greatly, after preaching too mnch; but how Or why, Bcumed 
nnoeitain ; that is, everything but the sufflering was obscure. For many 
months past, the malady became gradually more concentrated, in a sort 
of spaaiQ of the whole contents of the chest, or some of the more vital 
of them, after violent speaMag! and these attacks, mereismg in tic- 
quency and violence, are beginning to asiunie a veiy senoua aspect 
I await oalmly the indications of Providence , jn the meantimn, doing 
the best I can, and oonfidently committing bU to (jod. Maj God bless 
and keep yon, is the prayer of 

" 'Your attached fricn 1, 



The promised contribution to the Southern Presbyte- 
rian Meview, on the subject of Ohtircli schools, was duly 
raade, and published in the Jiily number of 1849. It is 
thus acknowledged : 

" South CiKouNi C LtEGE Vv 8,1849. 
" My Deak BrotheE : Xour very able and satLsfa to art de on De- 
nominational Education has been received and wil aipeaf as -the 
leader, in our next nnmbsr. The printer has tormented a very much 
in regard to our last number ; so much so that we have taken the work out 
of his hands, and have made a contract with another man, which, we think, 
will insure punctuality. I have communicated to Preston the substance 
of yonr article; and he not only cordially approves of it, but is.very 
mnch gratified that such views are abont to be printed. He takes great 
interest in the whole subject i and as your opinions are the ones enter- 
tained by the leading man of this State, their publication, at this time, 
. wJU be productive of much good. Such discuesions as those which we 
have already had, can settle noUiing. They either prove too much, and, 
therefore, prove nothing, or they are directed to a wrong point. No 
one doubts the importance of religion as an element in education, and 
no one doubts that the Church is a witness to God's truth. Bat that 
her commission to teach the gospel includes a commission to teach read- 
ing, writing, and ciphering, is not so plain. In other words, that a com- 
mission to teach one thing is a commission to teach every thing, is, to say 
the least of it, not self-evident. And yet, this is about the substance of 
the arguments of Drs. JunMn and Smyth. It never seems to have 
struck them, that their method of reaaoning might be just as sacoesa- 
fully employed to divest the Church of all power of rule, as it has been 
to divest the State of all right to teach. They say, for example, that a 
commission granted to the Church to teach at ali, includes every depail.- 
ment of instruction, and excludes the State from any participaiion. 
Upon the same principle, a eomraission to the State to rule at all. 



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STATE EDUCATION. 



333 



iadndes every kind of goveinment, and excludes the Ghuroli from the 
posBessicm of any kind of authority. I shall append to our next num- 
ber a eritioal notice of Dr. JunMn'e inaugural oration, which, together 
with your article, will j)iit before the Chnrches the precise poaition of 
those who are not prepared to swallow down liie scheme of the Board of 
Eduoatiou. 

"As eoou SB I can procure them, I shall send you Brownson's articles 
in review of my book ; and then leave it to your jui%ment wlieflier they 
should be answered or not, Tlioy require no learning ; it is simply moi-al 
, the application of logic, and that alone. He has exposed him- 
ious attacks on the whole subject .of the relation of Church to 
State ; and to expose the tendencies of Eomanism on this head, has been 
my strongest inducement for thinking he ought to be noticed at aU. His 
articles, in my judgment, are deplorably feeble. But if you take him in 
hand, he will furnish yon f, text for disclosures which, if our country will 
heed them, will save our children much trouble. 

"I sent yon, by our oomraismoner, one hundred copies of mj article on 
the Elder qnestion. We have still a large number, which we wonld 
cheerfnlly mail to any addresses yon might recommend. I have neyer 
had a firmer confidence in the nltjmate triumph of any cause, than in 
the final success of the doctrines which it is the object of that article to 
maintain. Even Princeton is beginning to discover that a Presbyter, a» 
miak, is a ruler. 

' ' Preston's health is still very feeble. The Board of Trustees have given 
him a dispensation from all bis duties until the 1st October. He leaves 
early next week, tor Glenn Springs, in this State, and will spend the 
time in travelling about from place to place. I am seriously apprehensive 
that he never wH! be himself again. The only ht^e is the absolute re- 
laxation which he has resolved to try. I do not think that he has been 
m d f th ni u of bis physicians in regard to his 

cas rs P to nf e, thit they have given her very little 

so an he restored. Her mind is greatly dis- 

ea to conceal her anxiety from him. Ho 

OS et. es yaical vigour, and, for a. short time, 

CO wi rit ; but he soon becomes utterly eit- 

an H hole system is toneless. It is a painful 

spectacle to see such a man a mere wreck. He was much gratified with 
your letter. I have been strongly and tenderly attached to him, and 
have done all in my power to sootiie and comfort him in this deep afflic- 

"I cannot close this letter without expressing to you my warmest 
thanks for the promptness with which yon have offered to assist me in 
the case of Brownson. Your "expressions of Mndoess touched me very 
deeply ; and I had rather see hi"* in jonr hands than the hands of any 
other man in the Union. His articles are nothing; but the subject is 
important. And my mind is so utterly undetermined as to the course 
that ought to be pursued, that 1 must leave the matter entirely to l/ou; 



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myeelf, if a general war should ensue, to stand by you fo tl 
May God bless yon and keep yoo, is the sincere prayer of 
"Your devoted friend, 

J. H. Tboenwell." 



Tlie reader who desires to peruse at length Dr. Thorn- 
well's opinions on this important subject of education, a& 
controlled by the Church, will find them presented in a 
published letter to Governor Manning, of South Carolina, 
written in 1853, whilst he was President of the College. 
The topic, it is true, is only incidentally introduced, as a 
branch of the general ai-gument that the State is properly 
charged with the higher education of- its citizens, and to 
repel the ^sumption that religious instruction cannot be 
adequately conveyed in institutions which are supported 
from the public treasury. This elaborate paper will be 
found in the fifth volume of his " Collected Writings." 
But, as it may not fall into the hands of all who read these 
pages, and since this subject is interwoven with his whole 
personal history, we append a few extracts, for the pur- 
pose of defining his position in his own language: 

' ' The true and only question ia, Does education belong to the Churob 
or State? Into the hands of one or the other it must fall, or perish. 
This, too, is the great practical qliration among ub. The most formid- 
able war agsdnst the College will be tbat waged on the principle of its 
esistencB. I respect the feeling ont of which the jealouey of State in- 
stitutions has grown. A godless education is worse than none; and I 
rejoice tiiat the sentiment la well nigh nniversal ia this country, that a 
system which excludes the highest and most commanding, the eternal 
interests of man, must be radieaUj defective, whether reference be had 
to the culture of the individual, or to hia prosperity and influence in 
life. Man is essentially a religious being ; and to make no proTision 
for tMs noblest element of his nature, to ignore and preclude it from 
any distinct consideration, is to leaffe him but half educated. The an- 
cients were accustomed to regard theology as the first philosophy ; and 
there is not a people ,under the sun whose religion has not been the chief 
inspiration of their literature. Take away the influence which this sub- 
ject has exerted upon the human mind, destroy its contributions to the 
CBUise of letters, the impulse it has given to the speculations of philoso- 
phy, — and what will be left, after these snbtroctions, will be compara- 
tively smell in quantity, and feeble in life and spirit. We must have 



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STATE EDUCATION. 335 

religion, if we would reacli the liighast forms of edueation. Tliia is tlie 
atmospLere wbioh must surround the mind and permeate all its ac- 
tivities, in orde hit ts development may be free, healthtnl, aii^ Tigor- 
OUB. Science laug h s 1 tte s pine, refinement is lost, wherever and 
whenever the g ni of lif, on s excluded. Experience has demon- 
strated that, in n f th o ther, it must enter into eyery College, 
and pervade ev ry d pa tm nt of instmction. No institution has been 
able to live wittont t B t what right, it is asked, has tlie State to 
intTOduoe it? What ght, we m ght ask in return, has the State to ex- 
olnde it? The diMculty lies in confounding the dogmatic peculiarities 
of sects with the spirit of religion. The State, as such, Iqiowa notidng 
of sects, but to protect them ; but it does not follow that the State must 
be neoeasarilj godless. And so a College knows nothing of denomi- 
nations, except aa a feature ia the history of the human race ; but it does 
not follow that a College must be necessarily atheistio or unchristian. 
What is wanted is the pervading influence of religion as a life ; the 
habitual sense of responsibility to God, and of the true worth and des- 
tiny of tlie soul ; which shall give tone to the oharnotev, and regulate all 
the pursuits of lie place. The example, temper, and habitual deport- 
ment of the teachers, co-operating with the dogmatic iustructioiis which 
have been received at the fireside and in the church, and coupled with 
the obligatory olraervance (except in cases of Conscientious sorUple) of 
the peculiar duties of the Lord's day, will be found to do more in main- 
taining the power of religion, than the constant recitation of the Cate- 
chism, or the ceasetess incolcatioa of sectarian pecnliarities. Tte difS- 
culty of introducing religion is, indeed, rather speculative than practicaL 
When we propose to teach religion as a science, and undertake, by pre- 
cise boundaries and esact statutory provisions, to define wliat shall, and 
what shall not, be taught ; when, by written schemes, we endeavour to 
avoid all the- peculiarities of sect, without sacrificing the essential in- 
terests of religion; the task is impossible. The resiiMtim, after our 
nice distinctions, is zero. But why introduce religion as a soienee T Let 
it come in the character of the Professors ; let it come in the stated, 
worship of the sanctuary; and let it come in the vindication of those 
immortal records which constitute the basis of our faith. 

"Leave Creeds and Confessiona to the fireside and the ohurch, the 
home and the pulpit. Have godly teachers, and you. will have compara- 
tively a godly College. But what security have we that a State College 
will pay any attention to the religions character of its teachers ? The 
security of public opinion, which, in proportion aa the various religious 
denominations do their duty in their own spheres, will become alsolutely 
irresistible. Iiet all the sects combine to support the State CoUego, and 
they can soon create a sentiment which, with the teoible certainty of 
fate, shall tolerate nothing onholy or unclean within ito walls. They 
can make it religious, without being sectarian. The true power of the 
Church over these institutions is not that of direct work upon the hearts 
aud consciences of all the members of the community. Is it alleged 



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336 LIFE OF JAMES HENLEY THOKNWELL. 

that esperieoee presents us witJi monrnf ul examplee of State institTitions 
degenerating into hot-beds of atheism and impiety ? It may lie promptly 
replied, tliat tbe fiama esperience presents us willi equally mourafvJ es- 
amplee of Churoh inetitutioiia degenerating into tot-beds of the vilest 
heresy and infidelity. And, what is more to the point, a sound public 
opinion has never failed to bring tbeee State institutions back to their 
proper mooiings, while the Chureh iuBtitntions have not unftequently 
carried their sects with them, and rendered reform impossible. In the 
case of State institutions, Uie security for religion lies in the public 
opinion of the whole commnnity ; in the case of Church institutions, 
in the public opinioa of a single denomination. And as the smaUer- 
body can more easily become cOrrnpt than a larger; as there is a con- 
stant play of antagonism,' which preserves the health, in tbe one case, 
while they are wanting in the other ; it seems clear, that a State College, 
upon the whole, and in the long run, must be safer than any sectarian 
institution. As long as people preserve their respect for religion, the 
College can be kepi free from danger. 

"The principle, too, on which the argument for Church supervision 
is founded, proves too much. It is assiimed that, wherever a religion* 
influence becomes a matter of primary importance, there the Church has 
legitimate jnrisdicfjon. 'This,' it has been well said, 'puts an end to 
society itself, and makes tbe Church the only power that can exist ; since 
ail that is necessary is, for any officer, or any power, to he capable of 
moral effects or infiuences, in order to put it under the dominion of the 
Church. The moral influence of governors, judges, presidents— nay, 
even sheriffs, coronefs, or constables— is as real, and may be far more 
extensive, than that of schoolmasters. The mora! influence of wealth is 
immense ; that of domestic habits, nay, even personal habits, often de- 
cisive.'* The truiii is, this species of ai^ument would reduce every 
interest under the son to tbe control of the Church. It is just the prin- 
ciple on which the authority of the Pope over tings and states has been 
assumed and defended. The ai^nment, moreover, is one which can very 
easily be retorted. If, because education has a religious element, it must 
fall within the jurisdiction of the Church ; a. foHiori, because it has mul- 
tiplied secular elementSy it must fall vrithin the juriEdiction of the State, 
Tbe Church is a distinct corporation, with distinct rights and authority. 
She has direct control over nothing that is not spiritual in its matter, and 
connected with our relations to Jesns Obrist. She is His kingdom ; and 
her functions are limited to His work, as the Mediator of the Covenant, 
and the Saviour of the lost. And if education, in its secular aspects, is 
not a function of grace, but nature ; if it belongs to man, not as a Chris- 
tian, but simply as a man ; then it no more falls within the jurisdiction 
of the Church than any other secular work. « * » * 

"Apart from the principle involved, I have other objections to seo- 



"Dr. Breckinridge, in .'■'outhern Prmhyterian. Review, vol. 3, p. 6, 



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TATE ?:DtrCATION. 337 



tarian edueation. . I aay, seetariaii eduoation ; for the Church, es catholic 
and. one, in the present condition of things, is not risible and corporate. 
What she does, can only be done through the egenoy of one or more of 
the various fragmenlj^ into which she has been suffered to split. In the 
first place, it is eTideat, from tie feebleness of the seota, that tliese col- 
leges oacnot be very lai^ely endowed. In the nest place, they are likely^ 
to be numeronB. Prom these causes will reault a strenuous competition 
for patronage; and, from this, two effects may be expected to follow, 
first, the depression of tlie general standard of education, so as to allure 
students to their halls ; and nest, the preference of what is ostentatious 
end attractive in education, to what is solid and substantiHl. It is true, 
that there can be no lofty flight, as Bacott has suggested, ' without some 
feathers of ostentation ; ' but it is equally true, that there can be no 
flight at all, where there are not bone, muscle, and sinew, to sustain the 



" It is also a serious evil that the State should be habitually di 
as profane and infidel. To think and speak of it in that light, is the sure 
way to make it so ; and yet this ia the uniform representation of the advo- 
cates of Church education. They will not permit the State to touch the auh- 
jeot, because its fingers are unol^an. Can there he a more certain method 
to nproot the sentiments of patriotism, and to make ns feel that the gov- 
emment of the country is an enormous evil, to which we are to submit, 
not out of love, but for oonaoieiJOB sake ? Will not something like this 
be the inevitable effect of the declamation and invective, which bigots 
and zealots feel authorized to vent against the CommonwealtJi that pro- 
tects them, in order that they may succeed in their narrow schemes? 
Instead of clinging around the State, as they would cling to the bosom 
of a beloved parent, and eonoentrating upon her the highest and holiest 
Influeneee *hich they are capable of eierting ; instead of teaching their 
children to love her, as the ordinance of God for good, to bless her for 
her manifold benefits, and to obey her with evea a religious veneration ; 
they repel her to a cold and cheerless distance, and brand her with the 
stigma of Divine reprobation. The result must be bad. "The fanaticism 
which despises the State, and the infidelity which contemns the Church, 
are both alike the product of ignorance and folly. Ood has established 
both -the State and the Churoh. It is as clearly our duty to be loyal an4 
enlightened citizens, as to ha faithful and earnest Ohristians." 

I think, too, that the tendency ofsectarian Colleges, to perpetoata the 
strife of sects, to fix whatever is heterogeneous in the elements of na- 
tional character, and to alienate the citizens from each other, is a con- 
sideration not to be overlooked. There ought surely to be some common 
ground on which the members of the same State may meet together, and 
feel that they are brethren ; some common ground on which their chil- 
dren may mingle without confusion or discord, and hury every narrow 
and selfish interest in the sublime sentiment, that they belong to the 
same family. Nothing is so powerful as a common education, and the 
thousand sweet associations which spring from it, and cluster arouCid it, 



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338 LIFE OF JAMES HENLEY THOKNWELL. 

to cherish the holy tirotlierhood ot men. Those who have -walked 
together m the same paths of science, and taken, sweet counsel in the 
same halls of learning ; who went arm in arm in that hallowed season of 
lite when the foundations of all eKeelleneo are laid ; who have wept with 
the same sorrows, or laughed with the eanie joys ; who haye been fired 
with the same ambition, lured with the same hopes, aad griered at the 
same disappointments ; these are not the men, in after yeais, to stir up 
HnimoEifies or foment intestine feuds. Their college life is a bond of 
nnion which nothing can break ; a divine poetry of existence, which 
nothing is allowed to profane. ♦ « » » All these advantages mast 
be lost if the sectarian scheme prevails. South CarolinaJvUl no longer 
be a imit, nor her citizens brothers. We shall have sect against sect, 
school against school, and college against college ; and he knows but 
little of the pist, who has not obserred, that the most formidable dangers 
fo any State are those which spring from division in its own bosom, 
and that these divisions are terrible in proportion to the degree in which 
the religious elemsut enters Into them." 



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CHAPTEK XXIV. 
GALL TO CHARLESTON. 

OcOiSiONAIi DlSSiTlSfACTION WITH AOAliEMIO LlM!. — ClUaES OF IT. 

ET;ItiI. PUSSTIITS IN VACillON. — Hl9 FaBM. — CiBE Off Hia StiTEB. 

PBTViTE OOBKESPOBDENHE.^OaIiL TO ChTFECH Di Chaklebton, South 

Caboltna. — Eebigbaiion op His PKOFESsoEsaiP.— KciiBase feom thb 
College. — Keuoval to Chaklestos, ■ — Bbiep LiBOCRB m that Gin. — 

OOKEEffPONBENOE ,— EtKOTED TO pBESIDEHOy OF THB CoLLBOH. MbM- 

TAL CowiTOT, — Action oe the Ohueoh. 

THEOUGH the whole period of his coimectiou with 
the College, there were seasons of restlessness, when 
Dr. Thornwell seemed to chafe under the restrictions of 
his position, and to sigh for other fields of labour. Those, 
however, mistook the case, who assigned this to fickle- 
ness and love of change. Perhaps none but ministers of 
the goapol can fally appreciate the conilicts which earnest 
and faithful men of their class often experience. Ko one 
is able to stand outside of himself sufficiently to estimate 
the efficiency of his own labours. He is conscious of the 
force that goes out from him, but he is not able to mear 
sure fully its influence upon others. There often appears 
to be a vast disproportion between the amount of the 
toil, and the result that accrues ; the disproportion is 
greater still between tlie desires which are cherished, and 
the fruit that is actually gathered. Moments of deep 
dejection occur to all, when they are prompted to adopt 
the remonstrance of the ancient prophet; "O Lord, 
Thou hast deceived me, and I was deceived ; then I said, 
I will not make mention of Him, nor speak any more in 
His name." But it always ends as it did with the faithful 
Jeremiah: "His word was in my heart as a burning fire 
shut up in my bones, and I was weary ^vith forbearing, 
3;^ 9 



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340 LIFE OF JAMEa HEHLKT THOKNWELL. 

and I could not Btay." Such eeasoiiB of gloom, it could 
not be supposed Dr. Tbornwell would wholly escape ; 
and -wliilst all aboiit him, in the Church and in the State, 
recognized his work aa grand and blessed beyond what 
common men could hope to achieve, it was not strange 
if he sometimes sighed over opportunities that seemed to 
be slipping away without fruit. Of com'se, this was only 
oecasioual. In the main, he was cheered by the assurancej 
that he had been made the inetrumont of working a stu- 
pendous change in the religious sentiment of the College, 
and, indeed, of the State, in the complete overthrow of 
that blatant infidelity, which previously had seated itself 
upon the high places of intelHgence and power. He was, 
too, not without precious seals of his ministry in the con- 
version of sinners, who broke down under the majesty of 
his appeals, and were led by him to the feet of the Saviour. 
But it was not possible for him to know what multitudes 
he eetabiislied in the faith of the gospel ; nor in how 
many young hearts he planted " the incorruptible seed," 
which, though it lay dorma.nt for a time, sprang up in 
after years, and bore rich fruit to the glory of God. 
■ Another cause contributed to this occasional dissatis- 
faction witli the College. Dr. Thomwell, notwithstand- 
ing his early preference for scholastic hfe, wliieh his 
intellectual tastes fitted him pre-eminently to enjoy, was 
constituted for action rather than repose. He poaaesaed 
that peculiar power of magnetizing those with whom he 
came in contact, which ia the firat quality in a great leader. 
His convictions were too intense to be locked up in his 
own breast ; they must have expression, or he must die. 
He could not be a man given to speculation merely. His 
beliefs wrought themselves into his whole being, and were, 
almost without a figure, as a burning fire shut up in his 
bones. He could not but be conscious, also, of his im- 
mense power in speech to sway the passions, and conti'ol 
the actions of men. The instinct of the orator was in 
him, always craving an audience ; a theatre upon which 



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CALL TO CHAELESTON. 341 

its practical efficioney maj be dJaplajed. He craved an 
audience, not of youth just crystalizing in their character, 
and shut in, like himself, to speculation and theory ; "but 
an audience of men in the sap and vigour of hfe, plunged 
into all the activities of the world's great hattlo, whom 
he might stir to deeds of renown iu the kingdom of his 
Master. A temperament so ardent, inspired with all that 
is lofty in truth, and conscious of a living energy which 
can impress itself upon others, could not always be 
resigned, 

" Through the loop-holes of retreat 

To peep at Buub. a world^ ajid. see the Btir 
Of the great Babel, and not feel the crowd." 

Traces of this will be discovered in the correspondence 
of this period, and in a temporaiy withdrawal from the 
College, which continued, however, only for a few months. 
The first two letters are addressed to Professor Matthew 
J. "Williams: 

"Desbuboh Aeeky, Jitl^ 17, 1850. 
' ' My Dear Majob ; You will perceive that I am now fairly rnsticated. 
We reached Lancaeter Courthouse the day after we left Columbia, spent 
the Fourth of July in the village, and on the Monday following we oame 
out to our plantation, where we have been setSed eyer fdnoe. The 
change is prodigious, from the intense heat of Colnmhia by day, and 
its musquitoea hy night, to the refreshing hreezefi and invigorating at- 
mosphere of the up-country. My wife is delighted ; and unless she 
should becdma tired before the sumiiier ia out, it will he hard to get 
her back to the College campus. There is one consideration, however, 
which, iu onr oireumstances, will not be without force. The proepeot 
here of mating any available amount of the 'ready,' is very slim. 
Drought, drought, drought, is all the cry. The corn is stunted and 
withering; and a few more dry, windy days, will make the likelihood 
ot making bread very slender. There is no chance of reaping twenty- 
five hundred dollars fmm these red hills. With seven children to edu- 
cate, and a host of backs to cover, we need some other dependence than 
Dryburgh Abbey affords us. So we shall be constrained, with as good 
a grace as possible, to go back to Columbia. But the situation here ia 
delightful. Our residence is on a high hill, in a deeply shaded grove, 
and commands a rich and extensive prospect on all sidea. "We are never 
without a breeze, and the sound of a musquito is never beard, I enjoy 
the chaugo very much for the present ; and if I were to consult my 



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3i2 LIFE OF JAMES HEKLEY THOltNWBLL. 



leelJngB, iustead of yielding to my convietjons of duty, I aliould bo 
tempted to settle down in laral life. 

" I KnppoBe yon have Been i±ie account of the death of the President 
of flie Dnited States.* What it means, it is difficult to oob jeeture. But 
it seems God is giving ns warning after warning, line upon line, and 
precept npoa precept. Every good man sliould be found constantly 
wrestling at the throne of grace for our bleeding and distracted country. 
I am satisfied that nothing bat repentance on our part, end wonderful 
mercy on the part of God, con save uE from the jnst conseqnenicea of our 
national sins. We have forgotten God, and have been sacrificing to 
our own drag; and unless His rebukes should bring us to aoknowlei^e 
Him, we may be ieft to ' eat the fruit of our own ways, and to be filled 
with oar own devices.' The subject is constantly in my thoughts and 
in my prayers ; and there is nothing that I would not cheerfully do, or 
suffer, to promote the peace of our beloved country. I have hope that 
God does not mean to destroy ; that His purpose is to iufiot ju^ment 
after judgment, until His chastisements shall have been effectual ; and 
then He will return, and have mercy on us. If He meant to root us up 
and destroy lis, He would probably withhold tlie rod, saying, ' Ephraini 
is joined to his idols ; let him alone.' 

"I am engaged in preaching every Sunday. We have several big 
meetings projected here, in which I am to take part. It is an omen of 
good, that, in several places in the State, the Lord has visited His peo- 
ple. I sincerely trust that the outpouring of the Spirit may be uni 
versal. Write to me soon. West to the pleasure of seeing you, is that 
of hearing from you. 

"Most truly yours, 

J". H. THOSNWEnL." 

In explanation of the foregoing letter, it ia proper to 
say that Dr. Tliomwell acquired, by mai-riage, a small 
estate in Lancaster District, to which he was aecnstomed 
to repair witli his family during the vacation in the Col- 
lege. To this place he appears to have transferred the 
name of one of the moat romantic spots which he visited 
while in Europe; and of which, in one of the letters we 
have ah'eady transcribed, he speahs in terms of great enthu- 
siasm. His interest in the spot is mai'ked in naming his cozy 
retreat "Dryburgh Abbey." His plantation was never 
of much pecimiary benefit to him. He was an easy and 
indulgent master ; and it is doubtful if his slaves made 

• General Zaobary Taylor, the twelfth President of the United States, 
died in Washmgton, D. C, on the 9th of July, 1860. 



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CALL TO CHAKLESTON. 343 

tlieir own support; certainly, ttey never accomplished 
much more; and were. often a tax upon him, rather than 
a source of revenue. He was exceedingly conscientious 
in securing to them every religious privilege, and con- 
tiibuted regulai-ly to a mittieter, who made it a part of 
his duty to visit the place, to catechize and to preacli. 
Arrangements of this kind were common throughout the 
Southern country, under the old regime, which has now 
passed away. Besides being at perfect liberty to attend 
the sanctuary on the Sabbath, the gospel was brought to 
the slave at his own door, by the special labours of min- 
isters, who performed the duty with constancy, and by 
system. When present at the place. Dr. Thomwell was 
assiduous in the eaine work, as a cateehist and preacher. 

"DBTBnBGH Abbei, A'UguH 20, 1860. 

"Mt Dese Matob! Your dalightful letter has been lying by me for 
two weeks unanswered. Altkough. my heart has prompted me every day 
to subdue my reiuotauoe to take the pen, every day I have succeeded in 
flattermg loyself tbat it -would be easier to write to-morrow. The trutJl 
is, I have been attending several protracted moetiugs, and have returned 
from each pretty throughly broken down. My labours, at the first, left 
me in a state of prostration from which I apprehended serious reBalte; 
but, fJirbugh the mercy of God, my system has recovered its usual tone. 
For two days I was ocoasionally spitting blood ; my cheat was very sore, 
and my voice very feeble. But I have not only recovered my health, bat 
have received gratifying toteas tha.t the labours which exhausted me 
have been a bleBsing to others. One can afford to be broten down, when 
his decay is the life of others. 

' ' My family has enjoyed usubI health, and niy wife and children are 
delighted with the freedom of a country life. We have had fruit and 
melons in abundance, and ample space to expand our limbs and lun^ 
Our friends have been very kind; and, in the plenitude of their charity, 
they have never peimitted us to be wanting in either good cheer or good 
company. We look with reluctance to the period — alas ! too rapidly ap- 
proaching—when we must go back to the walls of onr prison. College 
is to me like a dungeon ; and I go to its duties like a slave wliipped to 
his burden. Nothing keeps me there but the fact that God's providence 
has put me thmc, and I am afraid to leave without some marked inti- 
maljon of the Divine will, Perhaps a day of greater osefulneEB may 
oome ; or perhaps the Almighty may open a way for my escape. But I 
have so often expressed to you my feeling^ upon tiis subject, that it is 
nscless to say moi'e upon it now. 



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344 LIFE OF JAMES HENLEY THOENyKLL. 

" The article upon Morell * wHoh jou sent me, follows very olOBely in 
the -wake of tte article in (lie North British Eevi^w, upon, the same snb- 
jeot. The disoriminations were just ; and I Buppoee the Ad'Oocate copied 
the pieoe as some atonement for its own eKtraTagaB,t panegyric of the 
boot when it first appeared. I am sony to see, however, that rationalism 
is making such progress in this conntry ; and, if Qod spares my life, I 
intend to deal some harder hlows than I have yet done. It is in- 
sidious and deceitful, and is specially suited to captivate tlie young and 
vain, Themaawho has pondered, and is prepared to answer aright, the 
question, WMt Ban vse hnow ? is the only man who is competently fur- 
nished against the temptations of this seductive and shallow philosoplij'. 
He sees precisely where it stumbles. That idl knowledge begins with 
the incompreheneible, and is bounded by the incomprehensible, is a 
truth which the arrogant disputers of this world are slow to apprehend. 
The longer I live, and the more I think, the more profound is my con- 
viction of human ignoranpe. I can say, too, that I have a growing at- 
tachment to the great truHis of Christianity. I feel that I am rooted and 
grounded iu the gospel; that its doctrines are incorporated into my 
whole life, and are the necessary food of my eool. I have looked at the 
matter on all sides ; and I can say, from the heart, that I desire to glory 
in nothing but the croes of the Lord Jesus Christ. The distinction of 
being a Chrietian is the liighest honour I would court ; and the shallow 
metaphyBies that would take from me the promises of God's Word, I do 
most heartily despise, 

" Upon the subject of the inspiration of the Seripturea and the autho- 
rity of the Bible, we shall have some desperate battles to fight with false 
brethren, before the enemy is subdued. The world will be on their aide. 
They will make the impression that they are very learned and very pro- 
found ; and that their opponents are equally ignorant and shallow, mis- 
taking the spirit of bigotjy for the spirit of religion. Reproaches of this 
sort, which wiE turn the multitude against us, we must bear patiently. 
They are pait of the cross which attaches to discipleship in out day. 

" I was much gratified that you approved my article on slavery. No 
one besides has expressed to me an opinion upon it, and I have seen 
htmllya notioe of it in any of tiie papers. * * « in regard to the 
article on the Bible Sodetj, it strikes me that the question there dis- 
cussed involves a matter of no little momenta Is the Bible Society a 
rehffiovs institution, or is it only a secular corporation ? If it be a reli- 
gious institution, upon what principle is prayer excluded? How can 
persons he united in religious duties, when they do not worship the 
same God? The Socinian and Trinitarian cannot pray together ; tliey 
cannot be members of the same church ; how, then, can they unite in 
any other rchgious institution? If the Society is only a seuJito" corpo- 
ration, then it is only a contrivance to get up a cheap book store ; and 

• The Philosopy of Eeligion. ByJ. D. Morell, A. M., authoi of "The 
History of Modern Philosophy." 



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OAIJ, TO CIIAKr.EB-KiN. oil> 

every yariety of motive may animate its members. TtG principle of these 
national Bocietics never lias been clear to my mind. Their platforms, bo 
broad as 'to admit evarybody that will contribute, no matter who or from 
what motive I have never been able to understand. At least, the sub- 
ject is not free from embarrassments I never reaii thu article in the 
iJetiiew until after its appearance ; hut I thought it calculated to awaken 
incLuiry, 

■ "I have long been anxious that yo"u should write somethmg for us 
connected with your favourite pursuit. It ie a duty to employ our 
talents for God's glory, and the good of oar fellowTnen ; and as the Al- 
mighty has furnished you with eminent gifts in regard to a particular 
department of human knowledge, you should not conceal youi light 
under a bushel. There are many subjects which you might discuss, and 
which I tnow yon can discuss with signal ability ; and you know not 
what good you might do. 

" The time is rolling on when we must put on the harness once more. 
One oonsideiation relieve the gloomlnjess of the prospect ; it is that I 
shall meet some whom I sincerely love, and who fully reciprocate my 
affection. How glad I would be to see you here ! I know not what ef- 
forts I should not pnt forth to show you how much I esteem you But I 
hope to meet you in Columbia. In the meantime, let me hear from yOTi 
again. Your letters are delightfully refreshing ; they are like cold water 
to a thirsty soul. 

"Most truly and sinoerely, your frieuiJ, 

J. H. Thoenwell." 

To bis old fnend, General James Gillespie, he writes, 
under date of June 17tli, 1850 : 

«,<,>:* "I have just finished a long article on slavery,* for our 
JSeeieirt, which is now in press. I endeavoured to grapple with the phi- 
losophical argument of Dr. Cbanning and Profe^or "Whewell. It is the 
substance of a sermon which I recently preached in Charleston ; and 
which, I learn, gave great satisfaction. At the earnest entreaty of men 
whose judgment I respect, I have agreed to publish it ; and selected the 
present form as the most durable and useful. As soon as it is out I will 
send you a oopy. 

• This article, referred to also in the preceding letter, wUl be found in 
the fourth volume of Dr. Thomwell's " Collected Writings " ; together 
with another important paper on the same subject : a Beport submitted 
to the Synod of South Carolina, adopted by that body in 1851, and or- 
dered by them to be published. These doenmeufs give the prevailing 
opinions held by Christiaii people at the South on a subject which is now 
purely historic, and are still valuable as a dear statement of the prin- 
ciples which were inTolved in it. 



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346 LIFF <JF lAMF? HENLEY THORNWELL. 

"What an imeipeoted calamity was the depth nf Elmocel "What a 
lesson in regard to the vanity of man, and the empimoES oE human 
honours 1 His funeral w as the most solemn, and impresRiyc scene iliat 
I ever witnessed in my life and waa about as profitahlc to me as any 
circumstance that has recenOy happened. I never felt more powerfully 
than on that occasion, the transcendent value of Christian hope ; it ia 
indeed an anchor to the soul, botli sure and steadfast. His corpse ar- 
rived just about nightfall, and he was buried by the hght of a few stars ■ 
abOTC, and a few lanterns below. The body was in such a conditicoi 
that it could not be kept until morning. His wife fainted at the grave ; 
his eldest daughter knelt down and prayed ; and everything around us 
was still and solemn as eternity. The scene impressed ma so much, iiat 
all sleep was taken from my eyes. I gave myself up to my thoughts ; 
and was able to p6ui; forth my feelings nest day in a sermon, which, 
I iruBt, will not be lost upon the young men. My text was, ' Be ye, 
therefore, also ready.' Mr. BamweE has, I iiear, accepted the appoint- 
ment to the vacancy. The Governor could not have selected a better 
man ; and I sincerely trust that our difficulties at "WasMngtou may be 
saiiefactocily adjusted-" 

We interpose here a portion of a letter to liie bmtter- 
in-law, the Rev. A. J. "Witherspoon, who had long been 
an inmate of his house as a student in College, and for 
whom he cherished the strongest affection : 

"SoDTH Oaeolina CoiiEOR, December 10, 1850. 
"MyDeae JiOK; I received your letter, written from Greensboro ugh, 
last night, giving us the not unexpected intelligence, that you are soon 
to be married. Nothing, I assure you, would afford me more pleasure 
than to be present on the occasion, and to pronounce the words which 
would for ever bind you, in sacred and mysterious union, with the object 
of your choice. But this happiness I am compelled to forego. My 
duties in the Collage, and the condition of my family, render it impos- 
sible for me to leave home at present. But, although my person must 
be absent, my heart shall be with you. My prayers shall be mingled: 
with yours, that the blessing of Almighty God may descend upon you, 
and that you and your love may live habitually as heirs of the grace of 
life. You are entirely too dear to me, on many grounds, to permit me 
to be indifferent in regard to an event of so much importance. I con- 
gratulate you upon your prospects ; for if anything can be inferred from, 
ttie name,* you have every omen of prosperity and happiness. My ex- 
perience has taught me that it is noble blood to flow in the veins of a 
wife. I bid yon a cordial God-speed; and trust that every returning 

» The bride was a Miss 'Withecspoon, from n branch of the s&me fam- 
ily with that of Mrs, ThomweU. 



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CALL TO CHAKLESTON. 3i7 

anniverBary of tha event may be an Ebenezer in. your Hstory, in ■wbioh 
you shall delight to reoouot the manifold memorials of DiTine goodness. 

"Your eister, I need not say, is highly gratified at yonr prospects ; 
and if it were within tlie compass of possibility, she would not fail to be 
present, to grace your nuptials with a sister's smilo, and a mother's 
blessing. All the children greet you ; for there is not a soul about my 
house, whether young or old, bond or free, that does not love Unole Jack, 
nor a heart that does not leap at the mention of his najne. Your boy* 
knows that something is about to happen, but he cannot precisely com- 
prehend its import. * « * 

" Give our kindest remembrances io all of Dr. Witherspoon's family ; 
and may the blessing of our covenant God rest upon you and yours, 
now and ever, is the sincere prayer of your aincere friend, 

J. H. Thorhweli.." 

The jeav of 1850 was a turbulent one in the history 
of the College. The Lord of Misrule, who so often 
delights to break up the peace of our Colleges, asserted 
now his supremacy. For aome trivial reason, the whole 
Junior class rose in rebellion against the authorities, and 
and were suspended, making a fearful ehasm by theh' re- 
moval. Other causes, of a more private and personal 
nature, conspired to render Dr. Thornwell uncomfortable 
in his position, and predisposed liim to listen to overtures 
from abroad. In the month of March, 1851, the Glebe 
Street Church, in Charleston, South Carolina, made out 
a call for his pastoral services, wliieli he accepted. This 
church had been organized, under tlie Eev. Abner A, 
Porter, D. D., as an otf-shoot from the Second Presby- 
terian church of that city. It was then in the feebleness- 
of its infancy. Dr. Thornweil's resignation was accepted 
by the BoaJ-d of Trustees, and he entered upon his duties 
in the month of May. His own letters will give the best 
account of his l)rief connection with that church. On 
the 7th of May, he thus writes to the Key. A. J. With- 
erspoon : 

" Dear Jica : I have received joar kind letter. The Board of Trus- 
tees is now In session, and I shall keep this letter open to iuform you, 

• One of Dr. Thornweil's Uttle sons, who wais named in honour of 
Mr. Witherspoou. 



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348 LIFE OF JAMES HENLET THORNWELL, 

in a postscript, of the resnlt of my application. My ir 
under all tJia circmnataiices of the case, 1 shall b9 releaaed. I have put 
it on tha ecound of a personal favonr, after thirteen years' hard laboar. 
Besides siguing the matter very ingenioasly in a latter, I have gone 
round among the members of the Board, and fairly begged off. They 
were very much disposed to tick, in, the hope of detaining me finally, 
Mid breaking up the Charleston movement altogetiier. But when I 
asaured them my honour was pledged, and this result was altogether 
hopeless, they seemed disposed to accommodate me. I thint, therefore, 
that matters are in a fair way. Should I get off, I will probably he in 
Charleston ou Sunday, the ISth. * * • 

' ' Most affectionately yours, 

J. H. ThoenwehJ/. " 
P. S. — 'The Board has adjourned. lamreUased. The Church, there- 
fore, may look for me on the 18th. 

" Chakleston, Ma^ 24, 1851. 
" My Beabest Wife : Upon my return this evening from Sullivan's 
Island, I found your delightful letter, written partly in Columbia, and 
parHy in Camden. I had heard from one of the students, who was down 
here on leave of absenoe, that Gillespie bad fallen from a wall. Ha also 
assured me that the doctor had said that he was not hurt ; and to relieve 
me of all anxiety, said further, that he had seen bim, as usual, playing 
in the campus, the afternoon of the accident. But what gave me most 
comfort was, that I received no telegraphic dispatch from you ; which 
I was Bnie that I would have receiveci, if the child had been seriously 
hurt. I am very thankful that the Lord has been so kind to us, in. pre- 
serving him in the midst of danger. I sincerely trust that He will yet 
make him the means of saving multitudes from the awful danger of 
sin. Let us endeavour to consecrate him, and all our children, to God's 
service, and to train them up for God's glory. • • " 

' ' I have just returned from a second excursion to Sullivan's Island. 
It is certainly the most delightful summer retreat that I have ever visited. 
I met with Mr. Adger's family there, and they took me out to ride. We 
rode about five miles on the sea-shore, with the water roaring near an, 
aad the cool breezes blowing fresh upon us ; and I could hardly keep 
from shedding tears, that you were not there to enjoy the scene. I 
thought of you, plodding your wa,y, through clay and dust, up to Ian- 
caster ; annoyed by children, ill served by servants, and in feeble he^th. 
How I wished you were here. * • ♦ 

"I have visited eight or ten families in the congregation, and have 
been very much pleased with them. They are all plain people, but very 
spiritual. I have been agreeably surprised at the tone of piety and 
prayerf ulness, whioh seems to prevail amongst them. This circumstance 
has encouraged me more than anything else. They are people that I 
loiow you will lite, and will feel at home amongst them at once. Mr. 
Caldwell and his family have been very kind to me. They have treated 



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OALL TO CHAKLESTON. 349 

me with tte most cordial and whole-souled hospitality. 1 someMmes 
insiiraate that my toes begin io ache already with incipient gout. They 
know what good living is, anii yet everything is utterly unpretending. 
Their hearts are entirely in the oaiiBe of Chflat, and especially in the 
Glehe Street Church. 

"You will see, from my acoount of myself, that I am leading a de- 
plorably idle life. I have read hardly anything but the Bible since I 
came here. I wander about, and tate exercise, aud bathe. I sleep when 
and as I please. All study I have oarefuJly avoided; and every one con- 
gratulates me upon looking so weh. I have certainly improved ; the sea 
air is just the thing for me. * * ♦ 

" May the Lord keep you as the apple of the eye. 

"Most devotedly, your husband, 

J. H. ThOENWEMi," 

To the same : 

" Chaelbston, May 26, 1851, 
"My DE^RJi8TWII^E : * « * »■ I preached twice yesterday, aa 
uaiwl. The congregation was good in the morning, but crowded almost 
to sufflooatdou at night. The pews are to be rented this week; and we 
shall, perhaps, be able to make some guess as to how we are likely to 
succeed. The time is u.ot moat favourable now, as many are away, 
others preparing to go away, and many ucsettied. But it was very for- 
tunate, or providential, for the church, that I came dowa at ouce I am 
ansiouEto have an eye single to God's^loiy. If it were my purpose to 
please the people, I could soon gather a large congregation ; but I want 
to build up a spsrsiaa^ church, and that cannot be done without the spe- 
cial agency of the Holy Ghost. I could soon draw around me those who 
have itching ears ; but I wish to attract people, not to myself, but to the 
o OS f my Divine Kedeemer. Such a work requires patience, watch- 
fuln and prayer. 

' I am getting very impatient for you to come down. The 
amjl st ai angementa are made for your aeoommodation. As soon as 
you m ou will go over to Sullivan's Island, and enjoy the fresh air, 
and th 1 1 ^tful walks and rides upon the beach ; and, if yon will risk 
it, the bathuig in the sea. Take the best care of yourself ; and be sure 
to come down at the time appointed. 

" Most devotedly, your husband, 

J. H. Thoenwell," 

To tiie Rev. A. J. Witlierspoon : 

" StjiJ:Ivaii's Islabd, Jwne 17, 1851. 
" My Dbib .Tack ; I was truly rejoiced to hear from you this evening, 
though extremely sorry to learn that your health hes been so feeble. You 
must not overtask yourself ; a righteous man is merciful to his beast. 



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350 LIKE OI' JAMES HEJ^LKT THO^iN^^'ELL. 

You have no right to oomaiit suioide. The miniatry of the gospel is a 
noble nu llin g | but, like every other pucsuit, we must engage in it ac- 
cording to our Bfrength, and not beyond it. I hare soma experience in 
the matter, and am fully aatisfl-ed that, in ref erenoe to it, a£ wail os every 
th t rpria ih Id masim, featina, lente, is a \pi'iae one. Ton will 

I bl to mph Ii more in the long run, by not overtasking youmelf 
t th b ginmng H that has a long race before him, sets oS at a 
m I t p Th thing to he guaided against is, sparing ourselves 

f n 1 1 n th love of ease ; that is sinful. But when a man 

lly aim at God glory, and husbands his resources for larger and 
m 3 ti rvi he is no more to be condemned than the thrifty 
n nist wli g Bid against a prodigality which his means do not 
a th iz hirii to mii^e in. I have nothing to say in regard to the 
L an h m h t to urge you to do, what I isnow you wiU not be 
b tw tI t d , t mmit the whole matter to the Lord, and to ask 
counsel from him. K He does not call you. He will make it plain to you 
in some way or other, if you humbly and honestly seek His guidance. 
All that I would say is, the Lord's wiE be done. 

' ' Your sister reached Charleston on Saturday. I was deplorably lone- 
some without her, oooBeionally very blue ; but her presence has aijted 
Uko a charm, and cheered me amazingly. The church here is getting 
along as wall as could be expected. The congregations are very good in 
the morning, and at night we have a perfect jam. So many people have 
had to be turned off from inability to get into the house, ttiat I am afraid 
they will ba discouraged from coming. I have been preaching some very 
dose and searching sermons. My impression is that, in the course of 
tbe winter, I shall be able to gather a very respectable permanent con- 
gregation. The prospect, at least, is a very encouraging one ; and I am 
not sanguine about such things. • • « * The Lord blasa you and 
and keep you, and guide you into all truth and duty. 
' ' Most truly yours, 

J. H. ThoknweUj." 

The following ie addre^ed to his little son, not yet 
seven yeare of age. It reveals him as a Ohrietian father, 
in his intercourse with his little ones : 

" Sullivan's IsLiiiu, Jttns 17, 1851. 
"Mr DiiiE Gillhspie; Your mother is now with me, and we often 
Slink and talk and pray about our dear little hoy in Sumter District. We 
know that you are in the hands of kind friends, who will take the best 
careof you. But we are very aniiousthat you should try and be a good 
boy yourself. You must mind everything that cousin Sarah Ann, or Mr. 
Knoi, says to you. Learn all the lessons they give you ; use no bad 
■words; answer your questions every Sunday; and pray to God every 
morning and night. It would do your father a great deal of good to see 



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OAI.L TO OHAELEOTON. 351 

you fond of reading tlie Bible, and other books. I hope that God may 
yet make you a preacher. There ia nothing that would please me so 
mQoh as to see jou a good man, and in the pulpit. You must not think 
it smart to be rude end boisterous, imdorael to poor animals, that cannot 
help themeelTes, You must not curse or swear, for anything in the 
world ; and no matter what jou do, never tell & Etory ; alwaye speak out 
the truth, -whatever may he the consequences. 

" I wish yon could be here to see tlie groat sights that are to he seen. 
Your mother goes down every day into the big waters, and lies down in 
them nntil they cover her up. It is good for her health. She has al- 
ready improved a great deal sinoe she came down. We often walk on 
the sea shore ; and she picks up a whole parcel of pretty little shells, 
which she intends to carry home, end give them to you children. We 
see a great many ships, and steamboats, ajid little boats, sailing "about 
every day. You would enjoy it very much. But I know you are happy 
among the tall pines of Sumter. You get so many good things to eat, 
I am. afraid you will not be willing to come home again. I want you to 
te happy, and to enjoy yourself ; but at the same time, I want you to 
be good. May the Iiord bless you, my son, and take care of you ; and 
make you, some day, a useful preacher. 

" Your affectionate fatlier, 

J. H, Thc 



To the Eer. Thomas E. Peek : 

" Sullivan's Island, July 1, 1861. 

" My Dbab Thomas : I received your welcome letter on Saturday, all 
the more welcome for being gratuitous. As to your mental depression, 
I oan hardly prescribe a cure. If it arises from dyspepsia, nervous irri- 
tation, indigestion, or oostiveness, the best thing you can do will proba- 
bly be to take a blue piU. If it arises from a sense of sin, of guilt, un- 
worthiness, and misery, there is a fountain open for such disorders ; and 
the way of access you know better than I oan tell you. If your gloom 
is occasioned by a feeling of unprofitableness as a minister, by doubts 
as to the propriety of your occupying your present position, your true 
place is to remain cheerfully and comfortably where you are, until God, 
in His providence, calls you to another sphere. An honest desire to 
know God's will is the best security against mistake. He wUl not per- 
mit those who humbly seek His direction, to wander in forbidden paths. 
You may not have the suceess that you want ; but if your labour is ac- 
cepted of Go" " ■' ■ "" ■^ -"'^ tt:_. ,_j tt .-11 ;3 

witii His eye. 
"I have t 



preaching o: 
pect of But 
There axe St 



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352 LIFE OF JAMES HENLEY THOENWELL. 

against us. Tte eturch ifaelf is not a oomforliablB tiuildiog. It is not 
only small in its proportions, but jammed and orowded in its pews. 
The location, also, is yery obaenre ; and, in addition to all this, the idea 
of a pauper missionary enterprise seems to have been BBSooiated with it. 
None of these considerations have any weight with me, hut the first. I 
wish the house were larger and. more comfortftble. I do not wish s,fing 
church ; I have no idea of drawing people to Christ by bricks and mor- 
tar; but I want it like a gentleman's dress, free from criticism. We 
shall either ha t b Id an th t m 11 th i nt Our u)n 

gregations at ght ej ry 1 ^ vr m g whi h congr 

gation, seems toltadl gBil frm d fiml 

opinion as to th It f my m 1 mt 1 xt w t W h 11 

then see wheth th lamhdmdf pw My <n t wi h 

is to organize g gati wh se b d f m hall b th g p I 

in ita life and p 

"Pungent and arhn^ ghl^ bg mbuddn 

this dty. Fi h a. epl did g na fash bl "i g ia ns,— 

these seem tolth g It nta^kd/fmi h It 
mJiere he pre h and t Smifhh mp gl dding 

ad d w th sof f th n h t 1 g wh th y InU d t 

I by an q Vlly imp g h tc th t ib th pla f g 
tl man dto th twi Sda twhpGd This 

Etaffflglamanii t th ghl dmd,d 

bknplt uat tlf dthmt rtfiil 1 1 mg 

plea dwftfii 1 thTitmftnifl whn 

we supposed th t w 1 al f th diff n f ligi n I 

am afraid that th gh t tl t y P byt p pul t n la 

tfto much giYi gw tot Wcfl t Idsubwpnstb be^ 
long to Prela anl P p ry And f d t t mp j tibl 

way, I can do anything here to arrest it, I shall feel that I have accom- 
plished a noble work. If I can mate ickat is preached the standard of 
judgment, in regard to a minister or church, I shall feel that I have 
done much. 

"I am glad that Dr. BrecMnridge is about to discuss the subject of 
instrumental music. It is getting to be a Tery great evil. Every church 
here, I ihink, has an instrument of some kind, but mine and the Metho- 
dists. At any rate, there is a decided taste for them. 

"Do you stm eat sheep? If so, this is the place for you. The 
Oharleston market abounds with lambs, from a month fo a year old ; 
but I have not touched them. Let me hear from you soon. 
" Most truly yonrs, 

J. H. THOENWELr,," 



The foregoing letters give the account of Dr. Thorn- 
■well's very brief connection with the Glebe^Street chiu'ch, 
in the city of Charleston, which was destined to be very 



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CALL TO CHAKLEBTON. d53 

suddenly broken. It is remarkable that every effort 
made by him to escape from the duties of aeademie life, 
■was instantly arrested. Indeed, his whole career shows 
how often Divine providence holds a man to a given sta- 
tion, even against hia own wishes in the case, until his 
work in it is fully done. This was the third attempt to 
leave the College for a pastoral charge, since 1837, when 
he first entered its service. On the 2d of December, 1851, 
Dr. Thoriiwell was elected President of the South Caro- 
lina College, in the place of the Hon. "W. C. Preston, 
whom increasing ill health compelled to resign. The 
letter which follows discloses the conflict through which 
he passed, before this position was accepted : 

" CBiEuiaTON, December 12, 1851. 

" lilr DEABEar Wipe ; I am surprised at yonr looking for me lionie, as 
yon must remember that I told yon I had- a Bpeect to make before the 
Oliarleston College to-night. It was foe that reason that I have spent 
the week here. I made my speech to-night ; and, so far as I know, it 
took very well. ' It whs delivered in tlie chapel of the Charleston Col- 
lege. The auditory was small, but select ; and the speech amazingly dry 
and motaphysical. * » ♦ 

' ' I have passed a week of severe and bitter conflict. It has been my 
earnest desire to know and to do the Loi-d's wdlL I have endeavoured 
to suppress every other feeling, but a simple eye to the glory of <5od. 
But I had no idea of the strength of attachment that is felt here for me. 
The people cannot speak upon the subject without bursting into tears. 
The prospect of usefulness is more promising than it has ever been be- 
fore; and the congregation has endeavoured to meet the thing in the 
tight spirit. They had a special prayer-meeting last night ; and every 
member of the church, that was not providentially hindered, was there , 
and the scene was a truly melting one. They say tiiat Martin prayed 
like a man inspired. These things have moved me very deeply. I 
know the people respected and esteemed very highly ; but I had no idea 
of the love, the real love, that they had for me, as a minister of the gos- 
pel. It makes the trial very severe and painful to me. The Session 
had a meeting laet night; and we have determined to lay the matter 
before the congregation on Monday, I feel iliat, after all the prayer 
which has been offered in the case, the decision of the congregation will 
be for the glory of God. They will approach the subject in the right 
spirit; and I am persuaded that God will direct them. Whatever tiiey 
decide, I shall feel bonnd in honour to abide by. If you could have been 
■with me tills week, you would have been safisfted that it is a most serious 



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354 LIFE OF JAMBS HUMLBT THOENWELL. 

etep to give up bo delightful a obarge for tiie jnartyrdoia of OoUege. 
My impression is, that tlie congregation will hold on to me. I think 
their esisteaoa, in a measure, depends upon it; and if they do, they 
■will cliQg more closely to me than they would otherwise have done. I 
am recoEoiled to whatever Providenoa may oraer, as I have honestly 
sought to knoTV my duty. Under this state of the case, you may have 
the comfort of knowing that our suspense will soon be over. On Mon- 
day the question will be settled ; and I sincerely trust that your mind 
may be reconciled to any issne. As a matter of feeling, of comfort, of 
happiness, of usefnlneBB to my family, I prefer the Church. In some 
other respects, the College may have the advantage ; though even here 
my mind is not clear. The thing thai most distreBsea me is, that you 
may not be Batisfied to leave Columbia ; and to do a thing that wonld 
grieve yon, would almost take my life. But the Lord reigns. Let us 
both submit the matter to Him, and endeavour to aoq^niesce in His will. 
The Lord blew you. Kiss all the children ; and pray for me in this 
strait. 

" Your most devoted husband, 

J. H. TaOKNWBIjL," 

By the resolution adopted by the Glebe Street congre- 
gation, in tlie spirit of a noble self-sacrifice, he was left 
free to obey the dictates of liis own conscience, under the 
guidance of Divine providence. 



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CHAPTER XXY. 
FMESIDENGY OF THE COLLEGE. 

ENTEHa CPON TUB PEESIDHNOy OF THE 80UTH CAROLINA CoiiEOB.— FIT- 
NESS FOE THAT Position. — Hia Ibea o» the Higher Eduoatios.— A 

■ CoMPnLSOKY CUBBICOLDM PbEFEREED TO THE ELECTIVE OoiJIffiES OF 
THE UnITESSICY. — VlBW3 DEVELOPED IN HIS LbTTEK TO QoVEKNOB 

Manning. — Visit to Older iNSTiTUTioNa at thb North. — At Gam- 
BKinOB. — Letters Wrxttek There. — At New Ha.vbn. — Lbttbbb. — 

DE. THORNWELL entered upon his duties, aa Presi- 
dent of the South Carolina College, in tlie month of 
January, 1852. He hrought to this responsible position 
a large experience ae a Professor in this very school, and 
was fully acquainted with its excellencies and its defects. 
Hia views upon the whole subject of education were also 
fully matured. He properly considered its first object to 
be the discipline of the mind, to elicit its dormant powers, 
and to train these for vigorous self-action ; whilst the mere 
acquisition of knowledge he regarded as secondary in 
impoi'tance. His favourite idea was to restrict under- 
graduates to studies by which the mind may be systema- 
tically developed; and at the close of a prescribed and 
compulsory curriculum, to engraft upon the College the 
main, features of the University system, with its large and 
varied apparatus for the fuller communication of know- 
ledge. He has been accused of dispai'aging the natural 
sciences as a part of liberal education; in which there is 
undoubtedly a misapprehension of his ti'ue position. He 
certainly did not estimate them highly as instruments of 
mental discipline; and thus assigned them a small place, 
in that scheme of education which is intended to train the 
mind. But he would give them ample scope in that broader 
355 



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356 LITE OF JAMES HBNI.EY THOKHWELL. 

scheme, wliieh takes tlie disciplined mind and adonis it 
with various knowledge. He simply shifted tlieir position 
from tlie gymnasium to tlie University; and would rejoice 
in their cultivation as the fnrniture, rather than as the 
diet of the mind. 

He was a zealous advocate of common Bchool education 
among the masses; but firmly held to the opinion, that 
knowledge, after all, is diffused by its own law of descent 
from above, below — percolating through society from the 
surface to the lowest bed beneath. Hence, he laboared 
to promote the highest education among the few, aa the 
surest way to quicken and enlighten the less favoured 
masses. It is hiu'd to swim against the cuiTent of the age. 
His grand ideal of an institution, which should unite the 
thorough training of the gymnasium with the lai'ge cul- 
ture of the University, was never realized; and he has 
left the great problem of education yet to be solved : how 
to adjust the wide diffusion of knowledge with that depth 
and accuracy of learning which it was the object of his 
life to seeure. 

A tew extracts from his celebrated letter to Governor 
Manning will present his views on these points autho- 
ritatively to the reader. He thiis speaks of the design 
which the College has in view : 



"Deyoted to tbe interosis of general, in contradistinction from, pro- 
f eaaional, ednoation, its design is to cultivate tte nuind ■ffithout laf arence 
to any ulterior pvuauits. ' The stadeat is considered an end to himself ; 
his perieetion as a man simply, being tlie aim of Ms eduoation.' The 
culture of tie mind, however, for itself, contributes to its perfection as 
on instrument ; so that general edaoaUon, while it directly prepares and 
qualifies for no special distincfion, indirectly trains for every vocation 
in which snccess is dependent upon intellectual exertion It has taught 
the mind the use of ita powers, and imparted those habits without which 
those powers would be usele^. It makes men, and oonS6c[ueiitly pro- 
motes every enterprise in which men are to act General education 
being the design of a College, the fundamental principles of its organi- 
zation are easily deduced : 

" 1. The selection of studies must be made, not with reference to the 
e importance of their matter, or the practical value of tbe 



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OF THE COLLEGE. 357 



knowledge, but with refetencD to tlieir influeiice in unfolding and 
etrengtherriTig the powers of the mind. As the end is to improve mind, 
the fitness for the end is tha prima consideration. * • ■« Henoe, the' 
introduction of studies upon the ground of their practical ntility is, pro 
tanto, suhTBreiTe of the Coliega. It is not its ol}flce to make planters, 
moohaoics, lawjers, physioians, or divines. It has nothing directly to 
do with the uses ol knowledge. Ita businera is with minde, and it em- 
ploys science only as an instrument for tha improvement and perfection 
of mind. With it the habit of sound thinking is more than a thousand 
thoughts. "When, therefore, the gnestion is asked, as it often is asked, 
by ignocanea and empiricism, what is the use of certain departments of 
the College currioulirm ? the answer should turn, not upon the benefits 
which in after life may be reaped from these pursuite, but npon their 
immediate snbjeotiTe influence npon the cultivation of the human f aoul- 
tias. Thay are aelacted in preference to others, because they better train 
the mind. It cannot be too earnestly inculcated, that knowledge is not 
the principal end of CoEega instruction, but habits. Tha acquisition of 
knowledge is the necessary result of these exercises, whioh tenainate in 
habits, and tha maturity of the habit is measnrad by the degree and 
accuracy of the knowledge ; but still, the habits are the main thing 

" 3. In the nest place, it is equally important that the whole course of 
studies be rigidly exacted of every student. Their value, as a discipline, 
depends altogether upon their beinff studied i and every Coliega is de. 
fective in its arrai^ements whioh fiula to secure, bs far as legislation 
cau secure it, tliis indispensable condition of success. « * • The 
curricuhnn must be compulsory, or the majority of students will neglect 
it. All must be subjected to catechetical esaminations in the lecture- 
room, aild ah mast undergo the regular examinatious of their classes, as 
the condition of their residence in College. The moment thay are ex- 
empted from the stringency of this rule, all other means lose their power 
upon tha mass of pupils. ♦•**** 

"S. Another cardinal principle in the organization of the College, is 
the independence of ifcs teachers. They should ba raised above aU 
temptation of catering for popularity, of degrading the standard of edu- 
cation for the soke of the loaves and fishes. Thay should be prepared 
to officiate as priests in the temple of iaarning, in pure vestments, and 
with hands unstained with a bribe. • * » The true security for the 
ability of the professional oorps, is not to be sought in starving them, 
or in making them scramble for a Uvalihoodj bat in the competency, 
zeal, and integrity of the body that appoints thorn, and in the strict re- 
sponsibility to which they are held." * • « * 



He then proceeds to refnto the objection, that the 
higher education henefits only the privileged few who 
can avail themselvee of it : 



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358 LIFE OS- JA5 

" It is great weakness to suppose that nothiug can contribute to fbe 
general good, the immeiliate ends of which are not realized in fJie case 
of eveiy iudiTidual. * * • The educated men, in every oommumty, 
are the real elements of steadj and consistent progress. They are gen- 
erally in adyance of their generation ; light desoends from them to their 
inferiors ; and by a gradaal and imperceptible influence, emanating from 
the solitary speculations, it may be, of their seoret tours, the whole 
teitnre of society is modified, a wider scope is given to its Tiewa, and a 
loftier end to ita measares. They are the men who sustain and carry 
forward the complicated movements of a refined civilization ; the real 
authors of the changes which constitute epochs in the social elevation 
of the race, Ktt could not understand, and Fox refused to lead, the 
masterly speculations of Adam Smith upon the Wealth of Nations. He 
was ahead of his age. The truth gradually worked its way, however, 
into minds of statesmen and le^slators ; and now, no one is held to be 
fit for any public employment who is not imbued with the principles 
of political economy, * * * The sohtary scholar wields a lever 
which raises the whole mass of society. It is a high general education 
■which shapes the mind, and controls the opinions of the guiding spirit 
of I3i6 age ; it is this which keeps up the general tone of society ; it is 
at once conservative and progressive. * * * * 

"In the next place, it should not be omitted that general education 
is the true source of the elevation of the maases, and of the demand for 
popular inafcruetion. 'Every educated man is a centre of light ; and his 
example and influence create the consciousness of ignorance and the 
sense of need, from which elementary schools have sprung. Defective 
culture 18 never conscious of itself, until it is brought in contact with 
superior power. There may be a conviction of ignorance, in reference to 
special thmgs, and a desire of knowlec^e, as the means of accomplishing 
paiticular ends; bnt the need of intellectual improvement, on its own 
acuiunt, never is. awakened spontaneously. « * » « Hence, it is 
knowledge which creates the demand, for knowledge, which causes igno- 
rance to be felt as an evil ; . and hence it is the education, in the first 
instance, of the few, which haa awakened the strong desire for the illumi- 
nation of the many. Xiet knowledge, however, become stagnant ; let no 
provision be made for the constant activity of the highest order of minds, 
in the highest spheres of speoulation ; and the torpor would be commu- 
nicated downwards, until the whole community was bennmhed. * • • 
Scholars aie, therefore, the real benefactors of the people ; and he does 
more for popular education who founds a University, than he who in- 
stitutes a complete and adequate machinery of common schools. The 
reason is obvious : the most potent element of public opinion is wanting, 
where only a low form of culture obtains ; the common schools, having 
no eiample of anything higher before them, wonld soon degenerate, 
and impart only a mechanical culture— if they did not, which I am in- 
clined to think would be the case, from their want of life — if they did 
not permit the people to relapse into barbarism. Colleges, on the other 



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PKESIDEHCY OF THE COLLEGE. 359 

band, will create the demand for lower culture ; and private enteTprise, 
under the stimidTis imparted, ■would not lie backward ia providing it." 

"With these views aB to the importance of the higher 
edncation, and of th^ discipline iiecesBaiy to its attain- 
ment, Dr. Thornwell entered npon the administration of 
the College. He evinced his zeal in the discharge of his 
new trust, by devoting the first vacation to a visit north- 
wai-d, that he might inspect the methods which obtained 
in the older and more celebrated institutions of Gam- 
bi-idge and Tale. His impressions will be best commu- 
nicated in the letters which he wrote during that tour. 
The first is addressed to the Rev. A. J. "Witherapoon ; 
which we introduce, partly because it opens his plan of 
visitation, but chiefly because it reveals a severe bereave- 
ment in the death of a little daughter, his youngest, at 
the age of eighteen months, 

" COLTJMBIi, J«fw 28, 18S2. 

" My De4b Jack : It lias been a long time since I beard from yon, and 
ttiough I have been eKtremely anxious about you, I have been Hving in 
bopes tbat every day would find you on your return to your deac native 
State, I am juat from tie Washaws, whither I bad gone on a melanuboly 
errand, the burial of my sweet babe, Mary Elizabeth She died on the 
Both inst., and I took, ber to the last resting place of her little Bister, 
who bad preceded ber to beaven by many years. It was a sad offtce, 
but I tntst God has sanKtified it to my good. I feel tbat my child has 
blessed me in ber deatb, tbougb it was denied ber to bJess me by ber 
life. But it moves many a painful thought, that sucb was my ingrati- 
tude, such my guilty distance from God, tbat it cost tbe life of my little 
one to bring me to a Bound mind. *«**»■ 

' ' Our vacation has begun, I shall leave tbe last of tbis week for 
Oharieston, and from there I shall go to the North. I propose to visit 
several of tba northern Colleges, Harvard, Tale, Dartmouth, Ac,, at 
their oommencements, in order to ooUeot suoh hints as may be useful to 
me in the conduct of tbis institution. I have endeavoured to pei^enade 
your sister to go with me, but she . is very reluctant to leave the obil- 

" Tbe wife of Wade Hampton, Jr., Colonel Preston's sister, died sud- 
denly yesterday. She will be buried this afternoon. Snob is life ! In 
health one day, in tbe grave tbe nest ! Her husband had completed a 
m>^nific«nt mansion ; it was splendidly furnished ; all things w^ro ready 



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LIFE OF JAMKS I: 



to begin to live ; flnd, 161 in an instant, vanity is written upon iill thei 
hop^ and preparftlions. • • • 

" Most truly, aa ever, 

J". H. Thorn WELL." 



"BiLTiMOSB, July 13, 18S2. 
"MtVebyDbabWipe! I arrived at this city abont six o'clock on Satnr- 
dajafteraoon, acdaniioclgiagwithMi. Coulson,ft member of Peek's con- 
gregation. I preached only onoe yesterday, and that was for Peek. * * 
"I bad, a very pleasant time in Washington. I could have spent a 
week longer with interest. Mr. Do Sausaure was very kind and attentive. 
We called on the President together, but failed to see him, as he was 
very much engaged at the hour of onr call. I spent an evening with 
General Hamilton, in oompany with Mr. De Saussure and Colonel Bnrt. 
Hamilton gave me letters to the very first men in Boston — to Evei'ett 
and Sparks. Burt also gave me a letter to Mr, Winthrop, the former 
Speaker of the House of Bepresentatives, a man of very high standing. 
By means of these letters, I shall be enabled to accomplish very plea- 
santly all that I have in view at Cambridge. I had many other invitationB 
from gentlemen at Washington, which, for want of time, I was compelled 
to decline. Bntler returned while I was there, Knd was extremely cour- 
teous. He hunted me up, aa soon as he came, and offered his services 
in any enterprise which I might wish to prosecute. I saw none of the 
clergymen in Washington or Georgetown. * ♦ " * As to my health, 
I think that I am improving. The pain in my hip troubles me less thaa 
it did, though I still feel it oocaeionally. In evei^ other respect I am as 
well as naiial. But I have a good deal of anxiety about you and the 
children. You must not expose yourself during this intensely warm 
weather. You must keep your mind free from care and anxiety. Abjure 
the needle. Give yourself up to light employments and recreation. It 
would be a source of great satisfaction if I had you with me. But at 
Ujis particular time, a man can do nothing but keep to the house and eat 

" May the Lord watch over ua both, and keep us in perfect safety ; 
and bring us together again, in health of body, mind, and soul. Kiaa all 
the children. 

" Yout devoted husband, 

J. H. Thoknweli.,'' 

"CiHDBLDQE, JlilijI 31, 1352. 

" Ml Ohseminq, Dabuno Wife : I had not thought to write to you 
nntil to-morrow night, as we are now in the midst of the Cambridge 
festivities; but I was so delighted to-night upon receiving two letters 
fioni you, that I must drop you a line, even before the exercises are all 
over. This has bean Commencement day.- The crowd that attended 
The eserciass' ware held in a large church, and it was 



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PKTJSIUENCY OF THE COLLEGE. 361 

literally jammed ami orammud. Wa liad tliii'iy speeches • jiiet think of 
that. We commenced at ten o'cloct, and came out at three. I was 
assigned a coDspieaoue place on tke etage, nest to es-Pretiidenta Quinoy 
and Edward Everett After tte speecbes, I joined tie Facnlty and 
Overseers in. the College dinner. It was a very interesting affair, well 
served up, and we had good appetites for it. They concluded the dinner 
by singing the seventy- eighth Psalm, This has been an old custom, 
handed down from the Puritan fathers. It was really an imposing cere- 
mony ; and I should have enjoyed it very much, if I had not rememhered 
that they were all "Unitarians, witnessing, in this very service, to their 
<iwn condemnation. The exercises of the young men were not equal to 
those we have jn our own College. 

" This evening I spent with Professor "Walter, one of the ablest men 
connected with the faculty of this ancient Univetsity. We had a great 
deal of pleasant talk about College discipline and College studies. To- 
morrow is to be another great day. Mr. Winthrop, late Speaker of the 
House of Representatives at Washington, is to deliver the annnal oration 
before the Alumni of the University, after which they all repair to a 
spleadid dinner. I am invited as a guest. I am told that it will be a 
splendid affair ; all their best men wiU make speeches at the table. Mr. 
Everett is to preside. He has been verv pohte and attentive to me, and 
is certainly one of the most aocomphhhed men that I ever saw in my 
life. Ah soon as I arrived and sent my card, he despatched a very 
handsome note to me, inviting me to attend the dinner, and called apon 
me this morning before I was up We sat together upon the stage 
to-day, and had a good deal of pltasant, desultory talk He is what jou 
would call a finished man. We have no othei tuch man m America, 
Yesterday evening. Dr. Sparks, the present President, called upon me, 
and made a very favourable impi ession. They have nof been content 
with mere oourtesiea. They have abo given me some wort to do. I 
have been appointed by Sparks upon a committee to sit in judgment upon 
the exercises of a number of students to-morrow morning, who will 
speak for a prize. I accepted the appointment, because I wanted to see 
and learn, as much as I conld about the working of this ancient and 
venerable institution. 

"You cannot imagine how attractive this placets to me. There is but 
one draw-back, and that is the reHffWM ; it makes mo sad to sec such men, 
so accomphshed, so elegant, at once such finished gentlemen and such 
admirable scholars, sunk into so vile a faith. I have really had scrupies 
about associating with them as I have done. But it must be confessed 
that Boston is a great city. There are things about it that make you 
prond of it as an American city. It is the most elegant city in the 
Union. Here you have the noblest specimens of the Yankee character. 
The people here remind you very much of England. There is none of 
the littleness that you meet with in other parts of New England. 

" Tell Nanny I am much obliged to her for her letter, and will buy 
her the breast-pin. Harvey I must excuse, and take the will for the deed. 



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362 LIFE OF JAMES HENLEY THOKMVVELL. 

Bles3 all the oMldren, and kiss tiiem for rae. The Lord preserve yon 
aU. Ab Hvei-, 

" Your devoted Mabaiid, 

'J. H. THOIiNTOI,!,.'' 



"Boston, JWj 34, 1853. 
"My Pbeoioos, Chaeming 'Vfma: Though I have wnttea to you so 
recently, yet I know you will not taie it amiss that I write to you again, 
as it gives me great pleasure to commune with you in spirit, when I am 
absent from you in the hody. Last nigbt I attended a very pleasant and 
agreeable party at President Spark's. This morning he oalled on me 
quite early, and wa had a great deal of oonversation about Colleges, and 

"This morning I came into Boston, and spent the forenoon with Mr. 
Everett, in his library. I was invited to dine there, but declined, es I 
wanted to hunt up the Harts. After dinner I set ont upon that errand, 
I could find no such hospital anywhere. I inquired at aJl the leading 
hotels, and nb one there had ever heard of suoh an institution. I looked 
at all the Directories, and conld get no elne to it. I inquired of gentle- 
men in hook stores, and they uould tell me nothing. I remembered 
that Colonel John Freston told me he thought the institution was afc 
Boibnry. So I jumped into an omnibus, and went over to Roxbnry. 
I inquired at fJie principal hotel there ; no one had ever heard of snoh 
an inetitution there. I was. at the end of ray row, and thongbt I should 
have to return to Boston with my finger in mj mouth. But I perse- 
vered. I went into a store, and asked B shop-keeper. Ho knew no- 
thing of it; but said if there was such a thing any where in that region, 
1 oouid find out by calling on a physician that Uved near. So I plucked 
np course, went to the doctor's house, rung the bell, a servant ap- 
peared. I asked if Dr. Gotten was at home. 'Yes, sir." '''^ill you 
please ask him it be will step to the door ? A stranger wishes to speak 
with him a moment.' The servant withdrew, and Dr. Gotten soon ap- 
peared. ' Esouse me,' I said, ' for intruding upon you, sir ; but am a 
stranger from South Oarolina, and wish to obtain directions for finding- 
die hospital for spinal patients,' 'Did I not see t)Olt, sir, the other day 
at Cambridge ?' he rephed ; ' and did I not hear you speak ? Are you 
not Dr. Thomwell, of the South Carolina College ?' I told him I was. 
Ha then very politely asked me into his drawing-room, gave me a book 
to read, saying that he had io despatch some patients, who were wait- 
ing 'on him, and would instantly join me. He soon re-appeai'ed, and, 
told me that there was no such hospital ; but added, ' I know the place 
you want to find ; it is a private establishment, where a Dr. Barre at- 
tends to cases of that sort.' He then got a map of the town, and showed, 
me exactly where it was. I told him that I was very much obhged to 
him, and would instantly order a cab, ' No, sir,' said he ; 'I will take 
yoa myself.' With that, he ordered Ms chaise, or buggy, drove ma to 



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PKlCSimiNCY OF THE COLLEGE. 363 

the place, where I found tlie Harts ; and would wait for me until I got 
through my ceH. He then made me get in again, and drove me for two 
hours among all the villages and fine seecery for six miles around Bos- 
toD, eiplsining everything to me as we went. Now, can South Carolina 
haat that? My heart was deeply touched at the unostentatious kindness 
which was thna heaped upon a stranger. I found the Harts enjoying 
themeelvra. They were in good spirits ; and thought that the child was 
decidedly improving. Thoy were very mnch gratified at my call. I 
told them that I would not have persevered bo iong in trying to find 
them, if I had not been afraid to go home without seeing them ; that it 
wonld be one of the first quostions you would ask, whether I had seen 
them j and that I should be obliged to tell a lie, which would hart my 
oouscienoe, or get a terrible rasping. So, for the saie of peace at home, 
I was determined to find them out. 

" Though I have received nothing but kindeas and oourtesy in Boston 
and Cambridge, I sigh for home. I am sick of knocking about ; it is a 
sort of life that does not suit me. I someljmes get very blue, deplor- 
ably low-spu^ted, and think myself an utter blank in the world. My 
health is about as usual, except a cold that I oaught at Cambridge, in 
consequence of a sudden change in the temperatirre. It is not at all 
serious, but it helps to depress me, and make me wish that I was at home 
aguiii. This eternal bustle in cities, steamboats, omnibuses, and rail- 
road cars, is no rest ; and it is so horridly distasteful to me, that it 
keeps me moody. ToU Nannie I shall not forget her pin ; let each say 
what he or she wants, and I wiU try to get it. So, good-night, love ; 
jieasant dreams to you, and a speedy meeting with 

" Tour devoted husband, J. H. T." 



"P. 8.^ — As I did not get your letter to the o£&oe last night, I add a 
postscript, to let you know that I went fo church twice to-day ; in the 
morning, at the Old South Gongregationfll church ; to-night I heard Dr. 
Puller, of South Carolina. He produced a deep effect. He is, in some 
respects, a very striking preacher. I think I have profited by both ser- 
mons that I heard ; but my Christian comforts aie low." 

The next letter bears the same date, and touches upon 
the same incidents ; but it is addressed to his- colleague, 
Prof. Matthew J. Williams, find exhibits the ati'cction lio 
had for his confidential friend. 

" Boston, Mir^ 3i, ISsa. 

"Dearly Beloved Majob : I received your letter yesterday after- 
noon ! and to show you how much I prize your correspondence, I reply 
to it at once. This is Saturday, and I have been in this vicinity ever 
ance Monday. The festivities at Oambric^ occupied Wednesday and 
Thursday. I have been through them all ; and may say of them, quo- 
mm par» parea fui, ' Wednesday was Commencement day. There 



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364 LIFE OF JAMES HENLEY I'HOKNWELL. 

were forty-one appointmeiLta, be we would oall them ; they call tliera 
parts here; and erf these forty-one, thirty actually spoke. Oolj fhiak 
of patience on a monument, and listeoing to thirty speeehcB from bo 
many CoUega hoja I "Well, they are no better tiaa you and I are used 
to at home, ' We then repaired to a grand GoUege dinner, and the cere- 
monies there were escaedingly interesting. Of eonrse, after the siege we 
had had, we set to ■work aon amore ; we talked some, bnt ate more. 
The dinner was prefaced hy a prayer that would not have seemed so 
long, if we had not been so hungry. At the conclusiou of the dinner, 
the whole company — and an immenBc one it was — united in singing the 
seventy-eighth Psalm. This has been a custom ever since the institution 
was founded, and is a lining witness of its Puritan origin and aims. 
That evening I took tea 'with, a Professor of Cambridge, and we had a, 
great deal of metaphysical talk ; and I was very near coming to the con- 
cluaion that I knew as much he. So passed Wednesday, Thursday 
was, however, the great day of the feast. It was a day for the meeting 
of the Alumni from all quarters of the land. Great pains had heen 
taken to secure a general attendance ; and there was, accordingly, a mul- 
titude there, from the veteran of eighty to the boy that graduated 
yesterday. Hon. E. C. Winthrop delivered the oration ; it was two 
hours long, bat it was a splendid production. I was actually carried 
*way with it^ After the speech, we repaired to the Alnmni dinner ; and 
I asfiuce you it was an imposing spectacle. Edward Everett presided, 
and opened with a beautiful speech. We had several other speeches, 
among which was a very short, and a very poor one, by your humble ser- 
vant, and a very capital one by John S. Preston, whom I had introduced 
to Mr. Everett. At the conclusion of Preston's speech, there were three 
hearty cheers given to Sonth Oarohna, They made the very welkin ring 
in shouting "hurrah" for our State. The whole thing passed off 
delightfully. In. my speech, I alluded in very flattering terms to W. 0. 
Preston, as a specimen of what our college had accomplished for the 
country. I praised his eloquence and genius, etc., and took occasion to 
state that his brother was by my side. "When they heard that a brother 
of Col. Preston was there, they soon called him out ; and he made ono 
of the most beautiful and appropriate efforts that I, ever heard. Mr. 
Everett afterwards spoke of its appropriateness to me in flattering terms. 
"Friday, I spent the morning in Boston, and returned in the aftei-noon 
to Cambridge, and spent the evening mtat delightfully with President 
Sparks ; and this morning he was at my lodgings before I was up ; but 
I soon came down, and, though he professed to be in a great hurry, he 
did not leave me for two mortal hours. As soon as he left, I came into 
Boston, and spent the morning with Mr. Everett, in his library. * • • 
On Monday I leave for Now Haven, where I propose to spend a week ; 
and then what I shall do remains to be determined. I have met with 
nothing t«D offend me ; but, Major, nbthwithstanding all, I have not been 
myself. I was not myself at Cambridge. I am low-spiiited, and withal 
grievously home-sick. But still, I am ^ad that I oame. I have learned 



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PEESIDENOr OF THE COLLEGE. 365 

much. Mj interviews with Everett and Sperka hdie confirmed my 
opinions upon some matters of the last impoctaaoe to oup College. I 
ehall have a learned report for tha nait Board. 

"But my sheet is full. Kemember ms kiadlj to Mre. W., Henry, and 
Paanj ; and believe me, as ever, dear Major, 
"Your faitMul friend, 

"J. H. Thornwell." 

We next find our friend enjoying "the feast of reason 
and the flow of soul," at New Haven, Connecticut. Of 
this visit no memorial remains bat the following letter to 
his wife : 

"NBwHiTBN, JM2yS0, 18S2, 

"My Most Pkbcious Wife: I have been here ever since Monday, and 
this is Friday, and you cannot imagine iow ansioua I am to get a letter 
from you. I found one here upon my arrival, dated the 20tli, and have 
received none sinoe. What can be the matter ? ' I have tad a thousand 
imaginations ; bnt liave finally tried to comfort myself with the thongiit 
that ' no news is good news.' I am staying at Dr. Wells'.* He and his 
family Jave been extremely kind. They live in the finest part of New 
Haven, and in. one of the finest houses in the city, and are surronnded 
■with every lusury. They have really set themselves to enjoy life. 

" I never was more kindly treated than I have been here. I have been 
invited U> several parties, and have become acq^uainted with most of the 
literary men of the place. The festivities connected with Yale College 
Commencement terminated last night ; and the first leisure I have had 
has been to-day. On Wednesday there was a meeting of the Alnmni, at 
which I was invited to be present, and where I made a speech that, I 
believe, was remarkably well received. Yesterday was Commencement. 
The exeroiees were veiy tedious ; but I sat them out. * * « 

" I shall remain hare over Sunday. I am to preaoh for Dr. Bacon, and 
I shall give his people the truth. I have had an amnaing interview with 
Dr. Taylor, tha father of New Schoolism. He has been very attentive to 
me. My health is about the same as when I last wrote. By Dr. Wells's 
advice, 1 keep ray hip blistered with oroton oil. That pain has almost 
entirely disappeared ; but I feel that my system wants tone and strength. 
I do not feel that I am perfectly myself. Dr. Wells proposes to take a 
tonr of two or three weeks with me, to various points ; to go into Ver- 
mont, or to go to Niagara Palls. It will all depend upon hearing from 
tome. My heart is with yon and the little once ; Mas them all for me. 
May God bless you all, and keep you. Direct your letters to New York, 
nntil otherwise informed, 

' ' Your devoted Iiusband, 

J. H. Thorn WELL," 

■* A warm personal friend, who formerly resided in Columbia, South 
Cai'olinii, and for many yeais a distinguished physician of that place. 



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366 LIFE OF JAMES HENLEY THORNWELL. 

"We cannot more appropnately close tliis chapter than 
by transcribing the speecli made by him at the Alumni 
dinner of Yale College, from the rough draft found 
amongst hie papers : 

" It is witli unfeigned diffidanoe that I rise to respond to the eentiment 
vh ch has j ist le n clrurJc in behalf of the South CaroUna Collage. I 
cioice that in letters aa io religion, tliere is neither North nor South, 
Last no). West There stonld be no local jealousies, no SB0tioii8\ dis- 
tinct ons The pr sperity of one is the proeperity of all, as it indicates 
the pirtial atfa nuent of the end for which all are instituted. I aasnra 
yoi theiefore that m beholding this scene— a scene which touchingly 
and baantifuIlT illnstrates the past achievement and tlie present renown 
of yi r ancient and yenerable institution, though I am a Carolinian by 
birtli by education and love my native State, anci my own Alma Mater, 
th a 1 ve pass ng the love of woman, yet I share with you^nay, more, 
I enter with fall sympathy into the pride and generous eiultation with 
which you must contemplate these trophies of Yale. Here are the fruits 
of her labours. These scholars, these educated men from every walk of 
life, from every liberal profession— physicians, lawyers, divines, and men 
more eiolusively devoted io the pursuit of letters— these are the wit- 
nesses of her parental beneficence ; and I can cheerfully unite with them, 
as they come from aU quarters of our wide-spread country, to bring their 
votive oflering, the tribute of their gratitude and the toten of their affec- 
tion, to her venerable feet. Sir, I cannot describe to youths f eelinga which, 
on an oeoasion like this, agitata my breast. It is not quite a weet since 
I was invited to participate in similar festivities at (hat mother of Amer . 
icaa colleges, at Cambridge. It was the first time in my life that I had 
ever sat down with such a mnlldtude of men, whose sole bond of union 
was letters, I looked around me : on the one hand, was the hoary vet- 
eraa of four-score years ; on the other, the boy who had graduated yes- 
terday ; and between them, all the Btages of human life. There were all 
classes of opinion, all kinds of occupations ; but all their differences were 
melted down ; their hearts were fused into a common mass ; they were 
M pervaded by the genius of the place, and that genius was the love of 
letters. By a similar courtesy, I witness a similar scene to-day ; and with 
unfeigned sincerity, I open to you a brother's heart, and extend to you 
a brother's hand. These things remind us, sir, that ' the sohoolmaster 
ia abroad in the land.' The hope of our country is in the combined in- 
fluence of letters and religion. Our ooUeges and schools are bulwarls 
and fortresses, stronger and mightier than weapons of brass oi muni- 
tions of roct. A pure religion and a Bonud literature, these are our 
safety, and should be our highest glory. Education is the cheap defence 
Ot nations. 

"I rejoice to say to you, sir, that the institution with which I have- 
the honour to be connected, and where I learned the little thut I kno*. 



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E'KTCSTDENCY OY THE COiLEGE. 36Y 

IB a sister whose kindred the noblest institution of New England ueed 
not blush to owu. The South Carolina College is organized upon the 
same priDoiplee, oondnotecl in the same general way, and devoted to the 
same ends, with ihe institutions of your own eection of the oonntry. She 
has made, too, the same miBtake ; she has aimed to do too much. I am 
Batisfied, sir, that our Amerioan Colleges have conceded too mmch to the 
utilitarian spirit of the age ; and, in obedience to it, bare aimed at some- 
thing more than that intellectual discipline which should be the object. 
They have undertaken, not simply to teaoh men Aow to think, but w/iat 
to think. They have undertaken, not merely to educate, that is, to bring 
out, and polish, and perfect, what is in man ; but they have also under- 
taken, over and above this, to pnt into him what the eiigeucies of life 
may require. This, sir, ia too much. It is enough for them to fashion 
and sharpen the instrument, not to give the materials upon which it is to 
operate. We have all erred in this respect ; but I ain proud to say that 
South CaroUna has not sinned so grievously as some of her sisteca. But 
still, sdr, she has sinned enough. Our course, as projected, looks Jo 
mnch more than a simple education, or effeclive discipline. It is largely 
Bcientifio ; and though we do not turn out men ready fashioned as law- 
yers and doctors, we help them amazingly to the no less mysterious art 
of rearing a orop, or calculaling the changes "ot the weather. We have 
enough of the practical to show that we belong to the nineteenth century. 
"It vrill certainly be conceded to us, Mr. President, that we have 
made our mark upon the country. As I boasted — in no vain spirit, 
however — at Cambridge, so I boast bnre, that we have produced at least 
one scholar, of which any College and any country might well be proud. 
No name in this country stands higher than that of Hi7aQ S. XiEaAKS. 
His article in the New 7ork Reeiew upon Demosthenes ia enough to im- 
mortalize him ; but that was only the earnest of his strength. In the 
walks of public life, though we are not yet fifty years old,' and of oourae 
never saw Abraham, we have sent men to the councils of the nation, 
with whom it was perilous for the boldest and best from other quarters 
to enter the lists in intellectual strife. Need I toll you of McDubtib;, 
sot the politician, not the statesman, but McDnffie the orator. He 
was one of the few men that oould stJU to silence, and chain in the pro- 
foundest attention, that most tumultuous, most disorderly, most ungov- 
ernable of all pnbho bodies, the House of Eepresentativea of the United 
States. It hung with breathless interest on his hps. Like Pericles — for 
it was of Pericles, and not Demosthenes, that Aristophanes wrote the 
sentenee — he wielded at will that fierce democcatio. Need I tell you of 
another, in some respects still more aooompUshsd ; a more graceful, if not 
so vigorous ■■, more attractive, if not so resistless ; one who could oharm 
as well asiiersoade. I have Ustened for hours, sir, to the gifted Pbbbton, 
and have forgotten, under the fascination cf his eloquence, that there was 
such a thing as time. He ruled, like a wizard, the world of the heart ; 
and we point to him with pride, as one of the jewels of our beloved insti- 
tution. Sir, if in less than half a century we had done nothing but help 



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Sba LIITB OP JAMES HENLEY TeOKNWELL. 

to make these men, onr time and efforts and money would not have been 
iU-spent. This Uiought snggests to me an anecdote. Ours, you know, 
is a State institution. We have no fands, no endowment, and but one 
seholErship, the munificent donation of a wealtliy, noble, higi-minded 
citizen, now in tlie vigour of his faculties. We are dependent upon an 
annual vote of the Legislature for all oar means. When the College was- 
first established, there wsa a good deal of prejudice in certain quarters 
Bgainfit it; and Some diatiiots sent representatives to the Logislatiire, 
who were not favourable to its eontinnanoe. On one occasion, while Mr. 
McDufSe was, a member of the Legislature, after he had made one of 
his splendid spoeolies, the question of the College came up. The ven- 
erable Judge Euger, then a member of the House, rose and said, in. his 
peculiarly slow and emphatic style : "Mr. Speaker, if the South Carolina 
College had done nothing, sir, but produce that man, she would have 
amply repaid the State for every dollar that the State has ever expended, 
or ever will expend, upon her." The appeal was irresistible; opposition 
was disarmed ; and every year, sir, we receive nearly twenty-five thousand 
dollars from a small State, and from a poor people. 

"But, sir, enough of ourselves. 1 cannot sit down, sir, without ex- 
pressing to Yale our debt of gratitude for the part she took in fashioning 
t, man, of whom South Carolina will be proud as long as her people can 
appreciate genius, patriotism, integrity, and disinterested zeal in tie 
service of his country. Sir, you number among your Aluinni a name 
vhich carmot be pronounced in Carolina without the profoundest emo- 
tion ; and ma,y I not aaj it, it is rather a glory to you than to him, tliat 
his name is found ou your catalogue. You took him, sir, when wo had 
no place for him to go to. You honoured him ; you understood hie 
worth ; and you sent him ont to gladden and bless the land. Sir, we 
thank you for it ; we oannot oease to love you for it ; and as that dear 
and cherished name is one in which we have a common interest, permit 
me, without any reference tti any type of political opinions, permit me, 
on this occasion, to give as a sentiment : 

"The Mkiioes of John C. Caluoon." 



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CHAPTEK XSVI. 
BESIDENCr CONTINUED. 

GOKnEBPONDBNCE. — CsiTIClSM OP ASSEMBLY OP 18S2.-— TBMPEBANCE Ad- 

DitEss. — Letters to Db. Peck and OTCEita. — Publication op "Dis- 

¥HILE the subject of these Memoii-s is ocenpiod with 
the routine of College discipline, we will employ tho 
leisure in tracing his private Ufo, as opened in tho eorres- 
pondence of the period. The first letter ia dated a little 
back, and ^ addressed to liia friend, Dr. It. J. Breckin- 
ridge, in which he criticises the action of the Assemhly 
of 1853, that met in the city of Ohai'Ieston : 

" Soijth: Oahouna Colo^qe, Jime 28, 1853. 

"Mi Drae BaoTHEH: It has been in raj heai-t to writs to you, efer 
Binee the meeting of tlie Assembly ; but eares and afflictions hav& com- 
bined to prevent me bo long, that I am now almost asbaraed to take up 
my pen. I taYe just committed to tha grave a. lovely babe, naai'ly seven- 
teeu. months old. It was anatched away most unespeetedly ; and though 
I trust that 1 am fnlly resigned to the Diyine will, my heart has bled at 
this sudden and nulooted for bereavement. It was our youngest oilild, 
and a sweeter babe never delighted a father's heart. I am happy to say 
that the rest of my family are well ; bat when I see them gathered 
around me, I cannot describe the peculiar sadness which comes over 
me as I contemplate the breaoh in our little circle. Seven children yet 
remain to me ; two aie gathered into the bosom of the great Shepherd. 

" Yon have probably heard that I did not attend the Aeaembly. One 
of our Professors was fthseut at the time, and another slot ; ho that a 
mass of estra work was thrown on me, which rendered it imprudent 
that I should leave the College. There were parts of its proceedings 
which were very unfortunate. The Synod of South Carolina, at its last 
session, disapproved as irregular, without pronounoing invaUd, a pro re 
natit meeting of the Presbytery of Charleston, at which no ruling elders 
■were present. The terms of the resolution are as follows : 

" 'Resolved, That, in the judgment of this Synod, the pro re nata 
meeting of, the Presbytery of Charleston, at Charleston, on September 



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370 LIFE OF JAMES HENLEY THOENWELL. 

9tti, 1861, was irregular; inaBmuct be it otmstitutBd and proceeded to 
busiuesa witbout a ruling elder. Tte Sjuod, towever, admit tlie ya- 
]idity of what tJiey did.' (Printed Minutes of the Synod of South Caro- 
lina, p. 19.) 

"Thia resolution was aapsciaUy escspted by tie Assembly, in ap- 
proting the Records of the Synod. (See the Bession of the eighth day, 
Friday, May 28tli.) "What makes tliis bad matter still worse, I have 
seen no one yet who seems to have understood what he was voting 
about. The thing was hurried through the house without eiplanation 
or discussion, and a heavy blow struck at the oonstitutiou of the Church 
in sheer blindness. It was a wretched piece of work, view it in what 
light yon will. Wretched aa it was, however, it is outdone by the reso- 
luldon in ibe case of the Charleston Union Piesbyteiy. That resolution 
qniefly ignores all tlie great principles which were involved in the whole 
Mew School controversy. In the first place, the Charleston Union 
Presbytery is a ftiiixd body. It was originally formed by a union of 
Presbyterians and Congregatjoualists. Hence its name. The Assem- 
bly, therefore, in admitting it as a Prmbytery, oonatituted as it is, has 
viitually endorsed the old doctrine of the Plan of Union. Thia is otu 
step backwards. •*««*« 

"But further, the Assembly has, out and out, endorsed the principle 
of elective affinity. It has made airangementa for two Presbyteries upon 
precisely the same territory. The Charleston Presbytery, and the Charles- 
ton Union Presbytery, are to occupy the same ground.* All tiis mischief 
was done npon an etporte statement of the Charleston Union Presby- 
tery, which statement was never read in the Assembly at all, but referred 
to a committee, and that committee reported by naked resolution. The 
facte of the case were not before the House. The committee reports its 
judgment upon the facts, and that judgment is all that the Assembly had 
regularly before it. Was tliera ever such a monstrous perversion of 
justice ? The ' statement ' was printed, but not circulated, until (ift^r 
the committee reported. So, at least, T have been informed. There 



* This axcepHon is well taken, looking only at the terms of the reso- 
lution adopted by the Assembly, which -was all, at the time, before the 
writer of this letter. The resolution read thus: "Hesotved, That if 
the Charleston Union Presbytery shall make known to the Stated Clerk 
of the General Assembly their adhesion to this General Assembly, and 
its doctrinal standards, prior to the nest annual meeting of the Synod 
of South Carolina, it shall be the duty of the Stated Clerk to communi- 
cate the same, without delay, to said Sj-nod ; and the Synod shall there- 
upon enrol them as a regular Presbytery in connexion with this body." 

It is proper to add, thiit the Synod, in obeying the injunction of the 
Assembly, at once amalgamated the two Presbyteries, which, doubtless, 
it was expected they would do. But so far as tie action of the Assembly 
is concerned, no guard wm thrown against the re-enactment of the 
exploded elective af&nity principle. 



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d.slDEN(,l TF IHECDLTFi 



OTl 



-weie the strongoat local laas^na why the Ai» n bly should not hav 
tonched fhia Lus neas Tlie Ohaxleatcm PiefcUttrv had adoited and 
was Bi8tematii.any pursning a line of pohcv which m a fiw years 
■would hava esticgmshed Indepeai-'iiLy in the 1 w country We weie 
gradually absorbing all its ohurthea. New Schoolism was dead. AH we 
wanted was to be let Blone. But now things ate put back where they 
were twenty years ago. « ♦ • « * 

" My dear brother, I am sick at heart. Here have I been working and 
toiling for the past twelve years to bring things ini« their present 
posture ; and when everything was moving on beautifully and promis- 
ingly, it is hard to see the result of so many labours frustrated by rash 
n^8 and inconsiderate haste. I am depressed and cast down. The 
Chureh is going- backwarife. She has forgotten her past testimonies. 

' ' The suppression of the Popery sermon was significant of the spirit 
and temper of the mon who compose the body. But I have said enough, 
perhaps too much. 

" Our vacation has begun. I shall leave in a few days for the north. 
I shall be at the Harvard and Yale commencements. It would do me a 
great good to see you again in the flesh. Can you not meet me some- 
where in tie course of the summer ? 
" The Lord be with you and bless you, 

" Most truly, as ever, 

J, H. Thokkwiuj.." 

To Dr. Wiirdlaw, of AbboviUe : 

"South Oaeoijha CorjiEOB, Jieeember 13, 1863. 
"My Dbae Dootob; I write to impress you with a deep sense of my 
gratitude for the favour you have conferred upon me in the exguisit* 
cigars. .They have but a sit^e fault, and that modesty forbids me to 
mention. StiU, I may be jrermitted to regret, for the sate of those gen- 
erous souls that are disposed to remember their friends, that it is be- 
coming at all fashionable t« put up niuili cigars in such tmaU boxes. I 
would have you to understand that there ia no virtue that I admire more 
than I do gratitude ; the ancients pnzed it very much, and Walpole has 
defined it to be "itAe eBpeetaUo'n, of future favouTii." The cigars will not 
certainly l^t tor ever ; and even if they should, it should not be for- 
gotten that hog-killing comes only once in a year, and sausages are 
always welcome. We love our friends so much, that we rejoice in every- 
thing which gives tiiem an opportimily of showing how much they 
deserve to be loved. As Mary deUghte in the commendations of her 
housewifery, and as there is nj one who is fonder of bestowing well- 
merited praises than myself, I should not at all be disposed to decline 
the trying of any articles of her preparation, just for the purpose of 
praising her akilL You have no idea of what eloquent eulogiums I 
would pronounce, as I discussed her sanaagea, her turkeys, her hams, 
her cakes, or any other Imick-knack that she might wish to submit to my 



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372 LIFE OF JAMES HENLEY THOENWELL. 

criticism. I love to accoannodata my frienda. And if you shoHld come 
aorosB tmother bos of eigara, and etould be doubtful whether ttey are 
better thaa tlie ones sent ot not, you ueed not scruple about sending 
them to me for my judgment, as I assuia you it will put me to no sort 
of inconveaienoe, and I "will take great pleasure iu xesolying your 
doubta. 

" I am sorry that you and Jlary were not with us this winter. There 
is no person tJiat I like to see batter than youreelTea. If the railroad 
were not out of joint, I should be tempted to mn op and take Christmas 
dinner with you. One meal at your house would do me for almost a 
year. 

" Most truly, yours as ever, 

J. H. TSOKNWELI.." 

To the Rev. (now Dr.) Thomas E. Peck : 

■ "SoDTH Carolina Cojji^ob, April ir., 18.^3. 
" My Dbab Thomas : I was delighted a few weeks ago at reeemng a 
leUer in your weU-kaown, familiar hand-writing. My wife and mysstf 
came very near having a scramble to determine who should read it first ;. 
but we settled tlie matter by my agreeing, with all humility, to read it 
aloud. It was ourioiie to watch the worMogs of her countenance, as I 
passed leisurely over your protracted introduction, in which, according 
to the rules of art, you conciliate attention and propitiate faTOur. You 
were perfectly sriceeseful. After your preamble of compliments, if we 
had had a tJiousand ears you should have bad tbem all. It was Uterally 
' ereotts aurSms,' that we passed on to the next head of your disoourse. 
I could notice that, as you proceeded from topic to topic, there was an air 
of impaiienoe, and of eager expectation, oa the part of the fair auditor, 
which I was unable to eiplait. I could not understand what disturbed 
her interest in as sweet a missive as I hav4 bad discharged upon me for 
many a day. "When I reached the peroration, however, the mystery was 
solved. A long letter, and not a word about his wife 1 ' Well, well, I 
am done with TomPeckT I endeavoured to apologize ; but all in vain. 
Perhaps, said I, it is not a pleasant subject, and you would not have 
him vent his miafortnnes on bis friends. Or, perhaps it is so pleasant 
that he is afraid to trust himself with it, lest be should be charged with 
eitravaganca or insolence ; or perhaps he bos not yet vanquished the 
shyness- incident to bis new relation, and feels a little ashamed when ha 
tAlisof 'm^Mi/fl' or 'my dear.' I reminded her that all newly married 
folks felt a Utile sneaking at first. They had to get used to it, before ■ 
the thing sat easily. I cannot say that my oratory has been very suo- 
oessful. 9he cannot yet pomprehond the mystery, that a man should be 
able to exclude his wife from his mind long enough to write a whole 
letter. But you will perceive that my efforts have been very laudable 
to save your reputation. 

"I have jnst returned from Presbytery. It was a bitter pill to be 'hail 
fellow, well met,' with a parcel of men who have done all that they could, 



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PRESIDENCY OF THE COLLEGE. if I 6 

■wittdn ttie last ten years, to break dowc Presbyterianism in South 
Carolina. So fex as churohea are couoemed, ttera is a present addition 
to the streagtli of the body. But, in the long run, I am afraid that we 
shall lose rather than gain. Some of us are determined to set our faces 
agaijist the introduction of any more Congregatioiial ministeni. Thin 
^■will inevitably praduca diaturbanoe. The next pastor of the Ciroolar 
Church, and of all the little Island churelies will, of oourse, expect to he 
received on the same footing with their predeeeBsors. The opposition 
which will be made will lead to controversy, and perhaps to schism. 
On the score of doctdao, I apprehend hut little miseliicf. I (iiinb, soma 
of them are disposed to learn. At. any rate, they wiE have so little sym- 
pathy, if, after all their professions, they should venture on anything no- 
sound, that there will be no difficulty in managing them. Upon the 
whole, my impre^ion is that the union has put back the cause of Prea- 
byterianism in the low country about a (quarter of a century. My com- 
fort is that the Lord rules, and that He can bring good out of evil. 

""We installed Dr. Kirbpatrick, pastor of the Glebe Street Ohuruh. I 
never saw. him until Presbytery. He preached ouco, and his sermon -was 
very sound and evangelical, and had, besides, a good deal of unction. I 
trust that he may prove a real acquisition. 

' ' We have sent Adgar and Dr. Smyth to the General Assembly. Ad- 
ger is one of the truest men I know ; a man after God's own heart. It 
is a great pity that his eyes incapaeitate him for regular and steady 
labour, 

" I see that Bobinson lias raised a breeze in Baltimore. I cannot say 
Qiat I am disappointed in the result. There must have been some who 
were longing for the truth, or they surely would never have called him ; 
and it was quite natural that these should cling to Mm, when his faitii- 
fulnesswas driving others from him. The schism, in my judgment, is 



" I have recently read Buusen's Hippolytus, and rose from its perusal 
with a feohng of the deepest sadness. It is an elaborate effort to prove 
that tlie Christianity of the early Church was moulded in the type of 
SoheUing's philosophy. Under the pretext of zeal for the cause of evan- 
gelical religion, it annihilates every distinctive doctrine of the Reformed 
Church. It is in the same vein with — — . They have drunk from 
tiie same fountains, and if possible, it is still more superflciaL Where 
will this thing end f 

" There ought to be some thorough-goiog exposure of the vanity and 
folly of the whole school of the transcendental philosophy. There is the 
root of the evil ; and until the ase is laid there, nothing effective can be 
done. I am meditating an article on the subject ; but it will require 
tame and patience. I have been studying that philosophy afresh, and 
am taking it at its fonctains. I am now reading Kant carefully and 
critically in the original. I have sent for the works of all his prominent 
successors. In tie mean time, I am going thoroughly into ancient. philo- 
sophy ; and by such a course I hope to be able to beard the lion in his 



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37i LIFE OF JAMKS IIENLKY THOKNWFLL. 

den. I liave really been a close studeut this wiuter, and. as the resnU of 
it feel that I tnow less than I eyec did before. The sense of ignocanoe 
daily glows upon me, and frequently disheartens me. And what is still 
more distiessing, my anxiety for knowledge I find to be too much an 
anxiety for glory. What a pitj that a man must be kept a fool, in order 
to lieep Mm tnmble. 

" Tlie College is getting along very smoothly. We have never had a 
more quiet and orderly tin^p. What, above all tJiings, we want, is an 
outpouring of the Divine Spirit. I have prayed for it, and waited for it, 
but 1 see no eigns of it. I rejoice to hear that the Lord has blessed your 
labours, and I trust that joa may yet see abundant fruit of your faith 
and patience. The death of Mr. Sptecbleson was a great loss, I felt 
deeply for you when I heard of it. Let me bear from yon soon again ; 
it always refreshes me to receive a letter from you. My tindMt regards 
to your good lady. 

"Most truly, yonr fiienti, 

J. H. Thobnwell." 

To the same : 

"SovTn OiBorjNA College, A-igvs'. 24, 1853. 

' ' My Dbak TnoMis : I received your letter last Friday, and together 
with it, your Hiank-offering, which, in your humility and poverty, you 
have represented as a dove. It is well that, like the painter in the fable, 
you have been considerate enough to write iiiB name under your picture, 
as otherwise there might have been some difBoulty in detecting the dove- 
like properties of the animal in question. It has something so much like 
talons and claws, and manifests so marked a propensity to bite, tear, and 
devour, that, in the abseuoe of positive and authentic information to tiie 
contrary, one might have been tempted to mistake it for a vulture or a 
hawk, a species of animal that was never offered in sacrifice. But dove, 
vulture, or hawk, be it what it may, I am glad to receive it ; and ii such 
contributions are t« mark the birth of every child, I could wish that the 
usual period of the event were sliortened in your case, and that you might 
have new claims io be considered as a father ovary three months, especially 
if the ardour of your gratitude should keep paoe with the frequency of 
the blessing. There is nothing like writing to make a man exact. In 
all seriousness, I wouia advise you often to use the pen in renderu^ an 
account to yourself of the attainmenta you have made. It has been the 
mistake of my life that I have written bo Utile. Learn from mj/ esperienoe. 

"The passage in Sir William HamUion, I presume, perplexed you 
only on account of the introduction of the terms ensentric and eeeeiiine. 
The figure is this : oonsoiousness is compared to a circle ; whatever is 
given in consciousness, is tBUhin the oirole, enoentric ; whatever is not 
given, is wiihovt the circle, eceeniirie. Now, those who hold that the 
absolute is a fodUve element of thought, maintain either that it is kno^on, 
a thing giveii in consciousness, and therefore has objective reality ; or 
that it is merely a notion, represented in thought, without objeolive 



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PERsmKNCY OF tut: college. 375 



reality. The first make it an mtvution, an immediate maaifeBtation 
leitKin the cirde of oonsoioasnesB of the objeotive reality. This is an 
eneenUie inMiUon. The other -meke it merely a notion, neceBsitated 
by the lava of mind ; in other words, a law of thoHglit. These are Btill 
isitMm, the oirole of conBcionsneBS, but not of intuition. There ia no 
tn^iiter giTen, wMoh ia neoesaary to intaition. There is merely tie 
thought. This was the position oi Kant. Othera maintain, that the 
absohite can neither be known nor thought ; that it hes wholly beyond 
or without the oicble of consoionsaess ; that it is vod: et prceterea nSdl. 
These make it an eccentric generalization. Now, the opinion that it ia 
thinkable, is intermediate between the dootrinea that it is fcoowable, 
and that it is not conceivable. It i^rees with, the first, in saying that 
it is something positiye in the human mind ; it e^ees with the last^ in 
Haying that no matter corresponds to it. Kant brought the absolute 
within the circle of eonscionsneas, but not of intuition. Fichte brought 
it within the circle of both. Hamilton excluded it from both. I do not 
know that I have made myaelf intelligible. If not, it may aecessitato 
another letter from you, 

"You ask my opinion of Sir William's doctrine of cause and effeoiL 
I must aay that, with all my respect for hia learning, and admiration 
of his genius, he appeara to me to have tripped here. His doctrine 
oonceming the integrity of being, and the imposeibility of increasing 
or diminishing it, is really a new form of the ^solute ; and involveB, aa 
it seema to me, that species of pantheism into which Schliermaeher fell 
in regard to the relation of the nniyerae to QoA. Creation is either a 
anbstantiTe addition to being, or it ia only a manifestation of what pre- 
yiously existed substantially in God. If the latter, it is a part o* God 
in a ne,w form ; if the former, the fundamental postulate of Sir WUliam's 
doctrine of cause and effect t^ls to the ground. I am chary of all opin- 
ions which conttict with the iTuHviduaUty of God. He must be kept 
eeparate from His works. Ho is a Person, and acts from will and 
choice ; and anything of oansatiou which approxucates the idea of a 
development or a derivaUon ftom Him, i-i revoltrag to my mind, I 
tremble at anything that haa a tendency to make Qod a principle, or a 
law. He is a free agent, and does as He pleases The universe is to 
be considered as an arbitrary product of v. ill. It might have been dif- 
ferent ; it might not have been at all ; it was all a, matter resting with 
the choice of an individual, a personality. Hence, to know the universe, 
a prion, is to know G^d. 

"But a truce to metaphyeica. • * • i am at present alone. My 
wife is on a visit to Abbeville, to nurse her sister, Mrs. Wardlavr, who is 
very ill I saw. your mother a day or two ago, in the street, who was 
vely lonch shocked at the simplicity of my dress. She had Just been, 
buying some finery, and I suppose her judgment waa perverted. 
" Let me hear from you soon. Love to all. 

" Most truly, your friend, 

J. H. "SaoasvELh." 



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370 LIFE OF JAMES HENLEY THOENWELL. 

To the Rev. John Douglas : 

" South CiB.jLiNi Coioieub, July 6, 1854. 
"Deibly Beloved Bbothbb: I was sitting down entortaining com- 
pany— and a Btranger, too, from a distance— when your note wbm put into 
my hands, aimoimcing the mission of the watermelons. 1 forgot ail the 
restrainta of decency and cuBtoio, and gave eipreasion to my joy ac- 
cording to the apontaiieoua dictates of the moment. My esclamation 
soon collected oil the household, to see wliat was the matter. I pointed 
to the latter ; tiiey read, and were delighted too. How mTioh happiness 
one generous action produces 1 He is blessed himself, and blesses otiiera, 
in whom there is mach of ' the milk of human Hnifeess. '* What made 
the watermelons particularly acceptable was, that I had jnst been doliy- 
ering a cold water speech in a cold water (Baptist) ehurch ; and although 
it was the Fourth of July, I did not feel at liberty to venture in my fes- 
tivities beyond the region of cold water. 

"Iwaa glad you reached home without melting. We have had fine 
rains since you left, but the weather stiU continues deplorably warm. I 
am afraid to poke my nose out. The fami^, however, all oonlinue to 
enjoy good health. I cannot promise to Tiait you ; I have too much to 
do. Mrs. T. joins me in kindest regards to Mrs. D. and yourself. 
"Yours, most truly, 

J. H. Thoenweu.." 

The temperance address to which allusion is made 
above, was delivered at the request of the Central Com- 
mittee of the State Teiriperanoe Convention, which was 
then moving in an effort to secure proper legislation for 
the suppression of drunkenness. This general policy Dr. 
Thoniwell advocated, though he did not commit himself 
to any particular measure. Indeed, the movement was 
only in its incipiency, and no details were as yet iixed 
upon. In this address, he contended that the whole sub- 
ject came properly under the jurisdiction of law. Law is 
founded on the rights of men; and whatever interferes 
with these rights, M'itli the peace and prosperity of the 
community at lai-ge, falls within the province of legis- 

• Br. Thomwell never missed an opportunity of quizzing his friends. 
A poor creature, whom he sent off to Mr. Douglas, after getting tired of 
taking care of him, was fond of praising hia new-found friend as a man 
"foil of the milk of human kindness. " It became afterwards a standing 
joke against Mr. Douglas. 



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PEESIDENGT OF THE COLLEGE. 377 

lation.. Drunkenness, he argued, is in the single act a 
crijne. It ia a sin againat the whole man, and against the 
whole law. It makes a man worse than a beast ; for the 
impulses of a beast are his law, whilst om-s are blind, and 
need a law. It would be a great advance if public, sen- 
timent could be brought to brand it with disgrace, and 
not simply to regard it as a misfortune. Again, drunk- 
enness, in its principle, is a con^iracy against the law 
of a rejlned civilization. It is marked by the predomi- 
nance of the animal over the rational; and society is 
therefore called upon, for its own protection, to. strike at 
an enemy that threatens the very citadel of refinement. 
Turther, he argued that it operates like a disease. In the 
act, it is a momentary derangement ; in the habit, it is a 
general incapacity. In both fonns it affects the rights of 
others; and the law should interpose, and deal with the 
drunkard as it deals with the minor, or with the maniac. 
But all legislation, he concludes, should be founded on 
the moral convictions of the community, whicli alone 
enables a State to execute its penal code ; and a law, pro- 
perly framed, would serve to educate public opinion, and 
mark the moral progress of a people. 

The following _/ew d'esprit is addressed to the Kev. Dr. 
J. B. Adger : 

" South Oahousa CoiiEQE, ScpUmber 15, 1854. 

" Deae Belotbd Auoiai : I received your note, two or three days ago, 
upon my return from the np country, and could not but notice how 
much easier it is to ask queetions than to answer them. ITiiit ia de- 
cidedly the opinion of tte students ; and f aots seem to confirm it. Busi- 
jieea, however, of a carnal kind, is not always embarr^aing, and there- 
fore I Blinll begin with something of that sort. 

" Be it tnown to you, then, that mj wheat seed is run out, and I want 
to renew it with a fresh kind. Your reputation ss a planter hiis reached 
these parts, and 1 know of no one who is so likely to be able to gratify 
my wishes. Besides, as dogs wiH not eat dogs, one Presbyterian 
preacher will hardly cheat another in_a trade. 

' ' Without further ceremony, I want jon to send me twelve bushels of 
your best wheat. I want it of the early kind, and without beards. If 
you hare not got so much yourself, jou must try Maxwell, or some one 



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378 LIFE OF JAMES MENLEY THOBWWELL. 

that can supply me, I am going to tako a fresh start in wheat sowing, 
and must have good seed. I have already the good ffrowid ; and ifiy past 
failures are owing, hejoad doubt, to the seed. It may be -well to inform 
you, too, that I have to buy all my flour the present year. A hint is 
enough to the wise. Now, the supply of the wheat I make a condition 
to my answering any hard questions. I must see a reasonable prospect 
of having something to eat, before I eondesoand to minister to any man's 
curiosity. 

. " I have received another long letter fcom Breckinridge. He speaks 
in the kindest terms of you ; and is so marked in his rapturous admiration 
of the feminine portion of your household, that I think it well for the 
peaoe and safety of you both that so many miles lie between you, I am 
sure (hat Mrs. Adger never treated him,- es she did me, to ice cream fla- 
voured with spirits of turpentine. She must have had on a magic cap ; 
and KB she has marvellously succeeded in getting her name up, I advise 
her to follow my example in all sneh cases : to be very reserved, and let 
' distance lend enchantment to the view.' I have a great horror, when' 
once ray milk pail is fnU, of kicking it over. 

" I see Palmer every whip-stjtoh ; he is really beginning to look down- 
right tnell. On the 23d — that is, this day week — I shall be in Abbeville, 
Can you not meet me there ? I should like very much to see you, and 
talk matters over with you, I think I could give you a wrinifle or two. 
Be sure to meet me. My family is welt I have been helping to dig 
soma potatoes, and my hand is so tremulous, in consequence, that I cBu 
hardly write. My kindest regards to Mrs, A. ' Don't forget tlie wheat. 
' ' Very truly, as ever, 

J. H. Thobnwei.1,." 

To the same : 

" South Csrouma Coi-lboe, September 20, 18.'>4. 
*' My Drau Bkother ; I have just received yonr aerateli, and reply in 
a decent and gentlemanly hand, by return mail. It will be ii 
for me to visit you. I wish I could do so, but I am enga 
alittleboolt, which requires my constant attention. I begrudge the time 
I shall spend at Abbeville. But that engagement is of long standing. I 
shall remain there till neit Tuesday. You do not know how much I 
want to see yon. I wish very much that you would come down. My 
best oomplimenta to Mrs. A. 

"Most truly yours, 

J. H. Tboenwell." 

This unimportant note is introduced, only because of 
its reference to a little volume, entitled "Discourses on 
Truth," published, in 1855, by Robert Carter and Bro- 
tliers, New York, and which will be foiuid republished in 



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PRESIDENCY OF THE COLLEGE. o79 

the second volrnne of liis " Oolleeted "Writings." The 
Discourses were originally delivered in the chapel of the 
South Carolina College, in his regular ministrations to 
the students, as their Chaplain, A single sentence in the 
preface states the true character of the work: "The 
stractiire of the sermons may he explained by the circum- 
stance, that the author sustains the doutle office in the 
College of a preacher of the gospel and a teacher of Moral 
Philosophy. It is his costora to make the pulpit and tlie 
lecture room subservient to each other." The reader will 
not, tlierefore, be disappointed in finding in them an au- 
thoritative exposition of Moral Science from the teach- 
ings of the Bible. No higher testimony to their merit 
can be given than the following expression, which they 
drew from Sir William Hamilton, in a note addressed to 
the author ; 

" 35DINBI3BGH, July 23, 1855, 
" Sib ; I beg leave to retnm mj wacmest ftcknowledginents for jour 
Discourses on Truth. I have read them with great inferest, and no less 
admiration. I was parlicnlatly pleased witb the juatioa with which, it 
seems to me, yon have spoken of the coinpaiative merits of Aristntle, as- 
a moraliist, and cordially coincide with your judgment npon Paley and 
other jnoderQ ethical writers. I need hardly say that I feel much flattered 
by the way in which you have been pleased to make refereooe to myself ; 
and I i-emain, Sir, 

" Your most obedient servant, 

W. Hamilton." 



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CHAPTEE XXYIl. 
.CLOSE OF HIS PRESIDENCY. 

MOTBHENT TO TeANSFEK H[M FSOTa THE COLLEGE TO THE THHOLOOICAIi 

SsMiNsKr.— Eeabons pob it,— Action os thb Synod or Sooia Caeo- 

UNA AND OF GeOEQIA. — RELATIVE ImPOETAKCE OS THE TwO PosmOSB 

Djscdsbbd, in Coseebpondbnch, wiia Dr. BKKcmwEiDeE.— Resigna- 
tion 01!' THE PHESIDENCY. — AEKE3TED FOE A TwBLTE MoBTH. — LbITERS. 

— Assembly of 1855. — Debate on the Boaed Question. —Tekmina- 
TioN OF His Connexion with thb Colleoh. — Ebvmw of His Vast 
Ikfluhnce ovee this Stddents.— Elements of CHABiCTEE thai Es- 

ELAIN it. — IlLDSIEITIONS OF ITJ 



DURING the tliifd year of Dr. Tliomwell'e 
a movement w^ begun which reavilted in terminating 
finally hia connexion with the College, and transferring 
him to the chair of Theology, in the Divinity School at 
Columbia, South Carolina. The change involved many 
and great sacrifices, the largest of whicih was the loss of 
influence, which the Presbyterian Church exerted, through 
him, over the College and the State. In the light of 
worldly policy, this was an unwise surrender; but it was 
justified by weighty considerations, on the other side. 
In the first place, honourable as was the station which 
he filled, it necessitated a devotion to the duties of mere 
police, which, with a iQan so richly gifted, was felt by 
many to bo a great waste of power. The anxiety and 
care, too, which were wrapped up in this work of simple 
administration, were evidently consuming his physical 
strength ; and it was only Loo apparent that a constitu- 
tion, feeble at best, could not for a great while "endure 
these exertions. A strong desire also existed in the 
Church, that he, who was- regarded with so much pride 
as pi-e-eminently a representative man, should leave be- 
381 



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382 LIFE OF JAMES HUNLK^ 'rHOKN\VKLI„ 

hind him some work, which wonld be an enduring me- 
tliorial of hie genius and of his fame. He had already 
given two smaller books to the world; and had contri- 
buted to the Meview many valuable monographs upon most 
important subjects. But these were accepted only as an 
earnest of what more ahundant leisure would enable him to 
achieve. The Church, it was argued, which had so long 
lent him to the State, should now reclaim him to lier im- 
mediate service; and the controlling motive with those 
who advocated his translation to the Theological Semi- 
nary, was that, in the prosecution of its sacred studies, 
he might pour out upon the Churoli, and upon the world, 
the treasures of knowledge stored up through years of 
patient acq^uisition. -Alas I that, the wish, so ardently 
cherished, should have been only half realized! The 
I'eader will not close the perusal of his Theological Lec- 
tures, in the first volume of his " Collected Writings," 
without a sigh that the Ohurclx did not have the wisdom 
to eftect the change in his position at least five years 
earlier. As Dr. Breckiiiridge says, in one of the letters 
we have given, " The blade was too sharp for the scab- 
bard," Too much study, and too itmch care, had already 
done their fearful execution upon a feeble frame; and 
death came in with his sad arrest, before the great work 
which the Church desired was half executed. In addi- 
tion to these considerations, there was a general advance, 
at this period, in the matter of theological education. 
Princeton, Prince Edward, and Alleghany Seminaries, 
were all recruited by the addition of superior talent to 
their Faculties; and Danville Seminaiy had been created 
only the year before, with the greatest intellectual force 
that could be commanded ia the West. ■ The institution 
at Columhia could not be expected to hold her place in 
this honourahle competition, unless she was lifted out of 
the crippled condition in which she had existed from the 
beginning, and equip^red with a full corps of instructors. 
The scheme was, of course, slowly matured in a few 



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CLOSE OF ins PltESIDEMCY. 383 

minds, and was discussed at first only in private cireles. 
At length it took shape, in definite resolationa, adopted 
the last of June, or first of July, 1854, by the Board of 
Directors of the Columbia Seminary. These resolutions 
contemplated the appointment of Dr. Thornwell to the 
chair of Theology, and of the writer of these pages to the 
chair of Church History and Government, ■which he had 
been provisionally occupying for some time, in connexion 
with his pastorship of the Columbia church. At the 
annual meeting of the Synod of South Carolina and 
0-eorgia, the whole subject was fully debated; and the 
well digested plans of the Board of Dhectors were cai'- 
lied through. In accordance with this intimation of the 
■will of the Church, Dr. Thornwell tendered his resigna- 
tion of the Presidency of the College, on the 39th of 
November, 1854; but w^ met, as once before, with the 
enforcement of the law, which required a year's notice 
before the resignation could take efl'eet. He was not, 
therefore, actually released until December, 1855, which 
Ibrms the date of his entrance upon the duties of his 
Professorship in the Theological Seminary. This brief 
rehearsal will give the key to allusions found in the cor- 
respondence that follows : 

To the Kev. Dr. Breckinridge : 

" SoCTH CahoijISA Colleoe, July 18, 1854, 
" My Deab Bbothbb ; Your Mud and welcome letter, roeeiyed from. 
Buffalo, lias remained uitaristTered, because I have been indulging the 
deluBJTe hope of eayilig to you in person mneh more thjn I can imjjart 
on paper. I had thought of making a tour, in the course of the summer, 
to terminate at Danrilie. Bat my plans have been defeated ; and I 
must resort to pen and ink for what the tongue could have done much 
better. 

"I am glad to see that Adgor left Buffalo with eo warm an attaehment 
to jourselt. It ia an additional bond of sympathy between us. I am 
apt to measure a man's claims to respect by the estimate tie forms of 
you and of your serviees ; and as I have a very high opinion of Adger, 
I was gratified to find that he gave this proof of deserving it. He ia 
indeed a noble Roman, or rather an Israelite in whom there is no guile. 

" You have probably Been the resolntionB adopted by the Board of 



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384 LIFE OF JA.MES HENLEY THORNWEIJ,. 



DireotorB o£ this Seminary in their last meeting. Tilings had reaolieii 
a crisis, and something vigorous was to be done, or the Seminary vix- 
tuallj abandoned. It waa ascertained that, if things remained another 
year m thoy were, the next session ■would, in all likelihood, open with 
the merest handfnl of studenta, not more than sis or eight. The Board 
determined to propose a measure ■which, it was thought, would remove 
these grounds of complaint. They nominated me for the chair of The- 
ology, and Palmer for that of History. This procedure has, of course, 
been a very embarrassing one to me. The station which I now oocapy 
is not lightly to he resigned. The field of influence is wide ; and the 
indications are, that my labours are not without auooess. On the other 
hand, it was a grave responsibility to say that this Seminary shoald be 
closed. The work in it is most important, and a work for which I have 
some q^nalifications that are' not univarsaL The proposition was most 
unexpectedly made to me, and was accompanied by so many strange co- 
incidences, that I was afraid peremptorily to decline it, lest I should be 
found fighting against Glod. I resolved, therefore, to throw the whole 
matter upon the two Synods, req^uiring them, not to pronounce directly 
p th q f wh th tb y w 11 like t« h me in the Seminary, 
b t p th q t wh th I ght t 1 the College for that 

tn ta. Th 1 st q tly t wiU go before the two 

Syn 1 as t th mparati mp tan f the two posts ; and in 
thiB sptfthmtt thdsi trmly doubtful. Trifles 

h th u w ght t httl fhmg wh h if all men were mag- 

namm w Id h dly ha gg t d t If to me, has really had a 

y d bl mfl In g ing t th S m nary, I shall have to 

m t al sa i£ f fifte h dr d two thousand dollars; 

and Iw tttb 1 tallm thtfl am etained here, I have 
n t b tai d b cans I wae willing to mter loss in the aer. 

vice of God. 

Now, I want you to give me your frank opinion upon this whole sub- 
ject. You are able to compare the situation I now fill, with that which 
I am asked to fill I am sure that I cannot be unanimously elected; 
tco many mDmbers of this 'fjnod are mtprested in this CoEeg for that; 
and if there should be a respectable minority against the change, the 
q^nestion wiU have to be decided by mj self, upon the best view I can 
take of its merits A unanimous vote I should look upon as a clear 
call of God, pretluding all dfbate on my part i a divided vote, as I dis- 
tinctly announced to the Biard, I hhould feel under no obligations to 
treat with any further re&psct than to consider the question it raised. 
Now in case of a divided vote, which I confidently expect, what, in 
yom judgment, are tho principles which should immediately control my 
decision ? I leaUy ivsnt your counsels and your prayers. 

" It has given me great pleasure to hear of the prosperity of Danville. 
Tour poUey is a lofty magnanimity, and in your bands, I am sure it is a 
policy which will be pursued. 

"I have nothing of special interest to communicate. I ■work hard. 



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CLOSE OF HIS rEESIDENCr. 383 

but aooomplish }ittle. Let me hear from, you soon, Teij soon. I hope 
to see jou in Columbia next winter. We are to liave a celebration in 
ooiumemovation of ilie fiftieth, anniversary of tlie College. It wiU be 
^uite an occasion, and you will be invited to attend. Turn the thing in 
jour mind, and be Bure to oome. 

"Moat truly yours, as ever, 

J. H. 1'hobhwell." 

From the Rev. Dr. Bruukim-idge : 

"July 23, 1854, 
Ml Dbab Thoenwell : Tour letter of the 18th inet. has been delayed 
in reaohing me, by reason of having been directed to Danville. I have, 
as yet, not been able to make such arrangements as to remove my 
family to that place, thougli eight months of the year are spent there 
by me ; the remainder being spent mainly at this place, the spot dearest 
to me, and where the first years of my early manhood were passed, with 
my young family. In truth, of all my changes, this one to Danville 
has been attended with the greatest perHonal and domestic inconvenience 
and sacrifice ; and by far the most cruelty and unkindness on the part 
of other persons. It is only tlie strongest sense of duty that has induced 
me to embark in the work, or that sustains me under its toils and re- 
pousibilities. At every ! tep I have appeared to have no alternative, 
osecpt the one enibraced ; and at every step, while everything has been 
every time put to risk, thus far every step has been attended with suc- 
ceee. And that is stiU our condition. Similar favour from God will 
carry us, far and soon, on oor way ; but one false morement may ruin 
everything much faster than it has been built up. At present, aU seems 
promising. 

"At Buffalo, I was made accLuaicted, confldeutiftlly, with the scheme 
which the immediate and enlightened f nenda of the Seminary at Columbia 
were meditating ; and wMch has since then been made known to tha 
public, and partly carried to maturity. As to the proposed changes in 
that Seminary, the proposed addition of yourself and Palmer to its pro- 
fessors, there can be but one opinion. No Seminary in this country can 
c.impare with that, if these arrangements can be perfected. And, 
fracklj, after what has occurred within the last few months, I hardly 
we any great need of our Danville Seminary at alL McGill is a great 
addition to Princeton, in some important respects ; B. M. Smith and 
Dr. Dabney are both decided gain to Prince Edwards, in many things 
of great importance ; Plumer will make an era in Western Pennsylvania ; 
and if yon and Palmer enter Columbia, that Seminary must immediately 
occupy the very first rank, I cannot help feeling, and I rejoice to be 
allowed to think, that our movement in Kontuaky has not been without 
an important bearing, in stimulating others to these new ejtettions ; so 
that, if we do nothing more, our efforts will not have been unfruitful ; 
and if we can live amidst the noble competition thus created, it is better 



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386 LIFE OF JAMK8 HENLEY THOKNWELL. 

a hundred, fold than to have swaRowed up the poor things oiir Seminaries 
were fast beooiuing. Thanks to God for all good, every way I 

" As to youreelf, I would not heeitEte to give the advice you aak, if I 
had sufficieDt iofonnation to render it proper for me to do so. But you 
need not feel any appretensioii. The Lord will direct yon plainly what 
you should do. On either hand, you have a great woik ; and if neither 
work were within jout reach, many others would be offered to; yon, 
equal to either of fliem. And if uone were offered, yon have only to use, 
any way and any where, the gifts and graces God has bestowed on yon, 
to accompliah what few others oonld aoooniplisli at all. There is really 
less, after ell, in particulai positions, than men persuade themselves 
there is ; and in our day, less than formerly ; and less and less hereafter. 
Still, I am able to see that, in the Seminary at Columbia, you could ren- 
der a service to our own ministry, and eventually to the canse of our 
Master, which it would he impossible to estimate ; while, at the same 
time, I rather suppose that Seminary woald not be the most favourable 
position foT such a work as you could do, except so far ^ your con- 
nexion with it wonld most materiaEy overrule many unfavourable pecu- 
liarities of its position. Whether the additional good you could hardly 
fall to do to the Chureli, would oompensafe for the evil don? to your 
State, and society at large, by your change ; and whether, even admitting 
this, the additional good is adequate, besides, to require the very serioua 
personal saorifioes required of you ; whether, on the whole, the deliberate 
convictaon of the Churoh itself in you)- two Synods, especially your own. 
Synod, is clear for this charge on jour part ; these, and similar ques- 
tions, which enter largely into the case, I cannot determine. This much 
I may sayt that, in the presence of the Assembly of 18B3, I publicly 
said, if I supposed there was the remotest possibility of your listening 
to such a proposition, you were, of all men, the one we would select for 
any chair you would agree to fill in our Danville Seminary. Therefore, 
there is every reason why I should say, if fitness is the onlg question, 
by all means accept ; but also every reason why I should say that, all 
questions considered, I, who despaired of moving you in 1358, am unable 
to say now, in 185t, that I can advise you to accept a similar, and oer- 
tainlynot more important, place. Still, I must confess that, if such were 
the will of God, I should teel glad for you to accept the position offered 
to you Tjnder such pecnhar eircumstanoes, and for so needful a work to 
our Churoh. May God bless and direct you, is the prayer of 
Your faithful friend, 

Ro, J. Breokiwmdqi;." 

To the Eev. (now Dr.) Thomas E. Peck: 

" Sooth Cakolina. Coliibob, Februcery 33, 1855. 
"Deab Thomas ; Upon receiving the first number of the PTesl)yterkd 
Ofitk, I began a letter to you ; but not being in the right vein, I had to 
discontinue it, and wait for s freer inspiration. That inspiration taa not 



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CLOSE OF HIS PRESIDENCY. 387 

yat coma; but in oonseciHeiice of tte recent fire at the College, I have 
■baen compelled to worship with the PreBbyterifm people ia town, and am 
uubject to a oeaBeless catechism from oertain motliBrs in Israel, wMet a 
regard for mj own peace requires that I stoidd put to rest by writing 
yo-n what may pftBS for a letter. Direct assaults I might, perhaps, ba 
able fo resist, at least to parry ; but if you could sea the uumberless ways 
in which I am invaded— the oblique hiut, the sly inuondo, the caustic 
inference, the leering suspicion — you would perceive at once that there 
wBB no use in holding out ; that I had better set to work, and do what I 
can. Excuse me, therefore, as necessity ia laid upon me. My small 
paper is to be taken as no presumption against my good faith ; as from 
the closeness aiid compactness of my handwriting, I put more upon a 
sheet of this size, than most folks do upon foolscap or quarto. If you 
will only take the trouble to count the letters, you will be surprised at 
the quantity of matter, the m/uMum, in parm, of my nnpreteiiding little 
document. 

"The appearance of your Magasane has reminded me very much of 
Hamlet's ghost, at least, in its first offaet upon the public mind. ' Thou 
com'st in such a quettionable shape, that I will apeak to thee.' The 
Presbj/t^Han, Watchman, and Obseroei; and other similar papers, seem 
to ba in a great strait as to your real character ; whether ' a spirit of 
health, or gobljn damned ; ' whether thon ' bring with thee airs from 
heaven, or blasts from hell ; ' whether ' thy intents are wicked, or chari- 
table.' I hope, however, that you will prove an 'honest ghost,' and 
teach us, in the long run, that there are ' more things in heaven and 
earth than are dreamed of in our philosophy;' in other words, that all 
the wisdom of the Presbyterian Ohuroh is not looked up in one or two 
places. But to be serious : I think that such an organ as you propose 
to give us is greatly needed. Tiie only mischief to be apprehended is, 
that you may run too fast. FesHna UnU; let that ba your motto, and 
you cannot fail to accomplish great good. With the tone and temper of 
the articles I was entirely satisfied ; except that, in one of them, there 
were foreshadowinge of principles which I am not prepared to endorse. 
I allude to the queries in " Hints for theTimes," in relation to the press. 
So, also, on the subject of theological education ; I am not sure that I 
understand the nature of the change which has been introduced at Dan- 
ville, and which, it is insinuated, is an indication of progress. The 
unity of a subject is not destroyed by synthetical teaching; and synthesis 
has always been regarded as the true method of instrnction. The other 
method I do not comprehend. If a subject has parts, let the parts be 
mastered and put together, and you have the whole. How you can get 
the whole in any other way, ia more than I can divine. 

" These things have nothing to do with the general principle and 
aims of your work ; and it is perhaps well that they should be thrown out 
as problems, to eEcit thought. You need not be assured of my cordial 
a your views of Doctrine and Polity ; and of my cordial 
<, that your labours may be crowned with complete success. 



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388 LIFE OF JAMES HENLEY THOENWEIX. 

"Permit me to return you my ttanis for yonriind notice of my little 
book. I do not know that it has attracted any attention at tlia North. 
It lias Bold remarkably well here. My prayer is, that God may mske it 
an instrument of good to the young. 

' ' Let ma bear from you often. It always refreshes me to get a letter 
from you. Send your Cn'ft'c regularly. I ahaU always look for it with 
interest. The I*rd bless you and youra. 

"Most sincerely your friend, 

J. H, THOErfWELL." 



" South Oabolina Colleoe, October 27, 18!i5. 
"DEiB Thomas ; You hajTe, no doubt, discovered by this time that I 
em a poor correspondent, and not much better in any other respect. 
One thing, however, I can say, and that is, I am not blind to my trans- 
gressions \ thay are, indeed, ever before my eyes. But some how or 
other, the great American figure of speech has become a part of my na- 
ture ; SO much so, that the only use which I make of the present, is to 
live in the future. I am al-mai/s going to do. The review of Dr. Hodge 
is still in posse. I am ashamed to say that I have never yet finished 
reading the doonmenf^ I had to take it in broken doses, and the last 
has not beea reached yet. But, by the way, I am inclined to forgive 
Dr. Hodge for all his sins against Presbyterianism, on account of the 
able and Batisfactory review of Sir William Hamilton, in the last Beper- 
tory. Upon internal grounds, I should be inclined to ascribe the article 
to Tyler, of Frederick City ; but I have heard nothing as to its author- 
ship. No matter who wrote it, it .is well done. 

" Your OriMo has been excellently sustained. It is the best paper in 
tiia Church ; more manly and independent than any other. I must try 
and write something for you in, the fiiture. The same notion has flitted 
■before my mind in regard to onr Boticto, which has become so poor, 
that I am ashamed to see it. I wish somebody would invent an instru- 
ment for daguerreotyping thought, without the trouble of writing. If 
your ideas could be instantly transferred from your mind to the paper, 
without any effort on your part, what a blessed consummation it would 
be I 

"The time is drawing near for my removal; and in anticipation of 
the event, as the merchants say, I have been taking stock. But to my 
infinite horror, I found the shelves either all empty, or filled with -no- 
thing but old rat-eaten articles, that are not worth transporting. I un- 
derstand your mother is in Paradise. She has just got where she can 
hear something that is fit to be called preaching. All I have to say is, 
that if she never heard a sermon until she went to Baltimore, she ought 
to hear very rare ones now, to make up for lost time. I hope she does 
with yon what she never coold do with me, r^nember the text. Give 



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CLOSE OF HIS PKESIDENCY. 389 

our Kndost remembiBnceH to her. We all want to see her. Escuse 
tliiB hasty note ; and belieye roe, 

"As ever, most faithtuUy, 

J. H. Thorn weuj." 

The aiithorsliip of tlie article on Sir "William Hamilton, 
above referred to, was soon definitely ascertained in a 
pleasant note, which ia ■without date, and which we trans- 
crihe, as showing the esteem in which one great thinker 
is able to hold another: 

" My DsiB 8iB ; Please accept, as a tokeu of mj respect for yon as a 
tMnker, the oopy— wWoh is sent witli this note — of an ai-ticle on Sir W, 
HsJnilfon and his Philosophy, wMoli I contributed to tlie PHttceton 
Eeroiev) for tbis month. 

"you are one of the few who are competent to uppraciate tbese 
higher specnlatious. I prepared the article in the midst of the most 
arduous labours on Law-reform, as well as in my profession. I there- 
fore crave your indulgence. 

" Sinocroly yours, 

SiMUEL Tylee." 

Dr. Thornwell was a member of the Assembly of 1855, 
which met in the city of Nashville, Tennessee. It was 
memorable only for a debate on the stthjcct of Boards, 
in which Dr.- Thornwell was conspicuous as their oppo- 
nent, and the Rev. Drs. Boardman and Plumer as their 
advocates. This discaesion arose upon the proposition 
to separate the work of Church extension, or the erec- 
tion of houses of worship, from the Board of Domestic 
Missions, and to place it under independent management. 
The alternative was to appoint a separate committee, or 
to erect another Board for this purpose. The opportu- 
nity, of course, could not be missed of attacking the prin- 
ciple upon which all these Boards were constructed, even 
though the opposition amounted to nothing in the result, 
but to record a protest against the established policy of 
the Church. This necessity cannot always be avoided in 
o\u' ecclesiastical courts^ bnt jt is always unfortunate 
when questions of fundamental principle cailnot be dis- 



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cussed sitnpliciter, witli the view of detennining abstractly 
the modes in whiuh the Oliui'ch shall display her activity 
and life. In this case, the proposition which was auh- 
nijtted to debate assumed the policy of the Church to be 
settled, and only asked for its extension in a new direc- 
tion. The discussion of that policy itself could only be 
incidentally introduced, and a eatisfactflry vote, which 
should clearly ascertain the mind of the Church in refer- 
ence to this, could not possibly be reached. The result 
■would doubtless have been much the same, even though 
the abstract issue had alone been made ; for the opponents 
of the Boards were doubtless in the minerity in the 
Church at large. But consistency and truth required the 
opposition, although it was unavailing. In the course of 
the argument, some reilections were indulged which drew 
from Dr. Thornwell a beautiful tribute to his triend, Dr. 
Breckinridge : " He would never regard, otherwise than 
with reverence and respect, the man who had been the 
author of the Act and Testimony, and wlio had, under 
God, been the means of our deliverance." He had occa- 
sion also to render a delicate vindication of himself. One 
of the spoakerfl had associated him with the great Cal- 
houn, in a connexion to disparage his influence as a 
dreamer and a theorist: "I listened," said Dr. Board- 
man, "to Ills speech, which was a chain polished and 
bright, as to the beautiful and ingenious speeulationa of 
the great statesman of South Carolina." In rejoinder, . 
Dr. Thornwell indulged in a lofty panegyric upon the 
dead statesman ; but proceeded to say that, in all his gi'cat, 
political views, he had been constrained to differ from him. 
"As to one thing, however, I am glad : I am glad to be 
called an abstractionist; The abstractionist stands \ipon 
principle; and it was one of the most eloquent passages of 
tliat great man's life, worthy of a great statesman, worthy 
of Calhoun himself, when he defended himself aa an ab- 
stractionist. I cannot be fi-ightened by epitli^ts. I have 
but one single rule, which is to preserve a conscience void 



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E OF HIB PKEBIDENCY. 



391 



of offence towai'ds God and towards man, and to abide 
strictly by the principles of the Word of God." 

It ia not proper to close Dr. Thomwell's connexion with 
the South Cai-olina College, without bringing into promi- 
nence the wonderful ascendency which he had aeqvured 
over the students. Ten years before, the Hon. W. 0. 
Preston volunteered the testimony to the writer, that his 
moral power in the College was superior even to the au- 
thority of the law; and the only criticism ever ventured 
npon him, as a disciplinarian, was precisely tliis substi- 
tution of a personal influence, instead of the pressure of 
jnere legal obligation. Tefc, how could it be helped, if, by 
the force of personal character, he moulded the opinions 
and shaped the conduct of the students, so that they had 
no need to consider the stern authority with which the 
laws of tiie College invested him ? Certainly it was never 
true that he failed to uphold their supremacy; but his un- 
failing method was so to impress convictions of duty apon 
tlie conscience, as to render the obedience spontaneous, 
rather than enforced. "With each generation, as it passed 
under hie hands, there was a quiet formation of character, 
and honourable principles were adopted which were a law . 
of themselves, and spared the necessity of hard collision 
with mere external authority. Surely, this is the per- 
fection of discipline, when, under " the law of Hberty," 
obedience is rendered from a sense of right ; and the con- 
trol under which the student is held becomes an element 
in his moral education, the matrix in which the permanent 
character is moulded. 

Dr. Thoruwell possessed a great advantage, in the vast 
reputation he enjoyed as a man of genius. The only 
aristocracy in College is that of mind. It is, perhaps, the 
only community on earth in which the artificial distinc- 
tions in life entirely disappeaa-. Brought together for the 
single pui-pose of acquiring knowledge, the sole measure 
by which all are tried is talent. Next to those instincts 
wliich constitute the gentleman, comes the degree of in- 



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ifyy LIFE OF JAMES HKNLEY THOENWELL. 

tellect which may be possessed ; and the instances are not 
rare, both with profeBsors and with students, that men, 
otherwise unpopulai', are snetainod through the reputation 
for learning and genius which has been acquired. In 
the ease before us, the fact was indisputable. All men 
throughout the State conceded to Dr. Thoruwell this rare 
endowraent ; and to the students he was a crown of glory ; 
they rejoiced in him as the ornamont and pride of tlie 
institution, and felt as though a portion" of his honour was 
reflected upon each of them. His reputation was a ped- 
estal upon which he stood as an idol before theii- eyes. 

The ofiice which he held as a preacher of the gospel, 
was also of inestimable service in securing to him this 
paramount influence over the students. In the class-room 
he expounded the principles of moral philosophy, and 
then ascended the pulpit to enforce the sanctions of the 
Divine law. And perhaps the combined positions were 
never used with greater efficiency in dealing with the 
human conscience. In the one case, he laid bare the 
grounds of moral obligation, as these are implicitly con- 
tained in the nature of man ; in the other, he stood outside 
of that nature, as the representative of the Divine autho- 
rity, before whose supremacy) the conscience of the crea- 
ture is compelled instinctively to bow. It requires the 
skill of a master to wield the two in their harmonious co- 
operation; but, with him, the eloquence — which h^ been 
defined to be "logic on fire" — enforced the deductions of 
philosophy with all the terrors of the final judgment, and 
gave to him that control which belongs only to one who 
has made himself master of the consciences of men. 

Dr. Thornwell, moreover, commanded the lo^e of young 
men by the fulness erf hia sympathy in their struggles 
with temptations and defeats, in their aspirations, their 
hopes, their joys. His disposition was thoroughly genial 
and affectionate. He never wrapped himself in the arti- 
ficial dignity which repels approach by exacting an hom- 
age scarcely consistent with another's self-respect. The 



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OLOSl; OF HIS PEESIDENOY. 393 

perfect siniplicity of his character was reflected in the 
easineas of his carriage; and tlie generosity of tlie youth- 
ful heai-t gave to him an exuberance of respect, the more 
sincere because it was unchallenged and free. 

But the great secret of his marvellous power, as a Col- 
lege officer, lay in the strong conviction he produced of 
his own honesty and fanness. It seems a small tiling to 
say of any man, that he is trutliful; hut no attribute 
begets sudi confidence as this, when it is recognized as a 
pre-eminent trait in the character, Ko one ever accused 
Dr. Thornwell of duplicity in any of the relations of life. 
He never resorted to indirections to accomplish his pur- 
poses. If he could not achieve success by fair and open 
argument, he submitted to defeat. He inspired the young 
students with unbounded confidence in his honesty; and 
the most reckless among them, when brought into straits 
by their indiscretions, would lay their case in his hands 
with a perfect insurance that nothing would be allowed 
but what was proper and right. They knew him "to be 
incapable of favomitiam or double-dealing ; and that his 
moral perceptions were so clear, that he could not easily 
be deceived. With College students — who, when wrong, 
are generally the victims of their own sophistries — ho was 
regarded as an umpire ; and hie decision, supported by 
the reasons he was always able to advance, were generally 
accepted as final upon all c[uestions of propriety. Con- 
pled with this high moral attribute. Dr. Thornwell's mind 
worked with amazing rapidity through the perplexities 
of a case, and seized at once the real issue upon which it 
should turn. This was due to the logical structure of his 
mind, and to the habit he had cultivated of carrying that 
logic into all the practical duties of life. It rendered, him 
invaluable as a counsellor, and eq^ually efficient as a dis- 
ciplinarian. 

Three instances will be given of these q^uaUties in actual 
exercise, which will serve also to illustrate the nature and 
extent of the moral power which he wielded. The first 



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394 LIFE OF JAMES HENLEY THOKNWELL. 

rests upon tiie authority of the gentleman who acted as 
secretary of the meeting ; the second, upon the writer's 
own recollections of the incident, when it occurred; and 
the third, upon the testimony of one who was a par- 
ticipator in the scene. 

Two young gentlemen, upon their appliesition to enter 
College, were found deficient in one or two departments 
of study; but were admitted conditionally, upon the pro- 
mise to make these up within a specified time. Upon re- 
examination, they were found even more delinquent than 
at first. The Professor in these studies was naturally in- 
dignant, and insisted at a meeting of the Faculty upon 
their immediate dismisaion. A warm discussion ensued^ 
in which there was a general concurrence in the opinion 
that some punishment, at least suspension for a month, 
should be ineted out to the culprits. Dr. Thomwell, 
meanwhile, was walking around the room, looking ab- 
stractedly at the books upon the shelves, with no-apparent 
interest in the matter. At last, his opinion was chal- 
lenged by tlie presiding officer, when he came foi'ward 
with a simple syllogism, and cut the problem in two : 
"These young gentlemen were admitted on a certain con- 
dition; this condition hswnot been fulfilled; consequently 
they are not members of the College. Tou cannot expel 
or suspend them, without recognizing them as members. 
As a matter of grace, I propose that we give them another 
month; at which time, if the deficiency is not made up, 
they may be told they are not admitted." It is only one 
instance out of many, in which, while others were talking 
round and round a subject until it was in a perfect tangle, 
he would, in his incisive way, cut down to the point wliich 
all had missed, and settle the case almost with a word. 

Upon one occasion, some strolling minstrels had an 
exhibition in the town, during which some indeeonim 
among the audience drew forth a sharp rebuke from the 
pertbrmers. It was unfortunately levelled at some students, 
who claimed to be innocent of tlie offence. The result 



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OLOeE OF HIS PEKBIDENOy. 395 

■was a roWj in which the raeeting was broken up in great 
disorder. In the progress of the aifair, the students be- 
came arrayed against the young men of the town, and 
-very soon a aerious riot was threatened in the public 
streets. The students rallied to a man, like an old Scotch 
elan in the times of border warfare, and could not be 
persuaded to disperse by those who harangued the tem- 
pestuous aBsembly. Dr. Tliornwell app6ai-ed late upon 
the ground, and when the storm was at its height. With- 
out wasting breath upon men who were delirious with 
passion, he sought out the parties originally aggi-ieved ; 
ascended into the hall with them, confronted the other 
party from whom the alleged grievance came,; heard both 
sides of the story, and made up his mind quickly upon the 
merits of the case. He satisfied the minstrels that they 
had been mistaken as to the real authors of the outrage, 
and exacted of them a promise to repair the error by 
coming the next day into the College Chapel, with a for- 
mal retraction of the charge. He then descended to the 
street, and simply informed the infuriated students that 
the case was amicably settled, and would be .reported to 
them on the morrow. This siaiple affirmation from one 
in whose honour they implicity confided, appeased the 
storm, and in a few moments the street was as quiet as a 
clmrch yard. On the next day, the public apology was 
made in the College Chapel, and tlie affair was ended. 
The reader does not need to have pointed out to him the 
tact displayed in the management of this case, nor tlie 
absolute repose of the students upon Ms veracity and in- 
nate sense of honoiu-. 

The case, however, now to be recorded was a far more 
superb illustration of the majesty of his sway over the 
students of the College. It occurred in the year 1856, 
alter his relations to them were terminated. One or two 
of the young men, in a night frolic, came into collision, 
with the town police, one being finally arrested and in- 
carcerated. This, of course, brought the whole College 



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dyt) LIFE OF JAMES IIENLET THOKNWEI,L. 

to the rescue, who succeeded in liberating their compan- 
ion. The next daj' two of the students resolved to avenge 
the insult by an open attack upon the offending police- 
man, and in a short time the town was in commotion. 
The students rushed to tiie scene of oonilict, with such 
arms as they could extemporize. The alarm-bell was 
rung, and the militia called out to oppose them. The 
two parties were drawn up in array, aa in regiilai' battlfe; 
and a single pistol shot would have been the signal for 
a massacre, that would have carried mourning into the 
best families of the State, and stained the soil of Colum- 
bia with tlie blood of the proudest eons of tlie Common- 
wealth. Gentlemen of the highest character stood ajid 
walked between the combatants, vainly entreating the 
students to retire from the conflict. In the exigency, a 
j-unner was despatched for Dr. Thomwell, who was at 
the moment lecturing to his class in the Theological 
Seminary. Moving rapidly between the contending 
ranks, he addressed the students in substance thus: "I 
know nothing of the origin of this trouble, and this is no 
place to make the inquiry. Come back with me to the 
campus; and if I find you are in tlie right, and there be 
no redress but in fighting, I will lead you myself,, and die 
in the midst of you." Tu'i'ning upon his heel, and shout- 
ing, " College ! College I" he walked in the direction of 
the campus, followed by the entire body. After getting 
them in the chapel, he addressed them at length, repre- 
senting the impropriety of such riotous demonstrations ; 
and appealing to their magnanimity not to bring a stain 
upon the escutcheon of the College, which would make 
the State blush that she had created it. The aroused 
passions were by these appeals finally calmed down, and 
peace was fully restored. Et is not at all imsafe to say, that 
he was the only man in South Carolina who could have 
achieved that thing. The cry throughout the town was 
for days afterwards, "Wonderful manl But for him, 
onr town would have been stained with a crime which 
would have made it tlie horror of the State. " 



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CHAPTER XXVIII. 
EDITORSHIP OF '•BOUTJlEnN QUARTEELY REVIEW." 



LEiYES THE COLLEiiE.— Becomes Pbofeseoh in the Teeoi.ootoal Semi- 
habi.— Assumes the Editcrseip op the " Sotithekn Quartebly Re- 
view."- — OOKEESPONIIENOB IN RELATION TO IX. — HiS AftTICLE ON MIRA- 
CLES. — FiOENDLY Crfcioibu: oe it. — Hia Rejoikuer — Dbath op hib 
MoTHEB, AND OP Eis Son. — Opinion of Hamilton's Loqic. — -DiaTiNO- 
TroN OP THE Absolute and ISpinith. — Defence op Dooald &rBWiBT, 

AND OF THE ScOIOH PkLLOHOPHY. — ESTIMiTE OP SiB W. HAMILTON. 

Decline op tee Eeview. 

THE election of Profosaor 0. F. McCay, on the foarth 
of December, 1855, as his successor, released Dr. 
Thornwell from the Presidency of the College; and he 
entered at once upon hia duties as Professor of Didactic 
and Polemic Theology, in the Tlieologieal Seminary at 
Columhia, South Carolina, In connexion with this great 
work, he assumed new and' heavy responsibilities by un- 
dertaking the editorial" supervision of the Southern Quar- 
terly Seview. This valuable journal had, in former days, 
under the conduct of each men as Legare, Hai'per, Elliott, 
and others, taken She.flrst rank among the periodicals of 
the country. Tlnough insuificient patronage, it preserved 
an intermittent existence, sometimes suspended, and then 
revived; until now, sanguine hopes were cherished that, 
under the prestige of his name, it would rise speedily to 
its ancient renown, and command a more honourable sup- 
port. He entered upon the task with energy and enthu- 
Biasm. Letters from such men as the Hon. Edward 
Everett, George Bancroft, Samuel Tyler, of Maryland; 
George F. Holmes, of the Virginia University; Bishop 
Elliott, of Georgia, President F, A. P. Barnard, of the 
isippi University, and many others, attest the kind 
397 



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dSS LIFE OF JAMEB HENLEY THOKNWELL. 

of talent he eoiight to secure to the enterprise. The pro- 
mise of cio-operation from most of these, warranted expec- 
tatione of euccess, which were doomed to be blasted by 
the indiiference of the pnblie, wlio suffered it, after a 
brilliant career of lees than two years, to perish, from the 
want of means to snstain it. 

Dr. Thorn well's connexion with it during that iieriod 
enables us to enrich these pages with a correspondence, 
which the reader cannot fail to peruse with delight. It 
opens with the following note, which unfolds his plan : 

ConMBii Jantiaij/S 1856 
" Geobob F. Holmks Esq 

"DsiB SiH A pubiishing house m this tity propoaea to purchase the 
Snutkern QwiHerly Reiievi jro-sided I will undertake the editorial u- 
pervision of t Two conditions I have meiBted on as indispcnt.al le. 
The first is, that I shall be put in a condition to pay piompay at not 
less than Uirefi dollars a page for every artida furmshel and accepted. 
The second is that I can ottain the promise of men whom I know to be 
able to write well, to become regular contmbutoxs. My design in ad- 
dressing this note to you is simply to inquire whotlier I may rely npon 
your eo-operation in case the proposed arrangement should he made. It 
the Eeviev) cannot he made a first rate journal, we had better let it 
liogec out and die. But there are talents and learning enough in the 
coantry tc raaie it equal to any other periodical iu the tlmon. If our 
means should justify it, I will give Jive dollars a page ; but for the pre- 
sent, I cannot promise more than three. Let me hear from you at once, 
as my answer will depend upon the answers given by those to whom I 
have applied. 

"Very reapootfully, 

J. H. Thohnweli.." 

Tothcsanie: 

"CoLDMECA, Jvne 17, 18.'">6. 
" Mi Dear Sir : I owe you an apology for not having written to you 
sooner, but I have been very much engrossed by a severe and protracted 
case of fever in my family. ♦ * • i am happy to say that your 
article on ' Slavery and Freedom ' has ^ven great satisfaction ; and you 
will draw on E. H. Byitton for ninety-seven and a half dollars, which, 
I assure you, I consider a poor compensation for such an essay. Your 
other artiole, ' Greek in the Middle Ages,' is in press. I gave it to the 
printer without reading it, as your name was a aufSoient security for its 
quality. I wish I could say the same of all my contributors. I have a 
drawer full of essays, which the kindness of friends has sent to me, but 



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EDnORSHIP OF SOUl'HERN QUABTKRLY REVIEW, iSyH 

■which no blindae^ of fciondahip can induce me to accept. The neoes- 
city of giving pain to others, and to persons wliom I highly esteem, is 
itself ft great pain to me : Aiiipocu yap ipllotv ovTOCii 5acoi/ TZpOTifiai' 

' ' I Boe that your frieadfi are pressing your claims upon the Virginia 
Oniversity ; and I was glad to find that the Presbyterians have espoused 
jour oausB so ■warmly. Tlie article in the Central Prtabytsnan must 
liave been gratifying to you. If I can serve you la any way, do uot 
hesitate to command my efforts. . * * * * 

"' With high esteem, your obedient sei'vant, 

J. H. Thosnwell." 

To the same: 

"TaBoi:O0icAi. SEMtHAiiy, July 30, 1856. 

"DeibSib: I received your kind 1 tt w k tw g and om 
liappy to say that my little boy, wh w U f 1 g time, lias 

quite recovered. The Ssoimn will b t m w 1 w h only 
thirty or forty pages to print. My ab t th G ai A mbly, 

mid the condition of my fanuly, on my ret p t 1 m f ni pre- 

paring an article ou 'Femer's Institute f M t ph Si wh li I had 
been, meditating, and had partially, esecuted. I have wcitteo, ho^wever, 
an. elaborate essay on Miracles, in opposition to the prevailing tone of 
speculation imported from Germany on that whole subject. The article 
■wants finish; but the doctrice is sound, and, I think, seasonable. The 
contents are more miscellaneous than in the last number. « * * * 

"Can you select anyone to whom I can entrnat the task of reviewing 
Motley's 'Else of the Dutch RepnbUc?' Bating a few ecoentrioitiea of 
language, it has struck me as one of the noblest works that has issued 
from the American press. It is conceived in the true American spirit, 
and executed with great artistic skill. If you will either write yourself, 
or procure from one who is able to do justice to the subject, a suitable 
aitiole, you will do what I am sure the country will regard as a good 



J. H. Thoenwell." 

From Mr. Holmes to Dr. Tliociiwell: 

" Buek's Gakdes, TiZEWEu, County, Vi., Augvst 8, ISSIi. 
' ' Desk Sie ; By yesterday's mail I wrote to you, and sent an article 
on ' Speculation and Trade. ' My messenger brought back your obliging 
letter of July 30th, which requires an immediate acknowledgment, I 
ordered from New York the twelfth volume of Qrote, and thus learnt 
that it had not been re-published. I will finish my article without it, 
by the 1st of September. Is there any suffioient assurance that the 



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400 LIFE OP JAME3 HENLEY THORNWELL. 

twelftli volume is. or will be. the last? ' Speoiilatiou and. Trads' may 
wait patientl, 

"Your Esi raid have been yery welcome. 

For my owr ir judgment is against it. I 

find in the b the subBtance, of demonBtra- 

tioD. ; neoter mn novelty of idea ; and an 

irresistible ti mtheiem, or its opposite and 

twin extremi , ... .idmirer of tha rebele in Scot 

land against Sir William Hamiiton. 

" I learned accidently from Mr. Tyler, tbat an essay on this last and 
late philosopher might be expected in your ijejiiewt. I infer, and hope, 
that it will be froja your own pen. I ehould be anxious to see the keen 
sonitiny of yonr logic applied to his doctrine. I have been asked to 
■wvite an eesay on the subject for the New York Methodist Quarterly. 
Your letter and its indications are full of interest. Tour esposition of tha 
question of miracles will be very aicoeptable at this time, as a confirmation, 
of the nndersfanding of believere, as an. iEumination of unsettled minds, 
and as a refutation of the promises of current infidelity. I recently es- 
funined this important dogma with much care and solicitude. 

" Thank you for the information in regard to the criljoifim of — — , 
and the course you thought proper to adopt. There should certainly ba 
concord, if not absolute harmony, in the pages of the B^imB, I have no 
fear for the validity of my conclusions. I believe in political economy 
as the restricted theory of aggregate wealth ; I do not accept it as the 
complete science of society. In this pretension, I regard it bs the Muses 
of Plocheirue regarded the worldly-wise man : 

"Q XpoaoXdrfia, Tte.nlai'Yjiisi'oi^ //ivcic, 
TTit S" d/isr/jc Tvjv do^au dud' S,l(uc (piXec';' 



Prom the same : 



" Bdhk's Gaubbit, Tazewbu:! County, Va., Augvit 35, 1856. 

' ' Dear Sib : Last mail brought me the August number of the Southern 
Quarterly. I have had time to read over only one of the artioles, that 
on Mirades. By it I have heen equally instnicted and delighted. The 
general argument is irresistible, and estaMishefi, with a rigid logical 
ooherenc*, the important fact that miracles cannot be discredited, without 
destroying the suffloiency of flU testimony, and the validity of all know- 
ledge. 

" On one or two points I venture to dissent from you, even after care- 
fully studying your essay. The dissent, however, I am aware is more 



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EDITORSHIP or eO"[!THinKN QUAETEEI.T EEVIKW. 401 

apparent tiun real. I cannot regard a miracle as a violation of the lawa 
of nature, but only ae a Tiolation of tlie cnstomarj laws ; or, more 
properly, a euspension of the ordinary and familiar laws, by the interven- 
tion of superior lawa, or of the supremo Fountain of aU. law. This pro- 
vides for real miracleB of two sorts, by direct action, and delegated 
power ; and relative miracles of two Mnds, produced by super-human 
knowle^e, and superior human knowledge. I hold to the position of 
S. Augustine, quoted by S. Thomas Aquinas, in continuation of your 
extract from Summa I. Qn. CV, Art. VI ; " Deus contra Bolitmn curaum 
natncse faoit ; aed contra eummam legem nullo modo faoit, quia contra 
seipaum non faoit." Though S. Thomas Aquinas is as indistinct on the 
subject of miracles as on election and predeBtination, this appears to be 
his own conclusion, from his quotation from S. Augustine, and fcom the 
oonohiaion of Ms reply to the first objection alleged in this article of Mb 
treatise ; "Cuni igitur naturm ordo ait a Deo rebus inditus, si quid prjeter 
him.c ordinem faoiat, non est contra naturam, Unde Augustinus dicit, 
loo cit, qnod id est ouUibet naturale quod iUe f ecerit a, quo est omnis mo- 
dus, numeruB et ordo naturre. " Ttis doctrine is alao corroborated by the 
language aad illustration employed in Summa I, Qu. SXII, Art. I. 

"My apparent dissent from you on this point turns, aa the tenor of 
your remarks show that yoii perceive, on the latitude assigned to the 
meaning of ' nature.' You consider it unwarrantable to exteijd its aignifi- 
eation beyond its ordinary employment. Do you remember the chapter 
of Aristotle's Metaphysics on the ambiguities of this term, and the oom- 
mentary of Alexander Aplirodisienais on that chapter? Under the teem, 
' nature,' may ho included, I think, the whole economy of the created 
universe, or any complete sub-division of that total. Only a portion of 
this economy is a,pprehenEible, and a much smaller portion ordinarily 
apprehended by men. To this limited part the designation of nature is, 
by a convenient restiiction, usually applied. But it implies the lai^et 
sense, which seems the more correct, because logically the more complete 
and precise, if only one signiSoance is to bo received. 

" Pardon me for hazarding these remarks. I acquiesce cordially in 
the aim, and I believe in the general purport of your ai^ument ; and 
venture to call your attention to tliis topic, because I deem the recogni- 
tion of a miracle; as a violation of nature, an important concession to 
the polemics of Hume. I say nothing of other differances, which are 
trivial, and would probably diaappear on comparison of the precise 
views entertained. They do not impair my cordial agreement with your 
happily-timed, conclusive, and moat serviceable argument, which is 
directed against the centrfe of modern rationalism, and offers the sole 
chance of a solid reputation of Stranss. 

' ' You have assigned a most honourable position to my essay on 
' Greek in the Middle Ages,' which it did not deserve, in company with 
yours on 'Miracles.' I wish mine had been on a more popular subject, 
or cast in amore popnlsr form." « * • • I ascribe to you the article 
on Plato's Phcedon, in consequence of the partiality avowed for Acis- 



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40:i LIFE OP lAMEa HBNI.KY THORNWKLL. 

totle. ToT] are fhe only peripatetio kcown to me in this oountiy, I 
inoliaa, ratter than pretend to belong, to that soliodil. 
" Witt high respect and regard, 

" Yours eincei-elj, 

Geo. Fkedk, Holmes." 



Reply from Dr. Thomwell : 

" OoLUMEii, yepiemier S, 18il6. 
' ' My Deab See : 1 returned from the up-couctJT about three ^p|'eekB 
ago, and hare since been engaged, night and day, in waiting upon my 
mother, who appearetl to be approaching her end. Her disease has, 
however, taken a favourable turn, and I hava reemned my studies and 
my ordinary cares. Xour letters have given me great satisfaction ; and 
I am especially obliged to you for yoor friendly and ingenious eriticisms 
of my article on 'Miracles.' I am sorry that I did not elaborate the 
point in relation to nature a Lttle more. The argument would have 
gained in denmeBS, and, I thini, you would have found that your objec- 
tion vrRs obviated. The word 19 used m none of the senses signalized 
by Aristotle ; but as a oorapejidious eipresaion for the whole created 
universe, considered as a definite constitution, a*, made up of properties 
and powers which operate in a fised and legnlar manner. The domain 
of nature is, accordingly, the domam of law Now, my notion is, that 
fi'om no properties and laws of the exiatmg 01 der of things, could the 
miracle ever result. It te an order of events of a different character ; it 
belongs to a disliuct sphere, though bearing upon the same uliimate 
moral end. In nature, the power of Giod is always laediately exerted ; 
in the miracle, immeMately. In nature, the agents — that is, the direct 
agents — aie the propeiUes and powers of substances, or the creatures 
that God has made ; in the miracle, He is the sole agent Himself. If 
nature, however, should be taken to mean God's plan, or the Divine 
idea of the universe in ail phenomena and events, then the miracle is 
natural, in the sense that it is necessarily included in the plan. It is a 
part of the original scheme of things. Now, it is only in this sense, I 
think, that Aiiuinas admits a miracle to he no violation' of nature. It is 
no departure from the Divine plan. , It is not an after-thought, suggested 
by an emergency. It was always contemplated as one of the elements 
of the Divine government. These hints wiU be sufficient to indicate 
how I would have presented the point ; and I am not sure but that 
I shall not develope it a little more fuUy. In return for your kind- 
ness, let me refer you to ' Saurez Disputat. Metaphys. Disput. XV, 
Sect. XI, 4, for an acute stricture upon the senses signaliKcd by 
Aristotle. 

" I do not know in what terms to express my sense of the value of 
the article on 'Speculation and Trade.' I have made it the leader in 
my neit number, which will be really a very fine one. I have already 



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a collection of choice articles. * * * I am now studying Brandia' 

AriEtotle, taviag not had the opportunity of seeing it until last week. 

""WitlimucheEiteeni, 

J. H. THOENWELt.." 

Prom Mr. Holmes to Di\ Thornwell: 



"Bcbk'b Garden, TiZEWiMi Oo., Va., 6 
"Bev. and Bbab Sik : By last mail I received your most kind and 
obliging letter, for wbieli I oiYer you my mc«t cordial thanks. I am 
fiuly indebted to you for the very handsome testimonial enclosed in it. 
I hope in some future day to caerit it better than I can now suppose 
myself to do. Notwittstanding the preyious manifestations of yoar 
fayourahle opinion, I have been snrprisefi, gratified, and, I may add, 
sJanned, at such an announcement of it. Your testimoniid amves in 
eEcellent time for the eleotion to the Professorahip of History, which 
-will taie place on the 2d of January. This is to me much the more de- 
sirable position, comporting direcUy, ae it does, witli the contemplated 
course of my future studies ; and there seems tfl be an entire unanimity 
amongst ray friends and the pubEc in designating me by preference for 
that position. 

"I hear, with sympathizing pleasure, of tlie restoration of your mo- 
ther's health. It is with difficulty I realize the fact that we met only 
once. I knew the acquaintance to be very limited ; but you have been 
BO long familiar to my thoughts, so long theobjeot of my sincere respeot 
and admiration, and you were Eo often the subject of couTersation with 
oommon fiieiida, during my residence in Soutli Carolina, that it had 
almost Lsoaptd my recr lieitdon that we had only met and parted like 
ships on the sea. I trust, for my own sake, tbat we are not bound for 
different ports * * » * 

" The explanation afloided by you of your views of nature, in your 
essay on Mira lee acctrds with what I deemed to be very probably 
joui meamng and pnables me to agree freely with your main argu- 
ment The ground of disagieement seems to me the same as that which 
dmded Clarke and L ibnitz on the subject, in their celebrated cor- 
lespondenee , and that appears to me to have been occasioned by the 
eqaiTOcatdon of terra'j and the abbPnce of aa admitted definition. 1 
find myself able to ashent subbtantiaUy to the views of both, exoept so 
far as the doctrine of the pre-estabLshed harmony is involved. I agree 
with Leibnitz and yourself ; ' Quand Dieu fait des miracles, que ce n'est 
pa£ pour Boutenir lee besoins de la nature, mais pour ceu: de la grlLee ;' 
and that, in one sense, ' le surnatvirel surpaase toutes les forces des crea. 
tures.' I hold with Clarke, (and with S. Tbomaa Aquinas, and your 
explanation of him, ) ' U eat certain que le naiurel et le eumaturel ne 
different en rien (I would strike out en rien) I'un de I'autre par rapport 
a Dieu ; ce ne sont que des distinctions selon notre maniSre de oonce- 



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■404 LIFE. OF JAMES HENLEY THORNWBLL. 

voir las choses. Dotmer un mouTement reglS au Boleil ou ^ la terre, 
tfest une oboBe que nous appfJons natarelle ; arrStec ce mouTement 
pendsnt un jottr, c'eet vme choae sumaturelle selon nos id^e. Mais la 
demifere da ces deux choses n'eet pas I'effet d'une pins gcflnde pniEaanoe 
que Tantce; et par rapport a Dieu, eUea sout toutes deux ^galement 
{strile out ^galement) caturelles ou suniaturelles. ' To this part of the 
discuEeiou, as to Qiat relatlTS to diSeveut oidere of miracles, is appli' 
cable what Leihnitz ramarks relative to tha latter topic ; ' On paurra 
dire que lea angee font dea niiraoles, mais moius proprement dita, ou 
d'un ordra infSrienr. Disputer lB~dessus serait una quaslioa de uom.' 
My objection to 'en rien' and ' Sgalemeut' are, that, in ordinary par- 
lance, couEoaact ■with the view &e pa/rte huntana, there is a mde dislJno- 
tion between the natural and the supernatural ; and that this distinction 
ought not to be obliterated in attempting to contemplate the subject ex 
parte Dei; becauee the ordinary and extraordinary procaduras of God 
are logically and metaphyaioally distinct, although they may be termed, 
according to the purpose designed, natural or supernatural, or both, or 
neither, 

" This explanation will, I trust, prove my virtual agreement with your 
entire argument. H I remember rightly, the allusion made by me to 
the diversity of meaning involved in the term ' nature,' as signalized by 
Aristotle, was introduced without reference to tlie mode in wiiob you 
had employed the term, and simply as a oompandious illuBtration of it» 
numerous ambiguities. Snarez I know only by ceputataon. He has- 
always been inaccessible tome ; but I think I have seen his critieisroe on 
the diverse senses assigned to nature by Aristotle. You speak of studying 
Brandis' Aristotle. Do you mean the edition of the Berlin Academy, 
edited by Bekker and Brandis, in four volumes, 4to. ? or the separate 
edition of the Metaphysics and their scholia, by Brandis alone ? If tiie 
former, can you teU me whether the fifth volume, containing the preface 
and remaining soholia, has ever been published ? If the latter, are the 
soholia more complete than in the entice works of Betker and Brandis ? 
These have been my companions for more than fifteen years. The more 
I study Aristotle, the less neoesaifcy do I discover for any other philo- 
BOphy than modernized and Christianized Beripateticjsm Aristotie is 
still, as in the tiirteenth century, 'U trntestro iK cite dd aanno.' 

" X am happy ki find you dissenting from the positions of the articla 
on the Infinite. I think the writer has been misled, like Oalderwood, 
into an ignoratto denehi, a misapprehension of the real issue. No one 
denies tha conception, or the actual existence, of the Infinite, except the 
most nairow-niindad enthusiast of the narrowest materialism. The 
questiou is simply as to the apprehensible significance of tha Inflnite, 
the character of our conception of it. In words, it is incapable of any- 
thing but a negative verbal definition ; is it capable of a positive mental 
definition ? That is the sole question. 8t Thomas Aquinas and Leibnita 
aooocd with Sir William Hamilton ; and it ia to Leibnitz that we owe ttie 
definition employed by President McCay. 



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OF SCUTHERN QUAKTEKLY KBYIEW. 405 

" It is to be ansiously hoped that you will eiecute jour demgn of re- 
curring Ij:i the subject of miraclBS. If you ivould permit ma to euggeet 
for your reflectiocs a topic that would embrace it, and which you would 
bundle in Eueh a manner as to render esteuBive serrige, and much in- 
struction and gratification to many otters besides myself, I would indi- 
cate, aa a thesis, tbe Divine Economy of the Universe, or the conciliation 
of tbe realms of nature and of grace. Without, in any respect, imitating 
or following Butler, Leibnitz, or MoCosb, you could weave a stronger 
argument, by rising to higher, more abetraot, aiid more general con- 
sideratioDS. • * * 

"Esciise the tedious length of this letter. With sincere respect and 

Geo. Fuedb. Holtheb."' 
Dr. Thornwell to Mr. Holmes : 

" THEOLOGicaL Seminahy, Ootober 9, 1856. 

"My Dear Sir: * « * » I had heard that you were not a can. 
didate for the chair of Greek in the University, and therefore made no 
effort for you in reference to that department. My own impression, too, 
was very clear, tbat History was precisely the chair yo« ought to fill; 
and I fiinoerely hope that Providence will allot you to the station in 
which you seem pre-eminently qualified to be useful. 

" Your article on Grote is a noble production ; and if you had never 
written another line but that, it ought to be enough to elect you. * * * 
I was much amused at the mistake into whicb I led you in relation to 
Brandis's Aristotle. It was not the Scholia toBekker'a edition to which 
I referred, but a far less formidable undertaking. It was the little trea- 
tise, 'AriMoUk$, mne AkademUehen Zeitgenoaaen, und ttachsten Naeh- 
fCilgei;' of which I have only the first half, published in Berlin in 1858. 
If the second volume of the Scholia has ever been published, I have not 
heard of it. We have only the first in our library. I have myself only 
the Oxford reprint of Bekker's text, with the Sylburgian Indices, without 
the Scholia or the Latin translations. 

" The prospects of the country fill me with sadness. The future is 
. very dark. The North seems to be mad, and the South blind. I have 
been aniious to get a good article on the subject, written in the spirit 
and temper of Legare's noble artiole on the American system, in the sixth 
volume of the old Southern Revims. It has occurred to me, from the 
tone of their speeches in Congress, that Mason or Hunter would do the 
thing well. I have no personal acquaintance with them, and am, there- 
fore, reluctant to approach them. Could you sound them for me ? The 
Beuiea) must have something political ; but I shali for ever exclude the 
topic, unless it is treated in a manly, patriotic, statesmau-like, philo- 
sophical style. But I have perhaps wearied you with my gossip. At 
any rato, advancing dawn reminds me that it is time to go to bed. 
" Very sincerely, your friend, 

J. H. Thobnwell." 



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406 LIFE OF .TAMES HENLEY THORNWELL. 

To the saine: 

" THEoLoGicii. Seminmiv, November 20, 1856. 
" My EfEAR Sfk : You will need bo excuse for my long silence, when 
yon come to koow tte circnmsttmoes in which I have been placed. For 
more than two months my house was a Jiospital. Mj mother was first 
seized, appeared to be recovering, then relapsed, and after a series of 
dreadful sufierings, espired on the 18th of last month. A daughter, 
nearly grown, took her bed about two weeks before the death of my 
mother, and lingered in such a way as to fill us with dismal appcahensions, 

. until, about two weeks ago, slie manifestod decided symptoms of oonval- 
wcence, and is now, I am happy to say, quite restored. My mother's 
corpse was carried to her own home ; and while I was ahsent at .her fu- 
neral, a lovely little boy followed her to the unseen world. I found him 
a corpse when I returned. These sad visitations, in such rapid suoces- 
Bion, weighed down jny spirits. I had no heart for my everyday work. 
But although I have suffered, and suffered keenly, and suffered, as I hope, 
never to suffer again, yet I can tcoly say that I was not oonsoious of the 
first emotion of rebeUion against the Proyidence of God. I could trust 
Him in the deepest darkness which surrounded me. The gospel which 

, 1 have long heheved, and preached because 1 believe, was a very present 
help ia time of trouble. I felt its truth, and wm atrengtliened by its 
grace. Bat I shall not trouble you with my private griefe any further 
than is necessary to vindicate myself from the imputation of neglect. 
* • * I am ansious for an able review of Motley, which shall present 
the relations of the Dutch movement to the great principles of constitu- 
tional freedom. The state papers of William of Orange strike me as 
containing the germs of every great doctrine of English, and American 
liberty. It is in this aspect that the subject is so profoundly interest- 
ing, and I know of none better qualified to do it justice than yourself. 



Mr. Holmes to Dr. Thornwell : 

"Buek's GiKDBN, Taeeweu. Co., Vi., December 1, 185G. 
"My Deab Sib: The narration of your severe domestic afflictions 
enlists my cordial sympathies in your great and irreparable distress. 
There is no agony which can befall a good man on earth greater than that 
yon have recently experienced ; there is no consolation which heaven 
affords for the mitigation of human calamities, more cheering and 
acceptable than the resignation which an earnest Christian faith blessed 
you with in the hour of trial, I feel deeply the crushing blow which has 
fallen upon you, and spread olonds over this life, but compensated the 
gloom by exhibiting a brighter radiance and a more permanent satisfac- 



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BDITOEBHIP OK a01]THEKN QUAETKKLY KEVIEW. 407 

tion in the eternal world. Witli what yeamlDg ansieij the heart tnms to 
God, as it follows the deparUng spirits oi the good and the hmocenl of 
OUT own blood 1 * * « * 

" I will nse my best endeavmits to procure a suitable essay on. ' The 
State of the Country,' and to procure it promptly. There is no indioa- 
tion of authorship to the articles in the November nuinber. The last is 
by Mr. Tyler, of, Maryland. I ascribe to you that on Msimoaides, and 
the exquisite notice of 'Cicero de OfBeiia.' I read the appeal on the 
fourth page of the .cover with equal regret and shame. I tcuet it may 
be suooessful. * • * The Semie ought to he Bustained. It has been 
an honour and a, bulwark to the South ; it has been a crown of glory to 
South Carolina, and that State oouLl well afford to lose one-half of her 
cottojj crop rather than to let her Southern Review go down. 
"Yours tnily. 

Geo. I'hedk. Holmes." 

From the same : 



"Bukk'b Gabdeb, TsaEWELL Co., Vn.., December 30, 1856. 

"Kev. akh Deab Sib; Dr. Mooi-e, of Richmond, has very hindly 
sent mo the nnmhac of the Central FTeshyterian, containing your gen- 
erous communication celati-ve to the Chair of History in ihe UniTereity 
of Virginia. If I could only feel conscious of meriting, in any degree, 
the praise you have so graciously bestowed, I should feel much better 
satisfied with myself, but could not be more grateful for your gratuitous 
oommendataons. Toa have, however, set before me an ideal, which 
I must endeavour to approach, though without hope of reaching it. 

"I shall finish to-day an essay on the 'Philosophy of Sit William 
Hamilton,' for the New York MethxUnt Quarterly. I am not satisfied 
with it; but when published, shall take the liberty of sending.it to you, 
with the hope of receiving your frank eastigaUon of its views. * * * 
I know no one in the country so competent as ■ joui'self to indicate its 
blunders, and expose its weak points. And as I have been anxiously 
seeking a philosophy capable of furnishing a complete conciliation of 
reason and faith, there is no severity of judgment wHoh will not be 
' aoceptable. 

" I am ready to take up MoUay ; hut I cannot do justice to hlra ; my 
library is too scant. I admire both the spirit and exeonlion of his work ; 
but I miss with regret any suitable inquiry into the social condition and 
commercial progress of the Low Countries ; and he has failed to avail 
himself of the illustration of the intrigues, treacheries, and jealousies of 
the nobles, and the hostility of parties furnished by the family con- 
nexions and hereditary traditions of the members of the Netherlend 
aristocracy. The Duke of Aerschot was a sovereign prince of the Holy 
RomMi Empire, as well as the Prince of Orange. But this, and other 
points like this, are not mentioned by Mr. Motley. 



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408 LIFE OF JAMBS HENLEY THOENWELL 

" I hays in. Land for yoa an essftj on ' the Bektions of Paganism and 
Obristianity, during the first three or four centaxies ' My oollei,tions 
on ttie subject are eitensive, but defioient in regard to the patristn, pvi 
denee. The topic is an interesting and instrnolJYe one, and I think I 
can treat it in exich a mamiar as to eihibit some novel aapeots 
' ' Yours sincerely, 

Geo. Fbede Holmc! 

!From the same: 

"Eube's OiSDEN, TizawBijjj Co., Vi.., Ja.ntum'y 17, 1857. 

"Ebt. and Dbsb Sib; Your obliging note of the 9th inst. has just 
reached me. I had nearly finished the rough draft of a notice of Motley, 
and eommenced trauscrihing it to-day. I will dispatch it in the oourse 
of the coming weeh. This is not the fi.rst time that I have experienced 
the wisdom of the old rule : if you desire information on any subject, 
write upon it. Facte, recollections, Buggeetions, have started up from 
obscure hiding-places in the crannies of the brain ; and though, when I 
commenced the paper, 1 thought I was entirely ignorant of th,. age, I 
have been unospectedly oppressed with the redundance of my matter. 
You win find traoes in roy article of ' many a cnrioua TOlume of forgotten 
lore ;' but no quotations except from Motley, and those brief. I feel 
confident that it wiU meet your approbation ; it is infinitely better than 
the notioe of Grote. * * « * 

" It is with deep concern I am informed by you of the unpromising 
aspect of the fortunes of the Southern Quarterly, and of the possibility 
of your retiring from its superintendence. Either would be a great 
calamity to the South, and to its literature. • « * « 

' ' BeUeve me, with grateful regard and esteem, 
"Yours truly, 

Qko. Pkedk. Holmes." 

Dr. TlioniwcU to Mr. Holmes: 

" THEOLOGioiL SBinNiKY, FebTuavy 2S, 1857. 
" Mt IlEiB Sib : It giTea me great pleasure to congratulate you upon 
the manner, even more than the fact, of your election to the chair of 
History in the University of Virginia. It was honourable to you, and 
honourable to the Board, Our young men will be encouraged to derote 
themselves to letters, when they find that real excellence is not destined 
to pass without reward. Though it is true that Mammon is not the in- 
spiration of genius, and that philosophy should be sought for itself, and 
uot for the dowry, yet the uatave glow of inspiration requires a sun to 
warm it, and disinterested love must hare favourable ou'cumstauces to 
expand it. Aa weE might we expect the eagle to soar in void space, 
without a supporting atmosphere, as the most gifted mind to unfold its 
powers without opportunities. I rejoice that you have found a field 



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QUAKTEKLT KBVIEW. 409 

suited to yanr talents and yoar taste. Go3 grant tliat jou. may long 
live to occupy and adorn it ! 

"There are two portions of modern history which, in my judgment, 
haTS not received the attention they deserre. The first is the reign of 
Henry IV, of France, and tte other is the period intervening, until Hio 
commencement of the French Eovolution. It niiglit be called tie Biae 
and Growth of Absolutism in France. A life of Henry, and a general 
philosophical history of the aubsequent period, would £11 a ohasoi which 
I know of no work of any signal ability that euppKes, "What think you 
of either, or both, parts of this great enterprise ? Whoever shoald exe- 
cute it well, might adopt the language of Thuoydides, and call it a work 

" In relation to the Reviff/a, I am Badly disoouragcd. ' The February 
number I have kept baok, of purpose, hoping to stimulate a greater 
degree of interest. I do not see that much has been accomplished. ^The 
wort has been warmly praised ; but praises pay neiflier printer, editor, 
nor contributors. A project is on foot to make it the property of a joint 
Btoek company, with a sufBcient capital to sustain it adequately. One 
hundred stockholders, at one hundred dollars apiece, would put it on a 
firm foucdatioa. I tnist that, if kept up, you wiH not remit your interest 
in its prosperity. 

"Let me express the hope that jou may find occasion to revisit South 
Carolina ; and, in that cose, let my claims upon your person, as a CBptivQ 
or a guest, be regarded supreme. 

"Very truly, your friend. 

From Mr. Holmea : 

"BtiBi's Gakdbn, TiZKWKLi. Co., Va., March 7, 1867. 

" Ket. ATJD Deab Sib : * * "" * * Thank you for your valuable 
suggcKtion in regard to the reign of Henry IV, and the Succeeding times 
ilj. France. I agree with you in your estimate of those ages, and their 
long disregarded importance. They attracted my attention at one time, 
but I discontinued my researches, from the dif&oulty and expense of 
proooring the requisite documents. Since that period, my miud has 
been gradually forced backward to the consideration of the phenomena 
■of decay in^ the society of the Roman Empire, and the equally interesting 
characteristics of the reconstruction of society, and the germination of 
modem oivilization in the remoter period of the Middle Ages. My col- 
lections on this subject are already extensive. « * « 

' ' You afford a gleam of hope for the perpetuation of the Berieio. If 
the scheme be carried out, I may be able to aid in giving it some assist- 
ance when I reach the University. My interest in the existence and 
honour of the Bee&w cannot fail. It exercised and promulgated my 
earliest speculations ; it gave me my first reputation ; it has been instru- 
mental in securing if y present appointment ; and your kindness has 
finally linked my name with its fortunes and honours." « • * 



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ilO LIFE OF JAMES HENLEY THOENWELL. 



" May ZO, 18S7. 
» « * » I \g^ hoped to taTB heard your judgment of the oritioiBm 
o( Sir ■William Hamilton, which I directed to be sent to you id the Emn- 
bers of tlie New York Methodist Qua/i'l^fly, when it was pubKshed. I 
am BolicitouB for this, as the points clisctisSBd are, in my estimation, of 
great importance ; and there are few, if any, who ORn as tsfldilj detect 
their importance and hearing, and eatlmate their validity or inyalidity. 
* * * " Believe me, very respectfully and eincerely yoiire, 

Geo. Fsedk. Holmes." 

Dr. Thovnwell to Mr. Holmes : 

" Theological Seminary, Jul^ 7, 18BT. 
' ' My DsiB SiK : Your articles on Hamilton were read by me with 
great iuterest ; and it may gratify you to know that I put them into the 
hands of my class in the 'Seminary, to whom I was delivering, at the- 
time, some side lectures on Kant, Sir WilUam's ehanges ia logic— the 
esclusion of the categories and all material considerationB, the thorough- 
going quantification of the predicate, the consequeni^ extension of pro- 
positional forms, and the simplification of the whole doctrine of con- 
version — have always appeared to me specimens of a keen, but perverse, 
ingenuity. I cannot see their importance ; and I am sure, and he even 
admits, that language is not constructed with reference ia them. And 
yet, are not the laws of language the laws of thought ? Then, again, the 
unflgured syllogism, I am quite certain, can be reduced to shape. Propo- 
sitions, in which the terms are not related as subjects and predicates. 



. of St. Paul. 
. recognizing the quan 



le harder to understand than the doctiin 
" The philosophical reason you suggest ft 
tifieation of the predicate in affirmative pro 
me j and, I am disposed to think, is not without more signifloance than 
you have attached to it. That the very forms in which we embody our 
positive knowledge, should Contain intimations that there remains muqh 
more to be known ; that all aoieace should be a confession Of ignorance, 
is in esaot accordance with the spirit of Sir William HaraUton's philos- 
ophy, and the real state of the case. 

■ "Dpon the point in dispute between Sir William and Cousin, I have 
always thought that the victory was with Sir "William. And yet I am 
not clear that the Infinite and Absolute are species of the same genus, 
eshaustive of the whole sphere of the Unconditioned ; still less can I 
admit that aJl positive thought is mediated between two extremes, 
neither of which is cogitable ; but one of which — and, as far as the state- 
ment goes, no matter which — must be admitted. The Infinite and the 
Absolute appear to me as different aspects of one and the same thing ; 
different phases under which it is contemplated by 'the mind. It is the 
Infinite,' when considered in itself; the boundless sphere of being, the 
BuVffitratum or ground of all esistence. It is the ^solute, when consid- 
ered as determining being, as oonditionii^ and regulating the finite and 



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EDITOKSHJP OF SOUTHERN Q ITAKTEKLT EEVIEW. 411 

limited. Tlia Infinita One is the Essence in itself ; the Absolute, tliat 
Essence as entering into, and giving force to al! dependent existence. 
The Infinite is the negation of the finite ; the Absolute inTolves ita affip- 
mation. These seem to me tJie senses in whicli tliese terms are em- 
ployed by the Absolate philosophers. 

' ' There is only one thing ia yovir ariicles to which I must demur ; 
and that is your low estimate of my old friend, Dugald Stewart. His 
work was the first to inspire me with any love for philosophical pnrsaits, 
and I confess that I prize Ms writii^ very highly. His candour, hia 
love of tmth. Ma modest; in stating bis tipinione, bis scrnpaloiis pre- 
cision in the use of language, are beyond all praise. The man who in- 
spired iiito his piipile the enthusiasm kindled by Stewart, must have had 
more than ordinary merili His sketch of modem philosophy is an &£- 
qmsita morceau His speculationa upon the real natnre of matbema- 
tioal reasoning, his remarks upon axioms, and the proper place of first 
trntha, stnke me as all indicating no mean talents for philosophy. As 
an eipounder of Eeid'a aystem, he has been Terj suceesafal in eliminat- 
ing its radical prmciplca, and in guarding them from abuse. Take out 
liis silly apeoulatjons upon language, especially the Sanscrit, and a few 
other blemishes, and I know of no other books that can be read with 
more interest, profit and delight, than the speculations of Dugald Stewflart. 
From the infiuence of early associationa, I love him as Tarn O'Shanter 
loved his drouthy crony. I love bim 'as a very britber.' But I am, 
perhaps, tedious. I have written these hasty lines without your artiolea 
before me, and without having seen them for more than two months. 
1 lent them to some of my pupils ; and it may he that I have written 
unadvisedly. Wishing jou every prosperity, I am, 
' 'As ever, your sincere friend, 

J. H. ThobnweIjIi. " 



Shall I return, it to you ? or shall I send it to any other journal ? 

This postscript ia the last note of the bell, as the foun- 
dering ship went down beneath the flooct. The Southern 
Quarterly was no more ! In a second postscript to the 
above letter, Dr. Thorawell says: "I will re-pernse your 
article on Hamilton, and give you my opinion more in 
detail." In reference to which promise, Mr. Holmes 
writes : "The more detailed views of Hamilton's Philoso- 
phy were never sent. The decease of the Southern 
Quarterly Heview, and the occupations of us both, soon 
terminated the correspondence," We find, hewever. 



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K OF JAMES HENLEY TUOENWELL. 



among the loose papers in our possession, a fragment, 
which was evidently intended as the fulfilment of his 
pledge; and though it bears upon its face evidence of 
being only the commencement of an extended criticiBm, 
the two points signalized in it are so important, as the 
expression of his philosophical views, that it would be 
criminal to withhold it. The reader cannot but be grati- 
fied to learn, from his' own pen, the precise estimate in 
which he held the contribution made hy Sir Wilham 
Hamilton to philosophy : 



" Mi iJEiR Sm : la one respect I rejoice, in anotber I am Bovry, that 
I promised to give yon a more detailed review of jonr admirable article 
OB Sir William Hamilton's philosophy. I rejoice, because the reading 
and re-roading, and reading of them again, which it rendered neceBSaiy, 
have been to rae a source of the purest satisfaction. Tour essays liave 
not only eoHflnned my impressions of your learning, but givon me an 
insight into qnalities of mind which, I frankly confess, I waa not pre- 
paied to attribute to yon, in anything Uke the degree in which you have 
shown yourself to possess them. You will not be surprised, therefore, 
that I regret having made the promise, as the execution of it is likely to 
be of as httle profit to you as credit to myself. One revenge, however, 
1 shall inflict on you for the loss of my time and pains — ^t^at of passing 
over in silence, or with a mere allusion, those parts of your essay in 
which I can find nothing to censure, and dwelling upon those in which 
there seems to be a chance of picking holes, I could not justly claim 
to be a critic, if I found no fault. 

"1, I am glad to see that you appreciate so justly the eubordinaiion 
of philosophy to faith. For myeelt, I have long looked upon the Scrip- 
tures as containing the key to the true solution of the problem of es- 
istence ; and I have been struck, in several instances, with the remark- 
able fact, tbat the speculations of Aristotle breai down just where a 
higher light was needed to guide him. He has tracked truth, through the 
court aud sanctuary to the mystic veil, whiell he was not permitted to 
lift One hint from revelation would have perfected his theory of hap. 
piness ; a single line of Mosea would have saved a world of perplexity, 
touching the relations of matter and form. Any system of philosophy 
must be fundamentally false which does not lay a foundation for the 
possibiUty of revelation; and to do this, the notions of a personal God,- 
and a strict and proper creation, must fae vindicated. In all this we 
agree ; bnt I have been unable to determine to what class of philoso- 
pbers you refer (p. 24), as being inclined ' to look upon the created uni- 
verse as an episodical digression.' The predominant vice of modern 
philosophy, it seems to me, is just Hie opposite ; it is to look upon na- 



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EDITOKSlIli' OF SOUTHKliN QUARTEELY REVIEW. 413 

tnre as the aiL Whatever form of the Abeolate you take, it qnietlj pro- 
ceeds upon the category of tlm imnumi^nt, assumes the dootiiue of sub- 
stantial identity, and recognizes no principle but that of neoessary de- 
veiopment, or inevitable self-mapifestafioc. The consequence is, that 
a personal God, with all free causation, is excluded, Where there is no 
design, there can be no episodes; and wliere all is necessary, nothing 
can be jncideataL 

" 2. Your estimate of the Scotch school is so different from my o^n, 
that lam constrained to believe that either you or I have misapprehended 
its characferistics. In my judgment, your articles breathe the very 
spirit of the Scottish philosophy ; and every esoeption you have taken 
to ilie tenor aiid bearing of Sir William's speculations is only m in- 
stanoes in which he has divSrged from the track of Eaid and Stewart, and 
the scope of you* critieiBm is io bring hint back. His great merit is 
that he has explained, purified, vindicated, and enlarged the doctrines 
of his masters. He hassuppUed defieiencieB, coiTactod errors, suggested 
amendments; but his whole effort has been to bring the Eyttcm into 
harmony with itself. His philosophy is only that of Keid and btewait, 
perfected by an instrument — a sound logic— which they did not posbess. 
1 cannot agree, therefore, that he has introduced ' something like sys- 
tem, sahstanee, order, and coherence into their vague es^ierimcntal psy- 
chology, by a sweeping and rBi)olv,Uona,ry legislation, (p. 27.) Apart 
from a more thorough exposition of the criteria of our fundamental be- 
liefs and primitive cognitions— two things, by the way, which Sir Wil- 
liam Hamilton does not, and Stewart does, distinguish — apart from a 
consistent and logical account of the conditions indispensable to the 
possibility and validit